Poem Saturday

Again keeping it a little light on the weekends. Here is a poem by Emily Dickinson. It really speaks to me. Here it is;

BY EMILY DICKINSON

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

Advice I’ve Received Over The Years

This was a topic from one of my meetings. Wow what a topic. I’ve never really given much thought about advice I’ve received over the years. I want to sit and think about this for a while but now is not the time. It is time to write about it in a stream of consciousness.

The best advice I’ve been given has happened mostly over the last 7 months (mostly from one therapist I will call B). He is one of the best therapists I have ever met. He doesn’t’ mince words. He tells it like it is. The advice that follows is all from B. One piece of advice I was given was to get my f-cking head out of my ass so I can be sober (clear of mind). Another was to get out of my own way. Self-care is not selfish. You must be selfish in order to heal from your trauma. Putting yourself first is not a selfish thing to do, in fact it is the most important thing you can do for yourself and the ones you love. Learn to love yourself. Be patient with yourself. Healing is a journey not a one time stop. Be and act like a f-cking survivor. Don’t walk with your head down. Put that f-cking smile on your face. Do the f-cking work. You are a f-cking amazing and resilient woman so start living as one.

Other types of advice I’ve been given has centered around my marriage and my children. These include: keep your man happy, a way to a man’s heart is through food, your kids will grow up fast so savor each moment with them and don’t want them to grow up too fast. I had three children in a 6 year period so I didn’t have time to savor each moment. I was too busy trying to keep up with them. I try to maintain a good relationship with my husband, but my world is not centered around him or how he feels.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given was to attend meetings when I was at trauma camp. This is how I was introduced to ACA. I didn’t think I needed any type of meeting. I was fine. I didn’t have an addiction. My therapist just said go because you need to do a night meeting. I am so glad I did. I have found a place where I truly belong and a place where other people can empathize with me. It is a place where I feel welcomed and safe.

So that’s the advice I can best remember. I am still trying to put the pieces of my life back together, so I probably missed a lot of good advice over the years. My grandmother gave me the best advice of my life, which was to pray for guidance and be grateful for each new day. That’s all I have for tonight. Peace and love to you all.

Poem Saturday

I decided during the weekends I’m going to keep it light. I had a very triggering morning due to one of the meetings I attended, which is why I’m gonna keep it light.

One of my favorite poems is by Robert Frost called “The Road Not Taken.” I did not know he wrote it as a joke to his friend Edward Thomas because Edward was an indecisive fellow who usually took a road and then would moan about not taking the other road. He wrote the poem in 1915 and as soon as he did people took it very seriously and Robert was kind of upset about that because it was meant to be a joke. Here is the poem:

The Road Not Taken 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I love this poem and I would probably be one of the people Frost got upset by because I do take it seriously. It can have so many meanings for different people. What’s your take on it?

Random Thought

I’ve had a lot of time this week to meditate and think. It has been so aggravating to be stuck in bed again. I hate being stuck in bed. I hate having health issues which are a result of the past trauma I have had. I have chronic migraines (every day), fibromyalgia, and intestinal issues. Having all three are huge road blocks for me. I am trying to be my best self through it all. Have to go to a meeting. Will get back at it right after.

So okay I’m back and that meeting did wonders for me. I know I am not alone. I’m on this journey with other people.

I was just in a meeting and someone shared this poem by Morgan Harper Nicols

Healing is a Journey

How beautiful it is

after everything that has happened,

you have learned the art

of the release.

You have learned what it means

to let go

in a lifetime

filled with unknowns.

It has not been an easy journey for you

and it so hard to make sense

of all you had to go through,

but I just hope you know

you do not have to.

You are allowed to be at peace

no matter the uncertainty you leave behind.

You are allowed to keep talking things out,

you are free to keep taking this day by day

knowing that as you learn more and more of who you are

you are wrapped in endless grace.

You have been through so much,

but there is still more ahead of you,

and with every breath you breathe,

Light will continue to guide you.

So go on,

go on,

go and take

that deep breath

let it remind you

it is okay

to take this

step by step

Healing is a journey,

a journey you did not ask to go on,

but you are traveling right along

and that alone, is everything.

So keep your eyes open,

keep your heart open, too.

This journey is filled with a thousand lessons to learn,

but also abundant Love that shines through.

And it does not matter where you have been

even as recent as yesterday.

You are free to experience a beautiful, meaningful life

right here, in this moment.

And I know you haven’t always seen the greatness

within yourself,

but that does not mean it is not radiant within you, 

your courage,

strength,

beauty,

are still

shining through,

even when it is not apparent to you.

Even when it is not apparent to you.

So when you look in the mirror

I hope you can trust

there is more to you

than what you see,

and you are allowed to pause

and merely be

knowing you are radiant

with strength

and beauty

you can still 

choose to believe

in the deepest

depths of your soul,

even when what you see

seems faulty

and fragmented,

deep within,

you are whole.

Sincerely,

Morgan Harper Nichols

This says exactly why I created recovery in process. Healing is a journey. Recovery is a journey. Beautiful poem.

First Finding Out

I first found out about my childhood memories of abuse was the night after my 2nd sexual assault. As if the assault were not enough, I was assaulted with memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). I first thought, “How could I have gone through this and not remember it?” I didn’t understand how I could go most of my life not knowing about the abuse.

I was scared, at first, to tell anyone about these memories. I did eventually talk to my husband and asking him if this could be true. He reminded me of when I had my hysterectomy the doctor had stated I must have been abused due to the scarring of my uterus. I was stunned by how I could forget that part of the surgery as well.

These memories brought on a oppressive depression. I eventually tried to kill myself because I couldn’t handle it. It almost worked except my daughter came home early from school. She saved my life. It was then I first went to a trauma treatment center.

This is all I can write about today. Until next time, peace and love to you all.

New Memories

I feel like I’m in some sort of waiting game. New memories of my traumatic past. Memories I don’t want to know. I don’t get asked if I want these memories. If I did, I would say no thank you.

A person’s brain is so remarkable. It can actually compartmentalize trauma and lock it away making it seem to the person everything’s completely normal when it’s not. My brain did that and did it so well I had parts or alters break apart and hold memories for me.

If you would have asked me twenty years ago if I had different people in my head I’d would’ve said absolutely not. It wasn’t until it was explained to me that “normal” people do not have several different voices inside their head. I thought everyone had these since mine had been there for as long as I could remember. It shocked me to the core when I found out I had dissociative identity disorder because I was told this usually happens when someone experiences trauma at a young age. That wasn’t me I thought. I had a “normal” childhood.

So anyways writing this blog has made my brain say “Hey there, you seem to be handling things better now so how about some new memories?” Nope don’t want them thank you. But, again, I don’t get a say just like I didn’t get a say when they started in 2016 after a brutal sexual assault. So yeah, it takes more time for me to write a blog post because of what it triggers inside my mind. I will just keep on plugging away while I try to live with the new memories and try to deal with my CPTSD symptoms. Until next time, love to you all.

Major Hiccup

Well I was very triggered by my last post. The day after I suddenly was dizzy, had vertigo, and could not keep anything down. I’ve been suffering with this for almost a week. I did see a doctor and was given medication to help.

They do not know what is wrong and are hoping the medication will help. I have to lay in bed with a eye mask on very tightly so no light comes in and so I can’t see the room because the room is spinning. It’s been very hard.

While lying in bed I had a long time to think about my trauma recovery journey. I meditated a lot. It was really all I could do except think and sleep. I really think my journey is really continuing in the right direction. I need to be patient with myself because the journey is long and hard.

I’ve come a long way from how I was living in 2019 and most of 2020. When I look back on the person I was and who I am today, I am so surprised how far I’ve come. I was thinking I was stuck and being in bed made me realize I’ve done the work. This means I am a person in recovery and sobriety. This makes me so happy and I want to jump for joy.

I will continue my journey by sharing more of my story when I can see without the room spinning. Until then, be well.

Realizing Life Was Not Normal

After the rape of 1999, I was in a state of constant fear, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and PTSD. The effects of the rape were also showing up in my physical body. I started having daily migraines, fibromyalgia, and intestinal issues. I still struggle with those today, in fact I deal with chronic migraines everyday. I went to the Mayo Clinic to try and figure out what was causing all my pain and chronic conditions. They did not have any answers for me. I was devastated by that news.

I worked with a therapist for 10 years to help me deal with my depression, anxiety, fear, and PTSD. This helped me deal with some of the flashbacks, panic attacks, and anxiety. I learned a lot about myself during those sessions. Eventually, I came to realize during the last year of therapy we were talking more about her trauma than mine and I had to say goodbye. I also have been seeing a psychiatrist since 1999. I have been on many medications; some helped and some didn’t. I felt like I was a guinea pig for trying out medications because most of them did not work. It was very frustrating. I am still struggling with finding the right mix of medications.

In 2016 after my shift as a wellness nurse I was raped in the parking lot of my work. It was pouring rain outside, so much so that there were flash flood warnings throughout the state. In the area I was raped was the slope down in to the drainage of the parking lot. He held my head under the water. I was in shock that this was happening to me again. I froze and was unable to move as he assaulted me. He almost killed me by drowning me and I almost let him because I felt so much shame about letting this happen to me again. Something in me snapped and I decided I wanted to live so I fought to pull my head up out of the water and try to breathe.

After he was done I was soaked and in shock. I got up and drove home. When I got home I showered and went to bed even tough my husband was asking what was wrong. That night was when I had my first memory of what happened to me from ages 18 months to 24. I’m going to stop for today because I’m getting really triggered.

Normal Upbringing

I thought my family and upbringing were pretty normal when I was growing up. My mom and dad were divorced and I knew there was some dysfunction there. My mom married my stepdad when I was around 5-6. My father remarried many times, one of them producing my half sister. On my mom’s side, it was my older sister and older brother and me. When my mom remarried I gained 1 stepbrother, 2 stepsisters, and a new half-brother. Sure there were rough times and I didn’t remember most of my childhood, but I assumed everything was normal, except for a tiny thought in my head something bad had happened to me. I used to ask my mom if anything ever happened to me, especially sexually, when I was younger. Her answer was always no, “You had a normal childhood.”

It wasn’t until I got married, at age 20, I realized I lived in a very dysfunctional family. My mom was very controlling and manipulative. She wanted to control me even though I was married and a mother. I started to remember the times she would scream at me and slap me across the face right before we had a function. I was supposed to smile and act like nothing had just happened with a big red hand mark on my face because we were the “perfect” family. I realized she put a lot of pressure on me to be the hero of the family by getting the best grades and getting in to college and medical school. I did get into Harvard’s early admittance program into the pre-med department, but before I could tell anyone, I found out I was pregnant. I tore up the acceptance letter and never told anyone until I was 44.

I married at 20, as I said, and had 3 children by the age of 24. I was a stay-at-home mom for 18 years. After my daughter was born, she was about 3 months old, I was raped in my home by a stranger because my husband forgot to lock the door when he left for work. After that day, I have not been the same person. I developed chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, and intestinal issues. I was depressed and not the mother I used to be. In fact, my oldest son told me, “You were a great mom until one day you weren’t.” How heartbreaking to hear this come out of my son’s mouth. I was a devastated person who could only live in fear of what was going to come at me next. This is where I am going to leave it for today. Believe me when I say, this is just the tip of the iceberg of my trauma.