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Family tree on my backColors speak louder than wordsI've thought a lot of my mother lately. In therapy Friday afternoon we talked about traveling, the orchestra, theater, opera and all the cultural things she loved. It's a strange contrast between the tyrant and the artist but there was in fact a contrast, one I loved. I recall my mother singing around the house. I knew when she sang it would be a safe day. For some reason when she sang all the vile went away.

One of my mother's favorite animals is the African Elephant which is why I purchased a notebook with one on the cover. I also liked the quote which says: Colors speak louder than words.

The loss is incredible.
Grant mercy please.
She left deep wounds, many questions, but no answers. I have to find resolution in wreckage.

In the notebook I've written letters to my mother, some kind, others telling her exactly how I felt living with her. These letters and drawings are just another step in healing from the war god I called mother. ...continue reading "Mother’s and Grey Elephants"

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Entry Content: In some areas the dream was funny, strange and then ended violently. There is some sexual conversation, no abuse of children. Violent stabbing deaths. Mention of self injury.

Dream: I was standing in line in a food court with two restaurants serving my favorite food on both sides, but I was in a different line for a free hamburger. I stood in a very long line for what felt like forever. Finally I was at the front and ready for my order when a family of four walked right up to the front and began placing an order. I explained I'd been there and politely went on ordering but they kept talking to me. The family was so nice and talkative that I didn't realize while they talked to me, more family members arrived and ordered their meal for 15 people right under my nose. For my inconvenience, and much to my delight, the company gave me a free 13 inch sweet potato pie with my hamburger. ...continue reading "Dream Therapy: Murder and Powerlessness 1"

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Feelings upon waking:
Fearful. Fearful! I was trembling as my mind went over the crazy parts of this dramatic dream. After I woke I kept saying, 'I'm sorry' over and over again as if somehow dreaming something so violent was my fault. In addition to that guilt, there was guilt for not helping the man in the hallway who was viciously and savagely killed. I listened to him scream and die while cowering behind the closet door. I was anxious and regrettably chewed up my fingers. This is self harm.

Feelings now:
This dream is one day old but it's still a heavy one for me, especially since it resulted in an attack on myself. Why self-injury? To change the fear emotion that overtook me and to counter, over shadow flashbacks caused by the dream. I was shaking in bed, apologizing out loud for being weak. I wasn't thinking about the consequences of my actions. I was caught in emotion. I was not thinking straight. Another apology is needed, this time to myself. ...continue reading "Dream Therapy: Murder and Powerlessness 2"

She had a wide range of peculiarities but one constant; her mouth was always wide open.

Mouth Wide OpenHer violence frightened me as a child. The fact that she's still alive makes me a bit uncomfortable.

The woman with the split earlobe laughed loudly, sang loudly, slapped you on the back while laughing and did everything over the top. It wasn't mental illness, it was plain madness.  ...continue reading "Wide"

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Content: Biological mother issues, emotional abuse, emotional walls, letting go

The Takeaway d4Dr. D and I discussed grief over not having what he calls a healthy mother. I said I don't grieve not having a healthy mother, I grieve not having my mother. I've been very clear over the years that what my heart sought most was some kind of way for my mother to see me as someone other than a disgusting rag to be used up at her will. I wanted to be someone she could look at without disgust, without false blame. She couldn't do it or wouldn't, it doesn't really matter which. Even after my mother was diagnosed with dementia, I still hoped to be something other than disgusting to her. I figured if she couldn't remember me then maybe she'd look at me with something other than disdain. That didn't happen.

In the last year I've not actively looked for a mother figure. As a matter of fact I've watched my behavior, measured the behavior of others and tried to keep myself safe from the strong desire to seek out a mother figure. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Actively seeking a loving mother"

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The Little ViolinistIt was to be a little girl in a red dress but it didn't quite turn out that way.

I realized early on that I am attached emotionally to this painting and that I wish to keep it for myself. Knowing I'm color sensitive, I changed the bright colors to those I can hang on my wall and see regularly. I had to tone it down.

As I toned down bright colors, I decided to allow the turquoise hair to be wild, almost crazy. I put a layer of brown over the skin but other colors still come through. As I scratched along adding turquoise and dark orange instead of bright yellow and bright red, I caught of glimpse of this wild girl holding a violin. And that's the moment the painting changed from emotion I could handle to a complete stand still. ...continue reading "The Unexpected Violin"

When thinking about losing Jane, I don't feel crippled by it. I feel bad about that because it's almost like I should be out here falling apart, but I'm not. I feel bad that some reached out but she died anyway. I feel bad about that but I hope they realize they did make a difference. Reaching out always makes a difference.

There's a huge hole where Janie used to be. The house isn't the same at all, but it's still better because she was once here. I think that's what I still feel the most, very grateful.

My heart is heavy concerning my brother. I heard him play the cello, my favorite instrument. I thought I was going to burst into tears. I've never heard him play the cello before, just the violin, so watching and hearing him was rather moving. A long time ago I said I never got to tell him how proud I am of his accomplishments with music and with the children's orchestra. You could see in his face that he loved his job. ...continue reading "Cats and Violins"

Today Dr. D and I discussed saying "no" to my mother and the consequences of doing so. My teeth began to chatter. I was rocking back and forth. I had to get a hold of myself.

Last night I was in the bedroom and instinctively turned to verify she wasn't in the doorway but for just a second I saw her. Obviously it was my head playing games, but for a second I thought I saw her standing there, which is why I turned to look. I had a scarf hanging over the door which created a figure in my peripheral vision. Turning to look isn't new. I have to force myself to not look at the door. I have to tell myself there's no way she's in the house, stop worrying, remember I'm safe now. But that's not enough, I have to look at the bedroom door to ease my mind. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Control. Gaining confidence."

I often sound like I hate her. I don't. I sound like I haven't given an ounce of forgiveness. I think an important point about giving my mother forgiveness is knowing she never asked for it or acknowledged needing it. She never knew she'd received it.

Several years ago I said I give my mother full forgiveness. What that means is I asked nothing back from her crimes against me. Her debt to me was dissolved. This personal step wasn't an over night process. It was/is a personal understanding and has only to do with what was done to me. What was done to others is a totally different story.

What do I mean when I say I forgive my mother? It's clearer to explain what I don't mean.

  • Forgiveness doesn't erase guilt or payment to society for crimes against me and them.
  • My pain hasn't ended, it's been redirected and eased.
  • Even after forgiveness there is still a lot of work in therapy to complete.
  • It doesn't mean there's no anger or mean that the abuse doesn't matter.

What does forgiveness mean for me? It means and meant:

  • I stopped asking for justice in my case.
  • It meant I didn't want to kill her anymore.
  • I didn't want to see her suffer or die the way she died.
  • If ever the law decided she must be charged, I didn't want to be the one on the other end of handing down sentencing for what she did to me. That's the key right there. I didn't want to be the one to hand down sentencing.

Acknowledgement from the public, financial compensation, life in prison and even her death can not give back what was so viciously stolen away. ...continue reading "The who, what, when, where and how of forgiveness"

There were only two of us but we had a nice time. We didn't do anything formal, just tea and cake. One can make tea and cake sound stuffy if important facts are left out. I had the tea already and she brought Little Debbie's. It was a nice visit though with some catching up as well as learning about one another.

I'm just now getting to know her. Interestingly enough, her mother was my foster mother making her a foster sister when I was a child. Small world isn't it?

It's sometimes difficult to be in the same room with someone who knows way too much about me, especially since I didn't get to pick and choose what she knows.  My sister decided this exposure for me which I find unacceptable and disempowering. I don't know what preconceived ideas she has about me, I only know she seems to like me...and yet I don't trust it. Why? In general I don't trust women. That is first and foremost but there's also the concern of being judged. ...continue reading "Tea, Chat and Trust"

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