Null

As a child, my most guarded secret was my desire to be a boy. I wouldn’t dare let anyone know what I wanted. It was dangerous being that audacious. If my dreams were discovered, I’d be ridiculed, dragged into humiliation. I couldn’t bare being taken back there. Yet everyday, without my consent and with dread […]

via Null — Owning It

Celebrating Surviving & Thriving

Tonight I am going to my 40th high school reunion. I am taking two intents: Celebrate and Curiosity.

On the surface we’ll be celebrating the length of our lives. I will also be celebrating survival. Survival is so much more than getting through the abusive acts. Survival to me is carving out a life with the ramifications deep inside of you.

I am going tonight to see people I never got to know. Some from my kindergarten class maybe there tonight. They may even have seen my assault. As we got older our class merged with others and grew. The first day of high school was only a few weeks after I was molested. I walked into that strange school a shadow hiding in darkness. I could rarely bring myself to be seen, let alone make friends. At the end of the year I was raped. It catapulted my alienation to a new level. Tonight I hope to get to know some and hear their stories.

The trauma of my abuse doesn’t control me anymore. I can breathe and be. Tonight I am taking the man I know I am, curious, friendly and kind out to meet his classmates. My classmates.

Witness

I recently read a post from a man who was drugged and raped. It kicked my gut back decades. It may as well have been 1974.

I got to thinking about the power of trauma. How it lingers and spreads its fingers. It’s effects are rarely a crisis anymore, but I feel it. I will always have been traumatized, it laid a nest deep inside of me.


I was 15 when I was raped by a man who said he was a dentist. A week later I had told one person what had happened. In an effort to calm me down, he told me it was “just a bad trick”. I stood on this world view, “toughened up” and stuffed my feelings.

Three years later, my twin sister and I needed our wisdom teeth extracted. Back then, the procedure required a hospital stay. I was given something to relax me before being wheeled to the OR. In that haze the surgeon smiled at me and I called him a sadist. They knocked me out with sodium thiopental.

Somehow in that deep sleepy fog I overheard a nurse say “that’s too much cotton, he will suffocate”. Panic punched through the drugs and I bolted off the table. I remember struggling as every hand in the room wrestled me down. I screamed and fought. I was plunged back under.

When I came to my gut hurt more then my mouth. I learned they used restraints to hold me. My poor sister heard my “blood curdling” screams. The incident was treated lightly, written off as being a reaction to the drugs.

I woke up from more than an operation. I finally came to from my rape. Alone in that hospital I witnessed just how deeply I was traumatized. I didn’t want to see that thread leading right back, but I couldn’t ignore either.

I was also proud and reassured. Even unconscious and heavily drugged I viciously defended myself. I took comfort knowing my reaction was on a hair trigger. I could be safer in the world knowing action would be my response. In self defense, I kept that spring wound tight.

I’ve since learned I don’t need to apply pressure to be ready. This is in me. The rape will always have happened. My psyche is marked, but my soul is free to choose peace.

Empathy fatigue

just the other day I was walking down our city mall, behind two black women.
I think they were Sudanese, but not sure…

suddenly a white man pushed aside one of the women, so that she literally turned 180 degrees, facing me !!!!

it really shocked me to my core.

the woman who was pushed said (to her friend): “OMG did that just happen?”.
she was able to laugh it off, (sort of), mostly because the behaviour was so bizarre.

globalisation does have it’s benefits, as to does the internet…but there is also a downside to these things that play such a significant part of our lives whether we like it or not.

Empathy fatigue

fom Mr. Google:

Empathy fatigue results from a state of psychological, emotional, mental, physical, spiritual and occupational exhaustion that occurs as the counselors’ own wounds are continually revisited by their clients’ life stories of chronic illness, disability, trauma, grief and loss.

it seems like there is just another terrorist attack, then another…etc.

I’m still freaked out about the Machete Attack in London On the afternoon of 22 May 2013. they had to use DNA to confirm his identity, because his injuries were so severe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Lee_Rigby

since then I’m trying to keep up with the latest attack.
I think it fair to say that all of us suffer from empathy fatigue at some time in our lives…but it must be so very much worse for the friends and families! I just can’t imagine it.

sedge808

Making wrong right

My entire life has revolved around pretending I’m ok and as I grow and years go on I’m left in between the feeling of saying I’m not ok to others but never do I feel like they ok with my response ..SO MY FEELINGS OF MAKING THINGS RIGHT FOR OTHERS TO BE OK IS ONGOING. .

AFTER A LONG WEEKEND ALONE BATTLING ALONE TRYING TO DISTRACT MY FAMILY ARRIVED HOME INCLUDING MY OLDEST BOY,HOW EVER TRYING IT WAS I SURVIVED. THEN I STARTED DISOCIATING BADLY IT STARTED AT WORK ,PEOPLE TALKING TO ME BUT I COULD ONLY HEAR PARTS MY EARS WERE JUST NOT WORKING, I FELL TO PIECES TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO MY THERAPIST WHO CLEARLY SAID IT WAS BAD DISOCIATION I WAS EXPERIENCING. ..THEN CAME FAMILY DEMANDS AND OUTINGS WITH MORE DESREGULATION FOR ME..AND HOPING FINALLY IT WOULD ABATE WORK TOOK MORE FROM ME CAUSING HURENDOUS STRESS,BY THIS STAGE I’M FEELING LIKE MY PLAN TO END MY LIFE IS WORTH IT ..FINALLY MONDAY MY KEY WORKER DIDN’T TURN UP CAUSING THE ULTIMATE ANGER AND TURMOIL THAT IV ENDED SEEING HER,DON’T GET ME WRONG SHE IS LOVELY BUT AFTER TRYING TO EXPLAIN HOW IT FEELS  (ABANDONED, AND LIKE I DON’T MATTER AND HOW MUCH I’M BATTLING NOW ..AND WITH ALL GOING ON THIS WASNT THE RIGHT TIMING FOR ME,HER RESPONSE WAS WELL I COULDN’T MAKE IT SOMETHING ELSE URGENT CAME UP  ..AND LATER WE SPOKE AND HER TONE TOLD ME SHE WAS PISSED OFF I’D EVEN SAY HOW I FELT. .BUT SHE WOULD RESEDULE FOR NXT WEEK IF I WANTED TO” MY RESPONSE HONESTLY I CAN’T DO THIS SO NO I’D RATHER NOT SEE YOU.

Weather or not it was the right decision I don’t know, determining that now is out of my league. .but I’m sick of pretending I’m ok and when people hate my answer trying to make it better for them …then don’t ask me. .Fuck off and leave me I don’t need them!!

Its Breaking me down

I can barely understand my own thoughts yet alone try staying on track “does anyone hear me”As i Write and try articulate my issues wish i could say anxiety has abated ,but it’s like life’s trying to tear my walls down stripe me bear .could i rebuild this me up? or will she die young!

Today iv hovered around my thoughts and as much as Hannes has made sense im on edge how long sanity will prevail god only knows! There’s much happening to me other than mental illness stalking me, Tuesday we fly to Napier and I’m petrified i don’t fly well and my boy and myself will do this alone though his great-then Wednesday i have a job interview I’m in no zone to pick work up but fuck i have no option “this seems to be a part too” Then Thursday my boy has his interview for trade school ,which his not certain of either.Oh and then bigger we actually have no place yet either to move into and we two weeks away from moving ,the mover never returns my call though hubby has spoken to him..Today the agent rang doing a reference check and never have we had an issue renting though its only twice we’ve rented but since then hubby was made redundant and we lapsed on two accounts which we paying off now, but this has come up grr  I’m left wondering will we get a rental and were will we live ?In the midst of all of this i have resentment to my husband for being made redundant and now relocating ..i know this is selfish but i just cant i need someone to save me from myself !

I’m trying hard to self-sooth my body has a mind of its own and its fragile mind the two just don’t gel with fragility!!

A Letter From Home: Dear Sara

A Letter From Home: Dear Sara
A Letter From Home: Dear Sara

Dear Sara,

I’m at the park watching an old guy feed bread crumbs to a flock of pigeons.

He’s like God throwing manna to the Children of Israel.

It’s magical.

Sometimes I think all of life is magical but growd-ups don’t wanna talk about magic.

They say magic is for kids but if you ask them how come they’re alive, they don’t know what to say.

Ok, so I got a question:

Let’s say one-day u meet someone an’ this person sez they got lots a love for you but somethin’ don’t feel right.

But you wanna be loved and the person seems straight up. An’ you love ‘em back.

But there’s shadows you can’t explain, and the shadows look familiar.

But you don’t want to lose the love so u try to pretend like the shadows ain’t there when, bam!

Them shadows gets bigger an’ meaner until everything is black like it was for Robby when the shadows sliced his soul.

So you try to talk about it cuz maybe it’s all in your head so you say, “I’m scared cuz

I think somethin’ ain’t right.”

An’ the person says you don’t know nothin’ an’ you’re too suspicious an’ maybe it’s cuz you don’t know what real love looks like and maybe them shadows is love.

An’ the person says; “Bad people see bad things in good people.”

So you go, OK. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I imagine lies and meanness cuz I’m bad.

An I think, “Everything about me is me is wrong….”

An’ then I think, “But this all feels so familiar…”

So one day I come home an’ I see somethin’ terrible…I see this person doin’ bad stuff with a little kid, an’ I say, “Wow! That’s wrong!”

So right away this person says I’m a hater that ain’t got no gratitude an’ I didn’t see what I seen an’ I need to remember that most folks don’t even like me an cuz I’m judgmental an I’m not allowed to be judgmental cuz makin’ judgments it’s wrong.

An’ I think, “This feels so familiar an’ so confusing.

An’ I think, “If everything is good then nothin’s bad and that can’t be right.”

 So now I’m thinkin’ it really is me, cuz maybe I’m full of shadows, cuz maybe I’m a hater an I got no room to judge things cuz I’m the one that’s wrong.

But ain’t it wrong to do sex stuff with a little kid?

 So here’s my question?

Do you got this stuff figured out?

Is it always wrong to judge and ain’t there some things that’s wrong to do?

Love,

Bobby

A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby

 

A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby
A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby

Dear Bobby,

From what I know about your Mother I can understand how you might stumble into relationships that feel deceptive and controlling.

That you have survived to be as loving as you are attests to your strength of will and natural gift for seeing through fakes.

You will have to fight for the stability that many people mistakenly assume is the result of thinking the “right thoughts.”

The compulsion to replicate an abusive relationship is a challenge that adults who were abused as children must understand and overcome.

You want to make it right with your Mother, but she is gone; so you look for her in other people.

The shadows you describe are a good sign, because it means that you can see the replication before it is complete.

Your ability to see that you are in danger means that you are better able to protect yourself.

People yield to each other when they truly accept and love each other.

They yield by mutual consent.

What you are used to is love as warfare and you as hostage.

You look for emotional vampires that call you a hater when you discover that they are dead inside.

You invite them into your life and let them feed on you.

You will always have to guard against the attraction to people who can’t love.

But no one has the right to judge your perception of the difference between right and wrong.

It is true that we must not judge people harshly for being who they are but there are right and wrong actions and not judging people who choose to harm other people places all of us at risk.

You are no better than anyone else is and no one else is better than you are.

This awareness is part of the magic you describe.

When we live in a world in which each of us is respected  as an essential expression of the divine we no longer need to treat each other as enemies and pawns.

Your innate awareness of this fills you with the love that you struggle to express.

This spirit of love makes you seem hateful to the soulless.

But it’s not just you Bobby.

You survived a Mother who in her love for you wanted you dead.

You survived her physically and emotionally, all you need to do now is tell your story because that is how survivors help others to survive.

You must learn to understand how your past affects the present in the past, and the present in the future.

You will have to remember the selfish ignorance that raped your body, it is horrifying, but all of us must do it.

This selfish ignorance tells you that compassion is a failure to mature.

Mistaking parasitic self-interest for maturity is a convenient lie.

With all of our problems and pain, we are lucky because you are our soul and you are intact.

Adults bring the fruit of wisdom into the world.

That is our job and why we must get well.

Know that I love you and that I am here to protect you until you can protect yourself,

Sara

I’ll Be Seeing You

Art by Rob Goldstein

At Harvey Milk Plaza Harvey Milk and his Partner Scott Smith in a photo at Harvey Milk Plaza


Kit was a bit of a twit before he got sick, but he was brilliant and passionate about gay liberation.

Our friendship was based on mutual geekiness.

Kit tinkered with a Mac or a Tandy while I wrote poetry and listened to Pattie Smith through my headphones.

It was the third year of the AIDS epidemic.

We sat over coffee at the Cafe Flore on a bright Mediterranean day in San Francisco.

Kit opened his backpack and pulled out a small computer.

It looked like a large calculator.

Kit said that HIV was not infecting all gay men.

He suspected that HIV was sexually transmitted, but at that time no one was certain.

We both knew many men who had died and even more who were sick.

Kit wanted to know what they had in common.

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Lies and Confabulations

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015

Rachel Dolezal is in the news because she may be a white woman who claims an African-American bloodline.

Why did she lie?

I don’t know the details of Rachel Dolezal’s life, nor am I saying that any aspect of her story is the result of a dissociative disorder.

I’m saying that it sounds to me as if she believes that she is African-American, and if she does she’s not lying.

When is a lie not a lie?

When it is a confabulation.

Confabulation is defined as the spontaneous production of false memories: either memories for events which never occurred, or memories of actual events which are displaced in space or time. These memories may be elaborate and detailed. Some may be obviously bizarre, as a memory of a ride in an alien spaceship; others are quite mundane, as a memory of having eggs for breakfast, so that only a close…

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Kaiser’s Department of “We Don’t Do That!”

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015

The latest episode in my ongoing resistance to Kaiser’s efforts to snuff me out with lethal neglect comes courtesy of my stupid belief that Kaiser would actually give me basic psychiatric services without a struggle.

To understand my anger I should explain that I use words for clarity, not obfuscation; therefore,  when I use the words Case Manager I have the following definitions in mind.

“A case manager helps you complete paperwork and get to appointments. Your case manager may meet with you at the mental health agency, in-patient facility, your home, or another community setting. Case management is usually covered by Medicaid or state funding.

Children’s case management is a similar service that works with parents and caregivers to support healthy growth and development for children.”

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Or

“Case managers help patients live as independently as possible by helping them apply for social…

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I Am not Your Poor Thing

I see a direct relationship between the homelessness as it emerged in the late 20th Century and the American Eugenics Movement which was globally popular before World War 2. Homelessness is described in the Eugenics Handbook as “Lethal Neglect.”

First published on Art by Rob Goldstein

Art by Rob Goldstein

Blog for Mental Health 2015

The man who sits in his own filth on the corner of Height at Webster is by law and species a human being.

What do we mean by human?

This must be a tough question to ask and answer because I haven’t seen it asked of any of our media experts who discuss the poor and disabled as if they are things.

Poor things.

Broken things.

Things that cost too much money to fix.

“If only our country wasn’t so darned poor we could help the poor things!” said  the rich Americans.

“So, Mrs. Clinton, what is your position on the use of “lethal Neglect” on citizens with mental illnesses?

Applied Eugenics, pge 134.

How easy it is to absorb and internalize a lifetime of hateful lies about medical conditions that affect the brain.

I’m mentally ill. I’m stupid and lazy.

I’m mentally ill and disabled. I’m…

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You DO Have Strength

Survival seems a lifetime as it is occurs. It exhausts our adrenals as we live in fight or flight modus.

At times we cannot pinpoint just when it started, when we suddenly realize we are as far removed from our inner self as possible.

We see no light, no end. Minutes streamed together seem to make up the days in our life. Painful days when we wake each day to once again, be the star of the wrong movie.

This is a Survivors blog, for those that have crossed the finish line and for those still on their way.

We learn that life can and DOES change. That no matter how low, there will be a high, no matter how dark, there will again be light.

We may throw the ”unfair “card in from time to time. That waste of time card. Life is what it is. It is a perspective for those who go through it. What is devastating to one, is nothing to another. What cripples one, teaches the other to get up and forge through. It is in a nutshell, a choice. A choice to survive based on the inner strength we all have, that sometimes, we have been fooled to believe doesn’t exist.

Believe in yourself. The more strength you put into a positive day, the more distance you have from pain.

The more distance, the less it can feed you, leading it eventually  to die from your life.