In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Imaginary Friend.”
My imaginary friend refused to grow up. She is still five years old. She is still trying to have the childhood she never had. Severely abused, but safe now, she wants a life of bright colors and laughter. Tears of relief are okay too. Her name is simply Little One. She plays with her own dolls that are no longer taken from her. They have tea parties with sugared tea and many smiles. Watercolors, her own watercolors, are taped upon every wall. These pictures that she has painted of her dolls, stuffed animals and her new Mom adorn the room. I am her Mom and I love Little One with all my heart. I do my best to try to make up for her years of sadness and hurt. She is sad less and less and even dances sometimes. Can you see her spinning about with her dress twirling as she laughs?
Her imaginary room has a bay window with long, soft curtains that move in the breeze from the open window. Sitting there, Little One basks in the feeling of being safe. Safe to be. Safe to be little.
Image from Bing
Source: Things that make us happy…
I thought this an important post for sufferers of PTSD since bad memories often plague us. To challenge ourselves to have a cache of good memories and sweet moments too would be healing and helpful. One memory that comes to my mind is a few hours spent at a quiet beach with my adult son sitting on the warm sand just soaking up the bright sun, listening to the waves pulsing, and collecting small shells. I am going through tough times right now and feel that my life is just awful. But my life is not just about now, or the parts of the past that were terrible. It has included good times too. Even great times. That time at the beach was less than a year ago. I am going to find a pretty tin or handsome box and then write about wonderful times on slips of paper and put them inside. My story is about more than abuse, more than trauma. I just need some help remembering that. I hope you have many sweet times to put in your memory box should you decide to keep one too.
Please click on the above site for more ideas to uplift your life.
Image from Bing
Source: PTSD Neurology meets Psychology
Momma was a Witch
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Wicked Witch.”
I’ve been blogging on lighter notes lately rather than darker ones. I’d like to keep it that way. But today’s prompt moved me and it is difficult to write lightly about evil. I have come face to face with evil in my life and have written about it in older posts (see Parts 1 – 9, Archives: July).
My mother, with each passing year, looked more and more like a witch. In her youth, she was a beauty with porcelain skin, luminous eyes, rose colored lips and thick brunette hair. In black and white photos she looked like an angel. Unlike Dorian Gray (in Oscar Wilde’s book) her sick nature transformed her face from beautiful to ugly during her lifetime. By the time she reached sixty she looked exactly like the the comic drawings of Maxine but more witch-like. She was bug-eyed and her skin craggy with a twisted mouth.
I do her no disservice here. She aspired to be a witch. She didn’t drive and would offer to take you places on her broom. She cackled rather than laughed. She liked to be considered scary — especially to children. She reveled in bitter and ugly words and talk. She spoke hatefully of nearly everyone. Our home was her cauldron where she brewed wicked concoctions of all types of abuse. And she was able to cast spells. Her most magnificent one was to make our family look normal to the neighbors. We were made to look like the poster-family of middle class America. Our yard was beautifully manicured and lush with flowers. We would be seen going to church every Sunday. My sister and I had the nicest manners. My parents were seen as friendly and down to earth, sincere people. My mother appeared as a good mother. It was a glamour she cast well. I even believed it at times — when we were outside and she was being charming to the neighbors. I wanted to live in that reality and did while I was playing at my neighborhood friend’s house. But eventually the street lights came on and it was time to go home.
Her powers diminished as she grew older. My sister and I left home. She grew miserable having no one to torture. And she eventually died in a nursing home. I always wonder which momma did the nurses see — the good momma or the momma that was a witch?
I am my harshest critic. I have compassion for other people but have to work at having compassion for myself. One thing I do that seems to help is to imagine that I am a character in a book. I view my life page by page and begin to see someone that deserves empathy and shouldn’t be judged too harshly. Perhaps you too are hard on yourself. Try this exercise and imagine you are a fictional character. We all could use a little less judgement and a little more self-compassion.
A fascinating look at the workings of PTSD and I loved the quote at the end: “PTSD. It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past. It’s the past refusing to let go of the person.”
Happy Monday all!
I am having some major computer troubles that I hope to get fixed soon. Writing a new post for today was impossible so I decided to post a blog that I wrote almost a year ago that seemed to be very helpful at the time. Since I have many new readers since a year ago (so exciting!), I thought re-posting it could be a good thing. 🙂
It’s the first day of school for many people today so I thought it was a good time for a science lesson! Are you excited? No?
How about neurobiology? For a few minutes we can all become medical students (without the crazy hours and insane pressure). Does that tickle your fancy a bit more?
There is this little almond-shaped part of your brain called the amygdala. Understanding the amygdala helps explain why people with PTSD think the way we do…
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We are usually kind to others, but need to be reminded to be kind to ourselves…
Reblogged from Gentle Kindness
A Conversation with my 14 Year-Old Self
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”
I’ve got good news and bad news for you kiddo. Pimples aren’t forever is the good news. Tough times will continue but the abuse will end. You will cut the ties with your awful parents. The other good news is that you get to have a great kid. Just the one, but he’s enough. That’s right — a son. He is funny and smart and loving and you have all kinds of joys raising him. Your husband? Oh… well…you’ve had two so far. You’re not exactly lucky in love. Sorry about that. But you have good friends — some you even know right now! No, I’m not telling who, I want it to be a surprise. Your sister and you are still close and she has a daughter who grows up to be a published poet. Yeah, really. You? You become a reading tutor and also teach in preschools. You adore children and love your work. All that playing school years ago becomes your passion. When do the pimples go away? Ha! – in a couple of years. But you get to have some nice boyfriends with pimples so its okay. No, you don’t marry any of your junior high or high-school sweethearts. No, you never date Jimmy B. who you roped and kissed in kindergarten. You are boy-crazy, aren’t you?
So important to remember — especially when one is feeling defective because of the symptoms of post traumatic stress. PTSD is a normal human response to experiencing traumatic events. Today, try to accept that you are only human.
A phoenix rises from the ashes born again. I always find the phoenix to be a hopeful symbol. The hope that survivors of abuse can rise from the ashes of their past and live new vibrant lives. To not just survive but to thrive.