Friday, June 5, 2009

Waking up

I'm pretty much embarrassed to say that I didn't know I was treated so badly as a child until I entered therapy. Something my T often asked me was, "Where was your mother?"

I enjoyed most of my childhood. I like where we lived and I loved the freedom a farm on the edge of nowhere provides. It was my therapist who first brought it to my attention that going off on a whole day trek with a shot gun, following a full irrigation ditch for 5 miles, was not a good idea for a 12 year old. I made the same trip when I was 10, but without the gun - I took my dog instead. When I got older, I took my horse. No matter how, or who, I took with me, it was a dangerous thing to do, but not because of the gun.

As I followed the ditch with swiftly running water, I always found myself on the wrong side of my planned course, so - I stripped down, held my gun, pocket knife, and all my clothes above my head and stepped into the water to cross to the other side. I always crossed with the cattle guard on the down side of the current which was a good thing because the current usually swept me off of my feet just as the water level reached my shoulders. It still doesn't feel like a dangerous thing -- until I imagine my daughter in that scene. That's something my T suggested once - telling me to imagine my daughter in those types of scenes. It instantly snaps reality and clarity into most situations.

I use that exercise often. It works every time. But what has amazed me is the responses by friends and bloggers. I guess I have been testing the waters, I'm not really sure, and I certainly didn't mean to use anyone. It's a bit confusing, yet liberating, to be able to say something about my childhood (that I now realize was riddled with abuse) and the sky doesn't fall. I'm not used to it. It feels good to say something true, tho bad, about the way I grew up and not be confronted with accusations of blame.

It feels wonderful to be waking up.



thesamesky said...

Hey Ivory. Am so glad that you are 'waking up' and finding validation from bloggers and your therapist. It's hard when we are immersed in a world to step out of it and see it differently, but I am really glad that you are beginning to see the truth of what happened. It must be really hard to acknowledge it though - how brave you are. It's taking me a long time to admit my own truth too.

Keep on keeping on! :)

Vague said...


Ivory said...

@ Thesamesky,
To some extent, blogging keeps me immersed in my problems because if I don't write about them, I read about them. I think that is helping me to see that my childhood really wasn't the wonderful world of Disney my parents wanted us to believe it was.

@ Vague,
You say so much. Thank you.


Kate said...

Hi Ivory,

I thought this was a wonderfully insightful post.

I had one thing I wanted to say about something I disagreed with. "I certainly didn't mean to use anyone." You didn't use anyone. That is what friends and other survivors give us in a different, more healthy, more healing way of seeing ourselves. That is not using. That is healthy functional human interactions.

So glad to be able to see you waking up.



Paul from Mind Parts said...

I wrote a post, but didn't log in right, so it got lost. I think I said congratulations on waking up! This is wonderful. I also said that the goal is not to flood yourself, so if reading other blogs is triggering to you, then don't feel obligated. Protect yourself first. Reading blogs should help you get in touch with what you need to, but not to excess. Paul

Ivory said...

You are always so kind. I sometime still find myself surprised someone want to "hear" me that I sort of regurgitate things. I remember a woman at a store doing this to me when she was going thru a bad divorce that she did't know was coming. I felt so sorry for her - and then it happened to me. I am so grateful to everyone I have found here, I wish I'd started blogging sooner!

Ivory said...


Welcome to my world. I try not to make anything too bizarre and on the flip-side, I hope to help give some insight to those who don't understand DID because there's not enough of the reality of it out there.

I seem to thrive on flooding. When my T discovered it, he changed the way my therapy went, in that he pays attention to things I am becoming overwhelmed with. (He often picks up on it before I do.) On 2 separate occasions he has actually suggested I leave the blogging alone for a week.

I don't know why I get caught up with flooding, it's not fun, but on the other hand, it gets dealt with quicker. Sadly, T has asked that I not read books about DID unless he reads them first, and I cannot watch movies about DID - Secret Window caught me off guard because I didn't know it was about DID!

Thanks for caring and commenting!

Just Be Real said...

Dear one stopping by, and extending ((((safe hugs)))).

By all means, please add me to your blog roll, JBR will be honored! Thank you.

Kate said...

Hi Ivory,

I think most of therapy and healing, at times, definitely feels like regurgitation. Even though it isn't. It is an honor to know you and to be involved with you online as you heal.

You are easy to be kind to. I have read all your posts and you are the same throughout. You are an excellent person. You have many many fine qualities and are very brave.

The smartest ritual abuse survivor I have ever known told me, healing is about learning your limitations and boundaries. You gotta go out there and try stuff to learn them.

Good for you for knowing what is working for you. Some times, in some ways, on some days they can shift. That is a part of healing as well. It is good that you are doing this work. It is a normal part of healing to take breaks.

Good and healing thoughts to you.


Ivory said...

Yes, limitations and boundaries. I seem to constantly forget those - that I have the right to set them. I'm still learning what is right, good, and feeling good for me.

Thank you so much for reminding me! And I'm lucky to find myself surrounded by people who care. Believe it or not, I have to work at becoming used to it! I feel like a baby in my own skin.


Kate said...

Hi Ivory,

"And I'm lucky to find myself surrounded by people who care. Believe it or not, I have to work at becoming used to it! I feel like a baby in my own skin."

Yeah, I can believe it. Been there, done that.

Good and healing thoughts to you.


From Tracie said...

I love how you said you are "waking up" that is such a perfect term for what we do as we heal. To begin to see the world as it is and not just through or disassociation or denial, but to see what everyone around us sees.

I have used that same technique with my husband when he wants to explain away his parent's behavior "would you do that with our daughter" and it really does put things into a new perspective.

Thank you for sharing this with the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse.

The Blue Morpho said...

Early in my relationship with my (now) husband, he asked me what my childhood was like. I told him it was great. I was that deluded. I recall he said nothing, since by then he already knew enough to know something odd was going on. He asked that question again two years later, and my response was more muddled. I don't remember what I said, I was just confused. It took a few more years of talks with him, therapists, and a sibling who went through all the same stuff to realize the nature of the neglect and abuse, and how it was contributing to my many mental illnesses. I still can't believe how I thought then, how much denial can bury, and how much just wishing for a good childhood can make us manufacture one out of fantasy. The mind is bizarre. I am very, very glad, that like you, I am finally waking up.
Adventures in Anxiety Land

Marj aka Thriver said...

I know what you mean about "waking up." I can also relate to doing things when I was a kid that were inappropriate at best and quite dangerous at the worst end of it. I didn't think anything of it at the time either.

Thanks so much for sharing this with us for the blog carnival. I so appreciate your contribution.

Patricia Singleton said...

Ivory, I really appreciate you sharing your story of healing work that you are experiencing. Each of us is affected in different ways and still in many ways we are the same.