No Pain, No Gain!

Great words from Auguste Rodin-

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely”

Which is, by the way, very good advice for me personally today.  “Why?” you might ask, well I’ll tell you why.  I must throw a word of caution out there first, though.  The first part of this post is much lighter than the second half- that might be a little raw.

So, I met a girl.  Ok, lots of people meet new people on a regular basis.  But this was different, very different, I’m sure.  I mean, who falls in love at first sight anymore these days?  Especially at the relatively mature age of 40?  (I’m still trying to convince myself that it’s OK to not be grown up yet at 40- It is possible to grow physically, get gray hair, but still be a kid, right?)  Well, maybe I didn’t all the way fall in love, but pretty darn close.  And then reality set in.  She said after a weekend’s reflection that she wasn’t ready for me.  Or something to that effect.

So, what do I gain from that experience?  Well, I just so happened to have a call scheduled with my awesome coach (you know who you are, Barbara) for this very morning, and she helped me see that I need to learn to just go with the flow, and not set my expectations on trying to see if every new girl I meet might be the right one.  Great advice- Thanks a lot!  So I try to learn and move on from that.

See?  I told you the first part would be boring!

But then, the harder learning came tonight, as I worked deeper into some of the topics that were discussed this morning, and read part of a book about trauma recovery.  (For those reading this who don’t know, I was molested as a child for a long time by a man who was not family.  Now, I’m trying to use my experiences for the greater good.  My crap was not all bad or wasted if I can help somebody heal from their own garbage or prevent even one other child from being abused.)  I read some very thought provoking stuff tonight.

  1. I learned that while I was being molested, while I knew that I survived by freezing and tuning out what was happening, while my brain left my body temporarily so that I could survive, that survival instinct allowed the abuse to last longer, and the abuser to keep me under his manipulative power long after the abuse stopped.  How?  Well, because my brain “left” while I was being abused, it took a lot of time and effort to peel away the layers and fully understand all that had happened when I started to work on healing.  A survival strategy “split personality”.  What do I gain from knowing that?  As parents, I think if our children suddenly start acting differently, or having memory lapses, that might be a sign that we need to ask some hard questions.
  2. I learned a bit about my personality and how it was formed in early childhood.  My parents loved me, but their lives were very hectic- trying to get a farm and a family started from nothing- way too much to do, way too little time.  I seem to have learned how to get way too attached to any connection I could get, but tune out then already if I wasn’t getting any.  I would alternate back then already between a chatterbox, trying to stay the center of attention, and a recluse, holed up with my toys or a book.  That same silly clash between my type “A” and type “C” personality sides has affected me all the way through life, and it really enabled my abuser.  Still has an impact today on relationships, I know.  So what good does it do me to see this?  Awareness of the clash within is key to being able to moderate my actions.  I won’t pretend to be a psychologist and apply that to child rearing- attachment science is not my field.

There’s so much more I have to learn, but that’s today’s education.  If it meant anything to you, please let me know.  Feel free to share this post if you’d like.

Cheers, Duane

Advertisements

Bravery

IMG_1701

In the past little while, I have had a couple different people tell me that I am brave for dealing with the hand that I was dealt.  That’s what it boils down to.  Abuse happened to me, and I’m alive, trying to thrive.

And some times, more and more often all the time, thankfully, I do.  Thrive, that is.  But is this really bravery?  I suppose, somewhat, but right now, I want to pay tribute to some people that I know are much more brave than I. (To clarify, not necessarily people that I really know, but I have seen glimpse of their bravery if I don’t know them personally, reading their writing makes it feel like I do)  So here goes.

To Glenna – http://ineverclaimedtobenormal.wordpress.com/ – whose bravery facing what her life has thrown at her recently- Cheers!

To Mia – http://miachard.wordpress.com/ – Your openness in letting it all hang out is so inspiring!

To the many brave men who have shared their stories with the “Bristlecone Project”.  http://www.bristleconeproject.org  Please check it out.

To the students at Duke University speaking out through the “Breaking out 2016” project.  To think that at the age they are speaking out, I couldn’t even admit that I had been molested!

To children everywhere who are surviving, just waiting for an opening to escape and thrive- God bless you with the strength to survive, and freedom from whatever you’re going through.

There are so many more that I can’t list them all, this list can’t possibly be all inclusive, as I’d never get done typing that list.  However, there’s lots of room in the comment section, please feel free to add a tribute to someone you see as brave.

This is Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Please read what you can about identifying, preventing, and helping people- yourself or others, heal.  LEt’s work together so that there might be less need for this kind of survival bravery.

XOXO Duane