Monday, June 29, 2009

My rights

I have the right to ask for changes when my needs are not being met.
I have the right to say no to any request. At any time. For any reason.
I have the right to talk about me and my experiences without apologizing for my own doubts and uncertainties.
I have the right to disagree, and the right to express myself when I disagree.
I have the right to ask questions, and to understand. (I don't have to accept everything everyone else says without question.)
I have the right to remove myself from any situation that is uncomfortable.
I have the right to choose when and how I will challenge myself or my fears.
I have the right to choose how I will live my life.
I have the right to choose what standards I live by.
I have the right to choose where I spend my time and who I will spend it with.

Unselfish - my new definition

Unselfish - putting what the Lord wants for us ahead of what we want for us, or what others want for us...

All my life, I have felt like I was selfish, because I wanted or needed anything. Tonight, as I was talking to Bishop Campbell, my mind was spinning with all kinds of false beliefs and thoughts that were just wrong.

I was panicking and trying to calm myself down. That didn't work, so I called BJ. I started to tell him what was bothering me, but then instead this new definition of unselfish came to my mind. I knew it was pure truth. It was a definition I could work with, because all of these years I have believed I was selfish if I ate, slept, wanted to be loved, stood up for myself, talked about me, etc.

With this new definition, all of those things actually fit into what the Lord wants for me, thus I was unselfish.

I believe I found a new truth that I can live by. And the truth will set me free. It IS setting me free.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A battle with myself

This morning, I was thinking about going to Relief Society. In my mind, I knew what the topic was going to be: The one talk from General Conference that sent me over the edge. I turned it off and screamed... Then I think I went and spent time with the horses for the rest of the session. I decided then that I could get more from the horses than from conference...

Today, not only was the Relief Society lesson about it, but so was sacrament meeting...

I thought about going home, but I knew Melissa would want a friend to sit by... and I just felt like I needed to go to Relief Society. I did.

Mary was teaching - she stood up and started talking about how she went shopping when she was in a bad mood, and she jokingly said, "This addiction is not so bad - At least I am not at a bar..." Then she asked everyone else's thoughts.

One girl (I don't know her name) commented that any addiction is when we turn to something besides God to make ourselves feel better. I have had similar thoughts, but she said it very brilliantly. I was suddenly very teary and emotional. (Oh geez... I can't be this way for this lesson... push it back! Push it back! Push it back!!)

Then Mary thanked her for her comment and went on to read a paragraph from the talk:
Today I speak to all whose freedom to choose has been diminished by the effects of ill-advised choices of the past. I speak specifically of choices that have led to excessive debt and addictions to food, drugs, pornography, and other patterns of thought and action that diminish one’s sense of self-worth. All of these excesses affect us individually and undermine our family relationships. Of course some debt incurred for education, a modest home, or a basic automobile may be necessary to provide for a family. Unfortunately however, additional debt is incurred when we cannot control our wants and addictive impulses.
Robert D. Hales, “Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually,” Ensign, May 2009, 7–10
And she chose to emphasize the part about controlling our wants. She began really focusing on self-control: shopping at Wal-Mart or DI, never eating out, etc.

I left. I went and sat outside and cried. I am not even sure why... except that the guilt was pressing down so hard, and the confusion from everything inside of me screaming that what she was saying is WRONG, and yet it came from a General Authority...

I prayed again. I was reminded what Paul said about why I go to church. He talked about how I am there to teach others, to help them understand what the gospel is really about. Ok, what is the gospel really about? What can I teach people?

This gospel is about abundance. It is NOT about self-control, or self-denial, or anything like that. Its about making choices. Shopping at Wal-Mart doesn't make you a better person just like shopping at Banana Republic doesn't. The Lord wants us to be happy! He wants us to enjoy our lives, and He has given us a lot of wonderful things to be enjoyed. The whole message of this talk is that the Lord wants us to be happy!!! He is giving specific instructions for specific problems, but really He just wants us to be happy...

My addiction is self-control and self-denial. Although that is different from a lot of people, it doesn't make me any better than anyone else. It still goes against the Lord's plan.

I chose to go back in. I wasn't sure what I would do when I was there... I was pretty sure I couldn't just sit there and listen. (Which is WHY it is so hard for me to go. There are things I KNOW, and I can't just sit there when people go against that. But I have been taught that is exactly what I SHOULD do - I should sit quiet and listen. I shouldn't contradict people. I should agree with what they are saying, and if I don't, there is something wrong with me. The confusion that comes from fighting against myself is huge, and sometimes too much for me to bear.)

And so, I got back in, listened for a second, and then made my comment. I am not exactly sure what I said, except that the Lord wants us to be happy. Going to the extreme of denying myself of everything didn't make me any happier. The gospel is a gospel of abundance.

As I finished talking, I began to shake. In fact, I am still shaking...

And now, I am going crazy inside my head. Although I spoke up and said what I needed to say in Relief Society, its like my mind and body are now fighting against me. I CAN'T eat a big lunch, I HAVE to go exercise, I am so out-of-control, I don't deserve food, rest, or to be happy. Look at me, wearing this dress. I didn't need this dress... Why do I have it? I have plenty of stuff... What is wrong with me? I am just a selfish bitch, and everyone knows it. Everyone in Relief Society thinks I am crazy and stupid. How dare I talk out like that?? Who do I think I am? No one wants to hear what I have to say... I suck. I don't give enough, I don't fast enough, I am not enough...

I am trying to fight against that. I am trying to not ACT out on those thoughts, but I feel horrible inside. Its like the new me is being overtaken by the old me. I am in a war with myself.

The other side feels like a herd of 800 lb gorillas. I am just little me. I don't know if I can fight against them. I feel so small compared to them. How can I win??

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Walking with Two Sisters

I met with Bishop Campbell tonight. I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to talk about... I had a lot of things swimming in my head. I was thinking about rights, responsibilities and obligations of a spouse. I was feeling sad, angry, and lost.

Bishop Campbell started with reading a poem to me:
Walking with Two Sisters
By Larry Hiller

Faith walks before me,
Holding up her lamp
As I try not to stumble in the ink-dark hours before the dawn.
Her light illuminates
One step and then another.
Beside me, Hope, arm linked with mine, encourages and steadies.
Sometimes in the tedium,
Distracted by the pain,
My mind begins to wander, then my feet. I hesitate.
Unsure, I look to Hope.
Her hand takes mine.
The touch reminds me of another hand held out to me,
One pierced and scarred
Yet oh so tender
Lifting me and blessing me when I had fallen and despaired.
I move ahead
Buoyed up by Hope, who sees the end with perfect clarity.
After he read it, he said this poem described my life. He was right.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.

I came across this quote the other day, and I thought of how truly interdependent we all are on each other. I like the way he says it:
In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.
I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.
This is the inter-related structure of reality.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

My fight for my recovery is MY fight, but it is not my fight alone, and it will not bring recovery for only me. It is so much bigger than I can understand. This fight has been hard, long, and it has blessed my life in amazing ways. I know it has blessed others.

I don't want to sound arrogant, so I hope it doesn't come across that way, but I know that my experiences have changed the Johnson's lives. It has changed and blessed Dann's life. It has given me compassion for others that I can only assume has helped them. My sister's husband is dealing with huge struggles at the moment. He is depressed. He doesn't want to get out of bed. He doesn't want to do anything. I have compassion - I don't understand completely, but I ache for him. I ache for my sister, and I hope I have been able to comfort her. I couldn't have done that two years ago.

I also believe that others' journeys have changed me and blessed me. BJ, Dann, Mellen, Lauren, Amanda, Katie, and so many others have blessed me by reaching out to ask for my help. That is a key part of the plan of salvation. That is the way the Lord works.

I truly believe, "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be."

Monday, June 22, 2009

The blessing of the giggles

Last night was probably the first night since I have been home from CFC that I have been too giggly to sleep. There were lots of times at CFC that Katie and I would laugh all night long, but since I have been home with Dann... its been a battle with myself every night. Even at the Johnson's home, I never allowed myself to relax enough to get giggly and silly.

It was awesome! (For me... Dann probably wishes I would have been quiet so he could sleep. :)

Then this morning, I WANTED to call friends to go out and do things with them. I told Dann we should set up a party with other couples. Again, I have not felt able to do that in a long time. I felt like I should be more friendly, but I just didn't have anything in me to give to anyone else...

So, we are going to play Bocci ball in the park with a few other couples. I am excited to help Cassie and John get to know other couples in the ward. I am excited to just play.

If this feeling passes, that's okay, because I know it will come again. I want to be friends. I want to get to know new people. I want to talk about normal things again. I want to be with people again...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Now Let Us Rejoice

I went to Relief Society today. This is the first in almost a year...

I had talked to Rachael to get some support. When I got to the doors, Melissa and Cassie both asked if they could sit next to me. Rachael came and asked if I was okay - I was. I don't know Cassie well, but she is very sweet and pure and I can tell she has been through hard times and overcome.

Melissa knows of my hardships - more than most people on the planet. Not because I have told her, but because her dad has told her. Either way, I knew she was nervous about going into relief society alone, and I thought maybe we could support each other.

The lesson was on redemption for the dead. I was reminded of Ron, my grandparents, Ginger's grandma, Rick's wife, and others that have passed on. Mostly, I thought of me, and the plan of salvation. It truly is perfect. He loves all of us so much - He has provided "ample provision" for us all (living and dead) to return to Him.

It was hard to sit there... my body was trembling and freaking out, but I tried to focus on the good things I was feeling. I made it through without bolting... which is definite progress.

The closing song was, "Now Let Us Rejoice." I have always loved that hymn. It echoes the feelings in my heart, the longing for joy. Today, the words hit me in a new way...
"When all that was promised, (I) will be given.
And none will molest them from morn until ev'n"
"And Jesus will say to (me), "Come home."
I thought of all of the promises. I thought of going home to Him. I thought of freedom from being molested, because although there is no one hurting me now... I still relive it all day long. I feel it happening all the time. But He has promised, and I know He will deliver on that promise.

I couldn't sing. Inside, I just felt hopeful, which is cause to rejoice.
We'll love one another and never dissemble.
But cease to do evil and ever be one.
And when the ungodly are fearing and tremble,
We'll watch for the day when the Savior doth come.
In faith we'll rely on the arm of Jehovah,
To guide through these last days of trouble and gloom,
And after the scourges and harvest over,
We'll rise with the just when the Savior doth come.

Then all that was promised the Saints will be given,
And they will be crowned with the angels of heav'n.
After the meeting, Hannah came up and thanked me for letting her come visit me (visiting teaching) on Wednesday. She said she was having a crappy day that day, and it helped to just sit and talk about nothing with Nicole and I. I am so glad she told me - I never would have thought that. I never would have thought I was helping her in any way...

I am grateful I went. I am grateful for Melissa and Cassie. I am grateful for Rachael. I am grateful for Hannah. As for next week, if I feel like going, I will. If not, I won't. I will trust me, because I trust Him.

Friday, June 19, 2009

ED thoughts and Honesty

My ED thoughts (and behaviors) have been out of control for a month now. I kept promising myself I would do better, but then when it came down to it... I wouldn't. I was really frustrated with myself. Mostly, I was frustrated with how completely OFF my thinking was.

I was angry at BJ. I kept telling myself I had no right to be angry at him. THAT was false. It doesn't matter if I have a right or not... I was angry, and it is okay to feel angry...

I was afraid of hurting his feelings, or making him angry, or making him feel worse than he already did, or... a million reasons why I couldn't tell him I was mad at him.

Finally, yesterday, I told him that I was angry. I told him why. I didn't expect him to change anything. I just told him because I couldn't hold it in any longer.

Almost immediately, my ED thoughts calmed down. I won't say they were gone completely, but it was like everything that was completely off-kilter in my brain straightened out enough that I could think things through.

It was as if I had been punishing myself to keep myself quiet. I had been trying to tell him how angry I was with my behavior, and once I said that with my words, I didn't need to say it with my eating disorder anymore... and I have been okay ever since. (Not great... I still have things I need to work on, but much better.)

The moral of this story is - If I am honest with myself and others about what I am feeling, thinking and experiencing, then the eating disorder will not be able to hurt me or control me. When I lie, hide, or keep secrets, ED will take control.

Unfortunately, I was unaware of the reason ED was so huge until I started talking. That makes it difficult for me to figure out. Fortunately, it all worked out just fine. I had a few weeks of struggling, and now I am getting back on track.

Extreme Self-Care

Today, I got to see a friend of mine practice extreme self-care. He came back from therapy, and had just had his world rocked. I have had many sessions like that. You can't explain it to someone who hasn't been through it.

I have felt dizzy, sick, nauseous, confused, but that doesn't really even begin to explain what it feels like to try and work through old emotions from old trauma. My friend talked about his session, about what he was feeling. Then he said, "I could probably push this aside, but I don't think that's what I need to do." He was right.

He got a blanket and a pillow and went and laid down. He let me go pick up lunch for him.

I struggle with simple self-care. To recover, really recover, from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and rape, I have to practice extreme self-care. I have been doing this a little, but I beat myself up for doing it. I am ashamed to lay down in the middle of the day. I feel so much guilt for not pushing it aside or just pushing through it.

Instead, I want to be grateful for the opportunity I have to take extra special care of myself right now. I can rest whenever I need. I can do things that are relaxing and that I enjoy. I can let others help me out. Now is the time to take care of me.

And for anyone going through this process, take extra special care of yourself. Recovery from trauma is incredibly hard, exhausting work. People who haven't been through it, won't understand, but who cares? I am fighting for my life, and I deserve extra special care from ME right now.

Unfortunately, this is all a jumbled mess at the moment. I wish I could express myself better... I just know that its okay to take care of myself, and taking care of myself means giving myself a lot more than I have ever given to me in the past.

Don't Walk Away - Melissa Johnson Jensen

I wrote Melissa a letter telling her how much I have learned from her. She wrote back with a very sweet letter, and the lyrics to this song (that she wrote - she has an amazing talent!).

Title: Don’t Walk Away

Your mirror broke.
Your dreams shattered around.
All your plans fell,
lost to the ground.

Oh, please don’t give up.
And oh, please understand.
The light will conquer all.
So, please don’t walk away.

Your head hangs low.
Your heart is covered in fear.
But look at His tears.
He is waiting for your call.


The pieces are found
Above in the stars.
Point your eyes up and see
the promise in the sky.

The mountain is high.
Your spirit is low.
The current is quick.
And your hope drifts away.
You’re sinking too deep.
Please take His hand.

2nd Chorus
Oh, I won’t give up.
And oh, I understand.
The light conquers all.

Don’t walk away.

An Awesome Ride!

I love the mountains. I love horses. Yesterday, I got to experience both!

I almost didn't go. I didn't deserve to do anything I enjoyed like horseback riding in the mountains. I know this sounds ridiculous to most people, but it plagues me all the time. I try to fight against it, but there are times when the shame and guilt are too strong.

I am glad I beat them and went. I had help from my sweet husband. He wouldn't let me back out. He said a lot of good things that helped me to at least get to the barn. (And once I was at the barn, I was way too excited to let myself back out there. Although it was still hard.)

Once we got on the horses though, it was just awesome. The weather was amazing... The sun felt wonderful. I felt at home on the horse, and my head slowed down. I forgot that I didn't deserve to be there, and I enjoyed myself anyways.

And as always, I found healing on the back of the horse. My emotions that had been up and down and all over the place, calmed... I cried (hard), and Bo didn't judge me.

I feel so grateful for the mountains, the sunshine, the green leaves on the aspens shaking in the wind, the streams, the birds, the horses, the company, the conversation, the hope, and the break that riding yesterday gave me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I know I could not have done it if I had not myself been confined in the dungeon in which he lay.

A friend (who's husband is a minister) sent me this quote by Charles Spurgeon. I have never thought of myself as a minister, but I do plan on helping others through this journey I am on. I know that BJ could never have helped me as much as he has, if he hadn't gone through hell himself. I hope that someday I will make a difference for others, because of my own journey to hell and back.
“One Sabbath morning, I preached from the text, `My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ and though I did not say so, yet I preached my own experience. I heard my own chains clank while I tried to preach to my fellow-prisoners in the dark; but I could not tell why I was brought into such an awful horror of darkness, for which I condemned myself.
On the following Monday evening, a man came to see me who bore all the marks of despair upon his countenance. His hair seemed to stand up right, and his eyes were ready to start from their sockets. He said to me, after a little parleying, “I never before, in my life, heard any man speak who seemed to know my heart. Mine is a terrible case; but on Sunday morning you painted me to the life, and preached as if you had been inside my soul.”
By God’s grace I saved that man from suicide, and led him into gospel light and liberty; but I know I could not have done it if I had not myself been confined in the dungeon in which he lay.
I tell you the story, brethren, because you sometimes may not understand your own experience, and the perfect people may condemn you for having it; but what know they of God’s servants? You and I have to suffer much for the sake of the people of our charge….You may be in Egyptian darkness, and you may wonder why such a horror chills your marrow; but you may be altogether in the pursuit of your calling, and be led of the Spirit to a position of sympathy with desponding minds.”
-Charles Spurgeon-

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Waking the Tiger - Wounds that can heal

Wounds that can heal
p. 33
When a young tree is injured it grows around that injury. As the tree continues to develop, the wound becomes relatively small in proportion to the size of the tree. Gnarly burls and misshapen limbs speak of injuries and obstacles encountered through time and overcome. The way a tree grows around its past contributes to its exquisite individuality, character, and beauty.
The image of the mature tree, full of character and beauty, will serve us better than denying the experience or identifying ourselves as victims and survivors.
This is exactly the thoughts I have had when looking at the trees in the mountains. One day, when I can draw, I plan on drawing a tree growing out of the rocks on the side of a mountain. They are amazing. I don't know how they do it, but they do. Then the top of the tree will be full of leaves and flowers. From looking at the top - no one would ever guess what it had gone through to get to that stage... but when people look at the roots, and see the struggles, they will appreciate its beauty even more.

Waking the tiger - Healing Trauma

I just got a new book. I bought it because the author in Tao of Equus quoted this book, and I thought maybe I could learn things from it. These quotes stuck out to me today.
P. 19 Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the "triggering" event itself. they stem from the frozen residue of energy that has not been resolved and discharged; this residue remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreak havoc on our bodies and spirits. the long-term, alarming, debilitating, and often bizarre symptoms of PTSD develop when we cannot complete the process of moving in, through and out of the immobility state.
A threatened human (or impala) must discharge all the energy mobilized to negotiate that threat or it will become a victim of trauma. This residual energy does not simply go away. It persists in the body, and often forces the formation of a wide variety of symptoms. these symptoms are the organism's way of containing or corralling) the undischarged residual energy.
Animals in the wild instinctively discharge all their compressed energy and seldom develop adverse symptoms. We humans are not as adept in this arena. When we are unable to liberate these powerful forces, we become victims of trauma.
Fortunately, the same immense energies that create the symptoms of trauma, when properly engaged and mobilized, can transform the trauma and propel us into new heights of healing, mastery, and even wisdom.

Its strange to think of the PTSD symptoms as just energy stored... but that makes sense. It would explain the strange-seizure-like flashbacks that I have. That would just be my body trying to shake it off. I also believe that the very things I have run from all of this time will be my greatest strengths one day. I have gained a lot of wisdom on this journey thus far...
p. 36 "Held within the symptoms of trauma are the very energies, potentials, and resources necessary fro their constructive transformation. The creative healing process can be blocked in a number of ways -- by using drugs to suppress symptoms, by overemphasizing adjustment or control, or by denial or invalidation of feelings and sensations."
That is exactly what has held me back. It was when I gave up trying to control it or suppress it, or to look normal that I feel like I finally began healing. I would also add the eating disorder and other addictions as a way to block the creative healing process. Although, I think sometimes exercise has served as a way to dispel the energy and has helped me to heal.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


The past week, I have gone and spent time with the horses... I haven't had an agenda. I haven't planned on riding them - although I did once. This morning, I went again. I let Sunny just play in the arena. I sat and watched him.

I have a strange connection to him that I can't explain. Watching him run releases emotions in me that I can't explain or describe. I just cry. Today, it was the same thing. Then I brushed him, and it happened again. I was overcome with so many emotions that I don't understand. I just stood there next to him and cried.

I took Bo out, and did the same thing, but it was completely different. Bo doesn't bring out the same feelings in me. I like him. I respect him. I am a little afraid of him, but not in that I don't trust him. If I was going to pick a horse to ride, it would be Bo right now and not Sunny. For some reason the very thing that connects Sunny and I makes it so we can't work together like Bo and I can...

Bo and I went for a walk. I let him stop and eat whenever he felt like it. And then I just sat there with the purpose of doing nothing. I wasn't real great at doing nothing. I called several friends. I called UVU to ask about their rec therapy program. I read. Finally, I just sat there for a while. We spent a few hours together today.

As we came back to the barn, and I put Bo away, I realized that my body wasn't hurting. I don't know how long it had been that it wasn't hurting... I know it was while I was with Sunny, but that's the last time I remember feeling it.

Unfortunately, thinking about it has brought it back... but, its easier to deal with now than it was before.

The Marathon

I have often thought about recovery as a race. Its a race against time. Its a race against my own emotions. Its a race against opponents I can't see and don't understand. Mostly, its a race against myself.

I want to win! And I would like to win NOW!

Sometimes, I get in my mind if I just run fast enough, I will get done quicker. I will push extra hard, sprint to the end. Only the end is not as close as I would like it to be, and I exhaust myself (and everyone around me). I get a glimpse of the finish line, and I want to be there, but its still a long ways off.

I am running a marathon. I can't sprint my way through it. I need to be patient. I need to work and push hard, and I also need to take long strides. Otherwise, I will never finish. I am in this for the long-haul, and that means sometimes I have to slow down... even when it is painfully hard to do so.

I will win! I won't give up, and I still can't sprint to the finish line.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tao of Equus - Dissociation, Waking up and Spike

A few months ago, BJ and I were with the horses. I can't remember what brought it up, but he talked about a prey animal that freezes and seems "gone" before it is even eaten. When he talked about it, something inside of me broke and I just cried. I couldn't explain why. I just cried and cried.

Today, I was reading in the Tao of Equus, and she talked about that very thing.
"Dissociation protects us from the impact of escalating arousal. If a life-threatening event continues, dissociation protects us from the pain of death. It causes a sort of dreaminess in which there is no sense of pain nor feeling of terror, though quite conscious of all that is happening. This singular condition is not the result of any mental process. It annihilates fear, and allows no sense of horror in looking round. This peculiar state is probably produced in all animals killed by the carnivore; and if so, is a merciful provision by our benevolent creator for lessening the pain of death."
She talks about the a scene in the movie, "The Horse Whisperer," where the trainer forces the horse to lay down.
"To the casual observer, it appears an unruly horse can be "fixed" in record time by this impressive trick, However, the act of forcing a prey animal to lie down by typing up one of his front legs, dragging him to the ground and sitting on him in this vulnerable position until he submits causes such an intense fear reaction that the animal's entire nervous system short-circuits. The result IS a sudden change in personality. The horse acts like a zombie, which to people who prefer a mooching-like mount, appears to be a miraculous cure for chronic disobedience."
As I read this, I again was filled with terror and tears. I went through that exact thing, and I became a zombie.
"This tactic appears to take advantage of a biological process that shields all mammals from feeling the impact of an attack. After all, when a large predator succeeds in pulling a horse down and immobilizing him, it usually marks the end of the battle. This reaction differs from common shock because an animal can freeze before any physical damage occurs, and, under certain circumstances, can remain in a lesser form of this dissociative state after the danger has past. Some tribal hunting cultures believe that nature has shown the utmost compassion in providing a mechanism that allows a prey animal's soul to leave his body before the heart stops beating, thereby sparing him the pain and horror of being eaten. Traditional equestrian-based culture in Siberia have been known to perform similar moves on horses about to be sacrificed with the expressed intent of releasing their spirits BEFORE striking the fatal blow. To look into the vacant eyes of a horse that has been subjected to this technique is to know there's some truth to these notions."
She goes on to talk about how this tactic frightens the animal to within an inch of his life. He loses the will to live, and he doesn't care what you do to him anymore. I know what that feels like. I know it! I wish I didn't, but I do.

Her next story is about Spike, a horse that had been a trail horse. He was dull and listless. He had a glassy, distant look in his eyes. Spike didn't seem to care about his owner one way or the other, no matter how often she rode him. As the author began working with him, he slowly came back to life.
"His eyes began to twinkle. Soon he was whinnying and running up to Bonnie when she approached his stall. Much to my own surprise, however, the formerly quiet, complacent gelding became difficult to manage for several weeks as a result of these efforts. Once he woke up form his dissociative trance, he wasn't automatically willing to defer to Bonnie's authority, and he didn't seem to remember some of the things he had learned in his previous mindset. Spike, in fact, was a completely different horse. I decided to treat Spike like a three-year-old. He was more stable and trustworthy than a young colt. We were simply revisiting activities he had learned in a dis empowered state, retraining him from this newly awakened perspective. As I watched this process, I began to understand how severe a personality change the training techniques had induced in him. If laying Spike down had separated his mind and spirit from his body, then correcting this injustice was akin to soul retrieval. Any skill he learned in his previous state of dissociation seemed to be a vague, dreamlike memory at best."
That makes so much sense! I feel like I have spent the last year re-learning things I knew, and yet somehow forgot. In the hands of a gentle trainer, I have woken up from a state I have lived in almost my entire life. I have had to relearn some very simple things...

I don't even have words to describe all of the emotions and thoughts racing in my mind. I wish I could. I think it would help me, and maybe so many others. I am very grateful for this book that has helped me find words to describe it even though I still haven't found my own yet.

Friday, June 5, 2009

"From the outside looking in you can never understand it. From the inside looking out you can never explain it."

When I first heard this quote - I thought of abuse and recovery from the abuse. I thought about how much I want people to understand, and how much they want to understand... But I can't explain it, and they can't understand it.

Then I thought of the eating disorder. It is completely illogical, nonsensical, and crazy. I can't explain it, because it doesn't make any sense at all. Even to me, it seems like it should be so simple to just eat... but it wasn't. Sometimes, it still isn't. So, if it doesn't make sense to me, how can I explain it to anyone else?

Finally, I thought of the amazing miracles that have happened in my life. I have been so blessed! Most people will never know and can never understand how the Lord has lead my life. It isn't something I can explain. I am trying - with this blog - I want people to understand if I have had these miracles, they can too. They ARE too. And once they start seeing them, they will have more.

This journey has been so hard. It has had so many ups and downs and crazy spins. I can try to explain it. I can try to tell you why every piece of the puzzle was so important, and why each moment was perfect for that moment, but it would take a lifetime.

The answer for each of you trying to go through your own journey is to seek to understand yourself, and maybe you'll be able to explain it to a select few. And for those of you who are standing on the sidelines, seek to understand yourself, and only then will you be able to begin to understand someone else.

I will continue to try to explain it. I hope you will continue to try to understand. And in the end, it will be our spirits that will connect and we will understand each other.

I'm so random...

I am trying to figure out boundaries. I am trying to figure out what is okay to say, and what is not. In the past, I never let myself WANT anything. And I would NEVER share what I did want with anyone else. I felt like I was hurting someone if I got what I want. It has always felt like it is either me or them, and I would rather let them have what they want... Only, really, I HATE THAT!

I think it has to be okay for me to share what I want, to share my emotions, to hope for things, and to ask for what I want from others. I believe it is less manipulate to be direct, but then if someone feels manipulated because I told them what I wanted...

Today I asked, and was told "no," and it was actually a relief.
He just taught me that I could be honest about my wants. He just taught me that I could be assertive and ask to get my needs met. He just taught me that I could take care of myself through his example. He just taught me that although being assertive may not get me everything I want, it will feel better than NOT asking. He just showed me he could take care of himself. He just showed me that he would be honest with me, even when it was really hard. He just taught me what REAL love is like.

Love is generous and kind. Love is not self-sacrifice. Love brings hope. Love does not make us feel trapped. Love makes us better people. Love is charity: pure, honest, and simple. Christ is full of charity - He does not give us everything we want, or everything we ask for. I can't know what is best for everyone else, but I have to trust that if I take care of myself and do what I feel is right, He will take care of everyone and everything else.

Its funny, I have told others that if their needs are not being met, they need to ask for help. I have also told people that they have the right to say no to any request, at any time, and for any reason. I just saw firsthand what that looks like, how it feels, and it actually works. I don't know how he's doing. I know if he's anything like me, he probably feels pretty guilty. I hope not... I hope he understands how AWESOME this is.

Its hard to explain all of the things I just learned from being told no.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My prayer

Thank you dear Father. Thank you for bringing my cat home. Thank you for leading Dann to know what to do to help her get home. Thank you for the break this evening. Thank you for letting me feel more normal. Thank you for giving me more strength. Thank you for the phone call from Mellen, and the prayers from my mom and sister for my cat. Thank you for our kind neighbors that went looking for her. Thank you for the cyber hugs from my friends on facebook. Thank you for helping me to find my way on this crazy journey. Please continue to be with me. Watch over Mellen, Dann, my parents and brothers, Katie, Lauren, Amanda (especially Amanda with COMPS this week), Paul, Melissa and Tyler, BJ and Ginger (Help BJ to sort out all that he needs to sort out, and to know the way to go. Help Ginger to just be nice to him.), Janice, Connie, Elizabeth (as she starts school), my other CFC friends, Rebecca and Danial (bring him home safe), and all of your children all over this world.