Wednesday, January 27, 2016
"There is no real development without integrity, that is- a love of truth." - Frank Lloyd Wright
"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." - Buddha
Just to put this out there- I've been losing followers (and I didn't have many to start with). I think it must be my content and for that I apologize. It has been dark, sad, and depressing but I am going to try to change that. I just was looking for a release and writing what was in my heart, but I don't want to scare people away either. I have learned a lot in this painful journey, and I think it can help others too.
Does anyone else read multiple books at a time? I can't just stick with one. I'm trying to clean up my Goodreads account and finish some books I started back in 2013 and got bored with. The main one on that list was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I actually picked it up because I read it was a classic book about nothing, as in, there are no defining events. It felt that way too as I trudged through the first pages, and I just couldn't get into it. Now, reading it again, I see how it is a snapshot of life back in the early 1900's amongst the poor. It's truly fascinating, and I'm almost finished.
My current reading list is:
Out of Africa
Bully (From the Bully Project)
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Clearly the material is all over the place, especially the book, The Hit. It reads like Mission Impossible, and that's actually one of my husband's books. We were collecting so many books I decided I needed to read them before acquiring even more, so I've scaled back on my purchases for now.
I read more than one book because it really depends on my mood, and although I've been reading a lot of dark stuff, I have to balance that out with light reading otherwise I just spiral downhill.
Monday, January 25, 2016
"There is no reason not to follow your heart." - Steve Jobs
"Growth and self-transformation cannot be delegated." - Lewis Mumford
January 25, 2016
I have mixed feelings about the first quote. First, the source seems to be controversial for not always being a good person. I don't really know much about him, but grasping for power and money is not really where happiness lies. Second, if you follow your heart- that is all and well if you are kind, empathetic, and motivated by the greater good, but what if your heart leads you to darkness and evil- should you follow that? Doesn't society then have an obligation to intervene? I just have a problem with telling people, 'do whatever you want' because to some, this may mean encroaching on others human rights.
The second quote is all about my daughter and us as a family. This journey is ours alone, and we cannot share the burden. She must face the recovery process with courage and motivation, which is not easy. Today we had a session with a therapist who specializes in trauma, and as she worked through an incident with my daughter, she went into a flashback. This is the first time someone outside of our family has seen one. The world of trauma is very lonely- most retreat into their homes and rarely leave. But having someone see this intense pain and suffering felt validating to me, and I was glad for that.
The therapist reassured us that there was hope, and recovery is possible. To that, I carry on.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
January 23, 2016
"Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming." - David Bowie
"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." - Epictetus
"It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." - Lewis Carroll
"Many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little." - Plutarch
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis
I don't want to be negative today. It's not who I am- I do still want to believe in the good in people, that life can still be happy.
Yesterday we watched a friend's three kids, and they were so adorable. The youngest is maybe around two, and she's a darling. My daughter played with her and the distraction from her traumatized mind was actually a good thing. When the boys, ages 5 and 7? came to the house after school she drew with them and made muffins. My husband roughed up the boys when he came home and had everyone laughing hysterically with his antics. It was fun having little ones around again.
Two books that I've read recently that are the complete validation for our experience are written by leading psychiatrists. The first book is written by Judith Herman, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
From the scientific point of view, she writes of the history of trauma and the effects on people, along with the recovery process. It was the confirmation that I needed that my daughter was not just crazy, and that yes, trauma severe enough can create lifelong struggles.
The next book was Without Conscience, by Dr. Hare, a leading psychiatrist in the field of psychopathy. I believe everyone should read this book, because having the knowledge that these people do, in fact, exist, is the best protection against falling victim to them. This book answered the "Why" question I so desperately needed an answer to.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
January 20th, 2016
"I have always known that at last I would take this road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today." - Narihira
"Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence." Henry David Thoreau
"These are the days that must happen to you." - Walt Whitman
"If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success." - John Rockefeller
"Every great change is preceded by chaos." - Deepak Chopra
It's the last two quotes that I can identify with most today. Our lives are truly chaotic right now. Every day we spend our evenings dealing with PTSD instead of unwinding from a day of work or school. We are so far removed from normal, I can't even remember what "normal" felt like. All I can hope for is the reward of her recovery, whenever that may come.
I sent out my first submission. It's a start to keep moving forward and telling our story. The memoir isn't truly finished, but the bones are there. I can revise it to death or take a leap of faith that someone will think this story must be told.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
January 17, 2016
Time has slipped away again. I've been fighting despair as my daughter has moved backwards this past week. It's just working our way through layers and layers of trauma.
My quotes are:
"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves so that we don't become stick-in-the-muds." - Goethe
"In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity." - Sun Tzu
"If there were none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach for anything better." - Florence Nightingale
"We spend our lives avoiding the situations that help us grow. It's when we stay with uncertainty and discomfort without trying to fix it that we connect with our own innate joy, wisdom, and love." - Pema Chodron
"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wish I could feel as positive as these quotes are, but struggling as we are right now, it's hard to find the bright spots. I will not give up though- it just has to get better.
Friday, January 8, 2016
January 8, 2016
I miss these moments- not the cold. Just the peaceful evenings in a warm home, watching the snow gently fall.
I'm only doing quotes today. Not in the mood to do much else.
"There is a joy in the pursuit of anything." - Robert Henri
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell
"Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw
"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it." - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
"Time is the greatest innovator." - Francis Bacon
"Wherever we are, it is but a stage on the way to somewhere else, and whatever we do, however well we do it, it is only a preparation to do something else that shall be different." - Robert Louis Stevenson
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
It's a little late in the day to post this, but I literally slept all morning. Still recouping from a 3rd shift on Monday night, only because I didn't get much sleep on Tuesday.
I'm charging forward with writing on many fronts- almost too much to keep up with, but it has been very cathartic for me to write during my life crisis. I'm journaling, 3 different ones at that! I've started writing blog posts and submitting them. (Only submitted two so far and have not heard back) And I have almost 40,000 words on my daughter's memoir. I recently joined the local writing association. Back when I lived in S. Carolina, the group formed had 4 ambitious members which dwindled in a few sessions to two, myself and another older lady. (It was not a very literary nor artistic community) We used to joke that the best parking at the mall was near Barnes and Nobles, and there was never a line when I bought things. The local library was used mainly for the free internet. Here the writers' group filled a conference room at the library, complete with a guest speaker! So exciting!
I am still very insecure though- don't get me wrong. I fear both not succeeding, and succeeding too much. The story of what my daughter went through will expose our families privacy, but we all feel the need to share it. My daughter's courage and strength to proceed with the book gives me the motivation to push forward. We both want to help others, or save others from the same fate.
Today I will post our story, as published on The Bully Project's Facebook page.
Alice's* story has deeply, deeply moved our team at The Bully Project. She has suffered long term physical and sexual bullying from a young age by another student at school, without her family's knowledge. Her mother wrote to us seeking support. She said:
"We didn't know what was happening. The physical signs we saw and personality changes made no sense because she steadfastly denied being bullied, out of fear of retribution. Fast forward 5 years, our honor roll student began to develop severe anxiety and panic attacks. Her condition deteriorated until we had to bring her to the hospital, where she spent the next three weeks. When she left, she was diagnosed with PTSD, and was now disabled. We made arrangements for her to be in the hospital homebound program for school. This was when we finally learned about the physical and sexual assaults. […] I contacted my daughter's teacher from that year and she confirmed that a few students had told her something was happening, but in her words, "I could never catch her in the act." We were never told of her suspicions, but it would have alerted us to why she had bruises, and why our once confident and happy child was now painfully shy and moody. This should never have happened. The school needs to be held accountable, and that child predator needs to be locked away. Instead, she is free of all punishment because she was too young to charge criminally. Meanwhile, my beautiful, kind, smart daughter is living in unbearable pain".
We stand with Alice and her family, and hope that with her new service dog she can begin to regain her strength and have a happy life free of pain and suffering. Please show your support to her family. #takeastand #stopbullying
*(Alice is a pseudonym)