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Posts Tagged ‘inner voice’

I have done a lot of work over the last several years to release the impact of the abuse that led to C-PTSD in my world. I’m now able to do things like giving up sugar, which has freed me up enormously, and was a signal that those old abuse issues didn’t have the same hold on me as before.

But one result of all this work – incredible clarity!

I now know what to do in situations with a certainty and clarity that was just not available to me. It wasn’t available while I was in the fog of dealing with PTSD issues. I don’t know if that clarity has ever been available to me like right now, because I had those PTSD issues from the time I was 8 years old.

An Example

So here’s how that clarity looks.

I had a client buy a job late Saturday night to write a script for him. I specifically asked him if he wanted an informational or story script. He said story, and even gave me a great example.

I wrote the script and sent it to him.

He responded what he really wanted was a “commercial video” type script. He hadn’t mentioned this at all before. Plus, the term is so vague, I could spend a LOT of time trying to figure out what this guy wanted.

I sent him an email saying I had delivered what he wanted, and I was now really confused.

I remembered what a guy said years ago “Any time I start feeling confused, I think dysfunction is at work.”

I then promptly sent the guy a cancellation request, before I ever heard back from him. No wasting time on back and forth while he couldn’t define what he wanted.

No hesitation. No uncertainty.

It was there, and I saw it, and I did it!

WOW!

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I would be stuck

Sitting at my desk

With a piece of paper

Unable to write

Not knowing what to say

Or how to say it.

I felt like a painter

Sitting at an easel

Not knowing what to paint

Not knowing how to make

That first brush stroke.

 *

I knew I had a writer’s block

I just didn’t know what

To do about it.

I finally managed to gut it out

And began to write

I wanted to write a book

So I hid out in a library

Way at the back

So no one could find me

Or ask me

What I was doing

It seemed pretty weird

At the time.

I just didn’t know why

I needed to do it that way.

Finally, I finished a book.

Then it was time

To send it to publishers

That felt more scary

Than writing had been

I still didn’t know why,

But I managed to gut it out

And sent my book

Off to publishing companies

*

Then I had that most amazing

Phone call.

A publisher called me back.

“I loved your book.  I spent

the entire weekend reading it.

I couldn’t put it down.”

You’d think

That was really exciting news

For a writer.

Instead – I was terrified.

Crippled with fear.

It seemed pretty weird

At the time

I just didn’t know why that was.

 *

Then a second publisher was interested

I tried to gut it out

And keep moving forward.

I couldn’t do it.

I told myself

“I’ve just lost touch

with the project.

I need time to reflect.”

I walked away from the book

And the publishers.

 *

I got so frustrated,

That at one point

I wrote a poem about it.

*
“The desire to express,

I was taught to repress

Has caused me a block

I wish to unlock.

 *

I pick up the pen,

I start writing again,

I feel the flow,

And then I stop.”

 *

I went on my way

For a number of years,

Then felt led to write a second book.

It was to be a novel,

About a part of

My Dad’s healing journey.

Writing that book led

To a grand adventure

That included

Working on wheat harvest

To explore my Dad’s path.

I came home

I managed to gut it out,

And wrote that novel.

Again,

Publishers were interested

And I felt déjà vu

As the whole thing happened again.

I walked away from that book,

Saying

“I’ve lost touch with the project,

I need time to reflect.”

 *

By this point I was so frustrated

I decided

If I couldn’t get past this whole

Writer’s block,

I would just take up golf.

And at one point,

I did just that.

I bought some golf clubs

Determined to leave writing behind

Forever.

 *

But the desire to write

Was just that strong

I had to keep going.

It led to a most unexpected place.

Back to my grandmother’s house

When I was eight years old.

I remembered something she had said.

She had asked me

What I wanted to be

When I grew up.

With the joy of a child I said

“Oh, I want to be a famous writer.”

She frowned, and said,

“Oh no, you don’t want to do that.”

Puzzled, I fell for the bait,

And asked: “Why not?”

With an evil grin on her face,

She said,

“Because if you do that,

They’ll call you crazy

And lock you up.”

*

So there it was

The reason

My writing

Would get locked up

The reason I hid in a library

To write a book

The reason I wouldn’t

Let my books

See the light of publication.

 *

Now as an adult,

I could write off

What she had said

As the ramblings of a somewhat

Nutty old grandma.

But when I was eight,

I couldn’t figure that out,

Especially when she told me

“Don’t talk about this.”

 *

And later I remembered,

She hammered the nails

Of her evil intentions

Into my heart

With extremely vicious

Lies and actions

Abusive and cruel,

Which built a wall

Around my writing

That I couldn’t overcome.

*

But by bringing to the surface

What had locked up

My writing for

Forty five years,

At least

I had something

To work on.

It led to a lot of hard work,

Releasing the pain,

Overcoming what had been

Burned into my soul.

I knew I had made

A lot of progress,

When I published my first book.

 *

Now I am writing

My next book

The story of how Grandma

Tried to poison my soul

And my journey

To overcome the writer’s block

She gave me.

I will expose those lies

To the light

And let them wither up and die

Like lies deserve to do.

**************

Photo Credits:

Images From – The Microsoft Office Clip Art Collection

“Pen on Paper” Completed in 2004 to serve as the basis for the publicity of a retreat for authors entitled Writers Refuge. jlseagull @ flickr.com Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

“Attack of the Lunesta Moth (cropped)”; original by Maxintosh @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

“Self Portrait, Walking Away: On one of the jetties at Gräsvik” Misteraitch @flickr.com Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

“The Wheat Harvest” the slowlane @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

“Mud Golf on Orcas,” by wiselyb @ flickr.com.  Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.

“Scary_04″ Aliwest44 @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

“Locked Up” Derekskey @ flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

“Big Chain” Shaycam @flickr.com Creative Commons.  Some rights reserved.

Book Cover copyright by Dan L. Hays

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Being true to yourself,
Can involve losses,
Things don’t ever
Stay the same
As I evolve
Sometimes things change
Friends drop off
Along the way
Why do they leave?
Sometimes they don’t say.

But one person said,
“It just wasn’t that important
To talk to you any more.”
Well ain’t that the shits?
She and I had been friends
For ten years,
Been through tough times
Supported each other.
Then I felt
Her pull away.
I still don’t think
I know the real reason
Why she left.
I suspect
She doesn’t either.

I tell myself
That it’s OK
But that is to
Protect myself
Because it hurts like hell,
When it happens.

Sometimes its gradual
Time spent together
Grows less
Interest in your world
Grows less
Then comes a point
Where you sense
They are listening
Out of politeness
And not because
They care any more.
Don’t disrespect me
By faking nice.

What can you do?
Try to hold on?
Won’t work
If someone is intent
On leaving.
Just gotta let go
But it hurts
One less person
To be there for you.
One less person
Who’s got your back.
The group gets smaller
That you can call friend.
You feel the twinge –
I feel lonely.
Well that really sucks.
It is what it is.

The other side of it,
There’s room in my world
For new people
To flow into my life
And as surely as
The old friends fade away.
New friends are emerging.
Being there.
Honoring my writer
Enjoying my poet.
Hearing when I speak.
I really like this part.
Life feels more rich
Because of the new friends.

*******

Note: I read some of my older poetry at an open mic event last Saturday night. I came home and wrote this poem. I went back and read it this Saturday night at the open mic event. I think they call that generativity! 🙂

Photo credits: Courtesy of Stephen McCulloch, Kevin Higgins.  Creative Commons via Wikimedia.

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On the first day of my creative writing class, the teacher opened the discussion by asking “What is a story?”  She suggested that we begin by defining the word.  Several people responded.  I took a minute to think about the meaning, and then raised my hand and said “A story is something that happens to someone.”  The teacher smiled broadly, nodded, and said “That’s it exactly – at the very basic level, the essence of a story is action.”

So what was the best way to tell a particular story, to describe that action?  Over the next several years I read a lot about point of view – mostly looking at first person and third person, and what were the advantages and limitations of each.  First person is confined to the thoughts of the narrator.  Third person can either be omniscient – using the thoughts of all of the characters, or limited – using the thoughts of one character’s mind. After I experimented with point of view, it became apparent that it depended on the story.

Years later I wrote about a time my Dad’s life when he disappeared for a year, worked the wheat harvest, had a spiritual experience in the process.  He returned a changed man.  After his death I realized I’d never asked him what happened.  I started with the part I knew, leading into what might have taken place later.  I decided to make it a novel, and chose the third person omniscient viewpoint.  I wrote in a more detached style, which allowed me the distance to step back and imagine the events objectively.  I could speak from the perspective of various characters as needed.

When the story was about me, “something that happens to someone” still held true.  Something had happened that I wanted to share, and decided to write about it in depth.  Not an original concept.  Many people have written a memoir for that very reason.  The first person viewpoint had an immediacy that helped me capture the emotions and experience of the moment.  I wrote about the events surrounding the time of my father’s death 17 years ago.

I knew what happened, and had journalled extensively about it at the time.  There was plenty of fodder to refresh my memory of the events.  As I wrote I fell into the mode of  “I did this, that happened, I felt this about it, I experienced, and then next I …”  I was in the middle of the events, with no psychic distance.  To tell that particular story, I needed to be that close.  Yet as I wrote, I could feel the events at a physical level.  My heart raced as I felt unsafe when that strange person entered the room.  I smelled the coffee I drank in a restaurant as I chronicled my feelings in a notebook. I felt the heat of Houston on a muggy afternoon in October; heard leaves blowing in the breeze that only stirred up the heat without relief.

Even more happened.  I had never written down everything that took place the week my Dad died.  I heard the jangle as the phone rang; heard my sister say “better come home, Dad is dying.”  I sat in a darkened airplane and wrote brief notes in a small notebook “it’s too soon, I’m not ready for this.”  I walked up to a hospital at night in Tulsa, wondering if it was just my imagination because of the lights, or was this huge building really pink?” (I saw it the next day, and sure enough – it was pink.)

I looked down at my father lying in a hospital bed with a tube down his throat, barely heard the nurse saying he was already functionally gone, and the machines were keeping him alive.  I returned to the room after the machines had been turned off, and his breathing had stopped.  I stroked my father’s forehead, something I never would have dared if he were alive.  I walked into to the “Grief Room” at the hospital, where no one was attending to the needs of my family, sitting and crying all alone.  I pushed down my feelings because someone had to make funeral arrangements, and the task fell on me.

Later in the week, I visited his office at the hospital, heard his boss describe how he had spent his last several years helping others.  I drove just outside Tulsa and walked across his 5 acre pecan orchard, then used his chain saw to cut down a couple of dead trees, a project he and I had shared.  I sat at the dinner table at my parent’s house and went through my parent’s financial papers to reassure my Mom.  I stepped out in front of a packed church to deliver his eulogy.

Of course it was cathartic to write down those experiences – isn’t that one of the biggest benefits of memoir?  I felt the events, experienced them in a deeper way than before, and could release some of the emotional charge they contained.

As the memoir continued I wrote about the events after my Dad died.  I met with a minister to discuss an reservoir of old anger I had discovered – anger at my Dad, anger at God.  I dreamed a man was chasing me with a gun.  I did an inner child exercise, and remembered a violent incident with my Dad when I was a teenager.  Then came some intense healing work.

I did an exercise to cut cords to the feelings I was carrying from generations of my family – an ancestral burden that had weighed me down greatly.  Many nights I released terror from the violent incident.  I relived the violent incident on a feeling level several times.   I wrote down ways I had changed, and burned the papers, to let go of who I used to be.  I dreamed that there was a tiger living in my house.  I knew it was my rage, and had to be dealt with.  I made a commitment to release that rage in safe ways.  There were a number of other healing experiences, and by the end of the memoir, it all led to a new sense of forgiveness for my father.  I wrote down my tremendous gratitude for the whole experience.

Then something happened which I hadn’t envisioned.  After I published the memoir, which I called Freedom’s Just Another Word, I had numerous people say they benefitted greatly from my experience, from reading about my journey and the steps I had taken to heal.  I was genuinely surprised.  I hadn’t seen that coming, but was delighted that it happened.  That was not the reason for the memoir – it just was something I needed to do.  For me it was an enormously healing process.   But if writing a memoir could yield additional rewards like that – helping other people heal and grow – then it was a huge success.

 Originally Published in Laura Schultz Now

Photo Credits:

“Good Question” e-magic @Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

leaves in the wind: jans canon @flickr.com.  Creative Commons.  Some rights reserved.

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Welcome to the Inner Child edition of the Carnival Against Child Abuse.  We will honor our inner child, and share how that child has been such a vital part of our path to healing!

Blog Carnivals are a great opportunity to sample a variety of Blog offerings on a common topic. There are so many child abuse recovery and advocacy resources out there. We hope you find something of use to you! I have enjoyed reading and participating in this Blog Carnival and am happy to give back by hosting it this month.

Inner Child Themed Posts

Patricia Singleton offers several posts from her Inner Child Letters series.  The first is Three Year Old Adultress Revisited,  where she says “A three-year-old can’t be an adultress, so why did I call myself that name? This is a letter written to that inner child.”

The second post is Grieving, an essential part of the process of working with our inner children.

The third in the Inner Child series is Processing, and Patricia admits that “Processing the feelings and the grief that has come up with these letters was harder than I expected it to be.”

Next Patricia shares the Three Year Old Adultress Carries The Shame of Incest, and wonders “How can memories that I don’t even have be so hard to let go? Shame is one of the most crippling emotions to carry around from abuse.”

Patricia then writes Dear Seven Year Old Patricia, where she says “I don’t know what you’re protecting my mind from, but I thank you.”

These entries are from Patricia’s blog  Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker.

Marj aka Thriver tells us I Resolve to Comfort My Inner Child.  “In this post, I wrote a poem to my inner child, promising to comfort her and protect her.  These are words I never heard from my own mother.  But now I can re-parent myself and heal.”   She also shares with us Helping Your Inner Child Help You.  “I  wrote this entry for a guest post at another blog on the topic of PTSD.  I did some research for this post and list some books about the inner child and also some of the strategies I have come up with over the years for comforting my inner child.”  Both of these posts are from her blog Survivors Can Thrive.

JBR shares SIX YEAR OLD LIVING IN AN ADULT from the blog JUST BE REAL, about “this six year old” living in an “adult” body, trying to form adult words to what I am feeling, but having still the mentality of a six year old.

Dan L. Hays shares his post If You Had Any Sense, from his blog Thoughts Along The Road To Healing.  A casual comment by his father led him to betray his inner child and spend many years suffocating in the business world.

Advocacy & Awareness

Kari submits About New Tribes Mission Abuse, from the blog New Tribes Mission Abuse, “where our goal is for other survivors to find support. Please help us spread the word of what happened to us, so it can end here.  Please help us show that disclosure can help the victim.”

Deb Serani shares Mentally Ill Stuffed Animals from her blog Dr. Deb.  “This post looks at mentally ill stuffed animals and the stigmatizing images they convey.”

Enola shares For Sale – Humans – human trafficking from her blog Enola.  She writes: “This article came to my attention through work I’m doing on a gang committee. I learned about the huge underground movement in human trafficking.”

Hope offers us Just For Today from her blog Hope For Trauma.  She shares “This journey that I am on towards whatever it becomes, is traveled one day, one hour and one minute at a time.”

Tracie reminds us Rape – It Still Happens (even in Africa) from her blog From Tracie.

Emily Rossiter brings to us Mental Illness: The Answer to How Can I Help? from her blog Surviving Limbo.  She says: “I’m an adult survivor of child abuse. I have a laundry list of mental illness labels. A friend of mine with OCD and I were talking about how difficult it is to tell people how to help us. Thus, I wrote this post.”

Thegiftedhands shares The Child Witch Abuse in West Africa from the blog Planetprose.

 

 

Art Therapy

Paula offers us From Victim To Choicemaker from her blog Recovery In Art.  She says: “a collage created during art therapy enabled me to face my deepest wound and let me overcome the trauma on a way I never expected.”

Healing & Therapy

Meggs Fitzwater shares with us Call Me Crazy from Speaking Out, “a blog about coming to terms with the inner child theory and integrating it into my healing journey.”

Rick Belden submits Some Thoughts On Forgiveness from his blog Rick Belden.com.  Rick shares his thoughts on forgiveness, such as viewing forgiveness as an active and a sacred process.

Paula offers her post I Am A Duckling from her blog Becoming Myself.  She writes: “I would like to share an exercise from the trauma therapy I just finished. During a session of integrative body psychotherapy I got asked to select two symbols. One for my Inner Child and one for Big Paula. Once again I was surprised about the insights I got from this apparently so simple exercise. Grateful beyond measure. I hope this exercise might help you along too!”

Splinteredones offers how to Cut Panic w/Meditation, qi gong, from her blog Splinteredones.  “How to use qi gong and the basics of meditation to control anxiety panic and the other crud that sneaks in.”

Dr. Kathleen Young suggests to Love Yourself With Gentleness and Compassion, from her blog Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Chicago. 10 steps to fostering gentleness and compassion in yourself.

In The News

Jay Smith submits 10 Laws Passed After Horrible Crimes from Criminal Justice University.

Survivor Stories

Marjorie McKinnon offers Returning to the Scene of The Crime from Blog Posts for Margie Marybelle McKinnon.  “Marjorie is the founder of the Lamplighters international movement for recovery from incest and childhood sexual abuse.  We currently have 59 chapters in 9 countries.  Our Blog site is at http://www.thelamplighters.org.”

Hope submits List of Life from her blog Hope For Trauma, saying “I guess one could call it a ‘bucket list’, but I think it is a thriving list.”

Ellen Brown offers us Why In The World I Transitioned Into Coaching from her blog Stepping Stones.  Ellen says “This is a blog post about why I decided to become a coach after healing from child sexual abuse.”

Emily Rossiter shares The Story Of A Runaway, Or How I Escaped Hell, from her blog Surviving Limbo.  Emily writes “The most terrifying moment of my life happened sometime in March of ‘92.”

Poetry

Echoing the sentiment of a former host, I will intentionally not comment on poetry, but allow it space to breathe without interpretation.

 

Laura Schultz shares Solitude and Evolving from LauraSchultzNow.

Jade Fields offers And so it is from her blog Sublimely Ridiculous.

Dan L. Hays submits Heartbeat from Thoughts Along The Road to Healing.

Thank you so much for making this a content-packed Blog Carnival edition!  It was an honor to host this month!  You can submit your blog articles and art  to the next edition of the Carnival Against Child Abuse here.


Photo credit: Painting the Co-Op. Tony Crider @ Flickr.com Creative Commons.  Some rights reserved.

 

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I Hide Out To Write A Book.   Saying he doesn’t want to be bothered, an author hides out at a library, then later hides his writing desk in a secret location, to write his first book.

Published in Life As A Human.

Photo credit:

“Pen on Paper” Completed in 2004 to serve as the basis for the publicity of a retreat for authors entitled Writers Refuge. jlseagull @ flickr.com Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

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“I Find My Writing Voice” Frustrated at not being able to write, an author tries a new technique — he writes a piece as a letter to a trusted friend. And in the process, he finds his writing voice.

Published in Life As A Human.

Photo credit:

“Writing” The Welsh Poppy @Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.

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