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Movies that trigger my parts.

Our subconscious mind responds to pictures, not words. It is therefore no wonder that movies can be very triggering to abuse survivors. My background in ritual abuse makes me very sensitive to certain images, symbols, music and even colours. Just last week I got very triggered by the new Terence Malick film, “Song to Song”. It was a woeful experience, long, indulgent and fragmented. But I stuck with it, regrettably. The film was shot with an anamorphic, fishbowl lens, which was very disorienting. It was set against the backdrop of the Nashville country and rock music scene, known for producing mind control puppets in the music industry (see Cathy O’Brien’s “TRANCE Formation of America“). There was lots of referencing to selling your soul to the devil (represented by a music producer in the Industry) and the film also featured a lot of sadomasochistic sex. The main bit that triggered my parts was the Satanic chanting music that fuelled a montage about 3/4 of the way through the film. I had to block my ears because it became way too much and that was when I knew that I had dissociated. It was so quick! I drove S home and I had the most pounding headache come on (a sign of switching) and by the time I got home, I was very little. I wrote something in my online diary and a little one will share it now, but please note definite ****TRIGGER WARNING****

August 8, 2017 – It was the worse when they chopped their heads off. What people don’t understand is to get that fame and lifestyle you have to murder people and hurt babies. Plus eat them and stuff so it isn’t everything you think it is. I only did it coz they made me do it. Sometimes I wish I had my head chopped off so I didn’t have to remember it.

Not nice. It took me over a day to come back to normal. Scary memory.

Other movies that have set me off in the past, include ‘Irreversible’ – horrid anal rape scene and a disgusting, disorienting movie all round. Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ because of the ritual scenes. ‘Changeling’ made me cry as it brought stuff up because of what they were doing to the kids. That was definitely SRA.

My parts also don’t like movies that feature babies, blood, hospitals, witches or bodily fluids. Kids movies are okay, but it is not super easy for my little ones to watch kids movies yet because there has been so much bad stuff go on in childhood, it is hard to see happy things. They know the truth about badness and movies are either scary or work to hide the truth. That’s what they think anyway.

My T said that I have to be very careful about what I see and that sometimes I just need to walk out of the movie or experience because otherwise it can be way too triggering. She is right and I think I need to ground myself before I see things and give myself the choice to leave if it seems like it could set me off.

 

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Moving forward.

Boxing is like a metaphor for my life. Today I sparred with a girl and got beaten up. Mentally I felt weak. Granted, she was more experienced, she was tougher and fitter and stronger, but I gave up. I cried. Sparring can be emotional. There are so many mental and physical blocks you have to work through, push through and sometimes it is just so exhausting. I was affirmed later when she told me that she too had to have the shit beaten out of her quite a few times and that was what made her stronger. I was moving back a lot during the sparring, so I was on the ‘back foot’. She told me that you use up more energy that way. It makes sense. Being on the ‘back foot’ in life is exhausting too – so much energy used to just try and keep going. I have felt like that all my life. The pang of living overwhelming me, that my way out was to fantasise about death. I guess that goes back to my past, my abuse. To die was the way out of all that. It sure seemed like a better option. I remember writing a letter to God at the age of 9 years, asking him to take my life. He didn’t respond. I have so many parts in me that don’t want to live, to keep going is a definite choice, a commitment. But the urge to live must be stronger, surely, because I do keep going and moving forward. Today reminded me it is is a battle to do so. My instinct is to be on the back foot, to freeze (to dissociate), but when you are in the ring, you can’t do that. In or out of the ring, I don’t have a choice. I am thankful to God that I have found boxing. This great metaphor for my life. An odd recovery tool, but one that works for me. I want to get better, I don’t want to give up. I know that it is smarter, better, wiser to be on the front foot. To respond, to watch, to listen, to learn, to act. I want to focus and to achieve. I keep going, even though sometimes daily it is a struggle. I know that I will get through this rough patch with boxing and life. I do have faith in that and I am glad I keep pushing through and not giving up. I don’t really have a choice I guess. Because the pain and misery wants to kill me, but that means the darkness wins. Deep down, I am an optimist and I know that God has already won. But the battle is real and it is hard and it doesn’t always feel that way. As long as I keep showing up and moving forward, even if only inch by inch, I know that things will be okay and will have meaning.

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Unexpected Arrival

Last night in bed my parts came out and didn’t know where they were. Most had taken over by then so it was difficult for me to do much other than just lie there and listen to the chatter in my head. I woke up and hubby was a bit grumpy and I didn’t need much to set me off. I was feeling quite dissociative all morning and day and my niece was really dismissive of me. She really ignored me and it hurt my feelings so much. Maybe it was a moody 14 year old teenager thing, but wow, it made me feel terrible! When I am dissociative I can pretty much just focus and get on with work which is a good thing. So that’s what I did all day on my computer, but then about 3:00 pm, there was a knock on the door. It was my mother. I hadn’t seen her for over two years, nor had any contact with her, via my own volition. I had written a letter long ago saying I needed to cut contact whilst I was healing and doing memory work. My sister had warned me she might turn up but I had forgotten and today caught me by surprise. It didn’t help that I was in parts all of the day. So it was awkward and I was amicable and said I was well and spoke of why I was in Perth (presenting at a conference) and of my new job. I asked about her health (she is fine), I didn’t ask about my father. Then my sister came home and played the niceties, but she cannot stand being in the same room as my mother, so when my sister asked mum a question, she basically left the room briefly whilst my mother waffled the answer into empty space, not looking at her, not even noticing she was gone. It was weird. And then my sister hurried us as we had to go to a gym class and my husband made my mum a cup of tea and I knew she would enjoy talking to him as he is very warm and responsive and carefree. He told me later that she said “I know nobody wants to see me, but I don’t care, I want to see them”. I think she was genuinely glad that I looked okay and perhaps a little surprised that I did look healthy and fine. I went to the gym but just felt depressed and sad and bad – as though I shouldn’t have cut off the relationship as it was mean and as though I am probably making everything up as she looks normal- kinda (my parts thought she looked like a witch) – and that I am a bitch and horrible person. Anyway, I am at the airport now and will be back home soon and I get to see my dogs and I cannot wait. I love them so much and I like the life I have set up. Perth has beautiful weather but I don’t think I could ever come back here and live. There is just too much sadness.

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Returning Home

Back home- Perth, for a conference. Staying with my sister, her husband and my niece and nephew. Husband is in tow. When we arrived back at the house, the energy hit us hard. The place was different. It seemed more jagged, worn, comfortable and colder than last time. Granted, it’s Winter, the clothes are drying on the rack inside and the air is crisp, but the feeling wasn’t seasonal. A marriage was dying, right before our very eyes. I knew my sisters marriage was in trouble. We had watched it shift and change. They went through troubles- a loss of job, their dream home having to be sold and moving into a rental. Resentment building. Losing faith in God, their belief fuelling their commitment at one stage, then pride and money got in the way. Perhaps God took it away hoping they would learn a valuable lesson, come back to Him, repentant and renewed in faith. Instead my sister’s heart got hurt and she felt bitter and betrayed and she turned to the bottle to settle the resentment  and the more he tried to do better, the worse it got and then the more distant he became. Because that is how he grew up, hiding and running, hiding and running. And that is how she had grown up- sinking and desperate, lonely and angry. And they lost hope.

Sister says a divorce is on the cards, but probably not until the children grow up. That’s another 8 or so years. More time for the cycle of drinking and running and sadness and bitterness and loneliness to sink in and take hold.

Sister warned me mother might turn up unannounced. If she does, it will be a weekend of sadness.

Its funny growing up, watching people change, get older, weirder, wiser, or more separate from self. I hope I grow up better and better and better. I believe that God keeps people young. Every day I pray to be a beacon of His light as much as I don’t feel I am displaying this.

I guess the moral is, you can’t stop learning and growing. Otherwise the rut of existence takes hold and it wants to eat you alive. We must continue to challenge it daily. There does not seem to be a choice, unless one just gives up. We mustn’t give up.

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It is hard to be in my body.

For an RA survivor, being in the body is hard. It is not a pleasant experience. For example, I just took the dogs for a walk and I noticed that I was walking down the steep hill on my toes, rather than bending my knees to give myself a sturdier stance. I have just started boxing too and also noticed that I find it difficult to lower myself in the stance and bend my knees. I think I discovered the reason why. As I was walking down the hill, I made a conscious effort to bend my knees but then I heard a voice, a part, and she was in pain. It shot through my body. (Trigger Warning********) – “They said they would chop off my legs”, “I can’t move”, “It hurts to move”. I am sad that she feels this way and understand that when I move my body that way, she gets triggered and scared. Today at the very least, I can write this out and feel a little bit of her sadness.

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Facing reality

After the third warning came, I ended things with S. Today is the third day of “friend zone” or best friend zone, though much is under threat. Husband doesn’t like her and want her over at the house anymore as he thinks I change when I am around her. He doesn’t like the energy and is scared by what’s going on. Fair enough, he should be. Host is far gone when she is around as many of us are activated. We like being out and talking and chatting and being silly with her. He doesn’t exist when she is around, he is like a brute and we feel uncomfortable. We understand that he is husband in theory but this has no application for us. We would prefer to live in the city, in an apartment with her and to always be together. We cannot live our dream as we are caught in two worlds and it is very hard to be shut out again. 

Signed the dreamers. 

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Penny for my thoughts.

That’s my name, Penny. I got it from that stupid saying. I am 22. I have recently decided to get a room in the house with the little ones, but like my space. I am not a baby sitter by any means. I like to be by myself. I enjoy solitude, not too much noise. The less company the better. At the moment there is a lot of noise going on. A lot of disruption inside. Much has been activated, and no doubt will continue to do so – i think we have another 12 – 18 months of this. I usually appear in rough times. I can weather a storm – yes, I am full of cliches remember. I like to watch, observe and look. I have lived in the head for a long time, since before I can recall. I am a watcher. Yes that is my job. I just realised. I watch for danger, for signs, for things that could go wrong and then I call for help. Activate the movers. They usually come in and take over then. Things can get shut down pretty quickly if necessary. At the moment there is a lot of danger imminent. There have been two warning signs not listened to and so it is important to be on the lookout for the third, because it could be the final one before it is too late.