she’s ranting again…

Good Lord, I don’t even know where to start.

Here’s the thing about a rant.  It zig zags around, not  following any particular order, a cathartic serving of bottled up emotional energy and other crap.  Its taken me months to put this certain stream of events in order and now that I have, I’m pretty pissed.  Perhaps some of the folks who subscribed to this blog are expecting only my visions of beauty and introspection and yes, there will be some of those.  But, here’s a spoiler alert for the faint of heart, bail out now, cause i’m pissed.  This is about my anger about betrayal.

I feel betrayed.  I feel betrayed on several levels by comments made to me by family/friend  that “you drive people away” with my disassociative  episodes.  So here’s is where I’m gonna break that apart and maybe someone else can get the benefit of this mess.

One of the first things I remember learning in Sunday school (of all places for me, since I’m a very infrequent church attender) is that one didn’t assign judgement to the person but instead to their behavior.  I learned that day that people aren’t bad but sometimes do bad things.  Susie isn’t a bad girl for hitting the boy on the playground but Susie did a bad thing by choosing.  (Of course, I always figured that Susie didn’t do a bad thing and the boy most certainly deserved it and had it coming, but that is another character flaw meant for another blog post)…..Now this is a really broad statement that can be debated forever by great legal, philosophical and ethical minds but for here we are keeping it simple and going with the fact that people aren’t bad but their actions sometimes are.

But what about in the case of someone having an illness that causes them to do something that is uncomfortable, inconvenient or even frightening?  What then?  Is the diabetic “bad” because she lapses into a coma in public causing everyone to scurry around and tend to her?  I wouldn’t think so.  Do we scold and shame her for not watching herself closer and tell her she is driving her family away with her condition? That doesn’t even sound right.  But that  is the scary reality of those with fragile diabetic conditions, among many other conditions, that if not monitored they could become unable to care for themselves and need help.  And I hope always that their families approach them with compassion and care.  

Is the elderly person moving slowly through the grocery store doing that on purpose to anger those around her who believe she should keep up the pace?  God no.  But there are those with huge egos that will look upon her with scorn at the very prospect of her getting in their way.  And again, I hope we always can view her as human being moving at the cadence perfect to her at that moment.

But what about the invisible mental illness and specifically disassociation?  When a child is subject to repeated trauma, there is an inevitable and glorious place that their brains take them to survive the horror where they can camp out until the danger passes.  Then once the trauma is over, they can gradually find their way back and piece themselves together.  Hopefully and ideally this is how it works.  I find this whole concept of beautiful design and thank God for creating such a beautiful place to go amidst such ugliness.  The brain becomes familiar with this escape route and uses it whenever necessary albeit sometimes with faulty implementation, meaning one can become overly dependent on escaping.

But what if that part doesn’t learn to re-integrate and gradually over time becomes stuck in that limbo, that in between purgatory place?  That splintered part can become dead to our conscious selves, silent for years or decades and for some folks, it never appears.  The disassociated self becomes so adept at splitting and creating its own personality/personalities but continues the entire time to record any and all events, smells, light, and energy, down to the tiniest detail of the traumatic events.  It stores them and hides them so well that often we don’t even know that other self/selves are there, its as much of a surprise to us as it is to the family who surrounds us who watch us behave in ways seen in the worst horror movies.  When that tiny self decides it is time to emerge, that their surroundings are safe enough to come out and that they don’t have to stay cloaked and cloistered any longer, it can be a small tiny drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet or it can be a tsunami taking down everything in its path or something in between.

So are we to blame?  Would we ever ask the disassociated among us to keep that part inside or somehow hide it because its ugly, unpredictable, “not done in our family”, messy or just plain freaky?  Some will say yes to themselves because the thought of having such reality thrust into their lives just sends them spinning.  Most will say no, that we shouldn’t hide those people away but silently thank the universe for not putting those troubled souls in their world for them to deal with.  Maybe because I’m in the population of the “split and fractured” that I’ve decided to embrace this tiny little girl for the freaking superhero that she is and not only revere her but defend and spout back to my people that they need to look at themselves closer if they can’t handle looking at her.  I think she rocks and I’m done hiding her even if she appears ugly to some, she’s beautiful and courageous to me.  And I’m looking the world straight in the eye now, for her and for me.

Now in the end, I will settle down about this.  Will I find another word to replace betrayal?  Probably, because overall I do have a huge tendency to see the other person’s side as well as smooth out differences with anyone I’ve gotten crossways with.  I also want them to understand that judgement in this situation is trauma layered with more trauma to the very confused survivor trying to make sense of the insides of their own soul.

Will I forgive the people who don’t understand?  Maybe in time, but I know I will forgive them more for me than them.  This is a concept that I continue to learn about but have a really difficult time with.  The example that made the most sense was Oprah‘s comment that “not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person” or something close to that…but you get my drift.  I know its the right thing to do and will continue praying for my ego to melt enough for forgiveness to happen.  

But, I have also learned a very valuable lesson as I search out who to trust and who not to.  Survivors are awful at trust.  We want to so badly yet often choose people that we shouldn’t trust or at least trust so entirely when we should have pulled back the reins a great deal.  I can’t speak for all survivors but this seems to be the general trend for myself and as I’ve heard it from others.  But here’s the thing that I have gotten from all this soul searching and pain, I have to trust myself fully and others somewhat.  This will give me the most peace and serenity.

Done for now.

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About Rescuing Little L

Documenting the pieces of my journey...recovery from childhood sexual abuse and cruel ignorance...the effects of those incidious acts through adulthood... until the grace of recovery transcended the trauma and shame of my past, making it possible to return to Rescue Little L.... View all posts by Rescuing Little L

11 responses to “she’s ranting again…

  • Crowing Crone Joss

    you have absolute right to your feelings, at any time. Processing them this way is healthy and good. Trusting yourself is paramount. Looking beyond the top story when you respond strongly is another step towards healing. The top story here being feeling betrayed by other’s response. What’s the next level down? You may or may not be ready to ask that, and that’s more than okay.
    walk in beauty, dear one.

  • ☼Illuminary☼

    I am trying to understand ,
    so please don’t take offense.
    But the folks who are freaking out and getting upset with your inner kid, the you that has all these bruises and scars,
    are these NOT the people who caused them in the first place?
    ( either through action or inaction?)

    • Little L

      Hi Fred….no, I have no contact with any of the folks still living who participated…these are my new family, struggling to understand this situation…and me, protecting myself against more harm even if its caused by plain fear or denial…I wouldn’t take offense at your questions…its sweet that you are concerned 🙂

  • ntexas99

    Betrayal can come in so many forms – when we feel the sting of betrayal, we invariably want to lash out and attack, as if doing so will push back the hot fire of confusion and disappointment that comes with the act of being betrayed. A rant is one the healthier ways to respond to the sting.

    Your post made me think of something that apparently still simmers in my consciousness, and only rises to the surface when a crack of recognition suddenly appears on the horizon. For years, my oldest brother used to chastise and scold and harass me about forgetting … as in, he used to say, over and over again, “Can’t you just let it go”????? Exasperated and angry, he would scowl at me and shake his head in disgust.

    This would be in response to me trying to work my way through some memory or another in relation to how my father molested and raped me and sold me to other men, or how my mother used to beat me to the point of broken bones and bleeding wounds left behind by sharp knives. For years I underwent some form of therapy or another, and during this time, I would sometimes talk to one of my siblings about what I was working through at the time, and without fail, I always received the same response from my brother. A very angry, “Can’t you just let it go”.

    I remember feeling so betrayed by him. His failure to acknowledge my right to work through the residual issues left behind by the abuse sometimes felt a little like being raped all over again. He violated my right to work towards healing, simply by his refusal to meet me halfway. He never did get around to opening the door to any discussion regarding my abusive past, and eventually, of course, I learned to simply accept that he was a flawed human being that was incapable of providing the support that I was so desperately seeking from him. I learned to find support in other places, and I learned to forgive him for his inability to reach out in my direction.

    Ironically, many many many years later, he moved to another country, and even though we hadn’t spoken in more than ten years, suddenly one day I received an email from him, and even more surprising was that it was entirely about him trying to deal with some residual issues from having grown up in a house filled with violence and abuse.

    I know … you’re thinking I seized my chance and threw it back in his face, right? I had the perfect opportunity to reflect back to him all the many times he told me, “Can’t you just get over it already”? Then I could sit back on my heels and watch as his eyes clouded over with the same feeling of betrayal and pain that I had experienced way too many times because of his harsh words to me. Pay back is a bitch.

    Of course, that’s not what happened. Instead, I gently responded to him with as much tenderness and love as I could, and lavished generous doses of understanding and empathy in his direction, until he finally somehow managed a virtual sigh of relief in recognition that he was talking to someone who really understood his dilemma.

    Does that make me the hero in this story? After all, any good story has a hero, and since I’m the one writing the story, I might as well be the one wearing the shiny cape, right? Sorry to say that my sparkling neon halo doesn’t exist, and I’m certainly no angel. I just happened to have had the benefit of time, and after applying my own basic humanity to the equation, I never had any other option than to provide support to someone sorely in need of understanding.

    Although, to be fair, I have to say that some part of me did a nasty little version of the happy dance inside as I was sing-songing the words over and over in my head (where he couldn’t hear them, of course) – “Can’t you just get over it , already?” Ha ha ha ha … who is laughing now, brother? Not so funny now, is it? But thankfully, I managed to keep all those comments stuck in my head, and although my fingers were itching to spill them across the keyboard, I refrained from doing so.

    Thanks for finally giving me the chance to say it out loud.

    Betrayal really hurts, but if we give ourselves enough time, eventually we do find a way to let it go and forgive. And, if we’re really lucky, we actually get a chance to NOT return the favor.

    Thanks again for this post, and sorry I hijacked your comments with the equivalent of a blog post. Apparently your words really struck a nerve, and I went off on my own version of ranting and raving. Whoops.

    • Little L

      This is awesome…you can hijack my posts anytime! I smiling, laughing, getting pissed all at once over here…Since I’m running out the door, I have to make this short but absolutely had to comment before I left…

      Yes, you are the hero but I would have done the happy dance too!…in fact, I’m kinda doing it for you over here…and on a more somber note, take all the time you need, this is what I hope we can all do here is finally process and unload this stuff…whew girl, that was great!

      • ntexas99

        Thanks for your comment, Little L, and sorry again about that insanely long comment on your post. Turns out I decided to actually post it as a blog entry on my blog today, (with a few subtle tweaks and little bit more added to the end).

        Reading your blog post today really helped me unload a burden I didn’t even realize I was still carrying.

        That, my friend, makes YOU the hero. (big smile)

      • Little L

        No apologies necessary, obviously I love a good rant….I just know we are all gonna figure this out together…piece by piece…

  • Gotta Love Webster « Invisible Shadow

    […] by surprise.  Even after I wrote the blog entry, (which was really a copy of a comment I left on someone else’s blog), the whole idea of it lingered around a while, continuing to simmer on the back burner.  I […]

    • Little L

      Hi Invisible Shadow…I read your blog post…awesome, love how you write…you seriously hit a nerve with your definition thing, i think i hear another rant coming on…if you are on facebook, send a friend request to Rescuing Little L 🙂

  • jeffssong

    🙂 Good post! And if you’ve read any of ours – you know: we aren’t all “light and rainbows and dancing unicorns”. We are brutally honest at all times (voted most honest outta 480 employees). And good at getting to ‘roots’. We like it – and your style. Unfortunately, ‘we’ have problems with wandering, LOL!

    You made many excellent points in your post. I wish I could respond to all. You are so right about the differences between a physical vs. mental disorder. We were “1013’ed” this last summer (involuntary commital) – and learned that EVERYTHING is different: you have no rights, the cops can do anything – you a ‘presumed guilty’ (of being insane) – and held until you prove you are not . . . just terrible things.

    The way “I” look at it, if someone has a problem with us – then it’s THEIR problem, and not OURS – and we will tell them that right then and there sometimes!!! (“What – do you have a problem with me/that?” – and if they say yes, then nod, look, and tell them: “Well then – it’s YOUR problem and not mine. Why don’t you go and fix it?”) You’d be surprised – it works sometimes.

    But the best thing is to teach them – teaching people ‘about this thing’ and why it’s not “all bad” – and indeed, can be a wonderful thing – is big on my mind. “We’ve” been ‘coming out’ slowly – LOL, like a turtle sticking its head from its shell, waiting for the big ‘whack!’ upside the head – and have found most people can be somewhat understanding of this ‘diagnosis’ (which is what “I” call it: it is NOT a disease or disorder, it is a diagnosis unless something goes wrong). Just another way of ‘being’ . . .

    Forgiving: I’ve learned to forgive all – which means ‘poof!’! – all those ‘abuser anger issues’ went away – and a lot of the ‘child abuse shame’ (of having been molested) are gone. Can’t explain in short order; what can I say. But I forgave them for being human – forgiving myself at the same time (including ‘all our parts’ learning to forgive – and love – one another – instead of fighting on and on) . . . worked kinda good on ‘our’ and ‘my’ behalf; even our wife says we’ve done some good . . .

    Oh well – long comment – subscribed – love the way you can ‘keep on topic’ – unlike ourselves, LOL!!! Whut can I say: just a ramblin’ man at heart . . . and a ramblin’ child . . .

    Until later,
    Jeff & Friends

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