Remembering Favorite Memories instead of Re-living Bad Memories


Spunky little silver kelpie, 20 days old.

Spunky little silver kelpie, 20 days old.

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During trauma recovery and the road to healing for dissociative trauma survivors, there is so very much focus on bad memories, abuse memories, body memories, painful memories, icky memories, difficult memories, vacant memories, your memories, their memories, nobody claims them memories….

Of course, this memory work is part of healing, and resolving the conflicts and heartbreak as much as possible is crucial.  I understand that.  However, it’s about as much fun doing memory work as it is going to the dentist to address chronic tooth pain.  While the end result is positive, the treatment is painful, uncomfortable, difficult, and sometimes excruciating.

So as we are coming to the end of 2015, let’s focus in a different direction.  I know you know you’ve been hurt.  I know and I know that this pain consumes you, so very much of your every single day.  And most of you — well, probably all of you — have had new experiences in 2015 that were still painful, heartbreaking, stressful, and sad.  I sure have.  No year has been perfect for me, and I doubt it has been for you.

Ouch!  Enough of that hard stuff.

So for awhile — just a little while — let’s take the time to think about something positive.  I know, for a fact, that something good has happened for you this year.  It doesn’t matter how big or small, but I can guarantee you that something good has happened at some point in time this year.

Encourage your mind and every single everyone in your system remember the good times too!

  • What are some of the good memories you will keep from 2015?
  • What is something you would like to remember?
  • What happened this year that you are glad it happened?
  • Did you have a “this is the best thing ever!” moment this year?
  • What moments brought smiles to your heart?

 

I’ll share some of the happy and positive highlights from my 2015, in order of occurrence.

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Joe Bob, at a few months old, still figuring out how to hold his ears upright.

Joe Bob, at a few months old, still figuring out how to hold his ears upright.

This little dog, Joe Bob, has brought hours and hours of joy into my life this year.  He definitely helped to make happy days happen in 2015!  He has his own personality, his favorite games of tug o’war, his funny barks, and gentle hugs.  Thank you, Bobbsy!

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I had the fortunate opportunity to spend time in an incredibly beautiful rainforest this year.  Nature, in all it’s splendor and beautiful colors brings joy to my everyday.  I would not enjoy life as much in 2015 without having such natural beauty to see.

Beautiful Rainforest

Rainforest Flowers

Oh, and I got to meet some very interesting birds this year!  It may seem weird, but yes, birds have their own personality too.  I spent quite some time with a wild peacock and his two girlfriends.  They were entertaining!

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Wild indigo blue peacock still growing out his tail feathers.

Wild indigo blue peacock still growing out his tail feathers.

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Of course, meeting my new little grand daughter made highlights in 2015.    All babies truly are innocent, and some little faces are just too precious!  It’s a joy to see a little tiny new life loved and cared for.  If only, if only, if only all parents were kind to their children…..Precious Brayleigh, 3.5 months old

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Of course, you all know my new puppies have made the list for 2015… No further explanation needed there!

These pictures represent just a very few of my good memories this year.  I could post ooooodles more.  But I’m interested in hearing what was good in your year?

What did you enjoy in 2015?

And three cheers for a better 2016!

Warmly,

Kathy

Copyright © 2008-2016 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

 

Happy Holiday Greetings, and Ending those Unhappy Holidays


At two weeks old, little silver kelpies look like little silver bells.

At two weeks old, my little silver kelpies look like little silver bells. Or little pretty rats, lol.

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Happy Holiday greetings to all of you.

I hope you have had a great holiday season so far.  My hope is that you are making these days as beautiful and special for yourself as you can.  There are lots of ways to provide Christmas cheer for your system….

Please read through this blog if you don’t know what I’m talking about!

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At 2 weeks of age, these puppies still had their eyes unopened. They will be able to see soon, very soon, but not yet!

At 2 weeks of age, these puppies still had their eyes unopened. They will be able to see soon, very soon, but not yet!

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Holidays are not always fun times for people who have experienced severe family dysfunction and chronic abuse.  It can be as heartbreaking to feel family pain, rejection, chaos, and conflict as an adult as it was as a child.

You might have hoped relationships could be better by now…..

And been sorely disappointed when they weren’t.

Man!  That still smarts!!  Hurts!!

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Precious little face. So fresh and new to the world.

Precious little face. So fresh and new to the world.

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So please know I’m thinking of you.

And thinking of the family troubles and struggles that continue year, after year, after year….

Please remember, that the best way to help your hurting heart is to step further away from the people that hurt you.  Be willing to let go of the old hurters in your life, and find the courage to build new relationships of positive, healthy, kind, and cheerful significance.

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Slowly learning to walk, and starting to separate from the pack.....

Slowly learning to walk, and starting to separate from the pack…..

 

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Do what you can do for yourself — and for your insiders — and with your healthy relationships to create something unique and memorable for your system this holiday season.

Start separating more and more, and more some more, from the people who hurt you.  Then get creative and brave enough to build new relationships with those that don’t.

Hard choices…. Very hard. I completely get it.  This is not an easy task.

But there are ways to have happy holidays!  And happy unholidays too.  You can have lots and lots of days that don’t have to be filled with repeated injuries from people that hurt you.

Be brave enough to decide enough is enough, and that you don’t have to comply with abusers anymore.

No more unhappy holidays for you — you can do better!

Warmly,

Kathy

Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

 

10 Reasons Why it’s Hard to Leave Perpetrators and Abusers


Domestic Violence

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Leaving the perpetrators.

Separating from the bad guys.

Putting distance between yourself and the person / persons who are hurting you, no matter who they are.

This is a huge topic in the treatment process for most dissociative trauma survivors.  Safety.  Obtaining safety from the people who are hurting your mind, body, soul, and spirit.

Dissociative trauma survivors who had an entire childhood entangled with abusive perpetrators learned to stay with, comply with, and obey offenders.  These trauma survivors were clearly taught by their abusers not to leave — ever.  Ouch!

Survivors of domestic violence and chronic family abuse often also spend years in the same home as their perpetrator-offender-abusers.

We all know safety is a good thing — something we are supposed to want and need.

So why is it hard to separate from someone who hurts you?  Here are a few reasons.  There are more….

 

  1.  The offender is a person of significance in your life.

It’s easier to leave a complete random “bad guy” when they are a stranger to you, but when the offender is someone important in your life — a father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, uncle, aunt, close neighbor, long-term friend — then it is much more complicated. The more important that person has been to you, the harder it will be to leave them.

 

2.  The offender might be someone who you love or have cared deeply for.

Yes, it is very possible, and even common, to have tender feelings for someone who hurts you.  This creates a giant conflict inside, of course, and it might feel like a love / hate relationship.  It can be quite emotionally difficult and painful to leave a perpetrator when there have been years of love, or connection, or deep bonding built through a long expanse of time.

 

3.  You may very well feel very tied to the offender on several different levels.

Your perpetrator may be involved in your life in several ways.  They might be your close family member, your friend, your financial support, and your home repair / car mechanic all rolled up into one person.  The more roles the offender has in your life, the harder it is to leave them.

 

4.  You might not have the resources on your own to separate from your abuser.

Do you have your own home away from the abuser?  Do you have your own vehicle or a mode of transportation?  Do you have an income that is completely separate from the abuser’s income?  If you leave your offender, do you have a safe place to be?  Will you be out in the streets, homeless, and penniless?  The fewer resources you have that belong only to you, the harder it will be to leave the offender.

 

5.  You may have compassion, understanding, and tolerance for your offender’s health problems, and / or mental health problems.

Many offenders come loaded with additional health and mental health struggles of their own.  For survivors tangled in deep bonding with their perpetrators, their genuine care and concern for the health and welfare of the offender person may make it more difficult to leave the situation.  Will he stay on insulin properly?  Will he take his medicine in a regular and helpful manner?  Will she eat nutritionally?  Will the offender be able to function?

 

6.  When you leave, your offender may be at a high risk for suicide or destructive self harm.

Some offenders struggle from such deep emotional turmoil and mental health troubles of their own, that losing you may leave them more vulnerable to self harm, including suicide in response.  This is NOT to say, ever, that this is the survivors fault or responsibility.  The offender is completely responsible for their own choices, including suicide or self harm.  However, this is a strong statement of reality for some people, and something the survivor may need to acknowledge, wrestle with, and resolve within themselves prior to leaving their perpetrator.

 

7.  You may not recognize abuse as abuse, or the offender as an offender.

For some survivors of chronic, long term abuse, the abuse has become so massively normal to them, that it’s not even seen as abuse.  Doesn’t this happen everywhere?  Don’t all families do this?  The answer may very well be no, and absolutely not!  Many survivors of long-term abuse first need extensive counseling, therapy, and emotional assistance in order to see and understand what is healthy behavior, in order to be educated about leaving perpetrators.

 

8.  When you have hope that the offender will stop being so abusive.

This is a difficult scenario, as once the survivor is emotionally entangled in a relationship with an abuser they have genuinely cared for, there might be hope, or a belief, or reason to expect the abuser will  change their offending ways.  Many an offender has been known to cycle around and around through the cycle of abuse, apologizing at certain points, but not ever truly making lasting change.  Other offenders do begin to understand their behavior is wrong and work hard to correct this.  Please be careful in discerning those who are using this approach to manipulate versus those who are genuinely involved in getting help to improve their behavior.

 

9.  You may feel too fearful to leave the perpetrator.

Perpetrators can be very dominating, controlling, violent, and dangerous people.  They ARE willing to hurt you.  They have already proven that, many times over.  Your perpetrator may have clearly threatened or be able to cause serious harm to you, or your loved ones if you leave.  Your fear may be very well warranted and well grounded in reality, and it may very well be necessary to create a detailed safety plan / exit strategy before you attempt to leave the situation.  In order to truly get out of an abusive relationship, you might have to plan ahead, and find workable solutions to address the fears you experience.

 

10.  You may feel too alone, too powerless, too small, too vulnerable to leave your perpetrator.

If you are in an abusive relationship, and if you are being hurt or threatened, please know that there are many helpful counselors and therapists, and community agencies available to help assist you in making the decision to leave your perpetrator.  You might need therapy and counseling to strengthen your internal resources, to become stronger in defending yourself from abuse, and to recognize how ongoing violence and abuse is negatively impacting your life.

You don’t have to stay connected to an offender.

You don’t have to live a life filled with violence and destruction.

You don’t have to be inappropriately touched or looked at by family members.

You don’t have to be sexually abused, physically abused, spiritually abused, verbally abused, or emotionally abused.

You deserve a healthy life full of freedom and goodness too.  Just because you are used to the darkness of perpetrators, that does not mean you have to stay attached to them.

The choice is yours, and no matter what the perps taught you, you CAN leave them, and you do NOT deserve a life of abuse.

When you are ready to go….. There are people who can help you.

Live your life, be happy, and be safe!

Warmly,

Kathy

 

Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

Brand New Silver Christmas Puppies!


The first five silver kelpies born on December 11, 2015.

The first five silver kelpies born on December 11, 2015.

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Oh, I’m so excited to announce that I gave a brand new litter of little Christmas puppies!

They are all silver and white, and were born with bright pink noses and toeses!  See their pretty little ears and their perfect little faces?  They even gave waggling tails!  Do you see the little white tips on their tails?

I’ll let these pictures from their first hours of birth do the talking…….

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This is the second pup born, just seconds after his birth. It's a boy!

This is the second pup born, just seconds after his birth at 2:50 am.  It’s a boy!

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This is the third little puppy born. This one is a girl, born at 4 am.

This is the third little puppy born. This one is a girl, born at 4 am.

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Pinky with her first three puppies.... Turns out... There were many more yet to come...

Pinky with her first four puppies…. Turns out… There were many more yet to come…

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While waiting for the birth of her next puppy, Pinky would already tend to and care for the pups born first.

While waiting for the birth of her next puppy, Pinky would already tend to and care for the pups born first.

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Newborn puppies!  Such precious, precious little beings….

Enjoy!  I know I sure will… :)

Warmly,

Kathy

 

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Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

4 Happy Thanksgiving Thankful For’s


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Sweet baby puppy. So tiny and precious.

Sweet baby puppy. So tiny and precious.

Today, in the USA, is Thanksgiving Day.
I have so very much to be thankful for..
Much more than 4, more like 4444444….!

I pray your day is filled with kindness, beauty, laughter, and generosity.

Happy Thankful Day to you.

Warmly,
Kathy

Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

Discussing Dissociation

Happy Thanksgiving!

For fun, I’m picking a few pictures that show you some things I am thankful for.

1.  Things that are beautiful. Nature is so incredible.

I'm thankful for things that are beautiful. I’m thankful for all the incredible flowers in the world. Flowers are just so amazing!

2.  Memories that make me smile every time I remember them.

Maizy! There are some pretty ponies behind you!  Look, Maizy, look! Maizy! There are some pretty ponies behind you! Look, Maizy, look!

3.  Funny, unexpected moments that create happiness.

Unexpected happiness, a moment that creates joy when you least Exocet it. Unexpected happiness, a moment that creates joy when you least expect it.

4.  Animals, pets, lovable creatures, and beautiful critters.

Pinky, the puppy in the videos, loves to climb trees. Isn't she beautiful?! Pinky, the puppy in the videos, loves to climb trees. Isn’t she beautiful?!

What four things are you thankful for????

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

I hope you feel some happiness today.

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Warmly,

Kathy

Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

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If You Could Ask a Sex Offender a Question…


Hi Everyone,  Handle with Care

If you could ask a sex offender a question — any question — what would you ask them?

I have the privilege of interviewing an experienced sex offender therapist this weekend.  I want to ask this person all kinds of questions, and I thought I might get some good ideas from you all.  I won’t be speaking with any sex offenders directly — just with a mental health professional who has years of experience working to promote healing and accountability in the offender population.

So…. what would you like to know?  What questions come to your mind?

What would you need to hear in order to feel more at peace, and more resolution, and more healing from the trauma you experienced?

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Warmly,

Kathy

Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

2 New Discussing Dissociation FaceBook Pages


Hello Everyone,

Kathy with Maizy. :)

Kathy with Maizy. :)

So after nearly seven years of writing in this blog, I’ve finally opened a FaceBook page for Discussing Dissociation.  I know, I know… I’m SOOOOO slow sometimes!!

And, there is also a DiscussingDissociation.com page as well.  Not quite sure how I got two separate pages, but there you go.  Double the fun!

Anyway, all of you are welcome to stop by and either “Friend” me on there, or “Like” the page, if you do, of course.  Both sites are all new, and have a lot of expanding to do, but please come on by anyway!

At the moment, I’m open to ideas and suggestions.  I’m adding pictures from the blog, and pictures of Maizy, and maybe I’ll get brave and add a few goofy pictures of me.  We’ll see….

Thank you again for reading here at Discussing Dissociation.  I appreciate you all!

Hope to see you over at FaceBook too!

Warmly,

Kathy

Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation

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Letting Outsiders talk with your Insiders?


This is one of my favorite videos. Love the beach shack, and the unexpected insight. Do you remember what it was?

Discussing Dissociation

From the inside looking out... From the inside looking out…

Hello Everyone,

I found this fun little beach shack to use as a metaphor for talking to insiders within a dissociative system.  I was recently asked if outside people should / could talk with the various insiders from a system of another person with DID. Dissociative Identity Disorder. DID/MPD. I have all kinds of thoughts about that question, so I took a few minutes to say a few things.

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Of course I have lots more thoughts on this topic, but that’s a start!

  • What do you think?
  • How would you answer that question?
  • Do you let your insiders talk to outside people?
  • What guidelines do you give your system?

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Warmly,

Kathy

The beach shack. This is outside..... The beach shack. This is outside…..

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Outside of the beach shack... Outside of the beach shack…

Looking outside from inside... Looking outside from inside…

The Beach Shack. How fun! The Beach Shack. How fun!

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For more videos about Dissociative…

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Understanding Dissociative Identity Disorder – From Separated Splitting to Safe Solidity


Discussing Dissociation

Dissociative Identity Disorder by CHoldsworth.deviantart.com Dissociative Identity Disorder by CHoldsworth.deviantart.com

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  • Do you feel like you can be very different people?
  • Do you have trouble remembering what happened through your week?
  • Do you have minimal memories of your childhood?
  • Do you feel a lot of conflict within yourself, and have unexplainable extremes in your behavior, thoughts, or attitudes?
  • Do you have conversations in your head, and do the voices in your head talk about you?

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Read on…. This article is for you.  And no, you are not crazy.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder (MPD) is an adaptive response to a very maladaptive environment. It develops in response to trauma severe enough that people can only handle the experience by mentally splitting themselves off from it.  A common thought becomes, “that’s not happening to me – it’s happening to somebody else.”  By forming other selves to handle traumatic situations, the…

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Beautiful Baby Girl


 

Beautiful Baby Girl

 

Hi Everyone,

I promise I won’t turn this blog into a Grandma Photo album, but you know… I had to post at least one!

She’s beautiful and healthy. A week old already.

Now I get to learn how to be a Grandma, oh my!  :)

New chapters in life — should be a fun challenge for everyone.

What’s new in your life this week?

Warmly,

Kathy

 

Copyright © 2008-2015 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation