Category Archives: Sprituality

My story.

Girl

It was suggested to me by a long time reader that allowing my story to be told might help reach others. I have hesitated doing this is the past because I just felt the details were not really important. That said? I do agree with this reader and have decided to share some of my story (minus the nitty-gritty) with you today. I do hope it helps you understand me better and I hope it reaches some of you so that you know that you are not alone in this fight for your survival.
I am going to leave my siblings out of this story because I do not feel it is fair to assume how they felt or what they went through personally. If there is a day that the ones still living wish to share with you? I’d happily post it.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there was a princess.
Scratch that. This is no fairy tale. 😉

I was born at the beginning of 1970 in a winter storm. A fitting beginning for the life that would follow. A winter storm of sorts that lasted decades.
I was born to a family that was quite wealthy and had every available support to raise a child as easily as possible. From other family members, I have been told about how my father was thrilled by my birth but my mother hated me from day one. Probably long before day one in reality. I am sure she viewed her pregnancy as a real inconvenience.

My beginning could have been a good one but right from the very start of my life here on this earth, my mother would begin making choices that would seal my fate and my father would not do anything to stop her.
Their first decision? My name.
Heather was the name of a girl whom my father and mother hated. She’d chased my father around and my mother hated her for it. This is the person whom I was named after. Someone they hated.

I have a few memories of my early childhood but none are good. From 0-4, all I recall is being afraid. Many years ago my grandmothers both told me stories of how I was left in filth and ignored while my father was at work. I was also told that I would scream and beg others to take me with them as they left our house or begged babysitters to keep me. That is just not normal behaviour for a young child. Wanting to leave with anyone rather than staying home with their mother.

Starting at age 4, I was given a gift of new underwear for my birthday. Not the best gift for a 4-year-old but they were a tiny hint as to what that birthday would mean. I would be sold to men who liked little girls and my hair was cut so short that I also looked like a boy and could satisfy men who liked boys as well. This was not a rare occurrence. It was done as often as there was demand and there was ALWAYS a demand.

It was also around this time that I learned to mistrust what people said vs. what they actually did. My mother could be the sweetest, kindest, most gregarious person to anyone on the outside but then a monster behind closed doors. It was her perfect “outside face” that allowed others to believe that she was trying her best but that I was a child with some real issues. She convinced therapists, social workers, a child psychiatrist, doctors, teachers and strangers that the problem was set squarely on my own shoulders. I was the one who hurt myself and then lied with crazy stories to cover it all up. This lasted for my entire life with her. It still goes on to this day! She is perfect while I have mental illnesses.

There was a lot of sexual and physical abuse but even worse than that was the sadistic nature of the emotional abuse. I was made to believe that I was only sold to men (and some women) because I liked it and caused it to happen. If there were bruises or broken bones? I had obviously done something to deserve that. If I got ill. that was my fault too. That woman (my mother) made sure that my self-esteem was now only low but non-existent. I felt less than human and not truly worthy of any kindness. This is the part of her abuse that is the hardest to get over or heal from. I feel like I am worthy and then someone talks about me or doesn’t like me and I am plunged deeply right back in to feeling absolutely worthless. My brain knows that I am a good person, that I give a lot of myself to helping others, that I am smart, and have a lot going for me but my heart still says “You don’t deserve any of it and you are just as worthless as you always were”.

I did try to speak out and I tried to reach for help but these efforts were always met with my mothers wrath. I recall being made to eat a “poop” hot-dog in a bun. If I was going to spread “filthy lies”, I was going to eat filth as well. After a certain number of times where I reached out to ask for help and having that come back at me with a vengeance, I gave up. I still find it hard today to speak up about it because my automatic feeling that accompanies this openness is fear.

There are so many details and situations that I could discuss but I am sure you get the idea by now? It wasn’t just a hard life. It was a life filled with monsters that never hid under my bed. They just stayed out in the open and did as they wished with me as often as they wished it. I many ways this abuse started before I was born and still continues today. 46 years of situations and stories that would make your blood curdle.
If you read my list of Helpers from last week, there are a few more details of which Helpers came in to being and when/why.

I wish I could say that I grew up, moved away and never had to deal with my mother again but I moved 3,500kms to get away from her and 2 months later, she was living 1km down the street from me in her newly purchased home.
I have not spoken to her in over 11 years yet she still speaks about me in public to anyone who will lend her an ear. She tells them lies and makes me look horrible. We live in a very small community and there are many people who have never even met me whom hate me with passion. I’ve been called a liar, a bitch, a whore, a selfish daughter and worse by these people who just believe the words my mother shares. Supposed grownups and mostly “church friends” of my mothers. I really try hard not to let it bother me but she has even gotten to my own children and 2 of my husbands extended family members. The words said under hushed breaths make me want to just run away again and never look back… or just give up and leave this world altogether. It is hard not to taint the good that I have created in my life with that poison. I am only human. It is hard to be hated and even harder to be hated for something you never were.

Sadly it is not only my monster/mother that drags me down like this. My father takes part as well. He is quieter about it but when discussions of how my brother abused me surfaced, it was his voice on the other end of the phone calling me a sociopath. In my heart I know that he believes every word and knows the truth but he is unwilling to face it and it seems that hurting me instead is acceptable to him. I recently cut off all contact with him and I know it was necessary for my future mental health but I feel like a 46 years old orphan who never knew what it was like to have a mom or dad.

I’ve felt very lonely lately. I miss those whom have loved and seen die by suicide due to their PTSD. I ache for my murdered son. My heart has cement poured all over it while my living children find their way home. I really miss the nurse I felt close to while in hospital and the doctor whom I got to know before his sabbatical. Now my current therapist is retiring in a couple of months and I must say goodbye to her as well. I know these supports are not meant to be lifelong friendships and I am good with that but it doesn’t make missing them any easier. These people got me, they understood me, They believed me and truly heard me. They made me a better person. I am just tired and I am trying to find and keep my spark. I will find it again. I have faith in that.

I’ve had some comments about how I do not share negative stories on my blog but I feel that my intentions are perhaps a bit misunderstood. I do not keep things positive because I want people to think life is just all great and I am flying high. I keep it positive because I have dealt with and still deal with more negative in the run of a day that some people experience in a lifetime. By remaining positive myself, I feel like I am adding to the good in the world and that somehow negates some of the bad. It takes a lot of effort on a daily basis to live a good and positive life but I almost always feel that it is worth the effort.

This blog is very important to me. YOU are important to me. When someone says that they heard what they needed to hear or got what they needed to get because of a blog I wrote, it helps me add to the balance of positive in my life. Thank you for that.

If there is more you wish to know, just ask. If it is too personal to be on the blog, I will respond with a private email.
All the best to each of you. ❤

Kind Words CopyHand drawn by Heather. For sale. $20
Buy an 8×10 “Be Gentle”

Religion

I can’t honesty believe that I am going to even try to write a post about religion. Stepping on some toes is probably inevitable but please try to understand that this is a HUGE area of confusion for so many people with PTSD. I think it affects others greatly too but I have watched struggle after struggle amongst my friends with PTSD and it seem to be an area of near total confusion.

My own background… I was born and raised Catholic and saw the religion ignored, then flaunted and also used as a weapon from my mother but watched my grandmother use it for love, light and personal peace.
I will not go in to detail about the abuses I suffered because of the Church but by the age of 18, I left for good and never went back.
I wandered in to a Pentecostal Church at 18 and felt very much at home. I’ve seen some Pentecostal Churches on TV that seem quite extreme. This church was not like that at all. I raised my 3 children in that Church and felt a great deal of comfort there.
I walked in to church one day after more than a decade at that church and suddenly nothing felt right. I recall a nice woman saying “God Bless You” and I cringed. I have no way of explaining this sudden shift except to say that this was the same time that my PTSD began to rear its ugly head.

The words that had comforted me for almost 3 decades were suddenly triggering. My ability to accept many ideas began to get tested. Nothing made sense any more. I started to see all the negative that is done in the name or organized religion and could no longer separate it as I had before.  The worst part of it all was to lose the feeling of comfort that I always felt in church. Now I felt threatened.

I felt VERY alone for a long time. I was worried that admitting how I felt would make people assume I was suddenly rooting for the devil or that I was possessed. I never really discussed it much at all until sitting with 28 others with Complex PTSD and hearing them one by one admit that they felt the same way. There were a few who went to Church regularly even while in the program but I kept in touch with 2 of them and they have since left their churches as well.

The weird this was that none of us were happy about this shift. We missed that feeling of comfort. We missed the community. We miss the easy answers where everything makes sense because of a special book.

PTSD messes with a lot of things but I do not feel that many of us expect it to mess with our beliefs. It does not ALWAYS happen but there is a huge percentage of the PTSD community that struggle terribly with this.
I do not really feel that the problem is religion or a church itself but needing to find a way to fulfill our need for a spiritual connection in a way that does not trigger us. A need to remove people in our lives who make religion feel threatening. Those who choose to condemn us for wavering also need to be weeded out.

Spirituality is a really important part of most people’s lives. That should not mean that they need to go sit in a church if that is not a comfort to them. Forcing the issue almost always backfires. There are many ways to fulfil that need for spirituality while wading through these messy feelings. So what is the difference between religion and spirituality? I am still in the middle of a puddle of muck regarding all of this so I will give the floor to an opinion that I respect.
I just hope that those of you who thought you were alone will now see that it is not a you thing. It is a C-PTSD thing.

This collection of explanations was written by Kasim Khan whom you can Google and find him almost anywhere including Facebook.

There are no rules to Spirituality.

As opposed to following a specific ideology or a set of rules spirituality simply lets you follow your heart, it encourages you to listen to your intuition and do what is right for yourself and others around you. It truly sets you free to be the best you can be and to be a good person with no promise of punishment or reward. The reward is simply your own inner happiness.

Spirituality is based only on love and not fear.

Dotted throughout religion there is lots of fear. Fear of the consequences of your actions, fear of what might happen after you die if you don’t live your life accordingly. Well, with spirituality there is only Love, it encourages you to focus all of your energy only on the good, and to act only based on love. This is a key point for me as any choice made out of fear will not be good for your soul. Whereas decisions made out of love will empower you, make you braver and feed your soul. It shows you how to stand despite being afraid, how to move on doing what you feel is right despite the consequences that may come.

Religion tells you the truth – Spirituality lets you discover it.

As opposed to telling you in black and white how the universe was created and why we are here Spirituality lets you discover these questions and answers for yourself. It empowers you to find your own truth in all things and sets no limits to how deep you can go in understanding all there is to know.

Religion separates, Spirituality unites.

Through our world there are many religions and they all preach that their story is the right story. Spirituality sees the truth in all of them and unites them because the truth is same for all of us despite our differences and uniqueness. It focuses on the quality of the divine message they share and not on the differences in details of the story they speak.

The difference with Karma and Punishment.

Instead of talking about punishment or the threat of hell Spirituality only talks about Karma. It’s the Law of Attraction, you get what you give. Simple.

Walk your own path.

Instead of ancients stories about angels and Gods, spirituality encourages you to make your own path and create your own stories. This sets you on a journey of enlightenment and self-discovery to which the only limits can be set by yourself. It encourages you to trust your heart and follow it wherever it may lead you.

If you look at religion it all stems from a deep spirituality. Jesus and Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) for example all had deeply profound spiritual journeys before they embarked on their own journeys. So I do believe that all religion has truth in it, and that many people can be both truly beautiful souls and religious at the same time but ultimately anything that separates you or creates division is not good for your soul and definitely not good for the greater good of mankind.

Spirituality reminds us that we are not separate, there are no borders, no races and no cultural divides. All that is true is that we are all one and the only constant is Love.

 PeaceOnEarth