Phrases we’ve come up with through the years which have helped us. Hopefully they can help some times. Some you can just say with a wry grimace and a smile while you’re gritting your teeth at things . . .
“You can’t be happy if you’re mad.”
(There are some who would disagree . . . like my mom.)
“The only thing anyone truly wants is to be happy.”
(We learned a long time ago motive behind everything people do . . .)
How you feel depends upon how you perceive (or have been taught to perceive). “Good”, “bad”, “evil”, “gross”, etc. are in large part determined by the people and the society around you – it’s not something you came up with yourself. You were taught these perceptions, these ’emotions’, by watching and listening to those around you. You can change these things – turning ‘bad things’ into good – sometimes. You have to be careful. You can go too far in such things – such as suddenly deciding that eating people, Jeffrey Dahmer style, is a “good thing” to do . . . (“I’ll have a little brains with my brunch, please . . . thank you very much!” and wild eyed type of grinning . . .)
BUT IF you can change how you perceive those things, you can change how you feel about them. Professionally this is called cognitive therapy. And it applies to child abuse issues as well. REMEMBER: If you cannot change the event, then you must change your perceptions of the event. Change them so that they don’t disturb you any more – or at least a lot less. Who knows? You maybe even find some value in them. After all, they made you who you were and are now, today. Can YOU understand a child abuse victim’s issues? How that child feels? Or how about me? Can YOU understand how it must feel to have been an abused child, confused by love, tricked by this teenager and sex . . . that sort of thing? Or having to beg for it sometimes? . . . how that must ‘feel’? If you can – well then. I think you see the value in our issues (our mutually shared ones, if you ask me and understood that well). For our feelings lay within our perceptions – change those and you can change your heart and mind . . .
So unable to change the event, we have changed our perceptions of it. Yes it was hard – but it taught us simple lessons in life . . .
“If you can’t afford it, make do, do without – or learn to make one.”
That was the key trick: LEARN TO MAKE ONE. And the first trick you had to learn was about teaching yourself. So . . .
“Teach a child to teach themselves and you will have taught them the most valuable lesson of all . . .” The key? Teach them to read, show them the value of reading – and then stand back. Tell them that there are “movies in there” (the books – the fiction ones) – and when they want to build or do something – take them to the library and have them ‘check out’ the reference books. For better skills building, do it right: No checking out of “how-to” books (aside from basic tools) – but instead learning to learn it right there on the spot – with a pencil and notes and things. Encourage them to draw from the illustrations (teaching art skills – and some design skills they may want later on) . . . this all comes from our ‘training’ – which was very effective, BTW (we are skilled at many, many kinds of things. Many kinds.)
“Children are special. Treat them that way.”
“If a child wants to have sex with you – just say ‘no’.” (This to any pedophiles. From a groomed child – and on behalf of a groom kid.)
Also to pedophiles: “If you love him or her that much – then love them enough NOT to. Don’t place that yoke of shame upon them.”
“TREAT YOUR INNER CHILD THE WAY YOU WOULD ANY ABUSED CHILD WHO CAME UP TO YOU AND ASKED FOR HELP.”
Remember that one: it’s important – and important in regards to changing your perceptions about your self-shame – or your shame of him/her.
But even in the best of times sometimes things get desperate . . .
“When you are hopeless and in despair, you can hope for some hope some day . . .”
(This thought kept us from suiciding on out . . . for day and night on end.)
“Nothing really matters – and what if it did?”
(long term issues for us in there . . .)
“What’s it gonna matter in a day or two or three? Or even a year? Think about it before you go and get mad . . . really.”
“It doesn’t matter what you believe – just believe in something.” (Advice from an old friend).
“Science never said God is dead or that he doesn’t exist. People do.”
“We hope that that light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train . . .”
“Life can always get worse. So don’t dwell on it.”
“Worry never solved a thing.” (True – think of all the things you’ve worried about . . . now: how many of them came ‘true’?)
Or your selves, as the case may be. You’re gonna need all the love in the world you can give . . . which leads us to one of the things which can be wonderful about DID . . .
“Love yourself . . . as you would love someone else, my friend.” Especially when it comes to a child . . . and the one you were . . . and are within . . .
Jeff & friends