It strikes me as I ‘recuperate’ from the intense experience of writing my last post that perhaps the greatest possible gift God gave my soul when He created me at my conception was this:  A RELENTLESS DETERMINATION TO BE MYSELF.


Any trauma and severe abuse survivor knows the experience of dissociation intimately – if not nearly continuously.

People who are not survivors like we are probably can – and does – take their own experience of self-in-the-world completely for granted.  Early trauma and abuse survivors (my bet) NEVER walk down this pathway.  We never were allowed by our life to do so in the beginning – hence we never will place our feet upon this smooth clear road to saunter our way through the valley dips and modest climbs that life can bring.


Saunter through life?  How many survivors get to saunter through even one half-hour segment of any given day of their lifetime?

No.  We were born facing nearly insurmountable challenges – and because we are still alive that means hence far we have surmounted them!

We are the extreme athletes, tough, resilient who are MOST relentlessly determined to be our self.

How I exercised this relentless determination through the first 18 years of my life shows up as I grow to know myself very silently.  I tried, I know I tried to speak my truth from the time I was a very, very little girl.  I see the testimony to that fact even in my very first sentences as Mother recorded them in my baby book.

Every time Mother psychotically attacked and brutalized me for something she IMAGINED I had done – inside of myself I knew and have NEVER lost sight of what really happened.  My vision was absolutely intact and clear.

But the more I tried to speak my truth, THE TRUTH to Mother, the worse she abused me.  Yes, by the time I reached my middle childhood I never opened my mouth to let my words sound.  I grew increasingly silent – until the silence belonged to Linda so loudly it drowned out even the silence of the frozen Alaskan wilderness which so often surrounded me.


I became so silent by the time I was 16 that I no longer even heard my own real voice all the way until I reached 30 – and the first cracks began to appear in the massive walls of silence I had lost myself within.  Looking backward I see that I had not actually lost myself.  I had lost my ability to reach through my own silence to communicate with myself.

All the fractured fragments that severe abuse-created dissociation forms in a survivor’s life do not eradicate the existence of a coherent self.  We just walk a different pathway toward recognizing and finding our own self.

I see in my mind the image of an Eagle’s nest.  Inside myself that nest is my own true home.  Sitting within the safe and secure confines of that magnificent nest I can view a spectacular scene of beauty.  What happened to me is that I so lost sight of this nest I not only could not find it by the time I was 30 — I forgot it had ever existed at all.

Who I am as I sit centered in my own reality which includes my great power of goodness I am in my body in that structurally sound, very well built nest that IS me-being-at-home-in-my-body-self in this world in this lifetime.


Inside myself from the moment I was conceived my soul made sure that nest was protected and NEVER violated or harmed in any way.  The more trauma I experienced, the more suffering I endured, the more troubles I had, the dimmer and darker the return pathway to that nest – and to my inner self — became.

I KNOW I lived centered in myself until I reached the age of 18.  What I know today is that leaving home and entering a big world I knew nothing about and was completely unprepared to live in (especially leaving Alaska!) so destabilized my ability to recognize myself during my frantic forward movements into growing into adulthood that I simply forgot how to remember who I was and how to return to my own self.


It was never ‘the call of the wild’ that created chasms in my ability to live within my own nest of my heart-soul.  It was ‘the call of modern civilization’ that overwhelmed my ability to silently be connected within my own self with my self — my self that I had so relentlessly fought to preserve against all odds from my first breath on earth.


Perhaps it is exactly because the only way I could maintain myself and my connection with myself growing up through horrendous turbulent chaos and violence was in my own inner universe of silence that I find interacting with ‘the world’ so utterly exhausting now.

Simply put, the truth is that at age 60 I am burned out!  How could I not be?  I am not complaining.  I am recognizing my own reality.  My resources have been spent and I have so little in reserve.  Quiet sustains me and does not drain me – even in my lonely hours when I crave a connection with humans that I will never truly acquire in this lifetime.

Peaceful calm eventually might be the only state of being my relentless determination to survive as myself allows me to experience without my feathers being ruffled and so messed up by the disturbing winds of ‘ordinary’ life that so easily threaten to toss me out of my nest.


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  1. I am fifty one years old and focus my life on raising my family and being the best I could be. As it neared for my youngest to leave the nest I began to focus on how my life was so fake and I could not pretend that everything was okay.

    I was allowing my ex to mentally abuse me thought out my whole marriage and in turn allowing my children to do the same. I had this thought that if I gave a hundred present and he did the same we lived happily ever after. Key word here is “If both”.

    I went to several counselor trying to find help but they gave up on me when I could not tell my ex my true feeling. They didnt seem to understand that he had a way to make it my it my fault. It was a defeating experience. A few years ago I found one that won’t gave up on me. And in one session tried to get me to say I liked me. After several moments of that not happening she tried to have me write it and I couldn’t. I could not lie to myself. It wasn’t me being stubborn but me being truthful to myself. I gave all those person that have hurt less hate than I gave myself.

    I was born in different country and learned the ABC in one night cause every time I made a mistake I was slap across the face. I can’t speak nor remember the language I was born with and this in turn makes it hard for me to pronounce words or write them correctly. I work as an aide in high school and elementary library and love to read but embarrassed myself often.

    Now that I finally find a answer to me being different a part of me wants to not even try anymore and to isolate myself. I have shared with my group of my finding and to some extend all suffer from RAD at one point or other. Did you ever experience this giving up feeling as you got in tune with yourself ? Thank you for sharing and researching what so many have no answer too.

  2. Lol, I always tell my two sons this; “mom’s brain is like a bunch of Christmas lights all tangled together, it’s so hard to untangle without breaking some of the pretty lights, so it takes, and the unraveling may not end perfectly.Sometimes I want to throw this messy bundle away and start all over again…sadly I just can’t boys, I’m stuck with this bundled up mess”AND part of me knows that my husband wants to start with a fresh set of lights, he gets so frustrated and angry trying to untangle my tangled up mess….I just want to love, laugh and feel, but I struggle.Sorry for rambling, I feel horrible today.

    Helen 😦

    • Go ahead and ‘ramble’ all you want to! Perfect place for it….. I am sorry for the HORRIBLE today! I am still cleaning house!! This is the longest I have been in one house (6 years) without leaving in my life – not moving, so gotta clean the OTHER way – with me still living here!!

      I am SO GLAD I am not entangled in a live-in relationship!!! OH MY AM I THANKFUL!!!


      • Yep, I get restless too.I really don’t want to own a home, I’d rather rent and live a gypsy lifestyle, maybe I’ll buy a huge army tent…lol.

        • Not sure if you’ve seen any of the homesteading pictures on here – but that’s exactly what we lived in!

  3. And, you do go through your life not really knowing who you are, it’s actually very unnerving.Sometimes when I walk by a mirror and actually catch a glimpse of myself..it’s startles me.The individual in the reflection doesn’t match up with the personality or person that is present in my head.It could be my protector, nurturer, my guide or the small child, I rarely see my core self ( a 35 year old women)…very, very unnerving to experience.I avoid mirrors at all cost.This makes it difficult to have any long lasting relationships, I don’t know who I am from one day to the next.It’s tough, my husband has lost all patience with me, he’d like to go with his life, ( I think I’m too confusing for him).

    • I NEVER look in a mirror if I don’t have to for putting on makeup (seldom) – and do so with not connection of feeling to the me in the mirror. I wonder if my hatred of having my picture taken is related?

      Any more of the feedback sessions???

      • And, most days I don’t “feel” 35.Looking in the mirror at a 35 year old women is very disturbing.When I do manage to find the courage to look in the mirror I glance out of the corner of my hands, ( my hands are usually covering my face)…I feel like a little girl most of the time, it’s kinda scary being me.I also avoid having my picture taken.My step son ( diagnosed RAD) HATES having his picture taken.He says, ” I just don’t feel like this is my picture. The guy in the picture is a goof and I’m not that guy”. Strange how we’ve somehow lost ourselves.Anyhow, yes I’m going in for my second neurofeedback session this week.I probably would benefit from have two sessions per week but my pocketbook and transportation issues prevent this.This is exciting, this treatment is revolutionary, I’m glad that I’m part of it.One thing the psychologist did mention to me during our hour long session was that things are going to change in my life, I’m going to have to let go of some unhealthy relationships….she said, “once you’re rewired and regulated you won’t bother with unhealthy people Helen, your brain will direct you towards success”.Yes, I see where the there is truth in what she says.My husband isn’t very regulated, his mother was very neglectful. It’s funny how we let ourselves down…it’s like we want to fail.Anyhow,after my first full session I felt was a sense of calm and control. Regardless of all the activity and racket going on outside my car I could sit in the front passenger seat without wiggling or biting my nails.I didn’t feel any threat or urgency….that’s an eye opener for me and, only after one half hour session.

        • Please refer to post just written – link presented here –

          Your set point – you are going to find that place of inner peaceful calm – that is SUPPOSED to be the center point in a body!!!

          Be FEARLESS in this regarding upcoming changes – they will all be GOOD!!!!!


          • I’m actually bracing myself for full self actualization. I will suffer some serious hardships but in the end I will be connected to others and myself. At least I can see the bigger picture, which is why I continue to move forward regardless of the the people or things I’m going to lose.

  4. I too like you learned very early on that silent was the way to survive. Unfortunately that always didn’t work. And now I say something and later I tend to question :should of I said that:, did that make me sound stupid, did I hurt that person by my words, and so now. It’s like I’m just too stupid to say or think the right things.
    Even as I type this I worry about what I’m saying and did I spell everything right. This is a lot of pressure to do everything right. So yes sometimes being silent is better but then I beat myself up when I don’t say something when I feel I should.
    Can you understand any of my thoughts ? I feel like a jumbo mess. Sorry.

    • Oh, yes, I surely DO understand what you are saying!!!! I wonder how old you are – not sure if you mentioned or not??

      I say this ’cause sometimes as I near age 61 — I think I sort of ‘split the difference’ — like ‘take the average’ of how well I can communicate along WITH how well someone else has the ability to be able to comprehend what ANYONE else is saying to them!!

      My parents were so abusively critical even of the grammar and the words I used as a child I didn’t ever want to speak — and yes, makes us self-conscious!!!!!

      But in the biggest picture, it’s not all that big a deal, I find — I am just one of over 7 BILLION people on this earth — and every single one of them has something to say just as I might. NOBODY in human form comes close to perfect in this world. We are all children no matter how old we are, really!!!!

      And I think there is great and profound wisdom in silence — often — (and, there was a good reason ‘they’ invented spell-check!! Nearly everyone needs it! lol)

      Sometimes I find when writing that it helps to just slow down. Way down. Letting each next word appear — as I wait for it!!!! that might help, too! YOU ARE LOVED!!!!!!!!

    • Dearest Twin – I am still thinking about your words, your thoughts here, your sentiments which all ring so true for me – and I know for others, also.

      I am thinking about what I have written about before, that trauma survivors not only GET DIFFERENT information all the time about the world and about self-in-the-world, but also about others-in-the-world.

      We then process this information differently. There is much research (some included in places on this blog) about how even which hand is dominant for us affects how we process information. For example, it is know that left handed people’s brain processes info differently as does the brain of someone who is ambidextrous (uses both hands equally well).

      Research has shown that people who have anything other than right side dominance — especially if their ancestors/parent(s) – did – are at extremely higher risk for developing long-lasting complications from exposure to traumas.


      I just mention this because I have learned – although it is difficult to remember to DO in the ‘speed’ of human conversations – to allow myself TIME to process what is coming into for me and for my responding. It often takes me DAYS or longer to come up with ‘come backs’ – familiar?

      Our way of receiving our different information, and our way of processing this information, and our way of responding — is NOT respected in mainstream ‘western’ culture where everything tends to be so self-centered and moves so fast!

      We CAN take all the time we need when we write. There was an article I in Time magazine not long ago about how differently introverts process the world from extroverts.


      click here to read my post about this:



      There are all kinds of continuums regarding how people naturally ARE in the world – some of us had tendencies in one direction or the other that has been greatly influenced by exposure to traumas when we were young. Some of us had to change greatly in order to survive.

      What matters to me is that we come every moment we live to understand both what happened to us and HOW we are in the world!! And then — to respect and to honor what we figure out about all of this!!!

    • Yep, stay quiet and pretend you’re somewhere else.I carried this coping strategy with me well into adulthood…to the point where I don’t know who and where am I supposed to be.It’s depressing, I’m always in a fog or in a dreamy state to protect myself from any perceived threats.I have to shut this coping strategy down because I need to be present and function, my malevolent brain won’t allow this unfortunately,I’m stuck in infancy where my trauma began and when my brain starting wiring.It’s frustrating; I feel like an animal cowering, I have that feeling of total helplessness and defeat.

  5. That’s so insightful. I think all survivors – the one’s who don’t become complete psychos themselves – like our own tormentors – have that protected space inside themselves. In my vision mine is a small boat out in a quiet sea – but always with sharks swimming under it. Sometimes that’s the only way I can follow asleep, is to climb int. my boat & be quiet & still. Let nothing rattle your nest nor rock my boat.

    Also, there is an award for you on my page if you would like it. Hugs!

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