There are some wonderful comments and replies accumulating with this June 29, 2012 post:


What if some magical entity had whispered in my ear as I grew up as a child in a universe filled with violence, assaults, chaos, absolute madness, that single – to me now – most important piece of information I wish I had known all of my life?

I needed to know that I did not stand a single solitary chance of growing up to be ‘normal’ or ‘ordinary’.  Every single time I was attacked in some way, which happened every single day – often multiple times a day – for the 18 long years my mad mean mother had complete and total access to me – I did the only thing I knew how to do.  I did the only thing that even now looking backwards from age 60 that was possible – not only during those 18 years but every single second since then:  I moved forward in time the best and the ‘goodest’ way that I possibly could.

I am feeling some aftermath feelings to the reply I just made to today’s comment to the above post.  It is as if right now I hear my own voice echoing along the corridors of every second I have been alive.  “You are a good person, Linda.  You have always been a good person.  You have always done the best you can do.  And AS A CHILD – you WERE A GOOD PERSON THEN.”  I was a good child.

I was EAGER to be good.  This eagerness, I see now, did not come from wishing to avoid the scourge of Mother’s wrath at me.  She was insane.  She was psychotically and viciously MAD when it came to me.  There was NEVER any way I could anticipate what would make her ‘go off’ at me.

Therefore I was left with that only option – which is a combined effort, really:  I moved forward in time the best way that I could and that way was ALWAYS a good way.

Nobody ever affirmed that to me as a child when it mattered most.  Sure, adults seem quite willing to remind other adults that they are ‘good’ people and that they ‘should’ love their self.

I was thinking of that recently.  If someone told someone else in a very self-assured (I am right absolutely) way to go into their house to search it for the valuable diamond that lies inside — where do we get to say back, “You might have such a diamond but I have NEVER had such a diamond.  And furthermore, I will no longer believe your reality as my own.  When I say I have no diamond anywhere in my house – I mean that exactly!  Now, leave me alone about this diamond thing!”


What diamond thing?

This diamond to me is this one:  “I love myself.”

No.  I do not have that diamond.  Nothing in my infancy and childhood ever happened to me that would have given me this diamond of self love.

I – again at age 60 – am only now reaching a point where I am beginning to know this.  I don’t believe self love, this diamond that others evidently take so for granted – that because they own one everyone else does and can — is GIVEN to us by the people who we were born to – the people who were supposed to love and care for us, keep us safe and secure, help us find our inner self love (the real kind!) from the moment we were born.

THEN and only then could we have carried this diamond with us all of the rest of our lives.  THEN – as ‘normal’ and ‘ordinary’ people can, we would benefit and appreciate in gratitude the reminder from these same people that at those times the diamond is forgotten or lost that it can be found again.

I no longer believe this diamond ever existed for me.  I did not lose it!  My diamond of the POTENTIAL for self love was stolen from me primarily by my mother – with lots of assistance (enabling and complicity) by my father.  All of society around our family stole my diamond as well by not noticing or caring about the suffering going on in my family of origin – especially to me.

(This removal was permanent for this lifetime.   I further believe that self love is directly connected to degrees of safe and secure attachment ‘circuitry’ that is built into our physiology during critical windows of early growth and development that cannot be later changed in anything other than peripheral ‘non-primary’ ways.)


I can act-as-if I have a diamond of self love available to me.  But I will no longer run around anywhere looking for what I know does not really exist in my life.  I can work to learn what it might be like to have such a precious diamond of self love, but the best I think I can do is to try to KNOW myself and to LIKE and appreciate myself, and to attempt to treat myself as kindly as I ordinarily try to treat other people.

But I DID NOT get to grow my own self love diamond.  Therefore it is a silly waste of time to run around looking for it at this point in my lifetime.  My self love – in my belief system – has always been held by God.  I will be given it back when I reach ‘the other side’.  Meanwhile – I want to know my own TRUTH!!


Anyway – this again is a post that I don’t expect ‘normal’ or ‘ordinary’ people to comprehend.  I am increasingly liking this fact – actually!  We survivors do have our own reality!  We really DO!!!!

Survivors’ lives are not better or worse than ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ — but our life is very very different!!  How could this not be true given what we have experienced?  Giving myself permission to learn about the ways my life is different because I am different is absolutely empowering to me!!


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  1. I think that’s something a lot of people don’t understand. Their experience of hurt and damage is that it eventually heals. But sometimes the hurt is that the child is prevented from developing some aspect (or many aspects) of her self in the first place – so there is nothing to recover, nothing to heal, just a difference (that can be very painful.) It’s like living in another dimension, one which overlaps other people’s reality, but not completely. Perhaps for me, the distance between my world and theirs is mostly manageable, most of the time. I think that for you, the damage has been more profound and deeper, and the distance is much greater. It seems wonderful to me that you have such a voice, such a presence, such honesty, such courage, and that you are your self.

    I read your blog every day. I’m in the process of moving cities at the moment, so if you don’t hear from me for a while, that will be why. I’ll still be reading though!

  2. “Nothing in my infancy and childhood ever happened to me that would have given me this diamond of self love.” Yes. I feel this too. Not that I can’t ever like or trust myself, but I don’t know and have never known what it would be to have self love. There is no self love. There is, after long years of struggle, not-self-hate. Those who insist that you should seek and find that diamond are misguided to believe that you have what they have. I love how you have conceptualised this – a diamond. It’s very clear and resonant.

    • I have of lately not been in so much of a verbal thinking mode – which is fine – and yes I trust myself more and more every day – knowing also the words do appear when…….

      But I suspect when I am ready to think through all of this that not having had a chance to develop anything like a ‘normal-ordinary’ SELF in the first place is probably connected to all of this.

      My self is different – with many facets (‘identities’) –

      It is so affirming to me to read your words. This post was kind of pulled out of somewhere ‘imaginal’ and sensing-feeling into words – but like a gigantic iceberg (oh, we will miss those when they are all gone!!) – the bulk of what you and I know cannot be put into words adequately – and lies massively out of sight of words — and VERY MUCH in our body – and in our every experience in our life.

      Being able to begin to name this for myself, though – is helpful. People mean well. They operate from what THEY know – and cannot imagine that others are not like them – that everyone is not the same. We know differently – I think it takes, finally, not giving a damn what anyone else has to say to us about ‘how to get better’ – there are places within us that will NOT ‘get better’ – because we are just plain different.

      I hope there is more to come on this topic as the waters clear for me – and I look forward to hearing more from you, as well!!!!

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