Monthly Archives: April 2021

Sinking the Anger Titanic

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In my last post (Taken Over By Aliens) I wrote about the way I tend to catastrophize everything when I get upset, amongst other things. It doesn’t take anything for me to get upset, it seems, and I’d really like that to change. It’s exhausting to get upset and angry all the time, especially when it’s over little things. If I only got angry over big things, then maybe it wouldn’t happen so often, but it happens ALL the TIME!! And I’m SOOO TIRED of it!!

I just want it to STOP!!

When I was talking to McT about it during my FaceTime session on Tuesday, I told him how distressed it made me feel everytime I got upset, because I felt like I must be disappointing God. Instead of trusting Him with whatever the situation is, I get upset about it and fall apart. Thankfully I’m no longer hitting myself, but I don’t want to get upset about it either. I just want to keep my peace and trust that God has the situation in hand. But somehow I can’t seem to do that, no matter what I do.

It’s SOOO ANNOYING!!

Then McT presented me with an entirely new thought about this problem, one which I had never considered before, and it completely changed my perspective on it. He suggested that maybe my responses to these situations that make me fall apart are because of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

PTSD?? PTSD?? Oh my! I had never thought of that before!! If it’s PTSD that’s driving my responses, that makes me feel like I’m not doing it on purpose!

Let me explain what I just said…

When I was a kid and I did something like spilling the milk at the dinner table, I had to act remorseful ENOUGH, otherwise my mother accused me of spilling it on purpose. Remorseful ENOUGH meant doing something like cleaning up the spilled milk mess that I had just made while apologizing and crying and hitting myself. I think this was probably the genesis of the self-abuse that happened in later years. I had to act abjectly apologetic. This involved a great deal of weeping and crying and expressions of sorrow. I never could seem to convince them (my parents) that I didn’t do it on purpose. None of my explanations or expressions of remorse and sorrow over this seemingly heinous act of spilling the milk were ever adequate to persuade them or satisfy them that I wasn’t the evil child who was trying to make things difficult for my mother.

It makes me feel frenzied inside when I think back to these situations, panic-stricken that I could never make it right, no matter how hard I tried. I can see the little ones running around frantically inside, grasping at air and screaming in terror because my mother was sitting there stone-faced, because one of us had clumsily knocked over a glass of milk by accident. And if she was sitting there stone-faced, that meant we were gonna get hit.

IMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRY!!!!

Damn, Mom!! You NEVER knocked over ANYTHING by accident??!! You were the PERFECT CHILD??

I DON’T THINK SO!!!

When I started writing out I’m sorry over and over and over again, it’s like a deep and gigantic well of tears was released, and I started to weep and sob huge gulping sobs. I think I had never really dealt with the spilt milk issue. I may have more to do. If so, God will be there with me to do it…

So the idea that PTSD could be what’s behind me getting upset all the time? Well, that generates a whole new line of thought for me. For one thing, instead of God’s judgment, which is what I’ve always felt when I’ve worried that He’s disappointed in me, all of a sudden I can feel His mercy. If it’s PTSD then I can feel His mercy and love. It’s like PTSD gives me a valid reason for why I do what I do, and I’ve never had that before.

And maybe PTSD explains why I’m angry in the first place.

Now that’s an interesting thought, and one which I’ll probably have to explore further in future posts…

I don’t want PTSD to become the catchall excuse for everything in my life, like for example, why did you rob that store?

(I’m trying to think of an example that involves something that I would NEVER EVER do…)

Well, I robbed that store because my father hit me when I was little, so now I have PTSD. The PTSD made me rob the store.

NO!! NO!! NO!!

The PTSD that I have now as an adult is a result of the abuse inflicted on me by my parents when I was little. But now that I’m an adult, what I do with that is MY RESPONSIBILITY. I can’t blame any wrong behavior or sin that I might commit now on what they did to me as a child. I am responsible for my actions now, even if they are informed by what happened to me as a child.

Okay, so back to PTSD and my anger…

I get angry ALL the TIME, and over the littlest things, as I explained earlier. It happens a lot while I’m watching TV, and especially when I’m watching programs about true crime, and in particular while I’m watching programs about child abuse and domestic violence. I spend a lot of time yelling at the abusers in the TV programs, and telling them what jerks they are, and telling the police in these programs what they should be doing that they aren’t, and even telling everyone what they should be saying to each other. No one ever says what I think they should be saying!

It would be funny if it weren’t so indicative of what’s going on my heart. I’ve come to the realization that I’m probably yelling at Harry, and at my mother, and at everyone else in my life who didn’t protect me but should have when I was little. In other words, my anger at my parents is projected onto the people in the programs I’m watching on TV, because I don’t know the people on the TV from Adam’s housecat (if Adam had a housecat…).

I think the abuse is the iceberg that sank my Titanic anger, and as I work through my pain, I’m raising my Titanic back to the surface so it can be reassembled to sail again, hopefully this time without incident. And all the people who died when it sank are all my alters from when I was multiple who were so wounded and abused by my parents. Thankfully I was integrated back in 2003 by God, and through the efforts of a wonderful prayer team at the church I was attending at the time. So those alters have been healed and integrated into the whole that is me now.

But it’s time, I think, to deal with all that anger. I don’t know how that will come about, but God does, and McT is a really good shrink, probably the best I’ve ever had. He’s led by the Spirit, and he loves God and His Word.

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, NLT.

I’m grateful for the freedom that God has brought me as I’ve trusted Him more and more, and the Holy Spirit has certainly been instrumental in this. All three Persons of the Holy Trinity have, and I can’t express enough gratitude for everything they’ve done for me. Jesus went to the Cross for my salvation ~ I’d be dead if it hadn’t’ve been for that. The Holy Spirit has been guiding and comforting and helping counseling me all these years since I got saved, because that’s His job,

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. … These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ~ John 14:16-18, 25-27, NKJV.

I know that’s a pretty long passage of Scripture, but the Holy Spirit is a pretty vast subject, and I wanted to make sure I covered everything about Him, and what He’s done and is doing in my life, though I’m sure I could find more.

I’m so thankful and grateful and appreciative and blessed and (these are the only adjectives I could find in my thesaurus for my feelings towards God…), and… and… and…

Jesus plus nothing equals EVERYTHING!!

Taken Over By Aliens

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I’ve had a hankering for several days to just write, and when I feel like that I’ve found it’s best to obey the urge and start typing. The problem has been finding the time, but I’m here now…

So I’m going to write about whatever comes to mind, and I have some ideas.

There are times when I feel a great deal of anxiety, because it seems like nothing is going the way it’s supposed to, and everything is falling apart. During those times I’m much more prone to panic attacks, though I’m so pleased that I’m still self-abuse free ~ praise God for that. It’s just that, even though I’m no longer hitting myself, I feel like I’m disappointing God because I’m not trusting Him when I get upset. I should be turning to God when something bad happens instead of getting upset.

I tend to catastrophize everything, and I’ve done it my whole life. Instead of leaving the problem in God’s hands and trusting that He’ll take care of it, I automatically jump to catastrophic-worry mode. It always happens, as hard as I try to do it differently.

There are periods when I’m able to remain at peace, and rely on Scripture when I get upset, for instance, Isaiah 26,

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. ~ Isaiah 26:3, NKJV.

And I like to personalize it, because then I feel like I’m actually praying it directly to God about me,

Thank you, Father, that You will keep me in perfect peace because my mind is stayed on You, because I trust in You. ~ Isaiah 26:3, NKJV, Personalized.

You know, when I’ve ruminated on a verse of Scripture, repeating it to myself over and over, it has the desired effect. If the verse is Isaiah 26:3, I end up regaining the peace that I lost when I got upset in the first place, which is wonderful, because I hate losing my peace, and I can’t imagine it’s terribly pleasing to God either.

On top of everything else, I’m going to have to take my computer in to have it worked on. About six months ago I noticed a tiny screw had come out of the bottom of the computer, and I couldn’t put it back in no matter what I tried. So I took it to my computer guy, and he told me, of all things, that my battery is swelling.

My battery is swelling?? That really doesn’t sound good. In fact it sounds just plain weird. Kind of like my computer has been taken over by aliens (if I believed in that sort of thing).

The problem with taking my computer in is that I’d be without it for however long it takes them to replace the battery, and during that time I’d have to use my iPad for everything, including blogging here. And I REALLY don’t like writing on my iPad, and I mean I seriously dislike it. It’s a total pain. It takes longer, plus you have to change keyboards everytime you want to use a number, or you have to capitalize a word, or add punctuation. It’s just a royal pain. So you have to change keyboards, and then you have to change back. BLECK on the whole process! Plus my iPad isn’t working all that well either. I broke it a couple of months back, because even though I’m no longer hitting myself, I’m still having a big problem managing my rage and anger. I’m not hitting myself, but I’m taking it out on other things ~ like my iPad.

Poor thing! What did it ever do to me?! It didn’t do what I wanted it to. But that’s dumb. It’s an inanimate object, and when it does something, it’s only responding to something I tell it to. It’s a computer, and computers are only as smart as the people who use them.

Of course, I don’t know what that says about me…

Hmm…

Actually, I don’t think it says anything about my intelligence. What it does say is that, as I’ve already determined, I need to learn how to control my anger, which is something I’ve known for a very long time. I just haven’t made a concerted effort over the long term to do anything about it. I also think I’ll make it the subject of another post here.

Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity. ~ Ephesians 4:26-27, CSB.

An Attitude of Gratitude

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I used to be an incredibly negative person. I complained all the time about how awful my life was, and how bad I had it, and none of it was my fault, because my childhood was terrible (and it was). Everything was my parents’ fault, and if only they’d been better parents, then my life now would be better.

Now, while part of that was true, I was ignoring all the wonderful parts of my life ~ all the amazing gifts that God had blessed me with just by being alive. I was suffering from a deep depression that was causing me to feel a great deal of emotional agony ~ because of my childhood, it’s true ~ and that was blinding me to the present-day beauty that was all around me in my adult life.

But here’s a truism: if you’ve had a difficult childhood, what happened to you is NOT your fault. But what you do with what happened to you once you grow up and become an adult? THAT is your responsibility. You can no longer blame it on your parents or your bad childhood. You’re an adult now. It’s time to grow up and start acting like an adult. I know it’s hard, but it’s something we all have to do, regardless of what happened to us when we were little.

Okay, ‘nuf said…

What woke me up to the present-day beauty and wonder that were (and are) in my life now, was when I realized that God had been present throughout my life from the very beginning, saving my life and protecting me from the worst of the abuse to which my parents had subjected me. Once I realized that, I could let go of the anger and rage against God that I’d been holding onto for many years. I couldn’t understand why He would allow me to be placed in a family where I would be abused within an inch of my life on a daily basis, where my mother would try to kill me from the time I was born on (during my infancy she tried to drown me and suffocate me with a pillow several times), where I would have to become multiple in order to survive, not just emotionally, but also physically.

But then I realized that the multiplicity was one of the gifts God had given me to protect me from the worst of the abuse, and to help me stay alive. For example, when my mother would try to kill me, God created an alter in me named Deadsally, who would come out and make me stop squirming so my mother would think she’d succeeded and stop trying.

Praise God! Isn’t He amazing? Isn’t He wonderful? I’m alive today because of what He did for me back then, and that was before I got saved. I’m absolutely gobsmacked at God’s goodness and kindness in my life! I guess He had to keep me alive so I could make a decision for Him! And I’m SOOO GLAD He did!!

So once I became aware of His presence in my life, my negative attitude changed to a positive one, and it happened overnight. One day I was steaming mad at God and the next day (well, almost… actually it took a couple of weeks before I was able to release all the rage. But it felt like night and day.) my perspective was completely different.

I had been raging at God, asking Him WHY? WHY had He allowed the abuse?? But once I was able to let go of the rage, I realized that all I really wanted to know was where He was while I was being abused.

Where was He??

Did He care?

Did He know about it??

These were the questions that haunted me, that shouted and shrieked in my mind. And once I stopped demanding to know why, God answered these questions. I was in church one Sunday, and during worship He showed me that He had been there the whole time. That was where He showed me that He had been there throughout my life. And when I saw that I started to weep with joy and gladness and love for Him. That was when my perspective changed.

So on this Easter Sunday, I am so grateful to God. I’m grateful first and foremost for the Cross, for without that, all the other stuff would mean nothing. But I’m also grateful for everything else He’s done for me, because if He hadn’t kept me alive throughout my childhood, I wouldn’t have been around to accept Christ as my wonderful Savior.

Thank you Jesus, and thank you my beautiful Father, Ancient of Days, Jehovah Jireh, I love You so!! I love You my lovely Lord Jesus, and I love You my precious Holy Spirit!!

E’en so come quickly Lord Jesus…

His Lovely Face

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This is Easter week. Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, this coming Sunday will be Resurrection Sunday, and in between the two Sundays is Crucifixion Friday, or what the world calls Good Friday.

Palm Sunday, Crucifixion Friday, and Resurrection Sunday. Probably the three most important days of the whole year on the Christian calendar.

Some people think Christmas is the most important time of year for Christians, but without Easter, Christmas is meaningless.

I’m grateful for all these holidays, because Christ’s whole purpose in coming to earth in the first place was to go to the cross and die for my sins. And because He did it without sinning Himself, He was able to defeat, even cheat, death, so God resurrected Him after He’d been dead for three days.

I think God regards suffering, and the suffering of Christ in particular, as beautiful. The reason for this is that suffering builds character,

Christ, in the days when he was a man on earth, appealed to the one who could save him from death in desperate prayer and the agony of tears. His prayers were heard; he was freed from his shrinking from death but, Son though he was, he had to prove the meaning of obedience through all that he suffered. Then, when he had been proved the perfect Son, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who should obey him, being now recognised by God himself as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. ~ Hebrews 5:7-8, J.B. Phillips New Testament.

I’ve long believed that God is much more interested in the development of our character than He is in our happiness, and suffering is one big way He works to accomplish that. And the very best example of this is Christ Himself, as is demonstrated in Hebrews 5:7-8, quoted above.

All of which is to say that Christ’s suffering on the Cross was perfect, and it’s the responsibility of every Christian ~ and certainly my chiefest desire ~ to be like Him in every way. In addition, His perfect suffering on the Cross is part of what enabled God to raise Him from the dead on Sunday morning (the other part was the sinless life He had lived from the beginning, as I stated above).

And now that I’ve entrusted my life Him, I have the supreme hope of seeing Jesus face to face when I go to Heaven.

I can’t think of anything more amazing than that!!

11 It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things. 12 In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11-12, Today’s Living Bible.

And that, as they say, is that!