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Catherine

[ website | Oakling ]
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Perfect progress [26 Dec 2007|02:59pm]
After a year and nine months of recovery, after almost half a year in COSA, this neat little inventory:

8-31-04
Things That I Do That Harm Me:
* Clutter inside [the house]
* Dirt
* Judgments
* Relationships with people who don't respect me
* Garden clutter
* Running on empty/not fixing car stuff
* Not eating when I'm hungry
* Not having food handy and prepared
* Fear and guessing games with friends and others
* Direct self-judgment especially
* Dishonesty and not preparing enough to keep my commitments

Things I'm Going To Do To Address These:
* Work the steps
* Work those Byron Katie questions on my fear and judgments
* Do the footwork and let go of the results
* Believe I can live happily without people who don't respect me
* Clean up all the clutter with the goal of living in beauty
* Pay attention to and respect my feelings about different people
* Buy gas and work toward getting a job to better fund future car repairs
* Trust myself, trust my friends
* Watch the truth of my conversations and commitments
* Wash dirty things
* Work toward yard hauling and gardener
* Go grocery shopping with a list! and thought!
* Keep loving myself


I like this because it is so active and balanced. It's not just bitching anymore about what sucks, it's honestly looking at my problems and committing to solutions. I am still working my program, I've since reached the point of having a clean house and occasionally backslid into clutter, I no longer have any abusive people in my life, I know I can only live happily with people who respect me, I have had jobs and car repairs since then and no longer run out of gas playing that game of "It'll probably be fine if I don't buy more yet".... I love myself completely and I not only make a grocery list but plan my meals and have food on hand for myself. And I have a constant spiritual practice of paying attention to the truth of what I am saying and being honest, especially about whether I am projecting onto (fearing and playing guessing games with) people. Still in progress are making the garden and the house ever-nicer places, preparing enough and being aware and willing enough to be on time to my commitments, and eating when I am hungry. But so much less so!
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Another blast from the past [12 Dec 2007|01:07pm]
Dude, I love this letter. It's from laaaaaaaate late 1999, when I was dating two people at once, trying to graduate a semester early, trying to change my major in that last semester, and also, working and taking care of Connor. Apparently I wrote this because Damien was doing his thing of throwing a huge abusive temper tantrum if I didn't spend all my free time worshiping him. I love it because it illustrates practically every addictive dysfunctional behavior I have, at their finest!

First, the codependency of blaming someone else and just telling them what they are doing wrong, playing the martyr by not taking any inventory of what part I had in the situation:

Dear Damien,
You don't understand me. You don't understand how to act with me, and you don't understand what I've been going through and am still going through here.


Then an awesome list of my insane time debting and workaholic behavior:

For the past few days, I have been struggling desperately to make up all the work I said I did which they can tell I didn't do (about twice as much as the amount I pulled off last week with all the Metallica sites) and to make a multimedia CD thing on gender using a program I've never touched. I planned the gender program thing out last night and made about 3 of the idon'trememberhowmany pages of pictures I need. I thought I could do more but I couldn't get up till like noon or 2 or something. This is how it's been for a week and a half - solid walls of work that I can't possibly do - and I only had energy for about three days of it in the first place. And the less energy I have the longer it takes the more energy it drains from me.

Because basically, rather than just setting a boundary ahead of time and being like "this is time I will need to spend working, this is time I need to spend on my thesis", I was determined to continue dating an asshole, lying about how much work I was doing, biting off more than I could chew, and being in total denial about what was humanly feasible.

What I'm currently facing is the fact that, instead of tomorrow's schedule reading "works on senior thesis" all day like I deliriously thought it would, it reads "struggle to get up; maybe work on project for a few hours; drive Ann from Berkeley to Mills; drive Damien and Jubel to airport; try to buy CDs and work some more; go to Changeling or something; ??"

Hee. I love that at that point, with that list, I still thought going to Changeling (the trans youth group we were probably already co-facilitating) was even an option. Seriously? With that workload? This whole phase of my life was awesomely characterized by constantly driving people everywhere. I don't even think I was getting gas money from most of them. I guess it was either that they were giving me gas money and so I felt like I had to keep doing it because my money was in such chaos, or that I simply always felt like I had to help anyone who needed help. Damien exploited this mercilessly; he still owes me more than two thousand dollars. It's just such a great classic example of my codependency, that I would sit there with more work to do than any one person could handle and agree to spend the day driving people hither and yon. I was incapable of acknowledging that they could get places any other way.

And I keep staying up later so that I can be with you and go to bed/sleep with you but at this point in the morning that just means watching any time to work tomorrow drain away and become really hellish. And so I was trying really hard to psych myself up to do some work now so I could stay up with you but it was really hard cause I'm so tired. And that's where I was when you came in. And it really sucks cause on top of that you just yell at me or get upset cause I'm not giving you enough attention right now and I don't have any emotional energy left to deal with that and I can't get any support from you. That's all.

I especially love that (1) I had to write this in a letter instead of saying it to him because (a) he was so scary and (b) I was living in too much chaos and too far away from my feelings and experiences to know what to say to him in the moment, and (2) I don't even set boundaries in the letter! Even when I get down to brass tacks, I'm basically expressing dissatisfaction and then signing off. And I clearly think that the problem is that he is not supporting me right now, rather than that he is constantly being an emotionally abusive prick - and I'm not telling him to stop, even here. I'm just like, it sucks when you do that... but you can do whatever you want with this statement because it is just my opinion!

I had no sense of reality, of boundaries, of a firm "this is not okay with me." I was in that horrible abuse survivor place of "everyone has their own reality, and who am I to say what is true here, because he could be perceiving it a whole other way, and I don't really know what's going on...." I suspect that it is particularly associated with ritual abuse, because while it seems totally normal to me (even now that I no longer think or live this way), the people I know who live or have lived that way are all ritual abuse survivors. And that is a kind of abuse that especially relies on convincing people that there are different "realities" at different times, and for different people, and that everything is subjective. It makes it easier to keep people off balance, and easier to sway people over to a particular ideology.
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Apologies for crossposting, to those of you who also read kaleidescope [15 Nov 2007|02:39pm]
I finished my new business website! Announcing the grand launch of $40 a Week Meal Planning!

Screw grocery shopping! For less than many people spend on their groceries for a week, I'll plan your meals for you, search out healthy organic ingredients and great, easy recipes, and send you a box full of all your ingredients and recipes and suggested menus!

tomatosoupsmallartichokesoilinggarlicpumpkinsgroceriestomatoes and beans and jujubes, oh my

$40 a Week Meal Planning

You can click that banner for lots more information. I welcome comments and customers.
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Woohoo! [01 Oct 2007|12:04pm]
I am trying to spend an hour a day blawwwwwgging. Not necessarily on livejournal; often on the two WORDPRESS (canyoubelieveit) blogs that I made. One for $40 a week meal planning, and one that talks about abuse, addiction, and recovery, and which will eventually support and promote Facing Abuse when it gets to be a real live book at last. (Oh yeah. Why WordPress? Because while LJ is the only place i know that has friends pages, turns out WordPress is the only one I know that actually tells you when people link to you and stuff! I find that super-exciting. Plus I can put little sitemeter things on it that track who is visiting it, which I also cannot do as far as I know with LJ.)

So, I just set up feeds for both of them on LJ for those of you who never leave LJ:

40aweek
facing_abuse

But do at least visit
$40 a Week and Facing Abuse, because they are Very Pretty. Also, please note that I am unlikely to ever know that any comments you post to the LJ feeds exist, but I get immediately notified of any comments you post to the real live websites.

Also, excitement! for the second time, a picture I took for the blog made it onto TasteSpotting! It is #4317, the garlic getting slathered in olive oil. Of course.
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Voice Post [06 Sep 2007|07:49am]
VoicePost
457K 2:26
(no transcription available)


Man, I thought they automatically transcribed voice posts under three minutes. Somehow. Why not?

Here is my semi-lax transcription:
"Hi, I'm excited, because A) it is my birthday and B) I'm making my first voice post! Um, I've wanted to make a voice post for months, ever since I went to Boston and I was suddenly assailed by the bizarre urge to be able to call LiveJournal and talk about how awesome Boston was. Right now I'm in Oakland and I am calling because the sun looks really freaky today, like it's overcast and the sun is, like, bright orange, it's like a glowing harvest moon, and I don't think this is good. And I just want to go on record as calling it if this is, like, Armageddon. You know, I want people to be able to go, "Yeaaah, I read on Livejournal today with my ears [ed. note: and now with your eyes] that... um... Armageddon." So not cool. It's my birthday, I don't like the Armageddon sun. I guess if nothing bad happens and it just happens to be a really big bright orange glowing weird-looking sun, then I can probably put a positive spin on that somehow. Right now I'm going to Full House... cafe place, I don't know what the noun after Full House is. Probably Cafe. Where Annie was going to treat me to brunch, no, wait. What's going on? Annie was going to treat me to breakfast, except she couldn't because she is treating me to dinner so I'm paying for breakfast. You so needed to know that. I just get confused sometimes!I don't know what I'm going to have. I am just going to use some livejournal time here to be like... hm, they have coffee cake, they have greek yogurt with fruit but the honey is way to sweet, i don't like that. they've got these omelette things, sometimes they're not good. They have sausage objects, I like sausage objects. So maybe I'll get some sausage objects, some cake.... *giggles* maybe I'll just get one of everything. Party on, y'all! Bye!"
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Joyous higher power stories to share [17 Aug 2007|09:05pm]
I heard two awesome stories and shared one myself tonight, and I wanted to share all three of them here.

So I was talking to someone after a meeting in another program. She had a "God Can" that someone had made. And she told me about how she had looking for some kind of "god box" for a while, and she had been writing down things to turn over to her higher power and stashing them in pockets and bags and corners all over. And she realized that she hadn't really turned a lot of them over - she was literally still hanging on to them! And then she came to the center where our meeting is and found this "god can", free - and not just that but it is one that you can't open, you have to REALLY turn things over and not see them again when you put them in there! I was really impressed with this as an example of getting exactly what you need, of really being heard without even meaning to say anything. I love that kind of thing.

So then I told her my story from last week. I was hanging out before my meeting and I was thinking, you know, maybe I don't HAVE to go to my meeting. Maaaaybe what I am supposed to do will turn out to be to go to the bookstore and write and look at cool books instead! That would be a good thing to do, right? And I was fully planning to stop and ask my higher power what I should do, (maybe even for long enough that there would be no point in going to the meeting at all so I'd be sure of going to the bookstore!), but I found my feet carrying me right back to my car to go to the meeting. So I'm walking to my car, mentally kicking and whining and dragging my heels all "I don't wa-a-a-aa-aa-aaaant to go to the meeting! I wanna go PLAY!" And I get in and turn on the radio and it starts up in the middle of this song that is going, "They tried to make me go to rehab! I said NOOO NOOO NOO!" I was like, you are hilarious!

And she told me another one I liked. She was struggling with the idea of her higher power and just "praying the help prayer" over and over ("help! help! help! help!") and there was a bible nearby. So she decided that this time, that would be what she would use, and she grabbed it and told her higher power, okay, I need a sign from you, okay, a very clear sign, a clear sign, right here, right now, I need a clear sign! And she opened the bible up right to something that said, "You will not get any signs from me"...! Like, "I am here, and I am not one of the things that is in your control!"

This exchanging of stories was also really helpful to me because while I've been having a great time noticing shout-outs from my higher power in the form of a lot of synchronicity, I have been having resistance to asking for what to do next. And I realized that today, and that if I could notice when that was happening I could try making quiet time to feel what that was like for me and ask for help around it. And then I got some good reminders about what talking to my higher power is really like!
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three more higher power stories [17 Aug 2007|09:03pm]
My higher power is so good! i had been obsessing about WHY i couldn't write, for hours, because i was thinking about writing things all day, and i finally got that i was tired and that being tired was why i couldn't write AND that it was "legitimate" for me to be tired because i walked all over the place all afternoon. It is frustrating that I don't give myself compassion or support around being tired unless I know why I am tired and think it is "legitimate." Maybe that is something that I can turn over.

And i was having the same problem with getting around to working. I just didn't want to do my work, and I had a limited amount of time left to finish (or indeed start) it. And then i did start and my higher power gave me a huge pile of the easiest tasks imaginable. Like, I didn't even have to think. I've never seen work so easy before.

And then my addict brain, the super-controlling negative voice from the abuse, was all, "you should do more now! since you can! to show you are grateful! and to pay them back for you being able to do the work fast!" And I decided to do ONE more thing, and I saw that there were none of the super-easy tasks left - there had been just exactly enough for me to finish all my work, no more or less. It was awesome! And the more that I turn work stuff over to my higher power and ask her for help, and the more that I use program principles in my work life instead of overworking and judging and criticizing and shaming myself, the more I notice things like this happening. Things like getting just the right kind of work for me each day, and like not having to worry that I put off working and now I am tired because no matter what my needs are going to get met.

Also, I was trying today to find this new ice cream place. And first I went too far in the wrong direction and it led me to my cat food store, and I got to remember that I hadn't bought catfood yet and that I had enough left over to buy ID tags for my cats. And I wanted to second-guess myself and obsess about whether it was okay for me to get ice cream or whether I was trying to binge-eat or binge-spend or something - but I kept seeing signs, literal signs for ice cream, and parking spots right in front of them, and I figured my higher power was letting me know it was okay. That critical abuse-related voice is all "oh sure, that's convenient," but I know that it's not a rationalization because I have years of practice exploring the ways that I communicate with my higher power (which other people might call finding the next right step or listening to their gut or any number of other things) and so I know the difference for me between obsessive rationalization and actually getting heathy helpful messages.

And then I was trying to find it in the other direction, and i couldn't, and i got a local free paper that told me it was at College and Ashby. And I'll explain first that one of the ways I get messages from my higher power is through coincidence or "shout-outs," and one of them lately has been ads for this particular car sharing place called Zipcar that my girlfriend and I used on our vacation. So i had decided that Ashby was farther down and that i was at Alcatraz, so i walked back to my car, and i passed a zipcar ad! and it was like, you are in the right place! and then i drove a little farther down and realized i had gone too far, and i turned around IN A CITY CAR SHARE LOT! and it was like, this is city car share not zip car, so you are NEARLY in the right place! It was like the Goddess was playing "hot and cold" with me. "You're very hot... now you're just warm!" And I found it and did not binge-spend and just bought the amount that I wanted that felt appropriate and it was really good, and I was able to experience eating it and enjoying it... as opposed to just mechanically eating it because I'm dissociating, which happens especially when I am eating from what my brain thinks it wants when my body wants something different or nothing at all.

And the third thing is that - coincidences and motifs again - my higher power, out of nowhere, has started showing me instances of great parenting. Normally what I see other parents doing is acting out with their kids, and I get to struggle with how and whether to say anything. And then last night in the bookstore, I saw a mom with these two little kids. And I guess they had to leave and they weren't getting all the books the kids wanted, and one of them was going "but I want this book now!!" kind of thing. And before the mom could even say anything, the other tiny little kid chirped, "You can always get it ANOTHER time!" And it was such a healthy voice, you know - it has taken me years to be able to accept not getting everything right away and waiting until ANOTHER time, because I never got to feel like my needs were met as a kid so I never felt safe waiting for anything I wanted. It all felt very desperate and NOW NOW NOW.

And then, as if to prove where the kids were getting this healthy stuff, the mom said, "Come on, my beautiful boys, it's time to go!" I was like, wow, I never hear people being that nice to their kids! Shouldn't she be "laying down the law" unnecessarily about which books they are getting and yelling at them for wanting more and for slowing her down? And then they went and found their dad, and she explained to him that they would be coming back in five days to get these other books. Even more amazing! She had actually let the kids know when they could get more books, and made a commitment to them, and now she was communicating it to her partner! And then one of the little kids was talking a mile a minute to the dad about every page of this book they were getting, and the dad was actually listening! And then she told the kids to say thank you to the store owner but the kids got stuck in the revolving card rack while playing in it while the mom bought their stuff, and instead of yelling at them to prove what a good mom she was to everyone else or ignoring what was going on with them and yelling at them to say thank you some more, she just laughed and helped them! And then they did say thank you on their way out.

It was crazy! And then today at the ice cream store, this mom was in line at the ice cream store and her kids came and the older one had the poutiest pout on her face. And the mom NOTICED and asked her what was wrong NICELY, and the kid was all, we wanted to do another thing with the parakeet! And the mom asked what, and the kid got all excited about how they were going to build it some kind of tree, (I did not understand this story at all), and the mom totally was like, that sounds great! we're going to get ice cream and after that we can go back to the parakeet and do more things! I was like, why isn't she getting upset because the kid is ungrateful and spoiling her plans?

It was amazing. I want to see more of these people who can actually nurture their children and rejoice in them and value them and meet them on their own ground!
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you guys you GUYS [15 Aug 2007|07:08pm]
I got on the Tastespotting front page!

I have been writing better and better entries and submitting better and better pictures to Tastespotting all week! Because in theory, anyone can sign up and send in a picture, a link, and a caption of anything food-related and awesome that they find. But in practice, so much harder than that! And this one made it! Look at my gorgeous oysters.
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What the hell? [14 Aug 2007|07:38pm]
I forgot a big one!

beingjoyful

Now THAT'S a blog.

Slowly being filled up with everything that we wanted to post over the past six seven and a half months.
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Did I announce this here? [13 Aug 2007|12:13pm]
Two shiny new blogs for you to read!
colorful pasta in a colorful room

$40 A Week: Recipes and meal planning for $40 a week or less. (Especially if you don't live in the pricey Bay Area!) It even comes (at least sometimes) with a Google Calendar you can subscribe to that will give you shopping lists and suggestions for when to prepare different recipes and what to eat each day. Plus: pretty pictures! And it is aaaaaaall mine.

joyousfreedom: The first-ever meeting of Abuse Survivors Anonymous, which you can read about at http://asa.fabglitter.org. It is a great place to learn about the effects of all different kinds of abuse, whether it is racism, ridicule, or rape, and what people do to heal from it and make their lives super-awesome. Anyone is welcome.
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OMG TEH ROOMBA [20 Jun 2007|10:03pm]
LURVE.

It is RED. Wait wait I have a joke. What is red and round and cleans up my floor for me?

A ROOMBA!

I didn't say it was a FUNNY joke.

LURVE. $57 on ebay. Thirty-something more for the charger. $30.51 or something. That all includes shipping. And all I have to do is press a button and it just rolls around sucking up bad stuff and making things shiny. Plus Sessa split it with me.

I only ever heard of it and wanted one of them because of Sars and her hilarious rant of hate about cleaning. And then I read when she got one and how funny it was with her cats and I was all, WANT.

It is so fucking awesome. It sings me little songs. It bumbles around sucking up dirt happily like a little turtle. It makes my floors so nice and clean! This morning I did my yoga and then picked up the shag rug and shook it out over the dust that had already filtered down through it. The Roomba cleaned it all up for me while I hung out. LOVE! THE! ROOMBA! *throws confetti all over* *watches Roomba suck that up too*
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One more meeeeme [08 Jun 2007|06:18pm]
Ganked from the lovely youngraven, and may I just say that the test-makers don't know what workaholic means and I don't know where they got this.... Also, they didn't measure how hott I was, they measured how hott I perceive myself as. I think it's sad that some hott chick with low self-esteem is going to take it and be like, I knew I was butt-ugly!

The Everything Test

There are many different types of tests on the internet today. Personality tests, purity tests, stereotype tests, political tests. But now, there is one test to rule them all.

Traditionally, online tests would ask certain questions about your musical tastes or clothing for a stereotype, your experiences for a purity test, or deep questions for a personality test.We're turning that upside down - all the questions affect all the results, and we've got some innovative results too! Enjoy :-)

Personality
You are more emotional than logical, more concerned about others than concerned about self, more atheist than religious, more loner than dependent, more lazy than workaholic, more rebel than traditional, more engineering mind than artistic mind, more idealist than cynical, more leader than follower, and more extroverted than introverted.

As for specific personality traits, you are religious (93%), adventurous (88%), romantic (71%), innovative (64%).

Stereotypes
Punk Rock87%
Prep54%
White Trash50%
 
Life Experience
Sex25%
Substances3%
Travel32%

Politics
Your political views would best be described as Liberal, whom you agree with around 64% of the time.
  Socioeconomic
Your attitude toward life best associates you with Working Class. You make more than 77% of those who have taken this test, and 28% less than the U.S. average.

If your life was a movie, it would be rated PG-13.
By the way, your hottness rank is 83%, hotter than 99% of other test takers.

TAKE THE TEST
brought to you by thatsurveysite

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This is funny [08 Jun 2007|05:42pm]
So, we collectively are somewhat unique and have a CONVENTIONAL writing style. But I, apparently, am not at all unique but traded that in for a much more accurate INTELLECTUAL writing style. Good enough for me.


So, precisegirl, your LiveJournal reveals...



You are... 0% unique and 11% herdlike (partly because you, like everyone else, enjoy writing). When it comes to friends you are popular. In terms of the way you relate to people, you are keen to please. Your writing style (based on a recent public entry) is intellectual.

Your overall weirdness is: 38

(The average level of weirdness is: 27.
You are weirder than 80% of other LJers.)


Find out what your weirdness level is!
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SIA is Stupid [23 May 2007|10:04am]
"What? But I thought you LOVED SIA!"

Yeah, well, here's the thing.

Twelve-step fellowships are supposed to run as a whole. Everyone is equal, and everyone has an equal voice in how things work. If someone comes in with two minutes of experience in the program and no sobriety or abstinence or whatever their program has, and thinks we should have four steps that consist of coming to meetings and giving that person all our money, they can propose that at the biggest business meeting in all the land if they want. It wouldn't be likely to pass because it's crazy talk, but they can do it. They can do it at every business meeting if they want. And eventually they will figure out that it is crazy talk and stop, or if it's not crazy talk it will pass. It's organized anarchy and I love it.

But the fucking Board of Governors, or whatever they call themselves, and the World Service Office, have staged something of a coup. Which rhymes with poop. Or it should do.

The way it used to work was that they had yet to organize an international gathering where they could have annual business meetings, so they took votes on things by mail. They would ask each meeting to vote on this and that, and the meetings would send their decisions back, and then they would let us all know how the votes went.

I only know this because my home group had a whole box of flyers and newsletters and business meeting notes and forms and stuff going back to about 1988 or 1989. And I got the meeting's permission one time, about two and a half years ago, to organize it all. And in there, I discovered a whole bunch of memos from the World Service Office telling us how the votes went for various years. And there seemed to be a lot missing.

I wrote to the WSO and asked them if they could please send me the decisions for the years we were missing. They sent me a big packet of all the votes ever, but it only went up to about 1999. I settled for that at the time, assuming that they had just messed up. I think I may have even asked them where the rest of them were and not received an answer. It never occurred to me that I hadn't seen anything come up for a vote in my time there; I didn't have much time, and if it did occur to me over the years I just naively figured that there wasn't anything to vote on.

Then this whole matter of changing the steps came up. They already have an adapted version of the steps, which is basically the exact same steps but with a few pretty words added to make them easier to understand. It's been around since about 1992; I know, because I remember reading in those old memos about the vote that they took about whether to offer this as an alternative wording of the steps.

Last December, they proposed a third version of the steps. They explained that they get tons of complaints about how the steps are for addicts, not abuse survivors, and how they are too harsh for abuse survivors, and that they wanted to revise them to bring them in line with what therapists have figured out for dealing with abuse now. Basically. All of this despite the fact that SIA literature and SIA's understanding of abuse has always been way ahead of the therapeutic community and still is; that the steps work the same way for addicts and abuse survivors because the same issues are involved; that SIA itself has literature about abuse being at the root of addiction; that we are not made of china and the whole "poor fragile abuse survivor" thing is both demeaning and wildly inaccurate... and that the steps are very powerful, and they work, and changing the steps because some individual people - who don't have to work them if they don't like them - is putting personalities before principles.

This wouldn't bother me so much if it were not that this third version of the steps changes the actions taken in the steps. It pushes the whole higher power thing into the backseat. The main steps that are different are the ones where we ask a higher power to take away the damaging effects of the abuse (aka our shortcomings, our defense mechanisms, etc.), or to let us know what we should be doing, or turn things over that we can't handle so well. Instead, it puts the burden on the survivor to fix all of that, with at most the help of a higher power from that backseat. Never mind that decades of this and other twelve-step programs have made it abundantly clear that trying to fix everything ourselves (1) doesn't work and (2) is part of the problem.

All of this, in my opinion, pales next to what was revealed in the process: that we no longer get to vote on this sort of thing. Or on anything. That SIA no longer runs by group conscience. A Board member explained to the intergroup reps' mailing list that the traditions (like that we run by taking group conscience through a vote) are very important for meetings to follow but they are not for the higher levels of SIA. And that because we are a fellowship of poor fragile abuse survivors, we can't vote. You know, because there might be people who are too scared to register their meeting or in too much chaos to go to meetings and their votes wouldn't get counted (never mind that that is their choice). And because less than 5% of the fellowship voted at all on the last adaptation of the steps, fifteen years ago, they are claiming that voting is not democratic and that therefore it is better to make the decisions for us, soliciting our feedback of course.

GAAAAAAAAAH.

There has been plenty of hue and cry over this, of course. In the process, I found out that Incest Anonymous - which I had never heard of as it only has phone meetings - was actually started by people who were upset about the first round of step-adapting. They wanted a fellowship that would actually value the steps and traditions.

Looks like history is repeating itself, because this process has really inspired me to help start a new twelve-step fellowship. I want there to be one that just deals with abuse in general (instead of just with its effects or just with one very specific kind of abuse) and which really values the steps and traditions and has a lot of information about the principles of the program. I want it to have literature that makes the connection between abuse and addictions very clear and helps people see how to work all their programs together. And that is very clear about why and how the steps work for abuse issues and how powerful they can be.

If you have any interest in something like that, you can see it grow at Abuse Survivors Anonymous. There will be an online meeting pretty soon at joyousfreedom and a business meeting starting up somewhereorother first where everyone who is interested can make decisions about how it should all work.

And behind this cut tag, you can see my latest and hopefully last email to them about all of this.Collapse )
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Silly quiz? [22 May 2007|12:36pm]
I made one!

http://www.quizilla.com/score/display.php?item_id=4891135

Supposedly I can insert the quiz itself right here. We'll see:




I knew that wouldn't work! You just click here and take it. It tests for the effects of abuse, but in a wacky sneaky way.
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another chunk of Facing Abuse [17 Apr 2007|10:22pm]
x-posted from everything2.com: (just added a section on emotional incest, plus links and formatting - 4/18/06)
Emotional AbuseCollapse )
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dealing with triggers and other memories [16 Apr 2007|02:50pm]
[ mood | ecstatic ]

this is x-posted from <lj user=kaleidescope> by accident. i was trying to post it to <lj user=siastepstudy> and then i thought i would leave it here since there are a lot of people who read *my* journal who don't read *our* journal.Collapse )

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A new big chunk of Facing Abuse [07 Apr 2007|09:24pm]
I visited Mills a couple of weeks ago and ran into Scottie, who still works up in Admissions. She asked about how my writing was going, and I told her that I have more time with it now that I do the temp work for the Googling. And later on I was sulking about never really having time to write, and not getting to work on my book ever. And then I realized that instead, I could open up Pages and put everything in it that I wanted to use in my book! And I did! And it was like fifty pages long.

And then I found some more shit to throw in there. And then I wrote the section I really wanted to write about codependency. And here it is for you to enjoy!

also to be found at everything2.com under codependencyCollapse )

Currently I am working on another one about emotional abuse, and I am going to work my way through explaining the other kinds. It is awesome! Whee! (Now it is 76 pages long. And growing!) Plus I got really good feedback on this over at e2, which is great. People liked how it was very thorough, which is what I was aiming for.
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OMG EEEEEE [11 Mar 2007|12:47pm]
[ mood | ecstatic ]

I won a prize for highest goodness for my writeup for the Prosenoder's Cup contest!
I THINK that means the most upvotes. I thought I was tied with two other people for second place for highest goodness, but I didn't look at the voting until a couple of hours after the contest ended and people can still give it more upvotes or downvotes any time. I guess I must have had the second-highest number right at the moment it officially ended. And the person who had the most upvotes also had the highest overall score so they got first place in the contest overall, so they couldn't get the highest goodness prize too! I didn't even think of that!

Hooray! That's the exact prize I was hoping I would get! Last time the contest rolled around, I posted my story way late and so it didn't get the attention I think it would have otherwise and I won nothing. It's still my favorite thing I've written. This one wasn't bad either and I made extra real double sure to post it as soon as I could so it appeared at the top of the page of entries and was up the whole time voting was happening. That helped a lot. I didn't think I could get first, second, or third place overall with this one, but I did hope I could win something and look I did! I logged in today and it was all, "Congratulations! You've received 252 experience points!" HOLY GODDAMN.

Here are the two stories for your reading enjoyment:Collapse )

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Compulsive restricting, attacks of shame, and awesome ideas [10 Jan 2007|12:12pm]
So, I spent the first couple of days of this week totally acting out around food in very anorexic ways.

Also, let me quote you from ABA about this. This is from the standard meeting script for Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous:
"In this group we discover that our insane eating, starving, exericse, and [or] purging behaviors are addictive in nature - that is, out of our own control - and that we actually use these behaviors, and the inner physical changes resulting from them, to numb our emotions and escape from ourselves. In doing so, we also fall out of touch with others and out of step with the universe of which we are a part, and we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to be fully alive in our present time and space.

"...The first action of this cunning and baffling disease is to cast us into a state of unawareness [the dissociation that comes with overeating or undereating or any addictive behavior], in which we fail to recognize that we are in mortal danger when we carry out its insane commands. We learn that the payoff we receive from this disease for our obedience to its demands is nothing more than a mirage: an illusion of control over our lives and our future.

"...We tried many... half-measures, while still clinging to little vestiges of control to avoid that most fearsome state: geting fat! Or, if we were already 'overweight,' we clung to these control measures to lose weight. Some of us appeared unconcerned about our weight and instead engaged in controlling behaviors to avoid feeling our feelings. We learned through all this experience that the intoxicating 'drug' to which we are addicted is not the act of starvation or exercise or the binge/purge cycle itself. Rather, the 'drug' of anorexia and bulimia is the feeling of being in control of our food and body weight and shape. This sense of control is generated in us through restrictive eating practices, or through purging after we binge, or through exercise."

In other words, any kind of undereating or overeating or other unhealthy eating patterns (and in fact, the only requirement for membership in ABA is a desire to stop unhealthy eating practices) results in dissociation, and is a tool for numbing feelings and trying to control things out of fear. It's not useful to be like, "well, I'm not anorexic because I'm not skinny enough, or because my undereating comes out of something besides wanting to lose weight, or because I also eat compulsively (what is undereating besides compulsive?), or because after I undereat I eat a ton to make up for it, or because I think I'm getting healthier around it, or...."

There are lots of ways to have unhealthy relationships with food. Stupid boxes from the DSM don't work for anyone - just ask the queer community. I'm much more in favor of defining anorexia, or anorexic behavior, as any unhealthy restrictive eating pattern. I go to ABA meetings all the time and hear people who have been hospitalized for anorexia or bulimia talk about how much they love food and how they eat compulsively and how no matter which end of the pendulum they're swinging at it's about control beyond any weight or body image issues that may or may not be involved.

So this week, I was totally acting out in my own anorexia. I was doing my old trick of not eating breakfast at first because I didn't feel hungry, or wasn't that interested in it yet, and I didn't know what I wanted to make, and then I would start playing around online or something, and then I would put off dealing with food for longer, and then decide that I didn't want to have to stop and eat until I was undeniably hungry, and then by the time I actually made food my blood sugar tanked and basically I wouldn't get anything done for the first half of the day because I didn't have any energy or motivation to because I hadn't eaten yet! And then I would be hungry for breakfast AND lunch and it would eat up even more of my day - trying to get enough food in me to not be hungry anymore. Plus I would freak out because I didn't think I had enough food in my fridge and I would totally decide, mostly subconsciously, that I should try to eat less so that the food could last longer and all this insane shit.

And I realized that this is my way of punishing myself for declaring, this weekend, that I am going to focus on making a living doing things that are fun and bring me joy. And then, on Monday, going even farther and deciding that I'm going to let go of all these fantastical ideas I have about what East Bay Energy Therapy is going to do and instead doing the things, like writing and workshops, that I am really called to do and that are a lot of fun for me. OMG THE INSANITY.

So of course I must be stopped from doing any work and punished for being a failure and berated for not having any money because I'm not driving myself to do things that don't work for me because I think that's the only way to make any money. I should focus on doing things that suck and are all corporate or bureaucratic or abusive or jerk me around or deaden my soul or underpay me and don't respect my contributions, right? That's what people are Supposed To Do! If I'm not doing that, then I will never amount to anything or make any money! I should freak out about money! And food! And impose shame and deprivation on myself because there is no one else who is going to do it!

And that, shockingly, DOES NOT WORK FOR ME. The very simplest way of looking at it is that I decided to do things that are awesome and then immediately used all my dysfunctional behavior around food and all kinds of crazy subconscious ideas about myself and food and money to make sure I didn't do any awesome things or anything at all. Which I could then use to "prove" all the dysfunctional ideas about how I will never pull this off and I am a failure and blah blah blah. So that then I could punish myself some more.

Which makes me CRAZY. And it's funny 'cause I shared this with annathebean and she was all "you are so awesome!" and that wasn't my reaction at all - my reaction was to be mad at myself for doing it!

And I can be really proud of myself because I whipped up a bunch of mini-quiches yesterday morning. Even though I didn't eat them till they were cold, at least I am at the point where I can make good food for myself and have it be easy and interesting instead of a huge psychological burden that never gets done. And then I went to help Sessa pack and I brought food for if I got hungry, even though it wasn't food I wanted. And on the way, I recognized the ways that I was shaming myself and I stopped and instead thought of ten things that I was proud of myself for over the past week. And then I gave myself love and compassion.

And that felt way better. And then when I got there we talked about getting food, and I went with her to get Chinese fast food. And I thought the kids in here probably needed something to reassure them and help them feel good and so I asked them to pick out food that they wanted. And they got fried pork chops and chow mein and a soda. And then Sessa paid for it because we were helping her pack!

And it was all such a huge relief and I felt like we'd done all the right things to make things better again. Plus I had the genius idea of doing laundry at her house, with her kind permission, because David STILL HASN'T FIXED THE WASHING MACHINE or answered my latest message about it.

Ironically, I realized that in normal conditions if he took this long to fix that and the fence and wasn't replying, he would have just crossed my "I'm moving out" line. But instead, I am trying to get to stay here for as long as possible and unsure about what my next move is going to be. And I guess that's okay. Well, maybe realizing that means that it would be a good idea to look at other houses for rent while I wait to see if I can buy a house and work toward being approved for that.

So I shared all this in the ABA meeting, and then after I shared I had two genius insights from the Goddess that baaaarely make any sense to me. Well, one of them makes more sense now.

1. That I could start structuring my days so that everything I do is about celebrating myself. And making sure that I start out with the bottom of the pyramid of needs and get my basic needs met before I try to move up to all the things my brain wants to do in the day.

2. That (since part of my problem with breakfast is that I think I need to eat different, breakfasty things, not like what I normally eat - and I don't know a lot of breakfasty things that I like) I should treat breakfast as a time when I get to eat all my favorite foods. And let that be the shiny sink of my meal plan.

It seemed like it might be sort of possible to think of things I liked and make them be for breakfast. I thought of persimmons and fruit salads and other salads and that I could make breadstuffs that were better than the muffins I had been doing. Maybe I could make breakfast cookies that did not have sugar in them or something.

And I thought that if I had enough money, maybe I could take myself out to eat for every breakfast. But then I thought that I don't really like going out to eat for breakfast, because generally places just have the same eggs or whatever that I could make myself. I don't want to go out and eat sugary pancakes every day or something. But then I thought, you know what I really like that I only get out at brunch places?

HOME FRIES.

Especially the ones at La Note.

And then I realized it:

I LOVE the breakfast and brunch food at La Note. LOVE IT. And I could TOTALLY go over their menu and learn how to make all of that stuff at home! And it would be so much cheaper and so much fulfilling!

So I am excited about this idea. Right now I still have a bunch of little mini-quiches to eat, which is good because I need to get clarity around how much money I have and when I last bought groceries and sort out my current meal plan before I do anything rash like, you know, BUY FOOD. But it would be soooooo nice to go out and get things to make myself any of that. And I have potatoes and garlic to make home fries! And I live right by Arizmendi's, where I could get french bread and stuff! I could have a baguette with Brie! And fruit salad! Oh, the many fabulous options!
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