Taking a break

Hi everyone. My mom being sick has rocked me a bit more than I thought. She’s fully well now again, since a week now already, and technically things are back to perfectly normal at our house, but I haven’t found much energy in me to blog. So I’m taking a break for a while and see what happens. I hope you’re all well. Take good care of yourselves! ❤

Stuck with the Sexual Healing Journey, but here’s the plan

Maybe you’ve noticed that it’s been quite a while since my last sexual healing journey post. The reason is that I’m a bit stuck and in a dilemma about what to do. On the one hand I’m stuck because this second part of the healing journey, the ‘making changes’ part, is less linear and I’m a bit overwhelmed because there are so many individual things within each chapter of the book that I don’t know which to tackle next and how. But I guess I can figure that out.

On the other hand, however, covering the ‘making changes’ part requires some more in-depth thinking and focusing on the sexual abuse itself, and I feel a bit uncomfortable making myself vulnerable to everyone’s eyes by describing those things. I’m a suspicious gal. I’m afraid people who don’t come to read here for good reasons, but because they have abusive mindsets themselves, might read about my experiences and get some sick kind of satisfaction out of it. I’d hate for the things that hurt me to be the jerk-off material for sickos.

So while I plan to continue, I  will password protect some of the upcoming Sexual Healing Journey posts. If you’d like to read them and I “know” you already from your blog, or because we’ve been “talking” here on my blog and I have a good feeling about letting you read, just raise your hand and the waitress will serve you. 😉

Just thought I’d mention that before the password protected stuff pops up. 🙂

The funny moment . . .

. . . when my spam says:

I’m grateful to find such valuable information on this important subject

in response to none other than my post “Pink Marker + Little Lola = ?“.

Well, what can I say?

I’m glad to be of service in providing some much-needed information on the magnificent effects marker can have on doll hair. One of my more brilliant moments for sure! You are forever indebted to me for sharing such a profound, life-changing insight, lista de email, or whatever your weird name is.

LOL! Spam comments sure are annoying, but sometimes they manage to be funny. To make up for the pain of deleting them. Or something.

 

Please read: a message from my Mom regarding comments

Hello, everyone. I (Lola, lol) have gotten comments that I noticed where a bit distressing to me. Mom noticed and we had a discussion about it and only during our talk, which consumed a large part of the night, I noticed that I wasn’t coping so well with those. The most recent comment was that of you, Kyle, which was:

_____________________________

I’ve a question… a bit more on the frank and callous side of questioning this time around, but…

– How does your Dad and brothers react to your sexual advances? Not even your brothers have given in to them? However, you stated in another post that one of your brother’s friends gave in, what happened after that? Did you inform your brother about it, and did those two stop being friends after, or was it all swept under the rug? Also, you speak a lot about your mom, but never your dad and brothers, are you guys particularly close?

– You used to dress lewdly around the house, most likely to give out more sexual advances, right? I’m still confused as to how this would be fair for the others who give in to their hormones to accept you and then be hated later for it. What if someone devised a test like that towards you? I understand you have been through a lot, but I’m just saying the tests are rather unfair.

– What is the difference between an ‘appropriate’ sexual partner and an ‘inappropriate’ one?

_____________________________

I had promised to answer it today, but I’m not going to. Instead my mom wanted to write something to everyone who comes to my blog regarding comments. Please take a minute to read it. Thank you. 🙂 Here’s what my mom wants to say:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear readers and followers of Lola’s blog,

as you may or may not have picked up from my daughter’s past blog posts, I – Lola’s Mom – am involved with her blog in the background. My job is to make sure Lola does not cross healthy boundaries on her blog, but just the same I am here to make sure that my daughter’s blog is a safe place for her. Therefore I am monitoring both Lola’s post and the nature of the comments she gets.

I am very pleased that most comments are of a very kind, respectful and supportive nature. That speaks highly of you. I appreciate that greatly. Thank you very much. You contribute a lot to making this a good and beneficial experience for Lola.

On the opposite side of those comments would be the obviously rude or offensive comments. Those will get deleted right away, but I am equally pleased that none of the comments so far have fallen into this category. This, again, speaks highly of you, the readers and commenters, and I thank you very much.

I am less pleased, however, with comments such as the above, that are not wrong in and off themselves, yet border on inappropriate for my daughter’s mental health blog insofar as they touch on the grey areas in between, and are, indeed, frank and callous.

My daughter is very brave to use this blog to share her thoughts, her perceptions of the world and her feelings especially regarding the issues she is struggling with. She is making herself vulnerable by sharing those things. She is not doing so to satisfy anyone’s curiosity or because she wants or needs scrutiny, but because she is trying to overcome the embarrassment and shame and the unhealthy tendency towards secrecy, that comes with struggling with mental health issues and from having been sexually abused. She uses this blog as a tool to aid her in her recovery.

As such, it is vital that she feels safe and in control here, on her own blog.

I want to put an emphasis on the fact that I am not singling you, Kyle, out to imply you meant harm. I assume in your favor that your questions are fueled by genuine curiosity and a desire to enhance your understanding. Nothing is wrong with that at all. Sometimes an innocent intention, however, does not suffice. It is not a simple matter of black or white here, we are treading very much on the finer lines in between. Things that happen on this grey ground are infinitely more difficult for my daughter, because among those fine lines she has great difficulty telling what is healthy for her apart from what is unhealthy for her.

Questions such as the above are unhealthy for Lola. The underlying tone of the questions, what gets conveyed beneath the words, is subtly invasive and offensive. I readily assume that it is inadvertent, but that does not cushion the effect.

Also saying ‘I understand I am being bold / my question might be callous / that you have been through a lot, BUT . . . ’ does not make the ‘but’ part of the question any more friendly or more appropriate. It just makes it harder for my daughter to call the question bold, callous or inappropriate. This kind of masking, even when unintentional, is not appreciated. If you are already aware that your question might be bold or callous, then please have the courtesy to draw the appropriate conclusion yourself and don’t ask it in this way.

So instead of looking at the question of appropriate vs. inappropriate sexual partners, I would very much like to look at the question of appropriate vs. inappropriate comments for my daughter’s blog.

Appropriate comments need to be respectful. In this case respectful means that you need to consider how what you say will impact the person you address. You are addressing my daughter Lola. Appropriate comments are considerate of her emotional situation. I am aware that this is a very subtle rule and that not everyone finds it easy to look at things from someone else’s point of view, especially if that ‘someone else’ is struggling with mental health issues. It is, however, the most important rule and it will be enforced, because this blog needs to be a safe place for Lola.

Inappropriate comments are those which fail to be respectful. Again, we are all human and making mistakes is human. Neither Lola nor I assume that it happens on purpose. We are both aware that it can be very hard to tell when a comment starts to be disrespectful and why. I apply sensitive standards to protect my daughter’s mental health. It may be a case of trial and error for you to find out what is okay and what is not. Nonetheless, if comments that fall into the ‘not appropriate’ category appear, I am going to delete them along with a link to this post to help you understand what has gone wrong.

And lastly, the fairness of decisions regarding what’s appropriate is relative. Kyle, you asked how it would be fair for the people who live at our house to have involuntary hormonal sexual responses triggered and then later be hated for it. The simple answer is that it is not fair. Just the same as it is not fair that Lola was sexually abused. Many of the behaviors she employs as a result of that are not ‘fair’. There is absolutely no need to make her feel embarrassed or guilty over it by asking how she would feel if people behaved that way towards her, however. Life is very rarely fair, and if someone knows this, then it is Lola.

‘Fair’ itself is a very artificial standard. What’s fair and what is not depends on a multitude of factors. Therefore my decisions regarding which comments are appropriate and which are not can seem ‘unfair’ to some of you, because I make my decision based on what is ‘fair’ towards Lola and her emotional capabilities. That is the way we judge ‘fair’ at our house. When something surpasses Lola’s abilities, then it is not ‘fair’ to put her in the way of it. When we are the ones capable of a more mature response than she is, then it is ‘fair’ that we carry more responsibility for how we handle the situation than she does. And that does not mean that Lola is excused from having to try to the best of her ability to be fair towards others as well, but just that we need to be sure that we know what the actual best of her ability is at a given time.

And to go back to the question of what constitutes an appropriate sexual partner, much the same thing is true. Appropriate sexual partners are respectful of how what they do will impact the person they do it to, which makes their behavior safe. Appropriate sexual partners may misstep, but they will stop when asked and will want to learn from it to make a better judgment the next time around. And appropriate sexual partners can tell that fairness is relative to the ability of the people who are involved and that in order to be fair they might have to contribute more than the less capable partner. Those basic principles of appropriateness can be applied to a multitude of situations.

I am glad that this opportunity to clarify what makes comments appropriate came up. It gave Lola and me a reason to discuss how we deal with them.

To summarize in a nutshell:

Comments that fail to be sufficiently considerate of my daughter’s emotional vulnerability will be deleted and provided with a link to this post. If your comment got deleted, it does not mean that you meant harm or made some grave mistake, but just that what you wrote was inappropriate to Lola’s abilities to deal with it. What exactly IS inappropriate is subject to change as Lola’s abilities improve or experience temporary setbacks. Please know that even if your comment got deleted, you are still very welcome to enjoy reading the blog and to comment again – just try to adjust your level of considerateness to the level of Lola’s abilities.

I want to thank you very much for your understanding regarding the necessity of this boundary.

With kind regards,
Lola’s Mom

My blogging 2012 in review

For anyone who is interested in checking out my full annual (or as annual as Oct. to Dec. can be) report, happy looking. 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

13 Questions before 2013 – New Year’s Eve Reflections, a 2012 Summary and Thanks

NewYear2013

With the new year just around the bend, it’s a good time to stop and reflect upon the old year. I found some questions and thought it would be fun to answer them. WordPress also arranged some 2012 blog stats, that I took screenshots of to share with you all below the questions. Anyway, here are the questions:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

That my family is still my family. My biggest fear about them changing their mind and continuing their lives without me didn’t come true. They continued to put up with me, that’s the single best thing that happened.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Probably my sister’s wedding earlier this year. I’ve never been to a wedding before, it was away from home, everything unfamiliar, all those people I’ve never seen, quite some drama on my part, it was very challenging. I’m glad it’s over and done with and nobody else is to marry any time soon.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

Blogging, probably. I started in October and didn’t really know what to expect. I just wanted a space and a reason to bring my thoughts together for. And it turns out I really enjoy it. It’s also the closest thing to a social life outside family that I have gotten, and I didn’t expect that.

4. Pick three words to describe your 2012.

Interesting – chaotic – thought-provoking.

5. What were the best books you read this year?

Oh gosh, I’m a poor reader so I don’t tend to read books. Mom started reading ‘The Children from Noisy Village’ to me and I really liked that, though. So that’s probably the best book this year.

6. With whom was your most valuable relationship?

With my mom. She is the one person I couldn’t live without. I need her to guide me through my life, to keep me sane, to keep me safe and to just be there and love me. Without her I’d die. Yeah, and I know this is not the healthiest attitude for a grown-up person to have, but I am no grown-up person.

7. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

I learned to pause and reflect more. I used to be all emotion when I felt something, all caught up in the feelings and the thoughts that went with them, unable to see beyond or back or any alternative. But I learned to keep two streams of consciousness going. One that feels the emotion and thinks the related thoughts, and one that stays kind of aware that even when it feels like the only way to see things, this might not necessarily BE the only and/or most appropriate way to react.

8. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

Hm. I don’t know. Spiritually. Now that’s difficult. Maybe the closest thing to spiritual growth is that I learned to value virtues. Often my emotions still get in the way of acting accordingly, but at least living by virtues like honesty, acceptance, compassion, kindness, generosity, integrity, patience etc. has started to look attractive and like something I want to have in my life in order to be happy and feel whole and stuff. Is that spiritual? I don’t know.

9. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

Uhhhmmm… even harder. I’d like to grow a couple of inches taller, but that’s just not happening anymore. I don’t think I grew physically in any other way.

10. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

I feel like through blogging I’ve become a little better at relating to other people. I seriously didn’t think I could do interactive stuff like comments very well, because in real life I am not able to cope with this kind of spontaneity, with people saying something to me, very well at all. But I discovered that I can cope with the comments that come up when blogging fairly well. So maybe I’m not such a total failure with people after all, and being able to see that feels like growth of sorts.

11. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

Probably the moments when I dissociated over small stuff, because I couldn’t cope. It steals large parts of the day when I am absorbed into the fog of dissociation, not noticing stuff, not able to be truly myself when reacting, not able to think properly, not able to process and just live my life. I suppose it serves a purpose, otherwise it wouldn’t be there, but it feels like a waste of time.

12. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

Making active efforts to get my mental health into a better condition. Also blogging about it. Writing. Drawing. Coping with stuff that came up. Those were the best ways that I used my time.

13. What is your biggest wish for 2013

My truly biggest wish for 2013 would be for society to do a major turn away from the present profit- and results-orientation with little tolerance for deviant ways of thinking, feeling and behaving, if they don’t lead to more money being made. I wish for society to turn towards truly caring for one another on a larger scale, towards everyone becoming aware of their joint responsibility for everyone within the society and where kindness, righteousness and tolerance take priority over money. I can dream, right. My biggest personal wish for 2013 would be to keep on improving my mental health and for my family to keep on wanting to have me around.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I also want to give everyone a heartfelt THANK YOU for 4.161 views since I started the blog in October, for a total of 588 comments (including my own) and 96 followers. I’ve gotten views from 58 different countries, which I find totally amazing.

2012-WhereFrom

Just the same thank you for all of your awesome blogs that I enjoy visiting every day and for sharing your journeys.

2012-WhoCommented

Special thanks go to you, nobodysreadinme, prideinmadness, gypsy116, vwoopwvoop and finallyamanda for all your comments. 🙂 (If you haven’t checked out their blogs yet, they are all worth a good look!) And thank you just the same for everyone else who commented. I really appreciate reading your thoughts, every single one. All the comments I got have been kind and nice. Thank you for that.

I wish everyone a great

New Year’s Eve

today and a safe, happy,

healthy and fulfilling

year 2013! 🙂

Tough Day

After a tough night, unsurprisingly, there is a tough day. I’m trying to make the best of it, but it’s a challenge. Why is it that good days so often come with a right royal rebound? I’d like to know who invented that so I can kick them.

I tried to zentangle my way to more calm today, but it didn’t really work because I couldn’t focus long enough and got frustrated and fed up with my drawing. So here’s a zentangle from yesterday, which I did during breakfast while I waited for everyone to leave.

Zentangle4

What temporarily distracted me was when mom turned an old blouse of mine into a vest kind of thing for little Lola. I enjoyed watching her sew and telling her where the stars go. I also enjoyed fashioning an earring of mine into a pendant for the necklace. But the distraction was only temporary and afterward I went back to feeling… weird.

Here’s little Lola displaying how I feel.

Sulking

Yeah, not much up with me today. Before lunch mom shooed me outside to grab some sunlight. I bristled. We ended up sitting in the cold on the veranda. Strange day.

I feel like I have all those things going on in my head, but instead of happening in full view, all thoughts have disappeared behind frosted glass. I can press my nose against it and make out shapes and stuff, but that’s it. Maybe that’s a cue that I need to spend the day recharging rather than trying to figure out what’s going on in my head and getting frustrated over it.

Hey, but so I don’t come across as being all grumpy, I hit my 100th blog post today! This is the 101st! I don’t know why, but it feels worth mentioning. 🙂

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