Saturday, May 28, 2016

Her name is Maggie

I'm barreling thru my stack of books, plus I received the last of Pia Mellody's CD lectures, so now I have them all. The result has been a flood, and I do mean it's all coming out, of note taking, identification with this and that as I read or hear about something, and journaling of issues and new understandings. It's all good, Pia says you have to get your history straight so you can begin to deal with the effects of abuse. We all have a lot o'history.

Remember where I told you there was a day in my youth, maybe about age 11, when I stopped calling my mother Mommy or Mom, and called her Mother ever after that? It was my way of distancing myself from her physically (the voice is audible, heard with our ears) and emotionally (no longer an affectionate name, but her official title.) As I was writing today, I realized it's time to stop calling her Mother, it just really demeans that title and that role in a persons life. She wanted the power and prestige of being "Mother," but she dropped the responsibility and accountability for it consciously and willfully when I was still in my single digits. In the end, it was nothing more than a trump card to be played when compliance was required.

So, I've started writing her actual given name in my notes and journals, but here I will refer to her as "Maggie." I don't know anyone with that name (no Margaret anywhere,) it sounds a bit like a fictional harridan (any famous drunks with that name, maybe in Faulkner, dunno,) or screeching crow (Magpie?), and, oddly enough, it makes her more human. She was just a woman - with serious issues. It's time to get her off the pedestal, out of the cloaked magic that is motherhood, mark and remove the structures that are her build in my soul, and dethrone her power in my life.

She wasn't a dear sweetie and she wasn't a demon possessed madman, she was a willful human being who shall be known here from now on as Maggie, or as "my mother, Maggie."


And in other news, I recommend again giant Post-It notes that you can stick on the wall and write notes on. (Staples, etc., will have them, too.) They are good with dry erase markers or fine Sharpies, so you can write big or small, with your glasses on or without (!), and you can keep your subjects together and seriously accessible all the time. It might be an issue if you have other people around wanting to read or critique it, but by yourself, it works great. Getting a journal, finding the page, trying to make it read just so can be taxing.

Just dash it off on the Post-It, add things on the margins, draw arrows, draw a picture, then go on to the next part of the lecture or book and come back and add something later. You can add the final edition of the note page to a digital journal by taking a readable photo of it, good for long term storage of the note anyway, or use the information to make some longer, coherent journal entries. I've got Pia's co-dependence workbook coming tomorrow, so I can take the things I've dashed off on the posters and reorganize it for the exercises in the workbook.

Kind of like this, but NOT THIS PERFECT!

Mine are vastly less colorful, but you can see where subject matter, mood, and emotion level change the outcome. Some are scribbled lists, some are a bit flow charty, some are lecture notes, some are life notes. I thought I'd take a picture of my own post-it posters, but I can't figure out how to blur them. Y'all don't need to read that mess, you got your own mess to straighten out.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Do you see?

Do you see why I like Stevie Nicks! I LIKE her!

Oh, I went looking for the workbook for Pia Mellody's book, but I ended up with a bunch of other addiction and codependency books. Starting on Dr. Drew Pinsky's book, Cracked. If you aren't sure about how all the personality disorders and addictions line up, Pinsky's descriptions of actual cases and how rehab and recovery works will shake all that out for you. Nothing like a pro to make things clear.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Play on

My recovery travels with Pia Mellody and Stevie Nicks continue. Pia nailed me so hard in a set of lectures called Co-Addicted Relationships, it's taken three days to stop blinking at the light. Yes, it's worth every penny and, no, you shouldn't make a video out of it and post it on youtube. That's just major league wrong. Stevie Nicks comes into the picture because so many of her songs are about the kind of love affairs I used to have - and used to think I was supposed to have! Drama and heartbreak and grieving and rinse and repeat are not love, but that's all we know, so that's all we do.

[I will give you a great big revelation out of that CD set: love addiction and codependency are NOT the same thing, although the codependency obviously feeds into it. I think quite a few of the bloggers out there that are dealing with recovery from narcissistic romantic partners would benefit from some real clarity about love addiction. It feels like everything is all mushed together, but Pia knows how to sort the layers out so you can deal effectively with addiction as addiction, and then go on to deal with the primary issues of codependence. She sounds like she's making it complicated, but she's really being respectful of what our experience truly is. She and I have the same goal - deal with all the mess and get on with the business of living. I've been chained on an emotional trash heap all my life, I'm willing to do the work to move on.]

I've found that there's a local CoDA 12 Step meeting, I'm not sure that's what I need or want, but if I can cobble some courage together, I'd like to go see. I tried a different 12 Step group 25 years ago, and it was massively depressing. Dark room, clinically depressed people, no hope in sight, and the guy leading it set off major warning bells in my spirit. I didn't go again. I think I'm just wanting some acquaintance with others who understand by experience what the deal is and who can keep me grounded about continuing to be aware of how this thing is and has worked in my life. One of my greatest frustrations has always been looking thru old diary entries and finding that I'm doing the same damned dance and repair work over and over again.

I found this interview with Stevie Nicks very interesting this morning. I've never been a following fan of hers before, although I bought her albums way back when. The longer I listened to her talk here, the more I liked her. She is, just in herself, a great encouragement to be yourself and be creative.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


There's something about writing here that sets things to rest. Well, it settles them down a bit, and that is worth something over time.

I once had a boyfriend sexual obsession who was equally obsessed with me, and we danced around each other for a number of years. He was my first and we were absolutely wrong for each other, so naturally we proceeded to seduce each other for quite some time. It had all the best elements for fantasy and lost hope - we were complete opposites in every way, our friends and families could not know about it lest it cause an uproar (we were in our teens and barely twenties), and he was vain, handsome, and posturing, and I was naive, hormonal, and emotionally non-existent. Perfect!

I was finally able to confirm last week that he was the shooter in murder-suicide several years ago. I'm angry that he would or could become so base that he would murder a good woman who by all accounts supported him and deserved no such thing. But I also mourn the young man I once knew and occasionally hoped that one day we would casually cross paths again and laugh together at our youth. Flee self pity, people, it's a killer - of your own soul, and in truth, it seeks the destruction of others to satisfy itself. Just let your failures go. Forever.

For the last four or five days, I've been seeing his image standing somewhere near me, not as a ghost, but more like those blended photos of history and a modern photograph. I see him in that precious camel hair coat, smiling at me, wondering and double dog daring me on what I'm going to do next. It's just old memories floating up to the surface as I recall more and more of him and more and more of me way back then. I'm not fond of all these ghosting experiences, but it does bring back parts of me that I've long forgotten.

I won't let him stay long, but before I put him away I'd like to send out a long distance dedication to him wherever he is. He ran away to find himself in the Navy and never came home again. I don't know at all who he was when he died, but I remember him as I knew him. I hope he sought and found the peace of God.