Tired Today

For some reason I am feeling very tired today despite sleeping for 11 hrs! Perhaps it’s a case of sleeping too much then waking with a sleep ‘hangover’ of sorts. Either way I don’t feel optimal. Hopefully I’ll be back on track tomorrow or soon so I can think better.

Yup, this is me but a little bit taller (not by much though, lol).

A Letter from Jail

Anya:

I donated again. Hope Rara stays well and can get out sooner rather than later.

Originally posted on rarasaur:

The following are scanned images of a letter I received from Rara.  The originals were in light pencil and have been altered for contrast and readability.  Click in the image to see it in full size.

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P.S.  You may have noticed that I haven’t been on the blogs.  With a cold and adjusting to a new job, my scheduling has been erratic.  Hopefully soon I will get back to work.

– G

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Vulnerability

Vulnerability isn’t my favourite state to be in. I dislike being vulnerable because I have a mental concept of myself as someone above weakness. Of course I have lots of weaknesses but I don’t enjoy putting mine on display intentionally if I can help it. Because I never attached securely to my mother I felt it was unsafe to let yourself be in a helpless state dependant on another for your welfare. Some people likely end up cycling through relationships as adults because they aren’t able to attach in a healthy manner to their partner; in my case I never even bothered to form any relationships. I just didn’t want to deal with being with someone if it meant I had to be vulnerable. One can of course get around that by shutting down emotionally but I knew enough that if I did that any relationship I entered would be ‘dead on arrival’.

I’m a very analytically inclined person so tend to retreat to my head when I’m feeling uncomfortable. Even now as I type this post I am in my head not connecting emotionally with what I write because it’s just too hard for me. If I manage to stay emotionally connected than I stink at writing and I have a lot of my self-esteem tied up in my ability to write well. What’s difficult is when I am in therapy describing something that happened to me and I get too enthusiastic. The enthusiasm comes about as I narrate my history with some new term I discovered to describe a particular phenomenon that occurred. Why I must get so excited over terminology that sounds coldly clinical to most people I’m not sure about. Perhaps it’s that I enjoy organising my experience into manageable pieces by way of clean, clinical concepts. Undoubtedly, the terms make me feel satisfied because they lack the messy nature of my actual lived experience. Terminology gives me a secure feeling. Terminology washes clean the lingering shame I feel inside me I rarely allow myself to acknowledge. 

In case you’re wondering what terminology I’m talking about I’m referring to reactive attachment disorder. Another one I like especially well is transgenerational trauma transmission. Aren’t they delicious? (joking). So what is reactive attachment disorder? Well it comes about from not having a reliable primary caregiver (the main person who looked after you) that was able to offer the emotional comfort you needed. Children that grew up in orphanages and foster care sometimes develop it but you need not have grown up without parents. I had a mother and father but my mother was not emotionally available for me so I learned to turn inward and not look outside me for comfort. If my own mother couldn’t comfort me what use would anyone else be? That’s what I think I must have told myself anyway because I abhorred physical touch and strongly disliked anyone coming too close to me physically. Within my tiny self I was contained and didn’t want anyone else infringing on my fragile fortress.

The lingering effects of the attachment disorder come about in not being able to form intimate relationships with people. I’ve never had really close friendships and I’ve never had romantic relationships. All that I could handle were friends I never allowed to get too close and absolutely NO sexual/intimate relationships. The very thought of someone touching my body made me shudder so I felt safer being an ‘ice queen’ eschewing all forms of touch. Also, I considered how people expect you to express your emotions to your partner and I didn’t really know how to express mine. How could I tell someone I loved them when I didn’t even love myself? The feeling was utterly alien and terrifying for me. In essence, I’ve been living a somewhat robotic existence unable to reach out and touch somebody from across the emotional gulf I’d created.

You might imagine me as being terribly lonely but a lovely side effect of being so alone is that you get quite comfortable with your own company. I’m very happy with nobody around me and enjoy solitude a great deal. This wasn’t always the case though. For many years I was unbearably sad and wanted desperately to have someone just wrap their arms about me and hold me, in essence to be that secure attachment/base I’d never initially known. Unlike a lot of people I didn’t seek out casual sexual encounters to fill that void within me; rather I became obsessed with weights and measures starving myself in a bid to be as non existent on the outside as I felt on the inside.

Unconsciously, I wanted to look the way I felt inside-not there/absent/non existent.

Eating disorders can be so seductive, you know, because they offer you an illusion of control and control has been something I’ve sought my whole life. I think people miss the point when they see individuals with eating disorders as immature. Yes, using food as a means to garner control in your life is quite infantile but it isn’t because one is childish per se. If you’ve never been given the tools to cope with life in an age appropriate way the only recourse you have is to regress to an earlier stage when you felt control. Sadly, for many that’s at a very young age. This is why children often become picky eaters. It’s the only area of their life they can control and the thought you might be ruining your health in the process is of little consequence. In a similar manner I didn’t care what I was doing to my body during my 15 year battle with eating disorders because I just wanted to be in control. It didn’t matter that it was an illusion and the eating disorder controlled me.

Transgenerational trauma transmission is the other term I became excited about. It refers to one generation of trauma survivours passing down their unresolved trauma to the next generation(s). Typically it arises from long periods of trauma and first came about as a term to refer to Holocaust survivours. People who have survived wars, famine, concentration camps (i.e: prisoners of war), alcoholism, and any other event that impacts the family over a long period of time traumatically can transmit to the next generation. It occurs unconsciously because the parent has typically repressed the trauma so it’s not in their mind all the time, yet the effects of the trauma have not disappeared. Children being the little sponges they are soak up the parents’ unresolved issues and carry forward with them pain that is not entirely their own.

In my family it was primarily my mother who transmitted trauma to me since she’d suffered a great deal in her home at the hands of her parents. Although she was abused and knew it she never sought psychotherapy for it. Whilst I was a child I would ‘pick up’ from her, like a radio transmitter, feelings and impressions that she never spoke out loud about until I was slightly older. But it didn’t matter that she did not speak directly of the trauma because I could still ‘feel’ it when near her. All I had to do was be close by her and I received the trauma from her and I was traumatised directly on top of the indirect variety too. As I mentioned already I developed reactive attachment disorder because mom couldn’t be available emotionally to me. She also sexually, psychologically and physically abused me to make it interesting for me! (being facetious).

Image credit: George Doyle

I never expected to ‘recover’ or get well for a long time but that was before I discovered compassion and love. Even though my mother wasn’t able to love me unconditionally it didn’t prevent me from finding it. I’m reluctant to mention how it happened because I’m only too aware of the controversy surrounding such relationships. That being said, I met a therapist in training and felt his compassion helped heal me-or went towards it anyway. It was up to me to heal myself but if I hadn’t met him I wouldn’t have experienced what it was like to feel unconditionally accepted. He was the catalyst in my desire to get healthy. Something inside me told me I would marry him some day if I could become healthy enough emotionally. Of course it sounds bonkers but I don’t need outside validation for my psychic/intuitive messages I receive.

Since I met that therapist in training I have made progress in healing I know I would not have made otherwise. I am sold on the idea of love being the only thing you need now (apart from air, water,food and shelter) for healing. Love can heal any pain if you allow yourself to feel it fully. First you have to learn to love yourself though because otherwise it is impossible to love anyone else. You can’t give what you don’t have. If all you have is conditions and terms on your love that is what you can give-not unconditional love. So take away the terms and conditions on loving yourself! Just love yourself warts and all because if you don’t then no one else will be allowed to either (you’ll unconsciously test them ’til they leave).

I’m still attending therapy but I have a different one from the one I mentioned above. It’s not the same because it’s counselling instead of psychodynamic therapy like before but I don’t mind. My counsellor is very nice and I like her so I continue to work on my remaining issues with her. Anyway, I just wanted to talk about how I have trouble with vulnerability and this post kind of took on a life of its own! If you actually read my entire post, thank you!!!

©Anya Volkov, 2014.

Allow your emotions and feelings to enter your life without judgement

Anya:

Lovely :)

Originally posted on Endless Light and Love:

The guest house

The ‘Guest House’ A fantastic way to think about our emotions and feelings. Welcome them into your life, don’t judge them for they may be coming to you for a reason!

Mindfulness and meditation practice allows us the valuable time to connect deeply with our inner self, to spend time with ourself and to listen to what is going on with our mind, body and soul. Lets take a quick look at emotions and feelings through the use of meditation and mindfulness and as Rumi says, ‘welcome them into our guesthouse’.

As we sit or lie and start our meditation, we close our eyes and relax our body, concentrate on our breath, in and out, in and out, we can take our time to bring our awareness to our breath, focussing our attention only on our breath, the feeling of our breath as it raises our stomach, inflates our chest…

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Recovery

Anya:

I really enjoyed the linked article. Tough love has never been my favourite approach. It’s just being unkind without space to see the person who is suffering.

Originally posted on thebluepolarbear:

Link to a page on ‘Action on Addiction’Tough Love and Recovery – How Tough is too Tough

This comment made me feel sad -Addicted people often unconsciously issue invitations for us to treat them badly. We don’t have to accept those invitations. It is all part of the low-self esteem and poor self-view from which so many addicted people suffer.”

Completely unrelated an old tree that have been watching and thought was dead, noticed young leaves again on its top branches, long way behind the trees around it but seems to be coming back to life.

 

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Celebrities Have Emotional Pain Too (link to news article)

Although I am not a huge fan of Pamela Anderson I always thought she was a lovely person. So when I read of her childhood I felt very sad for her. She suffered through a lot of sexual abuse yet managed to not let it stop her from having a life. I respect her so much for sharing what happened to her with her female babysitter molesting her over four years and rapes from males beginning at age 12. Pamela Anderson may seem like a ‘dumb blonde’ to some but I never saw her that way and hopefully people will understand how strong she is to have overcome the abuse she endured. I wish her well and hope the traumas of her past don’t haunt her because the abusers don’t deserve to be in her thoughts; they were/are horrible for abusing a young child. If you wish to see the news article the link is posted here: https://ca.celebrity.yahoo.com/news/pamela-anderson-says-she-raped-age-12-molested-131000536-us-weekly.html

©Anya Volkov, 2014.

Don’t Legalise Forced Child Marriage! (Petition Link Above the Pic)

Natalya:

Please share and sign! Thank you

Originally posted on Reflections on Life Thus Far:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/906/729/633/?z00m=21016953

Child bride.

Any minute now, the Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise forced child marriage. 

If this legislation passes, there will be no minimum age to legally marry. A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal, and a girl would be prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission. This law is a recipe for life in domestic and sexual slavery. 

Currently, with the legal marriage age at 18 and the prohibition of forced marriage, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East. This law would be a huge step back for Iraqi women’s rights! 

We may not have much time to stop Iraq from legalizing forced child marriage and a lifetime of domestic and sexual slavery for girls and women. Urge the Prime Minister of Iraq to strike down the Jaafari Personal…

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Benjamin Fry and depression

Natalya:

Excellent piece. Worth the read! It’s about trauma more so than depression though.

Originally posted on Free psychology:

‘I had a golden life, so why was I falling apart?’: TV psychotherapist Benjamin Fry was devastated by depression. Then he discovered a radical new treatment

By Benjamin Fry

PUBLISHED: 23:01 GMT, 27 July 2013 | UPDATED: 23:01 GMT, 27 July 2013

Eton- and Oxford-educated, a millionaire by 30 – psychotherapist Benjamin had every advantage. But when he suffered a breakdown and all treatment failed, he had to delve into his childhood to unlock its cause
 
'Only the thought of my children stopped me from killing myself' ‘Only the thought of my children stopped me from killing myself’

Your life looks fine – even enviable – on the surface. But underneath you are more stressed and anxious than anyone realises. You’ve been called ‘oversensitive’ or accused of ‘overreacting’ because the setbacks and stresses that other people seem to take in their stride can knock you for six. You’ve also been told that you are attractive, bright, full of potential, yet…

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End of the Month Already!

Gosh, I can’t believe how quickly September seems to have arrived. Maybe it’s already

September

September (Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi)

September in your part of the world. Here, there’s another few hours to go. I think September always makes me feel like it’s a sort of beginning or start to something new. Likely this comes from having been in school for the majority of my life and learning to associate September with a new calendar year (academic). But now that I am out it feels nice to simply take in the new temperatures and changes that come usually by October, if not before then. I love autumn. It’s the best season in my humble opinion. All seasons have their merits but being a person who enjoys days perfect for a sweater, autumn is best.

It’s been awhile since I posted anything on here. My other blogs have been neglected too but this one especially. So my apologies for that. I will try to post more frequently-so long as I have something worth posting about. Not that you don’t all want to hear about the more banal aspects of my life….. ;)

Lately I have been trying to establish more of an online presence regarding my online shops and social media. It’s not been the easiest thing to figure out where to spend my time and what I ought to be focusing more attention on. Promotion isn’t really my forte but I am grateful for Twitter, facebook and other lesser known social media sites. One that you may not have heard of yet is WANELO which stands for want, need, love and features anything you can imagine that is sold online. It’s easy to post stuff to and you can share to facebook and Twitter at the same time if you wish. I like it for its ease of use and little need for tech skills above the moderate level (at most).

The two online shops I focus most of my time on are Zazzle and CafePress. They are sites where you can place your design on a product and it will give you a royalty if it sells. It’s not a get rich quick sort of thing by any stretch. I’d wager most sellers don’t even manage to cash out. You have to earn $25 American or $50 if Canadian on Zazzle and most royalties are small. CafePress on the other hand allows you to cash out at $20 if you’re Canadian so I am glad about that. Maybe I will manage that. I have yet to sell anything from my CafePress shop but I only started adding products to it last week. My Zazzle store has been open since last October and I haven’t made enough to cash out yet on there!

I’ve been quite busy this past month so maybe I’ll do another post about everything I have been up to. For now I’ll just end here.

©Anya, 2012-2013.