Puppies and Kabs

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A large tree at the park in Longview. It was an amazing park! We were on Lion’s Island.

Last weekend the whole family and princess Francis piled into the car and we headed down to Longview. We had two reasons for this trip. We went to meet a friend that we’ve been talking to on Facebook for what seems like forever (over 3 years, actually), and we were also picking up our new dog!  Yes, Family Chaos has a new dog!

Walter is a puggle who was in a kill shelter in Las Vegas. He was getting close to the end of his time there. Mom found him online and arranged for him to be transported to us. Two amazing ladies helped Mom get Walter from the shelter to Longview where we picked him up. He’s a great little man. Howard thinks Walter’s pretty cool too as long as Walter stays off of Howard’s bed.

Meeting our friend was a good reminder of how far we have come in our life. We can meet people, safely. We can understand what boundaries are and how to implement them. We can talk to someone online and then choose to meet them in person, should we wish to. Our life has endless possibilities. Our future has endless possibilities. We just have to put things in motion and not allow fear of growth to hold us back.

 

 

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Once Upon a Time…

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We clearly haven’t been keeping up with our writing. It’s not that we don’t like it, truthfully we love to write. To come up with an idea and follow it through into text. Some of us sometimes go back and re-read what we’ve written years ago. We see how much we’ve grown and changed since those posts, and we know that in a few years everything we are writing now will look and feel different.

So last week we bought this wall hanging at Goodwill. We LOVE Goodwill. Especially on $.99 days! This particular piece was there one day and we loved it but left it. The next time we went in it was still there, right where we set it down and was 50% off. It came home with us that day. I (Layna) personally love it. It’s now hung right above our computer. A visual reminder that we have much to share and much to learn from ourselves and each other.

Today, I will tell you a story.

Once upon a time, there was a system of mostly all girls (all girls unless you are counting our Bear, Simon, and our lead male dragon, Dae).  All the girls live in one body and often compete for time and attention, as themselves. They became tired of just being known as one person and by one name. They chose to live openly multiple and decided to educate the people around them about DID. The decided to live instead of survive.

That’s today’s story.

 

Layna

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

(Content Summary for our readers who have trouble with religion as a topic. This post is mainly about religion and how it teaches us forgiveness. This is a big deal for us and while we’d like to share it with everyone, we acknowledge potential triggers.)

 

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Last night’s church service was about forgiveness and caring for others. 

Lately, there’s been a lot going on in our family, in our chosen family, our inside family and our biological family. Most of these going-ons have nothing to do with us personally, we are simply affected due to proximity and, in some cases, name. Some of these things have really pushed some huge emotional buttons within us. Some have brought back memories we didn’t necessarily want back.

As we’ve faced these things, many of us have noticed an increasing struggle with forgiveness. Forgiving others, forgiving ourselves and each other, and being forgiven.  In some of these cases, a few of us had been convinced that they already did that forgiveness thing and had moved on. Emotional reactions state otherwise.

The other night Lyssa and Erica were reading a book before bed.  The book brought up an interesting thought. In the prayer commonly known as The Lord’s Prayer, there’s this verse.

Forgive us our trespasses (debts)

As we forgive those who trespassed against us (debtors)

The word “as” is the focal point of mine*, Erica’s, and Layna’s** thought processes here. It doesn’t say “forgive because I forgave you”, it uses the word “as”. I just read through many versions of this prayer (and the reasons why some denominations won’t use it – I distract easily) and most of them use that same word “as”, even if many of the other words have been modernized or changed.

So why has this caught our interest and taken hold? Because the word “as” changes how the statements are interpreted. People we know and things we have read often use this phrase to teach us to forgive others because we are forgiven.

While I agree with that whole-heartedly, what happens if we read this phrase as “forgive us our trespasses in the same manner as we forgive those who trespass against us”? What does that look like?  For us, it would look a lot like we aren’t going to be fully forgiven anytime soon.  That’s a huge awakening for some of us in the system. We want to be forgiven (and we know God has forgiven us), and we need to work on forgiveness. This thinking about that word “as” has a few of us really processing what it means to forgive fully.

Many of us are odd in the fact that we find it easier to forgive our childhood abuser than we do someone close to us who says something harmful. That makes no sense at all. Hurtful words from someone close to us said in the heat of the moment, should not be harder to forgive than the abusive and toxic actions of a grown man against us as a child that shaped our development and life path. We hold on to the resentment of harsh words. It makes a lot of us hypocrites and we do not do well with hypocrisy in others, so what makes it okay for us? Nothing. We tell ourselves we’ve forgiven only to find ourselves stuck in negative thought patterns that tell us that maybe we have some work to do there. That needs to stop.

What is it about our childhood abuser that all of us can shrug it off and declare him forgiven and move on. The answer to that scares me a little bit. I believe that enough of us have decided that it was our fault so its easier to let it go than deal with that. That isn’t any more healthy than holding on to hurt over something minor.

Layna, Erica, and I want to forgive. We want to forgive like we’ve been forgiven. We want to learn and grow and progress, and to do that we have to forgive. And that’s going to require more action on our parts. This was something we wanted to work on in therapy but not bad enough to commit to a therapist. We can work on this with our support system and each other.

While it may help us to remember and process some things from our past, it doesn’t mean we need to dig it all up and live there again. That’s where the direction of our book went wrong. We don’t need to live in that trauma anymore. It happened. We will deal with it as it becomes necessary, not use it to continue to beat ourselves up with.

Maybe our struggle with forgiveness is because we have to forgive ourselves and each other before we understand true forgiveness?

 

 

 

 

*We are not educated at all in religion. We’ve read a lot, experienced a lot, studied some, but have never had any formal instruction. These thoughts are all simply mine, Layna’s and Erica’s**. They are more food for thought for us than any kind of instruction at all. Ever.

**(Side note: I am trying to get away from just saying a general “we” when not all of us may experience, believe, etc the same. I’m really trying to reserve the general “we” for things that are absolutely system-wide. I will fail at times, but it’s a work in progress.)

Hanging with Short People

Rhya was here too but next to me, so not pictured haha. We did lunch and then hung out in the backyard. Found out that these short people have a LOT of words they need to say ALL the time, and it’s been fun listening.

How to Make Fear Work for Us

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Fear is a real jerk sometimes. It buddies up real close with anxiety and together the two of them get in the way of really experiencing life. Fear stops us in our tracks and causes us to re-evaluate whether something is worth the risk. It allows us to believe the negative self-talk and the negative and unkind words of people around us. We get stuck on words like fat, lazy, over-emotional, stupid, etc. We get pulled in by the necessity of meeting the expectations of others, many times others who couldn’t live up to the same expectations they set (that could be us, each other, family, friends, teachers, etc). The fear of failing to live up to those expectations can be, and often is, paralyzing. We are doomed before we ever start.

There’s got to be a way around this fear. As a system who has lived in fear of some form for well, 37 years, we can tell you that this is a real pain in the ass problem. We know we aren’t alone there. It’s a common human problem. The fear wins.

Lately, if you’ve noticed, we’ve been reflecting on our life. Specifically how we’ve grown and changed in the last 3 years.  We are still fat…. but not AS fat. We are still lazy… but not ALL the time. We are still prone to predicting failure before we even begin… but we often begin anyways.

Do you see what we’ve been seeing? There are still those stinging words, but there’s progress behind them. Fear is losing, somehow. We’ve been active in Zumba for over 3 months. We fought through the fear of going to something new and found something we love and can be consistent with. We are going to CR consistently and participating on a helpful level. Learning to work the slides and helping to greet people as they come in. Fear almost kept us from that too.

Hitting publish on every post we write is an act against fear. What if people don’t like it? Don’t read it? Say mean things?

Who cares? For real. If we’re writing for ourselves then what does it ultimately matter. Other people are going to have expectations and opinions on how every single one of us lives our life. Let them. Listen to them and see what you can take from the expectations… and then move away from trying to please everyone else.

Let fear go. Don’t feed it anymore. Acknowledge the fear and then do the thing anyway. If we fail, we’ve learned how not to do it. Maybe, just maybe, we also learn that failing isn’t the end of the world.