‘Thank You’ is a Supernatural Phrase

Tomorrow most of us will be sitting down at the Thanksgiving table. How many of us will thank God for the things he has done? And what about the rest of the year? How many of us take time to thank others for the things they do?

 ‘Thank you’ is a supernatural phrase when used sincerely. If it is said with a thankful heart, it can unlock God’s blessings and men’s confidence.

 When you say ‘thank you’ and mean it, you take the focus off yourself and give it to the person you are thanking. You are saying ‘I acknowledge you,’ and ‘I appreciate you.’ It blesses another person, it blesses God, and it blesses you.

 When you say ‘thank you’ to God you are honoring him and he will bless you. The words are like supernatural keys that unlock God’s desire to give you more, and they work the same way with other people. When someone thanks you for something you have done for them, doesn’t it make you feel good? And doesn’t it make you feel like you would be happy to help them again, if the opportunity presents itself?

 Sometimes it is difficult to remember to say ‘thank you’, but it is crucial to a successful life. I first learned it in the seventies when I was married to a heroin addict. My husband stole things from our home to sell for money for his habit. He even went around to our friends and neighbors and told them we had no food and no money and they gave him money. Of course he spent it on heroin. I was truly mortified when they told me.

Finally it came to the point where we were going to lose our home. My Christian girlfriend Marilyn suggested I read “Prison to Praise”, a book by Merlin Carothers. In the book Merlin explains how he decided to thank the Lord for being imprisioned and when he said ‘thank you’ things started changing in his life.

 So I decided to thank God for my drug-addicted husband and losing our home and SUDDENLY there were answers. My husband went into rehab. Our landlord kicked me and my children out, but we found a little cottage to stay in for nothing. Someone even gave us a car! Our church arranged for us to get free dinners until we were able to get on welfare and relocate to a HUD townhouse.

 This was a wonderful lesson in saying ‘thanks’! I have used that lesson many times to get through the thick and thin in life. Sometimes I thank God for the good things and sometimes for the bad. Try it, you’ll like it.

 Can we teach our children to say ‘thank you’, instead of ‘gimme’?

 

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From my heart

My husband’s cancer is gone and he is fighting his way through six months of strong chemo-therapy. It is so hard on him. His body is hurting and he is nauseated most of the time, but he’s very strong and I have no doubt he will pull through. He’s a fighter.

As much as it hurts to see him in this condition, I am excited because I’ve decided to go out into the world and speak about child abuse. Having been sexually abused as a child gives me a unique ability to discuss abuse. I am happy to say I have a date to speak to a church women’s group in November. The topic will be “Recognizing the Signs of Child Abuse.”

I was very happy being a writer and I think I could write all the time and still love it. However, every time I read the submission guidelines for a proposal to an agent about MULTIPLE, the agents want a list of my speaking engagements.

“What speaking engagements?” I ask. I spent weeks trying to figure out how writing a memoire would enable me to speak in public. Who would want me to come talk for an hour about me?

So I did what I usually do in confusing situations, I prayed. Sure enough, over the last few months the Lord showed me what I can speak about – child abuse. As I thought about it, I realized there is a market for this information in our society right now. Mothers are scared their children will somehow be abused and they won’t know about it. So I am going to help them by telling them the signs of child abuse. They will find out how to recognize child abuse and how to talk to their kids about it.

I feel so good. I actually have something to say! It was just a matter of looking at it from a different point of view. Thank you Jesus!

I would like to continue blogging, sometimes being silly and sometimes being serious. I’d like to keep writing and I’m hoping you will keep reading. And if you’re a believer, please pray for me. I also want to thank Jane Friedman for her guidance about blogging.

Film “We Are Mary” documents Multiple Personalitiy Disorder

In Athens Ohio we began our celebration of Mental Illness Awareness Week, (October 6 – 12), with the viewing of a new documentary, We Are Mary! The film is a thesis movie by Julie Wiles for her master’s degree at Ohio University. The film documents Mary Clarise Robinson’s life and mental illness, and is stunning and thought provoking.

Mary’s story is one of sexual abuse throughout her life, beginning with her father and continuing with various perpetrators into middle age. The documentary explains how Mary dealt with the abuse – she formed alternate personalities – more than twenty of them. At the beginning of the movie she says that she lost her original self too early to have any memory of her. That in itself was so painful to hear, and by the end of the film, when Mary’s many personalities had been explained, I was deeply moved.

Mary is now an older woman and she has had years of therapy documenting her many personalities. However, modern technology requires her to say she has Dissociative Identity Disorder not Multiple Personality Disorder. I think this is a big mistake made by modern psychiatrists and I think it needs rectified. If we have multiple personalities, could we please call them multiple personalities?

Julie is quite a colorful character too. She spent almost four years making We Are Mary, and is now back at Ohio University as an instructor. I am proud of Julie and Mary for their devotion to making this film, and their hard work and enthusiasm. Julie did a great job directing the film, giving us all the information in an understandable sequence. The camera work and the sound editing were also sensitive and well done.

Julie Wiles is on Facebook and is planning to polish-up We Are Mary in hopes of entering it  in documentary film festivals around the country and in Europe. She is also seeking donations to continue to show the film to as many people as possible, and spread the word that living with DID is extremely confusing and difficult.

I commend Mary for her bravery in allowing her mental illness to be documented on film. Her reward is that she is now a MOVIE STAR, and is also on Facebook.

Know Someone at Risk for Suicide?

Last week I attended an eye-opening lecture on suicide prevention. Besides learning the awful statistics that there are 104 suicides/day and 18 veterans a day kill themselves, I learned how to talk to someone who may be at risk.

Darcy and Paul Granello, from The Ohio State University Counselor Education Department, gave the program. They very vividly described the pain that a person feels when they are thinking of ending their lives, and point out ways to give that person hope by referring them to a counselor who will listen to their problems and/or a doctor who can prescribe medication. Darcy and Paul have found that once a person gets help for suicidal thoughts, they never talk about it again. They learn to value themselves.

The Granellos talked mainly about teenagers and college age people, since their work is at the college level.

The most important thing I learned was how to talk to someone who may be thinking about killing themselves. First you need to know the signs, such as hearing statements like:

“You’d be better off without me.”

“Maybe I won’t be around.”

“Nothing matters!”

“There’s no end to this pain I feel.”

“It’s no use.”

“Doesn’t it ever get better?”

IF SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO YOU, THE WORST THING YOU CAN SAY IS NOTHING. The Granello’s have discovered that if people are thinking of suicide, if they tell someone about their thoughts and that person doesn’t respond at all, SILENCE TELLS THE VICTIM THAT NO ONE CARES. It reinforces the idea that killing themselves is a valid solution to their pain. However, most people find these statements uncomfortable and don’t know what to say, so the Granellos’s suggested the following possibilities:

LISTEN – be open and willing to hear what the person has to say. Questions that show interest may help move the conversation along, but avoid giving advice, making judgments, and offering your solution for the problem. Many times, young people need to be convinced that an adult’s concern is genuine before they’ll open up and talk about their feelings. Listen for feelings behind the words. This works for peers as well.

If you determine that a teen could be at risk, ask directly, “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” THIS WILL NOT PUT THE IDEA INTO THE TEEN’S HEAD. The signals that caught your attention were already there. Asking this difficult question will open the door for a dialogue about what is going on and give you a chance to help.

If the teen admits to having thoughts of suicide, it is critical that you stay calm. Hear them out, treat his or her feelings with genuine concern, and take them seriously. Be sure to contact others to help with the problems. Don’t try to handle it alone. Involve parents, counselors, and community resources as needed.

Darcy and Paul’s main point is that suicide is not about death – it is about finding an end to the pain! The Granello’s know that the pain doesn’t end when someone kills themself. It just passes to someone else. The Granello’s son killed himself, and his pain became their pain, and opened the door for years of study on the subject. It was a very inspiring lecture. For more info try:

http://www.siblingsurvivors.com/index.htm

http://www.friendsandfamiliesofsuicide.com/

http://www.parentsofsuicide.com/

Mother arrested for toddlers’ drowning deaths

A young mother has been arrested for felony child abuse near San Diego, California. Her two children, Harley, a 16 month old girl, and Jason, her two-year old brother drowned in a friend’s swimming pool last April. There was a marajuana growing operation going on at the  house where the two toddlers drowned.

Call for justice after mother arrested for toddlers’ drowning deaths.

Protect Our Kids Act

I have always felt patriotic about the USA. I love singing the National Anthem and “America, the Beautiful” sends chills up my spine. As I grew older, however, and followed the works of various presidents, I have become disillusioned about our country. I don’t like the way the government has “secret” organizations that spy on us, and I don’t like the IRS, whose power seems to be omnipotent. Most of all, I do not appreciate the way the Democrats and the Republicans have been at a near standstill for the last few years.

However, in 2012 and 2013 President Obama and Congress have passed the PROTECT OUR KIDS ACT, which creates a national committee to study ways to prevent fatal child mal-treatment. This means they are trying to prevent the deaths of children who are abused.

This particular issue is very close to my heart, since I was abused myself by a live-in babysitter when I was four years old. I know the feeling of helplessness, desperation and terror that a child experiences when they are overpowered and tortured by an adult. It is heart rending to think of a helpless child being killed by their parent or caregiver.

So I am pleased at last with the government of the United States, which is now going to help with this gigantic problem. Here are some statistics about child abuse from Dreamcatchers for Abused Children, an internet watchdog site which is very informative on child abuse.

  • Every 13 seconds a child is abused in the US.
  • Since 1980, physical abuse has increased by 84%.
  • Sexual abuse has increased by 350%.
  • Emotional abuse has increased by 333%.
  • Child neglect has increased by 320%.

The Children’s Advocacy Center released information they collected over the first half of 2013. The Centers, which are in various cities around the country and help citizens stop child abuse, dealt with 150,000 cases of child abuse, and over 100,000 cases were reports of sexual abuse.

THAT MEANS ADULTS ARE HAVING SEX WITH CHILDREN EVERY SINGLE DAY.

These statistics are unbelievable. They demonstrate the moral decline that our nation is experiencing. Immorality has increased and it is having a devastating effect on our children. Do you agree?

I am hoping the PROTECT OUR CHILDREN ACT will root out child abusers and enact tougher penalties on them.

Pulling Myselves Together

A few days ago my friend, Christy-Marie and I went to lunch. We try to meet once a month, but we always seem to be too busy, so we end up meeting every three months instead.  We are always happy to see each other and we have a close bond because we are both multiples. We both have Multiple Personality Disorder.

Oddly enough, we both have the same diagnosis; Dissociative Identity Disorder. The psychiatric community (the doctors, not the crazy people) doesn’t like to call us multiples anymore, even though that’s what we are. Apparently soon after the publication of Sybil, by Flora Schreiber, in 1973, hundreds of cases of multiple personality surfaced in psychiatric sessions; an epidemic, if you will. Some doctors even coached their patients into believing they had multiple personalities, which later proved to be untrue.

Doctors decided that they needed to slim down the number of cases reported because many of them were imagined by the patients and in retrospect were considered “daydreaming”. The result was the new diagnosis, Dissociative Identity Disorder, which allowed doctors to include real multiples as well as imagined multiples. This is a tricky procedure because all multiple personalities are imagined.

My question is this: if doctors were having trouble differentiating between diagnoses, why lump them all together? It seems as though it would be more reasonable to separate them even further with stricter guidelines. Any thoughts about this?

When Christy Marie and I arrive at the restaurant the hostess always asks us, “how many?” Should we tell the truth on a psychological level and say “30,” (13 for me and 17 for Christy Marie)? Or should we just tell the number of bodies, “two?” It’s a conundrum.

My therapist always suggests that I have conferences between my personalities. When I do, I form a circle of 13 chairs, one for each personality. Then I write everyone’s name on a sheet of paper and place each one on a chair. My managing personality, Control, takes over the meeting and allows each personality to speak. Sometimes we get into a squabble because two personalities disagree, but most often we feel overwhelmed by the number of us. We sit around in a state of bewilderment, listening to each other voice their feelings. I don’t like it. I want to be normal like everyone else most people.

I wish that I didn’t have to take a poll in order to know how I feel. It is discouraging to realize there are twelve other people inside me with minds of their own.  It’s like trying to control twelve unruly children. I wish I was normal, but having a conference is about as normal as I can be right now, until I have complete integration.

The goal of therapy for Dissociative Identity Disorder is integration of all personalities. I need to pull myself together!

Honoring Victims of Child Abuse

memorialflag

A ceremony held in Parkersburg, West Virginia, on Friday, April 26, honored14 children who died in 2012 in Wood County from child abuse. Spokesperson Laurea Ellis said each county in West Virginia has a flag raising and a balloon release for the children who died from abuse and neglect during the past year. The flag was designed by a child and depicts a row of children in blue, with an empty place in the row to symbolize the children who have died by acts of violence, preventable accidents, and child abuse and neglect.

Physically abusing a child is society’s first concern because the children are not big enough to fight back, but leaders in the field of domestic violence say that children are hurt emotionally by seeing adults being abused. Spousal abuse can damage children and cause them to become abusers when they grow up.

“Sometimes there might not be physical abuse of the children, but they are still exposed to that violence. They hear and see the abuse between the adults in the home, so they are witnessing it and that does have an effect on them,” said Emily Larkins, executive director of the Family Crisis and Intervention Center of Region V. Ms. Larkins also stated that the children may be injured when they try to intervene to protect the adult victim. 29 individuals died in West Virginia as the result of domestic violence in 2012.

Providing help for grown men and women who are beaten or otherwise abused by their spouse is the first priority of the Family Crisis and Intervention Center. The 24-hour hotline for the Parkersburg Center is 800-794-2335.

Three Ways to Fight Child Abuse

In Matthew 10:16 the Lord tells us to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves when fighting our enemies. Fighting child abuse can be a dangerous mission, especially when confronting or reporting an abuser. When we march to raise child abuse awareness, we are gentle as doves, like these people in Idaho.

1. BOISE — April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, and Idahoans are taking notice. A small group marched from the Idaho Statehouse on Monday for the annual “Million March Against Child Abuse.” Similar marches were held across the country in a unified effort to bring attention to child abuse.

“We’re on a mission to spread awareness about child abuse and how it’s in our communities and neighborhoods, and also asking our lawmakers that they put forth harsher punishment laws for those who do abuse children,” said Cory Hoffman with Million March against Child Abuse. Organizers say on average, 20 new cases of child abuse are reported in Idaho every day. Many believe more cases go unreported. Hoffman says it’s everyone’s responsibility to be on the lookout for child abuse and to call the number 211 if they want to report child abuse. From KTVB News.

2. A neighbor was as wise as a serpent when he video recorded a man abusing his step-son during a ball game. See the video on http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=8689626 .The video is being used in court as crucial evidence of abuse.

3. In Chicago, the father of one of two young children found with bruises after police responded to a disturbance in the East Chatham neighborhood has been charged with domestic battery, authorities said.

Edwin Anderson, 28, was expected to appear in Domestic Violence Court for a bond hearing after police found a 1-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy with visible injuries at Anderson’s home in the 8200 block of South Ellis Avenue, police said.

Officers were called to the home in the 8200 block of South Ellis Avenue around 9 p.m. Monday, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said. A neighbor reported possible child abuse at the home, police said. Officers found four children, 4 years and younger, in the home. Two of them had bruises, Greer said.

Anderson fled the home out a back door before police arrived. Officers found the boy had bruising and welts, and the girl also showed marks, police said. Anderson was arrested when he returned, and police confiscated a black leather belt believed used to inflict the injuries.

All four children were taken to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, where they were listed in good condition. The children, three girls and a boy, range in age from 6 months to 4 years old, Greer said.

The children’s mother was questioned by police but not charged, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating allegations of child abuse against a man who is the boyfriend of the children’s mother, DCFS spokesman Jimmie Whitelow said today. The mother is being investigated on allegations of neglect, he said.

No booking photo of Anderson was released because he was charged with a misdemeanor. Unlike most misdemeanors, all domestic battery charges in Chicago, however, require a defendant’s appearance for a bond hearing.

A Prayer for Rick Warren and Family

If you have been touched by Rick and his ministry, please pray this prayer out loud today.

Dear Father God, You are the only one who can take this burden from our friends, Rick and his family. It is a heavy burden, but we know you can comfort them during this time. Based on our love and respect for this man of God and his family, we ask you to spread your Balm of Gilead onto their spirits,  raining your love down on their souls.

We lift up Matthew to you and hope and pray you will accept him into your heavenly house. Forgive him for anything that might prevent his entering into your holy presence.

Father, this death affects so many, Christian and Non-Christian alike, and we all have felt Rick’s presence in the media. We ask you please to help him recover from this blow and be able to continue his ministry. The last few days have revealed his transparency, his faith and his strength, all of which you have given him abundantly. We pray that you would continue to gift him in these ways.

Thank you for Rick and his family, and be with them before, during and after their memorial for their dear son and give them your comfort.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen

A New Government Commission Protecting Children

Child Fatalities Commission Bill Heads to President’s Desk

Reprinted from National Children’s Alliance Website

Washington, D.C.

With unanimous bipartisan support, the Senate passed the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012 (H.R. 6655) on January 2, 2013. Supported by the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths (The Coalition), the Protect Our Kids Act creates a bipartisan, two-year Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, consisting of 12 members who will be appointed by the President and congressional leaders. The commission will study data on child fatalities from abuse and neglect, review current prevention methods and best practices, and evaluate the adequacy of current programs in order to recommend a comprehensive national strategy to reduce fatalities from child abuse and neglect.

Upon passage of H.R 6655, Teresa HuizarExecutive Director of National Children’s Alliance, stated, “As a member of The Coalition, National Children’s Alliance is very pleased with all of the support in Congress for the Protect Our Kids Act and see the bill’s passage as a milestone in our collective goal of ending child abuse and neglect related deaths. We look forward to working with the commission to develop programs and strategies for combatting this national problem.”

Experts estimate that upwards of 2,000 children die from abuse and neglect each year, and nearly 82 percent of the victims are under the age of four. These preventable deaths are significantly underreported in the U.S., as there is no national standard for reporting this data.

At a recent House Ways & Means Committee hearing regarding the proposed passage of the Act, Teresa Huizar explained that “the overall rate of abuse has declined and the overall substantiated physical abuse appears to have declined, but what has not declined is the rate of child abuse fatalities or near fatalities that warranted emergency department treatment. The horrifying persistence of fatal child abuse despite the implementation of effective prevention and intervention measures for most other forms of abuse calls for a deeper examination of its causes and scope.”

The Coalition and its five member organizations believe that fatal and near-fatal child abuse and neglect is a preventable public health problem. With allies such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Advocacy Institute, and the American Psychological Association, the passage of the Protect our Kids Act is a bipartisan effort to prevent fatal child maltreatment. Supporters and cosponsors of the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012 include 17 Representatives and 7 Senators.

It is Child Abuse Prevention Month

I like to think all months are child abuse prevention months. We all should report any child abuse that comes to our attention by calling the abuse hotline or notifying police. However, April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month in our country.

A conference featuring discussions on the latest research on a variety of topics concerning prevention were held last week in Alabama at the National Symposium on Child Abuse. Chris Newlin, executive director of the National Children’s Advocacy Centers, explained that child care workers are aiming for a holistic approach to care – “all under one roof.”

Newlin said his organization is seeing a troubling trend – an increase in child neglect across the nation. In Texas, Children’s Advocacy Centers served more than 26,000 children last year. More than two-thirds of them reported sexual abuse, with the alleged perpetrator most often related to or known to the child.

“Child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, is not just a criminal justice issue, not just a Child Protective Services issue,” Newlin said. “It’s that, plus a mental health issue, a medical issue – and only by having these professionals work together,” will we “be able to be effective in our response.”

There are 24 Child Advocacy Centers in Ohio and many more in states around the nation. The Centers  provide child abuse prevention training to more than a half-million people a year. The centers can be contacted if child abuse is suspected in your area. Working with local law enforcement, these centers help abused children recover and find more healthy living situations.

Newlin said “the child-friendly setting and team strategy have paid off for county and state budgets – and for individual families.”

More information is online at http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org

To Spank or not to Spank

That is the question. Our society is coming out of an era when children were spanked and disciplined for doing things that are wrong and not doing things that are right. Spanking a child with your hand or an implement was the norm. Years ago, school teachers and principals were famous for “paddling” the children. The motto was “spare the rod and spoil the child.” Spanking was society’s effort to control bad behavior in children, and I’d say it worked for the most part.

Many of these efforts to discipline children were based in the scriptures. Proverbs 22:15 says “folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him,” and  “discipline your son, and he will give you peace: he will bring delight to you soul,” 29:17.

I raised my daughters with discipline, using the rod on them when they willfully disobeyed, and I espouse the biblical view on discipline. However, I was taught to spank them in love, which I interrupted to mean don’t yell and scream at them, but explain their wrongdoing in a loving voice. I also believe the spanking should not be too hard, just enough to get the point across.

Psychology books are for and against spanking, depending on the author and subject, but I do not believe spanking is child abuse. I believe it is correction, but it should be used after all other efforts to control the child have been explored.

Each young mother must make her own decision about whether to spank her child or not. Many mothers don’t spank their children, and I believe in general, children have not benefited from this standard. There are some very patient women who can handle screaming tantrums, and the hysterical behavior of undisciplined children, but I never could maintain my calm during such “fits.” I basically had to spank my girls, because I had no idea what else to do.

Please believe me I am not championing violence towards children, but I know from experience that out-of-control children can destroy property and offend people when left to their own devices. They can become tyrants, demanding everything their parents can give them and then some.

If someone doesn’t teach children not to run amok, throw things and take things that belong to other people, how will they learn? Unfortunately, women are now afraid to discipline their children when they are in public and the children know it. The children know they can do anything they want and their moms and dads can’t touch them if they’re in public. This has resulted in many unfortunate temper tantrums in malls and stores.

Author Laurie Ann Smith of Canada, who was abused as a child and is now a speaker on child abuse, believes the same thing I do, that spanking is not abuse. It is a wake-up call to get the child’s attention. Beating is abuse.

Child abuse is wrong, but correcting a child who is willfully disobeying is “training him up in the way he should go”(Proverbs 22:6). How many of us have been to a home where there are children who have not been disciplined? Usually we can’t wait to leave, because the children have taken over the home. They run, scream and play, often tormenting adults and other children.

Sending children to their room used to be a valid form of discipline and is not abusive. However, today children have so much electronic equipment in their rooms (televisions and computers) that they can happily entertain themselves for hours, so there is often no hardship involved in being sent to their rooms, and the child doesn’t learn anything about his behavior.

I think modern women of the 21st century honestly believe their children are good at heart and would never willfully hurt someone else, but this isn’t scriptural either and is not borne out by experience. Most children are extremely selfish and want their way all the time. If we do not curb this unfortunate behavior, when they become teenagers they do whatever they want. This method of no discipline can lead to some very nasty teenagers who do whatever they want.

So my point of view on this matter is that it’s better to spank a child than let him or her become a tyrant. What do you think? Do you think it’s abusive to spank a child?

A Taxing Interview

Last week I gathered our tax records and drove to see my accountant, Wade. Wade and I have been friends for years and we always catch up during tax season. I sat down in his office, which is nicely outfitted in arts and crafts movement furniture. I placed my records neatly on the customer side of Wade’s desk, and waited.

“How are you doing Nancy?” he asked as he came in briskly and took his place on the other side of the desk. We exchanged pleasantries and then he slid the records over towards him and began checking them out. He likes to make sure he understands what’s what.

“Is there anything new I should know about?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m deducting business expenses for my writing. I’m writing a book.”

“All right,” he said as he began reading the list of expenses I had made. “What’s the name of your book?” People always want to know the name of the book I’m writing. Sometimes I’m almost too shy to tell them, but since I’ve known Wade for so long and he has never transgressed on our friendship I told him.

“It’s called Multiple: Surviving Child Abuse, a Journey through Insanity.” I know this title is mind boggleing, so I waited to see his reaction. He stopped trying to read the report and was thinking. I could almost see the wheels turning in Wade’s head and I thought he was probably wondering what to say, so I continued.

“I have Multiple Personality Disorder. I was sexually abused as a child and I have more than thirteen personalities!” For some reason this always takes people by surprise. After a very long pause, a pregnant pause, Wade looked up from the paper.

“You’re not a serial killer are you?” A simple question, but why do people assume that if you have multiple personalities one of them is a serial killer?  Fortunately, Wade smiled as soon as he said it and we both laughed.

“No, none of my personalities are killers.” With this pertinent information in hand, Wade stopped perusing the tax records and began questioning me at length about my illness and my book. We spent ten or fifteen minutes talking about being a multiple and writing a book.

My point in telling you all this is, that the public really needs educated about Dissociative Identity Disorder, aka Multiple Personality Disorder. That is the reason I wrote my memoir. I want people to know about what happened to me and how I discovered my “alters,” so that possibly another child might be saved from the same fate.

I want people to find out how crazy I was for the first fifty years of my life, although I was never a serial killer, and how shocking it was to discover my other personalities, which I found when I was in a mental hospital. I also want people to know that there is help out there and that “mental cases” can live fairly normal lives if treated. I’d like to get the word out there so that other people with multiple personalities can get help.

The statistics are rather revealing. Safe Horizon.org published a statistic on their website stating that there are 3.6 million reports of child abuse in the United States every year and that six million children are involved. Please be vigilant and call the Child Abuse Hotline if you think a child is being abused. The number is 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

Procrastination is my mind bandage

The most obvious symptom of being a multiple may be lack of action. When you have several people inside you and they all want to do something different, if they don’t agree on what to do, you have a conundrum. This leads to all sorts of confusion and disagreement on the inside. Sometimes I just sit around doing nothing because “we” can’t decide what to do.

After my last blog I learned a few things from Madelyn Griffith-Haynie who has a post on procrastination and task anxiety. Her blog is called “ADD and so much more”, and it’s on wordpress.  She explains that we are most likely to procrastinate on a task that has many steps. For example, I don’t mind going out to the mailbox, which is by the road, on spring, summer and fall days, because it’s just one task. However, in the winter I hate to go get the mail because its takes five tasks.

  1. Change my shoes to boots.
  2. Put on my coat, gloves and hat.
  3. Walk to the mailbox, get the mail, and walk back to the house.
  4. Take off my coat, gloves and hat.
  5. Take off my boots and put on my shoes.

For that reason I put off getting the mail, and I owe thanks to Madelyn for her wisdom on the subject.

I have found something to do while I’m procrastinating and trying to get my personalities to agree on what we are going to do. It is my mind bandage. It is freecell, the solitaire game of all games. I can play it without thinking too hard, so my numb mind can be deciding what to do at the same time.

I found a website to help me through my dilemma. It is called Freecell.net and there I can play competitively. The site has twelve kinds of freecell to choose from and playing against other people and having a little competition enhances the idea that you’re really doing something. The site even has a special screen for people who are playing while they are at work. It looks like a screen from excel. The people who host freecell.net are geniuses.

Oh, Oh, I’m starting to feel kind of weird. I must be facing a big decision, because I need my mind bandage. I think I’d better get over to freecell.net right away, so I can relax and calm down!

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Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them