Time is so warped...
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It's been over a year since I last posted here. I could blame that on all kinds of things, but mostly we just forgot this was here. DID and time it's all so weird.

General catch up post?

Our youngest son D is finishing up his tour with the IDF (Israeli army)in a few weeks. He's counting the days, we've never stopped. He now speaks Hebrew pretty fluently, "nothing fancy" as he calls it, not well enough to do University there. So back to the USA for that after a detour thru Europe with an army bubbly. He has grown.

We spent three months in Israel last summer/fall. One of which our wife Terri came to stay as well and we took her touring. I love Israel, I would drop it all and live there if it were possible, but it's not. Had a wonderful visit with our sister and family. Have really amazing nieces.

It has been four years last month that our son M took his own life. It does not get easier. Different, but not easier. His brother D will soon out live him, so wrong. We miss him beyond words. I noticed we deliberately wrote the above before this. It's become a way of dealing with the world that would like very much for us to just "get over it." May they never have to try!

Our Nikie has accepted the appointment of Peer Facilitator for the AFSP (American Federation for Suicide Prevention) group that she attended. The woman running was moving on and everyone voted for Nikie. They have no clue about our DID. Nikie said sure but not "forever" but that's the thing with volunteering, no one hears that part. She's good at running the group, all that training coming to some good use. The group is for folks who have had someone they knew suicide. Surviving the aftershock of it all.

We had our gall bladder removed, that was exciting.

Mentally we are dealing with some very heavy stuff in therapy. I have actually taken up going and talking. Therapy is just as weird as I had always thought it would be. But it needs doing. All those conversations way back in DP about there being no such thing as organized abuse, ritual abuse, heh, how dismissive that all was to the folks whos reality contained that history. I have only to look at my own history and the things others in our system have revealed. The world is a rather nasty place, just look at Git'mo. Just think what the Cold War was hiding. We've found enough proof over these last few years and others who also have these similair experiences that there's no longer the luxury of dismissing what was done to us. We still would like to D-train it most of the time, but we try not to, we're trying to accept and move on so maybe, just maybe we will get back our tears to shed them for our son.

Ravin
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TIME WARP
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Our life just keeps moving along always in this time warp. One of us holds a place in the present while it's overlapped with what the outside world says is our past or history. As I write I try so hard to stay in the moment but I don't know what moment we're in really. 

The only time now that we stay completely present is when talking to our son in Israel. Which takes sheer concentrated will. When the boys were young we could stay present, but it took being on the D-train 24/7 ignoring everything but the absolute present.

When the system began looking inward, listening and walls came down letting everything crash into each individual conscientiousness, we found so much there that'd it's daunting. The details are confusing.

We're back dealing with the issues of our Jewishness because it has again become an issue for our son in Israel. The ultra religious have conversion by the throat over there, unless the conversion was orthodox and these days ultra orthodox they aren't good enough. This has set off so many triggers for our system. Part of our abuse was centered around our German heritage, our paternal grandmother never let us forget it and our main abuser was from Germany here to create, to play and torture the minds of children. We didn't realize how many levels our conversion layered in our system and what it meant. I knew it was about our sons and community but now I know it was a way to leave, to escape as well.

Anyway, there seems to never be an end to the time warp, no erasure or way to lock this all away so we must learn to live around it, in spite of constant triggers. Abuse just keeps on giving--- like endless images in a mirror reflected in a mirror.

Ravin

A HOLE GROWS
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Today our oldest son Morgan would have turned 28. Instead there is this vast void in our hearts. So many things that won't happen and all that did though wonderful and loving were just not enough. There are still moments in every day someone here thinks he'll just walk through the door laughing yelling, "Mom I'll home, what's to eat!" Or any many other silly everyday things kids say when returning home.

His two best friends are due to stop by any minute, both will come through the door with hugs and "Hi Mom!" as they have for decades when the three of them were growing up. They are young men growing up, creating lives, someday families but they haven't forgotten their heart brother. It helps to know our son is still remembered, loved and missed in the present by those he had cultivated such strong bonds.

Our youngest son has struggled this past week. It has been the first time away from family and friends grieving his brother. He's worried he showed too much emotional instability because he couldn't seem to stay focused on his studies and was late for lineup twice. There he is so far away and we are unable to just hug him just adding to the sadness. He will survive, he is making new friends and future for himself which makes the hearts of moms shutter in the wake of grief.

People, who I used to call friends question our lack of "closure," we don't even know what that means. Do they think a mother can close the book on her ties to her child? The moms here still can feel the birth as fresh as his death. Closure is just some new age dimestore psychology, it's not a real possibility. Of course we have learned to live around the vast hole in our hearts, lives. Life moves on, people move forward and we keep going, there's no other choice really.

Still in three years, coming the end of April, no one has cried. It leaves us feeling freakish, inhuman and fearful of our ability to feel. Of course we feel, but outwardly no one notices because our training keeps everything, anything from ever showing. People expect tears, not too many, but enough to prove you are legitimately grieving. Our former Talk-Doc told us since, "it might take as long as ten years before your grief will be freed." 

We wonder when it will be our turn to grieve?

A SON'S CHOICES
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More on our soldier boy.
He stood for his latest review and did very well; 6 out of 7, 7 being the highest grade. He received nothing lower then a 6 with a few 7s, one of which was in Jewish/Israeli history. He gave us credit for all the time we spent schooling him on Jewish/Israeli history/heritage in our home. We have a very deep connection to Israel and so it was transferred in many ways. Paid off for the kid in classes. His pride was infectious!

All the paper work was signed and delivered to his commanders, waving our right to "surviving son." D signed his papers agreeing that he too was waving his right and requesting a combat placement. It's all very scary but this is what he wants. I write "kid" but really he's quickly shedding all sense of being a kid. He's taken up being a man in his own right, his own choices with their own consequences. This has put him in line to try out for SF (Special Forces) units. In March he will attend the three day "gibush," these are some of the most grueling physical and intellectual tests soldiers take. If passed they come with acceptance into the finest units in the IDF.

D's put in his three choices for units: 
1) Tzanhanim (paratroopers) --- which mean he could be stationed anywhere and sent into battle in the front line. It's a very prestigious unit, one that would afford him very advanced training, which is what he's looking for as well. Below is a Wiki link for unit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paratroopers_Brigade_(IDF)

2) Kfir --- which would put him in the West Bank in an Urban combat unit. Like all guys, it's all about the man toys, this unit has the newest tech. Below is a link to Wiki about this unit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kfir_Brigade

3) Nachal --- is a combat unit that's received the best reviews in the IDF in the last two years. It also has elite forces units and passing the "gibush" would qualify D for acceptance. This unit is also where most of the regular immigrant volunteers get placed, so chances are D would be with many of the guys he's training with right now. This is also the unit, but non-combat, where one of my sister served. Below is a link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahal

How do we feel about all this?
It's across the broad proud to freak out. We had hoped he would go learn the language and volunteer for a non-combat unit, something humanitarian. Still he is putting in to be a field medic so there is some humanitarian involved. He gave up on the search and rescue unit because working with the k-9 unit meant volunteering for 9 years. He has other plans at the moment lots of travel.

For us It's not the kind of "whoorah" pride that one might think of, it's that he set a goal and is carrying thru, that he's again showing the motivation that in the past was a big part of D at his core. No longer is everything about living in his brother's shadow, this is his life, his choices. Of course we would have liked a set of safer choices. Wouldn't every mother? 

Some of us in the system have to step up and admit that we taught him this love for Israel, this need to serve the country, to be part of the ethnic fabric of the people. We did teach this to our sons, so we can not be surprised that D took up this responsibility. It is wonderful that he is enjoying himself, that he is realistic about what being a soldier is about and most of all he is happy. He has not been happy for a very long time. Its good to see and hear him happy, to hear from my sister that, "yes he is happy!" 

We will set with our worry, hold our breath and hope nothing bad happens to him. That he comes home safe or stays there and begins a life after the army. 

Ravin & Nikie...

IDF: SON'S FIRST ARM TAG
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This is a general photo of IDF soldiers, we're not one for linking this part of our life with our son. I would not want him to read this journal, not for a very long time yet, he has a young life of his own to live right now. Someday later maybe.




Below is an article about this part of his placement at base Michve Alon in north Israel near Sefed:
http://dover.idf.il/IDF/English/News/today/10/01/2701.htm

D was placed in a unit with other young men from all over the world. Their commanders speak only Hebrew, get it wrong do a lot of pushups. This is language emersion by fire. It works! The kid is thinking in Hebrew and more and more I hear him using phrases, whole sentences. Meanwhile he has entered the world of male/soldier bonding and for all the absurdities of army life he is still laughing and positive. He's sent home pictures of himself in uniform, very handsome but our kid now looks like a man. We all knew this would happen but pictures make it real.

He just finished the first phase of his training at IDF Ulpon (language emersion) basic training. The ending of this phase sent him for a 4 day maneuvers in combat conditions out in the rain, in tents, running 5k in full gear carrying stretchers. Today they had a ceremony where they were given the first of many arm tags. He now is no longer just an inductee, he's officially a soldier with a designation. Now he will spend two months part time in combat training and classrooms becoming proficient in Hebrew so he can go on to an actual devision of the army.

One of the differences from our army is that most weekends soldiers gets to go home to their family. Parents support there children thru their service. As a "lone soldier" (soldier w/o parents) D gets extra pay and money for rent. He has signed up to have his rent stipend to the kibbutz where my friends are members, tho of late he's been staying with my sister, because it's closer to his base. Soldiers get free public transportation all over the country but it takes 8hrs to get from the north to the kibbutz in south of Israel. Weekends are for sleep and food, lots of food and maybe a night out. What with meeting all these new people he has made friends all over the country and travels to stays with them as well. Life for him has become full of exciting and challenging experiences just what a young person needs to keep them busy.

We're very proud of him. He set this goal for himself, put it into motion and carried thru. He traveled off to a country with little working knowledge of the language and volunteered to serve in their army. He has a deep commitment to Israel as a Jew. I know that's hard for most people to grasp and we've had some really nasty things said to us about D's choice to serve Israel and not the US. This choice gives him a chance to be with folks from all over the world, others with his commitment to Israel and for once he will not be in the minority.

With the pride comes the worry. The moms here had a freak out at the first picture of D with a gun in hand. They had settled some with the decision knowing Israel take "surviving son" serious, but D has asked us to sign a waver so he might enter a combat unit. So far we have avoided this, but now we must make the trip to the Israeli consulate to see what is necessary to sign. The moms are against signing, but we know his reasons for needing to do this and as apposed to war as we are, in the end we will sign, even the mothers. We will sign because this life is his own and as much as we want a guarantee, especially after our other son's death, this is D's future not ours. We will worry, be proud, support him and sometimes hold our breath.

Ravin

TIP TOE THRU THE HOLIDAYS
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Holidays suck and ones that carry these kind of nullistic memories crash into us like tzusomi waves. Having that fear for you life, realization that you could die any second, guilt that you weren’t killed, surviving so they/he could do it again and more…well it’s hard to see the present is separate. Cuz really it’s never going to be separate, there are no memory erasers. Far as i can tell it’s about figuring out how to live around this shit. I don’t know the formula, still trying to figure it out myself. I just try and give myself less stress, pare down the obligations where I can. Let the kids enjoy what they can with an eye to caution.

Staying here, trying, attempting to heal… these are hard, not a walk in the park. Most of the time there’s no reward, no gold stars. We live off the little tidbits our T throws out. We try to bolster up any little positive cuz we haven’t found that place others have. The one where they see present as present and a future with less past intruding into everything.

We just ain’t got there yet. Not for trying, cuz damn we try! We just can’t keep the “click” engaged for very long. So we turn to each other, to folks who get it (not exactly but close) and try to remember those moments of humanity in our unhumane mind scape.

Ravin

HOW I WANT TO BELIEVE.....
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sorry folks couldn't get Rich Text to work, but here's link to article:
http://www.timwise.org/2010/11/an-open-letter-to-the-white-right-on-the-occasion-of-your-recent-successful-temper-tantrum/

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WHITE RIGHT, ON THE OCCASION OF YOUR RECENT, SUCCESSFUL TEMPER TANTRUM
Tim Wise~~~Antiracist Journalist and Educator
Posted on November 3, 2010
http://www.timwise.org/

*NOTE: PLEASE RE-READ THE TITLE OF THIS ESSAY BEFORE GOING FURTHER. NOTICE, IT IS AIMED AT THE WHITE RIGHT. NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE. ANYONE WHO THINKS THIS ESSAY IS “ANTI-WHITE PEOPLE,” AS OPPOSED TO THAT SEGMENT OF THE WHITE COMMUNITY THAT IS RIGHT WING, CANNOT READ PLAIN ENGLISH. PLEASE TRY AGAIN.*
_____
For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy ass Scotch you drink.
And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever shitty ass beer you favor.
Whatever the case, and whatever your economic station, know this…
You need to drink up.
And quickly.
And heavily.
Because your time is limited.
Real damned limited.
So party while you can, but mind the increasingly loud clock ticking away in the corners of your consciousness.
The clock that reminds you how little time you and yours have left.
Not much more now.
Tick, tock.
Tick, tock.
Tick.
Tock.
I know, you think you’ve taken “your country back” with this election — and of course you have always thought it was yours for the taking, cuz that’s what we white folks are bred to believe, that it’s ours, and how dare anyone else say otherwise — but you are wrong.
You have won a small battle in a larger war the meaning of which you do not remotely understand.
‘Cuz there is nothing even slightly original about you.
There have always been those who wanted to take the country back.
There were those who, in past years, wanted to take the country back to a time of enslavement and indentured servitude.
But they lost.
There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when children could be made to work in mines and factories, when workers had no legal rights to speak of, when the skies in every major city were heavy with industrial soot that would gather on sidewalks and windowsills like volcanic ash.
But they lost.
There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when women could not vote, or attend any but a few colleges, or get loans in their own names, or start their own businesses.
But they lost.
There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when blacks “had no rights that the white man was bound to respect,” – this being the official opinion of the Supreme Court before those awful days of judicial activism, now decried by the likes of you – and when people of color could legally be kept from voting solely because of race, or holding certain jobs, or living in certain neighborhoods, or run out of other towns altogether when the sun would go down, or be strung up from trees.
But they lost.
And you will lose.
So make a note of it.
Tweet it to yourself.
Put it on your Facebook wall and leave it there so you’ll remember that I told you so.
It is coming, and soon.
This isn’t hubris. It isn’t ideology. It is not wishful thinking.
It is math.
Not even advanced math. Just simple, basic, like 3rd grade math.
The kind of math that proves how your kind — mostly older white folks beholden to an absurd, inaccurate, nostalgic fantasy of what America used to be like — are dying.
You’re like the bad guy in every horror movie ever made, who gets shot five times, or stabbed ten, or blown up twice, and who will eventually pass — even if it takes four sequels to make it happen — but who in the meantime keeps coming back around, grabbing at our ankles as we walk by, we having been mistakenly convinced that you were finally dead this time.
Fair enough, and have at it. But remember how this movie ends.
Our ankles survive.
You do not.
Michael Meyers, Freddie Kreuger, Jason, and that asshole husband in that movie with Julia Roberts who tracks her down after she runs away and changes her identity–they are all done. Even that crazy fucker in Saw is about to be finished off for good. Granted, he’s gonna be popping out in 3-D to scare the kiddies, so he isn’t going quietly. But he’s going, as all bad guys eventually do.
And in the pantheon of American history, conservative old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms.
Fine, keep it up. It doesn’t matter.
Because you’re on the endangered list.
And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving.
In forty years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Opie-Taylor-Down-at-the-Fishing Hole cornpone bullshit that you hold so near and dear to your heart.
There won’t be any more white folks around who think the 1950s were the good old days, because there won’t be any more white folks around who actually remember them, and so therefore, we’ll be able to teach about them accurately and honestly, without hurting your precious feelings, or those of the so-called “greatest generation” — a bunch whose white contingent was top-heavy with ethical miscreants who helped save the world from fascism only to return home and oppose the ending of it here, by doing nothing to lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle.
It’s OK. Because in about forty years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it.
Nothing, Senõr Tancredo.
Nothing, Senõra Angle, or Senõra Brewer, or Senõr Beck.
Loy tiene muy mal, hijo de Puta.
And by then you will have gone all in as a white nationalist movement — hell you’ve all but done that now — thus guaranteeing that the folks of color, and even a decent size minority of us white folks will be able to crush you, election after election, from the Presidency on down to the 8th grade student council.
Like I said, this is math. And numbers don’t lie.
Bottom line, this too shall pass.
So enjoy your tax cuts a while longer.
Go buy whatever you people buy when your taxes get cut: a new car or two, a bigger house, an island. Whatever.
Go back to trading your derivatives, engaging in rampant financial speculation that produces nothing of value, that turns the whole world into your personal casino. Whatever.
Play your hand, and for the love of God play it big. Real big. As in, shoot for the moon big. As in, try to privatize Social Security, and health care, and everything else. Whatever.
At least that way everyone will be able to see what you’re really about.
We’ve been trying to tell them, but nothing beats seeing it with your own eyes, so “Go big or go home,” Bubba.
“Git ‘er Done.”
“Cowboy up,” or whatever other stupid catch phrase strikes your fancy.
Just promise you’ll do more than talk this time.
Please, or as one of your celluloid heroes might put it, “make my day.”
Do whatever you gotta do, but remember that those who are the victims of your greed and indifference take the long view.
They know, but you do not, that justice is not for the sprinters, but rather for the long distance runners who will be hitting their second wind, right about the time that you collapse from exhaustion.
They are like the tortoise to your hare.
They are like the San Francisco Giants, to your New York Yankees: a bunch that loses year after year after year, until they finally win.
You have had this confidence before, remember?
You thought you had secured your position permanently after the overthrow of reconstruction in the wake of the civil war, after the elimination of the New Deal, after the Reagan revolution, after the Republican electoral victory of 1994. And yet, those you thought you had cowed and defeated are still here.
Because those who have lived on the margins, who have been abused, maligned, targeted by austerity measures and budget cuts, subjected to racism, classism, sexism, straight supremacy and every other form of oppression always know more about their abusers than the abusers know about their victims.
They have to study you, to pay careful attention, to adjust their body armor accordingly, and to memorize your sleep patterns.
You, on the other hand, need know nothing whatsoever about them. And this, will surely prove politically fatal to you in the end. For it means you will not know their resolve. Will not fear it, as you should.
It means you will take their greatest strength — perseverance — and make of it a weakness, called losing.
But what you forget, or more to the point never knew, is that those who lose know how to lose, which is to say they know how to lose with dignity.
And those who suffer know how to suffer, which is to say they know how to survive: a skill that is in short supply amid the likes of you.
You, who could not survive the thought of minimal health care reform, or financial regulation, or a marginal tax rate equal to that which you paid just 10 years earlier, perhaps are under the illusion that everyone is as weak as you, as soft as you, as akin to petulant children as you are, as unable to cope with the smallest setback, the slightest challenge to the way you think your country should look and feel, and operate.
But they are not.
And they know how to regroup, and plot, and plan, and they are planning even now — we are — your destruction.
And I do not mean by that your physical destruction. We don’t play those games. We’re not into the whole “Second Amendment remedies, militia, armed resistance” bullshit that your side fetishizes, cuz, see, we don’t have to be. We don’t need guns.
We just have to be patient.
And wait for you to pass into that good night, first politically, and then, well…
Do you hear it?
The sound of your empire dying? Your nation, as you knew it, ending, permanently?
Because I do, and the sound of its demise is beautiful.
So know this.
If you thought this election was payback for 2008, remember…
Payback, thy name is…
Temporary.
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ISRAEL IS A GO
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Our son left just a week ago today, he's in Israel starting a new life. It is hard to think of him so far away, the Moms are frantic most of the time, but really we're not against this move on any logical level. Yes we will get to visit, we have a passport and will save for a ticket, once there we can always stay with our sister or Aunt or any number of cousins or friends.

Right now tho he's waiting to hear if he's Jewish enough. Which has to do with crazy fundamentalistic Orthodox Rabbis getting their hands on acceptance of all conversions. You see I/we converted under a Conservative Rabbi before the sons were born and it might not be Jewish enough. It should be, but terrorism has turned religion into this mess of nitpicking. our son's should be Jews automatically with a Jewish mother. D has a letter from our Rabbi stating that he completed all the requirements to be a Jewish adult. Who knows. The waiting is just frustrating.

Meanwhile he's in the country he wants to be in stumbling thru the language as he learns to navigate the train and bus system. A close friend will pick him up this weekend to stay on his Kibbutz. Seems my friend and family have something BIG planned for D. My friend IH is a wonderful man, with 3 sons about D's age, he will be a great male influence and friend. I'm really grateful for his friendship and kindness.

October has been very long, filled with tension and excitement, way too many triggers. We are trying to stay focused outward, but chaos comes knocking pretty regular. Therapy feels like an industrial can opener on our container of worms.

Ravin

NO THOUGHT OF MORALITY
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One of world's top experts on biological warfare
William C. Patrick III was sent to Iraq in 1994 to look into alleged covert germ labs.
By T. Rees Shapiro

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
William C. Patrick III, 84, one of the chief scientists at the Army Biological Warfare Laboratories at Fort Detrick and who was responsible for overseeing the military's top-secret weaponization of some of the world's deadliest diseases, including anthrax and tularemia, died of bladder cancer Oct. 1 at Citizens Nursing Home in Frederick....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/04/AR2010100406670.html

...Despite the macabre nature of his work at Fort Detrick, Mr. Patrick spoke about how vital his profession was to national security.

"We did not sit around talking about the moral implications of what we were doing," he told the Baltimore Sun in 2004. "We were problem-solving."

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It'll take years for all of what we did covertly to finally be seen, and still people will shrug and say it was right and true because it made us save. Safe is a false prophet!

Ravin

ABUSE
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"Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime."
~~~~Herbert Ward
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