My daughter came to visit me. I looked at her and noticed that she had some grey hair. That night I dreamed I was buying her new clothes. She was about four and she loudly didn’t like any of them. That was my real kid!!! She had morphed from a kid to an adult right under my eyes and I never even noticed. I have to compare snapshots or memories of her from years apart to notice the changes.

We visited Muir Woods together and there was an exhibit of a cross section of a redwood about four feet wide. Each growth ring was as thin as a pencil line but 1,117 of them sure add up. Growth of trees and kids is slow but sure.

So it is with my healing. I don’t feel healed at all; I don’t feel I have done much of anything. I don’t think I am changing or that I will be any different next year than I am this year. It feels like I am warehousing myself. It’s only when I look back that I can see how I have grown.

Back in 2005, my arthritis was so bad that I was using crutches and a walker. I was in constant pain and I was grouchy morning, noon, and night. First I had a lot of physical therapy and exercised in the water. Then I got brave and had a knee replaced. Now I am in much less pain and I gave away my crutches. My face is relaxed and I smile again, simply because I am not constantly bathed in pain.

Four years ago I was a slow but terrible driver. Most people were scared to ride with me, and I was often scared to ride with myself. It was weird, though, because every so often I would drive really fast (and badly) and sometimes I even drove well. I figured out that I had different groups of alters driving at different times. Rather than telling them which group could drive and which group couldn’t, I told them how I wanted them to drive, and let them decide who would like to. Now I am not nearly as bad, except for backing out of the garage.

And if I look all the way back to when I first realized I had Satanism in my background, I can see tremendous changes. I was damn close to psychotic then, in tears most of the time, and I had body memories that lasted three months apiece. I had so many intrusive thoughts that there was no room for regular thoughts. I hated myself, I was suicidal, I had strong urges to cut myself, and I felt deeply guilty over everything. And the pain! I never knew I could feel so much emotional pain. It doubled me over.

Today I still feel guilty over inconsequential things and I still put myself down sometimes. But I recognize it and know where it is coming from. I’m no longer obsessed with suicide and self-harm and, boy, life is a lot better. But I have no idea when or how these changes happened. They just did, and I didn’t see them at the time.

There was one major change that I did keep track of. At first, in order not to feel crazy, I had to have regular validation that Satanism did, indeed, exist. That’s why I read so much on the subject and that’s why I sought out other survivors. Otherwise I couldn’t retain the concept and I drifted off into denial. Little by little I became able to hold onto my own truth without constant validation. First it was a matter of hours, then a couple of days. Today I can go at least two weeks, probably a lot longer. The reason I saw this change was that each time I traveled away from my home base I was scared that I would go nuts. I spent a lot of time worrying about how long I could hold out and reassured myself by remembering how long I’d lasted the other times.

I try to look back often so that I can keep this perspective. It makes me realize that the thought “I will never change” is a lie, because I have already changed immensely. I wouldn’t mind having the rate of change speed up, but the direction is perfectly fine.


3 thoughts on “Growth

  1. WOW! what a great article, Jean. I too have felt that way,,, change is as slow as molasses in January, as my mother used to say. But the direction I was headed was good and eventually, I came out on the other side in the light of a blessed new day! I’m grateful for your writing this and for your continued turning the light on our issues…thank you.

  2. I do, as do you, wonder of growth and signs of progress, though I only sometimes see them when I look years in the past. I am using electronic tools to keep myself in touch with what I’m doing and what needs my attention. I seem to lack a measure otherwise. Your transformation away from pain is a hope I have, and a hope I hold. Do keep writing, please. Your words help me often.

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