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.


  3. We are glad that you claimed your life back and thanks for sharing it! More friends you have, more things you can do and faster you do them.


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