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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This and That

It has been a few weeks since I published my first post.  I so appreciate how supportive people have been who have read the first posting. These last few weeks have been a usually busy period of time with the normal ups and downs of life.

From a more light-hearted perspective, my grandson and I had an interesting week prior to and including Easter, to say the least.  It was a normally busy week for me seeing clients during Holy Week.  My daughter-in-law called on Wednesday to say our grandson had broken out with hives on Tuesday evening and was worse on Wednesday morning.  She had been able to get him in to see the doctor on Wednesday morning and God provided a cancelled appointment for me so I was able to meet her at the pediatrician's office and help her.  My husband and I both have a problem with hives (testing can give no indication of cause for us), but I was able to provide some light-hearted banter with the nurse practitioner and her because of this.  It took several days, anti-histimines and children's motrin but by Easter Sunday we thought he was better.

In the meantime, on Thursday my right eye developed pain, and I soon had a case of conjunctivitis (pink eye).  I started on antibiotics, but my vision was affected, and so I was not at my best.  I missed the Good Friday service of darkness at our church.  This is a special service during which Christ's death is the focus.  At the beginning of the service, the sanctuary is in full light.  There are candelabra on the platform, with the candles lit. 

As the Scripture is read and explained, candles are extinguished.  Communion is served.   By the end of the service only one candle still flames (Christ, the light of the world). The sanctuary lights are at their dimmest (yet still on enough to provide safety) as the service ends.   The congregation is requested to exit in total silence out of respect for what had happened so long ago.  It is a very moving service, and I was sad not to be able to attend.  However, I was able to get the things done on Saturday that needed to be done in preparation for Easter.

Easter Sunday, our grandson awoke with a lot fewer hives, but with a low-grade fever.  It was a busy morning, but I was able to go to church and sing in the choir...By time for dinner, his fever was gone, and only a hive or two remained.  At our house, his mom was holding him as we were waiting for dinner guests to arrive, and he promptly threw up on her and the floor! We got him cleaned up and down for a nap right away, and she headed home to change clothes (a 20 minute round trip).  Dinner went well, and even though our guests had to leave quickly to get their two college age sons to the bus to return to Chicago, we had an enjoyable meal and celebrated Christ's resurrection together.  As I was cleaning up the kitchen counter, however, wiping with a sponge, I ran my finger into the blade of my food processor (which I had unfortunately not put away).  Fortunately, it only cut a little of the skin, but slit the nail almost to the quick.  Band-aided, I continued getting the kitchen in order.  He woke from his nap, feeling much better, and we had fun hunting Easter eggs, being thoroughly entertained by a five-year old and a two-year old.

On Tuesday, my right eye had cleared up, but now the left eye was infected, even though I had been very careful with hygiene.  We then decided that my grandson and I should be wrapped in customized bubble wrap....he and I are both back in good working order.

Even with the light-heartedness of the above, the difficult questions that my clients ask continue to be an issue for which I search for answers.  I see a number of clients with significant issues...trauma, abuse as children, resulting problems ranging from Borderline Personality Disorder to Dissociative Identity Disorder, to Bi-polar Disorder to Major Depression and Anxiety.  Throw in those couples struggling with serious issues in their marriage relationship, and it is sufficient to say that my professional days are not boring.

Trauma is such a devastating phenomenon...because it affects people not only when it is happening, but also for so long afterward.   The physical wounds eventually heal, but the emotional, psychological, and mental wounds remain. If they are not process appropriately, they fester.   I often explain trauma work to clients in this way...Picture a wound that is not healed...infected...scabbed over.  In trauma work, the therapist has to take off the scab, clean out the infection, debride (cut away dead tissue) the wound, and help the client begin the healing process...physically, these deep wounds need to heal from the inside out...but often, the resulting tissue is stronger than before....likewise, the emotional wounds have to heal from the inside out as well.

When children are abused, especially sexually abused, the wounds are not only physical.  If the abuser is a close relative, the devastation is much worse..not only did these children suffer this horror at the hand of someone who was supposed to protect and cherish and them, but also, in many instances, had to deal with those who chose not to protect...who ignored the abuse, and made no attempt to correct the wrong.  Many develop Dissociative Identity Disorder (a subject for the next post), major depression, and other serious mental health problems.  Some do not.  The reasons for the difference in coping are still being researched.

One of the most repeated questions asked is, "Why"?  For those with a religious belief, the companion question is, "Where was God when I was being abused?  Why didn't He protect and get me out of there?"  I am still seeking for those answers that will address those questions.  I will not provide simplistic rhetoric to my clients.  I am honest in telling them that I do not know, but will keep searching until I find answers.  God has answers; I just don't know what they are yet. 

We are all on a journey.  I don't have all the answers...and I am very honest in admitting that.  But my heart, my passion is to continue helping these individuals as they walk this road.  For whatever reason, I believe God has equipped me to do this work.   I read and research continually to find new and old ways to help people in this healing process.

However, I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has been abused in any way as a child.   Please share what helped, what didn't, and for those who attend a church or other place of worship, what helped or didn't help there.  I will be giving a workshop in February at a conference for those involved in ministry.  The workshop will be in two parts...the first is a description of abuse and the effects.  The second will be on what is the church's responsibility to those who have been abused and what can and should the church do.

Thank you for reading about this journey...For Those Who Seek.


  1. Katherine, as I was reading down your post I'm LMAO hilariously at your luck throughout the weekend, wondering why you just didn't go back to bed and get up on the other side:)
    Then, your tone changed and you discussed some pretty powerful afflictions. I look forward to my return to read your future posts. You have a unique writing style with interesting topics:)

  2. Kat,
    So glad you are feeling better and you eyes are okay. I am so happy that you are here mainly because you have such a positive mental attitude on life. You are and amazing woman, I can't wait to read more of your work...

  3. I agree with Mary.. I was hysterical laughing (at your expense) and then WHAM...the Dark Side....the way it's written drags ya right on in..they say that's a sign of a good writer if the reader can feel the words...Kudos...Can't wait for more ....As always..XOXOXOXO

  4. I couldn't stop reading what you have written Katherine. You seem to have a wonderful approach to life and I am sure you are a great healer too. I am looking forward to more of your articles, especially bi-polar disorder. My ex husband had it and I tried to cope with it for almost 10 years.

  5. I have no experience in this...
    Good on you for helping those that do.


  6. "Why me?" To which I wrote a blog posting on wordpress: Basically it boils down to this: "why NOT you?" - it gave you hidden strengths and wisdom; compassion you would not have otherwise (perhaps).

    Regarding your upcoming posting on DID: Please, do not go out and say "DID is all bad" and (as one blogger put it) "a horrible thing". It is NOT all bad; indeed, to us it has become more than just a blessing! (and yes, there are blessings to be found in the curse of being an abused child: you just have to look for them: see for more on that.)

    For you see, we are happy in being DID; very much so now (tho' it wasn't always that way!) For us it has become a beautiful thing. And that's something you might want to point out as well.

    Thank you very much.
    Jeff & Friends: signing off :D

  7. Hi Pat -

    We all have many troubling issues in our lives. There's really no escaping the one-after-another things that trouble us. Our faith is the only reliance we have to make it through today, and tomorrow.

    Helping others allow us to step outside or ourselves and to forget our own woes for those moments. It also helps us to see that the troubles in our lives are not as bad as others have it. We are blessed to forgive and to be thankful what we have.

    Nice post, thank you. Happy Wednesday to you. :)

  8. Thanks, bj...I agree that our faith is the only reliance we have to make it...

  9. Jeff, I appreciate your comments and will be reading the links you sent...thanks

  10. A...I am hoping to help people who don't have experience to understand...thanks

  11. Rimly, your kind words are much appreciated. Often families don't receive the help they need when a loved one has been diagnosed...I am hoping in a small way to provide information and how to access assistance...Thanks

  12. Am a bit late in commenting but I was smiling as to how how your day started but changed to a smile when I read "we are all on a journey......
    We can only ask... question and do what we can...... to help those who need it.... it is life and what we make of it is what counts!