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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Have Not Taken The Road Less Traveled...

I Have Not Taken The Road Less Traveled...I Just Went on a Detour!



Fall has finally arrived, my favorite season.  I am really happy I live in the Mid-west because of the seasonal changes.  For me, Fall does not represent an ending as in harvesting crops and gray days.  It represents, to me, a chance for God to once again provide exceptional beauty with the leaves turning color and the bright orange of pumpkins and gourds that dot the landscape.



Even the gray days provide a time to figuratively catch my breath in the busyness of life. (I spelled busyness this way on purpose :))  I love to sit and look out the window and ponder.  I am also now looking for a very inexpensive electric fireplace for my office...I want the ambience to be comfortable for everyone!

I am happy to report on this blog that I have suffered no more slit fingernails from the blade of my food processor.  My husband has had both his hips replaced in the last four months and has recovered amazingly quickly...due to all the prayers offered on his behalf.  I can now call him a Bionic Man!

Our grandchildren enjoy coming to our house either with Mom and Dad or without them.  It is fun to watch our granddaughter ride her bike with joyful abandon and our grandson run through the yard squealing with delight as he plays in the leaves and grass. He is not yet too keen on riding the Big Wheel..he would rather laugh at me on it!

I also am partial to fall because my birthday occurs....Halloween....I used to think what a cool way to celebrate my birthday with lots of extra candy!  I love the crisp, cool weather after the humid heat of the summer in the mid-west.  We make at least one visit to the orchard in our area, and I always come away from there with lots of goodies.

My grandchildren's happy childhood provides stark contrast with what many of my clients have endured as children.  (For those of you who are new to reading this blog, I am a psychotherapist who treats adults, and I specialize in providing therapy for adults abused as children.)  Abuse in ANY form is NEVER ok.  It still constantly amazes me the horror that children endure at the hands of adults.  It also amazes me that so many of them have survived.

There are two mental health diagnoses that can  result from the horrific abuse children endure. While Dissociative Identity Disorder and Borderline Personality disorder are very challenging for therapists to treat, they are even more challenging for the client who experiences them.

Clients with DID experience switching of personalities, often frequently.  There are periods of time that are "lost".  They can drive a car and find themselves in unfamiliar places and not know how they got there.  They can lose valuable objects and not know where they are because one of the alters hid them.  They can spend money and not know on what the funds were spent.  They often have been threated by their abusers with either their own death or the death of a loved one if they tell or disclose details of the abuse.  This threat is as real to them as adults as it was when they were threatened as children.  They have extremely low self esteem and often blame themselves and feel "dirty, bad, ugly".

Clients with Borderline Personality Disorder have a very difficult time with relationships and often feel abandoned emotionally by the people in their lives. They enter into adulthood with many attachments issues.   They struggle with impulsivity and intense anger.  They often live in an "I love you, I hate you, don't leave me" world.

And the most difficult thing for all is the fact that only rarely, is the abuser brought to justice and made to pay for what they did.  Most of the time it is the survivor who bears the scars and the abuser has no accountability.

The question so often asked is, "Why?".  For many there is no answer that makes sense to them as people who have experienced the abuse.  For some with a religious faith, they are able to look at the abuse as either the influence of the fall of man (sin) or that God gave them the strength to endure and survive.  For others, for those who prayed earnestly for rescue, there is a great deal of anger with God for not rescuing them immediately.  For me as a therapist with a deep faith in Christ, it is difficult to help these people without sounding preachy or minimizing what they are going through.  I continue to search for answers that will make sense.

In February of 2012, I will be presenting a two hour workshop at our annual Equip Conference.  It is a conference sponsored by local churches to provide training to those who volunteer or are paid staff in a church. My topic is "The Church's Responsibility To Those Who Have Been Abused".  For those of you reading this blog who pray, I am requesting prayer as I prepare for this.  I gave a one hour workshop several years ago, but feel the need to expand it.  

We continue this journey together.




26 comments:

  1. I am a Bongo follower and she suggested I check out your post -- I'm glad I did ;-)

    Thank you for all you do and I will hold you in prayer as you expand your practice!

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  2. Nice and informative post...thanks to Bonnie.

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  3. Dangerous Linda...thank you for you support. I appreciate the prayers...K

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  4. Janu....thank you for your kind comments...K

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  5. Great to see you back Katherine! Have missed reading your writing :) One thing I would really like to see here is an additional page with the psych disorders and a short summary of their signs/symptoms. I believe this would be really helpful to us lay people who can't always remember which symptom goes with what disorder :)

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  6. Hey Miss Katherine! Love your posts, just wish there were more of them LOL. So, I see without any more incidence in the kitchen I can assume you are being a little more careful??? And so very glad to hear that your hubby's new hips are working well :)))
    Love when you break down the disorders...you make them so much easier to understand...but have to agree with Mary on the additional page idea.
    I'll now leave you with that task...hope to see more coming our way!

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  7. Mary...thank you for your suggestion...I will work on doing that for the next post....

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  8. Anna...thank you for your encouraging comments. I will definitely follow through on Mary's suggestion.

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  9. Happy Belated Birthday! I admire the work you do. I'll be praying for you to have wisdom on how to help your clients without sounding preachy. I'm sure you are doing a fine job simply by listening to your heart.
    Peace & Prayers,
    Leah

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  10. Leah, Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

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  11. Nice to see you writing again.. it amazes me how you can switch subjects so easily and can also drag the reader in.. kudos Katherine, I look forward to reading more..and I agree with Mary..a page to help us in layman's terms would be perfect,....oh yeh..have fun with those new hips LOLOLOLOL...As always...XOXOXOX

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  12. Katherine,all I can say is may God give you the strength and wisdom to carry on..Will keep you in my prayers.

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  13. Bongo...thank you for your kind comments....i will definitely be posting the definitions in layman's terms on the next post..

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  14. Alpana...I so appreciate your prayers...I cannot do this type of work with His help for wisdom, insight, discernment, and strength.

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  15. Thank you Katherine for the post. It is all so helpful to me. I am at this moment trying to understand my son's illnesses and have been stymied at a lot of the information. My basic conclusion is that he is beyond my help, and I must let him go.

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  16. Hello.
    I love autumn too.

    This is a highly informative post. You do excellent work. I wish you the best with everything.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Seasons Of Beauty

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  17. Great post Katherine, extremely glad to find you!

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  18. Andy, I appreciate your comments...thanks

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  19. Elizabeth...thank you for responding...

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  20. I wish you well in your conference, I am sure you will do wonderful work I and only imagine that it must be hard to find people who not only have the love and compassion but also the knowledge and experience.

    I believe those of us that come into contact with individuals who have been abused are learning on a daily basis the struggles they go through as well as what they project because of it. It takes a tremendous amount of emotional strength not only for them but also for the people around them that love and care for them to understand why they are the way they are and not lose faith that there will be hope for them now and in the future.

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  21. It is my first time here thanks to Lady B. Autumn brings change and with that a sense of freshness...
    Wish you the very best...

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  22. Happy belated Birthday! Your talk will be amazing! I completely know and understand the topic. Fall is my favorite time of the year too. I see it as God's beautiful painting. Much luck for any upcoming talks.

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  23. Jan...there is an organization called NAMI...National Alliance on Mental Illness..they provide education and support groups for those with a mental illness and their families...you can find a chapter close to you by looking on the internet...I hope i can help you by providing information that is understandable.

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  24. SJ--thank you for your comments and encouraging words.

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  25. Sparklemezen...thank you for your comments...it is nice to know that others see that autumn can be a time for positive change.

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  26. Sea Green Natural--thank you for your birthday wish and encouraging comments...

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