A day off!

English: White swans (Cygnus olor)

English: White swans (Cygnus olor) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My head and neck is bothering me again, not feeling too well, but not all that bad, so I called in sick. Really, I am so dizzy, that driving is not advisable. Hope to feel better tomorrow, and back to work issues and utter chaos. I love my job! Normally I would sit here working, after calling in sick, but today I thought no… I am going to have a day for me, only me. And it is going to be as good as possible, in spite of pain and dizziness.

I started off with one whole hour of meditation. I’m glad I put the timer on, otherwise it could just as well lasted three! Amazing how time flies just breathing, and letting all things pass by in my mind.

It made me feel calm and happy. After that, I tried one of my yoga routines, for more breathing, but found that I needed breakfast more than air. 🙂

I am not easily persuaded into new things, and if there is a hint of something “alternative”, I back off. I have a friend, who works as a healer and a homoeopath, and do the occasional baby massage. We have lots to talk about! 🙂

The thing is, probably, that I need to be sure that there is something there that can help me, that I feel like I can do, (where I won’t fail), and that there are reliable results. The inspiration came from my acupuncturist, he practise buddhist meditation, and explained a couple of things in a very natural way. I had severe pain after my crash last summer, and he introduced balance, “chi” and the universe, as the only normal thing to reduce pain. It worked, not instantly, and I still need regular painkillers from time to time.

I started reading, and tried meditating. Read “Meditation for dummies”, “Mindfulness for dummies”, and went on to more complex theory. “Full Cathastrophe Living” is a must.

My first meditation experience was a success, I sat for one and a half hours, I thought it had been like 15 minutes. I understood “calm” and “balanced”, and saw how useful this could be for me. Coping with pain and sleep disorder, first of all, but now I am exploring getting rid of (or less troubled with) c-PTSD using the same techniques.

It is going to work.

I have never this one “thing” to rely on, it has been more like walking on quicksand. And whenever something got to me, I’d just dive in and go under. Again and again and again.

I also went for a short walk down to the sea. Sat there for a while, looking at the white wonderful elegant swans. Felt good. Kept humming U2s “It’s a beatiful day” and it is!

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Reach me
I know I’m not a hopeless case

What you don’t have you don’t need it now
What you don’t know you can feel it somehow
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
Don’t need it now
Was a beautiful day

Hope your day was good too!

Reading this made me feel good 🙂


In meditation practice, you work directly with your confused mind-states, without waging crusades against any aspect of your experience. You let all your tendencies arise, without trying to screen anything out, manipulate experience in any way, or measure up to any ideal standard. Allowing yourself the space to be as you are — letting whatever arises arise, without fixation on it, and coming back to simple presence — this is perhaps the most loving and compassionate way you can treat yourself. It helps you make friends with the whole range of your experience.
As you simplify in this way, you start to feel your very presence as wholesome in and of itself. You don’t have to prove that you are good. You discover a self-existing sanity that lies deeper than all thought or feeling. You appreciate the beauty of just being awake, responsive, and open to life. Appreciating…

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Something in me believed

He started traveling. He got a job where he didn’t stay home for long at the time. I remember our housekeeper complained over him, leaving the kids, and that traveling for 150 days a year was never part of her plan.

For me, it was probably a lifesaver.

When I was eight, I got appendicitis. That day, we had been to town, shopping maybe, only her and I. When we got home she had made porridge. I can’t eat that. The consistence, the taste, the colour… She made me try, and I did. A bit. And started vomiting. Of course everybody thought I faked it. So it wasn’t until my fever got so high that I went in and out of consciousness, that she thought of contacting a doctor. I remember my sister was there too, she was worried.

Afterwards everybody was jealous of me, getting to go to hospital in a real ambulance. I hardly noticed. I was in so much pain, that I was sure I would die. And get to see my mother again. (She died just over a year before this happened). There should be a heaven for all dead people, I thought.

I stayed in hospital for a week, got presents, a barbie doll, and a Tarzan book. It had more than 200 pages, I read it all, and was proud. I hardly ate at hospital, the feeling of being sick sort of just stayed with me for the whole week. And the hospital smell. Only thing I would eat was bread and ham. I got bread and ham and white cheese. I never ate the cheese, I hid it under the mattress when nobody saw me.

He came home on the day I was released from hospital. He had bought me something. I don’t remember what it was.

Stories told

A vanilla ice cream cone

A vanilla ice cream cone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sounds like it was all bad. It can’t have been. There must have been summers and running in the sand. Ice creams. Playing. Nice people. Sunshine and good days.

I don’t know. Once we used to look for the good stories, in therapy, but so many of them turned out not being good after all.

I think the best times I had, was the ones I spent alone. When I was around friends, I was always the different one, everybody else had two parents, and whenever I think about it, people didn’t find their way around that. So hard to relax and treat me like everybody else!

Maybe someone else suspected that things weren’t ok at home, and I didn’t pick up on that vibe.

So the good things I remember with others, are almost always connected to someone totally outside, like my music teacher. Or to time spent by myself.

I never thought I didn’t like spending time alone. The old house and the big garden were over the road from where most of the other children lived. It was a dangerous road. After I started school, and got friends, they were still on the other side of that road.

Of course, hiding was never fun. Hiding meant getting away from danger.

After I started school, I went town on the bus by myself. Well, after starting with music. I didn’t have people over me at all time telling me where to be and when. I went to the library often. I was too young to get into the real library, the one for grown ups. Once or twice they’d stop me and ask where my mother was. I’d say, she is in there, we planned to meet. Most of the times they believed me, or didn’t care. Or didn’t believe me, and didn’t care.

I actually remember being there with her there too; I could read at five, she borrowed books in French. I tried to find out what the letters meant.

So I could spend insane amounts of time in the library. I loved it. I had to stay. I couldn’t borrow books to take home, not being old enough, so they were stuck with me.

I also loved being by the seaside. Whatever weather, listening to the waves, the wind. I’d go there if I was sad, and I’d sit and think for a while. Sometimes I’d cry. Sometimes I’d throw stones in the water, I got quite good at throwing one up high, and hitting it with another.

I wasn’t meant to be like this. It isn’t, for any kid.

I started this post because people are commenting and wishing me well, as if I have a crisis going on, or if I am feeling very sorry or depressed or something.  It’s not like that really, I am ok. I could never do this if I felt like banging my head against the wall. So I try again to find something good…

Keep the comments coming though. Thanks for helping me, letting you in on my story is scary, thrilling, exciting, and I learn a lot. Daring to share has become real. Well, that IS a good thing.

Trying to explain a flashback

The mind is a strange thing. I’ve been a journalist at war for two short periods in the Balkans. I saw demonstrations, shootings, crazy elections. Once I was smuggled into a hospital where shot victims were held. I’ve signed papers leaving the UN without any responsibility for my life, for the reason of getting from one part of the Bosnia to another. I’ve travelled incognito, crossing every border there are on buses. The soldiers came collecting passports and valuables at gunpoint, I was lucky they never found my camera. I walked in the mountains in Montenegro, over borders, carrying thousands of Deutsch mark (only going value) glued to my thighs and body. Friends of mine died. I wanted to help.

It was an insane thing to do. Risky, crazy, stupid… I had children at home…

Those are things that people normally get PTSD from. Post traumatic stress disorder was long a diagnoses closely connected with war trauma and only that. The reason I mention my Balkan experiences. is that those experiences  haven’t led to these reactions for me. So there doesn’t have to be any obvious connections. Still, I live with PTSD or Complex PTSD.

When I wake up at night, (not from a bad dream), I re-live experiences from my childhood. I was sexually abused, neglected, and to some extent grew up alone. Some of this I remember. but many details are just blurry. I already told about some of the things I do remember. The ones I don’t are the ones that bothers me most. Those happenings are the ones that still gives me flashbacks. The others are stories from my childhood.

Together with my psychologist, I’ve sort of come to terms with the facts that these things really happened. I was abused. No one looked after me. I did spend too much time alone. I did (do) drugs to get out of it all and to get some sleep when it’s too hard.

I am not sure where I go from here, but that again is another thing.

I can never tell the story, when I have a flashback. Like a chronological;  first this happened, then this, and that, and after that he went away. I usually remember pain. Something over my throat, sometime I think it is a hand, or maybe a knee. I have a feeling I can’t breathe, (but I never died so obviously…)  I remember smells, tobacco, sweat. It is always dark. I hear him breathing. My body turns numb, every time. I can’t move. It is like the pain IS me, it’s the only feeling existing in the universe, and if I should move only my little finger, the pain would be 100 times worse. I know I am being raped. Because of the pain. But also from what is not inside the flashback, the blood, the intense scrubbing and washing, the vomiting, running away, after. Things I did that I clearly remember (but hate to talk about).

When the flashback doesn’t involve all that pain, it starts with fear, and pain comes after. I don’t know, maybe that is because I grew older, and these are memories from later in my childhood. I have a feeling I learnt to handle the numbness and the pain, and that the way of not feeling, sort of turning off pain, helped me.

The first time I had sex, I wasn’t “in” it at all. Besides the fear that wasn’t there, there was nothing.

It happens at night, usually. Some years ago I had flashbacks even during the day. I had specific triggers, I ever I saw hand sown leather shoes, with a special pattern, I’d just loose track of everything. I would get out from where I was, and not remember doing it. I recall once I was shopping, in a big shopping centre. Next thing I remember is that I was sitting outside, under the emergency stairway, shaking and crying. I’d left my groceries. I couldn’t remember why I had come there, and I looked for half an hour to find my car.

It’s been some years since that happened.

I don’t know what to do with these bad night-time flashbacks. These bundles of pain, that happened so long ago, and happens far too often now. Writing it down makes me sick.

I’ll leave it at that for now. Thought I could somehow keep a distance while explaining. Didn’t work…

I’d like for nice things to happen

English: road bicycle racing Español: ciclismo...

English: road bicycle racing  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like feeling the green grass under my feet. The wind in my hair while going downhill fast. Have some time on the beach. Instead., these last few days have been spent mostly in bed. Woke up on Friday feeling really dizzy, went cycling for work, and back, and the world was spinning… Every time I get to bed, it gets very bad, my head won’t stop, and it actually takes up to two minutes for my eyes being able to focus again. Getting up, it’s the same thing, if I manage to hold on to something, I might get up. If not, I’ll get up to a sitting position in the bed, just to fall over to the other side or backwards. I had the same vertigo thing after my neck injury last year. Didn’t need a replay!

The weather is gorgeous, and during the weekend my plan was to go cycling. Do fun stuff with my husband, who was home for the weekend. See the boys, (I did and had to go straight to bed afterwards). So nothing turned out how I planned. Only reason I am a bit upset about it, is the cycling race in less than two weeks. I want so much to do it. It doesn’t look as it is going to happen…

Last ight have been awful too, waking up with terrible nightmares not being able to breath. Just have to get up. Fast. Having done too much sleep is not good. It never helps. I need the same hours sleep every night, same routines… and at weekends it’s always get a bit out of routines. And being ill hasn’t helped.

This didn’t turn out very good. It was supposed to be about nice things. Sorry!

Burnt child

One of my friends and her family went to visit her uncle. I got to come along, being the girl without a mother that people felt sorry for. It must have been one of the school holidays, it was more than two nights. But there was a weekend during those days we spent there. A house on the countryside, as the fruit trees blossomed. Sunshine.  A farm. I am scared of cows. They smell bad too.

We borrowed two really huge mens bicycles to get a couple of kilometers to the petrol station, it must have looked ridiculous, we didn’t reach the pedals. It was all downhill. We wanted ice cream and sweets, maybe it was a Saturday. Day for treats.

I went to the to the back, to go to the toilet. I didn’t realize I was followed. Couldn’t get away either. He put one hand over my small breasts and the other down my panties. He said I liked it. He smelled of petrol and grease and tobacco. He let me go again, and I don’t remember the way uphill. Don’t remember any ice cream. Never told anyone. Not until now.

That night, we went to a party, or, no, not a party. Kids (though some over 18) getting together, playing music. There were a few beers there, and as the older ones got a bit drunk, no one cared about me, or my friend. Well she did, I probably told her to shut up or something. Or went on talking to someone else. Then some real booze came on the table. Nobody could just go buy it, it was expensive, and hard to find someone over 18 to buy. So it was homemade, and awful.

That didn’t bother me much. I drank until I was unconscious, woke up vomitting, drank some more. It was my first time.

The next day we sat talking in a field. My friend and me, and some of the others, probably agreeing it was a good party last night. One of the real cool boys sat in a tree, I liked him.

Then I set fire to the dry grass, and it spread very fast. I burnt my hand. Fire engines didn’t come for more than half an hour.

The others covered for me, but I was never invited again.

Overdid it?

English: Glen Campbell flies around a corner o...

English: Glen Campbell flies around a corner on the sport 30 kilometer course during the 2009 Xtreme Mountain Bike Race II Saturday, Oct. 2. Campbell finished in third place. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Been cycling very much this week… There is this competition that I like to join in two weeks. Almost 100 km terrain, and much fun! I’m not here to win anything at all, just to finish…

And usually I would have gone to the gym three-five times a week, besides quite a lot of cycling, throught the whole year… Now I have not worked out properly since October. Started the week before this, and must have put in about 350 km on the bike.

Yesterday I woke up, feeling really dizzy, after cycling home I had to lye down for a bit. Slept all night and most of the day, and still no change… I had a fall last year, resulting in a neck injury and a onesided headache that’s off and on. So that’s the reason for not keeping up with the same training as last year… Guess my body isn’t playing along with me on this one…

Hope to be better soon!

Like music in my ear

A facsimile sheet of music from the Dies Irae ...

A facsimile sheet of music from the Dies Irae movement of the “Requiem Mass in D Minor” (K. 626) in Mozart’s own handwriting. It is located at the Mozarthaus in Vienna. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I always liked music. My mother played the piano. Slim fingers doing simple tunes on the keyboard. We had a piano. I think I remember when we got it. Petrof, in teak. Besides, there were a shelf with booklets. Chopin, Mozarts menuets, Christmas carols. My brother took classes, with an old woman he described as a witch. He never liked it, at least not until he got music sheets for Beatles. “Lady Madonna” was a hit.

I practised when no one saw me, I could go on for hours. If I had the house to myself, it would be the thing to do.

Later I started playing the flute. I got a very good teacher, he was old, and had had his career in the local symphonic orchestra. I only saw him every other week, but then we practised for one hour, maybe one and a half. His wife brought us tea and cookies, he talked about life. Told stories, forgot about the time. He only had one student each day.

I was fascinated with the music, the patterns of the sound, the way things fitted together. I fell in love with Mozart. And Bach. And some of the crazy neo-classical stuff. I went to the library, and took home both the music on tape, and the music score. From the easy flute-related stuff to operas and Mozarts’ Requiems. All the symphonies, and then I went on to Beethoven. Wagner. Verdi’s Requiem. And Rilke and Goethe and Nietzsche. Went on to philosophy and developed a genuine interest in our strange Europe, the whys and hows. Descartes, Kant and Wittgenstein. I read essays, librettos and lyrics. I studied the music scores at a total nerd level 🙂

I felt rich.

I stopped playing at 17. My teacher wanted to find someone better for me, and he found one. He taught at the music conservatory. But it was never the same. I still read music scores, and after reading, I listen, to see if I was right 🙂

The smell of summer

English: Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Blu...

English: Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Bluebell). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We used to have our vacations at the house where my family originated from. My granddad moved to «town». Before that, before WW2 the family lived in a little house in a little place, in a bay, surrounded by high mountains. We had the north winds coming in every afternoon. It could be a bit cold. I remember the smell of all the flowers and the grass in the field. The smell of summer. I picked bluebells. That little house used to give me a break from the terror at home.

We went fishing in the river nearby, for large salmon and trout. My granddad told stories of a bear hunt, from way back. I never believed it was true, imagined it was something he made up just to make a good story. Some years back, I found that it was actually true. There had been a real big bear in the area, and it got shot, not by my granddad, but by someone nearby that he knew. (Probably relatives, it is a VERY little place). It was a good story!

I loved swimming in the river. I put on a diving mask and fins, and snorkel for hours in that ice cold water, snow melting water. I swam up the river, some hundred metres, and drifted down again. Sometimes I saw salmons more than half my size. I wouldn’t move at all, and we were just eyeing each other out, before she would hurry upstream, and I had no chance of following, drifting downstream. My body not shaped for that purpose at all.

We used to have boiled eggs for breakfast.

We went fishing in the sea too. My brother and I went out with the dinghy, it wasn’t that small, we had an outboard on it.  Once we found ourselves in the middle of the boiling sea, I had never seen anything like it. Pollock swim together in large flocks, and then sometimes, something scares them from down under, and they surface. There were thousands. Like the area of a soccer field, boiling with jumping fish. Imagine sitting there on a sunny day, with a lazy fishing rod outside the boat, and suddenly everything was total chaos. We caught about 60 of them, before they went under again.

I remember my mother coming to the house by the seaside. I sensed she was on edge; I couldn’t have been more than five. She wanted me to wear a life vest all the time. Once, she took us out in the boat, not far, and we lowered a little anchor to have the boat stay at one place when fishing. When she started the outboard again, she’d forgotten about it, and the propellers cut the rope.

She started to cry. I imagine she was afraid he would get angry. I cried to, because she was afraid.

When I got older, must have been 12, we had a new and larger boat. My brother and I had an argument on the boat, I have no idea what it was about. But it ended with him saying he was going to kill me.

I didn’t go out fishing with him for a long time after that. Once he asked me why. I told him, and he said he never meant anything by it. He had probably forgotten about it.

I went swimming instead. No one saw me cry.

Some inspiration :)

Lotus flower

Lotus flower (Photo credit: wasoxygen)

Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is.
In the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows how to dwell in mindfulness night and day,
‘one who knows the better way to live alone.’

Bhaddekaratta Sutta

They all went away

I felt nothing.

We were a big family. My mother and him, my sister and brother. His six siblings and parents, My mothers’ sister, my three cousins, my mothers’ parents.

By the time I was ten, so many people had died. My mother. My grandfather died just a year later, his wife died just some months after that. And then my other grandfather died, he was the missionary. My mothers’ parents and the rest of her family moved away.

He wouldn’t have anything to do at all with either of the families. So from being part of family celebrations with 20-something people, we were four. And four important people in my family died in three years, when I was between seven and ten.

Hardly a family left. My brother was always out with his buddies, my sister got a boyfriend so that she could stay away as well. I never stayed at home if I could find something else to do.

We never did family-stuff, we faked Christmases, we passed by each other in a strange way, as if we had masks and costumes on and it was an absurd Italian comedy.

Everybody would put on a smiling face if we had visitors.

We had a live-in housekeeper.  She blended in.

I felt nothing.

Mindfullness and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Writing all this terrible stuff makes me feel a bit sick. It’s like I get into a mood where the thoughts get to play on the keyboard, and I  close my eyes and just let it happen. It is certainly easier then talking! And when I am done, that’s it. I just feel tired and a sometimes a bit sad too.

Be Happy

Be Happy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But that’s ok! I can put that into my day, as long as it doesn’t stay there the whole day! (Or night!)

I managed to meditate both yesterday and this morning. For the first time since my last terrible flashback-experience I set the timer on 45 minutes and it felt good. It is really a special experience to do mindful meditation. To see what happens when you choose concentrate on breathing, letting thoughts and stuff that enters the mind just pass again. To be able to decide what I am thinking (or rather not-thinking). To feel that the shoulders are dropping, the mind settles and the body is relaxed.

I am thinking a lot about how Mindfulness can help heal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. I think I’ve got some triggers that can help me find the flashbacks, or some flashbacks, at least. However I am not quite sure what the triggers are. And my flashbacks are so scary that I’m not sure it is a very good idea to explore it. So I haven’t been able to act upon my flashbacks in a mindful way. Quite curious about it though. It would be so good, to keep the calmness of the body and mind, and stay in the flashback until it passes away. Seeing it in an un-judgmental way and being aware of what is happening. Making it less dangerous and also putting more verbal content into it, being able to write it down. I believe it’s possible.

My flashbacks mostly happens during the night. It’s been panic attacks, dissociative behaviour, doing things I don’t remember afterwards. Getting out of my bed, bedroom, some years ago I had to get out of the house, and I couldn’t remember doing it. So I still have a way to go! 🙂

For now; I am very happy that I know how to meditate, that I know how to find that good and relaxed state, and to know that this helps me coping better, every day.

If you never heard of Mindfulness, this must sound a bit weird. Look it up, (for instance “Full Cathastrophe Living”) and tell me what you think!

How are things at home?

I really liked that teacher. He started at my school when I started fourth grade. He would ask me when I didn’t turn up for school. When I got into fights with the sixth grade boys, that’s something you don’t have to do very often. He would ask me when I fell asleep during class.

That feeling, when you have to stay behind after all the others go for a break and some fresh air. It doesn’t take more than that to feel different. I already knew that I was very different, and usually thought that I didn’t care. But it hurt when the others in my class wondered about what was going on. I didn’t want to be that different.

He’d never yell at me or anything, he would start by saying: “You know it’s not ok to beat up anybody, I wish you wouldn’t do that.” And then he would use about three minutes convincing me that I should tell this boy that I was sorry. Which of course I never did.

I need to say that this boy, was kind of like the cutest one in school. And he was a bully, going after everyone smaller, weaker, with glasses… He had this fan gang gathering around him all the time.

At one time, it just happened. As everybody was in the hallway, he passed me, I put my foot out, and he fell. They were laughing, most of them thinking he got what was coming to him, some thinking of what on earth I was getting at. As he tried to get up, I kicked him real hard in the stomach.

I have no idea why I did it. I was a short girl at ten, he was two years older and quite big for his age. Maybe I was angry about something, or maybe I saw an opportunity to give him a few scratches when everybody would look. Maybe I needed to let everybody else know not to touch me?

The day after, he and two others were waiting for me as I walked home from school. My lessons in pain must have scared them. I didn’t cry, I didn’t scream, it hurt like hell, I asked them if they were done yet. I got a black eye.

My teacher wanted to see me the day after. He asked me what happened to my eye. I said “Nothing”. He would be daft not to get the picture, but he didn’t ask anymore. Instead he told me that he understood that something was going on.
“How are things at home?”
I couldn’t answer.
“How come you fall asleep in class?”
“I’m tired”
“Don’t you get to sleep at night?”
No answer.
“Do you feel safe at home?”
Definitely no answer!

He talked about bad things sometimes happening in families, and that it must be hard not to have my mother around. He said that he was worried that I spent so much time away from school, but very happy that I did so well with all the subjects. He asked me what he could do to help.

He asked me if he should talk to him.

That must have been the closest I ever got to getting help. I walked out of the classroom, out of the school and once more to my favourite place by the sea. It rained slightly. I cried, I cried myself into a terrible headache, and then I fell asleep.
He tried again and again, that teacher. For years. It must have been the first time someone saw me, and it didn’t feel like a threat.



rose (Photo credit: I Believe I Can Fry)


Think I’ll go for happy. Dead tired as well, 120 kilometres on my bicycle since monday. Think I deserve a rose too, and I’ll share it with you! 🙂 Colour for today is red, warm and energetic and lovely.

How are you feeling today?