Moving Past Sexual Abuse Support Group

The next sexual abuse survivor support group with the focus on moving past sexual abuse and creating a life worth living will start on:

Thursday, 28th of July 2011, 7PM – 9 PM
Raeburn House, Takapuna

The group runs for 8 weeks – there is space for 2 more people to join. In the past the cost has been $45 for the 8 weeks. For more information and/or enrolment contact Raeburn House, phone: (09) 441 8989 or email


Internal Warfare

A reader of this blog commented yesterday on my post “Achieving Co-consciousness” and described in deeply touching words the heartache of living with so much fear, not knowing, not understanding, and internal dissonance. Reading the comment I got a really good feel for the ‘outside’ people who try to manage the everyday life as best as possible, and the ‘inside’ people who seem to try to manage the inner world of memories and feelings that go with these memories.

My first thought was “just like it happens in real life when people go to war against each other”. Whether it’s the Germans against the Western World during the WWII, the Muslims against the Jews, the North Irish against the British, East against West, North against South, there is no difference. Each party is convinced they have a justification to go to war, fight for their right(s), even give their lives for the cause.

None of the parties is listening to what the other has to say. Instead, all they try to do is brow-beating the ‘opposition’ into submission, using all kinds of semantics or other intimidation methods. “I am right” … “… no, I am righter” (I know this is not correct english, go away spell-check!). All parties have their opinion already set in concrete. They are not open to new ideas. They don’t listen with care in their heart, they listen looking for evidence to agree or disagree with what is said. Hop over to my post “Just Listen” to get a clearer picture of what I mean.

What does that mean for ‘inside’ people and ‘outside’ people? Well, for starters, how well do you listen to each other? Do you listen with love in your heart or do you already have a judgement on your mind? And then, what happens when you (outside person) lose time and become an inside person? Do you then become part of the ‘inside group’ and become hostile, difficult, or not understanding?

Given that we can NEVER EVER see reality as it really is, that all we ever can know is ONLY our interpretation of that reality, its highly likely that neither inside nor outside people are getting the right end of the stick. Certainly when people are highly strung, emotionally distressed, or hurting lots, thinking and perceiving what is going on is unlikely to be very accurate. Only when you are in a calm state of mind and at peace is your mind in a state to get a clear picture.

I agree that it is much easier to understand the conflicting inner world when we talk about ‘parts’ – and each person has a psychological mind structure that can be understood by using the ‘parts-metaphor’. On a physical, observable playing field we are talking about the same person, one body, one heart, one set of lungs, and one mind. It’s important that we don’t lose sight of that! In physical reality, this internal warfare takes place in the very small space between your ears. Please, be nice to that poor, overworked, stretched out brain.

Thoughts upon Thoughts upon Thoughts

I have heard the other day that the average person has between 50 and 70 Thousand thoughts each day. Oh my goodness, that is between 35 and 50 thoughts a minute. No wonder I can’t remember where I put my keys this morning. That information is lost in the tornado of thoughts that is going through my brain. (Pew, for a moment I pondered about Alzheimer’s).

There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to the content of the thoughts we produce. It seems to come from all corners of our inner world, past – present – and future, as well as from stimuli from our environment. We are – or better our brains are – truly thought-producing machines.

Many of these thoughts will pass through our mind like a wee little flicker, barely noticed or not even noticed at all. Like an electric storm that runs through our neuro networks, fed by an energy I can only describe as life force. Buzzing, and buzzing all day long. Not only that, also buzzing at night, coming to us as dreams.  Because its our thoughts that cause our feelings its interesting to notice on which of the 35 to 50 thoughts a minute we focus on, isn’t it?

You may just have spilled a perfectly brewed coffee on your white carpet and start telling yourself off for being so clumsy, having ruined the carpet and so on and so on. It will be no surprise that you feel grumpy or depressed or ashamed, depending on what exactly you’ve been telling yourself. You might even have delved into the memory box and picked out other incidences from your earlier life where you have been clumsy and been told off for it … there is no end to thoughts that will confirm your initial response to spilling the coffee. With a little bit of hard thinking work you could manage to set yourself up for a pretty lousy day!

If you have this kind of incidences happen more regularly, you could even end up at your doctor’s practice and be given some antidepressants for what some people like to call ‘chemical imbalance’. Well, your thoughts might have caused a chemical imbalance, but it was your thinking all along, wasn’t it?

It’s important to realise as soon as you notice your thoughts that they are not real. They are just thoughts. You are not clumsy, you just spilled coffee and it left a mark. End of story! Happens all the time, all over the world. Is a stained carpet worth you being on antidepressants for the next 20 years? I am sure the pharmaceutical industry would say YES, of course. Our livelihood depends on it.

Having between 35 and 50 thoughts a day, just check out with for yourself which ones you would rather focus on. Let the self-punitive ones pass through your mind, don’t feed them, and wait for better ones to float to the surface. They will come: remember there are 50 to 70 thousand thoughts coming your way today. Let’s have a competition: Who’s got the best ones!

Before I go a little story I have treasured for years:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” (​m)