A rewired brain – abuse, pornography

Abuse and pornography = a rewired brain. Mine has been rewired by abuse starting at a very early age and I’m just now figuring it out.

Probably because I didn’t want to figure it out sooner.

Two things set this event in motion.

One of the comments appearing often over the last several years is that “the body remembers.” I have to say that’s true. One of the fleeting memories I had as a young kid and remember vividly to this day was straddling a metal barrel warmed by the sun, struck by the thought “I’ve had this experience of warmth before somewhere.” There are many other similar memories and thought patterns that added all together lead to a dark place.

Another happening adding to the discussion in my head was a recent podcast where the interviewee talked about his early introduction to pornography and how the practice rewired his brain and made relationships difficult. One of the biggest reasons, aside from guilt, for this difficulty in relationships is connection, or more precisely, a lack of it, and pornography contributes to it. But that’s a subject for another day.

For years I have wrestled with many things about my thought processes regarding men, especially compared to thought patterns of other women. I have an inexplicable love/hate relationship with them. I love having long conversations with my sons and brothers so there’s that. Then, I don’t exactly hate other men, I just run away from any who show interest.

This rewiring is apparent when I can’t understand the fascination young girls, or women for that matter, have with boys/men. The only experience I have with normal teenage thoughts is reading about them in books. I can’t relate to the giggling fascination. Swooning over cute boys, falling in and out of love regularly and sharing all the details of these interactions daily with their friends.

The reason I am happy about this recent new level of understanding about my mixed up feelings is my incessant need to know why. Why am I this way?

I’ve heard other abuse victims say this: there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand you hate the abusive experience forced on you while at the same time, the physical experience has a level of enjoyment to it. Our bodies betray us by liking what is happening.

I guess all of this explains why I have a good attitude toward the physical experience but a negative reaction to the thought of having a man in my life. The unwelcome hazy face rising up at the thought of sharing my life inevitably looks like one I wouldn’t want to be with. A thought killer right there.

I don’t really know how to end this. This whole conversation has been working in my mind for a while and today it seemed like this was the day I finally needed to talk it out.

My journey from abuse to wellness has been decades long and I have to say I am now the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’m grateful. The truth has indeed set me free.

I’m understanding, on a minor level, the kind of abuse inflicted on me, I’ve made peace with the people involved even though they are no longer with us, and I’ve allowed enough difficult memories to surface to make understanding and healing possible.

I can also see the truth in the idea that rewiring by repetition of positive healthy experiences will change neural pathways. We can learn healthy new ways of being. That has been my prayer, that my thought patterns and reactions would be changed to a healthier version.

While I’m still baffled by my complicated thoughts and attitudes toward men, it’s something to realize that over the years (especially the teen years) many of my best friends were guys. It’s with thankfulness that I can agree that the abusive first decade of my life has been somewhat influenced and overwritten by the positive relationships of my free and healthy second decade, the teen years.

I guess I am a product of the good and the bad.

I’m grateful. Grateful for the good parts of life, grateful for the healing and understanding I have today.

I won’t lie though. The healing is not complete, it’s just markedly better. I’m still hiding away from men.

Somethings may never change lol

Enough of this, I’m off to rescue the dryer.

Current read August 11, 2022

Awesome! I’ve switched reads mid stream once again. You know how it is, it seems we have a streak of great books followed by a stream of less than great books. Three times I’ve changed, leaving four books unread while moving on. Maybe this time is a charm.

A pre-order release showed up this morning and I’m hooked on the first book. We have a medical emergency on an international flight. One passenger in fragile health, her nurse overcome with an unknown cause, passengers panicking lest they fall victim, and a military doctor without answers. Her support staff is worried about the flight crew. . . hoping they aren’t part of whatever terrible thing is going on.

It looks like I will be reading this book through to the end. I’m not sure about the other eight books in the collection but I have high hopes.

Winter Deceptions: A Collection of Suspense Novellas

MURDER ON FLIGHT 91 by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

When a passenger collapses on an international flight, is it a medical emergency, or attempted murder?

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Book two should be good judging by other books I’ve read by this author.

TWAS THE NIGHT by Dan Walsh

After experiencing an unspeakable tragedy, a young mother relocates from Brooklyn to a small mountain town in North Carolina. Will this be the fresh start she’s hoping for or the beginning of an even greater upheaval to her fragile world?

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Today has been a slow book day, there have been a few suggestions but nothing enticing me to read.

Join me with this collection, it could be good.

Happy Reading.

Bargain books August 09, 2022

BookBub has an interesting suggestion from an author on my favorites list.

Her First Love: A Christian Veteran Romance (Patriot Peak Book 2)

Can an attraction turn into a forever love?

Israel Martinez was attracted to Tiffany the first time he saw her, so much so that when he gets out of the military, he decides to make Courage, Colorado his home. But will she return his feelings or will he be forced to look elsewhere?

Tiffany’s only desire has been to be a mother for as long as she can remember, but none of the men she’s dated have supported her desire. When she meets Israel, she wonders if finally she’s found the right man, but when she receives news that throws her world upside down, will she throw it all away?

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1531 Entertainment has a suggestion with an author new to us, although we have read this author three times recently.

Crystal Clear: A Contemporary Small-town Interracial Christmas romance (Romance In The Rockies Book 5)

It’s Crystal Clear he’s never going to risk his heart again and she risks hers too easily. But stuck in this small town for Christmas, can they unwrap the true gift of love?

Sheltered accountant Ena Chinen aches to prove herself after being sequestered on her family’s island resort. But when she attends a conference in Colorado Springs weeks before Christmas and her new “boyfriend” steals, not her heart, but her car, purse, and laptop, all she proves is how naïve she is. So how can she go home and tell her family she’s compromised their business by losing a laptop with sensitive information?

Noah Buzz works well with his hands, but he’s never managed to work with his heart. As the small town’s only contractor, he builds love into the community with every project he takes on, but he won’t risk that love to a woman’s rejection again. So, he’s constructed a wall around his heart—and any walls he builds are meant to last a lifetime. But when Ena shows up, how could he not offer to help the fragile stranger track down an elusive thief?

As they work to recover her lost belongings, neither expects to recover their hearts and fall in love. Can they trust their feelings and build a lasting relationship, or will their fears leave them alone forever?

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Browsing I came across a bargain from an author we’ve seen often but not so much lately. I’m in chapter two reading the sample and this will definitely be my next read. It may even replace my current read. It’s definitely more exciting, at this point anyway. The story line does have a lot pf promise.

No Fake Dating for a Cowboy (Escape to Cowboy Crossing Book 1) 

Small-town romance with faith, humor, and more than a dash of danger!

A woman in jeopardy, a cowboy turned small-town cop grieving his fiancée, and a relationship too real to be fake… Escape to Cowboy Crossing, where people care about each other, romances are sweet and swoony, and six cowboy brothers with hot Irish blood fall in love when they least expect it.

When her foster siblings are in danger, former policewoman Jessie Ashford makes sure their temporary home in a small town far from their home place is fortress strong. After her ex shot at her, her heart is just as tough and secure. But when a local cop helps investigate suspicious incidents that threaten her friends’ safety, her defenses start to crumble. Yet, abandoned so many times, can she open her heart again before it’s too late?

While Jessie wears a chip on her shoulder, Ronan O’Neill wears his heart on his uniform sleeve. He’s already lost one woman he loved to a dangerous profession and is still reeling. But Ronan can’t let something happen to the mysterious newcomer. Will she take his heart when she leaves? Because she’ll do anything to protect the secret that spans many years—or die trying.

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It has been another good book day.

Happy Reading y’all

More free and bargain books August 08, 2022

As promised:

Suggested books we have seen before. I’ve read and enjoyed all of the them through the years.

Hope’s Gentle Touch 

After her abusive husband’s death, Misty Stephens returns to her job as a nurse and volunteer at a women’s shelter. She intends to put her life back together and has no intention of ever being vulnerable to a man again. But when an abuse victim dies in her care, Misty finds herself consoling the girl’s brother … and fighting attraction.

Adam Jenkins sees Misty’s heart for the oppressed and implores her to help build Hope House, a women’s shelter, in honor of his sister. Though grieving, Adam is drawn to Misty. But he approaches romance the way he does ranching—quick and decisive—an almost disastrous mistake. While dealing with family fallout and troubles at work, this new project and Misty become a light shining into Adam’s grief.

The Socialite: A Novel of World War II

When her younger sister runs away to Paris to live with a German officer high up in Hitler’s favor, English socialite Kat embarks on a dangerous journey to save her sister from the Nazis. Glamour, romance, and espionage collide in this exciting, high-stakes adventure.

As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has certain responsibilities. Chasing her wayward younger sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Unfortunately, Ellie has grown accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle her Nazi lover provides and has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Barrett Anderson was arrested for defending himself against a drunken bully of high birth. Given the option of jail or training Resistance fighters in Paris, Barrett chooses the latter. He poses as a bar owner, entertaining Nazis at night while his men train right below their jackboots during the day. An assignment to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist.

Broken Things – Faded Photographs Series

Returning to her hometown, Chicago, Allie Littenberg learns her actions had worse repercussions than she realized – especially for Jack Callahan, the handsome Chicago cop she loved, but left. She finds Jack is now a bitter shell of a man, his tenderness erased by years of anguish.

Can God use Allie to not only mend the hurts in her own family, but also bring peace to Jack, his son, and estranged wife? Allie is compelled to find out.

Island Refuge (Wildflower B&B Romance Book 1) 

Five-Star-Chef Zoe Griffin walked away from her dream job. Did she make a mistake?

Her engagement off, Zoe Griffin retreats to tiny Wildflower Island in the Puget Sound. Hiding out as a cook and maid at a shabby bed-and-breakfast seems crazy for a chef who’s used to running her own five-star kitchen. And just as she starts to feel at home, her klutzy mishaps make Zoe fear her handsome new boss will fire her.

Dr. Nick Jackson is done with medicine, and owning a B&B is as far from doctoring as he can get. He needs help, but his only employee’s mistakes give him doubts. As Zoe lets her defenses down, Nick begins to see a competent and caring woman. One whose wounds are as deep as his own. But as they fall for each other, Nick and Zoe must learn the hardest lesson of all—to forgive. Only then can they heal the past and embrace the future . . . together

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Happy Reading y’all

Bargain books August 08, 2022

We have books!

1531 Entertainment has two new suggestions for us.

Perennials 

Years ago, Lovey chose to leave her family and the South far behind. But now that she’s returned, she’s realizing things at home were not always what they seemed.

Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused, changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.

At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.

When her father calls insisting she come home three weeks early for her parents’ 50th anniversary, Lovey is at her wits’ end. She’s about to close the biggest contract of her career, and there’s a lot on the line. But despite the risks, her father’s words, “Family First,” draw her back to the red-dirt roads of Mississippi.

Lovey is quickly engrossed in a secret project—a memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise. But the landscaper who’s also working on it is none other than Fisher, the first boy she ever loved. As she helps create this sacred space, Lovey begins to rediscover her roots, the power of second chances, and how to live perennially in spite of life’s many trials and tragedies.

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Dial I for Identity: Sweet Contemporary Christian Romance Novella (You Are on the Air, Book 12) 

♥ She’s got one chance to find herself and start a new life—with a little help from her radio psychologist. ♥
Quinn Kelly. Intelligent, responsible, hard-working, reliable. She’s also spontaneous and whimsical—when she lets herself be. Certain those two sides of herself cannot peaceably coexist, she takes a serendipitous windfall and a bit of risky advice from some old movies and decides to spend a couple of months at a chalet resort in Lake Vienna—as a pair of twins. (Hint: she doesn’t have a twin). Surely she can sort her issues in a couple of months… right?

Seth Clifton has his own issues—trust issues to be precise. But the girl he keeps running into offers a refreshing perspective on life. Right up to the moment he discovers she’s not who and what she seems.

They both have problems to overcome. They both have the same therapist, sort of. They could each be great for the other with a little work and a lot of help from Dr. Daphne Moore. What’ll it take for the radio doc to resolve their differences and heal hearts?

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LPC Free Books has a non fiction suggestion that looks like it could be helpful.

Anchored: Leading Through the Storms

2019 Selah Award winner Anchored encourages ministry leaders to lead with integrity in the midst of difficult life storms. 

Sharing personal examples, ministry leader and pastor’s wife Cynthia Cavanaugh equips believers with the biblical and leadership principles necessary to maintain influence and to courageously remain anchored to the Rock—Jesus Christ. So when those difficult life storms come to those in ministry leadership, and they will, you’ll know how to deal with that deep question: how can I lead in the midst of this storm and keep my witness intact?

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There were a few suggestions we’ve seen before, I’ll share them in another post just in case you are interested.

Another good book day.

Happy Reading!

Bargain collections August 06, 2022

Browsing Facebook I crossed paths with author Chautona Havig and discovered two new Christmas collections scheduled for release in a couple of months. They contain six books each with a new lineup of authors, most of them new to me. (Sometimes I’ve experienced these authors outside of collections but not this time.)

I’m looking forward to these releases.

Keeping Christmas: Volume One

In castles far and near, long ago and yesterday, find happily-ever-afters wrapped in love and tied with Christmas joy.

The Lights of Castlebourne (by Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig): He bowled her over at first sight–his dog, that is. Sydney just wanted a chance to do the landscape design at Castlebourne. She never dreamed the owner’s electrician would light up her heart at Christmas.

The Girl From Dalarna (by Olivia Talbott): She’s the most beautiful woman in Sweden, but she doesn’t want to be. A simple life among milk cows is all she desires. Will a scandal upend her plans and ruin her chances for love?

The Cross at Morioka Castle (by Kathleen J. Robison): In the ancient land of shoji screens and tatami mats, Ariko finds the stone ruins of Morioka Castle, and the mysterious cross that holds the secret of a Christian faith extending far deeper than Ariko ever imagined.

The Ghost of Christmas… (by Denise L. Barela): Abbigayl needs to get away for Christmas this year. No family, no questions about why she’s still single, no suggestion about being set up with someone’s friend. What will happen when Neuschwanstein Castle’s past converged with Abbigayl’s future?

Crystal Clear (by Marguerite Martin Gray): Rosalind’s muddied past and foggy future crystalize in Château Chenonceau, a refuge from gossip and more. Watch as the château and Christmas work their magic and break the bonds of propriety, and rejoice as Rosalind experiences the crystal-clear hints of peace, joy, and hope all around her.

The Weary World Rejoices (by Naomi Craig): Behind the elaborate furnishings of Herod the Great’s palace, conspiracy and distrust run rampant. Mysterious visitors from the east challenge everything Amal thinks he knows as palace scribe. Will his quest to uncover the Truth free him from the ornate shackles of palace life, or will he be the next victim of King Herod’s maniacal jealousy?

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Keeping Christmas: Volume 2 

Escape to Greenaway (by Chautona Havig): She just wanted to escape another holly, jolly family holiday. Because snowbound in a castle B&B with one of Santa’s elves (or as good as) is so much better. With the help of the castle’s owner, Tonya plays matchmaker in a bid to get that Christmas-loving girl out of her hair.

The King’s Promise (by Tabitha Bouldin): In a world of airships and kings, a prince makes a promise that tears him away from his love. An ordinary baker’s daughter finds herself caught in the middle of a game where the winner earns the queen’s crown. They both want what they can’t have as they struggle toward a seemingly impossible happily ever after.

A Castle for Christmas (by Susan K. Beatty): Sadie Foster abhors wealth. Will Randolph, on the other hand, works for the uber-wealthy owner of an over-the-top castle on the California coast–Sadie’s father. When Christopher Foster leaves the castle to her, Sadie doesn’t want anything to do with it or his money. But what if Sadie and Will use the castle and her inheritance for the good of others—together?

An Irish Christmas Heart (by Jennifer Sienes): Will she choose love or an arranged marriage? In the midst of post-famine unrest, Eleanor Blake, daughter of an English nobleman, is thrown into a maelstrom of emotions. How will she escape the duty for which she was born and the confines of the ill-fated Menlo Castle of Galway, Ireland to find her true love?

Christmas at Curwood’s Castle (by Melissa Wardwell): A Christmas party at Curwood Castle should have been Angel Davis’ Cinderella moment. Especially when her dear friend Jimmy arrives. Instead, one obstacle after another threatens to break any chance at a happily-ever-after.

Christmas in the Cotswolds (by Stacy T. Simmons): She’s a paleontologist and ardent Jane Austen fan. He’s enmeshed in the exactitude of mathematics, can they find common ground? Do opposites attract, will the romantic castle, and dashing duke be the undoing of Victoria’s plans?

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Twelve books in one go. How awesome is that?

Christmas is good anytime of year!

Happy Reading y’all.

Read and enjoyed August 05, 2022

As I considered my next read I wasn’t sure how it would go. Surprisingly, it was excellent. You can tell because it is finished early.

I thought the story’s focus would mainly be on the striking dairy farmers but it wasn’t. The main character’s story took center stage and it was good.

I’ve started another read and it wasn’t the one under consideration earlier. It is from today’s downloads and it catches my attention enough to be nearly finished the first book of three. I’ll share read and being read, in that order.

I need to mention a few more and clear them out of my device backlog of read books. These were all enjoyable.

more good reads

This is the weekend and nothing is happening, after weeks of busy. There will be reading time for sure. That means more read books to share before long.

Join me in Happy Reading!

Bargain books August 05, 2022

Morning! Hope you are having a good day. Or night, depending on where you are.

We have another suggestion today, from 1531 Entertainment. One more collection from an author we read a few weeks ago.

Brothers of Belle Fourche: Books 1-3 (Brothers of Belle Fourche Collection Book 1)

Three brothers, driven by perseverance. Three women, trying to fulfill their dreams.

Teach Me to Love
Conrad is shamed by his inability to read. When a woman shows up on his doorstep who may give away his secret, he will be tested to the limits of both his honor and his heart.


What the Heart Holds
Arnold lost his first love young. A teacher arrives in Belle Fourche and is convinced he saved her life. Her hero worship forces him to examine what he holds dear. Can he remain true to the woman he lost, or could there really be another love meant for him?


Deep Longing of the Soul
Eli killed a man in self defense. He hides his black soul from everyone by keeping his distance. A new nurse arrives in town with her own sordid secrets. A revelation, and understanding, lead to a choice: his pain or a new life?

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Who knew I could be away camping with no internet and still download 20 books since July 15th. It has been a good book month.

With so many to choose from it’s not easy deciding on what to read next.

Heavy? Light? Hmmmm.

Maybe one of these.

Or maybe something else.

Decisions, decisions.

I’ll keep testing until I find a winner.

Happy Reading y’all

Free book August 04, 2022

BookBub has a FREE Mystery book suggestion. I’ve read and enjoyed one book from this author and I’m looking forward to this one too.

.A Criminal Game: A Suspense Novel (The Criminal Collection Book 1)

She’s a single mom just trying to keep it together.
Evie Diaz’s husband died three years ago, leaving her to raise their toddler and hold on to the life they built in New York. Though she loves her job as the night manager of a luxury hotel in Manhattan, it isn’t easy making it work, but she’s giving it all she’s got
.
 
He’s a hotel driver with a crush he can’t act on.
Rune Agnellini is more than a little keen on his boss. Even though he can’t bring himself to do anything about it, he keeps a quiet, watchful eye on Evie just in case. Because things can turn on a dime in the Big Apple
.
 
And he’s not the only one who’s noticed her.
The regular high-stakes poker game hosted at the hotel brings in all sorts—movie stars, millionaires, and art dealer Kieran Carr who’s not shy about flirting with Evie, even though she’s not sure romance is in the cards for her.

 
Then disaster strikes.
When a poker game goes south, all the evidence points to Evie as the culprit and killers come for her, ready to do whatever it takes to get what’s theirs. She’s forced to run and trust two men she barely knows with her life—and the lives of those she loves.

 
Working together can they outsmart the killers in a frantic twelve-hour race around the city, and expose the true culprit before Evie pays the ultimate price for a game she never intended to play?

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That’s all we have for the moment. I’ll be back if anything else shows up.

Happy Reading

Free book August 03, 2022 part two

Here is August 03 post part two.

BookRunes has an interesting Free suggestion from a new-to-me author. At this point I know nothing about her writing ability or habits but the prologue contains a make-me-laugh scenario. A feisty little girl who’d had enough. Hilarious. Hopefully there are more of these moments.

How to Close the Deal of Love: A Clean & Sweet Regency Historical Romance Novel

A business misfortune will bring them together, but the most important deal they close will be that of the heart…

Upon meeting Evelyn Frampton, people are deceived by her doll-like appearance. She is as decisive and strong-willed as any seasoned businessman, and perhaps more so than some. With a great head for business, she is the pride of her father and practically irreplaceable in the family company.

Timothy Andrews is one of the most eligible bachelors, with swarms of women swooning over him. His outgoing and witty personality makes it really easy for him to close the hardest of deals when it comes to business, but in matters of the heart, he has yet to find a woman worth pursuing.

When disaster strikes and both businesses struggle to stay afloat, Evelyn and Timothy must band together and figure things out, but their long-standing family feud complicates things, as well as the feelings that they stir in each other!

Standing against their own family and a mysterious enemy bent on keeping them apart, will they find the strength to fight for their right to follow their hearts…?

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Currently, I’m halfway through Christy Barritt’s newest release. It’s good but intense and I was momentarily too uptight last night to keep going without a change.

For the change I went back to a collection I’m also halfway through. It’s lighter but needs to be read in smaller doses, what with it being seven books long.

I have not been downloading everyday and was shocked to see how many new books had accumulated. More than 15. Perusing the list I see Christy Barritt had a second new release downloaded as well, I’m excited about that.

The much anticipated visit with my three kids has come to an end, the last plane flew out this afternoon, and my focus can return to reading with purpose. Knock off a few a little faster.

So here are the three books currently at the top of the list.

I’ve read and enjoyed books 1 and 2 in both of these series. Looking forward to book 3 in them both.

Happy Reading y’all