Are you ok?

It is so sad that today someone asked me if I am ok and that seemingly simple question brought me to uncontrollable tears. I guess I am glad it was through text so that the person didn’t see me crying and I could go on pretending like I am, in fact, just fine.

Part of me was crying because I now realize that the person knows me too well and I can’t hide anything anymore but it’s more the idea that the person cared enough to ask that got me. This is something I am not used to experiencing, that feeling like someone actually cares enough to ask how I am.

We rarely know the impact of our actions but sometimes, that simple question can change a person’s day hopefully in a positive way.

I am asking you now…How are you? Please feel free to tell me about your day because I’m listening

Celebrate the Victories

Hi everyone, I have been thinking about posting for a long time. I really prefer heartfelt and emotional posts. I actually write best when I am triggered and my emotions are raw. However, two months is way too long between posts.

I have noticed small changes in the way I see things. I am not sure why but I am able to see positive aspects in my day more than I have been before. To be honest, does it really matter why I am changing? It would be nice to understand the changes but at this point, I am just going to run with it.

The fact that I am willing to celebrate and point out my small or larger victories is groundbreaking. I am an emotional eater and food addict, I will eat almost anything. A few weeks ago, a cake made its way into my house, it was a cake that I generally do not like. Even when strung with emotion, I did not eat it. That’s massive for me. I am able to see that rather than all the other times that I binged.

Sometimes, it isn’t necessarily pointing out steps but also the way we view events. We can always find a silver lining in any experience. A minor example: last week, I was supposed to attend an event which was not far from my house which I missed. I knew there was another one coming up this week, although it is further away from home. I wasn’t sure if I would go or not but I realize that it is time alone in my car with my music blaring. What could be bad?!

I invite you to celebrate your victories with me no matter how large or small.

Thanks for listening

Have a good one 😊

Parenting my inner child

About a million times a day, I remind myself how stupid I am. I push myself down and beat myself up for the most minute things imaginable. It’s my default, my go to reaction. I have been advised several times by several different people how I can try nurturing my inner child, the part of me that is so broken beyond belief. They explain that I would not talk to a child the way I do when I put myself down so why do I talk to my inner child in such horrible ways. I started carrying a picture of myself from when I was young and when I tell myself that I’m stupid, I am supposed to take out the picture and talk to her, to console her, and to reassure her that everything is ok.

Everything I did as a child was wrong in the eyes of others and I wanted acceptance so badly. I would have done anything and everything simply to be told: “hey, you did a great job.” The sad part of it is that I still would do anything for that validation. I am always helping people even if it is completely inconvenient for me because I want to be praised, recognized, and valued. I’m still chasing the dream and I am not any closer than I was then.

I have come to realize that I need to provide MYSELF with validation. I need to be my own best friend. I cannot rely on others. However, putting that into practice is indescribably more difficult. I have learned through my journey that baby steps count. I know it is cliche but it’s progress, not perfection that counts. My knowledge of what needs to happen has been present for quite some time, years perhaps, yet there hasn’t yet been a change. Sometimes I feel pure desperation and frustration, I feel like change will never come. I feel like in this area of healing, I’m facing a brick wall thicker and higher than I can ever imagine. I think this area is my biggest struggle.

I learned a few days ago that my abuse impacts every single area of my life whether or not I’m aware of it. It’s so unbelievably sad. This semester, I am taking a class which has been taught by a specific professor for years yet this semester, it’s not. My rationale is that because he saw I am in the class, he decided not to teach it. My self-esteem is so low and the only way for me to raise it is to be gentle on myself, to tell my nine year old self that that she’s just fine as she is, that none of what happened to her is her fault, and to acknowledge her progress. It’ll come…..

How do you deal with bashing yourself?

It’s been a while

Hey everyone, I’m still here and still motivated to heal with you. I am a full time student of Therapeutic Recreation and my semester is almost done.

Each Monday I have a class which is triggering. I feel like a poster child of dysfunction when I’m in that class. It’s not easy. Today we spoke about eating disorders. I am incredibly pleased that my professor mentioned Binge Eating Disorder which is now included in the DSM V. Since my parents were divorced when I was 9 (now I’m 41), I have been a closet eater. It was always so difficult to express what the disorder is to people. There’s much more to it than closet eating but that’s for another day.

Anyways, after class today I thought I would go to Starbucks to treat myself to my favorite vanilla latte while studying. Isn’t it crazy how I immediately started doubting my choice? I felt I should go home, make dinner and clean up. I became unsure about studying while my kids took part in a homework program or getting my kids and going home. Such a seemingly simple decision was crippling. I was literally crying and I felt so unbelievably lonely. This led me to suicidal thoughts. All this to say that my experiences with abuse have brought me to a place where I cannot trust myself. I sometimes feel inadequate in making decisions and I feel that I need guidance from others because how can I possibly know what’s best??!! Again, it’s part and parcel of being raised with the message that I am stupid. The best part is that after about twenty minutes of torture, I was able to turn on quiet music and bring myself to Starbucks. It was the best latte ever!!!

It may be difficult to believe in ourselves, it may be difficult to trust ourselves no matter what we have experienced but you know yourself best. Trust yourself, its way easier than torture. Thanks for being here

Think Happy Thoughts

People have noticed that when I talk about summer camp or high school (I was in the high school band and played trumpet) that I light up in a way they have rarely seen. When going through life as a survivor it is so important for me to cherish these positive memories and I am so beyond grateful that I felt safe and valued in these places. It’s my reminder that I’m not worthless as I was taught by my mother. I was able to form deep friendships. Even if we have all changed after many years, I am thankful that we are in touch and that the memories of times together bring me back to those safe places and happy times no matter how long ago they took place. These positive memories remind me that I was connected to people, an important ingredient when dealing with mental health issues.

I think we all need our “happy place” to go to when we need to, whether literally or in our minds. For me, it’s a time when it’s healthy to think of the past as opposed to dwelling in the past and over thinking all my mistakes and failures (which comes way too easily).

I wish for you to find your happy place, your safe place, whether you are a survivor of abuse or not.