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.

Gratitude

I may not have had the best upbringing and support but the friends in my life lately are priceless 💕🌹 I am so grateful to have numerous support groups set up on “what’s app” It only takes one person to create a group and reach out to others who are hurting. Thank you to everyone in my life! You bring positivity and light into my world every single day. 

Am I a Loser?

Here I am on a family vacation, the type of vacation that you need a vacation to recover from and I’m wondering if I am the only person who’s vacations NEVER go smoothly. Sometimes I hate Facebook because of the pictures of friends on exotic vacations with smiles on everyone’s faces. I know that it is easy to put up a front that everything is great and that their lives are oh so much better than mine but realistically I know everybody has problems. I just feel like mine are constantly on show because when I told my kids to get together for a picture, they all complained, made faces and refused to listen. My kids were constantly complaining while standing in line to enter an attraction while ALL the other kids were just fine. I felt like Steve Martin in “Father of the Bride part 2”, the part of the film when him and wife find out they are pregnant. He sees all the negative parenting scenes while driving home and his wife sees all the positive ones. I feel like everybody can look at me and my family and say “yup, she messed up” but part of being gentle on myself is reminding myself that we all make mistakes and learning from them is the important part. It’s not easy to undo years of mistakes but I’m willing and trying. The mistakes I’m talking about are those where it was difficult to set limits and get my kids to help me. Again, if I was raised with the mantra that I’m useless, worthless, not smart, etc why would I get them to help me, that’s what smart people do. I thought I had to be supermom (and of course I still think so to an extent). I thought so that those who hurt me can say “wow, you really are great, I’m sorry for putting you down all these years” but it’s so easy to put myself down too. I don’t need them to say it to me because I HAVE TO SAY IT TO MYSELF!!! As I’m reviewing this post I see it’s one big paragraph and already “I’m a loser” because I don’t see where I could possibly make a paragraph break!!

I would like to see myself as an optimist and positive person but in reality I see how often I am putting too much attention to the negative and of course it’s matter of choice. So here I am proclaiming to the world that no, I AM NOT A LOSER!! My life is far from perfect and unfortunately so is everybody else’s. I’ve made mistakes but I’m moving on. I’m glad that we’re going home tomorrow and that I can make a conscious decision of leaving this awful disastrous vacation behind me. Part of the reason I’m not posting some of the disasters is so I’m not reminded of them. Plus, I’m grateful that we were able to go on vacation while others can not.

Please when you are down on yourself because you feel like you are not up to par, give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself that you are doing just fine.