Tag Archive | empowerment

Still Healing

I think I am finally finding some healthier perspectives about my kids. I am so blessed to have some very wise and supportive people on my life who have been reminding me of important truths. It’s hard to see those truths when you are in the midst of the emotional turmoil of your own real life sometimes. 

My kids have gone through a lot of trauma, as have I.  And, at the same time, I am still a good mom and they are still good people. We are all working through our own healing journey in our own ways and on our own time lines.  I  can’t rush theirs or make their journey take a direction that is more comfortable for me. I need to keep working on my own healing. 

In the meantime, I have taken control of my own journey by setting and communicating much firmer boundaries with them. That is for their good, although they don’t completely  see it that way. There was some push back, but that was to be expected.  At the same time, they also expressed understanding of why I needed to do it. 

I do need to trust that they will find their way through this. I will provide unconditional love and support along with healthy boundaries in the meantime. 

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Creating A Shift

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I knew yesterday that what I needed to do was to work on shifting my emotional state. I know from experience that it’s not easy. But, I also know from experience that it is possible.

The circumstances that were contributing to my discouragement were outside my control. My feelings about all of that are valid. I gave myself time to feel all of that. I didn’t judge my feelings or push them aside. But, I also knew I didn’t want to get stuck there. I needed healthy outlets for those feelings.  I needed to process them to be able to create the shift.

The first way for me to do that is writing.  I did that here. Then, I talked it out with a good friend at work. I was still struggling with discouragement at lunch time. So, I went for a good long walk in the sunshine and listened to music that lifts my spirits. I also listened to an audio session in a course for personal growth that I am taking. I did some journaling after that to remind myself of my spiritual focus.

It helped that some good news came in the afternoon at work.  I made sure to connect with all three of my kids in the evening.  I made the choice to focus on what I find uplifting on facebook and ignore the rest. I posted some funny and uplifting posts.

By the end of the day, I felt like myself again. I felt grounded, strong, and hopeful. I started the day with gratitude and prayer today, and I am feeling at peace.

It is so encouraging to know I can take control of how I respond to the circumstances that are outside my control.  I am grateful.

I Was Married to a Covert Narcissist

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Typing this title was very hard for me to do.  I still find it hard to acknowledge this truth.  But, it is the truth.  And, acknowledging this helps my healing process.  When I read about covert narcissism, it describes my ex-husband and my marriage so well that it cannot be denied.  This article describes my experience of my 20 year marriage very well:

http://infoselfdevelopment.com/covert-narcissism-know-your-emotional-abuser/

I am on the road to healing.  I hope I can help my kids to do the same.

The Power of the Perspective Shift

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What a difference a day makes!

I am in a completely different place today than yesterday. And, I am thankful.

I had a counselling session after work yesterday.  My counselor has been with me through the hardest times of my life.  My first appointment with her was just over six years ago, the day after my life got turned completely upside down in terms of learning the traumatic truth about my marriage, and she was with me through the devastating, infuriating, empowering, anxious, and joyful moments since.  At this point, I only see her when something comes up, and it can be months or close to a year in between appointments.  But, it had become clear to me that it was time.

In the space of one hour, I was heard, validated, challenged, and invited to see some things differently.  I was reminded, in the direct but gentle way that she knows works very well with me, that I can get very stubborn and “locked in” with some of my perspectives.  She encouraged me to examine if those perspectives were serving a good or healthy purpose for me.  I was invited to question whether there was another way to view certain current circumstances in my life.  Yes, of course there is…. there always is.  But, my emotional triggers from my marriage had hijacked my ability to see that.  I realized that I have been functioning in a very “high alert” state now for several months.  This has kept me in a state of mind that causes me to think in terms of self protection at all costs, and has limited my ability to problem solve, reflect, connect with others as I want/need to, and see other perspectives.

My circumstances have not changed since yesterday, not one bit.  Today, the struggles that weigh on my heart and mind are still there.  Yet, today, I feel as though a weight has lifted off my shoulders.  I realized as I was singing my heart out to my favorite music on my morning drive to work that it has been months since I have done that.  I grinned, looked in my rear view mirror and said, “Welcome Back!”

My perspective shifts have to do with allowing myself to see that there are more possibilities than the ones my fearful brain got locked on.  Yes, the negative outcomes I fear might still happen.  But, there is just as much a chance that positive ones will.  And, I apparently forgot that I am resilient, capable, strong, and able to find my way through negative circumstances.  I sure have done it before, and I sure can do it again.  Not only am I not a failure, I have a history of success as an over-comer.  A history that I am capable of continuing into the future.

I am so thankful for a new day, and new thoughts!

 

It Matters

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Fear. It always seems to pop up in my life when I am not prepared for it.

At first, when it shows up, like an unwelcome house guest knocking at my door,  I get irritated.

But, I go to the door anyway to see what it wants. Well, to be truthful, sometimes I let the knocking go on for awhile, hoping it will go away. It never does. Fear is persistent.

That’s because fear always shows up when it’s message is about something that matters.

So eventually,  I get tired of the knocking and go to the door.

“Yes? What do you want?” I ask Fear.

And Fear proceeds to tell me what matters. Fear reminds me that there is something important in my life that I need to deal with.

I  close the door and take a deep breath.

There is another knock.

I open the door cautiously, concerned that Fear is returning to give me more to think about.

I am delighted to see Courage show up at my door!

“Remember me?” Courage says. “I’m always here. You just forget to let me in sometimes. ”

I  swing the door wide open and let Courage in. And right behind Courage comes Faith and Joy, along for the ride.

I got this. Even if it hurts, it’s because it matters. I have all I need. I got this.

I am Worth It ALL

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When my marriage was falling apart, I met some friends through an online support group who became a lifeline for me during that time.  One of these friends gave me an assignment.  He told me to start every day by looking in the mirror, looking into my own eyes, and saying “You are worth it!”

My friend knew that I was feeling replaced, abandoned,  and tossed aside.

At first, I  couldn’t even look into my own eyes, let alone say those words. But, I knew my friend was right, in that I needed to overcome this feeling of unworthiness in order to get through the end of my marriage.

I stuck with it. Every day, I  spoke those words. The timid and quiet words eventually became stronger and louder. As time went on, I could look in my eyes and hold my gaze while I said it.

One day, I believed it! I said it with conviction!  I knew that it was true. I  began to say it with passion and purpose.

I began to live this truth in my life. I made very difficult decisions to take my kids and leave my home, settling us in another city and eventually filing for divorce and starting over again. I am still rebuilding my life 5 years later, but I now know I am worth it.

I no longer need to tell myself that I am worth it every day. It is something I now believe at my core.

But, I am aware that I still have a tendency to allow my sense of self worth be affected by perceived rejection.  When this happens, I need to remind myself of this truth that I already know.

The great thing that I realized lately is that my sense of worth has expanded. I am worth it ALL. I am worth being loved, accepted, and committed to. But, I am also worth other good things coming my way….abundance of health, prosperity,  and well being in all things.

I am worth it ALL.

I am Enough

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This is a follow up to yesterday’s post.

After posting that, I met with a close friend.  She has known me since we were teenagers.  She also has known my ex-husband since I met him. She sang at my wedding 25 years ago. She saw the friend she once knew become a shell of the person I once was (while presenting an image that all was well….which she wanted believe ) and then emerge again after I left him. This friend, despite huge challenges in her own life at this time, still is there for me….we are there for each other. Because she has known me for so long and so well…and also knew my ex and the dynamics of my marriage, she has a way of bringing insight to things that is so incredibly helpful to me.

Two important things came out of that conversation for me:

1. I am still taking too much responsibility for anything that goes wrong in relationships with men. Even in my post yesterday, I did to some extent. I am only responsible for 50% of the communication. I am only responsible for my end. I might make mistakes in my communication,  but I am not responsible for what someone else hears. Other people have filters and emotional triggers from their past that create issues on their end. I can’t take responsibility for that.  Yet, I tend to.

2. The reason I tend to do this is because of how my marriage worked. Every issue that arose in my marriage. ..no matter how big or small…. was always my fault. Early in the marriage I used to try to raise my concerns or make it more equitable.  That resulted in a two hour lecture about all my faults and how I am too defensive and don’t take responsibility.  It always resulted in me apologizing. My apologies were usually not accepted. I was told they were not good enough.  So, then I would spend hours or days showing him how sorry I truly was by making it up to him. I  lived this pattern so long, for so many years that it became normal to me.

My brain became hard wired to believe that my needs don’t matter, it’s my job to make a man happy, that when I inevitably fail to do so… that’s my fault too, and that nothing I ever do to apologize or make amends for that will be good enough.

The deeply rooted belief that resulted: I am not enough.

I thought I dealt with all of this and was past it.

But, recent interactions with men…in which I found myself taking on 100% of the responsibility for miscommunication,  including their misinterpretation of things on their end….and then apologizing profusely. …. showed me I have more work to do.

I am enough.  I am human. I make mistakes. I am worthy of grace and forgiveness and should be honored with a willingness on the other part to own their part too. I am deserving and worthy of a willingness for someone to work through this with me and take responsibility for their part.  My apologies are enough. My attempts to have healthy relationships are enough. I am doing the best I can.  I am enough.

I need to stop allowing this pattern to continue.  I need to lovingly hold someone accountable for their part,  while honestly owning mine. I need to make sure anyone I enter into a relationship with is capable and willing to do this.

I have more work to do.