abuse | emotional wellness

Finding the Strength to Heal from Abuse

By on February 24, 2021

I have been thinking about vulnerability. I’m coming up on the 3 year anniversary of this blog. My intent has been to share a slice of life and finding joy in the motherhood journey.

Lately, I have been lacking inspiration and direction. Today I realized the reason. I’ve touched on my story a few times here and there, but I haven’t really shared the nitty-gritty. The nitty-gritty of how to leave a lifetime of abuse behind and create a positive life of love and healing. This growth is what has created the space to be able to fully experience “joyful motherhood”.

In the past, I have shared the “end result” rather than the baby-steps it took to get to this place of healing. My work now is to share the how-to. This is the vulnerable piece for me. The information came to me in several forms all at once. It was like I hit a place in life and the universe said here, it’s your time. Go do it. Go break the cycle.

I started taking steps– I found the personal development avenues I required to start changing my thoughts, I found someone who was willing to support me and empower me through the change. It was not (and is not) always easy. Luckily, I’m strong willed or determined and my support system knows how get me to activate the right muscles to get it done, lol. I am also dedicated to use my story and my success to help others who need and want it.

Trauma Cycles

The truth is, I have only been free of abuse for 6 years. Abuse is so clouding, I didn’t even recognize I was *still* living in an abusive situation in adulthood because it felt better than my childhood. Denial at its best. I was the master of thinking “if I do this, then our situation will change”. I failed to recognize I needed to love myself enough to completely remove myself from abuse and never turn back. The saying is true, “we repeat what we don’t repair”. This is unfortunate as a mother, because we have the luxury of passing it on to our children.

Abuse leaves nasty scars. It took about 3 years after removing myself from abuse to feel calm and grounded in my new reality. Abuse affects us physically, mentally and spiritually. It damages our self-image, our self-worth, our ability to have healthy relationships, our ability to trust life, trust people, to be fully present and on and on. It causes us to suffer from anxiety, depression, trauma responses, etc. etc.

This is the piece I feel is so truly unfair, and the piece I am passionate about. The scars DO NOT have to dictate our outcome or our level of success (meaning happiness). Life does not have to be a struggle. Yes, we will be faced with struggles. However, overall healing is possible and we can stop the cycles of abuse if we truly want it.

The Mind is a Tool

I had two thoughts I held on to throughout my childhood. #1 was that I was going through this to help others and #2 I deserved more and would have a healthy family as an adult. I had a very clear image of what my “normal” family would look like. Little did I know, that the power of focus on these two thoughts would be my saving grace.

I survived sexual abuse, domestic violence, poverty, living in extreme drug addiction, and many other labels. I have survived PTSD, disassociation, and have learned to live fully in my body so that I can truly enjoy life.

The details of how to leave, how to pay for it, and how to live beyond survival unfolded. I have been able to keep my son relatively sane and I feel there has been massive healing for him too, so that hopefully he doesn’t have to carry the scars into adulthood.

I’m saddened every day when I think about abuse statistics and the reality of the drug situation in our country. I felt alone when I was young, and now recognize that a huge percentage of the world falls into these statistics. All forms of abuse damages our psyche and creates the baggage that we carry.

Over the next phase of this blog, I will start sharing the ways I learned to manage my mind, pull from my inner strength, love myself, and change my story. If you or someone you know has suffered abuse in any form, please invite them to this page so they can receive this information.

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emotional wellness | integration | yoga

Integrating the Mama

By on December 14, 2018

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In my path of personal development, gaining control of my mind and emotions is always at the top of my list. Since becoming pregnant with this little girl, my commitment to ridding myself of some intense thoughts/emotions that I have been carrying is at the top of my list. I have mentioned in some past blogs that I grew up in a severely abusive/addictive household, which forced me to grow up quickly.

I took on the adult role at a young age but held on to the scared, sad girl piece of myself well into adulthood.  Why is this pregnancy sparking some motivation? With each kid, I can see where I have grown and where I need to grow, so adding another life (and a female) that is dependent on me and my strength as a woman really puts things into a different perspective.

My childhood experience was severe. I watched my mother battle her pains, and lose to drugs and alcohol. I intensely craved her love, stability, and support and I know that the mother/daughter experience I craved is gone– but I do have the ability to be whole, complete, and present-centered for my children.

 

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Carrying Childhood Wounds into Adulthood

The broken, fragment, little girl piece of myself caused me to seek out codependent relationships and friendships. Being in this type of relationship was all I knew, and what I felt was “normal”. Somewhere along my path, at age 35, I “got it”. I woke up, realized where I was at, what I had been choosing, and how my physical and mental health was affected by these types of relationships and choices.

After I made the “break” from my old life, I quickly moved into a good space. Things changed very fast. New town, new marriage, a new baby, and on and on. The funny thing about it was that I had this new life and really wrestled with the fact that it was “real”. I feared that I was repeating old patterns, that it was all going to disappear just as it unfolded for me. My entire pregnancy with Ezra was plagued with fear that he would have to endure the same pain that Keenan and I did, that surely things were not as good as they seemed.

My poor husband has had to endure interrogation, judgment, and moodiness all based on my fears. My oldest and I have butted heads. He lived with me in the pain, watched the transformation and has had to gain trust along the way.  I have struggled with finishing projects, pursuing my passions, and just living in the present moment from those old wounds. Three years later, and old thoughts have the power to ruin a whole entire day.

 

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All of Life is But A Transformation

The past is the past. This is something that is sometimes difficult to accept. Making a decision and commitment to myself has been where my relaxation and “change” is coming from during this next phase of life. When I live by the old images or stories I forget where I am committed to going. The life that I am creating for myself and my family and the impact that my change can have on our entire society.

My exercise during this pregnancy is to recognize when I am headed into the constrictive space of recreating pain (in my mind). I lose valuable time during those moments, and the toxic thoughts can actually create tension and physical toxicity which is not an ideal environment for a growing baby (or the children who have to live with a negative vibe).

Over the years, I have used many techniques to change my patterning. During this phase, work and exercise are the most effective. Putting all of the mental energy that I would put into a negative thought stream is now going into something constructive or productive. Fulfilling a goal, finishing a project, truly doing and sharing my passions.

Just like I hate wearing uncomfortable clothes, I hate carrying around uncomfortable thoughts– so the choice is mine. Do I choose to continue carrying pain, or change into those comfortable yoga pants and get it done?!

 

When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.” Dean Jackson

 

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