Over the last few years I have discovered that if I put certain things in place as rituals I didn’t stay in my self-induced funk as long as I had in the past. Man was I dedicated, I could make a funk last for days, and even weeks if I tried or rather didn’t try. Anyway, one of the best rituals I have been doing for the past year or so has been listening to Joyce Meyers within the first 30 minutes that I am awake most days. While I don’t do this every single day, I find that on the days I do, I have more clarity, energy and focus and am less likely to let the little things bother me.
Joyce often reminds me that it isn’t what happens to me that is important, but rather how I react to those things.
I can’t count how many times I have been struggling and then listen it seems I somehow without thinking, reach out to listen to Joyce. I always feel that she is speaking directly to me about the things I am struggling with in that very moment. To me this is just amazing. Well today my thoughts seemed to stay stuck on some of the things she had said during today’s serum as she made me realize I had lost about a hundred pounds in the last week, obviously I don’t mean physical weight loss but for me, this loss meant even more as I had been carrying around enough mental weight to stop my heart, it was hard to breathe let alone move about my daily life with any type of happiness.
The invisible weight I had sitting on my heart and soul for the last 20 plus years was killing me, day by day, breath by breath.
Up until recently the fact that those within my inner circle were being hit with shrapnel from my self-inflicted abuse never seemed to stop me. While I knew for a long time that my daily thoughts impacted my life, I didn’t fully realize how much it was impacting the people that loved me today, loved ones that had nothing to do with the past that had damaged me do deep in my core that years later it still remained a big part of me, even if I didn’t know it. I denied this to myself as I didn’t want to admit that I still feared the dark figure lurking in the shadows.
I find it ludicrous when someone whose life has never been touched by abuse says things like, “why doesn’t she just leave, “ or has the mindset that once someone is out of the immediate abuse they are now suddenly safe and should no longer either talk of the abuse or feel frightened in anyway. If only that were true I would shout it from the tree tops.
Someone wrote, “invisible fear,” for a reason, that is what the aftermath has in store, a fear that is all too real, invisible or not. For me personally this invisible fear has kept me trapped for just as many years as the initial physically, verbal and emotional abuse did.
To survive I was pushed to a survival way of thinking, my mind was always on guard.
For me having been physically jolted from sleep many nights with a blade to my throat and being told, “scream, no one will hear you and if they do, I will slice your throat as the police pull in.” This alone has caused me to fear the shadows and for many years, just opening the closet in that same room, years after he was gone caused me anxiety.
Enough of that, back to today, it was hard for me to realize or rather accept that my past, the one I was trying so hard to forget, was greatly impacting not only my daily happiness but those that loved me. While it was never intentional I often blamed those around me for my bad days, “couldn’t they see that I was barely hanging on today?” I felt they didn’t care or they never would have talked back or argued with me about having to clean their room or take a shower, then again, if I didn’t realize how much pain I was in, how on earth did I expect them know.
This was a very thought provoking and even more important thought changing week for me. I know I can’t be the only one that hears something I really need to know or do and then I push it aside and never change. You can lead that gal to knowledge but you cannot make her think, or is that something about water and a drink!
For the past year or two I have known something was wrong but I couldn’t or wouldn’t admit it to myself of those around me, after all, what on earth did I have to be sad about, great family, work, health and love. While I was in a happy safe place, had the man of my dreams, great job, creative outlets and friends, but I was never living in the moment, I was always highly stressed and most days I took that out by nit picking my man and my little girl. I never saw or wanted to admit the issue was me.
You know friends that must live in a state of drama all the time? These are the people I have consciously removed from my life. It was a bit of a reality check to realize that in my own home, I was the drama.
New years is my favorite time of year, I had already set my goals the weeks before. One of my biggest goals was that I was not going to allow my 11 year old daughter to push my buttons, I was not going to yell and get upset. New years day I did great. She continued to push my buttons but I remained very calm. This lasted a few days and I really didn’t feel better inside as I struggled not to get upset, even though I was not showing my frustration, the struggle was still with me. Then something happened, she sat next to me on the couch and asked me why I didn’t’ like her? I just about died inside.
When I asked her why she felt that way she told me I bullied her and she never felt she could do anything right. She shared how hard school was then she came home and I was on top of her from the moment she walked in. I didn’t try to explain my reaction to things, my past, my inner demons, I just hugged her and told her I was sorry and that was the last thing I had ever meant to do to her. Yes, I loved her.
I have always been honest and told her age appropriate responses to life so I knew I wanted to share enough for her to understand I was not perfect. I told her this had nothing to do with her, her mother had some things happen in her past that just seemed to make her crabby and sad some-days and when she didn’t do what I asked time after time bit frustrated me and I took it out on her. I let her know that I was learning no matter what she did, I was the adult and should never make her feel this way.
Since that talk, I am not perfect, far from it, but it really made me realize that if I do not let go of the anxiety of my past, I will never fully enjoy and appreciate what I have today. We often hear success is the best revenge and that you need to let go of some things to let more into your life, both very true for me.
The good news is that it has been close to 2 years ago since that conversation on the couch and I honestly feel this is weight off of my heart and soul. I do not nit pick at my daughter or man (as much) . I think more before I say things, I think, do I really need to say that? When asking my daughter to do things, I ask, then give her time to do them, in her time, not mine. Our home is more peaceful than it has been in years. Don’t get me wrong, it has always been a happy fun home, just that my thoughts and anxiety would creep in and spoil things now and then.
The last thing that I wanted was for this beautiful little girl to grow up thinking her mother didn’t love her or bullied her. In order for her to grow up in that safe place I knew I had to stop bullying myself. One shocking change is my now 7th grader is now being home schooled (unschooling – another topic) as the anxiety and stress of school was too much for her, now she is with me even more and the relationship is growing even stronger.
Learning to let go of a difficult past is hard, even after you think you have let it go your reaction to things, your sadness and thoughts may still bring you back to a state you became accustomed to living to survive. It is time for this next year to go from Surviving to Thriving. My hope is that you join me!
My story and your story will help and support another person that is struggling, do you still struggle years after being away from the abuse or have you found ways to feel more in control? Sharing as you know by now is the key to moving past many things in life.
Love & Peace,