Personal Development

Tell The Truth: The Fire Turned to Ashes

During therapy, I told the truth about all the anger I felt. I explained that the solid boulder I felt in my heart had transformed into a fire that burned throughout my chest. I could see the flames. My therapist instructed me to invite the energy of my mother into the fire and tell her everything I was feeling. I did.

I wish you had the courage in yourself to advocate for yourself. If you did, you would’ve had the courage to advocate for me. I wish you had more love for yourself so that you wouldn’t have projected all of your self-disdain onto me, your daughter. 

That was all I had to say. My therapist asked how I felt and what images I saw. I didn’t know how to explain it at the time. I needed to process. I simply said I felt sore. All the areas that the boulder blocked, all the areas that had burned with flames were gone. I imagined eschar being removed from a wound so it could heal. I didn’t tell her that. What I saw was ashes. Throughout all the areas where the fire had burned, in this seemingly vast wasteland, ashes were now in its place.

One of the things I asked my therapist was whether or not healing meant having to be ‘best friends’ with my mother. I do know (or use to know) people who are best friends with their mom. I told her how I noticed that my cousin often goes into a baby voice whenever she speaks with her mom and that she tells her mother everything. While I thought this was cute, I didn’t want to have that kind of relationship with my mom. I wanted to be able to keep some things to myself if I so chose to. She said that was okay. The truth is that in that moment I sought validation for who I am and what I wanted. She asked if I could honor that. I said yes and felt relieved.

My therapist asked what it is the little girl in me needed as it is possible for me to give her what she needs. I said a voice. She needs to be heard, she needs to continue to tell the truth, be sincere, be authentic, she needs validation and a support system that works for her. Lastly, she needs to advocate for herself. I asked her why these people treated me this way. She said from what I told her it seemed as though they saw me as being strong and resilient and could handle them. I can see this. My original thought is that they tried to break me. But I realize now that they were all cowards. They were scared and taking their fear out on me because I was the most vulnerable.

 

 

Personal Development

Tell The Truth: Day After Mother’s Day

I am chronically angry. In public I smile and say hello, I’m polite, im helpful and I’m nice. But deep inside, I’m angry from years of having it communicated to me that I don’t matter in some way, shape, or form. I’m angry because for years I have been told that in some way I am wrong. This never stopped.

I remember my experience in the NICU where I use to work in DC. All I felt there was anger and distrust. I remember trying to talk to them about what I thought, how I felt, what I needed. Again, it seemed like it was communicated to me that I didn’t matter and I didn’t belong. I tried to stick it out like I always do, forcing myself to stay in situations where I often can feel and know I’m not wanted. Because that’s what the strong girls do right? You don’t let people make you quit your job. But I never worked in a place where I felt so much anger and hostility. Only one and I vowed never to return.

I remember the patient care manager in this NICU. Under the guise of keeping it real she would unleash so many insults, threaten me and say I’d be blacklisted from the hospital for 7 years and that other institutions talk. If she only know how much I had disliked this place. But I didn’t trust them there. I tried and would always be cut off. I felt like I was the outsider and I didn’t belong. And the truth is, I didn’t belong. I didn’t like the energy I felt there or how those who had been there a while would all team up to talk about any newcomers who weren’t exactly like them in some way. I didn’t like that everyone knew each others business and people were constantly gossiping or knew about each other’s personal lives. I wanted out. I used my options.

My family looks at me like I’m a complainer. But the truth is I’m trying to be heard. When I look, I realize that it’s not my ‘family’ I’m angry with. They hurt me for sure. But most of my anger is directed towards my mother for not being the support system I needed as a child. The truth is, since I’ve begun to untangle, I realize that she couldn’t be that support because she still isn’t able to truly support herself emotionally. She’s only now beginning to learn and her voice gets stomped out by the bullies of the family (her two sisters). I realize that all the pain she exacted upon me is what she either had put on her or what she put on herself. She couldn’t do any better. Even when I try to point it out to her, she couldn’t hear me, maybe because as her offspring, my voice didn’t matter if hers didn’t. But that doesn’t make me any less angry. It only makes me hate her more. I can’t imagine seeing my little 10,11,12,13,14,15,16 year old girl cry and hearing her say how her father’s refusal to call her or spend time with her for years even though the two of you are in a relationship makes her feel neglected and abandoned and turning to my daughter and basically blaming her for her absence and neglect. How is she suppose to feel? She felt invalidated and worthless. That’s how she felt. And ended up with a boy who further made her feel invalidated and worthless.

I’m angry because I realize that the little 6, 7, 9, 10 and 13 year old in me mattered just as much as the me I am today does. I’m angry because I realize that I always deserved a voice and was entitled to my own opinion but the grown ups around me didn’t see it that way. I was ‘wild’, I was ‘different’, I was ‘rude’, I was ‘weird’, I was a host of names but these people were not nice and allowed others to do and say not nice things to me. They didn’t allow me to have a voice, they didn’t treat me like I mattered so much as they didn’t want me to make them look bad. Shame. Guilt. Control. That’s what I grew up in.

Grandma, even though I can’t remember a single bad thing about you, I can’t help but feel as though somehow you contributed to the cultivation of all of this. But in my heart, my mother plays the biggest role. I don’t like her. I don’t respect her. Yesterday was mother’s day and I was even more angry with her then than today. Sometimes I feel like I’m just waiting for her to die so I can finally stop feeling like my very being is wrong and like I don’t matter. She keeps me tied to people who constantly seem to try to make me feel like I’m wrong and don’t matter. Why God why?

Personal Development

Am I A Woman or Am I 13?

Dear blog, 

I have found myself asking this question time and time again. Am I a woman? Legally I am. To the outside world I appear to be. I can drink, vote, drive, pay bills, hold my own, have a profession. If I decided to conceive a child, pretty much no one would bat an eye or inquire as to how I will be able to afford it, etc. I’m an adult. I am almost 26 years old. According to science, my brain is fully developed. But inside, I often feel like I am 13 years old. 

It’s the thirteen year old in me that feels depressed, trapped, not heard, wants to know she’s good enough, be validated, be respected, and know that God is not angry with her or punishing her for her shortcomings. It’s the thirteen year old in me that wants to belong and feels like nobody likes her and is tries to people please and be extra nice (a form of manipulation) in an attempt to gain approval and validation. The thirteen year old me came to the conclusion that she is not good enough because if she was, more good things would happen to her. That’s the thirteen year old me talking. 

The thirteen year old me constantly asks herself why, as likeable as she feels she is, others can’t seem to feel the same way about her. The thirteen year old me then looks into the mirror and decides that maybe its her looks, her choice of dress, her tone of voice, the occasional dark spot or pimple on her face, her darker complexion, her weight gain, her introversion, her somewhat uneven complexion or her hairiness, her armpit length hair being too short or too thin, the fact that maybe she was too loud, too bold, too brave, too brash, not artistic enough, or not being as deeply invested in things as others, etc. And then she becomes scared that the world will see her inadequacies. And she becomes angry because she can’t understand why God, if He created her in His image, would mistreat her by putting people and situations in her life that feel the need to pick her apart and tell her all the ways she was inherently wrong, bad, or inadequate. 

Am I a woman? Yes. But I am also 13. 

Personal Development, Spirituality

A Lesson in Conservation

Dear blog,

In many ways I’ve chastised myself for not being like my mother. In truth, I am like my mother in the belief that I must give to my very last. This has taken a toll on me. At work, at school, my body felt exhausted for years. 

With curiosity, I’ve been looking at my life. I say yes when I want to say no. For example, in an attempt to be as seemingly kind as my mother I say yes to tasks I want to say no to. For example, picking my cousin up from school or helping my boyfriend write his college papers. Sometimes, I don’t feel like spending time with him while he smokes pot and plays video games for hours, leaving me feeling starved for affection and neglected because he made a decision for himself that I bombed not cuddling or spending quality time with me despite wanting me to be I’m the vicinity almost all the time. 

At work I overextend myself at work when I tried to remain on day shift so as not to appear lazy when in fact I just hated the feeling of being busy. I overextended myself when I try to do everything myself and not ask for help at work. I overextend myself when I opted to commute over one hour each way to work three times a week for people who ill-treated me. Money was not incentive enough. 

Sometimes, I try to go at a pace that at times is too fast for me. For years my body asked me to slow down but I thought that would be lazy of me. I still had life in me. My limit was death.

I have found that over the years I have gained weight from overeating and undersleeping. Last term my mind felt like it was constantly racing and I was constantly under pressure as I took on too much responsibility. In the span of two months I acquired a boyfriend, a dog, a new job, a difficult with difficult and demanding subjects, and family members who wanted me to help them more. I was exhausted and felt crushed. I had some common migraines and tension headaches. In addition, I failed a class (with a B-) and now have to retake it.

 I understand the meaning of the words “slow down” now. I understand the importance of conserving one’s time, energy, money, and resources for oneself. I am learning what it means to matter to oneself. The same things I have expressed to my mother about her overextendimg herself, doing too much, not letting people carry their own weight are the same tips I need to give to myself. It is truly important in order to lead a happier life. I am learning what it means to say, ‘I matter!’ Because I do. Because my life depends on it. My happiness and well-being depends on it. 

Personal Development

Tell The Truth: Coming Clean

Dear blog,

I have been trying to learn what is true of me and what isn’t. I have learned that I am not as quiet as I make myself seem, that this was a part of a self I created to fit in with a seemingly harsh world. 

Another thing I have come to realize is that when I try to control everything, I am not living in the moment. I am not seeing clearly, I exhaust myself, and I suffer. 

Last week in counseling I created a circle around myself using yarn to demonstrate my boundary. I learned that I have not been true to my boundary. I have been feeling crushed, stifled, suffocated, exhausted constantly as my boundaries are pushed, squeezed, overstepped. I took a break from my family this week to better discover what is true for me vs. What I have taken in from them. I’ve been telling the the raw, honest truth and allowing the chips to fall where they may. 

Today, I am miserable. I have a boyfriend who wants mostly to smoke weed and play world of warcraft. As he enters his own world to play this game he almost seems to forget I am in the room for hours. This is hurtful to me. I have family who exhaust me. I don’t have a home to call my own. I failed a grad school class and will have to retake it. I wish I cared more about this. But what I care about most is that I don’t know what is real of me right now. For years I was sure that the me I was becoming was the real me. Was true. But it was a form of self deception. It was an illusion. I was imitating someone else. I didn’t even realize it. This is what was stripped away from me some years back. The ability to live in the illusion and feel happy or content. 

I am going to continue to tell the truth to myself as I live in the present moment and work to unravel and uproot that which is false within me. I am committed to the truth, even if what uproots is ugly. I am sorry to all those I offend along the way of uprooting the lies that I have carried in my bosom all these years. But this is my blog and my place of healing. This is where the truth must be told. 

Personal Development

“People” Don’t Need To Know Everything

I’ve been embracing my spiritual path and allowing it to take me in the direction it wants to take me in. One of the barriers I’ve been examining that prevented me from embracing my spiritual experiences was the desire I had to want to share everything with my family. I reasoned that if I couldn’t share it, I shouldn’t do it, often negating the reasons as to why I didn’t want to share certain things with my family.

My family is enmeshed with each other. Within this unit I felt I was only allowed to explore to the extent that was comfortable for them; thus, certain experiences were not allowed. My mom often took offense to me not identifying as Christian. My family reasoned my spiritual experiences were demonic. I wasn’t actually allowed to carry certain political ideologies or beliefs that differed from them. I didn’t feel accepted and supported if I did something different so the only way to feel safe was to accept what was within the confines of what was given, despite how small it felt.

The family I speak of is my mom and her five siblings, three of them in particular. From up close they seemed to carry an overarching thread of doom and gloom for me. As a unit they seemed menacing and I felt so full of fear and uncertainty surrounding how they’d react to me, my beliefs, my feelings, my perceptions, and the direction I choose to move in my life. Often times when I felt the panic of “going crazy” in regards to my spiritual gifts emerging, I really saw their faces judging me or treating me like I’m different. It occurred to me that because my mother and her siblings were very protective and very involved in my life, I never got the chance to experience anything different. My father seemed almost non-existent in my later years. Unlike my cousins who were able to have a relationship with both sides of their parent’s families, I had a bit more of a singular experience and, unfortunately, it wasn’t healthy.

When I take a step back, I realize that while my family is toxic for me and my growth, my mother did the best she could. In many ways she too is unable to stand up to the dysfunction of her family members. While she has five other siblings, two of them often try to avoid the craziness of the others and try not to get them so deeply involved in their lives so as to not be controlled.

I understand now that it’s not ‘lying’ or ‘secrecy’ to not want to tell everyone everything or to not feel the need to have your family involved in every aspect of your life. I understand now that the people I’ve been allowing to affect my life are dysfunctional, unhealthy, and in order to grow into the person I want to be, I have to lovingly let them go.

I’m in pain. In my heart I feel pain. I see now that for all these years the things I was fighting to gain from them wasn’t from a place of “wrongness” or “demanding” or “spoiled” behavior. I see now that me voicing my opinion or how I felt and having it not be heard or respected was more about them trying to maintain power and not acknowledging my feelings. I understand now that what I was trying to voice to them all these years was what I needed in order to grow: healthy boundaries.

What I need from my family right now, particularly those four members, is for them to give me space and leave me alone. What I need from myself is the willingness to go forth with my growth process.

 

 

Personal Development, Spirituality

Why Did I Become A Nurse?

Last week, when I visited my counselor, she had me lay down and do some mindfulness technique to assist in alleviating the headaches and grounding. Grounding is somewhat difficult for me it seems and as a result of this I tend to get a lot of pressure-like aches in the middle of my forehead where my third-eye is. I was able to seat myself in my heart-space again. Doing so led me to reconnect with my own inner voice and essentially pick back up where I left off.

It seems as though I’ve been asleep for so long because I’ve been unconsciously doing what I was told I should do but not quite allowing myself to be conscious of why I’m doing what I’m doing. A lot of emotions have been coming to the surface since that last session. A lot sensations and questions.

One of these questions is Why did I become a nurse?

It often feels as though nursing is so left field from every other aspect of my life, what I want, who I want to be. I couldn’t seem to remember where the decision to be a nurse came from. I felt so consumed.

I’m starting to remember. Nursing for me wasn’t about the work. It was a means to an end, a way to support myself as I focused on what truly mattered to me in life, spiritual growth and expansion, as opposed to moving up the corporate healthcare ladder, the politics, the science itself, etc. I think at some point my own spiritual growth scared me, particularly when I began to ‘see’ and ‘hear’. I didn’t have an adequate support system at that time and found myself trying to lose myself in what felt safe and familiar.

In essence: I’ve been running from myself because I didn’t like what I had to say and I didn’t like what my inner self was showing me. Deeper still, I was scared to trust the information I got because nothing around me seemed to validate it.

External validation and validation seeking has played a significant role in my life. It seems as though I’ve always looked for someone somewhere to tell me that ‘I am okay’, that what I feel, think, do, want, say, is okay. As a result, I ignore my own inner messages unless they are confirmed.

I want to be on my own team and support myself in the way I wish my mom, my dad, my friends, onlookers who witnessed injustice would. I want to give myself the validation I often wished I had growing up, in school, in college, in the workplace. I want to be on my side, to support my own dreams, desires, wishes, growth, and expansion. Every energy in this world is not supportive. Every energy in this world is not my friend. But I want to be my friend and support myself. I want to listen to and counsel myself, to talk to myself, to get to know myself and rebuild those lines of trust and connectivity so that I’m not running myself into abusive external situations anymore hoping others will see what is impossible for them to see.

I remember why I became a nurse now. I became a nurse because I wanted the flexibility to come and go as I pleased without having to be bound to one job, one space, one company, one city or state. I chose nursing because I suspected that my spiritual evolution would one day require me to branch out and I needed a flexible enough option in order to do just that.