Personal Development

Tell The Truth: Alone…

My entire time in Trinidad was spent listening to my aunts rave about how great my cousin is while getting annoyed with me for being me, liking what I like, doing what i do, not always wanting to do what they want to do. They mostly wanted little to do with me. One aunt when I was leaving decided she couldn’t even get out of bed to hug me to say goodbye but only recently was up greeting and saying goodbye to my other aunt. I notice these things. I simply nodded my head, said goodbye, and left without looking back. That country is not my domain. 

It occurred to me during the trip that I left Trinidad at the age of 8 years old. I’m almost 26 years old now so that’s a long time ago. Leaving there was the best form of advocating my younger self did for herself. Sometimes I get jealous because I wonder what makes my aunts seem so sunken when they see me but come to life when others like my mom or my cousins are around? I think growing up this just use to communicate to me that I’m wrong. 

It seems to me that a lot of my early childhood experiences and middle school years were spent being reinforced that who I am and what I am is wrong, that as a result of this wrongness, I don’t belong. But I’m no longer angry at those who made me feel that way through their strong willed, headstrong behavior, their side glances and snide remarks, their loud voices and nagging. I understand that my peace of mind comes from telling the truth and knowing that I’m being honest and sincere while making peace with those people and experiences from my past. 

One of the questions I keep asking myself is what’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t my family see me as something wonderful? Why couldn’t they advocate for me? Why couldn’t they be there? My aunt was there for my cousin as was her mother, my other cousin had her parents. I was alone. Well…not quite.

I realize that in all of this God has always been there for me and this has saved me from many a difficult situation when no one else was available or seemed to care. God has always been on my side and I need not worry about the toxic people with their dysfunctional life patterns and desire to project. God has always been there, it was him who gave me the strength to look inside myself and stand up for myself to get me out of Trinidad, it was him who protected me from my grandfather and other potential pedophiles. God brought me to energist when I needed guidance and to learn more about who I am and took me out of difficult schools and situations. It was God who helped me access my divinely ordained gifts. It was god who showed me the truth in all things in his time. I wanted truth and i got just that. He protected me from a lot of crazy that I could’ve been victim to. I was alone but I was never really alone. God has always been on my side as he helped me stand up to the crazies of my family. God was there. 

Personal Development

Tell The Truth: Maybe I’m Not Wrong OR Right

I’m not angry with my family anymore. It’s not anger. I’ve learned that it’s important to forgive everyone for everything. Instead, the fire that burned in the barren wasteland, turned to ashes. Now, there where the ashes use to be is a beautiful forest. I’m not angry. Instead what I feel is compassion for my family. They did the best they could with what they had.

For years I felt the need for justice. I wanted to be right! That was always the overarching theme in my desire for justice. I wanted to be confirmed right while the others had to be wrong. In this, I would seek an apology, justice, confirmation. I then came to a new realization: What if I wasn’t wrong? What if I’m not wrong? What if NONE of us were wrong? But…what if none of us were right either?

I’ve come to realize that I am on a quest for truth. I want to know what’s true for me and of me. So many of the beliefs I acquired were acquired subconsciously, without them being directly taught. The impact they had were substantial. I realize now that I’m not “wrong” or “bad” for feeling what I feel or thinking what I think or looking at life the way that I do. But I’m on a quest of constant self-examination and evolution, more and more becoming who and what I really am. And I realize that for a long time this is the battle I have been dealing with.

I have been asking the 5 Whys and the H of Inadequacy for years. These are the questions I have been asking myself: Who and What made me wrong? When did it happen? Where did it happen? Why am I not good enough? And how do I fix it? In the past I wreaked rage and anger towards my family because they were the ones I felt taught me the most untruths about myself. I understand now that it was projection and I am no longer angry. They were trying to fix me as a way of fixing themselves. “Look good” when I go out was their way of trying to make themselves look good through me. It wasn’t really about me. It was about them just as the experiences I have and the things and people that get to me are about me.

I’m starting to see myself everywhere. I will quote Iyanla Vanzant on this one: ““I have no fear of seeing my Self, knowing my Self, being my Self.”

 

Reference

Vanzant, Iyanla. One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days And 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength And Personal Growth (p. 307). Touchstone. Kindle Edition.

 

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.