“Jacked Up”

“Jacked Up”

I have mentioned before that I am not in charge of this journey.  There is something comforting and completely terrifying about that.  In reality, my ego self (adult self) could never be in charge of this journey.  I would not know how to do it or where to start.  While I practice awareness and have become conscious of many aspects of my being, I will never have access to everything while in this body.  That much I understand. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t try to run the show sometimes.  My higher self, who is in charge, has a habit of running things at a slower pace than I would like.  At the same time, there are times when I am stuck because of my own denial and strong defenses.  It is in those moments, I get hit upside the head with a massive trigger to wake me back up.  It is fair to say that my higher self and I have a love-hate relationship.  She loves me.  And I hate that I am not in charge. But there is nothing like an energetic shift to make me realize how little I know.  I don’t usually talk about the energetic side of this work.  I am not sure why because it is a constant focus for me.  Maybe I think people will write me off as “airy fairy” as Eckhart Tolle puts it.  But this journey is not just happening in the mind and body.  It is happening on other levels as well.  And it can be incredibly helpful to recognize that, even if we can’t make sense...
6 Steps to Overcoming Invalidation

6 Steps to Overcoming Invalidation

I haven’t met a survivor who hasn’t been invalidated as they have journeyed through their recovery process.  When we hear invalidating statements, it hits us hard.  But there is a way to make it less painful.  Believe it or not, invalidation is a process.  It isn’t a fluke.  It isn’t random.  It is specifically arranged by the universe to wake us up.  And I am going to explain how you can do that in the least painful way. Step 1:  We must have the initial pain of invalidation after a childhood experience.  This invalidation may come with malicious intent.  For example, if we experienced sexual abuse and try to tell an enabler parent, we may be faced with the famous accusation that we are making it up.  Gaslighting is the most popular manipulation tactic used by enablers of sexual abuse.  However, the invalidation may come in seemingly harmless statements from otherwise well-meaning people.  In these cases, it is harder to unravel the impact on our psyches because it just didn’t seem so bad.  For example, we might tell someone how we are going to rise above our circumstances one day, and we may be told to be realistic by someone who wants to keep us from being hurt by failure. Step 2:  We must internalize that invalidation as a means to keep our pain as unconscious as possible.  Let’s be fair, this isn’t really a step.  It is an automatic occurrence that happens as a child is invalidated, but it is critically important to our reaction to invalidation in adulthood. Step 3:  We grow up and decide we want...
“My Husband is Angry and He Won’t Get Help”

“My Husband is Angry and He Won’t Get Help”

What can I do about it? My work with clients often comes in themes.  Most of the time, I find that my clients’ inner work is a reflection of my own journey and we grow together.  But lately, a new theme is emerging.  And it is not something I am currently facing in my own life because I am single.  Many people are coming to me with the same message.  “My husband is angry and I can’t convince him that he needs help.” Just because I am single doesn’t mean I haven’t lived with angry people.  Until recently, I have lived with angry people my entire life.  And because I lived with angry people, I know anger.  I get anger.  I lived most of my young life trying to suppress my own anger, only to have it come out as passive aggression and emotional explosions about small stuff.  And unlike society in general, I have learned to embrace my anger.  I have learned how to express my anger safely.  And I have learned why we are scared of it.  But I have also learned that the fear is not based in reality.  It is suppression that creates the problem with anger.  Safe expression is not the problem. While society doesn’t love anger, men have been taught that anger is all they have (as long as they express it privately).  Their vulnerable emotions have been shamed with phrases like “man-up” and “don’t be a pussy”, which is very traumatic for a child who just wants to express.. It tends to be passed down from one generation to the next by...
Own What Is Yours

Own What Is Yours

I have been triggered today.  While I don’t normally write blog posts from this place (unless they are written by parts), I feel I have an obligation to sound a wake up call when it comes to generational trauma.  I feel a strong desire to write this despite knowing it is likely to offend some people. Leading up to Mother’s Day, I focused many of my Facebook posts on how to cope with having an unloving mother.  It can be a hard day for those of us who struggle in our relationship with our mothers or those of us who no longer have a relationship with our mothers.  Without fail, I would wake up each morning to at least one comment or message from a mother who had been cut off by her daughter.  The messages went something like this: “I am in so much pain because I am no longer able to see my grandchildren. I don’t know why my daughter has chosen to cause me so much agony.” To be fair, I don’t expect every Facebook commenter to know my story.  They think of their experience as traumatic, and it certainly is.  But if they read my story, they would know that they are barking up the wrong tree.  I left my mother many years ago because I knew the safety of my children was at stake.  She did not prioritize the safety of children over the needs of her husbands when I was a child, and I knew that had not changed.  And I received that email from my mother too, written much the same way as...
Mother’s Day … Again

Mother’s Day … Again

It’s almost Mother’s Day again.  It comes every year without fail.  I try not to play the “society says we celebrate this today” game, but it is hard when I grew up in an environment where conforming was a life or death situation.  And even if I attempted to ignore it, I probably couldn’t.  My kids are now old enough to remember these days on the calendar.  That is great for a single mother on Mother’s Day.  But that can be bad when I might otherwise want to pretend it is just another day. I can get through Mother’s Day because I am a mother.  I can do my best to focus my attention on what a great mother I am (most days).  I can celebrate myself and all I do.  And the kids are great for my ego too.  No matter how many times I screw up, they still think I am pretty awesome (except when I make them eat vegetables and clean their room).  I usually get some homemade cards or trinkets and that is just perfect for me. But there is something in the background on this day.  There is a dull hum saying “something isn’t quite right”.  And that makes sense.  I don’t spend Mother’s Day with my mother or my grandmother or any other woman in my family for that matter.  I don’t go to the traditional overcrowded and overpriced brunch with 200 of my closest family members to celebrate all the mothers that are keeping the family name alive.  It is just me and the kids, and a good friend I am blessed...