Never Enough

The background was always my place to be, even as a small child.  The observer, the listener and keeper of secrets.

The other night, while attending a women’s church service, what did I do? I went to the far left side, last row, and last seat. That was a normal, typical thing I do and have done. I don’t want to be in the way, bother anyone, just be there and take it all in. Perhaps, too, feeling intimidated, not as good as others present and just downright fear within. I noticed my mannerisms, my breathing which was shallow and sadly a photo was on Facebook with me in the background. In the photo, I was talking to a sweet lady, but you could tell I was having all these feelings and thoughts, uncomfortable.

138E7BB9-01E3-441E-9158-9D267684E0ADWhile now I understand this is typical of one who dealt with childhood emotional neglect, abandonment, shame and feeling unloveable, I understand myself more and am trying to do and think the opposite, although slow as Christmas, I feel at times. I did not stay in the furthest chair, although I did stay on the back row, I moved to the middle and others came around to sit. I noticed my pattern but changed it. Slightly.

To stand, sing, raise my hands in worship, there has always been a hesitation and lack of self-confidence of that I am unworthy to do so, plus learning of shame moreso recently.  My former counselor and my own research the past five years have opened my eyes to a lifelong battle of torment within.

834FBE85-E9B9-42FC-A0FF-56650D179ABAAs a young girl, and I am sure I am not alone although I felt alone, we go through those awkward years. I would never want to repeat those years, ever. Of course, we do not have to worry about that but touching upon areas back then while in counseling, brings it all back. If no teaching, direction or encouragement was given, it becomes overwhelming and the negative thoughts of not good enough, not pretty enough, smart enough and all the other not whatever phrases, get 27A69050-6846-4F56-8662-6DCDAD80B789heaped up and up to where you just exist. Questioning everything and everyone, being observant of it all, way too much at times.

Never knowing or believing I was pretty, smart, etc. When I voiced that I wanted to be a teacher, I was immediately shot down with, ‘If your sister did not go to college, you cannot go.” Those words hit me and I can still remember where I was at the time and how I felt so defeated and it stuck, proving I was not smart enough and not special enough for them to even care about me.  My grades took a nosedive and understandably so through graduation and I made it through, which was a miracle.

Some kids can be downright rude but so can adults, including family.  Words matter. If a child is already struggling, that just fuels the flame for hopelessness. To cope, you search out others that just might believe in you, offer a morsel of love whether verbally or a hug and hope that you will feel special, if just for a bit.  That little bit given and received can hold one in peace in order to cope of the memory or touch felt for days, if not longer.

Life went on and while I did manage to show them that I did have what it took for vocational school at least, I also was in sales and did quite well with both.  In elementary and throughout my school years, I would take a zero for a grade each time because I definitely would not stand in front of others and I did not care about the grade.  So to be in sales was a definite miracle, plus it pushed me forward.

It was not until years later, I was engaged and then married, when I should have seen the red flags but he loved me. Right!?  Somebody loved me. Before marriage and after marriage, time and again, I would become jealous because I would see him ogling another woman right in front of me. Before marriage, talk about an old girlfriend to me. Before marriage, it was sweet of him to go buy me an outfit, which was pretty but not my style, only to find out it was another girl’s style that he looked at and admired a lot. He wanted to date her but was stuck 31377879-EA5F-4DB9-A192-AB59F9A36DD8with me, I felt. Makes one feel really good. The honeymoon, we were fighting at Walt Disney because he was viewing half-naked women as they walked by, in front of his new bride. Now doesn’t that cause a real turn on in bed later. Years and years of this and to say each time to me  when mentioned that it did not happen, caused crazy-making thoughts to be built in my mind.  Or another fact in my face that I will never be enough.

Thank God, I was a Christian and knew to put my faith in the Lord, it is by His Grace I am here.  Thankfully, too, I had counselors at various points through this with my marriage. One counselor, right off the bat, saying to me that I need to get out. Of course, with small children then, I would not do that to them. I am stronger than this battle although I was emotionally losing the war.  Not to mention the spiritual side, doubting God and physical ramifications from it all.

Many years later, at my wits end, I finally went to a counselor that heard me and understood me and felt the anguish within. While she did not come straight out to say leave him, we spoke often of this scenario.  Counseling was mostly to heal me in the broken parts of my life in the years that followed.  Rarely did we discuss the marriage in our discussions after we pinpointed him as having Aspergers, which put some of the puzzle pieces together.  The ogling was just rude and disrespectful and would be to any woman.

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My counseling was to focus on me and healing emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. I was about dead walking through my former counselor’s office door and she would attest to that.

It was probably in the third year with her, we hit some major roadblocks but breakthroughs came and I was different. I felt different. This battle has been hell but I am coming through. It was when I was in a small group class with church, actually three classes at a time, each week and they all related one to another, not as planned. That’s God. That was for me! My healing gradually was happening. I left those classes and after dealing with unworthiness all of my life and moreso with my marriage, I truly felt I AM WORTHY come alive within me.  BFD5264B-C658-4FE2-A63A-0676CBAA0035

To feel that worthiness and to know that I am worthy was like gold to me. I believed it, I felt it and I am continuing to grow in this worthiness of being God’s Child.

Someone may look at me wrong, I may think they are thinking negative of me or whatever and it may trigger something within, but I do not let those thoughts stay long in my mind because I am worthy to God.  What they say, think or do is their issue.  I will continue to be kind and care but I know my position.  It feels good, a freedom to be me, to be loved.  I know God loves me.

💕 I AM ENOUGH 💕

I don’t know where you are or your story but you, too, are enough and you are worthy. You are God’s Child.  He loves you.

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Lonely Child

It absolutely drives me crazy that I continue on this path in life and I want it to STOP.  Emotional exhaustion.2B8A306D-EEC3-451C-B4E5-72356F719629

All my life, I have been focused on others, usually a mother figure, and knew that it was because my mother and I were not close.  Mom was mom, I knew I was her daughter but no love expressed or shown, only one hug in my life that I remember.  Sad, so sad.

I would always connect well with older adults, men or women, as I welcomed their advice and direction. It’s with those that showed me care and concern though, the motherly women figures, I became attached.  I want more of their time, their advice and above all the care they gave me, the hugs.   This pattern continued over and over until time passed or I was hurt by something in the relationship and my view of them became disillusioned.

B3A64380-6F30-4C99-AA61-18391435F291Realizing the same thing did exist and still of my former counselor.  Transference.  According to what I have read, transference is typical and actually normal as it causes the client to relate with the counselor, as there is a trust that is built, which is what is needed in a therapeutic environment.  I get that but did not want this to happen yet again but it did.  

21322BA5-94BB-47E4-A4E2-DD75EBACAA0DThankfully, before she left her practice, we discussed my pattern in life many times and how this affected me.  I am unsure with her leaving, if she realized that I would struggle as much as I have.  I do.  Probably so, as she knew me quite well.  I really get tired of this and thoughts that continue though.  Nothing bad, nothing sexual but thoughts of I wish I could talk to her as I am unsure about this or that, questioning if she even thinks of me or remembers me now, hope I run into her, etc.  Make it stop.  Make this pattern stop.  Frustration of this seems to be a daily task, feeling the loss of an emotional attachment, the grief that is felt but more-so the abandonment yet again in my life, feeling lost in the I need you, I don’t know what to do, etc.  Normal.  Being a child not receiving the care and concern, this pattern exists, like it or not.

Tonight as I did some research and found some links, I was amazed that I am not alone.  This is way normal for many.  Go figure. Here I thought something was wrong with me and that, too, is a normal response to this pattern.  What is wrong with me, besides of feeling somewhat obsessed is the fact I did not get the love I needed as a young child and this enabled coping skills for me by seeking out those that will care and love me.

534C191C-A93A-4F2B-AB29-D73862F42095These websites gave some tips on how to stop this, usually in a girlfriend/boyfriend situation but can be interchanged also.  The link below is a post from Obsessed with the counselor’s reply.  Obsessed could be me writing this and I had to actually question if it was me but the date it was written was too early in our counseling together.  I understood Obsessed.

Also recommended that further thought be made as to when this all started in youth and examine this pattern. Acknowledge this and to not ignore the thoughts and feelings.  To be and feel the attachment and have the fear of abandonment is rooted here besides childhood emotional neglect that I have mentioned before in my writings.  I get that but finding that root has been exasperating but I am determined to be healed in this area.  I’m tired.

Life is interesting.  It’s hard at times.  I have learned through this and other areas within counseling and research that knowing I am not alone, healing begins and I adapt better.

Just knowing I am not alone.  It’s like a gift.

This is an area that in between counseling sessions, it is our due diligence to do further research to help ourselves.  Counseling sessions end after fifty minutes or so but can continue if you desire.

Learning more on transference and reading of others experiencing the same tonight, this was on my timetable and free plus nice to know I am normal.  Normal due to my situation.  Adult problems are childhood issues.

While I miss her as my counselor of four years, I probably will continue to think of her but maybe now not as much and have input how to help me overcome this pattern.  I know this is an area I have dealt with most of my life so I will struggle at times, with God’s Grace I will get through this.  No matter, I wish and pray the best for her.  I was blessed to have had her in my life and she will always be a part of my testimony.  Many times, I wish she would read my writings as she brought me to this point.  Although I hurt emotionally at times, I am not in the pit of hopelessness I was four years ago walking through her door.

My hope one day is that I can stand on a platform telling my testimony of emotional healing and God’s Grace upon my life through troubles and trials with her joining me to my right, holding her hand up in appreciation and praise to God.  God knows the desires of my heart and maybe one day this will come to pass.  I have hope.

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Most important is that only the Lord can fill the void within us with His Love.  ❤️

 

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/dear-gt/help-i-cant-stop-thinking-about-my-therapist

 

I Need Your Arms

F197C556-6FB8-49EA-A438-9FEA9947885CAll I can gather is that the emotional toil on my life has zapped me more than I thought.  The past two months of losses with animals, loved ones, turmoil with my child of worry and the unknown of what is before me.   Exhaustion with it all plus the heat and humidity where I live has caused a lack of energy.  Giving myself grace instead of feeling all down, depressed and lazy is a big step for me though.  I have been through a lot of ups and downs.  It’s okay to have some up and down days, too.

Still, I find that I have struggled with the need to be loved. Is that wrong though?  Understanding and grasping why those thoughts come and desire to be loved is part of my childhood, called Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). 612D9385-1AE5-45D1-A68A-A8F04AA06A92

While I was loved by being in the family, I was not loved or shown love through hugs or physical touch as a child should be given and a lack occurred in my emotions and how to acknowledge them.  Sad.  Realizing all this finally about four years ago after going through life and questioning what is wrong with me.  My former counselor was wise enough to recognize, help me see the pattern and how to notice what is happening in me when I get to the deep yearning of a motherly hug.  Mentally and emotionally inside, screaming, ‘please hug me.’  It usually points to the fact I am tired and now, exhausted.  I recognize and acknowledge now instead of letting this emotion of sadness of loneliness overtake me.  Apparently, I did learn from her.  She would be so proud.

0212DB89-3576-4696-9D57-D230B1A63FD8Instead of yearning for the motherly hugs from motherly figures around me or even from my counselor, which she gave me often upon leaving our session due to knowing my heart and feeling my basic heartache, I have turned more to the Lord.  Lord, hold me through this or I need your loving arms to wrap around me.  I need you. Hold me tight, don’t let go.  Perhaps learning while knowing, that was what He wanted from me anyway, which was to turn toward Him and allow His Love to fill my heart void of love.  No other can fill that void.

Oh, but years of having a deep desire to be held in an embrace of a motherly hug so tight that my emotions would drain from me was always present in my mind. 06A77E96-8D39-458E-8387-E0C4863D86EC

Throughout this process and understanding, the yearning for the love of motherly figures lessened.  Then to lose my wise, sweet counselor due to closing her counseling office,  I was beside myself and even angry at her with the way it ended.  Although, I am sure and have no doubt that she, too, needed the Love of God through the process and decisions made to close her practice.

Recently, questioning if I am grasping everything we discussed in counseling for years in this area of CEN, as I do not require the hugs nowadays or perhaps I have stuffed my feelings down more-so because I felt hurt yet again by another and especially by her, the one who understood me and knew me best next to God.  The walls we build to protect our heart from hurt, they can go up quickly. Pondering this for many months, probably both at times but when I realized I was calling on the Lord for His Arms to hold me, hug me and to feel His Love, that is exactly where I need to be. A2F942F1-4A41-4D61-88F9-D77DA177C0DFPeople, whether, friends, family, church, even counselors, etc., will let us down and hurt us.  Normal.  Our focus should be on God and know that He truly loves each one of us.  To truly grasp that from one growing up feeling unloved, just existing, and love not shown, it is easy to question.  Also normal.

He Loves Me!  He Loves You!  Isn’t that great!?

Grasp it, hold it and yearn and allow His Arms to hold you in whatever you are going through.

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Childhood Emotional Neglect – Dr. Jonice Webb https://drjonicewebb.com/

 

 

It’s So Me!

D2B8CE0C-1924-4D86-B084-6D5067FE9EDCYears have added to my life and shockingly a number I thought was just for old people. How did this happen?

All my life, until the last few years, I would dwell on and remember things I wish my age would let me forget. Memories of childhood, teenage years and as I matured remained like a video in my mind to keep me in shame and embarrassment. Knowing or feeling everyone remembered what happened and held it over my head.

Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self, withdrawal motivations, and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness.

At times, I tested those waters somewhat to see if others remembered and they did not or perhaps they did and not want to embarrass me further. Getting to the root, it was shame all these years to keep me from being me. Of course, I do not want to do crazy stuff but not be so reserved and fearful to mess up to where I am not fully enjoying life but I was.

12B44691-6594-4EBF-B36E-FCE619490429I saw this video the other day and as I watched it, I laughed and then cried. I could see me and relate to both, the little girl in the white/pink dress and navy blue dresses in that video. I wonder and I fear for each of those girls and if they will be affected as I was. I do not wish that torment on anyone.A0F98A0E-CD4B-458A-B0E0-54464EB25C71

Back when I was in kindergarten, I was off most of the time due to a serious illness but was thrown in the group at graduation, just pushed through, now I realize.  I can still remember walking through the door to the stage, where I sat and stood in fear wanting to escape.  I understand the shyness in the sweet girl wearing the white/pink dress hiding behind her stuffed animal.  I hurt for her as I watch this video. While I was not informed of what to do or expect for graduation, I froze in fear. Afterward, I was laughed and comments were made for years it seemed because I did just like her.  I hid the best I could.  I graduated kindergarten but failed in emotional coping skills.

While this video is funny, it is sad.  They are all so sweet. I wonder how this will affect both of them especially and also the others in the class since this video went viral.  It will always be out there to haunt them.

It was finally around my tenth grade, I pushed through and got more involved in activities, school and working part-time job.   I even joined the drill team with the band and enjoyed.  Today, realizing while thinking about all of this, I realized I fell back in my shy, withdrawn ways, hesitant to step out, too, after I was sick with pneumonia that year and had to be off school for a couple of weeks.  So that meant missing practice.  Silly me, I loved the Christmas song by Brenda Lee (Rocking Around the Christmas Tree) that the performance was to play and she was a favorite of mine.  In my thinking, my devotion of that for her.  Although, she did not know me from anybody, but I felt I could carry this music dance performance off.  Today, when I hear that song, I cringe.  I failed miserably during that performance but stayed on the floor during the dance doing my own thing. Pretty much like the girl in the blue dress. No doubt, attention was on me on the gymnasium floor doing my own crazy thing oblivious, just as this little girl.  In my case, no confidence at all.  I can still to this day remember my place on the floor, my thoughts of fear and thinking how can I run off this floor while swinging my arms to the music. Let me cringe for a moment.

Just up until a few years ago, this performance was on my mind way too much. Still. Embarrassed over something forty-two years ago.  I let it hinder me.  Realizing shame was to blame.  Shame covered me in many ways through my life but is slowly being ripped away.

Who cares.  No doubt each one of us has a similar story or incidents we would like to forget.  Hopefully, you have not carried shame around as long as I did.

I’m learning to shrug my shoulders a lot more nowadays.

Shake it off! Move on and enjoy life.

 

To watch the video, click on the link below.  I promise you, laughter will occur.

Dancing 5-Year-Old Steals Show At Pre-School Graduation And The Video Has Made Millions Smile

Motive?

241E8FA8-4FBC-459D-8F1E-9BB8547D1F1AThis morning while walking early, as I do often and watch the sun rise over the tree tops feeling the crisp, cool air while I start my day, I often think and pray.  Many days, I meet a friend and we walk together.  As I was rounding the corner, hitting my first-mile marker, the thought and question came to me as to what is my motive in doing this.  Where did that come from, I thought?  Lord, what are you asking me with this question so I pondered it as I continued on walking.6F48B83F-91C5-43FA-8FC4-A33CFE19677A

Of course, I have a goal in walking to be more physically active, which is so not me until last year but now has become an addiction almost.  I have a goal to run, well walk, my first 5K marathon in August and like most of us we walk to lose weight.  I am finally at a place in my life, I want better.  I want to be better and I want to feel better.  That is one heck of a goal, if I say so myself.

Still the motive.  I knew right away what it was, although my goals mentioned are good ones.  The motive I desire was to be told by this one person that I miss but that they are proud of me.  Perhaps one day, I will get the opportunity to see and talk to her once again, which is my former counselor.657C2074-0187-4B8C-BBE4-C61EA53BDF6F

This is typical of me to feel this, the little girl inside me, as I have had all my life with what you would call mentors (or mother figures) in my life.  We all want others to be pleased with our performance.  Plus, I am a poster child for CEN (childhood emotional neglect), I feel and I might as well throw in abandonment.

C73ED28A-4ADD-4423-B712-2AB5E5FD062FAs a child from a home that you just existed in with no real emotional support or touch, you (or I did) tend to reach out to anyone that will give that need, that mothering, direction, understanding, etc.  It was my coping skills all through life of grasping love and attention.  Now recognizing since being in her counseling sessions week after week, year after year, how could I not want her to be proud of me.  I have spent more one-on-one time with her (well over 200 hours) than I have anyone, whether that be my own mother, siblings, or any family/friends to really know me.

I thank God for her and helping me understand myself after years of questioning what was wrong with me.

While now I understand my motive and goal in my walking, desiring her approval and being proud, but I will continue with or without it.  This has been a major change in my life, as well as other areas, and I am moving forward.

Perhaps, just that question while walking, “What is your motive?” was to be reminded that I am worthy and proud of myself.  Forever thankful to be where I am at this time in my life.

The Lord will place the right people in your path to get you to where you need to be.  You are worthy!  Trust Him.

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Forget Me Not

BAAB3740-FFE7-4AD1-819D-4F4B6AD5ADAAThroughout my life I have always dreamed of doing and giving to help others, which is a good thing, if only I had the millions of dollars to do so.

Still, I do what I can when I can and usually not on special occasions but out of the blue, just because.  Everyone needs to get a surprise now and then and plus it is fun for me.71799F7E-3E53-4D12-8FD0-B94D24337DD9

Realizing this pattern in my life, it was when my former counselor mentioned this to me.  It has been amazing how much she made me understand life and myself.  Asking me why I do this for her or others.

I find that throw pillows make a room.  I love pillows and found that you can buy pillow covers from Amazon to slip on and zip up to change the theme; so my life, in my own home, has been exciting.

With the pillows though, my counselor had purchased a new loveseat for her brightly, painted walls in her office, but I felt it needed a pillow to bring it all together.  I was on a mission and made sure this was done.  It made me happy 5CEE944E-BCBE-45A8-A0BC-74DFA8D7A6A1to do this for her and she accepted my gift, which I was unsure she would. It also settled my mind while in counseling as I could focus on the colors or rub my hand over the texture of the fabric to ground myself if in a deep, emotional moment.

Still, even though I no longer sit on that loveseat as she is no longer counseling, I see pillows that would be perfect and I just smile and think, that would be perfect.

With the pillows given through the years, to change out, I often wonder now if she still has them and uses and thinks of me, as I do her when I shop.896F8327-E201-435B-A212-4E1C958290A3

Her comment to me was asking why I give gifts.  Crazy enough, it is like how a cat shows its love by bringing a mouse to its owner, the cat is grateful and loves the owner.FCEF7A64-675E-40A5-8AEE-517720495064

It was when we had discussed abandonment in my life so much that she felt the gifts given were to remind her of me.  Leaving a piece of me with her so I would not be forgotten.  I remember that moment well and while shaking my head, I replied with, Yes.  Again, she understood me.  To be heard and understood, brings healing.0ACBF96B-DC5D-442B-AF24-CE7340C5CC0C

Abandonment, whether young or old, the lack of love shown through life will be visible to those that really care.  She did.  How could I not bring and give her gifts?  I was grateful for her bringing light to the dark corners of my life.  I love and miss her as my counselor, who knew me better than my own family and close friends.

Giving gifts is one of my love languages.  The five love languages are not just for spouses but in life and in all relationships.

For me to receive gifts, it is not easy although nice, but it is a joy to give.  I’ll take touch (all the hugs, mostly sincere, tight motherly ones I can get) and words (so I can write them down and repeat over and over to myself and be reminded of spoken love toward me).  Due to abandonment and emotional neglect, this would be typical in my situation.

Where do you rate in the love languages?

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Not Perfect

After years of counseling due to marriage issues, personal issues and realizing childhood issues, I realized it is just called LIFE. We all have it, in some form or another.

Just a bit ago, I was going through some emails of which I am behind in either reading or deleting and had to smile because I am so far behind on many things right now. Before that would have stressed me to the max and while I feel it somewhat, it is not keeping me up at night. My have things have changed. Even other insignificant things whether at work or home, if I do not do it perfectly, it is okay. While it is not 110% in my book, it is still 99.9% so I shrug my shoulders and move on.

01786893-AB4E-450A-84BB-197253DDC4EDRealizing childhood emotional abuse can cause children to try and be perfect just to get noticed or praised and not to forget to feel and be loved, they will go over and above to gain those things. I did as I needed all those things. Even up into adulthood.

I want my boss to know I have his back and will make him look good, a lot at my expense while working late and making that report look great, etc. Odds are, nobody is 00F8C389-8885-49B6-9146-0D8223FFDFF3going to measure the margins, etc. I would. That’s how detailed I have been in life with such for one instance.

Having a task for another boss years ago, I worked tirelessly on this to make the ending of this study lesson perfect. To realize later, another co-worker, I am sure at the boss’s request added an appreciation to me at the end of all the work put into this endeavor. It threw off everything and I was livid. Now my work was off and now my name is posted. Those words of appreciation were never felt, as it was not perfect anymore. I was no longer perfect and now everyone saw that. Panic.

Since recognizing the whys in my life and understanding what makes me push for that so desired love, it has taken pressure off of me. It has been a good thing. I am thankful I had a counselor to help me understand this in me. While I still give my best, it does not need to be perfect, enough to make me lose sleep or cause me stress. The other day, I read a blog recently written and a word was wrong, should be taking and not talking, it is still there. When I find myself in this mode of perfection and needs to be done now, etc., I stop and recognize what is happening. It has been a lifetime of performing this way to be somebody.

News flash! I am somebody. You are somebody.

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Those we live with, work with, associate with are all important but so are you, me and each of us. You do your best and let the Lord promote you, accept His Love and He will always have your back. He is all that matters anyway.

629128EB-F7ED-466C-9B82-279E002D9903I tend to shrug my shoulders a lot more in life as a reminder I do not need to be perfect.

Do your best and move on.

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