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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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

Journey of Life

947F91A9-B1D8-49C6-8138-5C2EEA15DF62Here I am, home from my counseling session and so thankful of having such great counselors as I deal with life. I would not be where I am today had it not been with each one.

Mental health awareness has been quite visible lately in the news and on Facebook of not denying or keeping your head in the sand that it does not exist. It does. Look around and listen to the news, there is mental health issues of all levels around us. Some being hidden by a mask or fake smile and those that are down right out there and may cause issues.

Why is there such a stigma of counseling and sadly in the church making people feel shame in going? Many years I secretly went to counseling almost an hour away to avoid my church and members from knowing I needed help. You know, those that will say I did not have enough faith in God. Those that will bring shame, which is why I went out of my way to go. No more!8DDBBD6E-CF15-41B4-BEFC-5BD3D2AC9032

I found myself, as I was leaving my counselor’s office the other day and several women were in the waiting room. I couldn’t help but think about them and wonder why they were there, too. Did they feel shame being there or did they just accept that they, too, need help. For a moment, and to be honest, I felt a judgment of them, just as many would and have in the past and/or in our experiences. Wrong! I captured that thought quickly realizing I just walked out of a counseling session. I am no better than them and we all need to support one another. It’s that stigma that latches on.  I’m sure others have had that of me.  While that quick lesson allowed me to see both sides, I politely smiled and wished them a good day. As we make these appointments and deal with life, that is self-care and much needed for me, you and others.  It’s okay!

We all have issues. Even counselors, doctors and so forth. I totally recommend seeing a counselor for issues or just to stay in tune with life and healing for yourself of past, present and for the future.  In my case, it started with marriage but nowadays it is to help me grow and heal some much-need broken places in my spirit, soul and body. I am a better person with counseling. Not having a spouse to relate to and cry on his shoulder or my close friends that do not live near, I have my counselors. Yes, counselors.

For this period in my life, I started with one to help me get over my last counselor of four years that left due to health issues.  We were dealing with abandonment issues in my life, yet I was abandoned by her. While not her fault, still it was and is still hard some days. Talk about a double whammy! Plus, I have another counselor to help me move forward in life, not so much focus on past counselor. Both have been good for me in my journey right now.  It’s been a good thing.

A2D1DCB8-345F-4FBF-9E47-A34CDC8843BAJust with my last appointment, she said that a poem reminded her of me of my past counseling experience, which I will share. Perfect. Again, I have had the best and thankful for what each one has done to help me grow, understand life, and even understand myself.

So, if you are considering to go see a counselor, do it. Give it time so each one can get familiar and build a relationship.  If after a time and there is no connection, change your counselor but do not quit taking care of you. There are some really good ones out there. Just know YOU MATTER and YOU are worth it.DE7BECC3-28B7-4B8B-83B3-C9265B356DA0

Just FYI, there is a lot of information on Pinterest regarding mental health, groups on Facebook and Google searches, too.

Do Not Cry!

A6F81475-ECE3-4F9F-AE52-53929BA045B9Is every family dysfunctional?  I just do not understand sometimes.  A lady I work with said once to me and we laughed as it hit home, too, but said, ‘If you look up the word dysfunction in the dictionary, a picture of my family is there.’

Each of us are unique and each family. We all have hang ups and quirks.  Life.

I have been recognizing and understanding my own life and family dynamics moreso the last several years while in counseling, has been eye opening.

Just over a month ago now, my older sister and I were on our way to see a movie, just to have some fun hanging out.  On the way, something happened that would change things in my life.  Disappointment and sadness gripped my soul.

77DA73C3-6C9A-4601-B3DD-C663390E84A7I normally contain my emotions with her, as that is one of the shameful things within our family. We must be able to be strong and controlled.  No crying or sign of weakness.  I could not.  I could not continue the outing so I took her back home so I could just fall apart of which I did.

Still to this day, no contact from her calling to check on me.  I find that interesting and even hurtful but then again understanding that concept of being strong and controlled, which she maintains and that I must, too.  Just the get over it mentality.  I cannot do that.  Plus, I don’t want that.  There is a time and place to be strong and controlled  in our emotions, such as work, but she could clearly see I was at a real breaking point emotionally in my life.

That situation, which was major to me, but nothing to her.  No empathy.   What devastated me so much, that situation was to disappear and no longer affect me.  It goes under the rug, never to be remembered or spoken.  That’s been my life.  To marry a man with the same concept of emotions, too.  I have hid my tears way too long.  Interesting, after writing this, I ran into her at the grocery store today.  Strangers as sisters.

I am not the same person I was walking into my counselor’s door many years ago and drawing closer to the Lord in my relationship with Him.  Thank God.

It’s okay to have emotions and to not feel shameful for having them.  It is okay to cry, sometimes cry like a baby.    What is not okay is to dismiss the emotions whether in yourself or others.

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Just a few Bible verses on crying.  Most importantly, even Jesus wept:

“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”  (Ecclesiastes 3:4). 

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).  

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34:15).

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled … Jesus wept” (John 11:33, 35).

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

“Put my tears in Your bottle” (Psalm 56:8).

… Am I Special?

Numerous times through my life I get to this point of wondering, in a certain situations, plus I feel a panic within because I don’t feel special.  Those negative thoughts emerge of not feeling loved, etc.

Whether we are young or old, we all want to feel special and should make it a point of making others feel special.

fa8e3947-a071-4e73-a7f3-3c588c3d7ea9-495-00000017993225c5Knowing this is a childhood issue that seems to be on the verge of healing within me but still it just stops in a panic, as tears always begin rolling down my face.  I cannot get past this point.

Something caused this many, many years ago and here I am and it still stops me in my tracks.  What made me feel so bad back then?

All a little girl wants is to feel special and loved.  Apparently, at some point that died within me.  Existence became the norm.  I understand how to exist but love, there I am hesitant and question its validity.

The past few days, I have been reading a book, “Think This Not That” by Rita A. Schultz, LPC.   My counselor talked many times about the neurons that can be rewired within our brain so this was a book that I knew would be relevant and carry on her information.

I totally recommend this book.  Today though, I hit a section called Breaking Free.  This chapter dealt with shame, the meaning, what it is, how it affects us, etc.  At the Breaking Free section within the chapter on shame, it brought back a remembrance and I just broke.  Big, hot tears flowed.  I had to put the book down to take care of me and my emotional turmoil within. As I write this, the tears well up again and fall.

Shame causes much pain and heartache, not even knowing it.   I really was lost and unsure what shame was when I started with my counselor.  A wise woman, as my counselor, helped me to see so many things clearer and that of shame.  How did I get so old and not realize all those years, I have been dealing with shame-based lies and the torment is presents?  Thank God I had her in my life to help me.

Something happened but to pinpoint it today, is a mystery.   I do know the Lord is healing me and this is no mistake I am reading this book, too. Just a little deeper into the mire of shame that has been heaped upon my head as a child and carried through adulthood.

When the Breaking Free section I read, I remembered when my counselor and I talked last, before her leave of absence, she said to me and I wrote about it earlier, “I care for you and I love you.”54775180-765f-4786-b227-cee1e0ac83eb-495-0000001666283ad2

In my mind and like I have questioned others when they  have said such to me or similar and that is, “but… did you tell the others (clients, people, etc.) the same?   Knowing, if so, I can dismiss the heartfelt words as I am not special. Too good to be true!

Just that thought of questioning their care and love for me and the possibility it said or expressed to another/others, my heart sinks within.  I truly hate when that occurs within me, it’s like all hope is gone.

Please love me, make me feel like I am special to you.

Oh my heart wants to believe and know without a doubt that I am special, cared for and loved.

I do and I don’t and repeat, at times.

Funny, this book mentioned is basically about turning the thoughts around, as I was being taught and now reinforced.  Like, I am doubting of being special and loved.   To turn it around and rewire my brain, I must believe and tell myself that I know she (counselor, in this instance) does in fact care for me, how could she not love me and I know I am special to her.  This brings peace to my heart and soul. 7A858015-0E7E-434D-9386-A279EF302AFB

I like that and want to stay here.  Hoping that rewiring works!   So many times we have discussed such in counseling.  I do know she cares.  Seriously, how could she not love me after four years of sessions weekly or more.  I am special to her, as she is to me.

Knowing full well, she has to maintain her role as my counselor still while on leave.  There’s a boundary that must be maintained although I so miss her and our time talking.

Not just her, there is one that I also remembered today in the same situation.  Jan is a well-known figure in our area and she was like a mother figure to me, especially after my mother passed.  If it had not been for her, her hugs and all, my grief and dealing with other things in my life, my marriage dying also, I cannot imagine what I would have done.  Her care and love proved itself to me during those dark days of my life.

0E8E6586-CCB7-4F5E-9E2E-6CFDF560210EI do believe the Lord places people in our lives at the right time to get us through a path we are walking.  As for the counselor, I was not ready for that to end.  I felt abandoned.  Still dealing with that but to rewire my mind and know it was necessary of this leave for her, I know she still cares and probably wonders how I am doing.  I hope so, ant not forgotten.

With Jan, in her public role, she is thought of by so many and she loves everyone.  I had a hard time with that at certain points because I wanted to feel special to her.  How can she love them, she loves me.  The chaos that can bring in my mind was torment.  Again, somewhere in my childhood, this is left dangling and I was hurt.

Today, it is possible and I know that, to care for others.  It is just sorting this out.  Perhaps bringing me to the point of healing of a deep wound within.  I’m so open for that.

c7d7b775-af1a-45f4-aac1-4d4a08cac7c6-495-0000001cf5eb797bUnderstanding and seeing this pattern also, I have people that mean a lot to me, as I am well liked and I am very personable.  So I know it is possible.

It’s the WHY inside me that I need to feel special whether to my counselor or to Jan, just two as examples.  Why do I fall apart when I start questioning them?  Lord, show me!

Narrowing down, I want to know where the root is at and where and when it started and dig it out.  I desire healing of this hole in my heart and to be whole.

Most importantly, I know I AM SPECIAL TO GOD, that’s all that matters anyway. ❤️

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Left Untold

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The untold story will wreck havoc on a family so in denial.  Where to even begin.  Is it a book that is written in annomity or by fact?

Kind of reminds me of the book, The Help.  You know the characters but you have to surmise and wonder.

That’s where I am.  Where to begin.  I have bits and pieces all around me in notes, actual chapters of how and what went down but putting them all together and tying it together, is yet another thing.

We can all write a book probably and I sometimes think why would I want to add another to the shelves that are way more popular and exquisite than mine would be.  Still, I have an untold story that just may bring hope to another.  Or at least add to some juicy gossip.

Who knows what will transpire but if it is meant to be, it will.

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