I Have Nothing

My mind is overwhelmed somewhat in moments, as I toss a matter around in my head.  So many thoughts but the ‘why’ questions remain slapping me with no understanding.  Boggled with disappointment and uncertainties, trying to make sense of it all. Have you ever had that happen?

78B77059-4936-4E57-AAD4-1466096089D7To write, to be creative, to put my words in front of me, become many but scattered.  My creative side is lost in my despair.  I have nothing but the chaos of my thoughts that are stored inside me.  The ‘why’ covers an array of feelings and the sadness felt.  Unsure what to think or to truly feel but trying 16311EC1-A706-40E0-B386-D2CEDA3F207Adesperately to recognize my emotions. Hurt would be an understatement of the invalidation received.

9E3AC4CF-8C3F-434B-BFAC-B739AE9E3113Knowing and learning from years of counseling, I know to not dwell on the negative thoughts that enter, that get trapped and fight to exit my brain.  This would have knocked me down years before and I would have retreated to my bedroom and be covered with depression.  While this has been difficult, I will not allow it to drag me down in a pit.  I do not understand my ‘why’ questions but I do know, I will not quit.  I have come too far and have worked too hard to get to this place in my life.

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I am finding, too, it is not always about me. So many times before, I would have taken it all upon myself, feeling all the negative, believing the thoughts and trying to figure it out with the finger only pointing back at myself, as if it was my issue.  Self-invalidation.  I will not do that this time.BE8F4E4B-A451-4ED9-AAA5-C0287F047258

In this, I have nothing but yet I have so much to express but unsure how to do so.  Time takes care of a lot of things that we may not understand.  It is trusting the Lord through those moments of uncertainties and believing all things work to the good.  Trust Him!

E5BE405B-7C30-468E-A7F2-F35FAA17575C

Bracelet Beauty

DED2117F-6DF0-433D-A905-12FA4A37EBF0I have a sweet friend that I met in Sunday school, sitting next to me, many years ago and we have been friends since that morning.  While we lived miles apart, we managed to meet several times a year to shop and soon developed our routine of favorite stores, etc.  On my birthday about a year or two ago, we met and she had a gift for me, a beautiful bracelet of friendship.  Soon, she and husband moved further away, in another state.  In that last shopping trip together, I gave her a friendship bracelet.  This move was good for them but we both missed our girl-time together so we decided to meet half way for a few days to shop back in the spring.  What fun it was to get away and enjoy hours talking, laughing, sharing and at times crying.  True, best friends.  In that time together going from shop to shop, we found bracelets and sure enough we bought the same.

Just recently, while she was in town, we met, shopped and there again found ourselves looking at bracelets.  So now we have a new theme to our time together. Bracelets.

It was this last trip that I was telling her about my first bracelet many years ago, that I had forgotten about wearing.  Some things in my past, I wanted to forget.

It was back, almost twenty years, I was dealing with some issues that no wife needs to experience or words to hear 14C97E8C-B4F1-4F96-BEBE-51E23A0968E3from her husband.  I was lost in the emotional turmoil and nobody to turn to due to shock and shame, thinking maybe it was all my fault.  I felt hopeless, ugly, unworthy and whatever negative word you want to throw in this mess I was in and dealing with.

A little girl on our street, about ten years old, would often come to see me when I was out in the yard.  I had boys so I was outside with them or checking on them.  The girl was selling jewelry for her class at school so, of course, I bought one.  I still remember that day, as if it was yesterday.

686BAD4C-585C-492D-ABD5-AE8A4BBFC909It was a stretchy soft-color bracelet and I thought how pretty it was and happy I bought it.  It was when I put it on to go to church one day, I guess I felt good that day.  I put it on, then I realized I felt different.  I felt pretty.  In shock with that feeling, I took it off, as I noticed a difference in me.  I put the bracelet back on and wore it all the time, thereafter.  It helped me to feel pretty when I did not feel pretty at all.  It gave me a sense of hope in myself when I had rather disappeared in life.

I still have the bracelet.  While I do not wear it nowadays, I keep it to always remember where I was then and how it helped me climb through despair.  There were a couple of years where I bought or was given bracelets as gifts so I have quite a few.

In those years, I wore the cheap, school bracelet mostly or another here or there but in time I took the bracelet(s) off as well as my wedding rings; I wore no jewelry at all but my post earrings.  Done.  No need to feel or look pretty.  If I had a good day, I knew it was short-lived.  No wonder I wanted to forget this period in my life.

0615FC93-BAED-4A83-9D80-6EF86150919AIt was just a month or so ago, I bought myself a new watch, I slipped on a bracelet with it and again the feeling came, I felt pretty but also knowing I am worthy to wear this bracelet.  Isn’t it interesting that just a cheap or any other bracelet can change the thoughts and feelings by wearing it?

9B3B740D-C2A7-45B5-8B6B-BDF675A6FE9CLife issues, marriage, relationships, etc., can take all hope from us at times but knowing the One who gives hope is what matters.  I gave up on everyone and even God through those years although knowing deep down, he was there for me. He was all I had but I even doubted Him..

Questioning the Lord of why I had to go through everything295382E6-CCC1-4B9D-8139-F816E2BAD317 that I did.  He knew that I would question Him.  He knew I was and felt hopeless and that I was angry.  He knew where I was and what I was going through.

I said this so often and I still do, as it keeps my faith alive: He knows my name and He knows where I am. 

You are welcome to use that, too!  No matter what you are facing, know that you take one day at a time.  Trust Him!

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Imposition

Isn’t it funny how things come about and make sense, perhaps years later, more like decades in my case?

As a small child, I was always told to sit down, be quiet and do not bother anybody or anything.  I would go to work with my mom many times when she cleaned 5A620FB0-F8CF-4D5A-AE94-7BB47297B8D2houses.  I knew to never touch much less breathe on anything.  What I did though was look at the beautiful homes we were in, imagine what it was like to live there.  While we had a nice, clean home ourselves, it was my place to escape within my mind.  I can still smell the Ivory bath soap and see the bathroom at Betty’s house.  I can see the beautiful knick knacks and remember looking out the window in the side room to the back yard at Addie’s house.  I was a good kid, I could entertain myself just within my thoughts.  I had to in order to stay out of people’s way, including my mom.  I was no bother.

0550A961-9751-4A3C-9C03-8BD377E9EEC0Many times, I have noticed through the years that I would not call others, ask for help, etc,, and I am still that way.  For instance, I have been given permission by my former counselor, in the past, and my present counselors to contact them, if needed.  Each one, my comment is that I appreciate the offer but I did not and will not bother you and I don’t.  The risk of rejection, of them having no time for me would only magnify the panic within me.  In a situation at work, just yesterday, now I had to bother several and got a little more involved than usual.  Perhaps that is me not being so independent, codependent, passive aggressive, etc., as I will take so much and then… Enough!  Majority of the time, I will solve the issue and figure out how to rectify the problem for ease on me and all involved.  As in this work situation, besides my time and a stress headache pounding on each heartbeat, I now have a solution and will put in place starting tomorrow.  Done.

The imposition came to mind when discussing abandonment with my counselor yesterday.  I was an unwanted burden.  We both know this has been an issue for me in life.  One of those things yet again, I never had a word for of how I felt until my former counselor identified.  So, that is what I felt and it all made sense, that was just in the last five years.  Not easy to work through but at least I am not questioning the whys within me.

Abandonment, odds are came early for me, birth to eighteen months.  Seems unreal and kind of crazy to even consider but makes sense to tie all the lose ends together.  No maternal bonding as that was one of my questions wondering why our relationship was not like most mother-daughter connections.  There was never a mushy greeting card to reflect what was not there, ever.  Still she was my mom.  One of those moments, all my life, to sit back and look at the situation but never understanding.

“If my own mother can’t love me, who can?”  “Is there something wrong with me.”

Talking to him about this abandonment, I remembered mom’s words many times through the years the fact that right after having me, the day we came home from the hospital, she had to make Thanksgiving dinner. Back then, they kept mother and baby for days in the hospital, unlike today.

So, with a large family already, knowing I was the seventh child, seven years younger from my sister, other family members visiting, you know the general holiday gathering of family and friends, odds are I was tossed from one to another and that continued.  Take care of 309CD4E2-F84A-45BA-ABE9-A81E7CAF0CBAyour sister and don’t make her cry.  I heard that so often, as she did not really care to hold or even hear me.  How sad.  I have always felt and known I was an oops baby.  To realize even back then, I was an imposition as a baby, a young girl, adult and still an almost retired lady, it kind of does something to you.

Partly, there is shock and working through for healing but then comes strength in knowing the facts.  With all the comments, whether in joking, sarcasm and perhaps hatred of being in the way, it happened to me.  I heard all of that and it affected me, more than I realized.

As I told my mom while sitting on her bed, while she was putting laundry away, and out of her way; it was when I was about seven or eight, I questioned if I was a mistake with no reply.  I still remember that day, as if it was yesterday.  I shrugged my shoulders probably knowing already or why would I even ask, but then said to her that perhaps I am here to take care of you and dad later in life.  That actually took place, until their deaths.  Out of the mouths of babes.

649F54F8-B095-41BB-A5F9-F45960CD43A6While I may have been an oops, an imposition, a bother, felt the abandonment in life, I know one thing for certain and that I am a child of God.  I think I even knew it back then, too, but nobody to encourage me spiritually.  I know that He does not make mistakes.  I am not a mistake.  I know that He loves me.  I am loved and B806CA6C-2627-4DE8-A085-0F28E1E301DDlovable.  The ‘I Am’ statements are not just off the wall and flippant but necessary and truth behind each one.  It has taken me years to truly grasp His Love for me.  It’s when you know because you know.  Joy!

So many times in life, we are put down, ridiculed, etc., to where we do not know the who, what, when, where and whys in life.  But God…  It’s when you put your trust in Him and believe He has your life in His Hands, and trust Him and watch your faith grow, then the other does not matter as much.

I am no bother or imposition to God.  He is there for me 24/7 as He is for you.  Trust Him.

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https://healingbrave.com/blogs/all/i-am-affirmations-healing-purpose-abundance

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201105/when-mothers-don-t-bond-their-daughters

 

Unlovable

What is wrong with me?D915C4A5-A4FD-46D4-B236-AFDC897FB735

Those words have echoed in my head all of my life, from childhood, always with a quizzed look, never understanding.

As a little girl, one that should have been hugged by her parents, especially the mother; cuddled and oh my goodness just loved. I do not remember any physical touch to reaffirm their love that would build the confidence in knowing.9DA344BF-4AA5-49B4-AC4C-3A96F9C157BE

Just knowing and accepting their love due to the fact, I was their child and they were my parents. Somewhat like being a Christian. Just knowing and accepting His Love and knowing you are His Child. Complete Faith! Faith in both situations but there was always that nagging feeling that seems to ponder in my mind and heart of the relationship in love and acceptance. Questioning them, others, God and myself.

64543FFB-18EC-4390-9AD0-982E11526EBAAs I received the attention and physical touch of hugs from others, like the motherly types, my quizzed mentality often questioned why that was so easy to give and take but with my actual family, like my own mother, as it was not. So, it must be me.

Last weekend, being with my grown children, I experienced this yet again. Wondering, what is wrong with me, it must be me and that I must be unlovable. But why? I was triggered by these thoughts that held me hostage in my mind for a bit.

While the oldest was busy and in a location not easy to get near and hug me, he did acknowledge me. Later when leaving, we hugged but walking toward the car, next to him, I put my arm around him. Somewhat expecting the same. It did not. It’s me.

My other son, while I just spent one day with him that week and to meet up again, it was as if I was nobody. I brushed it off as to knowing he is dealing with some depression. We went on to dinner and enjoyed a family meal together. I had just done a lot of laundry for him and felt somewhat disrespected with no thank you. Seriously?! Again, it’s me.

With both of these situations of our time together, my mind was racing and feeling this small child within me scream out, what is wrong with me? Why can’t they love me? What have I done wrong to cause this? Am I standoffish? This same question and statement has followed me all of my life. That day, magnified. The voice gets louder within, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Followed by, it must be me.

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Thankfully, knowing of childhood emotional neglect (CEN) and abandonment now from years of counseling, this is a normal, typical question of the child/adult with this neglect and abandonment. It is so wrong! No child should ever feel this way and then to carry it into adulthood and in my case, soon to be senior citizen.

I know my boys love me and I make sure they know I love them with my hugs, kisses on their cheek, verbal acknowledgment and encouragement. Almost always, another hug is required before leaving. It’s not just for them but for me.

The thoughts and torment within eased with the acknowledgement that this was and is due to CEN. Yes, it was fact that I missed the love deserved growing up. They also missed my love that I could have given. The negative thoughts had to go. I am lovable, not unlovable. I know that CEN affected my life so that is what is wrong with me, but I am moving through it.

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Dr. Jonice Webb is an author and well known for Childhood Emotional Neglect. Just from reading my blog(s), this does not end in childhood but carries on into adulthood. Understanding and acknowledging will help 2185EFB1-7C6E-488E-84A8-68021495085Cyou maneuver through the struggles, just as I am doing. Instead of me dwelling and how I often remained stuck in the ‘what is wrong with me’ mentality, I can recognize it and move on a lot quicker.

I have complete faith that I was and am loved by my parents/family, while they also have and had their own issues and probably with the same, CEN. I have complete faith that the Lord loves me, I am His Child and He loves me just the way I am. I have come to the place of loving myself, which is huge. Complete faith that I am a good person, I am lovable and I am going to continue to understand myself and enjoy the rest of my life.  What’s wrong with me not doing that?  Nothing!

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-neglect/2017/07/7-signs-you-grew-up-with-childhood-emotional-neglect/

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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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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I Am Worthy

I Am Worthy!12BE7E16-A8D2-49AE-8B6F-B93188D0496F   You Are Worthy!

It has taken me years to get that in my thick skull to understand and feel I am worthy. I am sure I have wrote about this before, at some point.

At times regretting it took so long to get here but on the other hand, a relief that I am finally here. I am ME. The Lord knew me before I was even born, He had plans for me and what I was to face in life, never leaving me but loving me, just as I am.

25C9C74C-4032-4844-912D-F00358AAFA33So many times, I looked to others for my worth waiting for a compliment or to know they cared in some, small way or the hugs I craved. When received, my hope and worth in life became alive and joyful. Somebody cares for me. Sadly, short lived. The memories of that moment of high feeling that may last for days, comes down to trying to conjure up the memory or that same, sweet feeling and hearing words said directly to me. While I can remember, it is not the same. Sadness overcomes my soul for I need another fix. Somebody please tell me you care for me, hug me please as my mind is screaming, pat my arm so I can feel that touch again and burn it in my memory, I am desperate for connection.

I would never share those thoughts or words with anyone, always knowing I was desiring and screaming on the inside. In hopes one day, I would be loved by somebody and find my worth.

Thankfully, I had a counselor that heard the cries within and speaking of them with her, I no longer had to carry them alone. The Lord truly knew my heartache and allowed her to intervene. To share them brought embarrassment and shame but brought healing each time.

0917CC9A-78AD-4BC9-9154-22ED5C8E3B30The cage I was in of desperately wanting love and worth of others can only come from the Lord.  Releasing others from their attention and love that I required and hungered for only comes in small doses but receiving at times sometimes unexpectedly is so much sweeter.

I know without a doubt that joy, my sense of love, feeling special and worthiness is all from the Lord.554B51EB-EC85-4756-89E0-6041796A6FB7

When I don’t feel and know that within, my attention has wavered to people, not God. I always knew that deep down, but I thought it was easier to get and receive from those I can see and touch.

His Love is forever and ever.  It is where my love is focused upon that determines the outcome.

84B218E9-EF43-482F-8AA2-4F67C645FC4C