SHAME

 

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Shame – Wikipedia
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

I cannot make that word large or ugly enough to express of how much it has affected my life.

To keep shame hidden and unaware, is a weight I have carried and many carry daily and throughout their lifetime.  The thoughts that come that we are not good enough for this or that, the negative that has infiltrated our minds from childhood and through life is somewhat disabling.

It was not until a few years ago that I understood shame and it’s effects upon my life.  Still, this morning as I am looking and researching many websites about shame did I realize that I was triggered just a few weeks ago of something that put me in a downward spiral of anger, unworthiness and sadness.  While I managed and coped, I realized today that was shame again heaped upon me.  Not understanding the situation and why somebody that was dear to me would ignore me basically.  I took that as I am unworthy, they have lied to me all this time and I am a nobody.  While I identified I was angry, it was not until writing this blog did I recognize shame.  Disappointment and all the emotions became alive with this situation, I became stuck.  It’s shame, yet again.  Shame, it’s time to go! Thankfully, through this period, I had my counselors to allow me to talk and work through it all.  Just to recognize shame, it cannot stay.

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Shame wants us to hide and be all negative about ourselves that we will not fully succeed in life.  It’s a great ploy of the enemy because he knows that if we had the confidence and compassion toward ourselves, as we do others, we can make an impact.  As a Christian, the enemy does not want that at all.  Keep him or her quiet and all is well.  Becoming aware of shame and how it has tormented me, I will speak out and go forward.  It may knock me for a loop, as it did recently, but I will bounce back.F6035147-A86B-4B42-99AC-84F8E79DC483

To understand and to put a word with the feelings is enlightening.  Why I never knew of shame really before in life is unbeknownst to me.  Perhaps it wasn’t the time.

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Shame is feeling sorry about who you are as a person.     And toxic shame is feeling bad about who you are as a person all the time – it is pervasive.  What is Toxic Shame?  (The Little-Known Mental Illness) LonerWolf  https://lonerwolf.com/toxic-shame/

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First, identify what shame feels like in your body. How do you embody shame? For many people, shame feels and looks closed down. We tend to embody “closed down” by hunching our shoulders or looking down, anything we can do to hide. We might clench our jaw, hold our hands as fists, or harden our gaze. The longer we hold these closed down expressions or “poses,” the longer we embody, feel, and think shame.   How to Overcome the Weight of Shame  by https://www.recoverywarriors.com/the-weight-of-shame/

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👉🏻 Be aware! 

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For more information about shame, Brene Brown is awesome!  https://brenebrown.com/

What’s Wrong With Me?

What’s wrong with me?  Ever ask that of yourself? DDBF941F-2326-4A39-9ABB-26BABFCD97A9

Today, I did. It’s been a long time, I realized, since I have asked that and I did not miss it.

I thought I would try to listen to my former counselor’s video today while working on a project at work. One of the best counselors out there, and I am thankful to have had her in my life. Even after today, an emotional ride.

Even though I made it through the video, once it was over my throat was tight of anxiety, I felt sad and immediately went to the question that I have been able to ward off, which is ‘What is wrong with me?’ Sadness hit me hard with that and all the negative thoughts of unworthiness, unlovable, etc.

If I wasn’t in my office and having the auditor in the next room, I do believe I could have cried a river. Tears still leaked out my eyes but a big gush was in there, I was about to burst, an emotional breakdown.  FD32BC50-03E5-40E1-913F-C05612E20B09

So many sessions over the four years together, and we have discussed this matter so often, but I apparently still get triggered.  Understanding my childhood of emotional neglect, shame, abandonment, etc., of which my blogs express at times, I will always be triggered.  It’s how I handle it.

Perhaps just the fact of hearing her voice, as we are no longer counselor/client due to her health issues, my own grieving with this loss but I also felt hurt by her. I just don’t understand the whys that linger in my mind and my heart. I will probably never know the answers to the whys. How can this be? Why?

0E29E2B2-DAE3-4CD4-9773-C65DD7979CBBMy heart hurts. Dealing with questioning myself once again, the shame tore at me. Something must be wrong with me for her to basically invalidate me and minimize my feelings and feel the rejection deeply. The one that taught me different and encouraged me all those years and knows better. I feel totally confused. 29BFD495-44A4-4007-8AB9-C6A078436980

My whole being shut down holding my breath in the emotional turmoil, as I do and have done in life. Experiencing this once again, is almost debilitating. I’ve done so well. Today, not so much.  Perhaps this is a lesson that I need to remember where I have come from and how I have grown through the years.  I do remember it well, and I don’t like it.

Changing my mindset will come, maybe not today though and tomorrow is questionable.  The rewiring of my brain, also taught by her, by reversing the thought pattern of knowing there is nothing wrong with me.  I am pushing through.  I have come a long way.  I am blessed. I am lovable. I am worthy.  A whole lot of ‘I Am’ statements will be said and will be in front of me to read. Most importantly, the Lord knows my heart, He knows my name and He knows exactly where I am.  My focus is and has to be on Him.

It will all come together and the positive side will surface once again within me, but as I feel the pain and acknowledge the hurt, I have to hope that healing will come.

What’s wrong with me? I just have a big heart and I care. There is nothing wrong with that.

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So if you have ever been in this place of hurt, let down, disappointed, even angered of a situation or relationship, you understand me.  It’s all normal. Most importantly is that the Lord loves me, sees me and I have to trust Him.  Same goes for you.  Trust Him.

039EC9C5-0D5F-4C09-AD99-901584023340Shame informs you of an internal state of inadequacy, dishonor, or regret. As a self-conscious emotion, shame informs us of an internal state of inadequacy, unworthiness, dishonor, regret, or disconnection. Shame is a clear signal that our positive feelings have been interrupted.

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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!

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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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