Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling - Zitebooks

As I walked into the kitchen the other morning to get my coffee, to start my day and knowing I had curlers in my hair, which is very odd for me. During this pandemic, I have let my hair grow, which was always a short pixie style but now it flows down my neck and gets in my eyes on windy days. Hey, it was 2020 so why not shake up some things even more. It is actually shocking that I did this, as I do not like change. I had this short hairdo for years, like twenty-five years approximately. I always felt the short hair would draw attention to my face, my eyes, or just my upper body since my weight had increased over the years due to life, depression, pregnancy and again, depression.

Normally, I am alone in my area of the house and no issues of crossing paths with my husband in the way our house is designed, which is actually perfect. It’s an odd set up, it’s an odd relationship. Still, that morning with the curlers, this would be one morning that he may come up the steps and see me. A cringe, embarrassment and fear struck me. How sad is that? He would see me. In that moment, thinking and feeling, the Ugly Duckling blog was born.

I never felt pretty to him, was never told I was in all these years. The closest I got was that my looks do not matter, as I have a good heart. Really?!?! I should have known early in our marriage, with those words spoken, things would not go well or that I would fully understand this man I married. So, I have a kind, loving heart and that is a good thing. Still, a husband is to admire their wife and make her the most important one in his sight. To love and to cherish, I heard those words in our vows. Maybe I had this whole thought of a marriage relationship out of balance, and I expected way too much, now feeling fake and non-existent. Perhaps I believed in the fairytale of it all.

“When a woman feels loved and cherished by her man, she feels more secure, not more insecure.”

Whenever in my kitchen, I keep a pair of readers on my windowsill for those instructions on cooking, ingredients, etc. It sucks getting old. While I wear a different pair now, actually I have a cheap pair in every room. A year or so before, while preparing for a holiday dinner of a gathering for his side of the family, I had these thin readers on that my sister had given me. He was over by the refrigerator looking at me and I heard him snicker. I could have cried but I did not have time. As I write this, I still have those little, thin readers now in the back of my cabinet, hidden. Hidden, just the way I have wanted to do so often while in his presence.

So many years I have seen this man gwak at women in my presence, not just a glance, I mean up and down and back again. Always denying this while I would stand and just watch him. So many discussions of just this over and over again and even in the church, it happens. Never admitting his viewing when mentioned. I am observant but I have learned to be through this, because it cuts to the core of a wife, I am his wife. How could he do this but not realize he is doing it? Years and years and many tears.

There comes a point to when you feel crazy with his denial and seeing things but the reoccurance was so often, how could this not be real. Maybe I am crazy, I thought often. I do know it was hurtful. Stuff like this, who in the world can you talk to about and hopefully they not think you are crazy also or defend him, he’s just a man. If I did make a hint of such or slight comment, I was informed of how nice he is and such a good father and everything was true. It was between him and I that they did not truly see, it’s not their relationship. It was not their place to see that and how hurtful it made my heart just ache. I quit having friends and family over due to watching this gawking in my own home. I do not deserve that and soon, the house was empty with nobody knocking on our door or over for dinner or is out to dinner, as couples. Was it my fault? I was just exhausted of having the same, deadend conversation that proved I was nuts, that he did not gawk. He did.

“He’s just a man. All men look.” I have been told this but hey, I am just his wife and this hurts, is disrespectful and is killing our marriage. Your invalidation that as a wife, I must accept. No! No, I don’t.

So this morning as I walked through my kitchen with my coffee, somewhat hurrying and cringing of the fact he might see me, I relived all the years that I was made to feel as an Ugly Duckling to my own husband. He still has no clue and will still not admit of his gawking back then and possibly now. Now, I really do not care as we go about life separately but that remembering the way we were together, I never want to experience again. No woman deserves to be treated this way, unknowingly or not.

Ugly Duckling Phase {Discussion} – Quilting Jetgirl

It was in 2014, walking into my former counselor’s office and my first words was that I felt I was going crazy. It was not just the gawking he was so good at but so many other things that just did not make sense. What is up with this stranger in my house? Thank God she realized after weeks or months that he has Aspergers. I was not sure of Aspergers or if that was fact. I did my research and the book I found, it was like he was a textbook example. His name might as well have been written on every page.

Now understanding him more so and why he did the things he did and now still does, it helps but the relationship is dead. It is just a legal-binding marriage license on paper that keeps us existing under one roof. In the way he is, he is nice, very calm and patient to a point, plus denial holds a place in his mind that we are a happily married couple. He will make it sound like we are when talking to others because we did this or that or went here. Going to Home Depot is a date, he thinks. He will hear enough of what I am saying to my sister or another, and share like he actually knows me. He does not know me.

We have no vacations together, my choice, as I will not place myself in the same position of watching him gawk and deny. I don’t need that in my life or to be stressed over. We may go and pick up our own grocery items, visit his elderly parents and perhaps go see our two sons and a daughter-in-law. For the most part, I drive down alone to visit them, and odds are they notice and sense that their mom is less stressed and more fun.

Even in the short stints together, I can handle. Same for him, as his routine, that is part of Aspergers will come to the forefront and he can only handle so much before he changes. In the home, 10:00 pm lights out, not just for him but when the boys were growing up and myself. Now, even the cats in the house know what happens come 10:00 pm. Yes, the cats know they must settle down. It is the strangest thing ever. A routine, a timetable is a daily ritual for this man. At times, it’s fun just to mess it all up for him, just because I can. Life is boring without fun and laughter, for me anyway.

News Flash!!!!! I am not an Ugly Ducking. I am Worthy. I am made in the image of God. He loves me. My appearance, my approval from my husband is not required anymore. There comes a point of healing the broken pieces of a good heart and person, whether it be trusting the Lord, seeing a counselor, taking care of one’s health (physical, emotional, spiritual) to become a better you. I will never change him, but I can change me. When I am strong enough and get my ducks in a row, seeing that I can move forward in life, as I deserve more. I am getting closer. Taking care of me. Same for you, if you are in a familiar place that I have walked. There’s more to life than feeling like an ugly duckling.

It’s a sad to have a marriage relationship that is more like a business partnership, brother/sister and sometimes in this case through the years, as mother/son. My three sons, is my life.

This is not just my life but many that we may know and may not necessarily know, as pretending to be a happily married couple happens. My situation may not be the same of gawking as another but other issues, where marriages are crumbling behind the closed doors. Looking at the link earlier of Leslie Vernick, noted below, the comments tell exactly the same story but in different words and situations.

If this is you, do know that the Lord knows your name, He knows exactly where you are, He sees and collects each tear. He loves you, you are His Child, and you are worthy. Trust Him when all hope seems gone and in the midnight hours.

My Husband Looks At Other Women And I’m Told I’m Crazy

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200911/advice-ogling-other-women

Just Shut Up!

Segundo proyecto. Don´t believe everything you think. | Domestika

Life is funny, or just maybe the Lord likes pulling my leg, just to test how I will respond. Will I pass the test. I have had a lot of tests through the years and failed many. Repeat, and again. Even though, I have learned from them,

In previous years, in my counseling sessions, my counselor over and over discussed changing my thoughts. Rewiring my brain, to make new neurons and to be a better me, more self worth, self esteem, less shame. I would listen to her trying to help me understand the shame and it took center stage very often in our sessions. I was not really aware of shame beforehand, or even used that word except it being more ashamed of what I have done, etc. So in my thinking, negative thinking, with life of myself, it all started to make sense. Shame! While I got it, it also sounded a lot like positive thinking, and basically it is, but better. Even the Bible talks about renewing our mind.

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? Does it Work? | by Garima  Rathor (she/her) | Spark.Live | Medium

The negative self-talk in feeling hopeless and worthless due to situations, many beyond my control, but my thoughts controlled me. To just think positive thoughts sounds all good and easy and they can go for a bit and then go by the wayside. It takes work and practice to go in a direction that is unfamiliar by rewiring my brain. Even that brought negative thoughts, of I have a glitch in my brain. What is wrong with me was a common question. Who am I kidding? Shame! My exact thoughts, I was stuck in a rut that I saw no hope in the world around me, my personal life and just within me, my default mode. Even though, she did not give up on me. Thank You Lord!

I am sure she grew tired of helping me understand and grasp the positive and seeing the good in me and turning the negative around for the positive. Quit believing the lies and know my worth, so on and so forth. How can I do that I often thought and would struggle in how can this be and back down I go again until the next session. Shame was always present in my life, but I listened and was grasping ever so slowly.

This former counselor, from 2014 to 2018, was a Godsend. The ending between us was difficult, probably more for me than her, but I still cared and still do. To help me work through my feelings and emotions, I did not read her blogs on Facebook. I backed away. I had to take care of me. Another area she taught me, too.

Amazon.com: Tapestry Of Truth - Romans 12:2 - TOT1882 - Wall and Home  Scripture, Lettering, Quotes, Images, Stickers, Decals, Art, and More! - Be  Transformed by The Renewing of Your Mind. Romans 12:2: Home & Kitchen
30 Days With Louise Hay|Personal Development Challenge | MostlyWoman

So this past Monday, I opened up her Facebook business page where she has her blogs, videos and posts. I do not go there often at all and that is another whole blog of my own but I will spare you now. I scrolled through to read just the titles, I would see her in the videos talking but I never listened. I did good, I did not cry due to missing her even though I do and I did not feel angry of which I was. I paid attention to my emotions, my body and what was happening during this period. Something else she taught me. I even left the page open for a few hours and would glance as I worked, still paying attention to how I reacted. I do so miss her, that is a given.

What I thought was interesting was when I was turning her page off to go on with my day, and being so proud of myself. Well, that did not last long, as the thoughts came, rapidly. I have actually been doing good with this rewiring. Now, not so much. I dipped low in the negative thought pattern of I am not smart enough, she knows I don’t have it all together still, she will always find me flawed, and on and on it went. Wow!

While it did not last long, it was long enough. Just shut up! I know I thought and I think I even said it aloud in my empty office. I will not allow these negative thoughts to take over.

1,132 Positive Affirmations: Your Daily List of Simple Mantras

In what I want and desire to do, even now in my senior years, I am smart enough. The Lord is the one that has given me the desire and my gifts and talents. I have seen too much to back away now. I may not have it all together, but I am not the depressed woman I once was. As for her thinking I am flawed and not as good as her, I think she would be proud of me, even through this battle. We are all imperfect, even her. I have gifts and talents she does not have and vice versa, same with you. My calling is not her or your calling. So I think I finally put to rest this tug of war that I was hit within those moments.

It wasn’t long after, I was just looking through Facebook and saw a post, which is posted below. Now, how perfect it was to read and to remind myself of what just happened, plus remember all the counseling sessions. That shame reappeared to knock me down and used her, the one that helped me dig out of my pit of despair with shame. The enemy wants me and you not to have victory in our lives, BUT GOD… He does!

How to Rewire your Brain with your Words in 2020 | Inspirational quotes,  Self talk, Talking to you

We have a choice. We can let Satan rule our mind and life with negativity or we can trust the Lord to lead and direct us in His Plan for our life. While I always knew that, all of my adult life, I lost touch during some bad parts of my life with hopelessness. No, not today! Today, I have HOPE and JOY.

Hopefully, the post I copied will be of help to you and to understand yourself or to help another. I had the privilege of having a great counselor of four years to redirect my thought pattern and help me walk forward knowing I am worthy and I am lovable. Will I experience this again? Yes, but it does not rule me. I believe I passed the test on Monday. I think, too, that she would be very proud of me.

How CBT Therapy Can Change your Brain | FHE Health

Pay attention! This can change your life and the life around you. You are worth it, to yourself to love who you are.
How CBT Therapy Can Change your Brain | FHE Health

“The first symptom of shame you’ll learn about is negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk is your inner critic. It’s the voice in your head that says ‘you’re not good enough.’ It’s the voice in your head that doubts you, judges you and tells you to settle for less than you deserve.⠀

If you want a better life and relationships, you have to heal your negative self-talk. You can do this by putting the following tips into practice:

  1. Be Aware Of The Voices In Your Head
    • Every human being has two voices in their head: (1) the voice of love, positivity and joy and (2) the voice of hatred, negativity and fear.
    • A person who struggles with negative self-talk mostly listens to the voice of hatred, negativity and fear.
    • The first step to changing your self-talk is to become aware of the negative voice.
    • Awareness is foundation of growth and change.

    ⠀⠀
  2. Separate Yourself From The Voices In Your Head
    • Guess what? You are not the voices in your head.
    • The voices in your head are echoes from what you’ve heard in the past from parents, friends, bullies and the television.
    • When you understand that the voices in your head are not your own, then you can stop taking them seriously.
    • Always remember, you are not your thoughts.

    ⠀⠀
  3. Be Compassionate To The Voices
    • Self-compassion is the practice of being kind to your negative thoughts and feelings.
    • Without self-compassion, healing is impossible.
    • An important aspect of self-compassion is introducing a new voice in your head. You should introduce this voice anytime you’re caught in negative self-talk. This voice should have a soft tone, kind words and a warm embrace.
    • For example, if your self-talk is telling you that “you’re not good enough.” Introduce the new voice by telling yourself, “I understand why you would feel this way, but this feeling is not a fact. You are more than enough.”

    ⠀⠀
    Your self-talk affects every area of your life. Therefore, once you start to develop healthy self-talk, you’ll see massive life changes, especially in your relationships ❤️ Thank you for reading. https://www.facebook.com/thekyledjones
Amazon.com: Romans 12:2 Bible Verse Sign | Do not Conform Any Longer to The  Pattern of This World, but be Transformed by The Renewing of Your Mind.  Then You Will be able

Sometimes, I have had to look at and read things like the chart below, as it would be explained to a child in order to grasp better and grow from there. This was all new to me back in 2014. The negative remained within me over the years, most of my life believing that I was not good enough as you or others. So many counseling sessions of her trying to pound this in my thick skull that I am okay and I am going to make it. Those negative thoughts needed to stop in order to allow myself to go forward. Even at my old age, the Lord still has a plan and a purpose for me, which will bring Him the Glory and Honor. I hope this helps someone.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Adults and Children
Deconstructing neuroplasticity: Can you rewire the human brain? - The Globe  and Mail
Yes Logo Images | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD

Just a note because I can add a note. This whole week, I keep hearing or reading about this neuroplasticity, rewiring the brain, shame and everything I have noted in this blog. Not just once but daily, all week. I heard it again from another source and another in a different way, but the same message. Interesting that it kept happening all week. Life is interesting. It is either to confirm and/or for me to learn from it all, still. Perhaps the Lord is allowing me to hear it over and over again to make me aware He is with me and taking me places and I need to pay attention to the positive. I’m just taking you along for the ride in my journey.

Plasticity, or neuroplasticity, describes how experiences reorganize neural pathways in the brain. Long lasting functional changes in the brain occur when we learn new things or memorize new information. These changes in neural connections are what we call neuroplasticity.

Don’t Tell Me What To Do!

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So often through the years, I have found I really get frustrated with my pastor. Yes you read that correctly, but I do. Recently, no different. Apparently, he gets frustrated with the congregation, and me being one. While I understand him and know he is trying to help me and each one of us, I feel he is hollering at me. I don’t know what others think or feel, I don’t dare ask. He probably is frustrated and that is how he wants it to come across but it really makes me cringe and feel less than of a Christian. While that may motivate others, it causes me to stop dead in my tracks, doubt and be cautious.7B690AB6-BE66-429D-AB6D-50D6F4B408DB

As I have pondered this over the years, I still come up with this no-good-for-nothing person, Christian that I claim I am. It makes me sink into a state of unworthiness. I hate this feeling. Questioning if this is condemnation he is placing on us (me) and if so, that is wrong. Or is it condemnation that I am throwing on myself? Does this trigger a part of my childhood I wonder and no doubt it does.

I know he preaches his heart out and is anointed but in this area, I think to myself, here he goes again. Knowing full well that I will have to fight my thoughts of being less than and I will go down the rabbit hole yet again. Whether I sit in the congregation or now as we listen online due to the distancing required.

E4AE16BB-84B6-4678-AB98-086C270E741DI know to pray, I know that the Lord hears my prayers whether in my thoughts, silently or verbally. Had it not been, I would not be here, right now. At times, all I could muster up was, Lord help me. My heart being in such despair and nobody to turn to or trust, He was all that I had. He was all that I needed. Even though I felt alone in the thick of it all, and even felt at times He was nowhere to be found. Although, I know now that my faith grew in those dark, lonely periods, it had to in order to survive.0FD531CE-BD59-4ABF-ABAD-8C1A98FCCA71

I did not have to yell from the rooftops, make a big, elaborate prayer of words that was not me for the Lord to hear my prayers. I am just plain and simple.

We are to praise and worship the Lord and I know that but that also gets heaped into his rants along with prayer. The comment of us sitting like a lump on a log, usually makes my mouth twist and jaws clinch, now in total frustration.  I am not him, will never be him and I do not want to fake my prayer, praise and worship.

As I was cleaning, still pondering this in my mind, realizing that this is a childhood issue that I need to come to terms with. The boldness from his voice at the podium, finger pointing and 7F89A8B9-B371-4116-9A64-EA8D859D3F13to say lump on a log, smacks me. To bring it home to understand and to grasp, I feel he is mad and hollering at me, his finger pointing confirms I am unworthy, to say sitting like a lump on the log is that I am also lazy. End result, convinced I am a good-for-nothing person on the face of the earth or in my family, now church family as a Christian.

77EC128B-21E8-4CAB-BA93-B042464BA8F6In a church service or in our private time, we worship and praise the Lord to usher in His Presence. His Presence is precious and I am fully aware of Him during such times. I do not have to put on a full production of waving my hands, shouting praises and being something I am not. If I do all of that and I have tried but that is my time between me and the Lord. I can stand or sit quietly and feel His presence all over me with tears flowing down my face, dropping from my chin in my worship, praise and prayer. This is my personal time with Him. I don’t need to care what others think or expect of me, although at times I do and accustomed to, which has always held me back.

At times, wanting to speak up and say stop making me feel unworthy and that I will never measure up. I have had that all my life. Is this the rebelliousness within me of my hesitancy, perhaps fear, too. Probably as I dig my heels in and protest as a child saying, you can’t make me and don’t tell me what to do.

Do I know it could be pride on my part? Yes, and intimidation but please don’t add to it and plop on more fear, as I will freeze in my tracks. I have had to wonder if this was conviction, but it is not the same.

4F5CA56F-5565-4E26-9960-1B850F8E1119So as I toss this back and forth the past few weeks due to the COVID19 situation and the seriousness of it all, the finger pointing and preaching returns, of saying do this, do that.  Again, I get it, I really do, but each time, I still get that unworthy feeling. I know, too, that the enemy wants me, us all to feel the unworthiness and to remain stuck. Am I going to act and put on a show just to please the preacher? No. Will I still get frustrated with him when he pushes this down our throat once again? Yes. I do understand he is trying to help us grow in the Lord but it is a big turn off for me. I love my church, my pastor and the anointing. I have considered finding another church at times, which may or may not be any better. I know that the enemy antagonizes me and I realize this could be a ploy to separate me from the church.  So with that, something is about to break, a battle within.  I have been at this church since 1985 so change is hard, too. This is when I need to be rebellious and stubborn, not with the Pastor or even with myself but the enemy wanting to halt my praise, worship and prayer.

I learned while in counseling, it was when I wanted to quit, throw up my hands and many times when leaving and once in my car, saying that I am not doing this anymore. The next week I would return. Thank God I did return because it was in those sessions we broke through some areas that changed me. I saw the pattern as I do now so I will dig my heels in and protest.

Could this all be the shame I have had dumped on me throughout my life? Absolutely, it falls right in line.

Up until the Fall of 2014 and for years later in counseling, I really never knew of shame. Never gave it any thought but as each session occurred, it was obvious that shame had hindered me in life, all of my life, which is sad. Since I now have a word and an understanding, changes and healing can occur as I have gone and go forward.

As I write, I tend to believe all of this frustration with the preacher to make me feel less than, unworthy, etc., is all but shame that I have carried. My issue, not his.

D84FF6C3-1891-41FC-B999-509BE7C3263DKnowing and understanding this, perhaps praying, praise and worship will come easier for me. Still, I know the Lord meets us where we are and He is the one to direct us and help us in areas to get us to where we need to be. To be a willing vessel, He will do just that. I do not need to put on an air to appease the preacher or anyone around me. The Lord is all that matters and my relationship with Him. To acknowledge how this has affected me, I do not need to accept the feelings of unworthiness. I am worthy!

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https://jerralea.blogspot.com/2019/09/lumps-on-log.html

9 Ways to Get Over the Fear of Praying Out Loud

https://www.reviveourhearts.com/articles/overcoming-obstacle-praying-out-loud/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-toxic-shame/

https://aibi.ph/harvest/Shattering%20Shame/ShatteringShame.htm

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