This may not make sense to anyone but me. I have come a far distance and it feels good and feels right. Time does make a difference. Healing within and understanding of oneself is liberating. Is my life perfect and have it all together? Not a chance.
It is knowing I am not where I once was and I am still evolving.
One day, which is the next step, I will see my former therapist of four years. Her leaving due to medical reasons and not formally telling me, I was at a loss, her office sign is down and is no more, in 2018. My world was rocked off its axis.
Dealing with abandonment prior to her leave, then experiencing full-blown abandonment, as a true, full-blown assignment, my heart was broken. Anger ripped my insides up while tears flowed on the outside. The question I repeatedly said, was one word, WHY?
Of course, it was medical but why not personally touch base. This ‘why’ screamed within me for years.
It has since silenced. It’s not that important anymore. How is that? I still don’t know the why. There’s a peace and I like it.
Time does in fact heal. Forgiveness of the other but also of oneself is freedom, no matter what situation.
All the negative feelings and thoughts have subsided and it is kind of shocking. How will I react when we do meet while shopping or in public I often wonder.
It would be nice to see her and hug her. I’m forever thankful for our times together years ago but I want this to be a coming together somehow on the same ground level as friends. Not her as my therapist or me as her client. That is no more. It’s Us. Funny, I think she would understand this of me, as she was good like that.
That’s the next step, our running into each other. I would like that.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
“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:
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. ⠀⠀
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. ⠀⠀
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
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.
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.“
I recently wrote an answer on Quora about a therapist giving a client a hug, with someone asking if it was okay to do or not. Many are dead set against any hugs, physical touch, etc. How sad that we live in this place and time, that such care or touch can be threatened and taken the wrong way. My son is a teacher and when he walks down the hallway with students, he crosses his arms in front of him to prevent any negative recourse that could happen. How sad. Sadly, this is where we are in our world, which makes it hard to have contact or feel at ease talking to the opposite sex or nowadays, same sex without being criticized. Being cautious is necessary.
So as I wrote my answer and just re-read it, it made me think back of where I was when I walked into my former counselor’s office back in 2014. I was at the end of my rope and the knot was unraveling as it was. Please help me! This was my last-ditch effort as I was becoming so hopeless and I wanted hope, which I had lost over the years due to situations. I felt there was no use to try anymore, I was exhausted.
My counselor and I covered a lot of stuff in four years together, some not so easy and there were times I wanted to walk out and not come back. Although, and most times, I could not wait to get back to another session. It was like a battle digging through the trenches of life and the battle fatique of it all was felt by me and I do believe her, too. Thank God she fought with me and for me.
As we have just gone through this world-wide pandemic and all the craziness and confusion, there is light at the end of the tunnel nowadays but it has not been easy for so many. I have several people I know personnally who have passed away or have been in the ICU for weeks. Covid19 is real. I am not here to go on a tangent about this matter though.
In my counseling, we discussed many times about the hugs I so dearly wanted and needed from others, mostly mother figures in my life. There were only a few that I depended upon and clung to, hoping that I would get the care and love from them, plus that tight hug that made me just melt, feeling as though my emotional pain disappeared for at least a minute. There was a void within and as much as I tried to pray and work through this issue, it would not leave. I felt as though I became a professor at hugs, as there are hugs but then there are real hugs. Those ‘real hugs’ did not happen very often but I desired them, where I felt I was actually loved. This was a part of my life, since a child. I could never understand why I hungered for love from others but not my own mother. Why can’t I get that from my own mother? A question I could never answer but my counselor helped me grasp the childhood emotional neglect, rejection and abandoment I often felt and little by little, I understood. It made sense to me.
There was love as we were a family and I was taken care of with a roof over my head, a warm bed, clothes and food but never loved as a young child and grown adult that should have been received. It causes a void. No child should go without hugs and not being told that they are loved. The child grows up questioning everything, trying to figure it all out. Starvation of love is just about as bad as starvation of food, both causing death.
In my answer I mentioned that I made, was how my counselor took time to understand me and helped me understand myself while she listened to the words and the inaudible words not spoken as I sat before her. She also heard my silent screams of needing her hugs. It was hard to express my heart and the fact of telling her my heart’s cry for that hug, which was an embarrassment. Plus it was not a one-time request. Please Hug Me! Please!!
While she was my counselor, I did not see her as a mother figure actually, as we were near in age. Still, she saw that little girl within me starving for love and compassion and that ‘inner child’ within me did reach out for her motherly care and compassion. It’s an odd place to be and describe but thank God I was given this opportunity and I had just the right counselor. God’s Timing is perfect. Looking back, she made me work through this period and others, as we discussed in detail, but I had to ask her for that hug, it was not just freely given. Please Hug Me! I knew she cared for me.
Those many sessions with her over the years were worth every penny and my time invested, determined of not giving up. The hugs given when leaving were very nice and some weeks I was fine, I did not need a hug. In my whole life though, I was always tangled up with the desire that I had never spoken of this for someone to love me and hug me, as I opened up to her. This inner, emotional pain was hidden, as I did not know how to deal with a deprivation of love. How sad is that. Would I ever get over this desire and need? Honestly, I saw no hope. It felt like a til death do us part basically in my life and in that, a sad, lonely death.
It was this past year, 2020 when the six-foot social distancing and masks became part of the norm for all of us. Do you hug or do you not? Do you pat someone’s arm for encouragement or do you not? The physical contact became non-existent between everyone, from friends, family and even our own children. To leave my sons with no hug was beyond heartbreaking. Fear, sometimes, as I fight fear anyway and now this, fear that I would get sick from my boys or I would make them sick. God help us all!
Several months into this pandemic and calming my own panic attacks by deep breathing, EFT tapping, prayer, refinishing furniture, painting, etc., trying to calm myself down and mind off of the unknown to get through another day of the unknown. Or thinking the dark cloud of this virus was going to get me, like a boogeyman. After awhile I realized my desire for those motherly hugs was diminished. While I missed my counselor, my church family, sisters and others, I was not missing the hugs. How could that be? I had to wonder if I had put up a wall of not wanting to be hurt due to what I had just gone through or if I had just finally overcome the need for such and can live freely in my mind and body of not being overwhelmed with the need for that hug from a motherly figure. Could it be? Who am I? I put myself in places either by thinking or in the six foot distancing space, viewing Facebook of them or photos, where I was with those I had wanted hugs before just to see how I was responding. I was doing fine, I did not need their hug. With the restrictions, it would not happen anyway but I could walk away peacefully, not crying within of not receiving and sit in my car and cry. That’s huge! All my life this was a struggle. Now, it’s a foreign part of me.
Many times, I have written about my former counselor. Sorry if you get tired of reading about her but she is and will always be a part of my life. I knew in early 2014 that I wanted the end of my life to be better and that is when I started searching and praying about the ‘right’ counselor. September, 2014, I walked into her office and walked out four years later, not the same person. There was some tremendous pain at the end of how our sessions ended, but I survived. I do miss her. Had it not been for all the muck we went through and her pushing and tugging at me to bring me to safety and breathe fresh air, I would not be where I am today.
Learning to love myself and care for that little girl within me, which sounds goofy, and she helped me understand this of myself, but she, the little girl within, is still present and still needs love. Only I can give.
It feels really good to know that the screams within me for hugs, most of my life, have been quieted. I cannot imagine going through 2020 otherwise, as I don’t know if I could have survived. Seeing the past, where we were last year and where I am today, you cannot tell me that God does not exist. He knew I needed my counselor back then and way before 2020 and to live the rest of my life to the fullest. His Timing… had it not been, I do not know where I would be, today.
Even writing this blog about the hugs, my neediness all through my life, I still felt the pain and knew the torment I had experienced. In writing, I had to wonder if I was sinking back into this mode or do I sincerely feel a change has happened. I don’t want to experience such heartache ever again. Do I miss hugs from many, I do, but I am fine. If I would see my counselor out one day, do I want her hug, I wonder. Time will tell but odds are, yes, who am I kidding. If she needs a hug, I’ll hug her. lol Now, I’ll make her ask me. We all need hugs.
I have learned through reading blogs or other questions asked and replies on Quora, it is that I am not the only one that has dealt with this lack of love and needing hugs. We all need love, to give and receive, no matter our age.
I am sure you can look over your life, you can also say, “Where Would I Be” if it had not been. Count the Lord’s Blessings and see that your outlook on life and your happiness increases with joy and thankfulness.
“Healing the mother wound and recovering from the emotional absence is a process and takes time depending on your mother wound and experiences. It is a journey of becoming the person you are meant and want to be and the healing the wound can set you free from self-criticism, self-doubt, reduce anxiety and depression, improve your relationships and benefit you in many other ways.”