The road goes ever on and on…

Revelations are curious things, and sometimes the most profound of realizations to some are ones that are so obvious to others. But I suppose, the path to understanding ourselves is more about the journey to the destination than the destination itself.

A recent run-in with my ex, who decided it best to get arrested rather than obey my protection order, left me opening mail from the Domestic Violence Advocate and the Prosecutor’s office. In it, was a request for a Victim’s Impact Statement.

Although the request sent me to my Google Docs and I wrote several pages on several different days, none granted me the words I wished to use. I wanted to achieve a few things:

  1. I wanted to be cognizant that anything I write will go into the public record.
  2. I do not want to be weak, but I want him to understand I will utilize my protection order to the full legal extent I am allowed.

Though I still don’t have anything down I feel comfortable sharing, I discovered some things about myself through this process.

Continue reading “The road goes ever on and on…”

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Rest Stop

Sometimes I forget it is not possible to be in control of everything, all the time. Or that, even if I am in control, my choices do not always lead to the best results. Or, even if my choices don’t lead to ‘the best’ results, who determines what is best and worst? Me. And sometimes those determinations are a little arbitrary, or based on other peoples’ expectations.

The last few weeks have brought with them an overflow of information, a few realizations, an incident with the ex, the Flu, a heart to heart with myself, time with friends, preparation for a long-planned minor surgery, and some heavy considerations regarding my priorities, relationships… pretty much the whole nine yards and then some.

Continue reading “Rest Stop”

Relational Crossroads

Somewhere in the last year, I met someone who genuinely valued me. Who supported me. Who seemed to enjoy my oddities and find a simple pleasure in my presence. Someone who shared my interests, and who could handle defeat of various kinds with grace and kindness and an odd sort of self-confidence that was dashingly attractive.

Tonight, I realized our relationship was lopsided. That I look at a deepening relationship with as much fear as he does eagerness.

Someone in a group made a comment about his wife, and I felt the brush of Guy’s fingers, and felt as much as saw the warm glance he turned my way.

There is one problem, however.

I am not ready.

Continue reading “Relational Crossroads”

5 Ways to Stay Safe

Reblog Tuesdays: This kind of list cannot be emphasized enough. I’ve shared my own story and some advice, but if you’re in a dangerous situation please seek help.

The original author asked what other safety tips someone might have. I actually wrote a brief post on this called “How Do I Leave” a few months after I left an abusive relationship. An Excerpt:

“Whenever possible, have someone else coordinate resources and plans for you, and perhaps be a point of contact. My mother did this for me. I barely had the mental capacity to get up in the morning, let alone function on any rational level due to my level of exhaustion.”

My mother, being my main point of contact, also gave me tasks, one at a time. Sometimes these situations can be overwhelming, and having someone to help manage your exit – if you can find them – will be a huge help and benefit your safety, as others can coordinate with them and you leave less of a ‘trail’ for your abuser to follow.

Got Hope Blog

One of the big questions many women (and men) have regarding their relationship is how safe are they. Safety is always an advocate’s number one priority. Some of the top tips of advice we can suggest include the following 5 ideas.

  1. Always be aware that you can be monitored online and on your phone.
    Due to all the technology advances, it is really easy to install programs on your computer and/or phone to monitor your activity. Sometimes abusers know exactly what is said in every text message, or they can look at your history on the computer. For that reason, a safer option might be to use the computers at the public library to research safe places to go. If you can afford a simple phone for emergencies, keeping a secret phone would be a good idea. Even if you don’t think they would do this, it’s one of the…

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Procrastination and priorities

To the tune of Anticipation, by Carly Simon… “Procrastination, procrastination…. Is makin’ me late… Is keepin’ me waitin’.”

Something I wrote a while ago keeps coming back to me, and it has to do  with this feeling of fragility. Intangibility. Perhaps it is kin to that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Kin to the feeling of balancing many spinning plates on the ends of long sticks. Everything is going well, really, but sometimes I still feel the anxiety of being one unlucky tip away from shattered glass at my feet.

(Upon writing that sentence, the snarky part of my mind suggested that maybe it was time I started using heavy plastic instead of glass. Then that led me to rabbit trail down the practical considerations of whether or not plastic (however dense) might spin comparative to ceramic. All up to the point where I reminded myself, this was only intended as a visual example. I share this, because it shows how abstractedly distracted my thoughts have become, lately. Maybe you’ll get a chuckle; I know I did – sometimes all I can do is just laugh at myself and move along.)

Continue reading “Procrastination and priorities”

[Reblog] What’s in Your Coping Toolkit: Putting It All Together

Reblog Tuesdays!

Anxiety has had a major impact on me this week, and I have found this series very helpful and worthwhile. I’ve not had a chance to put everything into practice, but I’m working on learning ways to Be Kind to myself. I’m also working on making self-care choices that are just ‘a little’ better each time.

Small steps still get me where I’m going. 🙂 I hope you find something in here that helps you with whatever you are going through.

eat. spin. talk. repeat.

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

For the last seven weeks, we have talked about all the tools we need/want  in our toolkit. This is obviously not an exhaustive list of ALL the coping skills out there, but it’s a start. Now that you’ve got the tools, what on earth to do with them!?!

I’ve mentioned the importance of having access to these skills in times of stress. That is going to look differently for each skill. So let’s breakdown each skill we’ve talked about and how to do that:

Mindful Breathing:  practice, practice, practice. Take time each day to spend time mindfully breathing. The only way to get good at this skill is to take time to do it.

Relaxation: Come up with a list of relaxing things to do at different places you might…

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Recovery

The fear is about everything.

And yet, a part of me knows it should be about nothing. That I overthink. That I am reacting emotionally and outside of logic. Yet too often, I think I try and discount my emotions. Pain of any kind is always unpleasant, but usually, especially with physical pain, it points to something that needs attention to heal properly.

Understanding the smoke and mirrors of anxiety means looking beyond the easy answer, beyond the initial spark of fear, or numbness, or pain. Of course, a certain situation or memory or word or action will likely be that initial trigger. Yet it is like it stirs a domino effect of fears, too many, too broad, too overlapping to easily pick apart when in the midst of a panic attack.

Continue reading “Recovery”

Where do I want to be?

 

 

A journey begins with just one step, and over the course of the past eighteen months or so, this blog has cataloged a hundred and one posts that document bits of my story, the path I’ve traveled, and my goals.

Today, Friday, I need to remind myself how much ground I have covered. A promotion at work, debt nearly under control, a new relationship, a better grasp of the tools needed to handle my anxiety. My New Year’s Resolution was to be more authentic in my everyday life, and while it hasn’t always made things easier in the immediate moment, I think long-term I’ve been at least making progress with that goal.

Yet I still have things I want to achieve, and these seem to be a bit more of a struggle. Continue reading “Where do I want to be?”

The Power of No

Why is it one of the first words children learn, is also one of the hardest for some of us to verbalize as adults? One of the common themes in my counseling sessions has become understanding the coping mechanisms I learned as a child when I struggled to deal with my emotions.

My parents made many good decisions regarding my upbringing, teaching me a healthy skepticism for information and facts, teaching me how to question and challenge and understand the world around me. Yet the strange irony, is that same freedom was not expected, allowed, or ever welcomed when it came to their own authority.

Continue reading “The Power of No”

I’m a Liebster, How about you?

The Liebster Award is an online award given to new bloggers or those with less than 200 followers. It’s a way of promoting your own blog, other people’s blogs, and support the blogging community.

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I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Samantha at “The Other Side of Counting to 10!” This was over a month ago, but life has been so up and down and busy I am just now getting to it. I love reading her posts, and am happy for her as she just got married! (Congratulations Samantha!)

 

 

 

The Liebster Award rules for 2016:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
  • Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.  Images you can use for your 2016 Liebster Award can be found at http://theglobalaussie.com/the-official-rules-of-the-liebster-award-2016/ .
  • List these rules in your post.
  • Answer your nominator’s questions.
  • Give 10 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
  • Create 11 questions for your own nominees to answer.
  • Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

Samantha’s Questions:

  1. Which of your Blogs is your favorite?
    I think my current blog is my favorite, simply because I can stroll back over the past eighteen months and see how far I’ve come. There have been challenges, valleys, peaks and switchbacks – and not only have I explored many of these things, but I have also found many of a like mind here on wordpress. I think the supportive community and encouragements here help keep me writing, mostly because I follow folks who help me learn more about myself or the world around me.
  2. What is your favorite quote?
    “Friendship doubles your joys, and halves your sorrows.” – Anonymous
  3. What is your favorite smell?
    I love the smell of a crisp fall day, with the sun baking the drying leaves and the chill salt-water tinged breeze tickling my nose.
  4. What inspires you to write?
    Life. Pain. Joys. Emotions. Questions. Observations…

    Writing is how I take my experiences and process them, and sometimes it is a way of validating myself. Saying, “this is what I feel.” It’s a place where I can confront my fears in either a free-form essay format (which I share in this blog), or my creative writing that I keep much more private.

    In my creative fiction, I will often highlight character traits in a setting and explore what those things mean. I’ve explored abuse and recovery that way, with varying mindsets in varying characters. The more I read and understand about myself, the more stories begin fluttering in my head, and the more I want to read, and the more I need to write.

  5. What would you change about yourself?
    It is very PC these days to say “I’m happy the way I am, I wouldn’t change a thing.” But, to be perfectly honest – there are things I would like to change about myself. Most of them are in process, and I don’t expect them to happen quickly, but I am aiming for the quiet change of growth. Mental and Physical wellness, essentially, would be the overarching theme of what I would like to change.

    More particularly, however, I would like to change a lot of the thought processes that hold me back.To stop the inner refrain of self-critique that echoes what a few people in the past have told me. I struggle a lot with anxiety and feelings of short-coming, especially relating to writing. Having an anonymous blog helps me get past those things. Recognizing that my writing isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay, helps me get past those things.

    But I would love to change those limitations I put myself. We’ll see how that goes this coming year. 😉

  6. If you could invite anyone to lunch, who would it be?
    I would probably invite Brene Brown to lunch, simply because I have been so impacted by her writing, and a conversation about life and counseling and shame resilience and overcoming… I just can imagine she has so many wonderful experiences to share that I would greatly love to hear more of.

    Alternatively, I would love to meet Jenny Lawson of “Furiously Happy” for lunch. We would either sit in utter silence filled with mutually induced social anxiety, or have a wonderful rabbit-trailing conversation that would someone cover cats, taxidermy, the craziest things we’ve done in the name of anxiety, and more.

  7. Where is your favorite place to visit.
    As a young girl, in times of great distress, I would walk the three blocks to this tiny little park just down the street from home where a small lake lay shrouded by trees. The hum of vehicles seemed otherworldly there, and I would climb up onto the worn fence railing and pray my sorrows and joys to God, the ducks, and the weeping trees.

    I’ve always sought peace in the great outdoors, places where time stands still as the water of a quiet lake, or rushes forth with the vigor of tumbling waves on the beach.

    So my favorite places to visit? Ones with water, for they grant me a little of the peace I need when surrounded by the busyness of life.

  8. Name one thing your are proud of about yourself.
    When I first sat and talked to my counselor, I couldn’t meet her eyes. I sat trembling on her couch with one of my best friends putting her arm around me as the only way I could choke out my story. Even just breathing, was difficult. (Isn’t it strange, how anxiety makes your whole body lock up sometimes? How you have to physically remind yourself to breathe?)

    I still have a long way to go, but I’m proud of myself for staying in counseling, for working hard on the things I can control. Sometimes it is overwhelming, and sometimes I don’t make the right choices, but more and more even in my dark moments it is way easier than the last few months. I’m making progress. I am paying attention and noticing the things that trigger me. I may not always know what to do with the things I am growing aware of, but until we have that awareness, we can’t produce change.

    Being ‘proud’ of myself is something that feels – almost arrogant to me. So I have to work hard to celebrate my successes, and I have to remind myself it is okay to build up the good points of myself.

  9. If your had a super power what would it be.
    If I had a super power, I think it would be the weaving of illusion, a way to craft pictures, scents and and sensations. I love storytelling, and would love the ability to craft the stories I see in my mind for others to see just how I do.
  10. Solitude or companion?
    Either one or the other, depending on my mood. 😉

    Truly though, I can tolerate pure solitude far more readily than the constant wear of another person. I’ve learned to find joy in solitude, to amuse myself, to find freedom and peace in solitude. But with the right people, who respect my need for occasional solitude, I enjoy companionship.

  11. What is one piece of advice you would tell your 16 year old self?
    I think this is a good ‘letter’ for me to write as a blog-post. See something in the next few days. 😉

Ten Random Facts About Me:

  1. I love God, the Christian God. Not always a big fan of organized religion, though. I think there is a narrative about women’s place in the church that needs to be addressed.
  2. I’ve learned some of my best life lessons from the feminine heroes in fantasy novels.
  3. Music soothes my soul.
  4. I sometimes use some of my favorite ‘easy-listening’ audiobooks to soothe me to sleep, a combination of a familiar story and a familiar voice sometimes helps me relax when my mind whirls too quickly.
  5. I love it when my friends post baby pictures, and love spending time with babies, children and even teens. I miss having relationships with kids of all ages, the world is so fun through their eyes.
  6. My new guilty pleasure: Lactose free vanilla ice cream, lavender honey, and fresh fruit.
  7. I’m a gamer. Board games and console games, though I’ve not had much time for the latter due to school.
  8. My favorite colors vary, depending on if you ask me to wear it, adorn my living space with it, or put it on a shelf. (Teal/Green, Blue, Red – respectively).
  9. Sometimes when I’m stressed, I want to hop in my car and just start driving and figure out where I will end up later.
  10. I have been pretty insecure about my weight, as it’s going in a bit of the wrong direction. However, I’m trying to remind myself that I’m doing the best I can, and work on embracing my curves!

My Nominations 

 

 

She is Hurricane Heather – Heather

The Moments Between – LoveLi

Life as a Garden – Michelle Anderson

The Warrior’s Guide – Havoc

Brea’s Air – Jen

My Questions for my nominees:

  1. What is your favorite blog post (that you’ve written) and why?
  2. What is one thing you would tell a friend going through relationship troubles?
  3. Green tea or peppermint mocha?
  4. What are the ‘little things’ someone could do or has done that just makes your day?
  5. Are there any books (or other creative media) that have stayed with you over the years?
  6. Picture yourself in your perfect place, would you tell me what that looks like?
  7. Do you have any tricks or things you have discovered that make life easier/more efficient/less expensive?
  8. Chicken or the Egg, which came first?
  9. Do you enjoy playing any games, which ones? If not, what other social things do you enjoy?
  10. Do you have a treasured possession whose story you wouldn’t mind sharing?

 

Are we so very fragile?

Tuesdays I’ve decided to Reblog posts that I have found well-written and inspiring. Candidkay gives some wonderful advice on recovering from relationships in this posts. I love her perspective.

candidkay

My friend called me late at night with the worried tone in her voice she usually gets when contemplating global warming or the potential extinction of the Western Lowland gorilla. But the object of her concern was not global. Instead, it sat just a bedroom away, in tears.

Her college-aged daughter was weathering a breakup. Now, there are breakups and there are breakups, right? This was not the love of her life (although she may have thought so, temporarily). This wasn’t even a “nice” guy. Oh sure, he appeared to have the credentials any parent would love—handsome, charming (when necessary), bright, athletic—but those very things had made him a complete cad. He never really had to work for much—the grades, the girls, the summer job at his father’s firm. And it showed.

Without all the gory details, her daughter (we’ll call her J) had been dumped—and had realized her boyfriend…

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Trigger-feelings

He lifted his hand from the wheel, shaking it, sunshine and shadows filtering through the driver’s side window as his knuckles popped. A rueful smile popped across his lips, and he grinned at me during the course of a conversation I no longer remember.

Then his right hand, the one nearest me… he lifted and shook it too. Nothing happened.

Then, he punched it on his thigh, abruptly, suddenly.

He punched his thigh.

Even as he relaxed and sighed in relief as his knuckles cracked, I found myself taut as a guitar string. Staring straight out the window, I breathed carefully as he continued driving, oblivious.

I am safe.

He’s not angry.

He won’t hurt me.

But these are things I said of my ex, too. So there is some discord in my body, trying to decide to believe the things I am telling it. Or not.

Logically – Guy has never done anything to intentionally make me feel unsafe. Quite the opposite, he tries so hard to make things work and make me comfortable.

I don’t want him to walk on eggshells, like I once had to. I say nothing, but I felt the quiet paralyzing my mind and limiting my words as a part of me shut down.

Continue reading “Trigger-feelings”

“Why God May Want You to Leave Your Marriage” – John Pavlovitz

One of the true blessings of the work I do, is getting to help people carry the burdens of life with them for a little while; to hear their real, unvarnished stories even when those stories are heartbreaking to share. A few months ago a woman named Sarah emailed me asking if I might have time to speak with……

via Why God May Want You to Leave Your Marriage — john pavlovitz

Codependents Always Hope Things Will go Their Way

When I first got out of my abusive relationship, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out and understand my Ex. I found things like the ‘Cycle of Abuse’, and Narcissism, and those things helped me understand myself and my own reactions.

Now I’ve been researching more about myself, and learning that I have my own tendencies that make me vulnerable to Narcissistic partners. This is an excellent article worth considering, and I think it is important that we grow from researching everything about our abuser, and begin focusing on ourselves and how we can become stronger, more whole people.

Codependency Is Not Love With Dr. Nicholas Jenner

Of the two extremes, codependents (unlike narcissists) are generally seen as the warm and fussy ones. Self sacrificing and eager to please, they are an absolute delight to be around if you are the kind of person who likes to freely take and accept all they have to give and there are many who do.  Codependents get involved with a certain type because like a jigsaw puzzle they fit together nicely. One constantly gives, one constantly takes. A perfect dysfunctional meeting and matching of ideals. Of course this situation is normally doomed to failure and when the house comes crashing down, the codependent suffers more than most. The reason being they have invested heavily in the relationship and stand to lose much more in their view. This is usually because they have lost themselves in the relationship and identified themselves through their partner. The idea of splitting such intensity (not…

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Wistful Unrealities

Some dreams hit so vividly they feel like life, inexplicable as they might be. This dream from last week has stuck with me. I always wanted children, but besides my ex not exhibiting much rational judgment, I have some health difficulties that may make it troublesome. A bit of an outlier of a post, considering my content so far. 

But I wonder, what dreams have stuck with you? Do you attribute meaning to them? I usually can trace the thought processes that are my brain working out problems in my sleep, if I put effort into it. My dreams have always been extremely vivid, and I’ve only recently realized that isn’t always standard. Anyhow. Sometimes the muse demands I put words to page, so here they are.

…..

Continue reading “Wistful Unrealities”