No More F’s to Give

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For most of my life, I’ve been told I’m too sensitive. That I need to toughen up. Get thicker skin. Not let things affect me so much… People always have an opinion on what I do and how I should do it. I’m now in my late thirties and there’s one thing I’ve learned, those people can fuck off.

I’ve been attacked a lot on social media lately and I have some thoughts to share…

It’s one thing to mentor someone and offer advice on how something can be worded better. I’m all for a clear and communicative narrative. And even the most intelligent of people still need occasional reminders that they aren’t communicating clearly. It happens.

But there are some people that aren’t trying to help my narrative. In fact, they aren’t trying to be clear and communicate at all. Nope. These folks are out for a fight.

Some want me to shut up. Others don’t want to be bothered by what I’m saying. Some are intent on hurting me. They don’t give a fuck if what they’re saying causes pain. They just want to alleviate their own mood by being a nasty person. They attack, belittle, project, and try to speak as though they possess intelligence—a thing that they wouldn’t need to do if they actually had any.

Sometimes these nasty types make me want to clam up and hide quietly in the corner so that no one attacks me or adds to the pile of shit already unfolding. Being attacked doesn’t feel good.

But I won’t hide.

Because I’ve gotten upset by these bullshit attempts to bait me, people think I’m being too sensitive or need thicker skin. But they don’t know me at all. Because if they did, they’d know that for years I received death threats over stuff I’ve posted, written about, and more. Death threats. I don’t intimidate easily.

I’ve also had people scream in my face more than I care to admit. It’s all those toxic types I used to keep around. They were terrible at that. And yet… here I am, becoming a therapist. Why? Because that shit doesn’t intimidate me. It simply means healthier boundaries are needed.

I don’t need to be less sensitive. That leads to narcissism.

I don’t need to have tougher skin. My skin is plenty thick.

What I do need is for people to know themselves a bit better than they do. This passive aggressive baiting in an attempt to start a fight with me so they can let off steam is bullshit. When someone is conscious and says to me, “Hey, I’m having a bad day full of ragey feelings. I need to yell and argue and get this out.” Then guess what? I’m there. Totally. Because again, I don’t intimidate easily. I’ve told people to scream in my face if it made them feel better (and they have). As long as I’m consenting to it, I’m good with it.

And it helps.

Sometimes we just need to yell. It releases tension and goodness knows our nation has a surplus of that right now.

But consent is the key.

When one of these dipshits tries to bait me or says shitty things to get me to blow up, I’ve not consented to that. I’m not okay with that.

This leaves me with two choices…

Stop being so public and stop speaking out or I give those types the finger and send them on their way.

Because the bottom line is this…

I speak out. I’m honest. I try to reach people and be a good, informed person.

But speaking out on topics that are important to our society are getting me responses of finger pointing. Blame. And the contempt that goes with that is disgusting.

It’s only today that I realized blame is about living in the past. And that’s not where I live. As I’ve posted before, everything costs us energy. If we dwell on the past and focus our energy on blame and finger pointing then we have wasted our energy because that behavior will never move us forward.

The only way to move forward is to focus on solutions.

We need solutions.

So no, I won’t be less sensitive. I don’t need a thicker skin. What I need is to be me and live in the now focusing on solutions. I don’t live in a black and white world. I live in a world of complexity and mostly shades of grey. And because of that, I often see solutions that others overlook.

I’m not sure what all the labeling and attempts to cause fights are about lately. It seems the passive aggressive, conversation derailing, attacking bullshit is at a high and it’s making me cringe.

I’m out of fucks to give for these jerks trying to bait me into a fight. I will waste no more energy on them. If someone doesn’t have something real to bring to the table, they will get tossed from the dinner party.

Just sayin….

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Self-Acceptance: Loving My Body – via happiness.org

Here is my article on loving my body. Today was the perfect day to see this posted. 🙂

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I was never one of those skinny girls growing up. For a long time, this bothered me. I never wore a swimsuit, hated shorts even in ninety-degree weather, and I was generally down on myself. My poor body-image and lack of body positivity led to me not taking care of myself because I figured, “What’s the point? I’m going to be fat anyway.” Read more…

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Witnessing Pain

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Yesterday was a hard day. I had a lot to accomplish (and I did so) but I also had to work through being shut down and that wasn’t pretty. It was quite painful, in fact. But I did it. And now I get to take it all to therapy tomorrow and talk about why I shut down in the first place. This would normally get me down, but not today. Because despite the amount of pain I felt yesterday, D sat with me through all of it. For that, I’m truly grateful.

As I’ve said before, witnessing pain isn’t easy. It’s actually one of the most difficult things I’ve personally done. Witnessing someone else’s pain is far worse for me than feeling my own. Because I hate seeing others in pain.

The things I was feeling made me nauseous. I couldn’t even cry because I was in so much pain. I didn’t want to expose him to that. I didn’t want to expose anyone to that level of pain in me. It would be too triggering for some folks to know the details of what I was feeling and working through emotionally, but suffice it to say that even I had a sour stomach and it was my trauma.

But D stayed with me. Talked to me. Let me feel what I needed to feel. He offered the support I needed in that moment. And it’s moments like that, where someone—whether D or the hubby or a friend—takes time from their busy schedule to help me through something, that makes me try harder to move through the bad place I’m stuck in.

People caring and showing me they care makes such a huge difference in my recovery time.

I know it’s possible to work through things alone or in therapy, but there’s something to be said about people that care about you. It changes everything. Their kindness and love make even the toughest days less difficult.

Witnessing pain may be hard when we feel others’ pain, but it’s not actually hard to do. It’s simple. Just listen. Be supportive. Hold the person if they need it. But mostly, just listen.

People used to tell me what to feel or that what I’m feeling is wrong, not stopping to think about the fact that feelings are feelings and we can’t control them. When people used to tell me how to feel, what they were really telling me is that my feelings made them too uncomfortable and therefore, I needed to stop feeling them.

It was about them and their discomfort, not about them trying to help me work through my pain.

Sure there are good feelings, and feelings that seem to align accurately to something happening in the moment. But so often feelings stem from past experiences where we’ve been hurt. They are the most prominent and in my opinion, the most toxic of feelings because they aren’t stemming from the moment.

They’re trauma-related feelings.

By simply listening yesterday, D helped me. He supported me in feeling what I needed to feel and didn’t put judgment on me. This meant I got to feel rather than suppress. Therefore, I worked through the pain fairly fast.

I think it’s so important for people to understand what witnessing pain means. Yes, it’s hard, but when any one of us witnesses someone’s pain we are giving them the most beautiful and kind gift—the gift of knowing they are loved.

I’m so thankful that D gave me that gift yesterday and that I have so many loving people in my life that witness my pain as well. I know I’m loved. And that makes the pain a thing in which I can work through.

Today was a much better day.

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The Law of Attraction and Anxiety

 

I recently posted about having a problem attracting people with high anxiety. A good number of friends messaged me asking if they were one of the folks with high anxiety I’d blogged about. Funny enough, NONE of them were the kinds of people I’d talked about in therapy. Humans are prone to anxiety. This means we all feel it and at different levels depending on what’s going on in our lives. The moments when this level of anxiety becomes unhealthy is when we are unable to function in life.

In my opinion, if people can’t be present because they are constantly jumpy and distracted and looking over their shoulder for the next thing to come at them, they aren’t experiencing an average or healthy amount of anxiety. I think we’d all prefer NO anxiety. I don’t know anyone that enjoys feeling it. But all humans feel anxiety.

For those that felt my blog was some sort of judgment aimed at them, remember, like attracts like. So what that means is that when I was attracting all of these high-anxiety, non-functioning type folks, I too was high anxiety and hardly functioning.

My post wasn’t about judgment of others. It was about seeing my growth and the ‘why’ behind why I attracted those types.

It was about self-acceptance of where I was in contrast to where I am.

Now, I’m attracting different types. It’s been a slow transition, but it’s happening. I’m finding myself hanging with entrepreneurs, with go-getters that work their asses off to reach their goals, that shoot for the stars and land on target, and it’s because I’ve shifted myself. I’ve done the work I need to in order to maintain relationships with different types of folks.

I’ve surrounded myself with people that work days jobs, that volunteer for nonprofits and community events, that write, that teach, that lead, that run side companies on top of their day jobs, and so on. This is also who I am. And like attracts like.

I post the above video as a reminder that we can all meet our goals. Even if some of you reading this are at that the ‘non-functioning super high anxiety’ stage. The way to get around that is to have a good therapist, people around you that believe in you and see your capabilities and will help you grow, and by not being in denial about where you are. This really isn’t judgment. I was there.

Now I’m not.

I’m in a very different place because I pictured what I wanted, I accepted that I could achieve my goals, then I took the steps to get to where I wanted to be. I’m still on that path too. I’m not judging myself for being in a bad place in the past. I’m focusing on where I am now and where I’d like to be down the road.

I think it’s important to remember that if we want to change our lives, that change really does start with us. It’s begins with our focus. Are we focused on being a victim? A failure? An ignorant person that will never amount to anything? Or are we focused on our growth? On our successes? Our strengths? Our goals for the future?

Everything we do costs us energy. Everything.

If we are focused on all the wrong things, we will never move forward or achieve our goals. We will be far too exhausted from all the wasted energy. The point isn’t to look back, it’s to look up. It’s to see what’s right in front of us. To be present. To embrace what we want.

We can all reach our goals, but they have to be clear goals and a thing in which we actually focus on.

As Will Smith said, “Just DECIDE. At that point, the universe is going to get out of your way.”

 

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Healing Trauma with Yoga – via happiness.org

My article on healing trauma through yoga. ❤

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According to the Yoga Journal, there are 38 health benefits to having a daily yoga practice. They range from physical body health, like flexibility, draining lymph nodes, increasing circulation, lowering blood pressure, to the mental aspects of better focus, finding your calm place, and the Yoga Journal isn’t alone in their claims. Places like the American Osteopathic Association and Psychology Today share their views on yoga in relation to physical and mental health. Read more here

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Happy Surprises

christopher-sardegna-1735This has been a rough week. I had intense oral surgery that left a gaping hole in my sinus cavity (okay, it’s probably quite small, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way) and it’s taking twice as long to heal because of the complexity. So I’ve been on painkillers and antibiotics and been trying to rest as per the surgeon’s instructions, and that’s been hard. I have a lot to do right now and don’t have time for this level of slow healing. Yet it’s what’s necessary. So I’m dealing, but it’s frustrating.

I also had an interesting time in therapy yesterday. It seems I’ve had a habit of attaching myself to people with high anxiety in the past and it’s been a huge problem. I (as well as my therapist) have seen this habit shift in these last couple of years and when someone has high anxiety combined with some other personality disorder or issue, I’m recognizing it faster and quickly making my exit. But unfolding why I’ve allowed these people into my life to begin with wasn’t an easy thing to talk about.

As I said above, it’s been a rough week.

Then a box of chocolates arrived in my mailbox filled with my two favorite flavors. I didn’t know these were coming. They were a surprise and completely brightened my day.

I also got to watch magic happening for a young couple today. That was amazing. I’m seeing this level of self-awareness amongst young people that is so refreshing. They get who they are. They’re willing to fight to be who they are. They aren’t full of the sexual shaming that so many adults I know are. It’s wonderful to see. I have hope for the youth.

I’ve also been watching the Prison Break series while I’m resting and as I was watching, I began to see something happening in the series. The main character—Michael—starts off on this small journey. His plan is to break his innocent brother out of jail before he’s put to death. He succeeds, but in doing so, opens a whole can of worms he didn’t know was there.

I’ve just started season four (yes, I speed watch) and he’s no longer the man that simply broke his brother out of prison. He’s gained knowledge running from very bad people. He’s learned new skills. He’s learned to fight in different ways. He knows now that ALL is possible, that he can achieve what others deem impossible. And it reminded me of my journey.

I didn’t want to be an expert on sexual topics. I didn’t want to have to be an expert on consent. I wanted to be the fun, young adult sci-fi writer… But here I am, putting everything in my life into this vast collection of information on sexuality, healing, trauma, consent, and so much more. What I do helps people. It matters.

But I didn’t set out to become an expert. This is where my life took me. I can and have achieved things others deemed impossible.

And this is a great place to be.

I know that while I already feel so far on my journey, there is still so much more ahead too. I will keep learning new things. I will expand my knowledge and reach. I will do so many wonderful things and they will add to all I’ve already done.

So at the end of this day full of pain and frustration, what I’m left with is that I have amazing people in my life. I’m learning to listen to doctors and actually heal properly. And I’m an expert in areas I never thought I would be. But I am.

I’m good with this.

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Know Thyself

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Today was a massively productive day. Which is bizarre considering my youngest was puking for most of it and I’ve been caring for him, and that I’ve had somewhat of an emo—though in a good way—day. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. The things I’m choosing to do regarding my physical and emotional health are hard work. So having an emotional day isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s good because it means I’m understanding things about myself, my habits, and my connections to others that I’ve not until now.

Most of what I processed today wasn’t fun, despite being necessary. Coming to understand things about ourselves can be so fucking difficult. For me it is anyway. Especially when I have firmly in my head that something is one way and I later discover that it’s really complex and multifaceted. In some cases, the opposite of what I thought.

Know thyself. This is an important thing to do. I remember watching The Matrix for the first time and having that pointed out and thinking, this is important, but I don’t know why.

Now I do.

Humans are complex. Knowing who we are seems both complicated and simple as simple can be. In some ways, I know through and through who I am. I’m confident. Sure of myself. Then there are areas where I still don’t know. And there are the areas where I think I know and find out I’ve really been in denial. Knowing who we are isn’t easy when it comes to the things we lie to ourselves about.

But lying to ourselves means two very important things:

One, it means that we will never know who we are. And if we don’t know who we are, we can’t really love ourselves. To love who we are we must first embrace who we are, free of judgment, and accept even the things about ourselves that we may not like. Lying to ourselves only creates internal conflict that cannot be resolved.

Second, it means that we won’t grow. When we lie to ourselves, then we don’t own the things about ourselves that need improvement. And this leads directly to the blame game. People that blame don’t grow. They don’t have a chance to live healthily and thrive because they’re so busy pointing the finger at someone else that they forget there are three pointing back at them.

Lying to ourselves doesn’t serve us as humans. Yet we do it all the time whether with conscious awareness and intent or not.

My day today was about getting to know myself. I suspect because I was taking care of a sick child and because I was reflecting on the dreams I had all night last night, I was more open to seeing some things that have been hard to accept. Because when I’m fully focused on caring for someone else, somehow it becomes easier to see myself clearer.

I’m not really sure why that is, but this isn’t the first time that I’ve been very intently focused on taking care of someone and suddenly, I’m able to see things I’ve been avoiding seeing.

Avoidance doesn’t help anyone.

I’m glad this has been a productive and thought-filled day. I’m glad that I’m seeing these things that are bothering me—more filling me with equal amounts of rage and sadness—because now I can find ways to work on or through them.

And the rage, while uncomfortable to feel, is really beneficial.

I’m really not sure how it is that I got so much done today even with taking care of the kiddo and feeling and thinking and processing. But maybe it’s because I’m present. These things I was feeling weren’t pulling me into the past. They are things that I’m feeling and dealing with in the now, even if they may have stemmed from the past.

I think being present allowed me to do what needing doing today, including processing all of this, while also getting other work done. Maybe this will be my new norm. It’s hard to say. All I know is that in the past, if I were to be feeling and processing all the things I did today, I’d not have gotten anything done and I’d have ended up a ball of stress unable to eat anything by the end of the day.

Instead, I’ve eaten well. I’ve even napped with the kiddo. I’ve gotten all of these things sorted in my head. AND I got a lot of writing related, org related, and school related stuff completed today.

The more I know myself and accept myself, the happier and healthier I will continue to be. I keep reaching this point where I don’t think my life can get any better—aside from winning the lotto (just sayin…)—then it goes and gets even better. And it gets better because the moment I realize I’ve not been honest with myself or that I’ve seen something about myself that I didn’t before, I fucking change it. Right there. Right in that moment. It may take me practice to maintain that change, but it’s implemented instantly. This is what letting go of my stubbornness and pride has meant for me.

More happiness and more joy.

Off to bed now as I have truly had this crazily busy productive day. But I had to get this out because this is the first time when feeling this much and processing this much hasn’t prevented me from getting the things done that needed doing. In essence, it didn’t shut me down. And that is amazing.

Posted in My Journey, PTSD