Tuesday Thought – 06/04/21.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time nursing regret at what I should’ve done in my life. It just seeps into you at times, you don’t realise you’re holding on so tightly.

Realising that life is a gift and that the journey is also a gift made me stop and think about why I’m lugging regret around with me.

What does it serve?

Regret.

I’m talking about the regrets we have when we don’t take action in our lives, not the regrets we have when we’ve hurt someone.

There’s no reason why we can’t just aim for what we want our lives to be like, little by little. Just because we didn’t do that last week, or last year, or even five or ten years ago, that doesn’t mean we can’t still aim for that desire now.

There’s a saying that goes something like you’re a long time dead. Sobering thought. We may as well make good on what we want to do whilst we journey through this thing called life.

Monday Musing – 29/03/21.

There’s a buzz in the air. We have sprung forward – aka moving into BST. Plus, we are now moving into the start of what our Prime Minister terms his roadmap out of lockdown.

It made me sit up and think yesterday. It is the time to be seen out in the world. We cast off our winter blues, our thoughts turn to sunny days and maybe, just maybe, being allowed to meet up with family and friends we haven’t seen in however long.

And all of this requires us to be seen, obviously.

Being seen is a normal part of life. We venture out into the world and are seen by those who we pass in the street. By those who we share public transport with. By those who we work with. It’s normal and we don’t pay it much heed.

Normally.

There are those of us who have suffered terribly because of things that have happened to us. There are those of us who have anxiety disorders. Fear of going outside. Fear of being seen.

For me it is all about being seen because of a traumatic experience. I have spent over thirty years believing people were judging me because of what happened to me. They weren’t, they didn’t even know, but my hyper-vigilant mind had me believing that there were threats everywhere around me, and that everyone I saw was forming an opinion of me based on what happened.

When I finally broke free of that never ending cycle of fear I was left with a gaping big hole in my thought process. The idea was to fill that hole with positive thoughts, reinforcing what I had learnt in therapy. Only that somehow didn’t happen. I found myself gazing at what my therapist termed the wounded child. She was kind of healed, but she – me – I had no idea of who the hell I was.

The work we did when my therapy was nearing completion was geared to help me understand that for thirty odd years I had been emotionally trapped. Sixteen year old me was the forty odd year old me. Emotionally I had remained that age because I hadn’t processed one of the major parts of my trauma – the threat of being killed.

When my therapist had me reliving the attack over and over again I remembered things I hadn’t even processed. They were stuck. Inside of my head. Keeping me perpetually in fear. Always scanning for the threat. Never wanting to be seen. Needing to be invisible.

I have done the work on this issue. I have continued to do the work on this issue. It is a work in progress.

When Covid hit the UK I was just finishing my therapy, just getting started on dong the inner work that was required for me to continue to heal. I had a setback. The restrictions felt like I was being forced into doing something I didn’t want to do (please understand here that I fully understood the lockdown rules and the restrictions, I am just describing how I felt from a recovering from trauma POV). The threat of a deadly virus felt like the spectre of a ghost from my past. Enter hyper-vigilance once more.

This caused a breakdown. I was given medication and offered therapy once more. The latter I didn’t take, this time. The lockdown meant I would have to wait a considerable amount of time to see the lovely lady who has helped me so much. By the time she could see me again I didn’t even want to consider what state my mental health would have been in. So I began to work on myself using the tools she taught me.

The conclusion has been who the hell am I?

Well, in a few short weeks I will be 50 years old. A lifetime has passed between me of now and me from then. After a lot of inner work, facing my demons, and truths, realising I am not who people perceive me to be, accepting I am becoming who I want to be, and realising that I will be seen when I venture out into the world, and being absolutely OK with that.

That monster from the past has been dealt with. Yeah, he’s going to pop into my head,, probably several times a week, if not daily. But I don’t have to let his sneering face into my beautiful mind view. He didn’t conquer me. I lived. I maybe thought I hadn’t, but I did. I found love. I had a family. I have created so many beautiful moments in my life. Created stories that one day the world will see. Created a vision for women who have suffered what I have.

Springing forward this year feels so much brighter than last year. The year the was hell actually helped to heal me. I am different person. I am not who most people perceive me to be. I am not who social media portrays me to be – sometimes at the hand of others.

I am me and proud to be me.

A message of love for Valentine’s Day.

With Valentine’s just a couple of days away, today my message is one of love.

I am always talking about how love isn’t just about the romantic kind. It’s about our families. Our friends. Work or school colleagues.

People can go OTT at this time of the year. I don’t think that matters, why should it to us? We don’t always know what is going on in the personal lives of other people.

People without partners can feel down at this time of year. The displays of cards, flowers, gifts, a constant reminder of what they don’t have.

This is where self love is important.

Self love is a special kind of love. You always have yourself. I think it’s important at any time of the year to practice self love and care, soul love. Especially during these dark and uncertain times. But at this time of year it can be a wonderful way to help with any feelings of lack.

Be good to yourself. Be kind. Be loving. Remind yourself that you are not defined by having a man or a woman in your life. Your worth is all about you as a whole, not what someone else brings to your life.

Celebrate the love you have for yourself this coming weekend. Even if you are in a relationship, there’s nothing wrong with loving you too.

And if you’re not in a relationship and haven’t learnt to love yourself yet, just be gentle with yourself right now. Use this weekend as a starting point to loving you. Keep things simple to start with, learning to love yourself is difficult enough, so don’t over complicate any gestures or actions you plan on doing.

Most of all celebrate love this weekend. Any kind of love. Not just romantic love.

Tis the season….

Wow! I can hardly believe it’s December!

What a year this has been. I started it off with the intention of loving myself. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have struggled with a lack of self love for a very long time. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions – which I always break by the middle of February at the very latest – I decided to dedicate the year to loving myself. I started off great, I was able to practice self love each day; that was until we hit lockdown in March.

That was when things went downhill.

I have CPTSD – Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – and had been in a hyper vigilant state for most of my adult life. I had gone through therapy that had helped me enormously, but I lost my ability to cope once the UK went into lockdown.

I became so paranoid and stressed, I was crying most days and really couldn’t cope with the threat of being stopped by the police or some other official anytime I left the house.

By my birthday I’d had a breakdown and was in a really dark place. I felt like I had failed at the self love project and started thinking very dark and scary thoughts. I eventually went to see a Dr. and got prescribed anti-depressants.

After a few weeks I began to feel better in myself. That nearly came to an end in late summer, I needed a smear and the first attempt failed – I was really calm and positive too. The second attempt was a disaster also. Flashbacks, panic attacks, massive triggers….they also couldn’t get a sample of cells. I cried all the way home. I felt like I was 16 again.

But out of that experience I felt empowered to help other women who have suffered any form of sexual violence, and domestic abuse too. I was so determined to put my own experiences to some use that I enrolled with the OU to study Psychology with Counselling.

And as we enter the final month of what can only be termed as a horrific year, I feel empowered, well, happy, determined, and I certainly practice self love.

You see, I now know that going to the GP to get the medication was an act of self love. I know that pushing through my trauma triggers and flashbacks has catapulted me forward to a place where I can try to make a difference to women who have suffered at the hands of rapists and abusers.

2020 broke me. But I rose from the ashes and I am rebuilding my life on my own terms.

This year the holiday season feels more poignant than ever before. This year has been dominated by loss. It has driven home the message for me that life is for living.

Being the change I want to see.

If you have ever wanted to make a difference anywhere you’ll know the first step is to research the subject area.

Right?

After I had a traumatic experience early autumn it sent me down the path I’m currently on. I’m at the beginning of my Psychology degree journey. This has given me so much food for thought, particularly where I aim to take this knowledge once I complete my degree.

However, in my area support for most things is inadequate. I spent a good part of yesterday researching where I could aim to make myself useful. But I just couldn’t see the right charity, support group, etc that covered what my burning passion is driving me towards.

And then I had an idea.

I could be the change. I let the thought percolate for some time and then sent a message to a couple of trusted people. An idea was born and the stumbling block I had came upon has vanished.

Today I realised that….

….it’s ok for me to be happy.

That took a huge chunk of time to realise, but I no longer feel guilty for being happy. It’s ok. It’s allowed.

Wow!

Recovering from trauma and PTSD episodes is really hard, but once I let go of how I thought I should feel and just allowed myself to be……that’s when the miracles started to happen. The miracles of happiness and feeling that happiness right to my core. The miracle that I actually love who I am, and that’s how it should be. The miracle that allows me to trust people who aren’t my family.

Wow!

Be happy, start living.

Moonday Cards – 11/10/20

If you’ve been feeling paranoid and acting weird, you can take this card as a very direct message from the Universe that you can stop now.

Worrying yourself is pointless. It’s time to release any negativity that has built up around your situation.

If you’re worrying about how a person has been treating you, then it’s time to let that go. Release any anger you have. Release any negative feelings. This doesn’t mean you’ve let them win, on the contrary, letting the situation go (and quite often the person/people) is very liberating. Forgiving them frees you.

Letting negativity go is the best possible thing for us to do. Holding on to all that anger, resentment, hatred, it gets us nowhere. In fact, it can often make us ill. Best to let it all go.

You can write about the situation on a piece of paper, read it through and then burn it. Alternatively you can tear the paper into tiny pieces and flush it down the toilet – you could use toilet paper if you’d rather flush that instead.

Just breathe. Then let go.