It’s okay to move forward now, even if you don’t have it all figured out.
It’s okay to be authentic, even when people don’t want to understand.
It’s okay to be relentless when it comes to taking care of yourself.
It’s okay to be less productive, but happier on the inside.
It’s okay to feel feelings, they alone can not hurt you, they are feelings.
It’s okay to be your beautifully imperfect self.
It’s okay if you are sad, scared and even telling yourself that you can’t.
It’s okay to hold new values while you release the old ones that are not helping you achieve your goals.
It’s okay that people start to notice that you aren’t the same anymore, that there is something different about the way you are now. That’s growth, you want to be different because you want to be different. People will notice.
It’s okay that the people that aren’t meant to grow with you find reasons to distance themselves from you. What you are achieving is finding space for yourself in your life. Most people don’t choose that, and when others do there is a jealousy that arises and creates chaos or distance.
It’s okay to be conscious about how the ego will make attempts to hide and mask the fundamental changes that would really benefit you, and choose to make those changes anyway.
You see, it is okay to choose your own adventure in life, in healing, in success. It is up to you to make the choices to propel you towards your dreams and desires.
Once you start to recognize that no matter what, it is okay, your life will change.
When you acknowledge the reality of your specific situation (ie: the obstacles that you may or may not have to face in addition to the regular life tasks), plus acknowledge that 50% happiness is considered a good human life, many of us find that we can achieve more from a place where we feel like we aren’t the comparative underdog.
When we feel abundant with what we already have we feel more capable and confident when we shoot for a more realistic expectations and goals. All together if you put acknowledgement of yourself and your specific situation you will be more fulfilled.
It is when we allow the opinions of others to make impressions on us that tell us that it is NOT somehow okay to follow our healing that we butt heads with those who love us. Mostly because your situation needs your expertise, not theirs. Your solutions, not theirs.
Your journey is your journey, and if anyone else is placing expectations on how you “ought” to be (insert unsolicited advice here).
You don’t have to listen to their unsolicited advice.
And, this might be an indication that you need to set some boundaries with loved ones around your healing journey, and how they don’t get to “expect” anything on your life.
It’s okay to come back to being your full, authentic self, or even to arrive there for the first time.
I have been experiencing it first hand since I was deemed disabled and unable to return to work. Stigma navigation is probably one of the most challenging aspects to healing outside of the actual healing part, and stigma is literally everywhere because hurt people hurt people!
My condition has been diagnosed as Centralized Sensitization Syndrome and complex PTSD I also manage chronic pain as a result. The condition itself is a hybrid of symptoms stemming from central nervous system dysfunctions, and adrenal issues that follow the dysfunctional hormone exchanges.
Since hormones are controlled in the brain, and the central nervous system is controlled by the brain; it made sense to me very quickly that it is largely a brain problem.
This made even more sense the more I understood about my conditions and how they connect.
Then I learned about the trauma link and the mind- body connection as I was learning about the central nervous system.
This solidified my understanding of my situation and condition, and allowed me to release the stigma for myself because it was out of my control, and I just needed to put in the work.
To be really really honest I was just elated that I was curable. I was worried before my diagnosis that is was going to end up being something terrible. The big c was a very serious consideration for how I was feeling.
I didn’t care that I had to travel the mental health path to get better.
I thought we had made some progress in removing the stigma of mental health.
I was very wrong when it comes to people in our day to day life.
I had a false sense of the progress, in a real way.
The stigma might be worse now than before in some ways, and in other ways there have been improvements… but many more improvements need to be made.
I had no shame about it at first with my false sense of stigma free ideas of how healing could go for me… I was wild and free and figuring it out.
I was excited- ultra extra excited about the fact that I was curable. I was elated. literally floating!
I was so elated that I was having cognitive malfunctions, illusions and hallucinations because my adrenals could not keep up to the cascade of hormones pulsing through my body.
And so the pendulum swung. The polarity that I experienced was confusing for others, hell it was confusing for me too, and in hindsight, it is perfectly logical for what I was medically experiencing, psychologically experiencing, and socially experiencing combined. “Right on schedule” one therapist said to me! And we laughed because I know logically that if you lose balance in all three areas something is likely to snap in a human. Add a stigmatizing society, and this is where we lose people to self sabotage or suicide.
I held on to my emotions in for so long that when they came out it was like a flood gate had been opened up.
When I finally got my diagnosis all of the fear came out of me at once, in the most bizarre ways; and for this I was stigmatized and removed from my community of friends. My whole family was.
I partially blame the meds I was on for some of the extra issues that just made everything “extra” anxiety, and obsessiveness and a desire to be understood by any means possible. Those are the side effects that amplify the worst in me. I’m a lot for people to handle on a good day sometimes, these were not good days.
In the months preceding the existential crisis I had I was depressed, anxious and living in constant fear.
I was trying to figure out how to build my life back up from my bed, keep my marriage alive, make sure my kids feel my presence, and figure out how to get better while I wait for the system to call my number to meet my medical needs. All while living my life in adrenal fatigue living like a zombie, unable to shower or go to the grocery store without a special band around my waist. Agoraphobia was not far off, and the pain kept me close to my bed. The cancelled plans piled up.
Figuring my life out was chaos, and it required my full attention, and energy that I didn’t have. I gave finding out the solutions to my problems every ounce of my heart and soul.
Because of this I lost connections and friendships, attention was given to my health over spending time with my kiddos (the mom guilt!!) my marriage struggled because I was lost in finding myself and then I was stigmatized and abandoned by everyone but like three people for surviving it all the only ways I knew how.
And in the end, I offered apologies for any disrespect and opportunities for each person I love to meet the new me along the way and find restitution.
The people that love me and respect my journey celebrate my accomplishments with me; and those that don’t, don’t.
That’s what the stigma highlighted for me who has my back, and who really doesn’t.
The actions (or inactions) that people take with you will speak very clearly to you.
I noticed that people would rather see you “go away” then ever have to deal with acknowledging that they were shitty to you, or even to have to witness your struggle is too challenging for some.
If you are being stigmatized just know that it’s only hurt people who hurt people. Being stigmatized is equal to being abused and if someone is trying to hurt you like that… they must really be hurting inside.
Hurt people hurt people, that’s just a truth. I hurt people when I was hurting, we all do on some level- that’s why it is true.
Keep going on your journey, even if there is stigma, it will likely always be there… the world holds many hurt people.
Keep your chin up.
Don’t hurt people with your hurt, and move forward through all of the stigma and lack of understanding that the world has to offer.
Start looking at those who stigmatize you like bullies… hurting bullies and adjust your attitude and responses to that behaviour accordingly. Bullies often need boundaries.
Through the stigma, through it all… Love yourself first!
The exchange of vulnerability that I have to endure due to the current structure of the medical system is trauma inducing for me; every single time.
Every resource I need access to requires me to exchange vulnerable pieces of information in hopes of receiving the help that I have been begging the last year and a half to have access to might be what is hiding on the other side of this practitioner.
Its a referral gauntlet, an endless exchange of dignity for access to services.
As I alone, literally, dove into what my diagnosis meant for me and navigated my rights to choose the care I want to receive. I faced so many challenges and systematic obstacles to care. I fought them every way I knew how. Then when I was put down for fighting for my life I learned new ways to fight harder, louder and with more courage.
I had put the need to heal ahead of my former need to please everyone else first. I didn’t care what people thought of me anymore; I found the determination I needed when my health threatened my life.
I did the best, most self-defining, awakening work from the rock bottom of my “highly functioning” life.
I still have to exchange myself in unimaginable ways to obtain access to the care that I need to put my life back together to achieve full time health.
The emotional impact of needing this exchange has been devastating to my self worth- it was the high functioning part of me that actually saved my life.
It was my practiced ability to make sense of the nonsense and bring logic to the table as an option that many don’t even consider an option anymore that actually saved my life. Many people get caught up in the irony of ego and systematic structures rules for the sake of rules and traumatic intake processes for the sake of gaining access.
In the face of all of that I bring logic. Structured, fully processed logic as a personality trait and a trained trauma response all in one.
I can imagine what prostitution feels like, as I can liken the emotional process of giving over intimate pieces of yourself in exchange for something you absolutely need to survive.
Helplessness is the underlying feeling.
I have to give over every piece of me, endure emotionally invasive conversations that devastate me to the point of inducing my complex ptsd.
I am left alone after each encounter to pick up the pieces and reconcile the cost benefit of the exchange; which always feels like I get the short end of the stick when I spend the days after the appointments in a CPTSD fawning/ processing zone out from the adrenal crash coming down from the stress of the traumatizing interaction in my damaged adrenal processes.
What happens during these very vulnerable interactions is that I am forced to condense my very complex conditions into a 15 minute appointment that is mostly taken up with the practitioners questions. I leave feeling unheard, unseen and unable to access the abundance of care I need; due to structural reasons or staffing or wait times etc.
I have been a product of a series of unfortunate events, made more complex by the circumstances I endured rather that enhanced on the other side of the spectrum with the advantage of having parents who are healed or at least had found love for themselves as a baseline.
Following these very intense and often harmful conversations there is always a physical exam of some sort, and due to the nature of my pain and the condition of my body- it is often a thorough examination of my whole physical body including the inside of my vagina with poking and prodding at pain points in my uterus and around my ovaries from the inside of me; as they go through their trained modalities of intake for me to gain access to their care.
I exchange telling my trauma stories and full access to my body in exchange for access to care; then am left to process that emotional piece as well as the endurance of a breach of physical and emotional boundaries while I sit and wait for more access to the same kind of care often because the person I just saw needs to pass me along because I am so “complex”… so I get to wait for a specialist.
Or if I am really lucky, they do decide to take me on as a patient as part of my network of practitioners… So in order to follow this path with this specific practitioner I have do further exchange dignity for help. There is testing that they want done, or additional things that they would like from me to aide them in assisting me. It is its own form of torture and it becomes really challenging for me.
It initiates a trauma response for me on some level, every single time.
I exchange access to my whole being- emotionally and physically for access to care that I need to help myself save my life.
Talk about vulnerability.
This is the reality for people facing chronic illness. This is my reality as I attempt to gain access to medical support.
We exchange vulnerability for access, and get abused by the process along the way.
As I wait for the answer to the results of the meeting that determines if the medical care and treatment that was previously approved just in December is “still” approved and available to me I pick up the pieces of myself that are devastated that I am still having to beg for help from my insurance company at this stage of my healing process.
It has been a month since I have requested access to an approved practitioner to continue my care and continue to manage my medical conditions, and I am still waiting for another round of formal approval.
This is the way that people who live through insurance are forced to operate. It is absolutely cruel.
In order to get formal approval I have to exchange more personal information including them having access to my pelvic floor physiotherapist for her reports too- so they can read all about the progress my pelvic floor is experiencing get them a really clear picture of everything that is not really their business as insurance case managers who lack medical training or trauma informed training. Doctors are barely able to follow the complexity of my medical conditions with my help!!! But sure- here’s another form signing over access to every single piece of me…. Anything else I can do for YOU before you can open the gate to the care I need to survive?
Imagine as an adult having to ask permission to see your doctor, I don’t even have the right to book appointments with the practitioners that are part of my network of care without permission- Then being made to beg again for access to resources essential to my healing- that I had already fought for and had approved.
Help is on the way- but only once the process of me exchanging more dignity and allowing the insurance company that has the vice grip on the neck of my life even MORE access to the practitioners that I have been seeing on my own, and now the insurance company wants access to those practitioners too… the ones we pay for with everything we can spare (or sacrifice other things for) the ones that I have been waiting for independently for over a year- I have to fork over access to all of that too.
I have to jump through hoops and give over every single ounce of dignity and privacy that I have in order to continue to be approved. All while I suffer from the affects of the CPTSD and chronic pain that this type of fighting for my life create for me.
Then on top of it all; I have to have additional appointments with these valuable practitioners for paperwork before I can have access to them for my medical needs- it is absolutely a waste of my very precious energy, and theirs as well being inundated with paperwork for the sake of a process rather than using their time to help patients; seems a lot backwards to me.
It seems like the process’s needs go way before the patients needs here- and the process wins every single time- no matter what the known cost is to me and my body.
At what point do I get the grace to heal in safety with resources around me secure and available to me without me having to even ask?
When can I stop begging for access long enough to actually make progress?
How is it that I have to explain to the groups of people that are supporting me through this mess that I need to feel safe in order to continue healing, that when I don’t feel like I have authority over my life, or access to having my basic needs met as a human on an emotional level that I don’t really have a chance at getting better?
What does it take to survive this all?
Everything that I have. That is what I have given this battle.
Every ounce of energy. Every spare moment. Everything that I had at any given moment is given to this battle to survive.
I have spent nearly two years now figuring this all out. The progress I have seen for myself through this journey has been something that moves me to tears every single time I allow myself to think about the magnitude of my progress.
I am so grateful for my stubborn, or some might say determined nature.
I am grateful for the skills and education that my previous careers and life experiences have afforded me- because it was with those skills that I was able to find my way at least up from the rock bottom place I was left before all of this “help” arrived for me.
There were many many many days, weeks months of my life where it was only me who had me. I was the only one in my corner.
I think we all get like that sometimes, and it is in those moments that we are refined.
Those moments refine us; because they make us ask ourselves what it is that we really want.
What are you going to live for, like really live?
What does that look like for me?
From my bed I contemplated the answers, the real answers to all of these questions and any other questions that I had for myself.
This was the beginning of my journey to healing all of myself.
Prior to being forcibly removed from my life I had just been living in the façade that people are passing off as life these days. I was doing it, unconsciously and it took my life looking real bedridden-like for me to decide that I was going to be a more active part of my own solution.
I started to learn about myself in ways that I hadn’t really thought to learn about myself before.
Some might call it an existential crisis, and by definition they would be absolutely correct… but as far as existential crisis go, I faired pretty good, not bad… if I do say so myself. Considering of course that I like to expedite things, and the universe thinks she is funny- I got to do the existential crisis brought on my surgical medical trauma that triggered CPTSD from my childhood traumas all at once.
I decided I would live. Long before I knew I was curable, before I knew that I had a syndrome and not a disease.
When I found out I was curable was when I really took an even deeper dive into how to heal, what to do for myself as a whole to start seeing real tangible results in my healing progress.
I started with asking what and how I wanted to live the rest of my life.
Then I learned how to do each step as I went.
I did not know what I was doing, really. Only that I knew that I needed to wait, and that I was determined to make my waiting time as bed ridded free as I could. If I have the choice I will not spend the rest of my life in my bed.
It took me a long time to have enough energy to make it through the day without needing to rest. I still need to rest on really bad pain days- and I am even learning that if I rest BEFORE the point of exhaustion it serves me better than being totally depleted and trying to rejuvenate.
I had to learn about pacing for adrenal fatigue in order to learn how to exercise without hurting my body by putting it into an adrenal fatigue cycle.
I had to learn pain science to understand my diagnosis.
I had to learn about embodied trauma, generational trauma and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in order to manage my medical conditions.
I had to learn about the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to understand the central nervous system better to help me manage my conditions.
I have to understand biology enough to advocate for the areas that have been abused, I need to protect my organs that have been riddled with damage from over processing.
Turning ptsd into post traumatic growth is a battle that I will choose to stand for every single day.
I chose growth a long time ago, and now I have progress that looks and feels like a post traumatic life is mine for the living!
The endless practitioners, the appointments and the bullshit will always come and go. Focus on progress, and you’ll win every time!
I keep finding these amazing beautiful pieces of myself pieces that I have always kept a little hidden in the shadows because I was told over and over in my life that I was too much.
I have been patiently working on myself and learning that being authentically me is the only way to bring to the feelings to the surface to heal and let healthy me shine through.
The thousands of pieces of myself that felt shattered on the floor have all turned into lessons that I have found and turned into wisdom. These pieces are profound for me as I have been successfully navigating post traumatic growth for some time now.
One piece at a time.
Over and over again; daily, for years, forever, as a lifestyle.
I created a post traumatic growth lifestyle for myself by picking up each piece of me, one by one by one, then utilizing every single skill and resource that I had available to me to put myself back together. I figured it out!
It’s rather complex to articulate, but here is my best effort.
The path to healing is through all of the things you are currently afraid of.
There is no magic pill, or anything like that. So if that is what you are after I will save you my wordy explanations and tell you sorry, this ain’t that.
This isn’t going to be easy. It wasn’t easy for me, my family or those I had to leave behind to grow.
It is hard, but well worth every ounce of effort, paid back to you in the fulfillment feeling you can achieve for your life, loves and legacy you are probably scared to create. I was!
I was scared of losing everything we had worked for. I even wrote it somewhere a thousand times or so in a journal. I was scared of the reality that I was creating right before my eyes.
When I began to observe myself I began to take note of the pieces of me that were facing the most obstacles.
It’s not until I recognized the patterns that I could trace them back to what I believed could be the why for those thoughts, feelings and experiences I was cycling within those patterns.
Once I had the observation I was able to then take a corrective action with myself by using my concept of helping vs hurting.
I observed and judged my situation based on my values, applied what I wanted to do better at, and made my trauma informed decision with all of the facts that I had, plus some research to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. (My ocd is so prominent when I write it out like this… superpower ocd!) I like to be super informed as the CEO of my life.
I make an excellent case for ocd because I over think for the purpose of over-delivery.
My pieces shattered all over the floor it provided opportunity. My life had already kind of imploded all over. My Symptoms were at an all time high due to the stresses that my medical issues placed on every relationship in my life, but most importantly the one I had with myself.
Things were not working so I decided to square one myself in lots of ways. It may have been over-whatever, that’s my style of chaos. I was comfortable there. With everything a mess I started from scratch, and stepped back on square one. I learned about emotions and energy, I learned until I felt confident again.
With all of this I was able to clearly see that I was having altered thought patterns and I shared all of this with people I loved.
As I began to do my work and shift for myself the people that I love were triggered by my trauma healing attempts in whatever ways my journey affected them.
Unfortunately it is often only when people feel triggered themselves that they feel any urgency around cleaning the air about the “pieces of you” that are bothering them.
When someone feels victimized they are unable to actually see that the “pieces of me” that they believe are about me that bother them are actually about the “pieces of them” that they need to bring the light to and find their own lessons. Anytime someone is triggered by you it is a reflection of a hurt inside of them; not you.
I was triggered by a plethora of scenarios that would have seemingly “rolled off my back” but the reality for me is that I hid lots of me to be accepted. I people pleased and left myself last in line for the love that I give so freely to everyone else.
I’ve been traumatized my whole life, and been learning ways to live with it in peace, and love.
We as a society do not respect mental health like we should and trauma is largely ignored, even though it is the root cause of nearly every single disease or syndrome of the central nervous system/ autoimmune system.
There has been no real education or advice that has become a known productive best practice for mental health support of loved ones who are attempting to navigate mental health, let alone getting them safely to post traumatic growth.
But there does come a point when you can start to blame someone for “trying” especially when their trying is blatantly ignorant to your expressed needs. Because no matter what as a human we need to have our expressed needs respected as a baseline. If someone doesn’t have the capacity to respect your needs they do not deserve space in your life. Every human deserves respect as a baseline no matter the relationship, anything less is hurting not helping.
It is when we start to love and respect our authentic selves that we can begin to look at those pieces and turn them into the wisdom that they are intended to be.
Those pieces that you are afraid to look at do not have to have control anymore fear doesn’t have power if you are not afraid. Those pieces only have power because they keep you afraid.
Everyone has pieces, let them be the lessons that turn into the wisdom that propel you forward.
It sounds a little off-putting, and it should, because it is and the worst part is that it is true.
This is a truth that we all have a difficult time accepting. We are all modified by lived our lives experiences, both good and bad and this does affect us on a genetic level. It affects our health and our overall wellness, cognitive functioning capacity… just your whole existence! It’s a big flipping deal!
If our lived experiences are mostly healthy our cells will have the ability to function properly.
But… If our lives experiences are riddled with trauma and adversity and left untouched it creates larger issues for people.
Unhealed Trauma and unprocessed emotions are energies that get trapped, and become stagnant. The chaos of it all closes down cells, and stops the regeneration of the cells; creating physical and mental health ailments.
How we experience the world has an impact on how our bodies regulate themselves, and what regulation is required, this information is given to us by the people that raised us. Then we don’t typically do anything with this information until we find ourselves in a pickle.
If you were taught that there wasn’t emotional comfort available, you may have been led to believe that it isn’t even possible in places where it is possible and even probably to create a healthy emotional connection.
This is all missed because of a belief that someone else gave you about the possibilities of your emotional expansion due to their own lack of emotional intelligence. You don’t know what you don’t know is what my coach says.
This belief that you create about the “impossibility” of anything being different than it was for you is quite limiting.
Quite frankly, it is probably sucking the life right out of your life.
You are just telling yourself that you “can’t”because you don’t want to learn something new. Or you are scared. That’s the truth of it.
Can you see the cycles that we keep ourselves in just because the people that raise us didn’t know any better?
It’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility to educate yourself beyond what your parents believed to be true. Reparenting yourself is the gateway to emotional adulthood, and if you haven’t done this work, you are probably missing opportunities to connect with people in meaningful ways… or feeling depressed, anxious or lonely. All of these emotional circumstances pile on and add stress to your body.
We as humans don’t learn our way out of an established habit, unless we have really good reason to. My reason was not wanting to live in my bed from this chronic pain / central nervous system condition I am facing- I want to be present for my children and husband, not from my bed.
The habits and things that we do for our existence every single day matter to your long term health. I’ve been learning and breaking cycles for years now.
Over time our cells change, for better or for worse. It is biology. But we can impact our cellular structures by changing our daily habits. You can remove trauma from running in the background of your body and then shift to a healthier state on a cellular level, which obviously translates to a healthier mind and body.
So, at the beginning of my journey with my naturopathic doctor we did some testing to give her the information she needs to help me best. We did two forms of testing, one lifestyle genetics, and one adrenal functions test.
Both show damage from stress hormones and the combination of medical issues I have encountered.
Both show that I am genetically modified by the combined affects of trauma as well as the circumstances derived from the coping mechanisms I used to get myself through stress.
My body has been genetically modified by trauma, and it is my job to regenerate my way back to health with my daily routines and habits and all of the knowledge behind it all I have been collecting for two years now. I’m excited to re-take these tests in a year to see the improvements I’ve made on a cellular level!
Compounding all of the good, and acceleration towards post traumatic growth as my lifestyle is the goal I have in mind.
Then I can genetically modify my cells back to healthy and functioning for as long as I can.
One body, one life, a million opportunities to do better today with a better tomorrow in mind.
Know better, do better… don’t stop that cycle of learning and you will find yourself, literally.
It will not always feel like it, but there is always a choice and it is always yours and only yours to make.
Take your time. Make space to think, decide and respond how you wish to respond.
Make choices that serve your highest intentions. Always remember that people pleasing is a trauma response.
Your mindset is a choice in and of itself.
For some matters you may want to seek outside counsel, advice or expertise these things are all often welcomed and encouraged. Seeking outside advice is lovely, but it ultimately still leaves you with the decision to make. What to do with the advice given by counsel.
Many people get stuck here, and often times it is because the advice they sought came through a transfer case of the other persons personal flavour of limitations, and apply those to their own creating more stuckness feelings from having your own stuff muddled up with someone else’s.
Often times we end up taking on the beliefs of someone else and favouring with what they advised over what we intuitively might be feeling; we do this without realizing it as an underlying response pattern. I most certainly replicated beliefs that weren’t mine to hold on to or to try to embody.
I am a recovering people pleaser, and I always have a choice!
The compound trauma response patterns that stem from being conditioned in the ways that I was as a child affected my brain, literally causing minor brain damage, swelling and inflammation cycles that wreak havoc on my body to this day. This is what cultivated the illness my body struggles with today my traumatic childhood combined with never being loved without conditions, as a result I created self-sabotage habits that compounded over time right alongside my undiagnosed complex trauma. They fed off of eachother.
The antidote to trauma I had decided was closeness, kindness and affection. And when I couldn’t find those things to get what I needed I looked for them in the self sabotaging forms- but low level because my ego wouldn’t allow me to be an alcoholic, and I couldn’t be a prescription drug addict my vanity and ego wouldn’t allow me to step to that level. It’s probably the shame I would have endured that kept me away.
My big heart used to take shame right in, that’s how I was abused for a long time! Shame was a punishment in our home, and I was a delinquent.
Emotional connection was not available to me until I figured out how to navigate it for myself by failing at love in the toxic relationships I found myself in along the way.
I found that people never loved me for me, they loved me for people pleasing me ONLY.
That’s when I made the choice to stop people pleasing and be authentic!
I had to slough off so much expectation of myself on behalf of other people.
I had to start moving in patterns that confused people to start breaking free of my old ones.
When I stopped people pleasing the connections that I had in my life as a result of my behaviour were shot out of the sky… and carnage of decades of “love” were left at the rock bottom, and that was my reality.
I was abandoned for refusing to accept being actively abused by people who claim to love me. Who shamed and judged me for how I am achieving my goals on my way to post traumatic growth for myself.
I was abandoned for doing the work, lacking control and grace along the way, and I am okay with it, that is a choice that I made;to be imperfect and authentic.
I choose to be okay with whomever can not accept my journey, they don’t have to!
The bonus part that I learned as a recovering people pleaser is that I don’t have to care about what other people think of me anymore.
If we choose to acknowledge our own needs, alongside someone else acknowledging their own needs it turns any relationship into a beautiful space to hold space for eachother without judgement, jealousy, a desire to adjust an “ism” of the other persons. There is simply space for each person to authentically exist within healthy boundaries.
I don’t know if this makes sense for anyone except those who cope with people pleasing like I did, but I do know that I encounter people who don’t see their choices all the time.
If you begin to release yourself from the invisible obligations that you create, and actually take some time to consider what might make sense for you on a higher level you begin to think in post traumatic growth patterns by looking for choices.
Someone to witness my progressions and my failures as they are, in relation to my journey; not theirs.
Someone to wanted to understand my perspective from more than just a superficial level.
It seems so simple, yet very few people are capable of this whole hearted task; to simply witness someone’s experience.
No judgement, no need to influence the outcome, just a witness to what is true for you.
If you truly want to help someone through, just be a loving witness to their journey.
When you are not at your best, the truth is it is hard to let anyone be a witness to the vulnerability that is the healing process. But if you want to heal, being willing to be vulnerable will expedite the process.
The only way out is through, so why not double down and make something really happen for yourself, if the cost is a bit of courage to be vulnerable in exchange for healing, I had to take the chance.
Vulnerability is the currency of healing.
For me, practicing vulnerability has been a challenging task, because of the needing a witness part of healing, because I am traditionally a people pleasing/ self-sabotage type.
My brain nearly exploded when I recognized that the witness was there to see the weaknesses and the lies that I was telling myself too; not just the masks and anti-vulnerability facade’s I used to show the world.
I people pleased as my career, in my life and in my relationships. Pleasing people was much easier on my heart than disappointing people.
Then I realized that the way I was showing up in my life was serving everyone but me I decided to make changes and start to learn how to not excessively show up for people who don’t ever do the same for me.
I began setting boundaries.
I began being vulnerable.
I stopped people pleasing and started focusing on what I needed.
Here’s the thing about what happened next; it was the worst case of tough love from the universe I’ve experienced this decade.
I was faced with a choice. I change the way that I think, act and behave, or trauma would probably consume my life and my bed would be where I lived from. I chose no bed. And I knew that my journey would be challenging, so with all my courage I asked for help.
I let the people that I thought could help support my journey by at least witnessing it know what I was experiencing, intimate details. I over shared because I had a false sense of safety.
The people that I had been people pleasing the absolute most all turned their backs on me when I needed to take care of myself. And couldn’t people please anymore.
When I shared my vulnerabilities, raw and authentic, I was intentionally isolated and abandoned by people that I considered family, and some that are literally family.
The people that I had been people pleasing the most were the closest relationships in my life. Our lives were all connected, stitched together apparently by my ability to over please people.
This is very common and not really talked about. The unhealed traumas we all carry with us from what we missed out learning from our parents. We are all in it blind packing our unhealed traumas around hurting eachother with them until we find a witness.
That’s the basics of generational trauma. pick a trauma any trauma, if it is not healed or “handled” in a healthy way you keep repeating the lesson until you learn it, passing the unhealed parts to your children and so on.
Mine is an example of abandonment trauma.
If I don’t behave in a certain way I believe that I am not worthy of acceptance, or love because I was not worthy of love without conditions. That is a belief I used to adhere to. I would people please around it.
Take your family, or those you consider family and look at the dynamics. How often to people you know use their hurt to hurt people? Intentionally or not. How often did you use your hurt to hurt people?
How often has anyone lovingly witnessed your raw vulnerable hurt?
Everyone is so triggered by people experiencing their own hurt, their own felt emotions that there is never space for the person trying to express themselves, because of someone else having a response to their own stuff.
So here’s the generational trauma healing secret… because some of the people you love simply won’t witness your hurt, they don’t want to, and you can’t make them want to.
So you have to use the best resource you have.
If you need support figuring out where to start contact a coach, counsellor, friend, group, podcast, or a book on the topic or area that you wish to engage in.
Every single one of those things is going to teach you how to be a better resource for yourself. Self regulation, self soothing, self self self. How to get self from one place to another. Goal setting and getting yourself there.
You can witness yourself moving forward and making progress; it takes making the actions to make the progress though.
Witness yourself. Observe yourself. Notice your goals and intentions becoming achieved realities.
Witness yourself from the loving and understanding space that you’ve always needed.
Practice it on yourself first, because you need it most.
Witnessing unconditional love in any form is beautiful, but there is something about experiencing it for yourself, from yourself.
You can be your own witness, start by learning self love. What does it mean to you? Define that and see how your life changes when you meet the definition of self love you created.
All I needed was a witness, so I learned to observe myself creating more unconditional love and be one.
I became the witness to what I was experiencing, and I learned how to differentiate feelings from reactions.
I learned to hold space for what is true for me, and what is true for other people even when things are contradictory. People believe from their own lived experiences, myself included.
I witnessed and celebrated my progressions and failures, I learned to take them as they are and not make them a reason to sabotage progress.
I learned to understand where some of my behaviours are stemming from, to learn why and heal those parts too.
I have become capable of so much more than I ever anticipated by witnessing my emotions and not suffocating them.
If you learn to observe yourself without judgement your healing journey will be a beautiful experience.
You become the witness that you need in the times where you are left alone to battle your own shadows.
After all, you’ve been the only one experiencing your journey all along… you are already the only witness to all of your combined experiences.
Be your own witness, cheer for your own small victories one at a time, and witness them change your life.
Post traumatic growth and judgement from others will always be bonded together in our judgmental,stigmatizing, segregating societies.
It is a social norm, and it is disgusting to me.
Just look at how people are segregating other people however they can by color, sexual orientation, nationality, abilities, wealth, vaccination status, physical stature, race, religion, etc this list could go a mile!
Judgment will come no matter what. Just be aware of that, and be your most authentic self anyway.
Shine your light brighter, right in their judgemental faces. Be you, authentically you, let them judge, allow for it. Remind yourself that if you are bothering them by being you, that’s on them.
So those of us that choose post traumatic growth as a lifestyle are signing up for the relentless judgment and criticism from all of those around us, but especially those who even claim to love us.
The choices we make for ourselves are criticized and often even sabotaged by those closest to us, after all we are making changes away from the bad habits we all created together!
Changing your lifestyle to better yourself is criticized by those who haven’t figured those pieces out yet, and celebrated by those who have.
There has never been much said about the path between trauma and post traumatic growth. Typically this is the butterfly phase , where the majority of the population hides in their Cacoon, only to emerge when they are “all better”. People retreat into themselves or addictions because of the fear of rejection they receive for admitting what they need to survive.
This is why it is so celebrated by those of us who have emerged the other side, we know it is harsh and lonely and we know what it takes to make it through to post traumatic growth.
Warriors celebrate the survival of other warriors it’s what we do!!
So, what about for the people like me, who have come to find out that the cocoon method just isn’t going to be in line with my enhanced values; or moral code of ethics. But I wasn’t quite feeling like a warrior yet?
We practice, and it looks a little sloppy at first, because we need practice. Hence the practicing!
It got gritty there at times, and I wanted to give up. But I didn’t. I practiced being a warrior instead.
It might appear messy the way that I have done my journey but it isn’t. It’s just my journey, the conversations and emotional out bursts were things that needed releasing, then boundaries were established to create a healthy environment (my hypothetical caccoon) followed by repeated efforts, in the face of failures I pushed forward.
I’d be some hypocrite to be asking others to be the changes we wanted to see if I were not doing the work for myself.
I practiced being a warrior, rather than submitting… over and over.
I failed and I learned and I tried again, broken and battered, bruised and scared.
I kept standing up, like a warrior.
Post traumatic growth is unchartered territory for the majority of people. It was new for me too, but I learned to be braver faster to become a warrior in my own story.
The only people who seem to have ever heard of post traumatic growth are emerging trauma practitioners, and trauma focused counselling and coaching practitioners.
Trauma is becoming more widely understood out of necessity as the world is still in the midst of the chaos/ aftermath confusion of the pandemic.
In hindsight we are able to see things more clearly, so I have the advantage of both perspectives here.
This journey is mine, all mine. It might get a little messy, but that’s okay, I’m a little messy sometimes. I think we all are; Ive simply decided not to be ashamed of my emotions, or myself anymore.
I get to choose my path and make my own decisions based on what I know. I ought to be able to live without judgement, but the reality is that judgment is a trait that many carry through their lives. It is easy to judge me I’m sure, and judge away if you believe it will serve you.
You could waste your time judging my journey, or you could set out to be your own warrior or your own journey.
Until you’ve lived my journey your judgement will never have authority over my decisions so put your energy elsewhere and save us all your judgment. We have warrior practice to attend!
Hold your judgment; this is my journey not yours… and I am late for warrior practice.