Thank you

Thank you to the men along the way that have helped me feel safe and secure. To the ones who never wavered, tested their boundaries and have held space for me to be myself and grow.

After loosing my dad this year and re-connecting with family (my half sisters and brother); I’ve come to realize I am not alone in my own fucked up-ness because of him. More recently, I’ve been more present for what I’ve missed out on. I’ve been watching this TV show with my roommate about a family that lost their dad in high-school, just before graduation. It is called “This is Us”— All the feels. Anyway, the dad in that show comes across as amazing. Needless to say, I cried a lot watching it and was pretty shocked by my own loss and what I never had.

I had been writing this post in a Starbucks on paper, while writing I observed a man and a younger gal talking to each other for a bit. After she had left, he had explained that she was like his daughter to him. He talked about his own daughter and had said how he bragged about her. It sunk in that my own dad would have never bragged about me. I let him know in the moment that “She was very lucky to have him brag about her”.

After having this conversation with him, it brought up all of the men in my life who were actually positive role models for me growing up. At the time because of my own PTSD with older men, I was terrified of them. Now I look back in admiration, appreciation and gratefulness. Slow and steady, I’ve been able to overcome my PTSD through multiple years in therapy.

The men I’m thinking about are my grandpa, Mike, John, and more recently Scott.

I have pictures of myself when I was much younger, like 3 years old, laying on my grandpas chest. He was the only man in my life at the time that never wavered, and he loved me unconditionally. I never doubted him. He was consistent and kind.

John and Mike were church leaders. They were kind, compassionate and amazing men. They listened with open hearts, they were consistent, and strong. They sat through all of my growth, my struggles and grief. They had amazing boundaries and I felt as safe as any other teenage girl would have felt with PTSD in the moment. As I look back on that time, I recognize their support and the impact they had on me when I was younger. It was impressionable and important in my personal growth and journey.

I am not going to write about Scott, but I did tell him to his face my gratefulness for his presence in my life.

I do raise my glass to these men, and many more who have impacted my life in positive ways. Ones who have allowed me to feel safe, who have not wavered outside of their boundaries and who have been instrumental to my growth in my self and overcoming my PTSD with men. You are truly amazing humans on this planet.

I cannot thank you enough.

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My power candle.

I don’t even know where I got this idea, but it’s super cheesy so bear with me. I have a power candle for when I work out. I was at Michaels spending money like a good consumer, well for my wedding. I was buying craft supplies. Anyway I came across this candle and I bought it. I also found this notebook that tracked work outs. Both were on sale, and the moment I got home I put on my work out clothes and decided to light this candle and let it be my power candle. I imagined only positive things coming out of it, and turned all of my negative self talking into positive thoughts. I kept repeating over and over.. I’ve got this, keep going, only one more time, I’ve got this. And I felt amazing.

I also made a new painting that said “I’ve got this”. And I can’t help but smile when I look at it. I’ve worked out a few times last week, like 2-3 times, and so far twice this week. It’s not a lot, but it’s a hell of a lot more thanI had been doing before!

Overcoming the Bully

Okay, first of all.. this is not something that has been happening over night. It’s years and years of therapy and changing the way I think about things.

Easier said than done and I’m not 100% healed, but I’m so much better than I was 3 years ago, even months ago, or moments ago.

Remember those I AM paintings I did? Well they started to work.

Side bar: In graduate school I took a tutor class which helped me with my papers and also gave me credit at the same time. But I learned something there that has stuck with me through out the years and has changed my thinking patterns in a way I could never have expected. You wouldn’t know this about me but I’m afraid of writing. I’m laughing as I say that because I have this blog with over 60 posts. But writing at the time was one of the most vulnerable places for me to be, and I was terrified of posting my papers etc. Anyway this writing tutor taught some psychology with her class and she taught about neuro transmitters and pathways. If we live one way, it’s hard for our minds to do something new unless we practice something new consistently. As we move forward in that practice, it creates new neuro pathways and those new ways of doing or thinking becomes easier.

Those paintings I started painting, have been really powerful and pivotal in this mind changing game. When I repeat I am enough, enough times… I’ve started to believe it. I even wrote it on a sticky note at my desk.

My next post will be about my most recent achievement with this and how I’ve been able to overcome the bully as I’ve been consistently working out!

After all this time.

I can’t believe I didn’t see it before.

I’ve talked about these voices (I mean self critic, I’m not hearing voices). Let’s just be clear, it’s my inner voice that I’m talking about. But this self critic who has been holding me back, the one I’ve deemed my dad’s voice, is really myself. And I know that, but I’ve trained myself into being the biggest and worst bully of them all. All of those people who harassed me and made me believe I wasn’t good enough, has really trained me to be my biggest bully. I am my biggest bully. WTF.