Dedicated to G.
Its been a very interesting week, a week full of gifts and blessings.
Last Wednesday was my birthday, but the celebrations started before then. There was one time in my life when I didn't think anyone cared, I now know different. My friends and immediate family have been amazing, and I have received much love from them all. I am blessed.
This does show me how far I have come, because, not only am I much loved, I can receive this love and caring, and this ability has enriched my life beyond measure!
Man, I have come a long way!!
It's been a long journey, its been a difficult journey, but it has been so worth it.
This year, I have been able to stay present each time I got together with friends or family for my birthday, be it for lunch, dinner, having a coffee, going for a walk etc. It is pretty amazing. I can remember each moment with these people that care for me. Not only can I remember, I didn't "shrug it off."
I look back now and realize that this "shrugging it off" was a way of protecting myself. I could care and love someone else, but I could not really receive love at the deep level I can now.
So, "what is different" I ask myself?
Well, I think its many things.
I needed to protect myself, emotionally, and I realize by doing this I protected my essence, the core of who I am. By putting up the "shrugging shield" I kept the real me safe. Another one of my many survival skills!
It took a long time to find Me. It took many tears,and hard work to slowly peel away the layers of this onion. Each time I pulled a layer off, another raw and painful aspect of my self and my life was exposed. I would work on that layer till it no longer hurt, then pulled it off to expose the next layer. This process was repeated many, many times. With each peeled layer I grew stronger.
Its been a tough journey, but as one friend told me " you have already survived it", its now a matter of processing. And it was a tough slog. I didn't know one could cry so much and not get dehydrated. I did not know that the body and every cell could hurt so much, and I couldn't even blame it on the flu.I thought the nightmares and flashbacks would never end! But they do.
I learned that I was not stupid, worthless, a useless piece of crap and ugly. I learned I was not to blame for all that happened to me, and that I definitely DID NOT deserve any of it.
And along this journey of peeling the onion, I learned who I really was, and I learned to love myself. Until I learned to love myself, I could not really accept that anyone could love me just as I am. And I learned who my real friends were!
These friends stuck with me, supported and encouraged me. As much as I know they wanted to fix it for me, they could not, so they did the next best thing, they stuck by my side! This support came in many forms, be it a cup of tea, listening, going for a walk, sending cards or e-mails, quietly sitting with me or visiting me while I was at the " St Joseph Spa and treatment center "- aka, the psych unit at the local hospital. Some quietly waited while I did my work and welcomed me with open arms once I resumed my activities.
And I had amazing professional help. They have no idea how much they have helped me in my recovery, but that's another blog.
Along this journey I noticed that the more I loved and forgave myself, and the more authentic I became, the more love and support came into my life. This continues to this day.
My relationships now have a deep, rich connection. The love touches my essence, my soul, the very core of who I am, and I am a much better and ricer person for it.
The other day I explained it like this to someone.
Before, my life and relationships were like paint tubes sitting, unopened on a cold white canvas. Each separate, on their own. Then with my work, they were slowly opened, paint started to come out onto the canvas, but they were still one dimensional, separate. The more I worked the more paint came out and now it is being turned into an amazing picture, multi-dimensional and now with multiple materials and textures. It is deep, rich, and amazing, just like my life.
Its been an amazing birthday, I have been sent, and felt love from across the country, and this afternoon I am meeting with more friends to celebrate over a coffee.
For all of you who are on your journeys- ( and lets face it, everyone is on their own journey, but not everyone realizes that)-be it the beginning, middle or end, please believe me, it is worth all the work. When the old beliefs and cognitive errors come to visit, to sabotage your work and progress, tell them to take a hike and that I have told you it can and does get better, and your life will be better and much richer for it. When you learn to love yourself, its amazing what doors start to open. Doors you didn't even know were there.
When those old beliefs and cognitive errors ask you "well who the hell is Suzy", tell them this...
I was born on Friday the 13th. My parents were told I would not survive, and if I did survive I "would be a vegetable." I guess that just shows that I have been a rebel since the second I was born! And that you have my support and energy sent your way, wherever you are in your journey.
I send you all love and support in your journey.
Those are my thoughts for today
cheers and be well
Im Going Outward Bound Once Again- Well, Sort of
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Those of you who read my blog – (which I am very grateful for) - will know that while my town has been covered in a fog bank, I have been visited by my own personal fog bank. I have been working on sitting with it and being open to discoveries, I have been surprised by what I learned.
As I said in my last blog, feeling proud brought me anxiety and shame. I have been listening to where that comes from and working on that. Once I acknowledged these emotions and came to understand where they came from I was able to put those “cognitive errors” to rest. And once I did that I was amazed at what I created space for.
Getting rid of the old opens space for anew.
Since my Outward Bound course I have noticed a change coming. I came back a different person, a much more whole, wiser, confident and inspired person. As with any change there is an adjustment period. I could feel this happening and then I started to wonder about my writing, my life, and all those types of life questions. I wondered why they were coming up, but now I know.
Until I was able to “sit in the fog and listen” and allow the issues to come up, I would be going around in circles with the anxiety and shame and that is not a fun place to be. As uncomfortable as it was to look at the issues, I’m glad I did.
Dissociative Identity Disorder is a very complex, multilevel (no pun intended) condition. What a person thinks or appears to be is often not what the reality is. Here is an example, early in my diagnoses, what my body language was saying and what I was feeling was often the complete opposite. Just like last week, my anxiety about “where is my life and writing going” really was in reality, feelings of anxiety and shame I experienced when I feel proud of myself.
Now that the shame and anxiety no longer needed to protect me, I can feel proud of my accomplishments, and feel good about what I have done. With that came the clarity of moments and things I can be proud of.
It was amazing, I was sitting in my therapist office talking and then I had a vision of a rain drop- which represented one thing I should be proud of,- dropping into a crystal container, then another, then another and all these memories of things came flooding back to me. I am still in awe of that moment.
Over the last week this has continued, things will come out of the blue, it’s pretty amazing. Once I realized I no longer need to “protect” myself and I was safe, doors have just opened up.
Dissociation saved my life. I paid a lot for it, meaning I have missed out on a lot because of the dissociation. It impeded my memory, took my career, ability to work, stole my dreams of being a doctor and elementary school teacher etc.
But I have to look on the good side; it allowed my essence, writing, sense of humor, humanity etc. to be protected. It protected the real me, bundled me up in a very protective shell so that no one could break through and take away these aspects of me. It protected the very essence of who I was!
Now that I am safe, it is safe to be me, I no longer need to “protect” what I have done. I can feel proud!!
I have come a long way. I have stopped the generational cycle of abuse, I have been an amazing early childhood educator, I have overcome insurmountable odds, I am a published writer, I’m a good Mom, a good friend, and the list keeps growing!
And I hiked the Rookie Mountains during my Outward Bound course! During that course one of the many gifts I brought back from the mountains is my essence. The thing that makes me who I am, that thing that I had been looking for all my life, I always felt something was missing, and now I have it firmly in my fold and I hold it very lovingly close to me.
This Outward Bound course has changed me , I can not go back to who I was, and I don't want to.
I have created space for the anew to come up front and center and I like what I am seeing.
While I am learning to be comfortable in my new skin, I will continue to write. I may never have a best seller, or go on tour but I will write not because I want to, but because I have to, I truly believe I have a story to tell.
I will continue to advocate and educate about mental illness and give presentations, and I will continue to be the best that I can be.
Now it’s safe to see all the good I have done, now that I have recovered my essence I can allow all the positive aspects that are me to join together and I think that is a pretty powerful combination!
I know I have made a difference in the lives of children, youth and adults, and I hope to continue to do so. I hope to inspire others and let them know it can get better.
I think that’s a pretty good calling.
As the fog starts to lift, I will thank it for its gift of wisdom and understanding. The sun will break through and I will watch it shine onto the crystal container that is getting filled each day.
Those are my thoughts for the day
I wish you well on making room for anew.
cheers and be well