Friday, January 31, 2014

Forgiveness- If only it were a light switch to flip on. If only after it was given, every negative emotion was really erased.

Sometimes, it feels like I am giving them a free pass for what they did to me. It’s hard to be hurt so much and never have recourse.

Yet, through forgiveness was the only way I could find freedom.

I discovered that trick pretty early on. I was desperate to be free from the pain inside, so I tossed out forgiveness to my parents as fast as I could.

I forgive them, I forgive them, I forgive them

Except I really wasn’t.

It wasn’t that I wanted to hold a grudge, or be bitter. It was the fact that I didn’t want to really acknowledge what they did that I was forgiving. For me to acknowledging the pain that happened to the ‘little girl me’ hurt too much. Easier to sweep it under the rug.

Especially since I still saw my parents. Especially after my mom told me her only regret was that she didn’t hit me more.


It’s not for them. It’s for you, and me.

There are steps to it, just like with grief, that I found I couldn’t skip.

Step one- find a way to get it out. The best way, find someone to talk with (a good counselor if you can afford it. Yes you are worth it.) If nothing else, write it out, as much as you are able too. When someone told me that I cringed.

(PS- you haven’t failed if you can’t do it yet)

You are loved. You are so worth love.  There will be beauty from these ashes, if you haven’t seen it yet. If you have, MORE is to come. J

 Forgiveness- what does it mean to you?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Today has been a crazy day.  I am finishing what I hope is my final (har har har) edit on my book.  Exciting times. I'm also beta reading a lovely book written about surviving abuse. WOW I think it's so helpful hearing how someone overcomes hardship- it's encouraging, and real, and reminds all the rest of us that there will be beauty coming from our ashes too.

It's hard to find people to be real with our struggles, but it's good to find them too. None of us have it all together. We all have our crap- seriously, think of anyone you admire... I promise, they have their own serious struggles too.

That's why comparing ourselves to others is so poisoness. We think we know them, and we definitely know ourselves and our crap, so we look so much worse then they do, and they look like they have it all together. In the mean time, they are doing the same comparison with someone else.

I admit, I don't have my stuff together, I struggle... there's areas I need to be healed in that I want to be encouraged in, and areas I've been healed in that I want to share to encourage others.

Step by step, we're getting there :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

A quick thought for today- Recently, I went out to lunch with some friends. As we shared our daily events with one another, there was a running theme. Over and over one I heard examples of how it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible to have growth in a relationship where someone has severely hurt you (through rejection, betrayal, lying, broken trust) if the other person doesn’t own what they did.

It’s also seems common that the other person usually doesn’t want to own what they did. My friend explained it so well. In long term abuse, she said, “They’re afraid to admit what they did because then they’d have to see all the other stuff they’ve been ignoring in their life.”

That makes sense to me. I see it in my own parents. Again, if you find yourself in a place where you are struggling in a relationship that’s constantly causing you pain, my best advice is to refer you to the book- BOUNDARIES. You are worth it!

Just another thought…. If you feel like you need to apologize to someone, I just want to encourage you that you are amazing, and brave. It can be scary to say those words, and I am in your corner if you need support. J

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Today is a day of choices

Today I choose not to listen to the inner voice

That says I can’t do it

What’s wrong with me?

Everyone else can do it, why can’t I?


Today is a day of choices.

Today I choose to take a minute

Take the focus off of myself

To look for the beauty

Instead of the ashes

I’ll get it done.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sometimes, do you ever feel like you are circling around and around the same mountain? Like you think you were making progress, only to be dragged back into it again? “hey, been here done that…”

One thing I’ve discovered is that nearly everyone goes through this. You most certainly aren’t alone.  

I have felt that way more times then I can tell you.  I will battle something down, and revel in that small thrill of victory… and then bam! It comes flying back into my lap for me to deal with again. I felt like a failure, and wonder why can’t I get passed this (over-come it, deal with it whatever the situation is.)

Certain “mountains” seem more condemning than others if I feel like I don’t have success with it. It used to bother me before that I was still dealing with issues from my childhood memories.  I grew up with being told that what’s happened is done, pick yourself up and brush yourself off. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.  You can’t blame everything on your parents.

All those things are true, and yet they aren’t absolute.  I can’t blame everything on my parents. I have my own free will now. I don’t want to live a life as a victim.

I also am not a book; turn the page and the story moves on.  Sometimes what feels like going around the mountain is really just dealing with the same situation at a different level.

That sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But it’s easier to say “What’s wrong with me that I can’t get passed this?” then to take a minute and say, “Wow, I am recognizing things a little differently here.  I have made steps, even if they seem small compared to the emotions I’m facing right now.”

Whenever I face my mountain again, it’s my time to trot out what I have learned. It’s my time to speak the truth to the mountain, despite what my emotions are feeling. The things I speak are-

1)    God got me this far, he’s going to get me the rest of the way.

2)    Despite how I feel, I am deeply loved, even if the only one I can count is God- He’s not angry with me. He will never leave me.

3)    I have not failed, I am still learning.

4)    This moment will pass.

5)There will be beauty from ashes from this situation.

 Maybe you are facing a mountain today, or feel like you’ve gone around it before.  Hang in there.  You are making progress, even if you don’t see it. It will get better. I am a firm believer that we get to encourage others from the strength and encouragement we gain as we face our mountains.  Even if you feel weak now, one day you will be encouraging someone else!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Football today- AHHHHH!  Anyone else out there watching? If you go outside I feel like you might hear me cheer because I FREAK out!  I can't watch it with anyone who doesn't know me well, because I might embarrass myself. And have witnesses lol

Have a good day today. :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Well, I’m still writing like crazy. People tell me it’s cathartic to write out the painful experiences. Sometimes it is. Sometimes I feel so disconnected to the past abuse that it’s hard to believe it happened to me. Other times I can barely get the words out, and the story sounds stilted and proper. I can always tell what memories hurt the most. Usually they are the shortest on paper, written with broad strokes with hardly any detail.

The lovely thing about writing them down, the truly cathartic part, is seeing the puzzle pieces come together.  For so long I wondered, is it just me? Was I wrong? Maybe my parents were just having a hard time. Was I who they said I was?

I’ve heard abuse stories in the media, truly horrific stories that grabbed me by my heart and I couldn’t stand to hear more. In some ways it confused me and made me think of my own past with thoughts like, “It wasn’t that bad.”

Seeing my story written down validates me that, yes, it was that bad.  I’m finally giving myself permission to feel the emotions I had as a little girl that I wasn’t allowed to have then. I don’t want to live there, in those emotions. But it was so good for me to acknowledge the pain I went through alone. The pain I had to hide from everyone. The pain I was taught by my parents to accept as due punishment.

I can see how when I finally acknowledged it, the feeling of “No one understands,” started to dissipate. I wasn’t searching for someone to validate the abuse anymore.

I don’t know if you are searching for that yourself.  I’m here to tell you that pain isn’t measure by the events. If you felt neglected, unloved, or hurt, those feelings are valid. I can’t fix it for you because we all have our own journey from ashes to beauty. But I care. 

Just think of all you have accomplished still with a little bit of ashes in your life!  *Sappy Alert* You really are amazing!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Good morning- the weekend is here (Yaaaaaaaaay!!) Do you have any special plans?  The word is "FOOTBALL!" around here. It's going to be fun.

So this morning I opened my bible and came across this verse;

I have chosen you
and have not turned against you.
So don't worry, because I am with you.
Don't be afraid, because I am your God.
I will make you strong
and will help you;
I will support you with my right hand that saves you.

Isaiah 41:9-10

I couldn't get it out of my mind and thought I'd share it. Maybe it's here for someone who needs to read it today.

Have a good weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!
(((((((((big hug to anyone who needs it)))))))))))


Thursday, January 16, 2014

So the question for today is- How old were you when you first realized that what was happening to you, or had happened to you was not okay? I’ve talked with people all over the spectrum. Some people knew as children that their parents had an anger/ emotional/ control problem.  It was part of their world in a way that they knew they had to protect themselves from it.

It wasn’t like that for me. I spent my childhood believing I was what was broken in the family.  I never connected the bruises to being my parent’s issues. I always felt like I deserved it, even when I wasn’t sure what I had done wrong.

It wasn’t until my baby shower with my first child that I even had a glimmer that it wasn’t me. My pastor’s wife came to my shower. She drove me home, and listened while I described my mom in glowing terms.  She looked at me for a second before saying quietly, “That’s not the person I met today.”

I was stunned at the time, and torn with a weird anger to protect my mom.  It took a long time for me to come to the truth. It still hurts actually, to realize you can’t make yourself loveable to someone no matter how you try.  

If, today, you have a hollow inside from not having your parents approval and love I just want to send you a hug. Maybe you feel like you should know better, because they’ve always treated you that way.  Remember that as kids, we are made to crave our parent’s love and approval.

Remember that the falling apart of the relationship is a consequence of their choice, not yours.

The beauty from the ashes is that as we get better, we are able to encourage other people in the same situation.  I think that’s what really moves us from a survivor to living a life full of joy.

Thank you for reading!!! It means a lot to me J

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hey how is your week going? Well you are up and 'at em, so that's good.

Taking care of yourself is more than eating right, and exercising. I think the most important way is being kind to yourself.  Do you say more positive or negative things about yourself every day? Do you have a thought in the back of your mind that you aren't measuring up? Or you aren't really giving your best?

Can I suggest you give that thought a break? In fact, I want to make a deal with you that you won't talk down, or be critical with yourself today. It really is a bad habit I think we all struggle with.

You are amazing, and I'm not just saying that. :)

Have a good day-

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I hope anyone reading this blog will feel supported that what happened to them was real, and there is freedom from the pain, frustration, and anger of their parent’s actions. It’s hard to give forgiveness and get that freedom when they are still doing things that open the old wounds.  This happened to me a lot, especially after I had kids.

If you have children yourself, you may have had the same difficulty as I did with your kids around your parents. I didn’t want to jade my kids against my parents, so I was careful what I said to them.  Every time my parents came around my kids there was always some weirdness. The types of things that happened were things like; my parents tried to undermine or pit the kids against me, my parents worked to win the kids over with weird manipulation, my parents insulted the kids or me if we didn’t please them. 

Their relationship with my kids was based on appearances, and when my parents cut me off they decided to cut the relationship with their grandkids off too.

I tried to make excuses for my parents, but as my kids grew older, they were able to see things for themselves. That’s the thing with unhealthy behavior, people closest to it will see it.  I say that for anyone who has younger kids and is still trying to navigate the waters of relationship with their parents without boundaries.

All I can say is take a deep breath.  You will get through this.

Monday, January 13, 2014

As adults, sometimes we know what was going on with our parents. We know they are/were addicted to a substance, or they have Manic Depression, or some other type of disorder.  Or we know they suffered at the hands of their parents and are broken. Sometimes we don’t know exactly what’s wrong. We just see there is something in them that always kept their reaction to us unpredictable, no matter how hard we tried to keep out of sight, or do the right thing.

As kids, we became experts at interpreting the sound of their walk, the tone in their voice, or even the slam of the door to determine what their mood was.  Some may even argue that we were programed to do that, so that we would adjust our actions accordingly to please them.

Maybe our parents didn’t know they were training us with that type of manipulation.

I think part of my healing as an adult was taking a moment to see if I was still reacting to them in the way I did as a child. When they called, was I reading their moods over the phone and adjusting accordingly? Was I afraid to make them mad and suffer the following temper-tantrum?

There is a great book by Dr. Henry Cloud & John Townsend called Boundaries. That book slowly helped me break the cycle, and do it in a way that made me feel as though I was respecting both them and myself.

Although my parents didn’t see it that way, when I started to change my reaction to them. It’s to be expected that when you put boundaries down there is going to be blowback, and it might look ugly for a little while. I want to remind anyone out there who needs to put down boundaries - keep strong! Their reaction is not your responsibility.  Putting down boundaries is actually an act of love, both for yourself and for them.

The authors have written several books on the subject of boundaries; boundaries with kids, and in marriage.  There is wisdom in those books that really helped my family when we found ourselves stuck in some bad habits.
((((((((Big hug to all who need one today)))))))))))) You are meant for good things. Getting healthier is just one more moment of culling beauty from the ashes.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

There is a scripture that talks about how God chose the despised and lowly things in this life, the things not wanted. That’s definitely what happened to me. He gave me value where I had been brainwashed to believe I had no value. He showed me love when I was convinced I didn’t deserve it. He found me, even though I wasn’t even looking for him at the time.

He loves you the same way.  You are his joy.  He’s not angry with you, and you haven’t failed. Even when we know God loves us, sometimes it’s still hard to believe he thinks good things about us because we know ourselves so well.

You are loved, and you rock! Have an amazing day.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

 Hi ya! Is it a football weekend where you're at? I love football, but I'm not sure if it's the game or the snacks or the cheering people I'm with that I like best lol.

They say that the football players really rely on their fans to motivate them. So today I'm going to be your fan! Even if it sounds cheesy (and I'm known for that) this is totally sincere. :)

I believe in you!!
You can do it!
You totally rock!
You are unique! And in a good way! lol
You make a difference. :)

Have a good day.  ((((((big hug to any who need it)))))

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Good morning!

So today I read a status update by Bear Grylls --Good to remember for year ahead: Corrie ten Boom: ‘Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrow; but it empties today of strength.’

Wow, those words are so true in my life. Worry really does take so much energy to maintain. The more I worry, the harder it is to do everything else, even to have normal conversations without feeling stressed and snippy.

It’s not easy, maybe even impossible to flip the worry switch off.

One thing that helps me is to thank God for two good things in my life. Just like worry, it’s amazing how contagious it is, once I start.  Just opening my eyes to that one good thing reminds me of more and more things to be thankful for.

beauty for ashes…

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Just in case you haven’t heard it today, you are remarkable!

So child abuse recovery isn’t something I think about every day, but it’s what my blog is about. So I’ll talk about it a lot here. J 

There were two reoccurring feelings I’ve had as an adult that resulted from the abuse. 

The first was feeling very very alone in my experiences, as though no one could relate or understand me. Sometimes, I felt such deep pain, but there was so much back story in order to explain the emotions that it was too much work to tell anyone. Sometimes I didn’t understand the pain myself.

The second was doubt the abuse happened. I’ve always been reluctant to label what I went through as child abuse, because I didn’t want to think that about my family.  I never wanted to talk about it because it felt disloyal. I loved them. It was actually easier to think it was me than it was to think it was them. If it’s me, then I have some type of control over it. I can be good enough to make it stop. I can do it right so it won’t happen anymore.

That thought continued as an adult. I tolerated behavior and comments, thinking I was giving grace, when really I was being the same compliant child I had always been. I still walked on eggshells, trying not to rock the boat. I was still operating under the old rule, “To resist or say anything makes their actions (punishment) worse.”

I’m not saying my parents, or anyone’s parents are bad people.  Usually they are good people who are hurting people. But, just because they are good people, doesn’t mean we have to deny the hurt they caused.

The greatest thing in the world would be if they apologized.  As their kids, we don’t need them to grovel or beg for forgiveness. We just need that small recognition that they hurt us, and they wish they hadn’t. It’s amazing what a gift that acknowledgement really is.

This blog is dedicated to all the people out there who felt they didn’t have a voice growing up. It’s to support anyone who is hurting now. We may not get that acknowledgement. We may have to forgive without an apology, so that we can live free. And maybe this blog can support someone who is trying to do that now. ***big hugs for those who need them**** Until tomorrow then J

Today I want to remind you that you have an effect on the people around you. You may not see it, but people remember your smiles, and small comments.  The world is a better place because of you!

Wow, what a dark winter day it is! I feel for the people who are stuck in frozen conditions right now. BRRRR! Hope everyone stays warm and safe this week!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Today is a new day, full of possibilities to see some beauty. And you are here reading this blog. J Let me stop writing for a sec to tell you that you are Ahhhmazing!! Ok, on to my new thoughts for the day…

So, I was thinking about this last night… how do I define child abuse? There is physical, emotional, and verbal abuse, but for me, the bottom line is how it makes the child feel.  The emotional fall out from child abuse are feelings of feeling unworthy, unloved, abandoned, tossed away, betrayed, a disappointment, scared, a failure, just trying to survive, helpless to make it better or escape, and hopelessness.

For me, recovery of child abuse is learning to live, not with those emotions, but without them. Which is a miracle in itself because they were such a big part of me.

I don’t know how other child abuse survivors do it, or how long it takes them to heal.  Not many people talk about it, we all go on with our lives. Which is a good thing!   I was rescued by God. I don’t know how to talk about God on a blog without sounding preachy, but I don’t mean it that way. It’s the simplest way to say how I learned I was loved, and it’s true.

Recovery for me has had its own fall out- having to have boundaries with my family, and the resulting cutting off of the relationship. I wonder how many other people are like me, who are cut off from their families.

So I am here today spreading the word- no matter where you are in dealing with your past, there are people who can relate with you and how you are feeling. You aren’t alone. Have a good day! *big hugs if you need one*



Sunday, January 5, 2014

Good morning! Beautiful sunny day today. Yesterday I watched  The Secret Life of Mitty... it was a pretty good flick. I liked  the movie, but was the message that he gained value after he had all those adventures? Maybe I missed the message.

Ok, for something personal... I cried at the volcano scene. LOL I am kind of a dork and cry at everything. Truth is, my mom ran from me when I was a little kid in a car fire. I chased after her. She always told me she would never have come back from me. So when Mitty says "you came back for me," it just choked me up.

Laying my head on my husbands shoulder while watching the movie gave me beauty from ashes from that memory. I am blessed to have known love.

Friday, January 3, 2014

There is a saying that what doesn’t break you makes you stronger. Isn’t that so true. One of my favorite examples is a tree growing in a storm. The wind blows and the tree bows, but the roots go deep, and the tree stays standing.

I love that thought!

I’ve really been going over my past because of a project I am doing. It’s been exhausting and overwhelming at times to see my history all written out. For all of my life I’ve been use to either dealing with it in very small chunks, or listing my history in some non-emotional type of outline. But to dig into it, lay it out on the table, and remember what happened when….very overwhelming and painful.
But I feel the deep roots, and I am thankful. I wouldn't be here if God hadn't found me, and rescued me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Every day feels like normal. Life goes on in crazy swirls and dives and sometimes sputters at a stand-still. I don’t think about my childhood for days on end. Then, there are times when something unexpectedly triggers a memory or emotion. It felt like I was standing alone holding the entire weight of the pain, and I didn’t know how to let go of it.  Life goes on….

Counseling helps, but somehow child pain went on beyond counseling for me.  The pain, fear, self-doubt, and rejection had the ability to tinge everyday situations. That was the worst part for me. Trying to talk myself down from fear, or feeling the stab of rejection and not lashing back from pain.

Growing healthy reminds me of eating a healthy diet;  the choice is for life and not a quick fix. I’m still learning to recognize old thoughts for what they are, and remind myself they aren’t true for me today. I pray a lot to grow in love, and to love more.

Life is good, still pulling the beauty from those ashes!