My brain is like a filing cabinet. For years, I had stored these files away, never daring to open them up. Some of them, in fact, I had forgotten about–they were in the very back of the drawer, gathering dust…but still there, waiting to be found again.
When I started EMDR and talk therapy, my brain found it useful access a lot of these old files and, suddenly, I remembered…I remembered lots of things I had buried long ago, hoping I’d to never have to talk about.
I realized this weekend though, what part of my struggle is: As I have remembered all of the horrible and hard stuff from childhood, it has reawakened a sense of injustice, anger, and grief within me. Continue reading
I am a giving person. I tend to avoid confrontation and try to not make waves. I grin and bear it.
As I have been working hard on myself, though, I have started to realize and feel frustrated about something: Continue reading
I sat in the car, stomach grumbling. Eyeing my mom, I cleared my throat and wiped my sweaty palms on my pants…”Uh, mom? Can we stop at the next bathroom? My tummy really hurts…” She glanced back at me in the rearview mirror, “Again? You just went! What’s wrong with you?”
She said it with exasperation. It was always met with exasperation–inconvenience–and my reaction became shame and embarrassment.
Why did my stomach always hurt? I didn’t know. Continue reading
What comes first, the chicken or the egg?
Obviously, this is the classic impossible question. Over the last year, I have been asking myself a different version of this question:
What comes first, anxiety or the stomachache?
I believe that, as social beings, we are wired to connect to others. From the moment that we are born, we need other people, rely on them to help meet our needs, and thrive when we have healthy attachments and are loved.
So much of my journey has focused on what I perceive as a lack of connection. When I initially went to therapy, I knew that I was lonely and seeking friendships and connections with other people. As I dug through all of my childhood issues, and addressed issues closer to “now,” I realized that this search for connection has been a theme throughout my entire life. Continue reading
I’ve written over the last month that I am having a really hard time. I’ve been down…dark, and depressed. I’ve been fighting bouts of anxiety and nervousness, and stomach issues that are a result of all of it, but also make all the stress and nervousness worse.
I have been feeling trapped. And stuck. And hopeless. Continue reading
I sat up in bed, a curly, tow-headed little girl, peering through the darkness. A flashlight glared in my face–the police man glanced my way and walked on by. What was going on? Where were you?
I huddled in the corner, watching him smash things with a baseball bat. Screaming, begging him not to hit you, too. Grandma was coming–coming to take us away. I was terrified–where would you be? Were you coming, too?
I sat on his lap, squirming in pain. The lights were off, and huge dinosaurs were on the screen. He held me in place–I couldn’t get down. My objections were drowned out. Nobody was there to stop him. Continue reading
Yesterday, I cracked open yet another self-help book–one I’ve been wanting to read because it is magically going to tell me how to be self-compassionate.
The very first chapter made me stop and think. This chapter dealt with our perception of pain and with it came a novel idea (to me): Pain is increased when we resist it. Pain is decreased when we accept it.
In fact, the more resistance that we feel, the more our pain amplifies and turns into suffering. Continue reading
This morning, as I lay in my bed, my mind wandered to all of the heavy thoughts that have been weighing me down. I gave a sigh, feeling the familiar pain of sadness and emotion in my chest and my stomach, and blinked the tears from my eyes.
I have not been okay. I am hurting–and grieving–and feeling close to hopeless.
Lately, the dysfunction of my relationships has been at the forefront of my mind. I have been struggling with the idea, again, that there is something wrong with me.
And then I realized something–there IS something wrong with me.