Daughter Guilt

I’ve always been the type of person to avoid confrontation. For me, it is more than just unpleasant–it is emotionally fueled, painful, and anxiety provoking.

It has always been easier…better…to just be the peacemaker. The nurturer.

I was cultivated into this role from an early age. The first person that I tried to avoid confrontation with is a person that I still try to avoid confrontation with: my mother.

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What stands in my way?

Healing is a constant journey–one that has felt anything but easy for me.

Since the middle of January, I have been struggling. Anytime I struggle, I get filled with frustration, shame, embarrassment, and anger–at myself.

Over and over and over again, I have asked myself: Why is it so hard to let some of this go? Why am I so stuck in this struggle?

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Feeling too much.

My whole life I have been sensitive. It’s just a fact of life about me.

Growing up, this was portrayed to me as a bad thing…Don’t be so sensitive! You are so dramatic! Stop crying.

I am good at hiding my emotions, most of the time. I have learned, through the years, to swallow most of it down and keep it in.

Interestingly, I am also sensitive to other peoples’ emotions and feelings. Sometimes, I feel almost like I over-empathize. It is boundaries all over again. I become a sponge…soaking up the feelings of those around me and noticing small changes in facial expressions and body language.

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Resistance

I had an EMDR session scheduled yesterday. As I drove to the appointment, I could feel my anxiety mounting, getting higher and higher. I took deep breaths and tried to talk to myself logically–it will be okay.

In my head, I had practiced discussing my triggers with my therapist. But saying the words–connecting the dots–out loud, feels so much harder.

It embarrasses me to say the words aloud. It is as if all this pain that I am feeling seems petty when the words are out there. And yet, until the words are out there, there is no relief. Continue reading

Let’s talk about it: SHAME

Shame.

Image result for shame brene brownIt’s a word I’ve thrown around a couple of times. An overwhelming wave of emotion. Shockingly, however, while I can feel and name this emotion, I have really never thought to examine its underlying cause.

I mean, where does my shame come from? Why do I feel it so heavily and so readily? Continue reading