How I’ve been defined

Yesterday, I embarked on another EMDR journey–this time, in an attempt to get to the bottom of my perfectionism. The journey itself was not as traumatic and difficult as some of the others have been, and images did come swimming before my closed eyes. One image–of a high cinder block wall that I was trying to scale, jump off of, and leave behind–seems especially relevant in my attempt to escape my little town, where I was known, had history, and, most likely, very few secrets. Breaking into my cliquish peer group as an outsider was never something that I feel like I completely achieved, and my experiences of being bullied, not fitting in, and then trying to prove myself and be better than some of them, certainly contributed to my feelings of inferiority and judgment.

So, while this was telling to me, these are not the moments that stood out to me during this EMDR session. Continue reading

5 Things that Improved My Anxiety

I am not “cured” of anxiety–I have my ups and downs, and I probably always will. However, over the course of the last six months I have discovered some powerful things to help me deal and control my mood and stressors.  Continue reading

The Power of Exercise

I have never, ever loved to workout. There is no exercise that I have ever really enjoyed doing over the years. I have read, for years, about the power of exercise and mental health, but I never made that a priority.

Before I had my first child, this was not really a problem for me. I was not so focused on being healthy as I was skinny. And, up until my first pregnancy, I was skinny without much effort.  Continue reading

The thing about anxiety…

The thing about my anxiety, and maybe ALL anxiety, is that it can always come back.

I have been feeling amazing over the last few months–feeling NORMAL (whatever the hell that means). This last week though, for whatever reason, I have suddenly found myself feeling random bouts of panic and anxiety. Continue reading

What kind of mother do I want to be?

I have spent a lot of this last week watching the Democratic National Convention. Many of the speakers spoke to my heart and my values, but I found myself moved by a few speeches more than the others.

Last night, my daughter decided she wanted to stay up and watch Hillary Clinton speak. She is seven, and the other night we were discussing what the DNC was, and who the two presidential candidates were. She sat back and said, “I think we should vote for the girl candidate…you know what?! I can’t think of ANY girl presidents…!” That is when my sweet girl had her first realization that, not only has there never been a female president, there have actually been people who think a woman could not get the job done. Continue reading

Getting healthy amidst the dysfunction

Every day, I feel my mind and my heart getting stronger. Every day, I realize that I am on a path to finding “me” and, finally, I have begun to enjoy this journey.

One thing I did not consider, however, is the way my relationships would change because  I have begun this journey. During therapy, my own family dysfunction has glared at me, and I have learned how to stare it down…and, believe it or not, I feel like I am winning.

Continue reading

Mothering after a painful childhood

No matter who you are, parenting is simultaneously magical and wonderful and terrifying and worrying. As a mother of two, the minute my first baby, a girl, was laid on my chest after delivery, I was immediately enraptured by this perfect and beautiful little thing that grew.

10400090_58663716925_6279003_nI was confident, despite being in my early 20s. I had done my homework and I had many idealized visions of what parenting and motherhood would look like.  Continue reading

The pain of letting it out.

I have lived a lot of my life keeping quiet. Holding it all in. Talking about the crap that has happened to me has never been something that I have done.

Counseling has changed that–it has helped me put the pieces of my life back together, and it is helping me find the confidence to speak up AND to be okay again.

In the spirit of “speaking up,” I recently made a vulnerable confession to my grandmother. She was talking about my childhood and my mother, and I used this opportunity to share that I was seeing a counselor and ask her questions–I wondered if my memories matched up with her’s.  Continue reading