So there is this thing about me that I don’t like, but it is part of me, and just like everything else I don’t like about me I’m working on it. I don’t like to speak up and ask for the same thing I give others. I definitely don’t do it for something in return, but I mean when it’s a birthday mantle countdown I want to be included in that.
So it’s okay to speak up and say, “hey don’t forget that mantle thing I started last year through the pandemic for everyone’s birthday, Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day”, right? Well yes. You see I know that and I would tell you or anyone else that “it is fine”, and I would go on to say, “People can’t possible know what you want if you don’t tell them, so if you’re left out it’s because you didn’t speak up.” You see I know reality, but what I don’t know is how to be okay with applying it myself.
This year I did though. I felt awkward and guilty. I felt as if the lives might think that the only reason I do this for them is so they can do it for me. I was afraid that they’d call me spoiled. I was so anxious immediately after I said something, that I began to have a panic attack.
You know what though I’m so glad I spoke up. And even as they loaded it with very thoughtful me gifts I felt what they do when I do it for them, or at least I assume it is the same feeling. You know I’m not exactly sure how to describe the feeling. It’s a huge problem I’m still having is putting names to my feelings. I’m pretty certain it was happiness, joy, or love. Maybe all 3, I don’t know 🤷🏼♀️, I’m sure we will walk through it and put names to the feelings I was having in counseling next week.
Counseling has been trigger days so I asked my counselor to add relaxation therapy at the end of each session from now on and also asked if it was okay to see him after my birthday and this weekend because I didn’t want to be triggered and spend 3 days manic, panicked, or depressed. He agreed that it was the best for me so that I could maybe enjoy this time. And you know what I am certain that this was the right call. This is one of those times where the best therapy is to not do therapy. The best healing sometimes happens in those break moments.
So back to therapy next week and I am so excited to report that besides some tears because I was worried about my fiancé’s safety, driving in the snow storm on Monday (my birthday), I had a good weekend leading up to, including Valentine’s Day, and a good birthday. I can only hope that by this time next year there are no panic attacks surrounding the holidays and my birthday and all the gifts and love coming at me. This year better than last. Last better than the last. If that pattern continues then logic tells us that next year can only be better. It is the year of the Ox , so it is my year!
What do you do when there is something about you won’t be able to change? Like having a mental/behavioral health problem that is just part of you?
You learn to be “okay” with “not being okay”.
You learn to listen to their words and only their words even if you cannot process them while they’re saying them.
You learn to process them when your head is silent.
You learn to say there is just too much.
You learn that they love you.
You learn to trust.
You learn everything you can.
You learn to fail.
You learn to pick yourself back up.
And even when you believe you’re not good enough, that your not loveable, you’re not worth it, you allow their words to come through at the end of the day and start again tomorrow.
You learn to be okay with being you.
You learn to be patient with yourself.
You learn to be patient when they’re not patient with you.
You learn that you’ll never be perfect.
You learn you’re loved anyway.
You learn to leave the room, escape to the dark, and breathe.
You learn to breathe.
You learn when you can come back to the situation.
You learn that even though you would love for someone to wrap their arms around you, they shouldn’t just yet.
You learn to be okay with that.
You allow yourself to be okay with good touch when your panicking.
You learn that those touching you only have your best interest at heart.
You learn that even though you may freak the fuck out when they come close to you or touch you, to take a breath and look at them.
You learn that seeing their face can change “who you’re seeing”.
You learn to come back to reality when you see their loving faces.
You learn to let them know to ask before touching when you’re upset.
You learn to feel loved when sad.
You learn to feel loved when mad.
You learn to feel loved when joyous.
You learn to allow yourself to feel loved in all parts of your life.
You learn that you are stronger than you’ve ever imagined.
You learn that you will feel weaker than you’ve ever imagined.
You learn to lose control.
You learn to be in control.
You learn try to change only what you can.
You learn to embrace every day with hopeful anticipation.
You learn love harder.
You learn that some may never see your progress.
You learn that even if they do they’ll forget sometimes.
You learn that you are difficult to love.
You learn that all people are.
You learn that you’re stopping yourself from feeling love.
You learn that it’s because love has always hurt.
You learn that you must learn to be okay with being loved.
You learn to learn how to be loved.
I write this list because I learn daily. I am only able to write this list because all these things were taught to me in therapy or by my doctor. I write them for you to learn too.
“Kelly leave the room she said” I do now. I lay in my dark black room, on my cold foam bed, under my weighted blanket curled up tight, and cry and breathe. I patiently await the moment I can rejoin my family and sometimes I cannot.
I desire that hug, that warm loving embrace. I learned sometimes it’s not the best thing to do right away.
I learn to fight the feeling of aloneness in those moments, because I know it’s me choosing to remove myself from the situation so it doesn’t escalate. I have learned that if I am touched or talked to too soon it’s a problem.
I learn every single day.
Unlike most I analyze my “episodes” afterward. I pick myself and my behavior apart, just like I’ve been doing my whole life. When you’re not only parenting your parents, but yourself you don’t always learn how to cope and properly handle stress…no one ever taught you but who? You!
So I analyze. I research different strategies and inspiration quotes and messages. I listen to podcasts. I read blogs. I try to figure out how to help myself and what is going on in my body. I am 35 no mom, no dad, and I don’t say that for sympathy, this is a conscious decision on my part and I am getting so much better now and quicker. I am able to better parent my “unruly inner child”, even though I’m parenting her while I’m messing up. So yeah just like anyone being disciplined she doesn’t like it.
It’s a terrible thing for people who don’t really know you, never taken the time to really get to know you to think that you are unwilling to learn. When I am the first person to see my flaws, point them out, ask for help, and try to fix it.
I mean on my first date with my fiancé I told him every reason not to pursue me. I didn’t know about some mental health things that would later come out as a result of my traumas, but when they did come up I was the first to ask questions and to try and find answer.
The reason I’m not on my therapist couch anymore isn’t because I don’t have anything left to learn, it’s that he has taught me everything he could teach me in his office to get through life. He taught me how to cope. He taught me how to be okay when the feel like my loves don’t love me or don’t want me. He and my doctor taught me that no matter how much my loves want to not take it personally they’ll never be able not too, and I’ll never be able to not hurt because I hurt them. I learned from them and now my 16 year old 3 days that they don’t hurt the way I think they do. That they hurt because they love me and they want me to be free from this too.
My therapist taught me that when I mess up that my core belief of grace, that I myself am worthy of grace. That if I believe that God’s love is grace and mercy and patience, and I believe that everyone should love everyone with the bare minimum of grace, then I too am worthy of graceful type love.
The challenge is on me to believe all that I have been taught. I have already learned and I continue to do so, because only a fool refuses to learn.
The only thing I need to learn is to believe what I’ve been taught…
It’s just another day for me. I try so hard. There are very real feelings in me and I don’t know how to handle and navigate them all.
I can’t go one day though it seems without tears or something happening. I feel like I can’t catch a break and never will.
Life is so hard for me sometimes. It’s a struggle somedays. When I’m feeling good and being myself I fear that I’m being judged and worry about what others will think if I do this or that, or don’t do this or that.
I live under so much pressure to always be better than what I am today. I live under the pressure of trying to balance it all…make it all work…keep it together.
I’ve been the strong independent one taking care of everyone including myself since I was a child. Do you know that in third grade when my grandfather was dying I missed almost my whole school year caring for him? For some odd reason everyone thought I’d rather be at home being my grandfather’s caregiver (along with grandma) instead of in school making friends and learning.
I’ve had to always do for myself. Fight for myself. Fend for myself. When my brother and I disagreed we were encouraged to fight it out instead of parents helping us work it out together. Now I’m scared to even interact with my nieces even though it has been one of my greatest desires and fights to do. I just can’t get over fear of our relationship. My fear and anxiety surrounding people from my family and my past is crippling and ruins my life most days.
My CPTSD is crippling and some days I can’t even get out of bed and will not eat because I just can’t emotionally do it.
I don’t know how to be loved. I know how to love and I know what it takes to make people feel loved, but I don’t know how to let someone love me. I know it sounds weird, but it’s true.
I used to let you love me. I used to embrace a new life, a new love, a new “normal”. I let you let me put my guards down. I let you let me be not so independent. I let you love me enough to let me become me.
It’s scary you know? Not knowing who I am yet. Trying to figure out what I like, don’t like, what I want and don’t want, what makes me happy and what makes me just ehh…at 35 isn’t easy. All I know I being a caregiver. I have been parenting people since I was very young. I helped with my brother and at 9 years old I was a caregiver for my grandfather. Now that my sons are working and they are almost adults, I’m finding it hard to know who I am and to be okay with my life.
From the time I sensed my now fiancé was going to propose I haven’t been handling life very well. Transitioning to the one thing I want the most in life hasn’t been easy at all, then you throw empty nest syndrome on top of it…watch out. Not only that I’m in menopause, so I haven’t handled life well since he proposed. There are too many changes and so many “what if’s”.
I’m not feeling very secure in myself right now with all these changes that I cannot control in my life happening. I’m literally being forced into retirement and there is nothing I can do about it. My sons are becoming adults and I am so proud of them, but it’s so hard to know that they are my last two to raise. They make me want to do it all over again. There is so many challenges that they brought me, but they have literally helped become who I am today and I am becoming. My love he is a great dad and when I see him in them or them in him, I love him so much more. So I not certain why I am struggling to let people love me right now.
It’s hard I’m scared I know that everyone I love will eventually hate me or leave me. That I am just not worth someone loving or being around forever. Then I remind myself of everything he has told me. My love has spoke so many “right” things in almost 4 years together. He has picked me up and put back pieces. Now I find myself needing to walk through “reality” to remind myself of every thing he has said or done to make me love him. All the times he has told me, “Until I tell you you’re a problem for me…” This is what I’ve been reminding myself lately (by lately a couple days) to go with his words when I’m feeling insecure in my place in his life , If he had a problem and wanted me to go he’d tell me. He’s not a man of many words. He only says what he means.” It has been helping me greatly these past couple days.
Reminding myself of the good things when bad things pop up and rewriting how I feel about situations is really helpful. I’m going to get back to the place where I let him love me like he wants to. I have to put these walls back down and just feel free again. Traveling through my past over the past few years hasn’t been easy on me, but especially my 3 loves. I’m so thankful for their love, even when I can’t seem to feel it or accept it. I’m not certain if I can ever express to them just how grateful I am for the way they love me.
In the words of Megan Trainor “I’m workin’ on, workin’ on it. Trying to see what you see when you look at me. I’m workin’ on, workin’ on it…” or something like that ❤️
My grief of what I don’t have and what I have walked away from has been so great this past year, but the truth is I have done those things to heal, and healing is what I’ve been working so hard at. So I’ll keep working at this and I’ll let myself be me finally. I’m going to keep working hard to be the best version of me. I’m also going to keep on working on being me without regards to what people think of me, that’s the biggest one for me.
Too often I had been told that my giving nature was a bad thing, then I found out that being nice and giving and serving others isn’t a bad thing, it’s using it on the wrong people that’s bad.
“But, Kelly everyone is deserving of kindness”, yes that is true. Kindness like love is to be freely given, but that doesn’t mean it is taken advantage of either.
I went through counseling over the last 4 years, been off the couch for 6 months now (whoa!), I would always hold firm to the belief that my giving spirit is just who I am and it makes me feel like me. It’s my happiness. My peace. My thing.
My counselor would reassure me that it’s okay to want to do for people, but not if the people I am doing for are hurting me, Will always hurt me, and have hurt me. That there was a population of people that would appreciate my “goodheartedness”.
I didn’t understand him at first, but then I began to realize that he was right. That the wrong people to serve were the very people who were hurting me in the first place. I thought I understood him then, but boy do I really understand now.
You see this past Thanksgiving after making the decision that I would only focus this gift on those who truly need this gift and will appreciate it. To use this gift of service and feeding and healing for the betterment of our society, not just a few in my life who decided it was theirs and theirs only, not even mine.
So on Thanksgiving we loaded up the Tesla and headed over to a mission in Chicago who I just found out had had some very serious discrimination allegations made, and because they don’t accept state or federal money (Catholic Mission) they are not being held to the same standards and are allowed to freely discriminate against who can even get a meal. Now because of this I refuse to take anything there that I cannot distribute to tent cities in and around Chicago, Northwest Indiana, and anywhere else I feel called…Detroit has been on my mind a lot lately, I wonder what’s up there…
You see how passionate I am about feeding people? I can’t even talk about Thanksgiving without ranting about the unfair discrimination from a place that claims to be founded and ran on “Christian” principles! I am a Christian and I don’t discriminate, I’m all inclusive, and that’s what Jesus taught me, “…red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world”…
Anyway back to Thanksgiving…
I had asked my little family if they would mind if instead of me cooking a full Thanksgiving meal since I knew we’d be having a feast later in the day, and we always feel bad when we are already too stuffed to eat once we get there, and I wasn’t feeling very well the last 8-12 months, so I just wasn’t up to cooking a big meal. My 3 loves were absolutely fine with it and actually really loved my replacement idea.
I thought, “Hey let’s get some blessing bags and necessities for the homeless donated and we will go pass them out on Thanksgiving and the items not accepted on the streets we will give at the mission.” They were excited to do so. We collected so many items and when we got to Chicago we found that the people I usually collect and they help me distribute for were already taken care of by very generous people. This made me my heart smile so big!
We had a great time! We really did. It was such an awesome way to spend thanksgiving morning. We headed back home, rested, and just like expected a feast later at my loves dad’s house. It really was a blessed day. I had been wanting to do this on Thanksgiving for some time now, so glad I got to see that the need is before Thanksgiving, and like we had been doing after the 1st of the new year.
By now you’re probably wondering what the problem is. You’re probably asking yourself, “Wasn’t this about you and you’re giving nature being bad?” Yes, yes it is.
You see this great day that obviously no one can see the problem in this day, this day was a huge turning point for me. Actually July 4th, 2019 was a huge turning point in my life. I mean once you’ve been to Pike’s Peak, are a donut at 14,000 ft elevation, and been proposed to, in what is what I believe to be the most healing and magical place in the world, there really is nothing in your life you cannot do.
July 4th, 2019 that mountain changed my life in more ways than one. It probably actually started the day before during the trip up to the Alpine Visitor Center…yikes! Alpine Visitor Center road or Pike’s Peak Highway, Pike’s Peak for sure!!!!
Those mountains, making it to the top of mountain peaks is a very healing experience, trust me. For me I conquered a fear of heights, I even went back on 6/22/2020 and drove up to Pike’s Peak (mile 16 mandatory shuttle due to construction), I did it. No one else. I drove down too. Huge victory over my life right there.
That day my love, the love of my life proposed and made all those promises he’d been promising for so long a reality. I had waited so long. I was so shocked and so surprised when I realized he wasn’t just being an ass with that donut as a proposal, that he actually had a ring in his boot. I cannot even remember what he said, just he was red and tears running down his face too. He changed my life once again that day.
Little did we both know that, that proposal and that mountain would trigger so much in both of us, but for me another huge wave of healing was about to start unbeknownst to me.
When I got home and went to see my little sister, my mother, and my step-father. My mother she is literally just the woman who made me in my eyes now. If you’ve been following along and continue to follow along you’ll understand why. She wasn’t very interested as usual and had to steer the conversation a way that was beneficial to her. All she cared about was the size of the stone and her new grand baby. Not all that it took for me to get up that mountain to get that ring that I didn’t know about.
So I kept working in therapy and at home to keep putting boundaries up with her and he, to keep, “keeping it businesslike” so I wouldn’t be hurt. I was also working through some very real current hurts on top of past hurts and having her continue to hurt me was not allowable. So I kept working at it and was getting better with it with her.
A few days before Thanksgiving she text me to ask if I was cooking dinner. I told her that, “I decided that my family and I would spend the day serving the homeless in Chicago and that my little sister is welcome to join us if she’d like to”.
Side note I have a terrible time making decisions for me or anyone else. I am not looking for things to do with people or looking to tell people what to do because I cannot even decide what I should eat most days.
I swear I feel as am I’m writing this you and I are learning something about me at the same time.
Making decisions for me is so hard. I feel like every time I make a choice someone is let down. Someone isn’t happy. That I hurt someone in someway and I end up paying the price for it in the long run. So why like anything? Why want to do anything? Why be any different then the people around me? Because if I am there will be big consequences for it.
This decision that was very hard for me to make and I immediately felt guilt for, and actually caused problems in my family, from the moment I made it, because I just knew. I just knew what her wrath would be like.
Just after Thanksgiving I was scheduled for surgery and the day before I had asked her a question. And the conversation went south fast. I kept my calm though because I wanted her to see she couldn’t get me worked up. I wanted my growth to be known. Then she said something that set me so far back in my progress.
It set me so far back! I don’t think anyone even realizes how far it set me back. I mean behaviors have gotten worse, feelings of insecurity are taking over, and it’s all because of her I’m sure. That day before my surgery exactly 5 months since I came down off that beautiful, beautiful mountain, my life was broken again.
That day she told me, “your brother and you better be damned lucky I didn’t give you up for adoption when I knew I couldn’t take care of you anymore!”
In that moment as my youngest son, who I adopted along with his brother, stood by my side as slowly made my way to the floor in tears.
“No she I am not in anyway lucky! All I ever wanted was a better home. To not be hungry. To not be hurt. To be loved. To have an opportunity. I wasn’t lucky with her.”
I was so mad and I responded with, “No we are not lucky, lucky is what my sons were, they got an opportunity to be loved by a woman who would walk through heaven and hell with them; not use, abuse, and abandon them”.
I kept her at a very long distance. Even though she is only 4 minutes down the road. I cannot wait to move away from her and here. It’s a lot of mental effort to keep her at a “long distance” when she is so close (again something no one gives me credit for because they don’t know how much work it takes).
It doesn’t mean I don’t feel the effects. I believe I’m grieving more than anything. I think I realize that now. I recently told her and my step-father to take that “long fucking walk off that short fucking pier”, to use their quote against them. Maybe I should have told them to, “tie a rope with a rock to your foot so you’ll sink faster”—assholes—yes I used to hear that whenever I’d voice a complaint or make a request or whatever, amongst other things. I told them, “You don’t get to deny what you did to me, either of you. None of it. You don’t get to do that to me. You don’t get to tell people that my truth is a lie when you were the ones doing and allowing it. You can take your shame and guilt to the grave with you. I’m tired of you controlling my life like this. You don’t get to ruin it anymore. You’ve ruined my life already now I want you to stop doing it. I want to marry the love of my life, not have him resent me. I want to be happy, and as long as I even know you exist I just cannot be free from your guilt and shame. You don’t get this control over me anymore.”
A couple days later on 6/22/2020 when we were supposed to be camping at home, but it was cancelled due to a storm cell coming in, we were spontaneously in Colorado, this time I drove to the top of that mountain. I may have liked at the top, but I made it up and down. I literally moved another mountain in my life. I closed a door and gave myself permission to lock it and throw away the key.
If there is one thing I have learned to be true living a life solely based on the faith that God will get you through is not easy, but it is truly the only thing I’ve ever had. I’m pretty certain that God said forgiveness is for me not for them. They have to seek their own forgiveness and I cannot forgive them if their ultimate sin. All I can do is forgive, try to reconcile, and if reconciliation fails, know that God had that planned all along too.
Now I’ve climbed that mountain again. This time with the love of my life in the passenger seat and my youngest son in the back. My oldest at home starting the newest chapter in his book with a new job, and me looking forward to actually planning a wedding. I cannot wait to be dancing with him that night. I have so many slow songs planned because that’s the only way I’ll get him in the dance floor, and that’s okay cause his arms are the safest and nicest place to be.
I have a couple insecurities that clearly just decided to read their ugly head again, probably because of what I’m dealing with in another area of life. I’m sorry that they do get the best of me and they cause me not to trust, but once you’ve been hurt a certain way before it can take a really long time to believe it won’t happen again.
So when the consequence of making a choice is big dramatic over the top responses like this, it’s no wonder I fear that every choice I make will be the end of the world. I am trying to fight this feeling so much. I want to make choices. I want to be able to ask for the things I need or want even. But I’m scared to. I know that it causes unnecessary stress, but what if I let my guard down all the way? What then?
Do I get the love and help that I need or do I get ridiculed and demeaned for not being able to do it myself? I’m not sure yet? I’m trying to figure it out. I guess I just need people willing to be in my life a lifetime showing me that it’s okay for me to want and get my basic of basic needs met. I try so darn hard to only do for myself. I don’t want anyone’s money or guilt.
These people have made it such a bad thing for me to have decisions or a life that wasn’t theirs. I fear that if I don’t plan a wedding the way everyone expects it to be then there will be terrible consequences. I imagine people taking about how much money was probably spent or judging the decor or whatever. I fear that people will think I’m spoiled or the center of attention. I fear all of things and so much more. Over the last year and having to do what I have had to do with my parents, it’s been a very hard topic to discuss for us.
I know that this most recent trip up and down that mountain have lead me to say and to do some things I wouldn’t normally do, but I’m glad I got it out of my system quick, because I have way better things to do in my life than to let my insecurities drive my actions.
I used to be secure in my new life, because I knew that God sent it to me, he promised me long before I got here. I’m pretty certain I seen my love in my dreams before I met him. I think because I still hadn’t released myself of them yet I couldn’t be truly free of it. Now I feel like there is nothing I can’t do. Like I should be saying, “Watch me now bitches…” but I won’t, 😂
I’m excited to plan a wedding that isn’t cheap for cheap sake. After a very wonderful and sweet woman heard me talking to her daughter and just listening, she wouldn’t let me pray before I left her house. I knelt beside her as she held my hand, and some how she knew exactly what to pray, and I the word that came out of her mouth could have only have been put on her heart by the one who truly knows mine.
She’s right you know? I am loved by so many, but my insecurities are keeping me from that love. If you all could just remember to remind me that my insecurity is showing it will help me. Imma huge “reality therapy fan”, don’t sugar coat and please don’t be vague.
Because of my mothers inability to live correctly, my step-father and his inability to love appropriately, and my “sperm-donor” (bio father) being in and out of prison as a child and him and his sins, it’s kind of hard to trust that anyone will ever just love you correctly no strings attached. That they’ll just love you expecting nothing and keep you forever. It’s so hard to feel worthy of that security. That stability. It’s a natural desire that all of us have. So congratulations I’m normal, I guess.
I can only try to fight my fears of it all being a “waste of time, energy, and money, because it’s not going to last forever anyway, because no one ever loves me forever or ever truly loved me anyway, they just love what they can get from me…” type thing. The thing is though until recently I don’t think I actually had the “freedom” I needed to be free of that mindset.
I do now think I have the freedom from the very things that were holding me back, from being free of this. Does it mean I won’t have hard days were it’s easy to feel these things? No. It just means I’ll cope and move on, not let it run my life.
If there is one thing my love is that I am not it is patience. I want my problems to be solved now. Right now. I want to do the work hardcore and it to perfect the skill instantly. In reality though this is a process and even if he and my sons don’t believe it I am so thankful that I am going through. I’m sorry it’s scary sometimes, but remember how scary it used to be?
Remember how terrifying it was when I decided to let the three of you really love me? Thanks for going through all this with me. We moved another mountain in my life, together, again as a family, and I’m so thankful.
Now here’s to wedding planning and not dreading it. She doesn’t get that control anymore. I was excited a long time ago at the thought of marrying my love and even though we’ve done life together and it’s not been easy, I’d still choose him over and over again, so I guess that’s saying something.
I have learned that the ones worth my energy and “good heartedness” are the ones who God intended me to love enough to change their lives. I will continue to dedicate myself to my charitable business to end homelessness.
I cannot wait to have raised enough money to start building my first homeless rehabilitation and prevention center, free of discrimination of any kind.
For now I’ll keep sleeping very little to figure out how to raise the money, where the needs are, feed, and connect with the homeless and so many others in need.
I knew I was called to work with the homeless since I was 7, so I will use this gift to help those who truly need it, and that is what makes some people mad. That’s okay because this is what I’m called to do. I’m called to love and to serve others. Such a fulfilled life it can be.
Allowing myself to feel this live and to be living in my true spirit of giving I am allowing myself to feel loved and secure again…slowly…but I’m getting there again. Working with the homeless and planning a wedding seem to me a great way to focus on love.