Archive for the ‘Life on pause’ Category

large

At some point or another, many of us will or have faced some type of trauma in our lives… We all have had to face fears or witness something we really wish we hadn’t… Things happen in our life and we really don’t know why – but we try to take them all as lessons or stepping stones to get across those deep rivers that we like to call – life…

Some individuals will get through the stress and anxiety of trauma within either days, weeks or maybe a month – but for some… it can last longer. It can depend on the severity of the trauma, the length of time the person was exposed -or  number of many other factors. We all have our way in dealing with pain and how we heal…

But when the anxiety, stress and memories hang on for months – it can begin to interfere with parts of a person’s life… Which can often turn into PTSD or generalized anxiety… With the right type of coping skills and tools though, a person can begin to learn to deal with unwanted memories, intrusive thoughts and the emotions and stress that come with generalized anxiety and PTSD….There are some things you should know if you have a friend, family member or know someone who is healing from trauma and has been diagnosed….

  1. Don’t tell them to just “get over it.” Believe me – they are trying – more than anything, they want to get over it…but certain triggers – which can be either physical, emotional or even mental – will bring back memories, flashbacks or even emotions that the person may have been experiencing at that time. Telling them to “get over it,” will only make them more frustrated.
  2. Telling them, “it’s in past…” ..Well – obviously.… The person with generalized anxiety or PTSD wants the past to be over… It’s not the person not wanting to let go of the past – it’s the past not letting go of them.
  3. Allow them to talk about it – even if it’s over…and over again. Talking is great therapy and allows them to observe the situation now that they are in a safe place.
  4. They might be moody on occasion.  Getting lost within your own mind and its thoughts-especially those you don’t want can get quite tiresome… And frustrating. A person with anxiety or PTSD will have intrusive thoughts and not being able to always to control those can be stressful… Eventually, with the right tools, intrusive thoughts can become less or be managed.
  5. They need plenty of downtime….self-care. Healing takes time and self care and having down-time is a great way to de-stress … Offer to go on a walk, watch a funny movie, plan a day trip – or something that they enjoy… Just being there with them is all they may need. Sometimes- they may want alone time – so giving them space is good sometimes too.
  6. Zoning out happens…sometimes. A person with PTSD can be triggered…and may zone out – they may feel as if they are reliving a stressful situation or even experiencing the emotions from an event – all over again… They might need help being brought back to “reality” -You can say their name, maybe lightly touch them or talk them through – to let them know that they are safe and in the present…Those who are experiencing emotions – may just need helped being grounded – while they may not be reliving the scene-their body is re-experiencing the feelings…
  7. Let them know you care. Just knowing that you care and are there for them to talk means the world… It is hard for someone to come to terms with their mental health…The world looks at mental health as taboo at times – they need to know that they are normal and human… and that they will too heal – at their own pace and time.

 

 

 

long-term-memory-clipart-2

So I started this “Life on Pause” blog series for a few reasons …. 

#1. It is a journal for me to track my progress to see how far I’ve come… Nobody ever said healing was easy… Writing is my way to heal.

#2. I hope that my experiences can help others.  I have been a part of internet groups with individuals who have endured similar relationship situations as me. There are so many people who have encountered trauma within their relationships…. My goal- to help those who are going through trauma not to feel alone – and that perhaps my stories – can help them in some way.

Now … I am sure there are plenty of people who think I am sharing my experiences for other reasons… These ARE NOT THE reasons that I am sharing my story:

#1. Sympathy.... I don’t want sympathy. I need friends to listen and be there – but I don’t need anyone nor want anyone to say “you poor thing.” I already feel stupid enough for getting myself into the situation I was in… I am not writing this for attention.

#2. To get back at the people who hurt me.  No – my “Life on Pause” is not for revenge or to air dirty laundry. I am not a person who seeks revenge. I am already trying to learn to forgive – revenge will only set me back.

#3. I want to be famousSeriously? – do I want my trauma story to make me famous and be aired all over media? No – I think not. I only want my stories to help others.

*****************************************

This is just an FYI… for anyone who wanted to know.

 

faith-does-not-eliminate-questions-but-faith-knows-where-to-take-them-589980

…It is amazing just how many ridiculous things I have forgotten from my previous relationship until a trigger or memory brings up something.. When you are in the midst of trauma – you don’t realize how bad the situation is – or exactly what is going on – because to you – It is your normal – you know no different…(sad, but true).

Tonight, I had another one of those memories… I have been participating in a Lenten study at a church in my area, and we have been discussing the last 24 hours of Jesus’s life and all that he endured… Tonight we were at the scene where Jesus had to carry his cross, and was flogged and humiliated… A question was asked if any of us had seen, “Passion of the Christ.” … I was the only one who had. But it wasn’t by choice. I was forced to go see it – because if I hadn’t seen it – then according to my then spouse – I wasn’t a real Christian.

See – at that time- I felt the need to prove that I was a Christian. My commitment and dedication to Christ was constantly questioned.  At that time, I was told – that I “needed” to see Passion of the Christ – to see what Jesus endured for us. I was well aware what Jesus endured – and for that – I am quite thankful – …Jesus was a humble teacher who loved everyone – he sacrificed himself for us… I am well aware…. But I was told that I needed to see this movie. I sat in the very front row….and winced during the scene of his flogging – I tried to turn away – the scene broke my heart to its core… As I began to turn away … I was told..”You need to see this! – why are you looking away?!” …. I was told that I was weak for looking away….

Seeing such a scene was horrific. I am a very empathetic person… So – this was just way more than your normal “double whammy…”

It seemed like my faith was constantly on the line and in question…

… It’s too bad it has taken me this long to learn – that I don’t need to prove my faith to anyone. Honestly – my faith – that is between God and I…. I know where I stand… He knows where I stand. That is all that matters. And in this world – we are to be humble and not to brag about the good deeds that we do…. Sure we want to share the love that we have for Jesus – but there is no need to prove it…And if you are married to someone who constantly questions your faith – then is that relationship really good for your spirit or soul?

arthursunset26dec2016

…It’s been one of those weeks – where for a few days, you were literally running on adrenaline- and then, you come crashing down to a halt. I learned of my step-grandmother’s passing this past Monday  – although- she never was Just “step” to me – she was just grandma.

We had her funeral and memorial service on Thursday …They both were wonderful services – and we had sunshine during her funeral service – when the weather called for rain and thunderstorms- for that time – we were delivered sunshine…

My brother and I spent a lot of time with her as children and she took us everywhere ….She introduced me to my first hog roast ( I’d never been to one – nor had I realized at the time, I would literally see a hog roasting!)- her response – “Well..what did you think it was going to be?”  she asked with a laugh…. She introduced me to church and God… Gramsandi was a devout Christian , a comedian, sassy, and said what was on her mind – was blunt – but at the same time- very loving.  Her passing came as a shock….and it attacked my emotions just minutes after hearing the news…Somehow – because of her devotion to Christ – I felt like she would live forever…(well – eternally – she will)…

-I was pretty sad about losing her, but also – it brought me back to my other close grandmother, June Cherry’s passing 8 years ago – who passed away on April 9, 2009… Grandsandi’s’ passing was so close to the anniversary of that death – which I was preparing myself for once again…

Losing someone is never easy – especially if it is family or a close friend…Not only are we grieving over the loss – but at the same time, we realize the length of our own mortality. This life on earth is not forever…. Again – we are reminded… that we too, will one day cross that bridge… All we have here is time …and our time here – is not eternal.  Every day is a blessing. It is so important to love all that you can – love your family – love your friends – love your neighbor. …. These material things we have here in our earthly lives – they are just THINGS….but LOVE…. that is eternal…

I have to openly admit- I think about my own mortality at least once every day … and I try to make sure that I have done something to make the best of each day and have told at least one person that I love them…. As I grow older – I learn what is important to me.  I realize how money does not buy time….nor happiness. I have found that happiness comes from deep within and from doing good in this life… yes – this world makes it hard to live that way – so many things call for money in order to live and keep a roof over our heads…. It’s a struggle every day… But I try not to WANT so many things….instead.. I try to give all I can…-at least give what I can …because life can make that hard too…

I dream of a life eternal (although,  I will honestly admit, the idea of eternity frightens me too, sometimes), but I do hope I will see all of those that I love once again…. At least once a day, I fear the thought of losing those who are close to me…. I adore all of my friends and family – and I really don’t look forward to the day that I say goodbye to any of them – but I have faith….hopeful faith… that I will see them again.. .Because – without faith – then what is all this for anyway? You have to have faith…. We have to have faith in a life eternal….Because if not – then what is the point?

 

he-never-hit-me-20161124153401.jpg-q75,dx720y432u1r1gg,c--

I recently came across a very good article…”But he never hit me.” … So many women need to read this article- abuse does not just have to be physical. Sadly – I could identify with some of the feelings the woman in this article had felt… At least thankfully – I never had to deal with cheating…. In my situation, I was constantly trying to make light out of my situation…”It wasn’t that bad…. He just got angry and had anger issues. I would even think part of the situation was my fault – I was young – I was just learning how to deal with relationships….”… And like the woman in the article…”But he never hit me…I would say the same thing and decide – my situation could be much worse – mine actually isn’t that bad…I often tried to convince myself all the time..Although I wasn’t physically abused, my confidence took the beating instead.

For those who would like to read the article – click on the link below (although, for some – it could be too much- and possible triggers).

http://www.mentor2day.com/2017/03/he-never-hit-me.html

…And for those who wonder ….I did leave my situation..And it was a hard road. Yes- I was blamed for a lot of it…some even tried to come up with other stories of why I left…. Nobody  will probably never realize the pain that is internally inflicted…unless they’ve been down that road too….Now the best I can do – is keep journeying onto a road of healing, rebuilding my self confidence and that I am none of those negative things that I was told for so many years…

 

SunClouds2016

 

Thou-est …you do think too much…”

“If you spend too much time thinking about the future..or the end – then you never will have really lived…

-The first phrase – I could see someone saying aloud to me – I often hear it in my mind. The second phrase – was told to me by my therapist. And she’s right. I need to learn to be in the present…

My mind drifts into a million places all the time. If I have a task to focus on in a given moment – I’m there. I’m all about that task and accomplishing it. But if you leave me alone for just a few minutes …. You are going to have to pull me off of my thought cloud.

I am always contemplating life and the future…and even – sometimes the end. I am usually thinking about when and how I am going to finish my book projects, art projects, what I will photograph next…what my daughter will be doing after she graduates…what type of guy will she end up with, what will her wedding be like…. what will being a grandmother be like (hope it doesn’t happen anytime soon!), where will I be living in 5, 10, 15 years—will I be here in 15 years?…..and then I find myself asking….when will I leave this world? …what will eternity be like?…. Can I fathom eternity? Do I want to live in an eternity?…what is the afterlife?… My mind just goes…and goes…..It is kind of scary in a way…that a person who enjoys life as much as I do ….am fascinated with …things like the afterlife…But my mind just twists it into these conceptions – which I believe is probably my imagination on over-drive…

Sometimes…I just get frustrated…Can’t I just park myself in the present and enjoy the moment?… Now – stick me with a sunrise…sunset, the moon or stars – and I am there…I am in THE MOMENT….Nature grounds me in the moment….But if I am stuck in doors, I just love to travel with my thoughts….I can actually travel down the rabbit hole when it comes to contemplating eternity … I am sure as humans – we can’t fathom that kind of time…We can’t grasp the concept of eternity – honestly – eternity frightens me….It reminds you of some of those movies where they rant mysteriously – or frighteningly – “forever…and ever…and ever…and ever…”

Why write this blog post? ranting about the rantings of my mind? I am curious if there are others who think just as much as I do? …or if I am just the odd one out here  ? … Does anyone ever find themselves falling down the rabbit hole of endless mind rantings?…Does anyone else wonder about eternity…?…the after-life?…Or has my horror writing finally all caught up with me?…I just know…there may be one day – I will need some really long rope to pull me out of my rabbit hole…

 

LifeOnPausecover

Have you ever had a point in your life where you have felt like you are wearing a shirt with a big red letter “A” on it  – similar to the character from the book, “The Scarlet Letter?”

Well – I have had plenty of opportunities to feel such a way – and – you know, I shouldn’t be feeling that waybut there are people who stare so hard into your soul, it is like they are trying to kill you from the inside out.

It is difficult to live in a small town- everyone seems to think they know everyone’s business. The thing is – they don’t. Some may base their knowledge on what they have heard through gossip and rumors….. And immediately make assumptions – without even knowing the truth first or the other person’s side of the story…

Now – they all say – you shouldn’t care what other people think…And they are right – but if people are saying untrue things about you or about something that is very personal to you – it hurts.

I have spent a good amount of time trying to overcome so much negativity that I have been exposed to for many years… And when I finally start to feel I am in somewhat of a good spot – I still get the “evil eye” from people in my own community…

It has taken so much time to try to overcome guilt – that I shouldn’t haven’t even been feeling in the first place. I made a decision to do what was best for me – my emotions and my mind…not to mention – my personal and spiritual growth. I was literally falling apart inside… I had been hurting for so many years….

And while that is my story – there still seem to be people who don’t care…. In my own personal community where I reside- I can walk into a restaurant or place of business and get stared down until I am forced to leave. It makes me feel incredibly miserable inside – Like I am some sort of a monster.

I am just a human being. I am just a human being trying to live life, learn and help others- just like everyone else….I wish those that judge or who listen to gossip would stop and think about their actions – And how they would feel if such were done to them….

I honestly try to move on from such a thing when I get these evil glares- or hear of people talking...But I have to admit – it hurts….especially when I am trying to feel good about a decision that I felt was right for myself… One of the least times in my life when I decided to be selfish for my own protection…

I shouldn’t have to pay the price for wanting to feel safe.