I was listening to the former Miss America of 1958 Marilyn Van Derbur story who is a survivor of incest. This is not the first time I have listened to her story and I read her book.
I listen to a lot of other people’s personal survivor stories, these stories remind me that I am not the only one in the world who is a survivor of mentally ill caregivers. I am not the only one in the world who has to recover from horrific childhood conditions.
Listening to many courageous folks talk about their trauma experiences and their personal journey to recovery validates my trauma experience and personal recovery journey. And I am sure when I share my story of trauma I am an inspiration also.
I have given speeches and written about my life’s experiences for a long time now and I know I am taking the chance of stigmatizing myself as a victim but that is OK because as long as I can help someone on their own journey of trauma recovery I have done the right thing.
Here’s the takeaway: Share your story, listen to other folds stories that resonate with you. Your life’s story will be an inspiration and upliftment to someone, whether you know the person or not. Sharing your story is one small act of kindness and compassion for yourself and for someone else.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your courage.
Let me preface this saying that I have been a proud Rebel for most of my life. I am not kidding. My caregivers were so mentally ill that I had to fend for myself for a long time. I learned not to get swept up in their insanity by keeping true to what I knew was reality. Was living that like easy. Nope, it was very hard until I eventually moved away from that insanity.
Here’s what I learned about being a rebel and how you can become one too.
- Stay in your truth no matter how hard it is.
2. Live your unique life on your terms not matter how it looks to others.
3. Put a boundary up against those who will try to drag you down.
4. When you hear feedback that you always do things your way and don’t care about anything else, you know you are on the right track.
Bonus: It’s your life, make it resoundingly pleasant for you and then everything else will fall into place.
You are worth the time and effort in living fully.
Carry on you adorable REBEL.
Violence is the last act of hopelessness.
One believes there is no other response available.
One believes they cannot change their circumstances.
Violence does not solve problems rather it temporarily pushes it away.
There are many factors why one would resort to violence, however, we are thinking beings and we have an enormous capacity to figure things out. Before we lose it and use violence take a moment to walk away, cool down, get help, talk it out, google alternatives to acting out, do something, anything that will keep you safe.
There is no point in dishing out violence if it will put you in jail, or the hospital or have some other negative long term consequences.
Think before you act, whatever you are facing there are always alternatives to violence.
Sticks and stones can break your bones and words can hurt you too.
Words have the power to explain, and uplift and shame and sooth and entice and many more ways to influence us, every day and in all ways.
How do you communicate? Do you think before you speak?
Words are intrinsic to self examination, sharing information, connecting emotionally. Words can trigger pain or can build bridges or burn false beliefs.
You get my point, the words you speak to yourself are as important as the words you speak to others.
Are you kind or mean with your internal dialog? Do you repeat fears and worries, do you take the time to listen to the your internal dialog and distinguish between the false lies or the quiet truth. Do you take the time to be quiet, still, grounded?
How you speak to yourself has a dramatic effect, if you put yourself down all the time you will start to believe it even if it is not true.
Start by paying attention to what you are telling yourself and make an effort to speak to yourself with lovingkindness. You are so very important, please start now.
Stereotype-A stereotype is a mistaken idea or belief many people have about a thing or group that is based upon how they look on the outside, which may be untrue or only partly true. Stereotyping people is a type of prejudice because what is on the outside is a small part of who a person is. Wikipedia.
Broad Generalizations-In everyday language, a generalization is defined as a broad statement or an idea that is applied to a group of people or things. Often, generalizations are not entirely true, because there are usually examples of individuals or situations wherein the generalization does not apply. Google search.
It really bothers me when someone spews out of their mouth some stupid statement like: dogs are smarter than cats, cats are aloof, woman want large families, men never make commitments, that salesmen are greedy, pretty people are stuck up.
A woman said to me the other day that all women are nurturing and intuitive, are you kidding me, that is not true, none of these statements are true.
I can’t stop others from getting on their podium and spread false information but I can check out for myself all the information I need. I can find the truth for myself. And so can you.
Don’t blindly believe in what you are told. Zombies do that, don’t be a zombie, be a involved human by being informed. Investigate, figure out for yourself what is being presented and make decisions based on your own truth, not someone else’s.
We can serve others without voluntarily acting as a martyr. We can serve others without giving anything up, nope not one thing.
We can serve others by telling our story, there is always someone who will be inspired by your struggles and how you overcame them. The world needs more brave souls like all of us who have suffered, to inspire others into positive action.
When we tell our story we are acting authentic and showing our true selves, you are saying what everyone is feeling but can’t say it, you are helping someone heal with your honesty, and importantly you have showed your humanity and gained trust because you tell the truth.
Your words and actions will reinforce the honest person that you are.
Your words and actions are the kindest way of serving others in a deep and profound way through inspired action.
How wonderfully powerful, and generous you are as you serve your fellow man by telling your truth, your fabulous story, you deserve to be very proud of yourself.
Carry on you brave soul.
There are many ways we feel shame, in Psychotherapist’s Joseph Burgo book there are 4 subtypes of shame and I will list them here:
- Unrequited Love-this is not only the type of unreciprocated love between adults, the author explains that it happens in infancy and childhood when a parent is not able to respond to the child in a healthy way. In my opinion this explains those nasty situations where we run after unavailable people. This makes a lot of sense to me.
- Unwanted exposure-maybe you were called out on something and humiliated about it.
- Disappointed exception-perhaps you set out to do something and fail.
- Being left out-it happens everywhere, home, work, school. No one wants to feel alone and rejected.
Shame can be so mentally excruciating that we are stopped in our tracks or run away from the pain. And that is normal.
How to heal shame: very difficult without mindfulness. But certainly achievable by doing the important work of examining your mental health. There is Mr. Burgo’s book plus the classic book on shame by John Bradshaw. There are thousands of articles and books available plus it’s really helpful to have a therapist so you can work through the core emotion of shame.
Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy and Build True Self Esteem by Mr. Joseph Burgo
Healing the Shame That Binds You – John Bradshaw.
Both books are a good starting point for examining shame.
Carry on. You can do this.
It is Thanksgiving Holiday here in the USA.
From my family to yours may you have a sweet and peaceful holiday 2019.
I am truly thankful for each and every one of you.
Vicarious – Meaning -experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person.
I never liked fluffy stories with forced happy endings like on the Hallmark channel, I prefer to know what makes the characters tick even if there is a strange ending, on a regular basis I prefer non-fiction.
It is common that being in a psychologically dysfunctional environment growing up or as an adult it is unsafe to express our emotions.
When our emotions are not validated we can get them validated through music, art, reading stories, crime dramas, going to the movies, etc. you can add to the list.
We can better understand what we are feeling through these venues, we can relate to the struggles, fear, sadness, injustice or joy of the characters. By having these venues to relate to is a beginning to finding some safety within to express ourselves.
You are not alone, given the magnitude of how many people use these outlets all of us are using them to validate our own expressiveness.
Carry on. Express away.
It’s normal and necessary to reinvent ourselves over and over during our entire lifetime.
How do we reinvent ourselves, by changing the way we behave just like a singer who reinvents their career over and over. You are no different from a celebrity. You are the star of your own life and can grow and adapt as you go on in your precious life.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, you don’t have to explain or justify the new you, get out of your comfort zone, be honest with yourself and others.
Make your one and only life happy for you over and over. Find your courage, set some goals, create a plan, write it all down on paper, you can always change it as you go along, you may even have to relentlessly reassess. And take your time there is no finish line.
Have fun while you are at it and remind yourself every day that you are worth the effort.