R.I.P.

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I have mentally and emotionally prepared myself to bid farewell to the bruised little girl who still lives deep inside of me. The little girl who is trapped between the ages of birth to five years of old; The little girl who is uncertain about the consistency of her caregiving, essentially, the consistency of her world; The little girl who unfortunately taught herself to feel comfortable all alone; The little girl who believes that she is unworthy of love; The little girl that carries the shame and guilt of her family; The little girl who has seen too much too fast; The little girl who dissociates when experiencing pain/trauma; The little girl who doesn’t fully understand why they did what they did and why they left her; The little girl with fear and sadness in her heart, yet bravery in her soul, which can be seen through her gentle, little eyes.

Hey there little pretty girl that God has made. You have blossomed into a wonderful, joy of a woman. It’s ok; you’re safe and have been safe for quite some time. Look my little ninja, we made it! There’s that beautiful smile little girl! Come over to me and give me a warm hug. Dry your eyes and look at me. Let’s not live in and/or relive the past, because I want to fully live here in the present. I want to be right here in the present where not only am I safe, but there’s consistency; Life is simple and enjoyable; I don’t carry the family’s shame and guilt, or even my own, Dammit!; I am not being traumatized; I am by no means alone and have people around me I can trust; I am worthy of love and receive love; My strength and courage to face my world is intact and even admired by others…..

Little girl, I have nothing but respect for you because you did what you could to the fullest extent of your ability for us, but your job is absolutely done. I hope you can trust that I can and will take it from here. It’s time for us to deliver our valedictions. So long little girl… May you REST IN PEACE.

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Zero F*cks Given

Often, our blogs have taglines. But, what if humans did too? What would your taglines be? 

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I’m actually so random and unpredictable that several different taglines could be used to represent me, but at the time of seeing this writing prompt, “Zero Fucks Given” is what comes to mind. I’m counting down to the wonderful age of 30; 14 more days; OMG exactly 2 weeks from today, eeeeeek! And do you know what’s funny? I actually feel different. Though it’s been a gradual uphill struggle getting up to this point, I feel like only within the past 3 – 6 months have I realized the many significant changes within my mind, body, and spirit. Some people may share my sentiments and some people may scoff and think that my age ain’t nothing but a number. Shrugs, I dunno, I’m just going by how I am currently thinking and feeling. 

These days I am less anxious, more calm, and easygoing. I have more understanding and acceptance, especially of the people, places, things, and events that I cannot change. I love myself more and appreciate my true beauty. I feel more confident and have the motivation and courage to do what I want. My people-pleasing days seem to be coming to a close. Regardless of the fake ass, hardcore bullshiggity people spit from their mouths about not caring about what other people think about them, we all want to be liked/loved, valued, and appreciated. Me included! But, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, this is less important to me than it was in my previous years. I figure that as long as I like me, God has my back, and I’m ok with my thoughts, feelings, and actions, then I’m good to go! 

I want to share something with you… Given my unconventional upbringing in a substance abusing household, I have developed what those in the mental health profession refer to as  dun, dun, duuuuuunnnnn, “codependency issues”. According to merriam-webster.com. codependency is a psychological condition in which someone is in an unhealthy relationship that involves living with and providing care for another person (such as a drug addict or an alcoholic); as a psychological condition or relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition; dependence on the needs of or control by another. According to Codependency for Dummies, symptoms are as follows:

Low self-esteem

Not liking or accepting yourself

Feeling you’re inadequate in some way

Thinking you’re not quite enough

Worrying you are or could be a failure

Concerned with what other people think about you

Perfectionism

Pleasing others and giving up yourself

Poor boundaries

Boundaries that are too weak and there’s not enough separateness between you and your partner

Boundaries that are too rigid and keep you from being close

Boundaries that flip back and forth between too close and too rigid

Reactivity

Dysfunctional Communication

Difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings

Difficulty setting boundaries — saying “No” or stopping abuse

Abusive language

Lack of assertiveness about your needs

Dependency

Afraid of being alone or out of a relationship

Feeling trapped in a bad relationship and unable to leave

Relying too much on others opinions

Intimacy problems

Avoidance of closeness

Losing yourself

Trying to control or manipulate others

Feeling trapped in a dysfunctional relationship

Denial

Denial of codependency

Denial about a painful reality in your relationship

Denial of your feelings

Denial of your needs

Caretaking

Control

Controlling your own feelings

Managing and controlling people in your life; telling them what to do

Manipulating others to feel or behave like you want (people pleasing is a manipulation)

Obsessions

Addiction to a substance or process

Painful emotions

Shame

Anxiety

Fear

Guilt

Hopelessness

Despair

Depression

Um, well damn! As a mental health therapist with a specialization in working with individuals with co-occurring disorders (i.e. someone with both a substance use disorder and at least one other mental health disorder such as bipolar disorder), I am fully aware of those who present with codependent behaviors. I’m actually well-versed in the subject matter, but for years I felt as if I was above those issues due to my studies and career in the field… How foolish! It wasn’t until there was a major crisis within my immediate family 1.5yrs ago, the heart breaking end of my last relationship 6 months ago, and my participation in brief outpatient therapy which ended about 3 months ago, before I realized that a lot of my stress and depression was directly related to my freaking codependency issues!!! Cue the cartoon light bulb above my big ass head!

Therapy brought me back to life. It helped me to get centered and put my life into perspective. It helped me face my denials and hold myself and others accountable. It helped me deal with my extreme feelings of guilt and shame. It helped me gain the strength to say “NO!” and feel ok about it. It helped me to loosen my death grip on everything and everyone because, can you believe this?, I actually don’t have all the control in the world. It helped me to recognize where I was being taken advantage of. It helped me to simply let go and forgive myself and others.

I still care about other people and some things, but not at my expense. I do what I want and drop whatever gets in my way. I thank God that I have peace today… #ZeroFucksGiven

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment.

DP:Tagline

Procurement of Fruit

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So exactly two weeks ago, after church class (RCIA), I went to the grocery store to pick up some last minute food items in order to complete my prep cook for the rest of the work week.  I typically do this on Sundays, but I had a lazy Sunday after getting into some shenanigans the Saturday before and opted out of my normal prep cooking ritual. I recall being extremely tired as it was almost 9:30pm when I was walking into the local whack ass Food Lion (I was definitely too lazy to drive out of the way to Safeway or Wegmans). I skimmed my list as I darted thru the produce, meat, and frozen food sections.  “I just want to get the hell home”, I thought repeatedly to myself.  I spent all of 10/15 min gathering my necessities in that bad boy before heading to the checkout line. “Almost there!” I thought to myself.

While the young kid is scanning and bagging my items, I have him stop to scan my discount card so I can throw my keys back into my pocket. I also swipe my check card so I can put my wallet away. I’m telling you I was focused on getting home asap! The kid seems nervous for some reason.  He’s smiling awkwardly at me and trying to make small chit chat, but I’m thinking, “Look man, not today, because you are not focusing on the scanning and bagging”. LOL. I’m not rude, so of course I indulge him. We get to the last item, my pink lady apples…Three of them in the bag, ready to rock. But, of course we run into an issue where all of a sudden the scale isn’t working so he’s unable to price the apples.  He tries a few tricks to get the machine going, however, all failed.  I tell him, “Don’t worry, thank you.  I can leave without the apples.  I’m ready to pay”. He apologizes and I smiled politely while thinking, “Damn, I will have to return to the store another time”, because there was no way I was going to complete that transaction and start a new one in another line.

Now while this is going down, the patron behind me sparks up conversation. I did recognize him from the week before when he was actually behind me in line when I came to the store for items after church on Ash Wednesday.  He said, “Excuse me Miss, don’t I know you from somewhere?”. Sigh…..I replied with, “No, you don’t, but I do recall you being behind me last week when we were shopping here”.  His face lit up as he said, “Yes, that’s right, and you are looking beautiful as ever”.  Sigh…… “Thank you sir”, I said.  He’s an older gentleman probably in his late 40s, a little heavy set, with kind eyes. He was appropriate and polite, but since my last break up I have been turned off from other males trying to holla and/or even give me complements (Idk, I’m in a weird place at the moment), I’m just not ready to entertain all of that yet.

Welp, my transaction is complete.  I say goodnight to both him and the young employee and I’m out. It was cold as a mutha out, but I was excited to be closer to being home. I pop open Lucille’s trunk (She’s my car) toss them groceries, push the cart to the cart holder, and jump in my car. As I was jumping in, the gentleman that was behind me in line briskly walked over to my car with a skimp bag.  He’s says with the biggest, and no lie, kind of creepy grin ever, “Miss, here’s your apples!”. I smiled and even felt a little moved.  I said, “You purchased my apples? Wow, I appreciate you doing that”. He said, “It was my pleasure, have a good night”. He turned, walked away, and got into his car.

I took a second to thank God for that moment, but keep in mind it was a short second because I had to dip out of that parking lot and make sure I wasn’t followed. I’m hypervigilant. I appreciate any acts of kindness I receive, because for some reason I don’t get them often (Perhaps I’m too independent for my own good sometimes). Hmmmm….

Thanks for reading.

Aren’t We Fortunate?

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Enjoying the simple things today, like my apple and cinnamon infused water I was sipping on all day at work. It was delicious to drink and even though I typically drink a gallon of water a day this provided the extra motivation to get through the last few ounces. While drinking it throughout the day, I thought about those people out there who can’t even enjoy a regular cup of clean water, let alone an apple to eat. I immediately felt blessed. We often times go about our days taking so many things for granted without realizing how fortunate we truly are. Just thought I’d share my thoughts….

😉 #stayblessed homies! #happymonday!

Demons

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Demons…We all have them, and if you want to function at your most optimal level, you must face them jokers. The thing is, my demons are mine, I’m aware of them, and I own them muthafuqqas. But guess what, though they contribute to who I am, they don’t define me. Can you say the same? That’s what you should be worried about, and I’m speaking to you adult persons out there. Depending on the day, I may look into the mirror and see the negative, the past traumas, the short-comings, the failures, the bruised ego, the rejection, the hurt, staring back at me.  The thing is, as I age and mature, I actually smile back, because without all of those “things”, I wouldn’t be the awesome person I have become, the awesome person that I am today. (High-Five to Self!)

This year has consisted of several personal changes and growth for me, after being in a rut the year before when I had to deal with familial relationships and complications, changes at work, and some health challenges (hypothyroidism). This year has also been a bit challenging, yet, overall enjoyable and productive. I have accepted and taken risks on different levels from my career to my relationships; I’ve won some and lost some, but definitely have come out on top. I have learned a lot and have actually shifted perspectives on a lot of things.  I have better determined what I want vs. what I do not want; I have identified problem areas and have taken steps in the efforts to effectively address those problem areas; I have established/re-established and reinforced personal boundaries; I have remained true to myself; and more importantly, I have not allowed fear to hold me back, actually, from anything.

I had some support this year too, even support from a new source.  It was much appreciated and came right on time. It helped to propel me forward, but also what it did was test me.  This source originally helped me along, but then turned around and tested me a bit… Hmmmm….  Without getting into too much detail, what started as assistance, turned into a hindrance. This isn’t a bad thing, though. See what happened is that new source, served its purpose and is no longer valid in my life. That’s when the art of “Letting Go” comes into play. 😉 **waves goodbye**

As I write this, I feel so grateful that I’m able to stand tall no matter what.  I’m able to do my best to get what I need out of this life. I’m able to face anyone and anything as my true self and accept the outcomes. I have the patience, consideration, understanding, and empathy of a flippin’ saint sometimes. What I remind myself is that as long as I have remained true to myself in all of the situations that I encounter, I can’t go wrong. It is funny how we say that we appreciate and value honesty/integrity, loyalty, and respect from others, because, not even a small fraction of us really mean that. No matter what though, I do what I want, I am who I am, and I’m straightforward. I get the job done and frankly, I don’t want to be around anyone or anything who/that isn’t strong, confident, and winning at this game of life…. with your demons and all.

There’s no issue in being flawed; I haven’t met a perfect soul yet!  It’s how you work them flaws and compensate with your strengths.  It’s about your character!!! My life story so far includes so much disappointment….my goodness…. but I’m still here and have accomplished more than a lot of folks. And for that, I’m grateful. And I am cool with my character! I’m proud of me, and I love me! Again, can you say the same?

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving Holiday, be grateful folks! Recognize how far you’ve come! If you’ve done your best, all you can do is be proud and content with your efforts, in spite of the outcomes! Punch your demons in the face and allow your beautiful selves to shine ever so brightly!

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Daily Post: Absolute Beauty

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      (Image found online randomly…. Marilyn is cool, but I really liked the quote.)

We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? is all beauty contingent on a subjective point of view?

Beauty is absolutely a subjective matter, which I love! I encourage us all to identify and admire our own true beauty and the beauty that surrounds us. It’s comforting to know that we can even find beauty in this wretched world we live in……… “Life is Beautiful!

Have a great day!

DP:absolutebeauty

Bold and Beautiful

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With a bruised ego, crushed pride, and a host of negative feelings, remind yourself of all of your strengths. Pull yourself up by your lacy thong straps after having been knocked down by a sudden blow. YOU CAN DO IT! You have the strength, but you can pray for more if you must… You can also pray for guidance and understanding if needed. Work your way towards acceptance and respect your life’s process. Know that you will be OK; Know that you are BOLD and BEAUTIFUL.

As always, I hope you enjoyed reading!

#randomwordsofencouragement

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