Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The total opposite of hell on earth....

Is happiness. Joy. Finally being able to be myself, after a lifetime of trying to be someone else that never felt like me. Trying to fit in for years left me with confusion about who I was, what I believed in, and where I was going in life. I didn't even have the mental strength to decide what I wanted to eat for breakfast without feeling guilty that I was choosing something unhealthy, so sometimes I didn't eat. I was totally adrift and couldn't see the shoreline to save my skin. I was terrified. All I could do was struggle to survive, to swim against the tide. And no matter how bad it got, somehow I knew if I just kept on swimming, or paddling, or kicking, or struggling for dear life, that I'd survive. I almost gave up, many times. That's what the resulting depression does to you, especially when you realize that the one you trusted the most is not only NOT a member of your support network, but is the main one who's been trying to drown you. It took being everything I had to keep from succumbing to the belief that I just wasn't strong enough, wasn't good enough, wasn't ENOUGH. But the fact that I never gave up means that my story isn't finished yet. The best part is that I have discovered that I am not only strong enough, smart enough, good enough, etc.... I'm awesome! I'm a loyal and compassionate person, with much to offer in the way of friendship. I deserve to be loved as much as the next person. Sure, I've been hurt, we all have. But I'm getting stronger every day. I love my life. I feel free. Free of all the judgement of the last decade of my marriage, and free from the uncertainty of the decade before that. I am enjoying all of the things that life has to offer, and I am facing the sun with a willing heart and an open mind, ready to meet any challenges that come my way. The biggest chain was the chain of fear.
I learned that if we ignore the initial red flags in an emotionally toxic situation, we begin to numb ourselves to the fact that we are in danger. If we do not act on our primal instincts of fight or flight, we can become confused and lost. We don't even realize what's happening or who we are in the storm, which can appear calm at times. The storm then becomes our "normal," while to well-adjusted outsiders, it is a dysfunctional nightmare. We tend to justify and excuse the abuse to ourselves and others. Sometimes it takes many many years to wake up and remind ourselves hat what we initially thought was wrong, REALLY is VERY WRONG. In my case, this has taken 3 decades. But God is good. There is hope. 
Reach out to those children and women (and men!) that you KNOW are hurting, are being abused, even if they deny it again and again. Do NOT ignore your instincts. We are designed to recognize abuse, but then we just try to excuse it away, thinking we can change it. Highly-emotional and sensitive people absorb the negativity projected upon them like sponges. It becomes our normal to be abused. Emotional abuse leaves as many scars as physical: it's the gift that keeps on giving. Until you leave and accept the apology that you will never get, you will never be able to move forward in many areas of your life. You will be stuck in a special kind of hell. You will continue to attract the same kind of negativity. Anyone close to you who doesn't believe your story has no empathy or compassion, and should not be trusted. Trust the people who knew you before the nightmare began, and those who refused to back down when you insisted everything was fine. If you have no one close to you, find someone in an authority position who will listen to YOU and support YOU and do what YOU need to help you LEAVE the situation. NOTHING is worth what you will lose if you stay: 
NOTHING. There is hope, there is support, and there is peace out there, I promise you.
Never never NEVER GIVE UP!!!
7/28/14

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