….and I’m Back

I have not written much lately but I haven’t felt like doing much of anything lately.  I’m alive and I am very grateful for that but the darkness has taken its toll on me and its starting to show. I feel alive but I’m in this strange waiting place. Trauma is so complicated!

I have been working on this monumental memory. The very worst of its kind.  Its caused great anxiety in me lately but I know that these feelings are part of the process of moving through the trauma. My therapist says that I am so hard on my self and she’s right. I sometimes set myself up with unrealistic progress and I am quickly made aware that right now the trauma seems to have the upper hand. I really don’t want to give it that much power but its the only way  that I see it right now. Its like the trauma has taken over my life at times and it fills my head with so many terrifying  thoughts that it becomes a monster to me.

I am grateful for the therapist that I have because she always has a way or technique that helps me cope with what comes up through the process of EMDR. I’m not going through this all alone, although at times it could feel like that. I am always reminded of the fact that she is there right along with me and I am safe.  As time goes by I feel more and more confidence in this process. It works! I now can see myself from the other side just every once in a while and when that happens it feels great. Its like getting a taste of what it will be like once I have put this all behind me.  It gives me strength to continue in this most difficult trauma work.

Linda

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Its Time……

 

 

Is it time to let go of the past. Is that the moment at which healing begins. I sometimes wonder if I wasted so many years of my life in the attempts to move on. I always thought I was moving in the right direction. As long as I made an effort to work through painful memories,  it was progress. But it never seemed enough.It seemed like running in place as I was perpetually dealing with the same stuff with little to no real measurable results.  There was this vicious cycle of re-experianceing. I thought how can I live a life that is fulfilling and successful in the ways that were meant for me if I am dragging along my past. I have contemplated many avenues of self-help. I tried many forms of therapy. I spent years just fighting with my right to stay alive. So much time, so many years and will I ever see the kind of results that can propel me forward to a life of change and joy?

What will finally saying goodbye to the past really do for me. It is so hard to see my life any other way than the miserable way that I have been living it. I know at times I have pushed away those things that might have let me suffer less. I am not an emotional masochist I don’ enjoy pain of any kind. In fact I have been running from it my whole life. I felt as if I kept this thin façade that hid all my suffering because I thought no matter what I had to get on with my life and gain some measure of normalcy. The façade never worked. People saw right through it but never really knew what to do to help. I had to make the first move and admit that I needed help and then trust in that process as well as being grateful for all those efforts. I am grateful for all of them. I am grateful for family, friends, spiritual guidance and of course all the many therapists and treatments that have tried over the years. They were always tried with great effort. I do believe in my heart that there was progress through the years that I did not give myself credit for.

I make no excuses for my actions now. I have been given tools to help me cope. I have been given medication to help me feel better along the way. I have been given guidance and hope from Gods own word the Bible. I am a smart and wise woman. I am no longer a defenceless child. Although I have acted like one down through the years. I am now strong and I am safe now. I can not allow myself to suffer in emotional pain that might actually be worse that the pain of my childhood.Just by the decades of suffering and feeling that there was no way out for me I might have caused more drama, trauma and pain.   I have positive things in my life now. I need to learn to enjoy them untainted by depression. I need to be allowed the chance to explore my gifts and all those God-given blessings that I have not allowed myself to have a share in. Exploring all my talents and finding positive ways to use them in my life now can  make all those lost years not so lost. All that has occurred as a result of the horrendous things that I suffered I can now let go of and move onto something much better.

I feel that a new horizon is upon me and stepping into this new light will dissolve the bad memories and pain. There will be no need to suffer any more.

But until then I am ready and willing to grieve the losses in my life for a short while and to rid my body of all that negative energy and negative ways of coping. EMDR will help me do that. I believe my therapist when she says,  “you will get through this I promise.”

But never lose that playful spark!

th6bbs3g15

th3mwbws6x

 

The day after

thyww0f1kvThursday I felt the cold medicine still in my system. I laid around all day to rest from the whole ordeal of Wednesday.  Like I said in my last post I had so much regret. I did not tell my husband. I did not tell my girls. I could just hear my oldest, the psychology student say,  “Mom”. I really did not want to hear any lectures from any of them. I also did not want to burden them with this. They have their own lives to live. They do not need to have fears about mom and whether she is safe or not from day-to-day.  So I kept what happened all to my self. I also pray that it will never happen again. That decision is in my hands.

The pain that caused me to go and buy cold medicine is still there. In fact I still did feel numb for quite sometime after. That feeling finally lifted today. While I am  still depressed today I have a written a safety  plan and its in a good place in my house so I can see it if I ever get a  rush of emotions like what happened Wednesday.

I know that those of us who suffer from mental illness and pasts traumas have to have a safety plan in place just in case we ever get that desperate.   Hopefully we can turn to a more healthier and positive choice to cope. I know that there are times when my mood is so out of control that I want to reach for anything to kill the pain. This is where the safety plan comes in because it has important phone numbers to family or friends and even other resources that we can call. We might forget what to do when we are in this emotional state. It also has a list to why I want to stay alive and why I want to die. Its like weighing the pros and cons of the situation. It also contains a list of things that we can do that will soothe us and calm ourselves down. Once that happens it is easier to find a coping skill that will really  work for us.

I am being encouraged in the group to start to talk about those painful things that always get me in trouble. I get what they are saying but I would rather just go back to my therapist and work it all out. I am determined to work harder in therapy in order to process this painful stuff that is sitting in my gut. Only then will I never have to run to a mal-adaptive way to kill the pain and suffering that is only felt inside. It’s by getting it out because this will  free me from my fathers chains.  It might not be his chains but instead it  may be the ones that I have placed on myself in the past to keep it all in.

I have lived a good chunk of my life feeling weighed down by my past. I want to feel lighter. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

th27g0swge

Linda Booth

“I DONT KNOW MY NAME”

There’s this song by Grace Vanderwaal,  the winner of Americas Got Talent that has inspired me, no, it lit a fire inside me. She writes her own songs, music and lyrics and she is only twelve years old. She writes with the maturity of an adult. She writes from her heart and sings from her heart. She won Americas heart even before she began to sing for her audition. She is the type of person who lights up a room with her presence. I felt that when she was singing her original song,  “I don’t know my name”,  it rang true for  me.  I totally get what she means. Well now everyone all over the world knows her name. “I don’t play by the rules of the game……. I’m just trying……trying to find my way.” She is so humble and honest. Like Simon Cowell said,  she does not hide behind gimmicks.” She is authentic, the real thing.

What happens to us when someone inspires us. It stirs our emotions. It can be a motivating source for change in our own lives. I feel change. I fear change. But its going to happen. Life is what we make it so people often say. I feel like I am at a cross-road in my life.  Really,  I know I have had many of them.  There were many twists and turns. Sometimes I got lost but now,  ” I am just trying to be found in an ocean of people.”   There were those who reached out their hand to help but I am stubborn and like my Mom use to say,  “Linda,  you always want to do things your way.”  I wont let people fit me into some mold. I no longer live for others expectations of me. I live for myself,  “I chose the road less traveled by and it has made all the difference.” (Robert Frost)  That does not mean that I didn’t have any obstacles. Life puts all kinds of seemingly impossible walls in our way. To stay behind those walls prevents us from moving toward something better. In fact, as a child growing up in a dysfunctional family,  I built my own walls to keep me safe but they became a hindrance to finding out who I really am. My dad once said, “your mother and I had a beautiful baby girl that we named Linda.” Did he name me or did my mom? I think he did. Linda is a Spanish word meaning beautiful. Maybe that’s why he said what he did. He must have known what my name meant. I hold onto what he said because it was something nice in a sea of pain. I’m sure he meant it but his love for me was not the kind that it should have been and he hurt me in the worst way that a child could experience. Despite the fact that there was so much negative energy in my house when I was a child I always felt this spark of energy within but I did not know what it was for. So what do I do with those nice things that he said and did when I was young. I don’t think he realized that he was the one to smother that spark I felt inside.   What do I do with that spark now? It’s still there and he is dead and can not smother it anymore. What am I to make of that spark inside. What does it mean. If feels like light. My best guess is that it was given to me by my heavenly father as a gift. But what is my gift. Who was I supposed to become before all the horrid experience from the past. Who am I now. I want to know.  But, “now I know my name.”  So what is my purpose. What is it that I am supposed to do. But I know for sure that this twelve-year-old little girl had inspired me to do something with my gift. She inspired that spark to ignite. Is it to last or will quickly blow out. Do I believe in myself? Do I believe that what ever I do can make a difference in the world. Time will tell. But until then I will not let that spark go out.

thjznz6sl0

This is what the spark feels like inside. I know I was meant to do something beautiful.

 

 

Linda

Surreal

th023obbio

Her world in a word,
surreal.
She views the world,
from the outside in.
If there are reachable goals,
they are goals she cannot win.

If she is to profit from her life,
she must not hide,
she must be seen.
Who could know her ability.
The piece of herself that she holds so dearly,
If she does not try.

Who can know her heart,
when so much wasted time goes by?
She is close to the door.
The one to which she chooses to ignore.

Beyond the door there is a constant,
movement and growth.
This can give birth to those,
beautiful things on her mind.
Its what she wants the most.
So those beautiful things,
can all be revealed in time.

And yet instead she feels the need to hide,
over those ugly stories told over time.
This  door is hiding her hope.
And so she finds it difficult to cope.

Her heart carries the key!
And so she pleads to her heart.
Lets just see.
And so she does.

Where there is an effort to start,
Her beauty might shine.
She can feel alive!
but only for a short time.
For she does not know her heart.

How would she know what she could do?
Does she know that,
all that she needs to do is reach,
and tell the stories known to her,
that made her feel so weak?

Does she know her words,
are filled with wisdom,
and understanding,
that only she could impart?
Because they always come,
straight from her heart.

There is a question to be perused,
and she knows that the key must be a clue.
She acknowledges a need to change.
A great transformation
where so much is gained.

First she must shake off the burdens,
and memories on her mind.
All those fears,
that had wasted her time.

It all was not her fault.
To this she must realize.
She tries the key and it fits.
How exciting to know,
that this key that’s been hiding,
really fits the door.
And in such a way that she cant ignore.

Turning ever so slowly,
she is cautious,
but with great excitement on her mind.
She is curious about the wide open world she’ll find.

“So they say its not my fault,
she repeats to herself.”
“I am an individual,
with an open heart.”

So she must do away with the memories,
that so darkened her sole,
and the possibilities that it stole.

The burdens that held her back,
from the vision within her sight,
that she can now dream of things brighter.
Not just for a day.
But everyday of her life.

In this seeing of  the outside in,
there must be a change.
Seeing this view is much too strange.

The key was the answer all along.
It was the key to her heart,
The door was just a start.

As she steps just right,
her surreal world,
opens bright.
She finally lives.
And all she had to do was begin!

Linda

Light of Hope

I really don’t know if my family fully understands just how hard it can be to get through the black of night to see the light on the other side. It first takes a tremendous  amount of strength to choose to want to get better. When you are in the dark place its like fighting the wind to get out. You have to fight through the despair, fear and the pain. It actually takes seeing some light through the darkness. It could be a tender caring friend or family member. It can even be a spark of excitement for life that tends to come and go with the hope that it will stay someday soon.  Just a small measure of hope is all it takes to grow in your heart and breathe a fresh new beginning. What I’ve learned over time is that no matter how hard things get and no matter how dark our lives get there is always a light! It may be dim and it may seem far away at this time, there is this light to reach for. Pay attention. It’s there and although it does seem so far off. It is nevertheless hope. It is hope that I have learned to hold onto with all my might through the storm and raging wind of my life. I have also learned that hope is something that grows stronger the harder we work seeking it out and the harder the grip the stronger it will pull me out of the darkness. Be it ever so dim there is always a light.

Linda

thQSMITX3A

 

Strange Dream

th7P62CR05

There was this evil presence for lack of a better term. It was in this strange factory. People were challenged to confront this evil presence. However, one by one they would be cast out of the factory. Some of these brave souls where very strong while others chose to use their powers of reason. Some called it a beast. Some jut called it plain old evil. I sat at the outskirts of the factory. I had hoped this was a safe distance.  Many who had tried to bring down the beast did so with armor or better yet love. Nothing worked. I was asked by the evil presence to enter the factory. It was so dark and erie. As I made my way up the stairs that led to this beast, I changed my mind and cowardly ran back down the stairs and out the factory doors. I thought to myself, “am I safe?” I really thought I was but suddenly all those people around the factory waiting to go in suddenly turned away and ran as fast as they could. “Why”, I thought to myself. The rumor was that he would not leave the building. If he did he would lose his power over everyone.

He challenged his own fear and ran out the door. Just as soon as the outside air hit him, he turned into a wolf. The “Little Red Ridng Hood” wolf.  He had big eyes to see everything that we were doing. His nose was strong enough to sniff out the timidist person. But his teeth were made of steel. That of which can not be compared to any other beast.  Surely any person who dared to challenge him would meet his deathly fate.

I slyly moved far enough away from him. I desperately hoped he would not see me and at the very worst chase me. Little did I know that this dream was about me and this beast turned wolf,  was after me. As he approached by surprise, I ran as fast as I could. I knew there was no way that I was a match for the speed at which this beast could run. But yet I still did my best. I acted braver than the rest. For often times what we believe impossible can in fact prove to be possible. Each time that I turned around to see how close he was, he  began to lose speed. So when I realized this I did the bravest thing yet. I turned around to face this beast and he just stood there looking at me with those piercing eyes. I said I am not afraid of you anymore.  The wolf transformed into a person. It was my very own father.

No one else could take him down because this was my  battle, my fight with the beast of my past. Things are not often what they seem. Facing the past at times seems monumental but bravery and courage will conquer all,  especially evil.

The beast made wolf by the outside air became defenseless and then began to die. All that was left was my father and his lies

Linda