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Now I Understand

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Over the years, I’ve heard several women say they had no intention of babysitting if they had grand kids, or even if they already had them.  I was mystified.  I couldn’t imagine feeling that way, and assumed if I had grand kids wild horses couldn’t keep me away.

Then I had grand kids.

While it’s true that wild horses can’t keep me away and I do babysit every chance I get…I think I now understand why some people avoid their grand babies and choose not to babysit.

The first few months after our first grandson was born in January was such a confusing mix of joy and pain.  I couldn’t understand why I felt so much pain and sorrow when I was so excited and happy. More

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A 10 Year-Old Walks Into A Bar…

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Mom said, “Your Dad’s late for dinner because he’s at the bar.”  We didn’t have a phone yet, and she said I had to go get him.  So, off I went to ask him to come home for dinner.  The bar was only about a quarter of a mile from our house, but I wasn’t very eager to get there and took my sweet time.

Summer skies in Alaska are bright and fresh, but inside the bar More

The Best Way Out Is Always Through

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Robert Frost
March 26, 1874 -January 29, 1963

 

I used to plead with my therapist for an easier way to process and heal my past. Feeling the feelings is really hard work, and incredibly painful. I wanted a short-cut, some magic wand to fast-forward me to the finish line.  I Wish.

Turns out Robert Frost had it right all those years ago. The best way out really is through.

If we don’t feel the feelings and process them –at least enough to heal and move forward they will continue to haunt us in hidden and mysterious ways.

I’ve learned and re-learned the frustrating truth that we can know something in our heads, but if don’t know it in our hearts it doesn’t translate to change.

Without a doubt it has to start in our heads. We need to think, consider, and chew the facts a while. But the only way I’ve seen knowledge migrate from the head to the heart is through feeling the feelings. Processing emotions like loss, anger, and truth is draining, even excruciating at times, but it’s eventually very freeing.

The most tangible way I’ve seen my life changed

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What’s Your Triad?

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There’s a pattern of dysfunction called the Triad many of us have without even realizing it.  This is one of many things I learned about myself in therapy. 

 

Triad refers to the way people Think, Feel, and Behave. 

 1. Self Activation -Think

This involves an action of taking care of ourselves.

 2. Abandonment Feelings -Feel

This is the result of taking care of ourselves.  If we have any ‘gaps’ from our childhood, they rear their ugly heads about now.

 3. Acting Out – Behave

This is our reaction to the abandonment feelings.

 

A simple example of the triad More

Letter to My Younger Self

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theindiechicks.com

theindiechicks.com

Dear Denise,

I understand how trapped, lonely, and sad you feel right now.  Being ten years old is hard enough without the added burden of an abusive home.

Dad is a mean and angry man.  He takes it out on anyone he can overpower, and many times that ends up being you.  This isn’t your fault -it’s not because of anything you’ve done, or not done.   I know how hard you try to do the right things so he’ll say nice things to you.  I know how much it would mean to you for him to say he’s sorry for the awful things he’s done. He is supposed to take care of you, not hurt you.

Mom doesn’t protect you because she’s busy surviving him in her own way.  Unfortunately, that means she can’t let herself see what’s happening to you.  She uses the wine to escape into her fun, happy world.  It makes things easier for her, but harder for you.  I know one day you will be angry with her about this, but then More

Book Review “Sober Mercies” by Heather Kopp

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Heather Kopp’s book “Sober Mercies” is so much more than the courageous story of a woman facing her demons.

Sober Mercies

She weaves her story of childhood experiences and adult choices in a vulnerable and honest telling.  She doesn’t play the victim card, but rather takes us through her journey of recognizing what led her to her downfall and why faith alone wasn’t enough to save her from alcohol.

Heather also powerfully and purposefully addresses More

How To Forgive The Unforgivable

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…and How Forgiving Brings Freedom…

The decision to forgive my dad was borne of a long labor.

Although I’d always felt and said I wanted to forgive him, I couldn’t seem to actually do it.  Maybe my mind hadn’t transferred the abuse from something to survive into something to forgive yet.

spirituallythinking.blogspot.com

spirituallythinking.blogspot.com

I’d hidden the abuse for so long, it became acceptable in its own sick way.  I compartmentalized the abuse and split my dad into two people.  There was the dad who abused me; but then there was the dad who played cards with me, taught me to fly his plane, and took me fishing.  As children, we are dependent and vulnerable; we have no choice but to find a way to accept the abuse in order to survive.

All I ever wanted was to have a happy, loving dad/daughter relationship. It took me years before I admitted to myself just how wrong and destructive his abuse was.    I wanted to forgive him, but for a long time I thought I could only forgive if I had his apology first.

Through a long, difficult journey of self-discovery and spiritual maturing, I began to realize forgiving him didn’t even involve him. More

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