decisions

As you all can tell, I haven’t stuck to the 31 days of writing challenge! I felt so much pressure around making the daily posts that It made me shut out my writing all together, and to me that is not what I wanted this challenge to stand for.

I thought time and space would allow me to do the 31 days of writing this month! I was ready for it, I was wanting to connect to all the wonderful people on this same journey, but each time I went to write, I would notice how many days I was behind and it was discouraging!

I then thought about it more and said to myself, “is pushing myself to write every day a true way to connect to others and my writing?” The answer was no, and I think I realized this time around that the 31 day challenge is not for me as much as I wish it was. It made me sad!!

I don’t want to force myself to write just because that is what the challenge requires. Does forcing myself to write to meet a daily deadline healthy for my mind? I think it stresses me out, and I’m reading more and more about others who feel exact same way!

Writing for me comes from a very deep place, and when I write, it comes from a place where I connect to myself, and to what is going on inside. I can’t just sit and write to write, it has to come from something – a feeling, a thought, an experience, a certain energy within.

This challenge was too demanding on the way I write, so I decided to stop the challenge and go back to what it is I love to do, and that is writing from the journey I am on, and choosing times to write when I really feel it; not just to force myself daily to meet the daily writes.

Its a great challenge, don’t get me wrong! I respect and love what this challenge is about! I thought it was going to be ok to miss a couple of days here and there, but it got too overwhelming and I don’t want it to take away my true love of writing and why I do it. I dont want to get so burnt out that is takes the love out of my writing.

SO, right now? I re-focused my energy back to writing the way I love to write, and I also decided that I am going to make a new look to my blog! I am working on a new layout! I am truly excited about it, and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

Thank you to all who were on this 31 days challenge with me! I admire those who have done this challenge thus far and succeeded, but its not for me, and I want to re-focus back to what this blog stands for me. I am excited about what is to come for this blog and my writing.

Thank you to all who conitnue to support this journey and my writing – I love all my writing friends.

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Another Door Open

For years now, I have been in and out of the process of writing my book. I was so close to making it happen a couple of years ago; even got myself a publisher. The moment I began writing, I got triggered and began struggling to move through the process of writing about the past.

Recalling memories from my past were too painful to write about, I thought I was ready with already years of work with my therapist talking about my past – but something was missing and I wasn’t ready yet.

I decided to put it aside and work with my therapist on “inner child work” – – you have seen me write about accepting that I have an inner stuck child within and we have worked really hard on that the past year. its been hard work, but good work.

I began really trusting the memories without feeling I was actually back in those moments to the point of being able to talk about it without getting lost or disconnecting. Sometimes its still hard, but I believe I am ready to take this step.

When I got the denial letter for the retreat it hit me really hard, but I truly believe this was Gods way of saying “your ready for something bigger” . .so I thought about it and decided to take another chance at writing my book – sharing my story on a bigger level. I asked my therapist in session yesterday if he would help me and the young part walk along side this story to start writing and his response was nothing short of supportive, caring and compassionate. His words were “I would be honored to take this step with you in our work” ..

So even though just last week I didn’t believe in “when one door closes another one opens” – today I believe that the money I would have spent on this retreat in February, is just what I need to make this bigger step happen.

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”- Brene’ Brown

I may not be able to be with a bunch of people on a retreat to talk about my story, or to hear amazing wisdom from other poets and writers, but I can take the step into making my story happen, by using my voice to write this book of my past.

As many of you know, I have already chosen the name and the cover of the book, it’s the inside that is the hardest – and I am ready to this step.

The name of my book will be “Alone in the Closet” ..

So it begins, again – one door closed but another door is open to this journey of writing about my past – writing my story so that I can connect with others to show them that life can happen afrer abuse. You can heal from childhood sexual abuse, and you do have a voice to be spoken!

Its a big step, it’s a vulnerable step, but a step I know I am ready to finally take. I couldn’t do it without the support of my husband, my family and of course this healing journey and my therapist who has walked ths journey with me for over 10 years now. I am blessed!

So – as I write this today – I truly believe that when one door closes, God is awaiting with another door open. Take that step through.

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3 DAYS – LIFE HAPPENS

The one thing I told myself when I agreed to do this “31 days of writing” was not to be hard on myself if I missed a day of writing, because “life happens!”

life gets in the way of time we have to ourselves sometimes. Life gets in the way of our thoughts, and our means to have a moment to ourselves, and that’s what happened to me yesterday.

I actually had a very vulnerable session yesterday in therapy! I talked about some things that were hard and allowed myself to sit with my emotions, and sometimes when that happens, it takes me out of my sense of self because I am not one that does very well with showing or feeling emotions.

When I came home from a hard but GOOD healing session, I had no energy left in me to put any words to this blog – – and then life happened and the day got away from me. By the time I realized I didn’t write, it was this morning! At first I felt disappointed in myself, and then I remembered the purpose of this 31 days, it’s about letting life be, and the writing working around my life, not me working around the writing.

So, as I sit here tonight writing Day 3 and 4 together, it’s a good way to say this is life and if you miss a day, or you have to let life come first, its OK .. at least we are still making the effort to be vulnerable to this amazing challenge.

I wont let it stumble me . . . I am here and letting life be what it is, and letting my writing coming along side of it.

For those who are brave enough to take on this challenge of the 31 days – keep in mind, life gets in the way, the days come and go and give yourself the space needed to write when you can.. let life happen just as your writing. If you miss a day, its OK .. keep going forward, I am in awe of everyone who takes on this difficult vulnerable challenge.

Be kind to yourself.

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31 Days of Finding My Voice (Day 2)- Rejection

I wasn’t sure I was going to write about this or not, but this 31 days of “Finding My Voice” is about just that – speaking and writing about the things I wouldn’t usually use my voice to speak.

What could be harder than rejection? Telling others you were rejected! It’s that feeling of embarrassment and shame. It’s allowing others to see that you were not accepted, or chosen – like putting a spotlight on something people possibly can’t see and allowing them to see it.

Like some of you know, I applied to go on a retreat, and you had to answer some pretty hard questions, and those questions were vulnerable and raw! I wanted to be a part of this significant and big retreat not just for the retreat itself, but to be a part of in this place and space in my journey right now.

I waited and waited to find out if I was one of the chosen to be sent an invitation … they promised us an answer by the 15th of September, and then they pushed it to the 29th as they had an overwhelming amount of people apply. I waited and looked at my email every time it chimed! I wanted this more than anything.

I spend a good couple of sessions talking about it in therapy with my therapist, and he knew just how important this retreat would have been to me. I opened myself up to him about just WHY this meant so much to me and how I felt about it. He got it .. he is one of the people who gets it, and understands just what this meant to me. Applying for this retreat felt like a huge part of my journey – it was a big damn deal as my therapist would put it :) – – – and it was.

I found out Friday that I was NOT one of the people chosen to go on this retreat. Some may see it as significant odds (350 selected out of the 3700 people who applied). Some people may say “maybe the next one” or some may say “it wasn’t about you and who you are”! Well for ME, putting myself out there to apply for this retreat was a HUGE step for me. Letting myself be seen in the answers to the hard questions they asked, and allowing myself to be vulnerable to the rejection that may happen?

I took it a lot harder than I thought I would! I thought I was prepared for it! I prayed about it! I kept telling myself and the inner child within me “if I don’t get chosen, it’s not about my worth, I am a good person deserving of this!”

All those positive thoughts got washed away when I read the denial email that kindly said, “it’s with our heavy heart to say” and “maybe next year” or “but please know you are on our waiting list” – The generic email sent to all the people who didn’t get it!

I cried for what seemed like forever! That old familiar feeling as a little child running to my room as fast as I could to get to a safe space to cry being unseen! It felt all too familiar with my past!

All those positive words I swore I would feel washed away in that moment of rejection! I felt hurt! It wasn’t just about the retreat! It wasn’t just about what the retreat was for! It was about being chosen for allowing myself to be vulnerable to the questions asked on the form! It was about someone choosing me and saying “this woman is deserving of this space and or “she is good enough to be a part of this retreat!”.

It FELT horrible. Then came letting others know that “I was not chosen”, which felt even worse! What will others think?

My therapist, of course, was nothing short of supportive, caring, and had open arms, heart, eyes, and ears to how I felt. His first response was “THEY made a HUGE mistake!” HE gets the story and the wounds this hurt comes from, and I so appreciate him for that.

My friends and family love me to the ends of the earth to know that this did hurt – but some people don’t understand why it hurt so much.

So what do I do with these heavy feelings? Well, I do what I always do … OVERCOME! I move thru it and find ways to rise above!

My therapist wants me to honor my feelings and continue talking about it because this is too important not to talk about! I just want to run past it, but something tells me he is right. I need to show the young part and myself that I don’t need to shove my feelings away. This is how I feel, and I am worthy of talking about it.

I have to say, writing about this tonight feels pretty raw and vulnerable … something I would never do before is to write about rejection! But maybe this is the first step in healing, and showing the inner self that it’s OK to feel and it’s ok to be sad and hurt without consequences.

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31 Days of Finding My Voice {Day 1} – The Challenge

It’s another year of the October “31 Days Writing Challenge” and I have decided to take the plunge! I have to admit. I was really hesitant

I have to admit, I was really hesitant over whether I was going to do it again this year, its not easy writing every day for 31 days. Heck I have a hard enough time writing once a month! but I am up to the challenge, because this journey I am on, has always been about taking chances, pushing through, and mostly finding my voice.

This 31 days challenge of “Finding my Voice” is about letting whatever is here in my mind speak to the space of this challenge, this blog. My writing has always been about that – but this is on a deeper level. Most of the time I write when I feel up to it, or find the words to the blog – but this challenge is about pushing through to use my voice even on the days its hardest to write.

I can’t promise I will make it through the whole 31 days, but I am going to try my hardest, I am going to make it my own personal challenge, and maybe that will help me grow this blog to where it used to be years ago when I wrote daily.

Maybe this challenge is not just about finding my voice, but finding the courage to be even when the moment doesn’t feel right, and pushing myself to connect even on days I dont want to connect.

One of the things I love most about this challenge is the connection is creates with others. You connect with so many different people on this challenge who are all out to do the same thing – connect, and write and push themself to the limits of putting your thoughts out there – even on days you wouldn’t normally write. We are all in the same boat and that is an awesome connection.

So come back every day and see what words and thoughts find this space! I look forward to connecting with others on this 31 day challenge.

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31 Days {Day 31} It’s Good Enough

06d245ed490fd8f2273acecddaaac399Today is the last day in the 31 day writing challenge, and I am writing this one blog for the last 4 days I missed – and that is GOOD ENOUGH!

I think years ago I would have been so critical of myself for nothing finishing or doing something RIGHT to the standards of what is accepted, but today I am learning, that “whatever I can do, is good enough” .. because I at least tried my hardest.

This writing challenge was not easy! I had to push myself many nights to get in a writing that I didn’t feel like writing! There were also some times that I enjoyed it – like connecting with others and their writings.

I do have to say, I think this is the last year I am participating in this writing challenge. I feel it really does put a force on something that is supposed to be an internal connection with self, meaning: I think the 31 day challenge forces us to write when writing is supposed to be something you do out of connection to yourself, to others and to the thoughts that are within.. the 31 day challenge forces us to write even when we don’t feel like it, and I think it ruins the reason for writing!

Of course this is my opinion; but one that I feel strongly about.

I have read so many people really stressing over this writing challenge and some people have given up because they couldn’t handle the pressure.

A lot of people lost their readers because everyone got so tied up in having to write vs reading. There were some others who run weekly link-up’s (like myself) who lost their writers because of the 31 day challenge.

A lot of writers were BURNT out, and to be honest what is the fun in that?

I think it’s too long to be honest. I think maybe a week challenge or a 2 week writing challenge would be good enough, but a whole month? I think it’s just too much and I think next year I am going to pass.

But I look back on what I did write, and I have to say, I did good enough and I am happy with what I did write. I missed a few days and I had to pull together a couple of days into one writing, but that too is good enough because I tried and I connected.

I am PROUD of those who did stick it out ..I have many friends who did make the whole 31 days (although they did stress as well) they did a great job!!

I think one of the biggest benefits of this writing challenge is, I met some new wonderful people .. and for that I am truly blessed!

So now that the 31 day writing challenge is over, what now? I will revamp my Tuesday at Ten, and I will write when the connection and good vibe to write is there .. when I feel it in me to write about something I want my voice to speak – not because I have to meet a challenge.

I think this is also a good time to go back and read some of the other great blogs out there now that we have some time …..

I hope you all enjoyed the days I could write! I look forward to getting back into my own routine of writing.

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31 Days {Days 25, 26 & 27} stuck in a rut

maryoliverI have been stuck in an emotional rut for the past 48 hours, and it’s been hard to move out of it.

It’s not often that I get disconnected. Through the years of working in therapy I have really learned how to stay connected, even in the hardest of struggles.

But then there are times when I get caught in an emotional rut and disconnection finds its way through me.

The past 48 hours have been one of those times, and it’s frustrating not being able to pull out of it.

It began with an anxiety attack I had in he middle of the night last night – calling for my husband to help me out of it! That is always a true sure sign, something big is going on inside.

Little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own” – Mary Oliver

When I struggle in these ruts, I notice it right away when I stop interacting in the things I love to interact in, like “chatting with online friends” or “being a part of” “I don’t touch my computer” “I get really tired and sleepy and want to be left alone’.

Today, I went to Target and as I was shopping I began crying in the isles of  the store… tears showed up and I couldn’t stop crying – as people looked at me. I tried pulling out of it as I wiped the tears away, and the more I wiped, the more they flowed!

I managed to pull thru it and get home only to have more tears!

What is going on?????

My therapist always tells, especially at the end of sessions “if you need to lean in, all the ways of leaning in are here for you, you are supported”

if I lean in, it means I am struggling, and tonight I leaned in with an email – “having a really hard time”

This is where I am learning to not let disconnection take me under, rather let the connection shed light on the darkness of the struggle… I did just that by leaning in  and telling my therapist exactly what was going on, and it was met back with support.

His response assured me of support and prayer in session tomorrow morning – beginning with a prayer.

Sometimes leaning in to connection is not about making something go  away or feeling better, but more about just being heard in the place I am in, giving me the power of healing self a connecting to self.

In the past I would do almost ANYTHING to feel better and be connected – WANTING it to go AWAY! But as I sit in patience with learning more about what is here and why. I have learned to talk about it using my voice as my guide to talk about it, and trusting that connection will be found in “talking about it” rather than trying to fix it as quick as I can by making the feelings go away!

So as I sit here tonight, I am feeling a bit more connected now that I put my feelings out to my support, but it’s not fixed and I don’t expect it to be. I will pray through it tonight, I will ask God to help me through this tough emotional rut I have been in for the past 48-hours, and just lean on the trust that through connection, support and talking about it tomorrow morning, connection to-self will come back, and I will understand a little more of where this struggle is coming from.

That is my hope!

These ruts of disconnection used to last weeks before ..now that I have learned to work with them, they are far and in between and don’t last long – but when they do hit, it’s painfully hard!

So as I write this blog for 3 days that i missed because of the rut, I will connect with my true words and feelings and find connection thru my truth here as well in my journey to healing.

Patience in he process…  trust …. leaning on those who support = connection back to self.

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31 Days {Day 24} breaking the silence

originalWhen I saw that the 31 day “WORD” for the Five Minute Friday challenge month was “silence” I just had to use the word as a part of my writing today!

Breaking the Silence is what I stand for! I am a CASA for ATLANTA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).

I am a court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children in order to provide children with a safe and healthy environment in permanent homes.

I AM FOR CHILD! I am the voice for the children who don’t have a voice, or anyone to stand for their voice.

Not only do I work for CASA, but I work hard in my own healing by “breaking the silence” every day by using my voice to connect and talk about the wounds that once isolated me to silence!

I am all about “breaking the silence”

I stand for those who tell their story against those who abused and hurt them! I stand for those who have the courage to write their story and let their vulnerable self be seen so that others out there will not feel alone in their fight for freedom for internal peace!

I am proud to be a CASA, I wish I had a CASA when I was a little girl who needed a voice to stand for the abuse I was enduring. I was sexually abused from the age 5 until I was 10 right under the nose of those who”knew” it was going on, but never did a thing to stop it! I never had a voice, and I wish I did back then.

I can’t change what happened when I was little, but what I can do is, use my voice today as a way to heal the wounds. Talking about my abuse and telling my story is breaking the silence and letting those wounds AIR and HEAL; no longer laying dormant in the dark getting infected!

Shedding light on the dark everyday!

For those out there who still sit in silence – you are NOT alone! your voice matters! Your story is important! Your wounds are cared for by those who want to help heal them with you! YOU are WORTHY of being seen and supported!

it took me a long long time to really get that! Years of work with my therapist who still reminds me of the good work I am doing, I finally have learned to accept it and believe in my voice.

If you ever have doubt, just know that you are not alone to speak that voice and letting the light shine on the darkness of the lies and silence!

BREAK the SILENCE! YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!

 

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