raw and vulnerable – facing my core emotions

rawI feel like the theme of my writing has been “its been a while since I have written”, and it’s true, it has been a while since I have written, and I think it’s because when I am working so hard internally, I become detached with everything else around me.

The work in therapy the past couple of weeks have been really hard but good work! My therapist keeps telling me “I am so proud of you, you are working so hard and you are on such a different path than you were just months ago” – and I believe that because I feel it.

I have been trusting and learning more and more of what it means to work with my feelings and emotions “as” I have them; not pushing them away until I can find empowerment over them.

I am still waking up in the middle of the night with “crying wake up’s”, and instead of forcing myself back to sleep like I normally do, I have been grabbing my phone or laptop when I wake, and write notes down on how I feel, what I woke feeling, and what the tears mean… I have even allowed myself to stay with the emotions and feel them instead of pushing them away by falling back to sleep.

It hasn’t been easy, and I hate the way it feels, but I do notice the more I do that and allow myself to be with the emotions that show up, the more connected I feel to talk about them.

My therapist always tells me “every tear is a tear of healing” “every tear has a story and meaning behind it” – when in the past I would think tears = weakness or tears = consequence.

I left session Friday feeling as if we peeled back an old scar and left it wide open to see all the insides exposed, and the only TRUE way to re-heal that old scar, is to take care of the insides instead of just throwing a band-aid over it.

Sometimes, we need to open old wounds so that we can treat it the way it should have been treated, so it can heal the way it needs to be healed – – and that is with truth and understanding. If we don’t get to the CORE of our wounds, it will never fully heal.

I have been working so hard on looking into those wounds and facing the core of how they got wounded, and a part of the healing has been about feeling and accepting.

Something I have really struggled with in the past was “acceptance” – acceptance of support, love and care from my therapist in therapy, and I didn’t realize just how needed that is in the process of healing, and how accepting those things doesn’t mean “dependence” – it means I am saying YES to me and YES to the younger parts that never had the support I have now.

The other night, I felt some really big feelings and I leaned in and emailed my therapist (which I don’t normally do unless I ABSOLUTELY need it; even though he tells me to lean in anytime I need it) .. well I leaned in and I opened myself up to support at a real vulnerable time IN the emotions, and he was so proud of me for leaning in and by leaning in and talking about my feelings, I was able to accept his support back and know “I am not alone and I am heard and supported” ..

It helped! It helped heal a little bit of that wound in the corner that still has a hard time healing. I took a small step and in that step I learned to accept.

So, in my quietness lately, I have been really work hard within, and I am really hoping that I can take this acceptance and start writing more about this important process! I hope to write more because when I write and connect with others, I do notice healing happening there as well …..

So, as I sit here on this Sunday morning, I am thinking about the week ahead and I am looking forward to see where this path continues to take me in therapy and in the steps I am making all around my healing.

Acceptance, being with these emotions that show up, and really facing the core feelings and emotions that show up and what they mean ….

I am learning more and as much as that is scary, it’s equally exiting to know I am finally facing the wounds that need to heal the way they should have healed.

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raw and vulnerable – facing my core emotions

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vulnerable in my sleep

54eb69a02583a_-_6-dream-mysteries-solved-mdnI have woken up many times in the past week crying out of my sleep; literally crying with tears and all out of my sleep.

I have written about this experience before and its something that I have gone through quite a bit in the past couple of years.

This past week I have experienced this almost every other night and it has left me feeling emotionally drained!

I have talked about it with Andy in therapy and he knows this has been something I have struggled with for years, but we never have put a secure understanding of why it happens when it does and what it truly means.

It happened again last night, only this time I cried for an additional hour after I woke – when normally I would fall asleep almost immediately after waking from the crying.

My therapist and I think it has something to do with emotions finding their way out when I am most un-able to stop them – in my sleep.

Tonight I did some research on this – even contacted someone who specializes in dreams and I found out some really interesting things about this.

These wake ups of crying is not only emotions finding their way out, but its my body’s way of letting me know that I have surpressed emotions that are trapped by fear of showing emotions in front of someone.

Emotions and showing emotions have always been something I struggle to show or be with. I have written about this a couple of years ago called “Fear of Emotions

Even after 8 1/2 years of therapy, I still struggle to show or have emotions in therapy, or even outside of therapy. I have this intense ability of keeping my emotions in check no matter how bad I feel inside.

Reading more on this “waking up crying” it says: according to mind/body medical experts, repressed feelings and emotions don’t just go away. They actually remain in the body, taking up our energy and laying the groundwork for emotional distress which can be emotionally damaging.”

Another Dr who writes about this says: “Unexpressed emotions tend to ‘stay’ in the body like small ticking time bombs,” she says. “They are illnesses in incubation. The danger, experts agree, is that when we delay acknowledging our emotions, this can lead our body to speak louder and louder to get our attention.” –

Hence me waking up crying out of my sleep is my body’s way of saying “your leaking!!!!”.. they say when you repress your emotions, the body tries to find places to express those emotions when we are vulnerably able and in the sleep is the one place the body rests the most.

It makes sense, but it doesn’t cure my fear of emotions or talking about them.

I found it interesting that in this article one DR writes: “This could also be due to repression from an external source, such as a person that will not allow you to cry or a person that you are afraid to cry in front of.”

I spent my whole childhood fearing my own emotions and spent many nights rocking back and forth in my closet trying to swallow them or talking them away! I feared crying in front of anyone because as a child, I wasn’t allowed to cry “or else!” I was SHAMED for crying.

I don’t like crying in therapy, it sends me signals that I am going to be harmed if I show emotions. I have this shame come over me like I am doing something terribly wrong.

I have had emotions in therapy, but its incredibly hard and I work my hardest to swallow them as fast as I can. It’s not something I like to talk about, and even writing about this right now is making me a little anxious and I want to stop …..

But I also don’t like the feeling of waking up and having thee heart wrenching moments that I don’t understand.

In a way, I am sad now because I realize how much I am repressing myself and the younger inner child that is healing from having emotions that I hold.

In the article and most of the Dr’s say the best way to move through this is to talk about the feelings, talk about those things that are repressed allowing myself to feel them, not just talk about them. I cringe at that thought as it’s not something I feel comfortable with, but I also don’t want to wake up feeling the way I have been the past week!

This healing journey has come with many different paths, and this is the one path I always detour around, and maybe its time to take that path and learn how to heal the very things I fear …. emotions.

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its a choice – my choice

choiceWednesday morning while driving into therapy, I was feeling a bit disconnected – I woke up not being sure I wanted to show up to session and be vulnerable to how disconnected I felt – I felt a bit quiet inside like emotions were right there at the surface . . . . .

Then… 3 words came to my mind and into my heart – ITS A CHOICE!

I have the choice to feel the way I am feeling! I have a choice to show up just as I am, and let my therapist connect with me and connect back! I have a choice to change anything that is going on inside of me!

Tears began to well up, and emotions were really present! Those 3 words just hit my heart so strongly, and I knew it was a message from God in that moment!

When I got to session, I could tell right away my therapist had this great energy about him. He was open and really gentle with his words, and his demeanor was soft.

Even though he could already tell, I told him right away “I am feeling really quiet, and emotions feel close to the surface, and you know how hard that is for me”.

Even after 8 1/2 years of therapy, emotions are still something I struggle to express!

My therapist then said something to me that was probably one of the most caring things I have ever heard him say, and he said to me “you work so hard in here, and I imagine you waking up this morning you just wanted to have a break from feeling all these feelings and working so hard in therapy like you do, it makes so much sense you would wake up feeling the way you did, and in this moment I wonder (and this may seem silly), but I wonder to myself,  what if I can have the emotions for you?” …

I smiled a little, part of me being in shock, and then said to him “although that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, no one can feel my emotions for me, and to be honest, I wouldn’t want anyone to“.

It was in that moment I really understood just how much my therapist cares about me; how much he is here to support and walk this journey with me. (not that I didn’t know this or trust this after 8 1/2 years of working together) But hearing those words, I really got just how much I am supported in this journey and how blessed I am for that.

He also knows deep inside that it’s not possible to have someone’s emotions for them, but a part of him wished he could do that work for me so I could have a break!

It didn’t sound silly to me, because I know what its like to want to take pain away from someone else, I just never imagined anyone would want to do that for me.

I get it .. I really get it now.

I shared with him the 3 words I heard on my way in “It’s a choice” and I went on to tell him what it is I have the choice to do!

I have the choice to feel better when I feel sad..

I have the choice to not let fear over-take me.

I have the choice to not let others and their actions keep me in a place of disconnect.

I may not have the choice to change others, but I have the choice to change me and how I perceive the actions of anything outside of my power.

I have the choice to TAKE MORE STEPS!

I have the choice to HEAL what isolation I have been in for the past 2 years.

No one can take that choice for me, because no matter what happens, it’s up to me how I react and move through this journey and choose my feet to the path I take.

When I said all this, my therapist just sat with me in awe of the 3 words I put out there. “GOD is with you, God is with us in this moment he said”.

He went on to tell me that in this choice, I have his support, his care, his wisdom and guidance and I am not alone in this journey. He even went on to tell me how sad it was that I had to fight so hard every-day through this hard isolation I have been in the past couple of years, but he sees so much hope of me moving out of this because of that CHOICE I see and hear.

And I finally get it! I finally understand that no matter how I feel, no matter how many mornings I wake up in fear, no matter what feelings hit me, I have the choice to turn that around and direct it in any direction I want.

I can take the sadness I sometimes feel and turn it where it belongs and away from me. I can take the anger I have pent-up inside of me, and turn it away from me and direct it where it belongs –

HOW?

By talking about it – by letting someone hear about my sadness and anger and finding a way to re-direct it right to where it belongs, – By writing about it – getting my feelings out to where they belong – and I have been doing those things this past year, only now, I BELIEVE in it, and I know the choice is mine now! I accept that these feelings and anger and sadness and frustration and fear are not mine to hold, I don’t deserve these feelings!

The energy in therapy room yesterday was nothing I have ever experienced! My therapist sometimes describes the energy as “sacred” … and that is what it was – SACRED!

When we come to an understanding  – especially when it’s from God, It hits you a certain way to where you have this acceptance and belief and a moment where you take a breath just knowing “its Going to be ok”

As the session began to grow close to ending, my therapist said to me “I just want you to know you are so safe, and I am going to “watch” and “guard” and make sure nothing gets in the way, and if anything even looks remotely close to getting in the way, we will talk about it, I will tell you right away!

I felt this relief come off my shoulders and chest like I have never felt before. My heart was filled with so much thankfulness in that moment.

CHOICE .. it’s all about the choices I have to make something different! I can’t change the choice of anyone else but my own, and I think I finally see that my choice is just as strong (if not stronger) than the will of others.

All this on the [temporary path] that God led me on this past week.

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the temporary path – the road less traveled

LESSPATHI have always viewed my healing journey, my healing path as a road that goes forward with a few detours on the side.

There are times I am going straight on the path, and there have been times when out of no-where, I was detoured off my path – and OH how frustrating can that be!

Or maybe it doesn’t have to be a frustrating struggle; rather seen and looked at as a path less traveled to heal bigger wounds.

Maybe instead of seeing these struggles as detours, maybe its more of a temporary path to – where I can breathe a little; getting to understand my footpath a little better.

The past week or so I have really struggled with connection and feeling grounded to self and those around me and I have felt so frustrated about it. “Why am I projecting?” “why am I struggling to be connected to those around me?” “why do I feel so disconnected?” .. I haven’t felt like this in such a long time and boy does it feel horrible!

But as I worked through my struggles today in not feeling so connected, I realized something! I realized that maybe this is the temporary path – not a detour. Maybe this is where God is telling me “hey, take this path for a while, you have been working so hard on this one path for months and months now, its time to take this path less traveled, take a seat on the rock and give yourself some time to breath and understand what is here, because for some reason, it’s here and it’s important to understand its presence.

If I don’t stop to pay attention to what is here, I may miss out on something so very important to heal.

As my therapist would say, this is where we slow down, pay attention, take time to really be with what is here – don’t run past it because it’s a struggle, slow down and look at the struggle.

Normally when we are up against a struggle or feel troubled, we are eager to run past it as fast as we can, because no one likes to feel disconnected – no one likes to feel troubled inside, so we do all we can to run past it as quick as we can to move to a more tangible feeling that we can handle.

But maybe that is where the wounds don’t heal. Maybe running past these  moments of struggle and disconnection only makes them come back even stronger!

The one thing I do know from being on this journey for 8 1/2 years now is, no matter how many detours or hard obstacles I have come up against on this journey, I have always met the path on the other side! The road I began will always continue to be there, me going off the path to a path less traveled doesn’t mean I am lost or have fallen off my path, it just means that somewhere in the healing, I will meet the path back up where I will be stronger and more knowing of the struggle that I faced.

So, as I sit here this evening feeling a little disconnected and frustrated that I don’t understand why I am feeling this disconnect I have been feeling the past week or so, I will look at this as the temporary path – the path that God paved for me so that I can slow down and heal whatever is here – a slower path to where I can gain some strength and understanding so that I can meet up and continue with the road I have ben journeying or so long!

These side roads are needed …. and I think I am finally beginning to understand that. Just because I had to take a side road off my path, doesn’t mean the path my journey is on has stopped, it continues just like me and this amazing road I continue to travel.

So I trust, and I gather my support with me along on this temporary path and I keep walking forward, slowing down to understand what is here and what needs to be healed, and allow myself to be the way I need to be on this path even if it means not being as strong – but being the ME I need to be.

So my path continues ……….

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projection and the battle within

08450c_4cb0c2cf6160474aa6a1dfb3648c934f.jpg_srz_p_220_176_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzProjection is something that I sometimes struggle with, and something I have really struggled with the past couple of weeks.

I am learning more and more about what projection is and why I struggle with it; how projection relates to me and my work in therapy.

I read a wonderful article written by Morgan Sontag called “Things are not as they appear“. She explains how Projection is a defense strategy in which you unconsciously defend yourself against unpleasant impulses or feelings by denying their existence in yourself, while attributing it to someone else.

Basically in a nut-shell, projection is “blame shifting” .. not something done purposely, but it’s done when we feel so badly about ourselves that we turn how we feel thinking others feel this way about us.

A great example: I walked into therapy last Monday morning and the energy in the room didn’t feel right, and immediately I began thinking my therapist was acting like his normal self,  that he didn’t want to be in connection with me, that he was mad about something, and I felt his mood was off – something wasn’t right! Well . . . . in “REAL” this is how I felt about myself. It had nothing to do with my therapist, his energy was fine, he was big and open and actually he was really happy to see me – it was my projection trying to blame shift it on him.

When I looked back at where these feelings began for me, I realized that I woke up that morning not feeling good about myself, I didn’t feel good about the connection, the energy I felt inside was really blah, I felt emotions at the surface, not loving myself at all, so when I got to therapy, instead of owning those feelings as my own, I projected them “blaming the bad energy on my therapist”.

This is what projection is!

When I realized this is what I was doing, I was able to connect to my therapist and talk about it.

We have worked a lot around projection in therapy and he knows when I am struggling with it.

But it’s also important to know that not all times we feel this way is projection, there are also times when others do own their own bad energy or disconnection. There are times I go into session and my therapist falls short of being there fully connected, or the energy is off due to him, not me. It’s the humanness of the therapist/client relationship.. we are all human..

Learning about when projection happens is important and something I have to work with.

I do the same thing here at home with my husband. When I am feeling down or I am struggling with myself and how I feel about myself, or I am feeling in a down angry mood, I will project that onto my husband thinking “whats wrong with him? why is he not in a good mood?” .. it’s not him at all, it’s me! I am the one struggling with these self feelings, and that is when I need to take a step back and figure out where the feelings are coming from.

Projection is tricky, especially if you’re in the middle of the projection, because you can’t tell if this is “whats really going on”, or “is this how I feel about myself!?”

The past week or so I have really struggled with connection to myself and others and some of that is projection. I am working on it, but at the same time, it’s not a really good feeling to feel disconnected.

Half the battle is trying to figure out, “is it projection”, or “is there disconnect?” My therapist is REALLY good at helping me with reminders of what is real, what is truth, what the connection is that he see’s, and then that helps me to tell the difference between “am I projecting” or “do I really feel there is something wrong with the other person”

….. more times than not, its me projecting. There have been a few times it really wasn’t me, it was the other person, but most of the time its a projection coming from something and that is where I need to really work on where this is coming from and why.

Projection is a real tricky thing, and it can really get in the way of connection. A great quote on projection is

“We do not see things the way they are, we see things the way we are”

I am a bit frustrated! I have had a hard couple of weeks with self connection, and connection with others, and I am really hoping that this week I can fine tune what is going on inside of me, and really get re-connected to self and others.

I think I know what is going on, and I have hope that I will work with it this week with my therapist, and I know he is open to really help and support me thru this hard disconnect I have been struggling with. He is amazing when it comes to working thru things like this, I have no doubt I will figure this out.

I see projection as a self  “TUG OF WAR” .. a battle you have with yourself.

The frustrating part in this is, I haven’t felt this way in a long long long time.. so I am curious as to what is going on, and I am ready to work with it and figure it out!

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strength of envy

To some it won’t come to a surprise that I am a huge huge gymnastics fan, so you can imagine I am in my glory right now as we celebrate the Olympics to where strength is the key to every success!

I was in gymnastics as a teen, and this sport that takes so much strength has been something of awe-inspiring to me – even as an adult today I am awe-inspired and fill up with adrenaline just watching it.

Something about the strength, determination, dedication, faith and hard work that really just brings out the beauty in the end; that execution in the dismount that slams the result of that hard work of sweat, blood and tears.

I look back at the past 5+ years in healing and I always wonder if I am strong enough, or doing enough hard work to move through the harder moments that come up.

I show up, I work hard, I open wounds that are painful, I reflect, I connect, and I am constantly working around the clock in my healing on this journey.

I sometimes wonder “where is my execution?” Is there beauty in the result? I may not do a back handspring double pike off of a 4 inch apparatus, but I sure sometimes leave therapy feeling like I just did – and sometimes my dismount is a stick, and sometimes I fall.

My therapist is a great coach; someone who has truly been on my side since the very first day I showed up. He helps to ground me in the hard moments, keeps me in connection in the unsureness, and gives me hope, care, and support when I get up after a hard fall! It’s hard work, but I do see the goodness in the work even when the fall hurts.

I have a lot of connection and support that makes the fall a little softer to land on, and sometimes I fall back on that, and sometimes I have a harder time accepting – I always want to be strong and feel as if I can do it – but I realize I sometimes need to fall back on that support.

The past couple of weeks have been of those moments of hard work, tears, and complete rawness of emotions. I have fallen, but I have also gotten back up many times in these past weeks; fighting for what Is right here at the surface right now.

I sometimes think to myself “can I be stronger?” “can I do it better?” “maybe I am not strong enough”.. but I am reminded of where I was, where I am, and where I am heading on this path, and then it all comes back to me.

Yes I am strong, I have been strong since I was the 5 year old child fighting for her life, and I will continue to work through the many challenges this healing brings me; even when I fall – knowing someone will be there with a hand to help me up.

So while I watch the Olympics at all these amazing people who are filled with strength and determination for what it is they are fighting for, I have to remember that even “THEY” fall, and they also get back up.

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taking the risk – breaking the past

This photo reminds me of how writing a blog can feel; you feel open, but still want to back into a dark corner for safety.

I have gone through many trials through my blog this year! I have put my voice out there to speak, and I have told some pretty big  truths!

I have been open and real, I have been honest and sometimes been tearful and unsure of the truth being revealed, but the one thing that holds the most truth is that “I have been me”.

When writing about your healing you are opening up for a world to see, and there are some consequences to that; hard ones, unfair ones, and sometimes very hurtful ones.

Some unfortunate events happened to me at the beginning of the year and unfortunately picked back up and had me in a panic of repeat possible triggers.

I was torn between taking my blog down, keeping it up, making it private, making it password protected, and all the while this was going on, I was obsessively checking the IP stats, the counter, and what was going on in the background – sounds a lot like my past to me.

It reminded me so much of my past as a child – always on watch waiting for the next time to be abused, waiting for the next thing to happen, so I stayed in the closet, went into hiding, and kept watch over everything going on around me.

The past 6 months have been just like that through my blog. I had moments where I was okay and strong and accepted what was there, but then the darkness of my past took over in that panic and I folded!

I have worked so hard through this with my therapist, and today in session, I heard my therapist say something that just clicked, and when I got home, I had the courage and strength to re-upload my blog to the way it was. I was excited, my blog was coming alive again with colors, joy, and happiness! I even left a voicemail for my therapist after session saying “I am bringing the blog to life again”.

Today in session was one of those moments where my therapist and I were standing there, I was in tears talking it out on how much this has been in my way for months now, and he said something that just clicked! It made me cry more, and I was comforted and supported in his words and I heard –

YOU, ARE A POWERFUL PERSON! YOU, HAVE A POWERFUL VOICE, and there are good consequences to that, and bad consequences to that” and I have the power to hold both.

It was then that it clicked – I never had a powerful voice before, and having that taken away now is like taking away the voice to that little child again. I would never go back and take away her voice, it has taken me 35+ years to find it.

I will no longer go to a program to see who is reading, I will no longer sit and ponder over it and be that child in the closet waiting for the culprit to arrive – I will write how I feel, I will speak how I feel, I will share how I feel, because I never had a voice to speak before and this is today; not the past to where I have to be partly in the dark, and partly in the light.. I can gain strength from both.

I have the power to take that past and talk about it, and not let it become me. I can talk about the hurt inside of how “watching and waiting” was so much a part of the life I lived, and how that made me feel inside. I have the power to talk about why the past 6 months have hurt me, and how close it felt to my past – I am tearful even typing about it right now.

This has been hard, and this has hurt, and it has been confusing, and yet this has been a learning experience for m – but the one thing I have come to really understand and learn is that- the trigger that has come to my blog? its not about me, and it’s not mine to hold.

A mantra that my therapist and I always use together is “we can talk about anything”. “we are a good team” – and I am holding onto that today, because those 2 things are what is needed to move through this.

My blog is up, my blog is here to stay, I am no longer tracking any stats, IPS or visitors (its been deleted and buried by my husband)

I will admit, It’s going to be hard not having that blanket of security – but I know I have support and care around that, and I can talk about it anytime I need to.

I have a voice to speak and truth to be told, and if people don’t like what they read, don’t read my blog! If my truth hurts, walk away from it.. this is my story, and my healing, and no one is going to silence me ever again.

the quote reads:

“Pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances
Rather for our circumstances to changed our strength”

SALTARE

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Who am I Underneath It All?

Who is Karen if she were to be defined by “who she is” and not “who others see her to be?”

I walked into healing 5 years ago and that was truly one of the things I seek-ed to find. Do I have my own personality, do I hold a place in this world that is mine? am I worth a place in this world? who am I?

The mantra that I lived by since childhood was “what’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is yours“.

My whole way of living was about being what I needed to be; being what I had to be. The only place and time that I was myself, was within – and no one saw it because it was safer to keep it inside.

Whatever I did in life, it was never something I could call my own. Everyone owned a small piece of me, and I did what I could to try and make it my own when I could; but then again, at some point, it was always taken away.

I was in ballet for 13 years, but I was always the shadowed child who always took the back row, but yet others learned from my talent, and used them as their own.

I never danced in the front row showing what I had, what I could do, and what made me shine through my talents. Her name was Tina Antifinario! she was always the front front row girl; yet asked me to help her practice.

I was asked many times to help some of the girls practice their steps outside the room because I knew them by heart, but yet come time for recital, I was the shadow in the back .. never seen for who I was.

I stood in the sidelines always taking the left-overs of my own talents and the little things I “thought” I was good at, but no matter what , it was not good enough, and I was not seen.

At age 16, I finally had my SOLO before ending with Hanley Dance.. they finally got to see me for how good I was; the girl always in the back as the shadow to others.

Through school it was much like the same. I was never good enough! I tried to find my true unique self by trying to find the Karen under it all, but it was soon masked by silence and shame. I couldn’t function in school because I always thought I was what was done to me, and I was not worth much of what I knew I was capable of.

People around me never took me for who I was, but for how they saw me (quiet and weird). I was purely defined by the result of who I had to be (reserved and always took the back row knowing I did it good; sometimes better than most – but was never allowed to shine).

The only time I felt I was me, was inside where no one could touch me.

I created my own world in my closet from the age of 5 even up until I was 17. While everyone else was out hanging out with friends, or out doing things with people – I was inside my closet or room with the door close writing to pen pals, finding my writing and my unique self with no one to see what my potential was underneath it all.

I didn’t feel like the Karen I knew I was, I felt like a person moving through life according to everyone else and the way they wanted me to be, or the way they saw me to be.

When I started lifting weights and working out at the gym – instead of people saying “wow your doing a great job” they would say “that’s great but don’t over do it”. or “maybe you should slow down, your going to hurt yourself”. It felt as if people were afraid to see me succeed, when all I was doing was trying to find where I was underneath it all.

Instead of withdrawing inwards due to the life I had since I was a child, I was out there trying to find me – yet it still wasn’t good enough – I WASNT GOOD ENOUGH.

I never stood out besides being the weird child who was quiet. I was stood out by the person who would back away when someone came towards me to approach me, or who wouldn’t hug, or confront.  I was the girl who rather stay home and write to pen pals, than to be out with other people – because the work to be something to everyone else, was just too much work for me.

I was known as the person who covered herself to not be seen.

I was the person who went through 2 O’Clock and everyone defined me by “woe she gets weird every day and wont talk, she must be rude”  – that is what I felt defined me – but deep inside I always knew there was something about me, I just needed to find it – people needed to accept that I was something besides what “they” defined me to be.

When I walked into therapy to start my journey to heal, I lowered the walls to not only reveal myself to another person, but also to reveal myself to me; allowing me to open up who I was in a safe place where I was accepted without judgement.

Being in therapy these past 5 years has allowed me to find who Karen is without someone taking it away, or taking something from me to make it less mine. I showed up to find who Karen is underneath it all.

I found small things in the small therapy room that was provided for me, and found little things that defined “Karen” for who she was. Every little bit of what I found in myself, made me smile, because finally I was finding me. I felt these little special things that I do in therapy are finally the little things I can keep, to help me find who I am without someone taking it away from me.

The therapy room is my escape to where I matter to myself. I learned to love myself when I am there, because I am honoring me and no one else. I feel no one can rape me of who I truly am, or abuse who is really inside – I feel safe – I feel open to be who I want to be, I feel it’s the only place right now that Karen is defined for “herself” than what everyone else wants her to be.

So, Who is Karen?

I am gentle, loving, caring, quiet – and soft spoken.

I love my morning coffee, and bringing it back home to sit in my reading room and enjoy that quiet time in the morning reading inspirational blogs.

I love to write. It is a PASSION of mine and has been since I was little. I am not perfect at it, but then again that is what makes it comforting, I dont have to be perfect, I can be just me.

I love God my creator, and I am challenged everyday to see the path he has put in front of me.

I love weather, I love all things exciting that makes my adrenaline rush straight to your head!

I love photography, it’s life through a lens that I have a passion to capture.

I love to figure things out, and think outside the box. I love to find news ways to be better than I was the last time, but allowing myself the mistakes to learn from it.

When I hear a good song on my laptop, I love to get up and dance around my room and being completley GOOFY with no judgement on me (God may be laughing, but I am sure he is laughing with me).

I love going for drives in the car while listening to “fleetwood mac”

I love lifting weights and everything about it! I love to challenge myself and my strength.

I love goals, and love moving through them, mistakes and all.

I have a thick boston accent and proud of it (no I am not from NY)

My dream in life is work in “social work” to help children get out of abused homes.

I love to dance, not having to be overshadowed or put in the back row!

I hate shoes, and I am not a fan of talking on the phone, but love to write emails to express my feelings and emotions.

I love shopping for clothes, because I never had nice clothes growing up.

I have a tattoo on the back of my neck that stands for “faith courage and wisdom” .. and a small nose ring – both which defines me as being able to make my own decision – not being the person people “thought” I was. “oh Karen would never do that” – watch me!

I am compassionate and strong hearted! I am filled with gratitude and show people how much I appreciate them. Showing my gratitude is probably one of my favorite things to do in life – because it was less given to me.

I LOVE to love people when I get the same respect back.

I love to play practical jokes on people to get a chuckle, and I love to laugh when I can. I have been told that I am funny, and always make people smile.

I have to wash my feet in cold ice water every night before bed – I love clean feet, and can sleep better when they are cold.

The ocean is my sanctuary, It’s all things powerful that God created, and it’s beautiful to hear and see.

Now that I have learned to HUG, I love giving hugs.. and sometimes receiving them when I feel ok to accept.

I am a thinker, and love to spend a lot of time alone – but when you get to know me, I am chatty and loving towards the people I trust and care about.

I am many things that a lot of people don’t see.

In therapy I have found who I am, and what I love about myself. This is a place where it’s safe for me to explore who Karen is. I am sure there are a lot of things that I don’t know about myself, but each day I am learning something else, something new.

Everyday I am learning more and more things that define me for who I truly am, and not for what people thought I was, or how I should be.

I write in this blog everyday and use my big voice – a voice I never was allowed to use as a child; but now clearly taking the front row in believing it can be heard – (no matter what the consequences).

I recently came up against something much like my past – the feeling of something being used, or taken from me, to make me feel less than. I felt unsafe again, and felt that some of the things that were mine that I found within, were no longer mine.. it was just another thing that I did like everyone else. It hurt, it hurt really bad when I wa faced against this – but one thing I know about Karen, and that is “I will find something else that defines me in another form”. “Karen is a fighter, a woman who stands for what she never had”.

I am slowly finding myself through this hard place I have been in.. and each day I am uncovering what was covered all these years.

Who am I underneath it all? I am Karen, a woman who is writing this blog, and using my big voice to show what defines me as how I am today.

 

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