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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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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31 Days {Day 23} Finding New Trust

770776b96b98399f05dcaac1c1759ed9It has taken me a very long time to accept that I have an inner young child within me; an inner child that everyone has, only mine is stuck and has been stuck since she was 5 years old!

Stuck in the old messages, stuck in the old feelings, stuck in the old fears and disconnection. Stuck in the world where “no one is safe” “nothing is safe” and “everyone lies and hurts“.

This year has been a lot of accepting of that inner young child work that I have been doing in therapy, and I can finally say “I do have a young inner child”.

The moment I became accepting to this, it became easier to see and feel when the young part in me hears old messages and lies; those lies that stop me (the adult me) from being who I need to be.

I have been working very hard to change those old messages, listen to them, hear them, be with the fear that the young inner child is feeling and working with that by replacing it with truth and a safe connection.

Not always easy, and sometimes very painful – but she’s getting there.

This past Thursday in session, I finally began feeling like the younger inner child is finally having this big trust for my therapist – after 8 years of work together, I think the young part is finally beginning to trust the process of the work we do, and trusting my therapist and the connection he offers and the words he speak

This is a big deal!!!!

 

A lot of times the young inner child within me really puts messages in my head that are really hard to battle sometimes. There will be times when I want to take steps, but something won’t allow me, and I am finally realizing it’s the younger me holding onto old messages and lies and steering my course to healing – when I the adult me wants to move forward!

Its a constant battle

 

My therapist has told me many times that everyone has an inner child, only some people have an inner child who has grown up along side of the adult they have become. Sometimes that inner child will show up in the fun side of the adult we can be – the adult who wants to play or be funny, or just wants to BE!

My inner child doesn’t know what its like to be loved, cared for, playing and having fun, enjoying being a kid! She only knew the abuse, the lies, the fear and abandonment! She stopped growing and got stuck inside those fears while I grew up NUMB and afraid to connect with others.

Until 8 years ago, when I got the help I knew I needed!!

 

Today, even after 8 years, it’s still a hard process, but one that is becoming easier to journey. I am slowly noticing the difference between messages I hear that are from the past vs messages I hear from the truth today. It’s a process that takes time.

I felt something Thursday when hearing my therapist talk about something and there was a quiet joy inside, it was “her listening and not battling me with the old messages… she allowed me to hear and even believe which was SO different!

It didn’t stop from old messages getting in the way the next day or even today, but you know what? that one moment of that inner child just allowing me to stop, listen, and hear truth while allowing me to feel connection in a hug that I could feel and trust from my therapist was GOOD and was REAL and it’s something to hold hope in!

It Begins!

 

the journey has taken a new turn and I am excited yet scared about what is next.

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being good enough

I-am-Good-Enough-setting21I have been working on a small art project, or at least trying to, and I haven’t had the courage to really dig deep into it, and I think fear is holding me back.

Fear of not doing it good enough, fear it wont be what I hope for!

The same thing goes with my writing in the blog. I used to write all the time, almost every day in my blog, and for some reason I have just come to a complete STOP!

Fear of not doing it good enough, or finding the perfect words to say!

My therapist said something to me in session this morning that really gave me the courage to write this blog and push past this block that has been here for weeks, and that is “you can’t mess up the project your working on, because however it turns out, it will be good enough because you did it“.

I can write drafts, I can make practice journal art pages, I can trial all the things I want to do before the real thing, but truth is, no matter how right or wrong I do it, it will be good enough, because it’s ME and WHO I AM.

I think a lot of my blocks in not writing is fear I won’t do it right, or fear my words are not strong enough. Fear it wont be accepted or make sense. Fear I wont be happy with it and not feel good enough! …

Then there are fears that so make sense … fears that I am still healing and recovering from ..

It stops now! I am going to take my therapist’s wisdom and be who I am no how messy or right I get it. I love the quote

“we can only ever be who we really are, good enough”

I am done trying to wait for the perfect moment to write the best blog with the best words, or waiting to work on this amazing journal page I am ready to work on, no matter how un-perfect it is, its going to be perfect because its me and who I am.

I showed my therapist the “TESTER JOURNAL PAGE” I worked on this past weekend, and he was in AWE of it .. he said to me “this is the test journal art page? to him he though it was perfect as it was, to me it was just a test before the real one is made.. he made me realize that what I worked on was good enough, that is me and who I am.. I created that whether it was the real thing or not.

The same goes with my writing from now on … as I continue to make steps out of this isolation and healing I am working so hard through, I will show up as I am.. messiness and all .. the good and the hard..  emotions and all .. being GOOD ENOUGH for who I am.

It feels good to sit here and write … just letting the words flow off my fingers as I write and not worry if I am doing a good job writing what I want to write.. because this.. today .. will be … GOOD ENOUGH!

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my journey to healing

6c0464f38780ca646670f362a30d2924This month marks 8 years that I have walked this amazing path of healing in therapy with a wonderful wisdom filled therapist.

It hasn’t been an easy 8 years, but it has been a liberating life changing 8 years.

8 years ago, I drove my car up this long and winding mountain side road heading towards this place I would spend the next 8 years discovering all the parts of me I never knew before.

I remember this day like it was yesterday, but never did I think I would endure a journey quite like this.

This journey that I have been on for 8 years has been life changing for me on so many levels. It hasn’t always been easy, and my healing certainly took some really hard roads along the way, but that is where I believe I grew stronger.

One of the things that I have learned in therapy is that, healing is not just about healing the past, but more so it’s about walking along side of your past to meet you where you are today.

You can’t heal your past, you can’t fix it, nor can you change what happened – but you can welcome it to where you are today so that you can live forward.

A couple of years ago my healing hit a really hard wall, and for the past year or so I have really been going through a hard hard time with self isolation.

This past year has been one of the hardest years I have ever been through, but because of this amazing 8 years on this healing journey, I have faith and hope that I will take all that I worked through and apply it to help move me out of this hard place I have been in.

It’s because of the 8 years I have been working with my amazing therapist that I trust and know that I will move out of this hard place and not only will I move out of this hard place, but I will move out of it healing more wounds that I covered for so long. Sometimes it takes a really hard place to bring out the deepest of wounds.

I can’t say enough amazing words about my therapist of 8 years now. When I first walked into therapy, I was behind so many walls that I didn’t even know who I was. He carefully took my hand and slowly pulled me out from behind this wall and showed me what true safe connection was, and the possibility of life before me.

My therapist – he is this wisdom filled inspiring person who has really guided me through this very hard path in a safe, loving, trusting, and connecting way.

I admire him and look up to him for the wisdom he has helped me to find in my own self and healing. He is such a good person with a big heart and really listens beyond the ears of hearing.

I am blessed that God sent me this amazing person I have walked this path with, and continue to take healing steps out of this hard place and into the life I know is possible for me.

Therapy is a hard process, but a healing process if you just walk into it knowing that you are not going to change what has happened or fix it, but that you are going to find a way to accept what it is that has happened, but finding YOU in the middle of it to become the person God intended you to be.

Every day I am getting closer and closer to the other side of this hard place I have been in this past year, and I trust I will find my way out of this hard isolation I have been in – BECAUSE of the 8 years I have seen the healing happening within.

I wont’ lie, there are days I struggle hard with not knowing if I will ever move out of this hard place that I have been in this past year, but looking back at all the hard roads I have conquered and overcome – I know I will move out of it. I trust I will move out of it.

It’s true what they say, healing is not an overnight process, it’s not a destination, there is no time frame for healing – it’s a change within that happens along side of the healing.

Healing is not just made up of  a therapy room with me and my therapist.. healing is about everyone coming together. It’s therapy, me, my therapist, God, connection, my family, my friends, and those who surround me with love, support and connection. Healing is made up of all those things.

Patience and trust are the 2 things I carry with me every day in this process… not always easy, but needed in order to move forward.

I am blessed for these past 8 years and for my therapist who has walked this journey with me..  and I will continue to look forward as I heal, without a time frame or expectation in mind, but rather knowing I am becoming the person I was intended to be – who God intended me to be.

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writing for me

JPEG image-4DDD67A6E979-1When I first began my blog about 6 years ago, I was very hesitant about others seeing what I wanted to write about; what my deepest thoughts were.

So I started out the blog by talking about things that were easy, like – “how much I love my boys”, “Photos of the family” “every day little thoughts”, poems, quotes, just little things that people coule relate to.

As I began to feel the blog water out, I began writing from my heart! I began to write about the past and all the haunting stories that fill my soul even today.

I began telling people my story in how I am a “adult survivor of child sexual abuse” and how living with that every day effects me.

I Then began writing about my therapy and the healing process. I began writing about the truths of the every day struggles of healing, mixed in with a little bit of my faith.

But the one thing I noticed, was that my blog was responded to a lot when I wrote about faith, and family, and the every day things that others can relate to… but on the days I wrote about the struggles of my healing – there was silence – hardly any responses but just very few.

I felt alone, and thought “maybe my voice is too loud”.

I have written my thoughts out since I was as little as 5 years old. Putting my thoughts out there from the heart was how I healed, and today it still works the same way – when I write about my healing and the process of healing that I go through every day, it helps, it heals, it gives me voice to the dark.

I noticed that my writing has been few and in between lately. I am hesitant (for many other reasons from 3 years ago when I was watched closely by another around my therapy writing) but I am hesitant to really put my thoughts out there about my every day struggles and healing in fear I wont connect with anyone.

I began to write less and less, and I noticed the past couple of weeks this VOID in my heart … I want to write about EVERYTHING! I want to write about my healing process, I want to write about the truths and the struggles and even the good in the struggles and not fear it wont make a connection with others.

I know that when I write about the things that people tend to shy away from, there is less connection – but the thing is, how can people turn from truth? I can’t fake it, and I wont fill my blog with only smiles and rainbows and how much I love God!

Yes, I am a very faithful woman, I love God, love my faith, love my family, and I am all about writing about the good, but why shy away from the hard? Why shy away from writing about things that heal; even if it’s a hard road that got me there?

I spent a childhood being silenced to only talk about the good and never the hard or the bad, I don’t want to live that way again. I am tired of writing to please the connection and others out there, and when I do write about the hard and the healing, there are those who truly stand by me and get it, and that feels good!

A couple of weeks ago, I created a Facebook group called “Together We {BLOG} and I have met some wonderful people from all walks of life.. people who are faithful and love their faith, people who write for the love of writing, and yes even people who struggle and battle with struggles from the past and living life with trauma issues.

I began to read other people’s blogs and how free their writing is, and how much I miss writing about all the sides of me, not just the good and faithful, and how much I love my family and god .. I missed writing about the very things people shy away from.

It has taken me a long time to say “I am an adult survivor of Child Sexual Abuse” and I am not about to put that back into silence anytime soon.

I miss writing the way I used to write 3 years ago .. about all the things in my life, and yes the healing part – my every day healing process and the walks an steps I take in therapy, which is a huge part of my life.

I have decided this week that I am no longer going to silence myself from the things I fear doesn’t create a connection, because I look at it this way, if people can’t connect with all of me, all sides of me, the good and the struggles, then it’s not a connection to begin with.

The quote that came into mind this past week “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen”

I look forward to opening my blog once again and not having the tension of what I should write about to be accepted in connection.. I will write from the heart, write for the truth, write about the things that are hard and good.. and most importantly I am going to write for ME!

Linking up with “Three Word Wednesday

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letting {fear} write the script – no more

d46dadfa4eb678318ca9db801a7ae7b1I saw this quote last weekend and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since!

This quote really opened my heart and my mind to so many things around me; especially looking back on this hard year I have had.

The quote was this:

“Our eyes are not just viewers they are also projectors that are running a 2nd story over the picture that we see in front of us all the time! Fear is writing that script, and the working title is “I will never be enough”.

When I read that quote it was like something huge shifted inside of me; something that I have never felt before. Something changed, I changed, my feelings changed, my outlook changed!

If you really read the quote, it tells us that no matter what we have going on in front of us, there is always a 2nd story being written over what is really here! FEAR writes the script of what it is that is really here and that fear gets in the way at times, and most of the time that script is telling us “I am not enough”.

This quote has defined exactly what the past couple of years has been for me.

As readers of my blog, I know you have read many different versions of what I am going through. Sometimes I feel on top of hope, and other times I am not so sure. I have written about the REALLY hard, and the REALLY good. I have had moments where I thought I was going through a really good shift, but then realized later it was false hope.

This time, it feels SO different! I feel SO different!

Something shifted over thanksgiving break and I have never felt a sense of movement like I do now. I have never felt so connected as I do now.

Over thanksgiving break I took a step out of my head and really got clear about what was going on around me. I told my therapist that I wanted the week of Thanksgiving break to be time for me to get out of my head and time for me. I didn’t want to connect over break; that I trusted the really good connection we have.

It was a great break for me to get out of my head, away from the healing, and really get curious and clear about where I am! it was amazing!

This past year has been about not feeling good enough, not feeling worthy enough, not feeling good about myself causing me to be in this place of isolation… but what was really going on inside of me? What was causing this isolation?

What 2nd story was being played out in front of what was real? I realized, it was FEAR .. and knowing that now gives me hope of what I need to do next! In fact, I am changing hope to faith – because faith holds more promise than hope.

Coming back into my healing after the Thanksgiving break was nothing short of amazing connection! This past week was the best week I have ever had in therapy! I am more connected now than I have ever been – ever!

My therapist and I are both so excited about the path going forward! So many thoughts and ideas I have about what caused this isolation and what is really here in front of me that needs a place to be placed.

Today my therapist and I were talking about this big shift and he was glowing with excitement! He slid over to me and gave me the biggest hug of connection telling me how proud he was of me and just how DIFFERENT he see’s this shift to be and how there is big opportunity here in this big shift! It’s EXCITING!

I plan to share some of these steps with you all. I know I haven’t written much in the past week and a half, but I took a small week or so break from writing so I could really get clear about this new shift and path I am on. I didn’t want to jump ahead too quickly before I really knew what God was showing me.

I have come to realize that FEAR is the script that got in the way of where I was going this past year, and more so the past COUPLE of years. I let outside circumstances really steer the course of my healing path and it got the best of me, and now I am here writing my OWN script to my healing … no longer letting fear take control over what I want, and what I need going forward!

Fear is a huge obstacle that can get in the way of many things! That quote was right on .. there will always be a 2nd story over the truth of what is really in front of us if we let Fear control the story. WE HAVE a choice! I HAVE A CHOICE, an I know that now.

A part of the healing is realizing what that 2nd story is telling us, and how to focus on the truth of what is real vs what is not.

I hear and know that loud and clearly!

I am excited! It will be some work moving through some of the things I need to move through, but I am ready to face whatever it is I need to do to re-write the script fear has forced upon me the past couple of years!

This place I have been in is no place for me … isolation and feelings of unworthiness is not the place God would want me to be, thats not the story God has written for me or my path.

One step at a time is what is needed … however big or small – at least it’s a step “out” and not a step “in”.

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