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Walking out of Survival Mode

Survival mode is about minimizing pain. It is about doing the basics so that I can have a place to live, eat and support myself and my daughter. It isn’t a place to relax into, and plan a future. I couldn’t see my future in survival mode because I was too busy trying to make it through the day. But I am slowly walking out of survival mode, and taking my time to see all the options that are available to me.

A Space to Heal

Finally, almost a year after I left my marriage, I accepted the work that I had to do on myself, and stopped dating. Facing my own demons, without being able to blame them on my marriage, was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I saw my own judgement of myself and others, and my shallowness and selfishness. I wanted the people around me to make me feel good about myself, but that was not their job, that was my job. I started to see how little I was really taking care of my mental health, and realized that my real work was learning how to hold space for myself to heal, and to dream again.

Something for myself

Despite my sadness and feeling lost, I knew I wanted something for myself, but I didn’t know what it was. I had hundreds of vague ideas of what I wanted my future to look like, but when I verbalized them, I felt stupid. I wanted to have my own business, I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to be an artist, I wanted a deeper fuller relationship with a man, I wanted to have closer friends. These were all ideas that would float through my head, and the one thing that they had in common was that I wanted more love in my life, and I wanted to be more engaged in life; I wanted to feel again!

I can Swim!

These last 2 years, I have been swimming alone in that cold water towards the peaceful island in the distance. There have been storms, big waves, and there have been sunny warm days too. I kept my faith and belief that I was swimming towards what I wanted, even when some days the fog completely covered the distant island. But these last few weeks I feel like I have finally reached that island. I am walking up onto the warm sandy beach and looking back at the tiny life raft way out in the ocean. Was this island always here? It was, I didn’t see it because I was so focussed on holding on to that small life raft that now is just a speck on a distant wave. I didn’t need it after all.

My week in Tulum

Being in lockdown the past 2 years turned out to be a blessing. My divorce was final in April 2020, and I used the solitude to reflect. I knew I had outgrown my marriage, and I did not regret the divorce, but there was so much hurt and confusion I still needed to process. Also, we had not been a couple for a few years, so I was curious to date…

The Cake of Life

When I first stopped drinking there was a deafening silence. It was as if loud music had been playing in my head drowning out my thoughts and all of a sudden someone turned the music off. But without the alcohol I slowly began to hear my own voice again. And it was angry! I was angry at the people around me, and angry at myself.

Where have I been?

There is a whole world of touch and affection that I have yet to feel, and I want to be present in my body for it and let go of thinking about what it means. My experience last summer opened me up to being present in romance, and going with my feelings rather than being guarded. Even though it ended and I had a hard time letting go, I still smile when I think about him. I would have never experienced his blue eyed lustful gaze if I didn’t walk away from someone who saw me as a chore to deal with. He was part of my transition out of my past, and into my future.

I am ‘still’ me

Last week my daughter came to live with me. After almost 2 years of living in Southern California alone, I am no longer alone. She is the last piece in the first part of my journey. Her coming here marks the end of the generational toxic family pattern in our lives.

It made me realize that the past five years have been all about escaping from the clutch of toxic situations and becoming aware of them. The heavy lifting is done, and now starts the real work of healing that insecure me underneath.

My Purpose

I was meant to write and tell the story of my family who hid their whole lives, and died with their secrets. I am here to take away their shame and show their light through my words and my eyes. Because through all that they suffered and endured in life they had hope and a belief that a better life was possible, and that is the energy that they passed along to me.