These past few days have been nothing short of incredible. Some things have happened here at home that have caused both Josh and I to be soft-hearted, more so than usual. Take for example, his wallet, that was stolen from a department store. His birth certificate, ID, more than $100, my credit card too- and lots of other goodies were inside of it.
Interestingly enough, rather than being angry much, we’ve been teary-eyed and hyper-emotional. But that’s to be expected under the circumstances. As for me, I’ve been pondering my life (imagine that!) and contemplating my absolute direction in which I’ll go. I was in Business Administration five years ago when my Pastor suggested I switch majors to something that might better utilize my talents. I considered what she said and decided to go into Human Services/Behavioral Sciences. Generally, I wanted to work with homeless people and troubled juveniles, etc. From there, I considered Criminal Justice and probation/parole, and up until yesterday, I was alright with that.
But I’ve been praying and asking God to guide me to the place that He wants me to go. His answer: Psychology- specializing in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/OCD behaviors- but most importantly- child sexual abuse and trauma. He’s really been digging around in my heart these past few months, stirring up some things I’d rather not acknowledge.
I was sexually abused by a relative when I was nine years old. Up until a year ago, I couldn’t even string those words together in the same sentence. I haven’t been in denial- but so very apprehensive to even look in that direction. It means pain. Heaps and heaps of pain. At some point, we sexual abuse survivors really do just get tired of this old monster that eats away at our heads and hearts. It’s emotionally and psychologically draining. Well, perhaps that is a form of denial. But as long as I don’t want to see it, it’s still buried. I couldn’t speak about this issue while my Dad was alive. This type of thing destroys lives- it’s like a locomotive with razor-sharp teeth- eating souls along the way. It devastates families. So for many years, I’ve stayed silent. I’ve taken my lashes privately to spare my siblings what would have been much ruin, both privately and publicly. Not surprisingly, my family has preferred that as well. Nobody ever talks about it. It “doesn’t exist” in their worlds.
I was told (when I was a child) that if I ever told anybody, my brothers and sister would be taken away and we would all be put in foster homes and that I would have been the cause. I was only 9! What a terrific and horrendous burden to place upon a child so young. So I kept my mouth shut. And suffered alone. And suffered. And suffered. And suffered.
My siblings got to keep each other and nobody went to a foster home. Hooray.
But I can’t stay silent any more. God has been walking through my heart. He’s telling me that I have a story to tell and it’s ok to tell it! I’ve suffered enough. I can hardly believe the number of women I’ve met online who are my age that have been sexually abused. A good many of them are taking multiple medications and cannot even leave their houses without another family member. That was me a handful of years ago too.
For four years now I’ve studied psychology and such in college. I used to slag on therapists, thinking they were goofy- spitting out “mumbo jumbo Freudian crap”. How ignorant! Naturally, I’ve come to understand just how hard psychology really is; all of the various sections of the brain and their functions that pertain to specific disorders and so on. And that’s just the physiological aspect- there’s the sociological aspect too; perspectives and theories and research methods. The field is so extensive, it really does command respect.
I’m 44 years old and I’ve never been treated for being molested as a child. The shame and pain that goes along with it keep women like me silent. And so we suffer silently. Year after year. But God has touched my heart today with His finger. It burns with a super fire! I’ve decided for the first time in my life to seek treatment for my childhood trauma. The silence must be broken if the remedy is to be successful. Besides, this is the area I want to study and specialize in in my studies. How can I possibly be of any help or use to other women who’ve suffered from this if I don’t become the client and receive professional help too?
And so I shall. I’ve called my local Behavioral Health facility and have scheduled an appointment for June. The first step really is the hardest. I know that the road won’t be particularly easy, but I know that I’m making a good emotional and psychological investment for my future. I’ve been so encouraged by the many (many many) brave women who have shared their similar stories through their blogs.
Some people think that such things shouldn’t be aired in public, but every one who has and continues to do so is my hero. We never know just who we’re going to touch in this world, or who may be reading our posts that have no idea what to do, where to go, who to talk to, etc.
I have a great, new outlook on life and I’m excited at the prospect of finally getting professional help for such an ugly disease: child sexual abuse.
Today is my mother’s birthday. She doesn’t know it yet but I’m going to give her my (college) diplomas as one of her gifts. I’ve fought so hard to finish my degree- for myself, yes, but especially for her. And she’s so proud of me. :0)
Happy birthday, Mom. ♥
My Mom’s one and only sunflower
I’ve given myself the challenge of losing 35 lbs. in 6 weeks: my deadline is Valentines Day. Can I do it? That will put me right at 130 lbs. at 5’6- a healthy, practical, obtainable, goal to not only reach, but maintain, which is the most important part.
I’m going to call on my former cross country and trak training. I ran for three years from ages 9-11, so I know about healthy body mechanics and warming up. I’m also an x- med student (3.9 GPA/Phi Theta Kappa) so I know about the anatomy from the inside out.
I don’t want to lose weight to “be skinny”. Although I have the average dose of vanity I suppose (although I don’t “do makeup”) but still, I want to look good. That’s not my overall reason, however. I want to kick up my cardio and feed my heart the necessary oxygen it needs to fuel my organs. I want to strengthen my body from the inside out on a cellular level. Education is very important to me. This is why I studied Nutrition last semester in college, so that I could gather the foundation I need to build a good workout on. I’m going to pair the nutritional components with the physical ones so that I can lose weight and be healthy– not just “thinner”.
I know some people who practically starve themselves- they drop the pounds- but they end up depriving their brains of the vital oxygen it needs to maintain homeostasis. Electrolyte balance as well as sodium and potassium exchanges need to be interchangeable regarding a healthy PH balance. Starving your body for prolonged periods is seriously just asking for a psychological breakdown- I would know a thing or two about that.
So tomorrow is my first day of the “lose 10 lbs. in 7 days” week. I realize that it’s neither healthy nor practical to do this weekly, but it’s necessary to give myself that push and confidence to keep going. It will also instill the discipline I need to follow through. As an X-trainer and runner, I learned strict discipline.
I was as skinny as a noodle as a child. We didn’t always have food (or running water for that matter) and I was exceedingly poor. Nobody in my family had ever joined any extra curricular activities after school, but I was naturally hyper and loved to run. I don’t remember how it started, but I signed up for cross country when I was 9. We learned all about stretching and body mechanics, and we ran for miles every day after school.
I didn’t have a ride home, so after running miles at practice- I would wait until everybody left, and then I would run home. My house was about 6 miles from the school. This went on for many months until one day, my coach spotted me halfway home. He couldn’t believe that I was running home after running for miles already. I gratefully excepted a ride. He became my regular ride then.
Although it was 34 years ago, I still have the fighting spirit that was carved into me- race by race- and implement what I’ve learned into my daily life. Tomorrow, on day 1 of “lose weight week”, I’m only allowed to eat fruit (no bananas allowed), and must drink at least 10 glasses of water. (I have a cup of grapefruit, 6 apples, and 6 tangerines ready to go.)
Today I fasted from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (after breakfast- which consisted of 1 cup of cherry vanilla yogurt and a cup of grapefruit, followed by my usual dose of “dragon’s blood” as I call it- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper mixed with 3 oz. of water). For supper, I made fried chicken, dinner rolls, and a salad made up of avocados, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow onions and sharp cheddar cheese. “The last supper”. 🙂
After supper, I hit the Gazelle Stryder for 10 minutes- hard- and have forbidden myself to eat after 10:00 p.m. This is a real sacrifice for me as I’m a midnight muncher. I’m prone to getting migraine headaches so this will be a challenge to lose weight while not triggering a migraine. It’s a bit of a tightrope walk.
I really am tired of feeling like I have a spare tire (as the saying goes), but at the same time, I want to be good to my body- not just “lose weight”.
I would usually be munching on something at this time while watching the Food Network show (Alex Guarnaschelli is an Iron Chef now- go Alex! 🙂 but now I’m headed to the cabinet for my second dose of Dragon’s Blood, then headed to the shower. I even have a smile on my face. I’m pumped! (Talk to me in 7 days after a brutal week of rabbit food.)
I’m a firm believer in drinking cayenne water. It burns like raw hell but MAN does it do wonders for the body! Here’s a small list of the glorious things cayenne does:
1.) kicks up the metabolism- bigtime
2.) cleanses the blood
3.) Increases and optimizes the body’s cirrculation
4.) equalizes blood pressure, so that many people no longer have to take blood pressure medicine after taking cayenne over time.
5.) Opens up the blood vessels in your head in such a way as to decrease migraines, if not eliminating them altogether.
I know I haven’t done a lot today to shape up, but the small steps I’ve taken have put me on the right track mentally, so that I can lose weight safely.
I’ve also apologized to my tongue.
You heard me.
See, I’ve had this lifelong habit of biting my tongue and jaws until they bleed. I’ll rip off skin mercilessly, and right as it’s starting to heal, I’ll rip it off again. It’s a sick addiction and a vicious cycle. It’s no different than cutters, alcoholics, or a junkie who shoves a needle in his or her arm. I know that it’s a chemical thing within the brain. Somehow, I’ve confused pain for pleasure and so the wires are tripped in my “reward center”, kicking up the endorphins every time I rip off new flesh. Very nasty habit.
I figured that “getting healthy” means not ripping my bleeding flesh out of my mouth also, right? So, I apologized to my tongue.
I want to make a real effort to stop abusing my body in that way.
Nobody is “helpless”- that’s total crap. We just get lost sometimes. And then, to make matters worse, we’ll pity ourselves, then get good and pissed off when others won’t.
Then bitterness sets in. And hatred. And envy. (And on and on and on.)
I’m taking a personal inventory- I simply have to change a few things about myself that I don’t like.