Sunday Trigger Words

Okay I am going to do this. Ugh I really really really do not want to do this but I promised myself and my husband that I would. I couldn’t go to ___ last week because of all my triggers. So I promised I work on associating good memories or neutral meaning with my trigger words so that maybe I can go this week.

 

My Faith Trigger Words:

Sunday

Church

Pray

Christian

He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed

In Jesus Name, Amen

Jesus

Jesus Christ

Meet and Greet

Certain Bible Stories are also a Trigger

Songs are triggers

Bible

Scriptures

(I have so much anxiety right now, I am shaking… it is hard to think)

 

“I Will Pray for You”- Why that Triggers my Anxiety

I met with my Pastor yesterday and he gave me some insight and some hard challenges. I will talk more about it when I am up for it but right now I will just keep it brief. One of the things that has always caused anxiety for me is my Trigger words that take me back to my Spiritual force fed abuse from my mother (that I still get).

My pastor gave me the challenge to think of a new happy memory and attach it to those words, give the word either a new meaning or say something different completely. He explained to me that every word we know, that I know, is neutral. We attach, I attach, specific meanings and memories to it.

For example, some words I cannot stand to hear. It urks me, it makes my blood boil and hatred to rise up in me. One of those words is PRAY. I hate that word. When I think of PRAY I think of the hypocrisy people use (my mother included) to “pray for you”. Some of the meanest people say that, “Well bless your heart, I will pray for you.” When you have done nothing wrong. I feel that there is a double meaning attached to that word and it isn’t meant to be sincere.

Instead of saying pray, prayer, praying.. I will refer it to as “talking to God” or “talk to Him”. That is essentially what I am doing anyways. I am just taking out the trigger word. Even just typing the word or thinking of the memories attached to the word “pray” makes me want to punch someone.

That is all the brain power I have today. I am hoping to make a list of words that trigger me in the next couple posts… but the issue with that is I don’t like being triggered. lol

How To Get Rid of Insecurity, Fear, Doubt & Worry

This answer is easy. Give it to Christ. Jesus Christ.

I become insecure because I feel ignored, under-appreciated and I can’t control the future. Fear sinks in because of my insecurity and lack of control I have over my life. I doubt because I have serious trust issues. I always “do it myself” because I don’t trust others to do it the “right way”. I worry because I don’t have faith that things will work out according to “my plan”.

When you turn everything over to Christ, your life, your worries, your happiness- that hole inside your heart is rushed with peace and comfort. For me it worked instantly. Once I started focusing on how much Jesus loves me- I didn’t and don’t feel so insignificant.

Fear is a deep dark thing and when you invite light that shines into fear- your worries become clearer. My worries are that life isn’t going to go the way we planned. I doubt because I wasn’t trusting Jesus. Jesus Christ never breaks a promise to those who love, trust, obey and serve Him. His plan is and will ALWAYS better than anything I can come up with. I can’t control the future- He can.

For example, we have been waiting 4/5 years to get into a school. This has what happened in those 4/5 years:

Year 1: My job was horrible. It paid the bills but I eventually had to leave because the boss was stealing money from me and the company. I worked there almost a year and turns out after I left that store was shut down. I would of been out of a full time job.

Our marriage was rocky for the first couple of years. He was still finishing up school and I was trying to get used to the fact the weight of providing was on my shoulders.

Year 2: I tried starting my own business selling Mary Kay. It wasn’t stable enough and created some problems with my marriage. I was pressured to keep getting inventory and that was using up our extra cash. I had a dream I would go far but the reality was it just wasn’t working out. Plus my Director (who I love) also stepped out of Mary Kay. That meant I was to be switched to a different unit where I did NOT like the other Director and it was farther away.

I would have not of been able to provide for him, for us, on that income.

Year 3: We moved a couple hours away to be closer to a school he was applying to. I had gotten a job as an Assistant Store Manager. That store was dreadful! We were written up for any theft that happened in the store from customers (because we were supposed to be able to stop them). The boss was so back stabbing. Plus we were scaled on sales (but didn’t get commission) and if you didn’t make it for 4 months straight- you were fired.

My jobs were so inconsistent- I wouldn’t of been able to stably provide.

Year 4: I got a dream job working at a Vet’s Office. I loved it and would of worked their happily for years. But I only stayed 11 months. The office manager (who hired me) left and hired another girl (who has never been a manager) to take her place. At first it was fine. Over time, that place was so busy though they didn’t have time to properly train me. I learned as I went. It was challenging. I had to restrain the animals for the doctor so they didn’t get bit.

During this time I was having so much pain internally I would have to miss work. I wouldn’t know what was going on. I would be fine one day and then the next I wouldn’t be able to walk. I went to a doctor and turns out I needed surgery.

I have Endometriosis. It’s a female condition and if it is left untreated it would have sterilized me from having children. I had to have 3 procedures done at the same time to “clear” me from everything. I had to be put on a certain birth control that minimizes the growth. It is an incurable disease that always grows back but for right now I am okay.

That surgery cost a pretty penny. Our insurance took care of most of it but our deductible was $5000. We were able to pay it off in just under a year and STILL making school payments (for his undergrad).

I would not of been able to support my husband through his extensive 2 year schooling when I needed surgery and in was in so much pain. We would of drown in debt.

Year 5: (Our current year) I am working a stable job where I am hoping to climb the ladder. And also I got hired in at just the right time to be able to transfer to a different state if need be. He also got out of CNA, which he hated, and is working at a job he loves and it pays very well.

Ever since I was 16 I have had the same car. It has been 10 years. Over the past couple years I have become more suicidal, depressed and anxious. I was sexually assaulted in that car and it always breaks down or needs something done.

One morning the pain was just too much to bare and I called a hotline. The lady I spoke to was actually near my area and provided free counseling to trauma victims. I started going. At first it was so hard to open up about it. But now I am so much healthier, my relationships are better and we were able to sell the car! 😀

I have a newer car that is better on gas, has cruise control, sun roof, 5 years newer and she is so cute! I love my new car. We were able to pay for her in cash. NO DEBT! 🙂
SO this car is able to travel distances if we have to move and won’t break down. Everything works just perfectly. Plus it is the same make and model as my husband’s car so the maintenance is easy. We just have to buy double. Another blessing is that my insurance was only raised $1.

****************

That is just to give you examples of how Christ’s plan is better. If hubby would of been accepted into school the first year we were waiting- I wouldn’t have a job. I would eventually have so much pain from the Endometriosis- I would have to have surgery. My car would break down. I would resent him for having the responsibility put on all my shoulders. No money saved up. I would be depressed, harming myself and still having nightmares from the sexual assault. Plus my relationships with friends, family, authority figures, strangers and women would all be “unfixed”.

I wouldn’t be healthy, happy, free of debt, worry or pain. God is good.

Is An Abusive Home Always Abusive?

I have been secretly asking myself this question. It dawned on me that just because my relationship with my “mother” is abusive, manipulative, emotionally distant, liar, actress, condescending, negative, self seeking can those tendencies still remain there in that house? As you know, if you read my blog, I have little sisters that live in that same house.

I can’t do anything about it. I am cut off from that family and have been for years. I just now have made it my choice to be cut off and no contact. My home life with my mother was horrible. It was so forceful, yelling, screaming, silent treatments, punishment through many different ways, I was a hit a few times out of her anger when I was littler. I saw my sisters get so hits during one “spanking” I had to look away.

But my sisters- I can’t tell you what they truly think. They aren’t allowed to contact anyone and if they do she is right there. They are also home-schooled. I know homeschooling in itself isn’t bad but I do feel it needs to be regulated or at least checked in on from time to time. That is my personal opinion.

After CPS was called on for me, or at least my school checked in, (on my home life after I told a counselor some of the things that went on in that house) she wanted to home school me. Staying home was complete torture to me. I walked on eggshells all day. I couldn’t be kid, I didn’t have friends and I couldn’t bother her at all. Thankfully my father (they are divorced) stepped in and said  “Hell no”.

When I was growing up as a child and a teen I knew my home life wasn’t normal because I had my dad’s house to go to. I saw other family and had an escape to go to. So what does that mean for my sisters who have both of their parents still together and conducting this home school, control type thing?

Personally I feel that home-schooling for some is not about the child, I feel like it is a way to maintain control and dependency. But for the poor child who doesn’t know any different- how do you begin to explain that their home is not normal? I do not know if they go through the abuse that I did. I don’t believe it is as physical as mine was but I do believe she is emotionally neglective. She trains the children in the way she wants them to go.

Of course they have their home school friends and co-op classes but those are all pre-determined by my mother. And if my mother has made up her mind that you are a threat- goodbye to you! I wish I could call her out on all of this. But no one in the family sees it and if they do they are shutting up about it.

I can’t keep living my life worried about my sisters or what will happen or if I will have a relationship with them. As sad as it is- a time with come but right now ignorance is bliss for them. I just won’t be surprised if one or any of them won’t be able to go to church or do anything else that is a trigger. What happens when they are 18 or go to college? What will they think?

I hope with all my life that they aren’t going through the same emotions I went through secretly on my own. That would break my heart.

What’s The Purpose?

I received a phone call from a concerned family member the other day. She was concerned with how my “voice” being spoken on Facebook was going to help the situation with my mother. It was about a 30 minute call and she handled it in a way that was so refreshing. She told me her viewpoints and was just basically trying to understand why I would “accuse” my mother of abuse and why I have decided to handle things in such a public matter.

I read this quote on a site that is tremendous for toxic mother/daughter relationships:

“When someone is unrelentingly critical of you, always finds fault, can never be pleased, and blames you for everything that goes wrong- It is the insidious nature and cumulative effects of the abuse that do the damage. Over time, this type of abuse eats away at your self confidence and sense of self worth, undermining any good feelings you have about yourself and your accomplishments.”

WOW! I had to read that a couple times to really grasp what it was saying. There is another story I read in that article that helped open up my eyes as well. This is the writer explaining her defining moment of self love and standing up for herself:

 

“All I did was decide that our toxic mother/daughter relationship problems were not MY fault. Then I decided that since I realized it wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t taking the blame for it anymore. Then I drew a boundary line which bluntly stated was, “either you stop treating me in this disrespectful way or I will not have this relationship with you.” She picked the “not having a relationship with me”. OUCH. But at least I knew the truth. It was easier to move forward when I knew the truth. It wasn’t exactly the validation that I wanted but it was validating that my suspicions were true. At the end of the day I know that my mother is not a happy person. I also know that now it ISN’T MY FAULT.”

The woman also talking about something very interesting in her article. It took me for a trip especially with this phone call I just had the other day asking me what is the whole purpose of all of this.. The woman said look at your motives and her motives within the relationship. So I did and they were astonishing.

My motive in my toxic mother/daughter relationship is to be heard. I always had to stay silent. If I didn’t we would move /I would transfer schools/go to a different church/or get extremely punished. My motive is to be heard. I am so tired of everything seeming like it is made up in my head because I am a “problem child”. It is not. I wish I could transfer my memories into other people’s brain just so they can experience what I went through and what I go through.

Now my mother’s motive is to make things/stories/truth disappear and to be in control. No matter what the situation is- she wants the control, to be in control. Her motive is to be right and it is not loved based. My motive is actually love based. I just want to be heard, to heal, to move on and to have a real relationship with her. My mother “claims” she wants that but she doesn’t. She has had YEARS of opportunity. In her mind I always to something that makes me unworthy of having a relationship with her. She would rather be a sob story to get pity then to deal with her own pain, insecurities and short comings as a mother.

The phone conversation wasn’t really productive. There wasn’t a happy ending to it. I was gently given advice that the way I handled the situation was incorrect because of the long term effects it will have on my mother and I’s relationship. The family member began to tell me that I have put this wall up between me and mother. And that if they suspected any abuse they would of dug deeper into it. Well my mother puts on a very very good act. I am the only one she is this brutal with.

I told this family member there has always been a wall between us especially after she would hit me when I was little. I didn’t go into situations to “prove it” but if I would- I don’t know how it would of gone.

I wanted people to know that my mother and I do not have a relationship. I want people to start questioning her and these things. The only side effect I am worried about it how this will be for my littler sisters that are still underneath her house. I love them so much and I want what is best for them. Unfortunately I don’t know if I will ever have a relationship with them. My mother’s charm and approval means too much to children.

Sunday Anxiety

I really should get back into writing my emotions down again. I think I naturally post maybe once every couple weeks but not on a consistent basis. I think it is because when I go to type how I am feeling- that means I have to feel it. Most of the time I don’t want to feel it. It triggers anxiety, crying, fear, depression and mental exhaustion.

Anyways here I go- again… Sundays I have horrible anxiety. I haven’t been able to go to church for months. Even just saying, church, sunday, god, christian, jesus- is such a trigger I just don’t want to hear about it at all.

My husband wants to go to church and is so sweet into not pressuring me to go but I feel a huge amount of guilt for not being able to go. I just want a break. I want a break from all the rule that is expected from me, standards that were placed in my head that Christians should be. I am just tired. I want to be able to enjoy my walk of faith and not feel convicted every 5 seconds for not doing something “right.”

 

You Don’t Have To

I read a challenge on a friend’s post that despite the things that I can get overwhelmed with that I should to post a status with 2 blessings in it. I have to be honest, sometimes the negatives or the worries stick out in my mind the most. It took me a few to really dig past the norm. I have been blessed by God’s understanding. I used to feel the need to be perfect at everything or have everything perfect. Now I am learning that it is okay to not be and to have a little crazy in my life and that I don’t need to be perfect. I have also been blessed by God’s peace. I have faced some really hard challenges recently & if I sit and think about too much I will cry my eyes out. It is really hard to explain but I will do my best to. People have different definitions and standards of what a “Christian” should do, be, dress, behave, devote and many more “opinions”. To be frank, it is quite a lot to take in and I feel a lot of pressure to be something I am not. Since when is it too much to ask to just show love to all like Jesus did? To be kind, supportive, understanding, giving, loving, encouraging, considerate, thoughtful, forgiving. I am very guilty of letting my opinion dictate what I see in people and I forget to see the person for who they are and where they are in life. I can honestly say I don’t feel like I am the “standard” or the “stereotypical” Christian. I am just me, who happens to believe in Faith because of how He saved my life. I am so very blessed in not having the pressure to be the “standard” anymore. I don’t have to memorize verses, I don’t have to go to church every Sunday, I don’t have to tithe 10% every week, I don’t have to do daily devotions, I don’t have to pray every meal, I don’t have to dress in skirts/dresses… I don’t have to. If you want to, that is fine but you don’t have to. What is in my heart matters and He knows what is in it. That kind of peace is amazing to be able to have, and his understanding of where I am at and why, is an unexplainable relief. Happy Sunday everyone.

Sundays are a Trigger

I have until July 1st to see my therapist so time is precious. She told me a story about how when you talk about old wounds in a safe place and work through them & the emotions it brings to you- you are cleaning your abscess.

Abscesses are wounds within the skin full of pus and without proper treatment, they grow inside you destroying more flesh and causing more pain. But when an abscess is treated, the doctor has to go in and remove all the toxins, pus, dead flesh and clean the wound. That leaves you with a huge, tender opened hole.

Sundays feel like that to me. I had to go to church every sunday and put a smile on my face. I had to hide the abuse, go through the ritual of sunday morning church, worship, tithe, notes, prayer, communion and more.

Now since my abscess has been cleaned out and I have cut out the poison in my life- I had a huge triggers aka open holes when it comes to my Christian beliefs, sundays, prayer and worship. You would think that once you deal with pain and the emotional turmoil that you get better and feel better. My reality is I actually trigger easier, have migraines, I get so mentally exhausted and my nightmares are worse/more frequent.

I confronted my therapist about this. I am so puzzled as to why I FEEL more things. I used to just be numb and stuff things down inside of me. Now I am feeling every emotion all at once sometimes. With her soft smile and warm eyes she told me that she is proud of me.

I had to check me ears. Excuse me? You said you are proud of me? Have you been listening to the stories I have just been telling you? I feel worse! I trigger more easily and I am so exhausted anymore. How can you be proud of me when I feel so horrible, overwhelmed and just guilty for not being able to even say a full prayer for more than 10 seconds?!

My therapist simply smiled at me again. “Have you felt the need to self harm?” I looked at her blankly for a second. I answered no and that kind of surprised myself actually. I always turn to self harm when  I get overwhelmed and I hadn’t thought about that once recently when it used to be an everyday thought. She told me it is because I am allowing myself to feel my emotions and go through it.

It is like the default way I deal with things is to cut and stuff. Since I have turned away from those as a natural response- I am now no longer numb, depressed and stuffing. I am feeling, vulnerable, experiencing and dealing. That is why she is proud of me. Realizing that- I am proud of myself. It takes hard work to be in this place. It takes even harder work to allow yourself to feel.

I just can’t wait until my open sore is healed for good.

My Current Playlist

I wanted to share my playlist with you. I have been honest with myself this past week about the relationships I need and the relationships I don’t. There has been a lot of mixed emotions from empowerment to “what in the heck am I doing?” moments. I am so much stronger now than I have ever been.

What has been helping me stay strong is I put together a playlist that talks about the way I have been treated or felt all my life. There is a mix of genres because I like all music. It took me a couple days to put this together, it is 20 songs and I am in total love with it.

I have not been able to work out at all because of my abuse when I was younger but with this playlist- I just might be able to one day. Okay- so enough chatting- here is the list. Enjoy! & Let me know what you think below. Plus let me know what songs help you out when you are having a difficult time staying strong.

I titled the playlist- Stronger

  • 1 Fighter by Christina Aguilera
  • 2 Just Like You by Three Days Grace
  • 3 Mean by Taylor Swift
  • 4 It’s Been Awhile by Staind
  • 5 Breakdown by Seether
  • 6 Brave by Sara Bareilles
  • 7 Mean Girls by Rachel Crow
  • 8 Freckles by Natasha Bedingfield
  • 9 Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
  • 10 Wide Awake by Katy Perry
  • 11 Roar by Katy Perry
  • 12 Country Strong by Gwyneth Paltrow
  • 13 I Don’t Want to Be by Gavin DeGraw
  • 14 What It’s Like by Everlast
  • 15 Call Me When You’re Sober by Evanescence
  • 16 Not Afraid by Eminem
  • 17 Liar Liar by Christina Grimmie
  • 18 King of Thieves by Christina Grimmie
  • 19 Not Fragile by Christina Grimmie
  • 20 Cries in Vain by Bullet For My Valentine

It’s just under 80 minutes and I love every single song on here. So if you are a sufferer of abuse, you get all the blame shifted to you, been bullied, being left alone, depression, self harm or suicidal- one of these songs just might help you. 🙂

No Longer Silenced

Therapy was a break through for me and so was yesterday. I think it just all clicked in my brain. I know I still have a journey ahead but I am making some huge steps. I have ALWAYS feared my m. whether I would like to admit it or not- I did. I would fear she would take my sisters away for good, I would fear of disappointing her, I would fear of the degrading letters and emails she would send. I would fear I wouldn’t measure up, gaining too much weight, not pursuing the career she approved of, not living the life she approved of. But mostly I was fearful of losing my sisters.

My therapist sat back after she heard some more stories I shared with her. Just to hit on briefly about how I cannot go into a church sometimes and sit through a service without triggers. I can’t see families together because mine isn’t. I can’t hear the familiar Bible stories or verses because it’s pounded into my head. It brings back painful memories of childhood. Not only would memories verses be plastered all over the walls in her house but she would play a tape for us of the Bible at night that we would have to listen to to fall asleep. We’d move from church to church, lesson after lesson, daily readings of the Bible together. Memory verse contests, home schooled teachings of the Bible, video tapes of the Bible would sometimes be the only thing I would be allowed to watch. IT was horrendous. Everything was pounded into us & shoved down our throats. There was never a choice involved- it was forced fed.

black-woman-silenced

A couple of the most prominent verses are “Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Colossians 3:20. I didn’t EVEN HAVE TO LOOK THAT UP! I knew it by heart. This one I did have to look up, Ephesians 6:2-3, 2“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Those two verses are seriously the first two you learn growing up in that house. I lived there til I was 14 and had to visit there until I was 17-18, so I saw my little sisters and how they were raised. If they didn’t comply, they weren’t spanked- they were literally beaten until they stopped. Not just 1 smack with discipline- it was smack, smack, smack smack smack!

I brought a letter my m. sent to me on my birthday so my therapist could see it. She was astonished. This card didn’t look like a birthday card and it was a blank card originally. It wasn’t signed by the whole family, (I got nothing from my sisters but a group voicemail), it was just signed by m. But it was written in to the max of just Bible verses about love. Make me puke! My therapist had then told me that I have been severely Spiritually Abused by her.

obey

She picked up the card and said, “How many more times do you want to go through this?” That didn’t really sink in until the next day to be honest. But what she said next hurt so bad I couldn’t believe she said it. She said, “You already do not have a relationship with your sisters. You are not in their lives.” I got a lump in my throat and my eyes started to burn. I had never heard that or thought of that. I told her how much that statement hurt but I couldn’t repeat it. So she said it again. I flustered and started crying. “It hurts you because deep down, you know it’s true.”

It is true. All this time I had been fearing the most damaging thing my m. could do to me and she has already done it. My therapist let that soak for a minute and then began to comfort me by saying another truth. “You don’t have one now, but you will have an opportunity. They will come to you whether they are 18 or older, and your mother will no longer have control over them legally. And ya know what, I am so proud of you for actually being able to even attend church with how much you have been through. You may not be able to go when you have triggers but you need to learn to separate the difference between your abuse and what it’s like to have faith.”

The next morning I sat up a Googled Spiritual Abuse. I found this really good article/site that talks about how God doesn’t approve of spiritual abuse. Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Sea_water_Virgo

That is the EXACT moment of when it all clicked in my head. The reason why I never ever could really go against my m. or step dad fully was because of the guilt of disobeying God. I had to honor them, and obey them in everything. That meant eat what I was told to eat, sit when they said sit and be who they said be. It all makes complete sense to me now. Thinking on this is actually comical to me now, how easy it was to fool me. I can see it plain as day. And now I know God is not thrilled about this at all! It is not my fault, I was a little one she caused to stumble. She is control and power hungry. She twists the words of God to benefit her. And it is better for her to drown in the sea.

Once I was able to see all that so clearly- I felt God stand behind me and empower me to do what I did next. My therapist recommended that I speak up. I kinda shook at the thought because I didn’t want to, I couldn’t imagine doing that. She asked why. I responded, “because I don’t want to stir up the hornet’s nest.” She asked why again. I couldn’t come up with an answer. Fear. Fear of what? My sisters are already taken from me. It was because back to that key thought, “well if I do that, I am not honoring my mother and father, I am rebellious, ungrateful, horrible daughter….” THOSE aren’t my words- that’s what I’ve “been trained” to think.

So next, I went onto Facebook. I made a status talking about how I do not want a relationship with my m., I have never had one with her. (I don’t ever call her mother, I call her by her real name) How it breaks my heart I have to have pre approval to be able to see my own sisters. And that I am not going to stroke her ego to just maybe be able to see my sisters. How my m. uninvited me to this past christmas, how I never hear from her for months at a time and I want nothing to do with her. I am done being silent.

Now my m. doesn’t have facebook but my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends do. I didn’t post it to be mean or to get back at her. I posted it to let everyone know what they have always assumed. I then later posted another status saying that no one has to choose sides mine or hers. And that if you have a relationship with her you will still be able to have one with me. Also that I will never talk about situations about her unless that person asks- then I will answer.

I got a lot of support from my friends and family surprisingly enough. But the family that is related to both of us pretty much stayed out of it. Except a couple people who said “it takes two”- meaning I am at fault too. Well, I am not and some of my friends stood up to them for me, which was nice.  I didn’t expect to “start a war”, I am just letting people know I’m not faking a relationship with my abusive m. anymore. Then that is when my therapist’s question that lingered in my head was answered, How much more are you going to take of this?.     None.

 

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