Incredibly Touched by All of You

My blog is growing, and quickly too! I just wanted to share briefly that those of you following me or taking the time to reach out to me to tell me how my blog is affecting you is incredibly touching. I am grateful to be helpful. I am going to sleep tonight with a heart that is filled with hope for myself and all of you that we will all heal and live authentic lives.

This is a picture of me after reading an email from one of my followers thanking me. What you can’t see in this picture is the tears welling up in my eyes. I used to never cry, so thank you for helping me feel my feelings!

Love

Lizzie

Black and White

(My goal in life is to become this and move away from the black and white!)

Yay trauma! Thanks for the black and white view of seeing the world!! Ok, so I’m sarcastic, but black and white thinking is a hallmark of trauma. I have always done it, and am now working diligently to not do it. Even though I absolutely recognize when I do it, I still can’t seem to break the pattern.

Yesterday, for instance, I was horribly ill with my chronic illness issues and felt like NO ONE cared, NO ONE loved me, and certainly NO ONE cared if I was dying. The reality is, my best friend and I chatted, and another woman from my past and I had a short conversation about some things I’m giving her support about. So, in fact people did care, but I couldn’t see it. My trauma has taught me when I’m sick, no one cares, in fact, people probably hate me because of it.

Today, I was able to actually get up and make a wonderful connection with a therapist from my past and get to the grocery store to restock my vegetable bin. I am feeling on top of the world!

And then I think to myself, “balance Lizzie, balance”. It’s quite possible tomorrow may be terrible, and I’ll go back to the dark place in my head. Yes, today was better than most, but temperance in my feelings is what I need. The over abundance of happiness I’m feeling isn’t necessarily normal either. I need to turn it from excessive happiness, to a place of gratitude that I was able to get up and do the things I needed to. Gratitude seems more balanced than happiness. I believe happiness to be a real emotion, but I’ve spent a lifetime of feigning happiness. Gratitude though, that’s not something I’ve managed to do much in my life.

Today I’m moving away from the black and white thinking to a place of balance, to a place of gratitude.

What are your experiences with black and white thinking? How does it affect you?

Love

Lizzie

My True Vision

(This is a picture of my dog looking to the future as his mommy sits and writes!)

In December of 2017, I was sitting in a residential treatment center specifically to work on my trauma when I had a realization. I was lucky. I was lucky in that I WAS sitting in that residential treatment center working harder than I ever had to get my life back. I had the time and the resources to be there to better myself. So many with any type of trauma do not have that luxury at all. People with trauma often can’t hold stable jobs as trauma pervades every aspect of life and often going to work everyday while just trying to keep yourself alive is too too too much.

While I was in that peaceful place, working on myself, I began to work on a book that I had left behind many years ago. Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of becoming published. I wrote several books as a child that I did my best to hide from my family. When I was 13, my mom found them and threw them away. I stopped writing then. What was the point if it would just be thrown away??

Sitting at this residential treatment center, I began to write again after 28 years, I mean really write, not just a few random sentences here and there in a journal. One afternoon, I was sitting in a DBT group and our assignment was to do a “DBT house”. Essentially, it’s a line drawing of a house and every floor represents something different in your life. The top is your vision for your future. My vision was to write books on the subject of trauma, sell them, make money, and start a foundation to help people with trauma get treatment. I want to start something where all traumatized people can get the therapy or treatment they need no matter what it looks like. No one laughed at my vision, in fact, it was called beautiful. Kristen, the therapist even said, “Your books will be ones that are well stocked and well read here.” My vision does not involve me being famous or living a luxurious lifestyle. All I want for me is to have modest accommodations and know I am helping others.

So please please please tell anyone you know about my blog. Perhaps it growing will lead to you being able to get the trauma treatment you need? The bigger this blog gets, the more likely a publisher will look at me!

Love

Lizzie

PS Kristen, my vision is coming true. Thank you for believing in me.

Lies They Told Me

This piece of art may be particularly painful for some, but for me, it was healing to do. My family told me lots of lies about who I was that have dictated how I have operated in this world up until about a year ago when I truly started examining my core beliefs.

The lies you were told may not be exactly the same as what I was told, but the message is the same, we are worthless, unable of love, and generally defective in every way. This has led to years of me feeling like I failed at everything (despite the fact I’ve had a lot of success in my life). I like that I could write out all these statement and write across it “LIES” as that’s what they all are. I am a person of dignity, integrity, compassion, love, and light. I forget this A LOT, but I’m working really hard to remember it no matter how bad my day goes or how much I want to give up.

Perhaps I’m a failure in their eyes, and probably in the eyes of society as well, but I want to be a success in my own eyes, how I define it, and I want others with trauma to look to me for inspiration on how to get through it. I was lucky in that I got some pretty incredible treatment for my trauma. My true life vision is for this blog to go big, publish my book(s) and use the money to start a foundation to pay for proper treatment for others dealing with profound trauma. So many of us don’t have insurance or resources to do anything but suffer. Please tell your story. Tell me your story. Tell anyone helpful your story.

Please spread to word of this blog so I can make my vision a reality. Perhaps you will be that one person suffering terribly now that my foundation can help??

Love

Lizzie

People are Good Too

I feel I’ve been a little negative up to this point and that all is bad. My reality is that my life is extremely complicated and difficult, but because of this, when I get a moment of positivity and human caring or love, I feel it a million times more than the average person. Perhaps love comes my way all the time? I sure don’t recognize it. I often feel like a person that has never left an impression on anyone and that I’m completely unloveable and forgettable.

A couple days ago, these two beautiful dolls arrived in the mail from across the Atlantic. They were made by a woman I met in a facebook group dedicated to people with chronic illnesses that use all sorts of creativity to manage illness. Anyway, I saw her dolls posted and asked her to make me one. Within just a couple weeks, these two beautiful girls arrived at my home. She had taken such care in making them and even wrapped them up so cute. It felt great to receive love from thousands of miles away.

This evening, an old student I worked with at Job Corps called as she was in some distress. I was honored and awed that she chose ME to call during such a hard time!

And just now, a woman I have never met, but have a connection of trauma, sent me an inspirational video to watch for reasons I’m not clear. The point is, she contacted ME!

So as I speak of so much loss for trying to become the authentic me, there are also huge gains. I’m meeting and connecting with people who are genuinely interested in getting to know me. They are not so interested in what I can do for them, but they want to know me. Some want to help me. Some still need my help. Some just want to show amazing acts of kindness. All I can say is that these little gestures are proving that I AM a person to remember and a person to love! Thank goodness. I was starting to feel so lost.

Love

Lizzie

So Much to grieve

(My favorite wildflower I see in the Sierra Nevada. I feel like a wildflower sometimes–what caused me to be in this exact spot? I feel beautiful, but I’m really just a useless, weed.)

When I decided to start setting boundaries for myself and how I would allow others to treat me, instead of making all these huge gains that I thought I would receive, I began to experience real loss. I had in my mind that people would have more respect for me and not walk all over me. What a huge, big, wrong I had made!!! There are people I’ve known over 10 years that have walked out of my life. I suppose it’s a good thing, and deep down I know I’m doing what’s best for me, but it HURTS!!! It hurts to be alone so much of the time. It hurts to think that maybe I am completely in the wrong and that it’s truly me who is screwing it all up. The interesting thing is that when I find myself going back to those people as I’m desperate for some kind of companionship, they really only make me feel bad. The people of my past knew a Lizzie that would give and give and give to the detriment of myself. If someone asked, I gave, whether I had the energy, time, or money. I just did it as I thought that’s what you did.

About 2 years ago, I became extremely sick with a mystery illness. At the time, I was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, which is a very devastating diagnosis. Essentially, I couldn’t walk as my legs went numb. It was this illness that made me realize that all the giving I had done for other people was not going to be reciprocated on any level. In fact it was the beginning of my loneliness. I literally couldn’t give anymore as I was fighting to just do basic things. My friends didn’t help. People were suddenly too busy for me. Granted, I needed a lot of help, but I truly didn’t get much. It was an extremely sad realization that led me on a crazy journey I’ll write about more later.

As I keep saying, I don’t understand human relationships, but the part I don’t understand the most, is human cruelty. My “friends” had turned cruel. I couldn’t figure it out. I still can’t.

My son and I went camping for 3 days as I really just needed to reconnect with nature. As he slept peacefully at night, tired from so much fresh air and swimming and hiking, I found myself crying with profound sadness. I was sad, because I’ve lost so much. I haven’t necessarily lost people to death, but I have certainly had losses. I realized in that moment, I was grieving losing friends that weren’t truly friends. I was grieving as I’m so lonely. I was grieving that a lifetime of pervasive abuse has caused me to not even understand how to begin a friendship. I was grieving as I know I’m not being a good role model to my son on how to be in or maintain any type of relationship. It was just pure grief of losing so much.

With CPTSD, there is a lot of grief as we lose that first ability to attach, which leads to a lifetime of chaos with everything. I’m trying to figure it out and get it back, but what a painful process.

Are others experiencing profound pain about loss?

Love

Lizzie

Existential Crisis

One of the hallmarks of intense trauma that is being researched a lot today is the effects of trauma on physical health. I will just say my physical health has been horrendous, especially this past 6 months. It’s left me with a bit of an existential crisis, realizing that none of us truly know how much longer we will walk this earth. My mortality has become increasingly evident and know I have to do what’s best for me. I have allowed the people who tormented and tortured me as a child and into adulthood to truly live my life, not me. I’m taking it back. It’s finally my time to do it for me.

I feel like I have become complacent in my pain and knowing that our end can always be near has me feeling like I’m done with living with emotional and physical pain. I’m ready to live and thrive the best I can. Of course, my symptoms of CPTSD don’t just leave me because I decide they will. Those self deprecating thoughts, awkwardness around people, wanting to isolate, feeling like I’m stupid, and no one could ever possibly like me creep up regularly. How could they not? It’s all I’ve been taught and told and truly believed for 41 years.

What I do know, is that it’s no way to live. In fact, it sucks. I see people engaging in life and it feels like everyone is content, happy even, while I’m left behind to just feel depressed, anxious, and alone. The truth is, everyone wears a mask they hide behind. I just think people with CPTSD are masters at it. I have had the biggest smile on my face and told everyone, “I feel amazing”, to only attempt suicide later that night. That is true loneliness. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m going to tell people about my struggle. If they can handle it, and stay, I would say they are a keeper! I don’t know though. I know nothing about human relationships. I am desperately trying to figure it out!

Anyone have any suggestions on their own authenticity and how it came about or is developing???

Love

Lizzie