“Life’s not Perfect”

(A friend took this picture in Wyoming. I will say baby bears ARE perfect)

“Life’s not perfect” was my mom’s reply to everything that I felt ever went wrong. It used to make me so mad as I found myself having this pervasive need to achieve perfection. If I achieved perfection, everything about me and my life would be amazing and wonderful, right? WRONG!!! Perfection isn’t achievable, and it’s frankly completely boring, yet so many people I know search for perfection or try to portray perfection. I know I did. I wanted everyone to know that my life was perfect. I had perfect clothes, a perfect house, a perfect car, a perfect child…. None of it was perfect in anyway, and reality was, the more perfect I tried to make it, the more miserable I was. I was drowning in debt for having to have perfect things, I hated my body as I couldn’t make it perfect no matter how much I starved myself, jumped on a fad diet, etc., and I began to resent my child and even fear him as he was so imperfect. It all made me feel like one HUGE failure.

Let’s fast forward to now. I find people who portray perfection or live perfection complete phonies. It’s simply not possible. I have “friends” on facebook who make their lives look so fabulous on every level, but I also know some truth behind those posts. My friend may be standing in a different foreign country on a fantastic vacation often, but what she doesn’t tell you is her intense struggle with depression. Or my friend who has a “perfect” family, but her husband regularly cheats on her. Or my friend that just relapsed on heroine, but her face is smiley and gorgeous for facebook and most everyone in all these people’s lives. I get you don’t discuss your struggles with every person you meet, but at least be real that you do. Since I’ve started telling people that I have been seriously struggling with so much, people have been cruel, BUT people have also been intensely amazing. People appreciate my honesty, and I’m receiving so much help from people I never would have imagined had I stayed quiet and silent and pretended things were perfect.

This evening, I went to my gym to swim laps. I went and sat in the spa after and this woman and I struck up a conversation. It turns out, she struggles with so much of what I do. She has autoimmune issues, and chronic pain, and weight issues, and emotional struggles, and as she stood there and talked to me for over an hour and a half, I kept looking at this imperfect being and so in awed and honored that I got to meet her and that she was so real. Her real ness and rawness and authenticity were what made her so perfect!

When I was in trauma treatment, I came up with a quote, “There is perfection in imperfection”. It is true on every level.

Today, I challenge you to not portray perfection. Tell someone you are struggling, or perhaps be there in an authentic way for someone else. Our connection as imperfect humans is what will ultimately lead to great perfection!

Love

Lizzie

I Allowed My Heart to Close

(The real truth of who I am. The Lumieres, or “light” are the parts of myself that know I am good and pure no matter what I’ve been told or what has happened to me)

Sorry it’s been a few days since I posted. I allowed my heart to close and with that I closed off everything that was important to me, including this blog and the vision I have for it.

You see, I used to have a lot of people in my life who I called “chosen” family. One of these chosen family members sent me a very nasty text message essentially telling me I only use people to get what I want, I’m selfish, and no one really cares that I’m chronically ill. It hurt me REALLY bad, which I think was her goal. At the same moment, I was trying to remind myself that it didn’t matter and someone so cruel doesn’t even deserve to know me anyway. This was a woman that I used to write heartfelt Mother’s Day cards to. The funny thing is, she was acting strangely similar to my own cruel mom. I wanted to yell back at her that she didn’t know the truth of me and that she was cruel and mean and so many other things, but I knew it wasn’t worth it. I’ve dealt with enough narcissists in my life to know they don’t listen.

At the same time this “chosen” family member was berating me, another true friend was leaving me a voicemail saying I was amazing and inspirational. Thank goodness for her and especially her timing! We ended up having an amazing lovely and authentic conversation that lifted me up.

Even with my great conversation, something about being berated by a “chosen” mom had caused my heart to close up. There are a ton more people who know the truth of who I am over the few that choose to cause me so much grief, but for some reason I was subconsciously letting this cruel person who was resembling my biological mother win.

As the universe provides for me, I was able to go to my group last night, which is a hybrid of spirituality and psychotherapy. All the women had super charged negativity in their hearts. I was able to engage in this exercise where I could yell at my cruel chosen family member, and be sad for what I’ll never get, and reaffirm who I truly am, which is a pure, gentle spirit that genuinely cares about others. The exercise was hard, but my heart started to feel less constricted and the intense sadness began to lift. It was obviously helpful enough that I could post today!

Thank you to all that participate in the circle of being, especially last night. I was once again exactly where I needed to be to do what I needed to do to continue to work on my authenticity.

One of the women said something to me last night that I want to share with you. If you are having trouble with your relationships, but find something changing inside yourself, she said, “when you change, your friends change”. I love it! It’s simple and easy to remember and just may write it all over my house. My loss of friendships means I making real change in myself. Go ME!! Congratulations to me and goodbye to all my relationships of the past!!

So tonight, try to look at your loss from a place of peace with yourself that you are making changes to better yourself.

Anyone have a comment or story to share about losing people? I would REALLY like to hear it!!!!

Love

Lizzie

Just A Day

I’m grateful today is just a day. It started off not so nice as I physically felt horrible, but I rested my body, made it to an appointment, and back home again!

On my way home, I stopped at my apartment office to pick up a couple packages there. There is this one guy who works in the office who I always immensely enjoying talking to. He’s very smart and always manages to make me laugh, even on days I’m feeling my worst. My interactions with him have made me realize that people are put in our lives for different purposes. Some people, we are meant to have deep, meaningful connection with, some people we smile at because they are our neighbors, and then there are some people who just are. This guy in my apartment office happens to be one of those. We don’t have a connection through trauma or anything deep, just two humans who like to laugh about pretty ridiculous things.

I usually avoid people as they make me feel awkward and unwelcome, but I’m realizing ALL people, whether deeply hurting, or just making it through a day working in a leasing office at an apartment complex, need connection. We all need to feel as though we are visible and seen and heard.

Thank you to all my friends who I have deep connections with due to trauma and the new ones I’m going to make through this blog. Today though, I especially want to thank people who appreciate me just because. I’m appreciated just because I’m a human who walks this earth. I’m appreciated because it’s just a day and we are all just trying to get by.

Love

Lizzie

PS. R—no trolling my blog!! Smiles*

Just Can’t Today

(At least my Wonder Woman socks make me kind of happy. Perfect for throwing my childish tantrum.)

I can’t be positive everyday. I just can’t. I am dealing with some really difficult issues in regards to finances, housing, health, and the relationship with my son. Living on a disability income is harder than hard and I’ve been creative and good about asking for help. My problem is with all my health issues, I have hundreds of dollars in doctor’s bills piling up. If I don’t pay them, the doctors won’t see me. I don’t know where this magical money is going to come from and no one seems to have any ideas how to figure any of the complexities of my life out.

I am horrible at asking for help, but I have managed to ask and ask and ask for help with so much of what I’ve been dealing with these past 6 months since leaving my abusive family. The answer I always get is a “I’m sorry. It’s hard.” Yeah, no kidding it’s hard!! That is why I’m asking for help. I get my situation is impossible on many levels, but HELP!!!! No one seems to be able to though. If one more person tells me they “know it’s hard”, I may throw a tantrum. No one knows how hard it is unless you are living it. I know people following my blog are probably dealing with similar impossible situations. I want to scream and cry and act like a little child so someone will notice that I’m hurting, scared, alone, and so broke. I don’t know how I’m going to make it?? My health isn’t getting better, and I’m not going to be able to afford to go to the doctors that can help me soon. I decided to give up on my occupational therapy for my broken hands as I can’t afford the copay for twice a week sessions. I’m supposed to go to physical therapy for my back. Well, that won’t be happening either. I have to deal with the truly serious complications to my life and just live with chronic pain. I don’t mean to be whiny, it’s just one of those days.

I’m going to allow myself to feel bad and miserable about my life for 1 hour. After that, I’m going to do something I like, something positive to change my mindset. I believe I deserve an hour of misery and the opportunity to grieve what I can’t fix. I believe I can throw a tantrum for an hour. No one will see it. No one will recognize my pain, but just sharing with all of you how totally lost I am today has helped a small bit.

Anyone else feeling completely miserable today??

Love

Lizzie

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.