Escaping from family trauma: is it difficult to let it go?

Can one ever escape from past family trauma? Parents divorcing? Abuse? Loss of a loved one? Moving? Blended families? Whatever consists of trauma within the individual? I believe that they can. It’s all about what you want as an individual. Do you want to move on from family trauma? What are you doing about it? Are you seeking a healer? a psychologist? someone to support you? I think anything is possible. For me, writing my own narrative is one way to let go of the past and move forward. And, so here my story goes. 

This song makes me think of my siblings; mostly my sister. When we were younger we used to go on many crazy adventures. My sister had this friend. She had this green Jeep. It had tan leather interior and we used to ride with the windows down with the wind blowing in our hair. My sister’s friend was called Julie. I am unsure where they met, but I used to tag along. We used to drive, smoke and go from Canton, Ohio to Columbus chasing parties. We used to play this game called Radish, Radish. That game always made me laugh. Tears would pour out of my eyes with utter content. My sister was younger than me. But she was always more advanced than me in everything. She was always partying before me. She knew the best parties, the best festivals and the knew where to get the coolest clothes.

The irony of it all… she probably thought the same about me. She probably looked at me and thought, ‘Jessica had it all’ or ‘has it all’. It’s funny how people’s perspective vary. It’s that whole the grass is greener syndrome. For me, I always felt I could never keep up. I don’t mean keep up with my sister, but just people in general. It was easier to be different, to be odd, to cut my hair shorter than everyone before it was the ‘in thing’ to do and to slide on those leather pants knowing people probably judged me and at that time in my life didn’t give a rats ass who judged. I naturally escaped from the whole conformity of society. I think nowadays there would be words for me: bohemian, hedonist, neurodiverse. But, do labels help? What do you think? In the past, I didn’t care what people thought of me. But, I guess as one matures, gets married, has children, gets divorced, raises kids… one starts to develop a different view on things in life. For me, I don’t really care what people think of me. It’s just sort of like I don’t want any ill will or bad vibes in my life or on my journey. But as you get older you realise that this is all part of growing up and maturing, unfortunately.

SEEING THINGS IN A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE always matter!

My youngest just asked me about the moon. She said ‘how does the moon stay up in the sky?’ I said ‘due to gravitational force’. She said, so I could be upside down right now? as she puts her hands upside down along side of her hands to display exactly what she is verbalizing. I responded, yes. She stood still. Posed while hanging upside down, her hair falling loose. She said as a matter of factly, I feel better upside down. And, I replied- so do I sometimes! We giggled. Funny how when you are a child your view on life is so clear. And, sometimes we as adults tend to mess everything up.

When I was younger, my sister and I were very close. We used to stay up late and giggle. We used to see the world upside down.

When I hear Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, nostalgia dances to me like a wave that has just hit me unexpectedly. It always makes me think of my sister and myself escaping the world together. It makes me think about just me being part of her world and being so excited about it all. It was high school. It was a long time ago. But, that is when I felt most close to her; the times when we would stay up late in bed and talk and laugh. Exactly like my very own children do now.

That doesn’t mean I leave my brother out of the equation. He and I were the dynamic duo when we used to work together. People came to see us behind the bar. We had charisma, we had something that many people didn’t have working behind the bar. We just didn’t care. We laughed, we drank, we created some of the best parties when we worked together. Those were the days.

But things evolve. We get older, get married, have children, develop something that is called ‘responsibility’ and there the story goes.

We grow, we change, we love. But one thing remains constant. The love and affection I have for my siblings. It is a continuum.

 

A letter of Goodbye

I am sorry for leaving
I am sorry for not leading
I am sorry for escaping
I am sorry for not mothering
I am sorry I had my own issues
I am sorry for being selfish
I am sorry for leaving you behind
I am sorry for not protecting you
Mostly
My travels are coming to end
I am now in my 40’s
And, that is when you learn
You learn when you have your own kids
You learn when you fail
I am the oldest
I should have known better
I should have been there when she wasn’t
When he wasn’t
I should have been there
I am sorry for failing you
I am sorry for letting you down
I am sorry for misleading you

 

www.brightonwellnesscentre.co.uk
www.onlinetherapyhelps.com

from Memoires across the Pond

Moving forward using all my breath: letting go of the past

Moving forward using all my breath. Sometimes that is what I feel like when I am trying to evolve and move forward in my life with people, my life and things in general. Many people are happy staying still. Some people are content staying still. You see, to me.. I think that staying still is very smelly and  stagnant. It’s not like I am unsettled, or feeling anxious.. I am just ever evolving and growing. And, I am in touch with that. I am embracing that. I like change. I welcome change. Change is inevitable. We as human beings change every single day. Some people are not even aware of this phenomenon. But we are growing both physically and emotionally. Yes, we get to a point in our life where we are fully grown, but then we change shape and decline in our stature.

I unfortunately, painfully, am aware of my change. Every day, every moment, every time I fall into the rabbit hole. You see sometimes I feel this is a weakness. However, I know it is a great strength. This awareness is a great strength. I do not call myself a healer. But, I am someone who has been there. I have experienced so many things and I can be supportive and exhibit empathy.  This is one reason I can help inspire people- I am aware of these changes in myself which gives me the strength to share them with other people.

Erik Erikson explains the psychosocial stages of human development. 

We change all of the time whether you like it or not. But, why are relationships so difficult? Well, I can tell you one reason why… we all don’t change at the same time. Sometimes we can change together. But, sometimes someone changes first. We are all on a journey.. but on different speeds. That is what makes life so challenging sometimes.

These past 12 years living in England has brought me on a what might be called a super dooper magic carpet ride. I have made friends. And, lost friends. I have thought friends were my family. But, only found out they were toxic. I believed in others to help me to get through whatever it was I was feeling or not in touch with and that was totally wrong of me. I am sure I have hurt people because I had to move forward. I didn’t like the vibe we were in or they were exhibiting unhealthy behaviors for me and I was ready to move on. Let’s face it. Sometimes being stagnant is boring. It wasn’t easy, but I know it was the best thing for my family and for myself. People were very unkind to me and I had to let that hurt go and walk away from people who were not my ‘tribe’ or even ‘my people’.   I was and am on my own journey and they were only holding me back so I had to let them go. Does this sound familiar? Have you ever experienced something like this?

These changes have been difficult for me as well. It is not easy moving forward with anchors at your feet only to drag you down when you are being pushed up, evolving and inflated up into the Universe. People can be quite jealous and also not happy for you when you are doing so well and working hard. It is such a shame that sometimes we as humans find it difficult to celebrate the small achievements in life eg. being a single parent and kicking ass, getting that raise, going back to school, getting through that tough time, making that move, being kind to someone who doesn’t deserve it, moving on etc.

It is not easy to push on through, break on through to the other side as Jim Morrison would say. You have family that may try to anchor you. You have friends that just do not ‘get’ you. But, it’s evolution that is only sustaining you. You are inevitably evolving and moving forward whether you like it or not; whether you are noticing it or not.

So, if you are evolving what and where will it take you?

I know for me I have always felt that I dance to a different beat to the drum. I have always felt unique and amazing for doing this. However, sometimes when life gets difficult and one gets lost or one is meandering… one may lose faith. It is totally okay to be yourself. It is totally okay to not follow the conformity of society. It is okay to follow your intuition and believe in yourself. Do it! Move forward. Move on. Let the past go. Let limited beliefs go. You are YOU now. You are not that small child anymore. You have moved on. Who is that person that you have grown into?

I guess it is difficult because shedding toxic people is a choice. Telling people how you feel is a choice. They more than likely will not like your response. They are not true friends. They are people who feed off of your energy and your charisma. It is fine to have friends like that, I am not judging. What I am saying is that we often have to make difficult choices to grow. It’s not just as easy as planting the seed and watching it grow. Sometimes we plant the seed and there is a massive hurricane and it doesn’t grow for years.

I have literally cleaned out three bags of clothes this week. I just think to myself, gosh, very gluttonous of me. This week I am ‘clearing’. I am clearing out every single part of my house, closet, loft, cupboard, and patio. It is time to ‘clear’ out and move forward.

That goes for the past. Letting go of EVERYTHING IN THE PAST! It is gone. Shed. I am not looking backwards anymore. Moving forward losing all my breath. The time has come to experience change. And, change wherever it may take me or you will be a positive thing.

I am making the difficult decisions to throw away family heirlooms that I thought once kept me grounded. Gone. I have held on to sentimental things thinking that those objects anchor me. Gone. No longer will I look back. Only forward. Only growth. Moving away from those that judge. Freedom.

What do you think about this? Would you ever do this? Go through all of your things and shed unwanted things in your home? In your life? In your filing cabinet? I challenge you to this! Can you do this? Do you have too much in your house? In your mind? In your heart? In your past?

Learn to breathe and let it all go. Now is the time.

Moving forward using all my breath. I am looking forward to the next few chapters that this #snowmoon has brought to all of us. I am slowly feeling more positive about this clearing out and all is slowly settling. That is the thing about change. Sometimes is creeps up on us when we aren’t looking and sometimes we will it and make the change. Either way let’s embrace it together. Because change is the Universe and the Universe will always provide. But, first believe in yourself. Because you are part of the Universe.

www.brightonwellnesscentre.co.uk
www.onlinetherapyhelps.com

 

Here is to finding ourselves and one another.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder is Real

Remaining positive when it’s grey outside, cold and miserable is not an easy thing to do. It’s not an easy thing to so especially when you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder like I do, and to be frank, like most people. Seasonal Affective Disorder is when you lose energy, have difficulty sleeping and generally feel rubbish during the winter months. All I want to do is stuff myself with pizza and then ‘sleep for England’!

When I lived in the states I only really suffered with it for three months. In comparison to how I feel in England and how I felt in America; it is much more intense here in England. I think it’s because the winter months last longer than three months. It seems as though the winter months last 9 months. And, for me… that’s way too long to be grumpy. It is very natural for your body to want lots of food and lots of sleep in the winter. We are trying to preserve our energy. But, for some reason that natural cycle gets me really down. I don’t want to slow down. I want it to be summer time all year- especially in Brighton!

Twelve years ago, I lived in the states. During those three months I would exercise, go to the tanning beds to get my sun fix when those were popular (not healthy) and also met with my therapist, Dr. John, on a weekly basis. Dr. John was the balls. He was a cool little Italian dude who just sat there and stared at me for two years. His style was that of psychotherapy. He was old school. None of this 2019 CBT quick fix therapy. He sat there and listened and nodded when appropriate. He didn’t diagnose or try to fix me. He was the one that told me about Seasonal Affective Disorder. He told me to make sure I cut down on my sugars, take Vit B and Fish Oils and exercise. I learned a lot when I was seeing him. I use a lot of what I learned in our sessions in some of my sessions today, actually.

I think living in an area that is cold, rainy and damp for the most part of the year is quite difficult. I mean after all, I did not grow up with this sort of weather in my veins. I am not a native. Even when I lived in the states my colleagues would comment on how I felt cold all of the time. I am not meant to live in cold weather. But, what if you have to? What if you don’t have a choice? What if living in the cold is part of who you are and inevitable?

One thing I find annoying is that when you feel rubbish, other people feel rubbish, too. So, who is going to do the lifting up of the spirits in your friendship group? It’s a tough one. We all follow that ‘one’ inspirational or ‘two’ gurus to get us by. But, it’s not that easy. I find having Seasonal Affective Disorder quite debilitating sometimes. The winter blues have got us all down, but what can we do?

WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET THROUGH THE SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER? 

  1. stay warm
  2. when it’s sunny get those arms and legs out – and face into the sun
  3. talk to friends
  4. don’t isolate yourself
  5. exercise
  6. take Vitamin B and D
  7. take Krill Oil
  8. plunge into cold water
  9. join a weekly group
  10. travel
  11. Stop eating junk food
  12. Embrace the sleep
  13. Be gentle with yourself

I think a support group needs to be created for those who suffer from SAD. I think it would be a great idea. During the winter months people who need to be around people and positive energy could get together and go hiking, movies, parties and whatever people’s interests are. I follow a lovely lady on instagram and she swims everyday in the English Channel. Now that is totally awesome. Talk about an inspiration.

I think one tip for people who have SAD would be to manage their moods in a diary or calendar.

For instance, in your calendar every year mark a big fat X in the day where you are grumpy that way you can self regulate your moods. What I mean when I say self regulate your mood- you know why you are in a bad mood. It’s because your skin has not seen Vit D in ages, it’s cold, you are tired, things are moving slowly… If you can remind yourself of these things… this time or phase will pass more gracefully.

What are some things you do to get through the winter months? Do you fight it? Do you embrace the SAD? Some people love the winter time! Well, it can be invigorating. @onlinetherapyhelps @getwellbrighton
www.brightonwellnesscentre.co.uk
www.onlinetherapyhelps.com

Get in touch! We would love to hear what you have to say!

 

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