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It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

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by Vasundhara Sawhney

November 10, 2020

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Summary.   

Toxic positivity is the assumption that despite a person’s emotional pain and turmoil, they should only have a positive mindset.

  • When we pretend that emotional pain doesn’t exist, we send a message to our brain that whatever the emotion is, it is in some way bad or dangerous. If our brain believes we are in a dangerous situation, our body will respond as such.
  • By overdoing positive affirmations, we may be invalidating our or others’ feelings and harming them when they are already in a vulnerable state.
  • The best way to deal with negative emotions is to let yourself feel the emotions you’re feeling and let them pass, not push them under the rug.

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After the Story

A few years ago, I conquered my metaphorical mountain. It was hard. The pain was emotionally, physically, and spiritually excruciating at times. Because survival was my imperative; my beacon, I didn’t give much thought to how I would feel once I processed my repressed memories. Intuitively, I knew that in order to live, I had to discover and accept the congruent timeline of a dark and deeply buried past, and then learn how to manage the triggers that sometimes rendered me feeling helpless and hopeless.

At times, I wondered, when my story is told and I am standing in my truth…What will happen next? How will I feel? How would I incorporate living with the effects of my trauma, and the resulting PTSD? Would I go from a person with “no past” to a person who was just a mental illness?I knew I wanted to live my life with my eyes wide open, to let go of the person I was not! I had a desire to own my story, my truth; to work through the torture and come out with a thick gnarly scar that proved to my inner child, my soul, my mind that I made it through.

I learned to reach out and ask for help. I learned to be vulnerable, and attach. I learned that my life will probably be learning and relearning coming back to the present when the ice-cold skeleton hands begin to creep up my spine and rock my sense of safety. It was all about healing, surviving, and distress tolerance tools.

I’m deeply proud of the courage it took me to conquer my mountain. I white-knuckled it to the top and back down. But didn’t learn the soft skills I needed to comfort and love my inner child, my soul, and my mind. I found that I was in the place of, After the Story-Now What?

Today, I was reminded of a wonderful talk by Arthur Brooks at the Aspen Ideas Festival, titled: Strategies for happiness in life. I remember feeling so inspired by the points he made in his talk. In summary, Don’t rage against change, teach others what you know, take away the parts of you that aren’t really you, and surround yourself with love.”

After the Story, while standing in my truth I can incorporate the wise suggestions of those who I look to for support, I can trust the difference I can make in the world around me, with the hope it has a ripple effect. I can live a content life, knowing that strong feelings and emotions about my past will come and that they will also go. I can surround myself with a like-minded and loving family and friends. Most importantly for me (presently) is that I can continue to learn and practice compassion and enjoy my insatiable curiosity about life, people, and how we’re all connected.

I don’t have to turn away from the mirror ~ I don’t have to run away from the mirror that is held up to me by others.

Before I shared my story, lived in my truth, I courageously survived. After sharing my story, I courageously live, and dream, and hope, and affirm that the statement, “I am ____,” is fluid with growth, change, and resilience.

photo: Janet Rosauer
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#Mentalhealth #PTSD #Memories #Abuse #Healingyourpast #Findingtruth #Healingprocess #Movingforward #Trauma #Findingyourself

Validating Yourself

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Cynthia Bailey-Rug

(This is good advice for anyone who has been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused)

Everyone needs validation. It’s simply a built in human need that God gave us all.

For those of us who survived narcissistic abuse, invalidation was a way of life, so it’s only natural that we crave validation more than the average person. We want to be heard & understood for a change! The problem with this is so many people don’t offer us the validation we crave. Instead, they make excuses for the narcissist, don’t want to listen to our stories or tell us things like we’re just angry, we need to let it go or other similar heartless comments.

You also can’t count on gaining validation from your abuser. It is the very rare abusive person who goes to a victim, admits that what they did was wrong, ask for forgiveness & makes appropriate changes in their behavior. Sure, some do apologize at some point, but their failure to change their behavior & either accept full responsibility or failure to stop blaming others for their behavior proves that they aren’t being genuine. The abusive behavior will continue & they don’t care about the pain & suffering they caused victims. They only apologize as an attempt to pacify a victim, not because they want to improve the relationship.

Situations like these are a very good reminder that you can’t rely on getting all the validation you need from outside sources. People are flawed, & they will fail to give you the validation you want & need sometimes. You have to learn to validate yourself instead of relying on others, which is where your healing truly begins.

As always I recommend starting this with prayer. Ask God to help you to learn how to validate yourself, rely less on validation from outside sources & even to give you validation.

You also need to accept the fact people won’t always give you the validation you need. Remind yourself often that people aren’t perfect, & they will fail you sometimes. It’s just a part of life. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care or they don’t love you. They are simply flawed human beings like every single other human being.

You also need to accept that your abuser won’t accept responsibility for the pain he or she caused you either. That type of validation most likely never will happen. You know what happened, & that truly is good enough. Even if no one else believes you, it really can be enough when you know the truth.

What people often refer to as feeling sorry for yourself is what I think of as showing yourself compassion, & it’s something you need to do. You have been through some pretty bad things, & it’s ok to admit that both to others & to yourself. Stop minimizing your experiences & your pain! You’re only invalidating yourself by doing that!

Never compare your situation to others. Doing so often leads to thoughts like, “Well that person had it way worse than me. I shouldn’t complain.” That is so wrong & also very self invalidating! Don’t do it! Trauma is trauma. So what if someone went through worse things than you did? You went through much worse than someone else did, too. Does any of that make any difference? You need to focus on your situation & ways to heal, not whether it’s better or worse than other people’s situations.

Stop judging your feelings, too. After abuse, it’s only natural to be angry or sad sometimes. It’s natural to have ruminating thoughts about certain especially painful situations or to wonder why the abuser did what they did to you. Don’t criticize yourself for thinking these things. Accept that they’re just a normal part of the healing journey.

With a little time & practice, you can learn to be your own best “validator.” You won’t regret learning this skill. In fact, I’m certain you’ll be glad you did!

xoxoSeverna Park, MD, USA

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#Narcissism #Narcissisticabuse #Validation #Abusivebehavior #Abuse

Suicide Prevention – What everyone should know.

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WHY IT MATTERS?

  • One person dies by suicide every 15 minutes.
  • A suicide attempt occurs every 40 seconds.
  • Over 40,000 deaths by suicide each year, and the rate continues to increase.*

What are the warning signs?

  • Depression/feeling down, appetite loss, increased sleeping, loss of interest in life activities.
  • Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness or feeling unworthy
  • Talking about hurting or killing him/her self.
  • Substance misuse (cocaine, crack cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, etc.)
  • New/old mental health diagnosis, hearing voices, loss of touch with reality.
  • Chronic, debilitating or severe pain.
  • Severe anxiety that will not go away.
  • Severe overreaction to good or bad circumstances.
  • Feelings of rage, hostility or revenge.
  • Repression of angry feelings.
  • Severe internal conflicts, such as overwhelming guilt or anbivalence.

What are the risk factors?

  • History of abuse (sexual, physical or emotional.
  • Access to weapons
  • Previous suicide attempts or threats.
  • Family problems.
  • Any type of significant loss
  • Relationship difficulties (loss or breakup of relationships)
  • Legal problems or criminal involvement.
  • Severe financial problems.
  • Experiencing social isolation or having no emotional support from friends or family.
  • Family history of suicide.

What can you do to help?

  • Call for help if you’re concerned that the person may harm his/her self.
  • Listen in calm, unhurried manner.
  • Let the individual talk about their feelings.
  • Prevent self-injury
  • Plant the seeds of hope.

*Statistics courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control

Courtesy of Northside Hospital – Behavioral Health Services

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#SuicidePrevention #Suicidewarningsigns #Suicideriskfactors #Howtohelppotentialsuicidevictim

HOW TO AVOID TOXIC POSITIVITY

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Sue's Pen 2 Paper Blog

May be an image of text that says 'HOW TO AVOID TOXIC POSITIVITY INSTEAD OF SAYING... SAY... "It's hard but believe in you." "You'll get over "Don't be so negative!" "It's okay to feel bad sometimes." "Always look at the bright side!" "It can be difficult to see the good this situation, but we'll make sense of when we can. "Failure is not an option." x "Think happy thoughts!" "Failure is part of growth." "It could be worse. "Things can get really tough, am here for you." GMANE YAFFAING DIGITAL "Sometimes we experience bad things. How can support you?"'

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#Toxicwords #beingpositive #Negativity #positivereenforcement #Caring #Showinglove #Beingsupportivetoothers

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Be Someone’s Answer

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Mitch Teemley

hole-deep

Thought for the Week

There’s a reasonAA sponsors are recovering addicts. Lost people don’t want slogans, they want to be shown the way out—by someone who’s actually found it. So don’t just give answers, whenever you possibly can, be someone’s answer, even if only a partial one. And then two people will have found encouragement: The one who’s being helped. And the one whose own sufferings turn out to have had a greater purpose than they ever imagined.

“The most beautiful people…are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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70 x 7 = Endless

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the grizzle grist mill

I have come to realize that when Jesus spoke to Peter concerning forgiveness, He wasn’t giving him a cute little math equation to complete. He wasn’t giving him a rule to follow and a number to which to count that solves all those moments when someone hurts you again and again. Jesus wasn’t even giving him a bit to memorize; so, he could add it all up after the offense, and then, somehow magically, as if rubbing your hands together to get a bit of dirt off, all could be resolved and forgiven in a certain situation or relationship.

No, truthfully that’s not how forgiveness works. That may work for some petty argument , one in which you really shouldn’t have started anyway. That might work for those little pokes and prods that spouses or close friends go through simply because of a difference if personalities or because of individual…

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True – Praise God

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With perseverance and God’s healing we all can achieve living our life without fear from all that happened in the past.

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#God #Freedom #Fear #Slavery #Bondage #ChildofGod #Healing #Sexualabuse #Child #Abuse #Domesticabuse #Verbalabuse #Molestation

Phew – I Did It!

I have used this picture for a very good reason as my header for this blog because that is exactly how I feel most of the time on this computer and the last couple of weeks have been no different, in fact the computer is lucky I didn’t shoot it!

I decided it was time to change my Elah Ministries, Inc website. KUDO’S TO WORDPRESS TECH GUYS AND GALS! It is not easy working with someone who is as dumb as a rock, well maybe just ignorant of how to do things on a computer, and I have probably used half of their helpers in this endeavor. They have ALL been so very helpful, patient, and courteous during my hours of having them walk me through step by step in recreating my website. THANK YOU WORD PRESS HELPERS!

ELAH MINISTRIES, INC. IS NOW NEW AND IMPROVED!

COME CHECK IT OUT.

http://www.elahministriesinc.com

If a website is not easy for me to use – I won’t use it! So I’m hoping my new and improved is user friendly and very easy to use. There are four categories and very easy to click on. I hope you like it and like the “stuff” I have on it. I still have a little more to deal with, but I will.

Let me know what you think. Please be nice. 🙂 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Just Released in E-Book on iTunes and Amazon.com

Elah Ministries, Inc.

Amy’s Quest: A Novel

Amy sucks in a breath and curiosity steps in. “Tom Adkins? What in the world?” She opens the door and standing there, leaning against the wall sucking on a blade of grass, stands Tom with his tanned muscular arms and slender body. Suddenly, memories from years gone by, flood Amy’s mind. She can’t talk. No words will come as she stares at the now man that once was a devil in disguise.

Amy Preston has a quest to fulfill in her young life after facing many challenges throughout her younger years. Follow Amy’s story of rejection, abandonment, perseverance, and determination to find hope and love in a world that seems to have rejected her. Will her deep heart desired quest ever be fulfilled? Will her dreams come true? Find out in the suspense filled pages of Amy’s Quest.

Sue’s new novel is a heartwarming story of…

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