Monday, November 28, 2011

Stop Whining...

Photo Credit

As a survivor of long term family dysfunction and abuse I learned to live in chronic negativity.

Complaining became the normal mode of communication of my feelings because - to state my own feelings, thoughts, dreams, desires....out loud was not allowed and often resulted in more blaming, shaming and abuse.

Instead of learning to seeing myself as the creator of my life I fell into a an apathetic place of passivity where life happened around me and to me .

It took time and effort to basically "re-program" this negative mindset but it began with learning to recognize this is where I was at and...

that this behavior was normal considering my life experiences. 

Acknowledging that this was a normal response to being victimized over and over allowed me to see this as something I could change instead of something that was "wrong" with me. 

This in turn allowed me to begin to recognize that I was often feeling powerless, desiring someone to fix whatever I was complaining about yet - feeling ambivelant about others "helping" me...when I'd not directly asked for help.

Yet - when others attempt to offer solutions....

I would often passively make excuses about why I couldn't take their advice or engage in some other avoidance behavior that would get me off the hook and distract the conversation but - helpers don't often "get the message" because I wan't providing a clear and direct statement that might have said "thank you but no thank you"...

and they would instead engage in offering a solution to whatever excuse or reason I'd presented.

Which often felt very


to say the least.

This was not only confusing to me - but to those around me who were subjected to my chronic complaining and whining about...





and whatever else was going on in my life at any given moment.

As I traveled this path, being mindfully aware of my thoughts and feelings I came to understand that I was trying to communicate how I was feeling in the only way I knew how but others would interpret that as "whining" - which it was. 

It was my childlike way of trying to get my needs met and...

it was a normal response for me considering my life experiences but...

it was not serving me well at all

and was often the source of much conflict and drama in my relationships and life in general.

I began to empower myself to live beyond this place of passivity and perpetual victimhood when I began to recognize this behavior in myself and in those around me. 

Then I was able to also begin to find my voice and my personal power to shape and create my better life.

With knowing how to recognize the behaviors in myself that were not so helpful and acknowledge that they were not "character defects" or some mysterious "disease" or "disorder"...

I finally began to see myself as...



and capable 

to create my 

best life

instead of being a perpetual victim 

of life. 

Here's to you and your own inner wisdom.

You (definitely!)

are more than


In chronic, obsessive and completely irritating...

hope. :)



If you enjoyed this post...

please consider liking, sharing and subscribing:)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Had to Get Real About the Holidays That Were Not Often Happy and Some Tips to Deal When You'd Rather Not

Making New Traditions:)

For years I'd tried to figure out how to survive the holidays with my dysfunctional family. In the end I realized that it wasn't about surviving but learning how to live beyond it by creating a new tradition - for myself. 
Holidays are one of those things that I did for years even though they were never not often anything to celebrate. My body would tell me it was that time of year again as my muscles tensed, I would start to shut down and be unable to function. I'd start feeling irritable, lashing out at those around me. Many days I'd not be able to get out of bed as the days on the calendar slipped from summer to fall and finally halloween marked the beginning of the worst time of year for me.
I slipped further and further down as I knew what was waiting for me at our "family" get togethers. Finally I made a choice for myself to not go.
It was hard. But for me the only option as my family refused to respect my new boundaries and continued to shame me, make me the brunt of their jokes and cruelty. They would often tell me that I deserved to feel bad because I was such a worthless person and had not met their expectations, that I was the cause of their anger at me and if I was just somehow "different" - then they wouldn't be mad and would love me.
I was constantly reminded that I was not "enough" and could never be "enough" to win their acceptance and love. I was often reminded throughout the year that I was not good enough for them to want a relationship with me. That I should be grateful they even spoke to me at all.  
So for me - as over the years I noticed this same pattern in my life and my dread for what the world touted as a happy time - I decided to create some new traditions for myself.  I started declining invitations to these family get togethers.
I didn't explain myself to them because that gave them power to again question my decisions and tell me something was wrong with me for not wanting to spend the holidays with them. And in the end they did that anyway - but I no longer felt the obligation to apologize and try to fix it.
This year will be my second year of my new Thanksgiving tradition where I volunteer at a local charity.
And I don't want to leave you with the impression that making this decision for myself came easily - or quickly.
It in fact came at a very high price as I realized that there was absolutely nothing I could do to be good enough.
That my family would never love me just because I was me.
That they would never celebrate my accomplishments; that I could never share my joy or my sadness with them and know that I would be heard or cared for in this way.
That there would be no Hallmark card moments, no sense of belonging, no laughter, eggnog or picturesque moments around the table or joyful trimming of the Christmas tree the day after.
Making this decision took time as I moved myself from the magical thinking of childhood to the harsh reality of my life with my family. This was moving from where I could somehow make it better if I was "better" - or just different -to the reality that while my family may not recognize their behavior as abusive – they are still responsible for their behavior. I had to realize there is nothing I could have ever done in my lifetime that would ever justify this kind of ongoing abuse and there is nothing I can do to make them stop it.
I had to grieve the family I never had...
The family I had always hoped to have and mostly...
I had to let go of the idea that there was anything I could have done or could do in the future to make it any different.
Realty sucks - but not nearly as bad as the reality of what I had lived for a lifetime believing I "had" to spend the holidays with a family that that served me up as the main course. 
So this wasn't an easy thing to do. I still feel angry at the way my family treated me. I still sometimes wonder if I couldn't have somehow worked it out with them. I still feel sad over the realization that there was nothing I could do to "work it out" and that to be a part of their lives meant I had to sacrifice myself, my sense of well being and self worth. 
You are not alone. It is not your fault; you are doing nothing wrong and whatever way YOU decide to handle your dysfunctional family, to go or stay away - its ok. 
Heres to making new traditions be it serving others, taking a vacation to a new place, hanging with new friends...:)
In admiration of your courage to keep going when it gets so damned tough.

Related reading:

How do I love thee... This post is about learning to respect ours and others boundaries - seeing them as the defining line to a valid sense of "self" and healthy, interdependent relationships.

I am now "enough" Learning to see myself as all I needed to be "ok".

This is how we do it....the "hard work" The title speaks for itself:) Its not rocket science either:) Hard work yes. But not rocket science.

Whoops! I did it again!  This post speaks to how I used creativity to connect with myself and heal my own wounds.

Express yourself!  This is another version of my post above (Whoops!) that I did as a guest at Heal My PTSD.

How do we get "there" when here sucks so bad?

By putting one foot in front of the other.

There is ALWAYS a solution:) 

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The thing I've noticed...

Photo Credit

There seemed to be two main issues that I faced in the journey. 

One is an unconscious sense of powerlessness that is often where I felt incapable to resolve my own life issues all the while feeling responsible for resolving or "helping" others to resolve their life issues. 

And - often I felt as though no matter what I did I was doing it wrong and this feeling of "wrongness" was often validated by those who were unconsciously working out their own issues by trying to "help" me work out my own. 

The key for me to learn to live beyond this complex dynamic was to first learn to see it in myself and in those around me - without judgement. 

This freed me to begin to see that I wasn't so "wrong", was not responsible for others and had complete power to create the "me" and the life I wanted for myself.

Yes...its true....

You really are enough:)

In hope love and joy,


Friday, November 18, 2011

From the archives at Blog Talk Radio: Shamash Alidina on using the RAIN Formula to Deal with Difficult Emotions

In perusing the archives over at Blog Talk Radio I rediscovered an interview I did last year with Author Shamash Alidina and wanted to re-share it for those who may not have found their way to our program page.

In this discussion Shamash shares from his book "Mindfulness for Dummies" the practice of learning to cultivate the skill of mindful awareness to get through moments of emotional distress.

Listen to internet radio with Heal My PTSD on Blog Talk Radio

Thank you for reading, following, liking and sharing:)

Q: Did you find anything helpful in this program?



Seek Wisdom, find Knowledge....Live your Truth!

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Turn Left Here"

The Journey
by Susan 2010
Recently at the Empowering Solutions Community page at Facebook...

When the past takes over today's conversations...that's a clue 1. It's not been resolved and 2. That I'm ready to do the "hard work". I discovered an empowering solution in letting go of the idea that something was "wrong" with me and learning to use "triggers" as a signpost telling me I am nearing my destination. It's as if these life events are telling me "turn left here" to get to the light at the end of the tunnel.

You can join us there by clicking here:) 

In appreciation that you share the journey with me,

SusanKs :) 

Monday, November 7, 2011


Photo Credit

When I believed I was worthless I did not value others or myself.

When I believed I was to blame for the past that haunted me I could not envision embracing my future.

When I believed I was powerless I was forever alone. 

When I believed the world was only dark – I could not find my light.

When I believed I was broken I believed I could not be repaired.

When I believed I was diseased I believed I could never be well.

When I believed I was "disordered" from the inside out I believed I was defective, rotted and spoiled from the deepest core of my being.

And when I began to believe in me...

I began to believe I could fly.

And when I began to believe I could fly...

Is when I began to find my wings. 


You are 


Friday, November 4, 2011

Only I Held the Power

Photo Credit

When I shifted into learning instead of "fixing" what was "wrong" with me, I understood that I and only I held the power to change me or my life. ~SusanKs