Tag Archives: challenges

Asserting myself…maybe

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I’m still avoiding the girl in the corner. Mostly, I think I know why.

It is very difficult for me to talk about it because I never have fully discussed it outside of my disclosure night in my last therapy group. That night, information and realizations came out of me that I had never admitted to myself. In fact, I blatantly ignored the information that I was aware of and denied there could be anything I had not fully recalled.

I buried that girl in denial and shame. And part of me would really like to leave her right there.

Sometimes, you come in contact with people in life and you just wonder what possible good they are offering the world and the people around them. You know the people I’m talking about, don’t you? People who are just mean for no good reason. People who are aggressive or manipulative, or both. People who just say or do awful things without even knowing what they are talking about or why they are doing whatever it is they are doing. This blows my mind.

I was not a nice teenager, and I’m certainly not going to justify any of my bad behavior, but you can excuse teenagers for acting out some or being mean to some degree because they just aren’t fully developed, functioning people.

Here’s what bugs me the most right now about wanting to face that girl in the corner: I am scared of what she will do and say.

I have exactly 2 very challenging people in my world right now. And when their behavior gets to a certain point, I allow myself to think and feel in ways that the girl in the corner controls. I don’t like it. I haven’t learned to control it.

So there it is. I feel like I can’t.

On the logical side of my current self is someone who is well-aware that speaking my full mind to these 2 folks would be all wasted breath because they are not ready or able to hear what I have to say. This logical side is intersecting with the person inside me who just wants to defend myself and explain some things and make them understand and yes, just plain hurt them in return for the things they have said or done that I have allowed to hurt me. But again, that is because the part of me that isn’t done with therapy still feels that sometimes I can control or own other people’s reactions or feelings.

I can’t. That’s a thing that really sucks sometimes about communication.

But now I have new information that is causing me to regret one situation where I did not speak my mind. One situation where I have learned that with self-control and compassion, I could have asserted myself and that would have been perfectly acceptable and would have been just what I needed. I am a couple of weeks into group and last week this realization hit me like a 2×4 across the face. I can BE successfully assertive EVEN IF the person reacts in a way I don’t like or that doesn’t give me an opportunity to feel better about the situation. I have still done what I needed to do to feel good about myself. I have asserted myself. Successfully. Because the reaction of that person isn’t what controls the success of my learning to be assertive.

Bam! I love that realization.

I wish I had that realization a few months ago, but I didn’t, so I didn’t assert myself with either of these 2 jerks. And with 1 of them, that really bugs me. Worse yet, I allowed myself to get talked out of asserting myself. You know why? I sure don’t. That’s not typically me.

Now, my group facilitator would say that I still have the right to assert myself now even though the actual moment has long passed. And I understand that she says that because, again, the reaction of the person is not the successful outcome/measurement to me asserting myself. So who cares if I am a few months late in asserting myself? Well, I did care, but now I am beginning to feel that I cared for the wrong reasons. I let shame and ick from the girl in the corner get in the way of what I need to be happy.

Today I was driving some distance and I do some of my best thinking in the car. And what I learned today is that in the spirit of letting that girl in the corner start to heal, I MUST assert myself. No matter what the reaction. Especially when not asserting myself is holding back my healing.

So look out world, I’m about to rediscover my assertive self.

KK

Peaks and valleys

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Healing is like hiking up a mountain.

At the beginning, you are faced with a beautiful challenge and you are full of excitement.  You begin your journey with hope, positivity, strength, and energy.  As you begin to ascend, you get to areas where you begin to feel challenged.  These challenges don’t stop you, because you are still full of that energy and strength.  You climb higher without any thought of stopping, sometimes looking behind to see how far you have already climbed.  After some more time and some more elevation has passed under your feet, you need to take your first break.  You stop to look around at your accomplishment so far and you feel great.  You reflect on the achievement, but you are also very aware of the challenges you still face.  As you begin to walk again, you feel the distance you’ve already climbed as a weight, lessons learned, but positive ones that you carry with you.  You begin to meet larger challenges, steeper, rockier areas that slow you down and make you take more time so that you can move forward without falling. As you press on, and the challenges continue before you, you start to wonder if you should turn back or keep going.  You start to have moments where you wonder if it is worth it to go farther, or where you reach valleys that appear to actually be going backward a bit, or you may wonder if you even can continue at all.  At some points, you may have to take more breaks, but you believe the view from the top will be worth all of your efforts.  As you reach the most challenging areas with not much distance yet before you, you still consider stopping.  You say to yourself that you have come SO far, far enough, and the view is already beautiful and fulfilling.  If you have loved ones with you, either in person or in spirit, you know they want you to succeed and will support you whether you stop here or continue.  You think about things that have inspired you, and what made you decide to start this journey in the first place.  You feel exhausted, you focus on your breathing, and you may try to convince yourself that you have gone far enough and don’t need to go any further.  Something inside you drives you to continue and as you reach the peak your efforts, your strength, your challenges become more than you can handle.  You scream with joy, you laugh, or maybe you cry tears of joy for the success you achieved in getting to the top.

At the top of a mountain, there are many moments to take in and enjoy.  You take in these moments without any thought for the fact that you must go back down to complete the journey.  You reflect on your journey so far and appreciate the struggles that led you to the top.  And as you face the descent, you feel complete.

Getting to the top isn’t the whole journey.

As you begin the descent, you realize that you have accomplished more than you ever thought possible, and you didn’t consider the rest of the path in front of you to hold just as many challenges.  Yes, you really HAVE succeeded in discovering and accomplishing so very much, but you must not just plow forward now without any focus.  Because if you plow forward as if there are no more challenges, you may begin to move more quickly than you can handle.  You may stumble or fall as you move too quickly and don’t give the path the ongoing attention you need to give it.  Take control of your descent as part of your journey and you will see that you have as much to learn from this path as you learned from the larger challenges you faced and conquered.  Yes, you will reach the bottom eventually, but not without moments where you are challenged, tired, or want to give up somehow.

And just when you think you have finished, there will always be another mountain to climb.

KK