Tag Archives: inspiration

Peaks and valleys


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.



Moments of doubt


Moments of doubt come at me when I least expect them.  Sometimes without me even knowing that it is doubt.  These moments feel like many things, none of them very pleasant.  I get tired of these moments.  I get frustrated and lazy and anxious.  I get unreasonable and crabby and negative.  I want to do nothing and just wait for the moments to pass.

Sometimes they do.

And sometimes they don’t pass very quickly, but fade into the background of my days.

I love to laugh and even on my worst days I can normally be found making jokes or having a good time.  But I still may be feeling lost inside.  Struggling.  Lacking the vulnerability that allows for full healing.  I ignore the moments and hide them in hopes that they will pass quickly.

Thankfully, I haven’t had many days like that for awhile and that is really nice.  The disclosure still comes to mind when I think of how far I have been able to go toward healing and not having to go back to certain doubts and certain thoughts that keep me from rediscovering the full me.  That disclosure seems so long ago and also seems like it was just yesterday.

Seeing The Monument Quilt was powerful for me.  I’m certain that it was not a mere coincidence that when I found out about the quilt, it was only weeks from being displayed in an area that I could travel to very easily.  An area that had additional anxiety and healing qualities for me.  It would be displayed on the very campus of my assault.  It never crossed my mind ahead of time that the location would keep me from going to see it.  I never felt a moment of doubt leading up to that day.

And then it was the very day I was to see it.  And then the doubt and the tears came as I decided I didn’t know if I could go.  But more of the fight inside me took over and I went.

I read stories and looked at the designs people made to release themselves from some of the burden of being a victim and becoming a survivor.  It is always difficult to read other stories.  I find myself thinking that some have suffered so much more than me and, at times, it is difficult to see other stories and not let the terrible doubts of rape culture creep into my head as judgment.  A terrible feeling and one I don’t allow to stick around for long at all.  It is so easy to pass judgment, on myself and on others, but in those moments it is SO important to remember that all suffering is terrible.  ALL trauma is true for that victim and I absolutely believe in every one of those people and their stories.  Our stories are no worse or no easier than others, no less rape and trauma.  The mind is so complex during trauma that many leave a situation not even fully understanding that what they experienced is rape.  THAT is why it is so important to believe someone if they tell you they were assaulted.  And to stand by someone who may be turning to you for support if they aren’t even sure that something happened or that what happened really was rape.  The feelings a victim experiences are so full of guilt, disbelief, shame, and so many other things, that many deny that it happened at all.

I believe.  I support ALL survivors.  And I was honored to see the quilt.  I’d like to reconnect with my group members to make a quilt square, but I’m not sure if I will or not.

I’m glad to have overcome my moment of doubt to see it.  There were squares for each city where it is being displayed and on those squares were blank fabric where anyone could write.  Part of my message was this:

It happened here and I will leave it here.  

And I am glad that I could do that.


Music is always perfect


Music is always perfect, at least for me.  There is nothing I can’t get over, get through, or get back by listening to music.  Loud music.  Singing loudly.  I love it!!

Today, after a week that was pretty tough from a lot of different angles, it is loud music, working out, and organizing my place for an upcoming move.

Today is a special message for someone from way back in my past that I like to tell off with music any chance I get.  Maybe you think I should just get over it and move on, like what’s the point of thinking about someone who was manipulative, dishonest, and hurtful.  Well, I’ll tell you why I don’t want to just forget that person forever: it serves a purpose.  It will keep me from doing what I did in 2012 by letting that person get back in my head and allowing him to manipulate and hurt me all over again.  That will NEVER happen again.  And that feels really good.

I learned about age regression in therapy right after allowing myself to be hurt all over again by this person and that was a big deal for me.  You see, when this person contacted me after MANY years of no contact, I couldn’t figure out why my logical side was like “go away, this communication is toxic and not going to happen,” but I kept allowing the contact, enjoying the reconnection and moving through all the conversations as if I didn’t know how very toxic it really was going to be for me.  My brain, my thought processes, they were 20 again.  I didn’t think about it as current me, I thought about it as the girl who way back then would have done anything to just get the truth so that I could have been enough for that person to trust me with who he really was inside.  He never did trust me to accept him.  He didn’t believe I would because he didn’t believe anyone could accept him.  And now I know, fully, that when I was 20 I had a choice to make.  Me or him.  I chose ME!

Anyway, none of that matters now that I know that the current me wasn’t making most of those decisions to talk to him.  Now let me be clear: I KNOW that many people will read that and think it is just a way to justify stupid decisions with a therapeutic concept like age regression.  You have the full right to believe that.  But I know what I experienced and I know myself now well enough to know that without age regression involved, I would NEVER have allowed that contact to happen.  I would have said what I needed to say and then shut off communication completely.  So it’s ok if you don’t believe it, I don’t need you to understand or believe me.

I believe in me.  Even after this very difficult week.

So today, I’ll blast the music and feel good about me.  I’ll understand that I can sing these things very loudly and not really care that I can’t go back to 2012 and say the RIGHT things that I needed to say.  He likely wouldn’t get it anyway and I DON’T NEED HIM TO-wow that is awesome.  I don’t need him to forgive me for things I did or said because I have forgiven myself.  I know that choosing me was the best thing I ever did at that time in my life.  And right now, I’m choosing myself again and that is feeling really, really good.  I am beginning to understand myself in ways I haven’t since I was about 18 years old.

Now, I’m going to get back to the music and put on my playlist that is about powerfully believing in myself.  Let’s sing!