Tag Archives: proud

Quitting is not the same as failing

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I saw a post today on Facebook that said “You can’t fail unless you quit.”

At first, I thought I kind of liked it, but I quickly changed my mind and decided I think that is a statement that is unfair and untrue.  Quitting something is not the same as failing it.  Not at all.  I mean, maybe you will disagree and say that you think I failed, but I am going to tell you two situations where I think that isn’t true.

The first is that I quit being married and got a divorce.  And I don’t believe for a minute that being divorced means I failed at that marriage.  Sure, it sometimes felt like I was failing as I was going through the years where I tried my hardest to save it and remain married, but thankfully I have wonderful people in my life who made sure I understand that it was not a failure.  I was not a failure.  Either was he.  I married a great guy when I was just a young girl, and he was young too.  We had great times together and raised two awesome kids together.  We did a lot of things right.  We went through good times and bad times and tried our best to support each other.  But at some point as the kids got older, I realized that we never really had much to say to each other.  Everything was wrong.  I relied solely on my friends and other family for support when I was happy, sad, unsure, proud, scared, or whatever else I was feeling.  We didn’t believe the same things and we no longer had the same goals for our lives.  I’m not sure we ever did share the same goals because we got married so young that we didn’t talk about those things.  I know we did not have the same beliefs where it really matters to me.  We both got older and I realized that I didn’t have what I needed to feel secure or loving in my most important relationship.  I wasn’t sure that when I felt weak he would have my back.  I didn’t have a best friend.  I never thought I needed that in my husband.  And now I believe that I was wrong.  I want that person I wake up to every single day to be the person I tell everything about myself.  Without shame or any need to hold anything inside when it needs to come out for me to feel whole.

We quit being married, but our marriage wasn’t a failure.  One definition of failure is “a lack of success.”  Our marriage had many successful moments.  Many cherished moments.  Moments I would never want to erase or take back.

The second thing I feel the need to discuss is that I quit my most recent therapy group.  And that does not mean I failed.  Trying things is how we gain experience and knowledge as people.  And I was learning helpful things in the group.  However, I was also going through some things that meant when I was at group, I was preoccupied, anxious, and even angry.  And during a recent individual therapy session, I realized something that threw me off course.  WAY off course.  So I had to quit the group.  Maybe I’ll do that group again someday and maybe I won’t.  And that’s ok.  Leaving that group felt right the second I was done telling the facilitator that I had to quit.  And leaving it also gave me the strength to admit in my individual therapy that I have a big hurdle I’m ready to take on and move past.

And that is a success.  Not at all a failure.

So, I’m not saying quit everything you start or don’t try.  But I am saying that if you start something and can’t do it, or have a setback, or learn that you really wish you were doing something else, that is totally ok.  Start again.  Try something else.  And learn from what you quit because anytime you learn something, I believe that is a success.

NOT a failure.

KK

I did it!

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I did my disclosure yesterday.  I’m super proud of myself for standing up to the fear of judgment and for getting through the disclosure with honesty and vulnerability.  There were some moments I didn’t expect and some memories that I had buried so far inside me that they came out for the VERY FIRST time while I was talking.  It was extremely intense.

The response from my group was truly incredible and awesome.  I have formed new, and hopefully lasting, friendships with these women I have grown to learn from, admire, and cherish.  It is a group of ridiculously brave and beautiful spirits.  They helped me understand the victim I was at those times I described, and also helped me to see that the woman I have become is so much better than I feel inside sometimes when I wake up or feel triggered in daily life.  They helped me validate that victim inside me and see that I overcame a lot of injustice to be the survivor I am today.  Those women rock!

The heavy shame is lifted up to another level, a level where I can actually face it and begin to work through each piece of it.  I can actually see the future me enjoying daily living without that blanket of shame on my shoulders.  I can see myself dancing freely and feeling joy instead of hesitation.  I can look forward to being brave enough to fully trust and to love again, in ways I never really have before now.

Even after feeling so good, I could hear the tapes in my head starting to self-punish for not facing all of this sooner, not healing sooner, not trying hard enough.  The “I should have done something” starting to creep inside my head.  But this time I put a stop to it and spoke right out loud to those tapes to let them know I just did that – disclosed fully – and I will no longer be held hostage by those negative cognitions.  Sure, it will take some more work, I’m not under the impression that all of the burden left with the words that came out while I told my story.  But I have shed the secret in a way that feels like an ending to a lot of it.

That.  Is.  Awesome.

I feel crazy excited today like this is another new beginning for me.  A more aware me, a further healed me, a really, truly rediscovered me.

I did it!

KK

My feelings so far

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I’m really finding this blog to be something I look forward to doing.  I am not completely surprised by this since I’ve always been a keeper of journals and someone who likes to write.  But I AM a bit surprised at the response to it.  I have been overwhelmed (in a good way) with information, well wishes, encouragement, questions, and people telling me their own stories of all types of challenges, including but not limited to, sexual assault.  Hearing from people I don’t know who found the blog and find it to be worthy of reading was a huge shock to me.  I shared it with my Facebook friends, so obviously I knew some of them/you would read it, but I guess I wasn’t sure what would happen outside of some friends reading it.

I am proud of this blog and of myself.  That is difficult for me to say without laughing.

I am a person who copes with hard times by the use of inappropriate laughter.  Now, I must include here that I don’t think inappropriate laughter is always bad.  If a friend and I burst out laughing in an elevator full of people for no good reason until we nearly pee our pants (you know who you are), that is funny and probably only inappropriate in the sense that we definitely made some folks uncomfortable.  And if you haven’t had a good fit of inappropriate laughter in a church, a work meeting, or places like that, then frankly I feel like you should try it.  Soon.

I am proud of myself.  And I haven’t felt or said that enough in my life.  At least, not for a long time.

That’s over now and in case I didn’t mention it, I am proud of myself.

I grew up marching to the beat of my own drum.  I did my high school/teen years frantically, not always making the best choices and not always being the nicest person in the room (many folks who were in high school with me are saying “that’s an understatement,” possibly while rolling their eyes).  But I feel proud that as that girl, I didn’t make any apologies for who I was inside and how confident I felt about who I really was inside.  That is the girl who resurfaced in 2012.

Some other time I’ll get into why and how that girl resurfaced (one friend is saying “seriously, you plan on sharing that?”).  For now I’ll just say that because I found my way back to myself, I was able to declare some things that have helped me find healing and forgiveness.  And that. is. awesome.

Being a rape survivor is a huge challenge.  Almost every day I am triggered or feel shame, anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, hate, and a whole bunch of other stuff.  Going to individual therapy is helpful, but going to group therapy is even more helpful.  Those people understand me AND hold me accountable when I laugh and really need to cry.  And some of those people played an important role in getting me to want to do this for myself and for other people who could benefit from reading things that validate their own stuff.

I’m able and willing to write this, to share my story, and to be in this space that allows me to feel vulnerable.

And that makes me feel really proud.

KK