An Anxious Journey

An-Anxious-Journey

 

What would your life be like with more peace, more gratitude, and less stress? 

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone, sometimes many someones, talking about fear of social judgment.  Hidden just beneath the surface is often sorrow.

For all of my life, two things have been true; I have appreciated beauty in music, movement, color and art, and I have felt shy and vulnerable.  Yet both of these facts seem hidden from those who know me.

Somehow, I interpreted the difficult experiences of my life as a series of assaults that built one to the next.  This, instead of view each instance as a distinct circumstance that I could observe, respond and learn from.  Rather the thread of highly emotional “traumas” wove themselves into a coat of pain that I wore daily.

This is an area that I have felt a great deal of shame about.  The world requires and rewards resilience, and at least the appearance of strength.  And mental health remains a difficult subject to discuss – even among friends.  I have had to change my LEARNED definition of strength and resilience as a result of my journey through anxiety, depression and mood.

Everyone in this life experiences emotional, and often physical, trauma of one sort and degree or another.  Our experiences in early childhood, our reaction to them at the time, and our family environment/training contribute and color how we express and experience our adulthood.  And, in many respects, I simply wasn’t taught or modelled appropriate, healthy relational expectations, behavior and boundaries.

I would attribute the formation of social anxiety, depression, and bouts of low self-esteem to my interpretation of the following childhood experiences:

  • child sexual assault without follow up discussion or therapy
  • intelligent yet inconsistent and emotionally remote parenting
  • repeated bullying and rejection by peers, and abandonment

I reacted to these as absolute judgment and confirmation that I:

  • was bad,
  • deserved punishment,
  • didn’t have a voice that should be heard,
  • would be judged harshly and often would ultimately be abandoned by anyone I truly cared about.

What’s important here is simply that I wholeheartedly believed all that about myself!! I was too young, and didn’t receive any information that would have helped me to put any of these experiences into a mature perspective.  I could not fathom that there was not the institutional or collective understanding that children don’t just forget early sexual assault (what my mother was told – so we never mentioned it again).  Or that my parents were young people dealing with their own inner struggles.  Or that children are sometimes cruel out of a lack of maturity and development.

What you believe is what you repeat.  We form beliefs at different ages based on available information (modelling, what we are told by authority figures, what we actually experience).  And so, in elementary and middle school, I engaged social aspects of life with a haphazard, uninformed, random, and somewhat fantasized way.  I was hoping for someone to come and save me from a ton of repressed emotional pain I didn’t even understand.  I saw myself as Sleeping Beauty desperately waiting for Prince Charming.

I was never promiscuous in my teens or early twenties, but I was likely seen as needy when I was in a relationship.  I was an easy target for manipulative men who valued sexual gratification, were emotionally remote, and provided little emotional investment.  I was used to the role of victim, didn’t have the tools to understand men in any other capacity, and had no frame of reference to see outside the box I created for myself.

I also believed for a long time that if I were good enough, everything would be fine.  I had to be good enough not to be judged harshly.

In situations where I felt stressed, I would expect that something really bad would happen and that I deserved it.  Ultimately, these feelings lead me to some very dark places in my mind, and two major anxiety/self-esteem crisis.  During the worst of these times, I isolated myself and experienced extreme fear of people to the point where I could barely leave the house.

My mind was the only place those feelings and reactions existed, but they had a significant negative impact on my emotional body. Once I accepted that, I determined that my view was severely off kilter with reality.  I figured out that I ALSO MATTERED.  Most people were too busy dealing with their own problems to become overly concerned with others.  If they did judge, that also said more about them than about me.

Patterns. Coming to conscious understanding of my patterns was the most important journey of my life. Walking that path with a couple of experienced coaches has given me the tools necessary to rebuild, re-trust, rebalance with the assistance of natural supplements, and reorient my approach to LIFE.  To Find Me Within.

I am here to serve your beautiful mind goals.  My long experience as a coach, combined with the knowledge I gained in my own process, makes me more qualified to help you FIND YOU WITHIN.  I have helped others optimize performance, overcome significant mental blocks and challenges, heal, and move forward more confidently.

When you are ready, call.  I will listen, non-judgmentally.  I will be there for you as you gain understanding and confidence to address these issues on your own.  Then you will be your own self-health advocate as a result of Finding You Within.