Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have


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Feeling of Disbelief

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A family member (relative through marriage) died over the weekend. At first this was the upsetting news that left me feeling sad; that was until I read the obituary later and learned he had remarried and never mentioned it. So not only did I find out he died-but also he had gotten married and never told anyone besides his closest family. It just feels so surreal. I didn’t expect for him to die so soon despite being ill and I certainly never dreamt he would have gone and remarried. There’s nothing wrong with him remarrying. That is not the issue. What I am having trouble with is why he would keep that information from his extended family.

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Image credit: Pixabay

Isn’t getting married (even if it’s a second time around) good news worth sharing? Did he think we’d be upset since his first wife (our blood relative) only died not quite two years ago? We kept in touch but we hadn’t visited since the same year his first wife died close to two years ago. Anyhow, I know it isn’t earth shattering he got remarried and never told us but finding out the same day I learnt he died has been a shocker. It kind of feels like a betrayal-I know it is not-but that doesn’t stop the thought from entering my mind that he obviously didn’t think enough of anyone outside his closest relations to share the news.

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Image credit: Pixabay

 

So I feel hurt. I think he should have told us. It sucks learning about something through a person’s obituary. I feel discombobulated. We weren’t terribly close, I suppose when it comes down to it, but he felt we were family enough to know about how ill he was, so why not him meeting someone and remarrying? This is all fresh news for me so I am still processing it but maybe it will be less painful in the days to come. I’m not sure if I ought to attend his funeral or not given we aren’t blood relations nor close friends. It might be awkward to have to meet his wife and I don’t want to cause conflict or tension for his family that was around him regularly (especially since we never were introduced to them).

 

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Image credit: Pixabay

You know, I kind of feel angry now that I’ve had time to digest the news. It’s like suddenly I have to change the narrative of the relationship; okay, so I think it’s actually more that I am being forced to confront the fact we weren’t as close as I tried to tell myself. I was aware of the parameters of the relationship and it being lacking but still… When someone dies it forces you to confront the stuff you tried (I tried) to push down and not think about. Now that I am facing the redefinition of our relationship I feel all the emotions associated with the five stages of grief circulating through me.

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Image credit: pixabay

He was my last connection to the relative I was blood related to. The fact he remarried p*sses me off because it ruins the way I viewed the couple and I kind of feel cheated. Yes, it’s immature but the blood relation (his first wife) and him were my godparents. So even though they never acted in that capacity I am annoyed and hurt. Perhaps he wanted to avoid dealing with people (including myself) who would be conflicted over his choice to remarry. I sort of wish he had told me while he was living though because then I would not be dealing with shock over him dying AND remarrying.

Okay, I guess I am through for now. This writing has helped me in a cathartic way. That’s why I like writing when I am super upset because it acts as a catharsis so long as I am totally honest with myself.

Thank you for reading.

©Natalya Lyubov, 2017.

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Confused and Uncertain

question-1301144Since being sick in December and unable to be around people/out in public (so as not to infect anyone) for nearly a month I’m finding it hard to know what I’m doing. The forced confinement made me unhappy since I couldn’t enjoy the holidays like I normally can. Not that the holidays are always happy for me but at least being allowed out improves mood. Me, I was too bothered by how I looked to even go out on my patio for fresh air. Stupid adult chicken pox. But now that I can go out again my mood and mental state hasn’t exactly recovered totally.

confusion-311388The main problem is being unfocused and uncertain about what to do with myself. I haven’t really been enjoying the designing I have been doing for a few print on demand companies on the internet. Technically I still design for them but it’s compensated only by a royalty and requires more marketing ability than I possess to make a living off it. So I feel unsatisfied by my daily occupation. I want to make a difference in the world and feel like I am positively contributing. As of now I feel pretty useless and doubting of myself. Perhaps I can volunteer?…

 

Maybe all of these thoughts would not have surfaced if it weren’t for the discussion I’d had in late November with an aunt of mine and my dad. I posted about it a couple of posts back. Anyway it was the suggestion I contact a lawyer for my dad (since I have nothing pressing to do with my time apparently) regarding some money he felt was owed him. He thinks he was supposed to receive money but hasn’t because his family cheated him out of it.

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As far as I know he couldn’t have been in the will since it’s been well over a year since his sister died and he wasn’t contacted. But he holds firm in his bitterness and resentment toward a couple family members he thinks ruined his chance at financial freedom. The bitterness he holds is scary and I feel concerned for him. One, I don’t know that there was ever any money or not ‘owed’ to him; secondly, I am worried he’ll be bitter and resentful for the rest of his life and unable to get past any of this.

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He’s heavily focused on the past and what went wrong, including when he was a child. This includes hanging onto resentment over what his younger brother did and got away with. Basically he’s upset he shouldered the responsibility in the family in terms of chores and expectations; while his younger brother and older sister weren’t made to do much (from his perspective). He grew up in the 1950s and 60s.

deciding-1364439What all this has to do with me is I was asked to take on this concern of my dad’s (that is a lot bigger and deeper than my aunt likely knows) and to solve it for him with a lawyer. I don’t want to get involved because I think he’s delusional and has problems sorting reality out from his imagination. If I went to a lawyer what on earth would I have to make any sort of ‘case’ for him? None of the stuff he told me about was anything I was present to verify and I am used to having to explain to him what was actually said versus what he ‘heard’. Oh, and that is just with respect to television shows or when we’re discussing less weighty issues than legal matters. So it’s hard for me to take what he says at ‘face value’ because I know how often he mishears words and throws in his own substitution when confused by conversations.

 

You might think he has dementia but I am fairly certain it’s just his neurological issues he’s had for his whole life. Apparently he had quite a bit of his brain damaged from medical complications as a child living far from hospitals and doctors (plus no proper transportation to remedy the problem).

tarot-1775322I’m considering alternative methods for helping my dad. For instance, I thought perhaps a psychic with mediumship abilities could contact his sister and ask her if she actually did promise him money at some point or other and if it was included in her will or not. Yes, it sounds like my judgement might be questionable here but I am open minded and figure a ‘direct connection’ to his sister could clear up his (probably) mistaken ideas.

 

What to do? I wish I knew the right answer to all these concerns plaguing my mind. Notfuture-1126760 just with my dad but what I may do with my life. I’m scared that my life is slipping by and I’m not making the most of it. But I remain uncertain about what ‘it’ is I am meant to do. Ah, heck! Maybe I should be the one with the question for the psychic about my own life but I still need help with my dad’s situation too. Oh well, I suppose I will just have to meditate and hope the answer(s) come to me at the time I need them.

©Natalya Lyubov, 2017.

 


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Happy New Year (2017)!

It’s a new year so I just thought I’d say “Happy New Year!”. My New Year’s eve and day 8f7583da32895b7d2f518cc75398b72cwere totally uneventful. I stayed in and simply cleared out clutter and cleaned. No parties for me. Not my style. At least I finally got around to some of the clutter I had around that needed tossing (I donate it because although it is clutter to me it is still good stuff and usable). Some might try to make a dollar or two clearing their clutter and I see value in that but I appreciate the immediate gratification of moving the items directly after finishing. It satisfies me more to know I have both accomplished something and done a small bit of good in donating my things I no longer enjoy but someone else may.

This year I have decided to try my best to be totally honest with the people I meet. Thatmask-1503440 doesn’t mean I vomit my secrets on everyone I see but I want to avoid trying to be anyone besides who I really am. Online here is the only exception. But the exception is only with respect to my name, everything else is true. In my ‘real life’ I wish to be open with people in an authentic manner and be just myself. For too long I have tried to be what others (family, people I know, the larger culture around me, etc.) have wanted but it didn’t make me happy. So I decided to make an effort to change that. If people don’t like me then it’s not the end of the world. But it is better than pretending to be someone I am not and feeling like my true self is unworthy. The important thing is I like who I am. That hasn’t always been easy so it’s a big step for me to attempt showing my true self. It means I have to really accept myself completely or else I will always be tempted to present the side of me I think others want/expect.

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As far as I’m concerned one need not be unkind when honest so I will do my best to honour that knowledge. Although it may be hard to hear the truth, as long as it is delivered with the intent to be kind or authentic then I believe it’s okay. Simply giving one’s opinion is not truth though so it’s important to remind one’s self of that if it seems like the same thing (one’s opinion ≠ truth). Some family members of mine, I believe, would probably state their opinions like the truth and think of them as fact; still, that doesn’t make them that.

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Well, that’s more than I’ve written in awhile so I feel pleased with myself.

©Natalya Lyubov, 2017.

 


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Feeling Overwhelmed

So I had lunch today with my dad and aunt at a restaurant nearby; it went okay as far as the food went but the conversation was less pleasing. My dad decided to run by my aunt a few things he’s been fixated on over the past year and I have had to hear about from him regularly. Honestly, I don’t know if I believe all that he says because it sounds like paranoid thinking to my mind. That being said he believes it and I have no way to verify what he said as true short of confronting the people thought to be involved and asking them what they said, which would be horribly awkward and offensive considering the content. Legal advice might solve the issues but I don’t know how to approach the topic since I only heard what my dad said and not the other people involved. Much of the discussion is really awful and makes me feel disbelieving.

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I would like to consider the legal counsel route but I have trouble thinking on the situation since it involves some ‘touchy’ topics. The situation makes me feel quite ill really. I hate thinking about it all. If my dad is wrong and actually delusional than is a lawyer going to be able to help?

At first I was angry with my dad for being fixated on the subject but now I just feel overwhelmingly helpless and sad. Yes, I can maybe contact a lawyer or someone like that but I don’t feel like I have the right to interfere. My dad might be okay with me seeking legal advice for him but it makes little difference in how I feel cornered and pressured to be dad’s champion. My aunt asked me and I couldn’t think of a way to say no. It would be better if my dad was willing to address the issue himself but he tends to communicate poorly. He has a few learning disabilities and his ability to express himself is somewhat limited in more complex situations. Hence, the reason my aunt wanted me to talk for my dad. But I am not sure I can do it.

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The main reason I feel a desire to help is I figure it might give my dad some concrete facts instead of what he believes was said orally between him and the others involved. I’m skeptical of the events occurring as he said they did but I don’t have any proof for either side of the claim. Also, I am concerned that any inquiry made by the lawyer (if I go that route) may alert the other people involved since it’s an argument over a will. All I want is to have the lawyer say whether there’s a will or not and if my dad was included in it as a recipient. Then I can figure out if more needs to be done or not. As it stands, I don’t have confirmation of anything so any facts the lawyer could give would help. Beyond that I am not looking forward to because I hate confrontation and conflict.

I wish I could hibernate for the winter and avoid any conflict until Spring when it’s not so dreary outside. Maybe I would have a brighter outlook by then and my dad might actually have figured out the situation wasn’t as bad as he believed. If only.

Thanks for reading.

©Natalya L., Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2016.


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Speaking Out Heals Shame

Rev. Jordyn Morrison Clason, Ph.D. ~ http://www.RealClairvoyantPsychic.com

Experiencing trauma can lead to shame depending on the nature of the trauma endured. When we’re filled with shame we retreat inside ourselves and fear having others know what we’ve been through; as though we were somehow to blame even though we intellectually know that’s not the case. It’s ironic really because if you experienced trauma from a person or group of people, they, not you should be feeling the shame. Yet they lack the moral conscience for this so the survivor of the trauma ends up with it instead. This seems terribly unfair in my opinion. But we see it all the time with abuse survivors; they think they were at fault somehow no matter what their head tells them. It’s difficult to reason with your emotions because they aren’t reasonable! So you have to muddle through the emotional baggage ’til your head and heart are on the same page. Not an easy task no matter who you are.

In my experience, speaking about my traumatic experiences sort of relieves the pressure inside me; it’s like the steam from a kettle being released. For all the years I carried around the shame of my past I believed keeping it to myself would be easier but it wasn’t. Instead I had unrelenting depression and anxiety never feeling at peace for very long. When I started psychotherapy I didn’t talk much about the abuse I’d suffered because I couldn’t allow it to surface. I thought if I did then I might fall apart (which I did later). So I wasted years talking about my symptoms never discussing the causes of my chronic depression and anxiety/panic disorder. All this because I carried so much shame inside me that I figured no one could accept me due to abuse. How sad that I had so little self worth and love for myself that I couldn’t imagine telling anyone what I’d been through. I’d also minimised what I’d experienced a great deal too so felt unjustified in feeling the way I did; like we need to have reasons for our emotions! Sometimes they are irrational but we aren’t robots so that’s just how it has to be.

When we don’t confront our past it tends to show itself in maladaptive patterns until we recognise where they’re coming from. For some this means abusing one’s self or others so it can be serious. Once the trauma can be remembered and processed it allows us to stop looking for distractions. Our minds don’t have to spend so much energy on repressing what happened to us. If you’re like me sharing what happened to us can be scary or even threatening; yet that’s what’s needed for one to end the behaviours destroying us or other people if we perpetuate the hurt inside us onto others. You can’t be free ’til the secrets are outside of you because that’s what loosens our abuser(s) hold on us. They wanted us to keep quiet and hope we took responsibility for what was never our fault to begin with. If we had had the coping tools to know better we would have done better but most abused children aren’t lucky enough to have the resources or simply are too young to process what happened in a meaningful way.

Ideally, our abuser(s) would recognise what they did to us as wrong and make restitution but too often this never happens. Usually it doesn’t happen because the abuser was also abused and can’t face their own painful past, it takes courage to confront painful memories and process our hurt emotions. So sometimes our abuser(s) just aren’t courageous enough to deal with their own pain and continue to make others suffer. Or maybe the abuser(s) aren’t alive so restitution isn’t an option. But you can still face your pain and know you are making a difference because you won’t be perpetuating abuse/pain onto more people. In fact you can also come to appreciate you are stronger than your abuser(s) because you’re choosing to confront your pain. This might also be an opportunity for you to see that your abuser(s) felt so awful they couldn’t bear to face what happened to them so took the ‘easy route’ by hurting other people. It really isn’t easier to hurt other people than face your own pain but I think it takes less effort because it doesn’t require that you challenge yourself. For that reason I consider it the ‘easier route’.

Anyhow back to my main argument of talking about your trauma or ‘spilling the beans’; personally, I prefer ‘airing the family’s dirty laundry’ as my preferred term because it just sounds ‘spicier’ and a bit titillating! But I digress… Once I finally told my therapist about the sexual, emotional, psychological, physical abuse and neglect I felt free. The shame had begun to dissipate like morning fog when you live by the coast. I still felt some shame when I had to hide my past in front of other family but it was beginning to be more manageable. Once you open the proverbial can of worms there’s no putting the lid back on. The secrets you protected from your conscious mind won’t be forced back into hiding. You can try to deny it happened for awhile but usually the truth wins because you can’t really ‘unknow’ what you know once you’ve confronted it. This is a good thing even though it doesn’t feel in the least bit good to begin with! I felt so awful I reverted to my eating disorder I’d been in remission from for a couple of years because starving temporarily numbed me and took my focus off the new awareness I had concerning my past. I think it’s fair to say any addictions you had in remission may flare up temporarily until you can ‘digest’ what you’ve learned. Mine gave me a respite from having to face things I didn’t feel capable handling. In essence it was easier for me to deal with my eating disorder and try to manage that then it was the horrible reality of my mother sexually abusing me.

Busyness is a way to escape ourselves. My family suffers a lot from this in order to avoid their childhood abuse coming to the foreground of consciousness. Idleness is not a ‘sin’ but an opportunity to go within and understand yourself better.

I’m feeling stronger these days internally but it’s been four years since I ‘discovered’ the type of abuse I’d been through and I haven’t been employed the entire time either. In fact I quit paid employment because I felt I’d been delivered such a huge psychological blow I couldn’t possibly continue my job. For quite awhile I worried about what I would end up doing with myself since I was no longer employed or a university student. My identity came crashing down. The pieces were flimsy to begin with so it’s likely for the best I had to reconstruct my idea of who I was again. What I’ve discovered along the way is you’re a lot stronger than you ever imagined. I didn’t think I could survive the distress I was in yet I did and I am healthier now than I have ever been. Yes, I am still unemployed but people should not base their value on their employment status. You are not your job, car, house, or any other material/external thing. It took me until recently to realise I could be worthy as a person without a paid job. I was always brought up to believe you had to be educated and wealthy to be worthy but that’s not true at all. What’s in your bank account doesn’t make you wealthy because wealth ought to be measured by happiness and love, not dollars and cents (or Euros, Yen, Pounds etc.). One can give back to society and/or their community through volunteer work or helping family. I won’t elaborate on this though because it’s too much for a post meant to discuss trauma and shame. Perhaps I’ll do a post on economics another day!

What do you think about the ‘truth setting you free’? Does sharing what happened to us with someone we trust heal us from our shame? Have you experienced abuse/trauma you kept hidden from others (perhaps yourself as well) then discovered/shared it and experienced relief?

©Natalya, 2014. Reflections On Life Thus Far®

 


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Words of Comfort

No matter how difficult things are right now;
Please – Hold on to Hope, and don’t give up.
You are Stronger than you think … Just Believe!

Try and find Gratitude and Bliss in the Little Things around you.

The Rays of Sunshine on the window pane.
The scent of Flowers you never usually notice.
The Melody of a sweet Song …
The scent of Coffee … the laughter of a child.
Family and true friends.Image
Hugs and kisses.
The sweet moments of togetherness with people who really care.In quiet moments of Solitude when you can take a deep breath.
Relax, and let the inner Peace with in you embrace you.
Happiness is Always, “Inside Out”‘

– Let it Begin with you. ♥

POsted by Hiba on behalf of Kiran Shaikh 2012 /Back Towards Light