Posted in Being Vulnerable

Journal 3

I sit here with my flat white thinking of last night.

I almost cried listening to Jocko Willink’s motivational speech on discipline equals freedom.

He asked questions like,

You want free time? That takes time discipline. You want more saved in the bank? That takes financial discipline.

And the whole time he was saying this I kept thinking of my dad and how he taught me the same thing. He didn’t word it that way, but he did teach me discipline at a very young age. And I feel like I get it now. He wasn’t being a hard ass just because he likes power. He was being a hard ass because he wanted me to be free when I was older.

I always thought I wasn’t enough for him because he would criticize everything I did, but really he just didn’t want my expectations to be too low. Because low expectations don’t offer freedom.

And then I thought about how forgiving my dad is. And how even after I called the cops on him this year, he still is seeking a relationship with me.

That’s more than some daughters get.

Though he never says, sorry.

I know he is

Because he wouldn’t keep coming back to me if he wasn’t.

Posted in Victory Over Verbal Abuse

I escaped into your belonging

When I was a girl all I wanted to hear was, “I support you.”

I wanted to be trusted with my ideas.

I wanted to be heard.

Instead, I was silenced.

I was bullied.

He would talk over me.

Ignore me.

Mock me.

Then when I would start to crumble he would throw in a last jab,

“Why are you crying?”, he’d sneer.

The patronizing was the final straw.

I retreated.

I stopped trusting.

I stopped crying.

I built a wall around my heart because if I couldn’t trust family, who could I trust?

I couldn’t even trust me.

For years I was bullied along with my sister and mother.

I thought it was normal.

I even dated men who were bullies.

Because I thought that was all I was worth.

Until I met you.

And everything changed.

You were the light I needed.

You were this glimpse of another reality.

One full of joy and kindness.

Without insecurity.

Without pain.

So I jumped.

I escaped into your belonging.

But unfortunately, with my jump came my pain.

My trauma.

What I thought I escaped, I actually dragged with me.

And now you are seeing it unraveling and the girl who laughed at all your jokes is drowning with the sharks and you can’t throw a life raft.

I’m sorry, babe.

But these sharks are mine and I can’t keep being rescued.

I have to learn how to survive with them on my own.

I have to do the work.

And maybe one day, with enough love, my sharks can turn into dolphins.

Posted in Victory Over Verbal Abuse

Affirmation #3

My courage is shelter.
I never thought about it before, but it makes sense.
My spirit seeks shelter in order to feel safe just as I seek shelter with Joshua in order to feel safe.
And I have discovered this is a universal truth.
We cannot grow into our full potential if we do not feel safe.
And yet safety is so over looked.
When I was a child, I always felt safe with my mother. She comforted me from nightmares. She ran the tub when I had late night accidents. She protected me from my dad’s rage. She did everything a good mom should.
But as I grew up, I pushed her away.
My teenage mind could not relate any longer. And I became secretive and manipulative. Until one day I met a boy. A boy I loved. A boy I felt safe with. A boy who was kind and gentle.
And I grew with him.
I started telling him my pain and he would tell me his. And we would cry together. And I started to believe I was not alone in my suffering as his dad was abusive too.
So that was the beginning of finding my courage, but that courage took feeling safe first.
Which is why safety or shelter should not be over looked.

It is vital to our growth.
And sometimes it takes others to remind us we are brave.
And that is okay too.