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Trauma Talk: Healing Past Trauma

Healing past trauma takes time, patience, and hard work. The affects of trauma on the brain affects it’s ability to function. In turn, we begin to think, behave, and react in ways that are reflections of that trauma. Yesterday, I gave a list of 21 questions to work through when processing trauma. Today, I will dive into those first three questions. In the end, I hope to understand my trauma better. I aim to further my healing and personal growth.

healing traums

Questions for Healing Past Trauma

  1. How do I feel responsible for the pain and trauma inflicted on me in the past?
  2. In what ways do I allow the past to negatively impact my present and my feelings about the future?
  3. Who do I need to forgive and why?

How Do I Feel Responsible?

I hold myself responsible for my trauma because I allowed it to happen. My responsibility is that I didn’t leave sooner. As a result, I allowed the abuse of myself and my girls to occur. Consequently, I now hold a great deal of guilt knowing I am complicit in the abuse of myself and my threefold. Although, I was not an active participant I am guilty by staying silent. I enabled my abuser.

How Does the Past Affect Me?

This one could go on for days. I feel trauma has affected every part of my me. I am less trusting, both of myself and others. Foremost, I would say it changed my perception of myself. One upon a time I was an outgoing, fun and flirty girl with no cares. Afterwards, I am more self deprecating and watered down. I am slowly finding my identity again, but it has taken time.

For a long time, I felt like I didn’t have a voice. Anytime I spoke up it was wrong. Furthermore, I was told that what I felt was not valid. If I thought differently then it was my perception that needed adjustment. As a result, I doubt my every feeling. Now that my voice is back, I feel I am too quick to speak up. It’s like I’m scared if I don’t speak my mind as the feeling arises that I may lose that voice again.

I apologize constantly. I am always saying I’m sorry even if it wasn’t my fault or completely out of my control. It sounds disingenuous now. Honestly, I’m a fraud. I’m not sorry. Sorry, not sorry. The worst part is that I know it’s not my fault but I make it my own fault in my head. I believe it is because I always was told I was to blame.

I over analyze EVERYTHING. Im the most anxious person. I have racing thoughts and they are so loud they keep me up at night. As a result, I am constantly thinking about what I need to do. Where I am supposed to go. Who needs what and how the hell I’m going to get it all done. As a result, I don’t make decisions quickly. I am unable to focus fully on conversations or mindless tasks. Consequently, I am messy, disorganized and scatter brained.

Who do I Need to Forgive to Begin Healing My Past Trauma?

First, I need to forgive myself. To promote my healing, I need to forgive myself for allowing the abuse of my girls and I. I need to find patience and understanding with myself. I need to remember that I am not the abuser. Afterall, I am a survivor of that abuse too. Next, I need to forgive myself for not escaping sooner. Lastly, I need to forgive myself for checking out those last couple of years and hiding from the abuse.

Next, I know that I need to forgive my abuser. I need to remember that the forgiveness is for me and not for him. Furthermore, just because I forgive what he did to us doesn’t mean that I’m going to forget. It was unacceptable. Abuse in any form is unacceptable. Forgiving him doesn’t mean that I am declaring the abuse ok. However, it shows that I am able to not allow that past abuse to claim my future.

Lastly, I hold resentment towards my support system. Although, the signs were there and the lies were transparent no one spoke up. I lied for him and that is on my shoulders. However, I would think that if there were signs someone would step in, but I was wrong. Then again, only now do I see those signs looking back. Even so, I am finding it is difficult not to want point blame on others. After all, this a lot of hurt, shame, guilt and anger that I hold. If I didn’t let it bleed onto others, deserving or not, I would probably be still struggling to use my voice.

Healing Past trauma

Healing Past Trauma Takes Time

Phew. All done for today. I don’t want to trauma talk anymore today. Unfortunately my life revolves around trauma drama, so if no one says the word ‘trauma‘ tonight then I may feel like I’m in the twilight zone. I am just going to say that I am done processing MY trauma for the day.

In conclusion, I hope that this will help others explore their own mental health and/or trauma. Even if you haven’t experienced trauma these questions are self reflective. Therefore, they can be used to aid a personal growth journey. After all, healing the past is the only way to move forward into the future. As a result, I will be less likely to repeat that cycle. Stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M pssst…follow My Threefold on Facebook!

Forgive

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Trauma Talk: Trauma Focused Therapy

Trauma is deeply personal. Furthermore, this is series will be a side of myself that I don’t allow the world around me to see. In this series, I will be sharing the raw and unfiltered inner workings of my mental illness and the affects trauma has had on my life. Maybe it is no different than everyone else’s struggles they have when talking about trauma. Then again, I feel like if I can share a part of my healing then someone can find a way to combat their trauma too.

Mental illness and trauma has changed my perspective and my perceptions of the world around me. The following questions are ones I was asked to complete recently by a trauma therapist. I haven’t had the mental capacity to work through these questions yet. I am supposed to do this trauma work with someone I trust, who understands my feelings and validates them, and who is supportive of my healing. I don’t do anything half ass, so I’ll just lay it out for the world at large. If nothing else, maybe it will help someone else to work through their mental mayhem while keeping me accountable to my own journey to healing.

Trauma

21 Therapeutic Questions

The following is the list of questions that I was told to answer honestly and not filter out the feelings. These are supposed to be self reflective and help me to understand my needs, my feelings, and promote healing. This is just the starting point as this is my first trauma focused therapy experience for myself.

  1. How do I feel responsible for the pain and trauma inflicted on me in the past?
  2. In what ways do I allow the past to negatively affect my present and my feelings about the future?
  3. Who do I need to forgive and why?
  4. What experiences have I had with others that I believe I am still suffering from?
  5. Who has hurt me and why?
  6. How can I help heal the hurt that I’ve caused others to experience?
  7. In what ways do I allow my past trauma to manifest in my current reality?
  8. What behaviors do I exhibit when I am experiencing triggered reactions of past trauma?
  9. Am I upset with God about something that has taken place in my life? Why?
  10. Who do I want to as my support system in my life? What’s stopping me from allowing these relationships to be safe?
  11. How can those around me be supportive?
  12. How can I establish trust and build a firm foundation in my current relationships?
  13. What are some things that I like about myself that others have been critical of in the past?
  14. What do I need help with? Who can I rely on to help when asked?
  15. If my abuser/perpetrator is still involved in my life what boundaries can I set to protect myself moving forward?
  16. How can I change my actions and current behaviors to aid in my healing and growth?
  17. In order to heal from my past what can I do to aid in my recovery?
  18. What are ten things that I love about myself?
  19. What are ten things I am good at?
  20. What do I hope to achieve through therapy?
  21. Write a letter to myself about everything I feel about myself and let someone close to me read it. Allow them to fact check my self beliefs.

Trauma To Healing

The list of questions that are given is a week’s worth of trauma work. Understanding the response we have to trauma is important. Uncovering the deep rooted affects that trauma has had on how we speak, think, and behave is paramount to reversing the patterns. If we can self reflect and find the facts in the lies and begin changing our thinking we can begin to heal the hurts that have been holding us captive.

Recovery is the goal, but there is no quick fix or magic potion that we can take that will take away what has happened. I’m prepared to work with my trauma therapist to uncover how my own thought and behavior patterns are allowing the past to cling to my present. Grab a journal and join along or just watch the journey of healing. In the meantime, stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M follow My Threefold on Facebook

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Go Get Your Goals!

I thought about just giving up on my goals and then thought twice about how important my goals are to me. If I could just give up on my goals so easily, did I really want to reach these goals? YES! I want to reach my goals. My goals are too important for me to just call it quits 3 months into the new year. I have decided to revamp my resolutions and go get my goals. I am going to share with you how I plan to do this and I hope this will inspire someone else ready to flush their goals down the drain some motivation to join in on the challenge. 

Goal Getter’s Guide to Revamp and Revise your 2022 Resolutions

 

I should be ready to call it quits and throw in the towel on the year and all the goals I wanted to focus on in 2022. Afterall, four hospitalizations for two of my threefold since starting 2022, would be enough to make even the most stable people go completely bat shit crazy. YET…here I am in all of my trauma drama bipolar momma bear glory ready to take the second quarter of this year by the horns and reclaim my new year!

The new year did not start off with the momentum, fire, and future forward trajectory I had planned for. I was not expecting the chaos to commence right out of the gate, but hey, you get what you get and you can’t throw a fit! {you can but it won’t help} So I’m calling shenanigans and saying I’m going to start this year over! Anyone else?

Obviously, I’m not a time traveler who has the ability to go back to January 1st and start over, but I can restart today. I truly believe this is where so many people lose track of their vision. It’s so easy for us to say ‘screw it, I haven’t gotten to my milestone goal so I should just quit.’ I’ve done it a million times. That mindset kept me stagnant. It’s time for that to change! We need to fix the mindset that says it’s ok to give up when we aren’t where we thought we’d be. How?

Finding a Better Way to Achieve Goals

How many times are we going to set ourselves up to fail before we change the plan? Many times failure is not from the inability to accomplish the goals you’ve set or a lack of resources to achieve those goals. I’ve determined that failure is found when we choose to make our excuses bigger than our motivation is to be successful. The key is to set goals with a vision for your life in mind.

I’m not good at keeping myself accountable for my progress. This usually leads to excuses or blaming external sources for my failure. I’ve found that it’s really easy to fail when you set yourself up to fail beforehand. An internal dialogue that is negative and is constantly triggering your self doubt in your abilities will lead to you stopping to believe in yourself before you can even get any momentum.

What is your Vision?

Create a vision for your life. I know that is easier said than done, but knowing what you want is the first step to getting there. This is how I plan to create my vision for my life.

Creating the Vision to Determine your Goals

  • Write what I want my life to look like. Go into detail about everything I want for my life to be.
    • The first is the overall vision for my life.
    • Next, I will create a vision for the next 3-5 years.
    • Finally I will create a vision for this year. 
  • Create a vision board. This can be done as a cluster method with words, your own doodles or pictures of things that you relate to your dream life.
  • Determine which areas of my life I need to set goals in to achieve my vision. These are my 6 areas that I feel encompass my overall life. Feel free to add your own and edit these to fit your vision. Rank them in accordance to the importance of your ability to fulfill your vision.
    1. Family
    2. Love
    3. Self Care
    4. Creativity
    5. Work
    6. Financial
    7. Social Circle
  • Create achievable goals in each area that you feel are necessary to reach your end result or vision. Making sure these goals are dependant on your action and not the actions of others are key. 

Action Plan

Now that we know what we want it’s time to create a plan to get there! It’s easier to say you want to have x, y, and z, but how you plan to achieve those goals is key. Create an action plan that you can track and grade yourself on. This will allow you to breakdown these goals into action items that require you to take steps towards the goals and your vision for your life. If you can create a goal, you can create an action plan to reach that goal. When making my action plan I used the following template that you are able to use or edit to individualize your action plan.

  • What is the goal?
  • What do I need to achieve this goal? 
  • How much time will I need to invest to achieve this goal?
  • What is my contribution to this goal going to be?
  • What are my milestones?
  • When do I plan to have this goal accomplished?
  • Daily steps I plan to take to reach my goal?

Tracking Progess of Goals

It’s important to be able to track your progress. When we keep ourselves accountable to our goals we can more easily see what steps are working in our favor and which need to be revamped to better serve our success. I choose to track my progress on a weekly basis. This allows me to see what I’m doing right and what I am doing not so right each week. This will help to fine tune my action plan and see what aspects of my action plan are working for me and what aspects are working against me. This will keep me accountable to my plan for success. 

Each month, I will do a more thorough review to make sure I am on the path that leads me to my desired results. This is why I feel it’s important to have milestone goals. If we are hitting milestone goals then we are on the right path to hitting the target goal. If we aren’t then it’s time to see why and reflect on what actions we didn’t take or didn’t work.

Part of the accountability is in grading your progress. Much like when you get a report card in school, this well help you to grade your action plan to the progress you are making towards your goal. Much like what I’ve seen in many other goal plans, books, and guides, I have adopted the grading method as a way to make sure what I am doing is working. If I set a goal and have the action items, the action items will be what I grade. If I have five action items then I should be able to easily track which items I completed and how much momentum those action items will have in my forward trajectory. 

goals

Don’t Give Up on Your Goals!

We have to remember that this is all trial and error. Cut yourself some slack, but not too much. It’s important to remember that if it were easy we would have had it. If it were easy then everyone would be doing it. If it were easy it wouldn’t be near as exciting when you achieve it. Keep yourself motivated with the milestone goals, don’t allow them to be your excuse to not continue towards the goal. 

In addition, we tend to have  an ‘all or none’ attitude towards reaching goals. We tend to put so much pressure on ourselves that we believe one misstep means that all progress is lost. There is a correlation between repeated mistakes andfailure, but I believe if we can evaluate our actions objectively and see our mistakes as stepping stones towards the goal vs. away from the goal we can accomplish anything. It’s all dependent on how much you want it. If it’s really important to you, then you will do anything to achieve it. Even if it means revamping how you thought you would get there.

 

Goal!

I have decided that if I chunk up my goals enough I should be able to reach my goals in a shorter period of time. Since this is my quarter new year, I have opted for the 90 day challenge approach to reach my goals. I will set goals that are attainable in 90 days. 90 days is long enough to do just about anything. This way by the end of the year I will have met my goals and be well on my way to the vision I have created for the year, five years, and my life in general.

Each 90 days I will set new goals and measure my success. Follow along on this goal getter journey and lets keep each other accountable and headed towards the vision we have created for ourselves. I want to hear your goals and see your progress too! Sign up for the 90 day Goal Getters Challenge and receive a copy of my “Goal Getter’s Guide”, exclusive content related to the 90 Day Challenge including my personal goals for this challenge, a buy one get one free coupon for the stuff-n-things shop for My Threefold, AND a chance to win a $100 gift card at the end of 90 days! What do you have to lose? You can meet your goals, be in the goal getter gang, get free merch and win prizes along the way. SCORE! Your goals, my goals, together – we’ve got this! Stay positive!  ♥˜

 

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Smile through the Struggle

There comes a point though that we can’t just smile through the struggle. We need support and someone to sit with us while we cry the tears, express our fears, and not try to tell us how to fix all of our problems. I’m here to tell you, it’s ok to not be ok. Mommin’ ain’t easy. It takes a village and in our case a damn army because we are fighters over here! But damn it, this part is hard. There are no cheat codes for raising teenagers with mental illness! Believe me, up-down-up- down, left, right, or whatever it was in the original Nintendo game, doesn’t work. I need a reset, pause or some power ups to get through our ups and downs!

I’m struggling with life throwing punch after punch. They are landing blow after blow. I’m at the point that I almost wish I’d get knocked out so I could rest a bit easier. Unfortunately, I’m just getting my ass beat. Life yet again is the bully who is kicking my ass and stealing my lunch money. Instead of just giving in and handing it over, I just keep fighting back. I still have hope that there is something better around the corner. I want to believe that all the hard my threefold and I have faced over the last several years will have some reward in store for us when we get to the other side of this obstacle course. I have to believe enough for all of us, because if I give up, so do they.

If you’ve been following our journey for a while you know 2021 brought a lot more than our fair share of hard times. Going into 2022, I was hopeful that we could close that chapter and begin seeing our way forward to the future. I felt like we finally had overcome big hurdles and found a groove. I was wrong. So wrong. 3 months in to the new year and we’ve already had 2 hospitalizations each now for #2 and #3 of my threefold.

#2 just finished a week inpatient at the beginning of the month and stepped down to partial hospitalization or day patient {hospital during the day and home at night} after this last round of inpatient care. Today while at partial #2 got upgraded to an inpatient unit at the grippy sock hotel, extended stay addition. She needs medication adjustments again. Bipolar is difficult to manage, in case you weren’t aware, now add in the fact that #2 has Bipolar 1 and also happens to be a teenager…that’s more difficult to manage. .

I know I’ve spit the statistics before but bipolar is one of those super unpredictable mental illnesses. It’s also super difficult to diagnose. Most people seek help when they are in a deep depressive episode. Most often bipolar disorder has depressive episodes that stay for months and even years without relief. When you have a manic episode in between it can appear like you are ‘getting better’, but you’re not. Mania is the ‘polar’ opposite of depression. I like to explain it like this – if depression is the worst you will ever feel than mania is the best you can feel. If depression makes you believe you’re worthless then mania is the feeling of being worth your weight in gold. This can make it seem like you’re capable of anything. If depression makes you worry about everything then mania is the absence of worry. It’s not a good thing. This is when people ruin relationships, cheat, steal, experiment with drugs, spend every dollar they have and become invincible.

Usually a depressive episode on average has been found to last 50% longer than a manic or hypomanic episode. There is a 60% greater chance of substance abuse with bipolar disorder. The main statistic that scared me most and steals my sleep is that nearly 50% of those with bipolar will attempt suicide with an alarming 15% who complete suicide. That’s why I share our story. That’s why I won’t quit fighting for our future.

I fight hard for my threefold and I everyday to make sure that our names don’t become part of the scary statistics. I fight the stigma surrounding mental illness because the misinformation isolates us and tells us we should be ashamed to have a disorder. I laugh about our crazy life and how I am the trauma bipolar bear momma because it makes the bitterness and heaviness of these statistics a little easier to swallow. I smile through the struggle, but I guarantee tonight these statistics will steal my sleep and my peace. All I can do is continue to try and stay positive. We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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