healing

Holidays Can Be Painful

Holidays Can Be Painful 800 800 Paula

After reading my title you might be wondering what I mean when I say holidays can be painful, but I feel it’s important for others to know how I feel around the holidays, because I know I am not alone. If I am the only one that feels this way, then maybe I am writing this just for me. 🙂

Yesterday was the 4thof July and I had a horrible day, but not on purpose. Right away when I woke up I was lacking energy and I literally felt like I was dying inside. That may seem a little extreme, but that is exactly how I felt. I’m learning that there is a pain in my heart that is still so fragile when it comes to the holiday seasons.

During the holidays when I look on social media or hear about everybody getting together with their family it still triggers my childhood trauma. I would be completing lying if I said I was okay being around other big families.

All day yesterday I kept telling myself you need to just snap out of it, you need to have fun with your family, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. Instead I wanted the day to be over with but it seemed like it was dragging on. I even crawled back into bed a few times to try to speed of the process.

I did get invited to a few family parties, but instead I chose to stay home. Here is what I have learned about myself during this season, my body is still trying to heal from all the trauma from not growing up in a healthy family, and I am still witnessing how the family dysfunction has affected my entire family today even my own children.

If you are looking at this and thinking, just get over it. Quit feeling sorry for yourself. I’m here to tell you my belief is it doesn’t work that way. In order to heal you have to be real with yourself and give your body, mind and soul time to heal.

Both of my parents are now deceased and we just don’t have family parties  like we use too.(not that they were that healthy to begin with)  There is still so much brokenness and division amongst my family that it’s quite hard to get everyone together.

Here is why I share this with you:

For one I want you to know you are not alone and second I want you to have patients with yourself and understanding that this is part of the healing process and it won’t last forever. Find someone who will support how you are feeling. This is my mentor who is like a mom to me and I can talk to her about anything. 

As time goes on you will start to feel better, as long as you keep feeling your feelings and giving it to God.

During the holiday seasons I have to do what is right for me. And right now that is staying in the comfort of my own home. I know that it’s not going to be like this forever, because I am a very social person. But for now I don’t need to sit in an atmosphere where everyone is enjoying their families and my heart is still bleeding.

So if you can relate to this in anyway I would love to hear from you and be sure to share this blog post with those who may need it.

 

I would like to leave you with some tools to help you take care of yourself.

  • Spend some time with God meditating on his word or listening to worship music
  • Do relaxing exercises like yoga or go for a nature walk
  • Spend quality time by yourself doing something you enjoy
  • Find something that brings purpose back into your life (something that you love to do)
  • Donate your time or money to help the less fortunate 
  • Make it a point to SMILE (even if you have to fake it!)
  • Spend time reflecting on the GOOD things in your life each and every day( try to come up with at least 10 things)

XOXO, Paula

God places the lonely in families;
    he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 68:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

 I love what I do and I am a work in progress.  I have come along way since being illiterate since the age 21. 🙂

For Those Who Have Been Abused

For Those Who Have Been Abused 640 640 Paula

I feel others need to understand the battles that some people may face if they have experienced some type of abuse, whether it’s physical, emotional or sexual.

We might think that no one will understand the things we have went through, but to often there are many people suffering silently from their own deep dark secrets. 

Do you mind if I share a little insight inside the heart of a person who has experienced abuse? Because I am a firm believer if you’ve been abused in anyway you will have a ‘mental battle’ that you have to fight and overcome once your heart has been healed.

I will keep this as short as I can and to the point. Years ago when I was at my therapy session for my past abuse my therapist diagnosed me with dysmorphia. Immediately I wanted to rebuke the word she spoke over me, for one I had no idea what it meant and second it just sounded so serious…

Here is what dysmorphia means…

Dysmorphia is a mental disorder characterized by the obsessive idea that some aspect of ‘one’s own appearance is severely flawed’and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it.

So this would be the medical term for someone like myself who’s identity was broken from past abuse. But what I didn’t understand for a very long time was why did I see myself the way that I did. I hated myself so much that I would sit and curse my body. I just thought deep down inside that I needed to fix myself and I tried many things to do it.

First of all let me just say… God doesn’t create something that is flawed. We are born perfect in the eyes of Jesus!

But because of the wounds in my heart I could not see myself how he sees me.

What I needed more that anything was for Jesus to heal the secret areas of my heart that were deeply wounded.

I spent way to long in bondage to an eating disorder that made me very sick because I thought if I could get skinnier than I would be more lovable and it would make me feel better.

This was a lie that was planted in my heart.

I had a lot of wound’s from growing up in a home with a father who was an alcoholic, and for the longest the abuse and neglect I experienced from him were still controlling my life.

You see it took years of healing from all the past abuse I experienced in my childhood and adult life to heal my real identity.

There still are days I can struggle in this area if I forget to submit myself to God first thing in the morning. In James 4:7 it states, submit yourself to Christ, and the devil will have to flee from you.

If you have experienced past abuse in your life, let God heal your heart and renew your mind daily in his word.

We have to be ready to use the sword that God has given us so we can walk into true freedom.

The sword is the word of God. So before any unhealthy thought can even take root in your heart, be sure to be on guard and take every negative thought captive and bring it under the authority of Christ.

The battle we face to overcome past abuse is real… The enemy looks for anyway he can to get into our life and destroy our identity. And he loves to do it through past abuse.

I walk in victory today due to all my healing, BUT when the mind gets tired or I get triggered from something or someone those old tapes like to come to surface.

I have to be ready for the battle and so do you.

And here are some tools you can use…

I have learned to take every NEGATIVE thought captive and bring it under the authority of Christ. Also, I ask God regularly to expose any lies in my heart that I may be believing. If I don’t practice this consistently then the enemy has set me up to start self-destructing through old behaviors.

I share my heart with you today because I feel we need to know everyone is in a battle. And I do believe we can have freedom here on earth, but you do have to fight for it!

SO BE READY!

 

 

 

Christmas-Family Boundaries and Addiction

Christmas-Family Boundaries and Addiction 480 640 Paula

I’ve been wanting to write this blog for the last few weeks about the Christmas season. I want to talk to you about addiction in the family, and how we can put boundaries in place. I will be sharing with you what is on my heart. So if you are looking for new family traditions or a good Christmas sugar cookie recipe this blog may not be for you. I want to encourage whoever is reading this and let them know they can overcome the pain of the holidays. I am hopeful that what I share will help many, because I know I am not alone when it comes to the pain this season may bring. 

You see during the Christmas or holiday season it brings up A LOT of pain for so many people. This is why the suicide rate goes up and many people find themselves running back to their addiction.

During this time of year we are left with so much pain. We are left to sort through the confusion of our past. So many thoughts at this time of year may be running through our heads. We are not sure if we should go around that family member who continues to hurt us. We are confused whether or not we should go to the Christmas party because the person who sexually abused us as a child might be there. Maybe this is the time of year when your spouse walked out on you. Or maybe you are someone who grew up in abuse and addiction and you are left with nothing but brokenness from your childhood. The list can go on and on and on of why you may be feeling pain.  Please take whatever your current situation maybe and apply it to what I am about to share.

I felt a strong urge to write on these topics of boundaries, self-care and how to handle our pain during the holiday season.  While so many people this time of the year are enjoying Christmas parties, time with family, holiday shopping or decorating a Christmas tree, this may not be the case for your family. The Christmas season can actually be hard for so many people, bringing up a lot of painful memories.

I know this was and still is my situation… As I write this blog I am reminded of how painful my childhood was, and I am also reminded of how ‘ADDICTION’ has taken so much from my life. I feel my parent’s passed away way too young and left a lot of dysfunction behind them. Daily I find myself trying to sort through my life experience so I can continue to live a life of victory. I would like to share with you some things I have learned through my experience.

I used to think that I had to go to every family party, but after many years of doing this I noticed a pattern. I was trying to get FREE from my self-destructive behaviors but every time I left a family function I had the urge to go back to my eating disorder and self-destructive habits. I continued to pray and ask God to show me why. Finally, when I was ready to listen He showed me, you can’t get free from something that you have witnessed since you were a child. Addiction and pain was all I knew, but yet I wanted be free from all of it. Every time I went to a ‘family party’ I was exposed to the conversations of who was still using, or who has died or who was in jail. This kind of talk triggered all my childhood wounds that made me want to run back to my eating disorder and self-harm.

Does this make sense?

Unfortunately,  in order for me to heal and get free, I had to put boundaries in place. BUT guess what happened next? I was accused of not being normal like the rest of the family, not being loving, and then last but not least, they even said, I wasn’t a true Christian. Does any of this sound familiar? Now let me share with you, this type of trauma is not easy to overcome. You have to have a lot of support from Godly people with a lot wisdom and understanding that can speak into your life when you are going through this type of healing.

But if we don’t deal with this ‘YUCKY’ stuff around the Christmas/Holiday season you will find yourself in a vicious cycle of not feeling your feelings, running back to old destructive patterns like addiction, and self-hate. We have to learn to put up healthy boundaries and learn self-care. Because if we don’t take care of ourselves nobody will.

Now ask yourself the question, will I pay a price if I go to this party or event? Do I feel strong enough? When you go around these people are they lifting you up or like my husband likes to say, ” are they dumping poison into your life?”

Remember the only way to get over your pain is to FEEL it. I like to say your pain won’t kill you, but your addiction will. So be sure to put up boundaries and FYI: this includes FAMILY, mother, brother, sister, uncles, and ALL!

Be gentle with yourself and take care of you! Surround yourself with people who love you and will speak truth into the area you are trying to overcome. Do what feels right for YOU.

I’ve decided to surround myself with people who will help me become who I want to be, not what I grew up in.

I want to encourage you today to do whatever it takes to heal and get free. And I promise you, you will start to enjoy the Christmas and Holiday season!

 

With Love,

Paula Jauch