Monday, February 15, 2010

my personal coat of arms: part two

yesterday i posted about a personal coat of arms. it got to be pretty long, so i decided to split it up into two posts. here is the second part.

4- future goals. this is a tough one for me. the ultimate be happy. but is anyone really happy? no one is happy all the time. i guess the goal here is to learn to be happier more than i am now. learn to manage my depression and PTSD in a way that is healthier. my goal is to continue with therapy, deal with my past in a positive and healthy way, and move forward with my life. my goal is to be a better wife, a better mother, a better be nicer to my husband. to laugh more. to joke around more. to not get so worked up over stupid things.

and the scariest goal of all: to confront my abuser, to tell him what he has done to me and my life. how he has changed me. what he has taken from me, what he has done to my family. saying this sends tremors of fear down my spine. but i think it may be one of the only ways to truly be able to move forward--and what a terrifying leap it is.

5- resilience. another question. perhaps this means, how am i going to be resilient? i had to read up on the term 'resilience' in a psychological context. resilience is, in effect, recovery from trauma. taking the horrific experiences and turning them into a strength. becoming a strong person in spite of my childhood.

so how do i become a resilient person? i don't think i can do it alone. i need help. my husband, here by my side, is my biggest help. in spite of being frustrated by my issues, my instability, he is still here (a miracle in my eyes) and he still loves me. he tells me i am strong and tries to get me to see that i can be better than i am. my therapist, as well. she is helping me, treating my mental illness, slowly helping me to heal. if my husband is my support, she is my guide through this scary journey of healing.

the american psychological association suggests "ways to build resilience." these include: maintaining good relationships with close family members
avoid seeing crises/stressful events as unbearable problems
accepting circumstances that can't be changed
developing realistic goals and moving toward them
taking decisive actions in adverse situations
looking for opportunities of self-discovery
developing self-confidence
keeping a long-term perspective
maintaining a hopeful outlook
to take care of one's mind and body
learning from the past
maintaining flexibility and balance
paying attention to one's needs
engaging in relaxing activities that one enjoys

that's a lot to think about, and way more than i can (or wish to) address right now. so i will talk about the ones that i feel are most pertinent to me.

i have already talked about working on my relationship with my family members in my goals section. this is very important to me...and frankly a difficult task. it's hard for me to be nice when i'm struggling with flashbacks and nightmares and my own personal demons. but i have got to learn, for them.

i definitely need to work toward not seeing stressful situations as unbearable. when i get extremely seems my mind instantly gravitates toward suicide, which is definitely not healthy.

developing self-confidence....that is a big one. possibly the hardest hurdle for me to overcome. i have talked a lot about this in the past and so i won't go into more detail here.

the last i will discuss is engaging in relaxing activities one enjoys. for me...this is my art. for a very long time i have been doing very little, if not nothing, with it. until recently when i started taking an art class again. and i just love this. i love the two hours a week i have to paint....where i feel like myself, at the most basic and most pure level of who i am.

so, resilience. these are some pretty good ways to become more resilient to my past, even to my present, thanks to PTSD and depression. i have become more resilient than i have been in the past and i can continue to be more so.

6- hope. this is a big word. hope. i have hope for the future. hope for a day where i won't think about the abuse. hope for the day that i can be happy....without something big and dark and nasty lurking in the back of my mind. hope for being a better person. hope for better relationships with those i love. i have hope. some might call it faith. to is the same thing. faith that my life will get better. hope is what has kept me alive. without hope for a better life, without hope of being a better person, there is nothing else, is there? even with my family, even having my family, if there is no hope for a better life for them, then what is there? hope is the driving force behind all of us, i think. it is a fundamental part of life, what keeps us moving forward. hope for love, hope for money, hope for a better job, hope for a family, hope for healing, hope for happiness.

so now...for the last part. a personal motto. i wasn't sure how to do this either. so more researching on the internet....and i found a great way to do it. here is the format: "i am a _____, _____, and ______ person who is ____ing" phrase.

i am a passionate, loving, and creative woman who is striving to be a better person in order to enrich the lives of my family, friends, and all with whom i come into contact.

so there it is. my personal motto. i hope that's how it's supposed to be done.

so now...i challenge you, all of you readers out there, to create your own. this was a great way to reflect upon myself and my life.

thanks tara for inspiring me to do this.


Patricia Singleton said...

What a great personal motto. You have opened the door to happiness by being willing to look at the real you who is buried under the childhood abuse. Congratulations on being that open and honest about your past and who you want to be today and tomorrow.

You are the person that you are today, not in spite of, but because of what you have experienced in the past. You are a strong woman because you are willing to go through the pain to find out who you really are. Learning to take care of yourself and to love yourself is what most of the journey is all about.

Paula said...

Still busy reading through your blog. More and more sure that I will create my oooooown coat of arms. By the way: having PTSD and depression ymself, I approached resilence in seing my triggers s my treasures. helped a lot. My sexual abuser as well as my emotional abuser(my mother) were dead when I worked through my abuse. I did manage to voercome the sexual abuse even without being able to confront him directly. However that hasent stopped be standing on front of his grave and yelling at him. WOW that has freed me quite a bit. Working with my inner child hs helped tremndously as well. Hugs to you