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Tag Archives: narcissism

NOW Is A Good Time… For Emotional Healing

Hi everyone!  Now that it’s Spring, the warmth is finally here in the midwestern part of the USA!  Yay!!  I feel happier when the temperatures are warmer and I can get outside and enjoy nature and recharge.  As a HSP healing from childhood wounds, I am still figuring out what makes me happiest and what I “like” most in life–right now I like thinking about some day moving to a warmer climate during the winter months!  😉

As HSP children, your “job” may have been to often to take care of your own parents’ feelings so you didn’t dare even ask yourself “What do I want?, How do I feel?, and What are my dreams and desires?  Perhaps it can be  “fun” now to “create” a life for yourself that is purely satisfying to “you”.  This is not being selfish for HSPs who have spent their lives putting others’ feelings and happiness first.  This is realizing your feelings and desires are meant to be your “compass” for finding direction and satisfaction in your life!

Even after all of your recovery and replacing a negative inner critic with a very consistent feeling of love and protection for yourself and you inner child, do you still sometimes wake up with a feeling of shame that surprises you?  It may usually happen after a day when you really asserted your voice and followed your heart (I have written about this before). Try to see that as evidence of how your shining light as a child may have been a threat to a narcissistic or bullying  caretakers and they had to bring you “down”.  “Get off of your high horse!”, “Who do you think you are!?”, “How dare you be happy when I am not happy!?”,  and “Straighten up and fly right!”–Were these phrases (spoken or implied silently with mean looks (angry eyes)) ones that come to mind that were a daily occurrence to shame and control you as a child?

Now that you may be working on changing the core beliefs about yourself, it is also helpful to reframe all those events with how you would have voiced your opposition if you had felt safe and knew you were loved and supported by the Universe.  Talking back to the inner critic is acknowledging it is there and then saying what you need to say to yourself to be an emotionally healthy soul–say, “I like being on my high horse!–it is good to feel proud of myself!”, “I think I am an amazing and gifted person!”, “Everyone is free to pursue their own happiness–it’s in the Constitution!”, and “Your right way and my right way are 2 different things!”  If you had felt safe and strong as a child and had been able to say these things in your childhood without being shamed and punished, then your true self would have survived and you would not have had to push your feelings underground and develop a false self that was fearful and obedient.  You can say it NOW and reclaim your strength that it didn’t feel safe for you to have. It is very healing to your wounded soul when you express the truth about yourself, either silently, out loud, or in a journal–express your true voice!

Just realizing you have an inner critic that stops you from enjoying your life and feeling good about yourself is the first step–writing out all the mixed messages swimming around your brain and getting them on paper in a journal will help you to realize that your inner critic has taken over.  I no longer have to journal to realize when I am listening to my inner critic–I recognize the negative feeling right away, acknowledge it, and say to myself  “that is ridiculous and that is not true about me!”

The real truth is I am a shining light of God’s love and I am perfect just the way I am!  You are perfect just the way you are too! There is nothing wrong with you!  You just have self-doubt– “doubt” just means questioning the truth–the truth is there but it takes courage to Believe It!  Believe it because it is true–you are perfect exactly as you are NOW in this moment!  And you deserve the LOVE, COMFORT, COMPASSION, and ENCOURAGEMENT that you never got during childhood.  You can learn to give it to yourself!

For myself, any shame feeling I get in the morning goes away immediately as I shoo it away and replace it with love for myself and with my new core beliefs: “This shame is not mine and not true and I have nothing to be ashamed of!”  Poof!  Gone! I also say, “Wow, I must have done something amazing and authentically me yesterday, I am on the right path!”  Then I can’t wait to get up and enjoy my day, my way!  I love my life and I am grateful that I am free to enjoy it now.

I feel my true purpose is to help others who are struggling to love themselves because of these very complex, negative messages that were engrained in their brains since early childhood.  It is not easy but growing new loving neural pathways in your brain is possible and I am living proof.  I hope that by my example I can help those of you struggling, suffering, and occasionally falling into pits of despair to climb out and break free from the negative energy “soup” that can engulf the soul of an emotionally needy HSP.  It takes time so please be patient with yourself if you fall backwards sometimes.

The key is to keep on feeling the feelings and comforting yourself through them–it is a grieving process.  You will come out the other side–to truth, light, and a connection to the Universe that no one can ever take away from you–it is innate in you and as a HSP you are a loved and highly evolved soul with compassion and light for others as your greatest gift.  You are going to be okay if you allow yourself to believe these things NOW–start today.  I am here, I understand–I have been lost, and now I am found.  NOW is the time to begin to love yourself without shame. You can do it!  This blog post was written for YOU!

After a weekend visit with our grown son who lives in Chicago, I felt energized, so energized that I wrote a new poem–even though I am a pretty extreme introvert and we had a very extraversion-filled weekend.  I was energized because of the quality of the relationship we have with our son and we all so enjoyed each others company and enjoyed being positive, building each other up, expressing our love and appreciation for each other, and having fun together.  So when we returned I was standing in my kitchen and had to grab paper and a pen because I felt this poem just had to be expressed.  I just let it flow out of me and when I was done I realized I was still “standing up” in my kitchen! (leaning against the counter 🙂 )  I am so glad I listened to that still small voice in my head that said to write this down.  Here is the poem that flowed out of me that cold, winter, sunday evening after our trip:

NOW Is A Good Time

By Roxanne Smith

Feb. 18, 2013

NOW’s a good time to nurture yourself and your feelings

To release the past and all painful dealings.

The pain’s coming up NOW so you’ll see the truth

of how you weren’t seen and loved in your youth.

The child inside, he or she yearns to be free.

The pain is just blocking your feelings of glee.

Joy and great gladness are all waiting there.

Waiting until you feel the truth and despair.

What happened to you was awful and sick

The pain you repressed was unbearable and thick.

You were too small and dependent back then

but now you are safe so the wounds can open

and your soul wants to heal these wounds from within.

You cannot move higher until you tell the truth of your kin.

How they poked you and pulled you down each time you succeeded

’til you gave up and blamed yourself… but they weren’t what you needed.

You were a bright star with a higher energy.

They were jealous and threatened by your desire to be free.

So you hid your true self until a much safer time–

It’s safe NOW so your soul is crying out as a sign

to be kind to your inner child who is coming out—please allow!

Don’t beat yourself up for feeling bad NOW.

Because you’re rising up from patterns ingrained in your head.

New ways of being are in your soul, time to shed

all the old pain, it must be felt to be released.

It is gone forever once you see the danger has ceased.

The danger was real then, don’t ever forget it

but now you choose new friends who are not like your inner critic.

You are learning your true self is a compassionate soul

who is kind to others and that is your role.

So being kind to your self is the very first step.

All day everyday you must give yourself pep!

Don’t listen to your inner critic—it is wrong and so mean

like those who abused you and weren’t nice as they seem.

You deserved better and NOW you must give it to your soul.

The more you are kind, the more you’ll feel Whole!

Each layer of pain will dissolve as you express

all of your confusion and unhappiness.

How could this be… you thought: “I was bad and wrong”

but really blaming “YOU” was unfair all along.

You were a bright light never harming a flea–

so easy to control because you trusted completely.

I hope you can see that you can reframe your past.

Replace those mean moments with self-love that will last.

Accepting Love from Above will change your beliefs about your core.

Who you are YOU must love so your dreams can then soar!

You are gifted and brilliant, a gift to us all.

You are treasured by those others who also feel this call.

The call’s mixed with pain and feeling bad about your childhood.

When you change your beliefs you will see your soul’s all Good!

Then you can reconnect with your self and find creativity and fun.

You’ll learn to relax and recharge from the sun.

Learn to listen to your body instead of working too hard.

You’ll get lots more done when you “play” in your yard.

Allowing yourself to enjoy being you

will slow you down and allow the pain to come through.

After a good cry, each time you’ll feel better–

lighter and lighter ‘til you’re light as a feather.

And allowing yourself to have space that is yours—

new boundaries to protect yourself will help open doors.

You must learn to feel grounded and connected to the earth.

This will help you feel solid and put yourself first.

You deserve to be happy and that starts with self-care.

After you are grounded, then you will become aware

that lifting up others is your gift and your purpose

and there’s a billion others out there who are not just kind on the surface.

They are deep and compassionate—you are not alone.

We are healing together as we feel grace and atone.

We did our best with all that we have known.

NOW we know it’s okay to be angry, then let it go.

Don’t hold onto blame, but blame needs to be spoken.

Release it and move on—don’t yell at the broken.

You are higher than they are (those who brought you down).

You don’t need to punish—you can just leave town

to start a new life and create all that your dreams can arrange.

Move forward… not fixing those who don’t want to change.

Trust these new feelings that spark in your heart.

Healing is painful but that’s only part.

This feeling’s inside that you’re finally alive!

Keep going with following your passions inside.

Don’t compare yourself to others—you have a new gig!

Let desires be your guide and your success will be BIG.

If you do this and trust your intuition inside

your internal guidance will help you to thrive.

Sometimes you’ll get stuck so you’ll need to be kind

to yourself when you inner critic starts messing with you mind.

Drop down to your heart instead of your head.

If you need to cry about something that was said,

grieve for this loss, the wrong path where you were led.

It hurt you so much, childhood pain must be shed

so we can see, that NOW we’re safe and free

And we would have parented differently!

And that’s good you are different and unique and that’s great!

I hope you can see that it’s never too late.

We often must go backward to move forward to be free.

You can heal and find wholeness—take it from me!

I found here a community of souls who relate–

I share how I healed and how sensitivity is great!

By journaling out the pain, I had new eyes to see.

My true voice was found, then my true self was free!

I know it sounds simple but it took a long time.

Try to trust in your feelings, then all will be fine.

As I followed my pain I got signs from above:

“relax and enjoy” and best “You are loved!”

I know of your pain– I know just how you feel.

It happened to me and I learned how to heal

So NOW as you journey from wounded to whole

I hope that these words will comfort your soul.

=============================

Please share your feelings in a comment if this post resonates with you.  Your comments also help others who are still struggling to find their voice.  We can help uplift each other higher as a community of compassionate souls.  Thank you for reading.  Have a wonderful Spring–may the warmth of the Universe envelope you and comfort you NOW as you heal and grow to your true potential.

With love, light, and my deepest compassion,

Roxanne

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The Hope and Healing of HSPs With Narcissistic Parents: The Story of Belinda

Hello everyone!  Today’s post is a compilation of all the comments between Belinda and myself.  Belinda is the name used by a commenter and follower of my blog who reached out for assistance when her attempts to create healthy boundaries for herself were followed by aggressive and fear-inducing actions by her parents in order to control her.  Her comments were spread throughout different posts so, with her permission, I decided to put them all on one page so all of you can benefit from her open and honest sharing as she persevered with much inner strength through the backlash of going no contact with her narcissistic parents.  (There are comment replies to Belinda from 2 other blog friends which I did not include here–you can click on the post at the side if you wish to find and read all the related comments from others too.)   I hope you find inspiration and hope in all that transpired in the following interactions:

Belinda
Submitted on 2011/05/06 at 2:14 am

Mother’s Day weekend is fast approaching and today I have made the final step in walking away from my narcissistic mother. I have asked my father for no contact from both of them. It is so ironic that it happened today. I was in the midst of contemplating how to handle mothers day. I did not want to send her a card, but knew the guilt I would face if I did not. I feel relief which only goes to show me that the decision is right even though it was so hard. Your story is helping me tonight. I know I have a long way to go but it has to get better from here. Thank you again and God Bless!!

Roxanne

Submitted on 2011/05/10 at 12:55 pm | In reply to Belinda.

Belinda, Thank you for your comment. So glad you are able to feel the relief in your decision to put yourself and your healing first. Yes, it is not easy, especially around mother’s day–I am so glad my story is helping you to find your voice and your truth. Your feelings matter! God Bless you as well. With love and light, Roxanne

 
Belinda

Hello everybody,

I am entering my second month of no contact with my family. I am currently feeling better as far as less stress and anxiety. I am slowing down and trying to be patient with myself. However, as far as anything else I am still in a state of shock. I know I have been verbally abused by my parents but I find myself constantly researching narcissism. It seems I am needing to constantly remind myself that I’ve been abused and I am trying to validate it to myself. It’s like I am doing a research project for someone else until I look in the mirror and realize I am researching about ME!! My whole life I felt like I was watching what was going on in the world but not really being a part of it. I have forgotten who I am, or better yet I never had the opportunity to get to know myself. I am trying to learn about myself and at the same time trying to heal my broken spirit and at the same time trying understand and at the same time trying to not call my family. Phew!! That’s how I feel. I break down in tears often from these overwhelming feelings

I never really explained to my parents that I no longer want to contact them ever again. It sort of fell in my lap. The last conversation I had with my dad, he suggested that they not call me and I said that would be best. So, I am assuming they are waiting for me to call. That leaves the ball in my court and the pressure of that is almost too much to take. I want to email them and tell them the no contact rules because I actually fear them trying to call me or see me. I am not strong enough right now to fight for my right for space but I know I desperately need it. I try to spend my time keeping my mind busy. That is what is making this the most difficult. My own mind. It is constantly thinking about everything. I have to work at staying focused on the here and now. Having my husband and little girl around always seems to help but it seems like a temporary fix. When alone, my mind takes over. I have been going to therapy for 2 months but there is little change in my spirit. there is much change in my surroundings, though so I guess it is a good start. I must have a long way to go. I sum it up this way…the knowledge of knowing is not enough to heal the spirit!!! I have the knowledge but where do I go from here?

I find myself trying to find someone else to fill the void that I have. The desire of approval from others and trying so hard to please seems to get in the way of making friends. People see that I am trying too hard. I expect too much out of other people such as a neighbor that has become my friend. The problem with that is she does not understand where I am coming from so in trying to discuss my current situation I end up receiving advice I know is not right for me. She does not know my family so I know that she had the best intentions but the words wound me. I know it’s not the right way to be. I need to learn to rely on myself and validate my own feelings. That was the biggest abues to me. My feelings were never validated. EVER!!! I am constantly searching for approval. I started a journal a few days ago, hopefully, it will help in my healing. I am learning slowly through trial and error. Thank you so much for this website. It gives me a voice.

Belinda

Roxanne
Submitted on 2011/05/26 at 9:05 pm | In reply to Belinda.

Hi Belinda, Thank you for your comment. You so eloquently expressed what many highly sensitive people are going through when they first go no contact. Wow. So well said! You will help many others who feel the same but are not ready to leave comments. The pressure you feel to call them is guilt that they induced in you and that you internalized since you were a little child. It may help you to get in touch with some of your anger at having been so controlled and manipulated as a child. Journal out your feelings, all of them, including how angry you must have felt as a child but you were not allowed to feel it or express it then. But now you are safe and you can let it out. Releasing your truth will heal your spirit. When you connect with your true self and have compassion for the child inside of you that suffered, you will feel less needy for other peoples approval. It takes time to heal all the layers so be patient with yourself. You are stronger than you know. Thank you for the kinds words about my website. If you would like me to give you ISO’s email address just drop me an email and I will email her to get her permission as well. with Love and Light, Roxanne

Belinda

Submitted on 2011/05/27 at 3:36 am

Iso and Roxanne,

Thank you both for keeping in touch. I feel relief of anguish with every word you say. Roxanne, I think it would be great to get in touch with ISO. I feel like we have such similar sithations that exchanging email addresses would be a good idea. I will continue writing about my journey here b/c Something good must come out of my struggles. I’ll be honest, good things for me have already begun to happen, but I want someone else to learn from this. Something positive has to come out of this experience!!! Just like the last Oprah show, I related so much to what she was saying. Everyone in this world just wanted to be validated that whatever pain or hard time they were going through someone out there understands and relates. That’s what made her show so amazing. My favorite part was when she stated we are all responsible for the energy we give out. This statement hit home for me for 2 reasons, My parents are accountable for actions and behavior, but there is a time when I must be accountable for myself. Now that I know, I have no excuse. I must be responsible for what I portray to everyone around me. I must try to be the person I have always wanted to be. I can no longer be the person I feared I may have become. Most of all, everything my parents did to me is already done to them. I have to believe this in order to try and move on. I don’t want to be the one to spend the rest of my life blaming my parents but I have no guilt in giving blame right now. For the 1st time in 41 years they deserve it. Now that I know the truth, I am working on being accountable for what I give in this world. I want to be a person of caring and empathy. I want to not be judgemental and to love unconditionally. But most important, I want to trust my own feeling. I am hoping to get there some day.

Iso, your comments about good and bad memories coming back is exactly right!! I have said the exact thing about never talking to and treating my daughter the way she did to me. I may not have mentioned but I have a younger brother of course we are not talking, can I say triangulation. I am beginning to recall a few memories about me but the flow of bad memories about my brother are coming at me like a tidal wave. He was a different child than I was. I was extremely scared, but my brother was a fighter so he received the grunt of the abuse. I used to think, man my little brother is not too bright, why is he fighting he knows that he is going to lose the battle, but now I realized he was fighting for his voice. He was so strong for a little guy. He fought them alone. I feel guilt over not being there for him as his big sister, but I can’t really deal with that now. I plan on addressing this at a later time when I am stronger.

For those of you contemplating no contact, remember it can be on you terms. If you want it for a little while or forever it is your right. Let me assure you it may be the hardest decision you make but speaking from experience it will reward you ten fold. Stepping away for a little while just to figure youself out is highly recommended. I have walked away from my parents more than once in my life but only now am I contemplating forever. Only now with the knowledge I have possessed do I really believe this is the safest and healthiest situation for my family. Stay strong, but be gentle to yourself.

Roxanne  

Submitted on 2011/06/05 at 4:50 pm | In reply to Belinda.

Belinda, Thank you for your comment reply. I am so glad that my words help you feel some relief. You have much wisdom and light to give others and you are on your way to trusting your own feelings–if you have compassion for yourself every time those feelings come up to heal you will become stronger with each layer you voice and release. I like very much that you said this: “Stay strong, but be gentle to yourself”–wise words for HSP survivors to live by! I am glad and very much appreciate that you will continue with your insightful comments here on my blog site. (If you would like me to email your email address to ISO, please email a clear and direct statement giving me your permission to do so at hopesinger11@gmailcom.) Warmest wishes on your healing journey, Roxanne

 
Belinda

Submitted on 2011/06/23 at 3:03 am

I sent an email to my parents a few days ago outlining my request for complete NO CONTACT from them. I found it necessary for them to know b/c I found some clothes hanging on the front door of my home. The clothes were for my daughter and there was a card inside from my mom. I am assuming they came to my house and dropped them off and left. I was shocked that they would do that if they really did? We have not been talking or seeing one another so I decided to let them know not to come to my home or contact me and my family. This action disturbed me.

Well, I received an email from my dad tonight. I feel threatened and scared. I understand the email to say that they are insisting on family therapy meaning all of us or they will proceed with a lawsuit of defamation of character. There was much more said but I will have to put my online therapy on hold which pains me. I want to be able to express my feelings openly and honestly, but I do not know what to make of what I’ve been told by them. I was hoping to work through some serious things, but it is going to be in my best interest to stop writing on here until I find out more about this. I am numb right now and whatever progress I have done up to this point is now ruined. What now???

Roxanne 
Submitted on 2011/06/23 at 7:51 pm | In reply to Belinda.

Hi Belinda, I am so sorry that your parents backlash to your no contact request was so awful and punishing and ridiculous. I am not a legal expert by any means but it seems to me this is a scare tactic to pull you back under their control and they are using fear to get you to obey them. You are a grown woman with your own family now–you have a right to ask for no contact and could even get a restraining order against them if you wanted to I think. They probably have no grounds for defamation of character. If you went to family therapy with them a good family therapist will be able to see the dynamics occurring in the family and would support your expressing your feelings about how you are treated and always have been treated. A good family therapist will even encourage and support your desire for no contact. It is surprising that they even want to do family therapy–most narcissists refuse to go–that is why I think this is just a scare tactic to get you to reconsider. You have not used their names so writing on this website is probably very safe–you need all the support you can get right now. Belinda, you are doing the right thing asking for no contact. All you have done up to now is not ruined by any means–they just want your new found strength and independence to come to a screeching halt and they are using fear because it probably always worked in the past. But you are stronger now! Stay strong–you are doing everything right. It is shocking and sad that they would retaliate and treat you this way. You deserve better treatment from parents. You might even just laugh and say “Sure, I’ll go to family therapy” –I bet they don’t really even want to go– unless they have already found a therapist that is biased and on their side, the lack of loving support for your feelings will be clear to the therapist. Be very kind to yourself, stay calm and you can weather this storm. Keep in touch and let us know how it is going. I am here for you and so are my readers. Prayers and Blessings are being sent your way, Roxanne

 
Belinda

Roxanne and Lily,

Thank you so much for your support. I am realizing that dealing with this type of situation is a rollercoaster ride. Right when you think you’ve got it under control, their crazymaking sends you spiraling out of control. I made an emergency call to my therapist, printed the email and brought my husband for support and his input. It was the best thing I could have done. She analyzed the letter and Roxanne, you hit the nail right on the head. Major scare tactic which is how they always controlled me. It was worth all the anguish to finally get my husband onboard as well. He was shocked by the threat and terribly disappointed in my family. Having my therapist explain things to him, helped him in realizing the truth about the long term abuse I have been receiving adding my intense reaction of fear and anguish he saw first hand the scare tactic in play.

My therapist suggested I just continue ignoring all emails but print them up for the future…just in case I need to do something a little more serious. As far as his threat to sue me for defamation of character. he has nothing…abolutely nothing. I had scheduled an appointment with a lawyer right after her just in case I needed to give him a retainer fee. I was prepared to fight but ignoring is the best defense, so I cancelled the attorney. I know I will not be afraid in the future if I need to go that route. I came out stronger today. I bet they would be hot if they knew that what they caused actually showed me how strong I could be if I had to be!! I overcame intense fear today. I was physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the day but I learned a little about myself.

Roxanne, Thank you for your quick response. As soon as I read your response, I was inspired to leave work and handle this situation immediately. I was not going to let it interfere with another night. Your support means more to me than you know. I feel empowered again, but I remain cautious. This situation showed me how fragile I still am. I am a long way away from recovery, but at least I have created a support system. I can pat myself on the back for that. I reached out for it and look I have people that care for me.

Always,
Belinda

Roxanne 
Submitted on 2011/06/24 at 6:47 pm | In reply to Belinda.

Hi Belinda, Yay! I am so happy for you that you feel empowered to stand up to your parents scare tactics. You took action on your own behalf and now you have the support of your therapist and your husband in addition to my support and your new friends on this website. I understand your fear and anguish reaction because I can relate– you have a wound from early childhood that reacts this way because they controlled you by inducing fear in you since you were a tiny child. But you faced it head on and you can see the truth of who you really are clearly–you are strong and you won’t be bullied any more! Yay for you! I agree with your therapist about ignoring the emails but keeping copies of them. In my opinion you will save yourself some anguish and pain if you just have your husband read them in the future and don’t look at them yourself. It is exhausting to be pulled into their distorted world again and again and you need this time to nurture your self and heal. But since you have your therapist, she can help support you through them if you feel you must read the emails. You have a strong compassionate true voice, Belinda. You are sensitive for a reason and you are helping others be strong by sharing this event in your life with us. This post/forum normally averages 4-8 views per day but the last day and a half it has gotten 26 and counting–I feel the readers are more than just curious, they are concerned, sending their love and support, and are feeling supported themselves because they can relate! You are helping many others by your strength and shining your light of truth–sharing your fear was brave and I am so glad that you did! Yes, pat yourself on the back! Well done! I am so proud of you! Continued prayers and blessings, Roxanne

Belinda

Dear Roxanne,

Thank you so much for speaking from your heart. I relate to what you are saying so much. It feels good to know that someone else feels the way I do. I know you have been keeping up with me and my personal struggles and I just want to thank you so much for being there for me. If i could I would hug you, really tight. I am having good days and bad days but you know what through all of this I am learning myself and listening to my body and trying to finally take care of myself. not only do I have a heart but others do as well. I have made a pen pal that provides wonderful support for she also had a narcisstic parent. We seem to be journaling together and helping each other along the way. I recently mentioned something to her that is starting to happen to me. the dark cloud surrounding me is starting to clear a little and I am beginning to see small mircles and joys in life. From my family to co workers to complete strangers. I am connecting to the world. It is very small but I am recognizing this and I am so thrilled.

The family update… After I emailed my parents and asked for no contact my father responded by threatening to sue me, I am sure you remember. I ignored the email. I received 2 other emails after that. In the second email I was basically called a coward for not responding and then he threw the guilt trip on me about how could I do this they are my parents.. Then the same day I was told by a neighbor that my father was driving by my house. I was also aware that he was calling my husband behind my back. He was trying to sneak attack my husband. Luckily my husband refused to answer the phone. In my own way I believe I was being stalked. I’ve heard it is quite common. I was very scared but I sat down that night and let him know that I was aware of all he was doing behind my back and I do not want any contact from him. The last email I received, he stated that he thought I was crazy and needed therapy (he has no idea I’ve been going for months) and actually told me that I could potentially hurt my daughter (what a horrible thing to say to your only daughter). He ended the email telling me that he and mom did not want anything to do with me. Wow, really??? isn’t that what I’ve been asking for all along. It’s as if no one is going to tell him the rules he is going to tell me the rules. Does it really matter to me who ends it , no as long as it ends. I felt is was necessary to explain the behavior because to me it validates everything I believe my parents are. Crazy making control freaks!!! It is as if he was having an adult temper tantrum because things did not go the way he wanted them to go and I didn’t do what I’ve done in the past. I am no longer their little liar!! I will not lie about who they are to me and how I feel they have treated me. My feelings are the truth. they no longer tell me what my truth is. I feel like a prisoner who has just been set free. Thank you God!!

I am still working through a lot of pain, but I know that I am better already and I am beginning to feel I mean really feel. Care for others and allowing them to care for me. Most of all I am paying close attention to myself and trying to take good care of me. I am happier and apparently it’s contagious because I truly feel like my family is happier. Thank you, again Roxanne!! Continue your work in healing, I know it’s helping me and YES I would love to buy your book!! All things are possible, my new father told me that!! The father that promised to always love me and promised to never hurt me!!My lord and saviour!!

Be Blessed!!

Belinda

Roxanne 
Submitted on 2011/07/15 at 2:47 pm | In reply to Belinda.

Hi Belinda, Thank you so much for the wonderful comment. Big tight hug right back to you! {{HUG}} :) !! Thank you for describing the ups and downs of going no contact with N parents in such eloquent detail. Sounds like since you are finally living your truth, even though it is painful to upset your parents, you are now feeling the light of LOVE inside of you that was always there but was hidden in fear. Since your light is shining you are attracting the light of love in others and you recognize the comfort from this. Thank you for describing this–you are healing before our eyes! I am so glad that you are thrilled–I am thrilled for you! Yay!! Yes, it is hard! Yes it is painful! But look how strong you are and realizing you were strong all along! As you continue on this path of trusting your new-found feelings and self-expression, your hopes and dreams you never dared to express will start manifesting before your eyes. I like how you talk of “Caring for others and allowing them to care for me”–this is the essence of your highly sensitive soul. The love you give out comes back to you. Knowing this process will change your life. So happy for you Belinda. There may be challenges ahead but you know God loves you unconditionally and doesn’t want you to suffer. Yes! You get it! Congratulations! I am so happy to be a part of your new found awakening and FREEDOM! Thank you so much for sharing your feelings and experiences about the emails from your N father–this will help others get an idea of what might happen if they go no contact. Most people need a lot of support to get through it–It’s hard and painful but so worth it! And thank you for telling me that you would love to buy my book. It thrills me to help others through this website, my writing, and through my one on one coaching because…I’ve been there and I’m grateful to those who helped ME. I know sharing our pain works. Thank you again Belinda for sharing yours. With love and light, Roxanne

Belinda

Submitted on 2011/07/20 at 5:49 am

Roxanne,

Well, I am really needing your support tonight. My anxiety and stress is at an all time high right now. My father showed up at my home unexpectedly tonight at around 9:30 pm. We did not answer the door, but my husband turned on the front porch light so he knew we were home. I was finally forced to get the authorities involved. I called the police but my dad had left before they arrived. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I had a feeling that I was going to have to call the authorities at some point in time because of the nature of the emails I had received from him and the threats and insults he was making towards me. Fortunately, I printed up every email I sent to him asking for no contact and he also sent to me discussing the threats and insults . It was proof to the authorities that he should not have showed up at my home. The officer contacted him tonight at my home and spoke with him directly. It was necessary that the officer explain the reprecussions if he were to try to contact me and my family or if he were to come onto my property again.

1. It would be considered trespassing
2. It would be considered harassment
3. I had the right to have a warrant out for his arrest
4. I had the right to press charges.

I am scared to think what might have happened if the door was opened. My 4 year old daughter was in the house at the time and I am grateful that we did not answer the door. What was he thinking, we would sit down and have a chat. It would have turned out ugly and in front of my child. I remain in constant fear. I only hope that the information he received from the officer will deter him from futher contact, but really who is to know. I am fearful that he will still try to reach me, and rightfully so. Apparently, I am going to have to live with this fear. I don’t possibly know how to let something like this go.

I have been seeking therapy for a long time to try to heal from this, but with every attempt they make to reach me, it’s like starting all over again. Has this ever happened to anyone else, is anyone familiar with a situation like this. Is this something n parents have been known to do? I am truly at a loss of words. I still feel like I can’t keep this a secret. I know someone else out there has either gone through the same thing or is going through the same thing. I am very proud that I handled things this way. The officer said I did the right thing and I know he was right, but it is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I called the police on my dad. I could just cry. I am not sure I will ever be able to get past this. I just pray and hope that this will stop. I will not be bullied, I will not be scared, I will not be abused.

Pray for me,
Belinda

Roxanne 
Submitted on 2011/07/20 at 6:27 pm | In reply to Belinda.

Wow Belinda, I think you handled this situation superbly. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I understand how scary this must have been…and still is! When I was 25 we moved near my parents only to realize we’d made a mistake. I sought out a local counselor to deal with the stress. She encouraged me to move away–it took us a year and a half but we did it!  …Moving was the best thing I could have ever done so that I could heal and get strong. (see post from Feb. 12, 2010) Is this a possibility for you? Could you move away? I think you should definitely consider it–the safety of you and your family is at risk not to mention just the emotional and physical stress of having constant fear, especially as a highly sensitive person, you need to feel safe! When you say it’s like starting all over again, that’s because the childhood wounds keep being opened by your Dad’s aggression, you need a safe environment to heal and it will take a long time for you to grieve the loss of a childhood lived in fear–but you can heal and regain the vitality that is your birthright. Hopefully, things will die down now, now that you got the police involved, he probably didn’t realize how strong you were and now he knows. Wonderful that the officer said you did the right thing. I am sure many others feel empowered to stand up to their abusive parents by reading your experience of having to call the police on your dad. I pray also that this will be the end of it for you. You did the right thing and you are very brave! Be proud of yourself. A wonderful counselor once told me, (after a stressful interaction with a bully in my life): “do kind and loving things for yourself all day until you feel better–you deserve kindness”. I have never forgotten her words and I say them to you and hope they help you to cope today and everyday. With love, prayers, and warmest blessings, Roxanne

Belinda

Submitted on 2011/08/11 at 3:12 am

Dear Roxanne,

I always receive your messages at the exact moment I need it the most. What a wonderful reminder to enjoy these hot summer days. You are a reminder to me that yes I am a hsp who is still recovering from an abusive past. It is a good reminder for me because it teaches me to take care of myself. You are a gentle reminder to me that it is ok to celebrate me and it is ok to take care of me and most of all I should not feel guilty about it. I am in the process of building that family unit that cares for me so until then I have been relying on you to be that support. You have earned that trust through your kinds words and unconditional love and support from the start.

From the last time we spoke, I had a lot to tell you and again today is the same. I want everyone to know what is going on for many reasons. I want to help someone else as much as you, Roxanne, have helped me and continue to help me. I want to speak up about the abuse I received as a child and I continue to receive as an adult. Most of all I am realizing that every time I write my story it’s as if what happened gets left here and I can move past it better. As soon as I write down my pain, the pain is diminished. So here it is…After the last fiasco, I had forced myself to enjoy the summer with my family, go to the pool with friends and my husbands family and try to enjoy. Through my socializing I came across a job that became available. I interviewed for it and just recently was offered the position. I am so excited about this new opportunity because it is allowing me and my family the chance to move. I have wanted to do this desperately to try and lose complete contact from parents but felt like it was impossible, but God put me in the right place at the right time. So the family will be moving soon and I am so happy for us right now. It could not have come at a better time because last week I received a letter in the mail from our county courthouse. My dad is suing my husband and me over some money we borrowed several months ago before I went nc. I knew he was going to try and sue us but I expected him to try the defamation of character lawsuit he had threatened to me in the past but I suppose he realized he had nothing on me. I’ll be honest the money is owed to him and believe me I want to get him paid quickly. I suppose from my standpoint I feel like he is just relentless in his pursuit. When will he just leave me alone and let me be. To me this is a pattern of his attempt to over power and intimidate. to my husband (who happens to be a father to a 24 year old daughter and 4 year old daughter) he sees it as just pushing a daughter further away. My husband personally would never think of doing such a thing to his own children, but once again my parents have managed to show their true selves through this. In the past, I would have had a total meltdown and panic attack, but now I lose little sleep over their temper tantrums. The money will be there but for fun we will not send it until the last minute. Of course, It will be sent through an attorney letting them know that after this payment there will be not reason for further attempt for communication. Am I scared, yes but scared less. most important, I refuse to give them an opportunity to see me in court. Just what they want a dramatic ending to their sad story. I am sure they are hoping to add more lies to their adoring fans ( the family). The idea that they are getting sympathy from everyone when they know what they had been doing to me only intensfies my frustration. To them impression trumps truth, so I am not only no contact with them I have remained no contact from everyone. What do I call this… casualties of war. Due to the nature of our family structure it has always been if you are not for us you are against us and that means all of us. well goodbye all of you and your toxic lives… It’s time for me to stand my ground and…I won’t back down. hehe!!

I loved your statement about us being late bloomers, it is absolutely true as a matter of fact I am still blooming. I am finding that being a late bloomer has it’s advantages when raising a toddler. I am enjoying her more now than ever!! Roxanne, thank you again for giving me a voice and enjoy blowing out all those candles. I will be smiling for you on September 9th and wishing you a wonderful and blessed birthday.

Roxanne 
Submitted on 2011/08/16 at 2:27 pm | In reply to Belinda.

Hi Belinda. Thank you so much for your comment. I am so happy for you and how well you are doing. You are moving on and finding your voice and finding the joy in life! Yes it is okay to celebrate–you have learned to overcome the guilt that creeps in by knowing that you need to be kind to yourself as you always deserved kindness and love but never received it. I love how you say “as soon as I write down my pain, my pain is diminished”. Yes! Once you can do this, you can heal from any pain that comes up in the healing process of recovery. (Some people are helped by a witness to this process of self-expression to aid in their recovery–a life coach or counselor can be a great help here  :) ).

What a blessing that you got a new job and are now able to move. That is the law of attraction working before our eyes. You believed that you deserved a better life and so it happened for you. Yay! I like how you talked about the toxic lives of your family structure and how you are enduring the “casualties of war”. I relate to all you are saying. Your comment will help many hsps out there who are struggling. You are a good writer with an uplifting, inspiring style! :) I hope you will please keep us posted with your wonderful comments.

Thank you for your wonderful feedback about my post. So glad you identified with my “stand your ground” message and about being a late bloomer. Yay! This is my hope–to help hsps to overcome their internalized negative messages and feelings from childhood and see the truth of their rare and special giftedness. You get it! Thank you for the birthday wishes, I appreciate it so much! Blessings to you, Roxanne

Belinda

Dear Roxanne,

It’s been several weeks and I’ve had a yearning to communicate with you but I am having a hard time trying to determine or explain how I am feeling these days. In walking away from my family, I have made every change possible within my control..emailing no contact, moving away, changing jobs, changing numbers, etc. I have also been making it a priority to exercise, I keep thinking that if I take better care of myself I will feel better. After all this, all I know is that I ache. It is a feeling that is not going away. I know that I am much better off now that my family is gone. The panic and anxiety and pressure to please is gone but it seems to have been replaced with an ache that I can’t seem to describe. Like I am at the verge of crying but it won’t come out. I don’t know what to do with this feeling and I am at a loss of how to fix it.

My hometown is in Georgia. I am compelled to tell you this because here in Georgia nothing is more important than family. Everyone I know has and loves their family. Every country song sings about family and friends. My parents moved from New York and eventually made their way to Georgia when I was a baby. So along with their narcissism also came a sense of being a foreigner. They are Puerto Rican and all my life they never really embraced Georgia and the southern culture. Growing up, I learned to love country music. I love the way southerners are, they know no strangers, but I felt my mom frowned heavily upon it So while growing up I always thought they kept people out because our cultures were so different but actually they kept out everyone that would see how they really are. I never belonged, never felt able to belong and now that I am away from them I feel more alone then ever. I really have no idea who I am, who I want to be and more importantly how to live in a town that would never understand walking away from family. It’s like an ugly secret that I can never really feel comfortable revealing. This is but a small aspect of what’s bothering me about my life.

How do I fix this or do I just live with this feeling? I am just so sad.

Roxanne

Submitted on 2011/10/05 at 11:29 am | In reply to Belinda.

Hi Belinda, I understand this ache that you feel, it is many feelings rolled into one. Your job is to figure out exactly what you are feeling during those times and you can do this by writing out exactly how you are feeling (even that you are confused about your feelings) in a journal–keep writing until you feel better-you will be amazed at the truths that come out of you–you may realize that you are being too hard on yourself and that you deserve compassion. Writing connects us to the right side of our brains which is more creative and in touch with the compassion in our hearts whereas just thinking things through can often keep us feeling confused. You are such an eloquent and creative writer, Belinda, I feel you would be very good at this journaling process. Please read my posts from Jan. 21, 2010, and March 7, 2010–I think they will be helpful to you. This ache and sadness you describe is grief–it is important that you let out the grief of the loss of an emotionally healthy childhood and upbringing. Grief is a healthy positive emotion and it requires you to feel all of your sadness and let it out. Difficult as it may seem, it is a very important part of the healing process. You are healing. Sending you comforting wishes as you continue to heal, Roxanne

Belinda

Submitted on 2012/05/27 at 6:53 pm

Hi Roxanne, I am not sure if you recall me…you have a lot of wonderful followers but I just had to write to you. You have been on my mind for a long time. You helped, supported and loved me through the most difficult part of my life. Walking away from my narcisstic parents was the hardest thing I ever endured. I went no contact around this time last year and I know I could not have done it without your kind words and encouragement. I am so far removed from the girl I was last year…I can’t actually believe I lived through all of it. I know before you I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown or really to be honest I had one and you helped me through it. From threatiing emails, to having to call the police on my own father I look back and can’t believe the inner strength I had to have to pull away from their scary, intimidating and threating ways. But today after one year away I must say I am happier then I have ever been. Yes, I have a long way to go…I am working on a lot of personal growth. I am still healing, don’t get me wrong but I am really coming out of the fog!!  Roxanne, thank you so much for this website and know because of you I am paying it forward. I have signed up to dailystrength.org and I blog, journal and positively support anyone in my group that needs it. I want to be there for someone who had to endure the same abuse I endured. I want to be there for someone like you were there for me. I have a testimony now and I share it with anyone that needs support and you are part of my testimony. May your website continue helping others find their true sensitive, wonderful and beautiful self!! Be Blessed!!

Roxanne

Submitted on 2012/06/05 at 3:29 pm | In reply to Belinda.

Hi Belinda! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and for letting me know how you are doing!!! :) I have often wondered about you but I never had a doubt that you would persevere because your amazing spirit, inner strength, and wisdom always showed through to me. I am so happy to hear that you are paying it forward and I feel humbled that you feel this way about my support to you–you were the brave one to open up so honestly in your comments and I felt it a real privilege to assist you because I knew it would touch many others who followed your story. I know there are others out there who would love to hear how you are doing as well. So I have an idea: I would like to put all of your insightful and honest comments that you made on this blog in one place since they are spread throughout different posts so that people who visit this site can have an easier way to access the healing journey that you experienced through this blog. My plan is to release it as a post first, and then make it into a Page here on the blog and call it “The Story of Belinda”. What do you think? I want to get your permission first before I do it–I think it will be very helpful to many, many people Belinda–people who are struggling out there like you were but are afraid to take a stand in their own behalf! Thank you so much for letting me know how you feel about my work and my blog–it means so much to me!!! Blessing to you as well with love and light and much humble gratefulness, Roxanne

Belinda

Submitted on 2012/06/13 at 6:07 pm | In reply to Roxanne.

Roxanne,

Wow, I don’t really know what to say. I am truly overwhelmed with emotions…Sure, feel free to use my blogging any way you find it will help your website. I only hope that it helps someone else. After all this I am 100% a supporter for no contact. I support it, I encourage it, and most of all I try to let everyone know the true benefits of it. Reflecting back, my situation in the beginning felt like a lose lose situation but after time and therapy it turned into a win win. It doesn’t happen overnight, it does take time but I have to let people know what can lie ahead if they just hold on!!. I really want to be the support during the lash out phase, when a person is on the brink of cutting off contact. It is the most intense, scary, out of control place to be when you first walk away from a Narc!! I don’t wish this on anyone, but if they can just hold on, I promise that happiness is just over the mountain. It is the abolute crossroads between choosing to live a deep, fulfilling soulful life or handing your soul over to the devil and dying slowly everyday!! Roxanne, be blessed in your journey and please keep writing!!

Thank you, Belinda, for allowing me to share your story!  Feel free to comment here on this post any time you wish as well as keep us updated on how you are doing!  😀

And to everyone else:  Now that I have a busier schedule and am working on other projects, I am no longer able to answer each comment with emotional support and guidance as I did here, but it would be great if this new post became a forum of support for all of you HSPs who are struggling to find the courage to go no contact with your narcissistic parents!  Express your voice here and leave a comment–I am sure many out there who are suffering in silence will be helped by all of your stories as many were and are helped by this one–The Story of Belinda.  It is my hope that you all become “free to move on” to become your true selves and help others in the process if you so desire.  (It’s okay if you are not ready to speak out and help others yet, compassion for yourself as you heal is rule #1–time alone to heal is important, HSPs 🙂 )

With warmest wishes for inner strength,  comfort, and love to all who identify with this story,

Roxanne

How HSPs Can Heal From Inner Shame and Numb Emotions

Hi everyone!  Summer is upon us and I hope you are enjoying the many opportunities that arise in this beautiful season.  For those of us in the midwestern United States, we know the warm weather is short-lived so we try to get outside and enjoy it while we can.  As highly sensitive people though this “pressure” to enjoy the outdoors can add to our “to do” list that is already too long as it is!  Please look at the weather as a bonus to get outside in nature to recharge from the usual stress in our lives–just setting aside even 10 minutes alone in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening to walk, ride a bike, or even just sit outside and look and marvel at the sky or walk barefoot in the warm grass will help you enjoy the moments of summer more fully and not feel like the summer is passing you by yet again.

Today I woke up with a very strong feeling of shame and dread.  Along with it though there was very strong clarity about the truth of these feelings and the shame and dread very soon faded away as I got on with my day.  So I wanted to share with you the process that I go through and how I got to this emotionally healthy place!

Immediately when feeling this strong dread and shame this morning I went straight to comforting myself and saying to myself, “Wow, I must have done something really great for my true self yesterday–I must have really been expressing my truth and shining my light…. these feelings from childhood coming up to heal are the evidence and so I must be extra kind to myself today.”  I KNOW this now because of many years of analyzing and paying attention to my own emotional patterns.  I learned that when I wrote a great song,  poem,  or even when I just had great uninhibited fun or even exercise, this strong shame feeling would always pop up for me the morning of the next day.  This is because these feelings from childhood were my experience day in and day out until I had to give up as a child and repress my true self and all of the memories of this unbearable shame in order to survive.

Back then as a child, when I expressed my true wise self, or my joy in my own creativity, I felt shamed to the core.  I KNOW this now.  I no longer allow these dreadful feelings when they arise in me to negatively spiral in the following way:  My inner critic used to say, “What is wrong with me that I feel this shame, it feels terrible, almost unbearable, I feel disgusting, I must have done something horrible and shameful, I thought I had a good day yesterday but it must not be true, what was I thinking, I am never going to feel better, why do I even try”…blah blah blah, down down down the spiral went, draining all hope and positive energy out of me, leading to a depressed feeling and sometimes just numbness (dissociation) as I trudged though the day.  Wow, it’s hard to believe I used to spiral this way!!  But I did!  My inner critic has now completely been replaced with positive affirmations that I KNOW are true.  I don’t let my inner critic take over and I over-ride it with love and compassion for myself.  It took a lot of inner work but the whole process was well worth it.

My thought and feeling cycles are so different now as I know that how I treat myself with my inner thoughts create the kind of day and experience I am going to have.  This is more than just positive thinking or law of attraction techniques.  I had to go through a grieving process that actually changed my core beliefs about myself to the point that I learned that I had a lot to be sad about, angry about, and plenty to comfort myself through.  I had to delve into the past to see where the negative beliefs came from and get justice (inwardly) for the little girl inside who felt so much like an inferior being.  It was not the truth and I had to figure out what the truth was for ME.

As a mother I knew, and my college education in child development told me, that NO child is inferior and deserves to be shamed–so the inner grief work was a challenge for me to put together this puzzle to find out the truth about what happened to me to make me feel so bad about myself.  Memories started coming back to me and feelings that had been dormant and frozen in time became “available” to me again and I learned compassion for that little girl inside.  This took a while and everyone’s journey to healing will be different and take as long as it takes to work through your layers of illusions that keep you from seeing the truth of your brilliant shining light and true self.

So please be patient with yourself if you are in the middle of feeling all the pain and not yet seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Or if you are feeling comfortably numb but joyless and lacking motivation.  The light is there.  It is because you had this bright light and higher spiritual level that bullies in your life had to put you down and put out your light.  You may have been a threat to their distorted view of the world where “their” feelings were the center of the universe.  But your light never went out–it was just dimmed or covered up with illusions and blocks that are not true about you.  You have the power within you to turn your light back up high yourself!  No one can do it for you. It takes time to learn how to process through the layers of dormant feelings.

Writing out your pain in a journal for your eyes only is so important to the healing process because it gets you out of your left brain’s spiraling or scattered thoughts and connects you to your right brain’s compassion for yourself and creativity.  Document your progress in the journal and then go back and make yourself read the hopeful stuff you write, you will begin to see how amazing and wise you are that you survived it all and that there is so much to look forward to as you grow and grow in your own compassion for your wounded inner child.  As you grow to protect your inner child and stand up for the rights to all of your feelings, the negative thoughts about yourself begin to change.

Another thing I had to realize was that no one was going to rescue me but ME and I had to make a decision to never ever beat myself up again.  I remember saying to myself once, “That is it!!, that is the last time!  I am never going to waste my time in such misery again!”  And it stuck.  I still had bad days when shameful feelings came up to heal but I comforted myself instead.  Maybe I stayed on the couch that day BUT I was kind to myself instead.  I put away my to-do list, watched a favorite movie, made myself my favorite warm soup or hot tea, wrapped myself in a soft blanket, “loved” myself through the bad feelings and had compassion for my inner child who deserved love  and comfort.  And I allowed myself to grieve the happy carefree childhood that I never had.  This is so important to learn to do for ourselves–we hsp survivors may feel like we got skipped as we nurture our children and everyone around us–I realized this was important for me to take the time to mother my self for a while.  Then I would feel SO much better after I took a day for myself like this–I would feel renewed and recharged and it started a habit of a positive cycle of healing and change.

These were the new patterns and beliefs that were laying groundwork for new neurons in my brain for a new future and over-riding the shame from childhood.  This is the process of recovery from emotional abuse.  It is not easy.  It is not fun.  It is painful. But with delving into the pain at first I noticed that I at least felt more “alive” and this was a “spark” of light that kept me going towards the painful truth and not escaping into a comfortably numb existence of denial and dissociation that had for years kept me from moving forward towards my dreams and desires.  Instead I started continually delving into and through the pain to find my truth and alivenessI acknowledge the painful feeling and released it layer by layer in my journal or to a trusted, safe witness and gradually I emerged on the other side of it all.  The shame and dread that I wake up to is now just a weak residue, a glimmer of the truth of the past and all I worked through to get here–to where the joy in my heart can’t wait to get started on another day of being me in a Universe that I feel connected to and know that it supports me!

And so I say to all of you out there who are on what feels like an endless healing path, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is awesome! When you can tap into the light and love from inside of you and believe and know that you deserve it, then you will be able shine your light and recharge and renew yourself anytime you want to!

P.S. More posts are coming soon!  I am working on putting together a post with all of the comments and replies from a frequent commenter who calls herself Belinda.  Her story is an inspiring example of a highly sensitive soul with bullying parents whose painful drama unfolded here on this blog–she bravely reached out and expressed what was in her heart and she came out the other side and into the light–and now she is shining her own light to help others.  Other commenters and my replies will be highlighted in upcoming posts as well.  (I ask all commenters for their permission first before highlighting it in a post.)  Be kind to yourself, HSPs, and I’ll be back in touch soon!

With love,

Roxanne 😀

Welcome To The Blog For Highly Sensitive People, Intuitives, Empaths, and INFJs In Search Of Emotional Support and Guidance

(May 23, 2012–No you are not seeing double–except for parts of the first paragraph I copied this post and turned it into my new static Home page. So if you have already read this post, check out the comments here and then just scroll down to find the other posts. Welcome to my blog and it’s new format.  New posts coming soon!  🙂 )

Hi Everyone.  I am back and feeling great.  Thank you to all for your prayers and well wishes.  I hope you are doing well also.  I learned much while I was away and I have much new knowledge and wisdom to share.  My Coaching is thriving and I feel very blessed.  I love my work–there is no better feeling than helping other highly sensitive souls to feel good about themselves and their lives and to help them to heal their emotional wounds.  In my opinion, my clients are among the kindest, most compassionate, gifted people on the planet!

It is interesting for me to take an objective look at this blog now that I have had a break from it for several months–there is so much content here.  The first post I wrote back in January 2010.  In my last post,  I talked about how I feel I healed my final trauma-wound—an abandonment wound from the time when I was only 1 and 1/2.  I couldn’t remember it of course but the emotional pain had been dormant within me and in my body in the form of an energy blockage.  Both ailments that I suffered from in the last year were in my root chakra–I never knew about the chakras before and I had been kind of resistant to learning about that kind of stuff.  But it kept coming up in my search for answers to how to heal from this last ailment.  It helped me to put it all together when I read that health issues in the root chakra area may have to do with issues of abandonment.  Then it all came clear in the AHA moment I talked about in my last post (see Oct. 2011) and I was able then to process and heal this inner trauma.

Since then I feel different–healthier, physically stronger, and wiser and with so much more clarity and calmness. For the last month, when thinking about what I was going to write for this post I was trying to think of a word to describe this feeling.  Then I saw Jane Fonda speak on Oprah and on Dr. Oz and some other shows and I resonated so much with what she was saying about “wholeness” and I realized that is it!  I feel “Whole”.

I feel I have come full circle into living my life with the vitality of my whole true self.  I feel more centered and grounded with an exhilaration about the wonderful things to come and for all that I have learned from where I have been.  I am so grateful for what feels like a second chance at life without chronic pain.  I have learned how to relax and enjoy my life.  It has been such a rollercoaster of a spiritual journey to come to this place and time where I can say that with confidence and amazement.  In 2004, when I started writing my songs and process through the layers of grief and pain that kept coming up and were holding me back, I never would have dreamed it was possible–the pain seemed endless as I worked through my childhood truth that had previously been long hidden away from me.  There was something inside of me that KNEW that going through the pain was the only way to get to the other side–that finding my true self was only possible by changing the “faulty BELIEFS” about myself that had formed in early childhood.

And now here I sit feeling very much healed with a new-found ability to recharge and comfort myself and find inner peace no matter what life throws at me and know with complete confidence and trust that everything is going to be okay.  I am telling you this because I want all of you to know it is possible for you too.  I feel so strong in spirit now with so much to give to assist other highly sensitive souls to heal from their abuse from a narcissistic, emotionally abusive parent or to heal from childhood wounds from an event or trauma from childhood.

I look at the content on this blog and there is so much self-help information here–I am amazed at how I did it!  I remember it just flowed out of me easily for almost 2 years, ideas coming to me all the time.  I really was just going with the flow in my life at the time–it takes a lot, getting informative posts ready for public view.  I look over this blog and it feels like it is “complete’–I have had people tell me that it is an entire self-help book in itself.  Some people tell me they read 2 posts a week and it helps them so much.  Others tell me they start at the first post and read it like a book.

If you are looking for some emotional support and guidance, there is much content that I have written in the comment sections of each post where I have in the past answered each and every person’s comment.  I am no longer able to do that now that I am Coaching a lot more.  Frequent commenters have been jumping in occasionally to give support to other commenters when I am not able–it is wonderful to see this happening. Thank you to those of you who have reached out to help others in this way.

I will be answering comments just sporadically and occasionally from now on because of my busy Coaching schedule.  But please know, I am here–I am available for Ask the Coach services and for Coaching.  I am reading your comments and I know you are out there–I understand and KNOW first-hand the emotional pain you are experiencing as you try to make sense of the confusion and destruction of the spirit that is left behind by a narcissistic parent or narcissistic family members.  I send my love and message of hope to you all.  I hope this blog will be a safe place that you can come to for comfort, encouragement, compassion, and most of all healing.

UNDERSTANDING THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON:

In my early forties, I felt empowered when I discovered that I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).  I now understand that being an HSP is a gift and for this I am truly grateful.  It means I am highly “intuitive”–not highly “insecure” or “weak” as many people have been wrongly led to believe by our American culture and media.  It also means that I am “Sensory”-sensitive which is not about emotionality–it means I am sensitive to sensory input that causes me to feel overstimulated at times–HSPs take in 5 to 10 times more stimuli in our environments than non-HSPs.  HSPS  are highly creative and often visionaries.  Here are some other things I learned about being an HSP that I would like to share:

1)      MANY HSPS ARE HIGHLY EMPATHIC.  Until you understand the benefits of being an HSP, it can be very difficult to understand why you are so different from those around you and why you yearn to “fit in”.  HSPs feel things more deeply and we can empathize with the feelings of others so completely that we often unwittingly “take on” the negative feelings of those around us.  We can end up feeling “bad” and have no idea why and blame ourselves for it when actually the feelings belong to the person we were just talking to (or sometimes even someone we have just been near).  When we feel bad for no reason, the common reaction for HSPs is to blame ourselves and mentally beat ourselves up.  For example, we say to ourselves, “what is wrong with me;  I should be happy;  everyone else seems happy and carefree so there is something wrong with me that I feel this way;  I must have emotional problems;  I am flawed compared to everyone else”  etc.  When we can recognize that the emotions we are feeling are from others, we can learn to stop this negative self-talk and let go of and release this negative energy that we have absorbed.

2)      HSPS ARE OFTEN TOO HARD ON THEMSELVES.  Becoming aware of how you are treating yourself in your head is becoming aware of your “inner critic”.  Your inner critic is always negative and always wrong about you.  Becoming aware of your inner critic is powerful.  Once you become aware that you are listening to your inner critic you must stop and say to your self, “No, that is not true about me!”  Then replace these thoughts with positive affirmations such as “I love and approve of myself;  I am safe;  I am supported and cared for by the Universe (God);  and I am a highly intuitive soul and I am sensitive for a reason”.  Being able to change the way you treat yourself and talk to yourself will change your life!

3)      HSPS ARE LOVING, COMPASSIONATE SOULS.   When you love and approve of yourself as you deserve to be, you begin to shine the light that is inside your soul.  This light is the gift of the highly sensitive soul:  you innately see the good and the potential in other people;  you look to yourself to improve rather than blaming others or expecting them to change;  you are able to empathize with other people’s feelings with compassion;  you are a trusting and loyal friend;  and a very good listener.  These are wonderful gifts for a person to have for they are rare—and it is usually only the rare and highly sensitive friend that would point this out to you.

4)      HSPS OFTEN NEED TO LEARN HEALTHY BOUNDARIES.  Being the kind and caring soul that you are, if you are not seeing the value of that, your worthiness, you will often attract relationships with the kind of negative energy that your inner critic is reflecting.  Also, people who are less sensitive and not intuitive at all are often drawn to HSPs because we absorb their negative feelings and they feel better around us.  Some of these relationships can really confuse us because these non-HSPs can “act” very kind and generous when they want something from us.  These are actually people we need to avoid because they drain us and are unable to reciprocate the giving nature that we need and deserve in a friendship.  Ending relationships with people who are really takers and manipulators rather than givers is a giant leap towards becoming the person you dream to be.  When you are able to take this final step for yourself and start listening to your inner guidance that is your gift, you are well on your way to a life of emotional vitality and wholeness.

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Here are lists of links to important posts within this blog:

HSPs and Allergies, Food Intolerances, and Stress-Related Illness

Helpful Tips About Healing Childhood Pain

Learned Helplessness in HSPs

High Achieving and Intuitive HSPs Can Overcome Self-Defeating Behaviors

More Helpful Tips For HSPs with N. Parents

Part 2–More Helpful Tips of HSPs with N. Parents

The Misjudgement of Introverts and the True Meaning of Introversion

HSPs and Perfectionism–How to Heal Through Grieving Childhood Pain  

Forgiveness is For Your “Self”

Through Pain You Grow Stronger–Processing Childhood Pain

Mother’s Day Survival Guide

The Process of Inner Child Healing

How My Best Counselor Helped Me

Journaling for HSPs–Over-riding Your Inner Critic

Childhood Pain Comes Up To Heal When Things Are Going Well

Overcoming Self-doubt and Unblocking Creativity

Holiday Survival Tips–For HSPs With N. Parents and My Musical Gift Recovery

Honor Thy Parents Only If They Are Honorable

Stress Relief For HSPs

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As a final note of support, I want to say that as a highly sensitive and intuitive person, you are part of a group of 15 to 20% of the population that is deep, caring, and compassionate with much love to give. Our giving nature is an inspiration to others who are also part of this 15 to 20%.  You do not have to be around anyone who makes you feel bad.  One fifth of the population is over 1 BILLION PEOPLE–and empathetic compassionate people are out there. When you begin to love yourself as you are, stop comparing yourself to others, and protect yourself and your energy from the negative people who diminish you by staying away from them while you are healing, you will start attracting and finding more compassionate people like yourself in your life. Do not settle for superficial relationships–take the road less traveled.  It is the path to love and enlightenment and inner peace.

With love and warmest wishes,

Roxanne

The Eruption of Post Traumatic Stress is a Healing Opportunity

Hi everyone.  I hope you had a wonderful summer and are enjoying this beautiful fall season.  Wow.  Two weekends of Indian summer was such a blessing!  In my eyes the beauty of the season makes up for summer coming to an end.  I hope it is beautiful wherever you are located!  It has been a while since I have written, I have had some ailments that have added some stress to my life.  But as always I feel there is a lesson in everything that happens.

Two ailments occurred on top of each other.  I was already in distress about a painful ailment when something randomly flew in my eye and temporarily blinded me and with such severe pain that I could not drive myself to the doctor to get it removed.  This caused me to over-react in such a distressing way that it caused me to experience some childhood emotional pain that had been hidden from me until then.  The object was removed from my eye and it healed completely in the next 4 days but during this stressful time, I remembered a comment my mother had made. It was an epiphany–an aha moment!  Her comment was, “When you were 1 1/2 years old, you had severe diarrhea and were in the hospital for over a week and the doctors never figured out the cause.  The nurses wouldn’t let me visit you because you would try to climb out of the crib to get to me.”  Years ago when she told me this, I had no emotional reaction to it.  But the stress of these health events caused an over-reaction in me that now makes a lot of sense!  Because of this epiphany, the reason for all of the overwhelming feelings I was experiencing came clear.  I realized I was feeling all the repressed emotion of an abandoned toddler who was terrified that her parents were never coming back, who felt she was being punished in this crib in the hospital, who was confused about why all this was happening and it seemed like the end of the world.  This hospitalization at an age where attachment is so crucial and separation anxiety is at a peak, my whole world crumbled and my security completely gone, I emerged from the hospital traumatized.

Now it took me a while to figure all of this out, but analytical and self-aware person that I am I was fascinated with the process, even though it required releasing these unbearably painful emotions that had been frozen in time, finally freeing me in their release.  I believe that when traumas like this occur and never get worked through, they remain stuck in our bodies causing an energy blockage that can cause illness and disease (dis-ease). (Louise Hay and Dr. Christian Northrup–see Recommended Books.)  Talking through this and releasing the pain and having my husband for a witness, I started feeling like I was finally healing from this ailment that had been chronically stressing me.  Yay!  It was shocking yet exhilarating for these facts about this trauma to be unearthed the way it occurred.  So many unexplained fears that I have had started to make sense to me.  Their origins were from this trauma that had been hidden from my memory my whole life.  It was a post traumatic stress event that now has given way to new understanding of the origins of some of my irrational fears and insecurities.  Now, I feel stronger and less fearful and I am healing those deep insecurities by releasing the pain and having someone witness and validate my feelings–a safe person that I trust completely.  This is the process of inner child healing.  I thought I had worked through all of my previous traumas but it turns out that I had one more vitally important trauma to work through.

At the time I was releasing the pain I felt it would go on forever and that I would never recover.  I very soon felt better though as I released these fears that were from my childhood trauma. Releasing the emotions had to include my memories of clinging to my mother for dear life for years after this event, and my needs for security were not met and my trauma never acknowledged.  She didn’t understand all the attention I gave her, clinging to her in fear like that.  I laid in her lap on car trips and never left her side.  Intuitively gifted even as a child, I took care of her emotional needs so that I would not feel rejected–after my unhealed trauma I couldn’t bear the thought of it, even though, I now understand that I was obedient and good out of extreme fear.  I remember the stories of how she did not send me to kindergarten and a neighbor discovered my age and brightness and made it clear she must send me to school finally.  I feel much gratefulness for that neighbor stepping in.  My memories of how I flourished in those few months in kindergarten and how the teachers built me up and I was proud of myself are the memories I hold onto of my true self persevering and shining through.

If you have had some traumatic incidents like this in your childhood, and most HSPs surely have, I understand your pain.  Writing out what happened and/or talking to a safe person is important. It helps to think back to a memory of a happy time before the age of 5 or 6 (5 or 6 is the age when we usually give up, (if you have a narcissistic parent or an unsupportive or unsafe environment or some trauma), and develop a false self to survive–Alice Miller).  This memory is your true self making itself known to you. Thinking back to that moment can give you strength as to your positive happy potential.  You can recover your true self again if you can see that you didn’t get the validation of your feelings that  you deserved. Then finally release those painful emotions.  The next time you over-react to stress or have a full-blown post traumatic stress episode you can look at it as a healing opportunity.  Learn to recognize and release your painful feelings and then relate them back to the origins of when they occurredthis  is how true healing occurs.  Hopefully you can find a counselor or coach who has experience with inner child healing as a safe person to trust with your truth.

I had first remembered my mother’s comment about my early hospitalization with no emotion at all for that experience on the tiny sensitive child that I was.  Now I have much compassion for the pain I experienced and that all infants and toddlers go through in these early childhood hospitalizations without parents present.  Nowadays, doctors know not to keep parents from their children at these young ages when attachment and security is so crucial but back in the 60’s they hadn’t learned this yet. Thank goodness times are better now.  I was encouraged to stay and sleep in the hospital room for several days with my first-born when he had pneumonia when he was 2.  And my second born never left our room after she was born and I gave her first bath. I am grateful to have experienced such compassionate hospital experiences for my own children.

This ailment that I mentioned is still causing me stress even though it is beginning to heal.  I won’t go into detail about it except that it is chronic pain, slow to heal, and it has become clear to me that it requires more of my attention, more rest, and I must make some adjustments in my activities.  So unfortunately I must take a temporary leave of absence from this blog. 😦  You might call it a sabbatical because I am determined to return stronger than ever and with even more wisdom and insight to share. It is my hope that during this time you will support and answer each others comments since I will be unable to do so.  This has already been happening by some regular commenters, which has been wonderful to see–when you reach out and support someone else who is hurting, the good feeling that you receive from helping others is exhilarating and wonderful.  I hope that you will try it out and see what I mean. 🙂

I am not going to say goodbye, I am just going to say take care of yourselves and each other while I am gone and I will be back!  🙂

Warmest wishes and love to you all,

Roxanne

Emotionally Healthy Parenting Info. For Highly Sensitive People–It’s Time To Stand Your Ground!

Hi everyone.  It is now August and I hope all of you have been enjoying the summer.  Yeah it’s too hot!–but I hope you are finding creative ways to beat the heat.  I am having the best summer ever!  I have found that my ability to slow down and enjoy the moment is really sticking this time.  The lessons I learned from my now healed injury are sticking with me–I appreciate the small things so much still… and when I get too busy I catch myself and pull back the reins and say “Whoa, slow down and listen to your body”.  Then I have more energy to do the things that are important to me… like writing to you all!  🙂

My creative way of beating the heat is to wait to ride my bike for exercise around my neighborhood until evening and sometimes even after dark. (Please only do this if it is a safe area and there is no traffic.)  There is something special about summer evenings when the temperature is perfect, the moonlight is just enough to see what you need to see, and it’s so quiet and peaceful out.  It is really recharging for highly sensitive people and it feels like such a treat for myself–I feel a spiritual connection to Mother Earth and the Universe and God.

I have a special event coming up.  I am turning 50 years old next month!   I really don’t feel 50 and people say I don’t look 50 so I am really going to celebrate big!  Yay!  I have a lot to celebrate!  I feel more like 32 and have more energy and better health than I have ever had in my life!  The second half of my life is going to be even better than the first half and the first half turned out to be really awesome!

I believe HSPs are very often late bloomers–we have hardships early in life that we struggle with but then we start coming out the other side.  We soon realize the journey we are on is exactly the one we needed to be on to find our voice and true purpose in life.  That is definitely what happened to me.  The first half of my life I acquired a college degree, married, and then chose, for my first career, being a  Mom raising two amazing children to feel good about themselves as my first priority.  I support and encourage them to express their unique creativity and they have nothing holding them back from pursuing their dreams.  I cheer them on and say “You can do it!

Both of my children are both highly sensitive and intuitive people with kind and compassionate spirits.   They call us often to share good news and also when they encounter negativity and negative people in their lives and we listen and empathize.  They feel better with support and continue to learn to build themselves up.  That is what a healthy family system is supposed to be like.  I am adding 2 new links here on my blog that I want to share with all of you and they are:  Attachment Parenting International Dot Org and The Attached Family Dot Com.

If you have childhood wounds, it is so supportive to go to these sites and see what a healthy nurturing family looks and feels like!  It helps you remember, if you are trying to recover from childhood wounds from parents who were malignant narcissists, it is their choice not to embrace their roles as parents with compassion and giving and to choose blaming, negativity, and guilt-inducing instead.  It may help to tell yourself, “it is not my responsibility to give up the essence of my self and my energy so that someone else will feel better and not even appreciate it or see how that harms me.”

It is my intention to never induce guilt in my children–to never make them feel guilty so they will visit me more often.  They visit us because they want to because they feel better being around us.  We build them up and give them encouragement.  We tell them, “We are sure you will figure it all out–you are doing a great job so far!”.  We help them to trust their inner guidance and to go towards positive people and positive feelings in their lives.  We teach them to have healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries are when you are able to be separate and whole and feel good about your place on the planet–you can shine your light and help others without giving up your self.

As highly sensitive children, you as survivors may have taken care of your parent’s feelings because your compassion is innate in you.  But you have to learn to stop doing this at the expense of your true feelings now that you are adults.  When you give up your truth to get a parent’s approval to avoid conflict then you have gone too far and have lost your healthy sense of self and have given up your own energy and truth.

HSPs need support to know that it is important to protect your precious energy that is so easily drained away by people who tell us we OWE them.  You don’t owe narcissistic parents anything–parents who use fear to manipulate and control instead of giving any love and acceptance are deal breakers (not honorable).  You don’t have to “honor thy parent” if they induce fear in their children.  Fear is the opposite of love.

It is always best to try to talk to parents in a civil way to point out these things.  I’m sure you have tried saying things like, “I care about you and I also disagree and I am going to do it this way instead”.  If with your best efforts at fairness you are still constantly punished for your disobedient ways,  (even if it is passive–aggressive silent treatments), even though you are an adult, these are toxic situations for HSPs.  If you have tried it all and you are miserable and fed up, don’t feel guilty!  Or if “no contact” is working for you now or helping you heal so you can get stronger, don’t feel guilty!  You are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness,  just yours.

What would they say if you confronted them with the pain they caused you.  They would deny and blame, right?  You would never do that to them, you would say…I’m sorry”… maybe even if it wasn’t your fault.  Your compassionate soul is rare and has a special purpose on this planet.  Your specialness is important to the planet.  Focus on giving your gifts to those who really will appreciate it as a mission and even possibly a career for yourself.  The planet needs more HSPs!  Be glad you are one.

I heard the song, I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty on the radio the other day. It filled me with a sense of fun and positive energy and helped me feel even stronger.  Since then I have been singing it a lot in my head and I love how it gives me strength when I say those words. “I am gonna stand my ground”.  Listen to it when you get a chance.  Here are some of the lyrics:

No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin me down
gonna stand my ground
… and I won’t back down

Chorus:
(I won’t back down…)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(and I won’t back down…)
hey I will stand my ground
and I won’t back down

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
in a world that keeps on pushin me around
but I’ll stand my ground
…and I won’t back down

The point is that feeling “grounded” is so important to an HSPs health in all ways:   Body, Mind, and Spirit.  Standing your ground can symbolize feeling rooted in the earth.  You are here on the planet for a reason.  Your “space” here on the planet is your own and you deserve to feel confident and strong and separate and whole… standing tall and deserving of your spot on the planet.  We get positive strength and energy from Mother Earth and she recharges us again when we get depleted.  Mother Earth loves us–imagine being rooted in love!  Walking on the warm grass in bare feet (on warm summer August evenings 🙂 ) is especially recharging–imagine the positive energy of the planet beneath you recharging you up your legs and into your heart and head. Relax your tense muscles throughout your body while you do this.  These kinds of visualizations really work to help me feel strong and inner peace about my independence and freedom and standing “my ground”.  I hope they are helpful to you too!

My birthday is on September 9!  I hope you will stop by my site on that day and say hello and help me Celebrate!  My husband, children and I will be partying all day and evening!  I will have a  message for all of you in my Update Corner on that day. 🙂

I will be on vacation August 22-28–So, except for that week, I am here and always available to you, my readers, commenters, and clients.  My next post won’t be until later in September.  Have a wonderful August and rest of the summer, HSPs!  And remember to Stand Your Ground!

With Love,

Roxanne

The Process of Inner Child Healing and a Poem of Hope for Highly Sensitive Survivors

Hello everyone.  Whenever I write a new post, I “tune in” to you, my readers, and write from my heart.  Sometimes I plan what I am going to write and other times I write something entirely different from what I had planned.  At the beginning I used to worry, “how can I top that last post”, but now I just trust in the process and I know that what I write will turn out all right.

It is wonderful to feel such confidence. It is such a contrast to how I used to feel years ago before I gained access to the truth of who I am.  It was “self-doubt”–a looming horrible anxious feeling of dread and guilt…or more often a feeling of numbness and compulsions to avoid feelings by keeping busy with tasks that I felt I “should” be doing.  I had no access to my truth–I had hidden away my truth to protect myself from the unbearable pain that I experienced as a child.

Through my journaling I discovered a process that helped me to heal more than anything else I tried–it was writing out my pain from my inner child’s point of view.  I knew from all of my reading and training in psychology that blocks happen in childhood–and I had been encouraged by two helpful counselors to continue to write out my feelings in order to uncover them (I had been writing poems about my feelings since the age of 14).

Writing from my inner child’s perspective just kind of naturally happened and I found it to be the most powerful healing tool in my own recovery.  I discovered “her” voice by writing out “her” pain and then I had no choice but to feel compassion for what “she” went through and over time “she” became clearly “Me”!  And as I began trusting in this process of trusting “her” view of what had happened to me I began trusting my self.  My inner dialogue then gradually changed from critical to compassionate.  I remember that I started feeling emotions that had previously been repressed and could then label them.

I was excited about this process.  For example, I’d be at the grocery store and suddenly become aware of a feeling such as shame and say to myself , “this feeling is really familiar but I never knew until now that it is “shame”.  Wow this is shame from my childhood coming up.”  I realized I was feeling these feelings for the first time since I had hidden them away in childhood.  Rather then get caught up in them I was able to observe them and acknowledge them and release them.  I would often go right away and write in my journal about the origins of these painful feelings.  Repressed memories would often come back to me during these times.  It wasn’t always so simple–sometimes I would unconsciously drag my husband into a drama only to discover I was replaying a trauma from childhood so that I could finally voice my feelings of anger, grief, or fear to my envisioned N parent.  My knowledge of what was happening luckily allowed me to be aware of the process of healing–I would quickly reassure my husband what was happening so that he could then support the release of my feelings as a supportive witness without feeling blamed in any way.  Seeing me recover my feelings in such a way and feel relief helped my husband to understand this healing process as well and he began processing his childhood pain in a similar way (he had a Narcissistic parent too).

I am planning to put together a book in which I include the best of my healing writings directly from my journals that show this process of healing first hand from age 18 to the present.  Although it will be very personal I am hoping that it will help others to heal and develop compassion for their inner child and what they went through if they are unable to write out their feelings in such a way that I was able–I consider it a gift that I was able to do this and I am grateful to have such a vivid memoir of my recovery.  I believe this gift of writing I have been given is another way that I can help other highly sensitive souls to recover and to help them to feel relief from the inner prison of emotional abuse by a Narcissistic parent.  Please let me know if you would be interested in reading such a book.

Recently I wrote the following poem when I “tuned in” to you, my readers and fellow highly sensitive survivors.  I was planning to save it for my book but I have decided to share it with you now instead to show an example one of the kinds of writings that will be included.  Here it is:

Poem of Hope and Healing for the Highly Sensitive Survivor

By Roxanne E. Smith

March 22, 2011

Pain so deep, I can’t see the light

I know it’s there but it’s not very bright

The sadness is thick, despair all around

I envision a child giving up with no sound

Pain so deep, I hide all my hope

Afraid to come out, I feel like a dope

Worthless and horrible, don’t ever try

The pain is unbearable, can’t even cry

I can’t feel the love, I need it so bad!

So much fear without it, it’s really so sad!’

I am feeling much better just admitting this truth

You have to have love when you’re in your youth!

Without love you can’t heal all the hurts that come by

When bad things do happen we need love when we cry

Someone has to hold us and give us new hope

If there’s no one for comfort than there’s no way to cope

No wonder I hid my talents away

When I would do well then I was their prey

The taunting, the teasing, “Who do you think you are?”

Shame became my deepest scar

But who was this child all hidden in shame

An innocent victim who will never be the same?

She thinks she is nothing but she is so wrong

The truth is she’s beautiful, wise, and so strong

Scoop up that child all broken and battered

Love her and hug her and tell her she matters

She’s awesome and wonderful, they were so wrong

Talented, creative , and smart all along

Sensitive soul you were so beaten down

But you figured it out and now you can leave town

You’re safe now and free–no more bullies outside

Shine your light, spread your wings, don’t believe all the lies

Be kind to yourself when the pain comes back ’round

Love yourself through it, your true self is found

You know the truth and now you can be free

Fear is from “them”–in the past, don’t you see?

Relax into the pain and it will dissipate

Because the pain is from lies and it’s never too late!

To believe in yourself and your talents and dreams

You are good at compassion and so many things

They did not want you to succeed with your gifts

So they made you give up and they threatened with fists

You were small so you gave up but now you are grown

You can heal all the pain and make it now on your own

You can do it!–the words you’ve long waited to hear

Say them to your self!  And say NO to the fear!

Give them back all the bad feelings that they gave to you

Imagine this energy going outward from you

Then let in the light and the love from a place

Where angels don’t want you to live in disgrace

You know what love is because you give it so freely

To others who need it when they’re feeling needy

Give to your self all this love all the time!

You will find your true purpose and all will be fine

These lessons are so hard that we learn from our pain

But we discover our strengths again and again

So sensitive souls who survived from abuse

Your gifts are so needed to be put to good use

I know how you feel and I hope you feel better

Because we can overcome it if we do it together!

I hope that this poem has helped you to feel loved

You are!–and I send it to you from above!

I understand and I want to comfort your pain

I hope this is helpful.  Love, Roxanne Elaine

Hurts So Good?–Through Pain You Grow Stronger–Processing Childhood Emotional Pain So You Can Heal

Hi everyone.  Today I was out on my patio getting my morning dose of Vitamin D from the sun (hallelujah, the warmth is finally here to stay!) and writing down ideas for my next post.  When I was finished, the song “Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp came on the radio I was listening to.  You know the one…”sometimes love don’t feel like it should…”  Anyway, I had to laugh out loud with amazement as it seemed like a sign from the universe/God that my topic was approved–it seemed clear that I should trust my intuition to write about what I had decided to focus on and that was:  what hurts the most in life emotionally can reveal the truth of who we really are–and physical pain can teach us the exact lesson we need to learn to move forward–both kinds of pain help us grow and heal to become our best selves.

Of course the lyrics of the song do not imply that, but the title jumped out at me as confirmation and I have always loved that song!  It always makes me want to get up and dance and celebrate being alive for some reason.  Sometimes when you are feeling the pain from childhood wounds, acknowledging you were wronged, and you know you didn’t deserve it, you feel so much more alive and you have the right to your feelings about it!!  Your anger can be channeled into positive energy to take action for your self and improving your life and moving forward towards your dreams!  Also the song implies that you know how love should feel but you are willing to take the painful risk of loving again for the chance of being loved in return.

I so look forward to dancing again to songs like this and forgot how much I missed it until it was taken away when I recently injured my back/hip (S.I. joint)!  My pain has almost completely healed. Yay! I still have restricted movements but I have so much to look forward to.  And I am on my way to complete healing and I learned much–I will spare you the details until the end of this post for those interested.

Okay, so about the lessons to be learned from the emotionally painful things that happen to us….   I believe that all of us are here on this planet to learn lessons about who we are, what we are capable of, how to achieve inner peace, love ourselves the way we deserved to be loved, and how we can use our gifts to help others.  For those of us who are gifted with high sensitivity and intuition it is so difficult to figure these things out until we realize that a lot of the pain we experienced as children was pain of the people around us that we just absorbed and internalized as our own.

One of the most complex examples contributing to many of my clients’ childhood wounds are when the parent is a malignant narcissist. I am sharing these examples of extreme cases in the hopes that they will be the most helpful. When a malignant narcissist starts to feel any emotional pain they get rid of it immediately by blaming the people around them. The highly sensitive child is the perfect target to take away the malignant narcissist’s pain because they absorb it completely and don’t retaliate.  As kind and loving spirits, highly sensitive compassionate children would never dream of blaming someone else for anything so they can’t imagine that their parent might be wrong or sick or unhealthy in any way.  Now that they are adults they are starting to see the light of how they were “used” to take away the parent’s shame, self-hatred, blame, and self-doubt. Hsps can heal as they acknowledge the truth that they were fine before malignant narcissistic parents took away their hopes and dreams and gave them their pain in its place.  They absorbed it all and believed it to be true–saying to themselves, “I am to blame, there is something wrong with me, I am not good enough, I must try really hard to be someone else other than who I am in order to be loved, I am not as good as I think I am, I cannot trust my feelings, I must not make any mistakes, I am unloveable, I am unworthy, I hate myself, or I must be a disgusting human being for upsetting my parent in such a way.”  This is what a highly sensitive compassionate child can determine to be true when they are not seen for the kind and sensitive soul they are but used for the dumping ground of the negative emotions of a highly dysfunctional family.

They numb their feelings to survive as children–They repress the pain and decide to be obedient (if they were the Golden Child) or they rebel (if they were the Scapegoat).  Either way their mind protects them with illusions about their parents in this case because they need them to survive.  They were after all children doing the best they knew how–there is no way for a sensitive child to detect danger when for as long as they can remember, this is what a loving family looks and feels like and it is ingrained in the neural pathways in their brains.  They believed the distorted view that their malignant narcissistic parent presented to them and insisted upon because they believe in the goodness of life innately–they trust completely which is a beautiful thing.  It is a wondrous gift to be able to trust in life, to trust in the universe, that it will support them and show them the way if they trust their feelings and our intuition.  We have the inner guidance and wisdom to be happy and fulfilled, enlightened and loving, full of vitality with the perseverance to press on through the ups and downs of life.  They all (HSPs) have this ability inside of them, this trust in the goodness of life, but it was taken away from them.

But what happened to them is not really about them at all.  They were victims, yes, but they don’t have to be victims ever again when they work through the truth of what happened to them as children–layer by layer, injustice by injustice, voicing the truth of how much it hurt, how they didn’t deserve it, and see how they lost their trust in themselves and their feelings.  Once you start this process of healing the layers, you feel lighter and a little kinder to yourself each time.  It is a blessing when you are in the midst of an episode of despair because someone you trusted criticized you and you suddenly realize, “Oh wait, this is how I felt as a child when my malignant narcissistic mother would feel threatened when I expressed a brilliant creative idea and put it down–I was smarter than she was!” –or something to this effect.

DOCUMENTING YOUR TRUTH STATEMENTS is a method I invented during my years as a life coach.  Journaling these revelations by writing statements of what you learned about yourself when a new layer of pain is uncovered  helps to document your progress.  Then when you are feeling lost, depressed, or blocked make yourself get out your journal and read over these statements and you will see the true voice of your soul being uncovered.  Statements like “I had brilliant creative ideas as a child”, “I discovered I was actually smart”, “I was kind, caring and innocent and did not deserve to be criticized and abused!”  These are truths come to light and will forever be true about you–they will help you change the internalized beliefs about yourself so you will develop your true voice.  This will help you stop listening to your inner critic and say,” No!  That is not true about me”.  Then say your new-found personalized positive affirmations (truth statements) to yourself instead. Your self-doubts will gradually fade and your confidence will grow stronger and stronger.

Childhood pain comes up to be healed in layers–it is like the truth of your untold story from childhood wants to be told and when you are strong enough, the painful feelings pop up unexpectedly in your lives.  You sometimes unconsciously provoke painful situations in our lives so that the original trauma can be healed.  For example:  you are feeling grouchy, irritable,  numb, and lost, and you criticize your husband for not supporting you enough, for not just listening, (he is trying to solve it and tell you what to do and you just want to be listened to and heard).  He responds with, “Something else must be wrong because I have been listening to you a lot lately but you are still really grouchy.”  You blow up and yell, “I wanted an apology but instead you are attacking me” and you fall in a heap of crying, blaming, angry despair. The feelings directed at your husband are so real to you but you are actually experiencing post traumatic stress from your childhood.  Your husband deserves about 10% of the anger that you are feeling but the other 90% is from your childhood. (90/10 Principle.  John Gray,…Venus and Mars).

In that moment you are reexperiencing the unresolved feelings of your self as a small child with legitimate needs to be seen and reassured and loved–you were perhaps rejected by a malignant narcissistic mother who was too busy with her own agenda to stop and be the loving mother you needed in that moment.  Perhaps instead she lashed out at you for being too sensitive, told you to knock it off and be quiet so she could think.  When you cried harder she may have slapped you on the bottom, screamed at you, and told you that you were giving her a headache and to go play somewhere.  You went to your bedroom and cried and cried and she ignored you–you felt rejected, scared, and humiliated but you felt so ashamed that your mother was angry at you that you wiped away your tears and went out and said, “I’m sorry Mommy I will try to be good”.  Then, she smiles at you and says, something like, “good, you learned your lesson about obeying me”.

This is horrible abuse for a highly sensitive gifted child whose only way of surviving this situation is to be a shell of her former self, deny all of her legitimate feelings and needs for pursuing her gifts and talents and dreams, and become a little robot shell of a person with all her feelings pushed way down deep to the point of repression.  A child incorporates the internalized message of, I must not trust my feelings or I will upset my mother/father and I need her/him.  To the less than sensitive observer this exchange seems harmless enough and they might even think “what a good child” or worse “what a good parent to have such a child that obeys so well”.  That is one reason that it is difficult for HSPs to change our negative beliefs about ourselves–most of society doesn’t yet understand or support a childs need to express needs contrary to the parent in charge.

You won’t feel guilty about leaving your abusive narcissistic family members behind when you understand that if malignant narcissists are in emotional pain for even a second, they lash out and blame someone else for it–they are not feeling pain the way you and I do–they get rid of it immediately.  They put on acts of great suffering because they know it works to make us feel guilty.  Don’t fall for it–it is all an act.  They are going about their merry way without a trace of remorse or guilt. They pull out the tears and anguish when other family members are around to get them against you–they get relief and control back from these antics so don’t feel guilty about leaving all of the craziness behind.

So back to how pain is helping you have a better life….  The truth too painful to bear as children has to come up as the painful truth or you can’t acknowledge that it happened, release it, learn from it, and find yourself!  It is a painful process but you are worth it!  Your true voice has been in hiding for far too long.  Next time something happens to you that is so painful it makes you want to give up on a person, try telling yourself,  “this pain is exactly how I felt as a child when ___ happened to me!”  Then write it out with all the pent-up emotion you can conjure up and see if you don’t feel better when as you write you realize you were an innocent victim and have a right to all of those feelings!

You may just be so grateful for the realization that you were a child who deserved so much more that you will even feel grateful for the person in the present that hurt you! They helped you bring a painful truth from your childhood to the surface to be healed.  You healed a layer of pain from your childhood!  On to the next!  Soon you will begin believing in your goodness and see your inner wisdom and kindness. You will begin attracting only loving giving people like you because your bright shining light of your special highly sensitive intuitive soul can now shine through the existing layers making them much easier to process through.  The illusions that helped you survive will fall away and a new-found confidence and ease will emerge.

So remember, from the layers of pain and hurt emerges the wonderful and amazing true YOU!  You can do it!  I hope that my words can assist you through this complex healing process.

Part 2

Okay, now for the health update:  The recent painful injury to my low back/hip sacroiliac joint (S.I.) is another example of how the universe/God  helps us along our path with painful obstacles that are lessons in disguise.

My holistic chiropractor was unable to answer my many questions about what I could and couldn’t do and what would help and hinder my recovery.  So I made an appointment with a physical therapist that was prescribed by my family doctor. She was able to tell me exactly what ligaments I had sprained, the reasons for my pain, exactly what movements to avoid and which ones were so safe so I could heal in the fastest amount of time.  She explained exactly why it had happened to me–with no core strength in my pelvis from lack of exercise, the ligaments were sprained severely requiring 6 to 8 weeks to heal completely.

She explained that sitting and standing hurts because those actions depend entirely on the ligaments I strained, whereas walking uses different muscles.  I can sit for a one hour at a time now, can drive for short periods, am allowed to walk on flat surfaces only, and should avoid all stairs as much as possible until I am fully healed.  She showed me the correct way to pick up something from the floor, bending at the knees and holding onto something for support–I had been doing it wrong every time.  She has given me homework of daily exercises to start strengthening my core muscles as I heal and I am doing them diligently!

Before I went to my physical therapist, there were 3 occasions when I had no pain in the morning (that is usually when I was in the most pain).  I  had gotten so excited I ended up doing too much that day and the next day I paid for it with pain that sent me back to the couch with ice and rest.  The third time it happened I had this surreal moment of anguish but at the same time a moment of grace and surrender–a reminder of how, even though I was exiled to the couch, I had a glimpse of what I had learned spending most of the month of May on the couch unable to move without the severe pain recurring.  The month of May gave me an entirely new perspective on my life and this moment of grace made me permanently slow down and appreciate that the small things in life were actually huge things to be grateful for.

It made me realize:  the things I missed being able to do most were things I did not expect because they were lost in all the busy activities I took for granted.  I missed most being able to sit up and play my guitar and sing my songs without pain. I missed being able to sit and write creatively on my computer for long periods (my last post I had to write and edit in long hand first).  I missed being pain-free so that I could concentrate again and get back to coaching my clients–having chronic pain is exhausting and I had to put my coaching on hold for a while (but it has now resumed 🙂 ). Biking, hiking, and dancing were also activities I loved and never found time for.  These are all things that have now been moved even higher on my priority list–maybe this injury is the only way for me to really learn what is most important to me in life.

A bonus from all this is that my husband had no idea how much I did around our home and has a new appreciation for all the years I spent managing our home because suddenly, he had to do it all!  I didn’t even realize how much I took on. Now he has wonderfully agreed to continue taking on his share of these tasks even after I fully recover (including half of the grocery shopping 🙂 ).  After all, I have a successful career too now and it is only fair!  My husband was really amazed at how much work it was and he now has a new appreciation of how much time and energy I spent doing it.  As I recover I am learning to delegate tasks that need taken care of, but more important than that, I learned to just let the unimportant things go so we can just spend more quality time together and be in the moment enjoying life! I am very grateful for a husband with such a kind and compassionate soul.

With every new victory in my physical abilities, we celebrate together and both of us appreciate our life together and our health so much more.  Soon I will be able to dance again.  We both loved to go out dancing together when we were younger–why don’t we do that more often!  Now with my physical therapist teaching me core strengthening exercises, I am determined to get strong and enjoy things with my husband that we both love to do together: biking, hiking, and dancing! Yay!  Through pain came important changes: the ability to slow down, be grateful, and relax and live in the moment; delegating tasks so I have more time to commit to the work and activities that I love; commiting to getting and keeping core strength and stamina; and letting the unimportant things go!

I hope my words have inspired you to look for and find the lessons amidst all the wonderful ups and painful downs of life.  I hope I have helped you to find strength in the truth re-experienced by your wise and gifted inner child. And I hope I’ve helped you to slow down and discover the joys in the small blessings in your life.

With Love,

Roxanne

The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and The Body–An Awakening To the Importance of Listening To It and Core Strength

Hi everyone.  I am back and writing again. Yay!  I hope you are enjoying the beauty of this spring season and all the brilliantly colorful flowers. Thank you to those who commented or emailed me such wonderful wishes.  It was quite a traumatic ordeal for me but I believe there are lessons in all things that happen to us–especially the painful things.

As a highly sensitive child, I have always been sensitive to pain and felt my pain more acutely than others–both physically and emotionally. I have childhood wounds related to how I was cared for during illnesses and also a hospitalization as a toddler.   Being “laid up” as I have been the last few weeks has broken open many of those wounds so that I could remember, reframe them with the truth of who I was, and finally grieve, release and heal the repressed emotions.

I had always had a hard time when I was sick–I would beat myself up, blaming myself for causing it–always finding it difficult to rest in order to heal–sometimes even prolonging my illnesses because of the stress I added to the illness.  I discovered this 2 years ago when I had 2 bad viruses back to back.  I had to face up to the fact that I had to change how I pushed my body too far and was terrible at resting and relaxing.  Things like this always have their foundations formed in childhood.  My husband could see the patterns I couldn’t see as clearly.  “Don’t be so hard on yourself, relax and let your body heal “, he would always say.  “Take it easy, don’t do anything today but rest.” It helped but as soon as I recovered I’d go back to my bad habits of not listening to my body.

If you’ve read my post from June 15, 2010 on HSPs and allergies and stress-related illness you know that I am recovering nicely from adrenal fatigue. Developing stronger boundaries has definitely helped reduce the negative energy in my life and the “fight-or-flight” responses to stress that I had a pattern of.  When your body reacts to stress with a fight-or-flight reaction you have increased cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body in the form of adrenaline.  This is an “extreme fear” reaction that I believe many HSPs with  childhood wounds do not even realize they are experiencing because it is combined with the numbing or anesthetic effect that goes along with the adrenaline rush.  What I now have learned is that even positive events in life can trigger this fight-or-flight response if you had the daily trauma in your childhood.

It’s like post traumatic stress in a way–any event, positive or negative,  can open the wound and the internalized belief  “I am not good enough as I am, I must work extra hard to be perfect to be loved”.  These are the roots of the compulsions of perfectionism, workaholism, burnout, and exhaustion etc.  It is automatic and unconscious until we become aware of it, give voice to it,  and then can reassure ourselves and calm and slow ourselves down. Sometimes it takes an accident, illness, or an injury for us to awaken to the knowledge of:  “this pattern has to change–I am hurting myself by doing this!” 

For me it was the event of both my children coming home.  My 24-year-old son who lives 3 hours away and I hadn’t seen since Christmas was coming home for 4 days at Easter.  And my 20-year-old daughter was coming home from her semester studying abroad in Australia 2 days after Easter. I overdid it!  I was drained and exhausted but still so excited by the end of Easter evening–my low back/hip was aching but I ignored it. My son left after a wonderful visit but my daughter would be home in 2 days.  I ignored my hip pain and exhaustion and just had to go to the grocery to get her favorite foods, just had to go to the party store to buy welcome home decorations and balloons, just had to clean up her room and get it ready for her, just had to hang up the banners and reach and stretch to hang lots of streamers in the main area of the house. All that stretching and twisting was way too much for my already injured sacroiliac joint! (I had moved boxes out of my son’s room to prepare for his visit).  I thought I just needed a chiropractic adjustment and I’d be good as new–but I was continually injuring the ligaments to my sacroiliac joint!  I didn’t listen to my body–it was begging me to stop, begging me to rest, “all this isn’t necessary, don’t do it” my intuition whispered to me. But “I have to” was a louder voice.  I now realize my childhood fear of “not being good enough as I am” was playing out my trauma from the past into the present.

I did cut back on some things I had planned to do and rested with heat and ice packs for 3 hours before we picked up my daughter at the airport–but it was too late!  The damage was done!  And as the adrenaline wore off and my daughter settled into our home with “Mom, you shouldn’t have!”, she ended up being so right!  I shouldn’t have!  And I will never forget this painful lesson of ignoring pain in my body again.  (I ended up in the ER with excruciating pain 1 and 1/2 days later–see my last post for more info.)

Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.  Besides adrenal fatigue, I have never had anything chronic and this was chronic excruciating pain. I thought I had discovered a healthy alternative to exercise with my specific carbohydrate diet that was and is the perfect solution for my highly sensitive digestive system.  Avoiding complex carbohydrates and sugar gave me more energy and kept my weight down.  So I fooled myself into believing I didn’t need to exercise.  (I tried exercising occasionally with fits and starts but the pain always made me quit–I now see there was emotional pain from my childhood tied into “getting stronger”.  I learned that often childhood wounds related to our bodies can have complex origins. Hsps can feel shamed with looks of disgust or disapproval when expressing themselves joyfully through their bodies–dancing, running, and playing can be seen as threats to a N parent who need their hsp children to stay dependent and near and “take care of them forever”.  This may be an unconscious act on the part of the N parent–The mixed message of “grow up”/”don’t grow up and leave me” leaves many HSPs to feel guilt about growing strong and competent and enjoying having strong bodies. HSPs can sense this message even though the parent may be completely unaware that they are projecting this onto their child.

Now I am told that if I’d had more core strength and the overall strength and stamina that only exercise can provide I could have avoided this injury.  With weak core muscles I put strain on the ligaments related to my sacroilliac (SI) joint and injured the ligaments severely. Sprained ligaments like I have takes 4-6 weeks to heal.  And you must be very careful not to reinjure them by doing too much too soon–I read that if you reinjure certain SI areas 4 or more times, you could end up with chronic pain there for the rest of your life!

And this week I did have a setback.  3 weeks in I was doing well and was finally able to pick things up off of the floor and drive etc. but I must have done too much and remember one sudden jolt that retriggered my pain and set my progress back a whole week!  Ugh!…back on the couch just when the pain was beginning to lessen.  But I learned from it and am now even more careful and even more grateful for the activities I took for granted before.

As bad as it sounds, this traumatic experience has changed my life for the better.  I learned:

1.  I avoided exercise because of the pain it caused me but that is nothing compared to the pain of being immobile and unable to function normally and perform the simplest of tasks like putting on ones own socks!

2.  I must commit to regular exercise as soon as possible after I heal.  My plan is to start walking and doing core strengthening daily and then I am going to do Pilates or yoga and join jazzercise again.  I loved Jazzercise classes in my 20’s and 30’s–I had stopped in 1999 when it became too fatiguing and painful for me (I didn’t know then that I already had symptoms of adrenal fatigue).  The adrenal fatigue is now better so I should be able to get back into it if I am very gradual and process the emotions as they come up.

3.  I must get in shape and get core strength for the first time in my life and stay that way!  I hope to get up to doing Jazzercise  3 times a week. Also I plan to do lots of hiking and biking with my husband which he loves to do but has always done without me because….well… honestly… I couldn’t keep up.  My body has now taken a front seat in my life–I am sorry I didn’t listen to it sooner!  Fear of this pain returning is a great motivator–muscle soreness is nothing compared to the intense chronic pain and the pain of being immobile and dependent on others for everything.

4.  I am too young for this kind of injury–I am only 49. Now my body has caught up to the “new beginning journey” that my heart and mind were already on!  And so for this wake up call I say, Thank you, Universe, for all that it taught me!!!

Wishing all of you love and kindness to your spirit, mind, and BODY!!

With love,

Roxanne

Honor Thy Parents Only If They Are Honorable–Support for Highly Sensitive Survivors at Easter

Hi everyone.  April is almost here and as highly sensitive survivors you may be experiencing what can only be described as Easter Guilt.  Easter is a family time, when families get together and celebrate God and Jesus and hsps often contemplate very reason for being on the planet.  Even for the non-religious, Easter causes many to deeply evaluate our true purpose and our humanity.  It is similar to the Christmas holiday when we look at our lives and say to ourselves “Today I SHOULD be happy!  Where is my happy extended family that loves and supports me!”

Depending on where you are in your recovery from narcissistic abuse or childhood wounds, you may have started your own new Easter traditions with yourselves or with your own children which are more loving and focused on celebrating Spring, the miracle of nature and new life, and appreciating the ability to renew yourselves by being more loving–you remind yourselves, your children, or new-found friends that God loves you as you are, unconditionally.

Still, the Easters of your childhood may hold onto your hearts this time of year.  You may still unconsciously hold down the pain of Easter family get-togethers filled with religious abuse and guilt-inducement, or the pain of no celebrations at all at a time when other families and children seemed to be so happy and loved and celebrating.  Holidays such as this can surface feelings of deep loneliness as you realize you are separated from your true selves and true potential because you may have had to manufacture a self that was pleasing to your narcissistic parent, a false self that was superficial and not at all the rich, deep, complex personality that you still feel ashamed to completely step into.  You may want so badly to be good, kind, fair, and right with God so you may feel guilt not honoring the commandment that tells you to Honor Thy Father and Mother.

As part of your recovery from childhood wounds, you may want to include reading Alice Miller’s book, The Body Never Lies.  I want to share with you a  review of this book that I found on her website in order to support those of you who still struggle with guilt if you happen to be needing to enforce No Contact in order to heal from your childhood wounds:

“Norm Lee, May 2, 2005

Of Moms and Moses A Review of Alice Miller’s book, THE BODY NEVER LIES: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting

….  We have to break free of our (internalized) parents’ grip on us, that of the biblical injunction, “Honor (obey, worship,) thy father and thy mother.” Until then we, in a sense, feel and behave and think like the little children we once were; we cannot grow up. Worse, because as children we weren’t accepted and loved for who we were, parents repeatedly punished us in attempts to force us into the imaginary mold they had prepared for us, i.e., what a child should be. Dr. Miller’s message is that our bodies bear a detailed record of every childhood hurt and humiliation inflicted, every spank and slap, insult and indignity. And until or if those internal, psychic wounds remain unhealed, we can expect to continue to pay the terrible price in physical illnesses. Powerless to do otherwise, we suppressed our true and good authentic selves to win the love our emotional survival depended on.

Dr. Miller writes with astonishing and penetrating truth about the connections between childhood suffering at the hands of parents, and the physical consequences of obedience to the Fourth Commandment. The Biblical law, “Honor thy father and thy mother” is here challenged as the source of widespread – even universal – life-long suffering. As children we attempted to free ourselves from our feelings of fear, insecurity and confusion thru repression and dissociation/self-alienation. Whatever the cost (abandonment of our true selves), we persisted in loving and trusting our parents (we hardly had a choice) and strived to earn their approval, (and (thus) to please the Greater Parent in the Sky.)

Today, what stands between our bodies and the healing of those injuries is the hold the Fourth Commandment has on our minds. As we live and breathe, the fear of parental rejection/punishment lurks within that fear. It has to be brought to consciousness and examined before healing can take place. We walk carrying a sack full of personal history, the burden of wounds inflicted by all the punishment and indignities that have ever happened to us. Until we heal those internal wounds, we daily pay a terrible price in suffering, much of it physical illness, and make others pay as well. Those others are most often our own children. The claim so often heard, “I got spanked and I turned out OK,” cannot be upheld when it is understood how the denial of physical and emotional injuries are connected to present illnesses.

“….  Dr. Miller repeatedly emphasizes the tragic effects, in the form of physical ailments, of the body’s life-long yearning for parental love and affection. She touches on the way this suppression is expressed in religion: the command to love God, on pain of punishment when we fail to do so; the absurdity of inventing a parent-like creator, perfect and omnipotent, who craves our love. It is an odd god, an immensely dependent god, a Big Daddy who, if given the love demanded, will reward with an eternity in blissful heaven. (And the teenage suicide bombers of the Middle East are promised the bonus of 72 virgins to sweeten the deal.) Inasmuch as the Great Father is not loved, even worshipped, the alternative is agonizing punishment from now to the “end” of eternity.

We have to liberate ourselves from the propaganda imposed on us – and enforced on us on pain of punishment – by conventional morality. This book calls for a higher morality, as it applies to parenthood. We cannot truly love our parents, she asserts, until we are liberated from the infantile attachment, the idolatry, that trapped us in childhood.

Dr. Miller wants the reader to understand and accept that parents who abused us do not deserve our love and honor, regardless of a Moses-imposed commandment to do so. As we all must know, love is one thing that cannot be enforced. Like Sgt. Joe Friday, the body, in its wisdom, rejects illusions. It accepts only the facts, as higher morality is inherent not in the mind, but in our bodies. She takes to task all those friends and relatives and preachers and therapists who say, “Forgive your mother, forgive your father; they did the best they knew how. She changed your diapers, he sacrificed for you, and above all they loved you.” Miller will not hear it: forgiveness is a crock and a trap, laid to continue the dependency, and preserve the hope, that somehow, sometime, we will finally bask in the love that was so long ago denied us. Reading Alice is like hearing someone whisper, “I know the secret you are hiding in your past, the feelings of hurt and fright and shame and humiliation at the abusive treatment you suffered at the hands of your parents. And I’m asking you – urging you, challenging you – to come out of that dark closet and face up to it.”

In the valley where I live, the #1 fear at whatever age is parental punishment. And among adults, it’s primary defense is Denial. Behind the denial of childhood mistreatment lies the fear of punishment, therefore acknowledgement or recognition of it in adulthood can approach terror. But the price for denial is paid in physical as well as mental illness. When aware of it we see it everywhere: the suffering in the bodies and minds of strangers and of those dear to us. But we must begin with ourselves, confronting the punishing parent within.”

As supportive as this information is, I know how difficult it is to step away from your abusive family ties and go it alone and start a new emotionally healthier life so that you can heal and get stronger.  You need support for such drastic actions and I offer you that support through my posts, articles, poems, songs and lyrics, my coaching, and a community here with many comments on my website that I hope lovingly states, “you are not alone, you are in the company of a community of survivors that is growing in number as they dare to come out of their darkness and speak the truth of what happened to them as children!” 

As highly sensitive people (HSPs) you have many gifts to offer that are lacking in many of the people around you.  Celebrate your differentness, celebrate YOU this Easter and open up to the love that exists from God and from other HSPs like yourself.  I believe we HSPs are gifted with compassion and an ability to love deeper so that we can help each other through the negativity and dark energies that do exist around us.

Love to you this Easter season, may you realize your shining light inside of you and shine it on your children, spouse, friends, and especially your self!  You deserve a wonderful Easter!  

With Love,

Roxanne

P.S. For more information on Easter Guilt for HSPs, please read my post from last Easter entitled, April 1, 2010 Guilt at Easter Time and How to Cope…  

 

Stress Relief For Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

Hi everyone. We made it through the harsh weather of February.  Yay!  March has visions of early flowers budding up through the ground, warmer temperatures, and hopefully a lot less snow and storms.  It was beautiful and fun at first, but here in the midwestern United States, the continuous snow and storms soon started to wear on us all.  Now we can breath a sigh of relief as the temperatures gradually rise and we can get out and about easier and with less stress.

Stress relief is so important to highly sensitive souls who survived the stressful conditions of having a narcissistic parent or other childhood wounds.  They may have stressed-out bodies and wounded hearts and they need to learn how to relieve stress in our lives.  They have been controlled by guilt and compulsively take care of the needs of others instead of themselves.  They often feel guilty even thinking about putting themselves first.  But in order to truly have something real to give others, a real human emotional connection, they HAVE to make themselves and their healing a priority.  This really begins with giving themselves permission to reduce the stress in their lives.  They may be so used to stress in their life, that they don’t even recognize it as stress.  Do you relate? Here are some examples:

1) Do you have long lists of SHOULDS in your life that you really don’t enjoy doing?  Perhaps you even have a large house and yard to take care of and it never occurred to you that you would be happier in a smaller place with less chores to do on daily basis.

2) Do you have relationships in your life that drain you rather than help you to feel good about yourself?  Do you have friendships with people who do not see your sensitivity as a uniqueness about you that makes you special, but instead make you feel like they put up with you and are willing to work around the nuisance it causes them that you are different?  For example, food  and seasonal allergies, needing more time alone, and frequent breaks from stressful work are not things you should be made to feel guilty about.  These are things that, when tended to with care, help reduce your stress level from the busy lives we are thrust into, and give you more time and energy for the things that you deep down really desire to do with your life!

3) Do you find comfort in collecting THINGS that fill your time and fill up your house, but then you are overwhelmed because of the time it takes to maintain the care of these collectibles and things that you just had to have?  Clutter can be draining to highly sensitive people.  You may be beginning to be aware that a shift in your feelings about material things in your life is starting to happen.  Does the phrase Less is More help you to realize that when we get rid of things in our lives that we don’t really need, then we have more room to relax and just be our true selves in the space around us?

When you empty a room, do you ever notice how your kids get excited and start to dance around and do cartwheels?  Self-expression happens when we are not cluttered by unnecessary material things!  It is difficult to get started sometimes because as highly sensitive people we often have deep emotional attachments to things that have been in our lives a long time.  I solved this problem for myself by taking pictures of things before I get rid of them.  Also, allow yourself to feel and grieve the thought of the loss of the item before you actually get rid of it.  Sometimes it is helpful to set items aside in an out of the way place and wait a week or a month or whatever you need and ask yourself if you really miss the item–you may be surprised that you are now ready to let it go or you have completely forgotten about it and then it is easier to give it to Goodwill or someone who will get some use out of the item.

As highly sensitive people, reducing stress put upon us by the SHOULDS instilled from childhood and less sensitive others can make a big difference in the quality of our lives.  You deserve to live the life that you envision for yourself and not someone else’s vision of what almost everyone else seems to be doing to be happy.  The key to happiness for hsps in listening to your own unique guidance from within. Often it is only through the quiet of being alone that we can hear the truth of our inner needs and desires.  Listen.  Listen to your heart and not to what your chattering mind is saying.  You can find inner peace and joy in your life if you can find ways to begin to really relax and enjoy YOUR life.  Noone else can know what is right for you but you.

With Love,

Roxanne

The Connection To Learned Helplessness in Highly Sensitive People (HSPs)

Updated March 2016

Hi everyone.  Today I want to write about a subject that many of my clients and readers can relate to as Highly Sensitive People.  It is something called Learned Helplessness.  Learned Helplessness is that feeling of powerlessness that we all feel at times, and for some of us it is more pervasive and all encompassing than for others.  There is much hope in talking about it because if you can understand the roots of this feeling, you can understand that it is “learned” behavior and that you can become aware of it when it hits you and ultimately heal from it completely.

I first heard about Learned Helplessness in my introductory psychology class in college.  And you probably have heard the story as well–the story of Pavlov’s dog. Pavlov used a dog in an experiment in human behavior to demonstrate the result of conditioning. I can’t recall the exact details except that the dog was given rewards or withheld the rewards and the resulting behavior of the dog was recorded and studied. There were other dog experiments by a psychologist named Seligman in which he shocked sets of dogs to demonstrate learned behavior and conditioning and punishment.

The main thing I remember vividly about the whole thing was that at the end of the Seligman experiments, the dogs were shocked repeatedly both when they completed a task correctly and also when they did not.  The poor dogs were so confused that they layed down depressed and GAVE UP and even whined–and this was Learned Helplessness that the dogs were experiencing.  I still remember learning about this vividly because I felt SO bad for these dogs–I was empathizing and upset beyond what the average person reading this would expect to be.

At that time in college I did not have the insight or self-awareness yet to realize it was because I resonated so much personally with how the dogs were treated. As a highly sensitive, empathetic person I knew just how those dogs must have felt and I related to them giving up and laying down, hopeless, and helpless, in fear, and self-doubt.  Those dogs were experiencing the same damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t no-win situation that those who were bullied consistently (or even neglected or controlled) by a caretaker or narcissistic or controlling parent were subjected to day in and day out as children.  Years later I remember talking to a counselor about this, knowing just how a dog in those experiments must have felt and it helped the counselor have a picture of the frustration, fear, desperation, loneliness, despair, hopelessness, and helplessness.

After I voiced this to the counselor, I was able to picture myself as a small child with the same compassion I had for such a dog and finally realized that I deserved so much more.  The roots of my anxiety were then exposed–no wonder I felt anxious all the time, no wonder I was a perfectionist and afraid to disappoint anyone, no wonder I didn’t know how to relax, no wonder I had no access to my own dreams and desires and was filled with self-doubts and negative messages in my head.  It helped to talk to someone about how I felt what I experienced could compare to the treatment of those dogs–the feeling of not being given consistent love and support and feeling rewarded only if obedient and punished with emotional rejection if not.

My life coaching experiences and studies have taught me the following in regards to those highly sensitive people with a narcissistic parent:  The Scapegoat child of a N parent can very much relate to this constant punishment and criticism.  But the Golden Child (GC) can relate as well because they are often the obedient one who needs desperately some kind of loving approval and, out of fear, becomes what the parent or  wants for them to become.  Outwardly to others it may appear as if the GC has it all–the love, attention and admiration of the Narcissistic parent.  But inside there is so much emptiness and pain, an absence of the knowledge of self and true feelings–feelings that had to be hidden away because they were too painful to bear.  The false self is developed and honed in, the GC knows exactly how their N parent feels even before they do.  The GC develops a radar that helps them to survive the lack of love and support–and they develop an illusion that they are the ones at fault if, even with their best efforts, they fail to win the acceptance of the N parent.  They blame themselves and have very low self-esteem, crushed by criticism, holding relationships at arms length so no one will get too close and cause them further pain.

The roots of co-dependence are also linked to this learned helplessness–victims of such abuse telling themselves that there must be something wrong with them and that they are deeply flawed and it usually goes in one of two ways–either they decide they need to find another person to love them and take care of them and then they will be happy (co-dependence) or they become a porcupine not letting anyone one else near, lashing out at anyone who suspects that they just might have some insecurities underneath their outwardly successful yet workaholic exterior shell. People who suffer from panic attacks and even agoraphobia often have learned helplessness from childhood as a root cause as well.

“What can a person do?” you may be asking if you relate to what I am describing.  Plenty!  Just being aware and believing that this happened to you as a child is the first step. Just as you have compassion for the dogs in the experiments, you need to develop this same compassion for yourself and make a decision to stop being so hard on yourself.  Make a decision to be kind to yourself every time you are feeling bad–it is almost always childhood pain coming up to tell you the truth of what really happened to you.  Become aware that the negative messages in your head were put there by someone else and that you did not deserve them.  Change them to positive messages.  Write in a journal all the things you were good at as a child and never given credit for.  Writing out the truth is powerful and go back and read it often to remind yourself.

It takes time so be patient with yourself.  Taking baby steps in the direction of healing is wise because there is pain to work through and release but you can do it!  You have many gifts and talents that have never been acknowledged yet and only you can bring them out from their repressed state of Learned Helplessness.

Whether you were the scapegoat in your family or the obedient golden child, you can heal from the trauma of Learned Helplessness.  Often people who experience post traumatic stress from an abusive childhood fall into this state of learned helplessness when their wounds are triggered.  It can feel like an inability to function, a numbness–but sometimes the feelings along with that are a mix of rage and despair.

If you have lashed out at loved ones with an intensity beyond what is appropriate then you probably were a victim of a person that controlled you in an abusive way far far too much with no remorse. If you were extremely sensitive (extremely emotionally gifted 🙂 ), just a mean look from his/her eyes could cause a traumatic reaction in you as a child and the fear may have felt like a spear through your heart.  The rage and despair you feel is understandable and appropriate but needs to be directed, voiced, and released at the person that did this too you in a journal, letter that won’t be sent, and/or perhaps even read outloud with a safe witness friend, counselor, or coach present (never to them or to their face) .  You will find a sense of relief each time you release some of this truth and the light inside of you will become brighter and brighter and you will feel lighter and lighter. You will begin to experience the essence of your true self and the vitality you deserve.  This is the process of healing. Don’t hold onto the anger and resentment that comes up but release it completely each time, visualizing the negative emotions going up to heaven or into the earth,whichever appeals most, to be healed by love and light–Imagine love and light coming to you as well to replace these negative emotions each time to center yourself again to a peaceful state.

Why did you experience learned helplessness while your siblings did not?  Perhaps you had the gift of high sensitivity and along with that the knowledge and expectation of a higher level of love.  And when you did not receive this love that you innately knew existed, you had no choice but to blame yourself because…it made no sense to you.  Your siblings possibly just got mad at your parents and rebelled–they may have had no higher vision of a loving existence so it didn’t feel as traumatic to them.

So you see, the cure and the answer to all of your self-doubt and learned helplessness is LOVE Love yourself as you deserved to be loved and give yourself the love that you so easily give to others because that is your gift.  Compassion and love for yourself will help you overcome all of the many symptoms of Learned Helplessness just as consistent love and affection and kindness would help Seligman’s abused dogs to learn to trust people and trust themselves again.  I hope my words have been helpful to you.

With love,

Roxanne

Holiday Survival Tips–An HSPs Recovery From Artistic and Creative Self-doubt

Hi everyone.  It’s November!and there’s a briskness in the air and the awareness of the holidays approaching.  For many highly sensitive survivors that comes with a bitter-sweet feeling–of light and love from God above (the true reason for the season) mixed with the grief of a lost childhood and sad or painful holiday memories of being misunderstood and diminished.  Or it can be an overwhelming feeling of dread on some days for many reasons related to your present relationship with your some bullies in your life, and on other days of stress–being caught up in the busy-ness of getting ready for the big days ahead for your loved ones–often too busy to feel anything at all.

Depending on where you are in your recovery, it is normal for you to be feeling all of these different ways.  Be kind to yourself no matter how you are feeling and please try to slow down, breathe deeply and take self-care breaks–stop and be aware of the negative messages in your head and change them to kind words that you deserved as a child such as:  Everything is going to be all right,  You are doing a good job,  It’s okay to make mistakes,  You are special, deep, and a rare gift to this planet.

Affirmations you can say to yourself are:  I love and approve of myself, I am safe, and, my favorite, I give myself permission to be the best that I can be. This last one is helpful especially because often others may have been threatened and jealous of your gifts and so, sensing this, because you were highly sensitive and empathic, you protected them by hiding your gifts away so they would feel better.  Giving yourself permission to be the best that you can be can be so empowering and satisfying–like suddenly realizing, “Oh, wow, I don’t have to protect anyone anymore and I can just relax and be awesome!”  Many of you feel guilty for everything even for your own creative and artistic gifts! A caretaker from childhood may have caused you to feel shame for expressing them.  Please take your gifts out of hiding and take a good look at the truth of the gifts and talents that you brought with you to this planet.  They are your gifts and yours alone and you deserve to enjoy and feel good about them and share them with others!

With love,

Roxanne

For more about overcoming creative self-doubt please read my post from January 28, 2010 On Overcoming Self-doubt–The Story Behind My Songs Of Hope and Healing. 

 

  

Part 2–More Helpful Tips for HSPs With A Narcissistic Parent

Hi everyone.  I am a life coach for highly sensitive people with childhood wounds and I specialize in inner child healing.  Today I am releasing Part 2 of my More Helpful Tips post for those of you Highly Sensitive Souls trying to figure out how to thrive when you have a narcissistic parent.  It may help for you to review tips 1 through 6 in my last post. To summarize, they were about: your gift of intuition; the childhood traumas you repressed to survive; anxiety, self-doubt, co-dependence and PTSD; there is hope; inner child healing can help; and no contact with your Narcissistic parent may be vital to the healing process. So here are tips 7. through 12.:

7.  Know that the GUILT is relieved by acknowledging the anger and hatred you felt as a child that you were forced to repress.

The guilt of setting boundaries in your relationship with your Narcissistic (N) parent will be strong!  Ignore it! It is guilt induced from elsewhere that you internalized since you were a tiny child.  That has affected your freedom as a gifted child to become your own wonderful self!  It may feel as if they took that from you and gave you guilt, shame, and fear in it’s place.  So what do you do with the guilt you feel when stepping out on your own to become the person with freedom to do whatever you want with your life?  HSPs tend to feel guilt for feeling anger–allow yourself to feel angry about it!  Righteous anger is a healthy emotion that you were not “allowed” to express to them–but it is important that you release this anger in harmless ways (not to the parent who abused you) .  Acknowledge it, tell a safe person, or write it out in a journal (for your eyes only) in detail the anger you feel for all that you lost.  Because this rage inside that comes out sometimes in your life at the wrong people has an origin that needs to be acknowledged and let go of.  You have a right to acknowledge this repressed anger for the traumas that happened to you as a child–it was too painful for a child to survive this kind of excruciating, unbearable emotional pain of hating your parents when you needed them so desperately.  So the trauma is repressed and the truth of what happened to you needs to be released so that you can finally be free. Punching a mattress with your fist and/or screaming into several pillows for as long as you need to is helpful to release the rage you have kept inside all these years.  It helps to have a supportive and safe person present to validate your feelings as you release them. Do not hold onto this intense anger–release it and imagine this energy going away from you forever.  (Forgiveness is important but not until all the layers of repressed anger are worked through and this takes time and patience with yourself–do not attempt to forgive too soon or you may get stuck in a guilt about not being able to forgive cycle.)

8. Know that grieving the loss of your childhood is part of the healing process.

Often after the release of anger you will begin to feel all the hurt and pain of not being truly loved as you deserved. Letting this out and releasing this is so important as well in the healing process of your wounded soul. It helps so much to talk to another empathic human to feel fully validated and comforted through this grieving process–but if there is no one possible then you can write this pain out and you may even surprise yourself by the poetry that pours out of you.  (No rules when you write–just let it pour out).  These words of your soul will always surprise you– you will discover a richness and deep inner life inside of you that you never knew existed.  Because it was hiding in fear all this time–a very real fear–fear of your parent’s judgemental rejection and abandonment of your budding wise self.

9.  Know that it is okay for you to be FREE of them and put yourself first so you can heal.

It is a free country!  You are a free person to do as you wish.  And noone knows the pain that a narcissistic parent can do to the soul of a highly sensitive child except those who have experienced it.  So stop waiting for approval from the rest of society.  You may need to stop all contact with the harmful, negative, malignant narcissistic parent in your life forever and always if that is how long it takes for you to feel safe and have inner peace. You do not even need to attend their funeral if that is something that worries you. It is okay to protect yourself from all the negative energy and judgements of others at family gatherings if you are feeling this will happen. (This all depends upon your own personal spiritual beliefs–I personally now believe our souls live for eternity and those who truly love and support you will be there in heaven and watch over you in spirit–they will understand your reasons for staying away.  I believe you don’t need to go to a funeral to say goodbye or to appease family members who don’t support you either. This is something that must feel right to you and your own personal spiritual beliefs)  And to support you further, I just happened to hear on the radio today, a Christian counselor reminding someone that  “Honor thy father and mother” DOES NOT APPLY when they are emotionally abusive and use fear to control you.  Fear is the opposite of love!  It is a deal breaker and they are no longer honorable parents.  God wants for you to protect yourself and go towards love in your life and away from those who induce fear. I agree with this.  Loving parents want you to feel safe and loved–N parents do not care if you feel safe and loved, they want you to obey or else!  Please get yourself safe and free.

10. Know that Narcissistic people are known as “Crazymakers” for a good reason.

If you have malignant narcissistic parents, they are not going to change and they are not going to stop trying to make you wrong.  You are not wrong for putting your life and your dreams first for a change.  This is your time!  This is your life!  This is your time for healing and dreaming and learning to love yourself as God has always wanted for you.  Malignant Narcissism is mental illness.  It’s a severe problem and insidious in nature because they appear to fit in with other people and have friends and thrive and look fine on the outside. They may even be religious and say they are devoted to God but it is not true!  It is just words!  They may even appear to change and will be on their good behavior around your children but don’t believe it.  They may even turn your kids against you in an instant if they are able.   There’s a hidden self-hatred there underneath in a narcissist and a desire to control others with no remorse and no desire to change as a disconnected self-protection from emotional pain–a complete separation from their soul’s true essence.  That’s enough knowledge for you to know you need to get you and your children safe with safe boundaries in place.

11.  Know that highly sensitive people absorb the negative energy of others. Time alone and the beauty of nature can help recharge your positive  energy.

Malignant narcissists are like energy vampires sucking the good energy out of you and replacing it with all their unconscious negative feelings about themselves.  You feed them, so to speak, and they take it and feel better about themselves. And they constantly want more, not seeing or caring how it is hurting you.  Only you can stop feeding their endless need for your supply of positive energy. This is what it means to develop healthy boundaries.  It is your very essence, your “gift” that they are taking–your ability to give light and love to others.  You must protect this gift. It is meant for those who are also of light and love so that we can build each other up and help each other so that all of our dreams can come true and we can improve life on our planet.  These dreams and desires that you have deep inside are the innervoice that connects you to God and the light that feeds all of us (HSPs).  It is the LOVE that you never got from your N parents that you begin to feel has been inside of you all along.  As you begin to connect with your real feelings and your vitality you connect with God and the love and bliss that was there innately in our true selves.  Love exists and you can give it to yourselves when you realize you were loved all along and were born with this love to give to others who don’t exploit you.

12.  Know that you can rescue yourself!  Noone can do it for you.

Take the first steps and start on a path of healing today!  Be strong and stay away from your malignant narcissistic parent while you heal and anyone who judges you for doing so.  You don’t need to explain it to anyone.  Most highly sensitive people will understand without explanation.  They are out there–don’t give up! I am proud to be a highly sensitive person and now as a life coach of inner child healing I shine my light brightly to help other sensitive souls out of the dark.  You have a light inside of you that has just been hiding in fear.  Everything is going to be all right now as the truth of who you are comes to light. Please take extremely good care of yourself so your highly sensitive soul can shine and inspire others. I hope these tips have been helpful to you.

With Love and Light,

Roxanne

More Helpful Tips–For Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) With A Narcissistic Parent–Part 1

Hi everyone. As highly sensitive people, many of you are struggling with how to cope with your relationship with your narcissistic parent and your unsupportive siblings and extended family.  First of all I want to tell you that as a life coach for people with childhood wounds, I understand your pain and how hard it is. There is very little support in our society for not having a relationship with ones’ parents no matter how negative and destructive they are to you or were to you in your childhood.  Many people have difficult parents but they tolerate them and seem to get by okay so why can’t you, right?  The pressure is very real.  But let me help you understand the difference between you (an HSP) and everyone else with some more helpful tips that are very important for you to know.

1. Know that your greatest gift is your intuition.

As a highly sensitive person (HSP), you were naturally giving and loving and trusting as children.  You had high hopes for yourselves and others including your parents.  People with loving and supportive parents are more likely living lives full of vitality and creative fulfillment and healthy boundaries to keep negative, manipulative, harmful people at a distance naturally and sharing their unique gifts with others.  These people don’t feel guilty about not getting along with everyone–they just “know” there are some people who are unhealthy and dangerous–they pay attention to their natural instincts.  But people with a narcissistic parent were taught at a very young age, even from birth not to trust their own instincts, their own intuition.  The horrible thing about that is, that was their greatest gift, “their sensitive intuition”, and it was often used against them.

2. Know that you may have repressed a terrible trauma from your childhood–the loss of the knowledge of your gifts.

Possibly, if you had an N parent, then part of your sensitivities were seen as a gift for “them”.  They could control you easily because of your trusting nature–so often they used fear to get you to be quiet, anger to get you to obey, and shame to keep you from feeling independent and strong.  And it worked.  You trusted them and needed them to take care of you and protect you from a world that overwhelmed your sensitive souls so you…experienced a trauma that caused you to shut down your true selves and become what they wanted you to become.   Something happened that was “the last straw” for your fragile but wise self that was developing.  Typically it happens around age 5 or 6, according to Alice Miller (Author of The Drama of the Gifted Child).  After an incident that you can’t remember because you have repressed it, suddenly, you are obedient and sweet wanting only to please.  And please them you did.  And that is why it is so hard for them to let go of you now.  You took care of them.  Completely and amazingly.  They felt loved by you and validated by you filling a void inside of them that was caused in their childhood.  It is as if you were the loving parent that they never had.  That is how gifted you were.  Those gifts of intuiting the needs of others are still there–they were just misused and abused by your needy and narcissistic parent.  Those gifts of being a loving and giving and caretaking soul were mis-directed.

3. Know that your childhood holds the roots of your anxiety, self-doubt, post traumatic stress, and co-dependence issues.

As you grew up and tried to do some of the creative endeavors that were driven by your soul, your parent probably did not support you because they did not want you to leave them or stop taking care of their emotional needs or they just saw no harm in controlling you.  As narcissistic parents with no conscience or guilt, it was easy for them to manipulate you, so they did.  The pain of your original trauma at the age of 5 or 6 would come up for you each time you tried to express your true self and these outbursts of emotion may have been shamed and punished by your parent and made you give up each time.  This is the beginning of the post traumatic stress that still plagues you today. ” Why do I over-react in these explosive ways”, you may have asked yourself.  This is why.  Your true self and all your repressed feelings and desires from childhood still want badly to be heard and understood and validated and “loved”.  Your narcissistic parent was not capable of giving you this love and still is not and never will be.  Your love needs are still unmet.  You searched for love from others but sometimes, because parts of you are still undeveloped and childlike, you end up being attracted to people who seem wonderful and charming at first but then turn out to be needy and manipulative and unable to comfort you when you need it most–just like your N parent.

4. Know that there is hope and you can heal.

So what is a highly sensitive person with an N parent to do?  You can heal and learn to love yourself and slowly unblock all those creative parts of yourself that never got a chance to be expressed.  You can learn to trust your self and your gifts of emotional intelligence and intuition that were seemingly robbed from you and misused and abused.  You can gain clarity amidst all the confusion, and hope amidst all the despair.  You can learn that it is okay for you to say no to other people’s demands and put yourself first.  You need to learn about extreme “self- care” (Cheryl Richardson–author of the book Life Makeovers) and you need a journal to pour into all the feelings from your deepest heart.  You need support from like-minded, highly sensitive, safe people to share the pain and grief from the loss of a childhood that feels as if it was taken away from you.  All your desires and free impulses were repressed so that you could survive with an illusion that your parent’s needs were more important than your own.  But surviving was not really living your life.  Surviving is not good enough.  Your survival skills just cause you trouble because they are not driven by your heart, they are driven by a needy inner child trying to please a parent that felt unpleasable and without remorse about what they did to you.

5. Know that the answers are inside of you and support is available.

You need to take a new direction.  A direction into your own soul.  You need to excavate the desires of a child who never had a say in the development of his/her own life!  Write it out!  Talk it out! Cry it out!  Shout it out!  You can do this in a journal that is meant for your eyes only.  Or you can find a counselor or coach who does inner child healing therapy.  It’s important to find support somewhere so you can find your true voice and express it.  There are HSP meet-up groups in larger cities.  You might also look into Unitarian churches or Unity churches to meet people of a spiritual nature who are not necessarily “religious”.

6. Know that no contact with a malignant narcissistic parent is not just recommended so that you can get the time you need to heal, it is vital!

One of the first steps into this new direction of healing for yourself is ending the old song and dance and unhealthy relationship that you have with your narcissistic parent.  If you’ve tried everything else and you are still miserable, that means setting boundaries on contact is an important step so that you can heal and move on with the life that you always deserved.  The fact that you understand the words Malignant Narcissistic is crucial here.  We are not talking about a parent that is capable of being remorseful about your childhood and trying to change, we are talking about a parent who blames you every time the relationship isn’t going their way–they resent the loss of control over your life that they always had. Control is not love. It may be time to cut off contact so you can finally heal.  You do not owe them another ounce of your precious energy.  You owe it to yourself to stay away from them as you heal, because being around them at all always takes a toll on you,  a toll that is much heavier and destructive and stressful and toxic to you than you may realize.

There are a total of 12 tips that I have written about here today, but I am going to stop here and give you the other 6 in my next post in two weeks because this is getting really long. I hope that what I have written has been helpful to you.  I hope that you can enjoy this last week of summer and get out in the warmth of the sunshine–slow down and feel the connection to God’s love that nature provide’s and really take it in. Walks in nature are a great way to recharge your energy.  Your highly sensitive soul and body deserve this special treatment.  It’s never too late to start on the path to the healing you deserve.

With Love,

Roxanne

Perfectionism, The Highly Sensitive Person, and How Grieving Our Childhood Pain Is Essential To Healing

 

Hi everyone.  I hope you are enjoying the summer.  I hope you are not heaping lists of  “shoulds” on yourself (home improvements etc.) to accomplish–only to realize, “What was I thinking?!  I can’t do all this stuff!–the KIDS are home!”  ha ha.  Yes I remember, and I still do it somewhat but this summer is SO much better.  Back then it was a priority for me to make happy, fun summer memories for my children and connecting with them emotionally. I always ended up throwing out my long list of shoulds.  If you don’t, you end up saying to yourself, “I didn’t get this done and I didn’t get that done.  Instead make a list of all the things you DO accomplish after they happen–write down each special conversation, each walk in nature, each memorable meal together etc.  By the end of the summer you will have a wonderful memoir of how special your summer actually was instead of a list of what you didn’t get done.

Even with my best efforts when my children were growing up, I was too busy satisfying their needs for a fun summer and way too many “shoulds” for myself that I often felt like I missed it–summer would just zip by me and I was left feeling regret.

I think often times we are busy like that to avoid our painful feelings that we may have experienced in childhood. We found ways to cope and survive the lack of love, encouragement, acknowledgement, and acceptance we all desperately wanted and needed. We are perfectionists, compulsive over-workers, compulsive shoppers, compulsive list-makers, and then call ourselves procrastinators because we put things off–but it’s really because we have unrealistic expectations of what we need to accomplish.

As highly sensitive children, it seemed to us that nothing we ever did was praised or applauded as we deserved unless it was something others wanted us to be doing.  This was so confusing to us so we rationalized that we must not be doing enough or doing it well enough.  Now when we overwork because of perfectionism it is because we are still trying to fill an unmet need from childhood–one that will never be met but can be resolved if we allow our sadness about the truth of it all to come to the surface.  Grief is a positive, healthy emotion that is necessary to heal your childhood wounds.  You deserved so much more–you deserved…”love”.  You did not get what you felt you needed and you may feel you are still not getting it.  The problem is not with you…you are so loveable!  Aren’t you!  You know it.  You are smiling right now aren’t you because you know it on some deep level. 🙂  That is the truth that you must listen to.  The love you need and deserve exists–we know what we deserved.   

For some reason, we may feel we were born into situations where we couldn’t get love the way our souls needed to be loved.  I had a hard time resolving this–it didn’t make sense.  I was drawn to reading a lot of new age books on spirituality to figure this out.  Reading all these books really helped me get a new perspective.  I now believe that I may have more innate inner strength than certain family members.  I am able to grow and give to others even more because of my childhood wounds. We (HSPs) see the truth, we KNOW we deserve love and better treatment and we know we don’t deserve feeling bad about ourselves any longer.  When someone sees you as LESS THAN and you know you deserve more–you don’t have to be around that person.  You may need to try a few times to get them to see you and understand you, but if you keep on coming up short in their eyes, and this is causing you a great deal of stress, then it’s time to distance yourself from them and get some healing support. Some of us can’t even try to be ourselves with them–it’s too excruciating to re-experience the rejection, so we must just leave for as long as it takes so that we can begin to heal.

We all NEED acceptance.  It’s very important to look elsewhere for people who accept you and understand your self-expression for support.  We (HSPs) eventually grow from the pain of it all, and we learn to rely on our selves if we can get away from the negativity that unhealthy family members, bullies, and/or society use to control us and keep us DOWN.  They know we are different and special and yet maybe they are not as evolved as we are and so it seems they do not have the inner strength to say,  “Wow you have these great gifts of sensitivity and awareness and depth–you are different from us, you should go out into the world and share your knowledge, vision, gifts, and message of love and peace to the world–we understand and we are in awe of you.  So GO, fly away and be the best that you can be!” ha ha Wouldn’t that be the greatest to hear anyone say that!?!

In order for them to say that to us, they would have to be very secure and love themselves a lot (or be an HSP like you).  It could be they don’t love themselves at all. They may want to control us because they have so much pain and if we leave them it makes them feel their pain so they blame us.  They may not have the “insight” to see what we see or want what we want and to see that their pain has nothing to do with us.  We are holding ourselves back, waiting for their permission to leave.

Reading the books on spirituality helped me to believe that my spirit (everyone’s spirit)  is going to live for all eternity and the lessons I learn in this lifetime will never be forgotten. I believe we all evolve at different levels and different speeds and some of us souls are more advanced than others. We (HSPs) are continuously healing our post traumatic stress from our very real childhood wounds, and it is necessary for us to separate from those who caused these wounds and move forward toward new healthier people.  We must not feel guilty for healing–I believe GOD wanted us to be all that we can be and he is with us in all our healing.  We each have different limits to what negativity we can be around–we need to honor these limits and take care of ourselves whatever it takes!  Alice Miller often talks about the “never-ending work of mourning” in her books and how important the grieving process is for our recovery–we must accept it as essential to our healing and to our eventual freedom from our inner-prison of self-doubt.

 Perhaps our highly sensitive souls are more evolved and we chose (with the gift of God’s free will) to have these experiences in this lifetime to learn about the pain of rejection and about our own strength in overcoming it.  Maybe we chose them so we could learn what not to do to our own children and develop empathic skills to help others by surviving such treatment as children. I know that I am finally glad to be me, and I am proud of myself for all that I have figured out and how this knowledge has helped a lot of other people to heal. 

The grieving process has opened my life up to the most wonderful feelings of joy, love, and trust in my creativity, and this is what keeps me going in this direction.  When I love and value myself and my feelings, all of them, I have more to give others to help them to heal as well.  I believe we are all highly sensitive for a very special reason and may need to heal separately from our families until we are strong enough to not be triggered and to give back to others…others who are ready to heal and ready to feel.

With support we can grieve for not getting the love we feel we needed and we can have a happy, healthy, guilt-free, and independent life.  The joy and relief you will feel when you allow yourself to grieve will feel wonderful and so you will know you are going in the right direction.  If you need help grieving and someone to listen, this is what this blog community is here for.  Thank you sensitive souls out there for being here on the planet.  

Thank you to all my commenters for sharing your pain and experiences and encouragement–your words are so helpful to others who have not yet found their voice.

Please also check out my new pages called “Portrait of an INFJ, …INFP, and …INTJ”.   Very many of my clients have turned out to be these three temperament types (but not all) and I believe it would benefit those who are to read the description of your true potential as was written in Keirsey and Bates book on temperament types. (See Recommended Books).  It certainly gave me hope when I read it and I hope it does the same for you.  

With love,

Roxanne

The Misjudgment of Introverts and the True Meaning of Introversion

Hi everyone.  The Fourth of July is coming soon!  I hope you are able to enjoy Independence Day with the knowledge that you are a special highly sensitive person (HSP) and you deserve independence and freedom to be you. 😀  Because this is typically a family holiday, it can bring up and trigger memories and childhood wounds of loneliness and pain–large get-togethers with people and possibly not one of them really understanding you because you were an HSP.  And in most cases you were probably an “introvert”–70% of HSPs are!  The word introvert is highly misunderstood and it is important to me that I set the record straight on the true meaning of the word and how it’s perception and judgement can be damaging to those of us who are born-introverts.

When you hear the word introvert or introverted you probably have heard the wrong meaning with such comments as:   “He became introverted because of his fear of his abusive father”; or “I used to be an introvert but then I got some confidence and came out of my shell”.  These examples of the word are used very often in the media but these usages are incorrect!  The correct word in these examples should be the word “insecure” instead.  The real meaning of introvert is not insecure or turned inward out of fear as most people have been taught to believe.

The book Please Understand Me by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates explains about each of the temperament types in a wonderful and positive way and explains the true meaning of being an introvert. When I was 23, I was told about this book by my counselor at the time who had her PhD  in Clinical Counseling Psychology and, when I read it, it changed my life in a major way due to its wonderful explanation.  Since then I have known I am an introvert like her and am very proud to proclaim it!

The book explains it so well:  In 1920 Jung invented the psychological types and believed that people are different in fundamental ways.  In 1950 the idea of temperament types was revived when Isabel Myers and her mother Kathryn Briggs devised the Myers-Briggs type indicator–a tool for indicating 16 different patterns of action. Keirsey and Bates later came up with a book with a similar temperament sorter and a self-test to take.  Here is Keirsey and Bates’ definition of an introvert, word for word, from their book:

“…the introvert is territorial.  That is, he desires space.  Introverts seem to draw their energies from a different source than do extroverts.  Pursuing solitary activities, working quietly alone, reading, meditating, participating in activities which involve few or no other people–these seem to charge the batteries of the introvert.  Thus, if an extreme introvert goes to a party, after a “reasonable” period of time–say half an hour–he is ready to go home.  For him, the party is over.  He is not a party pooper; rather, he was pooped by the party.”

“Introverts, too, are likely to experience a sense of loneliness–when they are in a crowd!  They are most “alone” when surrounded by people, especially strangers.  When waiting in a crowded airport or trying to enjoy themselves at noisy cocktail parties, some introverts report experiencing a deep sense of isolation and disconnectedness.  This is not to say that introverts do not like to be around people.  Introverts enjoy interacting with others, but it drains their energy in a way not experienced by extroverts.  Introverts need to find quiet places and solitary activities to recharge, while these activities exhaust the extrovert.  If the latter goes to a library to do research, for example, he may have to exercise strong will power to prevent himself, after fifteen minutes or so, from taking a “short brain break” and striking up a conversation with the librarian.”

“It is quite the opposite with an introvert, who can remain only so long in interaction with people before he depletes his reserves.”

“The question always arises, “Does not an extrovert also have an introverted side and does not an introvert also have an extraverted side?  Yes, of course,  but the preferred attitude, whether it be extraversion or introversion, will have the most potency and the other will by the “suppressed minority”.  The preferred attitude will be expressed in the conscious personality.  The suppressed minority is only partly in consciousness and reflects “what happens to one.”  This less-favored side of a person’s temperament is less differentiated and is less energized, and is apt to be more primitive and undeveloped.  Jung even claims that if, through pressure on the part of the mother, the child is coerced into living out of his inferior side, this falsification of type results in the individual’s becoming disturbed in later life.”

“If a person prefers extraversion, his choice coincides with about 75 percent of the general population (Bradway, 1964).  Only 25 percent reported introversion as their preference, according to Myers (Bradway, 1964).  Indeed, Western culture seems to sanction the outgoing, sociable, and gregarious temperament.  The notion of anyone wanting or needing much solitude is viewed rather often as reflecting an unfriendly attitude.  Solitary activities frequently are seen as ways to structure time until something better comes along, and this something better by definition involves interacting with people.  As a consequence, introverts are often the ugly duckling in a society where the majority enjoy sociability.  There is the story about a mother heard to protest loudly and defensively, “My daughter is not  an introvert.  She is a lovely girl!””

“Introverts have reported that they have gone through much of their lives believing that they ought to want more sociability, and because they do not, are indeed ugly ducklings who can never be swans.  As a result, the introvert seldom provides adequately for his very legitimate desire for territoriality, for breathing room, without experiencing a vague feeling of guilt.”

“Cue Words:  The main word which differentiates an extrovert from an introvert is sociability as opposed to territoriality, but the extrovert also finds breadth appealing where the introvert finds the notion of depth more attractive.  Other notions which give a cue to this preference are the idea of external as opposed in internal; the extensive as opposed to the intensive; interaction as opposed to concentration; multiplicity of relationships as opposed to limited relationships; expenditure of energy as opposed to conservation of energy; interest in external happenings as opposed to interest in internal reactions.”

Reading this for the first time really validated who I was on a deep level and changed me for the better!  I was so excited!  Finally I had an explanation for who I was and I felt relieved of the shame and the sense of being flawed and not good enough!  I hope this information does the same for you. You may want to go out and buy the book and read the whole thing as I did–I highly recommend it as a handbook for your life and helpful in understanding yourself and in understanding all the other temperament types as well.

Fellow introverts, it is my own belief that introversion is innate in us and that we cannot change it.  I believe that it is helpful to explain it to others by using the word introspective or inner-directed.  It is an innate gift of introspection and inner-directedness that connects you to experience everything on a deeper level.  Extroverts who do not understand this might have you believe that you are LESS THAN because you are different and thoughtful before you speak.  Shyness, however, is more prone to the insecure extrovert and NOT to the introvert who can be happy alone and without fear because the confidence comes from within and not needing validation from others but only from the self.  This inner-connectedness can feel spiritual and healing to us when we learn to recharge by allowing ourselves to feel connected to God and nature and the magic of the universe.

If you are an introvert, I hope that this information has been helpful to you.  Introverts can experience painful rejection and judgement from 75% of the population who through no fault of their own have been incorrectly taught about the meaning of the word or taught to judge others who act more introspectively.  I don’t know very many extroverts who really understand introverts. Years ago,  I showed the above quotes to an extraverted friend with her Masters in Social Work, after I explained and showed her the book, kept saying to me, “are you sure you are an introvert?  You don’t seem like an introvert?” And a sensitive yet extraverted professor of psychology in college made me feel just awful about myself repeatedly for not being more outgoing and more like “him”.  ‘But there are extroverts who do get it and appreciate introverts and all others for all their differentness and uniqueness so please don’t judge extroverts now that I’ve explained how wonderful introverts are!  Nevertheless we are outnumbered by 75%!  We introverts must learn to love and appreciate ourselves exactly the way we are and start standing up for ourselves and educating the world on the true meaning of introversion. I love being an introvert!  It is a very big part of who I am and I am very proud of it and wouldn’t have it any other way!

Elaine Aron reports on the home page of her website that 30% of all HSPs are extroverts so to you extroverted HSPs who get comfort and encouragement from my site, I apologize for leaving you out of this weeks post. Please know that my intention is to educate everyone that not one type is better than any other and the whole point is for us all to see the specialness in each other as unique souls with unique talents and gifts that we bring to share with the world.  Thanks to all for reading!

With Love,

Roxanne

The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and Allergies, Food Intolerances, and Stress-related Illness

Hi everyone.  I hope you are enjoying the summer!  I am.  I am thoroughly enjoying the warmth that is finally here.  I am not going to complain about the heat and humidity here in the midwestern United States. That’s right, I am located in the midwest and as I get older I had been longing to move south… but no longer!  I realize that although it is colder than I like for 5 months out of the year (November through March) it is pretty wonderful the rest of the time. It isn’t until mid January that the weather gets kind of unbearable for me.  Last year a trip for 1 week to the Florida Keys in mid February did the trick!  One week out of the year made the entire rest of the year look so much better. Going somewhere warm in February every year is now officially a must!

Now that I am a happier person and able to be in the moment and appreciate being alive on the planet, I am able to see the beauty in my life as it is.  Have you ever had a person visit you and point out all the negatives in your life? The way you decorate, the paint colors you chose, saying “why did I do it that way”? It can be eye opening if you were used to this point of view and then suddenly realize you had been seeing things through their eyes.  It occurred to me and I suddenly realized that all of those things weren’t true. Another example is I have a beautiful backyard with a pond and trees and privacy.  I used to have allergies so I couldn’t enjoy being outdoors so I didn’t appreciate it (remembering now it was the reason we bought this lot in the first place.)  This person, when they visited,  ignored my backyard so I didn’t feel like it was special.  But it is actually very special and it recharges me on a daily basis!  I am so happy that I am able to see things with a whole new perspective now and I can let go of the negative judgements of others.

How did I get rid of my allergies you might be wondering?  I was treated by a holistic doctor who specializes in energy medicine and in a technique called Nambrudipad’s Allergy Elimination Treatment (NAET).  It is very New Agey and it is hard to describe it to you, but it WORKS and my husband and daughter were also treated.  (Google it for more info.–it works similarly to accupressure and has to do with energy blockages in the body).  We all used to take claritin and sudafed year round and now we don’t take anything at all and can enjoy the outdoors.  My husband used to be lactose intolerant and now can eat dairy with no problems. It is really amazing.  I heard about this doctor from the wonderful folks at my local health food store.  I highly recommend a trip to your local health food store for a wealth of valuable and helpful information if you are having health problems–my life is completely changed because of support from these people (I have found it is often fellow HSPs who work there).  I didn’t even realize how much my health had improved until I was talking to my NEW chiropractor, who uses a gentler and massage-type method of  alignment rather than “jerking” my spine back into shape.  Anyway, when I was talking to her I realized that I “used” to have so many health problems and they have almost all gradually been or are being resolved.

Here is a list of the health problems:  Spinal misalignment due to stress (my neck was locked up for 15 years which seriously affected my immune system and my ability to sing–all of which I was completely unaware of because  there was no pain just poor posture), Chronic Fatigue, Ovarian Cysts, Chronic systemic Candidiasis, Symptoms of low thyroid (I felt cold all the time), Severe PMS with low back pain and severe fatigue for 2 days at every Ovulation, Fibrocystic Breast Disease,  Multiple Food Allergies with intestinal symptoms, occasional Migraine headaches, and Seasonal Allergies to early tree pollen that left me so fatigued in early spring that I was taking 3 hour naps daily!  All of these things were like a vicious cycle because you just can’t get done what you need to get done and so you are constantly beating yourself up mentally saying to yourself,  “What’s WRONG with me?”

What was wrong with me?  Nothing!  I am a highly sensitive person and so I must treat myself more gently!…Not change myself to be more tough but to change my expectations of myself to meet the special circumstances of my being.  I am sensitive for a reason! Don’t compare yourself to everyone around you!

A “specific carbohydrate” diet was the first step to wellness for me and this is how I found it:  Back before I was the least bit spiritual, I can remember throwing a coin in a wishing well at the mall and asking sincerely for the answers to my health problems that had crept up on me slowly and were now dragging me down–I felt like I was constantly swimming upstream and getting nowhere.  Within a week my wish (or prayer) was answered and I was drawn to buy a local magazine  that I never ever read.  Inside was an article on the exact symptoms I was having:  fatigue, intestinal problems, and bloating.  The diagnosis was Gluten Intolerance and the cure was to remove gluten from my diet–grain in the form of wheat, oats, barley, and rye!  I was very excited to figure this out!  Where most people would have been devastated to give up pizza, bread, and at that point what seemed like everything good, I was ecstatic to have found what I hoped was the answer to why I  was sick all the time!  I was so sick of being sick!  I also felt my prayers had been answered and so was feeling very loved and blessed by…could this be that God really existed and cared about me after all?  Yes, I believe it was so…because I’ll never forget that first day of removing gluten from my diet on September 25, 1995–I did not need to take a long nap as usual and felt like a new person with a new-found energy and a relief from the fatigue!  Hallelujah!

I had known since 1992 that I had multiple food allergies (eggs, rice, milk and dairy, sugar, and yeast)  but with guidance from my friendly folks at the health food store, I found out that the gluten causes the initial damage that causes all the other food sensitivities.  The book Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall was a godsend as well because it provided a “specific carbohydrate” diet that heals and repairs your digestive tract so that after a period of time you heal your other food sensitivities so the only thing you need to eliminate from your diet is gluten. ( I can provide more information on how this diet works at your request.  Please just ask.)

Gluten Intolerance is now much more widely diagnosed and talked about than it was in 1995 with many more prepared food choices available and whole Gluten Free sections available at grocery stores now. (Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View has it, talks about it and even wrote a book about it).  Gluten Intolerance has completely different effects on different people and has a range  of  severity.  Most severe is the genetic Celiac Disease  (or sometimes called Celiac Sprue ) where even a spec of gluten can cause an immune system reaction of extreme fatigue, diarrhea and blood in the stools,  and a stomach ache until the digestive tract heals again. This happens because of genetic inability to digest the protein called gluten and the body reacts to the offending grain as if is a poison.  Occasional cheating is forbidden because you may be producing scar tissue that will make the digestive tract unable to heal even the other food allergies and you may be left irreparably  unable to digest many foods at all and with a condition called malabsorption which can lead to extreme weight loss and even death.  So this condition should not be taken lightly.

But most people probably have a milder form of gluten intolerance that develops as we age and encounter stress in life like parenting small children and balancing work and home.  Studies show that 40% of women over 40 may be sensitive to gluten and not know it.  I believe that, if you are a highly sensitive person and over 40, you should definitely try avoiding gluten if you are having intestinal irregularities such as alternating constipation and diarrhea and/or unexplained fatigue and bloating.  The improvement to the quality of your life could be phenomenal.  And if you are like me,  feeling good again is worth the sacrifice… after all it is just food!  Food is supposed to be fuel for the body–why put something in your engine that makes it run so poorly!  It takes 2 weeks on the Elaine Gotschall “specific carbohydrate” diet (meats,   fruits, vegetables, nuts, and some cheeses–no limit on quantity) to get the carb cravings out of your system and then you are home free and no longer even want any carbs or sugar.  You feel so healthy and fruits and vegetables taste so much better like your taste buds come alive. Finally you can concentrate and get things done!   And I lost 25 pounds being on the diet for 4 months.

For 11 years my daughter and I ate completely gluten-free (but not carb-free) and I never knew if I was Celiac or not but had to avoid every spec of gluten because I would get symptoms if I accidentally ate some–I did think that both of us were Celiac.  One and 1/2 years ago though when I was first treated by my new holistic doctor with the NAET Technique, he treated us both for gluten “allergy”.  I was skeptical from what I had read online and my doctor admittedly said he knew very little about Celiac Disease.  Online I had read that NAET cannot treat Celiac Disease and is for people who have a gluten allergy only.  I was very nervous about my daughter eating gluten again since she had stopped eating all gluten in 1997 at age 7 with a complete recovery from ill-health and fatigue and intestinal symptoms (although different from my symptoms).  I insisted on a blood test be done for her to rule out Celiac Disease, and sure enough she tested negative for it and since then has been eating gluten with no trouble ever since.  I have heard that there can be a remission of sorts for Celiac in the teenage years and that she can temporarily be without symptoms only for them to return later in life when stress enters her life.  She is 20 and is also a highly sensitive person and is on the lookout for symptoms recurring but so far she is fine.  I on the other hand waited a year after NAET to even try gluten again and the few times I tried, each time, I felt a stress on my immune system and ended up getting an upper respiratory virus.  However, I was in the throws of Adrenal Fatigue at the time so once I completely heal from my Adrenal Fatigue, which I am determined to do, after a blood test I am going to try eating gluten occasionally now and then.  But for now I avoid it except in small hidden quantities and I feel great.

My Adrenal Fatigue condition has greatly improved  by taking many vitamin and adrenal supplements and hormonal replacements that were depleted by stress over the years.  This holistic doctor who did the NAET treatments also ordered saliva testing for my hormones and the results showed that I was low in DHEA, Testosterone, and Progesterone  for which I administer cream supplements daily from a pharmacy that specializes in bio-identical hormones (all arranged through my holistic doctor). I also take a special iodine supplement for low thyroid symptoms (feeling cold all the time and especially hands and feet and fibrocystic breast soreness and swelling monthly–all so much improved I actually forgot I used to have these symptoms!).  I also take an adrenal rebuilder, and something called Cortico-B5 and B6  because the saliva testing showed I had high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the evenings.

I have been on this Adrenal Fatigue Treatment plan since January 2009 and all along I did not feel much different because the healing is so gradual.  But compared to January 2009 when I had so much exhaustion I could not exercise at all without extreme fatigue the following few days, I now realize I am 10 times better health-wise! I still do struggle with some things like:   my sugar and yeast allergies keep coming back when I am under stress and I go back for more NAET treatments on these 2 allergies only.  I still pick up viruses easily because my immune system still is not as strong as it should be yet, and I still have some mild PMS symptoms.  I still cannot exercise to the extent that I would like to and must continue to take it easy.  To keep my weight under control I eat only specific carbs Monday through Friday but then I can eat whatever I want except gluten on the weekends which is awesome and gives me a fun weekend to look forward to. (At 5’10” I stay around 140 lbs.)  With these adjustments, I am feeling great and on the road to complete recovery!

I feel better now at 48 than I did in my 20’s!  Part of it of course is also the following:   believing in and learning to love my self, avoiding stress and negative or toxic people, ignoring the “should” requirements of others and listening to my own heart and desires instead, expressing my truth in journaling and then discovering my gifts of writing, songwriting, and empathic coaching skills for helping others,  being able to be in the moment and learning to relax, unblocking my creativity, believing in and being grateful for God and the magic of the Universe and the Law of Attraction, believing that being highly sensitive is an asset and a gift and that it is only a liability in the eyes of others who are judgmental,  and narcissistic (and although they are entitled to their opinion and way of life, are people I choose not to be around for the sake of my health).

Who knows?  When I get even stronger and even healthier, I may be strong enough to be around even the most negative people because I know how to release the negativity and recharge by getting time alone and through the elements of nature, and to ask for guidance from above.  I feel I am living proof that God really does answer prayers.

For more information on the health issues mentioned above, please see Christiane Northrup’s book entitled Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom.  It was this book that I first heard about the NAET Technique and Adrenal  Fatigue and actually many of my health problems.  In a future post I will write about how I made my Ovarian Cysts disappear to the amazement of my Ob.Gyn. (and myself!) with the knowledge I gained from this book and Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life.

Writing all this has made me realize how amazing it is that I have recovered so much in so many ways.  I also have overcome many compulsions (shopping and overspending, hoarding certain items, organizing and cleaning,) perfectionism, procrastination, and basically the inability to enjoy my life.  I no longer feel “compelled” to do any of these things.  Yay!  Until I wrote these things down to share with you, I really did not realize how my life has unfolded for the better in so many ways.  Thanks for reading. I will be writing more about how I overcame  these issues mentioned above if there is interest so please let me know.  I hope I have inspired you that there is always hope and you can heal your life too–one step at a time.  Just keep believing and knowing that as a highly sensitive person you are sensitive for a reason and that even the most difficult obstacles can be overcome!  You can do it!

With love,

Roxanne

 

Mother’s Day Survival Guide–How To Cope If You Have a Narcissistic Mother

Hi everyone.  May is approaching. It’s a big month for many.  If you have a difficult relationship with your mother, you may find yourself here, reading this, because you need support on how to cope….

If you are a mom then it may help to stay focused on the fact that this is a special day for you as a mother–my two children and my husband like to make it special which is wonderful and I look forward to spending the day with them and being the focus of their attention. My daughter’s birthday is always around Mother’s Day and our anniversary is in May so there is always alot going on.

If you are not a parent then allow yourself to be busy with all the positive things that are Spring related–even spring cleaning and decluttering to bring renewed positive energy into your home. (Distracting yourself may only be helpful if you are also working through any painful feelings that arise by writing in a journal for your eyes only or purging your pain verbally with a safe person in your life who can be an enlightened witness for you.) I allow myself to be distracted because I know in my heart now (after all of my inner grief work) that it is okay for me to detach from any relationship that does not feel like I have the freedom to be ME!  I no longer feel guilty for putting LOVE and self-compassion first in my life.  It is for your higher good to have healthy boundaries in your life–detach from people who you do not feel safe around to be YOURSELF! After you fully heal and feel safe to be YOU without being triggered and stressed then you can reassess your desire to have a closer relationship with any people in question.  It is okay whatever you decide to do–just do what is the least stressful for your healing soul.

So, focusing on being positive and on the other positive events going on for you in May and making them special for your loved ones will help to supercede any negative feelings that may arise.  And isn’t that what we all need to do all the time anyway?  Build ourselves up with positive messages–affirmations if you will–the opposite of what we (highly sensitive children) may have received growing up.  For example, tell yourself  “I can do it!”  instead of  “you can’t do that–who do you think you are!”  And “I love and approve of myself” instead of “what were you thinking–why did you do it that way!”  And say, “I am safe” for the dreaded “how dare you talk to me that way–you are so ungrateful!”    Perhaps now you can see how ridiculous the accusations and blaming are, because you know the truth about you is the opposite and these were said out of inner fear, inner shame and ignorance and not necessarily to hurt you.  But at the time, these accusations were excruciatingly painful to you.  As highly sensitive children we trusted our caretakers more than we trusted ourselves.

There are so many more examples  you may be thinking of, but the point here is not to believe these negative messages in our heads, given to us by someone with conditional love as a parenting method that was passed down for many generations without guilt.  Conditional love is not love.  The opposite of these messages is probably more the real truth.  When you find yourself thinking something negative like “I am never going to get this done” or “I am not good at this”–turn it around and be the ideal mother to yourself that you never had.  Say “I am doing a good job”  and “I am great at this” and “look how much I got done already”.  You deserve these positive messages now and you deserved them as a child.

I can feel the stress of Mother’s Day approaching from all of you out there and so I want to give you some additional extra support to help you stay strong and be true to yourself and honor your feelings.  As highly sensitive people, we want so badly to do the right thing, the kindest thing, the most compassionate response at all times and so we feel guilt for not wanting to honor thy mother on this day that is meant to honor those mothers who are honorable.  And so I am going to write out some quotes from a book that helped me in my darkest hours when I needed them most at the age of 25.  The name of the book is “Cutting Loose–An Adult’s Guide To Coming To Terms With Your Parents”.  This book by Howard M. Halpern, Ph.D.  is full of wonderful emotionally healthy ways to deal with every kind of difficult parent you can imagine.  There is the martyred parent, the despotic parent, the seductive parent, the moralistic parent, and of course the parent with a narcissistic disturbance but who is remorseful about their actions if you confront them.  The book talks about all kinds of ways you can learn to communicate with these kinds of parents and for some of you there may actually be some light at the end of the tunnel if your parent is genuinely remorseful!  A very helpful part of the book is the very last chapter that talks about dealing with the narcissistic parent that takes an adversary stance.  Here is some of it:

“The narcissistic parent in a adversary posture is an enraged peacock.  When you stop trying to win his (her) nurturant caring by being a compliant extension of him, when you no longer exalt him, when you stop following his pre-scribed script, he will react with the indignant certainty, “If you are not a part of me, you’re against me.”  And, if you require reciprocity in your relationship with him, if you insist on a flow of give and take, he will feel that you are trying to take everything from him and always have your own way.  He (she) may be willing to write you off rather than submit to such an obviously unfair demand on your part, and unfortunately you may have to let him do just that.”

“The form a parent’s rigidity may take when it hardens into an adversary position will differ with the type of inner child he has, but what they all have in common is enormous rage and outrage if you fail to act as they expect.  And theirs is not a transient outburst at unexpected frustration or disappointment–their fury may calcify into a chronic suspiciousness or hatred in which you can sense the willingness to destroy the relationship with you and even to wreck your happiness and theirs rather than accept a new way of relating.”

“Depending on you, the experience of your parent perceiving you as an enemy will either so traumatize you that you will choose to regress back to the old song and dance, or will so clarify how impossible it is to have a viable, constructive relationship with him that it will make it easier for you to terminate the tie.  You know what going back means; you’ve been there.  Under the circumstances, if you’ve come so far that you’ve been able to change the song and dance and this has done nothing but propel them into an adversary stance, it is clearly better to make the painful decision to let it go.”  

Hoping this is helpful for you to read!  As I have said before, it takes a lot of inner strength and outside supports to take the action of setting boundaries with a parent. If you are one of the people who is in this position and struggling with guilt on this Mother’s Day week, please know that you are not alone.  I am here to say, everything is going to be okay, if you will be especially kind to yourself and your wounded inner child this week.  Think back to some things you loved as a child and do that for yourself on Mother’s Day.  Ride your bike, play with your dog or cat, skip through a field of flowers, read a favorite comic book, watch your favorite show, take a bubble bath, draw a silly picture, or finger paint. If this just seems too silly to you, wasn’t it fun just imagining yourself doing those things?   That is the power of visualizations and affirmations to change your mood–it really works!  The strong part of you can mother, nurture, comfort and love the wounded inner child part of you on Mother’s Day–imagine the adult you comforting the child you.

This powerful exercise will help you in your healing if you do it whenever you are feeling a lot of self-doubt, guilt, or emotional pain. Also do something special for yourself.   Maybe you could buy yourself a small gift you’ve been wanting or wanted as a child as a reward for being strong.  You survived!  And as a highly sensitive person (HSP), you are stronger and have more to give to others because of the compassion you recognize that you deserved but never received from your mother.  Be the mother you never had to yourself and you can begin to heal your childhood wounds and find your true voice and become the person that you are meant to be. God Bless You All.

Today I have decided to release the lyrics for my song, “Finally I See, Now I’m Free”.  This song was written  at a time when I realized the futility of a relationship in my life and was grieving for what would never be–but also discovered an inner strength and a new found sense of freedom.  I hope it brings you some comfort and strength during this difficult week.

With love,

Roxanne

Helpful Tips About Healing Childhood Pain–From Self-doubt To Finding Your True Purpose

Hi everyone.  I hope you are able to enjoy the beauty in the spring flowering trees and all of the splashes of purple and pink that are so breathtaking–at least they are here where I am located.  Wherever you are, I am grateful for the technology of the internet that helps me to feel as if I am connected to you–all of you who are highly sensitive and have endured a less than healthy environment during your formative years.  I understand your struggle to make sense of the self-doubt and negative messages in your heads and of the occasional upheaval of childhood wounds that are sometimes too painful to bear.  I used to feel that way–I have come such a long way from self-doubt to finding my voice as a person and knowing my true purpose in life.  I can still remember the pain and confusion and sometimes I still have wounds that come up and surprise me.  The difference is, now, I am no longer blocked and afraid of feeling my feelings and I am able to release them and comfort my inner child through them much faster and with positive results.  This took many years but I am hoping I can help you to feel supported and encouraged by my sharing what I learned to get me from there to here.

One of the first things I remember vividly about my painful journey was reading Alice Miller’s book, The Drama of the Gifted Child.  I was 28 when I first heard about this book and started reading it with the feeling that finally someone understands what I can not seem to put into words yet.  The parts of this book that were most helpful to me was when she, the author, talked about her own struggles, her own denial about her abuse as a child, and her own ultimate acknowledgement of her childhood pain that she had suppressed until the age of 48.  That is when she started doing spontaneous painting and began painting out her pain.  Mind you, she had Ph.D’s in Psychology, Philosophy, and Sociology and was a practicing Psychoanalyst when she said that  it was her own patients and her own innate compassion for what they were going through that made her look at her own life and begin to question her psychoanalytic training. She then started writing about inner child healing and about her discoveries about her own and her patients’ emotional childhood wounds–she wrote about how speaking their truth to an empathetic listener (enlightened witness) helped them to free themselves from their inner prison of self-doubt and loneliness.  I used to have to read parts of this book over and over because the concepts were just outside of my comprehension. But each time I would read it I would grasp a new concept and then feel much comfort and relief.

TIP #1:  One of the things I learned that really helped me a lot was when she said that “loneliness is a symptom of the traumatic separation from the true self in early childhood”.  There are people who are alone who do not feel lonely at all; in fact they feel whole and complete and have much love to give because they have access to their true selves, their feelings, their voice as a person.  This gave me so much hope–that this loneliness I felt was not my fault but the result of something that happened to me–something that was taken away from me as a result of a survival mechanism that I had before but I just cannot recall ever having it–this true self.  When I think back 20 years ago and realize that I have now been able to recall and acknowledge that traumatic separation and access my true self and have compassion for the self that I lost as a child, it is just amazing to me and I want so much to help others to regain their vitality as I did.

That brings me to another helpful quote from her book that I will never forget:

TIP #2:  It is that the opposite of depression is not happiness.  The opposite of depression is “vitality and the ability to spontaneously express all the feelings of your true self” as they come up and release them.   For me this concept was monumental in that happiness was no longer a goal of mine and I could relax and just work on releasing my feelings whatever they were so they would become unblocked and I would feel relief.  This just reinforced me to continue journaling out my feelings even further which I had been encouraged to do by my wonderful first counselor at the age of 23.  I couldn’t find an enlightened witness to talk to about my childhood pain but I would write out my truth and become my own enlightened witness.  Whenever I felt blocked (depressed) I would write out my pain and find relief in my own compassionate heart.  Alice Miller’s words helped me discover my own compassion because she paved the way with her own compassionate heart for others and then for herself.  She was truly a pioneer in her time of validating one’s truth and finding our true self through compassion for the painful childhoods we endured that caused our feelings to become repressed–our truth was hidden from even ourselves because it was too painful to bear as children.

Many other famous psychologists have used her concepts and quotes in their books including John Bradshaw and his book on internalized shame and Charles Whitfield’s book called Healing the Child Within.  Both of these books are included in my Recommended Books section under PAGES.

Alice Miller became famous because of her books and decided to take a public stand against child abuse of all kinds including corporal punishment (spanking) in schools and in homes too of course.  She has a website which just this month she posted her last comment in the readers’ mail section that said, due to her ill health, she will no longer be able to maintain her website.  She is 87 years old and I feel so sad about this. I am hoping you will visit her website at www.alice-miller.com.  She is leaving it up and available so it will continue to help others.  All of her books are wonderful and I highly recommend them for anyone with childhood pain issues and even if you do not recall any childhood abuse but still suffer from self-doubt and depression–it could be that your lack of memory (repression) is protecting you from the truth and her books will inspire in you a compassion for yourself that will make a difference in your life.  That is certainly what happened for me.  Compassion for what happened to us as highly sensitive children is just the beginning of the end to our suffering from deep loneliness. And it is the beginning of a life filled with vitality and love for ourselves.  And when we finally can love ourselves as we truly deserve, then we have the energy to share our hopes and desires and gifts with others and that, my friends, is our true purpose in life!

Quite a few of you find my website by searching the terms “I have never been loved” and “hsps and emotional pain.”  I hope that you feel much comfort and support when you read of my own struggle and journey and read the lyrics to my songs of hope and healing.  The Number One most clicked on song lyrics by far are for the song “I Have Never Been Loved Before” so I am sharing this link with you today.  I hope it brings you the hope and healing you deserve on your journey to finding your true purpose and your voice as a person.   As a highly sensitive, highly gifted, and compassionate soul, your voice is so needed on this planet!  I am grateful for your beautiful soul!

With love, Roxanne

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