Tag Archives: recovery from emotional abuse

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. ūüėÄ ¬†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

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

How My Best Counselor Helped Me to Break Through My Illusions and Self-doubt

Hi everyone.¬†Yay it’s Spring!¬† I hope you are enjoying the beauty of nature as it comes to life again.¬† That’s how I’m feeling too–as if I am coming to life–happier than I’ve ever been in my life. ¬† And it is a new feeling–I catch myself out of habit being tensed up in my shoulders and neck and then I realize it and relax.¬† It feels like for the first time I can finally… really relax!¬† It is really quite amazing to me–this feeling of exhilaration with my life and how I can feel happy in the moment. ¬†As highly sensitive people (HSPs) we are all too hard on ourselves–as children it HURTS to be different from almost everyone else around us–so without proper encouragement and support, we hide our gifts away to protect ourselves from further pain.

It’s taken me so long to come to this place where I understand what it means to be my own best friend. I used to hear people say that or I’d read about it and it just sounded like Blah, Blah, Blah, (like the adults sounded on Charlie Brown ha ha).¬† But now I get it.¬† I found it difficult to feel good about myself or love myself¬†growing up. I grew up in a time when I felt I wasn’t even supposed to like myself.¬† I could feel the “Who do¬†you think you are?” judgement of those around me much of the time.¬† I didn’t know who I was but I felt who I was trying to be was never ever good enough.

I have realized that illusions play a valuable role in our survival as children when we have been emotionally diminished (abused), whether it was intentional or not.¬† The pain of our disappointment is too great to bear¬†as highly sensitive children, so we make decisions about ourselves¬†that help us to cope with the situation.¬† For example, rather than facing this pain we say to ourselves, it must be me,¬†I¬†need¬†to act differently in order to get love and approval so I will become obedient and do what others want, then I will be loved and seen.¬† And it appears¬†that we feel accepted as long as we keep up this facade and keep our “real” selves and feelings hidden away.¬† I believe this is why journaling “for your eyes only”¬†works so well to uncover the truth of how we really feel about things–and we can then¬†break through those illusions and gradually free ourselves from our false self that we created to survive¬†and eventually find our true voice.¬† But you really need to do it often enough that the voice in your journal (and your heart)¬†becomes dominant over the negative voice in your head. I know I’ve written about this before, and I apologize if I am repeating myself.¬† But I guess I feel it is crucial to really make¬†this point–the way you speak to your “self” is ultimately what ends up mattering¬†the most in your ability to be able to comfort yourself and relax and enjoy your life in the way you¬†truly deserve.

I apologize if I make it sound easy.¬† It can be really difficult if you don’t know where to start and when you write it’s all bad feelings and it doesn’t help you feel better.¬† I guess my real success in journaling really didn’t start until after I had found a person I could trust to talk to–an outside support¬† for the hidden “me” that I was sure was supposed to be hiding away because I was sure I was flawed and thought¬†“something is wrong with me”.¬† I had forgotten about the fact that I really felt that way most of the time but it wasn’t even in my awareness–I didn’t know I was hiding–I just existed that way–it was completely hidden from me.¬†¬†I thought, this is who I am–an insecure and anxious person who will always and forever need someone else to take care of me.¬†Until that special day–the day¬†I went to my first counselor¬†who turned out to be the best counselor I’ve ever had in my life–and she really changed my life.

At the time I had no idea how hard it would be to find another counselor who came close to her compassion and depth of understanding ever again.¬†But¬†I will never forget her words and wisdom and how she saw the potential in me that I didn’t dare even¬†imagine.¬† I was 22.¬†She listened and cared and I learned to trust her with my deepest feelings and I shared some of my poems with her. She¬†told me, to my surprise, that¬†I was a gifted writer and that I could be my own psychotherapist¬†if I kept on writing in this special way.¬† Together we discovered the roots of my self-doubt and she revealed to me that she had benefitted from counseling too in the past. She confided that, as a counselor, she felt it was important to have been on both sides in order to really understand the helping process.¬†Another very helpful part of this special counseling experience was when she had me take the character and temperament test from the book Please Understand Me (See Recommended Books).¬† My results were that I was an INFJ–Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judicial and that this type is only 1% of the population.¬†Then¬†she told me¬†I had the gift of empathy like her and that she was an INFJ¬†too.¬†(I will explain more about the 16 temperament types in a future post).¬†I thought how could this be…like her?¬† She had a Ph.D and was a successful professional clinical psychotherapist¬†and yet she said I was like her.¬† Unbelievable…could all those hopes and dreams I had in the back of my mind actually be a possibility?¬†I went out and bought that book and I studied it a lot.¬† The book talks about the positive aspects of each of the types and my type described me so well I felt special and normal and understood for the first time in my life.

I went to see her once a week for 6 months and then I had to stop because our health insurance only covered 25 visits per year.¬† During that time, my confidence soared and,¬†I remember now, I¬†joined the Sweet Adelines¬†and had fun performing in a barbershop quartet.¬†(It was easy to perform with these other ladies on stage with¬†me–I continued to have stagefright¬†about performing alone or singing¬†the kind of music where I expressed my soul though, but it was a start in overcoming¬†it ).¬† I¬†also started taking some guitar lessons and learning to play and sing the songs I had always loved.¬† Even though I had my college degree, I had temporarily taken a job at JCPenney’s¬†catalog ordering service because I thought I wasn’t ready to help other people until I figured myself out first.¬† But she said this job was way beneath me and encouraged me to go to graduate school in counseling psychology.¬† (Even with a 3.8 in my major, much praise from my professors, internship experience,¬†and letters of recommendation–when my graduation was barely acknowledged, all my confidence¬†had evaporated.)¬†¬† “Make sure it is a program that is APA approved,” she said.¬† And I listened. ¬†And I grew in confidence and continued writing my self-help poetry.¬† And you know what happened next…I was so confident in myself, I thought I could even change my relationship with my extended family! ¬†Without talking to her first, we moved many states away from my wonderful counselor. ¬†We decided to¬†start a family and I put graduate school on hold…

And now, telling you my story, I realize I do NOT¬†want to emphasize¬† how tragic it was…and¬†that I had to wait so long to find myself and be happy and figure myself out so I could finally be that counselor/coach and writer¬†that she saw that I could be.¬† Instead I feel strongly that it all¬†really worked out for the best.¬† I grew so much as a person watching how my children thrived with our unconditional love and emotional support and I saw the world through their eyes and healed my soul right along with them experiencing the wonders in this world.¬† And I continued to write in a way that I was able to be my own psychotherapist–writing through the layers of pain and breaking through the illusions that helped me survive a childhood of feeling emotionally diminished and misunderstood.

And I see how I had to try everything¬†before I had the ability to start setting boundaries in certain relationships in my life.¬†My counselor back then never used the word narcissisism and I wonder if that would have helped me realize the futility of my quest for healthy give-and-take in certain relationships in my life sooner.¬† It is all right though, because I know the meaning of the word now and had to find out the depth and scope¬†of it’s meaning in my own way.¬† I hope my journey inspires you to embrace the path you are on but also to look inward and explore your true feelings and write about them–and keep listening to your hopes and dreams that exist in the back of your mind .¬†For I believe that is the voice of your true self that you must not ignore.

Finding a caring, empathic counselor to support the true reasons for my deepest fears, and self-doubt, and to believe in my unique gifts made all the difference in my life.  Her words kept me on the right track and kept me writing through the layers of pain that would arise between the numbness or anxiety. Her words kept guiding me towards the release of my pain and ultimately to the joy and pride on the other side. It changed the course of my life and to her I will always be grateful.  I hope my story has been helpful to you and provides you with some comfort and encouragement.

Today I am releasing the lyrics for the song “This Too Shall Pass”.¬† This song was written to ease myself through a period of my worst grief and anger when I started setting some boundaries for myself–and instead of getting respect and love, I felt rejection and experienced guilt-inducing manipulations.¬† It was a pivotal point in my recovery when I let go of my illusions about the potential of ¬†certain relationships and grieved for what would never be and comforted myself by writing this song.¬†After writing it and singing it, I felt stronger than ever before that everything was going to be alright and that ultimately I must take care of myself and honor my feelings.¬†This song still comforts me when I am feeling my worst and I hope it does the same for you. ¬†I hope you enjoy it.

With love, Roxanne

Moving on from a Narcissistic Parent–The Obedient Child’s Journey Towards Freedom–Way Over Yonder

(This post is the most viewed post on this blog with over 18,000 views and 146 comments at the present time–2019.)

As a life coach and now as a spiritual counselor,¬† I have experience helping HSPs with emotional wounds from childhood often stemming from one or both parents being a malignant narcissist. ¬†Emotional abuse is an especially horrible experience for a highly sensitive child. ¬†It may be that you felt there was no caring about your feelings whatsoever. ¬†You may have felt invisible and as if you don’t matter. …As if your feelings don’t matter! ¬† If you were emotionally abused or continually diminished as a child by your parent it’s not healthy to hold that in! Let it out–voice it or write out the truth, acknowledge what happened and then continue to practice letting it go–releasing it–sending it out away from you to be replaced by comfort, compassion, and love for yourself. ¬†It’s not healthy to hold onto blame–but admitting it is important and the start to healing repressed and denied emotions.

At under age 2, when we can’t express ourselves with words, we can only cry to get our needs met.¬† A sensitive child becomes obedient out of mortal fear but you can’t tell–they don’t look afraid because they have repressed it. As an obedient highly sensitive child, you put your own needs away and focus on pleasing others–but lying under the surface those unmet needs are still there!¬† Begging for attention!¬† Longing for love!¬† There is nothing wrong¬†with you!¬† You are just afraid to speak up and ask for what you deserve.

And in some families there is no genuine love to be given.¬† And even as a tiny child you know it. ¬†As the sensitive child in the family you felt it’s absence and it hurt like hell!¬† And you cried and complained and may have had tantrums of despair in the grocery store!¬† But then at some point it was too much and you stopped crying or complaining and you stopped being …YOU. ¬†The fear of being hit or just the mean look from their eyes¬†would feel like a spear of pain through your heart and it would shut you up over and over again until you gave up and became obedient. ¬†And that is the trauma!¬† The pain so unbearable to a child that you cannot survive it and so the repression happens.¬†(See Alice Millers’ book, The Drama of the Gifted Child.)

If you experienced this too, the fear you had to repress also held down your true self and all the feelings that went with it.¬† You became obedient and fearful from the trauma but instead of expressing your rage at the injustice of it all, you pushed your feelings down so deep you hid them even from yourself.¬† You didn’t know ’til now that you have such a rich and deep inner life, and a wonderful, loving personality.¬† It was all hiding in fear. ¬†Until now.

Now it is safe to come out. ¬†For whatever reason, your beginning years were spent in an environment of fear and no love, but there is love out there to be found!¬†Get some support and start a life with stronger boundaries so that you can fully heal. ¬†You may need to cut the strings so you can feel safe and free. ¬†You deserve to live a life of peace that is free from guilt-inducing manipulations, negative comments undermining your confidence, fear-inducing threats, comments about the rewards others will get for¬†being “good”.

It’s wrong to take care of the feelings of anyone who continually diminishes you in any way at the expense of yourself. It’s difficult but very necessary to set boundaries with malignant narcissists. ¬†It’s especially hard¬†being blamed and turned into the bad guy more than anything.¬†It’s excruciating!¬† ¬†But you are worth the fight and you must be strong. You have to take care of yourself and your health. ¬†You will also feel a sense of exhilaration and freedom and pride in yourself for being honest and no longer pretending like you approve of how they treat you.¬†¬† With support from your new loved ones in your life you can move forward and go for your dreams! ¬†You can learn to comfort yourself through the hard times. ¬†Know the truth and be strong and hang on ”til the good times–“the sweet tasting good life”…¬† ¬†I love that song…”Way Over Yonder. ¬†…the sun shinin’ golden, shinin’ right down on me.”

For more on the subjects I have written about today please click on “Recommended Books”.¬† Thank you so much for reading.¬† Please leave a comment about your story.¬† It will help others to know they are not alone.

With love,

Roxanne

Way Over Yonder lyrics
Songwriter: King, Carole

Way over yonder is a place that I know
Where I can find shelter from the hunger and cold
And the sweet tasting good life is so easily found
Way over yonder, that’s where I’m bound, that’s where I’m bound

I know when I get there, the first thing I’ll see
Is the sun shinin’ golden, shinin’ right down on me
Then trouble’s gonna lose me, worry, leave me behind
And I’ll stand up proudly in true peace of mind

Talkin’ about a, talkin’ about a
Way over yonder is the place I have seen
In the garden of wisdom from some long ago dream

And maybe tomorrow, I’ll find my way
To the land where the honey runs in the rivers each day
And the sweet tasting good life is so easily found, yes it is

Way over yonder, that’s where I’m
That’s where I’m bound, talkin’ about, talkin’ about
Way over yonder, that’s where I’m bound

On Overcoming Self-doubt: The Story Behind My Songs of Hope and Healing

Hi everyone. I believe there are many, many highly sensitive people (HSPs) out there that are gifted in so many areas but are suffering from self-doubt from their wounds from childhood and by being misunderstood in our society in general.¬† I want to tell you about how I came to be able to write songs¬†and share them with you¬†in the hopes that this will be helpful or inspire you in some way. ¬†My being able to write songs is a story about overcoming self-doubt and finding and expressing my true self.¬† It was my songs that helped me uncover the truth of who I really am and what happened to me in my childhood.¬† The ability to write and sing these songs gave me a connection to¬†something spiritual so that I learned to love myself and stop doubting the gifts and feelings that were within me.¬†¬† Writing these songs turned me into a believer–and I now know I am loved and supported by the universe and I became more spiritual and drawn to reading more about what that means.¬†

I feel there is something in the words and melodies of most of my songs that came from something bigger than myself–I was just the channel. ¬†I want to inspire, encourage and empower others who are in emotional pain and afraid to show who they really are.¬† I believe those highly sensitive souls are voices that are needed in our society and they are sensitive for a reason.¬† They have a connection to something bigger than themselves that they do not realize and don’t dare show to others because they don’t want to be hurt anymore–so they are hiding.¬† I understand this hiding.

The songs were an instrument in me telling my truth–and gaining the strength to stand up and assert my self and my true voice.¬†These songs were instrumental in my gaining strength and energy¬†and learning finally that there are people who we must avoid while we are healing and people of light and love¬†that are safe to go towards. Being highly sensitive is a gift!¬†¬†And I am grateful and honored to be one of those people.¬† I¬† feel blessed in this gift I have been¬†given¬†and¬†I now have the positive energy to give to and love others only by loving my self first.¬† That is what these songs have done for me.¬† Here is my story:

In 2004 I started writing songs.¬† I had been writing¬† poems in a journal since I was 14. ¬†At that time, I was told that things I wrote were crazy but I kept writing anyway because it made me feel better. ¬†At that time¬†I trusted others more than I trusted myself and so when I was criticized, ignored, and shamed for¬†my singing too it broke my heart and I gave up on my dream to sing. ¬†But¬†I was compelled to sing and write¬†anyway–in secret and in private. I dreamed of being a singer like Linda Rondstadt and sang in my bedroom to all of her albums. ¬†I started learning the guitar at 17.¬†(A boyfriend bought it for me–not my parents.)¬† I slowly started learning to play chords to my favorite songs. These were songs by Carole King, James Taylor, Carly Simon,¬†and Linda Ronstadt. (Later on it was songs by Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow).¬†¬†I sang in the¬†choir in high school and college and got great praise but I didn’t believe it. My college voice teacher told me I had the best voice in the whole school of music. ¬†But my fear felt too big to overcome so I refused to do any solos–I had stagefright and by graduation I gave up on my dream.

But about once a month something in me would make me sing and play the guitar.¬† I would sing and play my favorite songs for hours for only my self or sometimes for my husband and kids¬†and then put it away for another month.¬† They liked my singing–but I was sure that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was in my heart. ¬†I did that for many, many years.¬†¬† Meanwhile,¬† I heard about a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.¬† I¬† began writing 3 pages a day¬†of free writing called Morning Pages to unblock creativity.¬†(Ellen Degeneres has mentioned¬†on her show that she also does this).¬†Something started happening to me–I was finding out who I was and how I really felt about things.¬† More good writing and poetry started coming out of me–I was feeling more confident in myself and happier.

My children were having big successes in singing at school.¬† I had been careful not to push them in any direction but the ones of their own choosing.¬† To my surprise they both were drawn to singing in their own way.¬† My eldest became a soloist in high school¬†and eventually a lead singer in a cover band in college.¬† My 2nd child was successful in acting and sang beautifully in solos in musical theatre productions at school.¬†¬†They had no stagefright at all!¬† I was so proud of them and proud of myself for raising children with no stagefright!¬†¬† I would often joke,” I can die now”,¬† but it made me realize how important singing was to me but I was still paralyzed in fear that my voice was not good enough for others to hear.¬† I knew this was irrational and started singing¬†more often but there was still so much¬†doubt in my mind.¬† It was exhausting to try and easier to just not try to sing for others.¬† I sang more often but still just kept it to myself.

When my eldest child went off to college and my husband started traveling more throughout the week I had more time to myself to recharge and suddenly one day I was inspired to put music to the poem I was writing in my journal.¬† I remember a melody came to me and it seemed as a gift from above to go with these words I was writing.¬† Not until after I was done writing it (long hand), with this melody in my¬†head, did I pick up the guitar to¬†try to play it and miraculously it fit perfectly with the few chords I knew well.¬† I recorded it on a tape recorder and, during a rare and brave moment, I dared to¬†show it to my other child’s voice teacher who really liked it and said “you are a folk singer/songwriter” and also that he was jealous because he had a masters in music and couldn’t write any songs.¬†This first song was entitled I’ll Believe and it felt like this song may have been a gift from above and that I had just been open to receive it and put it all together.¬† After that, songs just started pouring out of me and I always put the date on every song I write because¬†it is important to me to acknowledge when it was given¬†to me.¬†

Not only that, each song was prompted by an emotional state and a painful learning experience.¬† Sometimes I would feel a lot of shame after the song was complete because I dared to pour out my truth. ¬†I soon realized that my best songs were the ones I felt the most shame about initially. ¬†I knew this shame was not the truth. Then I would¬†make myself listen to a tape of my recorded songs when I wasn’t feeling good about them or myself.¬† Every time I listened, I was surprised that I had written these songs and they changed my mood from feeling lost and numb to finding¬†myself and finding my joy in life again for that day.¬†It was a very healing experience as I saw myself getting more and more confident in expressing my “voice” in more ways than one.¬† I realized that because of the internalized shame from my childhood, I was beating myself up all the time and it was up to me to start believing in myself and to stop believing¬†the inner critic¬†inside my head.¬† It wasn’t true. ¬†I was actually good.¬†¬†How many other things I believed about myself also were not really true?¬† ¬†I was finding my voice as a person as well and speaking up for myself and standing up for myself in all areas of my life.

So it is the lyrics and the music that I feel helped me to find myself and I hope that they will be a source of hope and healing to you as well. Right now, I have written about 40 songs.¬† 20 of them that I am releasing the lyrics to you I call my “Songs of Hope and Healing”.¬† And that is the inspiration for the name of this website. ¬† ¬†Please let me know either by comment or by email if there are lyrics¬†that speak to you.

15 to 20 % of us are Highly Sensitive People (HSPs).  We are a valuable and essential resource to our planet!  Overcoming self-doubt and finding our voice IS our true purpose in life.  Find the courage to trust that those gifts you were given are meant to be expressed and will be helpful to others by inspiring them to find their gifts as well. The desires deep in your heart are the path to finding your true purpose in life.  You can overcome your self-doubt! You are sensitive for a reason!

Thank you to my readers.¬† I¬†have been getting emails¬†and it’s great to know¬†that I am reaching you and that what I am doing is helping.

With love, Roxanne

Childhood Pain Comes Up to Heal When Things Are Going Well

Hi everyone.¬† The day after I started writing on this blog for the very first time you might be able to guess what happened–I woke up in the morning with the dreaded feeling of Guilt like a black cloud hanging over my head.¬† In the past I might have felt guilty and spiraled into negativity but thank goodness I knew what to do.¬†¬†I observed this feeling instead of falling into it.¬† I was actually grateful for my new awareness of knowing and being able to label this feeling as Guilt.¬† (I used to just feel numb or a generalized anxiety in the morning–it was a familiar and comfortable state–it was how I survived as a child.)¬† I said to myself, okay this makes sense to feel¬†this feeling today after the success of my first blog.¬†This is Childhood Pain Coming Up to Heal Because Things Are Going Well.¬†¬†This powerful phrase has helped my husband and I so many times.¬† I learned about this from John Gray–in one of the last chapters in his Venus and Mars book.¬† This was one tiny section which I feel was so important he could’ve written a whole book on it for the impact it made on my husband and I.

I realized I had internalized shame that showed up after I had successes that made me feel good about myself. ¬†I believe ultimately as a small child that I believed “there is something wrong with me. ¬†I am guilty–it is all my fault.” ¬†To survive I had to repress all the anger and fear at having been blamed unfairly.¬† I was a highly sensitive child.¬†I desperately needed love and approval.¬† So I settled for conditional love–I became an obedient and anxious shell of a person.

So I had expressed my true authentic self by writing my truth and my inner child was expecting to be punished and blamed and felt guilty.¬† What I have learned is that the strong part of me which now ¬†knows the truth is able to comfort the wounded child in me that still feels fear and insecurity and blamed and guilty.¬†See,¬†as a child we make decisions and believe them so thoroughly it’s very hard to change the neural pathways in our brains that are so deeply set.¬† The negative thoughts are so automatic–that’s how we survived.¬† But we can change those pathways in our brains by becoming aware that¬†the negative things we are saying to ourselves are from a wounded child’s perspective!¬† As highly sensitive people, we know how to nurture and love and comfort other people through their self-doubt and fear–so by taking that wounded child inside of you and comforting yourself you can change your inner child’s beliefs about yourself and the pathways of negative spiraling thoughts.¬† Realizing that¬†I had to be the one to love myself and that noone was going to do it for me was a big revelation and turning point for me.¬†¬†Learning to comfort myself with positive affirmations and taking it easy when these big overwhelming feelings come up is now something that comes much easier.

So do I still feel guilty about my speaking out and writing on this blog?¬† In a way¬†the guilt is still there but it is small and completely manageable.¬† And the part of me that is strong, wise, and knows the truth is keeping it in check–telling the wounded child in me that it is going to be okay and I am doing the right thing by speaking my truth.¬† Do I have days when I still succumb to the child part in me and spiral negatively and beat myself up in despair?¬† No, not any longer but I used to and it was a gradual process to get me where I am now.¬† It used to happen mostly in the mornings and sometimes I couldn’t stop it right away.¬† But then, there usually came a time of awareness a short time later, on the same day,¬†when I realized this was a brand new layer of unbearable pain from my childhood that came up to heal because things were going well.¬† My inner child felt safe enough to show it to me and say hey this really bad injustice happened to me and I needed to let it out finally. These are days when I put everything else aside–my list of things to do can wait until tomorrow.¬† I allow myself to grieve for the childhood I never had and deserved.¬† I comfort myself with my favorite things and am nice to myself ¬†like I deserved to be treated as a child-legitimate needs that went unmet until now are being healed–by me.¬† I am a nurturing, supportive, comforting mom to myself.¬† I can do it!¬† And so can you.¬† Ultimately this¬†process ¬†is what a good empathic coach or inner child counselor is for.¬† They are someone you can trust with the pain of your inner child to help you figure out the truth of what really happened and help you grieve.¬† Then, when you can comfort yourself through the worst of the feelings that come up, then you know you no longer need the coach.¬† You can take care of and love¬†yourself through anything!

Thank you for reading!  I hope my words have been helpful to you.

With Love,

Roxanne

I Was Lost But Now I’ve Found Me

My very first post, Dec. 30, 2009: 

I Was Lost But Now I’ve Found Me

Lyrics by Roxanne Smith

I am strong but they can’t see me

I am wise but they can’t hear me

I am kind but they can’t feel me

I was lost but now I’ve found me

I can see the truth in me

I can feel the love in thee

I can have the strength I lost begin again

Your belief in me makes me free

CHORUS

I am sad and you are there to hold me

I am weak and you are there to guide me

I am scared and you are there to love me

I was lost but now I’ve found me

I can be all that I can be

Overcome the fear they gave me

When all I feel is lost and unaware

You are there to say you care

When I allow myself to feel

You are there to help me heal

When I allow myself to cry

You are there to help me sigh

And surrender to the truth

That I learned from my youth

That I had you all along

The painful lesson is now a song

CHORUS

I am sad and you are there to hold me

I am weak and you are there to guide me

I am scared and you are there to love me

I was lost but now I’ve found me

I was lost but now I’ve found me

I was lost but now I’ve found me

Original Song © 2009 Roxanne Smith

 

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