Through The Eyes of The Beholder

So I watched this pretty cool semi documentary that was posted to Facebook, about how women view themselves. To no surprise, all the women interviewed had pretty much the same answer. In a nut shell, they all disliked their bodies and saw themselves as “ugly”.

How sad.

I was there for many years. I was like those women for a very long part of my life and I’ll be honest, if I’m not connected to my Creator and taking care of myself, I can slip into the false beliefs once again.

How does this happen? Do you have any idea? Any idea at all? How is it that so many women around the world have a poor body image of themselves?? And what on earth is the why behind it?

I can only share from my own experience. I lived a life of comparing, trying to be those “perfect” women in magazines, trying to create some sort of perfect beauty to please everyone else. I went as far as to starve myself and when that wasn’t good enough, the internal self bashing with name calling and feeling worse for not being able to achieve the “standard”.

Society doesn’t help at all. Society puts there ridiculous standards on how a woman “should” look. We hang onto what society “feels” or think it “knows” what beauty is.

What is true beauty to you? Is it looks? Is it money? Is it fame? Is it the “perfect” body (even though there is no such thing)? Is it what you “own”? What does it mean to you?

I can confidently share with you my explanation of true beauty. It took me many years to get where I am today and it took a lot of re-programming my mind and thinking. Not only about myself but about the world outside of me.

I must make something very clear. This was not something I was able to do on my own. Being on my own and living for this world and experiencing situations that destroyed the thoughts of myself was what helped get me to the pit of ugliness. Ha! Funny you know! Having such a poor self image and saying mean and nasty things about myself is what is ugly! Isn’t that crazy? Here we women go around comparing ourselves to other women, putting ourselves in competition with them trying to be “better” more beautiful, more sexy and all the while becoming uglier with our attitude and hatred by the minute! Goodness me! And not to mention how this has a ripple effect and reeks havoc in our relationships! Wow, the enemy of this world doesn’t have to work very hard to get us feeling badly about ourselves does he?

Friends, ladies, gentlemen, lets get to the raw beauty we posses. We need to know WHO we are and WHOSE we are! Until I came into the beauty with God, I was no where near being beautiful or loving myself. Beauty for me is having a clean open heart. It is being able to love those who are unlovable, It is respect for one’s self and it is the care and gentleness one is able to extend to one’s self. Beauty is looking at yourself and saying, “you are amazing”, It’s being able to actually look at one’s self in the mirror and like what you see. I was unable to look at myself in the mirror for many years. I hated, I loathed the person starring back at me. Today by God’s grace I am able to linger and look at myself in the eyes with a heart of love and have gratitude for who I am. For what I see.

I want to encourage you today, start changing the old tapes in your mind. It’s hard but it’s doable, I am proof of that! Do it today, look at yourself and say something nice. Stop comparing and holding yourself to society’s standard and get back to reality and get back to God who has created such a beautiful being. YOU!

I can go on and on about this and I have, hehe, But I will leave you with this;

Charm can fool you and beauty will trick you, but a woman (or man (I’m throwing that bit in)) who respects the Lord shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

This scripture helped me change my views on myself.  Learn it, know it. You are so much more than what society “thinks” or thinks they “know”. Let us stand together and take ourselves back! We are worth it and we are soooo much more!

Amen! :D

No One Asks For It. Ever!

Heeelllloooo to all my friends and followers!! Today is an important day for me. I get to flash my purple clothing and stand up and speak out against sexual assault!

I hope you all have found a snazzy purple something to wear ;)

I’ve been reflecting on my amazing journey over the years and I am brought to tears at the incredible life God has created for me. Out of such a disastrous mess He has turned it into a beautiful garden of love and forgiveness.

I’ve been feeling convicted this morning to make this blog about my two violators. My two cousins.

To the both of you. Today I reflect on the attacks from the both of you. In the past I never thought I would ever get over what your actions did to me. The trauma, the self hate, the anger, the rage and the poor value of life I had. The torment and horrible memories that haunted me everyday of my life. The loss of my childhood. Today I am here to tell you both what God has restored in my life. I have an amazing family! God has restored to me what your actions stole from me. God has taught me to love, real true love and most important He has given me a heart to forgive both of you. And as you both continue to hide and deny your actions I will continue to pray for you both and your wives and families. You know why? Because that is the kind of woman God has turned me into. I have been able to use what your actions did to me to help other people. I have chosen to take what you both did and use it to glorify what God can do. I have chosen to forgive you both so I may live a life of sheer happiness and FREEDOM. Something you two do not know. I can only hope that you both come to your knees and submit to God and repent of your actions. The incredible freedom and quality of life that comes from that is beyond amazing. I pray for your children. I pray none of them endure the horror of sexual abuse. May God help you because He is the only one who can. And if you ask Him, He will. You see, God loves you both just as much as He loves me and He is a forgiving and loving God. he knows EVERYTHING about us. He knows it all even if you try to continue to deny.

To my beautiful incredible supporters, God bless you in abundance! Thank you for journeying with me through all of this. Thank you for the hugs, love and support. Thank you for still being there. I am so grateful for you all. Those I know personally and those I know only through the amazing social media network. God bless you!! Sending you all a virtual hug :D

Happy day to all of you <3

No One asks for it

Will You Join Me?

pic for may 2

 

I got this photo from Facebook. It will be the second year that I will participate in this event.

As many of you know, I am a thriving Survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I have willingly done a lot of work to overcome the effects this abuse has had on my life. It has been one heck of a journey. One journey that I would not trade for anything. I have, and am becoming an incredible human being.

I am inviting you to please join me and many others in wearing purple Friday May 2nd in support and awareness of sexual abuse. This abuse must be brought out in the open and we are they only one’s who can help put a stop to this. It is horrific! Friends, no child, no man or woman should ever have to suffer at the hands of another. Sadly in society today, the exploitation of young human beings is accepted. No one stops to think of how they objectify and add to this abuse when they use children, men or women for their viewing pleasure or worse!

Please take a moment to think about this. If you have children, it could easily happen to them.

And friends, let us think of the men and women who are forced into providing services for people’s pleasures. The abuse and torture they endure.

Let us take a stand. Will you stand with me and let people know, we will not tolerate or add to this abuse!

From one Survivor to another, from one human being to another, let us come together and take a stand!

Lets get our purple on! You’ve got plenty of time to find some snazzy outfit ;)

Thanks for your support. Together we are stronger, God bless :D

Why?

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over expecing a different result. 

I beleive Albert Einstein was the one who came up with this so overly used gem.

I’m using it tonight.

That’s all I gotta say today. :/

Hey You! Yeah, You!

Hey there friends. Hope you’re doing great :)

I was sitting chatting with my girls and they have graciously reminded me of some amazing things. I’ve shared this video before and I’m sharing it again. It has really spoken to me again and reminded me of how beautiful God has made me to be. What my abusers stole from me and the repercussion it has had on my life and my relationships was, is, no match for what God has restored in me.

To my amazing daughters, thank you for always seeing the beauty in me.  I love you more than you’ll ever know and I cherish our relationship.  :*

 

ED- It’s Not What You Think.

I started a group a few weeks ago. This group is a parents support group. My husband and I have ended up in this group for two reasons. One- one of our children, just like me, suffer from an eating disorder. And two- Gods plan to “poke” at me in regards to this issue.

You see friends, I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for about twenty years now. As I have been on my journey with God, I’ve faced many dark and ugly areas of my life that needed changing and healing. As challenging as they have been, day by day, prayer by prayer, I’ve gotten through and persevered. My eating difficulties have been flying under the radar.

So it has come to be that I have joined this group and have been to a couple of meetings and they have been awesome! Ok truthfully, they have disturbed me something terrible! It has “kicked up the dust” in me. It is as if Pandora’s box of difficulty has been cracked open. Now let me tell you, this difficulty and my behavior around facing the truth of my own food difficulties  has started to trickle into my relationships in the form of irritation, nit picking and the emotion to cover all emotions-Anger. This has gone on for about two weeks. I could not understand what the heck was going on in me. I kinda knew but refused, suppressed to face what needed facing. Yes, yes I had admitted in the past I have struggled with Eating Difficulties and in my denial have said, I have “it” under control and I have even convinced myself and my loved ones that it is something I don’t struggle with anymore. I convinced myself that I do not struggle with this anymore. Ha.

I’m here today to admit to myself and to you, my fellow readers, that I am still suffering and struggling with my food.

I’m going to share a little bit of what it’s like to live with an eating disorder. In my case – Anorexia.
Friends please know this is not something I choose to do or even realize I’m doing it (I’m not going to get into causes or anything like that today).

So what’s it like? In my brain, hell. There’s a constant nagging, chattering about what to eat not eat, how much exercise will I get in order to eat that? How many calories or fat does that contain? If I eat that do you know what I will look like? If I keep eating this I’m going to be compared to other women. There’s conflict in my life? That’s because I ate for a few consecutive days now I will restrict and loose a few pounds. I don’t know how many pounds I need to lose I just know I need to lose them. Oh goodness, Rob must think I look disgusting! What does my family think of me? Go out in public? Be around other people?  GO TO THE MALL???!!!!  (this one has gotten much better). Do I eat that? How much do I eat? Will I be working this off later? What will this do to me? Don’t eat too much. Don’t eat that. Don’t even think about trying that, do you know what it will do and how you will look? It’s not a wonder why you have problems in your marriage, look at how you look!

And on and on it goes…… Ugh, makes me sick.

Then there’s the flip side. I binge. Now I did not realize I binge. Never considered myself one who binges. The bingeing process goes like this:

Oh heck, I’m going to eat this and this and this. Oooo dessert? Yup I’m having it. Going to eat three meals a day and snack in between! (Just yesterday I ate candy like there was no tomorrow, all the while saying, ok tomorrow, I eat nothing to work this all off). For someone with anorexia, having a bite of cake or candy or a full meal could be a binge. In my case that’s what happens.

There’s also this incredible need to feel in control. In control of life and anything surrounding me. It makes me feel safe (now that is distorted thinking).

And so for twenty years, this crazy insanity has gone on. I am so done with it! It’s exhausting and frustrating. I try to be gentle with myself and understand where this comes from and how it was “grown” through my past abuse. As I have been dealing with the other issues in my life, I’ve managed to conveniently “tuck” this coping mechanism away.
The past couple of weeks I haven’t been sticking to my exercise routine and I feel I have gained weight. This doesn’t make me feel good. I’ve become irritable, angry, frustrated, frazzled and I have little to no patience. I have been snapping at my kids and I’m lashing out at my husband. I’m creating division in my relationships and I’m not keeping in touch with friends as I need to be. This is where I start to spiral into isolation. If I keep to myself then I can be in my own little world and figure out, count calories, restrict food and keep my body moving. I can busy myself so I don’t need to face what I’m doing. Day after day. In between my daily responsibilities, this is what goes on for me. It’s especially challenging because I prepare most of the meals. Honestly when my family cooks, I eat all my meal and have no regrets.
So friends, living with ED, is difficult not only for us but for those who live with us. It’s like addiction, the behaviors and distorted thinking that comes with the disorder is enough to drive anyone nuts! It’s not something we can overcome alone and it is something we certainly cannot overcome without Gods help. Believe me, I know this because I’ve tried.
Sadly, my youngest daughter suffers too. Can I be held responsible? Has she seem me restrict? Has she caught on to my bad attitude towards food? Yes. Do I have tremendous guilt? Goodness yes. Does it break my heart to see her struggle and know the war that’s going on inside her? Yes. And what about our family members who deal with the “crazy” that comes with this? I can only imagine what it’s like for them. For what they put up with. For what they deal with as we battle ourselves.

On a positive note, because I LOVE to always see the silver lining, the lessons, the incredible miracles of God through these challenges, I have decided to face this demon head-on. I have decided to fight it, to surrender it to God and walk through this healing with Jesus as my Guide. I have decided to take one day at a time to deal with daily struggles around food. I have decided to remind myself that this is linked to my past and a result of the abuse I experienced and living with addiction. I have decided that I will NOT use my abuse as an excuse to continue on in this manner. For if I do, my abusers “win” and still have control over me. I REFUSE to allow that. I know there’s a road ahead of me and with anything else, it will be challenging but I have buckled up and I will keep my focus on Gods goodness for my life. You see, God has incredible plans for me and I need to be ready to receive that. This challenge is just another stepping stone to get me closer to my destiny with God. This motivates me to get well and be the best I can be for Him. I want to do amazing things for God. He has done so much, more than I deserve. Oh friends, if you knew me a few years ago you’d think it was two different people. The incredible transformation God has done with my heart is miraculous. I’m already in amazement at how much more cleaning up and restoration He is doing in me now! I know as I change my ways, my daughter will see this. God always makes a way to right our wrongs and I intend to do that. I intend to work with God to do just that!

I’m going to share a piece of my journal entry with you. I wrote this a few days ago. I have been reading it everyday.

Journal Pic 1

I can do this for today. To tackle something for one day is manageable. To think about doing this for a week, a month or a life time gets overwhelming. So just for today, God and I will go moment by moment. :)

It does upset me to admit all this. I like to think I have “it” all together but to be honest and as you can read, I don’t. Oh perfectionism, I cannot keep up with you ;)

Well friends, it’s time for some coffee and yes, some breakfast.

I thank you very much for reading and for your support along my journeys.

Happy Day!

P.S. (for my friends with kiddies)

CAN YOU BELIEVE SCHOOL STARTS NEXT WEEK???? :O

Is it a Wonder? Lets get Serious!!

I’ve settled in to do my school work and a topic I’m covering now is women who have been sexually abused as a child and later on in life have addition issues.

Earlier this morning as I was tidying up, I came across a workbook of mine with of all my notes, journals and answered questions from the work I have done on my past childhood sexual abuse.  This work I was reading was from a year ago. I read through it. My stomach hurt. My notes described how at 12 years old I would drink excessively to become drunk. I recall putting some sort of alcohol in an empty pop can to hide what I was drinking. When I drank and became drunk, I didn’t need to deal with myself or the feelings I had. They were numbed. I associated the drinking with a way of coping. After all, addiction is suffered by those who have a core self shame and have endured such trauma. Core self shame? That my friends is, feelings of shame for who you are and not for something you did. Two very different feelings. And very damaging.  I continued reading on about how I would drink alcoholic beverages and bottles of wine in one shot. I was after the “freeing” feeling. Something to take me away and out of reality.  I also read about my attempts at suicide and how I abused myself with food. Or lack of I should say.

It is no surprise to me how young women in particular, go to these extremes when dealing with such horror.

As I continued on reading I was reminded of how important it is for a child’s family to be available and to keep our children safe! It appalls me on how I felt so blamed for what happened to me. Very few survivors get help and validation from family members. What happens to us when that happens??? Well heck, numerous things! Take living a life of chaos, busyness, suicide attempts, eating difficulties, avoiding intimacy with friends or partners, using humor to “laugh” it off, self mutilation and here’s one, escape. Escape through fantasizing about a different life or different situations or in my case fantasize about me dying and finally receiving some much craved attention. So sad.. Here’s one I used for years, indulging in “leaving it all up to God”. I believe in God and trust Him completely. What I was doing was wrong. Hiding behind Him and expecting Him to just fix everything for me while I did nothing (except drink away my sorrows). Here’s another, Denial is HUGE! It  is one I used and in my opinion, has saved me. Denial of what happened, denial of the importance of it. Denial has given me a reprieve when I have been unable to handle my emotions and situations. It also acted as a shock absorber for my soul especially as a young child. I have come to know denial is a necessary stage in dealing with traumatic experiences. When we move out of denial and allow the experiences to “thaw”, this is where some serious trouble hits some of us. Reality hits us and hits us hard.

Before I started this blog, I accidentally came across a few posts in WordPress about the teen mom 2 women. Totally my opinion here, if you haven’t walked in those women’s shoes, BUTT OUT AND FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO GOSSIP ABOUT! Good grief! On and on and on people go about how one of these young women struggle with drug use. People, how’s about we educate ourselves on addiction, drug use and teen pregnancy BEFORE we take it viral?  Like I posted a few posts ago, the last thing teen mom’s need is to be kicked when they’re down.  The last thing people who suffer from addiction is to be kicked when they’re down. It makes us no better than anyone else. In fact in my opinion, makes us worst! We can always point a finger at someone else, but remember when we do that, there are three pointing back at us.

Phew, thanks for reading all that. Had a little rant in me there.

Thanks soooooo much to all of you who read these posts. Letting it out and sharing my story brings such freedom.  I can now write my paper with a little less tension. Hehe.

Blessings and peace to you all :D xxxooo