No Normal After Trauma

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My date would arrive later. He would only be in my apartment for a few minutes before we were on our way. I had to prepare. So I got on my computer and began logging out of all of my accounts. After I had logged out of two –I stopped. I asked myself aloud, “What am I doing? Nicole, you need to back away from your crazy.” I logged back into my accounts and stepped away from my computer. But I did not put down my trauma. I carried it through the date, through the rest of my day and into the next.

You see, My Guy On A Buffalo was constantly going through all my texts and emails and Facebook. Looking, waiting to catch me in a lie, in some kind of betrayal. I had nothing to hide BUT BOUNDARIES, PEOPLE. BOUNDARIES. And this lives with me still.

My date that day has never given me any indications that he would do the same but the fear still lives in me. And it is alive.

A few years ago I took myself on a trip. I just needed to get away and really look deep into myself and reflect and make decisions. It was an amazing trip. A week after my return I met My Guy On A Buffalo. And the world was wonderful. And then my world was destroyed.

I am preparing to leave on another trip. For the same purpose. To do some intentional work on myself. To be in a new place, to make new choices. I have been really excited for this trip. Until this morning. Fear showed up. Last time I went on a trip I came back and was stolen. I am so afraid that I will return from this trip and the same thing will happen.

A part of me, the healthy side of my brain, tells me that is not true. It will not happen again. This is not a repeat. But the trauma in me…

I do not know how to be normal. I want to be. It is frustrating to think and deal in this way. But maybe it is not about acting, thinking, being normal… Maybe it is about accepting what is. That for right now, this is my new normal. And it is okay. It is okay in all its scary. In the hurting. In the healing.

I often feel crazy. And I know I cannot be the only one. So this is for you. You, who feels crazy and out of control. Who cannot seem to be normal after all you have gone through. I get it. I hear you. I see you.

Worthy is your name. Divine is your destiny. Healing is happening. Together, lets breathe through all of our un-normalness and walk into our fears. I just know something lovely is waiting on the other side

 

Fear of Follow-Through

I don’t dance around the perimeter of the person I want to be. I step in fully and completely. -Gabrielle Bernstein. This is my mantra for the day.

I have been wanting to do Beachbody’s program Hammer and Chisel since it was announced in July. Something about it drew me to it. I counted down the days until it was released in December. I ordered it the program a few weeks ago and have anxiously waited for it to arrive in the mail.

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When it came I was  so excited! I poured over all the material, read every word and began to plan my attack. I calendared my workouts. I planed my meals. So so ready…..and I didn’t start. The excitement was gone. I told myself I didn’t need to be excited I just needed to begin. But I didn’t begin. I thought maybe if I “prepared” more I would be ready to dive in so I went out and bought a new workout outfit. And……nothing.

I thought, “what is wrong with me?” I was so frustrated with myself and I knew it was time to get honest with myself. So I had a come to Jesus talk. Sometimes facing the truth about myself feels like the hardest thing. Because it is. And I do not have all the answers but I did come to some conclusions.

I have a huge, overwhelming fear of follow-through. There are very few things in my life I have seen to completion. And if I were to follow-through with this program in the timetable I have set for myself I would PROVE MYSELF WRONG.

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Meaning, I have carried these notions about myself that are not true. But a huge part of myself believes them to be true. That I do not finish what I start. I do not keep promises to myself. I am a letdown. I am a failure. I am not capable of success. I am worthless. And if I were to follow-through with the promises I make to myself- I would prove myself wrong. I would show myself THE REAL TRUTH. That I am amazing. That I am a finisher. That I do not give up. I persever. I overcome. I am a leader. I do what I say I am going to do. I am successful. I am capable of creating the life I want for myself. I make my dreams come true. THAT IS THE TRUTH. And I am afraid of it. I hold myself back. I stand in my own way. And I have not figured it out yet. I do not know all the reasons why or how to reverse it. But today….

I don’t dance around the perimeter of the person I want to be. I step in fully and completely.

That is what I am choosing today.

I freaking love being a Beachbody coach. It gives me purpose and an outlet for my voice. The past few weeks have been discouraging to me as a coach. A few people have quit. And I get it. But I am also so very sad. In my heart of hearts I wish that they would have not given up on themselves so easily. I wish they would have given themselves more time. More of a chance. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I WANT FOR MYSELF and I AM FIGHTING FOR IT. It is hard. And it hurts. This business makes one come face to face with the false beliefs we carry about ourselves.

My fear of follow through, and all the contributes to it is NOT SERVING ME. Its not. And I am over it. Today I am choosing to do something about it.  Part of me is so in love with this strong, powerful body of mine. It does everything I ask it to do. It serves me well. But another part of me wants to hide from it. I feel it is not attractive and…I am embarrassed by it. So this journey of mine is not only to love my body where it is at but to gain confidence inside and out. To become stronger inside and out. To treat myself like I love myself. Because I do. I know that I do.

So I went to the little gym today at my apartment complex. I took my computer with me to stream Hammer and Chisel. And I was self-conscious because there were other people in there. And I had to modify EVERY move. And I had to press pause. And I cried a little. And I finished it. And it was so hard. All of it. But I showed up for myself and I feel AMAZING. I feel strong and proud. And guess what, it was fun! And I cannot wait to do it again tomorrow! Who knew that would be the end result! My date with myself was a success!

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Master, the Tempest is Raging

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on June 5, 2014

I am sad.  For days now.  Just so very sad.  And so tired.  I could sleep for days.  I think I need to. I think it would help.  My emotions are in my throat at all times.  Most of the time they surface while driving in my car.  I weep as if someone has died.  You know that cry.  You know that sound.  Maybe you have made it yourself.  It is a cry that is different from the rest.  It is scary.  It is alarming.  It comes in waves.  It stays true to its course, this emotion.  But when it is over it gently rolls out to sea leaving… not happiness… not joy… but some kind of peace and always, always a measure of gratitude.  Because in the middle of my hidden sorrows I find Jesus.  During the storm there is nothing else to hang on to.  No one else there.

Elaine Marshall said, “secret healing is not a single event. It happens as a process of living. You cannot simply take off a day or start tomorrow like a new diet and returned healed.  IT HAPPENS QUIETLY WHILE YOU FACE THE PAIN. It happens over time as you live, work, study and give to others.”

As of now I cannot imagine a day when I am healed. What will that day look like? How will I feel? I feel like I have lived in this for so long now but I am ready to live without it,

“Master, with anguish of spirit I bow in my grief today. The depths of my sad heart are troubled. Oh, waken and save, I pray!” -Master the Tempest is Raging, Mary Ann Baker

Forgiving/Asking

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on May 28, 2014

I forgive you.  I forgive you for losing your cool on that lady in the street that day.  I forgive you for your fear of my betrayal.  I forgive you for trying to control me.  I forgive you for withholding affection.  I forgive you for making me feel stupid and worth nothing.  I forgive you for your your anger.  I forgive you for hurting me.

I still love you.

Please forgive me for not asking the right questions.  For staying silent when I should have spoken up.  Forgive me for professing love but not always showing it.  Forgive me for not knowing enough, doing enough, being enough.

What happens in your nightmares?  What really went on over there and how do you feel about it?  What would you do differently?  What would you change?  What do you miss?  What did you love?  How can I be there for you?  What do you need right now?

Thank you for sharing what you have with me.

Praise God for you in my life.

I Will Be Your Brotherhood

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on May 28, 2014

I will give you brotherhood (family).  I will love you.  You can love me.  I will have your back.  I am not perfect but I am trustworthy.  I will do it all for you, as long as it is right and just.

My emotions were sitting in my throat while I watched this.  There are a million reasons to cry and a million reasons not to.  If you only understood in your mind in your heart that I will be your brotherhood…

Note to Self

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 9, 2014

No one told you life was gonna be this way.  Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.  It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear.  When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.  You’re still in bed at ten and work began at eight.  You’ve burned your breakfast, so far things are going great.  Your mother warned you there’d be days like these but she didn’t tell you when the world has brought you down to your knees…
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I’ll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I’ll be there for you
Like I’ve been there before
I’ll be there for you

xoxonicole

Let it Go!

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 3, 2014

The song “Let it Go” from frozen has been my theme song through the last couple of months.  Let it go.  Let go what happened/ is happening to me.  Let it go.  Forgive.  Forgive He-who-must-not-be-named.  Forgive myself.  Forgive God.  Let it go.

A few years ago I wrote a few pieces in forgiveness.  You can find them herehere and here.  Also I am reposting the first two below followed by a few additional thoughts.

You know that thing in your life that you will not let go of.  You hate it.  Wish it wasn’t there.  You want to let it go but you just cannot seem to loosen your grip.   Instead you let it eat at you.  You carry it around with you every day and everywhere you go.  Forgiveness.  You just can’t seem to give it.  And what really sucks about it is that by you not forgiving so-and-so you are only hurting and torturing yourself.  Why? Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why can’t we let it go and move on?  How do we let go and move on?  I started to read this book.  Its called Let it Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness by Chris Williams.   The book is about how Chris was able to forgive the young boy driving the car that killed his wife and two children.

Here is a short video about his story:

We know we should forgive, that it is healthy to forgive.  But how do we forgive?

A man named Lloyd D. Newell uses the example of Jane Eyre when he addresses forgiveness, “Life is a study in forgiveness. No one gets through life without needing to forgive. And no one escapes the need to be forgiven. Perhaps the central test of character, forgiveness brings out the best in us. It leads us beyond our own pain and suffering and helps us feel God’s love. Ironically, we help ourselves in the most profound way when we give the gift of forgiveness to others.

Charlotte Bronte’s literary Jane Eyre addresses the theme of forgiveness so well. Young Jane, orphaned and sent to live with a spiteful aunt, endures years of neglect and cruelty as a child. When Jane is old enough, her aunt sends her away to a substandard boarding school, where she is again mistreated. But Jane learns a vital lesson from Helen, a dear friend there. Helen explains to Jane one of life’s great secrets: “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.” Helen teaches Jane to forgive: to forget wrongs, to love enemies, to “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you… and despitefully use you.”

Jane’s life is different ever after. It doesn’t necessarily become easier–Jane still has to endure injustices, hardships, and betrayals–but she is better prepared for all these things because she has learned not to hold on to grudges and ill feelings. She frees her soul from anger, bitterness, and revenge. In fact, Jane even returns to her malicious aunt and attends to her during her dying days. Ultimately, Jane finds true joy– and even true love–because she learned to forgive.

And so can we. It may be the hardest work we ever do, but it is also the most rewarding. Resolve now to let an old grudge go. Decide in advance to forgive any future offense that may come. Determine never to let a mistake get in the way of a meaningful relationship. As the 18th-century British poet Alexander Pope wrote, “to err is human, to forgive, divine.”

To err is human, to forgive, divine… I want to be divine.  Forgive him.  Forgive myself.  Forgive God.  Be more holy, more divine.  Let it go…

I finished his book. Let It Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness. It was wonderful, heartbreaking and beautiful. I flew home to Iowa for Thanksgiving. I read Chris’s book on the plane. Wrong move. While reading the book I became very emotional. It took everything I had to keep it together. I feel sorry for those who sat next to me. Ha-ha. Some of you might be wondering why I chose to read a book such as this. I wanted to read it for a few reasons. Something you should know about me is that I love self-help books. LOVE THEM. They help me to learn about others and myself. I am also fascinated by death. That might sound weird but I truly believe death is a beautiful thing. How people cope with loss appeals to me as well. And when I saw the video of Chris and his story I was moved. I was moved to compassion and inspired to be one who would choose to forgive. Choose to “let it go.” Below is a passage from his book.

“I knew that the adversary works tirelessly to steal our peace and turn us against each other. We all make mistakes, sometimes with terrible consequences, I reminded myself. We say something that should never had been said, we do something that should never had been done, we misunderstand, misrepresent, or misinterpret, and our actions or words create hurt in our own lives and in the lives of others. And there are those who suffer cruelties at the hands of others. I thought of the five people whose lives ended Monday night at Trolley Square. And yet He who knows that these and so many other kinds of tragedies would occur commanded us to combat them with love. He knows that when we’re hurt, we’re vulnerable and thus susceptible to grudges, hidden wedges, and wounds, all of which, if left unchecked, could fester into anger, retribution, vilification, even hatred.

Without the necessary healing the Savior provides, over time we may begin to wonder why we’re not as happy as we used to be, why we’re a little more critical, a little less patient, and more judgmental, why we withhold our love and affection rather than give it – all the while feeling more miserable, rather than joyful in this life.

I recalled in my mind the many experiences of the last week preceding the viewing and the funeral and the roller coaster of emotions propelling me from the extreme highs of peace to the depths of sadness and grief, over and over. What an opportunity for the adversary to kick me when I was down, to finish me off and heap added misery into my life had I chosen to not follow the Savior’s command and “let it go.” How seemingly easy and justifiable it would have been for me to join him in his misery, to get angry, to vilify, to lash out at this life and how wrong everything in it had just become.

The Savior had suffered all so that we would not have to. He said He would take our burdens, and He repeated the invitation to give them to Him while He ministered in the flesh, and He has since reminded us what He accomplished in the Atonement. There’s no way I was or ever will be strong enough to bear that burden I was presented on the night of the crash. It was immediately given to the Lord at His command, and I instead took upon me His light burden and easy yoke of serving and loving others – having full faith in the Savior and in His ability to bear my heavy burden and to heal my family.”

Heavenly Father, please help me to have full faith in my Savior and His ability to bear my heavy burden and to heal me.  My hope is that 

“some distance will make everything seem small.  And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.  Its time to see what I can do.  To test the limits and break through.  I’m never going back!  The past is in the past!  LET IT GO!

And I will rise like the break of dawn!

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Following Christ

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on January 30, 2014

 Someone posted this as their status on good ole’ Facebook:

“Do you want capability, safety, and security in dating and romance, in married life and eternity? Be a true disciple of Jesus. Be a genuine, committed, word-and-deed [Christian]. Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril. Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is the only lamp by which you can successfully see the path of love and happiness. How should I love thee? As He does, for that way ‘never faileth.'”
— Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Reading this triggered a lot of emotions in me…. mainly upsetness.  The first 25 times I read this -my mind concluded either the statement is false or I am not a good enough disciple of Christ.

I have never felt like I have followed Christ more in any area of my life, including my mission, than in my relationship with He-who-must-not-be-named.  Not that I have been perfect.  I have been very imperfect.  I know I have said and done the wrong things.  But more than ever in my life I have strived to listen and follow Jesus Christ.  So…. this statement must be false or I am just not good enough.

But then I read this scripture:

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalms 84:11

And this scripture:

“Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end.”  Doctrine and Covenants 100:12

In this very moment I am choosing to believe that hope will return and all will be made right.

I am also giving myself permission to question and doubt without shame.  To give myself room to feel what I feel and then move on to the next feeling.  Because emotions do not last, they come and go.  And to show myself grace….

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It Made Me Think of You

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on January 27, 2014

I have a thing for swings.  I love them.  They are healing to me.  It was a beautiful day.  You picked me up from the airport.  It was a Sunday.  You took me home and then we went to R’s primary program together.  You teased me in the hall.  During the program I scratched your back.  When I stopped you took my hand and returned it to your back so I would continue. Haha. Then on the way home we stopped and bought me tamales from a lady on the side of the road simply because you knew that I loved them.  That moment our eyes connected and held when you lifted me back into the truck lives on in my heart.  We took a nap at my house and then we stopped at the farm.  You pushed me on that swing for about 45 minutes.  Then you took me home with you.  I had no clothes.  Nothing. But you took me home with you and you held me all night.  It was lovely.

Weeks later I was having a hard time. You took me to “the land of the swings.”  You put me on several different swings and pushed me forever.  I can still feel the sunlight on my face.

What happened to us?  What changed?  Did I do something?  I don’t think I did anything that would warrant such a 180 change in your behavior toward me.

I am grieving that loving man that you were once to me.  I know he is still in you.  He is there.  You are just going through something right now.  What ever girl is there when you are loving and whole again is a lucky girl.

I hope that lucky girl is me.

I just want to be by your side.  If these wings could fly.  For the rest of our lives.

It made me think of you.  This song.  The swings.  This song is for you.  I am singing to you.

love