Although I sometimes still struggle with who I see in the mirror each day, according to everyone else that knows me and has seen me grow, it is evidently no secret that I have gone through a huge transformation in the past year and a half or so. Between losing over 40 pounds and finding my voice again to my business really becoming full each month (yaay!), it has been a tremendous 6 - 12 months since my divorce.
While I was always open in talking about my health struggles and I still am, what I was not always comfortable sharing back in the day was my life as I (barely) navigated an emotionally toxic/abusive (narcissistic) relationship.
Being what I considered to be a "strong" woman, I struggled to talk about what was happening. There was shame and guilt in the acknowledgment that something wasn’t right. That maybe I was in an emotionally abusive space. And, of course, there was denial on my part because I wanted to “show up” as that strong woman and I would tell myself, “surely, I was strong enough to not have this happen to ME?!”
And I couldn’t let others down because you know, I talk the talk about showing up and being seen but really, I was hiding in plain sight. Because unbeknownst to most, so much of the time, I felt like I was going "crazy" and just felt "foggy" in the brain and, of course, the times that I wanted to leave and felt broken, I was told by him that I wouldn't be able to make it on my own and at the time, I believed it.
But fast forward two years later and it is good. And peaceful. And I AM making it. Enjoying life. HAPPY. On my own. And loving it. And learning how to THRIVE!
During the time my life felt like it was falling apart though, I was fortunate to find an amazing therapist who saw the signs of Narcissistic Abuse and encouraged me to learn and process and get aware. I also luckily found a gal by the name of Angie Atkinson and her YouTube videos made me see what was happening in my life. They made me realize that what I was in was a shit show but also that I wasn’t truly “crazy” but I did realize that I was IN IT and it was time to come out of denial, acknowledge it and own it.
And it was then that I started to realize that I actually had a CHOICE in what I was able to do for myself and my life moving forward.
And so one evening, exactly two years ago this weekend (I remember the EXACT moment), I made the decision to leave and asked for a divorce.
Deep down inside, I knew I was created for more and deserved so much better.
Through a few private sessions with Angie, she helped me to begin practices to start the healing from a long-standing abusive/toxic relationship and I finally started to come out of the “fog” and realized what was happening.
She told me then that "I didn't know what I didn't know..." and how she couldn't wait to see where I would be in a year. I wasn't sure if I believed her then. I couldn't see it. AT ALL.
But I did the work. I stayed the course. And every single day, I knew I had a choice on who I wanted to be and at this point, was so ready to see the “new me” that everyone else was ready for as well.
And then in February of this year (2019), Angie approached me and asked me if I would do a video with her. She wanted me to talk about THRIVING after abuse.
Ummm....whaaaat???! ME? It was that moment that you want to look over your shoulder and say, “Wait, who are you talking to? Are you talking to ME?!” Because I wasn’t sure I was the girl that was thriving. Because there were days it felt so upstream and rough and then there were days that it felt downstream and easy and light. She assured me that after all the years she had been coaching, that I was definitely not just surviving, that I was THRIVING, in every sense of the word.
And so now it was time for me to own the same.
And so here I am … learning to thrive, owning what it takes and talking about it. And, evidently inspiring many women along the way as I have talked about my journey through big health issues, sadness, narcissistic abuse and healing and getting back up to finding self love in ways that I never thought I could.
With the help of business coaches and mindset coaches, financial advisors, friends and a loving family (yea, it takes a f'n village around here), I am finding my light again.
Owning who I am and who I can be.
So I wanted to share it with ya’all.
Here is the link to the video Angie and I did together. I talk about my self care practice that was also leading to self low and to more self confidence and awareness.
Let me know what you think after you watch it!? (And yes, I know I need to smile more during videos but damn, ya'all, I watched this in full awareness a few times since and I must say that it lights me up to see the comments on Part 1 of this video series with Angie Atkinson! Inspiring men and women to create practices that result in big life changes ... who knew I’d be talking about that today!!?)
So although I haven't shared a lot of my back story over the years because it was either too painful or I was embarrassed at my lack of strength through it all, I'm starting to talk about it. Not so I can replay the stories again, but to tell those men and women who are going through it or have been through it, that there is light on the other side. That you can THRIVE.
And yes, I use ALL THE THINGS to make this happen -- meditation, self love and body love techniques, positive language, writing, dancing it out...you name it,
I'm all about finding JOY and LAUGHTER and LOVE again.
I'm gonna keep posting 'cause I think women need to know and hear...so if you want to share, I'd love it -- you'd be surprised who is hurting from this and just can't talk about it and if it helps him/her, then we've done good!
It's time to be new and create a forward direction and so I am excited to be sharing ways I have done it and will continue to do as I make that rear view smaller and smaller. It is time.
Check out the video and I hope it helps you see that life goes on and gets so much better when you follow your gut and face the 'you don't know what you don't know' 'cause man, it is pretty f'n amazing on the other side!!
Baby steps, laughter, tears, peace, quiet, more laughter, loving my weirdness, embracing my awkward, giving myself grace and honoring my intuition -- all of these have guided me to a place that I never thought I would be.
It is time.