Posted by: Judy | November 20, 2017

Self Care 13 of 25

I want to take the same care going through these as the last group of statements, focusing on solutions. I’m not good at self care, but I am learning.

Original link:

https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/25-obvious-non-obvious-self-care-issues-complex-trauma-survivors-struggle-with-lilly-hope-lucario/

13. Convincing myself to do the work of self care especially in those moments that it is indeed work.

My response:

I don’t know about other survivors, but I learned to put in as little effort as possible in regards to pretty much everything. Not because I’m lazy. I’m not. I used to think I was until I was given a good look at my life. I jumped through hoops, sidestepped, dodged, like nobody’s business in an effort to avoid being caught in the meat grinder. Abusers excel at running their victims through the meat grinder, crushing, twisting, mutilating their spirit, all for the sake of control.

Abusers teach their victims they are worthless, except as defined by the abuser. It’s an ugly definition. They may use pretty words, but victims quickly learn that words are as worthless as they are. Pretty words cloak painful barbs. Compliments serve one of two purposes: To reel the victim closer in order for the abuser to lash out or to soften up the victim because the abuser wants something they think the victim can give and sugarcoating is determined to be the easiest path to gain what they want.

Rule #1: Stop lying, especially to yourself comes in handy. In fact, it’s required.

I could not stick with any plan for taking care of myself until I finally accepted I was worth taking care of. Believing this is a daily and sometimes constant battle.

A day doesn’t go by that is personal abuse free all day. I stay up too late. I overeat. I push too hard. I procrastinate finishing one thing or another. I verbally beat myself up over one thing or another.

How do you change this?

Practice. Really. It’s the only way. Healthy habits require practice. When you stumble and fall you pick yourself up and start over, day after day after day… moment by moment.

Sometimes, I practiced several things at once, but I found it easier to focus on one thing at a time. However, eating healthier, sleeping healthier, exercising healthier are all things that need to be done every day. Eating is my least successful change, but I am making progress. Sleeping is improving. Funnily enough, exercise has been the most consistent in improvement. I’m really not lazy.

As my sense of my personal worth improves, my efforts to take care of myself have also improved. Habits help me through the times when it’s hard work. For example, walking every morning has become a Monday through Saturday routine.

This is not something I’ve done on my own. I’ve chosen a number of mentors, through the years. Most of them don’t know it. The internet has made it easier to find people who know a whole lot more than I do and have been through horrific experiences and chosen to rise above. If they can do it, so can I.


Responses

  1. So proud of you. I always thought I was lazy because I was told I was lazy. It even got to the point that I started writing a list of every single little or big thing I did every day. It filled the front of 8.5×11 sheet of paper all of the days I did it. I wasn’t lazy. It was just something the abusers would say to let me know I wasn’t up to their standards.

    • It took me a long time to realize that the standard was changed in order to ensure I failed. Sad. I’m unlearning the insanity. Go you!

  2. I have such a difficult time practicing self-care too. Ever since I went NC with my parents, I ironically have found it even harder. Sleep is a major one for me. I’ve been meaning to get adequate and early sleep every night, but I always fall back on old habits.

    • Going NC doesn’t solve the problems. It changes the problems. Going NC with my one parent meant I didn’t have to interact directly, but I still have to deal with everyone who remains in contact, as they attempt to keep me in some kind of contact. I’ve spent years working on better sleeping habits. I haven’t managed to crack going to bed earlier, but I do sleep better taking a Benadryl to help me breathe and playing rainymood.com all night. I find it strangely comforting waking to the sound of thunder and rain, set at a low volume. I’ve also recently added a sunrise alarm clock that slowly lightens for a half hour. It doesn’t startle me awake. Little by little. Keep fighting for you.

      • That’s a good way of putting it; “Going NC doesn’t solve the problems. It changes the problems.” Some people seem to have a much easier time with NC, but upon going NC for a year, I still find things incredibly difficult — mostly I suppose, things I’ve repressed coming up to the surface now that my parents cannot repress me to the same degree. I didn’t always have such difficulty going to bed, but this whole year, it seems like a struggle to discipline myself. I keep distracting myself, instead of sleeping. Rain sounds do seem really comforting when in bed. And the sunrise alarm clock sounds interesting, perhaps I will check it out. Thanks for the support. Take care.

        • Yes, going NC creates a new kind of safety that is terrifying. It’s unfamiliar. There’s the need to return to what is familiar, even when it’s destructive. There is no going around, over, or under. There is only through, one step at a time no matter how small. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Go you!

  3. […] Judy shared her point of view here:  https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/self-care-13-of-25/ […]


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