When everyone was discouraging me from making different choices for my life, Jesse was always there to encourage me to live my own life and make my own mistakes. Knowing he was just a text or call away gave me so much strength and courage to confront the world.
This experience has negatively impacted every aspect of my life. My physical and mental health have suffered. I felt (and still feel) traumatized and furious that this happened to me.
Tara claims, “Radical Acceptance is the willingness to experience ourselves and our life as it is.” I became willing to experience it all fully without the façade and that’s when my life really began to change for the better.
I was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s at eight years old. Getting through each day was such a struggle but over time I learned how to better prepare myself for being out in the world. I had to plan ahead for any possibility every time I left the house. Eventually that turned into carrying a giant purse with literally everything but the bathroom sink. Here is a list of the basics I made sure to never leave home without.
It was an incredibly lonely time in a life full of loneliness but it’s also when things really started to turn around for me.
“Breathing is a power switch to a vast network called the autonomic nervous system,” Nestor wrote.
Dr. van der Kolk stated, “The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe.” When I started trying to take better care of myself, I decided to get a massage. The first time, and several after to be honest, were not very pleasant or relaxing. I would often still feel just as tense or even more so when it was over. The masseuse would keep saying, “You can relax now,” and I would be so confused because I thought I was relaxed.
The more I called bullshit on negative thought patterns, the more my health improved. The more I started consciously deciding what to think, the more my life improved.
A lot of assumptions are hurled at only children. People just assume you’re a spoiled brat who has been handed everything you could ever want in life. They just assume things were calm and peaceful in your household because it was just you and your parents must have been so attentive to your every whim. They assume you’re socially awkward and don’t know how to make friends or interact with people. They assume you’re still spoiled as an adult and have always had a great support system. That was not my experience whatsoever.
Book Review: The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health & Happiness by Douglas J. Lisle and Alan Goldhamer