#selfproclamations #poverty #christmas #gratitude #joy
I've been writing a lot about my experience with poverty as well as my fear of joy.
I want people to understand the emotions that come with being "chronically needing".
Notice how I said NEEDING and not just POOR.
The first 5 years of my twenties, I spent as a very low income single mother in college. I raised a little baby for 7 years total alone while juggling full time college courses, living on campus in a small apartment [$1400/mo] and paying my own groceries/books + our needs.
We needed things. Not just the regular items a college kid needs but actual home items. All year round items. All year round groceries. Toiletries. Diapers + baby wipes + baby products. Shoes. Coats. All weather wear [here in NY].
I was out on my own very young, sans parents. Lived with family by the grace of goddess and then out on my own completely. I was always in need.
And that brought a ton of shame.
So much, I still wear it even in the last almost 5 years of my twenties.
I have bargain and clearance shopped at all times. Because I feared full price.
I have saved all my coins in jars. Because as people wrinkle their noses to pennies and dimes, I know those cover expenses when you add them up.
I have sold items, sometimes that I really loved. So I learned not to get attached.
Buying things for myself was hard but over time I made more money at my job, got nice tax credits back and finally decided to treat myself sometimes.
When I graduated school, I sold it all.
Every favorite dress. My favorite framed pinup photo. My pots and plans. My christmas tree. My little tv. Most of bellas toys.
And I felt really bad doing that.
I was about to enter a relationship with someone. To have a family with them. I'd met my soulmate and wanted to be married + have babies.
But my gut instinct was to burn bridges. Get rid of everything. Start fresh.
An epic rise out of the ashes, again.
Now I feel shame for those choices.
I didn't have to strip myself of the joy I'd mustered up the courage to give myself over the years.
I just did instinctively.
Then i spent 4 years working my butt off along side my hard working husband. And entrepreneurship handed our asses to us.
We also realized many things that were not a good fit for us.
We realized we needed to shed, strip, start fresh.
Again, burn bridges and then rise from the ash.
So this year we did just that. After 4 years of working hard instead of efficiently, we got rid of everything to try and pay off debts. Start from scratch. We are still paying it all off.
Only now, with very very tight income. Very very little wiggle room. Very very tight quarters to live in. And with other people, not on our own.
It brings a lot of shame.
If we did not have this roof over our heads because of someone else, we would not have a place right now.
We had 2 babies along this journey. We welcomed our first baby boy our first Christmas together and our second 18 mos later. Those babies came out of love.
But do you know what people say when you have kids and are poor?
"Why did you do that?"
Why did we do this?.....
We fell in love.
We had a plan.
And now, we are forming new plans.
Because shit does not always work out how you plan it to.
What gratitude and joy I have though when I look at my babies faces. All 3 of my kids are beautiful, smart, kind, creative, and best of all they SWEAR I am the best mom. Little ole me.
My husband is my best friend and my partner in everything. We have trusted eachother and held eachother through all the obstacles.
We feel in need.
But it is embarrassing to tell people we need anything.
Surely, we work.
Surely, we are capable adults.
The world is not built for people in need.
We are called "needy" if we ask. Or mocked. Or shamed. Or guilted. Or indebted.
So when someone gives to us out of the kindness of their hearts, I am a hot mess of tears and gratitude.
I have racing thoughts of how will I ever pay them back?
And it's funny, but when you are in need for so long you actually need things people do not even think of.
I am in desperate need of a little alone time.
The luxury of little breaks here and there. Friends to go out with or an errand to run.
Because I'm home in a little space with 2 toddlers all day + every day while I work on my blog. Then my 12 yr old with ASD comes home from school and needs me. I am needed.
But sometimes, I am needed by me.
It's a luxury to serve myself.
Next, even though I need clothing and a coat and socks and underwear like any other person ----> I want to feel fashionable. Sensual. Stylish.
A person is still a person.
When you are homeless or poor or low income, YOU STILL FEEL IN NEED OF BEAUTY AND FASHION.
And even if the most elegant top and trendy shoes cost a dollar, if you are seen looking good while being poor it is shamed.
Without even knowing where the items come from.
Without knowing my jewelry is from dollar stores or my coat was a hand me down.
You might shame me for looking or feeling good.
Money is a piece of paper and yet our worth is dyed right into the print of the serial numbers and letters across the bill.
Our very worth is mass printed and distributed ----> with people caring very little about what a prized possession money can be.
For someone who is poor, money feels like its everything.
THE END ALL.
You might not realize how hard the people around you work for money.
How they trade hours with their loved ones for it.
How they climb through mobs of people to spend it on gadgets and toys.
How a name brand or a label or a print or a color of an item can make someone seem rich for owning it.
And no one wants to look like they are in need.
They want to look like they have it all.
When you are in need, it is not just material but psychological.
You want comfort. You want happiness. You want fun. You want experiences. You want emotional connection. You want to feel like you are not stuck. Or lacking. Even if just for an hour.
When you gift someone something because they are in need, consider THEIR needs. Depending on the situation, a grocery gift card would be amazing. But also, things that bring joy. A fancy chocolate. A candle. An essential oil or a first aid kit. A gift card for coffee. A nail kit.
There are a lot of things people NEED but also want. Just to feel human. And loved.
I am teaching my kids something I find very important about giving and receiving.
Give with joy.
Give for joy.
Receive with joy.
Receive for joy.
For not the price tag but the transference of emotions and worth.
We feel worth it and we give worth to others when we show an act of compassion.
Compassion is giving a woman $100 for groceries and an extra $5 coffee card JUST FOR HER.
Because you know she feels like absolute poop while struggling. And a little trip for a coffee might be the ounce of human experience she is craving.
When you think about doing a secret santa or a white Christmas game with your family, also consider this.
PEOPLE WITHIN YOUR OWN FAMILY ARE IN NEED.
And if you could give someone close to you a CHIP IN towards their car battery, towards groceries, towards tree trimmings, towards home items, towards a human experience ....
Imagine with any amount or THING or EXPERIENCE you give, and with joy, that person feeling such a DEEP gratitude for it.
For exactly what they were in need of.
I get a bit frustrated every year at Thanksgiving because I hear mindless small talk and see posts even about Thanksgiving being the "family time holiday" --------> but many people do not truly engage with one another.
It's just "you'll never believe what suzie did last week " or "I hate my job. But you know, its work" or "Hows the family by you? ---> ehh you know same old".
NO TODD. WE DON'T KNOW.
I wish families and friends would gather around this time of year to be vulnerable and honest.
To say what they NEED. To say what they DREAM of doing next. To speak about their goals. To go around saying what they are thankful for and then ask what each other could possibly use for the following year. Or the present time.
What could you use to end off this year well, Uncle Todd?
"To be honest with you hunny, my coat is so worn and it's so cold outside when I shovel."
What I would do is get uncle Todd a warm robe and slippers. And pay for shovel service for his house that year.
Because I want to give joy.
And I can only imagine the joy he will feel warm and wrapped up on the couch to relax while something he always does gets taken care of.
A little taste of being cared for.
This holiday season, I URGE YOU to care for someone else. Give joy. With joy.
And gain a new emotion you never felt before. While witnessing it first hand on someone else's face. Caused by you.
That is love.
That is compassion.
That, my friend, is the poor mans' Christmas.
J.S. Jaded Savior
I am working on some really BIG things. Since I decided to turn Jaded Savior into a business working from home, I have been making phone calls with many of you, doing video chats, initiating collab work, watching YouTube tutorials, listening to ebooks, taking free online courses, and then IMPLEMENTING THE F out of all I absorb.
I have discovered since the end of summer that I am COMPLETELY IN LOVE with educating myself and building my relationships.
I have gone from BROKEN and DEPRESSED to thriving with purpose. I have seen myself transform from TERRIFIED to ELECTRIFIED with passion and purpose.
I am finally ready, after a lot of healing and inner work, to leap into the next phase of my life for 2020. Not as a coach or healer. Not as a mentor. But as an educator + curator of resources.
I have figured out that my calling and my drive is to be able to offer people ACCESSIBLE, PRACTICAL resources for:
♡ Self development
♡ Identifying trauma /abuse
♡ Personal growth from trauma
♡ Self Help + Outreach options
I will be a foot in the door for Trauma Survivors to discover different resources to utilize for these types of transformations in their lives.
I will be a safe person to confide in and the director of a helpful virtual library for people with all kinds of trauma / abuse symptoms or problems.
These resources and this platform will not be exclusive to survivors.
I will also connect weekly with healers, coaches, trauma trained professionals, people with extraordinary healing stories and spiritual leaders in the online community. They will have the opportunity to share what they do + know to my audience in collaborative work and impactful programs.
I am ready to step into my greatness. To honor what has gotten me through the deepest trauma and survive horrible abuse.
My natural desire to climb higher in life constantly.
Up and out of trauma. Away from the bullshit. And fearlessly into the unknown.
Stay tuned for the many ways you might gain access to my resource center + grab amazing freebies from my blog + work with me on a collab project or empowering interview.
2020 here I come.
I have a confession.
I HATE the word Queen. <---
I have never had a good relationship with my parents.
My mother was hardly ever sober and she was my residential parent after the divorce.
Sometimes, between blackouts and rage, would come out a fragile voice and tenderness that scared me more than the anger I knew her for.
When someone is constantly abusive, tenderness or kindness feels wrong.
She would call me Queen. And talk about how how I was her Queen.
And I grew up hating it. That fake kindness that would come out to play. It almost felt supernatural when that persona met with me.
And that word, it felt foreign.
What did it even mean to her?
Surely there was not a "human" part of her soul hiding beneath the illness, the anger, the alcohol.....
I grew up around girls who had moms that were their best friends.
Mine tried attacking me while drunk on the regular. Mine did not talk to me about life or boys or behaviors or habits. Mine did not warn me about the bad people.
People like her.
Unstable. But calculated.
She was not abusive or bullying towards me out of lack of willpower.
She knew what she was causing, she would see it in my eyes and my body language.
She would gas light and manipulate.
Gift me things I didn't want or need, that she charged and we could not afford. Then lay all the stress and problems on me.
Many episodes of alcohol and anger went forgotten because she maintained a buzz constantly and then would get so drunk I saw a void in her eyes.
This was my home life for years.
Until I became pregnant with my h.s. bf and she kicked me out. Threw me out with nothing. And then changed the locks.
The only texts and calls I got thereafter have been incoherent or angry or illegible.
I'll never forget when she texted me 5 years later telling me she had a baby cradle and baby items in my bedroom. My childhood bedroom that she was still "cleaning" every season and keeping as is for me to return home.
With "baby queen".
The child she told me to abort.
The pregnancy she shamed me and abandoned me with, not minding that a family member on my birth fathers side had to take me in.
I never did return.
Or so I told myself.
For 12 years I disassociated with a memory that I unblocked this summer.
After I began my healing journey in May of this year, I began to practice shadow work and sit with myself to unlock deep seeded issues that were giving me nightmares.
Every dream was the same.
I was an adult, with my daughter being a toddler again, and I was TRAPPED in my childhood bedroom. Trying to figure out how to escape and get my baby girl who she had locked somewhere else in the house.
Nightmares of my mother trying to kill me slowly with torture and mental games.
Nightmares of trying to run and getting out the front door with such elation, only to turn back GREEN faced realizing my toddler was still prisoner inside and I could no longer see a front door.
So I dove into my memories right on my couch. And I journeyed through memories, going back to after the birth of my daughter.
I then remembered a day I went to visit with the baby. And ended up being cohered into sleeping over with my month old child.
I remembered drunk fist fighting at 1 am.
I remembered bugs in my bed and dust on the furniture.
I remembered breastfeeding my newborn and crying on the floor. Sleeping with her in my arms on hard wood.
I remembered calling my aunt [who'd taken me in] the next day to come get me.
I remembered stealing my social security card and other documents from her bedroom closet in secret while my aunt distracted her in the living room.
These were vital documents so I could as a minor apply for financial aid, a bank account, school, medical insurance, and have proper I.D. for my new life without parents. And I achieved it.
I blocked out that memory of sleeping over, of my child crying hard when she held her, of the sleepless night when I heard China breaking and cursing until after 3 am.
But the worst pain was the mistake I had made right before leaving those doors for good.
I had left baby clothing behind that had spit up on it.
8 months later my mother had that clothing in a bag and photographs of it sprawled out in my room along with other baby things I'd never seen before.
I had brought her and my birth father, who'd abandoned me at 15 to drugs, to court. At 17 years old with a 9 month old baby, I testified against all 3 guardians: my mother, her husband, and my father.
And though I Ieft with freedom legally from them all, I had a heavy heart. No abuse charges were founded. No proof on my end was substantial enough to hold the case.
On their end my mother presented photographs of my room all clean and a full fridge of food [which was never the case], baby items in various places of the room and fresh laundry folded.
The pictures were dated and used as valid evidence to prove they supplied a loving, safe home that I was welcome back to with my child any time I wanted.
I declined and thankfully, lawfully was not able to be forced.
This is NOT THE CASE IN EVERY STATE.
I realized I had blocked those memories because of how painful and shameful it was to have my own parent put me in such a bad position, this time affecting my own child.
And I rejected the memory of putting my own baby in danger because I was so upset about it.
Our brains are that powerful.
We can rewrite, rewire or erase memories all together just to protect ourselves.
Until we unlock the memories and suddenly connections are made.
And Pandora's box is unleashed.
I remembered that my boyfriend during college called me his Queen during a vulnerable moment he had, promising to propose and get an apartment with me. Something I had wanted to have because we were dating for years and I had a child already + a future to plan out.
One that would not wait for him.
So he pulled out what cards he could to keep me.
For another year and a half I believe I stayed, until he left me finally via text announcing his affair with someone else.
I realized that QUEEN again meant prisoner.
It did not mean royal or special or strong.
And it was bestowed upon me by a person close to me who had no intention of keeping me.
Instead, I was cut loose and ghosted thereafter. 4 years just gone. Wasted.
We are not supposed to view experiences as wasted or unwanted.
We learn best through struggles and overcoming challenges.
Overcoming abuse is not a life obstacle.
It is a deterrent from living life.
It is a prison cell.
A nightmare in which you feel trapped over and over again.
Even long after you are safe.
Starting Jaded Savior blog taught me so much about myself.
My spiritual healing journey has taught me, through light and shadow work, that my duality of good and bad qualities come from abuse.
That I am inauthentic. <-----
Or rather, void of identity and self esteem.
How could this have happened?
When women call each other queen on the internet, it is the absolute best compliment.
It is a symbol of sisterhood and support.
When I am called queen, I shrivel.
It does not empower me.
But that trigger comes from abusers programming me to lose my identity.
To create one for me.
As it turns out, I have not known myself.
The traits I thought were me were symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The good news is, I AM NOT MY ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION.
I AM NOT TRAUMA.
I am also not lost or lacking of identity.
Beneath the layers of experiences is who I AM TO BECOME.
I once was a JADED SAVIOR.
Someone chronically wanting to save everybody but myself.
It wasn't until I left abuse through awareness and action that I was able to become something new.
Not a Queen.
Not a Savior of the Narcissists and Sociopaths.
A path forger.
A dark sorter.
A light bringer.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Every year we all feel thankful at this time for the many blessings we count in our lives.
We "list the best things" and we look at the highlights of our lives. Those things are what make us grateful.
I personally also feel grateful for things I NO LONGER HAVE, such as:
■ AN ABUSIVE PARTNER
■ TOXIC, ABUSIVE PARENTS
■ PAST TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS
■ PAST TOXIC MINDSETS
■ PAST SELF IDENTITY ISSUES
■ PAST SELF ESTEEM ISSUES
■ PAST BODY DYSMORPHIA
■ PAST ADDICTIVE PATTERNS
■ PAST SELF DESTRUCTIVE PATTERNS
■ LACK OF CLARITY IN PURPOSE
■ LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
■ LACK OF SUPPORT
■ TOXIC COMMUNICATION SKILLS
■ BEHAVIORS THAT HELD ME BACK
You can get the jist of this by concluding that I have worked through some real shit.
》But then there are things I still feel I am struggling with or lacking. 《
Things that I see [assume] or JUST KNOW you may have right now. Things I may never have.
Like... I am never going to have PARENTS. EVER.
I NEVER ACTUALLY HAD MATURE, SANE PARENTS.
They were addicts and mentally unstable the 16 years they had me. And still are.
So I am not just "avoiding my parents because it's a boundary of mine".
It is as if I never had any at all.
I never knew what it was like to bond in a healthy manner with either of them and neither of them were "normal" [defined by healthy mental and physical shape]. Since before I was even born. I was also the only baby to ever go full term for my mother.
●So I will never have siblings.
●So I will never have nieces or nephews.
●So I have never and will never know what love and support feel like from the nest I was born into.
We, on social media and in the world, dismiss and forget the struggles of others.
We are insensitive and a bit self centered because of how society raises us to be over generations. <-------
We also do not take the moment to notice the struggle of others "unless we have the time or luxury to".
When we think about giving to others or helping out others, society has taught us to think of giving back or empathizing as a skill you access only after achieving money and success.
Well it costs ZERO dollars to care. To relate. To validate.
☆☆☆I wanted to say to anyone who reads this today that talking about TRAUMA matters. ☆☆☆
Writing publicly on social media about hardships + trauma + struggles matter so greatly because we have a huge social epidemic.
An uneven mindset and a false representation of what gratitude is. [Unless we first learn and practice mindfulness, then prioritize love and serving over self serving].
This is an epidemic of the heart.
When I tell you I am grateful for my babies and my husband, what I am really saying is:
"I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD GET HERE."
"I NEVER THOUGHT ID FIND THIS KIND OF LOVE."
"I WAS NOT SURE I WOULD EVER BE A MOTHER."
"I WAS SURE MY PARENTS [OR EX] MIGHT HAVE ENDED MY LIFE."
"I HAVE THINGS NOW I WAS TOLD DAILY I WOULD NEVER DESERVE."
My gratitude has the aftertaste of abuse.
Because I have the after affects of TRAUMA.
So today I am not only thankful for what I can say is mine right now or who I can say I am right now ------> I am equally grateful I can broadcast it publicly.
That I can make these issues and the abuses VISIBLE.
Because so many people walking around us every day ----> the receptionist at our pediatrician's office, the teacher that educates our kids, the librarian at our local library, the best friend our kid makes at school, the mailman that comes through our neighborhood, the local mom in a facebook group, heck the mom on facebook who lives somewhere else......
They AT SOME POINT very well could have been abused.
Biologically, mentally altered by toxic behaviors and patterns from THEIR PARENTS, THEIR OWN BOSS, THEIR OWN SPOUSE, OR AN ENVIRONMENT THAT THEY HAD TO BE IN.
This is no 1 in 50 or 1 in 5 scenario.
We are now learning, thanks to social media, that all of us can some how not just sympathize but relate first hand to abuse stories.
So when someone near you is suffering silently -----> the things they have never had or the things that they did have and it caused the abuse.... those people need visibility, validation and some effen help.
Today I'm gateful that I chose to become one of many to use the soap box for awareness and advocacy.
The same one that some people use to just simply show off their good life.
And that is great ----> because we all love to see goals and achievements.
But not without honoring the struggles too.
For those of you who follow me silently, today I want to take the time to tell you I SEE YOU AND I LOVE YOU.
I know you exist.
And I know what your struggles are.
I know we can relate because you resonate with what I write about.
I love all the hearts and likes I get because they make me feel seen. Validated. Purposeful.
But I have such love for you... the one who is not coming here to like my ish for support.
You follow because you struggle too.
You have things now you never thought you would.
You desperately want things you think you cannot even have.
I want you to know that I share my stories for those of you who can relate and do not even tell anyone about it.
Just know you are not alone.
And while everyone is soooo grateful [ in their right] for what they have -----> it is valid and fair that you feel hurt that you do not have it.
That you MIGHT NEVER HAVE IT.
Because you can have so much still. You can actually honor the duality of your life situation.
The losses and the future gains.
The pain and the future successes.
You can be both.
And I know not everyone will understand:
☆What your triggers are
☆Where they come from
☆Why you hang onto old stories
☆Why you stay silent
☆Why you don't feel like you are enough
☆Why you don't feel like making the same posts
When we have been through trauma...real deep seeded, ugly family ish...
It is so hard to actually list or speak of the blessings when we know we had such great losses.
And even worse, we fear speaking of the little good might actually magically rob us of even that.
"I cannot post about my great boyfriend because it might jinx the relationship."
"I cannot say how much I spent or how much I bought because I may not always be this fortunate"
"I cannot tell anyone my passion because I'm not making money yet"
"This job is new so I won't say anything incase it does not last"
It is simply terrifying for someone who is hiding with trauma to make a statement of joy when they have been conditioned to focus on the "harshness of reality".
The point is, those who are struggling are AFRAID TO SHOW UP ABOUT IT.
Those who are experiencing trauma and abuse CURRENTLY STILL are for sure not going to show up on thankful Thursdays out of #shame or #conditioning .
And finally, when we have experienced a lack of FOR SO LONG and BECAUSE OF TRAUMA ------> we have trouble seeing our life as blessed or unlucky. It all feels really overwhelming and unfair.
So why do I want EVERY SINGLE PERSON to know these truths?
Because we all have some major work to do on this TOGETHER.
The healthy AND the unhealthy situations that occur in our lives NEED TO BE TALKED ABOUT IN AN OPEN AND WELCOMING SETTING.
Those who can sincerely be grateful for what they have and hopeful for even more abundance need to be MINDFUL AF when they talk about it AND ALSO LEARN how to HOLD SPACE FOR people who do not have those things.
To be mindful, respectful, aware of, and supportive towards people who have less NOT AS A FORM OF CHARITY OR PHILANTHROPY....... BUT AS A SIMPLE STAPLE IN BEING A FELLOW HUMAN.
We need to prioritize validation through real life connections and open conversations about life.
The good and the bad.
Which brings me back to the same point again.
Kindness. Love. Compassion. Space holding. Those qualities we possess and act on should be the effen standard in all interactions we have.
So close the gap in the UNSPOKEN silence of abuse and the abused.
The branch together the healed and the suffering so our future looks a whole lot more like goals and less like SEGREGATED and SECLUDED.
So what are my New Years "GOALS"?
TO BE A CONSCIOUS, LOVING, LEADER WHO HELPS PAVE THE WAY FOR THESE CONVERSATIONS AROUND GRATITUDE + MINDFULNESS + APPRECIATION.
To facilitate change through bringing awareness, validation and empowerment to social media platforms.
To connect those who resonate with me to those who appreciate the concepts.
You guys really need each other in order to truly understand what it means to be grateful.
J.S. Jaded Savior
#parenthood #book #selfesteem #worth #healing #breakthecycle #motherhood #manifestation #spirituality
How many times a day do you literally manifest failure?
Today I learned an extremely powerful lesson after telling myself something positive and it then coming true within the hour.
I realized that I have been speaking to myself all wrong.
And that most of us do.
"I'm totally going to get my period on that holiday" , "I am totally going to do bad on this test", "these Jean's definitely won't fit".
"My face is definitely going to break out"
"I am definitely going to have my hair fall out".
We tell ourselves every day how clumsy, bad, lazy, tired, late, angry, dissatisfied, or disappointed we will be.
And then, we make it so.
I have told myself for so long that I will never have enough.
That I will never be lucky like other people.
That I will never attain what other people have.
That I will never make money or do something I really love. I will be stuck with less.
But none of it would have happened if I had believed in myself.
If i had told myself constantly that i can and i will.
But in my defense, because this brings me great shame, I was never taught how to be positive.
In this world, we have to be taught how to feel joy and satisfaction.
Yet we are bombarded with instant gratification from outside sources.
Food. Sex. Luxury. Cars. Homes. Goods.
We are taught that happiness is not made but bought.
We are also programmed to doubt ourselves.
To laugh at magic and inner gifts.
To point and giggle at alchemy and witchy things because they only exist in movies.
We are dismissive of spirituality as an answer to a problem we don't even know we have. And that is the problem.
We don't even know that we are programming our kids.
Hopes and joy are not even made for children.
Then who gets to feel joy?
Who is granted permission to be happy with themselves and their lifestyle?
The well off?
Who? And why never you?
Because every single day, like clockwork, you tell yourself NO.
You repeat the worst phrases and mantras ever created.
I have an idea.
Let's make a book.
Each page will contain the garbage we say to ourselves daily.
Page 1. "I can't do this"
Page 2. "That will never be me"
Page 3. "I can't see myself ever..."
Page 4. "That is meant for someone else"
Page 5. "My skin is the worst"
Page 6. "My hair is falling out"
Page 7. "My body is so fat"
Page 8. "My boss will never give me a raise"
Page 9. "My kid will never listen to me"
Page 10. "My partner will never listen"
Page 11. "I am never going to get this done"
Page 12. "I am going to fail. I know it"
Do you need more?
Are you already thinking of 5 or 10 or 100 of your own shit phrases you use daily?
What do you think would happen to someone's self esteem and self worth after reading that book?
Now give that book to your 5 year old who is learning to read.
And say, "Mommy wrote this just for you".
That is how serious this is.
That is what negativity does.
And you consume it daily.
You feed it to your own family.
Or worse, maybe your whole childhood, someone fed it to you.
And now you don't even realize it as you spew it in every direction.
I used to think manifestation was a hoax.
Oh. Duh. I was struggling because I simply did not ask the universe for help.
Then, I realized ....oh f**k. Every time I did put out a wish or desire into the universe, in sadness and desperation, I was met with disappointment and shame.
But every time I let my guard down and allowed myself to feel excitement, it happened.
Whenever I pictured myself doing something or achieving something because I wanted it so badly, it happened.
Not because of some crazy ass magic but because of my energy and tone.
My belief in myself.
Now I am realizing that those moments are not rare or lucky or fleeting.
I can make them happen.
Once a month. Weekly. Daily. Hourly.
I can speak to the universe.
I can speak happily with myself.
And when something amazing happens, I can thank myself as well as the universe.
For this beautiful collaboration.
Because it is totally a collab.
One you need to approach the right way and then maintain.
When are you going to decide to think and talk positivity?
That the P train is not a fad.
That it is a form of healing and growth.
And without it, your life is the titanic.
And you are the violinist in your own slow and cold sink into the vast see of "I'll nevers".
It is HARD to be positive, because your negativity tells you so.
For a day. And then a week. And then a month.
Take control of your own transformation.
You won't go back. I promise you that.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Sometimes we only see the worst parts of ourselves.
The perceived flaws.
The gaps in our teeth.
The bags under our eyes.
The funk in our voice.
The shake in our hands.
The timid, weak, fearful bullshit.
Some days I am really feeling myself. Other days I am feeling like absolute $hit.
But one fact about me is I feel it all with GRAND INTENSITY.
I am 100% UP or 100% DOWN.
And there is no spectrum of emotions for this girl. But that does not mean I'm not layered or deep.
As an empath and projector, I feel but I made quick decisions to act on either up or down emotions.
I also quite often feel OUT OF CONTROL.
I am a sponge, squeezing up all the vibes in the room or from the people I interact with.
Most often, I interact with others via internet.
And when I have a BAD interaction or sense BAD /NEGATIVE VIBES from a post or conversation ---> it instantly smacks me upside the FEELS.
Now that i have come into awareness about this, i have had to make it a habit to regulate my environment and interactions.
Who am I following? What is their "mood" or "vibe"?
I have also had to ask myself all the important questions about "mood" and "vibe"?
Can I sit with:
■ LOW ENERGY
■ NEGATIVE FEELINGS
■ ARGUEMENTATIVE PEOPLE
■ ALTERNATELY ALIGNED FOLKS
The answer is yes.
I can HANDLE differences. I can sit with :
Coming from outer sources.
But I cannot sit with:
■ CHRONIC CONVO TORCH THROWERS
■ CHRONIC JUDGEMENT JUDYS
■ INDECISIVE IZZYS
■ CRITICAL CATHYS
I have to protect my energy. Honor my flow. Respect myself and others by standing by boundaries.
It is not my job to rip someone a new one, to use anyone as a public example, or to begin a war over who is right.
All I can do is manage my emotions and perceptions every day.
There are going to be good and bad days.
Sometimes you will feel eager and powerful.
Other days you might crave a Netflix binge with your cat and a tub of icecream ----> wanting to isolate yourself from the rest of the world.
Honor both sides of yourself. Be aware of your feelings. Be gentle and kind with yourself.
And have tough love by removing the NEGATIVITY from your life as needed.
You CANNOT be friends and friendly towards EVERY SINGLE PERSON you come across.
And you sure AF do not need to keep anything or anyone around if it invades your well being.
I write intuitively.
Every time I decide to write a post on my blog or on social media, my words come out all in one sitting ---> Without edit. Without word count. Without worry. Without structure pre-planned.
I have ALWAYS been a writer.
Sometimes I start speaking in my head and need to run for my phone or paper.
My words are begging to bust out of the box and be given life.
I am so grateful for this ability.
My writing gives me the chills or brings me to tears sometimes.
I have been trained rigorously, through years of college and being on the newspaper, in different media formats.
Essays. Reports. Projects. Slide shows. Website content. Blogging. Scientific studies. Interviews.
Nothing has been more satisfying for me than receiving downloads for writing.
Intuitively given downloads that sometimes surprise me as they come out.
"Oh shit, I thought of that?".
Sometimes my posts are REALLY EFFEN LONG.
And sometimes my content is TRIGGERING.
I am not for everyone, but my writing sure is.
In some way or another, I bring all sorts of messages ----> often delivered to the right person at the right time.
Someone who "just needed to hear it that moment".
Someone who has felt alone until reading my words.
Someone who has believed in something specific for years and was dismissed until I brought it up and they felt validated.
So my way of writing is through FLOW.
I let it come out.
Whether short or long, I let my writing flow until I feel finished.
I appreciate each and every one of you as my audience.
Whether you prefer short or long, to scroll or stop, to like or give me a silent nodding of approval that I cannot see but my heart surely feels -----> I appreciate you.
Because you all have helped me find my greatest purpose.
My dream of being a writer.
Turns out, I have been the person I hope to be all along.
Now I just finally believe in her. ♡
Thank you for believing in me too.
J.S. Jaded Savior
It hurts you.
Every single time she passes judgement.
Every side eye, every eye roll, every head shake.
The slight tilt of a chin or turn of a cheek
You did not ask for the advice but she gives it.
You did not take the advice so she retracts the ounce of kindness she sprinkled out for the pigeons to come running up to.
She views you as a hungry bird.
Who swooped in, from who the hell knows where, and you are looking to eat off her floor. Off her family. Off her child.
Maybe this is her.
Maybe she casts a deep, thick, dark, fog whenever you are in close proximity.
And she finds every single little reason to suggest you do not like her.
That you do not value her ways.
That you do not do things how she did growing up.
And that makes you feel....
Well.. it makes you feel...
Even though you grit your teeth as you brush out your hair, do your makeup and put on your jewelry, mumbling "I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy" before you get into your car and go to that Womans' house.
Maybe, just maybe, you only have to walk into a different part of the house.
Maybe you live together.
And maybe this has been the hardest time of your life.
Because seeing her should feel exciting and warm. You expect hugs and love, a warm conversation about your dreams and how work is going. To tell her about your child's new funny thing or milestone they finally made.
And instead, the conversations are small.
Not small like, "How's the weather?"
SMALL, like "You gave my baby _______ today? Ah, ...and that's all?"
Then she turns her back right to you, grabs your baby up in her arms and says "grammas gonna feed you, you must be starving!"
And then you see her reaching for processed this, metal canned that, sugar and food coloring xyz.
Your first tightens behind your purse, hanging down over your nicely ironed outfit. You wanted to look presentable. Educated. Divine.
But all she thinks is that you are uptight, know nothing about anything, and certainly are too WELL kept to possibly be an attentive mother and wife.
Had you shown up in Jean's and a band Tee, she would have thought something like "wow, does this girl never do laundry in her own home?"
Had you shown up in the same outfit she was wearing, she would have ignored it but as you complimented her to point it out "oh this, I'm about to give it to good will anyways. It's dreary"
So why even try?
And why let it get to you?
Like your friends advise, just ignore it. Just forget it. Just act more in control. Just tell your husband. Just stand up to her.
But that is not YOU.
You hate confrontation.
You WANT TO BE LOVED.
You WANT TO LOVE HER.
In spite of the subtle cruelty that no one else sees within the family. That everyone laughs off.
That might even be socially and culturally appropriated.
You just don't get it. She has liked you less and less since the day you met her.
And the niceness she first had when you were a girlfriend, you found out was only because she thought YOU were TEMPORARY.
Now you have KIDS with your partner.
WHOM YOU LOVE AND ADORE. And is a godsend.
Because maybe your family always sucked.
Maybe your family was super small.
Maybe you do not have family at all.
So this, this is everything to you.
And you are so used to the rollercoaster now, you don't know what to do other than wait in line for another go.
Because leaving the amusement park is not an option. Or you will be leaving alone.
So you take it.
You tweak yourself.
You give up more and more.
Let her have her way more and more.
The times you have grown distant, she almost seems kind in return.
The quick, in and out, drop off of baby so you can get to work or run out has been kept brief and you just smile at baby, while giving her a quick thank you without eye contact and dash.
She does not seem unsettled.
You get in your car and you firmly grip the wheel as you drive off and ponder it all.
Why the hell does she not care?
Why is she dismissive? Hostile? Or passive aggressive?
Why does no one else see it?
Why am I the bad guy?
Why can't I have a normal relationship with her????
Doesn't she want a friend?
She doesn't seem to have any... just snow smile, "say hi to your family" type friends as she makes a trip to the mailbox or the market. And that is it.
No girls time. No outings. No vacations.
Just her, alone at home.
All. The. Effen. Time.
And nothing seems to make her smile.
She has no entertainment besides eerie crime shows and severely outdated soap operas featuring racial slang, cheating partners, whirlwind affairs and a baby no one knows the father to.
She does not know or see the modern world.
How technology can be helpful. How coffee trips are relaxing for modern mothers.
Starbucks is not an expensive cup of dirt but a way to get out of the God damned house for an hour or two to do work on your laptop. In your own business. That you started and run.
She does not know what that is like. Or means to you. Nor does she understand why you blow out your hair, get your nails painted or wear heels like daywear.
She has no idea how you grew up. Who you were before this. What you love and what your deepest joy comes from.
She does not know her child saved your heart from massacre after massacre of betrayals.
She does not know you have worked super hard to get where you are.
To be informed in medical decisions for your kid. To know the ingredients in the food you purchase and why you choose vegan or organic or pure grade.
She does not know what the dye in M&Ms causes and why a 1 year old should not get 5 every hour just for listening or clapping.
And as you spiral, as you defend yourself, you realize ------> she does not even know you.
Even if it's been X years.
You two have barely ever held a normal conversation.
You two have never gone anywhere together besides forced holiday celebrations -----> when she would not dare let her demons come out to play and have witnesses. So she hugged you and kissed you hello and goodbye.
And you now despise those hugs.
It is the one time a year she touches you.
And though you ache for that embrace, you have grown so much resentment that a touch of the hand to your back burns like a BRAND.
And it stings you all year long, a puppet on a string whenever she is around.
☆☆☆ I want to help you out ☆☆☆
And tell you something I only figured out after 1000 spirals.
Every time ANY family member [even my birth mother] behaved in a way that made me feel:
■ unfit as a mother
■ unloved as a daughter
■ unkept/ too kept as a woman
It was ALWAYS THEM, NOT ME.
Of course, my reactions always kept me on the perpetual rollercoaster.
Of course, I could have stood up to anyone or made my emotions known.
But all of that would not have done anything other than fuel the fire ...
Because all I did was think of myself.
☆☆☆Let's back up a moment... ☆☆☆
So your driving around, clutching that wheel and thinking in circles.
You are wondering WHY and HOW and WHEN she began to hate YOU.
But you are missing something.
Your point of view SUCKS.
And here is why.
Let's examine the facts:
•Woman, older aged, married or widowed quite possibly.
•Has grown up children now.
•Is always home.
•Has no real visitors and no close family or deceased family.
•Has never really shared any stories or thoughts.
•Only communicates indirectly, is awkward, seems upset when nothing has happened.
• Always defensive
• Always ready to find a flaw
• Simultaneously does what they say they hate. [She probably says dont eat fatty foods but dismisses chocolate as a culprit for any ailments or weight gain]
•Illogically gets offended or rubbed the wrong way
• Keeps silent around the men. Makes no jokes. Makes only small talk to them. Then caters to their every need.
•Has no hobbies and barely makes any trips, like ever.
CONNECT THE DOTS HERE.
This is about her.
This is about trauma.
This is where you need to put on your therapist glasses and do some digging. No. Not on her.
Into the books. Or your ipad.
And google trauma.
Look up traditional values of women from her era.
Think about how she was raised, in what condition, with whom, and If she had any money. Or siblings. Or parents.
Break down her life. Understand it through research.
If she behaves _____________ now, statistically speaking, what likely happened to her in her youth?
"Well she grew up well off, with rich and providing parents" ......
Ok. Did they provide love? Teach empathy? Pay attention to her? Guide her? Make her feel safe?
"Well she grew up poor and her mother died young".
Ok. Loss of parent. No maternal influence. Poor. Struggling. Disassociation. Depression. Anxiety.
Ask yourself what your hobbies bring you in your life.
What that coffee every other thursday with your friends does for you...
What it means to have a modern husband who supports you starting a business, uses technology with you and WANTS to actively be your best friend.
Was her marriage like that?
Or did she marry say at 18...and have kids right away.
Can you imagine yourself at 18 being a housewife and having babies, with no thought about work or college or your own passions?
Because only 28% of women worked in the 1940s. That rose to 34% in the 50s.
Now, ALL the moms in your area:
¤ take yoga
¤ have a side gig
¤ talk about pleasure + sex + femininity
¤ have a partner who helps with chores/kids
¤ have a two income household
¤ support open communication
¤ see a therapist if needed. And are proud to
THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.
Now suppose you dive into ABUSE statistics.
And you guess the probability of her having experienced rape or abuse or assault in her lifetime.
Just the general probability.
Now guess the general probability of the likelihood of her being taught AS A CUSTOM that women do not speak of ill things.
Women do not speak much at all.
Women cannot report attacks or abuse.
Let's say she was VERY fortunate to not have experienced sexual assault or abuse.
What is the probability that she faced:
You know those things you have now learned in society are a big FREAKING NO NO.
This woman lived through them.
First hand. Or second hand.
It does not even matter.
Now I am not asking you to look at her as a victim and excuse the way she treats you.
But I am asking you to STEP OUTSIDE of your own struggles to see hers.
And to realize -----> she has no clue how to treat you.
SHE DOES NOT KNOW what to do that will please you or make you feel whole.
No one ever did that for her!!!!
And if only one person ever did, or anyone tried to, most likely she shunned it.
Like she shuns you.
Because kindness and happiness are A THREAT. A RED FLAG.
When someone has been through abuse, kindness is a prelude to destruction.
Destruction of body, heart and mind.
She is hurting.
BECAUSE HURT PEOPLE HURT.
So loosen your grip.
Relax your shoulders.
Stretch out your neck.
Take a DEEP breathe.
-----> Your MIL is hurting.
And if you or anyone else for a second thinks "it's too late to help" ----> realize that is the same mentality as getting back in line for the same rollercoaster that makes you throw up.
Stop. Assess. And do something REALLY HARD BUT ALSO REALLY EASY.
Be an informed, compassionate, lucky woman.
Make it not about you. Not for you.
You are not able to cure people out of your own need to.
But you do need to be the light.
You NEED to be GENUINE and yourself.
You NEED to let go the personal attack you feel.
If anyone in your life shows signs of abusing you, you can STOP having them in your life.
If someone is just behaving insensitivity, unkindly or sucks ----> they are likely suffering.
And though baking her cookies + asking her out to a nail day will not CURE her issues, you CAN be kind + genuine + considerate with her.
You can be YOU and not SHRIVEL UP.
You also can do things to nudge her.
Like leaving a book or getting a subscription that is MODERN and EMPOWERING.
Let her LEARN and BE INSPIRED but you leave those dang crumbs.
No. Set the EMPOWERMENT STRUDEL on the counter when you drop off your baby.
DO WHAT NO ONE HAS EVER DONE FOR HER.
Gently. But directly.
We are NOT going to enable abuse.
We are not going to take it when someone hurts us.
But hurt people hurt.
And when we are hurt and react, we perpetuate the rollercoaster ride.
Get off THE RIDE.
Accept the now but carve the future.
And good god woman. Dress the way you want to.
Don't be fake by accident.
Be exactly who you are. For everybody.
So you can break that cycle.
And show your kid(s) that AUTHENTICITY and LOVE rule the family.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Laying in bed alone, crying to some sappy holiday movie and just holding myself --- as I wipe the tears streaming down my cheeks into my ears.
I'm in a state of ugly cry.
And it is not gentle little rain drops on a beautiful cheek like in the movies.
My mascara is burning my eyes and I'm blinding myself but using my sleeve to wipe them because I don't want to have to get out of this bed.
That kind of cry.
But I realize that this is not something to be ashamed of or feel weird about.
In fact, maybe many of you feel the deepest release when you just pour out your emotions through a deep strong cry.
I also realize many of you may be experiencing the same struggles, insecurities or doubts.
So as I lay here, I share them with you openly in hope that I will make you not feel so alone or lost.
At the very least, seen.
I have been feeling really insecure.
I want to be successful with my writing but I am afraid it is not good enough.
I want to be a disciplined and organized person who can meet all her deadlines, but my PTSD and Anxiety cause me to feel SPLIT in two. The broken pieces won't allow me to be productive.
Or worse, in my high moods I think I accomplish so much but then low me comes swinging low blows and reminds me that:
¤ I'm days late on an assignment
¤ I'm weeks late on some updates
¤ I have trouble remembering everything
¤ I have trouble getting up early or falling asleep at a good hour
¤ I am struggling with bad habits and unhealthy foods that cause health problems
I am also so so tired of the struggle. Of not having enough of things. Or money. Or time.
I am tired of being poor. Of being sick. Of being odd.
Low me likes to remind me that I SUCK.
According to her, I like REALLY DO.
But then I remember, I am HUMAN.
And it is ok.
I remember that things CAN get better.
And they will.
I also cry because I'm afraid of success. Afraid to want something so badly and then be disappointed.
I am afraid I will put myself out there and get burned.
The truth is that blogging + designing light a fire in my soul -----> so I should not fear the flames.
I remember that I f*cking love what I do.
And I never loved any outlet like i love this.
I get to show up every day and find invisible people by making my emotions visible.
On my worst days, I get to show up and share it with you to teach you that progress is progress.
That just trying is growth enough.
That YOU and your dreams are enough.
I get to write about the ugly, bad, scary, brutal truths about the world.
And those truths liberate people. Inspire them to grow.
I remember that empowerment is like the SUN, and letting out a good strong cry is like giving
To remember its roots.
It is healthy to cry.
In fact, when I tell you about my depression and my feelings of unworthiness, it is me expanding through a HUGE trigger most people with trauma have.
That SHAME and DISASSOCIATION that normally SHUTS OFF our emotions during stress.
So you see, when you feel SHOT or LOW, crying and releasing is one of the healthiest things you can do!
This year has been life changing for my mind.
I want the New Year to bring opportunities of elevation and transcendence.
So I gotta feel to heal, and share that ish when I do.
If you are holding yourself through HARD AF times, know that there is such power in feeling.
Now you know your truths.
Make something with them.
Make them known.
Make them change lives.
Make them mark growth.
Release your fears through the channels, while thinking forward in your goals.
Because releasing makes room for the things that replace our sorrows with joy.
And I cannot wait for the day when I will cry because I am just so happy and grateful for the shifts soon to take place.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Some days transformation and growth are ugly and painful.
Sometimes being kind to myself hurts.
As I repeat "I am worthy. Good things will come to me", tears stream down my face.
The salt drops running right down into my ears, my hair a mess on the mattress.
It is past noon and I cannot get out of the bed or my pajamas. I cannot bring myself to use energy to do anything. But I have to. So all morning I made sure my kids needs were met and then right back onto the sheets I went.
Feeling somber. Feeling low. Feeling scared and insecure. Feeling tired since I worked until 330am on my site and plans.
After an energy high and creative night, I usually expect to feel drained the next day.
My body feels tired and depleted from joy.
And I finally realized that pattern, which must come from having PTSD and prolonged childhood abuse.
Not knowing what to make of joy.
Making art and working on my own dreams is NEW. Even though I've been at it for 7 months now. It is new for me to utilize my talents and not as a coping tool from stress but to boost myself and my goals.
Joy and goals feel uncomfortable because my brain tells me I don't deserve those things while I'm in a state of depression.
I felt the same struggle in college, feeling glorious during my creative points and then hiding away in my bed on my days off.
How could happiness bring me so much sadness and debilitating emotions?
Because abuse changes a person in every way.
My brain was hardwired to believe I was unworthy of great things.
I was told repeatedly I was nothing and worthless until it was all I knew.
So I chose and stayed with the wrong men. I chased around bad friends.
I poured into others cups over my own.
I was surprised every time someone used or ghosted me.
But I had no self worth to figure out I was simply giving myself what I thought i earned.
Just for existing.
A funny thing happened this past May.
A light bulb went on.
I decided instead of faking it til I make it that I would show up for myself.
That I would admit my depression and anxiety were a chokehold. And I would show up with it in the loudest way I could think of.
A place I feared would mock, judge, and beat me down for it.
I decided to scrap my other projects and dive deep into a blog about mental health so I could talk on my worst days about my experiences and gain relief from it.
That exposure changed my whole life.
After making that choice, I attracted new facebook friends that were role models to me and inspired me to keep going.
I gained validation on my good and bad days, as I wrote and creatively portrayed my struggles from childhood until now.
My inbox became flooded with thank yous for me sharing and confessions of peoples own demons and battles. Which deeply touched my heart. Sharing my tears allowed others to bring theirs to me. To feel safe with me. Because we felt a relatable connection.
I began to just LEAP into my ideas and let them out. Even though every single month my blog has taken on a modified style or description, I have not feared what people will think. I just let it evolve and become polished into what I know it is meant to be.
And the same happened for myself.
I have less hard days now.
I am more self aware of my mood shifts and can even prepare myself ahead of time for the dips from high to low.
When I am in my low, I decide to use art and music as healing tools. In october i created my first poetry book about depression while in a very bad low. And that vulnerability + courage changed me. I realized I could use art not as a coping tool but as a healing tool to transform my emotions into magic.
I put that book on my site and soon after began writing my own autobiography of my story, "STUCK ON PAUSE". Something I wanted so badly to do for years, just to get the stories out of my head and onto paper. To give it a life of it's own.
And now, I know in 2020 I will publish it.
I am slowly becoming the woman I envision being. Which means the future I want is not too far from reach.
I want to be a public speaker, educator, facilitator of resources, and creative writer. I want to be a mother of 4 with a beautiful home I bought with my own businesses money. Have a deep and fruitful relationship with my husband.
Have an impact on this generation and many generations to come.
I want my name to be brought up amongst Brene Brown and Maya Angelou.
For my insights. For my courage. For my persistence.
I want to empower others.
But for so long, my inner voice has spoken lies to keep me stunted.
This voice is not my own, just an embodiment of the darkness abuse concocted.
And the good news is, it is vanquishable.
I can change that inner critic into my inner wisdom. My inner goddess.
My inner self can be the voice of that future woman I want to be.
Now when I tell myself I am worthy and I will do all the things I dream of, I cry because I cannot make sense of the love and kindness I am being given.
I cannot believe what loving myself sounds like.
Today is hard, but not as hard as the many hard days I've had in my past.
In fact, maybe today is not hard at all.
Maybe I tell myself I needed this rest this morning. Nothing is burning down and no red flags are waving. Nothing is actually bad here.
I just simply needed rest and to refuel.
Maybe today I will get myself set up with a nutritious breakfast, set on the music I like, and sip a warm beverage while I go back to work.
Yes. Back to work after a morning of burn out.
Because, I say to myself, "this work brings me joy."
And joy is my new friend.
One I intend on keeping for the long haul.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Jean Soto, mother of 3 and wife, is a writer + artist in the Hudson Valley, NY community.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: email@example.com
EMPOWERING MINDS SINCE 2019