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
Published by Jean Soto JS Jaded Savior blog: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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