A Collective of memoirs by J.S. about Trauma + Mental Health + Abuse + Healing.
#christmas #joy #worthy #selfesteem #selflove #breakingbarriers
So this is what it feels like.
To pour into my own cup.
To slip on a silky dress that hugs my body and makes me feel held together like a warm hug.
This is what it feels like to wipe my face clean of the stress and the tears and the disappointments.
To paint on elegant eyes and vicious red lips.
To comb my hair out and feel my fingers through my scalp all the way out to the tips of my curls.
To look in the mirror and see a woman with star struck eyes and a million hopes stretched across a galaxy like bright burning motivation.
To feel a deep desire and passion for creation and new things.
To meet myself at my present day.
Its therapeutic to put on makeup.
To gaze into my own eyes and focus only on building lashes and shadows around the right angles.
I contour the parts out that I no longer feel anger towards but soft and gentle understanding.
And graze my hands across my skin as I exfoliate and lotion every inch.
I play music in the background of this tiny little closet spaced bathroom and I feel home here.
As I locked the door, I knew this was redemption time.
Time to reclaim the bathroom space.
Time to release tears of gratitude and appreciation for myself.
I usually hide here in these walls, caved around my sorrow as I hold myself through the aftermath of anxiety triggers.
The bathroom had become a place to get away from everyone and everything.
As a child, I had no where to really hide away. Every room had false windows that did not actually lead to help.
As an adult, when parenthood or work or just a bad day got to me, I ran refuge to the avocado green walls and purple shower curtain for some deep breathing.
Today I applied makeup and hair care and skincare as I told myself out loud "I deserve this."
And no, I did not earn it from a promotion or a contest or a very special gift bestowed by someone else.
I gave this time to myself.
And better yet, I did not time myself.
No clock or alarms. No places to be.
Just here to give myself love and joy.
And it feels DAMN good.
This year, Christmas has brought me the ability to see myself beyond my trauma.
To see a woman break free from a cage she kept herself in, as she was struggling too much with all the burdens of the past to see that the door had been wide open all along.
This year has been a year of great reflection and self awareness.
I have learned so much about my own identity and experiences through reliving them under my own control and methods.
By writing out my emotions and stories, I have taken the wheel back from a young girl who was too scared and too tired to let me live.
I now feel so ready to pour into myself.
To feed the woman I've grown up into.
Feed her heart.
Feed her spirit.
Feed her soul.
As I look up and around the walls that cage me, all turns monochromatic and cracks.
And I do not brace myself or hold my breathe as I hear the shatter.
It is the sound of a new beginning.
J.S. Jaded Savior
#christmas #joy #beauty #worth #selfesteem
This week I was given makeup, skincare products, a foot bath, and clothing that fits me perfectly.
I cannot tell you how much I have "needed" these things.
As a mom of 3 who stays home out of necessity, to raise my kids and cannot work because I'd have to way to get around [no car and no transportation], and would spend my whole check on daycare [for 2 toddlers].
So many women are struggling in the ways I am and i want to make these issues VISIBILE.
I AM IN NEED OF SELF WORTH AND APPRECIATION.
That is the Root of it.
Thank goodness we have a roof. And can just manage food expenses.
Without the support we have, we would have nothing at all.
And this "wont last forever" is the mantra I repeat as I cry in the shower, rocking myself and swirling around in defeat.
I used to stay silent about it all.
Don't tell anyone you struggle.
It is shameful.
It is "not classy to complain".
I am worthless.
Because everyone will ask me what I did to get this way.
I had a baby at 16 and was thrown out on my ass by my parents and ex, everyone but an Aunt I was close with were too shitty to step up.
My Aunt and Uncle were amazing to me and helped me for almost 4 yrs until I left to get my own apartment on campus of the 4 year college I got into after graduating at Community College.
I felt like a burden to her and her family. I still feel like I burdened anyone ever helped me.
Saying thank you is easy but calculating in my head what I'd have to do to pay people back is crippling.
I owe people my survival.
I owe people my life for saving it.
When I get help, it means I owe someone.
That is always how I saw it.
So when people complimented me for my work or my talents, i felt like I owed them.
It was uncomfortable to receive anything positive from anyone.
I was abused from birth til 16. Leaving my parents while pregnant DID NOT solve that. I stayed surrounded surrounded by trauma for years.
Because I was unaware of what it did to me, I gave my heart and trust to people who hurt me. Repeatedly. And without remorse.
As I worked hard in college and in a job to barely afford raising my daughter, I was also fighting depression and anxiety but had no idea.
I was so disassociated from my abuse and past that I had gaps in my memory and did not know the word "trigger" yet.
So i gravitated towards the things that kept me broken.
Having very little became habitual. I was not taught anything good about money, investing, or saving.
I was only taught, through experience, how to survive.
That mantra of survival of course stained my decisions and my goals. It stayed with me after marrying and having more kids.
It seeped into my marriage. My parenting.
My self esteem.
Devastatingly unaware, I made "the best" of everything.
I chronically thought small. Chose small.
I only convinced myself I was going big.
Just to keep my mind and body safe from a breakdown, small felt like a cozy hole to make a home in.
This week I realized that bigger feels better.
That going big and sharing my soul feels so freeing.
This year I am chasing JOY.
Joy of playing it big. Of putting myself out there.
I am poor.
And in the three months I have been writing about it, I have been releasing all shame.
The shame of being a stay at home mom ---> which is the hardest work I have ever done, sans paycheck.
The shame of taking time to heal ---> to bartering my way to affording it and using my talents in exchange for services.
The shame of being a "single mom" again because I said yes to supporting my husband working long distance --->when I'm lonely and sad dealing with my mental health and being mom alone.
I've said yes to things that don't bring me joy and I am tired of that.
As it turns out, I've just had a poor attitude.
Now I know I am whatever I choose to be.
And when someone tells me how low and broken they feel, I can tell them it is a choice.
But that is not all.
We have to change ourselves.
The things we want, we need to speak them.
Make them happen.
Do small tasks daily to work towards them.
This week I have been able to get dressed up in new items and put makeup on my face.
I have cried more times than I can count.
Not because makeup and sweaters were the answer.
But because I feel worthy as I slip into a sleek black sweater and put primer on before painting a face that looks new to me.
J.S. JADED SAVIOR
#poverty #christmas #joy #identity #giving
Poverty does a lot to our body, mind and spirit.
We get lost and confused about who we are. The sense of identity and self worth we once had diminishes.
For many, self worth is not even developed. It's a luxury to love yourself when you have so little.
As a mom of 3, with a lot of expenses and no income ---> I have learned to take what I can get.
As someone with a husband who works his @$$ off and is away from us a lot to accomplish that goal, I absolutely will never ask to use any money we obtain for things for myself.
I can have little to no underwear, broken bras, and all the hand me downs in the world.
For my birthday this year I had the opportunity to buy myself a sweater and a few leggings. That was a super duper painful trip, as I tried on tons of things at a local juniors sized shoppe filled with crop tops and belly shirts, plus the skinniest size 15s I ever saw in my life.
Still I was so grateful for the opportunity to buy a few things and try my body in different styles.
It forced me to look at myself and step out of my comfort zone. To spend a little without regret or worry on myself.
Today I received 7 bags of shirts, sweaters, jackets, blazers, pants and beautiful dresses. All my perfect size. Some never even worn.
I cried my eyes out, squinting through the burning mascara, at what will be my Christmas dress.
A lace cocktail dress. A black cashmere cardigan on top.
I cannot tell you how much gratitude I feel for these things.
These items that may just sit in someone else's closet, untouched or unnoticed.
Maybe even items that once brought them joy but now they have moved on from.
When I was in college, as a single young mother of a toddler, I applied and was accepted into an internship. This internship fit both my degree requirement and my passion for leadership.
I scowered the target clearance section 2 weeks before it started for on sale blazers and silk shirts. A black dress and a black shirt, all office wear and chic, professional styles.
When I showed up, I sat in the front by the advisors. I walked in, heels smacking the tiles, leather bag in hand. Black and splashes of colored silk. A pop of red lipstick and cat eyes. Sleek hair.
I wanted to fit a role.
Not a teen mom.
Not a college kid.
Not a Lit or WAGS major.
Someone who wanted to be there and own it all.
The leadership and the passion I had burning within me.
I loved that internship and in many ways I felt lost after college because I left behind more than a black and white striped pair of heels.
I left behind a strong, prepared character that I loved wearing the shoes of.
Today, as I ripped open garbage bags and dug my hands deep into the soft, black textiles I cried to release.
For every beautiful new piece I pulled out of the bag, 2 or 3 old shirts or leggings got tossed into a bag.
Acceptance and release.
I allowed myself to get rid of the things I told myself were me.
My lack of identity in wardrobe and emotions since becoming a wife and mom to two more babies.
The mismatched clothing that never fit my body and the items I'd collected along the way --> I wished them well.
I thanked them for serving me as they did.
And I thanked this new clothing for coming to me.
For reminding me of the time I felt my best.
Black silk and fierce leathers. Soft, comfy sweaters. Heels and tights that said:
I. Own. My. Look.
This is me.
It is so fitting that I feel like I've been through the flames this year.
And surprisingly, though I dove deep into the burning flames I rose again unburned.
And ready to become something new.
Whenever we think we are forging a new identity and path, it is actually more like we are uncovering foot steps down a road built just for us.
A familiarity with each foot step through the ash and into the light.
When you follow it, you will discover you are being led to yourself.
A 360, right back planted into the heels of who we once longed to be and now we realize we were all along.
This Christmas season I have been vocalizing my struggles for awareness and to release my emotions.
In return, I have casted stones out into the universe.
So many gifts, love, support and items we need have come back our way.
Some people dear to my heart have sent us items for our little family and I have been a pile of tears the last two weeks as I keep getting surprises at my door.
I have worn struggle for years, often afraid to speak up about it. Things like pride and shame kept me from wanting to ask for help. It was not until I felt scorned by life and cornered in my options that I would ask for assistance.
Now I realize that there is bravery in being honest.
And that receiving is not hard when you just trust the universe and tell yourself you are worthy of abundance.
Worthy of love and care.
Worthy of an identity and honoring truths.
Worthy of welcoming gifts in all shapes and sizes.
For the joy of giving and receiving this holiday season ----> do something new!
Go into your closets and through your material things and DONATE to people you actually know.
Do this by casting the offer into your spheres. Your family. Your friends. Your groups.
Gift and regift to those who would fall to their knees in gratitude and joy to receive what you no longer use or need.
Take it further.
Pick a skill, a talent or a passion and gift it.
Not for a sale. Not for a promotion.
To give joy. And to feel joy while doing it.
Stop crunching numbers and void the urge to keep score.
Give joy for Christmas.
And in return allow joy to come to you.
Make some wishes.
Ask for what you want. What you wish. What you hope for.
Without a "this is stupid", "this is materialistic" "this is frivolous".
Just allow yourself, with pureness and gratitude, to honor your desire.
And know you are worthy of it. ♡
Christmas and the holidays feel different now.
I will be wearing my new dress on Christmas as a reminder that I am worthy of all the things and take two steps closer towards my authentic self in the new year.
J.S. Jaded Savior
For years I said "I'll love myself when...."
Until I finally stopped and realized..
"I'll love myself --- WHEN?!"
WHY am I waiting for less pores, more likes, an abundance of luxury, and to be surrounded by people who love me ----> all when I have trouble tolerating or loving myself on the daily.
That is bullshit.
I need that love now.
I need to know I am enough, even after being lied to.
I need to know I am worthy, even after being abandoned.
I need to know I am loved, even if everyone else leaves my circle.
And good riddens to those who left.
Cheers to those who have casted us aside.
Babe, you are enough and you are lovable.
But you have to look at yourself right now.
Stark naked in the bathroom where there is no more places to hide.
You have to examine with your own eyes, all the lovable inches and curves, the beauty marks and stretch marks.
You HAVE TO.
Because you are a piece of art just the way you are.
You hold such magic behind closed doors.
And that key around your neck has not been looking for the perfect door to unlock all of lifes treasures for you.
All that success, perfection, abundance, and magic has been here all along.
Beneath your clothing and lace and layers.
You are the magic and you are keeping it locked away instead of embracing it.
This is not about trauma.
This is about truths.
And you, in spite of and because of all you have endured ----> have been BURNED and TUMBLED, like a charcoal.
After all the pressure and smoke clears, what is left?
A fucking diamond.
And it was there all along.
Go give yourself a hug.
Tell yourself YOU are the one.
And start polishing that raw beauty. ♡
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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