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
#selfproclamations #thirdeye #spirituality #mentalhealth #trauma #healing #poverty
Reflecting on my trauma has made me realize that I am the entire "package".
I'm a freaking gift set.
Better yet, I'm the gift that keeps on giving.
My DNA is unique in that I have not one but 2 bipolar parents with drug addictions and alcoholism. A mom with Wenicke-Korsakoff syndrome. A dad with Schizophrenia.
Both dropouts from high school [9th and 10th grade].
Both dropouts from rehab.
Both dropouts from parenthood.
I was an only child, who got pregnant at 16 and became a single mother before even graduating senior year. 2008, walking in my white robe and tassel, my baby being held by my Aunt in the sea of proud parents on the football field.
Most of the mental health issues my parents had came to existence in their teens. But other demons came out to play in their late twenties and thirties. Coinciding parenthood to me and their inevitable divorce.
I'm a gift that keeps on giving because I did not give my husband a mother or father in law.
No one to badger or judge or overbear him.
No need to split holidays or do visits.
We don't have to send our kids off on trips or weekends or spoiled afternoons with junk food and total annihilation of moms' and dads' rules.
I don't even cry about their absence. I don't want them to be around my children or in my life. Not when I never really had parents at all.
I have also disassociated with the awareness of these things.
Quite often I am steel faced and stone cold.
An appealing trait for the suffering and needy is silent resilience.
I'm a gift that keeps on giving when I am quiet about my problems.
Because who wants to read about problems on the internet?
Who wants to learn about rape or abuse?
I have always known the answer to that.
-----> Other survivors do.
Those who have also scored the perfect DNA recipe for disaster.
Those who were born into domestic violence, like me.
Those who were born into poverty, like me.
Those who were born into drug addiction and alcoholism, like me.
Those who were born into broken families, like me.
It does not feel like a gift to be different.
To only have known trauma growing up.
To have compared yourself to "normal people" and wished for a fighting chance to get out of the $hit you had come into this world with.
But it is a blessing to know your truths.
To intuitively know "right from wrong".
To sense and feel and have "knowing" prematurely.
To have hypervigilance or what I like to phrase as "seeing the needle in the haystack".
You can sense a prick, always.
It is a big gift to know how to survive.
But it does not mean much if we do not speak it.
If we do not take our knowing and strengths into the light to help others through their own struggles.
So if you are gift set of mental health issues + toxic relationships + saturated struggles, then use it to better the world.
When you talk about it from the point of view of knowing you are a warrior and not a victim, when you gain control of your situation and use your weaknesses as strengths ----> everything changes.
This year, turn your pain into power by knowing exactly how you were made for this world.
Know yourself entirely.
And then expand those gifts out into the world.
J.S. Jaded Savior
#christmas #boundaries #holidays #trauma
This holiday season, you might be thinking:
"God. This year I need to set boundaries" as you catch your breathe and grip for another panic attack.
Maybe you just got off the phone with a parent or someone in the family. You have confirmed plans that make you feel uneasy.
That punch the wind out of you.
Maybe you will have to see an Aunt or Uncle who growing up always made you feel pathetic or like a problem.
Maybe there will be too many people drinking and being unfiltered or just one drunk relative who pushes everyones buttons but especially pushes yours.
Maybe you feel unwelcome and like a stranger even though it's a place you have known most of your life.
Or maybe it will all just be hard.
-----> The holiday season.
It brings anxiety and depression in my stocking.
Worried I wont be able to play santa because I dont have enough to give.
Worried I will disappoint people or my own kids.
Worried when I leave the house because god so much can go wrong.
My anxiety goes through the roof when we get in the car and travel through icy roads. As I clutch the passenger seat and close my eyes, I feel sick from the motions and the noises.
I feel anxious about being in other peoples houses.
I have panicky thoughts like:
■ Did I dress ok?
■ Will my kids behave?
■ Will anyone get drunk?
■ Do I pass as happy?
■ Will anyone notice we couldn't bring much?
■ Will we be able to sneak out early?
Of course I hide during the holiday season. I want nothing more than to be in my little room back home.
Because so many things trigger me.
The loud screams and laughter.
Loud bangs or noises from the busy road outside.
People swinging their hands around and animated as they speak.
Sharp carving knives at the table for the big turkey or brisket.
The big, heavy tree filled with glass keepsakes that the kids keep running right up against.
The cat that bites and is not afraid to beat someone up on christmas ;)
Should I wear shoes or take them off?
Will my kids break anything or make too much noise?
Will the families clash?
Will anyone ask me what I do for a living?
Worse...will no one ask me a gosh darn thing?
So many things will inevitably trigger me and I will need to visit the bathroom at least 4 times to calm down.
FACT: I wear outfits that are super easy/practical to maneuver and I bring an extra outfit in my purse.
I'm too afraid il spill something or need to use the bathroom or have a kid RIP my stockings.
I'm too afraid the outfit on my body will let me down in some way.
Anxiety wraps my body round like a warm, itchy sweater.
And I keep saying to myself, "gosh darn, M F boundaries. Make em. Keep em."
But then I don't.
I let my imploding party of 1 hang tight in my head.
I make sure I don't inconvenience anyone else.
I make sure I barely eat or touch anything of someone else's.
And I've wondered where all of this has come from.
Why I'm so "crazy" during this season especially.
To be honest, it took until recently to "remember", even though as a woman with PTSD from abuse ---> I'm a walking shutterfly album of my worst times in history.
I realized that every year as a CHILD since I could remember, I was made to be seen and not heard.
I was made to feel grateful someone even wanted to be around me. Welcome me.
My mother made sure I never felt welcome, but instead a burden.
If I took a full plate, she would say that could have fed someone else.
If I dressed any way, she would tell me things like "you gained a little weight, I see" or "I wish I was as full as you and not so skinny." [I was less than 100 lbs until age 16].
My father did not have much money or anything to give. He made sure to give me experience gifts.
Like hanging out late nights at Starbucks or 711 with HIS friends. Til one or two am.
Like going to get toys at the hobby store. "You don't mind picking things out now right?" And then pushing me to pick out what he desired to play with or show people he got for me "on Christmas".
When I became emancipated from my parents and was staying with family, I felt so out of place and not because of anything ANYONE else did.
Everyone was loving and happy to have myself and my daughter around.
As a single mom of 17, I felt awkward wherever I went.
I didnt want anyone to ask me anything.
Not where the dad was....
Not what my plans were...
Not what I "do now"...
Not any small talk about the weather because they don't actually care what I am up to or how I am getting by.
And then there was the year that no one invited me anywhere. At last, I was just on my own. So I took my 6 year old to NYC on Christmas Day but train and we spent the entire day walking in matching red peacoats and fuzzy hats.
Being alone for Christmas was the most simple and beautiful experience I ever had.
Even though I was in a giant city, in the cold, with little money and no one familiar around me ----> I had zero anxiety that day.
I felt in charge and in control. I felt safe while abandoned.
All this time, through rediscovering my insecurities and pain points..
I thought I needed to just set boundaries.
The real conversation that had to be had was with myself and all about self worth.
I never felt worthy enough to make demands.
I HAVE ALWAYS VIEWED ME HAVING PREFERENCES AS ME BEING DEMANDING.
What a sad thing, to blow out your own desires because you think needing something sets fire to the lessons you learned as a child.
That quiet means humble.
That subtle means poised.
That starving means manners.
That uncomfortable means polite.
I've had to REPARENT myself as the solution.
Boundaries are now looking like LOVING MYSELF.
Finding out what makes me feel GOOD and what makes me feel BAD.
Then copy and paste.
Copy and paste.
Copy and paste.
This holiday season, we ironically are not going anywhere.
Due to unexpected events [and nothing bad happened] our usual annual plans are canceled.
So this time I am going to be sitting with myself, doing some intentional journaling and processing.
Im going to flip through my memories and rewrite them.
I'm going to redefine myself, honoring my needs.
But I'm also going to do the harder thing.
I'm going to take anxiety off.
And examine what needs to be done by me in order to not wear it so willingly.
I'm going to set boundaries with myself and also have open conversations with my partner.
For the first time ever actually.
Because anxiety is anything but silent.
And I've sat quiet for far too long. ♡
J.S. Jaded Savior
#christmas #joy #trauma #anxiety #depression #cptsd #healing
12 years ago, I had a 3 week old baby sick with what I feared might be pneumonia. I was 17 years old and on holiday break after giving birth the weekend of Thanksgiving.
I lived with my Aunt and Uncle [plus their four little kids + my nana] after being thrown out by my mother at 3 months pregnant that May.
I started my whole life from scratch.
Changed towns, homes, schools, friends, became single from my 2+ yr h.s. relationship.
Left the parents who'd abused me and neglected me for 16 years.
In my new High School I was treated HUMANELY.
The kids were all nice to me.
The teachers were so helpful and accommodating.
People looked me in the face and conversed with me about my pregnancy. My own gym teacher asked me to keep a pregnancy diary and log my nutrition as credit.
Even though I had no belongings from my parents' house, I had grown out of my size 00 pants and xs tshirts. My body had changed and adapted to my pregnancy coming in at 118 lbs by birth. Which was the healthiest my body had ever been.
I was badly malnourished while living with my mother and i had a horrible binge habit + sugar addiction.
FUN FACT: The body converts alcohol to sugar, which causes a spike in blood sugar levels. When alcoholics quit drinking, their blood sugar levels drop, and they develop sugar cravings.
My mother was an addict and alcoholic since her teen years. By the time I was born, there was no chance of her getting clean safely on her own. She barely cooked but we always had sugary foods in the house as well as a fully stocked globe bar next to her seat in the living room.
I am 29 and still have a sugar addiction.
I feel sick when I eat sweets and even more sick when I don't.
I am majorly addicted to drinking milk every single day, especially late at night.
All milk has sugar in it.
It took me until this year, when awakening from major disassociation, to realize my sugar cravings were due to my childhood.
To realize addiction did pass on to me in an unexpected way.
After I had my daughter, holding her felt like my whole world paused every time she stared back up at me.
I had FOUGHT to keep her.
I had sought out a pregnancy confirmation at Planned Parenthood, via bus I took after school with quarters from my moms coin bucket in the hall closet.
I had walked to the hospital clinic in our town to see a doctor for the heartbeat and first sonogram visit. Spoke with a social worker and applied for Medicaid under the precursor that I was now a medically emancipated minor due to carrying a child. I took care of it all discretely and responsibly because that was what I had to do in order to act like an adult.
Like a mother.
I had worn over sized shirts and unbuttoned by shorts, dove into the bathroom to puke between classes and once during an auditorium presentation for drug safety. I kept that expanding belly and my aching breasts a secret because I was afraid, with good reason, that my child would be taken from me.
She was my entire world from the moment I got those pink lines. Because love overpowers fear like the brightest light in the darkest galaxy.
So seeing her frail little 6lb body struggling to breathe and coughing felt like a tractor trailer was parked on my chest.
We went into the hospital Christmas eve.
I watched as SIX NURSES had to hold her body down to get a catheter and IV into her tiny body. While she cried like a tiny little blinded kitten looking for it's mommy.
We spent her first Christmas in there, me watching her receive medications intravenous and get breathing treatments.
I slept on the chair next to her, which really meant I sat perched watching her chest move up and down all night long. Listening to the emergency room peeps and alerts, watching nurses scuffle around and nervous parents get escorted into little beds and curtain spaces like ours.
It turned out to be a bad cold and was treated early enough to not develop into something more serious. Her lungs were clear and the fluids helped her tremendously.
At about 5 am, a jingling of bells startled some of us parents and the sound of HO, HO, HO, echoed through the children's wing.
Suddenly Santa emerged with 2 elves, carrying a HUGE red sack of beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts.
EVERY SINGLE PARENT AND CHILD RECEIVED A WARM HUG OR PAT AND A GIFT.
While the older children giggled and squealed at their gifts, I knew my baby would not know anything different. So I asked Santa to take ours back for someone else in need.
But he still hugged me and insisted i keep the gifts.
☆ A hand made quilt with stars and a crescent moon that smiled.
☆ A hand knit baby hat and booties.
☆ A talking puppy toy.
☆ A musical baby toy.
I wept as I held her presents and watched the nurses care for her in ways I couldn't.
And I felt so guilty receiving anything while sitting alone there with my baby.
But it was so beautiful that someone had decided to walk around doing this for the parents.
It was for us just as much as the kids. Maybe more.
I felt like we hadn't deserved anything.
I thought things like "she wasn't that sick".
"It isn't that bad". "She is taking from others".
But what I now know I felt...
I felt small.
Smaller than her.
Too small for joy or tradition.
To small for recognition or appreciation.
To small for that hug or that giddy excitement to see Santa.
I felt like a bad mom because I'd taken her out twice that week and then she was sick.
I felt bad because my family I was staying with were a REAL family with a mom + dad and their kids.
All preparing for Christmas.
All being a normal, married traditional family.
While I was a 17 year old abandoned by everyone including the partner I'd made her with.
At that time, his mother was MIA and angry about it all. His father had come to see us Christmas eve unexpectedly and with a few gifts. But realizing the baby was sick, decided to drop us and leave us at the hospital children's emergency center. My ex decided to leave us completely.
He had shown up at her birth thanks to his father after none of them were involved the entire pregnancy. After no one had helped me with anything.
The two guys, father and son, had peaked at my brand new baby and then left.
I realize now I felt completely broken.
Who was I to be able to care for this baby?
To do it all alone?
To be an adult already when I was just a kid.
I'd been an adult since the first time my mother trashed the kitchen and left to ride some guys motorcycle. I was in second grade.
In fact, when I'd gotten beaten up in kindergarten by a boy and stood up for myself ---> I think that was the first time I crossed over the child border and into something else entirely.
For 17 years I had been beaten and bullied and abandoned.
I felt it was only fitting for me to have a sick baby in the hospital on Christmas. That I deserved it.
And she didn't.
That guilt did not really leave me for years.
My mind just filed the report into a metal cabinet, marked "unfit" in the category "medical".
I filled those cabinets in that office for years.
I've heard people talk about having a mind mansion.
I have a mind office.
I've written about it before.
And I picture it so vividly, as I now visit it to retrieve old cases and documents.
All the dark shadows of my past and the harbored guilt.
Those swarming shadows are the keepers of that office.
And the reason I feel in the dark often.
I feel still this immense "not enoughness".
But I'm learning it was just the mistake of a young girl who was not taught any better.
Trauma gave me a cool, dry place to store my problems in.
But I'm ready to clean house.
To clear out all those cabinets and shelves that clutter my mind, body and soul.
I have emotional and physical pain because of my experiences.
The holidays reveal major triggers for me because I never knew how to process those bad experiences so I just tucked them away.
Micromanaged the clean sweep and put myself on autopilot.
12 years I've raised my baby girl and I still struggle with feeling worthy of her.
She is my whole world.
And now my world has expanded.
I have three beautiful babies that daily I cannot believe are mine.
That I'm so lucky I have a little family of my own now.
And I get to be Santa for them, along with my husband.
I have a HUSBAND.
And what that means to me, in the person I chose, is I have a best friend to care for this beautiful nest of babies with.
Together we get to make NEW memories.
I am reminded now that I have always done the best I could.
And I was every bit a good mom.
Because I never treated my daughter like a biological burden like my mother treated me.
I am grateful now that I can wake up Christmas morning with my kids and my partner.
Yesterday I just leaped and hugged him really tight mid conversation.
He is an anchor to the present.
When I spiral with flashbacks or get stuck in a deep emotional gust of self loathing, I quickly reach my arms out for the reminders close to me.
I hug my kids or my husband. And I instantly feel my soul + body come back into place.
My whole world, centered.
I remember that I am HERE in the NOW.
And that my memories do not define me.
The love and effort I show now DOES.
2019 has made me remember I am a survivor.
I have endured so much and still kept getting up.
Now it's time for me to Rise.
♡ J.S. Jaded Savior.
#christmas #trauma #gifts #guilt #anxiety #healing
Receiving gifts has always been a huge source of ANXIETY for me, wrapped up neatly in a bow made of satin ribbon.
I grew up around abuse. Abusive parents. Abusive family members. Abusive lovers.
Every time I got a gift growing up, from my parents, it was a GUILT gift.
My mother would get me a designer bag or clothing when she had a drunk episode that she actually remembered. It was put on a credit card because we couldn't afford things like that.
I knew we were in debt and struggling so that GUILT was really multiplied every time a coach or baby phat tag appeared beneath the tissue paper. And my heart would sink.
When I started dating, my boyfriend did the same thing. For every girl he slyly flirted with or did something with, I'd get a cute little gift.
For our first Valentine's Day, I walked into his living room after school to find a heart balloon and statue for me. I remember as I unwrapped it, he looked awkward and nearly as surprised as I was when I took my gift out.
His mom had gotten it for me. From him. Because he asked her to. Because he did not care to.
I knew this much later, once he threw every task at her infront of me because those were the things he did not feel like doing. And he would say things like "she doesn't mind and she is so much better at it".
The thing was, he was emotionally abusive and lied constantly about everything. He manipulated people into doing things for him because he did not want to do them.
Shopping for me and showing me affection were the same in his mind. Both were too minuscule for his attention or time.
I had many boyfriends not ever get me anything because they were "too broke" but would get themselves specifically expensive items for holidays or just whenever.
Specifically my ex of a few years, whom I dated as a single mother of a little girl, would have me pay for most things even though I was on my own paying for my rent/tuition/books/food/child and he lived at home with his parents. When it came time for gifts, he would also ask his mother for assistance.
One holiday i got something so special from him. Something i still have and cherish. The one item I did not smash or sell after he broke my heart. A trinity irish necklace. One I had picked out and PUSHED for months for him to get me. Something I wanted so badly to be done on his will but was finally done because of mine.
Gifts and money were never something I idolized also because I was poor. As a baby born into poverty and then a teen mom who went off into poverty while raising a kid myself, I often could not afford to get people things.
For my own child, I made gifts. I would even put some birthday gifts into the closet before being opened and give them to her for christmas to spread out the stash from what people got her.
But we got by.
I got by many years without having to spend a lot.
Whenever people I knew, like a boss or a friend, got me gifts I felt SO MUCH GUILT.
I would immediately be scanning the things and calculating in my head a guess of what they spent to question if I DESERVED IT.
I felt the same exact way about hand me downs though. Anything given to me that was of worth to someone, made me feel like I was not worth receiving it.
Mostly I'd end up thinking "now what can I sell or do to equal that value for them?" Or "how can I pay them back."
I felt like I owed everyone who gave me anything at all, especially because they really had no idea how much I needed it.
I was so afraid to ask for help or tell anyone my needs for so long. I felt that way as a single mother and I still feel that way.
I feel shame in needing but I feel even more shame when I get provided for.
This is a HUGE BLOCK in my ability to attract money and success. In my ability to be approached by things I need. But I am now only gaining that awareness of how my self worth and anxiety deprived me of so much.
I would be at a loss of words too when I got handed an item or food or money by someone.
Fumbling over my words in thank yous and trying to hide my embarrassment.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, really.
Sometimes I would blurt it out. "Now what can I do for you?"
I'd like to say it was out of consideration and kindness as most people took it.
But that was anxiety speaking.
PLEASE, LET ME MAKE IT EVEN.
My nervous brow would wrinkle up and my heart would be pounding.
Until I got a response that changed everything.
"Be happy in receiving. I just want you to feel joy".
Happy? They wanted me to just feel happy?
No exchange? No guilt? No shame?
No "Sorry I fucked up, here's a gift I didnt even pick out with thought" ----
No "you thought I forgot didn't you? (Because I did but someone else rescued me)."
No "I know what I did but I'd rather you picture me as a good person so here is this thing."
I realized of course that good people could give me things out of just kindness but I still felt indebted or guilty because of those triggers.
Until I pictured someone feeling JOY because they provided me with JOY.
And suddenly it made me feel so good. So loved. So cared for.
I realized that THIS was what we were supposed to feel when we gave something out to someone.
This year I have learned I should express my emotions and gratitude back to the person. That I should let them know when they gave me something what it made me FEEL.
NO MATTER WHAT I WAS GIVEN, I JUST FELT PURE JOY AND LOVE.
And when I would let them know how I feel, it would be bringing them joy that they did that for someone.
That was the exchange.
The magic of giving and receiving.
I have been trying to do some things different around the holidays since figuring out the problems my anxiety caused.
☆ Instead of worrying I won't have the money to GIVE someone something, I think to myself "I will find a way to give them joy".
☆ Instead of jumping to "this was given out of guilt" I quickly remember how I've set boundaries and removed the people from my life who did bad things. So it is no longer even a rational thought that someone could be treating me wrong.
☆Instead of calculating the value of the thing, to see if I can give back in equal or fair measure ----> I think, "what would bring that person joy?" It no longer matters what the price tag is, if it is an action or experience, or even a hand me down. If it is something someone needed or wanted in their life and it would bring them joy, then it is priceless.
☆Instead of spitting out thank yous like a broken toy, I purposefully say why I am thankful and what the giving has brought to me. What it has made me feel. I want them to know what I am experiencing from their generosity and heart.
☆Instead of allowing frustration and panic into my heart, I allow myself to cry tears of joy and thank the universe out loud for my blessed friends/family.
☆Instead of keeping my needs a secret out of shame, I tell the universe what I need out loud with excitement. I am in need of many things but that should not bring me guilt or shame. People need things. Heck. People want things.
☆Instead of trying to calculate my worth, I tell myself I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy of love and joy. I am worthy of the things I want. I am worthy of the things I need. I am worthy of receiving.
☆Instead of worrying about what people will think of me for telling my truths, I remember that silent sufferers around me feel SEEN when I speak up.
So I speak up. I share my feelings, my fears and my desires.
And the concept of gifts/giving has grown.
From materials and money to emotions and states of mind.
I now want to gift out people LOVE AND JOY through my words. Through my validations of experiences they have.
I also think it is a gift to have REAL friends who care. Friends who want to give and receive out of love and not status or to show off.
It is a gift to have REAL, RAW, AUTHENTIC people in our lives to share our ups and downs with. Our dreams and goals with. Just being in relationships like that are enough without giving anything between one another to show we care.
I've made this discovery now that I have beautiful friendships in my life that bring me so much joy. I want nothing more than their friendships. So I cannot believe when I receive gifts or support or help with something. To be so lucky and so cared for by other people is something I am trying to get used to.
I am relearning how to give and receive because I was raised in trauma but that does not mean it is all I will ever know.
I am replacing anxiety with JOY, as a healing tool for all areas of my life.
I realize that abundance is a state of mind and I wish to gift everyone the ability to tap into it through believing they are worthy of whatever their heart desires.
YOU are worthy of receiving.
It does not have to be an uncomfortable thing.
In fact, you do not need to search for what to do for them beyond just thinking of how you can pass on the concept of giving JOY to their lives.
And you can do something anonymously this Holiday season just to send some joy out into the world. ♡
J.S. Jaded Savior
#christmas #joy #breakthecycle #catalyst #triggers #abuse
As the year draws to an end and the holidays come in like a rush of excitement and celebration, many families will enjoy abundance of all different means.
From comfort food and presents, to comforting family moments and fun traditions made once more.
Whether you have a large family or small one, are a single mom or a huge, loving family of 10 including your spouse ----> no matter how filled up your heart and home are this season, you will cherish most the love and joy you feel with one another.
That is what kids are to remember most as they grow.
18 Christmases with us until they are grown.
I've seen all sorts of ways people have celebrated. From over the TOP cheer to minimalist experience gifts and leisure.
From hosting the annual, traditional Christmas party to going away on vacation somewhere fun and sunny during the holiday week.
Some people have chosen to skip Christmas all together. Some have gone extremely minimalist. And that is great.
Whatever you choose to do during the holiday season, for all the holidays there are, do it with love.
Love. Gratitude. Joy. Appreciation.
Stripped of all the fluff, the core of celebrations are to celebrate the people in our lives. And the achievements we have.
I'd love to change the narrative of holiday celebrations.
I'd love to see families sit around talking about their goals in a positive way.
Feed positivity and encouragement into one another.
Hear about each others experiences and dreams.
One thing I have learned as a bystander in other peoples family celebrations for the past decade plus is that families do a whole lot of planning and fluff aligns the holiday but very little interaction with one another.
People go all out with food and activities, gifts and decor ---> and the aesthetic of the holidays can be quite spectacular.
Holiday movies depict heart warming moments of joy and laughter, in the same whimsical and magical setting of holiday decor and traditions.
But as dinner is getting prepared and everyone sits around the home, the small talk passed around is so empty of encouragement for the new year.
If your family DOES have deep, emotional, inspirational talks when getting together---> I would love to hear about it in the comments.
But what I'm referring to are the many families who's traditions are to numb through dinner, nod and smile through small talk and then make the focal point of the day on gifts.
For me, all of your bonds with your families are your gifts.
I would have done anything growing up to have REAL parents. Healthy parents. A family void of trauma.
In my childhood and adolescent years, I was convinced abuse and trauma were the norms for all.
My mission as an adult is to provide my own kids with toxic free holidays and a trauma free lifestyle.
Breaking the cycle is the gift that keeps on giving.
And many people wonder how they can break the cycle. Break a mold without shattering their relationships.
But how does it feel when year after year you feel bullied or discouraged by family?
When holidays feel stressful and getting together with family means preparing to be eye rolled and belittled by the people who brought you into this world....
When trauma seeps into the holidays, it looks something like "the drunk uncle", "the overworked mother", "the sit and do nothing father", "the not out and afraid sibling", "the college drop out", "the racist grandpa", "the overbearing and boundary slaying grandma".
And we break bread with, laugh with, comply with it all.
For the sake of the holidays.
For the sake of family.
For those of us who experience this, we grit and deal with it right? Just a few hours a year... just a few days a year...
The thing is, we are not sure how to change the tone of conversations or the way the evening goes.
We have not been taught how to dismantle trauma.
I want future generations as well as mine [90s baby] to learn how to and then actively do something during stressful, abusive situations.
Beyond that, I want us all to take the power we have and make the holidays something meaningful.
To introduce new traditions. New conversations.
To sit with our relatives and ask them intriguing questions. To encourage new reading and education. To open up their eyes. Inspire them.
I want YOU TO BE THE ONE to open your mouth and say "this is my big dream and I'd like to tell you about it".
Not a timid "if you'd listen, I'd like to..." or "I was hoping to tell you something".
Not a question.
Holidays are meant for gathering around and celebrating the year. The love in retrospect.
The joy of being together.
And while you may feel beaten down by past defeats, know that you always have the chance to step in. To take some control and make some new traditions that your younger family members will follow suit in after you have led.
Even more so, if you have an abusive or shitty relative, do not be quiet about it.
That does not mean you should:
●MAKE A SCENE
●SHOUT OR FLIP OUT
What it does mean is having a firm statement passed onto them.
About their behavior. About how uncool it is.
If you need to ask another adult to do so, then do that.
But make it known.
Trauma survivors often feel TRAPPED during the holidays.
Surrounded by people who are borderline or blatantly abusive ---> we tend to FREEZE.
Lastly, if you are unfortunately surrounded by abusive family and you have tried or believe it is impossible to make change happen...if you think speaking up will be a danger..
There is a new tradition you need to make.
Celebrate your own way.
Do something new.
Stop showing up.
It feels hard and like a betrayal because maybe they are all you have. Or maybe you feel like blood means never giving up.
It feels hard because you have tolerated it until now so why quit? It's one day right? Measly hours...
The thing is.. healing is a commitment.
Leading a healthy and happy life is a commitment.
So if you could trade a few hours of painful encounters for doing something that brings you joy ---> DO IT.
This is your reminder that HOLIDAYS are not synonymous with abuse.
You do not have to be a part of something you don't feel comfortable or safe in.
Next, if your family is just "used to" not being very deep or open ----> YOU can change that.
If you find yourself being a highly sensitive person or highly emotional person, then you are NOT AN OUTCAST.
In many ways, YOU ARE THE CATALYST.
You can start with games or conversations that you start with them. And you can teach them how to become open. Comfortable. safe.
You would be shocked to know how many of your family members have survived abuse and never told anyone.
How many were raised to tolerate things silently.
They are not silent to punish you.
They are silent to punish themselves.
That is what trauma looks like.
This holiday season, take control of tradition.
Integrate healthy things into the home.
Into each others hearts.
Teach the children how to have deeper conversation and play games of mindfulness.
Teach the children how to engage with the adults on a deeper level.
Use your awareness and emotional senses to make impact.
Or take It elsewhere for your own well being.
You do not have to suffer in your own story.
And you can define Merry in a whole new way.
♡ 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
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
EMPOWERING MINDS SINCE 2019