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
#selfproclamations #identity #poverty #poormentality #trauma
I've written before about being poor and living in poverty, but consider this the Christmas edition.
For the past 3 days, my husband and I have stayed up in Utica in a place that he is renovating with his brother to turn into rental apartments. My husband has been learning all about real estate, flipping and renovation projects from scratch because we want to head down that path next after almost 5 years of struggling in previous businesses.
Today my husband and I had to treck to walmart, in the snow, with our kids so we could get more food + warm clothing for our two toddler boys. We packed for this trip with whatever groceries we had in the house before we left and what clothing fit the kids.
We left my inlaws and headed up here hoping to be alright and not need anymore. But, as all parents know, it happens.
Needing more outfits because the kids grow like weeds. Because hand me downs are starting to run low. Because kids get into everything and 7 outfits can run out in just a few days with these little whirlwinds.
So there we were, both feeling overwhelmed as we counted our budget and went over what 3 more days of food would cost + 4 more outfits. Seeing how far pasta can stretch and if the clearance section would be kind to us.
My husband stared at me as I picked out fleece pants for the boys, and asked "How can you stay so positive every day even though we are struggling?"
I saw love in his eyes as he watched me laugh at a joke I had just told. And I realized he was dead serious.
I also know what he partially meant was, "How can you love me even though we are poor?"
I thought about how triggering it is for him that we struggle. Because he wants to be the strength and the provider for our family. And he feels in so many ways like his hard work has still failed us. Meant nothing because we still struggle.
He does not realize what it means to me every time he feeds me and our kids. Every time he plays a board game with us. Every time we cuddle on the couch.
He does not realize that every single joke we have shared and the belly rolling laughing he has given me since the day we began talking [via dating app] that he has made me feel so rich and so full.
In that moment I do not "see" struggle, but an outing with my family. We look like every other family in walmart. 3 cheeky kids not using their indoor voices. A mom and dad asking what dinner should be. Dad shrugging and saying anything is fine.
We blend right in. And there is no need to feel triggered or sad.
So we walk, me pushing the kart filled with 2 fleece pairs of pants, 2 long sleeve shirts, 2 boys leggings and 2 hoodies. 4t, 5t. Hip colors. Golden dinosaur head. Silver monster truck.
I know I took 15 minutes to sift through the same 3 tables of clothing. Looking for the cheapest, while feeling around like a mad woman for the right textures and designs.
"I want my kids to feel cool, not poor", I think to myself as I search and have a big smile as I land on cool dinosaur geometric pants that my 4 yr old will go wild in excitement for.
Laughing as I tell my husband that our little guy will ROAR when he puts them on. And instead of being met with laughter, watching my husband lock eyes with me and smile in such a deep way at me that it touches my soul.
We walk past the pjs and Women's section, my eyes following the tops of racks and flirting gently with the fur lined hoods of cheetah print and rose gold puffer jackets. Oh to be young, and in style. But I don't linger long.
My husbands thick XL jacket feels good on me. Good enough for winter. Good enough to not need anything else.
Now we are coming up to the home section, rows of wood decor and industrial farmhouse table settings. Plate and serving sets.
I grip the wheel. Intoxicating, I think as I close my eyes and breathe deeply in. It smells like a home. Like a home well decorated and cared for during the coming holiday season.
I see Christmas mits and towels, "If you need me, I'll be watching Hallmark and baking cookies" which usually makes me laugh and nod in agreement.
But now all I can do is choke, force down a hard swallow and then begin panting.
These carts, these people are just not moving. I want to go faster or ditch down an isle but instead I am locked here between baking Betty and decorate it Debbie who are trying to decide if they should just get 2 of each and maybe some for their grown kids.
These are my triggers, I suddenly realize as I try to fight off a panic attack.
Almost 5 years in with the man of my dreams, both of us feeling beat TF up from entrepreneurship and parenthood. Us both feeling defeated by the mistakes, mishaps, breakdowns, blunders, and headaches our last business gave us.
The ways it showed us our best and worst selves. The way we were at our best AND worst simultaneously as business partners and marriage partners.
The way we both learned to "make the best" of everything as we slid hard down that mountain right into mud. No. Quicksand.
I finally get to dodge down bedding and catch up to my husband who is looking for the last thing he needed. My child is having sensory overload in the top seat of the cart, spotting every. Single. Thing. He. Wants. Santa. To.bring.
Me too, buddy, me too.
This christmas I want to ask Santa for that BIG BREAK.
That one we see in movies and sitcoms.
You know it, don't you?
That turn of fate after struggle that FINALLY gives the lead character what they DESERVE in the end.
You see, being poor looks like many things.
And though no one knows us here in walmart and we pass as any other family, we know weeks of pasta and beans. And we are hiding out because we should be SO LUCKY we have a roof and my inlaws. We are.
We are not poor enough or struggling enough to come out about it socially. That is a trigger for everybody.
We are struggling "light". Kinda like a "lite icetea".
But we are not just struggling because we have less than many and we are not doing "well" just because we have more than some.
Our struggle is layered.
We both have unhealed trauma. We have little kids that are being raised by 2 people with so much love and good intentions but a HUGE responsibility to start fresh [after ending the cycles of abuse we knew].
We both have passion and hard work being put into outlets that do not pay well yet.
For me, not at all.
As everyone talked about black Friday and cyber Monday, I spent my time OFF social media.
I could not handle all the triggers.
Because I have been taught, through poverty, to not want things that I cannot afford.
I am not supposed to view websites or deals or sales when I know I cannot afford them.
I am not supposed to think about beauty or fashion or fitting in when it is just a fantasy.
I enjoy the little things and I window shop. I get panic attacks and cry a little when I stroll home sections of stores and I feel FUCKING WEIRD FOR IT.
But you see, tears do not come from poverty. They come from trauma.
I come from a broken home.
I spent years fearing being in my room and sleeping with furniture infront of my door because the only worse thing than being grounded to my room for years was possibly being attacked by what dwelled in the living room, drunk and hazy.
I then lived with family for a short time and wanted so badly to feel like I had parents + safety. I know my family did so much for me but after I moved out to spread my wings for college it no longer felt the same.
In fact, my relationships have mostly dissolved over the last 10 years. I feel alone mostly.
Self sufficiency is my fashion. My style. That thing I choose to invest in. It's a lonely shade of rouge.
All I used to ask "Santa" for every year was my own home. Like on Miracle on 34th street.
Gah that movie makes me bawl like no other.
I feel the same swell of tears and build up of emotions from that movie, precisely when the little girl says "mommy, mommy it IS our home".
I get that same rush running my fingers through a shag carpet and matching throw pillows while my kids cry out "PIIIIZZZAAAAAA please mom???" And my husband breaks my daydream to tell me it's time to go.
As everyone checks out their karts, filled to the brim with decorations and stocking fillers, I am calculating our stock before we ring it all up because I am sweating literally at the idea of going over budget.
Even though we calculated 3 times already.
We go $10 over and he hugs me.
"Its ok. We will do better this year."
And with his embrace I want to melt like a tiny child and pause time.
In this moment, I force myself to remember what this all feels like. What STUFF can do to a person.
What Christmas shopping does to people.
And how much people take for granted what they have already.
Their home. Their tree. Their belongings.
The wishlists their kids make that they can easily fill, maybe even twice.
But none of that is even the point.
I realize poverty teaches us about gratitude. Sure.
It teaches us about love. And kindness.
But it also teaches us longing. Despair. Fear.
It teaches us compliance and defeat sometimes.
When we clutch those things that trigger us most, the material desires we crave.
And we say things like "I can't" or "this isn't for me".
When we feel utterly defeated by the woman on the line who is buying her kids toys for that moment, because 23 days is still far away.
Not because we hate her. Because we want to be her.
I want to be her.
I want to pull up the driveway of a lit up home that is MINE, knowing it has all the trimmings and perfection inside that I put together myself. Out of love and appreciation for the walls. The carpets. The hard wood floors. The high rise ceilings.
I want a train running round the tree and a crystal star so bright it shines rainbows off the ceiling.
Some day, I want things.
And I still want to be the same girl who laughs with ease as my husband stares adoringly. Unchanged. Just secure.
Because being poor my whole life, it is the stability and peace I crave more than the dollar amount in my account.
But this year I am no longer asking Santa for a home with the trimmings.
I decided though I still believe in his magic, this year I just want the gift of believing in myself.
And seeing what it feels like to walk around knowing the gift was inside me all along.
I want to do the things that my heart feels called to do.
I'm tired of the poor mindset of "I am not enough to be better. To have better. To give better."
Of "this is just my lot in life."
It's not. It is no ones' lot in life to just suffer.
Sometimes we just need help.
Sometimes we need to change our course.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded that we are capable AF and resourceful AF.
Let this be the last year we struggle.
And the first year ahead that we thrive.
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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