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The Most Precious Gift…

precious gift

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Great Posts #6

GreatPostsReadThisWeek

  • More on Benefits of Therapy: How Therapy Saves Us From Wasting Our One Precious Life
  • Children of toxic parents could have PhDs in justifying why their parents treated them so badly. Many of us still love our parents, and have been fed a constant narrative that we were the problem. It is extremely hard to move away from this point of view, and to pass through guilt and shame to understanding it wasn’t our fault. But it can happen. 7 Signs You Grew Up With A Toxic Parent And Didn’t Know It
  • If you struggle in your role as a parent you are not alone. You may not have been home-schooled as I was, or raised by toxic parents but you might find this list of parenting resources helpful if the following resonates with you. Have you heard of non-punitive parenting? Or Gentle/Peaceful Parenting? Darcy writes “But no matter the label, the root is the idea that children are people too, and that as people, they can grow and learn and develop best in an atmosphere of peace and connection, not punishment or coercion. We seek to validate our children’s emotions while teaching them how to appropriately express them. Traits that define how peaceful parents interact with their children include empathy, compassion, respect, boundaries, and unconditional love.” Parenting Beyond Our Past: A Resource Guide
  • Were you emotionally neglected by your parents? Do you spend time with them at Christmas? Here are some ideas for you: Emotionally Neglectful Family? 7 Tips for the Holidays
  • Do you have negative feelings around Christmas? This article might offer some encouragement: The Joy of a Merry Christmas

What is a great read you’ve come across this week? Would love you to share in the comments below!

Elizabeth

TGIF #3

Thank God it's Friday!(1)

This week has been challenging for me as my husband and I have been adjusting to living under the same roof again. It’s felt like an emotional roller coaster at times and my head space has been rather cluttered.

I am happy to report that we are making headway. This afternoon we had coffee together and came up with a basic routine for the two weeks of school holidays. Already this has helped to clear a lot of my mind-clutter. Afterwards I came home and rushed about sorting some of the clutter pile in our dining area. It all helps!

This week I’m Trusting that hubby and I will continue to find our way back to a close relationship and better communication.

I’m Grateful for the ongoing support of my therapist and my Dad.

I’ve not lacked inspiration for blog posts but have struggled with finding time to write a “meaty” post this week due to the changes in our family normal. I’ve been Inspired by a Blogging University course to sort out a poll for you, my readers, to give me feedback about what you would like to read here at Unravelling Mysteries going forward. Watch this space. 🙂

Our son is still struggling a lot with anger and low self-esteem. The more I talk things over with my therapist the more understanding I gain and the more I realize how much our dysfunctional parenting (thanks to family-of-origin baggage) has contributed to how he is today. I’m grateful I’m healing from my past and learning how to be a better parent now. I’m grateful too because my husband is more on board than he’s ever been and is open to continuing to grow in his role as a dad. I’ve already seen wonderful changes in his relationship with Master Speedy this week and it’s doing my heart good! I have hope and Faith that the two of us will continue to find healing ourselves and in turn will be able to help our boy find healing and peace too.

Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty. Brené Brown

Wishing you all some rest for your souls this weekend!

Elizabeth

Great Posts #5

GreatPostsReadThisWeek

Hello all,

After posting a quote earlier in the week about loving ourselves, here is a longer article on the subject. Happiness Means Loving Yourself.

One of my new blogging friends shares her thoughts on learning to love herself enough.

A new follower posted this recently: Finding Life-Change in a Men’s Rest Room. A good reminder that we can find peace in any life situation.

Here’s another great little seed from The Seeds 4 Life: If You Start Now, You’ll Look Back at the Challenge and See that You’ve Won – B.G.

I’d like to introduce you to another blogging friend of mine. I love the way Lou writes in such an open and real way. She is truly inspiring.

What posts have you enjoyed this week?

Blessings to you all as we enter a new week!

Elizabeth

TGIF #2

Thank God it's Friday!(1)

Today I’m TRUSTING for continued guidance in parenting my son.

I’m GRATEFUL my husband arrived home safely last night, after spending more than seven weeks in New Zealand. He now has a visa to be in the United Kingdom and can start looking for work!

I’ve been INSPIRED to help create some new positive patterns with my husband’s reentry into our family life.

I have FAITH my husband will find work soon.

To find out what this Friday feature post is about click here: TGIF!

What is your TGIF for this week?

Elizabeth

Seeking Therapy is a Sign of Inner Strength

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Many people think that going to counselling or therapy is an admission of weakness. I say it’s a sign of strength and courage. It’s admitting when we need help; when we are stuck.

When I was a young mother and struggling with self-esteem, parenting, marriage issues and lots of family-of-origin baggage someone reached out to a group of young mums I was a part of and offered to meet with anyone who felt they would like some support. It was a bit scary to admit I needed help, but looking back I’m so proud of the younger me for finding the courage. I think by that point I was just so desperate for life to change. My sessions with this woman were just the beginning.

Four years and many struggles later my husband and I began dreaming about getting out of New Zealand to work in a foreign country as part of a missions team. The church we attended at the time required us to have a psych evaluation to help them decide if we were a good risk and worth their financial support. Consequently, after filling in lots of forms, we ended up in the office of a psychotherapist. Best thing ever!

FOUR BENEFITS I’VE EXPERIENCED FROM PSYCHOTHERAPY OVER THE LAST 4+ YEARS:

1. Validation

I still remember the feeling I had as my husband and I walked out of the psychotherapist’s office that first day. We had been validated as a couple and felt, for the first time in a long while, that we were okay. Peter (name changed) made us feel that we were on track, our intuition was good and our plans had merit. We both left there with a little spring in our step.

We had been struggling for years with issues with both sets of parents and we soon made an appointment to go back to the psychotherapist about my parents in particular. I’d been trying to make peace with hurtful memories from my past and I shared one of these with Peter. It was a story of shame from when I was just ten years old. I was embarrassed and it was hard for me to tell it, but I’ll always remember the incredible feeling of validation that came when I saw Peter’s jaw drop.

We discussed my experience and for the first time I realized that it really wasn’t my fault. My parents had royally screwed up in the way they had handled the situation. Just having someone professionally trained tell me that I wasn’t bad was incredibly healing. I can now look back on what for years was a very painful memory and feel peace.

2. Belief in Myself

Having someone validating my feelings and intuition gave me the courage to get to work in my own time. I asked for recommendations of books I could read and after reading Changes That Heal by Dr Henry Cloud (good for anyone who has been raised in a Christian environment) I sought out others on my own. I love that once I became open to learning books, blog posts and conversations seemed to come to my attention/happen just when I needed them…and still do.

Having Peter show me (by the way he listened, heard (got me) and validated me) I was worth something gave me the belief that I was worth investing time in.

3. Motivation to Grow for the Sake of my Children

As a result of reading and continuing to work on understanding my past I came to the realization two years ago that I had suffered mental, spiritual and emotional abuse from my narcissistic mother, both during childhood and into young adulthood. Very soon I was saying to my therapist, “How can I avoid damaging my children in the same way?” His answer (as I’ve written in an earlier post) was: “The best thing you can do for your children is to work on yourself.”

I know what it’s like to live with insecurity, fear, conditional love, lack of emotional support, lack of confidence, etc. This year has been a year of discovering more about who I am and who I want to be. Finally, in my thirty-eighth year, I have figured out that it’s okay to be authentically me. I want my children to leave home already knowing who they are, being comfortable in their own skin, and confident in their individual abilities and gifts. This is huge motivation for me to continue to unpack my past even though it can be painful and emotionally draining at times.

4. Better Communication with my Husband

Last year  I found myself growing internally in leaps and bounds and the gap between my awareness and my husband’s awareness was widening. I was feeling very emotionally disconnected from him and nothing I was saying was making sense to him or getting us anywhere. We were struggling with issues that had been present our entire marriage, namely our opposing communication styles and his obsession with computer gaming.

I got to the point where I no longer had the energy to put into improving our relationship on my own. I went to Peter and explained how I saw things and then hubby and I attended 6 sessions of psychotherapy together. Yes, I had to sweet talk him into it, but by the end he was thanking me for organizing it. Peter was able to spot unhealthy patterns that had developed in our relationship and give us pointers as to how to change them. He helped hubby to understand himself more too and why he felt most refreshed when on his own, hence the gaming.

We’ve continued to learn and grow together since then, we just needed a tune up to help us get back in sync!

~~~~~

I’m so excited to be on the verge of embarking on my own journey to becoming a psychotherapist. I’ve just found a psychotherapist here in England in preparation for beginning a counselling course in the new year. I haven’t felt stuck lately and likely wouldn’t have considered spending money on therapy if it wasn’t for the course. However, it’s become quite clear in my first two sessions that there is a lot more work to be done! Instead of seeking help for my son it makes sense for me to be supported in my role as his mother. It’s really comforting to have found someone to support me both through the 3 year course and my continued journey of healing and personal growth.

My parting thoughts on this subject…you are worth an investment in therapy! Not only will you benefit by learning to love and understand yourself more, but those around you will benefit too! If you’d like to start looking for a therapist, you might want to follow this link: How to Find the Right Therapist.

“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”  ― David Richo