Future Endeavors

Recently, I had my eighteenth birthday and though I did not want to celebrate the idea, it was a huge stepping stone in my life. This marked the day in which I was legally able to remove my mother from my life. Many would say this is an exaggerated & dramatic thing to do, however it has been a part of my healing process and I have felt significantly lighter since removing her. I had been waiting for that day for a while and it was incredibly liberating to have the confidence to do so.

Since turning eighteen, I have turned all of my energy towards the idea of moving out. As I continue to feel a sense of confinement in my own home, I find console in my optimistic view towards my future. I do not plan on going to college and because of this, I have received harsh criticism and discouragement. Though I do not have the support of many family members, I am beyond excited to start my life outside of my home, without the pressure of being in school. I am certainly open to the idea of going to college, but I know that as of right now, my main focus is simply being myself.

While I plan on not going to college, I also plan on eventually becoming self-employed. I cannot predict what kind of format this may be in but I have put much positive energy towards my future to the point that I am not concerned about what may happen. Many would say it is better to have a plan but my personality thrives off of change and the unknowing. Also, seeing as my house has been a place of chaos and belittlement on my behalf, being out of it will be the most influential and positive thing I could possibly do for my mental health.

Though I do not have a set plan, I am working towards my goal of moving out and thriving in every aspect of my life. I am so proud of the person I am and am eager to share this with as many people as possible. My self-esteem has grown immensely through all of the pain my mental health has been through and because of this, I will do just fine on my own. Despite discouraging comments, I know how much I am capable of. I know I am capable of making an impact. I am ready to move on from a suffocating environment to a mental space, in which, I can continue to thrive more openly.

Rules Of Civility

By Amor Towles

Summary:

This story is revolved around the idea of independence and it is portrayed in a manner that specifically glorifies female independence. A young lady, living in New York City, is confronted with praise and contradictions as she hesitates over her own independence and societal opinions/standards. The author portrays this character in a way that allows the audience to see her grow internally. Rather than focusing on what she doesn’t have, she simply focuses on what she knows she is capable of.

My Opinion:

I regarded this novel as incredibly empowering as it discarded patriarchal views and praised the independence of women. Due to the young female characters’ ability to stand out as a representation of independence, she receives the attention and respect of many.

Though her friends are seemingly jealous of her demeanor, she receives attention from men who truly respect her, hence why there is so much envy towards her from those closest in her life. However, because of her intimidating demeanor, she finds herself losing people as they were either intimidated, jealous, or felt as though they were undeserving of her attention/friendship.

I, personally, relate incredibly well to this novel, due to the fact that I am thoroughly independent and self-motivated. I take pride in this characteristic, as it has opened up an array of new possibilities for my future. I do not dwell on wordly opinions because I am all for myself and certain of my physical and mental capability.

Rate:

10/10

An Entry for Release

This past week, I have been in Boulder, Colorado experiencing some of the most beautiful exhibits of nature. It’s an almost overwhelming feeling when surrounded by so much natural beauty. Being here, has confirmed my wanting in moving here eventually.

While also experiencing an endless beauty to nature, I have also had a lot of time to simply focus on my innermost thoughts. These have shown to be uncomfortable for the most part but I know it is a part of my healing process and journey towards peace. I have realized more and more in how little I’ve been appreciated by many people, this also including past/current treatment from my parents.

Although, I have always been aware of my introverted state of mind & kept a small circle of friends, I have noticed more in-depth in which the extent of these relationships reach to. I believe many people see me as one to understand, acknowledge, and empathize with them. This assumption is totally accurate, except for the idea that many people take advantage of this & pretend as though I’m oblivious to the already blatantly obvious.

As I have stated in past entries, I am incredibly observant and intuitive. I am fully aware when someone is taking advantage of my character or minimizing my emotions. There have been an array of excuses for those in which I have felt the need to speak up against, simply because I was not being treated the way I deserve and there was a refusal, from the opposing, to acknowledge the way it had affected me. Seeing as I grew up in a manipulative family setting, my emotions were frequently minimized and the realization of this has brought me to the self-awareness in knowing how to detect one whom is trying to taking advantage or undermine my intellect.

I consider myself to be an incredibly compassionate person, however, there is a certain extent in which it is no longer worth my own vulnerability, as it is not reciprocated nor appreciated on a level as it should. I am not hesitant in speaking up for what I believe. I know how I should be treated and unfortunately, there are many who look past this. My self-awareness has given me the confidence to see myself in a new perspective: one that does not settle for less than deserved.

Although, it is unsettling & uncomfortable to realize that many are not willing to reciprocate the amount of love you have for them, ones own being has enough to supply a lifetime of happiness. I am thankful to have gone through uncomfortable & challenging situations, as it is bringing me closer to peace and a totally conscious mindset. I am confident in the things I say and my emotions are not to be minimized. One with respect for themselves, has respect for others.

Sibling Dynamic with a Narcissistic Parent

When an individual is brought up in a family in which the parent is narcissistic, there tends to be an incredibly different relationship dynamic between siblings. It is inevitable in this kind of setting, that a child will experience mental and physical health issues later in their life due to this abnormal dynamic.

Whenever there is a narcissistic parent involved, there is always the scapegoat of the family and the golden child of the family. Although the scapegoat and the golden child experience a more intense level of abuse, the other siblings involved experience some extent of abuse as well as neglect. These roles between siblings may change throughout the rest of their time living in that house. However, in my house, the roles never changed until my older sister moved out.

For as long as I can remember, I have been the scapegoat of the family. The scapegoat is essentially what holds the family together. The idea is that the scapegoat is willing to defend themselves in unjust situations, even if this means they will get in trouble. I was always incredibly worried for my siblings and when a problem arose, I would not hesitate to defend them. As I continued to stand up for myself and my siblings, I received a higher level of abuse. My mother saw me as the “troubled” child and believed I was capable of nothing other than being a “bad influence.”

My mother began feeding information to my siblings and outside family members that there was a point in which, all of my siblings turned against me at some point or simply bullied me. I specifically remember turmoil becoming more intense between my mom and I when my younger sister, Ali, was hospitalized due to anorexia. My older sister, Nina, and I had both urged our parents months before that they needed to get Ali medical attention. It was not until she was near death that they brought her to the hospital.

At the time of this occurrence, I was in eighth grade and Ali was in sixth grade. It was the start of a couple years, in which, Ali was constantly in the hospital or a rehabilitation center. There was a cycle of coming in and out of programs. Her recovery was made immensely difficult as my parents did not give her the support she needed. Anorexia is a mental illness which they refused to grasp and it was a devastating few years as my siblings and I could not do much other than focusing on being there for her.

It was particularly difficult for me because Ali and I began to draw apart. I was struggling immensely with depression and anxiety at this time and it became difficult to grow a relationship between her and I as we both felt helpless in aiding our personal needs. It was two years later when I realized that my mother had neglected the needs of Nina when she was near the age, in which Ali was struggling the most.

My older sister shed light on the fact that my mother neglected to give her the help she needed when she struggled with bulimia. Nina even asked her for help and my mother refused to support her. When I discovered this, I felt the need to speak up to my mother and confront her for the way she had treated Nina but also how she was currently treating Ali. This act of defense ended with my mother screaming at me while on the phone with Nina. She continued to tell me I was wrong and that none of it happened. It was the first time I had a panic attack to the point I was hyperventilating.

After this extremely scarring event, I grew more and more anger towards my mother but also pain. I would get into screaming battles with her but ones that always ended in her telling me how disappointed she was that I was like this. My panic/anxiety attacks became even worse, in which I would shake uncontrollably, hyperventilate, cry, black out, and nearly my entire body would go numb- which was absolutely terrifying.

As for my other siblings, I began to notice a decrease in their energy level and mood. I knew they were struggling and would try to be there for them as much as possible but I didn’t even know how to help myself. There were times when they would get incredibly angry with me in my mother’s defense which made matters even more complicated.

As far as the golden child is concerned, for a while it was my older sister. This made sibling dynamic in our household very tense because all of us were experiencing a different level of abuse but we weren’t able to get closure about it because we simply didn’t understand it ourselves. However, as I begin to learn more about this toxic way of living, it becomes more and more obvious how dire it is to work through this trauma.

Recently, I have been struggling with C-PTSD and anxiety on a level that I have never experienced before. The realization of the treatment I experienced throughout my entire life, has brought back a ton of flashbacks and put me in a mindset that feels suffocating. I have made it a priority for myself to work through this trauma and know that I will find peace.

Healthy Relationships

Throughout my entire experience being in public school, I became friends with several different kinds of people. I can say honestly and proudly, that the majority of these people are no longer in my life. As I strived to fit into the public school environment while also struggling with anxiety and depression, I became friends with people who were seemingly good for my self-growth. However, that was not at all the case when I became more educated about my self-worth.

The majority of my relationships, consisted in them telling me absolutely anything and everything about themselves. Throughout my life, people have always been extremely vulnerable towards opening up with me, seeing as I was encouraging and positively willing to listen to any of what they may be going through. Because of this, I began to notice a change in the attitude of my friends towards me. It became blatantly obvious that they were totally consumed with themselves and overall, they were not helping my self-growth.

I specifically recall a time period in tenth grade in which I became friends with an array of people and we had our own “friend group.” This was the first, only, and most toxic friend group I have ever been a part of. I have always been an introvert so being introduced to this kind of relationship dynamic showed me how valuable my own being was and that I was obviously taken for granted. Most of these individuals were so consumed with themselves that they simply neglected to understand the kind of person I was. All of these people, other than one, were extremely immature and uneducated.

In the following years of my high school career, I began slowly removing people from my life that were obviously toxic. I became much more independent and self-motivated as I began to realize, I am the only one to fully understand the extent of my mental battles as well as my self-worth. I started using social media as a means to express myself, rather than a means to impress other people. I began to love myself.

Although, I had few friends, I have made long lasting and nurturing relationships with people whom I am incredibly grateful for. My siblings, for example, are my best friends and I have so much love that should not be taken for granted and I was able to spread my love with them. Along with this, my best friend Sara, has been my best friend since we were about five years old. I cannot express enough how thankful I am for this girl, she is the most encouraging and wonderful human being I know.

As I also began to start working, my career at Wyndridge Farm was one in which I was incredibly undermined and taken for granted. However, during this time, I built a relationship with someone I truly cherish. Ellen Manning had consistently built me up and encouraged me, even though I was constantly undermined by the immature owners of this business. She was my manager and also one of the major influences in my life. I had never seen so much strength in one person until meeting her. She truly changed my perspective of myself and my potential. She showed me compassion and love through an extremely toxic environment. She was also incredibly undermined in her position as manager, making our relationship grow even stronger. I have an endless amount of thankfulness and love for this relationship.

As far as dating was concerned, I have never been one to dwell on the idea of being single. In fact, I took advantage of it and began to see myself through the eyes of love. Seeing as I have so much love, it is very rarely reciprocated back in the same manner and I am fully aware of what I deserve so I am absolutely not willing to accept less than my worth. I am incredibly grateful for the people in my life and though, I do wish to be in a relationship at times, I know I do not need one. I only need myself and my confidence goes far beyond the treatment I have been given in past relationships. I am dedicated and loyal. This quality has been used beyond compare, making my attitude incredibly steadfast towards the idea of finding someone who appreciates me for all that I am.

All in all, I have so much love and compassion that is utterly unmatched. This will always be taken for granted by some individuals, but this does not have the strength to deteriorate my self-respect and self-love.

Featuring my beautiful sister, Autumn 

The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho

Summary:

This story is a bit different from most due to the fact that the theme of the story is so apparent. It shares the story of a young boy who is basically told that he must go to the pyramids in Egypt, if he wants to know his purpose and significance in life. This takes him on a long spiritual and physical journey to find contentment. On the way, he comes across several obstacles, along with temptations in which he must strive to overcome.

My Opinion:

I personally really enjoyed this book, seeing that the storyline was particularly different than most books I’ve read. The theme was represented in a modest and simple way, allowing the reader to create a comparison between themselves and the main character. This story is primarily focused on the modesty of one’s own being. Society has distraught and deteriorated self-esteem, seemingly making ones life purpose to be solely for the satisfaction and pleasure of another.

We have been raised to follow the crowd and keep our genuine opinions to ourselves, in fear that they may be frowned upon. When we allow ourselves to see the views of others as simply opinions, and not attacks on one’s self, we are able to grow. This story is a great example in showing that our purpose in life is blatantly distinct from another and our temptation in wanting to be like everyone else, will essentially allow us to grow when we choose actions specifically for our own well-being.

Rating:

9/10

A Glimpse Inside My Anxiety

As a child, most of my thoughts consisted of constant worry. Whether it be about what I would wear to school the next day or dwelling on a past conversation that seemingly had no significant meaning, my mind was constantly searching for answers to questions that were never there to begin with.

It is easy to think of anxiety as simply the feeling of being overwhelmed by worry, however, I can say from personal experience that it is much more in-depth. Even from the outside looking in, it was rather obvious how worrisome I became, considering the distressed look on my face. I was often asked if I was okay or if I was sad, simply because I always looked concerned. This observation from an outside perspective, made it blatantly obvious to myself that I was ALWAYS worrying about something. As I became more conscious of it, I realized how observant I was but also dwelled too much into “what if” scenarios.

As I began high school, I noticed a significant raise in my anxiety. Reason being, there was so much emotional pressure on me due to the fact that my feelings were seen as invalid in my own home. I often came to school distressed and thoroughly unmotivated, due to the fact that I did not know how to channel my emotions. My emotions were constantly belittled at home, allowing them to show more clearly in a public area. This did not serve a benefit for myself, other than a self-realization.

I found myself worrying about how people looked at me, what I wore, and even how I talked in class when a teacher called on me. I felt incredibly uncomfortable in the classroom environment, because I was so obviously different than everyone else. My social skills were stunted due to the emotional abuse I continuously received from childhood to my teenage years. I normally kept to myself in class, I wouldn’t speak unless spoken to first. I found myself increasingly discouraged because I didn’t know how to socialize or feel comfortable at school.

At home, I experienced a completely different level of anxiety. Each day was like walking a tightrope; trying to find balance between a healthy lifestyle while living in a chaotic and abusive home. This is near impossible. I cried myself to sleep every night, simply because I thought there was something wrong with me and I just could not understand why. With my mom constantly belittling and blaming me and my siblings with each their own mental struggles, I found myself in a never ending anxiety-fueled spiral. I rarely even had the motivation to spend times with friends because I was utterly consumed in my thoughts.

In case anyone is curious as to what an anxiety/panic attack looks like, I will paint you a mental picture. At least for me, my anxiety attacks consisted of: hyperventilating, shaking, numbing/tingling in my arms, blacking out, and on a few occasions, actually losing complete consciousness. These attacks happened about every other day, if not everyday. They could be triggered by the smallest things because I had so much built up stress that I didn’t know how to cope with, so one small thing could set me off literally like an explosion. My thoughts took me to places I tried so intensely to get rid of. What made matters even worse was the fact that anytime my mom and I had a disagreement (which was often), it would end in her screaming at me and blaming me for whatever the topic of disagreement was. I would repeatedly beg her to give me space, as I am struggling to breath and crying to no extent. She showed no compassion, and emotionally tore my down until she was content enough with the result.

It wasn’t until this past year that I realized the intensity of my anxiety. I was diagnosed with a skin picking disorder. For anybody unfamiliar with this concept, I would basically pick the skin around my fingers until they bled. I still struggle with this and I have to wear bandages around my fingers to buffer myself from picking my skin when I feel so consumed with anxiety. Since my mom moved out, I have also struggled with flashbacks in which I will put myself into an anxiety attack when thought of too much. I am also incredibly sensitive to loud sounds and anything being thrown at me. I flinch incredibly easily, reason being my mother’s violent rages (smashing dishes, smashing pictures, throwing objects, etc). Along with this, I struggle being in public/crowded places and find myself incredibly apprehensive. This phenomenon is known as, complex post traumatic stress disorder.

In this past year, I have incorporated several new aspects into my life in order to find a peaceful mind. These aspects include: meditation, hydration through drinking tea, daily exercising, healthy eating habits, sufficient sleep, yoga, reading, and spending time outdoors. Through these habits, I have noticed incredible positive differences, however, they did not buffer my symptoms completely. My anxiety seems to have a mind of its own, in which it brings recurring, unpleasant thoughts. I began taking medication for this, and after a few months of being on the same antidepressant and being at the highest dosage, I was still struggling.

The thing with CPTSD is that it cannot be easily treated through medication, in fact, it worsens it in some cases. Although I have been seeing a therapist every other week, my physician urged me to schedule these appointments in a weekly pattern. Childhood trauma is not a concept to be taken lightly and needs constant attention. I feel at a loss occasionally, seeing as my anxiety still consumes my mind at times, but I am determined as ever. My anxiety does not define my being and though it is yet a long journey, I am steadfast towards my goal of having a peaceful mind.

For anyone that may be struggling with anxiety/depression or any other mental obstacle, it will become your greatest accomplishment one day. It will never disappear, but it has become a goal of mine to simply see my struggle as a reminder of my self-motivation. It is OKAY to ask for help. Thoughts are utterly consuming, and there is nothing more dreadful than feeling alone. You are not alone. You will be okay.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

By Stephen Chbosky

Summary:

This story is about the exploration of one’s self through trauma and mental pain. The main character has obviously been traumatized by past events that have built his personality into an anxious idea of coping mechanisms. He strives to keep himself at society’s standard of “normal,” but gets fumbled around when the time of Christmas and his birthday come around. He is distinctly different than most people his age but that does not discourage certain individuals when deciding whether to be his friend or not. Through his relationships, he learns to accept life as what it is and simply live in the moment.

My Opinion:

I enjoyed the concept the narrator chose in writing the novel as if each chapter is a journal entry from the main character. It was a bit confusing at times but it gave the story a more emotional and sentimental perspective. Though the other characters were not fully aware of the narrator’s feelings at all times, the audience had a slight glimpse of how he felt in several situations. The readers are experiencing the tone behind each motive and considering the personality of the main character, making the story much more in-depth.

This story is a great example of the growth in relationships and how they may nurture one’s own being. It also shows forgiveness and love as unconditional support in friendship, which is the true portrayal of an everlasting connection with another individual. Despite all of our differences, we can learn to love and forgive regardless.

Rating:

8/10

My Relationship with My Mom

As I continue to publicly share my experience as a child, in each post I focus on a certain aspect that has impacted the shaping of who I am today. With that being said, my mother is the main source in which I had a low self-esteem, crippling anxiety/depression, anger issues, and many more mental obstacles which I will discuss more in-depth.

From the age of about five to ten, I was placed in a private school or I was homeschooled by my mother. During this process, I became isolated from socializing and public events that did not please my mothers particular “phase,” at that point in time. Therefore, when I was finally placed in public school in sixth grade, my life became a series of events consisting in the defense of my own emotions and independence.

Furthermore, as I began becoming more socially involved with a diverse friend group, I began comparing my own home life to others. For example, when going to a friends house and noticing that their parents are holding hands or spending time with their kids, THAT was weird. I had never experienced a peaceful family event, in which, everyone included felt comfortable and loved. Family events in my home were chaotic, forced, and uncomfortable. Reason being, there was always an argument between a sibling and a parent or two siblings.

After I began making connections between my own family and my friends, I began standing up for myself as well as my siblings. Now, in a healthy family setting, being outspoken would be encouraged and praised. However, in my home, my mother used this trait against me. It was at this time in my life, that everything I did became a test of my mothers ability to belittle me. I specifically remember a time period in sixth grade, in which, I began self-harming. My mother found out about this and immediately punished me without further question. She was angry with me for hurting myself, and there was absolutely NO compassion or thought as to why her own daughter was doing this.

After this specific event in my life, my mother’s actions became more blatantly obvious in the sense that she chose to tear me down, rather than build me up. She used all of my valid emotions as a tactic to use in her own self-pity, rather than giving console towards me. It became a constant battle between her and I, as she constantly asked me questions like “Why are you like this?”or “Why can’t you just be happy? Why are you so cruel?” Because of this, I literally thought there was something wrong with me. I finally decided to tell her why I was upset, stating that she never showed me console when I was in a time of need. I was struggling and she reciprocated my own mental battles as a means to use against me, only to satisfy her narcissistic character. After calling her out, she proceeded to tell me I was wrong and that she did try to help me, even though she never put in the extra effort.

The conflicts between my mother and I from there on out, were absolutely brutal. Whether I was defending myself or defending my siblings, she would tear me apart and consistently blame me for my siblings actions. It was at this time, my siblings even became harsh towards me but even their harsh words were rationalized as my fault. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me or why I couldn’t seem to do anything right. Each day was like tip toeing around a minefield. I never knew how my mother would act or if she would decide to create a battle with me. She made me feel as though my feelings were invalid. She made me feel helpless and worthless.

My reason for staying so confident in my defense, were my siblings. My siblings are my best friends and they each had their own mental struggles that I could not bear to just stay silent about. My parents rarely felt the need to take action in a medical urgency unless we begged them. This caused a chaos in my house that is utterly unmatched. My home was a place I dreaded because I felt as though I was not welcome.

There were several points in my relationship with my mother, in which, I thought it was possible that she could see past her self-absorbed thoughts. I have never been so wrong. The more I felt pity for her, the stronger of a hold she had on me, in the sense that she could cause me to mentally breakdown at any given moment. She forced herself to believe that I was capable of no right and used my qualities as a means to emotionally abuse me. She would continuously scream at me while I would be hyperventilating and having a panic attack. I would ask her to stop and to give me space but she was absolutely relentless. She broke me down day after day, showing me that I was only a pawn in her game.

It wasn’t until this past year that I truly began to realize how abusive she was and how I did not need her in my life. I began standing out even more and I recieved hateful, unwanted words from my mother. My parents were treating me as though I didn’t have emotions and I was only a tool for them to help parent their own kids. I took a bulk of responsibility in taking care of my siblings, and during the process I was manipulated and hurt beyond measure by my own parents.

I have never shared this publicly before but it is apart of my own healing that I do. My parents caused me to hate my own being alive, I did try to commit suicide because of them. They put me in such a mentally, dark place that I truly believed I would not be able to make it through another year living with either of them. Luckily, since then I have become incredibly self-motivated and have grown relationships far more nurturing than the ones of my parents. I began to show myself compassion and realize that my feelings are valid and that I do not need my parents as a source of console. I only need myself. Though it is still painful at times and I am not exempt from the cruel words of my parents yet, I have faith in my own being and future. I am incredibly proud of the person I am now and if I hadn’t made as many changes to my life as I have, I probably would not be alive right now.

All in all, it is painful to understand that my parents treat me as an individual here specifically to benefit them, and not as a daughter whom they love unconditionally, I do love myself. I have surrounded myself with positive changes and positive relationships to the point that I have grown a stronger self-esteem and I have processed the idea that I do not need anyone. I only need myself. I thank my parents for birthing me, but the past several years of my life have come to show me how discouraging they are and I do not need that kind of energy in my life.

I am strong.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

By George Orwell

Summary:

This story is based on a dystopian word, with a society organized into a culture that is constantly controlled and watched. The residents of this society, are used to doing the same exact thing everyday while being watched by ‘Big Brother.’ The main character becomes in contact with a fellow resident in the most inconvenient of ways, seeing that they could be given harsh consequences for their relationship towards each other. To escape the control, they try hiding this relationship. However, the places they find so safe, may not be un-monitored as they had believed.

My Opinion:

I really enjoyed this book because it was incredibly suspenseful. Though our modern day society is not as obviously controlled/monitored, I cans till find resemblance between both separate societies. Our society is based around order and perfection. People wake up each day and go to school/work for the rest of their lives because this is the “only” way to function in society, without being belittled by other citizens. Seeing that our society is focused on being accepted, this idea is incredibly crucial in comparison of the story’s society and modern day society.

The resemblance of both societies allows the audience to understand the similarities of our modern day society and this dystopian culture. Our society is built around order which is essentially the main idea of this story. Along with the idea that the government does not want original thought. This is an interesting idea that I believe has been sprouted from the influence of modern day culture. Although, the government is not trying to control original thought, society has created a judgemental environment through social media and social gatherings. This making original thought belittled and discouraged, seeing that people have put their center of focus on the perspective that other people have created towards you.

Rating:

8/10