Mending

Mending

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Once A Month Therapy

I must say that at my sickest point a few years ago, I never thought that I would want to go to counseling or even that I may enjoy it.  I love it!  I started by going every week for nearly a year.  Then cut back to about every other week.  Now at just under two years of constant and steady therapy I am down to once a month.  I want to go every week.  It's like going to church.  You go to church every week to be uplifted and have your mind enlightened.  Meeting with my therapist does the same thing for me.  To only be able to go once a month almost doesn't seem like enough.  It's weird.

Am I dependent on my counselor?  Yes!  He is one of the only people in my life who understands me and has been able to motivate me, help me think outside the box, and detoxify my life.  Sometimes though we become to dependent on our therapists.  I have, that's for sure.  I'm afraid that without him weekly in my life, that I'll slip back into depression or have to much anxiety.

My counselor has sent me to a retreat for women of childhood sexual abuse, to a 48 our class to become certified to help my peers.  He has got me into group therapy at a place here in the valley.  He has introduced me to, and encouraged me to read some awesome mental health books, and done EMDR with me.  He has been one of the best friends and helps in my life that I have ever had.

I am learning that I now have the tools to help myself, and that I only need occasional check ins with my therapist.  I am getting stronger and healthier.  This coming year my goal is to only go in once a month.  Of course, that is all pending on what happens within the year.  I am not afraid to go more frequently if things come up and help is needed.

I really have no idea where I am going with this entry.  Only to say that there is a time and place for everything and everyone in our lives.  I am grateful for what I have been given.  I know that with God's help, and the help of my counselor, I can and will do amazing things.

    

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Peace And Understanding

So recently that quote from David A. Bednar has been going through my mind.  Also this morning these two songs came to my mind.  I received a package from my sister Tamra full of pictures, death certificates, marriage certificates, and so on.  I opened it up and started to go through it and there was a picture of a baby sitting next to my cousin David, the one who molested me.  It was his sister.  The only picture I know of that exists of her.  She died at about 6 weeks old.  This was in 1964 when people didn’t take pictures like we do today.  It just wasn’t done.  I began crying and am crying still this morning.  I started to put pictures on Family Search on all my family that I now had pictures of who didn’t have a face to go with a name.  That felt awesome!  As I looked through the pictures I experienced many emotions.  Anger at how each generation screwed up their children so badly for several generations back.  Then sadness, understanding, and love.  I asked each of them, How could you do this?  I also asked What happened to you?  Why did you do what you did?  As I went back generation by generation I saw what happened.  I know their stories and their depression, and Trauma’s and horrific lives they were all forced to live.  I know who started it all, and I will be the one to end it all.  It stops here.  I will fight for and protect, and love my children like none of my ancestors ever did.  Then I think, they didn’t have the medication, or counselor, or gospel that I have.  They were spoiled brats, prostitutes, they smoked, drank, and had many men, or women in their lives.  They were selfish, depressed, and lonely people.  They had no one who truly loved or appreciated them.  I looked at those baby pictures, and the ones of all my ancestors as they were growing up, even David’s.  I had such compassion for them.  Such love and appreciation for them.  All that anger was swept away.  I have been given understanding, and am able to more fully forgive them.  I look forward to the day when I can embrace them in my arms and tell them I love them, and that I am so sorry for what they went through.  They all have the gospel now, all except David, and his day is coming very soon.  I feel a peace and love, an appreciation and understanding for so many things in my life, and theirs.  I may not be the one who started this awful mess that my family got themselves into, and allowed to keep rolling on from one generation to the next, but I can be the one to stop the insanity.  I am so grateful to God for bringing these songs, and quotes to my head to help me better flush it all out.  I am grateful for my trials and blessings.  One day I will see God.  One day I will hold him in my arms and cry and thank him for his love and support.  He truly never leaves me.   
“I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord’s timing of his tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them….The Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ….Faithfulness, obedience and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord’s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings….I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are available to all of us and that the Redeemer of Israel is eager to bestow such gifts upon us….Each of us can have eyes to see clearly and ears to hear distinctly the tender mercies of the Lord as they strengthen and assist us in these latter days.”  David A. Bednar
I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Look all around, there's nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead, there's nothing but blue skies
I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Bright (bright), bright (bright)
Bright sunshiny day
It's going to be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
1.                     1. Guide us, O thou great Jehovah,
Guide us to the promised land.
We are weak, but thou art able;
Hold us with thy pow'rful hand.
Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,
Feed us till the Savior comes,
Feed us till the Savior comes.
2.                     2. Open, Jesus, Zion's fountains;
Let her richest blessings come.
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar
Guard us to this holy home.
Great Redeemer, Great Redeemer,
Bring, oh, bring the welcome day,
Bring, oh, bring the welcome day!
3.                     3. When the earth begins to tremble,
Bid our fearful thoughts be still;
When thy judgments spread destruction,
Keep us safe on Zion's hill,
Singing praises, Singing praises,
Songs of glory unto thee,
Songs of glory unto thee.

         

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Spirals



At a stress and resiliency class I recently attended we talked about stress and how we spiral in and out of stress.

Starting at the outside of the spiral write ways, or things that spin you in to stress.

Becoming more stressed:
Some of mine were:  Kids saying things they shouldn't have in front of friends, embarrassment, humiliation, anger, worry, sadness, loss of hope, wanting to give up.

Starting at the inside of the spiral write ways, or things that spin you out of stress.

Becoming less stressed:
Some of mine were:  Counseling, prayer, sharing my fear with my friend, temple, fasting, studies, trusting God, sleep, baking, positive self-talk, meditation, exercise, coloring.  

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Interests-Goals-Skills-Abilities

I took a Youth in Transition class as part of my Certified Peer Support Specialist training.  It was an 8 hour class.  I learned so much.  One of the things we talked about is how people in recovery from either Mental Health issues or Substance Abuse issues need to make goals.  The word "Goals" can sound like work, or sound negative to someone who is trying to improve their life.  We talked about different words we could use.  One brought up in class was "Achievements".  So in other words what would you like to achieve?  This morning to my head came, What "skills and abilities" would you like to gain?  So you could ask them about their:  Interests, Goals, Achievements, Skills, Attributes and Abilities.  These can also be open ended questions, getting them to open up and speak about what is important to them.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sleep

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

The Importance of Sleep for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are. And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away.
-Arianna Huffington-
Too often a lack of sleep is viewed as a badge of honor. That you’re so busy you couldn’t possibly waste your time on something as unimportant as sleep. “I’m so tired” is considered a battle cry for most people today.
Sleep is important. It’s a necessity. It can positively or negatively impact every aspect of you – from your health to your mental acuity to your attitude. It seems sleep is the first thing to go when we’re feeling busy or stressed.  For survivors of sexual abuse, sleep is particularly important to help you successfully manage triggering memories when they come. Unfortunately for survivors, sleep can be fleeting.
Reclaim your sleep! Feel the benefits of being well-rested. Below is a list of the things you should do at different times of the day to help you get the best sleep you can:
During the Day:
  • Avoid taking naps. Or, if you absolutely must take one, make sure that it’s for less than an hour and before 3pm.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise will help with good sleep, but try not to do any strenuous exercise in the 4 hours before bedtime.
  • Use a sleep diary. Record your sleep routine from the night before. What did you use to fall asleep? What worked? What didn’t work?
  • Wake up at the same time. Don’t sleep late after a restless night. It may be difficult, but you want to stay on schedule to keep your sleep patterns on track.
In the Evening:
  • Wind down. Before bedtime tell your body that sleep is coming. Spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity like reading, drinking a cup of caffeine-free tee, meditating, doing relaxing stretches, or breathing exercises.
  • Dim the lights. Avoid bright lights in the evening. This includes the light from electronics as the illumination from the screens activates the brain.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. It’s best to avoid consuming any of these for at least 4 hours before going to bed. Alcohol is known to encourage the onset of sleep, but it disrupts sleep later when your body metabolizes the alcohol.
  • Eat right. A healthy, balanced diet will help you to sleep well, but timing is important. An empty stomach can be distracting, but a heavy meal too close to bedtime can be just as detrimental to sleep.
  • Stay positive. The more anxious you are, the more cortisol you’ll release into your body and the less likely you are to be able to sleep. Give yourself permission to let go of those negative thoughts. Put them away until tomorrow and instead focus on positive declarations that focus on feeling calm, peaceful, and sleeping well.
  • Set a bedtime. One of the best ways to train your body to sleep well is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends and days off.
Bedtime
  • Only sleep in your bed. Try not to use your bed for anything other than sleeping, so that your body associates bed with sleep. If you use your bed for everyday activities (like watching TV or paying bills) your body will connect your bed with being awake and alert.
  • Create the right space. It’s important that your bedroom is quiet and comfortable for sleeping. Design your sleep environment to be cool, quiet, and dark.
  • Don’t watch the clock. Frequently checking the clock through the night can wake you up and will reinforce negative thoughts and increase anxiety.
  • Don’t fight with sleep. If you’re wide awake, get out of bed and try again. Do something calming or boring until you feel sleepy, then return to bed. Don’t do anything too stimulating or interesting.
A good night’s sleep will benefit you more than you may realize. Make sleeping well a priority and you’ll soon see how much it will help you on your healing journey.
http://youniquefoundation.org/importance-sleep-survivors-sexual-abuse/


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gratitude

Gratitude, the practice of being thankful, has significant benefits for children. 

Gratitude can:
Boost overall well-being
Enhance group/team morale
Improve friendships
Protect from negative emotions associated with loss or stress
Encourage better grades
Improve pro-social behavior
Help promote good sleep

Practicing gratitude can be as simple as asking your child daily, "What are you thankful for today?" 


Teresa Handy M.S. Licensed School Counselor