Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm here. Now what?

I woke up this morning with a strange feeling. I don't know how to describe it other than, "I'm here."

I remember being in a group at CFC where they asked us to define what recovery would like. How would we know when we were recovered?

My answer was, "When I love myself more than I hate myself."
I've been there for a while. I feel a lot of love for me. And I don't think I ever hate myself... I get caught up in old stories sometimes, but it doesn't feel like the hatred and self-loathing I have felt.

When Paul and I talked about what healing from abuse would look like. I told him I wanted to be free of flashbacks, nightmares, and body memories. (I made sure to differentiate. I don't want to know how to cope with them. I want them GONE!)
I'm not completely free. I am still dealing with body memory pain on occasion. I still have nightmares about once a week. The pseudo-seizures are completely gone. Flashbacks have changed so completely that although I still have moments where I am thrown back to the past, they last for a few seconds, and then I remember where I am, when I am, and I figure that will keep changing until one day I will remember what happened, but not go back there, even for a few seconds. (Not sure if that makes sense. It makes sense in my own head.)

I started this blog because I was SO busy pretending, I needed a place where I could find me. Figure out who I was. Talk about the pain, the abuse, the miracles.

My own family had NO clue that Larry was ever abusive, and very little clue about how my relationship with Dann really was. They had no idea who I was. They had no idea how much pain I was in, or the battle I was waging. They had no idea what I thought about anything, because I never shared. That's different now. I talk pretty openly about what I think, feel, and my experiences. I don't hide or pretend. I have many friends who know ME. I am not in hiding anymore. I am pretty much the same everywhere I go.

I also now stand up for myself. I'm still learning what that really looks like, but I'm not afraid to say, "I don't like that." I'm not afraid to walk away from a situation that is harmful to me. I'm not afraid to say, "No," well... at least I'm less afraid to say no than I ever have been before.

So, now what?
I've been fighting with everything I have to get to this place. I don't think I ever really believed I would get here. I thought I would be fighting for the rest of my life... so, really, now what?

What do I do next? I know I'm not done learning or growing or changing or progressing. I am just not sure what I want.
What do I want this blog to look like? The intro at the top no longer fits. I'm definitely not done blogging... I really like writing. It is still incredibly helpful to me, and I love getting feedback and hearing other people's thoughts and insights. I'm not done... I just feel like there's a change coming.

I'm excited. A little nervous. Full of hope, wonder, joy, and gratitude.
I'm only 32. There's a whole lot of life ahead of me. And it can be anything I want it to be.
This is just cool.


  1. ::big cheesy grin::

    Very happy for you!

    All I can say is find what you love and enjoy it without restraint.

  2. It feels good when you feel good, doesn't it? Coming through the pain of the past and looking forward to the future with hope and anticipation is a wonderful feeling. I've been there so I think I know where you're coming from. Fortunately for you, at 32 you have a lot of years ahead of you. I'm 59 so I don't have as many, but I feel lucky that the years I do have left will be filled with what I want them to be filled with - and not what anyone else tells me they should be filled with.

    I'm cheering for you as you move forward.

  3. I'm happy for you, for your new attitude. Your outlook is fresh, positive, and full of hope. The great thing about where you're at is that you can just let go and enjoy life. Enjoy today. No guilt, no pressure to try to be someone you don't know you can be, and just be you. I think you're great Jen!

  4. This is fabulous! I guess now it's just all about how many dreams can you pursue before you die. You may have to change the title of the blog along the way, but worse things have happened. :)

  5. It's been a while since I last visited your blog, and a lot has changed in your life since then. But, I have to ask, have you ever read any of the works by Natalie R. Collins ( or Martha Nibley Beck ( I think both may have had experiences similar to your own which were ignored/devalued by Mormon authorities at the time.

    Of course, I am openly, unapologetically gay, and have my own axe to grind--we queers also have been, and still continue to be, put down by authorities such as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Boyd Packer, who supposedly speaks for God and Jesus when he persistently continues to call us "impure" and "unnatural." In the interest of civility, I will withhold my instinctive response to Apostle Packer's life-long bigotry against gays and lesbians.

    But, I sincerely hope you will find the happiness and comfort you seek with "a horse, a goat, and a cat" amidst those gorgeous mountains in the picture on your home page.


  6. Thank you everyone!

    Jeff, I want to change the name of the blog, sine the old name doesn't fit... Still trying to figure what it will be, and really... Who I will be. :)

    Boris, I haven't heard of Natalie Collins before, I have read some of Martha Nibley's story. I have seen way too many people who's experiences are invalidated and discarded by those in authority. I get really angry at that.

    And although where I fit sexually remains unclear to me. (I still happily claim the label of asexual.) I don't like the things Packer has said. In my ideal world, people would just disregard his words and move on. I also understand that is nearly impossible as long as people think he speaks directly for God.

    And thank you!! I wish peace for you too.

  7. Jen, you are such an amazing sister and I've always been call you my big sister! I'm so happy you are more at peace than you have been. I just hope you find something to continue striving for. I don't know what it is that's right for you, I just know that you're on your way to making the world a better place for it is that you will do!