The Hidden Power That Can Be Found After Trauma

I’ve been thinking today, about the hidden power that can be found after going through a traumatic experience. As crippling and devastating as the abuse I experience was–I survived. There’s something very powerful when I recognize this. The fact that I am alive. That each day I take another step toward recovery. That I am still standing. I am still speaking. I am still fighting. And when I think about it, I realize that if I can survive something so severe, what do I have to be afraid of now? Granted, the little girl inside of me is scared a lot. Scared of meeting new people. Scared of trying new things. Scared of starting a relationship and trusting someone else that might only lead to more pain and suffering. Scared of everything, it seems sometimes. But I remind her, she has survived worse. And if she can survive what she did, then everything else seems trivial in comparison. Why be afraid? So today I’m choosing to find a way to hold on to that power. I picked myself up off the floor. I got myself out of an abusive relationship. I lived through the night while my psycho ex was camped outside my bedroom. Years of stalking and harassment. I survived. If I can do that, then I can definitely survive a “normal” heartbreak. I can survive a bad day. Walking a runway in front of a thousand people. Meeting someone new for dinner. Speaking to a classroom full of people. Just...

Twelve

My cousin, Ella, is twelve. She watches me as I take off my dress at the pool and comments on my striped bikini, adjusting the straps of her own bathing suit and asking me how old I was when I started texting boys. I tell her, when I was her age, I didn’t have a cell phone. We had something crazy called instant messenger to talk to our friends and read the away messages of the boys we thought were cute. Later that night, she lays with her head on my stomach and runs through another list of questions, promising that each one is the last, but then finding another moment of confusion within each of my answers. I try to remember the things that I needed to hear when I was twelve, or that I would have liked to have known. Be patient; when you are older you will find a wonderful guy, but you’ll probably meet a lot of a-holes on the way; focus on what you want and don’t worry about what boys think of you; be a strong and independent girl…I try to think of answers that won’t scare her, but at the same time don’t give her false hope or senseless reinforcement to the idea that everything always works out in life and there is nothing to worry about. I find, it is a difficult balance. I don’t know exactly what these answers are, but I think maybe all she needs is just to have a chance to talk and to ask and to connect with someone who remembers what it feels like to...

Should I Break Up With Him?

“Sometimes things are bad, but are they really bad enough that I should break up with him? Maybe things will get better. Or maybe if I break up with him, then I will regret it and he will never take me back. I don’t know why I feel sad all the time, but I wish that things would just be fun again. I don’t know what to do.” Should I break up with him? Every relationship has ups and downs, but it can be hard sometimes to figure out whether or not you should break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Breaking up is hard. Think about how many songs people have written about a broken heart? Relationships become routine; it’s hard to imagine life without talking to your boyfriend every day. The love you feel can be strong; but sometimes the people who we love let us down. Most of the time things are not black and white. There’s no clear answer as to what we should do; or we know deep down what the answer is, but it’s not one we are ready to see yet or to accept. Reasons To Break Up: •Your boyfriend hits you or hurts you physically in any way. •Your boyfriend makes you feel stupid, fat, ugly or unworthy of anything •He has cheated on you. •He lies to you. •You don’t love him anymore. •You love him, but he hurts you. •He makes you feel like you are crazy. •He threatens to hurt you. •He controls who you hang out with, what you wear, or what you are allowed to do....