In my 20’s, I had the belief that…
- moving out of the projects
- getting a higher education
- accomplishing all my goals
- and making a lot of money
…would bring me happiness, safety, and fulfillment.
But, it didn’t and it hasn’t.
I dreamed of a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment the day I graduated with my Master’s Degree. I thought I would fall to my knees and cry for this amazing accomplishment.
Which is why I was confused and puzzled by my unhappiness and sense of emptiness.
I felt lonely and disconnected.
What most people didn’t know was that I was in an abusive relationship that was depleting the shit out of me.
I felt a lot of shame and constantly blamed myself…
How was a smart person letting this happen?
This wasn’t my first time being in this situation, but it was by far the worst and most abusive. At the time, I still didn’t make the connection. I just knew I was yearning for something deeper and safer.
Fast forward a year into being a school psychologist I found myself still in the abusive relationship. I found myself crying often and in despair. I felt confused, overwhelmed, and fantasized about the day when I would live in peace and connected to my family and friends again.
I questioned myself every day and a huge part of me felt conflicted because here I was helping others, but I couldn’t help myself. I felt stuck and hypocritical. Days and months went on and the situation chipped away at my soul.
I started losing weight, experienced more anxiety, and became more and more depressed. I felt helpless and hopeless and stuck.
How do I get out?
I was also carrying a lot of responsibility at that time. I was head of the household, paying for most things. I felt there was a lot at stake and the pressure was weighing on me.
So, I thought… I need to take baby steps and decided to join a domestic violence group.
I felt shame and embarrassment at the time – but I signed up. I knew I couldn’t do this alone. I was starting to get scared. My abusive relationship was escalating to the point of physical harm. I knew I had to leave, but I didn’t know how to. While in the group I realized how bad my situation was.
I finally felt validated.
With the guidance of the therapist, I developed a safety plan and started telling my friends and family. I remember the day I decided to break it off. I was scared as fuck. This moment came after so many failed attempts.
After successfully getting out of this relationship – with the help of a colleague at that time – I still went back. But I knew deep inside this shit was not going to work and I felt unsafe sooo I backed away little by little.
The truth is, this situation kept repeating in my life over and over again. I kept choosing men that violated my boundaries, emotionally and psychologically abused me, gaslighted the shit out of me. These type of people showed up not only in my relationships, but through my friends, colleagues, bosses, instructors, and even within myself.
I never felt safe, loved, heard, seen, nada!!hide
Now, five years later, I can say that I am living more in alignment with my values, and I’m definitely happier, safer, and fulfilled now than I was then. I still make mistakes, there is still more work to be done. But I know it’s not money, education or a fancy job title that will leave me feeling fulfilled and at peace in my life.
It is the inner work, the healing, the ability to live connected and fulfilled to my own self and in turn, with others.
These skills are important in order to recognize the problems faster and pivot, before things get out of control or before you begin to lose yourself.
That’s why I love the work that I do because it’s not about the external. The right job, person, place won’t make you happy if you’re not alignment with your true self.
Your first steps:
Take personal responsibility for yourself and cultivate self-awareness. Use every opportunity to learn about yourself and to learn how to connect to yourself. Every challenge and experience will teach you about yourself and the more you do the inner work, the more aligned you and your life will become.
Need a little extra support to help you focus on the inner work? I am here for you. Reach out to me here for a complimentary consultation.