Wow. I’m shocked that it’s been a week since I published a post here. I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes, editing and deleting posts in my archives. I’ve been blogging for 20 years, but a lot of that was on different domains. This domain is 14 years old, so that’s a lot of posts to wade through.
Some of this trip down memory lane brought up feelings of sadness, and there is grief I need to process.
This entire week has been hard due to some triggers from my religious past.
I had a long talk with a friend yesterday, someone who has known me since I was a toddler. He too was a cult born-in who left. There are things that people who weren’t raised in these circumstances can never fully understand. It’s natural that we are drawn to other survivors.
I told him that I’d been regressing this week due to some big doctrinal and policy changes of the organization we’d been part of. That I felt like a little girl who was terrified of getting in trouble. Even though I knew logically the religion is nonsense, that little girl was reactivated and scared. The adult in me said,
“I feel so unmoored, like I have no foundation, everything is shifting underneath my feet, and the rug keeps getting pulled out from under me. Other than parenting my children, which I’m so grateful for because it gives my life purpose, I don’t have any thing in my life that is long-term or that feels like a foundation or that gives me stability.“
He said something very beautiful in response.
“Carrie, you are that stability. I’ve known you since you were a baby, and you’re exactly the same person you always were. You haven’t changed. You are that foundation you’re looking for. You’re so smart and you’ve made decisions in your life to protect your kids and give them stability too. Even your oldest (the son who is shunning me as a result of my leaving the cult), whether he realizes it or not, had that stability from you. You need to remind yourself of that.”
I’m sharing this conversation with you because there are two things I want you to think about.
One, my friend is saying the same thing I’d heard many times in my therapist’s office. I’d read it hundreds of times in books from other mental health experts. That the safety we are seeking must come from within. It’s a feeling we need to cultivate from our relationships to ourselves, because that is a constant. Hearing it from a friend just landed differently.
Second, my friend is another person in a long line of people who tells me I’m smart. Yet I don’t view myself that way. Why? Is there some positive view that many others have of you that contradicts how you see yourself?
Enough navel-gazing for now. I hope that resonates in some way.
Are you worried about A.I. and what it means for the future of humanity? I loved this positive spin: How A.I. will save the world. It’s lengthy but worth reading.
I’m a sucker for a great cleaning hack. I love my microfiber spin mop (affiliate link) but I’d never thought about using it to clean my walls and other large surfaces. What a great idea! Note: it’s a good idea to test your painted walls before cleaning them this way, as it’s only recommended for satin or glossy paint.
From the archives:
Post ovulation depression – this page continues to be one of the most popular on this site thanks to Google. I’m peri-menopausal and I don’t think I ovulate anymore, so I’m glad to be free of this phenomenon. However, it seems to be common enough and there’s very little information about it to help women who experience it. Just knowing other women experience it and that it’s not “all in our heads” is comforting, no?
Speaking of women’s bodies…..
This week I’m reading:
Eve by Cat Bohannon (this is a reader-supported site, and this is an Amazon affiliate link, meaning I earn a few pennies if you use it to make a purchase. Thank you!)
I heard a snippet of an NPR interview with the author, and my ears perked up because the conversation was about human milk. Long time readers of this blog know that I was a La Leche League leader for several years, and all of my seven children were breastfed (for years, not months).
I love this book. Female bodies are miraculous, and more needs to be done to study them. Did you know, for instance, that most drugs are not tested on female bodies? Even though our bodies respond quite differently to medications?