Question of the Week:Nurturing Ourselves

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Registered: 05-14-2003
Question of the Week:Nurturing Ourselves
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Tue, 07-01-2003 - 2:02pm
I'm reading a book right now, given to me by my counselor, called "Outgrowing the Pain" by Eliana Gil. She writes that many adults who are abused as children missed out on part of their childhood, and encourages us to recapture some of it by doing fun, "childish" things. A lot of times when we have been abused we have a hard time defining "fun" or thinking of things we'd like to do, because we've had to grow up early and learn how to survive. She says, "If you have always had a secret wish, there is no better time than now to pursue it. Perhaps you've always wanted to see the inside of a bowling alley, go to a baseball game, listen to live music, or roller skate in the park. Arrange to do just that. . .Go ahead, you deserve it."

So I thought it might be a fun question to ask ourselves: What kind(s) of things have you always wanted to do that sound fun, but have never done? Think of simple, attainable things that don't necessarily require a lot of money or travel. This is to help come up with some ideas for nurturing kinds of things we can do for ourselves. If it's hard to think of at first, try making a list of things you wonder about, and start trying them out. Allow yourself to enjoy yourself. The author says that this kind of exploration can help us feel more connected to the world around us, and help the floating and drifting feeling to disappear over time. This helps us to find ourselves as we really are, not who we were told we were, or grew up to think we were.

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 10:18am
Hi there. Thanks for the question and article. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything, but will give it some thought.

One thing I've wondered a lot lately -- do other SA survivors ever remember dreaming of a job when they were kids?

For the life of me, I cannot remember ever saying or thinking 'when I grow up, I want to be a ....'

For some reason I think this 'says a lot' -- I'm just not sure what it's saying. :\

Even now when my T or someone asks me what's my 'ideal' job I don't have one (or can't think of one, or haven't ID'd it yet).

Hope everyone is well.

Hugz,

Mia

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 6:44pm
I guess I had such feelings of low self-esteem and also of shame about a lot of things even beyond my experience with being molested, that I never thought I could do much of anything. Its taken me all of my 20's to figure out I CAN do something and that my ideas aren't stupid. Anyway, I want to learn how to swim. I want to just quietly go and learn how to swim. I have to go read that book......
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 9:38pm
You pose a good question. I used to imagine myself as an adult, but not in terms of a job. I dreamt of unattainable things for the most part, like being a TV or movie actress, or a singer. I think it's because I craved approval and recognition. Job wise, I had no clue. I wanted to major in music in college but my parents talked me into secretarial work because it was "marketable." (yuck)

It's only been over the last year, and I'll be 37 in November, that I've developed a clearer vision of what I'd like to do. I've been a SAHM, and now that my kids are older I want to go into counseling. My therapist is my inspiration. I've learned so much from being in counseling myself, and I think it would be very fulfilling to me to be able to help others. No way could I have done this had I pursued that education program as a young adult, because I had such a distorted sense of self and I lived largely in a fantasy world. I still have a lot of self-doubt, and am nervous to just "go for it." I keep finding reasons to put off going back to school, and I know a lot of it is fears.

I wonder if the reason this kind of thing was so elusive is because in a lot of ways we had to already be adults. We had to sacrifice ourselves in lots of ways, and that is a very adult role.

My thoughts on the subject--Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 9:46pm
I totally think you should take swimming lessons! Our community center here offers lessons for adults. Is there someplace similar where you can learn? What a wonderful feeling that would be! I firmly believe that it's never too late to learn something.

I think our experiences robbed us of a lot of childhood. Not just childhood experiences, but childhood dreams and that sense that we can be anything we want to be. And the feelings that come with being abused are sad, weighted down feelings, so we didn't know how to just have fun. I don't think I really ever understood what it was to "enjoy myself." I have caught glimpses of it at various times, but they have been fleeting.

I'm glad you were able to identify something you'd like to do. I hope that you have an opportunity to follow that desire.

Hugs, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 9:50pm
Well, I think you'd make a great therapist.

It's sort of funny, on another board I was asking the "get to know you" question and was asking what others' 'dream job' was. A few of them answered SAHMs. It was like a light bulb went off in my head -- THAT was what I wanted.

I'd never allowed myself to feel that before. And growing up, I took classes for college preparation ... not home ec, etc.

We are a strange bunch sometimes, huh?

hugz to you. Have a happy and safe 4th!!

Mia/Pansy

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Thu, 07-03-2003 - 6:51pm
Well i'll tell you this much, since my son was a year and a half he's been painting and coloring. When i join him i usually carry on long after he's done. I believe it's called color therepy, highly recommended i hear. Other than that i can't wait for a nice warm summer rain so i can introduce my son to puddle swimming. My sister and i would have a lot of fun in big puddles and having mudfights.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Fri, 07-04-2003 - 1:42am
Cute mom! Your son is blessed to have a mom who spends that kind of time with him. I'm glad that you find those activities do enjoyable for yourself, too.

Puddles and mudfights sound great, too! One of my friends and I got got into a HUGE waterfight one time in the rain with puddles, and we were 21! It was a riot. It's so fun to cut loose sometimes and have fun that way.

Thanks for sharing that--I enjoyed reading about it.

Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Sat, 07-05-2003 - 1:42pm
Oh Lord i agree! I was just asked that question again the other day. "What did you dream of being when you grow up?" I have never had an answer. All i ever wanted to be was a mom. Jobs never factored in and anything that had ever been suggested to me was so dissappointing as to have been dismissed. My bio-mom's mother suggested i "hitchhike around Europe and come back and be a hairdressor". Excuse me? If my parents had asspirations for me i never heard them. Just the one that i never tell anybody the truth. Oh Look! I'm dissappointing them again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Sat, 07-05-2003 - 2:34pm
I guess I should answer my question!

There are some things I'd like to go back to, like going back to performing vocally and taking voice lessons again. The voice lessons cost money monthly, though, and I feel that now isn't the right time since our kids are at the ages where they are doing teams, lessons, etc.

I thought of something I'd like to do that doesn't involve money, though. We live really close to the mountains, and there is a paved trail in one area that goes to the foot of the waterfalls there. We've been a few times for Cub Scout pack meeting and as a family, because my daughter loves going up there and hiking up the falls. There is also a creek there with lots of rocks in the bed, and I love the sound of the water rushing over those rocks. I've been trying to be more consistent with exercise, and have often thought how neat it would be to drive up there (only takes about 15 minutes) and do my walking on the paved trail, and then sit on one of the big rocks along the creek and read, write or just quietly enjoy myself. I haven't done it, and think that is something I could do for myself.

Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 10:19pm
Okay, probably a really stupid question, and if the answer were a snake, it would probably have bit me by now. What the heck is an SAHM?

Nurturing myself. My most favorite thing is to play with my grandson. He's 19 months old and I adore him. We discovered puddles recently. He has a new bubble mower and walking around barefooted outside, he meandered through a puddle. The look on his face as he felt the puddle on his feet, and looked down to see it and experimented with his feet and wound up stomping around in circles and sitting down to splash with his hands was most excellent. He is a little miracle just being alive and healthy and a little bit developmentally behind, so every discovery is that much more precious.

Also, reading. I like Harry Potter books. Mysteries, too. No brainer type things. I've just read a mystery series by a lady whose last name is Evanavich (sp?). One for the Money is the title of one of them (I think). Two for the Dough is another (I think). Hubby doesn't understand why I like to read though, since I can never remember authors or titles and sometimes get confused and merge two or more book plots together in my head.

And water. Floating and reading is perfect.

Deb

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