Confessions of a Frustrated Co-Dependent

WARNING: Confessions of a frustrated co-dependent. Things a child, no matter how old, should ever have to go through.

My mother told my sister last week, “Tell Teri to go to hell and I never want to see her again.” Obviously, intoxicated. This was a result of my discovering she was using a younger family member to drive her to the grocery (where there is a liquor store) and I informed that family member’s parent.

Two days ago she advised a family member she would be “drinking herself to death”. Same old story I’ve heard since I was a kid. Drunken slurs told to me as a child like, “Teri, this life does not matter. I want to be with Jesus. I just want to die. Death is beautiful. If you died I would celebrate. How lucky would that be.” A child. Being told by her mother that she would celebrate her child’s death.

I used to wake up and find my mother standing over me with a butcher knife in her hand. Her eyes would be lifeless. As if she was staring through me. I would cry as silently as possible so as not to startle her. My little sister always found her way into my bed and would wrap herself around me. It was a comfort for both of us.

Today I sit here furious. And bitter. And sad.

She is on another “I haven’t eaten in 3 days. I am no longer taking my medications. I am only going to drink until I die” missions.

I called 911 two days ago when she first threatened to kill herself as we cannot get into her secured building. She turned them away. Today I called her doctor and was advised to have the police accompany the paramedics as they will force her to go with them for a psych eval. Her building social worker called to tell me, that even though she had a “huge bottle of vodka” sitting next to her and a glass filled with it, the police left without taking her. And no paramedics were with them.

So I just printed off the “instructions for filing an emergency guardianship” paperwork. It states a physician must appear before the magistrate in a hearing to justify it is necessary to avoid immediate harm to the ward. I cannot get her to a hospital as she refuses transport.

She cannot live on her own, per her doctor’s own words, but I cannot force her to move until she’s no longer competent enough to make the choice. Apparently the police think she’s still competent enough to decide.

Therefore, we sit and wait. For our mother to sober herself up. Or die.

No child should EVER have to go through this hell.

I lost my mind on the social worker. I snapped. I cried. I screamed, “I’m fucking done. Let her die.”

I’ve reached out so many times for help. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

Mom, her books, and booze

This is the lady I grew up with. A bottle of alcohol always next to her. She would come home from work and pour a drink and sit down to read. I learned early on to lock myself in my room and put my headphones on and escape into my music. If I approached her, she would slur at me, “Can’t I just relax for five minutes? Just leave me alone!” Or, if I approached with happy news, “Mom! Look! I got a 93% on my test.” (A 93 was still an A back in the 70’s) Her response, “A 93? A 93? God gave you a brilliant mind, Teri. And you are wasting it. Why wasn’t it a 100%? You are disappointing God. And me.” And I would turn away, once again, belittled and shamed. Shamed for not being good enough.

She tried to drown me in a bathtub when I was 4, holding my head underwater. She told me I would be happier with Jesus. Until my dad came in and sucker-punched her across the bathroom. She landed between the toilet and cabinet.

She tried to kill my dad with a butcher knife. But, he lifted a chair in time in front of him as protection to have the blade completely penetrate the wood seat. I witnessed her hauled off in handcuffs on that occasion. I was 4 or 5.

She beat my sister relentlessly. She didn’t like her and made it clear. I got to listen to the screams from behind a locked bathroom door where I would hide for hours until it was quiet again.

She told me I was frumpy and ugly and used to show my 7th grade photo to people and laugh about how ugly I was. I had braces and a unibrow and yes, pretty hideous, but really?

When I was in my 20’s (after the bank robberies) I dressed conservatively for business. She would laugh and call me, “Margaret Thatcher” and advise me I needed to brighten myself up so people would think I was happy.

Yet, I have fought and fought and fought for this lady’s love and approval my entire life. All I wanted was for her to love me and accept me.

I know my life motto is #nevergiveup, but damn is this a tough battle to keep fighting. Please pray for strength and answers as we move forward with guardianship. And that I keep my cool and not explode in frustration again. I’m starting to reach the end of my rope with this one.

Thank you 💔

The Healing Place Podcast: Jaz Ampaw-Farr – Everyday Hero

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunes, Blubrry, Spotify, or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

What an absolute joy it was to chat “across the pond” with the beautiful, hilarious, and inspirational Jaz Ampaw-Farr. From her TEDx talk to her international motivational presentations, she is empowering others along their healing journeys. Thank you, Jaz for helping leave this world a better place – from your Tampax donation in the school bathroom to your work in prisons to your ability to make us laugh – your enthusiasm is contagious.

I encourage you to grab your tissues and watch her 11 minute TEDx talk. I promise it will be worth it!

Bio:

“It would be easy to say, you’ve never met anyone like Jaz before. Her passion for the potential we can uncover in ourselves when we are just 2% braver and her insight into how to remove the barriers that hinder connection between us and those we seek to influence make Jaz one of those people you will never forget.

Jaz’s story is one of growing up in the midst of most appalling abuse, poverty and hardship during which she encountered five adults (and, importantly, one pimp) whose belief in her literally saved her life. She shares her fantastic journey of how saying yes first allowed her to progress from council estate and foster care to advising international governments on education policy.

There are many messages leaders take away from listening to Jaz deliver keynotes across the UK, in the US (where she’s being called ‘The British Oprah’!) and elsewhere. Clearly, the impact that we have to connect and transform lives comes through loud and clear but there is more to it than just that.

Jaz also embodies the idea of bravery and the willingness to be defined by what you’ve tried even if you fail, rather than by what you could have done. Both her (very) brief stint on TV’s The
Apprentice, more substantial skills as a presenter on BBC’s Hard Spell Abbey and her career as a stand up comedian are good examples of this. And she shows that a human being can be
subject to the worst depravities of her fellow humans and not only survive, but thrive – and do so without anger or bitterness.

It is true, we are more than our stories, and Jaz shares strategies and insights in her work with humour, energy, honesty and an unswerving optimism in people and in authentic connection in
particular. Full of practical advice, for leaders from all industries, including the corporate, health and education sectors, her message is neatly summed up in her own words to those five teachers from her past and the title of her best selling book – Because Of You – This Is Me.”

Find out more about Jaz’s inspirational work at https://jazampawfarr.com/

Her book is currently available for pre-order in the U.K. on Amazon and will be released May 31, 2019.

Peace to you all!
Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/9813e51db66b/hope-for-healing-newsletter-december-2018

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

Coping Strategy: Write Letters of Forgiveness

I want to share one coping strategy a month. These are strategies I use (or have used) in my own life as I travel the healing journey. I hope they bring you tranquility, as well!


 WRITE LETTERS OF FORGIVENESS


Write letters of forgiveness to those who have hurt you. Then burn them. Set them free. Not for their sake, but for your own. Write a letter to God. To the universe. To fate. Whatever you feel has burdened you with something unbearable. Be honest in your letter. Release the emotions and, just like with the journaling, do not edit yourself. Let it flow. Free it! Free yourself!

The Healing Place Podcast Interview: Jason Lee – Living with the Dragon

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunes, Blubrry or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

What a deeply engaging yet fun-filled conversation I enjoyed with Jason Lee, discussing his personal triumphs and passion to help others, particularly men, along their healing journey from anger to tranquility. Thank you, Jason, for sharing your inspirational mission and shining the light of hope.

Bio:

“Jason Lee is an author based out of Coquitlam BC. He’s also a mental health advocate and speaker at events across Canada. His book Living with the Dragon, Healing 15000 Days of Abuse and Shame has received praise from counselors and comes highly recommended as a resource particularly for men in recovery from depression, anxiety and anger stemmed from childhood abuse trauma and trauma. He’s also the host of the Mangry Podcast which aims to redefine how men manage their anger. The Mangry Podcast is on iTunes and Spotify.

Jason believes that everyone has a story to share and it’s a matter of finding that delicate space of trust and compassion to do that in. He found his voice through speaking, writing, podcasting and blogging, connecting people through inspirational words and ideas.

Jason enjoys basketball, exercising, camping, board games and spending time with his son.

Visit: ImJustJason.com to learn more.”

Find out more about Jason’s inspirational work at https://imjustjason.com/.

P.S. After we recorded our interview, Jason created his own podcast, Mangry: Redefining Men’s Anger. Be sure to check it out on Spotify and iTunes!

Peace to you all!
Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/9813e51db66b/hope-for-healing-newsletter-december-2018

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

Positivities of Persistence Series: Persistence & Positivity Defined

Positivities of Persistence


Grab that journal or note pad and let’s get our positivity on! This month we will address the following two Positivies of Persistence areas together:

  1. What does persistence really mean? 
  2. How do we define positivities?

So, what does persistence really mean?

By definition: “Persistence, as used in psychology, refers to a personality trait that causes a person to persevere in a task despite obstacles or frustrations rather than simply giving up. This trait, often associated with stubbornness and perfectionism, is a prime ingredient in success in many pursuits such as athletics, academics, business, etc. One common example of this is seen in sports where a player continues to play the game despite injuries, rather than abandon the game and their teammates” Persistence. (n.d.). In Alleydog.com’s online glossary. Retrieved from: https://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition-cit.php?term=Persistence

My sister once told me I am the most persistent person she’s ever met. I consider that one of my most treasured compliments to date. Considering my trauma history it’s miraculous I found the gift of persistence. Or was it?

While some scholars may attribute persistence to a need for control, I like to take the stance with those who look at persistence as a will to not give up. More and more research is emerging on resilience and its positive impact in off-setting ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) even learned resilience skills in adulthood. My opinion is that persistence is fueled by resilience. Thankfully, my persistence trait was forged from the resilience instilled in me by supportive relationships in my childhood (my grandmother, my best friend’s parents, and a kind-hearted teacher). 

Think about your own life. Would you consider persistence as a trait you hold? If not, do you believe you can develop it?

Exercise: Write down THREE ways you have demonstrated persistence in your life. Then choose ONE of those and write yourself a one-page (or more) thank you letter.

Next, let’s look at positivity . . . what is it?

“The state or character of being positive: a positivity that accepts the world as it is.” Positivity. (noun). Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/positivity\

Considering my nickname is “glitter-shitter” . . . I can probably talk this one up! However, it really is a work in progress and took some self-esteem work to reach this status of looking at life from a rainbows-and-sunshine perspective (most days). 

Practicing positive affirmations (see my website for a scrolling list of heart-shaped affirmations I created for myself), mindfulness exercises and focusing on being present in the NOW, along with concerted efforts to look for the gift within difficult moments, all contributed to this positive state of being. 

Do you consider yourself a positive person? If not, are you willing to take steps in order to create a more positive outlook?

Exercise: Make a list of ways you have demonstrated positvity in your life. Your list can have 1, 10, 100, 1000 examples. Whatever you feel compelled to write. Then examine ONE of those more closely, writing down as much detail as possible about that particular positivity event. 

Coming up next month: A checklist of positive outcomes and Habits and hurdles.

Excerpt from my upcoming April, 2019 Hope for Healing Newsletter.

The Healing Place Podcast Interview: Jim Ellis & Dr. Sara Gilman – Keeping the Peace

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunes, Blubrry or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

What a hope-infused conversation with Jim Ellis and Dr. Sara Gilman regarding the soon-to-be-released educational film, Keeping the Peace.

“A 30-minute educational film – titled Keeping the Peace – will be gifted to police agencies across San Diego and then the nation for in-house training of officers. The purpose? To bring awareness to the stresses and traumas experienced by officers and law enforcement personnel while on duty in order to empower them to normalize their emotional and mental responses to on-the-job experiences and to take action in alleviating, diffusing and treating the symptoms of trauma (PTSD), so that they can retain wellness in all areas of their lives.”

Jim’s Bio:

James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning playwright and reporter who owns Legacy Production, a San Diego production company that in 2012 produced the acclaimed “Indoctrinated: The Grooming of our Children into Prostitution.” An author of eight books and producer of 100 video presentations, Ellis is now working on a new educational film “Keeping The Peace” supporting law enforcement officers in their mental and emotional wellness.

Websites:

Company: http://www.LegacyProductions.org

Contributions: https://chuffed.org/project/keepingthepeace

“Keeping The Peace” – direct to page http://legacyproductions.org/keeping-the-peace-for-the-peace-keepers/

I Have Seen montage – YouTube https://youtu.be/ZOoY0CAvlBY

Dr. Sara Gilman’s bio:

Dr. Gilman, is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, and has a doctorate degree in Psychology, with a certification in Sports Psychology. In 2017, her doctoral dissertation focused on the effects of cumulative traumatic stress exposure in first responders and the use of EMDR as an early intervention. For the past 32 years, she has specialized in the areas of Traumatic Stress, Addictions, and Peak Performance. She is the co-founder and President of Coherence Associates, Inc., an individual & family counseling corporation, with offices in Encinitas & Rancho Bernardo. The CAI team of counselors is dedicated to expanding human potential through the coherence of mind, body & spirit through clinical excellence, integrity, and compassion. Additionally, Dr. Gilman holds certifications in EMDR Therapy, CISM, NLP, Hypnosis, Coaching, and HeartMath.

She is a former Firefighter/EMT and served on the San Diego Critical Incident Stress Management Team for over 10 years. She was awarded Fellowship status with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress for her extensive work in utilizing EMDR with first responders following critical incidents. She was elected to serve on the EMDR International Association Board of Directors, is a former EMDRIA Past-President, and contributing author in 2 books addressing treating trauma in 911-Telecommunicators with EMDR Therapy. Sara is an invited speaker nationally and appears on radio and TV discussing the topics of stress, trauma, addiction, and mental toughness. Counseling for Individuals, Families, Couples, Children Peak Performance & Mental Toughness Training; First Responders, Athletes, Performers

Sara G.Gilman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T., President/Owner www.CoherenceAssociates.com

Peace to you all!

Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/999ad011495f/hope-for-healing-newsletter-february-2019

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

The Healing Place Podcast Interview: Joyelle Brandt – Parenting with PTSD

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunes, Blubrry or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

I am grateful to have had the chance to sit down with Joyelle Brandt to discuss her mission of helping those who are parenting with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Thank you, Joyelle, for sharing your personal story and the beautiful work you are doing helping others along their parenting and healing journey. What a gift for those families and the children who will benefit from the steps their parents are taking to heal.

Bio:

“Joyelle Brandt is a self care coach for moms. She specializes in working with mothers who are survivors of abuse, to help them develop a personalized self soothing toolkit for stress management. As aspeakermothering coach, and multi-media creator, Joyelle works to dismantle the stigma that keeps childhood abuse survivors stuck in shame and self-hatred.  She is the author/illustrator of Princess Monsters from A to Z and co-editor of Parenting with PTSD, the groundbreaking anthology that breaks the silence about the long-term impact of childhood trauma so that parents can break the cycle of abuse.

When she is not busy raising two rambunctious boys, she is most often found playing her guitar or covered in paint at her art desk. You can keep up with Joyelle at www.joyellebrandt.com

Parenting Coach to survivor mamas, Healing trauma through creativity.Buy your copy of Parenting with PTSDon AmazonSign up for Joyelle’s newsletter to get the first chapter free!

From Joyelle’s website:

“As a speaker, mothering coach, and multi-media creator, I work to break the silence that keeps childhood abuse survivors stuck in shame and self-hatred. I believe that our stories possess the power to transform our greatest pain into beautiful works of art.

Find out more about Joyelle’s mission and works of art at www.joyellebrandt.com.

Peace to you all!
Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/9813e51db66b/hope-for-healing-newsletter-december-2018

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

The Healing Place Podcast Interview: Suzie Gruber – NARM & Somatic Experiencing

Welcome to The Healing Place Podcast! I am your host, Teri Wellbrock. You can listen in on iTunes, Blubrry or directly on my website at www.teriwellbrock.com/podcasts/. You can also watch our insightful interview on YouTube.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful conversation with Suzie Gruber regarding the utilization of NARM (Neuroaffective Relational Model) and Somatic Experiencing, both non-intrusive approaches to healing traumatic events and ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), her personal history with these approaches on both personal and professional levels, along with some joyous laughter throughout.

Bio: Suzie Gruber, M.A., SEP., holds advanced degrees in chemistry & psychology. She spent 15 years in biotechnology before returning to her first love: inspiring people to transform their lives.  A Somatic Experiencing and a Neuroaffective Relational Model (NARM) Practitioner in private practice in Ashland, OR Suzie also leads seminars that teach people about complex trauma and the imprints it leaves behind. Additionally, Suzie is the Research Director for the NARM Training Institute and assists NARM practitioner trainings.

From Suzie’s website:

“My deepest passion lies in helping you improve your life today. You have an innate drive towards connection, aliveness, and success, a primal urge that gives you the strength and courage to change, regardless of what you face along the way. I’m here to help you do that.

I came to this place in a kind of circuitous way. After earning undergraduate and graduate degree in Chemistry (Harvey Mudd College and then Princeton University), I spent 15 years in the biotechnology industry working in Operations for start-up companies. Although I was quite successful in my career and I enjoyed the never ending, high energy challenges of start-ups, my first career never quite fit the deeper me. I had to honor my own primal urge to do what I love, help you come alive.

When I learned about peak oil, environmental issues, and the instabilities in our economic system, I knew I had to listen to my own deeper voice. I decided to completely rebuild my professional life from the ground up, first getting a Master’s Degree in Psychology and then becoming a Somatic Experiencing® (SE) practitioner and most recently training in the Neuroaffective Relational ModelTM. I offer a combination of these two modalities because they changed my life. I moved away from feeling crisis-driven on a daily basis, to instead experiencing each day with greater aliveness and success and enjoying more satisfying relationships.”

Find out more about Suzie’s healing work at https://suziegruber.com/

Be sure to download her FREE Stress First Aid Kit ebook, too! https://suziegruber.com/getyourfreebook/

Peace to you all!
Teri

Hope for Healing Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/9813e51db66b/hope-for-healing-newsletter-december-2018

Book Launch Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/unicornshadows/

Coping Strategy: Stop and Be

Coping Strategy

From my Hope for Healing monthly newsletter Coping Strategy section:

I want to share one coping strategy a month. These are strategies I use (or have used) in my own life as I travel the healing journey. I hope they bring you tranquility, as well!

STOP AND BE

This is a strategy I utilized along my own healing journey. STOP AND BE. At first it was . . . well . . . terrifying. Trying to simply allow and notice the panic symptoms was difficult for someone, like me, who has a propensity for avoidance of feeling scared, anxious, or uncomfortable. Learning to feel comfortable in my own body was a challenge. But, I used my learned coping skills and very quickly developed the skills necessary to simply “stop and be”.

What is Present-Centered Therapy?

What is Present-Centered Therapy?


Present-Centered Therapy is a non-trauma focused treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This therapy modality is called “present centered” as the goal is to focus on the client’s current/present life while recognizing the connection between PTSD symptoms and current struggles. All the while doing this without focusing on past traumatic events.

There are a host of therapy options when it comes to treating PTSD and C-PTSD symptoms and they reside under different treatment umbrellas: medication treatment, trauma-focused therapy, and non-trauma focused therapy.

I have utilized all three! When I was first experiencing severe panic attacks (but, not yet given a C-PTSD diagnosis), I was prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. I eventually requested to be weaned off of all medications and challenged myself to learn coping strategies while continuing “talk therapy”. I began psychotherapy with a licensed practitioner in 2013 and we started the process of shining a light on my trauma history. This counselor suggested EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as an alternative and I moved into that therapy practice. It was there that I started the deep-dive back into my trauma history, reliving traumatic events throughout my sessions. I participated in ninety-eight EMDR and brainspotting sessions which spanned a four-year period.

The goal for YOU (or anyone in your life seeking therapeutic support), is to find what works best for you and your needs. You know YOU best. The key is to research your therapy options, then research therapists who specialize in the treatment you have chosen for yourself. Continue your self-care journey by reading the latest research on brain plasticity (the brain’s ability to change) and evolving therapies.