The five stages of grief


Hello everyone:

Today I would like to talk about the stages of grief, when I was in Alpha House we talked about this subject on many occasions here is one of the articles that we were given to read.

Denial

  • Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, reality etc. on the situation concerned . It is a defense mechanism and perfectly natural. Some people can become locked in this stage when dealing with a traumatic event or change that we ignore.
  • This was me for twenty-five years and it was not until I got to Alpha House that it was staring me in the face realizing that denial was hindering my progress in life I had to face the music and start dealing with all this denial that I have held on to for so many years.

Anger

  • Anger can manifest in different ways. People dealing with emotional upset are angry with themselves and/or with others, especially those close to them. Knowing this helps keep detached  and non-judgemental when experiencing the anger of someone who is very upset.
  • This was me many years ago always angry kept myself detached from everyone and everything never wanting to go out kept myself isolated all the time hardly ate slept here and there and so much emotional upset that I did not know how to deal with it I went into major depression and was at the lowest point in my life.

Bargaining

  • People facing serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution especially if it’s a matter of life or death.
  • I never did any of that I was just trying as best I could to get through the days.

Depression

  • Depression is also called preparatory grieving, although this stage means different things depending on who it involves. It is a sort of acceptance with emotional attachment. It’s natural to feel sadness and regret, fear, uncertainty. It shows that the person has at least begun to accept the reality.
  • This was me back then and there are still days when I still struggle with depression.

Acceptance

  • This stage varies according to the persons situation, although broadly it is an sign that there is some emotional detachment and objectivity.
  • I have made some big improvements in  my life now that I have been able to accept a number of things but have to admit there are some other things that I have not been able to accept yet stemming back to when I was married which I may talk about in future blog entries.
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Self-esteem and how it affects you


I came across this article all about self-esteem the other day from Alpha House and would now like to share it with you

Definition of self-esteem is:

Many things make up  self-esteem. Here are some of the key components and what I used to do and sometimes I still do.

  • The ideas you have about yourself when I left my partner I thought of myself as a looser and failure.
  • How you feel about yourself I have to tell you I was not in a good place.
  • What you say about yourself  constant self sabotage that is what I was doing.
  • How you act towards yourself and how you act toward others I did not want to talk to anyone and kept myself isolated most of the time I also got sick because I hardly ever ate and had a sleep problem which I still do.
  • The trust you have in yourself I did not have any I was always second guessing myself and what I was doing.
  • The acceptance you have in yourself I wanted to change to a better person however I had no guidance from anyone to help get me there.
  • The acceptance for who you are I constantly go through struggles, feeling alone most of the time still in a state of depression and have now accepted things for the way that they are getting through life the best way I know how and reading lots of self-help books..
  • The awareness of your abilities, competencies and limitations I have many abilities competent at many things and have some limitations.

How is self-esteem developed?

Self-esteem is not developed  solely by a single reason, in fact, many factors help to shape our self-esteem.

  • The environment where we were raised  in I had a wonderful childhood with my parents I never knew what abuse was or that it was even existent.
  • Your parents limitations and expectations of you from any other significant adult raising you I did not have to deal with that.
  • Other people’s beliefs in your abilities being significant adults, teachers, coach,counsellor, mentor, godparents, grandparent or guardian there were so many people who believed in me and my abilities I always felt so good about myself and I was always so happy I looked so forward to going to school and then coming home and spending the evening with my parent’s life for me back then was great.
  • Learned messages from others which were from childhood and carried into adulthood to help form your self concept.Well, this one is hard for me one thing I remember is that my mother’s sister Kathleen when I was eight years old  I was over at her house cleaning her bathroom and remember hearing from her the words “when your mother and father are gone I want nothing more to do with you” I am now fifty and remember this clearly from forty-two years ago, I kept this to myself and never told my parents because I know how much it would hurt them and I also did not want to cause any friction in the family.
  • Accumulation of your life’s emotional experiences both good and bad I’m not sure where to start with this one as mentioned in statement three and four these are some of the things I dealt with growing up and now that I am an adult there are other factors as well I have been in many bad relationships before and with the help of Alpha House I have been able to stop the cycle of abuse and violence I have also unfortunately been put in a situation on more than one occasion where I have been homeless eating in a soup kitchen and although I am happy that there are places such as these it really does not do much for your self-esteem  I think that was one of the lowest points in my life there are many other factors but to heavy to get into now perhaps an other day.
  • Relationships with friends, partners, children directly affects  how you see yourself and what you think about yourself  I am so afraid of anyone getting too close to me as I do not want anyone seeing my faults.
  • How others treat you and what they say about you  Quite honestly I`m afraid to know what other people say about me.

All these external forces help to shape and formulate our self-esteem and self-image. Self-image is pictures or images you have about yourself in your mind.

Self-talk is what one says about yourself. Self-talk is a link between self-awareness and self-esteem. It can either reinforce an already existing image or used to change opinions and attitudes you have about yourself. Positive self talk is a powerful tool for change and improvement which I find sometimes very hard to do.

Negative self-talk and negative thoughts are very destructive and disempowering which I have found myself doing lots of in the past. It is critical to consciously pay attention to these and to arrest them in mid thought or mid sentence.

Things to remember

  • It’s important to remember we have a choice.
  • We can choose being negative or choose being positive sometimes I need to remind myself of this.
  • We can choose to change the way we see ourselves or stay the way we are.

We can begin by changing to positive self-talk.

People with good self-esteem can:

  • Make their own decisions.
  • Ask others for help.
  • Have faith in their own competency.
  • Appreciate their own worth.
  • Respect others.
  • Show trust and hope.
  • Accept feelings without guilt.
  • Accept responsibility for their behavior.

Anger Management


For many years I was very bitter and angry had no idea on how to deal with it then I moved into Alpha House in Winnipeg which is a second stage shelter and soon to realize that what I had longed for which was to let go of my anger and finally find some peace and tranquility in my life would eventually take place.

When we had women’s group once per week we would talk about various things one of which was anger we were all given a hand out to read which I would like to share with all of you:

Overview of a healthy approach to dealing with anger :

1) Recognize and allow yourself to believe that anger is a natural, normal, healthy non-evil healthy feeling. Everyone feels it we just don’t all express it. You do not need to fear your anger.

2) Remember that you are responsible  for your own feelings. You got angry at what happened, the other person did not make your cry.

3) Remember that anger and aggression are not the same thing. Anger is expressed assertively.

4) Get to know yourself, so you recognize those events and behaviors, which trigger your anger . “Find your own buttons, so you know when they are pushed”

5) Learn to relax, if you have developed the skill of relaxing yourself, learn to apply this response  when your anger is triggered.

6) Develop assertive methods for expressing your anger.

7) Keep your life clear. Deal with issues as they arise, when you feel the feelings not hours, days or weeks afterwards.

Check yourself with these statements:

1)  I no longer feel like unloading my feelings of anger and hurt.

2) I have stopped hoping that my ex partner is feeling as much emotional pain as I am.

3) I no longer feel so angry at my ex partner.

4) It is no longer important that my family and friends be on my side and not on my ex partners side.

5) I have outgrown the need to get even at my ex partner  for hurting me.

6) I  no longer blame my ex partner  for the failure of the relationship.

7) I have stopped trying to hurt my ex partner  by letting he/she know how much I hurt emotionally.

8) I have overcome my anger and have begun to accept the things my ex partner has done.

9) I am expressing my anger in a positive way that is not destructive to me  or to those around me.

10) I am able to admit it when I feel angry and not denying my angry feelings.

11) I understand the emotional blocks that have kept me from expressing my anger  in a positive way.

12) I am able to express my anger constructively instead of venting it inappropriately.

13) I am reaching a stage of forgiveness and not remaining angry.

 

Words of wisdom


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We all have the courage don’t give up!


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Twelve guidelines to live by


Here are Twelve guidelines that you can live by:

(1) If you open it close it.

(2) If you turn it on turn it off.

(3) If you unlock it lock it .

(4) If you move it put it back.

(5) If it belongs to someone else and you want it get permission.

(6) If you borrow it return it.

(7) If you don’t know how to run it leave it alone.

(8) If you use it take care of it.

(9) If you break it repair it.

(10) If you can’t fix it call someone who can.

(11) If you mess it up clean it up.

(12) If it will brighten someone’s day say it.

The Self-Esteem Checklist


Hi Everyone:

I came across something very interesting today, when I was in the one of many women’s shelters the last one having been Alpha House in Winnipeg, Manitoba every Monday we would have what they called women’s group.

During our three hours every Monday we were to do an assignment for the following week here is one of them about self-esteem, after doing this assignment I took a hard look at myself and have to tell you was my self-esteem ever low.

(A) Rate how much you believe each statement  from 0-10

0 means you completely disbelieve it  and 10 means you think it is completely true

(1) I am a worthwhile person

(2) I am as valuable as a person as anyone else.

(3) I have the qualities I need to live well.

(4)When I look into my eyes in the mirror I have a pleasant feeling.

(5) I don’t feel like a failure overall.

(6) I can laugh at myself.

(7) I am happy to be me.

(8) I like myself, even when others reject me.

(9) I love and support myself, regardless of what happens.

(10) I am generally satisfied with the way I am developing as a person.

(11) I respect myself.

(12) I’d rather be me than someone else.

  • Then go ahead and total them

(B) Rate your self-esteem on a percentage scale between zero to one hundred percent where 0 is total lack of self-esteem and 100 means total fullness of self-esteem

  • Your response

(C) How often do you feel restricted  in your daily activities because of difficulties with self-esteem

1 always

2 often

3 sometimes

4 rarely

5 never

  • Your response

(D) How serious is your problem with self-esteem

1 no problem

2 mild

3 moderate

4 severe

5 extremely severely

6 incapacitating

  • Your response

I hope for all of you who did take the self-esteem checklist found it interesting as I did and gave you some insight as to where your self-esteem lies.

Let us be grateful for the things that we have


“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”-Lao Tzu Quotes

My thinking tank is the bathtub


Well, It Is Saturday today and as the title says yes indeed I do have many thoughts going through my head when I relax in the bathtub, and today I came up with some startling revelations it’s almost like a lightbulb when on in my head let your mind be free anyways, someone once told me that my life was not a book but rather, a dictionary so i have now come up with the idea of writing a book named “Life’s trials and tribulations a true life story” I now feel that because of my life’s experiences I will be able to help others in similar situations and perhaps be an inspiration to others as well which I have been told several times in my life.
There will be many chapters and some of the chapters that I will touch on and talk about are:
1 Marriage.. and yes it can be a blessing however it can also be a nightmare
2 Life in low-income housing
3 I was a miracle child
4 In laws..my mother once told me “when you get married you don’t just marry that person you marry “the entire family”
5 Abuse.. yes the subject that women don’t like to talk about because they feel ashamed to and the effects as well as the types of abuse
6.The struggle to be accepted by others
7. The struggle for survival living from shelter to shelter
11 Inspirational quotes and some of the ways to keep yourself sane
12 My 2 sets of twins.. yes was pregnant 2x with 4 children
13 Homelessness and being judged
14 My passion for animals and their impact on me
As I will be remembering traumatic events in my life which will entail emotional turmoil and becoming very tired which really is nothing new to me but all the same emotional as I progress through my big project I am sure I will be adding new chapters.

A marriage made in hell


Throughout the course of my life when living at home and up until I left home I had very high self-esteem and knew how to be assertive felt really good about myself and then there was my first serious relationship ( I shall call him Stephen).
 
I had been dating him for about 2-3 years he was treating me well for example flowers, candy, being affectionate, dinners, movies you name It he would do anything for me to make me happy up until I got married then so many things changed.
 
Stephen became very abusive and  began to disrespect me In so many different ways,  It began in a suttle nature with Insults, punching walls, making comments about other women saying “wow” she’s hot! or words to that effect and making me feel Inferior and not In the least bit Important.
 
The there was the sex when It came to sex not only was I starting to feel like a sex object but my self-esteem took a real beating.  Stephen became very overbearing, controlling, abused me not only of a physical nature but sexually and emotionally,  he made me give him oral sex and cumming In my mouth which I found really disgusting and gagged every time he didn’t care he also forced me to have anal sex which really made me very uncomfortable not only that It was also very painful and needless to say I was glad when it was all over.
 
I told him that I would not do It again and told him my reasons but that did not seem to matter to him and now that I was married I felt locked into this marriage and did not think that I could get divorced It was much more difficult back then to a divorce unless you were literally being threatened with your life,  so I lived a life of this for just under 2 years my self-esteem and assertiveness went right down the toilet and emotionally I started to become a basket case feeling so Isolated, unwanted, unloved, used, you name It I felt It.
 
I also had in-laws that for some reason just could not stand me and had to interfere with everything in our life which made things even more difficult to the point where I told Steve we were moving to the west coast having tried so very hard to have them accept me but in the end I would not conform to what they wanted so they never accepted me .
 
 I had no one to talk to feeling so alone not knowing what to do I could not tell my parents as my mom just had a reoccurrence of cancer and dad having had a double bypass I was not about to tell my parents just could not bring myself to put my parents through that and at that time I had no Idea that there were shelters available.
 
 The abuse with Stephen It started with Insults as a joke, being out for dinner and him looking at other women while he was with me eating dinner at the table and making It obvious which I find very disrespectful and actually remember another time when one night he took me to a fancy restaurant we were walking down 5th avenue In Calgary on a saturday night believe It was the Westin Hotel we were going to have dinner,  when a hooker approached him right In front of me and propositioned him not only was I pissed off but was ready to pound her to the pavement.
 

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