We say stuff like, “They drive me crazy!” But the truth is the only reason they can, is because we allow it.
But if you have healing to do because you have generational patterns to break and children to leave a better legacy, then protecting your peace is paramount to the process.
And in this episode, Vanessa hosts a tough conversation on what boundaries may be necessary for your current circle.
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Healing the Girl in You
DADDY’S GIRL FOREVER
Real talk about how your relationship with your father affects how you show up as a woman and in your relationships—including your relationship with God.
Identity, security, confidence—it’s all covered here, highlighted by Vanessa’s own story and those of other courageous women who experienced childhood trauma and overcame.
Ready to get real and start to heal?
Peace is hard to come by, so when you find it, you need to hold on to it. But how does a mother wrestling with painful childhood trauma while doing her best to raise her children prioritize peace? I’m so glad you’re here because that’s exactly what we’re talking about on this episode of Motherhood Unmasked.
Hey there, Mama Bare. Welcome back for another chat on the topic of surrendering to healing.
If you’re new here, yay! Listen, you’re joining us in the middle of a conversation that started with Imposter Syndrome.
How that messes with our insecurities around motherhood in light of the childhood trauma we experienced and how therapy addresses all that.
Now don’t worry, this episode makes sense all by itself, but right after this episode, I do suggest binging from episode 61 on, so you have a clear context for what’s shared today.
The decision to heal is a bold one.
It requires courage to begin the process and to continue on it. And that’s not a popular decision.
The way we’re set up culturally, it’s much more acceptable to embrace and maintain the role of victim.
Certainly, you were victimized in your trauma, but owning the role of victim is an identity issue. And you always have the choice to identify as victim or victor.
Everyone’s not going to be happy or supportive of your decision to heal. Everybody won’t understand it.
Because the minute you step out and do something they’re not willing to do, without intending to, you shine a light on them.
They have to deal with why they’re not willing to go for their own healing.
And that’s an uncomfortable position and so what happens is they turn the light back on you and knowingly or unknowingly make it their mission to do one of a few things.
Cast doubt about your ability to heal, discourage you, or distract you.
And if you’re going to continue your healing journey, you’re going to have to recognize these players in your life and make another tough decision about how you’re going to manage their presence in your life.
This is an uncomfortable topic because what I’m essentially talking about is confrontation, conflict and you choosing you, ultimately.
And how choosing you brings you into conflict with people who want you to choose them by choosing to remain the same, even apologizing for growing.
But you owe it to yourself, the God who made you and the world around you to become the best version of yourself because the healthy version of you is what makes your corner of the world better.
And to do that, you might have to cut off people who don’t bring forth good fruit in you. Some of them are doubters.
The doubters have known you to be a certain way for years because of the trauma you experienced.
They know how it’s negatively shaped you and felt the reverberations of its impact in their own lives because they’re connected to you.
So they developed their own rhythm for how to deal with you and for you to be different, throws them off their rhythm.
But their rhythm is not your responsibility. You are your responsibility.
And maybe they once hoped for your healing, for you to transform from bitter to better or from victim to victor. But they gave up in the waiting.
And now they just can’t imagine you any different.
Rather than get their hopes up again or watch you get your hopes up, they express their doubt as—believe it or not—their way of protecting you.
And so when you share a desire to live a more courageous version of yourself, they doubt you can do it because they can’t see for you what you see for you.
If you did the homework from episode 64, then you know we talked about vision and the role it plays in your healing journey.
Everybody can’t see your vision because vision is a personal thing. It’s internal.
We’ll talk in another episode about people who get your vision and get behind it.
But there are some people in your life who won’t get it and it’s nothing to get offended at because offense is a sure way to sidetrack your healing.
It’s not about getting offended, it’s about discernment.
The ability to recognize who the players are in your life.
Who can be a part of this new leg of your journey with front row seats? And who needs to be relegated to the stands? And who should be put out of the arena altogether?
But there will be some people needing a change of position, or level of access to you, or a change in their level of influence on your life.
Because as the saying goes: If you want to know where you’re going, show me your friends.
So, if you’re on the path of healing and your circle are folks who doubt, discourage or distract you, then you know you’re not going to grow.
The discourages are a different story.
They go beyond saying they don’t see how to declaring you won’t change. They’ve decided you cannot heal, and the motivation for their stance is how they’ve benefitted from your brokenness.
Somehow they tied their esteem to your lack of esteem.
Your struggle made them feel better about themselves, especially if it made you depend on them.
They’ve been your crutch, and now their status is threatened.
And rather than look forward to playing a healthier role in your life, they have no vision for what that could be.
They’ve seen themselves as better than you, and the idea of you as an equal is foreign to them.
So, it’s not about concern for you getting your hopes up. They don’t want to expose the brokenness they’ve used your brokenness as a mask to hide behind.
Then there are distractors.
They don’t know what to do with you wanting better.
They don’t have a particular gripe, but you’re fun to them the way you are. Why mess that up?
So they’re the ones who know you have therapy sessions every other week on a Thursday and like clockwork they pop up with a “Hey you want to go do such-and-such?”
Or when they call and you tell them you’re working on an assignment, your therapist gave you, they suggest a fun option to distract you from your development.
It may not even be conscious. They just like the good old days.
But what doubters, discouragers and distractors have in common is they don’t know what a different relationship with you means for them.
And while expecting you to choose them over you is selfish, you choosing you is self-care.
Bottom line, if there are people in your life who see your healing and their role in your life as either/or rather than both/and, then they are candidates for a position change.
Maybe you dismiss them from your life altogether or maybe you create a little more distance.
Spend less time with them while establishing boundaries for how you engage with one another when you are together.
It all boils down to protecting your peace.
Protecting your peace also pertains to the person or persons who were key players in the trauma you experienced as a child.
They may be relatives or people who still have close ties to your family, so you still have a measure of proximity to them.
You have the power to set boundaries around being in their presence.
Because you can’t move forward continuously taken back to what you experienced at their hands.
So it may mean staying away from the places you know you run into them period or until you are healed enough to be around them without them having power over your peace.
It’s like you’re lying on a gurney with a gaping wound you’re wanting healed and here they are in your ear, yapping about their drama.
They want you to help them process their stuff while you’re trying to process your own issues.
I’ll tell you what they need. They need to get a clue and get their own therapist, instead of draining the energy you need for the business of healing as we talked about in the last episode.
Your energy should go to your healing, not to people who won’t prioritize themselves enough to begin their own healing journey.
For energy drainers, you need to develop the skill of redirection.
So when they come around with their tales of woe, you might respond with something like…
“I totally understand what you’re going through, but I’m just not in a position to help you with that. I have my own challenges I’m dealing with and I’m enjoying talking with my therapist about them. It’s a blessing and I’m making progress. You should consider speaking with a professional, too.”
HOW THIS HAPPENED
And to be fair, birds of a feather flock together.
Over the years, you probably built a community of people who’d rather be busy than get better.
It’s understandably jarring you’re making a choice to step out of that pattern and transform.
So give people a chance to get on board with the change. But if they don’t, the priority is to protect your peace.
Reposition them as necessary, because healing doesn’t happen in chaos.
PROTECT YOUR PEACE
I hope that frees you up, especially if you specialize in avoiding conflict at all costs until you explode, because you can’t stuff your frustration down any longer.
What I’m encouraging you to do is appreciate the authority you have over your own life.
You don’t have control over what other people can or cannot do or will or will not do.
But you have control over what you’re willing to do and you have the power to set boundaries.
I’m proud of you and the progress you’re making on your journey, and I encourage you to keep going.
If you’d like to go deeper, you can find what I affectionately call homework, the work a woman does to build her home and family, in the show notes for this episode at motherhoodunmasked.com/episode66.
That’s also where you can find links to free resources, journals I created and to the book collection that started my healing journey: DADDY’s Girl Forever.
And until next time, please remember. When it comes to you being the mother of your children, you are the woman for the job. Take care.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast should not be taken as medical advice. The content here is for informational purposes only, and because each person is so unique, please consult your health care professional for any medical questions.
This Episode’s Homework
Need Help to Heal?
If you’re working through any kind of loss, the journal My Journey Through Grief and Loss helps you acknowledge the significance of your loss while honoring the memories you’ll always cherish.
And if you meet with a counselor or a coach, you need a journal to keep track of session breakthroughs and aha moments in between sessions. A copy of My Reflections Journal for guided post-session review would be perfect for you.
Let’s Stay Connected
Do you know why I call you Mama BARE? Because you’re unmasked and unapologetic in admitting motherhood is tough, and you appreciate conversation that honors that.
So, connect with me for more support, empowering the best version of you as a mom.
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The Motherhood Unmasked Journal
A Journal Worth Your Story
160 pages waiting for you to fill it with the struggles and the wins on your motherhood journey!
And she’s pretty coming and going! Available on Amazon.
Got A Minute to Pray?
New “PrayerTube” channel on YouTube
Features prayers about a minute long written and read by Vanessa. Start your week off right, with a prayer on Monday mornings. Because prayer changes things and you have a minute to spare.
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