How are you doing over there? I know you’ve been loving the Hashimoto’s Institute FREE online summit. So many great speakers. So much valuable information.
I was honored to be a presenter this week, as part of the 28 experts. Even though today is the last day, you can purchase the whole event for $67. The price goes up tomorrow, Tuesday, so if you want to have this in your learning library or listen at your leisure, jump in there today for a great price.
Here’s my link to get you there:
In honor of the event, I’m blogging some bonus “Lessons I’ve Learned from Hashimoto’s.”
They have been rich and varied and all pointing me down the same healing path of loving myself.
Here’s Lesson #7: If You Don’t USE Your Voice, You Won’t LOSE It, It Will Just Turn Inward and Beat the Shit Out of You
I know, my little lesson titles weren’t very poetic this week. That’s okay. You get the idea.
Here’s the pattern:
Someone gets abused, neglected or hurt as a child.
They are taught to keep secrets.
They are taught to not defend themselves.
Or speak up.
Or ask for help.
Because the people who are SUPPOSED to help them are the ones HURTING them.
Whether it’s their parent, their priest or rabbi or coach or teacher or neighbor or uncle, or whatever…
That child, who is so damn smart, will learn to keep the secret.
You know why? It’s not just that they don’t want to get in more trouble, which is self-preservation, BUT they don’t want to risk love.
I’m going to say that again: They don’t want to risk love.
Many of the people who caused the abuse tied the idea of ‘love’ to abuse. “If you love me, you won’t tell.” Or they did it in an unspoken way, where the child was silently rewarded for keeping the secret. And weird bonds were created within the abused situation.
Children want and need love and will compromise their own truth to get it.
Why am I talking about this when this is supposed to be about Hashimoto’s?
Because almost every woman I had asked, either in a survey format on forums OR in a personal coaching who had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s as an adult, had experienced some level of abuse or neglect or tragedy as a child — WITH the added bonus that they weren’t allowed to talk about it.
So, am I saying this is every situation? No.
Am I saying this created Hashimoto’s in someone’s life. Well, stress IS a huge factor in triggering this genetic switch into the ‘on’ position. And abuse is stressful, so, I think it is possible.
But what I am mostly saying is that women with Hashimoto’s need to learn how to use their voice.
At least I did.
For a while it showed up like this:
I would have a reaction to something — let’s say I was being addressed by an adult, or accused by a peer or challenged by a coach.
I wouldn’t say anything and I would start crying.
OR I would start babbling and making up stories and trying to fit too many words into the ears of someone who didn’t care to hear.
Never really saying what I wanted to say.
Then, I’d lie in bed at night and think of all these REALLY GREAT answers that I COULD have said, if my brain hadn’t short-circuited and my emotions hadn’t jumped off the ledge.
So, I lived in regret of what I didn’t say.
And I also felt unknown. Like if they knew me and the hell I had gone through, they wouldn’t treat me this way. I couldn’t let them know me so, I had to live in a state of being ‘misunderstood’ and ‘misjudged.’
It only completely sucked.
And it was a perfect breeding ground for a victim mindset when I grew up.
And then, as an adult, I found myself being one of two things: Mouthy and reactive, or quiet and resigned. The victim.
Again, neither time really saying what I wanted or what I needed.
Nothing was working for me to get my feelings out.
I’d put those feelings into songs or poems in veiled ways.
I became the listener, the counselor. But I knew that I was also born to be a communicator.
And that I was really here to bring healing to people.
It was a process to become that.
A few things, many things…time….
In 1995 (and then, again in 2007) I went to large group therapy. There are many places that do this, I went to Landmark Education. It was a significant moment to be in a large group setting and to hear others work out their shit and for me to address mine. I learned the concept of separation — what happened in my past and the meaning I had placed on it. I had muddled them all together and created a sad life from my sad story.
The past abuse and so many other things got put into a different category for me. I realized that I had made those horrible things that happened, stifle me in life and limit my love. That was a huge deal. I started risking to communicate in new ways. I failed a lot. I kept letting go of the failures of my missed words. I just kept plodding.
I also went on a spiritual journey of trusting my self and listening to that inner voice. It’s a common thing for people who’ve gone through abuse to turn off their intuitive sensors (because they weren’t allowed to honor them in the abuse) and they climbed up in their head. That’s what I did. I stopped listening to my body, my limits, my intuition and I got very cerebral and analytical about things. Very lawyer-ish, as my husband would say.
This spiritual journey was about me tuning in again to hear this amazing inner voice and sense I had within. I came to love that voice, cherish that voice and I re-welcomed it back home to me. In that space of honor, I was able to speak with honor. It felt so good!
I stopped defending myself and started representing myself. I stopped living like I was on trial — like I was backed in a corner and had to argue my way out of it. I was able to see myself in a spacious place. And in that place I was able to listen to what I needed and wanted and represent that.
When a relationship would go south and I was in a conflict with someone, it didn’t have to be a blame fest anymore of the other person or a complete decimation of myself. I was able to see the strengths and weaknesses in both parties and simply say, “I’m not blaming either one of us, I just simply don’t know how to navigate this relationship so, I’m going to take some time and step aside until I can sort it out.”
It felt so good to get out of the defense game and the blame game and just say, “I don’t know how to do this. I need time. I’m going to take some space.”
Being able to say, “I love you AND I’m not playing marbles with you anymore” to someone who was indeed being an ass — or when I didn’t know how to stop being one — was a great gift of freedom I gave myself.
And while I could share more and more, I will end with this one:
I stopped judging myself so harshly. I don’t always have to say it just right. I can make mistakes. I can forget important things that I meant to add. I can sometimes come off like a complete ass — and I make things right where I can, but I can also let things go where I couldn’t before.
I’d hang myself up and harangue myself, unmercifully for not saying something just so. Or for coming off as brash, or wimpy or whatever. And I’m able to either try again or walk away and allow myself to be in the gracious space of me being loving to imperfect me.
I have to add this: I don’t think it’s okay to use your right to communicate as a right to be a complete asshole with someone. I think it serves our soul better to speak our piece, with peace. Passion and peace. They can co-exist. You don’t have to rake someone over the coals in order to make your point.
Get out of the corner, into a spacious place and speak your piece.
It’s part of your design, and your calling
and your healing.
You’ve got this.
To order my book, “You’re Not Crazy and You’re Not Alone” click, here.