I’m Writing a Memoir

Hey, it’s been a while. I honestly just temporarily ran out of inspiration & positive encouragement. I have to brainstorm some more but haven’t gotten around to it- maybe I’m only wise to a certain point. I am only 22 years old, after all. Haha!

Anyways, I thought I’d share a little bit of information about my memoir I’m currently working on. It has definitely just started, I’m nowhere near finished but it’s a start. I thought I’d share my thoughts on it, the subject matter & why I write what I’m writing about.

So why do I write?

Well, because I want others to understand and have more knowledge about topics such as abuse that’s not physical or sexual, bullying, sexual harassment, eating disorders & mental health. I want to help people be in the know- so they understand what someone going through these things are dealing with, how traumatic it really is & why they react certain ways because of what they’ve been through.

So they can learn that not all abuse is physical or sexual & that what someone who has suffered through these types of things isn’t easy or any less hurtful, harmful or traumatic just because someone else has “suffered worse than you have” & that their feelings and struggles are valid. That what you’ve suffered through is incredibly hard, more than tough & you suffered.

That if someone thinks you haven’t had it as bad as someone else, not to listen to them. Trauma is trauma and it’s important to not compare to other’s trauma- that makes your struggles feel less than they really are and that’s not true at all. It’s a good step of healing when you recognize that.

I want people to know that & I want people to know you are not alone. That someone goes through these things too & that it’s gonna be ok. You’ll be just fine. You will survive this battle & escape that hell hole- which could even just be your mind- and live again! Healing is possible, I promise. It’s tough and incredibly challenging but it is worth it, so don’t give up!

I want everyone to know this: you’ve survived what were your worst days- days you didn’t think you’d make it through- and you’re still here, strong as ever. You can survive this too.

That’s why I write.

x Stefani

 

You Are Not a Mistake

“But we’re never beyond hope or help.”

You are not a mistake. Sometimes I still have suicidal thoughts. Sometimes it lasts for weeks, sometimes it lasts for a day. But it’s there, nonetheless. And I’m still here. And I couldn’t be more proud of myself. But sometimes I’m not proud of myself. It’s confusing. Depression is strange. It can last for a day or months, and often times years. It’s there because of situations that go wrong, feelings and thoughts that go spiraling down.

For me, I start getting depressed, feeling like hurting myself and sometimes get suicidal thoughts if I feel rejected. That’s just a pattern that I’ve noticed. That’s usually how it starts for me. If someone doesn’t want to be my friend anymore, or, in the past before I met my husband, if a boy doesn’t want to date me.

To some these things may seem petty. People have told me that hurting myself over a boy is stupid, that no one is that ridiculous. But that’s not true. Hurting yourself and having suicidal thoughts is no joke. It’s scary and your reason for it may not make sense to some people. But it makes sense to me because I’ve been there, and I understand. The smallest of things would set me off. Things that build up over time. Things that seem petty. And when that final straw hits, the best thing you can do is reach out for help. Help is here for you. You are going to be okay. I know it’s tough. I know you don’t want to reach out, but you were put on this earth for a reason. You are not an accident. You are not a mistake. Please know that you are so so loved.

x Stefani

Exploring & Getting out of your Comfort Zone

Hello and good afternoon! Today I want to explain the importance of exploring life outside of your comfort zone, tell you guys what happened to me once I did just that (good things, I promise), and fill everyone in on what my life has been like this past year.

First of all, this year has been the best year so far for me. Here’s a few things that happened to me: I finally decided on a career path; I want to be a florist. To work in a flower shop and eventually move my way over to weddings. So, I started school specifically for this. I’m going to trade schools and such, I’m trying to learn all I can before I get a job in this field. I finish school on my two year anniversary with my fiance in a couple of weeks. I’ll be looking for work next year in San Diego (if anyone knows of anything or any people hiring or accepting internships for florists, let me know please! Much appreciated).

Speaking of my finace… I’m engaged! It happened in September this year. I don’t remember a time where I’ve ever been this happy! It’s really quite amazing.

Now, as for my comfort zone… I’ve always had trouble trying new things, whether it be trying different foods or going to places for the first time or meeting new people. I have tons of anxiety so I’ve kind of cut myself off from anything that’s out of my comfort zone basically all my life.

I went to visit my brother on the other side of the state this past summer. He’s always challenging me to get out of my comfort zone because he knows it’s good for me and that I’ve basically never had to do most of my life. I love visiting him but there was always this part of me that dreaded going to see him because he’ll make me do new things outside of my comfort zone. So, of course when I wasn’t thinking clearly (at least that’s what I told myself) I told him I’d be willing to try most foods he makes me eat as long as it’s not spicy. I’m very picky, so after I told him, I was sure I had made a mistake. But, as it turns out I discovered that I actually like lettuce (just one kind though) and cashews and a few other things I can’t remember right this moment. It was amazing for me and my family to see me do this. During the moment it was terrifying but afterwards I was amazed and it felt awesome being so proud of myself. After that trip I’ve been way more open to new foods than I have ever been in my whole life.

Another thing I’ve been doing this past year is making my own decisions, and understanding that it’s ok to be wrong. I know that people make mistakes and that’s ok as long as you learn from them. But I have a habit of excluding myself from all of this. For example, other people deserve this and that, but not me. It’s ok to cry, but not me. I always give people advice but I need to take my own advice because I never include myself. I think it’s weird and I have no idea when or how this thought process started.

Currently I live with my future in-laws. My fiance’s parents. They’re the best. They’ve helped me grow in so many ways. I am often challenged to make my own decisions, but I’m not left without help. They reassure me that it’s my decision, I’m an adult I can make my own decisions but they’re going to give me advice and what they think I should do and it’s up to me if I want to do it or not. Before I moved in with them, I never knew this. Before, I’ve always looked to my mom or dad for an answer to a question I was asked. And they’d answer for me. It started as a child when I was too scared to speak because I didn’t want to say anything wrong or make someone mad, etc. I let my anxiety get in the way of my speech.

Now, I still have struggles with speaking my mind, and many other things, of course, but I’m doing way better and I’ve grown so incredibly much and it amazes me to think that I used to be completely silent and I wouldn’t speak a word because I couldn’t, and not just because I was scared, but because my fear was so strong my throat would close up and no words could escape me. My family has said that they’ve never seen me talk like I am now-animatedly and excitedly, happily, and now I talk a lot. Which is HUGE. I still don’t talk as much as the average person would but it’s a lot for me.

I still have a lot of things to learn. But I’m getting there; I’m learning and it’s great. And I never thought I’d say that, haha!

If you’ve gotten this far into my post, I applaud you! Now here’s the point, so keep reading:

Getting out of your comfort zone is incredibly difficult and scary. And it can be hard during the moment to understand that it’s ok, what is happening is good, you’re getting out of your comfort zone and that’s great! It takes a lot of strength and courage and willpower to do it. But you can do it. And afterwards? You’ll be amazed and so proud of yourself and others will be too.

Now go out and explore the world around you. You’ll grow way faster by doing so! Staying in your comfort zone your whole life will stop your growth. Seriously! It stopped mine. And now I’m growing so much and I never thought I’d ever be doing the things I’m doing now. I never ever thought I’d be who I am today.

Take small steps everyday. You’ll be surprised at what you discover you can do.

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x Stefani

Don’t Let Others Take Control of Your Life

Hi! Happy June! It’s June right? Time just kind of flew by. How is everyone? I’ve been pretty absent on here lately.

Well, today I want to talk about this quote I rediscovered today. I first found it around this time last year, and it goes like this:

“This is your world. Shape it or someone else will.”

This quote can mean a lot of things. I feel like people can interpret it a bunch of different ways. But this is how I interpret it:

The first thing I think about is the abuse I suffered and how much my abuser controlled me, whether it be manipulation with her words or how my thinking patterns changed. Because she controlled so much of my life, my life basically revolved around her, i.e., anything and everything I did was to make her happy instead of angry. Granted, she got angry anyways because she always found something to be mad about.

But my point is this: I let her shape my world. She controlled my world with fear, manipulation, anger, etc. I was becoming “the backlash of somebody’s lack of love” (a quote from the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles). I started to get angry, really angry. I don’t think I lashed out at anyone a lot, most of the time I’d take it out on myself.

I always put her first, and I’d try to the best of my ability to treat her with kindness and love, even though she didn’t treat me that way. And yet I was still called selfish. All the time. I can count four times where I’d snapped at her when I lost control of my anger towards her and my ability to think before I speak, but directly after I’d stay quiet until I knew I could only speak kindly to her to the best of my ability. Because as the saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

My thinking patterns changed a lot. I had always kind of been the person to put others first and had difficulty saying “no” most of the time. I said “sorry” a lot. All that stuff. But over those five long years of living with her I’d taken all this to the extreme. After being called “selfish” and “annoying” a lot (when I was just trying to be nice), I began to apologize even more, for everything, things I didn’t do because I didn’t want to be selfish so I figured if I could somehow be the one whose to blame, all the time, I won’t be selfish any of the time. If I never tell someone “no” then I’m never selfish because I’m not putting myself first ever and if I let them do whatever they want, then they won’t be mad or upset at me.

On January 1st, 2015 I had a breakdown. After using this “no selfish rule” for most of my life I had finally reached my breaking point. It was super difficult but I managed to talk it out to a few people, and we all decided to work on it together. I would work on putting myself first, saying “no” and to only be sorry when it’s appropriate, and they would help me. I was scared. I still am. But it’s progress.

My boyfriend is constantly reminding me that she’s out of my life now and I don’t have to let her control me. That’s a reminder I think everyone should have.

The second thing I think about, which should probably be first, is God. If you focus on people, and letting them take control over your life, your thoughts, etc. then maybe you aren’t putting God first and letting him take the reins of your life. He has the best plan for you. You may not see it yet and you may go through obstacles. But those obstacles you’re going through? You can handle them with God by your side. God never gives you something you can’t handle.

Walk by faith, not by sight. Let your faith be bigger than your fears.

What does that quote make you think of? The first thing that comes to mind? I’d love to listen and discuss it with you!

Don’t forget to stay strong and courageous! Have the most wonderful June yet!

Until next time. x Stefani

21 Random Acts of Kindness

Hello and good morning! I hope you’re all having a happy day! I am, even though I’m sick.

Next month is my 21st birthday, and I wanted to do something special: 21 random acts of kindness (or more) during the month of May. I won’t be drinking alcohol ever so I thought I’d do something else that’s way more awesome.

But I need your help. I have a list of 9 acts of kindness, but I need more. I’d love to have 21 or more, but even if I don’t reach that number, I plan to just repeat the others again and again.

Here’s what I have so far:

  • Pass out flowers (not roses)
  • Leave uplifting messages on paper on the tables at restaurants/cafe’s for people to find
  • Leave “take what you need” papers on poles
  • Put money in parking meters
  • Pay for the person behind me in line
  • Give goodie bags to the homeless, ask for their name and talk with them
  • Write a real handwritten letter to friends and family
  • Make lunch for someone and stick an uplifting note inside
  • Let people go in front of me in line

Does anybody have any ideas? Thanks for the help!

Tea & Musings

Good morning beautiful people and Happy February!

Two days ago I had a very cozy day. I stayed inside all day and sat in the sun for most of the time while the sun was available. I drank lots of tea while I researched internships in the florist business for a hopeful future career, and continued to get frustrated with the results (or “no results” as I like to call it) because so far I haven’t found any in San Diego. But, more on that later.

Right now I want to talk about a little problem of mine…

I like tea, I have it multiple times a day most days. I also like sugar, lots of sugar in my tea.

But here’s the problem: I’m getting tummy aches from it. I feel like throwing up too. My doctor has told me to cut down on my tea. I did for a little bit, but I couldn’t keep it up for long.

Am I addicted to tea? Maybe I’m addicted to sugar. One day I had 36 packets of sugar in my tea in total of all the tea I had that day. Which was two medium-sized cups of tea. So that means 18 packets of sugar in each cup of tea. If you think that’s a lot, well, I used to have 26 packets of sugar in each cup and 3 cups almost every day. I’ve been getting better! It’s progress.

To put it into perspective: 18 packets of sugar twice a day for FIVE days is 180 packets of sugar. Just let that thought sit for a while.

I actually have been cutting down, once I learned that little fact above. I use 10 packets currently, and I hope to go down even more.

Needless to say, I get asked this question often, “Would you like some tea with your sugar?”

Coffee is gross, though. My boyfriend loves it, but I think it smells gross and it tastes gross. I also don’t know anything about it, that’s why I think I’d be the worst Starbucks employee haha!

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How is your February going so far? Let me know, I’d love to hear! Mine is going along great. My boyfriend was super sick for a week though. Thankfully I was able to talk him into trying to get days off. He thought he wouldn’t get any, but you never know until you try! He was able to get lots of days off to feel all better, which was awesome!

Until next time! x Stefani

Starting a New Life in The New Year

A Letter To My Abuser,

You dug yourself deep into this hole that you can’t get out of. But you dragged me along too.

And I know you were abused as a child, and that you don’t want to end up like them. But I also know that sometimes the abused become abusive.

And I don’t want to be like you, but the cycle continues.

I’m turning into you—a bitter, angry person who gets mad at everything and nothing. And it’s not just any ordinary kind of mad, it’s the kind of mad that has me unable to control myself. The kind where words fly out of my mouth before I think, the kind that has me screaming as loud as I can into my pillow, crying as hard as I can because I’ve never ever ever gotten angry at anything—especially not like this—before I met you. And I am so scared. I’m scared of myself, for myself, and for the people around me. I don’t want to be abusive like you, and although people say I don’t have the heart for it, it’s turning in that direction.

You’ve silenced me with fear, like so many other victims of abuse have been.

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Regardless, I hope you’ll learn to forgive, just as I hope I’ll learn to forgive. Because forgiving puts you at peace. And I hope you find that happiness you seek. I hope you find God before it’s too late. But most of all, I hope you finally understand what damage your actions and words have caused, and that you learn from them. And I hope one day you’ll change into the loving person you are deep down in your heart, that person I know you are capable of becoming.

And now I want you to know something: I’m out. I’m free, not only of you, but free of becoming more like you. I don’t need to think of you anymore, I don’t need to be afraid of you anymore. I’m starting a new life in the new year without you. So thank you. I know that what you have done to me will turn me into a stronger person one day.