Smiling Happy Woman

For the longest time I thought there was something inherently wrong with me. Something that made me doomed to fail and completely unlovable. That was a heavy burden to bear. Every morning I woke up with the feeling that I was a failure. And every day I worked so hard to prove myself wrong. Despite all my hard work, I never thought I could be happy.

That stress you’ve placed upon your shoulders is going to crush you. Get rid of it. You don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to have it all together. You don’t need to please everyone. Place that heavy burden on the ground. Throw it into the sea. Expel it from your being. You will be lighter in mind, body, and soul. You have to learn to say no without feeling guilty. Setting boundaries is healthy. You need to learn to respect and take care of yourself.
~Unknown

Who I Thought I Was Made No Sense

As long as I can remember my parents labeled me as lazy and undisciplined, and I believed them wholeheartedly. Despite the obvious evidence against their claims.

When I was in high school I participated in a wide variety of activities. I played in the school band, I set up and ran the school paper, I started an Amnesty International writing group, I wrote and directed school plays and outside school I did both paid and volunteer work. All that and I still also managed to pass my classes (although admittedly not with the grades my mother wanted me to). In any case I was able and successful at keeping quite a few balls in the air.

What I have now learned is that I did something my mother is incapable of: I relaxed. I was able to sit and read a book, to listen to music and sing and dance like a lunatic. I was able to sit down and watch a film. I have realized since then that my mother’s head is in such chaos, she is incapable of spending even a minute in there. And so she keeps busy. The old house they live in is in constant need of paint or repair, and makes a great project. The massive garden is lovely to complain about, and another never ending chore. I consciously use the word chore, because I believe this is how she really feels about gardening. She says she ‘loves’ it, but I only ever heard her complain about ‘having to do the garden’. The same was true for cooking or walking the dog.

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Monkey

Monkey

Having gained experience while working for a variety of European non-profits, I am proud to now work with SwanWaters. My connection with the website is not only professional. I am glad to tap into my personal experiences to help those who are living in toxic relationships whether with parents, partners or in their professional life. We need to make the world more aware of the devastating effects of emotional abuse and help more people on their way to heal and thrive.
Monkey

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For the longest time I thought there was something inherently wrong with me. I never thought I could be happy.

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