Sunday, November 2, 2014

Part One: Who Are You... Who, Who??

Habitually writing about trauma just doesn't appeal to me at all. First off, it is extremely draining and completely depletes your energy supply. Those of us with chronic depression need every ounce of our fleeting strength, so that's really not an option here anyway. Secondly, continually revisiting past abuse or even some of your many personal fuck ups keeps you in a low vibrational state. Don't know about you, but I prefer high vibe! That being said, I think it's necessary for some type of introduction regarding Penny Candy and how she plans to move forward into the future, just a damn day at a time.

My hopes were that during the course of writing my book titled "WTF Does Forgive Yourself Mean?" that I could miraculously discover what that meant as I remained completely oblivious to that concept. I was holding myself back, in every conceivable way, by not forgiving myself... or so I had been told by professionals. My dilemma however was how exactly do I forgive myself? I keep getting instructed to do something that is akin to me solving world hunger on my own. I was clueless. I am a very literal creature especially when I am wrapped up in a cozy blanket of self pity and regret. It's too much to process something that complicated when you're in the throes of a very bleak, very grim depression that has taken over your being. Volunteer work or a brisk walk around the block are the last things on your mind! And the kind, "non-depressed" people who lovingly make these suggestions sometimes get instructed to go fuck themselves. It's a little more dire for us depressed folk... like am I ever going to get to a store and buy toilet paper and shampoo ever again?!?

So to kick off the introductions, is my name actually Penny Candy? Nope. It most certainly is NOT!
An old school chum of my mother's passed a story along to me when I was in my teens of how my mother always wanted to have a daughter so she could name her Penelope Candace so in turn she could call her Penny Candy. "Oh. My. Gawd." was all I had to say about that at seventeen years old. (It was the eighties, give me a break!) mom is a fucking hoot all right. Such the sense of humor!
I'm quite appreciative that she went with an alternate plan and made me the namesake of her parents instead. Penny Candy?? I mean if that ain't a moniker to predetermine your future as a pole dancer, then I don't know what the hell is!!

I use this pseudonym because my parents are presently still with us and while I choose to share my stories they are MY stories and I did not set out in this arena to humiliate anyone (Bad karma, dear!). So my name, as well as anyone I mention whom I am related to, has been changed. My siblings have their own tales and whether they decide to hold onto them privately or make them public should be their choice. I respect their decisions and the manner in which they live their lives plus I am fiercely protective of my brothers in the way that only the eldest child in an abusive household grows up to naturally become.

When I started my blog nearly two months ago, my plan was to share in earnest my story of childhood abuse and it's effects on my life while I simultaneously worked on writing a book. I thought the blog would be a great aid in getting in touch rapidly with those who share similar upbringings and possibly get some feedback on what I had to tell. More importantly I wanted to bring to the table ideas to move beyond the shame of abuse and depression and I wanted to accomplish this with a sense of humor. Sometimes that process is as simple as trying out a new recipe, finding a good read, meditations.... and I share that with you here. On occasion it's far more complicated and then I know it's time to do some work on my emotional self. If that means seeking guidance from a professional, then so be it, but I needed people to understand that laughing at yourself can sometimes be the only way to get through the somberness of being that blue.

We all have different coping mechanisms and the most significant way for me since childhood has always been to write. You obviously have your own method of getting by or you wouldn't still be here reading this. The idea that there might be something beyond surviving called thriving intrigued me. Now that seems to me to be something that those of us who have lived through an abusive past, most likely, have never pulled off too successfully for any prolonged period of time. Thriving! That sounds impressive!

I cannot speak on how you personally should handle your particular situation, however what I can offer you is my support, send you love and strength and give you updates on how I deal. Perhaps something I write will resonate within you or at the very least you'll get a great recipe out of me. (I'm a fucking awesome baker!) If I can manage to prevent myself from plunging from the roof of a tall building, then you can, too....if that's what you want. I'm not here to be anyone's judge. Hell, NO!!

My beliefs are firmly rooted in digging all your shit up, addressing your issues and learning from them, not burying them deeper and deeper, year after year. It's called integration. Then that self forgiveness comes in to play on a day to day basis. Fuck everybody else right now. I'm just talking about YOU. You can't "fix" your parents, the people you spent time in relationships with, your friends or your even co-workers (perhaps you could fire them however! ha ha). You are NEVER ever going to accomplish that so stop trying, please. You simply must break the self destructive pattern you are currently spinning your wheels in and if that means going NC (no contact) with someone close to you who is mentally destroying you, then so fucking be it. Self preservation, my loves!! (Try it...for me!)

My mission: spreading the message about the importance of self forgiveness. I had lived 40+ years being completely ignorant about this. Now we all are aware there are a myriad of fucking self help books and websites about how to handle your N.P.D. parent, how to get over a divorce, how to recover from the death of a loved one, abandonment issues, addictions, anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc., but let me be straight with you-
If you're still struggling with any of that shit six months after the fact, then you have not forgiven yourself. Yes, that's correct...I said forgive YOURSELF, not them whoever THEY may be. You cannot forgive anyone else until you forgive yourself. And, no, it is not easy and no, there are no quick fixes. You are going to struggle, falter, regress (in your own mind), move forward, struggle some more. This is the path we choose to walk down when one finally takes a long hard look at it all. It's a daunting task for sure and it is not a journey you head out on until YOU are capable. No one can advise on when that is, you'll simply know. You won't be able to ignore it. You won't be able to block it out with mindless distractions. It is all consuming.

My opinion is you have to listen to yourself, that inner voice that's always around even when you choose to ignore it, sometimes for years. Your heart is always gonna keep it real with you, but you need to pay attention in order to hear where it's attempting to guide you. In order to do this listen-to-your-heart-thing you have got to tune out the noise!! Anything or anyone that is preventing you from pursuing your desire to move past it all has got to go!! Get rid of them!! Buh bye!! You'll never find any peace if you surround yourself with folks who mistakenly believe you're an asshole!!

So, let me ask you....are you ready and willing to make that first step?

(This is the first of a three part blog giving you some background about Penny Candy that will include growing up in a physically and emotionally abusive household with a parent who is your quintessential NP (Narcissistic Personality), the effects of coming up as a female with no father present, my life long battle with chronic depression.)

Next Week-Part 2: The Scoop on Living with an Abusive Narcissistic Parent

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