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Are you someone who has been through trauma or trials in life and has recently been thinking about working on your healing to better yourself? If so, this is the perfect e-book for you! Start your healing for only $17.17 by downloading my e-book! (Click link in Bio) This e-book is a great way to improve your mental health and start your healing journey! After you download it, you can share it with someone else who may need some healing. The only way to create a better life after trauma is to start healing! 
The Pearl Blog Presents: The Healing Journey Healing & Growing One Day at a Time! It is an online E-book that discusses the healing journey. What is healing? How do you start the healing journey? How do you recognize unhealed wounds? What techniques should you use to begin your healing journey? There are so many great resources here! You will have a different perspective on healing after reading this E-Book!!!

More than just a Girl from the Projects…

Did you know that researchers found that children’s immediate neighborhood area has significant effects on life outcomes, which can differ considerably compared to those experienced by children just streets away? 

Well, this is, in fact, a true statement in some aspects! I was born into poverty. A single mother raised me with five children in low-income housing. The neighborhood I grew up in had the regular gun violence, murder, drugs, homelessness, lack of two-parent homes, and the everyday struggles of families living in the low-income projects. Although my mother lived in the projects, she made our home much more than that. She cared about our grades, activities, and where we hung out in our neighborhood, and she most definitely did not tolerate bad behavior. Our mother was not perfect, but she always tried and never gave up! She would say, “It doesn’t matter where you come from; it only matters where you’re going.” So, where I lived did not matter to me! Until second grade, which was the first time I was told, “You are just a girl from the projects.” It may seem trivial, but it came from someone I admired and thought was a friend. This friend had more than me, she was living in a two-parent home, and she would constantly brag about all she had or point out what I lacked. So, after the second grade, when friends would ask where I lived because they wanted to hang out, I would always come up with reasons why I couldn’t hang out to prevent telling them where I lived. Being a little black girl from one of the worst projects in our area always made me feel like I was not enough. It was not only students, but when teachers learned where I lived, they were sometimes judgmental. If not for what others said, I would have thought I was living the good life because our mother made us feel like we had more than enough! 

Middle School was a lot better than elementary because many of us came from the projects, and we all linked together, and I felt like I fit in! The only issue was that I was often labeled a trouble maker because of “the birds of a feather flock together concept.” I admit to often acting out while I was in middle school because I wanted an adult or someone to ask, “What is going on with you? Is everything okay at home?” It was middle school when molestation started. Therefore, I acted out for attention. I acted out because I was angry and confused about why this was happening to me. In class, I was the class clown who kept everyone laughing because it helped to alleviate the pain I was feeling every day. Being violated so young shifted me into this rage. I am ashamed of some of the hateful things I did or said during my middle and high school years. Violence & criminal activity was how I released anger. Running away was all I knew to do, but I realized early on that running away from home or dropping out of high school never would fix my problems. During this time, there was no such thing as “Mental Health Support,” but with what I know now, I was depressed and dealing with PTSD.

My anger stemmed from the fact that my childhood trauma could have been avoided and stopped, but it was not. No one took me seriously, or no one tried to protect me. It was not until the 11th-grade year that I joined ROTC and met a sergeant that would not give up on me, so I decided not to give up on myself. My 12th-grade year was when I decided that I wanted to be more than “just a girl from the projects .”I wanted to prove wrong my English teacher, who said, “You will probably end up in jail one day.” Or My chorus teacher, who often said, “You are nothing but trouble.” My goal was to show and prove that children from low-income housing matter and can also be educated and successful! 

Once I changed my mindset, I started to cut off those toxic friends that I used to run with and began to think of how I could get out of the environment I was in to do better for myself. One thing I knew was that my mother could not afford college or anything else. Therefore I worked until I came up with the idea to go to the Army, and that was the best decision of my life. The Army was just supposed to be my ticket out, but the Army became an amazing outlet. While serving, I was able to go to college, travel, learn, and experience things I would have never experienced in my hometown. Once I was enlisted, I realized that I could not do what I used to do, I had to change, or I would not last in the Army long! I went into the Army with trauma, just wanting a getaway. What I learned about running from trauma is that it will follow you until you face it! I had suppressed so much pain and memories for years that I had rather forgotten. I hoped to start fresh and gather all the resources to better myself! I did not know how, but I knew I wanted to improve myself mentally, physically, & emotionally. I pushed a lot to the back of my mind during my time in the Army, and I thought everything would be good because I was finally okay, I was living in a better environment, and I thought I could start over and forget the past. 

But the thing about trauma is that you must begin healing before truly living a productive life. 

Michelle

Unfortunately, my healing journey started later in my life because I was not aware of all the available resources for mental illness, domestic violence, or trauma. Due to untreated trauma, I scaled through life from eleven to about twenty-five years of age, suppressing trauma and on the edge of a breakdown. I was like a ticking time bomb, and eventually, I would explode. After losing my grandma, who was my heart, having to leave my kids for deployment, being abused and cheated on, being away from my family, and feeling like there was no other choice, I decided to end my life. I have no regrets because that suicide attempt led me to many great resources, gave me the courage to end a toxic six-year marriage, and forced me to face my trauma. After accepting that I needed help, my healing journey began, and I have been healing ever since. It may sound unnerving or does not make sense, but Afghanistan saved my life and gave me a different outlook on life. I learned how short life was, and I realized that I was not my circumstances. I had been walking around for years shameful, scared, angry at the world, & suffering inside. I hated myself, and I was ashamed of where I came from. I never wanted to talk about what led me to a psychiatric ward in Ramstein, Germany, until Covid hit and all the trauma I had been in therapy for started to eat me alive and swallow me whole. I remember having suicidal thoughts and feeling isolated from any support. Instead of taking the wrong route, I stepped out on my faith and started The Pearl Blog: Where the Healing Begins & it was the best decision I ever made.

Blogging helped release my feelings and those heavy burdens that I was so carrying during the covid lockdown. I was hurting so bad that I wanted to find a way to spread awareness. I wanted to create a platform that promotes prioritizing mental health and healing, which was detrimental in 2020 with mental illness at an all-time high. If you are reading this, I want you to know that The Pearl Blog and my Mental Health Instagram @healingandgrowing_ are my passions, and  I advocate because I want to, not because I have to. There are many stigmas regarding mental illness, and I want to be a voice for the voiceless. 

So many of us are fighting mental battles alone. I know this because I tried to fight a battle alone and almost lost my life. When I look back on my twenty-four-year-old self that just wanted to end it all, I wish I could hug her & let her know, “It’s okay to ask for help.” I did not ask for help because I was ashamed. Shame, intrusive thoughts, self-doubt, anxiety, PTSD, and depression kept me voiceless. My family and those closest to me had no idea what I was going through. For that reason, I choose to be vulnerable about all my trauma because someone may be reading this right now and decide, “I want help.” My goal is to advocate and spread awareness. I am a witness that circumstances, my environment, or my Mental Health did not prevent me from prospering in life! I am still on my healing journey and have struggles just like you. The only difference now is that I recognize I have a problem, and I am in the process of healing those wounds and not allowing myself to be a victim anymore or allowing myself to project my unhealed trauma on others. I have no shame about who I am, and I can now proudly say…..

I am Michelle from Bethel Homes Project. I am a wife to an amazing man, a mother of 4, a combat veteran, retired military, trauma survivor, mental health advocate, mental health blogger, and NOW A PUBLISHED AUTHOR! My first book will be released tomorrow, April 28th, on the 4th anniversary of my fathers ascending into heaven. I usually hide out during April, and I soak in depression while isolating myself from the world. This year I decided to gain control of my life, and I refuse to be depressed. My father loved me, and I know he is very proud of me! In my E-book, The Pearl Blog Presents: The Healing Journey Healing & Growing One Day at a Time! I discuss the healing journey & the importance of maintaining your mental health. I answer the questions: What is healing? How do you start the healing journey? How do you recognize unhealed wounds? What techniques should you use to begin your healing journey? This e-book is a good read for anyone on their journey to heal and prioritize their mental health! The e-book is available for purchase here! Pre-order here to enter into the raffle to win an item from my Mental Health Merchandise and a $100 gift card! Also, remember you are more than what they say! You are a conqueror! Keep healing and growing and living life on your terms! 

-Michelle

Life is all about going through different cycles! 

Hey Pearls, 

I hope you all have been doing well! There has been so much changing in my life since I last blogged. The last time I posted, it was not under the best circumstances. Our son had a mental health emergency, which set me back because it was a situation I would never expect to happen. I wanted to give you all an update, things have improved, and we are slowly but surely getting back to our regular schedule. One thing I learned from that entire situation was to remain as calm as possible through the storms in your life. Do not fret because, after the storm, there is always sunshine! 

On a positive note, I have been going through a life cycle myself. I do not know precisely how to explain it, but it’s a good cycle. Although I have had some bumps in the road, there have not been any detours this month! This month I have focused solely on becoming a better version of myself. What does becoming a better version of yourself looks like for you? A better version of myself means making improvements from the month, week, and day before. March, I allowed people, situations, and circumstances to hold me down. I felt like I was drowning and could not come up for air. There was a point when I just thought, “If not for my children, I would end it all.” Those emotions stem from feeling overwhelmed and not knowing how to release, recover, or realign myself more swiftly. Last month I soaked in depression longer than usual, and it made me feel like a failure because usually, I am resilient and bounce right back. Due to the traumatic month of March, I vowed to realign myself for April. Since then, I have been on this cycle of feeling at peace, spending time with myself, giving myself grace, enjoying doing what I love, and finishing what I started a while ago before the postpartum depression kicked in a few months ago. 

So, what did I finish! I Finished my first E-Book, The Pearl Blog Presents: The Healing Journey Healing & Growing One Day at a Time! I have wanted to finish this book for months because it has been my dream for years to create a guide that helps others start their healing in the ways someone helped me. This E-book defines the healing journey and asks crucial questions that make you think, “Do I have unhealed trauma?” “If so, “How can I heal from this trauma?” or simply “What Healing Techniques are available for me?” My E-book answers all those questions and so much more. Some pages made me cry, like talking about childhood trauma, broken bonds, and unhealthy habits. I was vulnerable, and if you are reading this and thinking maybe I should purchase this e-book… go right ahead because that is a sign that you may need to start your healing journey. 

E-Book early purchases avalible now!

Mental health and healing mean so much to me because starting the healing journey for me was a life-changing experience. Healing has allowed me to be in the room with people who have hurt me. Healing has taught me to love myself and give myself more grace because I deserve it! When you have a mental illness, the healing journey can sometimes be more complicated, and that is another reason I wanted to write this e-book because there are parts that discuss mental illness and how to help yourself through those mental health struggles. Healing is a process, and I am not saying this book will heal you immediately. Still, this book will give you an idea of where you are on your healing journey and what changes are needed to make sure you are improving and prioritizing your mental heal, healing, and growing journey. It is imperative to know that nothing worth having comes easy & that includes having a life of peace. If you have grown up in a tumultuous situation or adulthood, know and understand that it will be a long journey before you have complete peace. The most important thing about healing is staying assertive, taking accountability, and never giving up on yourself. 

If you are reading this right now, I want you to go ahead and take advantage of the early access. You can click this link to purchase my e-book, The Pearl Blog Presents: The Healing Journey Healing & Growing One Day at a Time! My “revamped” Mental Health Tees line is also available. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I wanted to revamp my t-shirt line. It is the best work I have done. The shirts are of better quality & they have messages on them that I advocate. So, for everyone reading this, get yours before they are all out! I am so excited about the e-book and merchandise!

Healing & Growing Merch now avaliable to purchase!

Working on this helped me gain mental clarity and focus on the days I wanted to give up. April is always hard for me because I unexpectedly lost my dad on April 28, 2018, and I still can not believe he is gone. I dedicated my book to him because I know he’s so proud of his baby girl & because through grief, I found strength I never knew I had! I want to thank all my subscribers and readers for your likes, comments, and sharing of my post. I appreciate it! Please leave reviews and let me know what you think about the e-book and t-shirts! Also, I am still posting daily on the @healingandgrowing_ Instagram page. My Instagram advocate for mental health and the healing journey! So, be sure to check me out! Again, thank you all so much! My heart is so full of gratitude!!

-Michelle 💕

INTRODUCING: MICHELLE A. MURRAY (read caption)

Introducing: Michelle A. Murray

Life for me has not been easy at all! I still can not believe that little girl from Bethel Homes Projects is ME! Since elementary I was always told I was this or that because of where I was raised. Me & my siblings come from a single parent home with a mom that did her very best, and she wasn’t perfect but she did her best to keep 5 kids out of jail, the streets, or dead. As a little girl I would always pray to get far away and have a better life. God definitely has been with me this entire journey, even when I felt alone. I’ve been abused, molested, betrayal by people close to me, lied on, loss people I thought I couldn’t live without, traumatized, and abandoned. And with all of that I still have the urge to live and change my life! I don’t want to give up, and @healingandgrowing_ has been my safe place and so has The Pearl Blog. 

It’s healing for me to no longer live in Shame & in fear of what people would think if they knew the real me! Truth is I had no control of what happened to me and I’m no longer ashamed. With that said my page will now have my government name “Michelle” aka Shell to those who love me. I don’t care who find me anymore, who judge me anymore… I’m proud to be “ME” Michelle A. Murray and I won’t live in the shadows anymore. I’m here to heal and grow and I don’t care who see! #mytestimony#testimony#noshame#nofear#acceptance#selflove#noregrets#healing#healingjourney#traumasurvivor

Introducing my newest Blessing… “Mj”

Introducing Martin Murray Jr “Mj” August 17, 21 7lbs9oz💙

It is bittersweet to say Mj is out final child, but I would not want it any other way! He’s been the perfect addition to our family!

My pregnancy was hard, but birthing him was challenging as well, along with other traumatizing events that took place after his birth.

Through it all I am doing a lot better physically, and I am working hard everyday to build my mental strength as well!

I just wanted to give an update! I will be blogging about my birth experience and all that has transpired so far! I am thankful for my mother & my husband (the dynamic duo) who have given me around the clock care, love, & support.

Besides the minor stuff, life is good! I can not wait to get the okay to lift 💪🏾 & workout again because excersise is how I stay sane! But I’m excited for my postpartum healing & fitness journey! This is just the beginning! 💕 I will be returning soon! 😉

#postpartum #motherhoodunplugged #postpartumjourney #motherhoodjourney #strongmama #postpartumsupport #postpartumfitness #blessedmama #csectionmama #momof4 #healingjourney #innerstrength #trustyourjourney #selfhealingjourney #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthrecovery #familyfirst #ilovemyfamily #familyiseverything #familyfirst❤️ #newbaby #newbabyboy

Some Walls Are Meant to be Torn Down

Some Walls Are Meant to be Torn Down

Birthday Girl:

My birthday celebration is over, but I must admit it was more than amazing. Due to pregnancy pains & being overwhelmed lately; I had decided that I would not be having a baby shower or a birthday celebration. I decided about two weeks ago that I would rather be resting for my birthday this year, and I was doing exactly that when I noticed cars pulling into my driveway! To my surprise, my husband and family planned a surprise baby shower/birthday celebration with plenty of love, gifts, & all my favorite foods! The entire day was just amazing. I can admit there are days when I feel like I care and do so much for others, but that same energy is not always reciprocated and that bothers me. On my birthday I felt loved, appreciated, & thought about! Being able to see all my family coming together for me touched my heart. My birthday was a day of revelations to me. 

Revelations:

A revelation is a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way. There were a few revelations that came to me in that one day. One of the most important revelations is “You are deeply loved, & that love does not have to be perfect”. Trauma has hardened my heart more than I would like. Trauma causes me to keep distances from people I love deeply and trauma affects the way I trust anyone in my personal space. I want to give & receive love, but the first sign of being deceived, mistreated, or disrespected is when I immediately check out & place a wall up that makes any healthy relationship impossible. The walls that I have placed are to protect me, but they are also causing me to hurt & keeping me from receiving so much love. In relationships, friendships, and family connections there is a chance of being deceived, mistreated, or disrespected. Any relationship can lead to being hurt, but does being hurt mean cut that relationship off completely? I have a habit of cutting people off, or not dealing with them in a loving way when I feel unloved. During my birthday celebration, a surprising fact dramatically came to me & it brought me to tears. Each person in that room loved me, and although there have been times we acted unloving towards each other, they always seem to show up for me when it matters the most!

“You are deeply loved, & that love does not have to be perfect”.

Walls are not always needed…Empathy is:

I realized that building walls and detaching from people who love me has been the easy way out for so many years. Instead of having empathy & allowing myself to see another person’s perspective I have built a wall & allowed myself to display apathy (a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern for others). The thing about having a revelation is that it can just show up unexpectedly, but more than likely when you need it the most. I needed this revelation sooner than later. Perfection does not exist and as I continue to grow and heal I must remember this. There are people I love that are far from perfect, but they love me, care for me, & are there to support me when they can! A loving relationship does not mean a perfect relationship and I realize that now. I cried tears of joy when I realized that some walls are meant to be broken down, and should not have been built from the start. Relationships are giving and taking. There have been times I have shut down and had nothing to give to those I love, but they still would attempt to check on me. The tables have been turned & I have not shown empathy at all for those I love, but that changes today. The last three months I have felt like I was mentally, physically, & spiritually struggling alone. The truth is some people love me & have tried to get through the thick walls I built, with no prevail. A part of healing and growing in life is taking accountability for yourself. I take accountability for all the times I was unloving, lacked empathy, pushed people away, & kept up walls from those that only wanted to love me. 

So I have learned:

A major part of maturing & self-development is holding yourself accountable when you are wrong. I am more than grateful for the revelation “love that is worth it, is not always perfect”! It is technically a new year for me, and I plan to partake in some serious self-development. You are never too old or young to work on yourself. Self-Development is lifetime work! My birthday wish is to always be better than I was the year before. I am sure that I will have plenty of revelations this year. The walls that I have built over the years are something that I would like to work on. It is okay to have boundaries for those you love, but remember not to cut those you love off completely without first seeing things from their perspective. Breaking down was does not mean allowing those you love to cross boundaries, it simply means being open to understanding and empathic. If someone you love makes a mistake and apologize, accept the apology only if there is changed behavior along with the apology. An apology without changed behavior means nothing. With that being said keep an open heart, and accept & give love abundantly. Life is too short & unpredictable to not be loving!

-Toni

ThePearlBlog