No one… (A poem about Postpartum Depression)

Postpartum is not, know that you are not alone in this journey & never give up! Your feelings are valid.

I’ve been in a bad place mentally since like two weeks after Mj was born.

I’ve been through so much since his birth and if I’m being completely honest I’ve had some bad thoughts, some bad feelings, & I’ve felt so alone in this process. It’s like everyone around me is moving on with life and everyday things and I’m stuck in this place of pain, depression, tired, & overwhelmed. I’ve become so numb and don’t even know how I’ve made it these last two months.

I’ve had people around me, but no one seems to understand or continue to say “how strong I am” when that is the last thing I need I want to hear. Poetry, blogging, fitness, mediation, or writing of any sort is how I’ve been releasing lately. I wrote this poem the other night while I cried at 0555 in the morning just wondering how I got to this place. I know this will get better, but right now it’s not and I hope me sharing this helps someone else who’s also struggling with postpartum. Know you’re not crazy, your feelings are valid, and we will get through this! 🙏🏾

-Toni💕

Signs of Postpartum Depression

Happy Monday Pearls 💕

Here are my Mental Health Affirmations for the week! What are yours? Please comment at least one below! Have a great & productive week! 🧘🏾

Comment your affirmation below! 💜

Hello! 🖐🏾️UPDATES‼️

Happy Saturday!

This Blog is just me wanting to say Thank You! Thanks for all likes, follows, & support! I started The Pearl Blog at one of the lowest moments in my life mentally, spiritually, & physically! Sharing with you & receiving the support means so much to me! The Pearl Blog is apart of my healing and growing journey! I post blogs weekly, I’m also on Instagram @healingandgrowing_ & Fb! Both links : https://www.instagram.com/healingandgrowing_/

https://m.facebook.com/healingandgrowing/

The goal is healing and growing through trauma, so if you struggle mentally feel free to engage on my FB Group or follow for encouragement on The Pearl Blog & Instagram!

‼️Also, don’t forget to shop The Positive Mindset T-Shirt Collection there’s something for everybody to support mental health awareness! Stay on lookout because I have new stuff coming before my birthday in July!

All Links to Merchandise is listed on the home page! 🛍️

I just wanted to check in with my subscribers and all who has been supporting me!

Thanks,

Toni ❤️

Thanks for All Love & Support ❤️

I am Not my past!

You’re not your past!

The thing about our past is that it’s not easy to always heal from, but it’s like once you have healed and evolved the people around you starts to bring up who you were in the past, what you used to do, how you used to act, or what you used to allow. It bothers me to my core when someone constantly criticizes me for my past. Evolving is something that I truly believe in because I know for a fact the girl I was ten years ago when I had my first child is not the woman I am today pregnant with my fourth child!

Continue reading “I am Not my past!”

Siblings…Let us Speak on it!

Siblings…Let us Speak on it!

Did you know that siblings are more liking to have a closer bond or better relationship with a friend outside of their genetic makeup, than their own sibling(s) that they were raised up with?  Sibling rivalries or sibling estrangement was something I never knew much about growing up because in my household my mother was certain to keep us all close. My family often gathered on Sundays, participated in family gatherings or game nights, & we were more together than we were apart. Between my oldest two siblings and I there are 14-15 years between us, my middle sibling is 5 years older than I am, and my sibling after me is only a 1 year younger. Since there are different age groups amongst my siblings and I it led to some siblings being close and others being estranged. My siblings and I were raised by a single mother, and all five of us have our own perspectives, but I would like to share with you today my perspective in hopes of helping others heal their relationships or decipher it is time to heal within and end the sibling relationship permanently.

It starts with the parent(s):

Our mother was and still is a phenomenal woman. My mother was married young and divorced young, so she raised all five of her children with little help from the fathers. During our upbringing, our mother was like a super woman in my eyes. I remember her waking up early and returning home late, but we never lacked our true needs. Being a single mother led to our mother not being always being present which led to children in the household experiencing different traumas that she was unaware of, children feeling emotionally abandoned or not heard, and children not having enough guidance. In my own opinion, my mother did not have favorites, but she was aware that certain siblings needed her more than others. In our situation my older sibling and younger sibling needed more attention. I often felt like I was not heard and my cries for help went unnoticed.

As we grew up and the older siblings where out of the home and the younger ones were headed out the nest, is when the dynamics shifted drastically. Those children who gathered on Sundays, who was tight knitted, & never too far away; all became estranged. Although some siblings had been closer than others, there were still unsaid feelings, unspoken traumas, & resentment among the siblings that was never spoken about. Unspoken feelings are major in our family dynamic and it caused estrangement that could possibly be avoided. After all the siblings were grown, our only connect was our mother. I believe it was and still is hard for our mother to be in the middle of disagreements or broken relationships. Our mother was unaware that see caused more strain when she spoke to one sibling about the other, or when she told private conversations to one sibling that the other did not give her permission to share. Being in the middle was our mother new position, and that caused a rift between her and different siblings as well. It was not until recently that our mother decided to stay out of the conflicts, but the damage and lack of trust among each other had already started. As a parent with multiple children myself I have learned not to favor one child over the other, listen to all children’s point of view, and not place the children against one another. How siblings will co-exist, treat one another, or turnout as adults can be affected if there is a parent(s) not able to guide the children properly. I do not believe it was my mothers’ intentions to cause a breakdown in the sibling relationships, but I know the one thing that she could have done differently to change certain outcomes is “give all siblings the same support, love, & attention”. If she were able to find the medium between all the children needs the strain on the relationships could have been different.

Why is it hard to forgive a sibling?

I have found that it is harder to forgive a sibling for causing hurt than it is to forgive a friend or someone else. Forgiveness is hard! To be able to accept that someone has violated your trust, betrayed you in some way, or caused you any type of pain can be a major thing to accept. When family is involved, I believe most of the time you expect more. Personally, I expect my sibling to be someone I can depend on, confide in, and trust no matter what. What I have learned with life experiences is that family members can hurt you more than a stranger ever would. Sibling betrayal is different than friendship betrayal for me because I have always held my siblings at higher standards. With the age differences I have always looked up to my older siblings and expected nothing from them but guidance, protection, & love. Should siblings disagree? Sure, that is unavoidable; no family get along all the time. Disagreeing in a respectful manner should be a new trend. Instead of disagreeing respectfully, hurtful words that cannot be taken back are said and actions occur that may never be forgotten. The hard part about forgiving a simply is trying to erase all that has been said or done. The saying that “words do not hurt” is absolutely wrong, because hurtful words said today can replay in the other individual head ten years from now. I still have not forgotten hurtful words or actions done to me by certain siblings, and I am sure there are some hurtful actions and words that my siblings are struggling to forgive me for. So how do you handle a disagreement with a sibling that you feel does not deserve forgiveness? Forgiveness is a trait that must be practiced, and it is not possible to forgive someone overnight. What I have tried with my siblings is to look at them as only humans and know that neither of us are perfect. Also, I remind myself that we all have an inner child in us that is hurt, and sometimes behaviors are only a response to the inner child. It is easier to forgive if you recognize the other person as someone like you, and I have done that. The issue with forgiving your sibling is the fear of the same issues or behaviors replaying…Which leads to the question of when should you completely cut off your sibling after forgiving them and attempting to rebuild the relationship multiple times?

Should you completely cut off your sibling after forgiving them multiple times:

Sara Eckel stated in a article for Psychology Today that “Contrary to the conventional wisdom, refusing to forgive or have further contact with an unrepentant, abusive relative is therapeutic. ” The above statement is simply saying that even though society says you should forgive your sibling for repetitively hurting you, refusing contact with a person who shows no remorse for their actions is actually healing! There comes a point in all relationships when you may have to cut all ties and move forward in life for your own mental health. Holding on to someone who hurts you simply because they are family is detrimental to your mind, body, and soul. I love all my siblings, but there are different relationships with each of them. I have disagreed with all of them at some point in our lives, but I determine who I allow in my space by their behaviors. There are siblings I speak with at lease once a week, there are some I speak to once a month, and there may be times when I do not speak to one for 6-12 months simply because I interact with my siblings based off their behavior towards me. Being genetically related to someone does not give them a pass to use you, disrespect you, or cause you mentally, emotional, or physical harm. Once someone or something becomes harmful to your health it is then time to walk away completely. Choosing to remain in any type of unhealthy relationship means that you are not placing YOURSELF first. Do not feel guilty for cutting off an unhealthy family member, do not allow others to convince you this person will change, & handle the situation in the way that best benefits you. Removing an individual from your life due to their harmful behaviors towards you does not make you a terrible person. Blood is thicker than water is literally just a saying. I have had strangers treat me better than some people who are genetically related to me. I have been friends with someone 5 years that supported, loved, and respected me more than someone I have shared a womb with. Remember this quote by Paulo Coelho “How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.” There is nothing you can do to better a relationship with your sibling besides do your part. After you have done all you can, walk away knowing you tried, and their actions has nothing to do with you.

 

Recommended blogs & resources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/199907/must-you-forgive

https://www.rd.com/article/adult-sibling-estrangement/

https://atomic-temporary-184816857.wpcomstaging.com/2020/12/08/the-inability-to-move-on/

 

 

Valentine’s Day…. Why the Hype??

Valentine’s Day…..

Why the hype?

Why the hype? It is a “holiday” that was created based off events or history that we as people cannot validate. I personally feel that it should be treated as any other day. I once was crazy about Valentine’s Day especially as a child because I enjoyed the school festivities, and more than anything I loved eating chocolate. My mom would give my brother and I a gift, and plenty of chocolate to last awhile. As I grew older, I did not understand the hype behind it. If you are unconditionally loved, then that should be a feeling everyday and it should not be some extravagant day of pointless gift giving. If you are someone who just enjoys celebrating the holiday because of tradition, that is completely understandable. What I want is for us all to keep an open mind when celebrating these ridiculous holidays, that really have no real meaning or substance behind them. On my most recent blog about the 5 Love Language’s I briefly discuss ways to give love and how some of us prefer to receive love.

My Love Language!

My love language is acts of service, I would prefer help around the house, 50/50 on responsibilities with the kids, light fixtures fixed in my house without me having to ask, or my partner simply prepping dinner or bringing home dinner. I like feeling stable, and I love knowing I have a partner that can help pull the load. I am a woman that can buy my own gifts, and wine & dine myself, or even pamper myself. Gifts are not something that brings me excitement and joy unless they are sentimental gifts with significance. My husband purchased me a professionally done painting for Mother’s Day of me and my late grandmother at one of my happiest moments with her, and that gift literally brought me to my knees, and it was all because of the sentiments behind the portrait!

No gift shaming!

I am not shaming gift giving, but I am shaming the waste off unnecessary money that is spent on holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, & Easter. Christmas has nothing to do with gifts, but consumers go broke, or excessively spend during Christmas and it does not make any logical sense at all. For me Valentine’s Day is a “loving day” & usually I choose to love on me a little more than usual on this day. Loving on me does not mean showering myself with gift, but instead showering myself a little more love. Today I am barely moving a finger, and I will be basting in loving myself by allowing myself to relax & unwind, breath, stretch, and just be still today. Loving me includes allowing myself to take a break from the everyday criticisms that I place on myself or taking a break from being busy all day. I am just taking a moment for me!

Single, Married, or Whatever it does not define you!

If you are single, married, or whatever your situation may be do not allow this day to drive you up a wall, do not find yourself comparing your day with social media expectations of Valentine’s Day, do not feel sad if you are alone, or things are not going well in your current relationship. Take time today to say what you are grateful for, have some gratefulness that you woke up on another February 14th and just love on you. Expectations can be the biggest down fall because we as humans expect so much and it leads to hurting or having unrealistic expectations on days like Valentines Day!  Now that I am done with my rant for today I would like to wish you a Happy February 14th ! I hope you are somewhere enjoying yourself. Remember that giving and receiving love is something you should partake in everyday!

The Five Love Languages, Do you Know Yours? 💜

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2021/02/14/11-simple-ways-to-practice-self-love-this-valentines-day-and-beyond/?sh=775aeb8a178f

-Love Toni,

 

 

Appreciate your childhood🌻

I can admit I had some traumas happen in my childhood that no child should witness, or experience. And through my shadow work & connection with my heavenly father I have learned to appreciate my childhood for what it was.

All week on The Pearl Blog I have been discussing moving on, accepting your reality, & healing. Childhood trauma is something does not just disappear because you grow up. But the one thing I have learned from own experience is that age gave me wisdom and has allowed me to appreciate my childhood. Although we did not have a lot, we definitely had enough. My mother was a single mom of 5 kids, and she never once made us feel like we had less. I was born and raised in one of the toughest projects in my hometown, I had witness 2 traumatic shootings before the age of thirteen, I had been introduced to the street life early on, and I knew how to hustle and go after what I wanted & needed since I was 15 years old.

I said all that to say this… my childhood was not peaches & cream, but it made me resilient. I was a resilient child, which created a resilient adult. My up bringing created a savage. I wanted to work & had an amazing work ethic because I watched, my mom work a morning and night shift job while trying to be a single parent. I learned at an early age to not trust anyone because the people I trusted violated me. We must learn that although childhood may not have been a walk in the park… What wisdom did you gain from childhood? , Are you stronger?, & more prepared for your adult life?

Childhood does not have to be all about bad memories! I want to suggest you looking back in some happy times in your childhood. Put yourself in your childhood shoes and discovery what in your childhood brought joy & happiness. Challenge yourself by not allowing your childhood to hold you back from growing. There are 40-year-old grown people in this world, that has the mind & coping skills of their 10 year old hurt self.

I suggest shadow work if you are someone who childhood controls their everyday life, or if your childhood trauma have kept you stagnant. Shadow work is the process of exploring your inner self. Before you began shadow work you must first acknowledge your shadow. Completing shadow work can assist in discovering who you truly are. Shadow work can improve your wisdom, life purpose, and elevate you to your higher self. I suggest following The Holistic Psychologist Dr. Nicole LePera @the.holistic.psychologist on Instagram. Dr. LePera touches a lot on self-improvement and I have attached her Shadow work excerpt & I also would suggest Practically Shameless: How Shadow Work Helped Me Find My Voice, My Path, and My Inner Gold written by Alyce Barry. I promise you will not be disappointed if you reach deep into yourself and do the work! Nothing in life comes easy, so you must take the shadow work seriously. It takes time to heal a lifetime of trauma, but the first step is starting! You must start before you can ever see any improvements.

It is time to accept your reality….

Reality: the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them

When I used to think of my reality it disgusted me so much that I hated waking up in the morning. I used to wake up and think “Is this really my life?” I was ashamed of my life decisions, I was ashamed of things I accepted, and I was ashamed of where all my decisions had led me. Along with the shame there was guilt. I Felt guilty because I could not accept my reality and my life in the state it was in.

I was twenty-five years old, divorced, traumatized, broken, angry, and doing a great deal of self-blaming. I was divorced after staying in a marriage five years too long. I had allowed cheating, disrespect, and abuse. I had dealt with sexual trauma since I was twelve and still had not held certain people accountable, so I felt weak. I had allowed trauma, heartbreak, and anger. The anger, shame, & guilt stemmed from feeling like I had not defended myself enough throughout my life’s traumatic ordeals… which led to me hating my everyday reality.

So, how did I get over this?

  1. The very first thing I did was get in tune with myself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, & physically. Spiritually I grew my relationship with my Father in heaven, mentally & emotionally I started trauma recovery therapy ( I still attend regularly), and physically I committed to a healthier lifestyle by cycling and working out regularly. Therapy was what really gave me the different outlook on my reality. I realized that I was not the only young woman that had divorced, that was cheated on, that experienced trauma, or that was mentally, emotionally, & physically broken. When I realized that I was 1 in a million it made me feel better.
  2. I held myself accountable for all my decisions that I made in my life that could have possibly led to this reality. I accepted that after my first child postpartum depression really caused distance between my ex-husband and I, which in part led to a lack of communication and that led to his infidelity. I do not blame myself for his wrongdoings, but I accept my part in being distant in that marriage. I also accept that I took him back after cheating the first time, and I believe accepting him back led him to believe his behavior was okay. I accept that my trauma was not my fault, but I was wrong for transferring my trauma onto others because I was hurt. I accepted that only I was responsible for me and my healing.
  1. I stopped looking into my past, and I started to look forward towards my future. I stopped being blocked off and allowed new friends, dating, and social activities that I did not allow when I was stuck hating my reality. I let myself see a possibility for a happy future, which led to my amazing husband.
  2. I realized that my reality is not perfect, but there is no reason to hate my life because of what was, what could have, should have, or never happened. Life is about moving forward, and I decided to not let the inability to move forward to stop me from experiencing the reality I am experiencing today.

Although today my life is not perfect, I can say genuinely I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I have set boundaries in life like never before, I do not allow toxic behavior, I do not accept disrespect, I know that I am in control of my life and it FEELS AMAZING! The reality is life happens, and when it does please do not allow guilt, anger, or shame to hold you back from making a better reality for you! 💜

 

ThePearlBlog