I enjoyed my Birthday this year!What a nice change :-)

Last year, my birthday was full of sadness, longing and disappointment. I was overwhelmed with the loss of the father I thought I’d had.

This year, although we didn’t fly to Greece as we had originally planned and although I am no longer in contact with my father, my birthday actually felt good! My closest friends from London arrived yesterday on my actual birthday and the timing of their arrival was just perfect. I had no time to feel sad and think too much about my Dad. We woke up, got ready and went straight to the airport to pick them up. After that we went straight for brunch and picked up my delicious birthday cake that hubby had ordered a few weeks before.

When we got home, we had cake and tea 🙂 It was absolutely delicious!

DSCN4053

It was so lovely to catch up after 1 year of not seeing them and we thoroughly enjoyed showing them a good time. Later in the afternoon/evening we headed into town, so they could get some gifts for their work colleagues from the Haribo shop and we finished off the evening with a delicious dinner and some cocktails at Hans im Gluck Burger bar.

1200x630_Muenster_Sakzstraßehans_im_gluck_burgergrill_ambiente_2

DSCN4071

Although my anxiety creeped up on me as it’s been ages since I have actually socialised properly with friends, I still managed to keep it under control so it wouldn’t ruin my day.

Unfortunately, anything that requires leaving my comfort zone or routine nowadays, seems to aggravate my anxiety more than it used to. I have become so accustomed to just spending all my time with hubby, that I seem to get anxious if I feel that I have to socialise for 3 days non stop. Luckily though, we have breaks in between and even though my friends are here for 3 days, we still take some time out throughout each day to just chill and have some alone time.

Today we have a chilled out day doing a nature walk in our local area and although it is 30 degrees, which always increases my anxiety due to the heat, I will be organised with refreshments packed in my little rucksack to ease my symptoms when they get bad.

Love Athina ♥

 

 

The fear of messing up..CPTSD

woman-1006102_1920

Those of us who experienced abuse as children are absolutely terrified of messing up. Although making mistakes is a huge part of learning and of life, in an abusive home we got punished for things we didn’t deserve to be punished for and the punishment was directed at our core as a person. It wasn’t the usual discipline that healthy families use.

We were called names such as stupid, slow, dumb, sensitive, bad, unworthy etc. We were emotionally abused over and over again which led us to develop CPTSD. Now as adults we suffer with emotional flashbacks. Every time someone is disappointed in us, we are flashed back into the emotional state of our childhood. We feel small, defenseless, vulnerable, helpless and devastated.

The reason I am writing about this, is because I had a bad day at my morning job on Tuesday. My friend hadn’t told me she wasn’t working with me (usually she always lets me know), so this distracted me a little from my usual routine. I went into hypervigilance mode, checking the charts & dates of rooms I had to set up for the workshops. When we work together, I always start from the ground floor and work my way up through the kitchens and check the rooms on all 4 floors. We usually share the rooms that need setting up when we work together but on that day I had to prioritise and do things slightly differently.

After checking the chart over and over again, I got on with setting up 4 different rooms on various floors and when I was eventually finished, I was very pleased with how I had completed everything.

5 mins before the end of my shift, one of the ladies that was doing one of the workshops, turned up and said that the rooms weren’t set up. I was puzzled and told her that I had just set up 4 rooms. Luckily this lady, was genuinely lovely and had made me feel very comfortable since starting work there. She pointed at the chart and said it’s the 23rd today not the 22nd. What happened unfortunately, was that I had set up Monday’s rooms instead of Tuesday’s. I didn’t need to go in on Monday morning, so I completely misread the chart, thinking that it was Monday.

I was absolutely horrified and apologised immediately. Luckily she was very understanding and had a giggle saying ‘you are getting old’. Her room was only for 4 people, so it wasn’t really a big deal. Unfortunately on the ground floor however, there was a room that needed a 12 person set up and the workshop had already started!

I ran downstairs, dreading the confrontation with the German speaking lady and when I got there she obviously wasn’t pleased at all. She had already set up a trolley with drinks, cups, coffees and biscuits. I once again genuinely apologised and asked her what I could do to make up for my mistake. She just said help me put everything on the table, which meant I had to walk into a room full of people and the workshop presenter and start placing all the cups and drinks on the tables. One of the gentlemen started mumbling to me in German and I was completely lost in my frazzled state. I didn’t undertstand a word he said. Eventually the lady told me, to not worry about finishing it and I left to make a few more fresh coffees.

It took me another 30minutes to undo all the rooms I had set up in vain and return the drinks, freshly made coffees and cups to the kitchen.

Needles to say, I felt absolutely awful and I could hear that voice in my head saying you messed up, you are a failure, you are hopeless, you are slow..I was in a deep emotional flashback, even though nobody was actually that angry. All it took was the disappointed look on the lady’s face, to send me into a devastating flashback.

When I got home, I had a good cry and comforted myself saying ‘you had a flashback, you are not a failure, you just made a mistake’.

My past unfortunately will keep following me around, no matter how simple a mistake I make or how unimportant the actual situation is to an outsider.

As long as I continue to remind myself that I am only human and it is ok to make mistakes, then my flashbacks should hopefully lessen in intensity. They will always remain a challenge but it is one that I have to keep working at overcoming.

Thank for reading

Love Athina ♥

 

Dachshund or returning to UK

scotland-974103_1920

Hubby and I have been talking more and more over the last few days about how our life will continue when his work contract comes to an end next year..Do we leave our comfortable home and life for a life back in the uncertain post brexit future of the UK or do we stay for the long haul and I just have to continue learning the language?!

My number one choice has always been the UK, mainly because I never wanted to leave in the first place. We only left because hubby wasn’t happy in his job in Bournemouth and he only had a short window to find work elsewhere until our money ran out. Germany was the quickest offer he got, so although I had many reservations, we did it anyway..

After the first few months passed of us settling into our new life in Germany, we decided to get married. Things were going downhill in Greece with my father’s depression and I just had this bad feeling. I knew that if I ever wanted to get married with both my parents there, it would have to be that year. We went through with it in October 2014, 7 months into living in Germany. Although it wasn’t the easiest or smoothest wedding day due to stress and family drama, we at least committed to each other and created a new family unit. Both hubby and I always needed to feel a sense of belogning in our life and we finally managed to find it in each other.

Unfortunately, 2 months after we got married I confronted my mother about her dismissal of my feelings most of my life and 7 months later my father attempted suicide. My first year of marriage was utter shite and I had to go back on anti-depressants just to get through that year!Looking back on it now, I am happy it is over! The only thing that made that year a little better was celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary in New York! I had always wanted to go to America and I finally made it there for our special day!

All in all, Germany ended up being a safe haven for me, so I could work through my feelings of grief and disappointment. Although I was out of my comfort zone, Germany became my best friend. The fact that I wasn’t working for the first 2 years of my life here was a blessing in disguise. I was able to develop myself personally, set boundaries, progress heaps and bounds in therapy and even qualify as a life coach.

I finally said goodbye to my father after all the abuse & trauma and managed to slowly  re-create a civil relationship with my mother again, although only through acceptance of her limitations. Although I know life isn’t ever going to be the same again, since acquiring all this new wisdom & knowledge about my abusive parents, I am finally closer to making peace with the family I am left with.

The cutest thing about life here in Germany has been the constant appearance of the ‘Rauhaardackel’! :-)I completely fell in love with these beautiful little wirehaired dachshunds (sausage dogs) and we have been wanting to get one for the last couple of years. In this last month, hubby sent out emails to separate breeders and we came so very close to getting one this summer. We have so much love to give a dog and are also looking forward to the unconditional love that a dog gives back. Germany has at times been lonely, due to lack of friends or family and we know that this little dog would give us so much joy and friendship.

pet-316470_1280

Over the last weekend, we had numerous chats about moving back to England. On Friday, hubby just announced that we have to move back no matter what! He admitted that he is fed up travelling to work & back 2 hours each day, being the only one who earns enough to support our family and that he would much prefer it if we both worked average jobs full time rather than him doing a stressful job on his own. This is also something I have been wanting for the last 3 years, as I have missed earning a full time wage but have also been wanting to further develop myself in the area of mental health, through work and studies. I have felt like my desire to work in areas that interest me in the UK, has been on hold the last couple of years.

The hardest thing about living abroad is that you discover that there are so many things that are better than in your country. Renting in Germany is like owning a home. You have more freedom to do whatever you want and the rent is only increased once every 10 years. The health-care system is also very good. I have had great support here for both my mental and physical health. We were also able to buy a brand new car with hubby’s savings and we now only purchase food and cosmetics from Organic sources. There are a lot of things that we have grown accustomed to, so another big move again means that we will have to give up a lot of what we currently have.

It also means that we have to give up on our dream of getting our little sausage dog 😦 Moving back to the UK and finding a property to rent that will also accept a small dog, would be a huge challenge. Landlords don’t usually accept pets, so if we were to actually get a dog, it would limit our choice by 80%. This breaks my heart as I desperately want a dog, especially because we have decided we are not having kids.

This is the way it will have to be however. If we want to move back to the UK for my own emotional wellbeing, then having a puppy will just have to wait..

I admitted to hubby that I am so very tired of being around German speaking people..I am genuinely fed up of feeling uncomfortable and like a fish out of water..I usually enjoy getting to know people but my ability to do this here has obviously been hard. Especially now that I have started this new part time job, I always feel on edge when people talk to me and I know I have to reply in German. I never realised how much I would miss speaking English until I moved here!

Having emotional difficulties is already challenging enough to live with..Battling ill mental health is tough enough with all the limitations that come with it. When you already suffer with CPTSD, pushing yourself even further out of your comfort zone is a struggle..I really feel like I have done the best I could do under the circumstances..

To end this long, babbling blog post, I wanted to say that hubby is much closer to accepting that we will be moving back to the UK next year. We have made plans to save as much money as we can so we are comfortable when we move back and we have decided that we will really try to downsize from a 2 bedroom flat to a 1 bedroom in the UK, so we can save even more money for a future deposit on a forever home. I will have to give away or sell most of my unneccesary possessions (dvd collections/art/home decor etc), to make room for a sensible future life in the UK again.

In all honesty, I cannot wait! 🙂

Thanks for reading! ❤

Why you must stop obsessing over the narcissist

When your relationship with the narcissist in your life comes to an end, you will go through a very tumultuous recovery period. You will feel like your world has been turned upside down and your mind and body will be going through withdrawal.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist is like being addicted to a drug. They take over your life completely and when the relationship ends, the recovery process becomes an endless battle of fighting the obsessive thoughts and questions you are left with. The trauma bond created is excruciatingly hard to break.

In most cases there is no real closure, as you aren’t ending a relationship with a healthy person. When you are not understood and validated and your feelings are dismissed with guilt-tripping, controlling and manipulating behaviour, it is extremely diffucult for your mind and heart to feel peace.

Eventually however, and after you have spent a long time recovering from this toxic sort of ‘break-up’, there comes a point where the obsessing must come to an end. The introspection and deep inner work must begin. The grieving must take a different direction.

This video is about the importance of reaching that point in your healing.

It is of course, far more complicated if you were unlucky enough to also have a narcissistic family but in general the process is the same.

Realisation →Grief→Obsessing→Trying to make sense of their behaviour→Understanding & Acceptance→Grief→Introspection→Grief→Moving on

Love Athina ♥

If you like this post, then please like, comment or share.

 © All blog posts and images are owned by ‘My Child within-Healing from trauma’ and ‘Courage Coaching’. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

10 Damaging Ways Narcissistic Parents Emotionally Harm Their Children ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

Another great post by Lilly! ❤

Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

Surviving narcissistic parents, is literally all about survival. Narcissistic parents treat their children like extensions of themselves. The child is there entirely for the needs of the parent(s). The child learns to navigate issues, they are never meant to endure.

A childhood being raised by narcissistic parents, is far from normal. Narcissistic parents are toxic and selfish to the core. They have no regard for the needs of their children. They have no consideration for the harm they cause.

Everything, is ‘all about the narcissistic parent’.

narcissistic parent


This article highlights 10 ways narcissistic parents can harm their children.

1. The child is never ‘good enough’.

No matter how hard a child tries, they will never be ‘good enough’. This is shown in words and actions modelled. This often leads to a child having poor self esteem and self loathing, which continue on into adulthood.  The child learns they are only valued for what they do, and not…

View original post 1,403 more words

Identifying Selfish People vs Narcissists

CynthiaBaileyRug

These days, it seems like narcissists are pretty much everywhere.  Yet, many people don’t understand there are differences between selfish people & narcissists.  Selfish people are called narcissists, when the simple fact is, they aren’t narcissistic- they’re just selfish.  And, narcissists are called selfish when in fact, they’re something much darker & more evil- narcissists.

Since selfishness is one of the main giveaways that someone is a narcissist, how does one discern a narcissist from someone selfish?  It can be done..

Here are 10 ways that can help you to discern selfish people from the narcissistic people.

  1. Selfish people are annoying, yes, but narcissists go beyond annoying with their selfishness.  Every single tiny thing can be turned back to them.  Selfish people will discuss topics other than themselves from time to time.
  2. Selfish people are capable of empathy.  Narcissists are not.
  3. Selfish people may not consider your feelings all the…

View original post 199 more words

Beauty in music

In one of my old posts, I wrote about how much music kept me sane when I was neglected as a teenager..Lyrics have always been very important to me in combination with piano or acoustic guitar..They touch me deep inside and I get chills when I can relate to the song completely-cognitively, emotionally and acoustically..

I also wrote so many poems as a coping mechanism..A lot of them expressed the anger I had to swallow in those difficult years, when I wasn’t allowed to have a voice..They expressed escaping from the pain I was in and being free of the constant invalidation..

I love this song..It is beautiful in so many ways…

Love Athina ♥

First day of new mini-job

So as you may have guessed, my new job started well. Although my German is limited, the owner of the ‘Rheinland Elfen’ was understanding about my need to speak in English, as I wasnt able to understand her ‘fast German’!

On Monday I met the owner and signed the contract for the job and today I had my first hour at work from 7am-8am. I was working with the Operations Manager today and with my limited German and her limited English we managed to communicate just fine 🙂  The work is based inside a 4 storey building, in which they hold seminars in various rooms. My job is to check the list every day and see which rooms need preparing for the various seminars taking place. Today there was only 1 room, so I only needed to work for an hour. The lovely Maria showed me what needed to be done and where everything was stocked and it all went very smoothly.

My job is so much easier than I thought.

All I have to do is tidy 4 kitchens by:

-putting away clean dishes and loading the dishwasher with dirty ones

-re-stocking the fridge with drinks

-making tea and coffee

-wiping surfaces clean

Then I have to prepare a trolley with the right amount of cups, saucers & glasses for the number of people attending each seminar and place them in each room.Coffee & Hot water flasks must also be prepared, along with a sufficient amount of other refreshments.

Next Tuesday, I will be doing my first morning working with my friend and we will have 6 conference rooms to prepare, so we will probably work 2-2.5 hours.

Although the work is repetitive, I really don’t mind it. It already feels good to have paid work again, especially in a foreign country. It is also a lot easier than working 12 hour shifts in an ‘End of Life’ care home, which is what I did in my last job in the UK, before we moved to Germany.

So I am now officially a ‘Rheinland Elfen’ (Elfen=female Elf and Rheinland is the area of Germany I live in)! Since green is my favourite colour, I am pretty thrilled with my laid back Uniform T-shirt 🙂

DSCN3782 (2)

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

Out of my comfort zone

A friend of mine who works in an office building cleaning, has asked me if I want to work with her in the mornings. They are understaffed and she has been doing too much within a 3 hour timeframe. She also said that her boss is looking for someone to work in the evenings too, which is something I will also have to do.

Since I haven’t had a proper job here in Germany, due to my lack of German language skills, I have said yes to the job offer. The offices are a 10 min walk from home which is ideal and working alongside her in the morning will be a nice way to start as she will show me all the ropes.

The thing I am most nervous about however is meeting her boss on Monday, so I can give her all the necessary paperwork and sign any forms that state I will be starting to work for them. This has to be done with my limited German and in all honesty I am very uneasy about this. I havent really practiced much German since finishing my course in February and understanding is still a huge challenge. I can only do short sentences and when I am nervous I can’t think clearly or remember everything that I have learnt. People get impatient with you easily if you can’t speak the language and I always feel incredibly self-conscious.

Nevertheless, I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway as I want my own job. Hubby and I will still definetely be in Germany for another year and 8 months until his contract comes to an end, so It would be great for me to put some money aside.

I have spent the morning so far looking over my German language notes and have researched all the words and sentences I can find related to the tasks of this new job.

My friend didn’t tell her boss I only have basic German skills, so I hope she is understanding on Monday. It is only a cleaning job after all! How demanding are they going to be!?

My friend gave me a good bollocking this morning when I mentioned I haven’t practiced my German and feeling very scared about speaking. She said I have to leave my comfort zone and just do it! I know she is right in so many ways however I am still looking forward to moving back to the UK and finally being back in my comfort zone of being able to express myself fluently & fully understand what is being said to me. As much as I have enjoyed our life and all the other amazing opportunities that Germany has offered me in regards to physical & mental health, having a car and hubby’s good job,  learning German was and still is something I hugely dislike. I hated it at school and I still hate it now, even after 3 years of living here. Even the successful completion of the A1 Deutsch course didn’t convince me to continuing learning.

I guess if your heart really isn’t in something then I guess it will always be a challenge.

Wish me luck on Monday! I will need it! x

Love Athina ♥

The loss of what should have been

Courage Coaching

When you don’t get certain basic needs met in your childhood, there will come a time in your future where you will eventually become awakened to these unmet needs. Although this isn’t the same for everyone, there is usually one feeling which is most prevalent for most: ”The feeling of being ripped off”

This feeling of being ripped off, because you didn’t have a healthy family or because you no longer have a family to turn to, starts a very real and painful journey of mourning.

A lot of people who grew up with abusive parents, or in one parent families, or in families where their parents were chronically ill, learned to ‘live on autopilot’. They either had to push down their feelings to keep the peace, be a confidant or carer to the sick parent or learned that they had to solely rely on themselves. Even when they were…

View original post 507 more words