My Counseling Journey

Since my recent decision to share my story. I’ve also decided to seek counseling help through this journey. I’m not sure if when I really begin opening up and sharing all the details of the abuse, molestation, and rape incidents. If I will start feeling depressed, anxious, or triggering my PTSD. Therefore I am taking the necessary steps to take care of my mental and emotional health.

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You are NOT a label

I know the heavyweight of feeling like the world labels us. I felt the shame of being labeled if I revealed my mental health struggles. So let me ask you a question. Who would you be if the world didn’t give you a label?

Who we truly are is found inside us and not from finger-pointing or the whispers. You get to choose and define your life. I’m not saying every day will be easy or you just turn on a switch and your struggles go away.

These labels will blind us from seeing ourselves for who we truly are. When you let the world label you. It minimizes all the greatness of your unique self. Labels only distort our vision.

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Who Are You?

Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself, “Who are you?”

Somewhere along this journey called Life, I forgot who I was! I’ve mentioned this before briefly in my other posts. But I wanted to get more into this because I am going through a new transition in my personal life. I know I can’t move forward without diving deep down inside and finding the new me. It’s like saving yourself from emotionally drowning. No one can go through this discovery phase or save you but YOU. Continue Reading

My Uncle Molested Me

I started writing this specific post about a year ago. It’s taken me this long to write, re-write, delete, cry, find the courage and finally publish it. Even if it’s baby steps I will continue to share every incident that happened to me. Why? Because how can I encourage others to speak up, come forward and be brave, If I can’t do it myself. I want to walk in my own journey, it’s very important to me!

(Me and my two sisters) We have only a handful of pictures of us as kids. This is one of them, blurry but still a photo I cherish.

Disclaimer: I recently in the last year or so reconnected with some family members (YAY! so happy and Blessed for that happening) and I struggled to share the “name” of my uncle. However, I have 5 uncles and I don’t want anyone accusing the wrong person. The uncle that did this was Robert Renteria!

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Emotionally Broken Momentarily but Stronger Forever

I felt emotionally broken for the past 3 months. It was so debilitating and I felt like I had no control or will power. I didn’t go anywhere and I wouldn’t step foot anywhere in public. I laid in my bed as minute after minute, hour after hour, and day after day went by. I didn’t understand how I could be so unhappy (I just got married in October) one minute and completely knocked down the next minute. I was really beating myself up about this mentally. I would say things like “why are you unhappy, you just got married”, “Petra, you make no sense at all!”, “Stop it!”, “You have no reason not to be happy”, “You’re ruining a good thing”, “Here we go again” and the list can really go on and on.

The truth is I still don’t really know what caused it. It hit me like a freight train and I did not see any signs coming. I share this because it’s a reality for people who struggle with depression, anxiety, and/or PTSD. I’ve had my normal ups and downs throughout my life but nothing this severe.

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Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn

HAPPY Wednesday everyone!

I’m going through a situation in my household at this moment and this statement couldn’t be any truer. When I’m going through a hard time I can’t let the negativity of the outcome take over the situation. The moment I start to allow the way I look at the outcome, it does usually change my emotional state. Living with PTSD and depression I’ve come to the realization that my emotional health has to be a top priority. So I am making a choice to start trying to tell myself that no matter the outcome, it was a learning experience and it’s okay. I say “trying” because I know I’m going to have bad days and it’s not always going to be easy. However, I do know it will be worth it and training myself to do this will make it easier eventually. I’m no professional and I am literally learning one day at a time. This post marks my first day of “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn”.

Reaching for positivism in my life has really helped me tremendously. So I wanted to share a list of some great quotes that have helped me get my day started.

Positive Words to live by:

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
When the voices of doubt start whispering, turn-up the volume of faith and listen to your heart.
Sometimes you gotta forget what you “feel” and remember what you Deserve!
Sometimes telling the story is the thing that saves your life.
When you’re trying to motivate yourself. Appreciate the fact that you’re even thinking about making a change, and as you move forward, allow yourself to be good enough.
Your story could be the key that unlocks someone else’s prison. Don’t be afraid to share it.
Don’t count the days. Make the days count.
Believe in yourself & you will be Unstoppable.
Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching that goal.
Wake up everyday STRONGER than yesterday, face your fears, and wipe your tears.
You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
F-E-A-R has two meanings; Forget Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. The choice is yours. – Zig Ziglar
You have a beautiful future because your ugly past didn’t kill you!
Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.

I’m obsessed with finding the best and sometimes just simple words that really put me in a good mood. 

Struggling but making things happen

It’s been some time since I updated my blog and I sincerely apologize to anyone who visits. I have had some ups and downs since my last post. At the beginning of this journey, I was adamant to share my story and I still am. However, I have realized I need to pace myself because part of my PTSD can easily be triggered by remembering past events. I do know how important it is to “talk about it” so I’m not going to allow my PTSD to get in the way of my goal. I will continue to share my story, the struggles and everything I conquer!

I never realized that a person struggling with PTSD can also struggle with commitment issues. When you think of PTSD the main things that come to mind are; nightmares, anxiety, irritability, flashbacks, hard time sleeping to name a few. Right? I’m bringing this up for a reason, I’ll explain toward the end.

PTSD involves many symptoms that can and do interfere with relationships. I can say this to be 100% accurate because I live it daily. The main issues I have emotionally battled with myself are; emotional closeness, communication, and responsible assertiveness. Whenever a conflict arises I respond to it from a sense of responsibility and my need for control. When this happens your significant other may feel controlled as a result. I am currently working on this because to be part of a relationship you need to focus on what you can do for each other. Do you know what this action does in return? You start to feel like your doing something productive and you feel joyful. It’s always… always the little things that can truly bring you joy. I recommend that you find ways to bring happiness and joy into your life. PTSD is going to keep sneaking back around. So when you set yourself up with goals of achieving things that make you happy. I know that it will help you with those dark days.

I am so extremely happy to announce I am getting married next month! Why am I sharing this news? Well, it pertains to PTSD and my journey. This is where I explain my point about commitment issues. I have been engaged for almost 3 years. I am now able to truly understand why I was never in a “rush” to get married. It all boils down to “giving up control” If you have PTSD, you may not be aware of how your thoughts and beliefs have been affected by trauma. For instance, since the trauma, you may feel a greater need to control your surroundings. That’s exactly what I have been doing with my relationship subconsciously. I am absolutely happy that I took this time to figure this out for myself. I wanted to be in a better headspace and begin a path of healing. I can honestly say that this “healthy path” I am on has been worth everything that I have gone through. I feel like a better person and my heart is happy. When my heart is happy my emotions begin to match. Please watch my video “PTSD emotions not matching my brain” so you’ll understand the importance of being alert about your emotions.

So I leave you with this… be happy… be joyful… understand yourself… and take your time! It’s ok to take your time and learn about yourself.

Support and a Positive Network

One of the best things I have learned through my journey is having a strong support system with positive people by your side is a MUST. I kept using the excuse that I’m an introvert and that no one understood me. Yes, I am a bit of an introvert and no one understood me because I didn’t allow anyone to close. I needed to recognize within myself when I truly needed alone time and when I need someone by my side to talk to. I can’t promise it will be easy but I can tell you from experience. When you find the right people in your life. Things become more clear and easier to handle.

Finding friends and family who can relate to you and what you’ve been through is difficult. That’s okay because we all have been through different walks of life. We can’t possibly make someone understand the shame, guilt, and ugliness that we feel inside. So it’s up to us to find people who can relate. In my city, I have been unable to find any support groups to attend. It made me a little sad and frustrated at first. Then I had a light bulb moment. If I’m trying to share my story with the world. Why can’t I find other people who struggle with PTSD, anxiety, and depression? In 2016 we have the power of research and the World Wide Web. I’m surprised at all the groups I found, how quickly I felt welcomed, and how many connections I’ve made. The groups I have found are on Facebook. Go to the top of your page in the search bar and type short keywords like PTSD support, child abuse survivors, adult survivors of child abuse, anxiety, and depression support, anxiety help, etc… After you enter the keyword make sure you’re searching under the “group” tab to find all the groups using those keywords. Join multiple groups to find the right ones for you. Please be discreet and do not give out your personal information. Stay safe and don’t fall into vulnerability situations.

You are NOT alone and there are others struggling who also need a listening ear just like you. Let’s build each other up. Let’s not shy away from each other and engage in what could be long-lasting friendships. For a very long time, I felt I had nothing to offer anyone. That’s until I started to believe in myself and the person I was meant to be.

Yes, what happened to me was horrible but it doesn’t define me. I was stuck in this vicious cycle of hopelessness. I was crying out for help deep down inside. I am not that little girl anymore. I am a strong, caring, empathetic woman who is thriving each and every day. I am on a mission and a path I never thought I would be capable of traveling. I have no idea where this will end or what doors are opening up for me. All I know is that I want to be an inspiration and empower others to take back control. You are Beautiful!