Do you catch yourself lying awake at night wondering if something will go "wrong"? Or do you find yourself replaying your past "mistakes" in your mind, as if you can't seem to let them go? Or maybe you constantly feel the need to "do something," like you can't sit still. However anxiety or stress shows up for you in your life, it can be easy for us to let ourselves get swept up in it. Luckily there are ways to cope!
"Women's Issues" is broad term which summed up basically means "being a woman is hard." As women we are constantly bombarded with messages about how we should look, talk, behave and even think. This is especially true for women of color or individuals who do not subscribe to traditional gendered beliefs about what it means to be "feminine" in our society. These messages can impact us at all stages of our development (childhood, teenage years, adulthood, motherhood) and often restricts our ability to engage in authentic self-expression.
Interpersonal trauma is any form of trauma that happens within the context of a relationship. Oftentimes interpersonal trauma can look like childhood abuse or neglect and many individuals may not even be aware of the trauma/pain they have experienced until later on in their adulthood. Symptoms of interpersonal trauma can look like: codependency in relationships, fear of abandonment, people pleasing, difficulty expressing emotions to others, poor self-esteem and/or having an inconsistent view of oneself (ex: feeling like you are wearing a "mask" or not knowing "who you really are.")
Life is full of "ups" and "downs", and while this saying might be true, it definitely doesn't make it any easier. All changes (good or bad) come with additional stressors that can really weigh us down. In addition, major life events (death of parent, graduating college, motherhood, etc.) can often cause us to question our values or sense of "purpose" in life. While this is totally normal, it can be hard to process all these changes on our own.
Do you often doubt yourself? Or maybe you question your worth in the eyes of others? Self-doubt is an insidious feeling which if left unaddressed can destroy our sense of self and who we really are. In addition, low self-esteem is highly correlated with eating concerns, negative body image and relationship dissatisfaction. Furthermore, individuals with low self-esteem are at increase risk of experiencing relational violence or trauma throughout their life. Working on our relationship with ourselves in the present is the best way to prevent these types of concerns from occurring in the future.
Like interpersonal trauma, relational abuse happens within the context of a relationship and these terms are often interchangeable. Relational abuse can include things like gaslighting, manipulation, physical or sexual violence and often survivors of these relationships can feel as though they do not have any control over their lives or themselves. If you believe you are in an abusive relationship or are survivor, know that help is available! Through counseling you can take back control and reclaim your sense of self. You are not alone.
"People have two needs - attachment and authenticity, when authenticity threatens attachment, attachment is going to trump authenticity."
- Gabor Maté