Meet one of my two dogs Koda, here enjoying the sun in our balcony. Koda is a streetdog from Spain and came to Denmark with her brother, to live with my Spanish partner and me. The unconditional love that now fills our home is incredibly healing.
My journey back to a life in balance
As you might have sensed, I could write endlessly about my passion for therapy. But it's also important to me that you also get to see a little bit about who I am. So here I'd like to tell you a little bit about me, and about how I fought my way back to a worthy and balanced life after psychological abuse and depression.
The personal stuff
All the way up under the roof, right by lake and forest, I live in Silkeborg with my little family (partner and dogs). The nature means a lot to me, I love long walks and just absorbing all the sensory inputs. I remember how some years ago, after a heavy and dark depression, I suddenly saw all the colors of the nature clearly. For me, it felt like the first time ever that I truly and genuinly noticed what the nature really is. Overwhelmed and in awe I walked through Risskov (Aarhus) and took it all in. Listened to the gentle whooshing of the leaves, the birds singing, the little scratching noises from the animals. Smelled the sharp scent of the wild garlic, felt the warmth of the spring wind, saw for the first time the many nuances of color. This moment was a crucial turn for me, and since then I've practiced presence and mindfulness, because life had for way too long been grey and dark. It means a lot to me now to live in balance - in balance with my emotions, in my relations, in balance with my values. This has been a LONG and HARD fight to learn!
Some time ago I went through a relationship that tore me apart. The relationship was full of violence, which at the time was so hidden for me, that I undermined myself completely. It has taken me many years to rebuild myself, refind the inner core that centers you in heavy weathers. My sense of reality had been disturbed and my self-worth cracked.
When you finally get out of a psychologically abusive relationship, you may not be aware of what has been going on. In most abusive relationships, we build narratives, stories, about the reality which overshadow every common sense. Therefore we can end up overlooking our own boundaries, adapting, submitting, pleasing and apologizing. We do things we do not want to, because we try to uphold the story of love. For a long time, I ignored the giant knot in my stomach that was all my overstepped boundaries. It can feel shameful to have let someone else overstep your boundaries, which makes it so hard to talk about. That's why, often, we end up keeping it to ourselves for way too long.
It's very much my own story that drives my work with the topic. I've felt on my own body how self-destruction through someone else feels, and I understand how difficult it is to navigate in. I experience that my personal knowledge makes a big difference for the clients I have, who have gone through something similar. In my own journey back to life, I also went to a lot of therapy, with different therapists. Besides therapy I've also used writing a lot to process what I've experienced. One exciting writing project is becoming a book, which will be available next year! It can be extremely healing to hear others' stories that we can relate to, as it validates our own experience of the reality that we lived.
Getting to know yourself again
For a lot of people it can feel foreign to meet yourself in a self-caring and curious way. We're used to judging ourselves, yelling at ourselves, ignoring our bodies' signals, ignoring reactions and painful feelings, suppress boundaries and needs. I've lived like that too, in a constant hunt of acceptance, love and care from others, but without the ability to give that to myself. For some this self-image comes from a self-worth defined by others, as well as a basic fear of being abandoned. If this fear gets to control our actions, setting boundaries will be hard. We have to slowly learn that we're worthy, and that we can demand something of the world and our surroundings. This is, in many ways, like getting to know yourself again with new and loving eyes.