Sarah Jeanne Browne is a speaker, writer, and activist. She is a self-help writer published on Forbes, Bella Grace, Lifehack, Tiny Buddha, Elephant Journal, Thrive Global, Raise Center, and more. She spoke at The Peal Center’s Transition Conference 2010, Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network, The Woodlands Foundation, Reimagine, and various podcasts. She is an activist for human and animal rights. She volunteers for Tiny Buddha. She has bipolar, dyscalculia, and AuDHD. She/They Her website is www.sarahjeannebrowne.com and you can follow her on Facebook @sarahjsocialjustice.
Forum Replies Created
June 30, 2023 at 10:33 am #420629
Roll of thumb: Lying = Leave.
Gut feelings are never wrong.June 29, 2023 at 11:02 am #420584
I honestly can’t tell you how much I needed to hear that my friend’s suicide wasn’t my fault. I knew that rationally. But emotionally I was blaming myself. I wanted to say all the right things and I know that he would have done it no matter what I said.
I’ve had suicidal ideations all my life and one suicide attempt. This is a quote that has helped me: “The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens. – Unknown”
I tell myself that because it’s true every time. Not all my problems are solved. I’m experiencing a side effect of mild coughing from one of my bipolar medications that I am waiting out and will discuss with my psychiatrist the end of July. I have weight gain from side effects of meds that I’m now using trulicity for (because everyone is using ozempic but it’s backordered due to demand) and was doing well then I was put on a sleeping med that makes you hungry. So I’m in a pickle right now of how do I navigate all this?
I’m only sharing this because this happens to me all through my life where I can’t LOGICALLY see my way out of a situation. Then it works out. I have to teach myself not to freak out and let things run their course and maybe there will be a solution.
I went through the mental health system and gave feedback to someone who oversees it in my area. So I got to make meaning, come up with solutions and hopefully inspire better help. A lot of mentally ill people in those places can’t self-advocate and I was lucky to be stable enough to when I got out of there.
So bringing this all back to your mom… I think you’ve made meaning in cutting her out, having compassion and forgiveness and understanding that she really doesn’t deserve. So your inner voice should really be “I’m a brave, compassionate, strong, forgiving, caring and resilient person.” You have to see that in yourself.
For me abuse is never justified. So don’t feel like you have to understand her story. There are people with sob stories who don’t abuse. I do think that there are cases where parents aren’t emotionally equipped to be parents but there’s a different line crossed that can be abuse. For the former mistakes may be made with accountability and then follow through that they act better. For abusers…they gaslight, deny, avoid accountability etc. But also if she was to be accountable, you still do not have to have a relationship with her.
It’s hard to reparent your inner child. You’ve been through so much pain.
Just celebrate where you are now. That you are not in that situation anymore.
I’ve been an advocate against child abuse with The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect. There are many orgs out there. But if you ever need a resource, they are good ones. Or to volunteer or share your story.
I’m amazed by you and know that you helped ME today which I wasn’t expecting so thank you. 🙂
June 28, 2023 at 8:12 pm #420559
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Sarah Jeanne Browne.
I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much. Having an abusive mother become your inner voice is hard. Are you still in contact with her? If so I would recommend cutting her off.
I used to go to suicidal ideations every time I couldn’t see a way through something. Then life would surprise me. But things are still hard in general.
So I get it.
I’m glad you had a breakthrough.
You deserve to know that you are worthy and have more power than you realize. You survived that abuse. You’ve overcome so much.
I have a book recommendation – Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. It’s from her advice column as Dear Sugar where she compiled her best stories and advice.
I say this book because I had a mental breakdown in 2015 and I researched a TON of self-help to see what would help me. Going rockbottom like that showed me what works and what doesn’t work. So I was reading Joel Osteen (am not a fan now) which is prosperity gospel. I read positivity blogs. And so many things that just didn’t work for me. For the Joel Osteen thing when I was in the psych ward I told a patient that a struggle is like an arrow being pulled backwards in order to go farther so once released it would go a stronger distance than if you had not gone through the struggle. Now I regret those words. That person later died by suicide. I found things that helped me which were Cheryl Strayed’s book and prayer. I had this patient read Tiny Beautiful Things and they underlined and wrote notes in it. Now it’s precious to me.
I’m rambling a bit. But I’ve learned that things can simply be senseless. We don’t have to celebrate every struggle or like it turn us completely around. Pain is pain. Anyways I wish I could have said that to him instead.
There’s “name it to tame it” by Dr. Dan Siegel. I found this out on my own actually. I say “I am in pain.” I don’t now why this helps me. But I usually repress or don’t acknowledge negative feelings. I’ve always transmuted it into something positive or meaningful. I’ve always tried to be inspirational with wisdom (which is what led me to this site). Today actually I said that and was like “Okay I’m accepting it.” For whatever reason I can’t outsmart the pain.
My pain comes from trauma and survivalism white knuckling my life with no breaks or balance.
I don’t know how to turn that pain around to be honest. I know that’s not exactly helpful. But all my life I suffered in silence. So much that I have a guard even with myself.
So I’m really proud of YOU for saying how you feel. That’s step one. I’m glad you were able to pinpoint your pain to abuse.
I don’t know how to fix that pain. But I think that you are a beautiful person no matter what anyone says about you. You deserve to feel happy. Just know that. You deserve it.
Anyways I don’t know if any of that was helpful. I’m right there with you.
June 28, 2023 at 3:45 pm #420555
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Sarah Jeanne Browne.
I think the anxiety told you it was time to go. She wasn’t being clear on children and there’s the debt thing. I think that you may have wanted different things and she didn’t want to communicate in a healthy manner. You let her go a lot and she got mixed signals but it seems like a mutually beneficial thing that you two ended it. After 7 years you should be on the same page. Don’t blame yourself!June 20, 2023 at 2:51 pm #420216
Leave him. There is no reason to stay. You’ve given him enough chances. For your daughters you need to be an example of someone who has healthy boundaries and high standards for what you deserve. He is nothing. You have everything you need – a much stronger character. So use this situation as a learning one to not give so many chances and to trust your gut. Your gut is always right!June 19, 2023 at 11:25 am #420155
Okay I understand a little better now!
I do not believe in karma. I believe life is unfair. But I also believe there is more to this life. An afterlife. That things get righted there. I know that is not necessarily what this site believes or what you believe or may want to hear. I had a bad experience with reiki. It led me to thank a former therapist. Then the spell was broken and I realized she actually abused me. I got her fired instead. It sort of warped energy into something seemingly positive but ultimately not right.June 18, 2023 at 9:21 pm #420133
Sometimes there are personality conflicts within an organization, someone attempting to sabotage your success, or inappropriate behavior.
Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.
Your work environment impacts your mental health.
But you can also put up boundaries as to what you allow to affect you. Can you just do the daily task regardless of validation? Can you take constructive criticism (so long as it’s respectful and exactly that – constructive)? Can you self-advocate or address your needs with a coworker or manager? Can you talk to HR or someone higher up than your manager? Can you let your manager know what you will and will not tolerate?
Okay so personally if it were me I would just look for another job. I know that’s not easy. But I can’t be around toxicity. It’s about how much you are willing to tolerate and if you can detach and just think “I’m doing this to survive. That’s all this is.”
I’ve been in fields with children at daycare centers where there was abuse or coworkers sabotaging me. Someone once told me if there’s a sick feeling in your stomach, that’s a sign (from God, universe, whatever), that something isn’t right. That’s a gut feeling. If you already know the situation isn’t right for you and can’t be mended – either tolerate it with boundaries and self-advocate OR walk away.
You can’t live with how it is currently.
Visualize your success. What would your dream job or position be? How would it make you feel? I don’t really buy into the whole manifesting thing but sometimes starting over is an adventure and it’s okay to be open to it.June 18, 2023 at 7:57 pm #420132
that sounds like a “put down” and is insulting to keep bringing that up. I wouldn’t want someone around me that did that to me. You deserve to be valued at any age! This is demeaning and slight emotional abuse.
An analogy would also be like someone commenting on your weight, disabilities, looks, etc. It’s the subtle type of abuse that people sometimes get away with.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with an age gap. But using your age against you and to guilt you or manipulate you or just being mean about it is not right.June 18, 2023 at 7:47 pm #420131
This is not a healthy person. They have no boundaries and chose to be with M rather than get a restraining order or some legal help with this situation. You’re not their “fixer” or their person. They misled you that it would all be okay. You in a way enabled it.
I would say too much happened to be able to just pick up where you left off. I would burn that bridge and keep on moving.June 18, 2023 at 7:14 pm #420130
It’s hard to love someone who is struggling with their mental health. It impacts your own mental health and makes you question everything about yourself.
know that her pulling away isn’t your fault nor does it dictate your worth.
It’s okay to grieve this relationship.
It sounds like she’s also not paying attention to you or telling you good things. I didn’t read this whole thread but saw in the last message that she blamed you for her moods.
It’s tough if you’ve never had a healthy example of a relationship.
The very MOMENT someone disrespects you in any way – you leave.
That is emotional abuse.
I hope you find your way to meet someone else and pick up the pieces. It’s so hard when you’re in love with someone emotionally unavailable.
This may also be an attachment issue. You may get attached too soon. You need to feel someone out for some time and test if they are capable of opening up to you. I recommend for your next relationship to take baby steps and go a bit slower before going all in.June 18, 2023 at 7:07 pm #420129
It seems like you both have some work to do on yourselves. You said you prioritize going out or work and she gives all her energy to the kids and not to you. Could you guys afford a nanny? just curious!
The question you need to ask yourself is this – When was the last time you were vulnerable to her and showed her any pain or fear or frustration in an expressive manner?
I feel that communication, energy and possibly differing priorities are causing the strain. It’s not necessarily that you don’t love each other.
In the moments you are together, look into her eyes and brush back her hair and just stay in that space as long as possible. You don’t have to talk, or can if you want to. Tell her you need time with her where you just exist for each other – no expectations.
When you’re in love you want to make out all day and can’t leave each other’s sides. That fades out when you stop opening up to each other.
Perhaps even writing a letter of all that you want to say and giving it to her. Have her do the same to you.
It’s a lost spark that CAN be rekindled.
But also NEVER stay with someone because of the kids. They will feel the strain either way.
Lastly, love yourself. You’re detaching from yourself too. You need to focus on yourself in a different way. You won’t be happy in ANY situation if you don’t self-reflect and turn inward. Your circumstances don’t dictate happiness. Your character and inner peace do.June 18, 2023 at 6:33 pm #420128
I understand the lack of physical intimacy due to having a child but it’s still a red flag to sleep in separate beds and think of her as a friend. There’s emotional intimacy too that seems to be lacking. If I was her, I would want affection and validation. If someone wanted space from me, that would impact my self esteem. I’m only saying this with empathy from her point of view. If she’s cool with it, that’s your unique relationship!June 17, 2023 at 1:27 pm #420110
I think that if you think of your wife as a friend, you’re not really in a relationship. That isn’t as fair to her (or to you). I would consider marriage counseling. This is concerning because it means there’s a lack of intimacy.June 8, 2023 at 1:21 pm #419822
You are experiencing gaslighting and emotional and verbal abusive and an unequal power dynamic where she has all the control over you. That’s why it’s abusive. You deserve someone who communicates in a healthy manner with you. You can’t fix an abuser’s actions. You can’t. You just gotta get out and love yourself enough to start over.June 4, 2023 at 9:12 pm #419760
You’re in an abusive relationship. There is no other option but to leave.