Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sneaky subconscious

photo by Simone Quotes

I've  been experiencing some shifts lately, and my eyes keep opening up to new breakthroughs. Some with my subconscious. It's completely exciting for me. Somewhat painful. I feel like things are ripping on the inside of me. In a good way. I feel somewhat more balanced now than I used to be. I'm getting used to the constant changes in my perspectives. I feel like I accept things more.

I haven't yet written down in my journal or this blog a huge shift that occurred four months ago while I was working with a deeply compassionate and insightful medical intuitive named Brett. We were working through some trauma that occurred, and he was helping me release the trauma, as well as identify toxic emotions and beliefs. He also helped me set the stage for healthy beliefs to come flooding in.

He also helped me zero in on the exact psychological and emotional reasons I got sick.  Stuff that was hidden to me... I had no clue these issues existed. But before I get to that part, however, I have to underline that a genetic disposition and other long time physical stresses were running along side these psychological and emotional stresses, each helping to culminate in adrenal burnout.

So there is a genetic tendency toward adrenal burnout in my family. My mom and older sister are currently in less severe stages than I am. Before I was born, my mom had three children in a row, spacing them less than a year apart. By the time she had me, her hormones hadn't had a chance to rest and reset. Also, she was being abused by my father when pregnant with me. She was copper toxic and passed the heavy metals down to me. I was a space cadet even as an infant and child, always dreamy and thinking artsy, magical thoughts. My mom said that the first day of my life as an infant, I had complete control of my hands and arms. She said that I put both hands together, lining up each finger perfectly, and then twisted them. Took my fingers apart, then lined them up again just so. My mom was convinced I was either a genius or was autistic. I'm neither. I was just fascinated by my hands, I guess.

Me singing

When my counsellor Brett started working with me, he told me some fairly blunt things about myself. It's almost like he had me swallow a truth serum, and he could read my mind or subconscious. I feel like I'm performing open heart surgery with a clumsy shovel and spade in my attempts to try to relate how Brett knew these things about me. I feel as though I don't have the exact words at my disposal to describe what happened.  Regardless, it was like scales fell off my eyes. I didn't know this before, but in my subconscious, I believed for almost three decades that I deserved to be sick and mistreated because on some level, I thought I was worthless. Who believes something like that, right? I didn't even know I believed that. I could barely fathom I could entertain such thoughts. But there it was buried deep and somehow hardwired in my subconscious. I believed I was unlovable, a looser, and that I didn't deserve a good career, health, or loving relationships. In the deepest part of my mind, I was sabotaging myself without even knowing it. I believed this because I had been abused, and didn't come to grips with it in a healthy way. Because of what happened to me, I assumed that there was something intrinsically horrible and wrong with me, otherwise I wouldn't have attracted that kind of treatment. I assumed that if I was a lovable girl, I wouldn't have been abused.

On a ferry to Ellis Island
I would have never admitted out loud or even in my own mind that I thought I was worthless. But it was the driving thought in my subconscious pushing me and molding my decisions year after year. I often fell into what could have tuned into abusive relationships. Fortunately, I was smart enough to break up with guys before they could do much harm to me. Also, my sister Thalia and I early on saw what my father did to my mother. We reasoned that if my mom had a college education and good job, she wouldn't have been trapped as tightly as she was, and she could have escaped. So we decided that in order to escape the fate of our mother, we would need to have a good education, solid career, and our own apartment. That way, if a man started going foul, we could easily break away from him and be completely strong and independent on our own.

So even though I tended to attract abusive men, I was able to detach from them fairly easily, and did so on a regular basis. Every two years or so, I'd move on to a new guy. But outside of the realm of relationships, I was attracting to myself negative, toxic, and unhealthy life situations. I earned my degree in Elementary Education, had an excellent student teaching experience, and had a job offer from a good school district. I was instantly afraid. Why would an excellent school district be interested in me? The thought turned my head upside down and didn't jive with my beliefs about myself, so in my subconscious mind, I distorted the reality of what just happened. I told myself I would never get hired, they had become interested in me by accident, and it was best to ignore their phone call and pretend like it never happened. So I did. A week or two later, the school called again and my mom answered and said I would get back to them. I never did. I got upset every time she mentioned the call and eventually my mom stopped reminding me. I then pursued a job in a school in inner city Baltimore, Maryland, in the heart of the ghetto, an hour away from my home town. I got the job but only lasted three months. It was a nightmare. There weren't enough desks, chairs or books. Children ran in and out of the room at will. Some went across the street to get snacks and never came back in the class. I was never able to take attendance because they wouldn't sit still for me to count them, and they wouldn't all tell me their names. It was chaos. They were fighting with each other, like rabid angry wolves. Kids were throwing desks at me, crying in rage and anger, or snarling at me and stepping on my feet on purpose. I couldn't teach because I was breaking up one fight after another. My stress level was over the top and my mind would start going numb, like I couldn't even think straight. And yet, I felt I deserved this.

My classroom where I taught first grade in NYC- I was so proud.
Years later, I tried again in another school in another rough neighborhood, this time in Spanish Harlem, NYC. It was just as bad there, but this time I told myself I must make it work. And I did. I thrived in that war zone, and was constantly in fight or flight. After a while, the principals saw what a trooper I was, and saw how quiet and well behaved the children were in my class. They were well behaved because of my blood, sweat and tears, not because they were just a naturally good class.  Soon the administration promoted me to lead teacher, started sending teachers to train under me, and had me leading seminars to break in new teachers. Teachers who stuck around and did a good job were rewarded and given easier classes year after year. It was only the first year teachers who were given the toughest classes to cut their teeth on, sort of like a sink or swim kind of situation. The teachers who passed the test and stayed on the ship were given better classes if they made it through the first year. Very few dedicated teachers wanted to apply at the school, and turnover was heavy each year. The administration didn't want any experienced teacher to leave, so once you became an experienced teacher, you were spared the onslaught of children with behavioral issues. So I was at the point where I was being sent calmer students, with only one or two challenging cases per year. Things were looking good. Until word got around that I had a knack for soothing troubled children. Soon the administration started sending me slews of the toughest kids, the ones that were making the other teachers quit by the droves.  I was in a war zone again in my own classroom. I didn't even think to question this, and I didn't think once about leaving the school for another. I didn't believe in myself or my personal worth, and I had no boundaries, so I just smiled and toughed it out. I felt this was what my life was supposed to be like.

Around this time, I hadn't been eating nearly enough for the last few years. Whenever I would become highly stressed, I would stop eating. I somehow felt more in control during uncontrollable life situations if I was able to go without food. But more than that, I had this life long hidden mantra that I wasn't worth the time, effort or money that went into shopping for and preparing good food. I disliked shopping for food for myself, so I performed that chore as little as possible.  Food was for nourishment, and I felt uncomfortable nourishing myself. I wouldn't have ever admitted this out loud, perhaps not even to myself. But there it is. It was just another hidden thought I held that guided me down quite the nutritionally depleted path.

Nutritional stress was just one of many stresses, though. I was on a constant roller coaster of stress physically, mentally, emotionally. I attracted the drama and thrived on pain because somehow it confirmed to me on a subconscious level that I was truly worthless.

To be honest, all I wanted was love and approval from someone in charge. First I wanted it from my dad and never got it. Then I wanted it from God and never got it. Just got a lot of condemnation and judgement. Then I aimed for approval from the principals at the school.  I was a perfectionist in everything I did, trying to earn just a little pat on the back. It was basically futile, to say the least.  But that made me try all the more. Even though I was shy, I became a type A person in each job I took on, giving 125% above and beyond, extending myself far more than was healthy.  Word eventually got around that a few of my colleagues at the school hated me because I supposedly made them look bad. Unfortunately, I didn't mind as long as the principals approved of me. I was so hungry for approval from someone other than myself.

I unknowingly had this silly belief in my subconscious mind since childhood that love was something that must come from a source outside of yourself. That you couldn't trust yourself to find it inside of yourself. I believed that since I was born a sinner and would die a sinner, I was worthless. I sometimes had a fleeting fairy tale like thought that maybe, possibly, some day, someone outside of me might prove me wrong and make me worthy. I was on a life long search to find that someone or something outside of me. But I didn't ever find it, so I was frustrated, angry and confused about life all through my teenage years, twenties and early thirties. I was a mess. All along, my subconscious mind kept secretly telling me I was worthless, and I just unknowingly went along and acted accordingly, piling on more stresses.

It was during my fourth year living in NYC that my stress levels started foaming into some kind of a rolling boil. Around this time I was dating this kind but highly critical guy who I invited to live with me. I was too frazzled, busy, and in over my head to have a shred of time to invest in any relationship, and yet I invested anyway, not respecting my own limits.  I was taking classes full time in downtown Manhattan, finishing up my master's degree while teaching full time. I had a 4.0 in every class, every paper, every assignment. Perhaps the professors would take a liking to me if I turned in amazing papers. Nah, none of the professors noticed. Over the next few months, my doctor put me on a bunch of ridiculous pharmaceuticals that messed me up. I was on birth control, and it must have raised my copper levels. It made me spacey and nauseous, but I didn't value myself or my health enough to think to get off of it. I told myself I had to just tough it out, because I deserved a hard time, and  this is simply what my life consisted of. I did a round of IVF, donating my eggs and getting money which I put towards my master's. I had misgivings about being a guinea pig in this way, especially when it made me feel loopy and tired, but something in my subconscious was OK with this procedure, I was OK with undergoing a possibly harmful treatment. I was getting severe stress headaches and migraines at this point, and when other medications failed, I was eventually put on an opiate called Tramadol to control the pain. One day I decided to go off of Tramadol cold turkey. That day was April 18, 2009. That was the day the bottom of my world dropped out. I was fully functional up to that point. After that day, I became very sick with adrenal burnout, and remained sick for four years.

Looking back and seeing the beliefs I held about myself, I think- No wonder I attracted to myself and allowed myself to be in such destructive life situations! I want to be careful to set a healthy tone here. I don't judge myself, because I honestly didn't know what I was doing. I'm writing this so that I can merely observe and soak up what really happened to me.

There was another piece. It wouldn't make much sense to divulge it here, as it would require me to write and relive toxic stuff that I have shed and don't wish to identify with too much. But it is a critical piece since it helped me understand even more why I really got sick and couldn't recover. I think I may be able to give a bit of a synopsis without going too deep. My father had a tendency to kick a man when he was down. Even with his own children, when he sensed pain or discomfort he would circle like a vulture, pecking and inflicting more pain when the little innocent one hadn't the power to fight back. I was scared of him in general, but at the tenderest moments of my life when a healthy parent would hold, comfort and nurture their dear child, my father chose those exact moments to lash out at me in rage and disgust.

As a result, I connected the dots early on. I saw that when my underbelly was exposed and I was most vulnerable and weak, it was my fate that I would be hurt and abandoned more by my father. In some twisted way, my young brothers and sisters and I were brainwashed to believe God OK'd my father's every move, and we were too afraid to question this. We were raised in a religious cult similar to the Westboro Baptist hate cult, based on the patriarchal Bill Gothard religion.

In this cult, women were treated as objects, were bullied into closing their minds down and blindly obeying the man, believing that when a man spoke, it was the ultimate voice of God. Women were not allowed to express their feelings or say no. They were to accept abuse from men (yelling, anger, throwing furniture, psychological and emotional abuse, sexual and physical abuse) because it was God's creative way of punishing them for their innate sin and worthlessness. Abuse and punishment were a woman's lot in life, but the abuse was coated over in terms such as "God's loving chastisement." Life was supposed to be hard, and the more struggles, drama and repression you encountered in life, the more God was loving you as a true son (not a daughter, a son). Love meant strangling, oppression, control, fear and punishment. When bad things happened in your life, it was because you were sinning and deserved it, but God loved you enough to refine your character, so thank him for it. So in my mind, God and the universe had no compassion on me when I was in pain, I deserved to be sick, hurt and alone. It was simply a manifestation of my innate worthlessness, and I deserved it. God was very loving to put the illness on me. If I rose against it or against any of my family's abusive teachings, I would feel my father's rage more, because I was resisting authority and the way things simply are. If I rose against the way things were, my mom and sisters would frown at me and shush me down out of fear for their own backsides and my own.

Enough of that. That's all lie. It's always been a lie. I realize that for the first time in my life. It's like blinders fell off of my eyes in the days and weeks following my work with my counsellor, and I can finally see clearly. It's like I'm wearing truth goggles, and if I see a lie, I can not bow to it or let it sit like poison in me. I shed it right away... it doesn't stick to me anymore.  I've been sensing deep within that I am loved, I am love, I am infinitely valuable, and that I deserve glowing health.

The main reason that I believed these lies was because I kept my mind a complete wasteland, refusing to question my inner beliefs. I did this because that's what the religion and my dad taught. But more than this, I knew from the time I was 5 that my dad loathed me. So my entire childhood and adulthood, I did everything possible to get him to approve of me, even if it meant dumbing down my mind and following the religion meticulously. To no avail. Ironically, the more I tried, the more he hated me. The more my younger sister threw all caution to the wind and broke each rule, the more he doted on her. I didn't get it. It was a no win situation. After I got sick with adrenal burnout and severe chronic fatigue and was on the verge of being homeless and going into hospice care, I went begging to my parents and asked to stay with them. I got a firm NO, I would be in the way, I would be a nuisance, and I would be a threat to their privacy. I shouldn't ask again. Door closed.

It was then that something broke loose. I was a step away from my deathbed, and he wasn't willing to stretch out a hand to help. If he could turn me down coldly in a situation like this, why was I still trying to get this man to approve of me and why was I still entertaining his religious ideas? I ended up living, and mulled over the situation for a year afterwards. I realized that he would never approve of me and never love me in his current mind state, and that I was the fool to keep trying. It was so hard to let go. But if he was willing to let me die without helping, he was finished with me, and nothing I could ever do would make him love me. So I gave up on trying. Finally. After all these decades.

That's when I had an epiphany. I guess most people have known this for quite some time, but it was at this point that I understood experientially that my sense of self worth is not equal to the way that my family treats me. My loveability is based on the fact that I am, and so by default I am amazingly loveable, I am love, I am worthy, and nobody's treatment of me can change that.

After I gave up trying to get my dad to approve of me, I suddenly wasn't in fear of his rules anymore, for the first time in my life. It felt pretty strange, but I didn't fear opening up my mind anymore. So I opened up my mind, and suddenly these religious beliefs I'd naively kept as my own now seemed ilogical and unloving. So I detached myself from them. This was about the time I was consulting with the medical intuitive, Brett, who helped me let go of the trauma and toxins.

The last week or so, I've been waking up saying to myself, "I accept! I accept my health. I accept good. I accept that I'm getting better and better every day." It doesn't matter that people with advanced chronic fatigue typically don't get better and have this illness for life. I would have believed that last year. Would have. Well, I did believe that last year. But not now! I deserve better!
I feel like I've been coming into a healthier frame of mind the last few months. Because of this, I'm making health decisions that are benefiting me, decisions I couldn't possibly have been able to make in the past when I lived in a state of unknowing self sabotage. I bypassed many a treatment over the last four years, not allowing them to be options because on some level, I thought I wasn't worth it and deserved to be sick. These toxic beliefs didn't just help contribute to illness, they helped prolong it. 

I used to blame myself for getting this illness because I piled so much stress on myself psychologically, emotionally, physically and nutritionally. But that was back before I understood the factors that go into this condition. I know I wouldn't have gotten this illness if I didn't have a genetic predisposition towards it. I can think of things I did to precipitate this illness till I'm blue in the face, but to be honest, most people use their bodies far more than I ever did or will, and they are strong and healthy like oxen. I started out with a genetically weaker and more susceptible body, so I would have had to have walked perfectly on eggshells my whole life, completely stress free in order to not have not gotten this illness. At best I probably could have delayed the illness till my late 40's or so, even if I nourished myself 100%. My mom has always had low blood pressure and a tendency towards this condition. She managed to delay getting chronic fatigue until she was in her 50's. Before she reached her 60's, she was 80-90% recovered. She had a mild case. My sister got this same illness in her 40's, and two years later she is almost as recovered as my mom is. Again, she didn't have that severe a case, either. A cousin of mine got it nine years ago and recovered from it. She was pretty bad off, as all her symptoms mirrored mine, but she's fine now.

I know I will recover completely. Not even genetics can stand in my way. I'd like to learn more about our ability to reprogram the genes so that illness is no longer a part of our DNA code. 

In any case, I'm just relieved that I'm not blocking my body's attempts to heal with any more hidden, toxic thoughts. I'm finally allowing myself to see and accept treatments. I recently invested in a Bio Tuner, which eased me into parasympathetic state within a month and calmed the anxiety and panic attacks that had been bothering me for four years. I also finally made the decision to start Nutritional Balancing through hair mineral analysis. I'm two months into the program, and already I feel stronger and more balanced. I'm looking forward to making more updates as I go along. 



  1. Hi,
    Came across your blog while searching for Adrenal Fatige cures. Liked a lot your post on curezone about "Link between personality and chronic fatigue"... I am a guy but still but still come out as extra-sensitive kind, so may be a HSP.

    Reading your Blog reminds me of so many things from my childhood..especially the father part. My father was quite close to what you have described about you father - was dictatorial at home and would hit a person/kid when he was at lowest.

    I have been suffering from this Adrenal Fatigue since 5+ years now, but only recently have started realizing the connect between subconscious and this debilitating disorder.

    My current condition seems to be better than yours and I feel sorry on reading your posts...hope you recover (and I do too).
    And keep writing, I have read some of your posts and really liked them, will try to read more of the later. Thanks !

  2. Hi B, I'm sorry you had to go through what you did as a child. Having this happen is quite a set up for believing awful things about yourself when you're an innocent kid, and that sets you up for developing a personality that attracts even more damage to yourself down the line. It's awesome to know that's not who I am anymore!

    I'll keep writing even after I'm completely healed. I can write more here than on CureZone. I'm glad you ran across my blog! :)

    I wish you much health on your journey! -AJ

  3. Hi AJ,
    I had no clue about the kid/father part playing any role in causing my ailment. Last year, I met a mind/spiritual healer who had few sessions with me and then it came out that at sub-conscioss level, a lot from my child hood was still lying around, though I was not aware of all that at conscious level. That person helped me to get rid of some of that baggage from past.

    I am also glad that I ran into your blog. Kinda reaffirms that the childhood part had a big role to play in my Adrenal Fatigue. Few other thing also sound familiar, esp. on the part about being extra sensitive. I saw reflections of myself in some of your other posts that I have been trying to read up.
    Good luck - B

    1. That's a huge step, healing from past trauma. For me it was what was holding me back for years, when supplements alone weren't working. For some of us, there's more to the puzzle than just taking supplements and resting.

      Here's to being sensitive and vulnerable! I want to learn to transform it into a strength instead of a weakness, because it really is a powerful, untapped trait.

    2. Being sensitive makes one vulnerable to the environment, society, peer group, so it is a weakness in some respect. But you talk about transforming it into a strength...hmm..sounds like an interesting idea. I will want to more on that. Can you express some more thoughts or may be that can even be a topic for a future blog of yours.

  4. In today's western culture, sensitivity is generally considered a weakness. However, this trait was more revered and respected in ancient cultures. Those with intuitive gifts, ESP, clairvoyance, sensitivity etc were revered and rose to positions of power and influence. I'd like to study this phenomena more... maybe I'll make a future post. :)

    To be honest, I like to think that every trait has a positive and negative pole. Sensitivity and vulnerablity are not exceptions. For example, an outgoing person can be overbearing and rude, monopolizing a conversation. Or the outgoing person could build other people up and draw them out in conversation. You choose how you develop each trait. I know a few entrepreneurial people who created businesses that focus their services solely on people with sensitivity. They found their niche and are making out well despite our culture's bias. Even on an interpersonal level, sensitive people have deep insight and understanding that a typical person doesn't have, so we can this knowledge to our advantage.

  5. I just started reading your blog and I am so so sorry for what you have been thru.
    I have been reading and listening to Eckhart Tolle for the last couple of years. He is so inspirational. Please look into some of his work!!!
    Please take care of your self.

    1. I am so glad you just started reading my blog! Thank you for your kind words. :) I have been listening to "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle for the last 6 months through audiobook. I keep pausing and going back to re-listen to portions over and over. It is life changing! :) -AJ

  6. I love reading his work and anytime I can listen to him speak, I get immediately transformed somehow. He is such a gentle soul and can be very funny as well. His webcast of the NEW Earth used to be on the Oprah site, but I think it has been removed - I used to listen to that a lot - it was in 10 sections - discussing each chapter. Really sorry that I did not download it.

    Glad that it is of some help to you.
    Take Care

  7. I googled adrenal fatigue success stories because I wanted to find some hope. I found you on curezone and found your blog from there. I can't tell you how often I identify with all you share and I'm grateful for your openness to do so. I have lived my entire life in fear and feeling worthless, and am recently learning that that is possibly the biggest threat to my health. I'm learning how to let go of toxic burdens. Ty again for sharing, it made me feel not quite so alone.

    1. Hi Marni! I am enjoying reading through your blog, and wish you the best in recovering full health! It sounds like we have a good bit in common, even teaching. :) Letting go of toxic emotions is life changing! I am so glad you stopped to say hello... It is good to know we are not alone in this. Many hugs to you! -AJ

  8. Wow all our stories are so similar. Been dealing since late 08. Keep pushing on but wonder when it will win. So hard to get answers. I do love lif but drive's me nuts not being able to plan things. Been getting much worse lately. Would love to hear more what has worked for you. Much love and hope. Mike


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