Today I want to tell you how I became the person I am TODAY, because I haven’t always been this way, I’ve had to work a lot in my personal growth and I’ve had to seek help to do it.
I could say that I’m quite a different person from who I was a few years ago, but above all, I’ve had an INNER change.
I grew up in a family infested by the disease of alcoholism. My father used to drink several beers a day and that affected him a lot. My mother was so busy dealing with my father and supporting the family that she was completely absent from my emotional life.
My father never hit me but he did threaten me with doing so or, told me such hurtful things that, as a child and without being able to understand what was happening, they made me believe that “there was something wrong with me”.
Due to his illness, I never knew how my father would come home and that generated me a lot of insecurity. If he was happy, maybe we could avoid the fights, but if he wasn’t, dinner was served with a side of yelling and threats. And that happened every other day.
All these experiences made me lose confidence in myself and doubt my value as a person.
One day, my mother gave me a book by Louise Hay, she was a positive thinking author who talked about meeting your inner child. Until that book, I hadn’t even known that we had two parts within us that talked to each other.
I read the book quickly and bought the exercise book that came with it. I started doing all the exercises that I found in the book and hope returned to me.
I noticed that I had a very critical inner dialogue and that I couldn’t get rid of the years of devaluing that my father or his alcoholism had instilled in me.
I also began reading books by Antonio Blay Fontcuberta, a psychologist who talked about spirituality and psychology and I began to understand that there was a Being or Observer who was aware of everything that happened and who was a character that had been created from every difficulty we’d experienced since childhood.
Even though I read the books and did the exercises, the situation at my house was unsustainable. I couldn’t stand my father and I felt blocked.
I’d begun to have a relationship with myself, but too often, I forgot about my inner child and my emotions overflowed. Connecting with my Being or my Inner Tranquility was too hard, and I didn’t have the techniques or resources to achieve it.
I could see the light sometimes, but then I plummeted back into the darkness.
When I was 18, and due to all those devaluating messages and all the rejection I’d heard throughout my childhood and adolescence, I fell into a small depression.
- I couldn’t say no or set limits to others
- My self-esteem was… where was my self-esteem? I don’t know.
- I criticized myself and was never happy with myself or what I did.
- My life was a sea filled with unmanageable emotions.
- I accepted any kind of treatment just to get an ounce of care.
And I felt lost, without knowing what to do to change my life. My personal power had given up and had abandoned me.
Right then, I wondered if the books I’d read and the exercises I’d done weren’t enough to help me. Maybe I couldn’t change? Maybe that help didn’t work with me?
My first encounter with Therapy
Being quite depressed and without knowing what to do, one day while reading a local magazine, I saw an ad for a therapist that followed Louise Hay’s method.
I’d already noticed that I couldn’t get out of it alone, so I decided to bet on a professional.
I spent almost a year with my therapist, doing one session a week, until I began to regain my security and trust, to be able to make decisions in life.
The changes begin
The first thing I decided was to leave my parents' house. At that time, I was studying at the university, so I looked for a student apartment.
I was there for about 6 months and continued working on my personal recovery. I studied Business Administration and Management and started working in a multinational company. Then, I realized that that world wasn’t for me. I’m a very sensitive and profound person and there was only criticism and superficiality in that company.
As I felt more and more connected with myself, at 19, I made some more decisions:
I left the student apartment, quit my career, left the job I didn’t like and went to work in London as an au pair.
My stay in London wasn’t easy, but it helped me distance myself and decide what I wanted to do with my life.
As my therapist had helped me so much at a time when I was on the floor, I decided that I wanted to help other people regain their own personal power, because I knew the path well.
When I came back from London, I had decided that I wanted to become a Therapist and that’s where my path towards becoming a health professional began.
Here’s a summary of the training I did back then:
-4 years of Gestalt Therapy
- 1 year of Gestalt Therapy for children
- 1 year of Case Supervision
- 2 years of Therapeutic Theater
- 3 years of Dietetics and Nutrition (CFGS)
- More courses, seminars, lectures...
I opened my own private practice and worked as a Dietitian and Therapist in several places: herbalists, schools, beauty centers, etc.
However, all those studies weren’t “homologated” so when I was about 26, I started studying Psychology. Which was then followed by two Masters in Strategic Brief Therapy and in Coaching and Communication.
But I not only trained professionally, throughout all those years I continued working in my personal development.
My first triumph
Throughout all those years of professional training and personal development I learned to:
- Listen to me and meet my needs
- Accept all parts of myself
- Choose and prioritize myself
- Set limits
- Fight for what I wanted
- Create the life that I wanted to live
I managed to become an independent person, capable and with personal power. I felt happy and capable of everything.
There's always something to learn
I met a person, and I fell in love with him blindly. The first two years were wonderful, but then things got complicated. He began to behave in ways I didn’t understand and although he said he loved me, his way of loving me, not only didn’t fill me but also hurt me. We had very different values and things didn’t work out.
I had gained a deep knowledge of myself and knew how to manage myself, so again, I sought professional help, this time from a couple therapist.
But it’s hard to change a relationship if both people don’t do their part, so, even though I wanted it to work, I realized that only love wasn’t enough.
All my insecurities, my fears, my lack of personal courage returned... my emotions controlled my day to day and I couldn’t stop crying or getting angry. My self-esteem plummeted...
So I had to seek professional help again, this time for myself, to get back up.
It took me another year to regain my personal power, but then I was able to make more decisions.
My true Triumph
I decided to leave that relationship as it didn’t suit me, because it was ending me.
I also decided to leave the 5 small jobs I was working on and only stay in one, so I could dedicate my time and energy to only one of my dreams: to give courses on nutrition and self-esteem in schools.
And I did it.
I worked for 7 years for the Provincial Council of Barcelona, doing Food workshops through Theater and Self-esteem for teenagers and parents.
This time, when I recovered my Personal Power, I was able to connect with myself and with that Internal Tranquility that I can now maintain and which allows me to continue making decisions to create the kind of life I want to have.
The last thing I’m going to tell you is that I fell in love with a Swede and decided to leave everything and move to a new country, with a new language and with everything new... but that’s another story...
I also decided to bet on my online project.
This was quite a challenge, but here I am, doing therapy in Swedish in a country that’s not mine and with a website that works in both Spanish and English.
Life is a continuous change and you must be able to adapt to it. If you can manage your emotions, if you love, respect and look after yourself, life will be much easier.
But I know there are times in life when you can’t be alone, so it's okay to ask for help and allow yourself to be helped.
Today I continue hiring professionals who, at specific times, continue helping me on my path, and I am super grateful to all of them for showing me what I couldn’t see by myself.
I know what it is not to have self-esteem, I know what it is to have it and lose it, but I also know how it is to get it back. So if you’re at a time in your life when you think you need some help, don’t think about it, invest in yourself because it’s the best you can do and I can say this from experience.
If you want me to accompany you on a part of your trip, until you can walk by yourself, you only need to ask. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to join you.