Updated: Jan 9
I've been robbed not once, not twice, but multiple times in my life. Being robbed is a traumatic experience. Regardless of the severity of it, it wreaks havoc on your emotions.
Shock, fear, anger, grief, sadness, mistrust, and sense of violation are just a few feelings that I can remember that fed into my anxiety and depression. It was the winter of my freshman year of high school when my family took a holiday leaving our newly built home in an upper middle-class neighborhood in the hands of a trusted friend. We returned to our home being turned upside down, broken and half emptied.
In 2003 as new mother to a one-year-old girl, I was on my way out of my office to go home and stopped to thank the tellers for their support and excellent customer service. A car pulled up into the drive-up window. My gut sank when I looked at the driver's face. In training we were taught to listen to our gut feelings. Quietly I called 911 and the transaction ended with the customer being surrounded at gun point and my staff and I hovered under the counter for safety. We were being robbed.
At 30 years old, the most traumatic robbery took place. Now a mother of three, alone, hugging the base of the toilet in our master bathroom, my body shook uncontrollably. I cried so hard I was vomiting, and then passing out from the fear. Every time I looked at where the tile of the bathroom met the carpet of the bedroom, the pain got worse as I felt threatened and violated. Outside of the bathroom was reality. Outside of the bathroom was my life. A life that became lifeless, dark, and emotionless. A life that was robbed of joy, adventure, love, connection, excitement, and my identity . The most difficult part of it all was I knew who took it all away. They were the closest most intimate person I had ever known. Someone who was always dependable, bright, energetic, and happy. I could turn to them with and for anything and any reason. Everyone could turn to them, family, friends, co-workers, strangers.
Who was this cold hearted, selfish, greedy, vindictive person this time that robbed me.......
ME! I was the robber!
Dang it! Scandalous, right? It was!
How the hell did I accomplish this? Over the years I became an expert to say the least at numbing myself to survive. In the moment I thought I was doing what was best for everyone. I numbed the pain, the grief, the sadness, the anger of not just the trauma in my life, but my identity. At the time I found it to be easier to avoid any conflicts and to process my feelings. The societal expectations of being perfect and pleasing everyone was so enormous it had me living in shame for what had happened in my past and who I authentically was. It silenced me. What I didn't know was how hard it would be to continue to numb and the damage it was doing to me and my family. Eventually it broke our family, myself, and my children. Now I had robbed not just myself, but I was robbing my family of a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, patron, volunteer, and co-worker. Who ever knew this fit, healthy, college educated, successful career woman, living a wealthy upper middle-class life was a robber?
We have a choice. YOU have choice. YOU can stay silent and remain a victim and rob yourself and others or YOU can stand up, live unashamed, and become a hero. Which one sounds better?
It has been 9 years since I have robbed and been robbed. Life is now of an abundance! My relationship with myself, my new husband, my children, my family, my ex-husband, and friends are bright, healthy, and strong. Every day I get to choose it to be miraculous all while living out my passion and purpose. Is everyday flawless? Absolutely not, but every day is handled with so much more confidence, grace, growth, and love. Every day, I am not debilitated by anxiety, depression and the past.
When you remain silent and a victim, life will repeat itself. When you remain in the past, it will repeat itself. When you numb your feelings, they fester in other ways such as anxiety, depression, and self-sabotaging behaviors. You are blocking yourself and possibly others from moving forward into a better future. When people are living their best life, everyone around them will begin to live their best life as well. The past will stop repeating itself.
Are you robbing yourself? Have you robbed yourself? Are you ready to be your own hero and put a stop to people pleasing, perfectionism, and shame? Go to www.jondreaphelps.com to begin your journey.
ICF Certified Empowerment Coach
ICF Certified Organizational Development Coach
230 RYT Yoga Instructor