My Life of Loneliness & Change

Adopted at birth, raised an only child by abusive alcoholic parents, bullied by peers for decades, and more… my whole life was lonely.

“You know, people absolutely love you professionally but personally, they don’t like you at all”, he said to me.

If you know my story, you may be as shocked as I was.

I mean, how could I let a simple sentence like that bother me so much, if at all?

Truth is, that statement probably hurt me more than all of the years full of abuse and bullying in totality.

My immediate reaction was to jump into the safety net of the victim mindset and shout back in retaliative defense, “I have always been broken and defective, I have always been on the other side of the fence. I’ve always been the one everybody hates”.

Yet, underneath the bitterness, it felt like my heart had been shattered and ripped apart piece by piece.

For years, I had worked extremely hard on trying to change my personality so I could be “normal”.

I had tried for years to shift my toxic mindset, to start trusting and caring about others, to conquer the near-uncontrollable anxiety and bitter sarcasm, and to free my heart from years of unrelenting pain and anger.

In fact, I tried so hard that I mistook my emotional detachment as success, and my isolation as strength. Yet, with every replay of those hurtful words, it became obvious just how fragile my inner spirit really was.

The individual who said that to me was one of five human beings I had truly loved. He knew my deepest secrets and biggest dreams and, although it took a while, as an adult, he was the first person I had truly ever trusted.

I had removed the walls around my heart for him, and I considered him my best and only friend.

Yet here I was, immediately feeling betrayed as I started the reconstruction of my heart walls.

After my logic was once again operating at full throttle, I realized that he was also my biggest and only cheerleader. No matter how big and powerful the defense, he always had faith in me – both personally and professionally.

I then had to realize that the Universe assigned him the difficult task of delivering that life-changing message, knowing it would break me down, and force me open in preparation for full transformation.

You see, I believe everything that happens to us also happens for us, and that each storm we survive carries a valuable lesson. I also believe that if we ignore the often-subtle clues of the lesson we are about to learn, they become larger, until we cannot ignore them any longer. No matter what, we will never be able to outrun the lessons that are waiting for us.

So, while reminding myself of these beliefs, I also recalled hearing variations of those painful words for many years. I either wasn’t listening or wasn’t quite ready to hear them.

After being hit repeatedly with that statement – what I call the “crane of pain” – my storm shelter finally gave in and the damn of self-awareness rushed in to consume me. It was time to sink or swim, because I now was swirling around in the middle of a hurricane. The emotions were raging out of control and the words were piercing my gut. I felt like I was drowning while being pregnant with an angry child who was trying to break free from years of torment and anguish.

As a successful trauma therapist, I was now faced with my most difficult client ever me.

I had to be understanding yet tough. I had to realistically and fairly look at the choices I had made along the way which led me to this day of reckoning. I had spent my entire life feeling as if I was alone and trapped on the other side of the fence, away from all the “normal” people.

I had become obsessed about how to transform into one of the popular people just so I could feel valuable and accepted. I had allowed the “you are defective” tape to play over and over in my mind for years. In return, my anxiety and fear had been paralyzing me.

Then it happened – I was tossed out of the hurricane and plunged throat-deep into the emotional quicksand. It was now time to either let it consume me even more, or free by myself by taking responsibility for my actions – or lack thereof – and it was time to forgive myself for settling behind this powerful fence of segregation.

Yes, the hard truth was that I was lonely because I chose to be.

Then it clicked…

Nobody likes me personally because nobody knows me personally… not even me.

I had spent years giving people mixed messages because my internal environment was in a power struggle with my external facade. My outdated beliefs, and toxic thoughts, behaviors, and attitude were slowly suffocating me.

In very little self-defense, I was a responsible adult by day, yet a hot-tempered 13-year-old by night. I was confused, and everyone in my life was confused too.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had been diagnosed with Asperger’s in 1981.

In clearing out my mother’s home after she passed away in 2007, I found the paperwork.

As if I was unwrapping the best gift under the tree, the words within that paperwork clarified so much for me. It opened up a whole new mindset of both relief and self-understanding; I now understood why I had never been chosen for the teams during physical education class or at church picnics. I finally understood why I was bullied and assaulted for over 10 years in school. I finally understood why I had always been the outcast… the girl behind the fence.

So, because of my chosen career, I was able to talk the lingo of the mental health world, and I could verbally define the meaning of authenticity – but I had no clue how to actually be genuine. In fact, the mere thought of even trying was utterly exhausting.

Nevertheless, I was now faced with three choices:

#1: Refocus on my career and ignore my personal side again (easiest option but obviously not helpful);

#2: Rekindle the fake it flame so I could try and fit in with the normal people. This was probably not the best idea either because I had spent many years standing bare-naked inside of the Mental Auschwitz Camp and I really did not want to go back;

#3: Try something new and start my journey toward authenticity. I knew it would definitely not be a quick trip, but I also knew that this was the healthiest, best and right choice. Although it was going to be a struggle, I intuitive knew that this was the choice that would ultimately save my life.

So, I packed my bags and prepared for flight.

Along the way, I was able to empty my suitcase.

I traded in my self-criticism for acceptance, my mental bullies for love, my anxiety for forgiveness, and my hatred for self-love.

When everything came together, I realized that I had become so accustomed to the darkness and isolation while running from my past, that I initially never noticed my inner warrior had been trying to help me the entire time.

In fact, I was so trapped in my victim mindset that I never noticed I was free all along; I just had to make the choice and commitment to take an action step of which the first one was making an inventory:

  • of the lessons I had learned yet ignored;
  • of the emotions I had felt yet suppressed;
  • of the unhealthy thoughts or behaviors from both myself and others that I hated yet settled for;
  • of the “who” I had been, the “who” I currently was, and the “who” I wanted to become (this was especially difficult);
  • of the positives in my shadow side which helped me survive decades of this toxic stuff.

In making these lists, my mind and emotions started spiraling out of control.

This spiral led to clarity.

For example, in 2007 when I found out about my hidden Asperger diagnosis, my initial reaction was anger toward my adoptive parents for not telling me. I immediately assumed it was just more of their deceptive ways. As I sat alone in the living room sorting through all of the belongings that my now-deceased adoptive parents had collected throughout the years, I started to feel like a victim of theirs yet again.

However, I was able to stop myself when I made the conscious choice to find some good in the situation. I truly was grateful that I did not know about the diagnosis until that moment.

I fully believe that the diagnosis would have become my label, and my excuse and would have held be back and sabotaged my success. After all, in appreciating my shadow side, it was my Asperger symptoms which allowed me to survive decades of trauma at the hands of family members and peers. As a child, teen, and young adult albeit unbeknownst to me, I was forced to adapt the Asperger symptoms into my life in order to be successful in my career, and function as a responsible wife and mother. As a result, I fully believe that by not knowing, I developed a unique perspective on life and a unique appreciation for my skills, talents, and inner strength.

I am grateful for my firm belief that my Asperger symptoms are what have given me ravenous passions, focus, dedication, and loyalty (or perhaps at times, fixations) to people, animals, places, experiences, and things. That moment was when I was able to take the last piece out of my suitcase…

I traded my anger for gratitude.

It had finally become clear that my parents were protecting me and that not telling me about this diagnosis was their unique way of not allowing my human potential to be hampered by what many consider a “disability”. In my opinion, no part of me was ever disabled, only uniquely-abled.

Bottom line is that freedom comes in many forms and one of those is the freedom of choice.

YOU are in a powerful position right now.

You have the freedom to choose an action step – something that will help you step out of your comfort zone and away from the life you hate, into your authenticity and a life you love.

This is why or perhaps how the idea behind the Girl Behind the Fence self-help book series was initially copyrighted in the mid-1990s. Each book in the series was derived from the emotional inventory list that I had made.

Albeit all books are in alphabetical order with the exception of loneliness. I started with Girl Behind the Fence: Loneliness because that was the emotion that I struggled with the most.

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Ms. Mozelle MartinFMHP, FHWE, PhD.

  • 35-year  International Forensic Handwriting Expert
  • Author:  What I Learned From Watching CSI
  • Contracted Forensic Mental Health Professional for Jails & Prisons
  • Creator of The Housecall Analyst forensic book series
  • Forensic Consultant since 2007 – FindMeGroup.org
  • Former Forensic Consultant – Criminal Minds TV show
  • Media Commentator for ABC, NBC, TruTV, Crime Watch Daily, etc.
  • Plantologist, Pianist, Photographer, and Artist

www.MozelleMartin.com

Dr. Charles Parker Interviews Me

Dr. Parker and I talk about the powerful evidence-based Clinical Graphology (aka NGT) program that I created in 1987. To become a client, or Certified Practitioner, please visit http://www.ClinicalGraphology.com.

 

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Ms. Mozelle MartinFMHP, FHWE, PhD.

  • 35-year  International Forensic Handwriting Expert
  • Author:  What I Learned From Watching CSI
  • Contracted Forensic Mental Health Professional for Jails & Prisons
  • Creator” The Housecall Analyst forensic book series
  • Forensic Consultant since 2007 – FindMeGroup.org
  • Forensic Team Member since 2020 – ColdCaseFoundation.org
  • Former Forensic Consultant – Criminal Minds TV show
  • Media Commentator for ABC, NBC, TruTV, Crime Watch Daily, etc.
  • Plantologist, Pianist, Photographer, and Artist

www.MozelleMartin.com

Anxiety of Trauma

My anxiety started the moment I was born. Of course, I don’t remember it – the adoption – but I know that’s when it started. Scientifically and psychologically-speaking, adoption is trauma. Just look up “Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS)” for more information. Although controversial by those not adopted, as an adoptee, ACS was very real for me.

Fresh out of the womb, I was instantly rejected by my biological mother, and immediately tossed into the arms of strangers. Little did I know that my minutes-old, yet already-dark life would be filled with decades of chaos and even more trauma.

As an only child, I laid in my bed trying to fall asleep; the fighting words of my adoptive parents, and the noise of things breaking, and my mother’s fearful screams were the last sounds I heard. In fact, I don’t recall a night that I didn’t, until I was old enough to drive. At age 16, I was able to stay away from home on most nights to avoid listening to it all.

Until then though, once I finally did manage to fall asleep, one of them would come in and wake me up – asking me to take their side. If I tried to go back to sleep, they’d keep prodding me. As if completely satisfied that I was fully awake, they would walk out of the room and go to bed, leaving me to repeat the long “try to go to sleep” process. The next day they pretended as if nothing had happened.

By age 9, I could not relax at all. I would pace, and bite my fingernails and even my toenails until they bled. When the doorbell rang, I would run and hide in the closet until I knew it was safe to come out. In fact, despite only being 9 years old, I can still remember in great detail the night my still-chronic restless legs started.

Many professionals have said they are unsure what causes restless legs. However, I know beyond-a-doubt that anxiety caused mine. In fact, even today on the rare occasion anxiety tries to rear its ugly head, it immediately triggers my restless legs. As someone with a researcher’s mind, I have had so much experience with my restless legs that I can tell exactly what triggers it. When my left leg starts the jerks, jumps, and kicks first, the anxiety is about something personal. When my right leg starts first, it’s about something professional. Although not all anxiety is bad or negative, my legs don’t know the difference.

Because I became so fearful and anxiety-ridden about who was going to bully or try to hurt me again, I started to become emotionally cold, withdrawn, and mean. Unbeknownst to me at the time, subconsciously I was doing anything I could to keep people away from me, to avoid getting hurt. I told myself to hate everyone and trust no one.

While I never became addicted to drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, or anything that many trauma victims turn to, I did have several serious suicide attempts between the ages of 9 and 17. Animals and creativity were the only things that prevented more attempts.

Through all of the anxiety, I also became controlling. I needed to control everything – from the minute I woke up until the exact minute I went to bed. Initially it seemed that the only time I felt safe was when I was in control.

Eventually I realized that my need for control actually made the anxiety worse. Even when the smallest unexpected thing happened outside of my control, it caused a panic attack and often, a complete emotional melt-down. In other words, my need for control that started to help prevent the anxiety actually increased the anxiety, which then fed off my need for control. It was a vicious circle.

Since childhood, my body and brain were in non-stop “freeze, fight, or flight” mode. My anxiety and restless legs became so bad that I was sleeping only four hours every other night. Medically, that was not enough sleep to allow my body or brain to rejuvenate. Yet somehow that was my sleep pattern for decades. Let’s hear it for adrenaline!

Because of my adrenaline working at non-stop full throttle for years, I was then diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. But even that wasn’t enough to break the anxiety of trauma.

Unfortunately, as a result of years of environmental and likely some biological influences, both my adult kids battle with anxiety too. In other words, my trauma caused the very anxiety that has hijacked the lives of at least three generations. Alas, “generational patterning”.

At that time, I wasn’t yet a trauma therapist. Had I been, I would have likely known what to do, yet probably wouldn’t have done it anyway. I mean, all of my time was spent on controlling our (me and my kids) environments to keep us all as safe as possible. In between, I was also trying to hold down a job, and attend college full time (online options, cell phones, computers, and the internet didn’t exist yet). I was doing all I could just to get us through one day, I simply had no more to give.

Since becoming a trauma therapist, many clients have stated that they feel more fearful for a while when everything is calm. I get it… I really do. The newness of the calm seems like it will be temporary phase, that at any time, chaos will ensue!

That’s why it is so important to create a new habit by reprogramming or rewiring the neurons in the brain to undo the damage we have become accustomed to. That’s the hard part because that’s also when self-sabotage kicks in. I could elaborate on this more, but that’s another book.

During the process, giving up the need for control was the hardest. You mean, I can just stop controlling everything and still make it through the day? Yeah, right. But, after you get through one day, you can get through one week, then one month… and soon calm becomes a new habit of the mind.

As Dr. Laura Schlesinger would ask, “Is this the way you want your life to be like between now and dead?”

My answer was “hell no!”

Then the next step on my self-prescribed treatment plan was to restart all of my lost creativity. I had been a pianist since the age of 4. As a lonely only child, I had nothing but time. So I spent a lot of time with animals, out in nature (even if it was just my back yard), writing, dancing, painting and taking pictures.

Now as an adult, my creative juices were so blocked that I didn’t even know where to begin. I also didn’t know how to have fun or laugh. I had to reteach my brain all of that. I signed up for some free art and photography classes at Michaels. I then started teaching dance and healing art classes.

Not only was I helping others heal, but I was also learning to trust others, and experiencing laughter, fun, and acceptance – which were all foreign for me. Of course, I taught these classes in the safety net of my own home, just in case.

That’s when I was reminded that anything creative is a great coping skill. In fact, if you go to my website right now, you will find all of my creativity – piano music, photography, artwork, and the other books I have written.

Fast forward…

By comparison, between now and dead, there is very little I’d change. For many years, I have consistently had many more great days than rough days. I open the curtains wide first thing in the morning and often forget to lock my doors and windows. I have a great group of friends, a wonderful family, and have had a 30-year career in forensics that I absolutely love. I stopped biting my nails many years ago, and I haven’t paced in years. I was able to complete 14 years of college, completed as many workshops and seminars in my field as I could, and have experienced some great successes along the way. In other words, I got busy!

My Wall of Achievement from 1994 – 1998

As you move forward in your life, understand that any lifelong change is never going to be easy, and it’s usually not too much fun either. It takes conscious awareness. Like it or not, the healing process plunges you deeply into your shadow side.

The next time you are deciding what or what not to put up with, be your own Dr. Laura and ask yourself… “Between now and dead, is this the way I want my life to be?”

If the answer is no, perhaps my books or creativity can help.

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Ms. Mozelle Martin, FMHP, FHWE, PhD.

  • 35-year  International Forensic Handwriting Expert
  • Author:  What I Learned From Watching CSI
  • Contracted Forensic Mental Health Professional for Jails & Prisons
  • Creator of The Housecall Analyst forensic book series
  • Forensic Consultant since 2007 – FindMeGroup.org
  • Former Forensic Consultant – Criminal Minds TV show
  • Media Commentator for ABC, NBC, TruTV, Crime Watch Daily, etc.
  • Plantologist, Pianist, Photographer, and Artist

www.MozelleMartin.com

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==========================================================================

Ms. Mozelle
Martin, 
FMHP, FHWE, PhD.

  • 35-year  International
    Forensic Handwriting Expert
  • Author:  What I Learned From Watching CSI
  • Contracted Forensic Mental
    Health Professional for Jails & Prisons
  • Creator of The Housecall Analyst forensic
    book series
  • Forensic Consultant since
    2007 – FindMeGroup.org
  • Former Forensic Consultant
    – Criminal Minds TV show
  • Media
    Commentator for ABC,
    NBC, TruTV, Crime Watch Daily
    , etc.
  • Plantologist, Pianist,
    Photographer, and Artist

www.MozelleMartin.com