Renee Alter's Atmosphere
Monday, May 22, 2023
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
The Stories Behind the Songs
You may have seen me riding a mobility scooter around. My spine slipped halfway off my sacrum as a result of the birth defect Spina Bifida Occulta at L5. I am not sure when it slipped or when L5 bilaterally fractured away from the pars. I found out about the slip when I was almost 50, and I found out about the fracture in 2019 when I was 63.
The first pain management doctor I went to when I was 43 thought I had muscular sclerosis, so he kept doing MRIs of my neck and brain stem. Seven years later, I found the word spondylolisthesis on an accident report from when I was 21. Talk about being misdiagnosed. Then I fell back off a chair I was standing on to reach the top shelf of a bookcase and jarred my lower back. My legs went to sleep and didn't wake up again for about five years.
As a pain management doctor, he didn’t believe in surgery (fusion) and prescribed a lot of potent medications to deal with the discomfort. These medications had side effects, so additional medications were prescribed.
I had to change pain management doctors after I fell, and this new one didn’t believe in fusion surgery either nor did he believe in prescribing medication. He introduced me to alternative treatments while I continued to get prescription refills from my primary care doctor.
After I moved to Texas in November 2006, I was sent to another surgeon. His assistant told me he enlarged my X-rays. If they put screws in my spine, the vertebrae would crumble within ten years, and I’d be a lot worse than I am now.
In July of 2010, I had a supernatural experience of being told telepathically to go to ‘the’ laundromat. I lived halfway between two locations, and in my mind, asked which one. The answer was the one in Copperas Cove where I met a psychic high priestess who told me, “You’re asleep, it’s time to wake up!” As a result, I refused to swallow any more pills… and got myself into a big mess that lasted way too many years.
I consider it a miracle that I am still alive, off all medications, and have a wonderful apartment in a senior community.
During the manic/adrenaline high, I was able to walk again, and a telepathic voice told me to use the talents I was blessed with. I began writing non-stop both stories and songs.
In 2019, whatever courage and self-confidence I had acquired vanished with my ability to walk after I jarred my lower back again… twice. If you are one of the extroverts out there, I admire and envy your ability to perform in front of other people.
The purpose of this book is to introduce you to my songs, explain the reason I am not performing, and hopefully inspire you or another musician to perform one or more of them for me. I’d also be interested in hearing your version of what I created.
As time went on, I learned a few things about myself which eased much of my self-conscious conclusions. I’m an introvert, an empath, and a Myers-Briggs INFJ. It turns out that INFJ stands for introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging. The person I judge the most is myself. We are our own worst critics.
According to Google, there are apparently only one and a half percent of us (INFJs) on the planet. But I know this is only the ones who took the test. INFJ types are compassionate, idealistic, and likely to form close bonds with people. However, I am just beginning to form close bonds with people as where I live now is the longest I have lived anywhere, so there's hope for me yet.
When I was in grade school, I was offered a loaned viola by the music department of the school and learned how to play the instrument while learning how to read music which gave me a group of people to join with an orchestra and later a quartet. The girl who played violin in our quartet was accepted into the Boston Symphony Orchestra. When my extended family came to visit, I was asked to play for them. I did but as an anxious introvert. I felt relieved when I entered middle school aka Junior High, had to return the loaned instrument, and soon forgot how to read music. With babysitting money, I bought my first acoustic folk guitar and taught myself how to play chords. I had been writing poetry, and poetry developed into folk-type songs.
I almost threw a lot of the early songs away until I met a seasoned musician at the beginning of 2012 who also worked in recording studios and participated in songwriting guilds. After he expressed admiration for my talent, he explained that I am not the only unhappy person on the planet, and others would want to hear the songs I wrote.
In 2012, when I made the trip out to California to go to my son’s wedding, I was able to recover some of these songs from the cassette recordings I had made in my earlier years. I had given the cassette to my older sister, and she kept everything.
This musician was only in my life for a year, but he recommended I purchase a Zoom 8-track recorder and taught me how to record multiple tracks. I used an electronic keyboard on other instrument settings for some of these tracks. Some of my songs include them. I wish I had written more notes on how I mixed down the tracks when I completed a song because I can’t remember how I did it.
During the manic/adrenaline high, I got curious about my great uncle Louis Alter and reached out to his daughter (my second cousin) about royalties, etc. (My father was the black sheep of his family, so we didn't have the advantage of their wealthier lifestyle.)
Uncle Lou began playing piano for silent films when he was 12. He is well known for writing and composing Manhattan Serenade. Conductors are still buying his songs for the orchestras they work with. My cousin's husband told me that music was a business and recommended the book This Business of Music. Yes, they were still getting royalties. All I was able to accomplish was the copyrighting process.
There are many songs I have not included in this book. I did mention I had thrown some away. Songwriting wasn’t a continuous thing. There could be years between writing them. I was mainly focused on working in unrelated careers, taking unrelated college classes, raising my son, and more.
As for the love songs, I was reluctant to include them but did anyway. I didn't want to be reminded of what I eventually learned is a codependent mindset, including false attractions and trauma bonding. I learned that expecting someone else to love you when you don't love yourself doesn’t work. I also found out that empaths attract narcissistic people and energy vampires which explained many of the messes I got myself into. You can read about them in a few of my books (memoirs and autobiography). Some songs started out as love songs, but I later changed the words to create a different type of song vs tossing them out altogether.
It is now 2023. I had the opportunity to meet some other songwriters who also perform. Just as my physical condition became more challenging to deal with, the venue I was going to closed. I considered this divine timing. At this time, the places these musicians meet as a group, including the upper-level porch of someone's home, are not accessible for me. And by now you know the reason I do not attend local performances where there are crowds of people with the exception of a rare few.
I have hopes of possibly making it further with the songs while I am still alive. My fantasy is that one or more of my songs will attract the attention of one or more well-known artists who will take them out into the world.
You can listen to many of my songs here: https://soundcloud.com/reneealter085
Saturday, January 7, 2023
One of Me
To refresh your memory (and mine), I fell into a depressive episode for about six months when I got sick in June resulting in three weeks of isolation while I holed up in my bedroom in bed. Multiple voices in my head surfaced, competing for my attention at the same time. Some of these voices were angry, sad, lonely, and scared. I learned from that experience that I needed a bench sofa I could rest and nap on in my living room and only use the bedroom at night. I found one that works on Amazon.
At the end of 2006, I had moved to Texas and then got stuck here on my own. Abandonment issues magnified, and it took over five years to find a home, people, and groups I was comfortable being involved with. Holidays are the worst. I get homesick. Just as I was recovering from being sick, Thanksgiving and Christmas floated in. I felt left out of all the holiday gatherings I saw other people enjoying.
If you're reading this and were one of the people who showed up at my door or called me, thank you!
I gave up trying to make sense of the terminology for IFS (Internal Family Systems) that includes exiles, protectors, managers, etc. and in a fit of frustration, demanded these ‘parts’ get out of my head and sit on other chairs in my apartment. When I felt them all inside my head creating chaos and despair (like the picture on top), I began to tell them to go sit down where I can see them and listen to what they need to say. Somehow it worked, and I no longer felt like I would go insane with numerous voices inside my head. After describing this to one of my younger sisters, she suggested I write a blog post on the topic.
One of Me is a lonely, abandoned, traumatized, scared child… afraid of the outside world… afraid of the unknown. She looks at people on Facebook who are having fun with their families… even traveling to be with them… and doing activities she can no longer do… like hiking and exploring. She sits down and cries inside because she is grieving for the family she no longer has even though her siblings live in other states. She also grieves for places she can no longer go. Isolation is painful. How did she survive all these years?
Indeed, One of Me is a survivor. Despite all the traumatic experiences, she is still here. Still breathing. The Divine has been by her side making sure she has her basic needs… food, shelter, transportation… even when she detached (disassociated) and couldn't feel the support.
One of Me experiences chronic conditions such as adrenal fatigue and spondylolisthesis and needs someone to take care of her and help with chores. Community Attendant Services didn’t work out, so she is on her own again. At least the Divine brought a Mobility Scooter and a van with a lift.
One of Me is an educated adult who knows what to do for the other one. She tells her to lie down and rest as much as she needs to and just tackle one thing at a time. Nothing is permanent, not even fatigue. Since fatigue usually partners with depression, reassure her that it is temporary. She usually begins feeling better in the afternoon.
One of Me is a compassionate adult who listens to other people when they call or come to her with their concerns. She is also an empath and can't always release the emotions she absorbs from others. She has to learn to differentiate what is hers from what is others and clear the others out. Towards the end of this last depressive episode, it occurred to me that I can listen to the other One of Me's the same way I listen to other humans... with a sense of detachment.
YouTube is smart and suggests videos to you based on everything else you have been watching, reading, writing, purchasing, and listening to. I opened the YouTube app one day and found the audiobook Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. Then I purchased the book.
I found two Wednesday night online support groups through Mile Hi Church in Colorado: Transcending Trauma and Heart, Mind, Spirit Recovery. (The ministers at that church were originally in Huntington Beach, California when I lived there.) Trauma meets the first Wednesday, Recovery every Wednesday. While Recovery is mainly for alcoholics and drug addicts, I qualify because I took strong pharmaceutical drugs for close to 15 years. Besides, I am addicted to sugar which is known to be as addicting as cocaine. What do I want the most when I feel depressed? Sugar! I know what it feels like to want it even though I know it isn't good for me. It feeds candida which is not my friend. I do my best to avoid gatherings that serve sweets. Wish they would serve organic fruit instead.
Back to Transcending Trauma. The facilitator told us grief gets mixed in with trauma. I could think of a whole list of things I’ve been grieving about. Loss of childhood, loss of my siblings as I knew them, loss of my parents, loss of homes, loss of relationships and marriages which turned out to be dysfunctionally matched with me as the empath and them as narcissists and energy vampires, loss of possessions when I had to walk away from everything, loss of all the foods I discovered I had sensitivities to and had toxins such as glyphosates, loss of the social circles that serve these foods.
Well, One of Me writes songs and strums an acoustic folk guitar. A song titled Wrong Planet began to emerge, describing my challenges as simply being on the wrong planet. I began to hum it when I go into the outside world or even think about going out there, and it feels comforting.
The lyrics to Wrong Planet which you can also find on YouTube: https://youtu.be/BV_iMM2TxVg.
I’m visiting from another planet, observing earthling ways.
My ship left without me – said they’d return for me someday.
I have trouble fitting in with people in this place.
How do I explain that my ship got lost in space?
I’m on the wrong planet – and I need to find some friends.
I’m on the wrong planet – can’t keep up with the trends.
I need someplace to belong because earth isn’t it.
I look around this strange land where I don’t seem to fit.
I feel complex and complicated, fractured and duplicated.
How did I end up here in this place that’s overrated?
Show me love; show me grace; be kindness in this place.
I’ll take a hug if you have one and a smile on your face.
My mind is like a mansion – it has a lot of rooms.
Let’s take a tour together to find our way out of this gloom.
It’s part of a life lesson… I’m writing a new theme.
Where will it lead me… just nothing too extreme.
There are ripples in the water, life is never still –
and neither are emotions that tumble down the hills.
I emptied out my closet, but I wish I could empty out my mind.
Boxes all shapes and sizes are filled with memories of every kind.
Courage, I know you’re somewhere; I’m searching for a dose.
I’m on the outside looking in, but I can feel you somewhere close.
I feel like a dreamer – can you read between the lines?
I’m a mysterious collection of rhythms and rhymes.
I’m on the wrong planet – and I need to find some friends.
I’m on the wrong planet – and I need to find some friends.
I’m on the wrong planet – and I need to find some friends.
Copyright © 2022 Renee Alter
Sunday, August 14, 2022
Five Minutes at a Time
Sometime in June, I came down with something that affected my mind and emotions. I was so tired that I spent a lot of time in bed, isolated from the outside world, which didn't help. I had to do something I wasn't used to doing... asking people for help... which forced me into acknowledging I had people in my life I COULD ask for help. I've been trying to remember what it was like to just get into my vehicle and go somewhere by myself. These days, I want someone to go with me.
I finally purchased a loveseat for my living room I can lie down on during the day. There is more daylight streaming through double windows and my storm doors.
It could have been a bought of adrenal fatigue because it followed being startled by a major disappointment, thunder, driving back from an event in the dark in two scary spots on the highway, and more. Anyway, I am still climbing back out of it again... mid-August.
How? Five minutes at a time. I got through yesterday, last week, last month, last year, and all the years before that.
What can I do for five minutes?
Five minutes doesn't feel as overwhelming as getting through an entire day. Five minutes to prepare a meal. Five minutes to wash the dishes. Five minutes to read from a book. Five minutes to work on a jigsaw puzzle. Five minutes on social media. Five minutes to refill my water distilling machine. Five minutes to get into the shower (which inevitably lasts for 30 minutes). You get the idea.
At the end of the day, I celebrate that I got through it. When I wake up the next morning I celebrate that I made it through the night, especially if I had slept four-five hours straight.
I know I am not the only person dealing with grief, sadness, helplessness, and loss of purpose. Before I sunk into this episode, I felt like I DID have a purpose. But then it all seemed to disappear. I knew this was typical of a depressive episode and would have to ride it out.
In the meantime, I had been reading Joan Rosenberg's book 90 Seconds to a Life You Love: How to Master Your Difficult Feelings to Cultivate Lasting Confidence, Resilience, and Authenticity.
I recognized that I didn't want to face the unpleasant feelings I was dealing with. I didn't know how to let them rise to the surface so I could deal with them. Being sick and bedbound didn't allow me to do my usual activities of distraction. I think I lived with all of this for at least three weeks. The only bodily sensation I felt was nausea on top of sneezing, congestion, and fatigue.
Rosenberg states the eight common unpleasant feelings include: sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, embarrassment, disappointment, frustration, and vulnerability. She also used the term soulfully depressed... the result of feeling disconnected from yourself. These are also 'ingredients' to disguised grief. The first thing that came up for me was all the times in the past I had been sick, bedbound, alone, and isolated. However, I also had to acknowledge that I am a lot healthier now than I used to be... even though I occasionally still get sick. With the disappointment scenario, I sunk into ruminating about not being good enough, loveable enough... also known as self-love deficit... which I also knew was no longer true.
Dr. Rosenberg created The Rosenberg Reset™ in which you allow one or more of these feelings into your consciousness for 90 seconds... because that is all it takes to face them and dissolve them. One is supposed to notice where in their body they feel sensations. Perhaps the 'distraction' is counting to 90.
Even though I wrote up a previous list of what I wanted to create in my life, I started a new one... two weeks ago. Even though I have made previous gratitude lists, I started a new one. Feel free to use this content to create your own list.
HEALTH-STRENGTH-VITALITY: What it FEELS like to be strong and healthy. Keep myself healthy while I wait for what I am ALLOWING to flow to me. Prepare healthy meals and exercise (even 5 minutes at a time).
EMOTIONAL: Connection, belonging, confidence, joy, quality companionship (emotional support, understanding, shared interests and values), helpers, safety and security, and meaningful conversations. The courage to climb above past introvert tendencies.
PURPOSE: Being here when someone needs a person to talk to. Volunteering for non-profits, meaningful work, raise my vibration. (My younger sister reminded me I only need to do this one notch to notice a difference.)
VISIONS & DREAMS: I live where all the right people can find me. People reading my books and my blog... and sharing with others so they read my books and blog. What it feels like to work with a psychologist who opens a center here... and has a lot of articles and manuscripts that need to be completed. Abundance.
EVENTS: (for authors): Perfect, comfortable transportation (and companionship) including drivers.
SOCIAL: Visits from non-profit people. Open mic nights for fellow poets, writers, and musicians. I AM cultivating friendships with people I already know and visualizing new people coming into my life. I am waiting for new neighbors to move in who provide what I listed under EMOTIONAL.
LOOK FOR THE EVIDENCE OF EVERYTHING WORKING OUT FOR ME. The first week of August, I had callers and visitors daily -- even from two people I hadn't heard from in a long time... a very unusual occurrence for me. One of these people came to pick up something I had done for someone else who came the day before (postcards to remind gardeners of our annual meeting). He reminded me that when two or more people are gathered in His name, results happen. I wasn't the only one praying for results (wheelchair accessibility for the community garden). He reminded me that just existing gives me purpose. He projected me as being so much more than what I had projected for myself. New people I am interested in networking with joined our community garden.
One day at a time. Five minutes at a time.
What are ways you cope with difficult days?
Sunday, June 26, 2022
She’s the age she is and every age she ever was - all parts of her identity.Looking for purpose in all the experiences, feeling like an unsolved mystery.Should anyone like to be a detective and peel all the layers away,You might just find a five-year-old who just wants to go out and play.
Sadness is another ingredient. I caught glimpses of human rights being stripped away. Vaccine mandates, another school shooting, Roe vs Wade. I read somewhere a simple solution for birth control is to give all males vasectomies which are reversible. There seems to be both pros and cons to every solution. I feel the disharmony in the world caused by the conflicts. Being an empath is no fun.
Fatigue is another ingredient. My whole body aches when I am fatigued. I've been doing a lot more on my own without help with daily chores. I drove an hour each way to go to an event last night with 400 in attendance. Double whammy. The drive and the emotions/feelings of 400 people. I remind myself that fatigue has always contributed to depression.
Loneliness. On June 23, one of my sisters sent me a link to a Ross Rosenberg video. I learned the term Self-Love Deficit Disorder vs Codependency. That definitely explains things with the added hope of achieving Self-Love Abundance. I can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely. It's part of being an introvert. Here's more information:
This morning, I got up to use the bathroom, put food out for the colony of feral cats I feed, swallowed a serving of PerfectAmino with a glass of water, and went back to bed.
I saw downtown Los Angeles which became symbolic of my grief, sadness, and fatigue. I used to live in Orange County, CA. During the week I worked as an administrative assistant in a 14-story building (surrounded by people but felt alone). On many weekends, I drove to one of two canyons - Silverado or Modjeska, a beautiful drive. Silverado had a small library I enjoyed going to, and Modjeska had a small wildlife sanctuary. With this visualization, I felt my mood shift, and I climbed out of bed.
Does it appear that we can have two identities? There’s the one that is optimistic, at peace, full of joy, compassionate. ... We are in our RIGHT Brain, sometimes referred to as our Sage/Inner Spirit. That part of our brain that is present to the moment, in tune with our senses. But how often do we find ourselves in the “other” world: pessimistic, discouraged, negative, living in blame and shame, feeling inadequate? Our LEFT Brain, our survival brain, is running the show, looking for what is wrong, recalling negatives of the past or worried about the future.
1. Where might you change your thinking in order to create a new reality?2. Think of your creative power as a pebble tossed in the water, creating ripples. What would those ripples create?
Saturday, June 18, 2022
It's been a year since I began taking PerfectAmino by BodyHealth. PerfectAmino has been a game-changer for me. Prior to taking this supplement, my muscles were suffering from the effects of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. One of the two holistic health practitioners I work with found out about this product from her niece who is also a holistic health practitioner. Word gets around!
The first thing I did was go to their website. Scroll down on the page, and you'll see that the pdf of the book is available for a free download. After I read it, I purchased a paperback copy. I know there are other formulas of amino acids out there, but after reading the book, I was convinced this is the best one.
DR. MINKOFF'S BOOK, "THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT PROTEIN" HAS THE KEYS TO SOLVING WEIGHT LOSS, DEPRESSION, FATIGUE, INSOMNIA, AND OSTEOPOROSIS
PA (PerfectAmino) promotes muscle repair and recovery as well as promotes a stronger immune system. It is predigested which is what I needed due to esophagitis issues interfering with my ability to digest protein and fat. It comes in both powder and capsules. I absolutely do not like stevia, so I got the capsules. Yes, it takes five of them for a single serving. I swallow one at a time while saying 'thank you for healing my body.'
The first two weeks I took this supplement, I felt really tired. I laid down for cat naps throughout the day. They have a Facebook group for people who take this supplement, and I saw that this was a normal response for your body while the amino acids begin the repair process.
Then I noticed my muscles actually feeling stronger, especially in my arms. I don't remember ever having that sensation before. In addition to that, I had been back in a wheelchair since the middle of 2018 after jarring my lower back twice. About six months after I began taking PA, I noticed the muscles in my legs becoming stronger, enabling me to stand a little longer and walk across the room. Damaged nerves seemed to be healing, too.
Meanwhile, my right foot and ankle had been swelling for several years. My doctor had told me it was due to veinous insufficiency, improper functioning of the vein valves, causing swelling and skin changes. Imagine my surprise when it suddenly completely cleared up after taking this supplement. Apparently, in addition to amino acids strengthening so many other parts of me (including my brain), it also strengthened my veins.
In September of last year, three months after I started taking this supplement, I got blood labs done. Imagine my surprise when I saw that my triglycerides went from 242 down to 112.
BodyHealth has a Facebook group where you can get community support for anything related to taking this product. There are additional groups if you are an athlete or interested in losing weight.
It is best to order direct from bodyhealth.com (vs Amazon) as they offer regular promotions. You get a code to give your friends and family so they get 20% off their first order. Whenever you write a review (and they give you regular opportunities to do so) and share it on social media, they give you a $25 coupon. Here's my code https://prz.io/LoEy3d4iN
You cannot use more than one promotion-coupon code, but I was told I could purchase gift cards with my points which I can use in addition to a coupon code.
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Years ago, I found this ceramic angel at a thrift store. When I moved to my next apartment, one of her wings broke off. I tried to glue it back on, but it wouldn't hold. I broke off the other one and sadly threw both of them away.
In the meantime, I was dealing with upper back pain. One day, when I was looking at my angel, I began to wonder if I had wings that were torn off.
Throughout my life, I have suffered numerous incidents of trauma. Eventually, when I was introduced to Facebook, I discovered a LOT of people have. And many of these people, including Teal Swan, were traveling the world helping other people recover from these experiences. Dolores Cannon became another person I listened to... about being a volunteer.
My question to you is if you realized you were an angel who came to earth to help other people, especially the ones who believed they were unlovable and unworthy, knowing you'd have a difficult assignment, knowing that your heart would be broken numerous times, would this change the outlook and perspective of your experiences?
It did mine.
You see, I found myself wallowing in self-pity about being rejected (abandoned) again - a repetitive pattern throughout my life. A new man had moved into my apartment complex and began what appeared to me as making up excuses to come over and visit me, then stay for several hours. He'd always tell me if I needed help with anything to let him know. I had no experience with men doing this purely for platonic reasons and got attached.
Then at the next social event, I casually mentioned I think I am an angel and that my wings were torn off, so I needed new wings (hoping he would make some for me). I expected him to shrug this off as being silly, but instead, he told me to look up Willy Nelson's song, Angel Flying Too Close To the Ground. I added it to Watch Later on YouTube.
When I watched it the following day, I cried. If this song was the only reason I was to meet him, it is enough.
I then read some comments under the YouTube video. Apparently, it also has meaning to those who have lost loved ones to death.
I thought about the people I know who lost loved ones.
I thought about the parts of me that had died. Can I learn to heal my own wings?
I thought about all the times I was hurt and abandoned, and how much I lost as a result of broken love affairs, including most of my belongings. I didn't understand why the men who weaved their way into my life seduced me and disappeared.
This beautiful man I felt an attraction to told me he wasn't interested in a romantic relationship after I confessed how I felt. Then he decided it was best to avoid me. Note, I did not use the word love, but it didn't matter. We all jump to conclusions, don't we? While I wanted to know what his conclusions were, I didn't ask.
Perhaps if I thought about it from the perspective of being an angel, with many people to help, I can be content with serving a higher purpose in their lives.
With a higher purpose in mind, I returned a few weeks later to tell him I apologize for jumping to conclusions, and I mainly wanted him to know that he made a significant difference in someone's life - mine. The lower road was to be angry, the higher road was to be grateful for what I got out of it - including being catapulted into another growth spurt. If he hadn't pushed me away, I wouldn't have pursued the programs that began to show up.
I went to work revisiting the traumas I had stuffed down and built a brick wall around. A program related to my situation, facilitated by Sheleana Aiyana, Spiritual Counsellor and Founder of Rising Woman, appeared in my Facebook feed. Because it was affordable, I signed up for it. Shay described my entire life just in the introduction.
Then I consulted with Ambika who did a ThetaHealing session on me, after telling me my organ of resonation is my spleen - that I attract men who have been abandoned. No wonder. She cleared out some old programming and replaced it with new 'designer software.' She also recommended the book Dodging Energy Vampires by Christiane Northup, M.D. where I discovered why I got involved with the men of my past - both energy vampires and narcissists. Just like Shay of Rising Woman, Christiane described my entire life as well. Even as a successful surgeon, she dealt with the same issue. It appears this situation is a common one.
Naive empaths such as myself want to believe in the good of everyone and the potential of a person vs who they actually are. With our big hearts and compassion, we overlook the 'red flags' and get sucked into abusive life-sucking relationships - with both males and females - and not just romantic ones. Energy vampires can 'smell' us from a mile away. These relationships can leave us with symptoms of chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses, both of which I endured. Fortunately for me, I didn't stay in any of the romantic ones for more than four years. I didn't stay in employments with one for more than a year.
There are many related programs popping up for me to look at now. In my pursuit of self-development, I want to do ALL of them, but this isn't realistic. Instead, I am dreaming of meeting a trauma-informed psychologist who will open a Transformational Recovery Center (a name I made up) I can co-run with them, and get access to all the different therapies that we invite in as well as support groups and fundraisers, like concerts, to cover the cost for those who can't pay.