A part of recovery and therapy involves letting go of resentments. It’s a huge step in AA where you have to write down all the resentments and then work on letting each one of them go. I’m going to be honest with you, my list is hella long! So I’m sharing this one with you all. This is a resentment I will never be able to resolve with the person involved so for the sake of letting this one go, I took it upon myself to figure out a way to let the resentment go, heal and move on. This story is taking it back to my teen years and I share the unorthodox was that I freed myself from this resentment in a series I’m calling releasing resentments.
I feel like we all have some resentments in our life that we haven’t let go of. I encourage you to start writing them down. Get them on to paper in front of you and look at the list. You don’t have to start tackling them all at once, but you can begin to chip away at that list. I’ll be honest with you, the list sometimes gets much longer before it starts to get shorter but try to look at that as a good thing. The more you write down the more you can eventually tackle and let go of. What is difficult now will eventually be something you are so grateful you did for yourself. Trust.
This was my Prom Dress
These are some of the photos I took recently
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Hi, I’m Nicole, everyone kept telling me that my unique life experiences and messages of hope, would make a great podcast. So I made one. Join me as I journey through life’s many obstacles on girl versus world.
Hello, everybody, and welcome to The Girl vs world podcast. If you’re joining us for the first time, welcome, we’re glad to have you. If you’re returning, you’re awesome. Great to see you back. And I’m happy that you came back. I think that shows that you like the show. And that’s exciting for me. So thank you for continuing to come back and listen to multiple episodes. It brings me so much joy when I get comments on social media, and people reach out and tell me how great an episode was or, you know, relating to the content like that nothing makes me happier than to know that I’m putting this stuff out there. And people are listening, and you’re relating to it and understanding it and finding it useful. So if you haven’t left comments, and you felt compelled to, but decided not to, please go ahead and leave comments, I love to read them, I do read the comments. I am a one woman show in this podcast at the current moment. And every bit of encouragement is useful.
If you have criticism. I’ll read that too. Because I think it’s important to be open to critiques and and I welcome that as well. So if you’re a first time listener, Hello, nice to meet you. I hope you like the podcast. And if you’ve come back, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, you are so valuable to me. And just thank you, I’m just grateful. Okay. So this weekend has been crazy. I decided to do photo shoots and like layout, essentially, this cathartic moment for myself. If you’ve never set something up like this for yourself, it’s a bit of a whirlwind. So I wanted to have a cathartic moment around an event in my life that was somewhat traumatic, but mostly just disappointing, right? So I wanted to go back to my high school days, and sort of relive the moment and change it, like give myself my younger self, the compassion that I needed at the time and, and kind of tell her that it’s okay, like what happened is totally okay. Because me being older now, I understand what happened.
I understand everything that surrounded the events and so much more clarity on what happened when I was younger, that it’s totally going to be okay. But at that time, when you’re a teenager, like everything is the worst thing in the world, and you’re never going to recover from it like that is being a teenager wrapped up in like one sentence, everything’s The worst thing in the world. And you don’t know how you’re going to recover. So what I’m talking about is, I am talking about prom. So I don’t know about you all. But prom, for me wasn’t was an event that was built up in my mind to be this really great thing. Just like the idea I have of if I ever get married, like I have this vision of what my wedding day will be like, right?
I have been married before. And my wedding day was at a courthouse. And it was nothing like I imagined right. Like we agreed to do the courthouse thing, because we were already living together. And it just made financial sense. But legit, my groom didn’t even put on a clean shirt. Like he just threw some pants on and a dirty shirt. And we showed up to the courthouse and our family was there. And it was just disrespectful. Like, I wear a white dress. I was so excited. And like if you look at the photos from that day, I’m beaming and he’s just like, whatever. You know, you think like looking at the photos that I would have seen that this was going nowhere good. But I was young.
Like I think it was 21 years old and I was just excited to be married and we had this whole idea of like, actually having a wedding later, which never happened. But that’s a story for another time. So anyway, so prom. prom I was excited about because prom comes before the wedding, right? So you build up this idea in your head about prom whether it comes from movies That you’ve seen or TV shows, or you have older siblings and you watch them go to prom, you have this idea built up in your head about what prom is going to be. And this can be any type of thing that happens in your life, right? Like you build up this idea of what it’s going to be. And when it lets you down, it’s like, devastating in the moment, it becomes either something you can get over, or something that you carry with you, because you’re not ready to get over it, or you’re so upset by it, that it just like, ruins the whole, the whole world. And for me at the time, as a teenager, like it was the worst thing.
Like, I, I wish I could go back and relive the moment. And so that’s what I tried to create a little bit for myself. It’s slightly artistic and twisted the way that I did it. But for me, it was what I needed. So let me explain what happened at prom. So I get the great dress like my mom, my mom is incredible. If I haven’t said enough great things about my mother. Here’s another one. My mom, like worked so hard. My mom was like one of the hardest workers and we didn’t have a lot of money. Like, we sometimes struggled, like and that was a real thing. Like money was hard to come by we you know, we were a family of five. And my mom had to work really hard and like pay for daycare. And, you know, it was it was a struggle sometimes. And but my mom, she always made sure. Like, I don’t know how long she saved, or, you know what she went through to be able to get me this dress, but my mom got me the dress like we were looking at less, like less expensive dresses. Because, you know, for me, I’m like, I don’t I don’t want you to spend a bunch of money mom like. And then we see this dress. And it’s the dress like it’s pink. And it’s tool and it has flowers on the bodice. And it’s just beautiful. And I don’t even want to try it on in the store because it’s more expensive than we were looking for. But my mom being the friggin soldier and badass that she is she’s like, No, you should just try it on.
So I’ve tried on and it’s the dress, it is the dress like I’ve never felt so beautiful in my entire life than when I put on this prom dress. And mind you I wasn’t really the girl who wore pink at this point. I wasn’t even that crazy about pink. But there was something about this dress and when I put it on and the way that it swished when I walked and, of course you do that thing where you spin around, and it’s just flowing and beautiful. Anyway, this was the dress, like, without a doubt, we had to get this dress and my mom bought me the dress like she didn’t even think twice about it. Like she knew how important that was to me. And I think it was important to her to to be able to give that to me. And I appreciate that as an adult looking back on that now. I appreciate what my mom went through to make sure that I had this experience. And my mom is the reason why prom was good. She was all things good. In my prom memory and experience, like we got the dress, and so beautiful. I think I tried it on a few times before prom because I was just so excited about this dress. And then comes the day of prom. And my mom being the awesome mother that she is she has a hair appointment set up for me and a nail appointment.
So I get to go get my hair done and my nails done. And at this juncture I’ve never gotten my nails done before. This is a first time experience. And I’ve gotten haircuts but never like having my hair styled. And so it was such a treat to be able to do that and like my mom had to work. And she still made sure like she booked me at the salon at her work. So like she was doing double duty of like working and then also making sure that like I was having the prom experience that I wanted. And that’s like such a special moment that I remember. I opened up my photo albums this weekend and I’m looking at the pictures of me and my mom and I’m so grateful for that memory. Like I remembered it but to see a picture of us together and smiling and happy and understanding now as adult like how how grateful I am to my Mother for giving me that experience because it’s not like we had all this money. And this was just an easy thing. But like, my mom worked really hard to make sure that we had it.
And you know, like, my dad was a hard worker too. And my dad made sure that we didn’t go without like, my, my parents are incredible humans, they just went above and beyond always to make sure that we had the things that we wanted. And we had the experiences. And so this was one of those experiences. Like in the photo with me and my mom. I can see my high school ring. That was another thing that was so expensive, like my high school ring, and my Letterman’s jacket, like, these things are so expensive, and like, my mom just made it happen. My mom and dad just like, made sure it happened. But prom prom specifically is all about my mom, because she was there and she was a part of it. So I get my hair done, I get my nails done. And I’m just feeling like on cloud nine, I’m on top of the world, because I feel pretty already and I haven’t even put on the dress yet.
So we drive to my then boyfriend’s house. And you know, I feel bad because my mom always envisioned me getting ready in our home. And I always envisioned that too. Because that’s where I grew up for the 17 years of my life like that was my home. And I had envisioned that as well. But the person I was with at the time, wouldn’t see that, like there was no way that they were going to come do that. So that’s like, the beginning of some of the most horrible things of that relationship was not even being willing to compromise to come to my house, where I grew up, where my mom envisioned helping me get ready. So, you know, my mom being the champion that she is, and me being the pushover that I was at the time, we went to his house and my mom helped me get ready there. And I got dressed, I put my makeup on. And I felt like a princess like I was having the moment that I had looked forward to for so long. Like, I was gonna feel like a princess and I was gonna wear this dress and, and it was being nailed, like all of it, nailed it, nailed it nailed it, right. Like, I’m having the experience that I hadn’t been envisioned for prom.
And so we take photos, you know, me and my boyfriend, were taking photos on the landing and doing the corsage and you know, walking out to the to the car. So we didn’t rent a limo, we ended up renting an escalator. And it was a really nice car, our driver was really nice. And, and we got we got some great pictures. The sad part of all of this, though, is that I had none of my friends with me. And that was because my partner wanted nothing to do with my friends had isolated me so much even then, even in high school, that my friends, you know, we’re slowly disappearing, and I was letting it happen because this was my boyfriend and I wanted to make him happy. And it wasn’t worth the fight. And it was like, such a horrible experience to have to like, try to keep both and my friends just kind of walked away. And that was it.
You know, like my senior year was very, very lonely. But at least I had prom, right? Like I was excited to go to prom, and all of my friends. The friends that I did have weren’t going to prom. So anybody that I was still close to wasn’t going to prom. So I knew that I was going to be, you know, spending this money on prom and I wasn’t going to have any friends there. I was just going to be me and my partner. And that was going to be it.
But I still was like really hopeful I was really hopeful that the prom experience was going to be good, you know, on the way out to prom. The complaint start, you know, it’s like I had to spend all this money on this tux. Why didn’t we get a limo we got this stupid escalate. I don’t even want to go to this. I’m hungry. And like, just complaints are just rolling in already. And we haven’t even gotten to prom, right? So I’m like, why didn’t you eat before, like, we talked about it. And you said that you were going to eat like I had tried to plan that in advance because I knew that he was going to be grouchy. So I was always trying to plan for his needs. And for things that he needed to try to avoid confrontation to try to avoid fights.
So I had pre planned everything, like make sure you eat, I think I even brought him food I probably did. That was like a thing I would do. So we have to stop to get food. So now we’re late to prom because he’s got to eat, even though he didn’t. And he’s grumpy. But I want to make him happy. So we go and we eat. And then we get to prom. And I have to fight with him to get him to take the photo at prom. Like, I want this photo, like my mom already paid for this photo, like we have to take the prom photo. And he’s such a dick about it. Like he doesn’t want to do it. And like he’s like you owe me. And this is the beginning of a very long, like relationship of owing things if he did anything nice for me. So he says You owe me. And so we do get the photo.
So I have one photo at prom. Exactly one. And it’s the you know, the prom photo with the the year and the day and all of that because my mom had prepaid for it and, and we got it. So after that we kind of like walk around the problem area, and it’s uncomfortable. And I can tell he doesn’t want to be there. And this is like the worst experience ever for him that I made him go to this, even though I tried to tell him he didn’t have to go like I was going to go with another girlfriend of mine. But that’s not allowed because I wasn’t allowed to go out by myself ever. And so I was stuck going with him. Either it was go with him or don’t go to prom at all.
So I chose go with him because prom was so important to me. And so we finally sit down and we’re like watching people dance. And I’m like, Can we dance? And he’s like, No, I’m not dancing. You know, I don’t dance. Like that’s not something that I do. So I didn’t even get to dance at my own prom. I got to sit and watch other people dance and slow dance and. And I’m just sitting there staring at these people. And seeing some of the people that were my friends that kind of like, you know, went away once they started dating him. And it was a really hard night. Because now the reality of promise setting in and it wasn’t what I had expected. I had made a deal with one of my brother’s friends to like go to prom, like he would go to my prom if I didn’t have a day he would go to prom with me. And that would have been so substantially better than what I went through. Like
it would have been better to go with a friend or a girlfriend or my brother’s friend, like anything would have been better than having to sit there and watch people dance when I wanted so badly. I just wanted one I just wanted one dance and I end he wouldn’t give it to me. And finally after listening to him complain, we stayed at prom for maybe an hour tops and we were back in the car driving back home. And, you know, it was not the experience I had hoped to have. I didn’t want to be fighting with my partner. I didn’t know I wanted to be able to dance and enjoy my And I imagined having those photos with my friends and seeing my friends at prom and being silly and dancing. And I didn’t get any of that. And it might sound like I’m complaining, and I’m not grateful.
But at that time in my life at 17, like, that’s what you have, like, you have prom and you have graduation, you have going off to college, and you have these monumental moments that you’ve built up in your head. And then they don’t turn out any way like you plan and it’s devastating. You know, I didn’t get I didn’t get pregnant on prom night. So I have that working for me. But uh, you know, there’s, there’s parts to the story where I thought, you know, I had saved my virginity for a long time. And I imagined like prom night being the special night because that’s what they do in movies. And like I had envisioned it to possibly happen that way. But my partner had other plans and decided to take my virginity from me without even consulting me like it happened. And it is something that I also have a really hard time coping with, because I had a picture of what that would be like to and it was nothing like that.
And it was so devastating to 17 year old me, where I still look back at that, and I’m very angry about it. And it’s something I’ve been trying to work through. And perhaps I’ll tell that story a little more in depth another day, but it’s still not something I’m ready to talk about in public. But it is a very disappointing moment in my life worse than prom. But it’s it’s one of those things that is in my past that that still affects me today. So my goal with telling this sort of sad story is to say that I wanted something cathartic.
I’ve been working with my therapist on kind of going through events that I found really disappointing and beat myself up over and like mad about because I allowed myself to go through that, you know, I can’t put all the blame on my partner at the time saying that they were this evil person, they weren’t great. You know, they did a lot of bad things to me, but I allowed it, and I let it happen for a long time I let it happen until I was 25 years old, I let these things happen. And it took me a long time to realize that I needed to forgive myself for having gone through it.
It wasn’t enough to get forgive my partner for what they did, I needed to forgive myself for having gone through it. And that’s been a big step in therapy is realizing that you need to offer forgiveness to yourself. And the way that I do that sometimes is to go back into those moments, relive parts of them, and either love myself through those parts, or change the memory. So here’s what I’ve done. So this weekend, to pick it up and bring it back into a more positive light. This weekend, I woke up and I had an idea. I’m like, I want to recreate a moment in my mind, capture it and change it for myself, offer myself the love that I needed at that time offer myself forgiveness for having gone through it, and to give myself some love and compassion for that moment, and really just be authentically myself. So I pulled out my prom dress because I still have it and I put it on. Now it doesn’t fit.
My Prom Dress will not zip up anymore because I am bigger than I was in high school. But it goes up and I put it on. And a thing about me is the bathtub is my safe spot. Like through sobriety anytime I felt like I was gonna use or I was stressed out, I would take a bath. And I was like that when I was in my abusive relationship to where when abuse was happening and I couldn’t take it. And like I felt like my world was falling apart. I would go take a bath. That was my only safe spot that was the place that I didn’t get yelled at or screamed at or abused was in the bathtub in the house that I lived in. And so the bathtub has always been a very symbolic safe place for me. And so this weekend, I went and I took photos I got into my dress and I got into the bathtub and I took photos And I had moments with myself where I thought through what happened to me and I sat in the tub. And I allowed myself to feel the feelings of what happened to me and the circumstances surrounding prom. And I was able to feel grateful for the things that my mom did. And I texted her. And I was like, Mom, thank you, thank you for, for giving me this special gift of like, I’m looking at the photos. And like that was because of my mom, like she made that happen for me. And I’m so eternally grateful for that. And so I had moments of high moments of like being super grateful. And then the lower moments of feeling so angry that prom felt like it was stolen from me, right. Like, I didn’t have the experience that I thought, but also being grateful for the pieces of it that I did have that I’m so grateful that I had.
And so, as I’m in the bathtub, I’m taking I took some photos, I took some video, and I hopped out of the tub, and I ran and got my boots and some fishnet stockings. And I’m like, if we’re going to go high school, Nicole, we need to bring some Gothic elements into it as well. And I had my I painted my fingernails black, and I put those on, and I took photos, and I had a lot of fun with that. And then I got the idea. I’m like, Okay, so now that I’m in my safe place, I’m in the dress, I relive the moments I forgiven, you know, my partner for what he did. And I’ve embraced myself and hugged myself and loved myself at 17. Now I want to wash it away. So I turned on the shower. And I just let it run on me in the tub in the prom dress, and I just got soaking wet makeup running everywhere. And I had a moment I like I cried, and I cried for myself.
And I wept and had the moment that I needed to have because I couldn’t cry, then, like I couldn’t have that moment because I wasn’t allowed to have it. I could never just cry and feel emotion because I would get in trouble for that. Like, why are you crying and I would like get into arguments and I wasn’t allowed to show emotion or cry or be sad. So I had that moment for myself. I allowed myself to just sit there and cry in the tub. And that sounds really sad. And I don’t mean to tell the story to make anybody sad. But I’m what I’m telling is that that was very cathartic for me to be able to have my sadness and embrace that sadness. So I let the water hit me. And I just cried. And I had that. And after that moment, I turned off the water. And it was a beautiful thing. Like here I was all these years, I had never been able to fully grieve what happened. And they said, you know, grieving seems to be, you know, something that’s only tied to like losing someone you love or a breakup or something like that. But it’s also things that happened to you that you weren’t able to grieve back then.
I wasn’t able to grieve like I wasn’t allowed to be sad about these things. So I was sad. And I sat with the emotions that I felt it and I washed them down the drain. And I got out of that tub feeling stronger than I have ever felt in a long time about what happened. I feel like I got resolution. And for me, that was the cathartic moment that I needed. I’m not saying that this is the cathartic moment that will work for you. But this is what worked for me. And it’s taken me this long. I have been in therapy working through these issues for nearly two years now. And it’s just now that I’m realizing what I needed. I needed to be able to grieve that moment, the loss of a dream that I had built up in my head, I needed to grieve the loss of that. Instead, I was angry.
Anytime I thought about prom, I was angry. And I wanted to like have another prom like that’s still something that I would love to do some day with my friends is to have an adult prom and kind of like have a good time and, and redo that experience. But this bathtub experience for me. It did it. I was able to sit in my safe place and grieve. And that’s what I needed. And sometimes in our minds, we don’t know what we need until the moment that it’s like yatse there’s the idea like the light bulb appears over your head, and it’s like this is it. This is what I needed. And I haven’t known that my therapist sir It wasn’t like, Hey, sit in your bathtub in your prom dress, because who would recommend that, but that’s what worked for me. And I and I tell this story, not to make you feel sorry for me like, it is what it is like, this has just been my life journey. But it’s taken me this long to get there.
I was 17. I’m 35 now. And I’m just now getting the closure around that particular event that I needed. And it’s held me back for so long, right? Like, I was an alcoholic, because I was running, I was running from dealing with any of this stuff. And it was making me miserable. And that’s why I drank because I could turn my brain off. Like I could drink blackout and not think, and that’s why I drank like, it’s not the alcohols fault. It’s Nicole wanting to avoid dealing with the tough stuff. But now I am dealing with the tough stuff. And it’s beautiful.
Like I had this moment in my tub this weekend, that has released me from feeling anger around that event. And I encourage you to find these things for yourself and see what you need to do to release that kind of anger. Maybe you don’t have something from your childhood, maybe you have something from a past relationship or with your parents, or maybe you did have something in your childhood. But it’s important to grieve, it’s important to forgive yourself, in addition to the other people that were involved, it’s important to go through the steps, you know, in a, we have to go through the steps, right.
But I believe that in life, it’s important to go through these steps and really acknowledge when you’ve had something happened to you, and it’s affecting your life and you’re trying to run from it and not deal with it. Like, you’ve got to face it at some point. And that’s where I’m at, in my journey where I’m taking these things one at a time. I haven’t done them all at once because it’s too overwhelming. But I’ve done a little bit at a time, and the bathtub experience with these photos, and I’m going to share the photos and some of the video and share some photos of what I look like in the dress. You know, back when I was 17 because I have those photos and I kept those memories. But uh, you know, it was a beautiful experience. And I’m so grateful to have had it that I wanted to make the podcast about it today and encourage you as well, the person sitting there listening to this podcast, that if you have some unresolved things, I encourage you to look at them. Maybe not right now maybe you’re not ready for that. And that’s okay. There, it’s been a process for me, I haven’t been ready to face everything. It’s taken me time.
I’ve put off a lot I’ve procrastinated to where like, I know I should be doing something and I’m not. But I’m getting there. Like your journey could take years, it could take months, it could take the rest of your life. But it’s worth going on that journey and, and having those cathartic moments and forgiving yourself and forgiving others and healing those parts of you that are constantly in turmoil, the things that want to scream out, you know, like the things that make you depressed out of nowhere, like you have all of this stuff, the mind is such a powerful thing. But it can also be your worst enemy. So I encourage you to if you have stuff like this in your life to, to start slowly, it doesn’t need to be right away. And it doesn’t need to be, you know, handling everything at once. Because that’s impossible. None of us can do that. If we could do that, if we could just like switch on and off like that, then we probably wouldn’t need therapists. But therapists are there for a reason.
And it’s because it takes a while. And maybe you have a therapist right now and you feel like you’re not really making progress. That’s okay, too. I’ve had serious plateaus in my progress in like dealing with stuff where I’m just dealing with the day to day and not dealing with stuff I’ve packed away. But those days are important to the days where you’re just talking to your therapist and pissed off because something happened at work or you’re mad at your partner or, you know, you burnt your dinner and nothing’s going right today. Like those are important things too. But like I said, like I’m sharing this story today because it’s hard. It is hard, hard work and it’s tears and it’s reliving past traumas and things that have happened to you. And I encourage you to do that under the direction and supervision of a professional. Because you might dig up some stuff that you didn’t know was there and you need someone to talk to you about that. So I definitely encourage you to be under the care of a therapist if you’re going to go through some traumatic stuff.
But I do encourage you to, you know, offer yourself some compassion and forgiveness. And give yourself a big freakin hug today and just say, I’m glad that I’m alive. And I’m here. And I’m not going to let this stuff hold me back any longer. And that’s the whole purpose for my podcast is just to encourage people to have some compassion for themselves, that there is hope, at the end of the dark road that you seem to be going down sometimes, because there have been times in my life where I’m like, there is no way I’m going to get through this. And then I do like, without without a doubt, I every time I think this is I can’t do it. Nope, this is it. This is my breaking point. And then I get through it, and I get on the other side and I go, dang, I’m so frickin strong. I don’t give myself enough credit. So give yourself some credit today. Give yourself a big friggin hug and live your best life. That’s that’s my advice.
That’s what I’m going to leave you with today. I will talk to you all next time. Thank you so much for listening to our episode. Today.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai