Shame is my default

One of my earliest memories, if not THE earliest, is of my Dad carrying my mom to the shower and throwing her in.

Looking back at it now, I think he was probably trying to sober her up.

But at the time, it just scared me. I loved my mom so much. I was thoroughly devoted to her. In my 2-3 year old mind, I didn’t understand why my Dad was trying to hurt her.

Being already pre-disposed to shyness and fear, I learned to be afraid of my Dad. He was big and mean and loud.

Don’t get me wrong—I know he loved me. We had lots of great times together. But his relationship with my mom was confusing to young child me. They were supposed to love each other! Why were they always hurting each other?

But I digress.

Today when I am afraid, I know that is my default thinking. From such a young age, I was afraid of everything. I couldn’t even trust my own parents who were supposed to give me an atmosphere of love and safety. The whole world was scary.

Our brains want an explanation for everything. It wants to place blame so that it can then solve the problem. For many people, they so desperately don’t want to be the one to blame that they blame everyone around them.

But for me, blaming others doesn’t seem to come as naturally and I wondered why. My default was blaming myself.

I think this is why:

I can control myself. I can change myself.

Everyone outside of me was unpredictable bordering on volatile.

So it makes sense to me that even as a young child my brain found refuge in blaming me. It felt more safe. If I could just stay quiet and unnoticeable, they everything would be ok.

But that no longer serves me. In order to serve the people around me I have to be willing to be seen and heard. I can’t blend in.

The interesting thing is that there really is nobody to blame. My brain is to blame. And not even really to blame. My brain is responsible. Responsible for keeping me safe as a child and now for keeping me small.

In order to overcome it, I have to be willing to feel the discomfort of feeling vulnerable so that I can do my work in the world.

A Spiritual Prompting: My Story, a Bird’s Eye View

{This is the edited version of my video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U536C4ShOKM}

I want to tell you a story.

About 15.5 years ago, I was walking the halls at church with my little baby- she was getting fussy or maybe she was walking and couldn’t sit still. We went into the hall and somebody had prepared a bulletin board on the topic of Write Your Personal History. As I read that board, I felt a spiritual impression that I needed to write my history. But I was young (24 years old with my first little baby) and just figuring life out; I didn’t really know how to write my story or tell my story! Over the next 15 years I would go on to start and abandon many blogs trying to tell my story. But I think in hindsight, the problem was I didn’t know who I was talking to. So I would start writing and then I would get overwhelmed: how do I do it? Do I do it chronologically or by theme? SO I never really did it and I’ve been trying to ignore this prompting for almost 16 years now!

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I heard an interview on one of my favorite podcasts talking about storytelling. It piqued my interest; I thought it was an interesting topic. Matthew Dicks, the author of the book Storyworthy was being interviewed, and he mentioned how he teaches storytelling workshops and he has to continuously tell women (specifically women) that their stories are worth telling. After that podcast finished, I was on a walk and I felt these words enter my mind: “I’ve given you time to tell your story.” I felt a little chastised by God that he has asked me several time over the past decade and a half to tell my story. But I think I was getting tripped up thinking he was telling me to write my story. So in the last couple of weeks I have had almost daily spiritual impressions that I need to tell my story. It’s not that I even have one story to tell. I know my life story is interesting—it’s almost movie worthy. But I am just a normal person. I don’t know who wants to hear my story, or who is out there for me to touch, but right now I am working on blind faith and I am going to move forward with telling my story.

I wanted to just give you the birds eye view. I don’t know who you are, but I feel like I can’t start without the 30,000 foot view. SO today I am just going to give you the nuts and bolts of my history, who I am, where I came from, and a few really important events in my life. As I go forward I don’t know what this is going to look like: a youtube channel, a podcast, a blog or what, but I will tell more stories and go more in depth.

I am going to start with 0-18 years old in which I was born in a suburb of San Diego. My mom was a teenager: she was 17 and one month. My dad was 20 and they weren’t married. But they made it work. When I was 6, immediately after I finished kindergarten, we moved to Washington State because my dad had lost his job (future story) and his parents had moved to eastern Washington and were building a house and retiring. I grew up in this tiny little town in the Okanogan valley. (I’m not going to get more specific that for privacy reasons for other family members.) Basically, my childhood was pretty tough. Most people would agree that it was a tough upbringing. My parents did drugs, they were alcoholics, there was physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Money was always tight. My mom was a SAHM until I was in 8th grade-ish. There’re some primitive living situations- no running water or electricity for a several years.  But overall, I always knew my parents loved me. I really enjoyed growing up in a small town. It felt safe to me. And I really loved my grandparents who lived there. I got to spend a lot of time with them. I graduated as the valedictorian of my graduating class- ’98. And I went off to college at the University of Washington.

The second chapter of my life was from the time I was 18 until about 23 where I went to college. I was engaged to my high school sweetheart and broke it off with him because I met my now-husband my freshman year of college. I was inactive from the church I grew up in (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) from about 14.5 until 20 years old. During these college years I decided to go back to church and my live-in boyfriend at the time came with me, investigated, and he’s now a convert to the church. Also during this time was one of the biggest turning points of my life: my mother passed away after a car accident. But I went on to graduate from college and start working.

The third chapter starts when I am pregnant and we’ve just moved to the Bay Area. My husband started working and I am plunged into motherhood, which was not an easy transition for me. I always wanted to be a mom, but surprisingly it wasn’t easy. We had babies, we bought a condo (a story about trusting the lord). But during this time, I was really lost in who I was and what my purpose was. I was not being the kind of wife and mom I wanted to be. I have three children, 2 girls and a boy. My oldest is almost 16 years old right now, my 2nd is almost 13 and my son turned 11 a few months ago. When my oldest daughter started 2nd grade I began homeschooling her and I homeschooled her and my other kids for 5 years until the time we moved to Germany.

The fourth chapter starts with Germany. My husband and I love travel; it’s a really big value of ours. We always dreamed of living abroad. We never really thought it would come true, but we had this rare opportunity so we had to take it. We ended up living in Germany for 1 year. We lived 30-45 minutes away from where my husband’s grandmother grew up, so that was close to our heart (she raised my husband). And we lived in a town called Bremen. Our last name, Bremer, means from Bremen. I have tons of stories about living in Germany and how that really stretched me and was a turning point in my life to where I am now. I was in Germany when I found life coaching through the podcasts of the amazing Jody Moore and her mentor Brooke Castillo who runs the Life Coach School. Right after we moved home from abroad, I signed up to go to life coach training and now I am a life coach and I’m building my business and it’s the hardest most wonderful things I have done besides raising children. I’m learning how to lean into my negative emotions, how to juggle lots of different moving pieces with still being a mom and my husband works full time and running a household and friends and church callings and all the things.

That pretty much brings us to today. We’ve been home from Germany for 2 years. I have changed so much in the last 2.5 years since finding life coaching. I literally went from being a shy, anxious scared person over pretty much everything: from cleaning my house to driving cars to talking to people. To now I truly honestly feel so confident and I know who I am and I am so much more sure of myself. Not to say I don’t have tons of work left to do, but I am a totally different person. I don’t know why I am supposed to tell my story, but I know that I am supposed to. I know that a higher power wants me to, which I can only assume means that someone out there will be changed or inspired or taught by some of the things I’ve gone through in my life.

I will be talking a lot about the lessons I’ve learned and the themes I’ve seen in my life. As I put together a really quick outline for this today I realized there were some themes I could already see:

  1. Trust the Lord- you’ll be hearing more about my faith and spiritual experiences and the miracles I’ve seen in my life.
  2. If you feel it, chances are others are feeling it too. So many people I’ve talked to feel like they are alone in feeling broken. I want to assure you that pretty much everyone feels that way. I’ve clung to the idea that I’m not alone even if I don’t know who else is feeling the same way, but odds are if I feel this way someone else does too.
  3. Many of my transformation moments have come when someone else tells me what they’ve seen in me and it resonates. I have several stories about this.
  4. Work hard. You grow through your trials, through the hard, tough stuff. It requires you to work hard on an emotional level.

Thank you for reading along. Feel free to share this or any future stories with anyone you feel could use it. Follow me on social media or subscribe to my youtube channel. If you feel like I have some wisdom to impart or questions to ask me, feel free to reach out: @denitabremercoaching on IG and FB, or email me at denita@denitabremer.com

A New Focus

Listen. I LOOOOOVE talking about sex.

But through a series of events, I decided to change my focus.

I decided to focus on my own story and how I have helped myself to feel happier, lighter and more fulfilled.

Sex is only one little part of that story.

As soon as I made this switch, I had a flood of ideas come to me about ways I can serve others who feel like I did a few years ago.

So if you know you have an amazing life, but you still feel miserable/unhappy/angry/unfulfilled, you’ll want to stick around.

I will still touch on sex and sexuality from time to time, but it won’t be the main focus. Although, I DO still think it’s the best way to connect with your body!