Welcome to HealingFriend!

Hello, friends! My name is Paige, and I am a certified Emotion Code Practitioner, Reiki Master Level III, Hypnotherapist and Breath Coach in California. My story is a long, wacky journey of going from being a chronic punching bag people-pleaser who would get hurt very easily to becoming a fearlessly authentic bulletproof chick with a talent for communication and intuitive ability up the wazoo. My passion to make people happy has been the same my entire life, but now, I'm doing it from a place of wisdom and inspiration rather than from fear of worthlessness and abandonment. My goal for this blog is to share what I've learned about trauma, somatic healing and the human condition through my studies of psychology, the nervous system and the mysteries of energy work, as well as demystify the more spiritual components of being human. I do not claim to have all the answers, I do not claim to be right or to know The Truth of life. What I do know is my truth: that I have changed from living in a state powerless victimhood to embodying the energy of a happy, self-empowered winner, and I did it completely holistically.

This blog is going to be a couple of things. First off, this blog is going to be radically honest. Something I learned in theatre school was that the more specific a story is, ironically the more universal it becomes. I happen to have a knack for story-telling, and a powerful story to recount, the purpose of which is to connect with and inspire others like me. The blog is also going to be from a singular point of view. You do not have to understand or agree with everything I share here, in fact, I hope that you don't. But I do ask that you read with both openness and discernment. What resonates with you is yours to bank away and build upon. That which doesn't resonate is yours to ignore. I am not here to be right or to prescribe, just to share my experiences and points-of-view. I also respect and welcome yours.

What this blog is not is a place to complain, argue, or fuel negativity. There are places for spiritual debate. This is not one of them, nor is it a place to push doctrine. What will be addressed here is for all humans of all beliefs, creeds, religions, cultures and practices. It will not negate or challenge anything, in fact, the information and thoughts expressed here are intended to encompasses all aspects of human life because "nothing human is alien to me." - Maya Angelou

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1991 to a super caregiving mother, a hard-working father and two polar opposite older brothers. Ever since the beginning, I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed about life. I loved dress-up, singing/dancing, and using my imagination. Playing with toys wasn't my thing, I was much more interested in creating and playing out scenarios with others. Problem was, I think having one parent who was super emotionally available and one who was super emotionally distant made me attracted to others who were emotionally distant and giving them ALL of me because that was the dynamic I was familiar with, that was my framework for Love.

What I didn't know was that I was also an empath/highly sensitive person (HSP). What that entails is having an increased or deeper central nervous system sensitivity to physical, emotional, or social stimuli. I have always been able to perceive the most minute changes in others' energy and behavior, which is not always a good thing. When an HSP or empath with high codependency is around people who are unhappy, controlling or difficult to please, they become the "pet" of that person in order to keep themselves safe from persecution by that person. This results in perpetual heightened fear responses in the mind and body, including flooding cortisol levels, a frightened nervous system, and constantly racing fearful thoughts/emotions. Codependent HSP's/empaths spend their energy trying to anticipate and put out fires for others before they even start, keeping them in a state of codependency and resulting in unhealthy relationship dynamics, as well as a number of mental, emotional and physical diseases over time.

How it looks to others is an over-giving doormat of a person who gets hurt easily an blows things way out of proportion. Aka a "Drama Queen"...or "Crazy Bitch" depending on who you're talking to. Believe me, I've been called it all. And guess what, the number of times I have actually had mean-spirited thoughts or intentions in my 30 years of life, I could probably count on one hand, and that's the truth. Anytime I was destructively reactive was out of hurt, not out of cruelty and I will stand by that fact until the day I die. That doesn't mean I've barely ever said things that were mean, but my intentions were almost always to self-soothe, not to hurt others. Although I know that I have.

I had a pretty normal, happy childhood. There was some mean girl stuff, I desperately wanted boys to like me and I wanted to be pretty, but that's par for the course. I was rejected a lot in Middle School, probably due to my intensity as a person, something I still have to reckon with from time to time. Once I became comfortable with being kind of weird/different, life really stared to open up for me, which was around freshman year of high school. My peers knew who I was, I had found my tribe with the theatre kids, an I had forever sworn off romantic relationships with boys (make-out sessions excluded). But when boys started to like me, like ACTUALLY wanted to be with me, that's when my life began to get complicated again. Enter X.

We're going to call this young gentleman "X" because any other name I'd want to assign to him has an energy/connotations of their own. "X" is open enough to paint the picture of how I know this person to be, not how you the reader might perceive somebody with the name of James, Zach or Kyle to be from your own life. "X" also eliminates the humanity from this person, which is something I need to do in order to tell my story with some objectivity.

We met during musical rehearsal. I was assistant directing the production and was listening to my iPod before the cast was to begin warm-ups. Sitting a few rows behind me was X, along with some other sophomore guys eating their Qdoba and talking their shit. X called my name and waved for me to come over. I was hesitant because he was part of the "cool" group, and historically I hadn't had great experience with them in the past, nor did I have a very positive view of them in the present. Nervously and anticipating some light bullying, I approached. "Lemme see your iPod," he said. As he scrolled through, vocalizing whatever judgments he had, he came to Lynyrd Skynyrd. "Let me guess, Sweet Home Alabama?" I shrugged. It was actually Free Bird. He gazed up at me, somewhat humbled and slightly impressed before I was dismissed. Little did I know how metaphorical and symbolic this exchange first exchange was.

Before long, X had started developing feelings for me. It was fun for me to experience being romantically interesting, but I was far too wounded to feel good about being in a relationship, especially with somebody I was so socially intimidated by. I wasn't aware of my core wounding regarding being lovable yet, but I knew I didn't want to be stuck to anybody, or for anybody to be stuck to me. The chase was on. I wanted to be free, to enjoy high school and make-out with anybody and everybody I wanted to, and he had to have me. A friendship wasn't enough so I would insist we distance ourselves from our friendship, then he'd come around and promise that we could just be friends, and the loop would go on-and-on. His friends both girl and guy had developed some hatred for me for hurting their friend, but in reality, I was essentially being harassed, in some cases, lightly stalked. As somebody that never EVER wanted to hurt anybody, it was hard for me to have boundaries with X. I didn't want to hurt him, and I didn't want people to hate me, but I did want to be left alone. So we would get in fights, like full-on lovers' quarrels, and we weren't even dating. After almost two years of this back-and-forth, I finally told him that if I was going to fall in love with him, it would've already happened. This broke him, and he vowed to finally leave me alone. Hallelujah.

Four days later, I saw him in the parking lot at school. Looking at him, I realized that as a person, I did care for him. We had spent so much time together over the past couple years, good and bad. I had a fondness for him. I wanted to at least be on good terms, so I caught up to him and extended an olive branch. We went to Steak-And-Shake and ate our burgers in his truck bed, going over all the stuff that had transpired between us over time. Something had shifted--his desperation, his need to possess me was gone and what was in front of me was a very lovable person with a big heart, big dreams and big life energy. He had already seen the worst of me and still wanted to be in my life. I liked this person.

So we began meeting in secret. We didn't want our friends to know necessarily that we were hooking up because of our complicated rollercoaster past, we didn't want any judgments until one night after making out in his truck, as we were walking to my front door, I burst into hysterical laughter. Unstoppable, deep, painful laughter that went on MINUTES. He looked on, confused and bemused by what was happening with me. I could hardly get my words out, until finally I could get enough air to surrender the words, "Do you want to be my boyfriend?" Happy, but unconvinced he asked, "Are you gonna break up with me in six weeks?" (yeah, that had happened about a year before). "I don't think so." An so it began, my first love, my greatest loss, and my catalyst for healing.

This relationship was not balanced or healthy, but damn it was passionate and exciting. The highs were high, the lows were low and the intensity was palpable. It had all the makings of a great love story, including the skeptical objectors, the bouts of separation, the awkward teenage sexual heat, the grand romantic gestures and allllllllll the hormones. Our fights were horrible though. The thing about romantic relationships is that they most mirror and resemble our relationships with our parents, and I had a lot of unconscious wounds around mine. I think we both did. He would say something like "I wish you were a Christian" or "You're not as funny as you think you are," and I would FLY off the handle. I could never understand why he would say such judgmental or mean things to me out of the blue, and being an undiagnosed empath/HSP, I would take it so personally since I spent all of me an my energy to make him happy. How could he not see or value that? Hello, inner-child father wounding. What I didn't see was that saying things like this to me, he was also exercising what he had grown up witnessing and knowing Love to be. Basically, we were ignorant kids who triggered the ever-loving hell out of each other.

The real fallout began once he had left for college. For months I had tried to give him an out if he wanted it. Since I had two older brothers, I knew how boys were and knew he'd probably want to go to college a free man, but instead he promised me over and over that he couldn't see himself with anybody else and he only would ever want to be with me. Despite my better judgment, I believed him. But, within ten days apart, he tried to end things with me because I went overboard one night calling him from a country music concert. He had said he was going to miss the South so I just wanted to give him a piece of home. Instead, I embarrassed him amidst his new friends at college and made myself look absolutely insane. I was completely crushed. For days I begged, I cried, I PLEADED that he not end things with me until I finally convinced him. In hindsight, I should've just let it be, but at the time, I was hurting so badly, I couldn't let it go, not after everything we had been through together. He had been my first everything, despite my resistance at times, and I felt horribly worthless and discarded.

This schism was so traumatic that I completely lost my security in the relationship and began clinging on for dear life while also harboring a LOT of pain and resentment toward him without the tools to understanding or process them. I couldn't let ANYTHING go and he NEVER felt like he could come back from the ways he had hurt me. So we both began self-sabotaging. I started entertaining attention from other boys at school amidst my growing self-hatred as a result of our increasingly destructive relationship. He began withholding and shutting down, until finally, neither of us wanted to be there anymore. We broke up and he started a physical relationship with some other girl two weeks later, who then shortly after became his new long-distance girlfriend. When the reality that he did not want me back settled in, my self-esteem became non-existent. I completely lost myself. I was left the empty shell of the dgaf, happy girl who had once all the vitality and joy in the world. Everything I was I had given to or given up for him, and it wasn't enough. I wasn't enough.

I began smoking, binge-drinking, being more promiscuous. I would jump from relationship to relationship almost like an addict, trying to fill the void that had been left. I didn't know what would fix me, what would heal me, or if this was just growing up. I could barely laugh anymore, I didn't love myself enough anymore to be authentic, and I used theatre school to publicly process my trauma, which in hindsight was not a safe space. In fact, it compounded my feelings of isolation and unlovability as I burdened my peers once again with my feelings of abandonment. I even began chasing guys who treated me like shit because it had becoming such a familiar feeling--to feel like shit. I hated my life, I hated myself and I hated that I had let someone who I didn't even want in the first place destroy me. Worst of all, I still wanted him. Or at least I thought I did, it's possible I just wanted validation that I was still good enough to have him.

2012 was my lowest point. I was 20, X and I had been broken up for two years and I could not get over it. Why could other people get over their breakups and I couldn't? There was something wrong with me. One day in a flurry of anguish and exasperation, I pleaded to God, "WHY CAN'T I GET OVER THIS?!"Just then, I felt the intense need to dance, my newly discovered method of release. As I began to move, an energy took over my body. I began moving more and more freely, wildly, until my consciousness left my body completely and something else took over. In my frenzy, I threw a notebook and a Sharpie on the bed and wrote something across the entire page without even knowing what words I was channeling. When I read it back to myself, I broke into a desperate, deep sob. It read: "HE MADE ME FEEL EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED TO FEEL."It was the most resounding moment of Truth I had ever experienced.

This communication with God, though immensely penetrating, did not radically change my internal state. I still felt as close to suicidal as one could get before threatening action when I discovered an article online about how you could rewire your brain to be happy by habitually thinking positive thoughts, thereby atrophying your negative habits of thought. I also read that you have entirely new cells every seven years. That day, I made a vow: In seven years, I am going to be somebody who is completely in control of her life and happiness. Nobody is ever going to dictate my emotional state ever again. Ha! Good luck, codependent empath/HSP with fundamentally unhealthy beliefs about Love and Relationships, right? Yeah, you right. It was then and there that my very long, slow process towards healing began.

As I waited anxiously to escape college, I privately threw myself into "the work". It started with arduous attempts at meditation and Dr. Jeffrey Thompson's binaural beats. I could barely not be negative for thirty seconds let alone 10+ minutes. I couldn't even get to neutral. But I kept trying. I discovered Gabby Bernstein, Mindvalley, and a couple quality psychics. I didn't believe traditional talk therapy was for me because to be honest, I had no problem talking to anyone about anything. I was a chronic over-sharer and it did more harm than good. I needed results, not more processing.

Soon enough, I moved into a studio apartment in LA after graduation so I could rebuild myself without any social influence. I dated safe guys. I barely partied, I barely made any friends and I barely chased my dreams. I was just coasting, getting a tiny bit better at a snail's pace over time. Eventually when I had regained enough self-esteem to have somewhat of a life, that's when I really started getting my toxic patterns reflected back to me. I fell love with problematic people, I befriended backstabbing snakes, I sought validation on social media, but at least I was getting feedback with which to work with.

Finally in 2018, after becoming a version of myself I was pretty *okay* with, I got açaí bowls with a college acquaintance. This girl had been a little bit younger, so I hadn't gotten to know her well when we were at school together, but I had remembered her being petite, gentle and light, like a sweet church mouse. The woman who showed up on this day however, was bold, embodied and strong. Her secret? An over-the-phone energy healer. After working through some healthy skepticism, I book my first appointment two weeks later, and three sessions after that, I was not only convinced, I was hooked. I did twenty sessions in four months, and for the first time ever, I didn't feel X's presence around me anymore. I didn't hear his voice judging my actions, I didn't feel the pangs of longing to be loved, I didn't feel like an empty, pathetic loser whose glory days were long behind her. What I did feel was relief, relief because I had found something that actually produced tangible, obvious results. I was beginning to have energy, to experience joy and to feel like myself again, a girl I hadn't known for almost a decade. And thus began my true healing, a journey beyond even the best versions of myself I had ever been.

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