Just a Little Wounded. ~ Tammy Foley

Via elephant journal
on Feb 3, 2012
get elephant's newsletter

I spent my entire childhood not believing I was good enough for anything and full of shame.

From the age of 13 I have suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders and at times, hopelessness. These things are a direct result of being sexually abused as a child.  I have sought therapy many times during my adult life, and each time I have worked through different emotions relating to the abuse. I always hoped to be done working through these issues but seem to never be completely healed. They keep coming back.

Fast forward to the summer of 2011.

Stupidly, I decided to embark on a long time desire. Yoga teacher training. I say stupidly because that’s how it felt at the time. I had wanted to do this for such a long time but was too terrified to actually take the step. Some of the many toxic thoughts going through my head were:

you are not good enough, not by a long shot

you never stick to anything

you will fail

you will be judged

people with laugh at you

These are the thoughts that have gone through my head my entire life. Sometimes I am able to ignore them and dare to try something new, but many times I give up. On this particular occasion, I had the money hidden in a desk draw, secretly saved, specifically for the teacher training. So I mustered up the courage and drove to the studio, handing her the envelope full of money before I had time to chicken out. From the time I paid to the time the training  started, I thought of many ways to back out. Some of them were actually true, and some were made up. I thought of so many excuses, but in the end, I didn’t back out. I showed up.

First weekend extensive: I am so nervous that I want to vomit. Seriously. As the weekend goes on, I relax a bit. I even start to enjoy myself a little.

Second weekend extensive: Man, I love this stuff…mostly. I get to know my teacher and fellow students better. They are wonderful. This is so much fun.

Third weekend extensive: I love yoga so much.

Don’t get me wrong, this is hard. It is so far out of my comfort zone that at times I think I’ll need a compass to get back, but at the same time I feel safe. That is the important thing: I feel safe. I still have all of the negative talk in my head, the self-doubt and self judgment, but I know, in this class, I am not being judged. We all have our stories, our pasts, our demons and vices, but from the strength (physical, emotional, spiritual and mental) I get from my yoga practice and the wonderful support from my teacher and fellow students, I can handle my past and all that it brings. I can not only handle it, I can overcome it. I am not broken, and I am not shattered. I am just a little wounded at times, and yoga is helping me to heal mind, body and spirit in a happy and healthy way.

I have a way to go yet, and I know there are going to be things I have to do that I don’t like, things that push me even further out of that safe place.  During this experience, I am being forced to look at myself in ways I have never before considered. I am seeing myself differently with tenderness and compassion. I will finish this training, and I will share this beautiful gift of yoga with others.

Some people say that yoga can wreck your body, and this may or may not be true, but it can surely save your spirit.

Tammy Foley is currently studying to be a yoga teacher and holistic nutritional consultant. She has a daily meditation practice that is her saving grace.  Tammy is the author of the blog AVeganGoddess.com and has a vegan cookbook in the works. Besides her family, veganism, nutrition and yoga are her biggest passions.  She lives in southern Maine with her husband of 26 years, three grown sons and her much loved boxer, Tallulah.

This article was prepared by Sheri McCord.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


8 Responses to “Just a Little Wounded. ~ Tammy Foley”

  1. The first few lines drew me in because I can completely relate. i, too, was sexually abused as a child, and suffered from depression, anxiety and eating disorders. The bottom line of your article is that victims of child sexual abuse can become overcomers. We can heal. Thanks so much for sharing about your journey!

  2. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  3. Tammy says:

    Thank you Gina. It was incredibly difficult to hit the send button for this article but I was something I needed to do…again, outside of my comfort zone by miles. We are stronger than we think we are!

  4. Patricia says:

    you are beautiful!

  5. Tammy says:

    Thank you! <3

  6. Kimberly says:

    So beautifully written! I am so glad you didnt back out Tammy! Your a gift~

  7. Tammy says:

    Thank you Kimberly.