Finding Myself on the Emotional Healing JourneyBy Darlene Ouimet
Finding ME was not my original goal in the process of emotional healing. Looking back, I had always been focused on “changing me” and not so much on “finding me”.
I had all sorts of questions such as “who am I? How do I find myself; what is my purpose; do I have a gift?” But when I think about it today, I did not want to find “me” or “find myself.” The fact is that I had spent a life time avoiding myself. When I was finally desperate enough to seek healing by facing the past, I was way past those questions. I just wanted to feel okay. I just wanted to want to get up in the morning. Some days I spent hoping that I could finish raising my kids before I completely gave up on my life.
As I started my journey to emotional healing, I began to realize that all my life I was either trying to escape myself or trying to re-invent myself. When I was trying to accept myself, it was through the eyes of others. Subconsciously, I saw finding the original me as counterproductive, because all my life the truth was that I had been trying to escape me.
And I didn’t want to go back to me. I believed that I had never been good enough in the first place. I believed that if I had been good enough, then I would have been loved, I would have been protected and accepted and I would not have been abused or hurt. So I was angry at “me”. I thought that I had failed as a person; I believed that I had let everyone down and I believed that I had let myself down, so why would I want to “be me” now?
I didn’t realize ANY of this back then! It was all hidden in my mind and those deeply hidden thoughts were all part of my survivor mode. Not becoming “me” I believed was best for ME and for everyone else. This knowledge occurred to me much later in my emotional healing process.
And all along I had this “imposter issue.” I felt like an imposter. I felt like a fake copy of myself that didn’t belong anywhere. I had this constant “feeling” that “if you knew me, you wouldn’t like me” and I never knew where it came from. Today I realize that I felt that way because I had been “disliked” as a child by the people who were supposed to take care of me. They didn’t say that they disliked me but it was communicated in other ways. Actions speak louder than words and the accumulated actions of others towards me communicated to me that I was unworthy.
As a child I had no other option but to try harder. Children don’t blame their parents or the adults in their lives because if it is up to someone else to change then there is no hope. I can’t make them change. As a child I believe it is ME that needs to change and if it is up to me, I can try harder to be what they expected and to be worthy of their love. If I succeed, then I will have everything I want; love, acceptance and protection. SO I kept trying to succeed. And in my mind, I had failed because I was never good enough. I was never worthy of their acceptance. I always had to try harder. SO, I was mad at me. I believed that I failed and how could I love myself or accept myself when I failed at being worthy? And since I believed all this stuff deep down, then why on earth would I want to be ME?
It makes sense to me now that under those circumstances and because of those false beliefs, I wouldn’t want to be me. And I didn’t want to be me.
All my life I strived to change me. I tried to become a new me; the one that they or at least the one that SOMEONE wanted instead of who I was because as I said, who I was, was a failure. In recovery seeking to find the original me was a concept that subconsciously, I rejected.
Looking at it this way, it is understandable that my default mode (my habit) was to keep trying to change me and that I longed to be someone else.
As I came along in my recovery, I didn’t “try” to find myself I just tried to stop running from myself. I stopped running from the past, from the memories and the pain.
Finding myself was a result of the work that I did. And finding myself felt like “coming home” after being away forever. I wasn’t a failure, I had been failed. I wasn’t unworthy or unlovable; I had been falsely defined by the actions of others. I wasn’t the problem! I didn’t need to change in the way that I had been conditioned to believe that I did. I needed to stop trying to change. I was already good enough. I needed to look at the truth and realize that it wasn’t my fault or my failure. I needed to sort all that out.
One more very important point before I finish ~ I didn’t need THEM to change either. My longing for them to change was rooted in the same belief that they could validate me as worthy instead of unworthy and the bottom line is that no one can define me as worthy or unworthy. Everyone is worthy. Everyone has equal value!
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Lighting the Path on the Journey to Emotional Healing
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