My Freedom ROCKS! Emotional Healing and Self LoveBy Darlene Ouimet
I have decided to throw my Freedom Rock in the pond in our pasture right here on our farm over 1800 miles away from the child abuse that I suffered but where the emotional abuse of my childhood continued even as an adult and where my depressions increased until I no longer believed there was any hope for me. This is also the place where I did my healing. This is the land that I rode my horse on for hours and days on end, walked for hours meditating and contemplating what had happened to me and the false messages that I believed because of it. This is the land that I raised my kids on and the land where I took my life back.
My freedom ROCK is going to be based on the following quote by Alice Miller
“The way we were treated as small children is the way we treat ourselves the rest of our lives; with cruelty or with tenderness and protection.” Alice Miller
I made a decision quite a while ago that I was done treating myself the same way that I had been treated by others. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Enforcing that decision that I was “done discounting me” has been a whole other ball game. In the beginning I came to realize that I had put myself last so much and for so long that I never even considered what I might have wanted and when asked I didn’t have an answer. The learning curve on this one has been huge for me. Even in wholeness I didn’t listen to myself, just like I had not been listened to. I had to learn to listen to myself and validate what myself was trying to tell me. If I was tired, I had to learn to let myself rest. If I was hungry I had to learn to nourish myself with healthy foods. I had to learn to “catch” the con job that I was doing on myself, telling myself that something good, was not so good.
In the process of emotional healing I constantly had to reassure myself that I was on the right track. I had to validate that I had been mistreated. (I had been blamed for my problems for so long that I believed I deserved everything that happened to me.) I had to convince myself that I deserved better than the ways that I had been regarded and disregarded for most of my life. I had to start the healing process validating that there was damage that I deserved to heal from. I had to learn to treat myself according to the true definition of love.
And that is a process that I also had to learn to apply to the way that I regarded and treated me.
I love chocolate and potato chips and convinced myself for years that they were a treat and a comfort that I ‘deserved’. After I ate them however, I never felt good. My reward was really a punishment and I could see flashes of the past intertwined with the ways that I had learned to treat myself. Many of the “rewards” that I had received in my childhood were actually punishments too. Rewards that had “obligation” attached to them and rewards that had a price tag caused me to get my definition of “reward” mixed up. Sometimes rewards were a payment to make up for something bad that happened or a pre payment for something bad that was about to happen. Compliments used for the purpose of grooming me to be compliant made me very wary of compliments; even compliments from myself. All these things went into the grid of my belief system. I learned to treat myself the dysfunctional and disrespectful way that I had been treated by others. I broke agreements that I made with myself, I lied to myself and as a result I no longer trusted myself.
This past year I have been getting deeper at the roots of the trouble I’ve had with self care. I have been looking at where it all began and my own history with “self love and self care”. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the way I’ve treated myself and the roots of that treatment and my belief system around that self treatment. I noticed that I broke agreements with myself. I became aware of how often I lied to myself, conned myself or convinced myself that something that wasn’t good for me, was really not bad for me or that there was a “good reason” to justify it. I saw where I had learned to treat myself that way. I realized that just like with everything else in my life, I had learned it very young. I learned to discount me, just like I had been discounted. And I learned to try harder with myself just like I always tried harder for everyone else but in the end I was never good enough for me; in the end by my own actions, I didn’t show myself love.
About seven months ago as a result of paying closer attention to the way that I regard myself, I started to make some changes in the way that I treat myself and I have been learning to listen to myself when it comes to self care. In the first couple of years of recovery and emotional healing I learned to re-parent myself. I am taking that process to a deeper level now because my understanding is at a deeper level.
SO, my freedom rock is going to be about nurturing my relationship with me in a deeper way and letting go of “self abuse” and self disregard. I am going to take my rock and write my vows to me on it. I am done with discounting myself and my needs. I am going to continue to listen to myself and keep working on regaining my own trust.
I promised myself that I would finish my book and create a companion work book so that I could generate an income from the full time work that I do here in EFB. The first book has been sitting on my desk waiting to be sorted through for almost a year because I put this website, my blog posts and answering the comments BEFORE myself and my needs. I take breaks when I am burned out instead of before I get burned out, and I spend over $200.00 a month out of my own pocket to support this website. I always told myself that it is my passion for wholeness that drives me to do too much and put the bigger projects that I always had in mind on the back burner but in fact it has been my expectations of myself that have gotten in the way of my completing those projects like my books. It is putting others needs before my own needs, just like I was always trained and taught to do in the past. It is a “left over false belief” that my value can be “proven” by my actions.
One of the readers here shared that she was going to draw a “box” on her Freedom ROCK to represent that she was no longer in it, and she was throwing that BOX into the deep. That really resonated with me as I so often talked about “the box” in the first few years of my emotional healing and could really relate to having been in the box that abuse, neglect and unreasonable expectations from others put me in for most of my life.
I am going to draw an empty box on my Freedom ROCK too. My box is going to represent “the part of the box” that I still had part of myself in even in recovery. It is going to represent the letting go of unreasonable expectations of myself. It is going to represent that not only have I empowered myself to stand up to abuse and refuse to accept not being treated as equally valuable FROM other people, it will also serve to remind myself that I won’t accept it from ME anymore either!
My freedom rock is going to represent MY declaration of freedom and Wholeness when it comes to self care and self love!
Please share your thoughts and your Freedom ROCKS stories here. If there are freedom ROCKS stories shared on other freedom ROCKS category posts I might add them to the comments in this post so that people can come and read them all in one place.
Inspiring hope, freedom, wholeness and celebration of life!
There are some great ideas for freedom rocks shared in the following related posts and their comments; Freedom ROCKS about page