Dec
15

Myth Busting and my Belief System

By

“Nothing is more difficult than competing with a myth” Francoise Giroud

What are the myths that you live with, in your own personal life? This quote which I read in a book about financial myths, reminded me of all the other myths that affected me and held me back from a life of wholeness and fullness.

Realizing which myths were stuck in my belief system and busing them, was KEY for me in my recovery from dissociative identity disorder and chronic depression.  For the sake of length, I am going to keep this very simple and talk about some simple ideas that cracked the code for me. 

My mother used to say things like “if you were not so loud then I wouldn’t be in such a bad mood”.  If I got hit or punished because I was too loud, I believed that it was my fault because I caused her to be in a bad mood; not only did I believe I deserved the punishment, but I also believed that her mood was my fault. This might sound right at first.  I was loud, I got spanked.  But there is this little tiny thing in there that isn’t right. I didn’t get spanked or punished if I was loud when she was in a good mood. The spankings were inconsistent and her moods were inconsistent. Things were worse for me when she was upset about something else. She took her moods out on me. I was compliant; my brother however fought her. He got it a lot worse than I did.

I tried to be a better daughter. I tried not to cause her to be in a bad mood and not just because I would get punished, but because I began to believe that love was something I had to earn. If she was happy with me, then I knew she would love me.  There is something really wrong with this belief.  

I am not suggesting that this is always the case. Every parent makes mistakes and  feels bad about taking their moods out on the kids once in a while.  I am talking about this type of scenario contributing over time, to the false things that I started to believe about myself.  I learned that I was a problem; that my mom would be happier if I were different; that I got in the way; that I was the cause of her distress. 

 

These are the kinds of things that make kids believe that they are not good enough, and that everything is their own fault; abuse and devaluing treatment is deserved. Somehow it seems to be communicated by the adult in these cases, that the treatment you get is exactly what YOU deserve. The wrong idea begins to grow about what we deserve.

This idea is so accepted that when I first heard it I strongly disagreed. I had spent my life being accountable for the bad things that happened to me.

Then we grow up.  We have learned to live in our victim belief system. We accept the truth we have been conditioned to accept; that we don’t deserve better then what we have and our abusers still abuse. Usually we meet more people that like to mistreat others. They seem drawn to us, or maybe we are drawn to them because being treated like dirt is comfortable to us by now.  We can’t figure out what the heck is wrong with us.  We know that we have choices, but they don’t seem to stick.  There is a thick layer of confusion surrounding all these thoughts, but we can’t seem to sort it out. 

In my process it was key for me to do some major myth busting. I had to see the chain of events that led to my belief system being wrong and I had to do some heavy duty work to change this fact. I had to realize and acknowledge that I truly believed these lies about myself, and I had to realize what was really true about myself. I had to find a way to throw out the lies and replace them with the truth.

Have you thought about the myths that you have living in your internal system?

Darlene Ouimet

Categories : Survival

7 Comments

1

“I tried to be better… …I began to believe that love was something I had to earn. If she was happy with me, then I knew she would love me. There is something really wrong with this belief.”

Hi Darlene

This definitely describes me growing up. I removed the punishment bit, because it was never really “punishment” as such (not physical abuse or anything) but the mental stuff – the never knowing what was going to be attributed to me (ie my mother’s bad moods), or something someone else “did” to her, but it never mattered because the sullenness, the angry responses etc were the same either way. So obviously I believed very early that my mother’s mood was my responsibility, but of course there was nothing I could do to “fix” things. Of course I tried. I’ve got a very caring heart (not often showing much at the moment, because I’ve never really managed to apply it to myself, and I’ve removed myself from other people as much as possible.

Ok I’m going to just try and jump into myths I believe I’ve picked up from my upbringing:

1. Love is something to be earned.
2. I’m going to hell
3. God hates me
4. I don’t deserve love
5. Sex is dirty. Any interest in girls is wrong/evil/sinful etc.
6. My father is allowed to look at hardcore pornography, but also allowed to tell me I’m not allowed to have sex with my girlfriend while I live in their house.
7. I have to be perfect (behavior, grades etc) to be worthy of my parents
8. I have to be a perfect example for others.
9. My life is not my own. I am owned by my parents
10. I have to get a “real” job to earn my parents respect.
11. My parents have the right to interfere in my life in any way they choose.
12. I am the cause of all my own problems and dysfunctions.
13. It’s my own fault that I developed depression.
14. “Just get over it” – my father’s favorite.
15. I should be grateful for everything I had growing up.
16. I should feel guilty that so many had it so much worse than I did.
17. I love my parents and have a great relationship with them, and I have to tell people this.
18. I have to listen to how hard my father’s childhood was often.
19. I can’t earn my own money and will never be able to support myself or live on my own.
20. Money is used as a means of control.
21. I have to always be thinking of other people’s needs (esp. my parents) but they don’t have to care about mine.

2

Hi J.
Good work, thanks for sharing it with me. If you were my client, here is what I would ask you to do next: Go through this list again and write why you believe these things, (events that you feel “proved they were true” and then go back and write why they are not really the truth. This will take some time and it might be difficult to do on your own, but that is what I did with this stuff.
Hugs, Darlene

3

Hi Darlene,

thanks for the msg. How’s things with you? Hope all’s well. Btw how’s your son going w/recovery? Hope it’s progressing well. Anyway, let’s see what I can do….

1. Love is something to be earned — because that’s how I feel I was treated. Approval if good grades/did what parents wanted/toed the line etc. Disapproval if not. (And disapproval/withdrawal/implied anger etc from my mother anyway, based on whether or not she was in a s**t)

2. I’m going to hell — parental upbringing + f**king church &#^@%@. Came to believe early I was broken/sinful/perverted etc and deserved eternal damnation.
3. God hates me — too hard
4. I don’t deserve love — don’t remember ever having it (without blatant conditions attached anyway). And even if I did, it wasn’t the “real me” – trained to be f**king parental property/clone/robot etc from too early.
5. Sex is dirty. Any interest in girls is wrong/evil/sinful etc — parents being upset any time I did show any interest in girls. Father telling me ok to kiss girls but to “keep it in my pants”, long after having discovered and adopted his penchant for hardcore internet porn. F**King hypocritcal &!@&^@^#^.
6. My father is allowed to look at hardcore pornography, but also allowed to tell me I’m not allowed to have sex with my girlfriend while I live in their house — this is what happened.
7. I have to be perfect (behavior, grades etc) to be worthy of my parents — this is how they acted / what they showed they valued
8. I have to be a perfect example for others — parents/church. Probably some of my own perfectionism in there too (actually while writing that, there’s another “trained” behavior). &#&^#%^@!!!
9. My life is not my own. I am owned by my parents — this is how they acted/treated me.
10. I have to get a “real” job to earn my parents respect — this is how they used to act.
11. My parents have the right to interfere in my life in any way they choose — this is what they do.
12. I am the cause of all my own problems and dysfunctions — this is how they acted
13. It’s my own fault that I developed depression — same
14. “Just get over it” – my father’s favorite.
15. I should be grateful for everything I had growing up.
16. I should feel guilty that so many had it so much worse than I did.
17. I love my parents and have a great relationship with them, and I have to tell people this.
18. I have to listen to how hard my father’s childhood was often.
19. I can’t earn my own money and will never be able to support myself or live on my own.
20. Money is used as a means of control.
21. I have to always be thinking of other people’s needs (esp. my parents) but they don’t have to care about mine.

Ok getting too stressed, that’s all for now

4

J.
So you see that the things you came to believe because of the treatment and belief systems passed down to you, are wrong and that they are lies? Go through your list and see what makes sense through a grid that says love is what is best. Was this best? for you or for who? For all? It is really important to replace those lies with the thuth. Is your value really based on your relationship with them or on what job you get? These are all ideas that we get from somewhere and they hold us hostage.
Hugs, Darlene

5

Hi Darlene,

no, I don’t “see” that they’re lies. I HOPE they are!! BUt I’m still scared s**tless of death & whatever comes after; can’t imagine ever being truly free of that one.

As for all the “love” ones, I don’t think I have a clue what love is. I still seem to think in terms of other people “deserving” love or not. (Kinda understandable perhaps in terms of parents demanding “love”, or at least “doing what they wanted” I guess). But now I don’t know if I’m just way too picky and that’s why I don’t even really want to talk to the handful of friends I have left. I guess also I’m too needy/dependant (want people to care & be there for me all the time etc). Meh.

Sex is also completely confusing to me. Don’t understand it.

I feel really stuck here. Either not fully understanding your last post, or just too stuck in believing I’m not worthy of peace/happiness/love etc. Don’t know if that’s deep-seated beliefs; feels more like that’s what the “evidence” of where my life is at shows me (even apart from parents and all that shit).

Sorry. I know you’re trying to help, and I am trying, but I’m just stuck.

6

Keep reading J. Keep searching for the truth.
I know this is hard. Imagine that you can be totally free… it all started for me when I decided that it was possible and that I could get over this stuff. If I can do it, why not you?
Hugs, Darlene

7

J – Darlene is right – all those things are LIES. You were brought up believing many lies about yourself. So was i. Through therapy and reading and help from Darlene i have learned that i am worthy, i am valuable, i was created for good, i have a purpose here, I am just as important as anyone else. The same is true for you but you have to believe it. No one can believe it for you. You have to do that part. We can share the truth but you have to grab onto it. Neil Anderson, who wrote the “bondage breaker” and “victory over the darkness” describes it as rinsing the grinds out of a coffee pot. the grinds are the bad stuff. We use the truth to rinse out the grinds every day and slowly but surely those coffee grinds disappear. Over time, the truth becomes stronger and more real and the lies fade away but like Darlene i had to chose to believe the truth and walk in it every day. Its still a battle but i am winning. You can do it too ! We all can. the biggest lie is ‘i cant change’ or “i will always be like this” – thats a bunch of crap. We got hurt and badly damaged but we can heal from it. it takes time and perseverance but you can get there !

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