Psychological Abuse is the Root of All Abuse ~ many years laterBy
Hola! It is great to be home from my travels, although it was great to be there too. In my last post I talked about re-wiring the belief system. This post continues with a snap shot of how it looks when I confront that belief system today. Even though this story stems from sexual abuse, this is the same system that I use to drill down to the roots of all anxiety.
This was the first time that I went to a resort without my husband, and I had a few interesting experiences as I came up against my old belief system. In my blog post “sexualized at a young age“, I told how my mother taught me that my value was in my sexuality, and that I also believed that all sexual encounters ~ positive, negative or dangerous ~ were my fault and were somehow caused by my behaviour. Please bear with me while I set the context for this post.
At our resort, each evening when the maid comes to do the turn down service, they leave chocolates on the beds as well as a program schedule for the events of the following day. I am one of those people that loves to get that schedule and pour over it. Our second night, the schedule left on the bed was in Spanish, so the next morning I went down to the front desk and asked for one in English. The front desk guy was teasing me and joking around telling me that he only had one in Italian. Eventually, after some joking around, I had my English program in my hand and we were on our way to breakfast. That evening there was no program in the room at all.
I felt a little uneasy the next day about having to ask the same front desk guy if I could get a schedule from him. I wasn’t sure what my discomfort was about but I started paying attention to the chatter in my head as I have learned that is a great way to drill down to the belief behind the anxiety. To my surprise, my thoughts were that the guy would think that I was lying, or that I forgot the schedule in my room and was too lazy to go back and get it. I asked him for one anyway and once again he teased me about only having them in foreign languages other than English.
That night, once again… no program schedule. The next morning I mentally refused to go to the front desk and get one. Instead of going to get one, I went to the board where all the activities of the day are posted and read the one there. I really wanted to have one of my own, but I could not seem to make myself go and get one, and I could not get it off my mind. So once again I listened to the chatter in my head and I realized that I was very certain that if I went for the third day in a row to the front desk, that the man who was so friendly would think that I was flirting with him and then what would I do? I was afraid that I would give him the “wrong idea”. I was afraid that if he got the “wrong idea” that something bad would happen to me AND that it would be my fault. I had come up against my old belief system.
My mother had made it very clear to me that it was my fault that I had been sexually molested when I was 13 by her boyfriend. Because of that false belief ~ which was reinforced regularly after that, I naturally believed that the abuse that happened to me when I was much younger, must have been my fault too. The problem was that I didn’t know what the heck that I had actually done to cause it, so for the rest of my life I lived in fear of doing “it” again. I have done a lot of work on this part of my belief system, but it is the biggie for me. It was connected to the biggest root I had to dig out, and I found out in therapy that many of my other beliefs were attached to this root. It isn’t really surprising that this came up for me again when I was on a vacation without my husband where Spanish men, (known for their flirtatiousness) would be joking around with me.
When I processed the whole thing, it was easy for me to realize what I was afraid of. I was able to reassure myself that since the abuse in my childhood was in fact NOT caused by me, that I was not going to ‘do something’ to cause this man to think he could just have his way with me. I also reminded myself that even if the front desk guy was flirting with me I did not have to get involved with him, I was no longer a child freezing up and dissociating when someone was about to abuse me. There were other beliefs that I had worked on in therapy also that we right there under the surface. One of them was that every man in the world wants to use me because I believed that was all I was “good” for.
My sexuality has been a huge part of the overall problem in my life. In my next post I will talk about how I was afraid of men but longed to be validated by them in the wrong way because of my fears and messed up belief system.
Living in Truth!