The Purpose of facing the Past and Childhood HistoryBy
In my blog post “Take the good with the Bad or the Bad with the Good?” I talked about my feelings regarding not sharing anything positive about my childhood. The post itself was inspired by a reader on facebook who commented that the conversation was too negative and that I/we should be able to say something good, specifically about my father.
It got me to thinking about what emerging from broken is all about. EFB is about emotional healing from the damage caused by people who did not have my best interests at heart. This site is about facing the truth that we have never been allowed to face, such as childhood history; how we were discounted, mistreated, devalued and not heard and the problems that manifested because of those things. Emerging from broken is about the process I went through as an adult. It’s about how I found my voice and took my life back. It isn’t really a place to come and get your warm fuzzies however there is a ton of love, acceptance and support here so maybe there are some warm fuzzies after all.
My emotional healing is not about my parents. It doesn’t matter how messed up they were by their own pasts, it is about the damage that was caused to me regardless of how messed up they were. My emotional healing is all about me and I finally believed that I deserved to have it. But first I had to realize that the beginning of emotional healing was about understanding what happened TO ME.
I had to tell someone what happened to me, so that I could acknowledge to myself that I had been abused, that I had been unprotected that I had not been loved in the true definition of the word “love”. I had to set aside my loyalty issues, stop worrying about the ways that others would react if I faced this stuff, I finally realized that it was self valuing to do this work after a life time of agreeing with my oppressors that I had no value because I was treated as though I had none. Because my value was not shown to me or taught to me, I believed that I must not have any.
I had been defined by the ways that others treated me. I believed that I didn’t deserve more then what I received and that it was because I wasn’t enough. When my mother disciplined me because she was in a bad mood, I believed that I had caused the bad mood. Therefore I concluded that I was bad. I believed that I upset people. Everyone else’s reactions and attitudes “defined me” as “the problem” and I had to realize that these definitions about myself were not true. They were all lies tightly woven into the very fabric of my belief system and they all started in childhood. My teacher picked on me, and when no one listened to me about it (and combined with other things that were also going on in my life, and other incidents where I had been dismissed) I believed that I was an irritation to her and that the problem had something to do with me. Those were all the conclusions that I had come to in my young life. And it carried on from there; even when my boyfriend cheated on me, I believed it was because I was not “enough” for him. After years of being defined as the problem, it didn’t take much for me to accept that it was always “me” who needed to try harder. But that was a lie and I had to take a look at that lie through a new lens.
I was so sick and life was so worthless that I got to the point (in recovery) where it didn’t matter what anyone said or thought about me anymore. I didn’t care about who believed me or didn’t believe me anymore. I knew the basic truth and I had to give myself credibility in order to begin the healing process. I HAD to stop protecting the people who discounted me all along. In doing that was I was able to face and embrace the rest of the truth. This was not my shame, and what happened to me was NOT my responsibility, but that it was my responsibility to face it and heal.
Emotional healing isn’t about forgiveness, although self forgiveness played a big part, and forgiveness of others came as a result. It was more like I had to just “transcend” the whole forgiveness issue while I concentrated on the actual facts about myself. Emotional healing isn’t about blame, although putting the responsibility back where it belonged was necessary. I give examples of just how my self esteem was torn down. I give examples of the ways that caused me to think and believe that I was not important and that I was not worthy, in order to show how getting broken in the first place occurs. I had to see how I got broken in the first place in order to heal. That was how it worked for me so that is what I talk about. I share what worked for me after so many years of trying things that didn’t work for me.
All my life I beat myself up for being unhappy and ungrateful. I tried every single method out there for positive thinking and attitude change. I ignored the past, and pretended that I was so lucky to have the parents that I had. I had a “privileged upbringing”, but I didn’t face that it never once helped me! I stole my clothes when I was a teenager because my mother wouldn’t give me money for them while she bought herself glamorous evening gowns and told me she was broke. I created a fantasy about my childhood reality and I believed it. I pretended for years that I loved everyone and everyone loved me, but my depressions only got worse. It was when I started to look at the truth, that my depressions came from “somewhere” and that things were not so great, that my parents “status” never benefited me and that in truth they didn’t actually “bother” with me. I faced the truth that I had in fact never been treated in a way that would have caused me to grow and flourish with self worth and self respect. And THEN I began to heal.
Emerging from Broken is about the process of recovery. It is about a method of emotional healing that works. It is about facing the past instead of trying to block it out and avoid thinking about it. It is not about sweeping things under the carpet to protect the reputations or the feelings of the very people that did so much damage in the first place.
It turns out that the key to positive thinking and high self esteem is in facing the lies and realizing the truth.
Please share your thoughts;
The truth set me free;