“If we repeat a lie over and over we will eventually accept the lie as truth. Furthermore we will believe it to be the truth” Napoleon Hill
Think about this quote from a different angle; if we are told over and over again that we have false memories, that we were or are too needy, that we are wrong, difficult, an instigator or trouble maker or even if we are repeatedly told we are crazy, what impact does that have on our self image? What about our mental health and self esteem? If we are told that our expectations were or are too high or that we deserved what ever happened to us such as beatings or punishment or public humiliation. I was told that I couldn’t take a joke that I was too sensitive and this was their excuse for their behaviour, which makes it still my fault or weakness ~ oh the list goes on. Do you think that this could be at the roots of depression, anxiety or stress disorder?
I didn’t think about this before I “emerged from broken” because I was too busy trying harder, trying to be what they wanted and trying to get approval and love, that I didn’t realize that **I** was not really the biggest problem at all.
When I talk about living in the truth, and standing up to abusive behaviour, there was an order to it. First of all I had to realize what the lies were. Was I really crazy? Was what I was upset about really an unreasonable thing to be upset about? Was I needy? Were my expectations really too high? Did I really have false memories; did I make up or even exaggerate the abuse and the way that my feelings were discounted or the way that I was humiliated in front of others? Is respect a two way street? Was it right or fair that the burden of the relationship should have been completely on my shoulders? I didn’t think about the truth this way before. When I was able to really see that these were all the lies that I believed about myself by acknowledging specific situations and seeing them through a different grid of understanding, I was able to see their origin and begin to change my belief system about them. This is key.
It isn’t so much that I confronted the people who held me back and devalued me, as I just stopped accepting that kind of behaviour in my life. This took some time; the fog didn’t lift over night, it was like one layer at a time. I had to stand up to my husband first, because I lived with him. The first time I said anything to him I simply told him that I was going to continue my therapy for as long as it took (he didn’t approve) and that I was no longer willing to live the way we were living as though only his goals and wishes were important and as if my purpose was to make things easier for him. I was terrified to say it. I had an anxiety attack just saying that much. He ended up having to get his own help with his own belief system and realize his own truth in order for him to change only then could we work together to heal our broken relationship. This took time and the fog began to clear with the rest of my relationships.
A couple of YEARS later I started to set bigger boundaries. I stood up to my older brother once. I never got a second chance. I didn’t get very far in talking to my mother about my abuse or my difficulties with our mother daughter relationship because she slammed the door on it. That is the chance that I took though and I never realized how much healing and freedom was on the other side of even that. The truth in what my mother did by not wanting to continue the talk was that I finally knew that she really didn’t really care enough. It was her, not me. In our last conversation, she told me that she would see a therapist with me, but she never called again. I was finally ready to face the fact that she didn’t really care. In a way this gave me permission to be so public about it.
The truth set me free to be who I am and to live in a way that impacts others for their own truth and freedom.