“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?