Our survivor and EFB global community event “Freedom ROCKS” will this coming weekend on May 12th and 13th. Today I am happy to have Mimi share her story about what Freedom ROCKS represents to her. I hope you will consider sharing this no cost virtual event with others. For information on how you can get involved see the Freedom ROCKS about page here. ~ Darlene
The Motivation Behind Freedom ROCKS! By Mimi
Hello Everyone! My name is Mimi, and I am excited and honored to celebrate “Freedom ROCKS”. For me this event will represent taking my life and power back, once and for all. I am 43 years old, and for the majority of my life, I’ve been in the shadow of my abuser; under her thumb. I have continually tried to fit into the perfect little box she designed. The box had very rigid walls and came with fine lines and stringent expectations. Nearly every decision or thought of my own has been run through my internal filter that separated out ideas or actions that would be viewed as impressive, acceptable, weak, wealthy, good enough, strong, mentally ill, poor, unacceptable, trashy, classy, lazy, smart, foolish, stupid, entitled, guilty, judged, loathed, an embarrassment, dependent. The list goes on.
There has been a black cloud over my head that enveloped all these implications and consequences for as far back as I can remember. The cloud has prevented me from living a life of independence, self love, self acceptance, self esteem, affection, freedom, equal value, and that list goes on as well. It meticulously dictated a life of anxiety, fear, depression, self hatred, self injury, rage, mental illness, addictions, withdrawal, social fears, phobias, uncontrollable emotions, and an overall sense of being caged up. I’ve carried this baggage along in life and it has affected every close relationship I’ve had, my professional life, my decisions, and my education.
I was not the same as my siblings. They somehow managed to stay within the lines most of the time. They were high achievers. I was a disappointment in every way I can imagine. I consistently made poor decisions according to my abuser. I was bullied, verbally, and emotionally abused, and neglected because I couldn’t measure up. There were a few times I was physically abused as well, but for me, that didn’t leave the marks on my soul quite like not being good enough, or loved and accepted for the person I am. I was the scapegoat. I was brainwashed to believe that my abuser came before me. Her emotions and her pain were more important than mine. I had no value. I was to put everything aside to attend to how things affected her, even when it came to my own illness. My thoughts and feelings meant nothing, and I was trained to believe that. Until last year, I did believe it.
The rigid rules were established to maintain appearances, at all costs. If we were well dressed and closed mouthed, all was well. It was called tough love by my abuser. The mixed message was, there was no “love” in it; only “tough”. My life has been absent of affection, words of love or encouragement, support, and acceptance by my abuser. If child rearing and/or tough love means providing a roof, food, and clothing, then my parents did a stellar job. (my father was a raging alcoholic who left when I was 11. His only representation in the family dynamic was one of alcohol and violence). Affection, human touch, acceptance, and loving words and hugs were replaced by insults, demeaning insinuations, lies, gossip, manipulation, triangulation, projection, brutal consequences, and confirmation that I was a big nothing on a direct flight to loserville. In the secret dialogue within the walls of our home, my abuser convinced me that she was all I had, that her opinion of me was accurate, and that all of my family, extended and immediate, agreed with her. I had no one to turn to who would believe MY story. I have finally learned that the only person who needs to believe my story is me.
The key attached to my freedom rock represents a locked door. Behind that door is a closet that holds all of the insults, manipulation, lies, gossip, abuse, powerlessness, false beliefs, pain, and every self abusive thought or action they represent. Attaching the key to a rock means it can never resurface. It will sit at the bottom of the lake drowning out all the whispers of disapproval, lack of acceptance and love, and it will drag the black cloud down with it.
Please join me and others in the event that will symbolize our freedom. Knowing we’re all doing it together forms a network of strength and support for each other. Together we can celebrate freedom, because FREEDOM ROCKS!!
As always please feel free to share your comments with Mimi and I and the other readers here. Think about what Freedom ROCKS could mean to you. For more information about Freedom ROCKS and how you can participate see the Freedom ROCKS “about page” here. Stay tuned for more posts and info. You may want to sign up for updates in the right side bar. (look for the confirmation email when you sign up) There will also be updates on the Facebook Page for Emerging from Broken ~ Darlene Ouimet, founder of Emerging from Broken.
Related posts ~ Going forward; Looking back ~ the process of emotional healing