If there is ONE place that I recommend starting the emotional healing process, it is starting with the damage. That might sound easy, but I had to actually find out what “the damage” to me was.
I had to find out how I got broken. What happened to my self esteem in the first place? How did my self esteem get so low? What happened to me? That was where the keys were and those were the keys that led to freedom.
I remember when I realized that my depressions and dissociative issues came from somewhere; I sat stunned, repeating to myself over and over ~ What happened to ME?
I had to look at the roots. I thought that I was born depressed. But the more I thought about it, how could that be?? There were actual events that caused damage and my depressions were in fact related to those events! I just had to see it. I had to finally SEE it.
The biggest obstacles in my way were avoiding looking at how I used by others, how I was objectified and not considered to be equally human, and how I was failed by others. By avoiding looking at the truth about that, I was able to excuse the damage they caused. I excused them because I had to. As a child, survival is of the utmost importance and if we start complaining about the people who are failing us, but are also in charge of our welfare, it is a pretty sure fact that we are not going to survive.
When I tell stories about teachers who were bullies or outsiders who devalued or abused me, I get a huge response. It is much easier to face the truth about someone outside of the family that hurt me and damaged me than it is to face the truth that my parents let me down, but the truth is that my parents knew about the bullying and the way it was effecting me, (I was sick in bed for months) and they avoided doing anything about it until I was so sick that the Dr whose care I was under, figured it out and MADE them do something about it. As I have written before, my parents tried to resist the Doctor, but he threatened to get a court order on my behalf.
If the damage, (including the emotional damage) is excused and ignored… there is further damage. I am saying “so what” if my parents were “sick”. They did a lot of damage with their “sickness” and instead of looking at them and making excuses for them, it was time to look at the damage ~ to call it like it is ~ and heal from it. EVEN if it makes them angry; even if it hurts them; even if they rejected me and even though they deny it, lie about it and don’t agree with me or validate my truth. They started covering their butts when I was a baby, why would now be any different? It finally had to be about me or I would have ended up just like them; dysfunctional, sick, chronically depressed and unhappy.
It was one thing to face the damage that the teacher herself caused to me. That was the easy part. It was way harder to face how much emotional damage was caused to me because my parents were unwilling to act on the information that they got, (even from the doctor) in favor of saving face in the community.
My parents were still discounting me and devaluing me when I was a grown woman married and with 3 children. My father was still disinterested in me or in my life and didn’t seem to acknowledge that I was alive. His phone calls were still all about him. No matter what was going on in my life, he switched the subject in order to talk about himself and what was going on in his life. Every phone call or visit from him was a painful reminder that I was not valid or important to him.
I was in my 40’s and my mother was still accusing me of enticing her boyfriends when I was a teenager and how it was because I had a crush on one of her boyfriends when I was just turning 14 was what caused him to come to my room in the night and molest me. My mother was still putting me down and accusing me of being the biggest problem that she ever had. I was not allowed to have a voice, I was not allowed to look at the truth; the fog spin that she created was way too thick for me to see through it.
I was getting really tired of carrying the entire burden of the relationship with my parents. There was no pay off. They still invalidated me.
My biggest fear was that my parents would reject me if I faced the truth.
The truth is that my parents rejected me when they didn’t take care of me in the first place. They rejected me when they refused to hear me and silenced my voice and instead protected the people hurting me. They rejected me when they called me “dramatic, and a story teller”. They rejected me when the way the rest of the world saw them, was more important than I was. They were still rejecting me in the exact same ways. That is what I had to face. That was the damage.
I had to start by facing the damage. The truth is that both my parents were broken. I had to finally say “SO WHAT?” Whatever happened to them did not excuse or make up for what happened to me and knowing about how hard “they had it”, didn’t help me to heal. There was no solution in realizing that my parents were abused and devalued too. There was no solution in knowing that my mother suffered from chronic depression. It didn’t cancel the way that I was treated.
I had to stop running from the truth. I stopped accepting that depression was a “gene” that I was born with and instead, face the roots of my distress. In order to heal, I had to find out how I got broken. What happened to my self esteem in the first place? How did my self esteem get so low? What happened to me? That was where the keys to emotional healing were hidden and those were the keys that led to freedom from depression, low self esteem, dissociative identity disorder, and many other issues that I had.
Depressions, dissociative identity, illnesses and addictions all manifested in my life as a result of not being protected, emotional neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse and spiritual abuse. The roots of all of these were grounded in being unloved in the true definition of love.
Finding and facing the damage led me to learning the truth about my value. Self love and self esteem finally became possible when I faced where the broken began.
Please share your thoughts on facing the damage.
There is freedom on the other side of broken
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