I had to take my life back. I had to stop believing that “they were right” about me. As I got stronger, I noticed things that I had not noticed before. Sometimes I thought that they “wanted” to love me. But something stopped them.
(I thought it was me that stopped them, my defect, my lack but that was not the truth. Always remember, this is a quest to find the truth)
It was as though loving me, validating me and accepting me, would somehow diminish them. As though that in order to love me, or empower me, they would have to give up something of themselves. As though if they were not “above me” or more important than me, then that would indicate that they were not as valuable; as though “equality” is unacceptable and that equality is not validating enough for them.
I also saw this dynamic with my father in law, towards my husband. Sometimes I thought he “wanted to love his son” but something held him back. It was as though my father in law was afraid to love his son or regard him as an equal, because if he did, he would no longer be God in his sons life. I also knew that my father in law did not care about me in the least. I was just one of the pawns in the kingdom he resided over.
It is a sick and dysfunctional system. And it is built on the lie that your survival is at stake if you don’t accept the dysfunction as right and normal function. We are taught in many subtle ways that they are “God” and that they rule over us and that if we don’t like it, we risk life itself. So we try everything we can to accept the way things are.
In order for a sick and dysfunctional system to work, there is a grooming process. In this process I was systematically taught that that the success or failure of the entire relationship is for the most part, on my shoulders. I felt responsible for the self esteem of everyone.. as though if I demanded equal value or even expected equal value, that I was somehow hurting someone else or taking something away from someone else. Did I think there was only so much “value” to go around? I felt like I was wrong to think that I had value. Deep down I was afraid that knowing my value would somehow be conceited. I didn’t believe that I had equal value in the first place so did that actually mean that I believed that they had more value than I did? I even thought that taking credit for my accomplishments was wrong because taking credit was like being “too full of myself”.
This list of beliefs and fears went on and on containing all these little lies that were buried inside my mind. Where had I learned these things? Why did I believe them? I found so many of my answers in answering those questions.
And the answers to those questions ~ these lies ~ had become part of me. They made me who I was. I was afraid that if I exposed them as lies, and faced the truth, that I would no longer be who I was. I would not be ME anymore. And if I was no longer “who I was” or the way that I had come to know myself, then WHO WAS I?? Who would I be? Who would I become? I couldn’t see that having NO identity was better than keeping the false one that I had. I didn’t realize that I could find my true identity by exposing the lies about my present identity and then letting it go. I wanted to keep my false identity while I tried on my new identity, but it didn’t quite work that way.
I didn’t like the feelings of being lost or feeling so alone. I didn’t feel comfortable with my old identity anymore but I was afraid of the new one.
It was such a dilemma but in spite of it, I had this hope for healing. I believed that I was on the right track so I went ahead and I kept looking at the causes; I kept examining the abuse and the mistreatment and the fact that I had not been emotionally taken care of; always looking for the underlying beliefs that I had adopted as truth about myself as I kept going forward with my emotional healing.
And it paid off.
AND through the willingness to face all this, epxose the lies, discover the truth and answer those life long nagging questions ~ my identity is no longer in question.
Please share your thoughts on this amazing journey.
Related Post ~ Emotional Healing and the Causes of Low Self Esteem
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