This road that we are all on is a toughy. I can’t express that one enough, nor with the correct words. I don’t believe there is a word that describes this battle or the emotional/psychological roller-coaster that we’ll experience along the way. It’ll be as if we are going through the same birthing pains that our parents did, when giving birth, but exponentially.
I don’t mean to negate the excruciating pain associated with this process.
What I’m suggesting as a way to get above and beyond our own conditioning, which allows for abuse of ALL sorts, is no less than the act of breaking the original mold and reforming ourselves. That requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
During this process, it IS important to allow yourself to FEEL and process every memory, every bit of damage another person has inflicted on you and feel whatever emotions this process conjures up. Just don’t allow this to defeat you! Use it as a strength for every subsequent step along the way. Another person said, “My feelings are valid.”. For whatever reason, that one hit home for me. My feelings are valid. I’ve never felt that my feelings were valid. No one ever cared about MY feelings. I was conditioned to put everyone else’s above my own. No validation for Bonzo, ever, throughout my entire life. I didn’t allow MYSELF to validate them. I was afraid to. I’ve always been afraid to feel them.
I have a great fear of negative emotions. I never realized that fear included my OWN emotions! That is, until now. I realize this, now. What an epiphany! Ok, we’ll call it a 2×4, but whatever 😉
I learned, many years ago, to bury my emotions and disassociate myself from them. I actually remember the minute I put this defense mechanism into place. I was 7. It was winter, and other kids were yelling at me as I walked past the fence, heading home. One threw an ice-ball which hit me in the face. They were all laughing hysterically. I shed one lone tear, then choked it back and refused to feel embarrassed, hurt and so on. The rest is history. For lack of a better explanation, I instinctively go numb, now. When in the face of tragedy, I don’t feel fear or panic. I don’t feel sadness at the time…it comes later. I go numb. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate (as I recall the shutting-down process), I DO feel, it’s just for a minuscule part of a second, just before the instinctive dissociation kicks in. I can feel the shift. I just don’t know how to stop it. It’s important for our well-being that we un-learn this. I have no idea just how to do that, but I do know it’s absolutely necessary for us, in order to become absolutely whole.
Your feelings are valid. With this realization, I also realize that in it lies the tools to relearn our conditioning. When someone invalidates you, hurts you, is cruel, demeaning or inconsiderate…your feelings are valid. You are worthy of feeling them, and having others respect them and YOU! Tell them how you feel about such treatment. They might not realize that’s how they are coming across, so it’s important to them and you that you speak up. If you stay silent, that also tells them that you are a push-over and they can continue to abuse you. Nip it in the bud.
Your feelings are valid.
When you are in an abusive situation with a significant other or parent, this is a difficult one to keep at the forefront. You are continuously made to understand, from their eyes, that you don’t matter in the relationship. This is constantly being drilled and “beat” into you. The best option is to get out of that situation, entirely. Some don’t have this option, readily available to them. But, you can still speak out, if it’s a “safe” place. If you don’t have to be concerned about physical abuse, then this is a possibility. I understand that it’s truly not a “safe” environment, as there is constant psychological and emotional abuse. You are being invalidated on a daily basis (sometimes, hourly). I can’t pretend to understand fully, the level of abuse you are enduring. In this case, really DO try to get out of the situation. It’s imperative that you get out of there. You matter. Your well-being matters. You don’t have to be stuck in that situation forever.
Now, with that in mind, on to pressing on toward the goal of rebuilding ourselves!
There isn’t a rule book, or a “how-to” anything at our disposal. All we have as weapons is US. In actuality, we ARE the best weapon in our arsenal. Once we all understand and absorb the fact that we MATTER in this life and that our feelings are VALID, the rest is just breaking age-old habitual responses. Yea, I said “just”. It’s hard now, it’ll get harder later.
We also have to reaffirm old and grow new boundaries. That’s part of this, too. Birthing pains. Damn. 😀 We can do this!
Keep your feet MOVING FORWARD! NEVER allow someone or something to stop you.
God speed our journeys
- Say Yes To YOU & NO to Abuse! (thediaryofanaturalgal.com)
- Does PTSD after divorce exist? You better believe it! (outofthechrysalis.com)
- Why am I so damned hard on myself? (myjourneywithdepression.wordpress.com)