As a child, I had no understanding of why things were the way they were. I don’t think I even thought that the rest of the world was any different from my world. My parents lived in denial which stemmed from their own childhoods and the situations that they were raised in. They had organized their worlds around their own wounds and traumas and they developed their own belief systems. I would imagine that years of denial led them to raise their children in a similar way to how they were raised, expecting their children to have that fierce loyalty that they themselves developed for their parents and never questioning why.
I don’t write this blog to blame my parents for their shortcomings; I refer to them only to illustrate what happened to me in the parts that had to do with my parents. I write about how I came to be an emotional mess, constantly struggling with depression due to many different incidents, how I discovered the lies that formed my belief system and how exposing the lies enabled me to see the truth; the same truth that set me free.
I was conditioned to hold it all in. When we are children, we don’t have a choice if we have not been helped through a trauma. We just go forward from there, with the pain and the scars of the trauma. We can only learn positive self care if we are taught self care but because no one helps us through the things that happened to us, we learn to not take care of ourselves we learn not to speak about the trauma or about anything else. We don’t know the difference between what is serious abuse or what is just a person or parent in a bad mood. Everything becomes our version of “normal” We keep silent because either we have been told to keep silent, or because we have learned from experience that we will not have any impact if we do tell. We learn not to speak about our emotions, believing they are wrong and that no one will listen. If we learn that telling won’t make a difference we also learn that we are not important and we try very hard to prove that we are important. If only we believed it ourselves we wouldn’t have to prove it.
So much of this problem comes from being told who we are and who we are not and from being told who we should be and who we should not be. When we are defined by others we are invalidated as an individual and as a person. Invalid. That means NOT VALID. That is a serious thing for a human being and it can cause serious problems with emotional health, physical health self image, self worth and self esteem. One lie (one false belief about ourselves) builds on another lie and we carry the whole mess with us into our adulthoods.
The false beliefs that we have about ourselves have to be undone if we are going to have any lasting freedom from the results that manifested in our lives from being invalidated, mistreated, unloved, devalued, neglected or abused.
We have to relearn how to validate ourselves.
I had to learn how to validate myself. I had to dig into that foundation that was built on those lies, expose it and talk about it so that I could knock it down and start fresh with the truth. I had to face the fear that the situations and the people who taught me “who I was” might actually be right ~ because in facing that fear, I found out they were wrong.
The truth will set you free,
Note: This week I did a ten minute audio interview with Christina Enevoldsen from Overcoming Sexual Abuse ~ here is the link : how we uncover the truth.
For the article I wrote and refer to in the audio about the Dr. discovering that I was being psychologically abused ~ you can find it here: Psychological Abuse ~ how self doubt grows