Wednesday, February 12, 2020


There is a saying that you can't heal what you can't see. This is why I went searching for answers about how I felt because I knew what I felt wasn't how I wanted to feel, and intuitively I understood that I needed to know where I had been to begin to heal.

I've read a number of books now on topics that seemed related to my circumstances. There was marginal assistance through the psychology sessions I have had but nothing directly related to a full understanding of my circumstances and certainly no advice was administered as to what to do. In other words, there was no diagnosis and no treatment plan.

However, I feel quite clear about what happened to me now and this is a great blessing, to see the history clearly. This is profound.

I think when the brain has been subjected to thinking in a certain way over a long period of time - I am in my early 60s - it is not realistic to think that I won't have some tough moments going forward, but I definitely feel grateful to have understanding, and so long as I am kind to myself, which I see as vital, I think there is much reason to be hopeful that the shame and blame that I put on myself will fade.

It was difficult to say the least to learn that it was my inner critic that kept me in torment. I blamed myself for not being stronger and more resilient, whereas now I am learning to turn that message around:

"Things were difficult for you for no fault of your own. You had to survive, and you did what you could to survive. Now, new strategies are needed to thrive. And, you are putting those strategies in place. Be proud of yourself."

Without going into too much boring detail about my reading and understanding here's what I discovered:

- Although my parents loved me in an overarching way (the feeling was no doubt in their hearts) I was not given a childhood. I have no memories of being kissed, cuddled, held. I have no memories of being read to at night, or being tucked into bed. I didn't eat with my parents. My parents demanded that their two children be as little effort as possible and so I closed down my emotions, was 'good'.

- I began to masturbate at a very early age and this was my attempt at 'self-soothing'. My childhood environment did not provide me with a sense of safety and masturbating myself to sleep became a survival strategy for me; a way of soothing my troubled mind that was flooded with chemicals that made my body and mind anxiety prone.

- I am kinky and this is now hard wired and cannot be alerted. Fear and sexual arousal at a certain point intertwined.I don't seek to alter it. It is obvious, day by day, that I am aroused in a 'feel good' and sexual way when I have an overt sense of ownership. I want to be 'attached' to my husband. He gets this, fortunately. He is comfortable with it. I have shared my understandings with him.

- I was susceptible to having my attachment system activated due to the lack of mother love. I was also susceptible to having my inner critic activated and exacerbated. It hadn't occurred to me that the lack of mother love repercussions were the fault of my parents but rather I blamed myself, unconsciously. I now understand the thoughts. I wasn't lovable. I wasn't worthy of love. I wasn't pretty enough, or sexual enough. Importantly, I needed to be pleasing. I had learned this as a child. If you don't act how they want you to act, they reject you.

- In short, I was highly vulnerable to any sort of narcissistic behavior of another; to love-bombing, to verbal abuse; manipulation. My trained sense of loyalty to people, even when they behaved in a  selfish and unloving way made me feel that I needed to find even more tolerance and strength for toxic behavior.

- What I came to see was that in the end it wasn't about the Other. It was about the fact that I had failed to understand that any disrespectful behavior towards me should have been a red flag on which I acted to create a boundary against the toxicity of the relationship.

- I was kind of right. It was all my fault, no matter what the training of my childhood. You see, I can't change the behavior of others, but I can change my behavior and in this way I can change how I feel. It is in my power to say no to a sense of blame and shame, to have some control over the depression; to say yes to a sense of personal power; to have respect for myself.

This is a game changer. I can't say I won't have tough days. I know I will. But, there's a huge sense of power over my destiny now.

I am eternally grateful to Kelly McDaniel who wrote 'Ready to Heal: Breaking Free of Addictive Relationships' and to Abdul Saad of Vital Mind Psychology who has free on You Tube videos that have helped me so much.

There are very good people in the world. Of this, I have no doubt. If you have struggled in a similar way to the way I have struggled, I encourage you to seek your answers. Once you know what in fact happened to you, you are on your way to healing. Know that you are not alone. You deserve to be happy.

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