One of the things that had been a struggle for me off and on through the years of healing from my past is trying to differentiate between what is real and what is not. When people say I am a good person, I see my self different.
When I am feeling down about myself and talk about it, people look at me weird like "that is not what I see", and it's so hard to hear that.
When I get a compliment I see it, and I hear it - but its distorted.
There have been times in the past when I would send an email to my support and have this whole image in my head of what this person thought, felt or did, and when they come back and tell me something totally different, I think "wow that is not how I saw it, I saw it as I was needy and they saw it as a beautiful connection".
It's amazing how much my past has messed that part of my life up. It's almost as if my past distorts anything that is real and turns it into how I was made to feel by others in my past.I am trying to overcome seeing what is real and seeing what is the past, but it's not easy.
If you are walking around in a whirlpool going in the same direction for 35 years, I can tell you right now, it's hard as hell to turn and walk in the opposite direction. It takes strength, it takes belief, it takes power, it takes trust that if you turn and walk in the opposite of what you believed, it's okay and it will be okay.
6 years into therapy and I am still making that turn towards the whirlpool of my past - that is how strong the lies are.
A part of this "inner child work" is taking those lies and reversing it. hearing what is truth vs what is a lie. Seeing what is real and knowing what is not.
The photo above describes this perfectly. The bird is always a beautiful thing, but he see's himself as something different in his reflection. That is how I feel many times, and it takes a lot of practice and self talk to see myself the way others see me.
There are times I say to my therapist "I wish I could see what you see" and he says "I wish you could see what I see". It's hard it really is.
When you have been abused it takes away that self-worth of yourself. It seems distorted.
Last week I sat with my therapist and said to him "this body sitting right here on this couch has been abused by many people. There is no one part of my body that has not been touched without my consent".
How do you reverse the truth and see the goodness in that? How do you move on in life knowing that if all these people could hurt me, how am I worth anything? how is it that others see me as beautiful and filled with goodness and yet I see a woman who is tainted?.
The process of healing is what makes those moments the hardest because it's the hardest turn against the same current I have been walking with for 30+ years of my life, and now here I am over 40 and I am still fighting to make the turn completely against the lies I was made to believe about myself.
I do know one thing, I am far from where I was when I first started this journey. I am not walking with the current, I am walking sidewards trying to turn myself against it. I am fighting it, I know there is something bigger and better on the other side of this same current I have been on. I know there is a place to where I can see what is real and what is not.
I can't wait for the day to see the things that others see. There are days that I see a small glimpse and feel the grace all around me, but then I get pulled in again by the lies. There will come a day when the lies wont be strong enough, and I will make that turn and never go in that direction again.
That is my hope.
A pure example of what is real and what is not - My therapist just sent me an email tonight (our Sunday night email exchange) and he reminded me of the goodness in me. The good person I am, and how much I am worth showing up to session tomorrow and each time after that.. and for a moment my heart smiled, but inside are the deep old messages/lies and it makes me sad that I have to second guess how people perceive me, and I wonder what it would be like to fully accept that goodness in that email.
I wonder what life would be like seeing what is real and what is not real.
I wonder what I am capable of outside of the lies that were put upon me as a child. I wonder the kind of person I can be walking in my own direction in the whirlpool and not the direction that was forced upon me.
So I will continue to turn and fight against the current and the old lies, and I will find what is real and what is not. I will fight to find that belief.
I know it's close, and each day it gets a little easier.. and I am closer than I was yesterday.