In someone else’s story, we are a villain. Despite this, we must know our own truth. Knowing is not enough, however.
In addition to knowing our experience, we must also give ourselves back to ourselves. We must reclaim our lives back from the people, places, and even the very things that bring out the victimhood in us, even if our biggest obstacle is our inner critic.
Learning how to talk back lovingly but assertively to the voice inside that tells us we are undeserving, too lazy, too noisy, too loud, too much – is, therefore, an indispensable key to living life wholly again.
Validation of self is far more effective than validation from another. We won’t always have someone there in the flesh to make us feel good. We won’t (or don’t) always have a lover to tell us how beautiful, priceless and intelligent we are.
Self-love begins the moment we realize we don’t need someone to tell us we poop gold because we already know we do.
I did it. Tonight, I joined a Codependents Anonymous Support Group, otherwise known as Coda. I am codependent to a larger degree than I had thought. I also don’t know where all of this shame is coming from, but I’m happy that I’ve taken the initiative.
I’ve known that I was codependent on an intellectual level; tonight I dug a little deeper. This happened by accident. Someone who is struggling was referred to me yesterday evening. My friends know me as someone who is kind, compassionate and a person enjoys lifting people up. I really do love being a helper.
The issue, here, is that I often suffer from burnout. I will toil, and toil, and will not rest. And boundaries? Pfft! Hardest thing ever!
Not to worry though, I’ve taken baby steps. I can acknowledge when things are getting a bit hazy, and when I need to step back. As an example, I formed a bond with my friend and we clicked instantly. Consciously, I put in the effort to ask her if she’s had enough time to “recharge her batteries”. If she has, then we talk. If not, We miss each other healthily until our next conversation.
Growing up without a mom for most of my life was really shitty. It still is. My mom deserves to rest in peace. Therefore, I won’t go into too much detail about the why and how of her passing. I only know that losing her was brutal. I was a self-absorbed little shit, as all children are, (and I try to constantly remind myself of this so that I don’t punish myself for her death). I digress.
I didn’t have the chance to appreciate my mom.
I was busy trying to sort out these weird feelings in my head, like “Why are these teachers so mean to me?” and “Why can’t I go to my grandma’s house? Nobody screams, fights, or flips their lid every two seconds there.”
And: “Why are you screaming at me because I can’t count quarters correctly?”
Look, I love my mom. I know moms are stressed, tired, and way undervalued; I’m just stating my truth.
My mom could not cope. My mother loved me and I loved her, but it is simply time to let this shit go; I will never be able to move forward if I do not. My mother could not cope and I got the brunt of all the irritation, jealousy, and insecurity.
I catch myself behaving in these negative ways. It’s time for them to stop. ______________________________________________________
So, yeah: step 1: My life is a mess at this point, though I do have to say I’ve still made awesome progress. Now, it’s time to change my stinkin’ thinkin’ and realize that even though things are a mess, I’m still worthy.
It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
In Part One of the Purpose, or story that inspired Welcome Home Healing to come to life, we talked about some tough stuff that I experienced. If you would like to read it, please do so here, it does have a trigger warning as it mentions abuse in various forms.
Part two is where I’ll show you how we can take our power back — how we can move from victim to victory – from powerless to empowered.
Believe that you will heal the way you’re meant to. When we first come out of the F.O.G. (fear, obligation, and guilt) that has caused us to stay silent about our abuse, we are often so overwhelmed and overburdened, that we come to doubt our ability to heal. We’re so beat down and used to abuse that it colors our world and vines ensnare our soul.
We come to truly believe that we are doomed to be in despair for the rest of our days. We see healing techniques and mindfulness as jokes, as bullshit, to be honest. I’ve been there. Some days I still feel that way.
But. Believing in our God-given right to feel better, and in our ability to reintegrate ourselves back into life – to trust again – is the first step to rebirth and growth into ourselves. I have been fortunate enough to find a trusted therapist to show me where the light was, and I encourage you, gently, to do the same.
(I will post resources that may help you, depending on your situation). If you need assistance feel free to contact me, and I’ll try to point you in the right direction.
Step Two: Rediscover, and reinvent your world on your terms. When we’ve been mistreated, abused, bullied, whatever term you wish to call it, our power has been taken from us. In severe cases, our inner selves, our inner world, and even our imagination. We lose our ambitions, our goals, our drive.
The painter who paints will cease to paint, the writer will cease to write, the speaker will become mute, the passionate lover of people, of animals, places, and comedy sitcoms, will morph into someone who is indifferent. When this happens, it shows in their surroundings, in their environment.
To give you a real-life example, the first thing my wife and I started doing after she left her toxic environment behind, was redecorated our house, the way we wanted.
Next, we got hanging light fixtures (I think they were actually meant to go outside) but we made it work by placing them on detachable hooks and draped the lights around our living room.
Then we got a small water feature that continuously has a stream of water flowing. The noise and visualization help us stay grounded.
We then moved on to smaller things, like putting pictures of our loved ones on corkboard near our workspace.
We put flowers in a vase to spruce up the room. (They came separately.)
Lastly, we got these cool tapestries as wall art fromamazon.
Step 3: Trust your progress. Progress, recovery, growth, rebirth, the road back to yourself, and other homecoming processes, or life after abuse, is not linear. It is not a straight line.
You will relapse. You will miss the abuser. You will wish to revert back to what is familiar rather than running out into the wild unknown; because that’s friggin scary right?! Right?
This is normal. This is natural. It is human nature to be drawn back to what is familiar, but familiar is not always what’s best for us and can hinder our recovery. During these times, it is important to be gentle with yourself- to comfort yourself – and gently bring your awareness back to how far you’ve come.
You are in control now, of your life, and your choices. You can cope. You can trust again in time with boundaries and a healthy amount of self-love.
So, although you may stumble, you can still walk forward. Walk slowly or baby step if you must, but you will come to realize you’ve worked too hard to stop or to turn back.