I have heard this numerous times before. It makes a lot of sense. When someone is hurting; for whatever reason they have at the moment; it is common to lash out at others. It doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t help things.
I have a friend that conveyed a story once about herself and a mutual friend of ours. Both of them had similar backgrounds, grew up in a city in the Mid West. Strict parents. More than strict, I would call it physical and emotional abuse.
One became very “successful” in life. Excelling in school, college, graduate school and becoming a judge and professor at a college. She married and had three sons. Big house, nice cars, you name it.
The other friend had a hard time finding his place in the world. He bounced from one relationship to another, always looking to the other person to take the lead so he could follow. Doubting himself and his abilities. His God given talent of trumpet playing fell to the wayside. He had a poor relationship with his daughters and was left wandering his entire adult life. A failure. By his own words.
One day, the two of them had a conversation about life.
Failure asked-“Your parents were abusive too and they told you millions of times that you weren’t good enough, that you were a terrible person who didn’t deserve anything good. All those years ago. I don’t understand why you are so much more successful than I am. What is the difference between us?”
Success said- ” Because I chose not to believe them.”
We have choices everyday to listen to other’s or to fight for ourselves. We get tired when we are beat down. When we go for something and it doesn’t pan out. It’s because we are bad. We aren’t good enough. Some live there. Where they struggle. They can’t seem to climb out of the sadness.
They sit and watch everyone else have things, moments, epiphanies, success; fall into their laps. Or so it seems.
Other people are so busy being successful they don’t have time to think about failing. When they fail, they just keep moving through it. There is a bump, but they get over it. They move on. They have the capacity to understand that the life that they have is worthwhile. They have meaning. There is no question.
For those that were abused, it is with them everyday. Why was I placed in that family? What was it about me that made them treat me that way? What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me?
I remember working on my own stuff. I was molested when I was nine. That moment has walked with me throughout my life. What was it about me that drew him to do that to me? Did I do something to invite it? Did I deserve what happened to me?
Years and years later, there were two epiphanies for me.
One, I told my father what happened, He was shocked. I had never said anything about it. I told him I had kept weight on my body as a coping mechanism to keep bad people away from me. I thought it would make me safer. He said ” If you live your life because of what happened to you, you are giving that person your life. Do they deserve your life?”
“No, that dirty old man at the amusement park does not deserve to spend any more time in my head or heart or how I see myself in this world. Fuck him.”
My next epiphany came when I was in counseling. Neuro-Linguistic programming. Working on the same stuff to try and rid myself of those memories.
I sat with the psychiatrist and he led me into a hypnotized state. My eyes were closed, I was peaceful and warm.
“I want you to see yourself on a linear plane in space. There is your past, it is behind you, there is the now, and there is the future, that is ahead of you. I felt safe as we talked about things.
Then he took me back to the moment in time when the molestation happened to me and how scared I was. He said, “I want you to know that you are safe. You are in two spaces now, you are back in time as the scared nine year old and you are there as your thirty five year old self as well. What would the thirty five year old say to the nine year old. Was it her fault that this happened? Did she do something wrong? Did she deserve it?”
I hugged myself and said “No, this little girl did not deserve any of these things. She was a victim of these circumstances and the man was bad. He did a bad thing. He was the one with the problem and it wasn’t fair or ok for me to carry it around with me anymore.
He further explained that I didn’t have the ability to protect myself back then, as I was nine I didn’t have the words or the power to get him away from me. But I did have the ability now and I would protect my inner child from being hurt by it anymore. I deserved a rich full life and it was that man’s problem and not mine to carry around anymore. Fuck him.
The baggage we carry around with us, is real. It hurts. It is hard work to get rid of it. To move past the idea of not being good enough into a spaces where we love ourselves is one of the most important journeys we can take.
I like the quote. “You, yourself more than anyone else in the entire Universe, deserves your love and attention.”
Time to Love yourself.