I learned very early in my life that things aren’t always fair.
Recently I have had to face a hidden part of my self, and it wasn’t pretty. What I discovered was a new level of honest and raw emotions.
To be honest, I’m in a weird sort of way quite impressed with how well I’ve ignored and/or covered up these feelings and got on with life.
But no more.
The pain, the emotions are out and they are staying out and they are going to change.
There has been a lot of people in my life who have, by actions (or lack there of) and by words shoved the idea that I was not really worthy of their time and affection. I could earn some of it by doing for them, or giving to them but I, by myself wasn’t really making the cut. So I became a giver of myself and in process gave away so much I ended up empty and lost.
I don’t believe for one minute that any of these people meant to teach that to a child and then re-enforce it over and over as an adult. I think, for the most part it was a double-edged sword. Maybe even triple edged…is there a triple edged sword?
My family repeated what they had learned. I don’t understand how they can not see the hurt, but they simply cannot and will not. I have had to learn to let that go. I have to hand that back to those people and let them own it until the day they are ready to deal with it themselves.
As I got older, I repeated this learned patttern on my own. I gave and did for others and didn’t value my Self. This included my time, money and love. And if I didn’t value it I was only going to attract those who also didn’t. Not bad or mean people…but people who were going to help me repeat this pattern over and over of not getting what I need. And at one point I was really in need emotionally and physically and ended up pretty much alone. You want to talk about painful? Yup..that really hurt and it still kind of does.
In the past, I would change myself, adapt who I was and what I wanted in order to keep the peace. I’d hurt, but never show it. I wasn’t even sure who I was anymore.
What I’ve learned is I’ve repeated these relationship dynamics over and over again. They hurt deeply, but it is what felt normal to me. I just simply made excuses and shoved my own needs down figuring I can just deal with it myself. As I mentioned … sometimes you can’t.
I wanted to change this. I started to see that it didn’t have to be this way. I wanted OUT of this pattern.
Sadly, it meant inflicting more pain on myself in order to break free. This is not an easy thing to do. It can be lonely and scary and well…leave you wondering if it’s worth it. This is really tough when your boundaries have to change with your family. People don’t like change, they get uncomfortable with you making changes especially when it affects the relationship. I had to, at one point step, back and decide to let them initiate contact and do some follow-up on the relationship. The lack of interest was heartbreaking for me.
The one big lesson I’ve learned is it’s far more painful to be lonely when you are with someone, then it is to be lonely when you are by yourself. I rather like myself and so don’t really feel sad at being alone.
I am learning my worth every day. I have found some kindred spirits who do value my spirit. It has taken a lot of time, tears and many, many lessons along the way. It seemed like each time I reach a new understanding, it opens up a wound that must be bathed in tears in order to begin to heal.
I find though that each day I am more ‘me’. I know more about what I need, what I want and I’m not shy about it anymore. I still enjoy being a giver, but only so far as I am happy doing so. I won’t wreck my health or life to make someone care for me because that isn’t real anyway.
I wanted to share this because I have also discovered that many people travel the same path and never understand that it can be different. It is possible and it is better. It was during this journey (and I say during because it’s never-ending I think) that I was lead to coaching. My life journey is taking me places I would never have suspected once I started living it in an authentic way.
Do you have trouble with boundaries and repeating the same types of relationship dynamics?
We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.