Therapy homework can be taxing on the mind and the spirit. My current homework is getting to me but then again that is the point of therapy. Do you ever hold back your feelings? Have you lost someone in your life and held it in to spare others the pain. To be strong and be a rock for them rather than letting yourself grieve? Have you ever been made to feel so insignificant and not a human being deserving of love and kindness? Have you been a child forced to be an adult way too soon? Did the adults in your life not support you? Did they allow others to be cruel to you to the point you felt you did something to deserve such treatment?
These are things that I unknowingly carried with me my entire life. Do you know how hard it is for me to allow myself to feel things? If someone shows me love I feel I don’t deserve it because I was made to feel this way pretty much my entire childhood. It is all but impossible for me to lose control of my feelings and allow myself to feel the pain of a loved one passing for more than a mere moment. Why? Because a nagging voice in my mind tells me I don’t have the right to grieve. Not even kidding on that one. I actually feel like I am not allowed to feel loss or love. If you say something kind to me I am very uncomfortable and I don’t always know how to reciprocate those feelings. I feel I do not deserve your admiration, your kindness and your love. Pretty messed up. But that is the truth. That is my authentic self.
So, homework. Tonight I put music on that I never allow around me. Why? Because that music is a reminder of things I don’t want to feel. Things I don’t deserve to feel, in my mind. The loss of a childhood friend. The passing of family members. The loss of children. I don’t let myself feel them unless I am alone, then I will for a moment before I hear myself pulling the smile back on my face and hiding the tears.
I don’t deserve to cry for those I lost. I didn’t deserve to speak at my grandfathers funeral when asked. I didn’t deserve to speak at my Uncles when he passed and I was asked. I didn’t deserve to speak for my murdered nephew. Let that sink in for a moment.
When I explained this to myself it sounded horrible. Who on earth would treat a person this way? Who would have a child believe they are so low and so worthless that they could not grieve the passing of a family member because they were not worthy of such feelings. Because that person who passed could not have loved me enough for me to hurt at their leaving.
Again, let that sink in. Please let that sink in and hit bottom. Why? Because I can’t. I am not able to let that sink in. I am not able to think for a moment that I deserve the right to basic human feelings. I don’t deserve to feel loss or love. I don’t deserve to speak among them. Every word I said every thought was “Stupid” “retarded” and I was told to “Shut the fuck up”. My words were not important. My feelings were “Fake” though they sure felt real. I have never admitted these things out loud.
If we went to school together and you judged me as being stuck up because I didn’t talk, wrong. I didn’t talk because I was told, no I was trained to believe my words were empty, worthless and no one wanted to hear them. My voice was annoying. My face was ugly. My body was disgusting. My entire makeup was unworthy of being seen or heard. Let that sink in. Please, for me.
That is much harder than I thought it would be. Tonight I cranked up that forbidden music. The music that forces me to feel. I cranked it up, I sang, I cried and forced myself to allow the tears. I was not allowed to push the hurt down. I was not allowed to tell myself to get it together. I was to feel it all.
What did I feel? First I felt really angry that these things happened to me. I felt infuriated that the adults in my life did not help me. Then I just felt this horrible empty sadness fill my heart. The understanding hit me. I was not worth anything to them so they didn’t stop the things from happening. But I am worth something to others. I am worthy of love. I may not make it easy to love me or be friends with me. But I am at the very least worth the try.
My authentic self is still somewhat a child being abused by her father. Being told she is worthless by her brother. My authentic self has not been allowed to voice opinion or pain. My authentic self is a very hurt, very hardened woman from years of this treatment. Trusting is all but impossible for me. If I trust you, if I can be myself around you, count yourself very special. That does not happen often at all.
Off all the medications, mind awake and heart feeling it all. I have only one question. How could the adults in my life allow this to happen? Why was I not worth it for them to stand up and say “ENOUGH!” It’s difficult because this treatment is not in the past. It is still there and it hurts. Shunned by my “family” because a family member sexually abused me and I opened my mouth to protect another child from being hurt. That girl is still very much me.
If there is one thing you can learn from me, let it be that your words matter. Use them wisely. Bruises heal. Words cut so deep the wound never heals.