Posted by: Judy | September 6, 2017

23 of 25 Things

As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I’ve worked, I’ve discovered a deeper reason for exploring each “Thing.” Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I’ve worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I’ve made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I’ve come. It’s important to do that, once in a while.

Original post from The Mighty:

https://themighty.com/2017/06/childhood-emotional-abuse-adult-habits/

23. Blaming myself for everything. I have to fight the urge to beat myself up constantly. I’ve also struggled with feeling like I’m not good enough, which makes things like school, dating and applying to jobs really hard.

My sister’s responses:

https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/07/31/sorry-for-saying-sorry/

https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/08/02/not-good-enough/

My response:

How many nights has this chorus put me to sleep? “It’s all my fault. No one to blame but me.”

How could I help but blame myself? I had been blamed for everything, from saying things my abusers had said to doing things my abuser had done, from saying cruel things about others to breaking dishes. The truth had nothing to do with it.

It all comes back to the fact that nothing changed until I stopped lying to myself. I had to stop accepting responsibility for things I hadn’t done. I also had to accept that someone who should have loved me had no trouble blaming me for things they’d done. I couldn’t protect them, a practice that demands I lie on several levels, to others, to the abuser, and to myself.

This led to a dilemma: I couldn’t stop lying and blame myself for everything at the same time. I had to choose: The truth or the lies. I chose the truth. It is the only way to move forward. Otherwise, I’d still be stuck in the everything’s-my-fault loop.

Choosing the truth did not make everything else easier, not by long shot. In my head, I know I’m enough. However, there are so many skills I simply never learned. It’s tougher to learn them later in life, but it isn’t impossible. Learning healthy habits requires studying what I was doing and how I needed to change it. I had to follow through. I spent most of my visits with my last counselor talking through situations I’d faced. I’d relay how I’d handled whatever occurred. Our discussion entailed approval or correction, and then I wanted to know how else I could have handled it.

I now know not everything is my fault. However, there are still many times when I blame myself. I have to exercise mental control, reining in my fallback position, and ask myself: Is it really my fault? If it is, what do I need to do to make things right, within my power? I discovered that sometimes when I accept responsibility I’m mislabeling. Just because I feel sad something happened that doesn’t make it my fault. I’m allowed to feel sad without taking responsibility.

Some will say that it’s arrogant to believe I possess so much power. Some will want to remind me that the world does not revolve around me. For the record: This isn’t the same thing. Believing that I’m so powerful I cause everything to happen isn’t quite how it works. I believed that everything bad that happened was my fault. How could I believe anything else when that’s what I’d been taught? It also doesn’t work the other way; I don’t believe I’m the reason all the good things happen.

Functioning “normally” is a constant struggle. I haven’t been able to hold down a regular job. I haven’t dated in decades. Going out anywhere requires a pep talk, some encouraging and some brutal. The brutal pep talks are fewer as my self-confidence improves. Routines help me establish continuity and reduces the number of pep talks.

Reminding myself that I am the daughter of the Most High God is inspiring but didn’t wipe away the sense of worthlessness. I had been raised to believe that if I simply did what I was told, and did it right, all would be well. Of course, I could never do it right because the rules always changed to ensure I would fail, which meant I could be blamed. By God’s grace I survived the insanity, but not without consequences. However, God is fulfilling His promise to work evil to good. He never promised to make evil good; He promised that no matter what happened, He would bless and help me.

One of the books I read said that you have to reach the point where you’re able to say, “Yes, horrible things happened to me. So?” On some levels, I’m able to do this. The abuse changed me, like any life-changing experience. I’m learning to not let it define me. I am more than the abuse that happened to me. That isn’t to say there aren’t days when I’m back in the pit of despair. It doesn’t happen as often or last nearly as long. Line upon line. My faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for me made it possible for me to hope when all felt hopeless otherwise. I trusted Him to love me no matter what.


Responses

  1. Great share… hope it helps everyone.

    • Thanks.

  2. Thanks for sharing.

    I just received this post from a fellow Blogger, I believe she is out of England. You might enjoy this, sending FLOWERS your way. Take a look: https://restlessjo.me/2017/09/06/7-squares-in-september/

    • Oh wow! Those are gorgeous! Thank you. ❤

      • Your welcome! Restless Jo has a great site. She goes walking and then posts pictures of what she sees. It’s very nice.

        • I added her to my Reader and look forward to see more of her pictures.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

%d bloggers like this: