Flipping the Switch

I know I’ve written about this subject before but yesterday I encountered a new or different approach to a thought pattern that has plagued me for as long as I can remember so here goes…

For as long as I can remember I have held the belief or felt that there was something fundamentally wrong with me, with my likes or dislikes, my choices, the way I thought about things, the way I approached problems and situations, etc.  I was retarded or slow or flawed or just not “normal” in someway.  I am not capable of handling life the way others who are “normal” do.  I was and forever would be fundamentally fucked and I would never ever be good enough for myself or others.  Ever.  Worst of all I felt/ feel I was a chronic (and still continue to be) disappointment to my parents. I lived/ live my life in a constant state of apology or justification.  I have to justify every single aspect of my existence because I am simply not good enough.  Ever.  I don’t know if I can convey how absolutely devastating this belief is to an adult let alone a kid.

Anyway, through a series of questioning, combating cognitive distortions, and attempts to disprove my faulty thinking I came to accept the idea that maybe there isn’t anything wrong with me. I can’t explain how foreign this idea is to me.  It’s like…suddenly after 20-30 years of living your life one way you find out you are adopted and everything you’ve ever believed about who you are and who your family is is wrong.  I’ve adopted this idea that I’m wrong or bad or flawed.  This idea or belief system (because that is truly what it is) has been ingrained in me for so long that the idea that I am okay, that my choices and preferences are totally awesome because they are mine, is utterly strange to me.

This environment of wrongness is one I grew up in.  I’m not saying my parents did this to me intentionally, not at all.  (At least not entirely.)  I think this is why I found the teasing at school so hard to deal with sometimes.  Many kids go through being teased because kids just generally suck at being compassionate humans most of the time.  But for me it became so much larger in my mind because it reinforced the messages I was receiving from my parents and a few of my teachers.  (Thanks to a good friend I made it through Middle School) God, I was so lost, hurt, confused, and lonely for so much of the time.  I tried desperately to fit in but when I was rejected or rebuffed in someway it was blown way out of proportion because I was wrong, bad, stupid, and misread the social cues as a result of being deficient in some way…

Such a fundamental belief is extremely difficult to let go of but today, right now, that I am a whole, normal, good, human being, that has a right to her preferences, is a concept that lightens the darkness.

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