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Although not exclusively, #MeToo victims share a common self-sabotaging behavior which they are not even aware of because it presents itself in an entirely different fashion that what would be expected. For that reason, I would like to share what I found to be true for me so that you may also identify the problem attached to the majority of unhappiness in your life.
Many are taught that everyone comes before self and you must submit and obey. Abusers manipulate your fears and cause you to believe that challenging abusive situations is “wrong”. Those very situations touch your most vulnerable and intimate parts of yourself and create a compounded 2-sided fear that is difficult to identify for most. But once identified, you can start to detangle the misconceptions of self and move on to a better you.
The one side of the fear is deep. When someone invades those vulnerable and intimate parts of self, and you allow that because you have been taught it would be wrong if you did not, it creates a rift in you mind. A paradox of conflicting feelings deep inside your gut that are hard to identify. And unfortunately, this conflict enables additional control by your abuser because they essentially are abusing your emotions and vulnerability, slowly breaking you down further and further to increase their own perception of intellectual and physical dominance and superiority.
The key to understand on this side is that what YOU feel. It is difficult at times to identify your own feelings, separating them from those that are being forced upon you. For many such as myself, my obedience was taught early on with things that were wholesome and pure, so the thought of the continuation of obedience even through abusive situations seemed “correct”. And again, for others such as myself who were abused at a very young age and over a long period of time, it really does take some time of reflection and experimentation in order to figure out what belongs to you and what does not. No matter short or long, the point is that you must find your feelings. Your true feelings. The beliefs and thoughts that are truly yours. Those things inside of yourself that you would defend until death if you weren’t so afraid of being beaten down. Once you find those thoughts and beliefs, its important to understand how your very own thoughts and actions have been in fact what has been causing chaos in your life.
In my own experience and prior to finding what was true to me, the majority of my relationships were a repetitive representation of the paradox of dual feelings. I kept experiencing what I experienced in the past in some form or fashion, as if I had blinking light above my head that said “Abuse Me Please”. Ridiculous as it sounds, there is familiarity in your paradox and your projection of self-energy just keeps the flow going. The saying “When you stand for nothing, you fall for everything” rings a very familiar bell of truth for me. By identifying what is true to you, you have the ability to bring your truth to the table, and stand for something….YOU.
This can be scary in and of itself. It means you have to stop falling back into the comfort of abuse and manipulation by remembering that if it is not true to you, that’s when its wrong for you. This is when the courage and strength to break the pattern of self abuse must be grasped. When one fails to accept this need for self, they begin to unintentionally create situations that bring the desired outcome, the uncomfortable comfort of familiarity.
Once you reach this understanding and begin to think, speak, and act in such a way to honor your true self, the second side of the fear rears it’s head and if your not looking, will lead you right back to where you started. I personally looked back several times and said “How the hell did I end up back here?” What’s happening here is that although you identified what is true to you, the fear of lack of approval from others is so deeply integrated within you, that you actually begin to unconsciously take small, seemingly inconsequential actions repetitively which drive the outcome of familiarity. And you don’t even realize you are doing it. Well you do, but you don’t. That’s why it needs to be identified. Kind of like the white elephant in the room. It comes back to you and nobody wants to take the responsibility for it. You can dis-own your personal responsibility on this one, but rest assured you will continuously have issues in your relationships. It’s a cause and effect thing. Unless you deal with it, it’s going to hang around and wreck havoc until you stop it. Just been through a relationship situation? Think about what I am saying here for a minute. Am I ringing any bells?
To this end I must submit, this was the biggest challenge of all for me. And I am venturing to guess this is the biggest challenge for anyone who went through anything remotely similar to my experiences too. There are many, many ways to begin dis-entangling yourself from the vicious cycles. But the first lays within the acceptance of the situation, and the dedication to self to break the cycle. You are the holder of the key to the lock on the chains that bind you. Your simple acknowledgement and acceptance of that is the first step to your freedom.
Later I will cover judgement, trust, and communication. They are what I refer to the “Trio of Understanding” because once understood and applied to everyday situations, your final steps to freedom will be complete.
Have a blessed day.