I was lost in the darkness for a while. Over the years, I had excursions into the light. Those were momentary glimpses into what life could be like for me. But I lacked the support to help to stay in the light. I couldn’t get through how freaking scary those moments were. I would go back into the darkness. The darkness was comforting because it was known.
I am now in unknown territory. I have been standing in the light for quite a while now. I am working hard not to fall back into that abyss of anger and self-hatred, self-doubt. A considerable part of that is trusting myself. I am learning how to do that. To put the trust in me and not seek my truth from others.
A part of that journey of self-trust is pulling back to myself. I am not responsible for other people’s happiness, sadness, anger, etc. It was so exhausting to try to make everyone else happy. I wanted to make sure that other people were in a good place even as I was spiraling further into the abyss.
Countering the Negative
My therapist told me that on average seven positive affirmations are needed to remove one negative statement. Yeah, that is a whole lot of positive affirmations for me. I remember being really overwhelmed by the numbers when she and I first talked about that. I was like, that will be over thousands of positive affirmations for me! Holy shit!
Now I realize that perhaps it isn’t in the thousands. So many of my negative thoughts are around similar themes, mainly that I should never put myself first. If I do, I am a selfish, horrible person. My parents told me time and time again that I was selfish and awful. Eventually, it became part of my self-talk. It became this kind of veneer, hiding my REAL truth from me.
My truth is that I am a good person. I need to continue to reinforce that about myself. So much of what I do, how I act, my people-pleasing, etc., stems from that lie that my parents convinced me was true.
Slight Divergent Commentary
It’s incredible to me how much of my emotional, mental, whatever you want to call it, stems from trying NOT to be what my parents groomed me to be and to believe about myself. All so that they could abuse me. Do you want to see awful selfish people? Abusive parents.
Sigh. Even as I wrote that about selfish, abusive parents, the understanding that I have around the circumstances that made my parents who they became, gives me pause. I can’t hate on them too much. Okay, I can hate on them a little bit. But in all seriousness, they were victims too. Unfortunately, neither of them got the help they so desperately needed. And then they had children. Thus, the cycle continued for another generation.
It took me a while to use and incorporate those positive statements. It became more manageable once I realized that I didn’t need thousands of them. Also, I learned to take one negative statement and counter that with a positive one until it is ingrained in my brain. Some of them are now automatic responses.
LOOK HOW FAR I HAVE COME!
Now, I rely on those positive statements or mantras so much. And I use a lot of them throughout the day. Sometimes to turn my negative thoughts around and determine the best path for self-care. It is a huge part of my healing process. And by the way, I was not a believer in positive affirmations, which is interesting because I believe in connection with the mind and being able to retrain how we think. I think I was scared. Those positive affirmations represented change to me. I was afraid to change.
Some of My Mantras
It is About Me
That one is interesting for me. I can use it before something, like the Vegas trip. Or when I am in the midst of a moment – I am overwhelmed. What can I do right now to help myself? I can usually feel when those moments are coming.
I can feel my energy flagging. Or in some cases, my hearing decreases; it’s like listening to the world through a glass wall. And it takes me longer to comprehend what is being said. If I don’t take care of myself, and only I know what I need at that moment, then how can I be 100% in any other interactions? I can’t.
It’s Them, Not Me
Another favorite mantra that I have used more frequently than I thought. I guess a shorter version of that is, it’s them, not me. That one has been the hardest.
Sure, if you walk into a room and start a fight, that is on you, not on the person you started the fight with. Although the way that person reacts to you does say a lot about that person. (That is a rabbit hole for another day). On the flip side, if you walk into a room with no intention of starting a fight and someone picks a fight with you, that is on them.
Basically, check your asshole-self first before using that mantra. Sometimes it is you, and you should have self-awareness for that. But if you are that much of an asshole, self-reflection is probably not your thing. And you are probably not reading my blog. So I will suggest that most of the time it isn’t you, it’s them.
I Know This
That person’s response to you has to do with their life experiences to that point. Depending on their life experiences and trauma, they will push that onto you if you do or say something to trigger an emotional response. They will make it your fault that they feel that pain because it is too painful to hold onto it long enough to process. It hurts so much they have to get it away from them. And onto you.
Don’t let people place the pain and darkness of their trauma on you because they will. It’s not your responsibility to carry their pain. I just made that sound so easy, didn’t I? Well, it isn’t. It’s tough.