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July 16, 2021 at 5:45 pm #382987EricaParticipant
I did also want to share this list I made with you. As you learn to reparent yourself, (as I am learning) I thought that breaking it down into different components might help. I came up with three layers of this that I feel are vital: safety, bonding, and routine. Then I wrote some simple affirmations to help with each one. I hope this inspires you.Reparenting AffirmationsSafety“I am safe in my body and in the world”“I have the right to take up space”“I can meet my own needs and take care of myself”Bonding“I am learning to love myself”“I am worthy of love and compassion”“I am becoming my own best friend”Routine“Having structure makes me less anxious”“I decide how to spend my time and energy”“I am becoming comfortable directing my energy”July 16, 2021 at 5:35 pm #382985EricaParticipant
I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience here because finding someone with an experience so similar to mine was literally what I searched for today. I needed to know there was someone out there who felt all these things and had the same difficulties. I needed some hope today, basically, and you have given it to me. You give hope and a gift to others every time you tell your truth, and you never know who might be searching for their own story in yours.
I have had Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and PTSD from childhood abuse for my whole life, and I do treat it, but my life has gotten worse, not better. Last year I imploded my whole life and left my husband for someone who turned out to be a toxic narcissist. I also started using crystal meth (at 44, of all the absurd things!) in an attempt to…I guess, live in his world? I found that it took away all my depression and made me feel like a real person for the first time in so long….I started writing and making art again. My layers of toxic shame from so many years of failure at everything, at first, seemed to disappear. Soon enough, though, I was addicted and started to experience many of the side effects. Now i am about to start recovery and therapy. I have a lifelong pattern of quitting therapy as soon as it gets painful and difficult, but at this point it has become life or death. I know I must face, finally, all the broken, unlovable, and darkest parts of me now. I am entering the “long dark night of the soul” and I have to also, like you, learn how to reparent myself. My mother was not abusive, but she was “checked out” so much, due to her own history of abuse. It was the only way she could survive and raise 7 children. She did the best she could with the resources she had. Unfortunately, she passed her skills at dissociation down to me, and I became a master at making myself small and tidy so that I wouldn’t make anyone uncomfortable. It’s so sad that we do that to ourselves, and eventually we merely exist.
You mentioned you are young, but you seem incredibly self-aware, thoughtful, and empathetic. What I need to tell you is to be gentle with yourself, but learn now, whatever it takes, to be your own best advocate and fiercest best friend. That ‘s what I would actually write to myself if I were writing to my teenage or 20-something self. I didn’t. I ran away from everything and lived on crumbs from others and never learned how to take care of myself financially or emotionally. Now I am here. I’m not complaining. I know there’s always hope, but I would like to see others not have to suffer so long before they can find true help.
I am writing a book about my experiences and journey, which I want to be a living journey, that is, I am living it as I’m writing it. I want to help take the stigma away from experiences like ours. I still struggle every day with thinking that maybe I am just lazy, weak, broken beyond repair, or better off gone because I feel like I only damage everything I touch. And now I have another stunning level of “failure” (addiction) to add to the pile. But I also have always felt like I had a big calling in my life to write and heal. The world needs people like you, with experiences that can also heal. Never forget that. Your pain can become your gift. Energy can only be changed, right? So we have to find ways to transform what hurts into what heals.
Tonight I am going to try out some “Somatic Experiencing” meditation, something I’m fascinated by. Because trauma lives in our bodies, it lives in our cells and DNA. It needs to be processed, and our bodies need to be able to release it. You might want to look into it too…there are lots of videos on YouTube.
I’ll finish with this quote by Carl Jung that speaks to the importance of this, and “meeting the shadow”:
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate”