I've been through a lot in the past couple of years and through my work I realize that I show a lot of signs of someone who has been through a trauma. It is hard to feel normal when you are mistrusting of every person you meet (and continue to be so), experience night terrors at the ripe age of 24, deal with at least weekly panic attacks if not more, flashbacks, etc. I find myself asking myself when did this all begin, what things have I dealt with that have caused me to be so "traumatized."
I'd like to blame it on Lane, my first real boyfriend. I was a senior, he was a sophomore. It didn't make a lot of sense for the girl that had spent her whole high school career tearing through this boy and that to fall for a sophomore and to not only fall, but to become so completely dependent on the relationship. I couldn't stand to be without Lane. If I was without him I wasn't complete. I mistrusted him - didn't expect that I could ever be possibly good enough for him. I suffocated him and he broke up with me. I'd like to tell you that it was my "high standards" at the time. He wanted to have sex, I was too scared and ashamed - was the reason that he broke up me with, but the truth of the matter was is it was my own special brand of crazy that drove him away. I'd like to say its because he told me he was going snowboarding and went to a party instead that started my inherent need to mistrust, but that's not where it began.
I'd like to blame it on my ex-husband and to an extent I can. He repeatedly abused my trust and because I was already in such a codependent state upon meeting him - I didn't think I deserved any better. He took advantage of me, was emotionally and somewhat sexually abusive. I was never good enough, never could meet up. Instead of creating these insecurities - they relied on something that was already there.
In the last couple of weeks I've really started to take a good look at myself and stop trying to find answers in these failures of mine. I've honestly decided to look beyond the most obvious answers of me being the way I am and figure out how this all started.
When did I decided that I wasn't worth it, that I couldn't trust myself, that I was somehow less and would always be so?
I'd like to blame my mom. Growing up my mom wasn't and still isn't the most loving person, although in a lot of ways she has come a long way. I mean, she is in her own way. You know how some kid's parents will defend them to the death, their kids couldn't possibly be wrong, bad, anything less than perfect? That wasn't my mom - my mom was always one of the first to point out, suggest that I did something wrong. She didn't tell me she loved me, didn't hug me. I possessed this desire to please her so I go straight A's, hugged her, constantly told her I loved her, how cute she is, I suffocated her and it terrified her. She was dealing with her own imperfections. My mom and I aren't that different. The only difference really is where my mom admits defeat before the battle is over... I refuse to draw back even after it being painfully aware that I've lost and it's pointless to continue.
I'd like to blame my grandma, my mom's mom.
... and I realize that I belong to a generation of brokenness brought on by the inability to be perfect. The inability to cut ourselves some slack, relax, calm down and just enjoy life for what it is.
Where did this start? Well, I have an idea.
I've been taught since I can remember that I was, in fact, NOT good enough. I was so bad that my (heavenly) brother had to die for me and if only I could have been a little less sinful, a little more perfect - he wouldn't have had to suffer so much. I remember hearing a story growing up about what the afterlife would be like. At some point we'd be sitting in a movie theater next to Jesus watching the movie of our life and for every time that it came across something bad that you did (anything from a lie to sexual indiscretion) that scene of our life would be gone, erased... it never happened. They go on to say that if you chanced to catch a glimpse of your movie partner at that moment - you'd see him in extraordinary pain remembering the suffering you had caused him because of that moment.
What constitutes a bad decision? Speaking up to your mom because she was disrespectful to you? Being angry at your husband because he's never home on time? or even standing up for yourself at all because it made the other person feel bad?
Sounds like the perfect recipe to make someone question everything they did or are about to do - become obsessed with doing everything just right. They learn not to trust themselves, compiled on with a constant reminder of your own unworthiness and it is no wonder we turn out the way we do.
I have no idea when I'm going to stop blaming myself that I've disappointed my mother my whole life, that she just couldn't love me; stop blaming myself that my 1st boyfriend felt the need to lie to me because it was the only way he could get away from my suffocation and jealously; stop blaming myself that my ex-husband abused and cheated on me; and stop blaming myself that I to this day feel the after effects of all of my imperfections.
I can't wait for the day that I can look in the mirror, accept the past, and say I am worth it, I am good enough, and I am trustworthy - and I'll never be perfect.