In the last week, something inside of me has shifted.
Over and over, I have heard my therapist tell me, The stuff that happened. It wasn’t about you. It wasn’t because of who you are.
I have heard her say this. I have even, logically, considered it from a more objective point of view. Why WOULD it be my fault?
And yet… I could not shake the feeling that it was about me. It wasn’t logical. It wasn’t what I wanted to believe. But, as hard and as hard as I tried, I could not NOT believe it.
It felt etched upon my soul. The very center of my being.
…..However, the other night, as I lay awake in bed, I began to think about my mother. I began to wonder how she might ever come to terms with her life, and the things that she has done. (This, of course, is pretty hypothetical…I doubt she’d ever actually address any of it, much less take responsibility).
Thinking about this put something into perspective for me…if my mother were ever to walk into my counselor’s office and sit on her couch, she would be trying to understand her life, her choices. The consequences of so many of her own decisions.
While I have felt like a mess over the last year…broken and ashamed of how unraveled I have been…when I walk into my counselor’s office, I sit on her couch and try to make sense of what was done to me.
I hesitate to even share this because it does sound as if I am placing blame. And…you know what? I think I am.
I do not lack empathy. I realize that, many times, people make poor choices that greatly affect their own lives, and the lives around them. People are human. We are all flawed. The majority of us do our very best.
Sometimes, though, our best just kind of sucks for those around us.
In this moment, I realized that I really didn’t do anything. Am I perfect? Have I always done everything correctly? Hell no!
But, I am not responsible for what was done to me.
It is not my fault that I did not feel loved as a child. It is not my fault that I did the things I had to do to survive…that I became a perfectionist, a pleaser, afraid to speak up when I should have. It’s not my fault that adults took advantage of me. I have been shouldering an adult’s responsibility for WAY too long. It should never have been my responsibility to shoulder any of it to begin with.
What is even more phenomenal to me? The fact that, despite it all, I turned out differently. There is a certain power in that. I became the opposite of what I was raised in. I saw what was happening and found a way to fight like hell to be different.
I am not a bad person. I can be loved. I can be whatever I want to be…whoever I want to be.
It feels like a bright, burning light has taken up residence in my chest. Something even stronger than the hope I have been holding on to over the last year–the hope that maybe something could change.
Something in my soul has shifted. Call it a spiritual awakening. A healing realization.
For now, I’ll call it EMPOWERING.
Now, the real journey begins. 💗💗