Connecting it all
For me and the alters in our system, matching my insides and outsides means developing, strengthening, and expressing who I really am from the inner foundations to the outer physical representations the rest of the world uses to judge people.
I did not start to heal from past hurts until I was able to figure out who I was and what I valued. The answers to those two questions became the foundation for who I am now. Without them, I would not have had the courage to accept my alters; let alone leave my family and start fresh in another city.
Lies by themselves are neutral. I truly believe that because words without context and emotions lack coherent meaning. Even neutral though, lies can cause more damage than help. Deception means hiding, causing misdirection on purpose and indicates a lack of trust in some part of the relationship.
“I don’t want to hurt his/her/your feelings” means I don’t trust you / me to respect or accept my honest feelings and opinions about the topic; answers to the question. Or I am afraid you are going to be insulted and mean to me if I am honest so I will tell you what you want to hear. Or I don’t really care about you and am going to tell you something to hurt you and make me feel better because I pulled one over you. Or I can’t let you feel good about anything because your happiness is a threat to me; you are competition and have to be put down so I feel powerful and stay in control of you. You are not allowed to have confidence and your own opinions because I own you and am in control of you; you are not a person. You are everything I hate about myself in another body.
That is how I was raised. That is the story of my childhood, adolsecent, and young adult experiences with everyone in my world at the time. It is how I believed everyone interacted with everyone else until I got to college.
And acting like that; telling those lies; being who I was expected to be instead of who I was made me ashamed of myself. The self-hatred and anger were so strong that I started punishing myself in elementary school. By middle school, I had full-blown anorexia nervous and had attempted suicide twice. Once by starvation. Once by suffocation.The last time I attempted suicide and almost succeeded was in college, just after I turned 21 and before I started sessions with the first therapist.
She helped me learn to like and respect myself by finding ways to allow me the freedom to live my values. I stopped lying on purpose that year. The only exception being for survival. Even though I hated myself for lying to survive and punished myself afterwards, I still lied to stay alive.
Eleven years later, I can honestly say that I love myself and all of my parts. And I don’t punish myself for lying to survive as often. Some day that will become “do not punish anymore”
Coping is difficult when the negativity and doubts being you down.
Recovery feels impossible as long as you feel like you don’t deserve it.
But you do deserve recovery. So do I. So does every survivor of any kind of trauma.
This is my idea of recovery:
To live a full life on my terms. No one else’s. To thrive and not let my past make present and future decisions for me.
That dream is what I want for all survivors too. So I share my personal struggles with wanting to be a genuine person 100% of the time with every individual and still protect myself.
What about you?