I’m not sure when exactly I realized that I have deep rooted pain and beliefs, though I am sure my curiosity and mindfulness expanded by leaps and bounds when I began therapy. I began seeing a therapist as a young teen, and I didn’t really see the point in telling this lady, who had no reason to care about me or listen to my stories, about my problems and thoughts.
Unfortunately, this frame of mind stuck with me for a long time, through several therapists. Eventually I gave up on the mental side of things, along with the physical and nutritional parts. I don’t look at this as time lost though, because I can honestly say I was not ready to open up and learn anything about my thought processes and beliefs at that time. It took years of going back and forth, for me to finally get to a place where I was getting up and showing up.
Finally, I felt “ready” to open up and tackle my inner demons. I see now, how I had to wait for not only the right person to help me with this side of things, I also realize just how starved my brain was. All of a sudden, things began clicking and I saw connections where before, I thought there were none.
A few weeks ago, I was prompted to take a closer look at my relationship to myself. I think this has come about gradually, the ability (even the option) to stare my problems in the face. It’s not easy, and I am by no means “good” at it. Sometimes you must do things you are not comfortable with though, right? That being the case, I am uncomfortable a lot of the time. Often, I can’t put my feelings or thoughts into words. This can be frustrating, because in therapy, I desperately want to become a person who knows herself better. It’s difficult to carry on with tough stuff when communicating is a weakness!
So, I voiced my concern that I felt a huge roadblock in my recovery: self worth. Or, more precisely, self love. I have known for a long time that I don’t get along well with myself. Internal battles are raging at almost all hours of the day, I often choose to drown them out by distracting myself or pouring myself into mindless activities.
I’ve been attempting to be a little more focused when it comes to my wants and needs, and I immediately made a connection last week and this week that I think might shine some light on at least one aspect of my self worth/ love:my ability to ask for what I want, need, desire or hope for.
I found myself observing situations that were so simple, yet for me the scenarios were bringing up some realizations. I heard my little brother voicing his needs and wants. I observed family asking for simple things, and I was aware that this is something I rarely do. Then, I recalled situations where I have been asked for something and been able to provide it, and the sense of helpfulness that gave me. Not deprivation, helpfulness.
I’ve looked back at several instances throughout the past few weeks, and how I handled them. I’ve looked back at the times I remember thinking I might be a more fulfilled being if I had asked for: (fill in the blank), and I recall feeling a little bit deprived, because I desired something that was readily available to me, and yet I lacked the self worth to ask for it.
I deny my own needs and wants, in an attempt to push down the feelings that might come up. Feelings associated with me not being deserving, worthy, or needed. In this way, I tell myself silently that I am less than, and I often end up depriving myself in a small way. Am I afraid I am taking from someone more worthy than me, if I request this one small thing? Am I doubtful of the outcome? What would happen if I actually voiced my want or need, and it is denied? These are all questions I am trying to answer bit by bit.
I can recall this process repeating itself over and over in childhood. This mindset, or belief, did not pop up out of nowhere, it has been a part of me for longer than I can remember. From holding back my wants as a girl wanting to fit in with my peers, to offering someone else the last slice of pizza when I’m still a tad hungry, I am now acknowledging this hurdle. And just like the tennis net I attempted to jump over when I was twelve, I’m sure I will get my foot caught the first time I try to turn this around. It’s going to be painful and I might get a little disoriented, but to continue on this trajectory will only hold me back in the long run.
Needs, wants, desires, I see you. I see all of the times I denied you. I hurt because of you, and I wonder at my actions and what could have been if I would have just spoken up. I see how connected you are to the path I have taken, and I am going to commit myself to voicing my opinion, my needs, my thoughts.