Breaking through the darkness
Today’s blog is probably the most personal one I’ve ever written. I’m taking out the skeletons for everyone to see. As I rip off this wall of protection to reveal a personal truth, I’m left feeling a bit naked. Will people judge me, or just as bad, will they not care at all. This is the risk we take when we show our underbelly.
As a psychologist, I have seen many people who want to heal. Many of them feel stuck. They have tried hard, but they find them self in different situations, with the same patterns. In desperation some people come to me in the hope that I can wave my magic wand so that their life is forever fixed. Finally, they can be happy. Hopefully in 5 sessions max.
In my experience, no one can magically fix your life, or make you happy. We make ourselves either happy or sad through the choices we make, and the thoughts we think. At least this is how it’s worked for me.
My childhood was filled with daily trauma and neglect. I was emotionally, physically and sexually abused. I didn’t go to school consistently until I was 10. I didn’t know how to read or write, so I was bullied for being stupid. I was told by how I was treated, and through words that ‘I was worth nothing’, ‘no one would ever love me’. Of course I believed them. Why wouldn’t I. Life hadn’t showed me anything different.
By the time I was a teenager I’d had enough. I’d only ever been in pain, and it all got too much. I decided to commit suicide. At the time I just couldn’t see another way out of the darkness. Luckily, someone found me and their was no permanent damage. My family wondered how I could do this to … the very person who abused me. I heard comments like ‘Hasn’t he been through enough’. I knew I was very much alone. Nobody seemed to understand, or care.
I couldn’t live in pain like this any more. Something had to change. The way I saw it, I had two choices 1.) Suicide or 2) Learn how to love myself. If I did this I could be happy, and eventually help others who had been through something similar. I chose option 2.
I didn’t have a clue how to love myself so I took it as an educational challenge. I read about, and observed those with great self esteem. Every day when I awoke I would ask myself. ‘how can I love myself, what do I need to do to heal’. I’d listen for the answers to come. Then I’d act on these hunches. Sometimes I’d eat more healthy, visit a supportive friend, do homework, rest, watch a positive movie, pray, say good bye to a bad relationship, bake. Whatever I felt I needed to do to feel good about myself, and be happy. I thought very carefully about the choices I made. Being careful, that the most likely outcome of my choice would be a good one.
How long did it take before I was consistently happy? Years. Sorry, but that’s the truth. Like anything in life success takes time and patience. But it is possible, and it’s soooo worth it. I am genuinely happy now. I have many blessings in my life. Importantly, my life is also abuse free.
If I feel down again, or have one of life’s big changes I go back to this healing method. It’s second nature to me now. When we love ourself we are motivated to do things, and be around people that fill us with joy. Life’s a lot easier like this. So today I find my bliss by sharing some of the most vulnerable part of me. Hopefully it will help at least one person. Have a wonderful day. You are loveable. You are worth loving. You have your own, special purpose for being here xo
If you are feeling very sad and need help please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you are outside of Australia, you can find your local crisis line in the phone book or over the internet.
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