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Archive for August 15th, 2008

In my last post, Challenges in the Later Stages of Healing from Child Abuse: “Flash Nows”, I shared that I have been struggling with dealing with some of the realities in my life today. Since I have made the connection between why I have been feeling so lousy lately and what is causing the problem, I am feeling more present than I have in weeks.

The child abuse healing process really is about awakening to your own life. It is about seeing your life for what it is, not what you wanted it to be or pretended that it was. My reality has not changed: It is my perception of my reality that has changed. I did this first with my history of child abuse, and now I am applying the same principles to my life today.

Before I started having flashbacks, I was asleep to the realities of my past. All that I had been through was affecting every single aspect of my life, but I was oblivious to the influence of my past. At its core, dissociative identity disorder (DID) is really just an extreme case of rejecting your own reality. Integrating from DID is awakening to the truths of your past and accepting them as yours. It is about seeing your past for what it was and recognizing that nothing that anyone did to you was able to change the value of who you are.

Now I am in a similar place, only I am awakening to the realities of my present. I have spent my life acting and reacting to what I wanted to believe about the life that I had built for myself. Because my perceptions of my life were so off base from my reality, the reactions I experienced from others did not mesh with what I thought they should be. This caused me to doubt my own intuition continuously. As I am awakening to the reality of my life today, I am understanding why I have experienced the reactions from others that I have.

The reality of my life is that I have chosen to nurture friendships with built-in distance. I have chosen to invest in people who would not see me for who I am, and then I have become frustrated because these people do not “see me.” Of course they don’t see me – I chose them because I did not want to be seen.

I am coming to recognize that many people that I have viewed as “friends” are really “pals.” While I still love them and there is a place for pals in my life, pals are very different from friends. I have been digging in dry wells and wondering why I cannot ever reach any water. I have been investing as a friend into relationships that simply are not friendship material. Awakening to this realization is painful and yet it is also freeing. This frees me to stop setting myself up for continual disappointment.

At the same time, I am awakening to people with real friendship potential who I have pushed away because I believed I did not have room for more friends. I was pushing away the diamonds to protect the cubic zirconium.

Now that I recognize this about myself, I am overwhelmed by the state of my life right now. At the same time, I am excited about the possibilities. My life is finally starting to make more sense.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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