I have been dreaming about water lately and I took that to signify from my subconscious that perhaps I was ready to deal with the time that I nearly drowned as a kid. And today in therapy, we did just that, and it was one of the most intense experiences of my life. Literally coughing, feeling the water getting pushed out of my lungs, my heart pumping faster and faster to keep up. I was only three and a tiny little mite and did not deserve that experience, and yet when my therapist asked the three year old me whether she decided that she should die, I said no, and when asked why not, I replied that I was stubborn.
One of the most powerful things in hypnosis is the fact that you can talk to parts of yourself, reminding them that they are special and loved.
Fear is a cage and I have begun to leave it.
Today I completed my Open Water Diver Certification. It was the most amazing feeling.
According to my instructor on the boat trip back to the island, I had quite the grin on my face.
I can’t quite begin to express the significance of this achievement. It was something that my family had me believe that I would never ever be able to do. That I would be kept in the cage built from fear and shame.
I swum out of that cage.
And it feels amazing and relaxed.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing this right. I get so fed up with how long this process is taking. With how slow and painful recovering is. I start hearing voices in my head telling me how pathetic and worthless I am. How I am an underachieving loser.
But I am getting better at silencing those voices. Knowing that I am slowly undoing years of conditioning. That I am slowly discovering who I am.
I wish it was easy, and yet part of me is glad that it is not. Some of me is terrified by it.
I am coming to terms with the fact that there is no right way of recovering and lessening the damage done. There is no wrong way either. There is just doing it and I am.
We went up to Arenal volcano this past weekend, Riaan and I, and while we walking through a rain forest (just before we saw an anteater) I found myself thinking about love.
Is it possible that someone who has not experienced love to love you? And is love more than just a feeling and a word that you say. If you love someone can you hurt them? Over and over again?
Can you keep score of their wrongdoings…make everything a game with a sadistic score card which compares people and action.
If there is one thing that scares me most about having been abused as a child it is that I am afraid that I do not know how to love. Not properly, not unselfishly, not without any strings, not without keeping score…however unconsciously.
As time ticks by I wonder about things being black and white…is a person completely good or completely bad…or are people just people, simultaneously capable and doing good and evil.
And surely there is no such thing as destiny. But then I keep getting lost in the quagmire of my thoughts and fears…
And then I remember I have been able to love unconditionally before. I have been able to lay down my burden of hurts and let my spirit run free with someone elses.
Perhaps that is what will save me.
I am currently reading Bad Childhood – Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood and finding the experience incredibly liberating.
The author does not harp on the experiences that made a bad childhood but she does acknowledge them. I think that the tone of the book is right for me in this head space, giving me permission to feel what I am feeling and how I have felt about my relationship with my mother.
This is the second book that I am reading on my recovery journey, the first one that I read being: Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
And I think I just prefer the tone of Bad Childhood – Good Life. Both books are helpful and have some good advice but I definitely prefer the less autobiographical account of Bad Childhood.
I also am enjoying the no-nonsense advice. But I will let you know a final verdict later, and I am still following the recovery journey in Will I Ever Be Good Enough.
As a side note both of those links are affiliate links
It is still taking me by surprise when I read something that describes my childhood relationship with my mother.
Today I read an article about the characteristics of narcissistic mothers and my chest tightened, my breath quickened and I began to feel light-headed. There were some things in the article that did not apply, my mother never denied me necessities or food or clothing, but she did use the fact that I was provided for as a justification for other abuses.
I am getting better at seeing that the fact that 10% of an article does not apply does not mean that my experiences did not occur..I think I was trained to see the exception and say, you see, because of this exception, what happened was not abuse.