I Don’t Have To Go It Alone….
I did not always believe the above phrase. I spent much of my life believing that I could trust no one. I had been told and shown this repeatedly from a very, very young age. I was told that my world-(my home)- was safe, and that the outside world was very dangerous. Well, if my home life was so bad that I needed to dissociate, God help me if the real world got to me.
I was terrified while growing up and well into my adult years. I’m not talking about being a little nervous, I mean terrified. I was scared of the teachers in school; I would not put my hand up to answer a question, what would happen if I was wrong. I would not look at a teacher for I was afraid I would have done something wrong. I was afraid of the kids in the class, I was afraid to try anything because I was so sure I was too dumb and stupid to do anything and they would just make fun of me if I couldn’t do it, or worse. I was afraid to stand out and be noticed, because if I was noticed that’s when bad things would happen to me, my home life proved that. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.
It was ingrained in me not to trust anyone. If my own caregivers were abusing me, there is no way in hell I could trust anyone.
To say that this caused some issues with my life and relationships is an understatement. I so longed to have a trusting, secure relationship with anyone, the only way I could do this was to dissociate. I realize now that growing up, and in my adult years when people became friends with me, they became friends with my alter or persona, because it was just not safe for the core me to trust anyone enough to create a relationship.
Needless to say this caused havoc when I started therapy. I was afraid to say anything to anyone about what had happened. I was sure if I told my psychiatrist what happened he would think I was worthless, not worth helping and all that self-loathing that abuse survivors believe. I was in shock when he did not give up on me, tell me to leave etc. With his support and acceptance I learned to trust him, bit by very little bit. It took a long time and much “testing him” on my part.
I have come a long way. I think back to those times and how lonely and isolated I felt. I believed I could trust no one and tell no one. I now know this is a “cognitive error” and what my abusers wanted me to believe.
In time I learned that the “world” is not as scary or dangerous as I believed. People did not think I was bad or dirty or unlovable because of what happened to me. This took a lot of time and a lot of work but I am no longer afraid of the world and am enjoying living and enjoying new experiences.
Now When I am going through a rough patch or processing my past, I know I am not alone. I now know people care about me and love me for who I am. They may not be able to fix the problem, but they can support me and let me know I am not going through this alone.
I have professionals in my life that I can talk to and who support me. When I was on the psychiatric unit last month the staff
supported me through this tough time and were there for me during the day and the wee hours of the night. I was reminded that I don’t need to be stoic, to let the process unfold as it should and that I don’t need to go through this alone.
My family and friends were there for me, and not always in person. Some popped in to visit me with a much appreciated cappuccino form my favorite coffee shop; some came by for a few minutes to let me know they were thinking of me and gave me hugs. Others sat with me as we admired the view over the bay, no words were needed. Some sent me messages on face book and e-mails to let me know I was in their thoughts.
It has taken me a long time to learn to trust others and the world. I now know that no matter what life has in store for me, good or bad, I don’t have to go it alone.
Those are my thoughts for now and remember, no matter how bad things are you don’t have to go it alone…
Cheers and be well