FIGHTER

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I feel wrong, or bad, for speaking up. I don’t always do it right, often messy and overblown, but I do it. And that’s OK. Sometimes I regret it. I wish I hadn’t and probably should not have. Then it takes a few years to recover. Yes, years. And those times happen because I held something in too long, so I pop like a boiling kettle. Oh horrors. What did I do? Nothing all that horrible. Yet it feels so.

I have felt wrong and bad since age 8 and the first attack. All I think about is how wrong I am at every interaction, every look at me from my husband or anyone else, just wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s a feeling, or belief I combat constantly. And I think always of the other person, not me, their feelings, and what they think of me, (not good). So I keep asking Samuel, “You OK?” Wondering what he’s thinking, or feeling, and what he thinks of me.

What about what I think of me?

I don’t say … “good job Patricia. You finally spoke up.” That’s not my go to thought or feeling. My first reflex, is to blame myself. For whatever. I don’t understand why those who attack and abuse get to be honored, like that pastor, and like Tom. Other brothers interact with him more than with me. I have always felt left out. Even if I chose to leave myself out. They chose their loyalties long ago, and it wasn’t to me.

And I think that’s a part of keeping the girl down so she won’t tell. Even the little girl turned woman. Act like you care and love her, but only enough so it looks like it, but not enough so she’s strong enough to give away secrets.

With how confusing everything can get, one thing I know, I need moments of deep comfort and compassion for myself. I accept, or resign myself to the knowledge, that I also need to work and fight for it, even now, even still, and probably forever more, until my last breath.

It was stolen from me, my ability to self-love. Worse, it became ingrained into the bed-rock of my soul that I was bad. It will not go away. I have to work each day, sometimes moment to moment, to show myself love, compassion and tenderness. 

I’m worth the fight. I’m a fighter. I’m tired of fighting, but there is some left. It is in a quieter, gentler form. But I’m in here!

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22 thoughts on “FIGHTER

  1. I do exactly the same; look for subtle clues, others expressions and words or the absence of them to try and find what I have done wrong and how I can make up for it. Always I am wrong and bad and to blame for everything and when I speak out like I have done at work lately, I feel vulnerable and ashamed. You are not alone as I am with you on these things. I feel less alone but I don’t know how to change and shift it. Maybe with time and continued effort to put ourselves first and be selfish in our self-love because I believe even what we think of as selfish is in fact not! Praying that those moments of self-love are extended from minutes to hours to days to months to years to the rest of our lives!!

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  2. “And I think that’s a part of keeping the girl down so she won’t tell. Even the little girl turned woman. Act like you care and love her, but only enough so it looks like it, but not enough so she’s strong enough to give away secrets.” <– wow, this so elegantly explains something I may have (and may be still) experienced. It explains a lot of the confusion I've had. I used to think I was supported. Then I started to talk and that support was so easily stripped away.

    I can also see a lot of pain through today's writing. I wish I could give you a hug and tell you it will be better! I feel it too. Sometimes, it just plain hurts. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for opening yourself up to us.

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  3. I too have been learning the art of self compassion, kindness and gentleness. In fact, the question that leads me through my day is, What is the next compassion, kind, and gentle thing Janet can do for Janet? It is something I am becoming committed to every day in order to live with the pain and bliss.

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  4. Sometimes, my dear, being a fighter is a good thing. Hmmm – guess I need to actually realize that myself! Ever notice how what we tell others is so hard to apply to ourselves?

    When I finally stood up, spoke up for myself, my family abandoned me but I would never take it back, never change it. It felt SO good to stand up for myself, finally, after all those years of cowering and fear and self-doubt. Like others have said – we need to find the good in things – I mean, look at the strength and courage we’ve developed!

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  5. Oh my! Yes, I hate that speaking up and existing, even though we may have the words, is so hard and filled with fear. I cried the other day over something so small that I did, and through the tears thanked my husband for letting me make a mistake! I told him sobbing “I never got to make my own mistakes!” I hear you, I feel your words! Thank you for sharing!

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  6. I relate so much to everything you have written..I am exactly the same in how much I notice in others’ expressions, dislikes, wants etc..Whether it’s safe people (like my husband) or at work..I always feel wrong too, incredibly self-conscious, flawed, bad etc.. and find it hard speaking up, being assertive.. but when I have it felt good, even if it was also all over the place..even if the people it was directed to were too disordered to understand..At least I protected myself..For once! Self compassion takes times..Recently in behavioural therapy, my therapist told me that to get used to something until it becomes a habit, you have to do it or say it 1000 times…That’s a lot of times but it is possible..We have to unlearn a life-time of abuse..Sending lots of courage & strength to you all. x

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  7. You aren’t wrong to speak up for yourself. I get this, though. Like so many others have said, I get the always being on the lookout for clues as to what you have done wrong, always trying to make up for it. The really hard thing is realizing that you haven’t done anything wrong; it’s just old messages sneaking in. I hope that you can one day tell yourself, “good job, Patricia. You spoke up.” Until then, I’ll say it: good job , Patricia. You have spoken up and out, and in doing so have helped many others. Xx

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  8. I am struggling with this right now with a woman at work. She likes to make people wrong and I am very intimidated by her because she does it to me all the time. I think its something unfortunately I will have to fight with the rest of my life. For I am wrong and bad too. And he made me this way. They took our self worth along with our innocence.

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    1. A lot is lost, there is much to grieve.
      The only way I kept more high pressure jobs was to also have the support of a therapist.
      That woman sounds like all the ones who would torment me. I’d need weekly shoring up from my therapist because of people like the ones you speak of.
      She sounds like she has issues and is a bully. I still don’t like aggressive people at all.

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