Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Validation and Forgiveness

Two gigantic words. And, what I believe, to be the key words in my life.

I'm always working at "forgiving". I can come up with very logical reasons to forgive. "They were abused." "They never healed and are still sick."...yada, yada, yada.

Yet, I feel if I "forgive" them that I am "okaying" everything. It's like I've put additional pressure on myself to forgive what was done to me. If I can't forgive, I'll never heal and I will have noone to blame for my pain in my adult life.

I met with my daughter's counselor yesterday, and she pointed out my own lack of self validation. At first I didn't agree. But she's right. How does someone validate themselves when they were never validated in the first place? I guess we learn. ;)

I have a great support system..and know (now!) that the validation I needed and craved has been there. But if I'm not giving it to myself, it's near impossible to accept it.

I thought of this yesterday. It's overwhelming yet exciting, and going to be hard to put my thoughts into sentences that make sense.

I'm very critical of myself. I expect that since I've decided to "heal", it should be easy and I should be farther along than I am. I get frustrated when I don't do the things I'm supposed to do to keep balance in my life. I'm annoyed when I'm impatient with my daughters, husband and myself. I berate myself when irrational thinking patterns take over. I'm also fairly critical towards others, although I can say I've become less judgmental towards the ones I love the most.

My best understanding is this...
1) the sexual abuse I went through is completely unvalidated by my parents. I'm the liar who ruined their lives and destroyed the family. My brother lives with them, so it's like I've spent 20 years of my life with this internal struggle because none of them were on my side.
2) the physical abuse has always been minimized. It's okay to hit me with a belt because there were studs or a buckle on it. It's okay to use physical force to discipline because that's how they were raised and they "turned out ok" (Are they fucking kidding me with this? They're okay?!?)
3) the constant name calling and berating wassn't even really acknowledge for what it was. Nor was it completely denied. I was just too sensitive. "It was a joke"
4) the expectation of what I was supposed to do around the house. Clean, make meals, take care of my brother, etc. No praise...just higher expectations met with more criticism.

I know why I was so riled by my parents reappearance on Friday. My mother had the audacity to minimize everything once again! Referred to my life and struggles and lack of relationship with her as "this thing". She thinks it's okay to have some sort of secret relationships with people in my life.

It's time to validate and forgive myself. To understand and accept my childhood. To ease up on my own expectations. To learn how to give myself the encouragement and praise I lacked growing up. Honestly..I really don't know how to go about this. But even just the realization makes me feel better. Oh ... Miss Therapist!!

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