My parents divorced when I was 5. We were back and forth between parents a few times. I can’t remember ever feeling like I had a “home” or where I should be living. Everything seemed temporary. As I am reviewing the details of my early childhood with Mrs. A, (my therapist) she said it makes total sense that I feel like a stranger in my own home.
To this day, I can be in a room full of people and still feel alone and isolated. Sometimes it’s the feeling of being an alien. Like I am literally from another planet and was dropped here by God because he had no idea what else to do with me.
My adult brain tells me that this is far from the truth. However, in my heart, I’ve always felt like a stranger.
In the last two years, I have made a huge effort to connect with my friends and my kids. I’ve made efforts to reach out when I’m sad and try to embrace the times of happiness.
The truth is that I never valued myself and couldn’t figure out why anyone else would think I have value. I have great friends who tell me how strong and courageous I am and how proud they are of me they are. But I doubt them. I doubt me. I doubt my purpose.
I’ve been reading a lot about how to feel self-value and what that means. I was a little bit taken aback by what I learned because it’s not what I always thought value was.
Self-value is about feeling equal to others. It includes self-care and an acceptance of who you are at this current moment. It’s not about constantly wanting to please others. It’s not about neglecting your own needs to meet other’s needs. Wow! What a revelation!
I asked Mrs. A how I am supposed to feel valuable when even my parents didn’t seem to notice the amount of emotional pain I endured. How am I supposed to feel valuable when I constantly feel a sense of not belonging?
She said to me, that we all have value! Wait! What? Even me? She said that I’m so used to seeing myself as a lesser person and just someone people “put up with” that I can’t even be impartial.
Wow, therapy is difficult. Therapy is an insight into your deepest emotional wounds. It’s insight into old thought patterns that need to change. It’s seeing yourself and your life through other’s eyes.
Since I started therapy in 2017, I’ve struggled to accept my story as mine. The way I survived was by viewing it as another person’s life and not my own. Most call this view denial. But for me, it truly was how I moved on with my life and was able to function as a somewhat productive part of society.
Now, I’m claiming my story, as hard as it is. I’m telling the secrets, as awful as they are. I don’t know what my future is. I don’t know what kind of a person I will be after this journey. But I need to be willing to try. I need to be open to change.
I’m so grateful to my therapist for hanging in there with me. Especially the silent sessions, the dissociation, panic, fear, tears, etc. I’ve only just begun to share the “details” of my life and it’s overwhelming to consider the amount of time it could take to tell it all. But I have to try.
I am worth it – right?
Until next time – I am being MJ every day.