Day 138: Declaring War on Identity Lies
I have three topics banging around in my head, clamoring for expression. (1) More Lies and Truths; (2) Visualizing the Disintegrated Parts; and (3) A Difficult Upcoming Event.
Number 1 is my main topic and it's about declaring war on the lies about my identity that have deeply wounded me.
--I have a question at the end related to number three and would love to hear what others think.--
(1) More Lies and Truths
This is kind of a follow up to a posting from last Wednesday where I included a response to an exercise on the Lies told by my mother as well as the untold Truths that counter them. I will re-post here behind a spoiler (very triggery - also redundant).
Please don't read the spoiler if you're at all in a sensitive place, or if cursing offends you. I was pretty angry when I wrote it. It was the first time I've really ever felt anger toward my mom.
Jiva and I have been having a great discussion about healing our Mother wounds. She noted something from my blog posting yesterday that was incredibly eye-opening to me; and she was kind enough to bring it up, to shine a light on another lie (Jiva, thank you so much for this!):
I have been thinking about something you blogged about your mother telling you that you are "a concrete thinker, not an abstract thinker".
That is so absurd!!! and only her immense narcissism would have generated that demeaning falsehood about you, in service of her ego.
I went online and searched, "concrete, functional and abstract thinking". There are several sites which would give you a better understanding of the truth, even with traumatic brain injury. Concrete means one can think about the here and now, about things in particular, but not things in general. Abstract thinkers can think about ideas, concepts, things in general and how they relate to each other and so much more!
This site http://www.projectle...t_thinking.html has a good explanation.
You will finally find out the truth about this fantasy of hers. I hope it helps you build more appreciation of yourself and debunks yet another myth she generated.
My response to this message:
Wow! I'm blown away by this. You're so right. You see, my mom is a genius . . . no kidding, an actual genius. She speaks like seven languages and can solve quadratic formulas in her head.
Also, I had a boss . . . whew this stings to remember . . . who used to tell me this: "You're so concrete. You're too detailed." This is how my coworkers would shut me down when I was seeing a problem we were headed into. I could tell we were going to violate a regulation and I would try to keep us from making that mistake. I would read the regulation and they would react like this. Then, we did get cited they pushed it onto me to fix. Plus, they would expect me a cover things up and try to represent things in a way that would make it sound like we were meeting the regulation. They would hammer and hammer on me until I would give in.
Man, I had a lot of this message for a very long time. And, I'm thinking right now, I have to engage in abstract reasoning for my job! How would that be possible if I am a f*-ing concrete thinker?!
Boy oh boy this really touches a nerve for me. I went from my family stuffing this message down my throat to workplaces that did the same.
Thanks for pointing this out. It's wonderful to have your perspective and to shine a light on another lie.
I will be sitting with this one for a while. I have lived with this idea of my identity being "concrete" for a long, long time.
(2) Visualizing the Disintegrated Parts
I am beginning to understand how the parts of me are dis-integrated. Several people have helped me immensely with this. There is a little girl who is full of love, joy, playfulness, inquisitiveness, and creativity who spends most of her time running in fear of a Vampire. The vampire is my history of abuse. The vampire is the feelings that history produces: anger, sadness, grief, and loneliness. She fears feeling those things because it will take away her life, turn her into a monster. She also identifies with the vampire, wishing for his power, his lack of compassion - so she too can take out her rage on others. So, in my nightmares, I become the vampire and I feel the little girl's terror at the same time.
It is an ironic trick that the vampire is integrated with the little girl. Meanwhile the Captain attempts to save the girl but manages to get caught in the vampire's trap, and the Mamma is nowhere to be found. The Captain is the me I show the world, heroic, indomitable, but also unloving. The Mamma is who I seek. It is she who can bring the pieces together: my rage (vampire), my hope (little girl), my strength (captain), and my compassion (mamma). I think there is at least one more piece, one more character - the lover. She shows up sometimes in dreams as well, as an unreachable, shadow figure.
I am learning I need to integrate these archetypal aspects of my identity. I am not sure quite how that will happen, but I am on the pathway moving in that direction.
(3) A Difficult Upcoming Event
Next weekend we have a family event with my DH's family, a baby shower for one of his siblings. The event is to be held at the place where his former step-mother lives. And, she was an abuser. She is someone I hold in great contempt. She is someone who brings out the vampire and the captain. My hackles are up and I don't know quite what I will do about it.
I do know I have choices available to me now. I don't have to let the vampire and the captain loose without tether. Somehow the mamma can rein. I'm not sure what that looks like. I would love to hear what others think. My DH does not feel any kindness toward this woman, but he is incredibly avoidant of confrontation. My instinct is to not attend the party, but instead to just bring a gift and to see his siblings at a separate event. DH will agree to this if I want. I won't be able to get an opinion out of him no matter how much I ask. And, I already have asked.
This is indicative of a dynamic in my marriage that mirrors my childhood. I am the strong one. I am the captain. It's my job to decide what to do. It's my job to protect.