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Self-validation in healing What do you think?
Posted 21 November 2003 - 09:57 PM
Disclaimer: I hesitate to post this because it makes me feel rather exposed, but I'm challenging myself to realize my thoughts matter, and making them heard outside of my head is an important step. This post is not intended to hurt any feelings, to invalidate anyone, to offer anything other than how I feel, and I welcome others to share how they feel.
I came here looking for someone to wave a magic wand, and make me "healed." Somehow these brave, intelligent men and women would have the answer I was looking for, a map to heal if you will. I knew nothing, or very little about what was going on with my brain, and how it impacted the rest of my life.
I realized one day a few months later that I had to find my own way. Not because no one wanted to help me, surely my boyfriend did, the new friends I'd made here seemed to want to help. I had to peel back layers and identify problems. I had to figure out what I needed. It was my job to identify my needs and find a solution.
I needed to reach out and be heard. So I did, I still do.
No one could have told me that and had it mean anything. No one could be responsible to make me feel like I was important. I had to learn for myself that I was. I had to learn self-worth before I could realize I was worth anything to anyone else. I'm still working on that.
I've never been especially good at making friends. In settings when I don't know people, I tend to be shy. I was at an open house at my son's pre-school today and had a really hard time talking to parents. I was so sure that no one would want to know me. What did I have to offer? Well, as luck would have it, someone spilled at the food table, so I went to help clean it up. I got talking to a mom there, turns out her daughter and my son play together, they both started this week. Turns out that all I had to do was tell myself it was ok to reach out and take a chance.
It's hard being on the 'inside' if you will. Seeing new people come, and wondering. I still have the same insecurity, thinking they don't want to talk to me, what do I have to offer them? That hidden 5 year old afraid to join in the kickball game. I have that paralizing fear of wanting to make a "good" first impression, so they know I want to make a friend, but not be overwhelming and scare them away. It is up to me, now that I have identified that fear, to find a way to resolve it. I certainly don't expect people who just meet me to be able to find a way to put me at ease if I can't do it for myself.
There was a post about healing goals a few days ago. I think one of my healing goals is going to be able to own my goals and recognize the roadblocks I have put up myself that prevent me from reaching them.
What do you all think? Have you been able to find that self validation? How did you get there?
Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:22 PM
Another insightful stirring thread...wow!
Have you been able to find that self validation? How did you get there?
I've not found it...but I do know my T prefers the term USA (unconditional self-acceptance). I do realize it's me that has to do the healing, no one can do it for me. And no one can give me the exact directions on how to get there. I have total control of my feelings 90% of the time.
It's up to me to find that self-worth, stop punishing myself, and look more at the positive side, look at things from another perspective, etc... (but where I am right now...it's just....I just don't find it).
Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:49 PM
This is so something that i can relate to. I totally agree with you - i have not be able to do this for myself at all, but oddly enough i was just writing in my journal about how no one can value me unless i place a value on myself - i just feel so worthless right now it is hard to see myself feeling any other way. But that is the goal i am focusing on right now. To find my own self worth, my value. Thanks for this thread Laney.
take gentle care
Posted 22 November 2003 - 02:29 AM
On another note, whenever you have responded to my replies I have never thought you were overbearing/overwhelming with your words or advice. Take care (((Laney)))
Posted 22 November 2003 - 09:49 AM
Really that IS how I feel. like a little girl on the inside trying to desperately show I'm a BIG girl on the outside!! It is so annoying and embarassing.
I'd really be interested on how you learn to do this.....i've tried the 'mind over matter' thing and so far it's not working!
Posted 22 November 2003 - 12:22 PM
For a long time I was jealous of people here who seemed to know what they needed to work on. 2 years ago I could not have listed one healing goal for myself. I was really stuck in not realizing that many of my problems or issues were related to SA. I did not understand that some of my issues even could be changed or fixed. I really thought, "well, thats just the way I am".
If someone had told me that back then, I probably wouldn't have believed them.
It was like I was standing on this cliff, I didn't like being there, but even though it was scary it felt normal because I had always been there. I didn't believe there was somewhere else to go, couldn't see the other side, couldn't see a path to get there
Self validation for me was that journey to accepting that I was r*ped, understanding how it affected my life, and making the decision that I wanted to start to move forward. Deciding that not only was there a way off the cliff, but that it was possible to get to the other side.
That wasn't something anyone could have done for me, it was something I had to figure out myself. I don't know how it came to be, but I know this board was instrumental in the process.
I don't know if that is really answering your question, but it is what I started thinking about as I read your post.
Posted 22 November 2003 - 01:15 PM
Your post really hit home with me, Laney. I also came here, half-expecting someone to hand me a roadmap to healed... I kept thinking that someone would say, "Well, babe, just do A,B and C, and poof - you're healed." A small part of me also thought that I'd just spill my story, feel better, and move on with life...Yeah, that didn't happen.
I have that same paralyzing fear of having to make a good first impression, too, Lanes. I'm horrible about that. I rarely feel like I have anything to offer, anything to say, any positive qualities that will make them like me...and on and on.
That said, I've found some semblance of self-validation. It hasn't been easy and I don't know if the way there is something that I can put into words. It's definitely something I'm still working on - something I've got a lot of work to do on. For me, I think it's been a combination of many things - acknowledging the effects of the rapes, accepting both the girl I was and the woman I am now, understanding why I made some of the choices that I did...to name a few.
I remember when I was about 12, my mom bought me this book for young girls...You know the type - one of those that talks about everything from make-up to self-worth. I used to read the part about confidence over and over, trying to figure out how the hell I gained confidence in myself. I really wanted to know. There was one thing that the author said that I never forgot - "Fake it till you make it." Meaning, of course that if you fake that confidence and make the first move, then eventually, once you see that it's alright, you gain confidence...and soon, you're not faking any more.
Self-validation has been a lot like that for me. It's a constant struggle of mine. Sometimes, I am able to do it. Sometimes, I have a hard time.
Alright, now that I've probably failed to answer the question, I'm done rambling for now...There's my penny's worth. (Hey, I'm broke, what can I say? :;)/>: ??? )
Posted 22 November 2003 - 01:50 PM
I think in some things I've been able to reach self-validation, but in others I'm definitely still working on it. When you've learned for various reasons throughout life to look for external validation rather than internal validation, it's very hard to switch that around. There are all these insecure questions that pop up, "What do I know anyway? What if I'm wrong, what if I've misinterpreted something? What if I'm making a mountain out of a molehill? What if..." It's hard, after being taught otherwise, to go all the way inside to see what things fit for me as an individual, what resonates, what is okay for me. At the same time, just because it's hard doesn't mean it's impossible, and I've been learning and integrating the fact that I need to pay attention to what feels okay to me as an individual and understand that what is okay for me might not be okay or understood by some others and that I can't allow that to validate all those insecure "what if" questions and conclude I'm wrong. I guess that's sort of like working on conviction, isn't it? Okay, I'm about to ramble so much that I'll soon have no idea what I'm talking about :oo:/> so, on that note I'm shutting up now!
Take gentle care,
Posted 26 February 2004 - 06:57 AM
About three years ago I got the book "one day my soul just opened up" by Iyanla Vanzant. There was a part in the beginning of the book that says "God knows what a precious gift you are to the world." I think that I was ready to really believe that. It made a huge difference in how much love and validation I could give myself. About six months later I started to have more flashbacks that were very difficult to handle. About a year ago I started to remember that my mother physically and sexually abused me. I felt so much shame, here was the reason that I hated myself. I had always believed that I hated myself because I was so worthy of being hated because there was no reason for me to have all the problems that I had. As I started to look at the abuse, it explained all of my problems, I started to refuse to validate the shame and self-hatred. They would wash over me like waves in a stormy sea, but I kept saying no. I still struggle, I still say no, I still sometimes get treated badly by others, but I refuse to blame myself for any of it. I know that I am a precious gift to the world, I am here, and I matter to me. That is what self-validation looks like for me right now. Kate
Posted 26 February 2004 - 11:27 AM
Intellectually I knew I was worthwhile, but emotionally I felt worthless. My intellect and emotions were not congruent and it caused great inner turmoil, not to mention knee-jerk reactions that I was not able to explain nor control. Reading the book "Self Matters" helped to identify the wounding from those repressed emotions by asking a series of very specific questions that helped to bring that wounding from the darkness into the light. Once there and identified, then I could begin to deal with them and release them. Plus, now I had a notebook of very valuable info pertinent to me about what made me tick. And this helped me to identify more clearly who I am, heal the wounding, and decide for myself what I want to do with my life and my choices. It actually gave my life back to me where it belongs; the life I had been living was not my own. It was fueled by that emotional baggage that I was carrying around. As a result, now, I can make the choices that I want for my life instead of reacting to the emotional garbage that I internalized by the wounding from my parents or whoever else had caused wounding in my life. What a huge weight off of my body to release all of that pent up emotional baggage.
Also, there is a website http://eqi.org/index.htm that speaks about Emotional Intelligence and how to attain it. When I read the article about invalidation (thanks to Hdsmith), it really opened my eyes to why I felt so worthless in the first place. These have been the tools that I use to continue on my journey of self-validation. Hope they help some of you, too. Love, Liz (((Everyone)))
Posted 28 February 2004 - 01:27 AM
Wow. That is exactly (well almost) what I have discovered over the last few weeks. And its true.
I have started to validate myself. I am using a small amount of anger to motivate myself and keep myself on the straight and narrow, but I have started.
I have gained a strength that I have not ever had in my life. It feels good. I feel proud of myself, and for once no-one will take it away. Not my parents, not my T, not *him*.