I decided to delve a bit deeper into a homework handout I received at my group therapy meeting a few months ago.
I made a lot of comments in the margins, but have been avoiding fleshing them out more. I have been thinking about it a lot lately and decided there's no time like the present to dig in a bit.
So here we go.
The handout is called "Skills in Relationships: Staying Safe and Being True to Yourself."
As I was reading about trauma survivors who are re victimized by relationships with others because that's all they know, I was reminded how incredibly blessed I am. As I read on, I found myself understanding the logic behind revictimization. Thankfully I didn't feel any of it applied to me. I might be at risk for revistimization statistically because I've suffered trauma in the past, but I am in the minority and have not fallen prey to this.
So when I read the following excerpt and found myself relating 100%, I was intrigued.
"In an effort to stay safe from emotional or physical harm, we may stop calling our friends, stop doing things we used to enjoy....Despite our best intentions many of these behaviors prevent us from fully engaging in our lives."I find that I am not avoiding the physical harm, but the emotional pain. I withdraw, I feel that I have missed out on life because I was distracted. I lose interest in hobbies, become depressed and withdrawn and in the process of trying to protect myself, I am actually robbing myself of doing things I enjoy and even the chance to learn by making mistakes.
More and more of what I read made sense and felt more personal.
But I'm not in an abusive relationship emotionally or physically. I have a wonderful husband. I have an great best friend. I have set boundaries with Mom in order to make that a healthier relationship.
Then I had a thought. Who do I say "yes" to all the time? There's a person who can talk negatively to me and I take it without question. Who do I allow to push my boundaries over and over (more emotional than physical)?
My relationship with myself is unhealthy.
Huh. I'm not really a person I can cut out of my own life, so it looks like I get to learn how to treat myself. How to give myself (and allow myself to accept) the respect I deserve.
Well, that sounds like a tall order. Doable, but challenging.
So here's to better days with Me in the future!