Is healing from severe trauma really the same thing as growth? Are healing and growth for severe infant-child abuse-trauma survivors the same thing as learning to RECOGNIZE our self?
My journey – today – this day – is feeling like that.
As I raised my three children (without abuse and with lots of love) I had my inner vision focused upon recognizing who they were so that I could help them grow into their own self – to know their own self – to be their own self without compromise – and to LOVE their own self.
A the youngest nears 30 and the oldest crosses into her 40s I can see that my approach worked – exactly.
Nobody did this for me.
I will be 61 this coming August 31st – and it is today that I notice that my struggles are greatly about trying to recognize my self!
It is all fine and good and worthy for me to try to work toward some nebulous goal of ‘loving my self’ – but how am I really going to do THIS if I cannot and do not recognize myself?
In all the work I have closely studied about infant attachment and brain development done by Dr. Allan N. Schore (Google his name and take a look) it is completely clear that it is the infant-mother face-to-face interactions in the first critical first year of life that set the stage for whether or not a new human being is on the road to recognizing their OWN self – or not.
My mother was a pathological, psychotic abusive Borderline Personality Disorder sicko. No, her SOUL was good and was something else – but my mother’s disease ate her up so that especially as far as her non-relationship with me – there was NOTHING else present.
My mother never looked with care and adoration into my newly born eyes. My mother NEVER saw me. She saw her own projection of her own ‘evil’ in me as ‘the devil’s child’. She did not even ever see a human being when she looked at me.
Mother did nothing to help me recognize my self – as a mother must – if a new person is going to grow along the ‘right’ path into their own life.
Anything I have I have been given through my soul’s awareness of its/my connection to a God who yes, loves me, and no, did not protect me or alleviate the 18 years of suffering I endured.
The short end of that long story is that today I am recognizing – TODAY – that me Linda I does NOT need to be judged, criticized, given advice or lectures to, or in any other way be disrespected for who, how, what I am.
Perhaps people I know/have known have found it very easy to push me in certain toxic ways because my own self-recognition boundaries have never truly been solidified – because I have never truly recognized them at the same time I have not recognized my self.
Perhaps TODAY I am shedding that old skin. Perhaps today I don’t give a wallop of a HOOT what anyone other than those who truly love me think about me – in any single way!
It did me no possible good growing up as a severely abused infant-child to notice who/what hurt me. I took it. I withstood, suffered and took it ALL – without complaint, without knowing what was done to me was terribly, tragically WRONG.
Nobody noticed. Nobody came to my aid or assistance or to my rescue. I endured. I survived. And at 18 I exited my home of origin without a clue about who I am.
I have wandered the byways of my life for another 42 years still not REALLY knowing who I am as I GUESS a lot and consider that ‘good enough’ to get by with.
Today this does not — finally — feel good enough for me!
As I told my daughter this evening on the telephone, who I COULD have been, who I perhaps SHOULD have been – well, it’s like I stand at a railway station watching the train of THAT woman roar on by – and I cannot in any way get on THAT train!
Is their another train for me? Today I say yes, of course there is! My train might very likely not be a train that many I know would even recognize as mine. I haven’t even recognized it as mine!
I suspect I have been too busy in some unrecognized ways at being the person I ‘should’ or ‘could’ have been – at least trying my hardest to put up that phony front – though never until this moment have I recognized those silent efforts I have pursued to betray my own self.
I have lived for nearly 7 years in this little Arizona border town in a neighborhood full of children. I listen to them PLAY – I listen and listen and watch them – while I recognize that not ONCE in my entire childhood was I free – truly FREE – to be a child in play.
NOT ONCE did I play – or laugh freely. Not once was I safe enough to trust that no harm was about to come to me. Not once was I truly safe from my mother’s rage and hate filled – usually psychosis based – attacks of me.
How could I begin to think I could come out of that childhood being anything like NORMAL? I have always been on the outside – and today I am perhaps more clear than I have ever been that ‘trying to fit in’ to regular people’s world is NOT going to happen – and it is toxic for me to try.
Maybe I am done with all of it! Maybe I am shedding a skin. Maybe I am transforming — into WHO I don’t know! Into – ME?
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