“You’re nothing better than a whore.” As a young child I didn’t know what that meant but I did know that every time my dad said it I felt worthless and unloved. As an adult I did my best to escape him. But even when I had the respite of being geographically away from him, I was unable to distance myself from him in my mind. The words with which he had insulted and abused me were a source of torment.
I grew up believing I was unwanted, useless and ugly. With hindsight I can see that as a child I had been placed on the path of self-fulfilling misery because I didn’t believe I deserved any better. In adulthood, one of the main causes of my depression was that I never felt ‘good enough’. That translated into: I wasn’t pretty enough. I wasn’t clever enough. I wasn’t interesting enough. I wasn’t good enough to love. The list was endless.
To enable my emotional healing I had to learn how to deal with all the negative affirmations that I had carried around with me. It was a painstaking process of examining every damaging thought. Those I had previously accepted as a truth, I had to learn to reject as a lie.
“We are what we believe we are.” ~ Benjamin N. Cardozo
No longer allowing the words of others to define me was a breakthrough in my life. After a life-time of believing and receiving the worst, this was not going to come easily. It felt totally unnatural to think positive thoughts about myself or my life, but I was determined to make that transition from victim mentality to survivor mindset.
Occasionally my past does creep back into my thoughts, and sometimes I face criticisms and rejections. But now I no longer internalize them and wear them as a label. Because today I know I am loved, trusted and respected by the people who matter to me. And I love, trust and respect myself.
You can’t change what someone has said to you, but you can change how you respond to it. You can make the decision to stop receiving the bad and start receiving the good. You can stop believing you can’t and start believing you can.
Believing is receiving.
And a massive thank you to the wonderful NZ CATE who awarded me The Compassionate Communicator award.The award is “to recognize and reward those who blog for the benefit of others as well as themselves.” I’m delighted to accept it from this lovely blogger http://infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com/