I think sometimes it is easier for an outsider to accept that someone has been a target of abuse when they have some bruises to show; perhaps it would be easier for the victim, too. I mean, at least that way the abuse would be undeniable (or at the very least less deniable).
Just like the abuser, the target is often trying to explain away what is happening. After all, the alternative is to admit that your parent or partner doesn’t love you. Or that you are just a pawn in the games your community leader or manager are playing. And what does that say about you and your life?
It doesn’t say anything about you. But the subtle game of blame and criticism that your abuser plays has taken hold in your life, making you feel like it’s all about just how unlovable you are.
That is one of the feelings I remember best: the feeling of being unlovable. It is a really awful feeling because it tells you that you deserve to be alone, miserable, and mistreated. It makes you feel that there is no way out. And this logic leads to questions like: if my partner or parent cannot love me, what chances do I stand with anyone else? Or If my church leader cannot see the good in me, is there any hope for spiritual redemption and unconditional love from a higher power?
As these messages take hold, you will treat yourself as unlovable, and don’t take care of yourself. After all, you don’t deserve to be cared for and loved, even by you.
This is quite possibly the hardest false belief to really heal from. Internalizing a sense of value and esteem within ourselves; a place where we have never even sought it? Some days it feels like an utter impossibility.
This particular post has been extremely hard to write. I keep leaving it because the feeling overwhelms me, yet again. I hear that voice again: you are worthless, who are you kidding by trying to convince yourself of anything else. If I am not careful that voice will make me give up, and hide in a dark room again.
So I look at my Healing Mindset Affirmations and go have a chat with myself in the mirror: “
You are adding something to this world, Mags. You deserve to be loved and happy.”
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