Sometimes I feel so stupid, and so guilty. The desperation of growing up in a toxic family has inspired some questionable choices. At times I had to prioritize the well-being of my family over my own. Not because I necessarily wanted to, but because the backlash would have been severe.
I gave in, I gave up, I never even bothered to try.
Manipulations, strategy and planning were the only tools that could help navigate the minefield. My head was like a war room, and you just know that some war crimes were committed in that room.
How can I trust myself now, when I have so often let myself down. When I stooped to their level, when I gave up on myself because I did not feel I was worth the effort?
This inner-monologue was one that I did not necessarily expect to have when I first started on my journey of healing. I had a vague understanding of working on self-esteem, on learning to trust my instincts. I did however not realize that I lacked a certain trust in myself. I had betrayed myself by staying in that situation, by allowing myself to be recruited as a Flying Monkey against my very self. I had let myself get hurt by the abusive echo’s in my head, by the manipulative advice I had decided to take on board.
Building trust with anyone who has broken it once before is a long and tricky process. It starts with forgiveness. I needed to forgive myself. I did not pick the emotional war room that was my head. I did the best I could in very difficult circumstances. I worked hard to manage it all, and I did eventually escape the war.
Once I accepted that, I could start building up that trust again. Trust in my judgement, my skills and my instincts.
There is no healing without self-forgiveness.