I’ve learned to love abuse. Please, show me what I’m looking for.
That line…..it says a lot doesn’t it? Abuse….Physical, verbal, emotional…sometimes we learn to love it because it is all we have known.
Emotional and verbal abuse has been on my mind lately. I often wonder if the way I have been treated by friends and siblings qualifies as these kinds of abuse. The hurting over and over. The words said to me…oh gah those painful words. The things done to me that told me I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t worthy enough. I was some disease that wasn’t worthy of love. I was worthy of abandonment.
You know what, I don’t deserve abuse. No one deserves abuse. I am a somewhat nice person. Maybe, I am too nice. Maybe, just maybe, that is exactly what makes me get abused over and over as I think “no…I can help this person. It will be okay. I’ll forgive them one more time.” No…..I was wrong. I just end up getting abused and hurt over and over again. This process taught me a learned behavior that I haven’t noticed until just a day or so ago.
This learned behavior is that I learned to not talk about my emotions. That people didn’t care about the deep hurts inside me. That if they didn’t ask me how I was feeling, I wasn’t supposed to mention it. Where did this come from? Where did I learn this? I know: my siblings. I learned this as a teenager. I learned this because they didn’t care about me growing up. I learned to never discuss my emotions and just live because they didn’t care or listen. They didn’t care enough to be there for me while I was growing up and finding out who I was without a mother and with an emotionally distant and hurting father. I learned to just shut up and deal. To always be the caring and fun one. To never talk about my pain.
Through the grief, depression, and loneliness I am experiencing this year, I am learning how to stand up for myself. How to not take this abuse anymore. How to TRULY love myself again. This is something I haven’t done since before my mother passed away 10 years ago. I never really loved myself. I coped. I survived. I fought to stay above water and get people’s approval and love because I wasn’t getting it anywhere else. I learned to take abuse to get the approval of others. I learned to always paint on that smile and to never show those tears. That tears are weakness. That tears drive people away.
This is a fairly new concept to me as I am just discovering this about myself through my weekly therapy sessions. I will be having a talk with my therapist about all of this on Friday. I am a work in progress. I am slowly figuring out just who this woman is that I have become. Who the woman is that rose about her trauma and crisis to never truly surrender to the darkness.