How many times have I done something that diminished, devalued, or sabotaged myself?
So. many. times.
I have prostrated myself at the feet of people who didn't deserve my submission.
I have taken shit from people and gone back for more.
I have accepted apologies given insincerely.
I have accepted apologies that were never given.
I have allowed myself to be used by people I loved, because I wanted their love.
I have believed awful things people said about me.
I have believed that I'm not worthy of love, because love has failed me so spectacularly in the past.
I have talked badly about others to make myself feel better, or powerful.
I have drank to excess to avoid my bad thoughts about myself.
I have hidden under a million excuses, because I'm so afraid of failing.
I have rejected love from those who give it to me, because I'm afraid to become attached/get hurt.
I have accepted little more than scraps from people I cared deeply about, and told myself it was better than nothing.
This shit is horrible.
If my daughters came to me and confessed this, it would break my freaking heart.
Imagining my little girls thinking so little of themselves, or being so afraid that they would do the things I've listed, breaks my heart.
Frankly, I've always thought of the things on this list in terms of ME... what I can handle, what I can deal with, how much I can take. A few times, I've let my mind wander to a place of 'what-if'... what if my girls were telling these things to me? How would I feel? It didn't have the impact it should have, because it's a theoretical, I think. But today, in the car, I thought:
"If my Mom really knew all these things, she would be so sad."
My Mom would be sad. It's a concrete thing, not a theoretical.
I have done so many things, and diminished myself in so many ways, and my Mom would feel sad, and like a failure to know that her daughter has rolled over so many times, has internalized bad feelings about herself, and allowed fear to dictate so much of her life.
I don't want to do this anymore.
How can I be a strong role-model for my daughters if I'm hiding, afraid to love, afraid of confrontation, afraid of loss?
Turning this around is going to have to start with allowing those who don't really care for me to slip away, focusing on those who love me, and being brave enough to live my life on my terms.
I wish it was simple.
I wish I had my old, fearless ways back.
I wish I hadn't wasted so many years feeling diminished and unworthy.
It's not simple, but I have to believe that it's doable.