It’s really strange, but I’ve noticed lately how often my relationship issues trigger my childhood abuse issues. They’re very, very interconnected.
And the problem is that when the abuse issues get triggered, I freakin’ get mad at myself. Like, really Meg, get over your trauma (and other bad things) already. And the problem is that I’m spiritually ambitious, and I expect myself to get over it already. I really expect it. Like, what else did I come into this life for but to learn to heal, learn to value myself, and learn to be compassionate toward myself?
Well! I hate the vicious cycle I go through of getting triggered by a seemingly unrelated relationship issue, which is followed by my extreme inner criticism and self-blame.
It weakens my self-esteem, but it also makes me wonder, objectively, if I’m being too hard on myself. First of all, everyone has issues. Second of all, what I’ve experienced in life is hellish and horrific, not to overstate it. Third of all, once you’ve seen past that door and become aware of what humanity is capable of, you never fully come back from it. It’s like… how to put it… it’s like you’ve been given a glimpse of hell, but you find out that hell is on earth, and you never see things the same way again. That’s hard (if not impossible) to fully come back from.
I think I expect too much from myself. Unless or until doctors can give you specific amnesia (or some such), then there’s no possible way to heal to the extent that it may as well have never happened in the first place. That’s asking too much of myself (or of anyone), so why do I keep beating up on myself over it?!
It makes no sense, because I have huge reserves of compassion for everyone else. The way I talk to myself is not the way I’d talk to a friend under similar circumstances. But I swear, I feel like it’s my goal in life to “get over it already,” and every time I’m reminded or forced to face the fact that I’m not there, I get mad at myself. What to do?
I think I need to reframe it. For one thing, my relationship disasters have become less intense, and they occur less often. That’s progress, right? (Someone please tell me it’s progress.) Secondly, I’ve planted a tiny seed of self-worth (as being separate from self-esteem–my self-esteem’s fine) that I’ve been nurturing and trying to help grow. Third, I’m starting to recognize when relationship disasters weren’t 100% my fault. And I’ll tell myself, yeah, I shouldn’t have done that, but then I tried to save the relationship and failed, so maybe I wasn’t meant to be friends with them.
Because Sonya pointed out to me recently that both parties in a relationship need to make an effort. One person can’t carry it alone. Like with my psychic friend, Ash, I was fortunately able to recognize (eventually) that I hadn’t done anything wrong. I think Ashley Leia pointed out that she was having issues that she needed to address. (And thank you for that! Shout-out!)
Because this cycle is harmful to me: a friend and I exchange heated words → I blame myself and try to apologize → the friend is still mad → I descend into abject self-hatred → I blame myself some more → my abuse issues get triggered → I become afraid that I’ll never overcome the abuse I suffered → I feel demoralized.
It’s awful. I’m not sure how to be more… gentle to myself? Oh well. All thoughts welcome!