“Softness is not weakness. It takes courage to stay delicate in a world this cruel.” – Beau Taplin, True Strength.
Lately, I have noticed that I am always on the defence. On the defence, ready to fight (not in a physical way but with my words and actions). I have been mean to those I care about. And usually I would apologise once I realise what I just did.
But why am I on the defence in the 1st place?
I watched Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette on Netflix the other night, do yourself a favour and watch it if you haven’t. And she makes a point about self-deprecating humour and how that keeps us stuck in the trauma if we use that to tell our stories.
I have been doing that for a while now, my sense of humour getting darker and darker about what’s damaged me most and its kept in that damaged place. I don’t want to be damaged anymore. I would like to be soft. So you will hear/read the story for what it was and this time, there is no self – deprecation to somehow make it okay, because what was done to me was NOT okay.
I have talked about the sexual abuse before but I have always brushed it off like it was nothing. Being sexually abused by family member at a fragile age of 6 when you have just lost one of your parents is not nothing. It is deeply damaging to the psyche. Those who are supposed to look after you don’t do such things to an innocent child. My innocence was abused. And God forbid that if I try and resist, that always warranted physical abuse first with some very colourful language and opinions on my worthiness, actually, no, it was worthlessness and then sexual abuse would still follow. And this shit went on till I was 16. And to add to the confusion and the darkness, I had some other family member ask me to show them my body when I was maybe 14 and if I did that then they would stop their nasty behaviour. That was deeply damaging to my body image. Of course I said no but that again that did something to my psyche. Now I hated my body for getting me in all this shit.
I am 32 now, I have spent just as much time trying to deal with the scars – 16 years and I am finally coming to terms with it all. There are days when I still wonder how I got through it and how I have managed to not have any form of addiction (oh wait, there is the addiction to shopping, I have been told that I could be addicted to worse things). One of the coping mechanisms among others was to become a bitch (metaphorically speaking) and bite as soon as they come near you – self preservation right?. So I was always on defence and I didn’t realise that I had become so defensive and brittle and mean. The innocence was long gone. The guard was up and walls built (layers of them) to protect my heart so no one could get in even if they tried.
Actually, the innocence is still there, the belief that people are good at their core is still there and the softness still resides deep within. There are a few who I have come to know the real me and they would agree. Now, I am ready to drop the mask of being a bitch and let the guard the down. The walls are starting to crumble. To be able to love someone is a gift. I didn’t know loving someone else would also help me love me. With that being said, the love needs to be unconditional, conditional love would keep me trapped and when love is made conditional, its not love. Its ego having play-time with your heart. Not fun. Conditions and defences are ego’s ways of keeping us stuck in the drama-trauma and not move forward in life. I have treated those who care harshly and unjustly and if you are reading this, I am so sorry for it all. And I am willing to change.
On the subject of willingness to change, I am also willing let go of the need to take all feedback internally. The abusers had me convinced that some how it was all my fault even though it had nothing to do with me or my actions. And this has played out in life in many painful occasions. If something isn’t going the way I expect it to, I automatically internalise the blame and the shame. Somehow its my fault even though I have done nothing for the situation to turn out the way it is. The blame and the shame have got to go. They are ego’s tools to keep us small. I don’t need those in my psyche any longer. I am willing to shine my light.
Going back to the body image issues, I would just put on weight to hide. Somehow, if I am fat, then no one should like my body and then I should be safe from the abuse. Wrong. Then I would hate myself for being fat and I became the abuser who would make myself feel terrible about myself and my body. I would yo-yo between the weight loss and gain for about 15 years… until this year. I am at peace with my body. And I have released the weight for good. I feel good in my skin. I have found the balance between eating well and exercising in ways that feel pleasing to my body. Its working for me. I could even say that I am starting to love my body and I have a new found appreciation for it. After all, I get to experience this thing called life through it. I am learning to release the stuck emotions that had been trapped in my body and I feel lighter, naturally. When I started to let of those toxic heavy emotions, the weight fell off. I feel free in my body and its a good space to be in.
And I am grateful, to be where I am and to have come this far in life. I was just on the phone with my brother and we had a really good conversation. I can’t remember what we were talking about exactly and he said to me that I am destined for great things. How nice of him! I am not going to argue with that thought any longer. I have had this knowing for a long time that I am here for something important. I didn’t come here for a mere existence. I don’t know what it is however, for once, I am willing to open up to that possibility and entertain that thought from a soul level not the ego. I am learning new ways of being. I am willing to accept my own light.
So here is to being soft, open, light and love. I am ready Universe, bring it on!