When I hear the words, ‘depressed’, ‘emotional abuse’, ‘physical abuse’ and ‘emotional neglect’ I feel tremendous sadness and compassion for those affected by such experiences. I want to reach out and reassure them that they will be OK and that someone does care. I want them to know that it is not right and they should never have experienced any of it. And I want to tell them never for one moment believe it is in any way their fault.
But what happens when those words are said about me? Wow.
I don’t feel compassion, I don’t feel like being kind. I feel like saying ‘get a grip’, ‘don’t be ridiculous’, ‘why can’t you cope like other’s?’ I feel partly to blame. I feel responsible for the hurt. I can’t accept that these words are anything to do with me, because if I do I am admitting that my coping mechanism for the past 30 years has been ‘wrong’. I have told myself it doesn’t matter, that it is OK, that it didn’t really affect me at all.
If I admit that it isn’t OK, I have to open the door on an avalanche of emotions that quite frankly terrify the life out of me. So when people say to me, ‘be kind to yourself’ I feel guilty because I can’t yet do that. If I’m kind, it is acknowledging that I’m hurting. I need to give my sadness a voice in order to move on, but that is much, much easier said than done.