Journal Entry: February 14, 2012
“I have been thinking a lot about these ‘negative’ things I believe about myself. It is a hard thing to decipher the things that you don’t know you told yourself, they just feel like they have always been a part of you.”
end of entry…
Early on in the process Ruth had me write down all of the negative things that I believed to be true about myself. This was not an easy homework assignment, but I was always a good student so I dutifully sat down and searched for the truth. This was the beginning of what I would come to call the “hard truths” that were just a part of my life. There were a lot of these truths that I would have to know before I could heal.
I began to just write whatever was coming to me with no judgement about it. When I was done I had 14 ‘truths’ that I would come to understand were actual lies. I am sharing this list with you for the purpose of validation. I believe what I thought to be true was not so different from many abuse victims, but I remember how I felt so alone in those feelings. If you have ever felt this way just know that you are not alone.
- The abuse was my fault
- By returning to the abuser time and time again I got what I deserved. I asked for it.
- Because of the above 2 points, I am not deserving of happiness
- I’m not normal
- I’m the black sheep of my family
- It is dangerous to be female
- It is dangerous to appear feminine or pretty
- Men can’t be trusted
- I can’t trust my own judgement about men
- Sex is painful, both physically and emotionally
- Don’t trust the pleasure because pain is sure to follow
- If people found out what I’ve done they would see me differently; lose respect for me, blame me
- I will always be alone
- I will die alone
The next time I saw Ruth she asked me to find 14 positive ways to rephrase my negative thoughts. I remember she said to me that it didn’t matter if I believed it to be true, just to find the truth. I really struggled with this exercise. I told Ruth that I needed her help. I told her I want to know what the truth is, but I just don’t know what that is. She then went through each point with me and made suggestions and asked me how I felt about each one. I think that I was trying to imagine what the truth might be for the average person because I knew that my truth were in the 14 original points.
During this 2 hour session we found 14 positive points that I could accept as being true (at least for others). We also would discuss some specifics of the abuse but no real detail yet. After I was done this evening I went home and wrote in my journal:
Journal Entry: February 20, 2012
“It’s been a long day, but a good one…
I’m feeling emotional tonight. It is difficult to identify each one as I am feeling so many different emotions and all of them at once.
- Thankful: I’m thankful for my time today with Ruth
- Sadness: I am on the verge of tears and I haven’t quite brought into focus yet just why that is
- Insecure: I am a little insecure with sharing so much of myself. I think mostly this is because I have to hear myself say things that I don’t want to acknowledge as true
- Vulnerable: I feel exposed. I have held tightly to this secret for so long that finally saying the words aloud is a bit like undressing in front of a stranger”
end of entry…
The groundwork was now laid. The next time I would see Ruth we would begin EMDR therapy. This therapy would be so instrumental in removing the lies that lived as a part of me and inputting the truth. Next blog I will explain this therapy, how it worked and the impact that it had on my life. Until then, thank you for taking this journey with me. God Bless.