Negative Beliefs

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.

  1. The abuse was my fault
  2. By returning to the abuser time and time again I got what I deserved. I asked for it.
  3. Because of the above 2 points, I am not deserving of happiness
  4. I’m not normal
  5. I’m the black sheep of my family
  6. It is dangerous to be female
  7. It is dangerous to appear feminine or pretty
  8. Men can’t be trusted
  9. I can’t trust my own judgement about men
  10. Sex is painful, both physically and emotionally
  11. Don’t trust the pleasure because pain is sure to follow
  12. If people found out what I’ve done they would see me differently; lose respect for me, blame me
  13. I will always be alone
  14. 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.

  1. Thankful: I’m thankful for my time today with Ruth
  2. Sadness: I am on the verge of tears and I haven’t quite brought into focus yet just why that is
  3. 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
  4. 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.

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