It’s been a little while since I’ve got to spend some time blogging. I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things. I have recently started reading Claudia Black’s book: Changing Course. I’ve been hard at work looking for new resources both for personal reasons and with the intentions of loading up my professional toolbox. This book really stood out to me because it specifically deals with dysfunctional family systems (which I hate to inform you is EVERY family. Some of us are functioning dysfunctionals ) and learning to heal from your past. Most of you have an idea of my past by now. If this is your first time here, Welcome! You can find some info on my mission here. Addiction has really done a number on my family and is still tormenting me to this day even though the addiction has never been mine physically. With all that said, I’ve decided to make a mini blog series based on the outline and steps Ms. Black recommends. I hope that by sharing some of my struggles so openly it will encourage someone else out there to do the same.
According to Claudia, unresolved past pain is the driving force to most of our present pain. Whether that is depression, substance abuse, rage, codependency, control issues etc. (you get the idea). That makes so much sense to me. I have been ready to get off of this non stop cycle of pain responses for years now. But there is a difference between wanting a change and being ready to do the work to change it. And I’m ready. So I am willing to work step 1. Which is to explore past losses. That sounds so simple and clear cut doesn’t it? But it’s not. Loss isn’t just the obvious. Like a death in the family, a lost pet, a lost job, or something of that sort. It’s also loss of things so much deeper than that.
When I think about my past losses, my mind automatically goes to the most traumatic. The loss of my mother to addiction. That’s the biggest. But it goes so much deeper than that. Her addiction facilitated a very codependent lifestyle. My days were filled with caring for everyone else. I was her daughter but emotionally our roles had reversed. I lost my identity. Who was I anymore outside of her daughter and caretaker? Who was I besides an older sister helping to raise younger siblings? What was my purpose anymore without her or those kids? They were taken from me too. Their fathers took them and moved on with their lives after her death. I was left alone. At least that was what it felt like. That’s a pretty big loss. I lost my whole family and my identity went with it. And then, there are these losses too:
- the loss of self esteem
- the loss of safety (physical abuse)
- my innocence (sexual abuse)
- my ability to accept help
- my ability to show emotion
- childhood-I spent more time being an adult than I ever did being a child.
- self respect
This is just off the top of my head. When I look at this list, it looks horrible. The purpose of publicly acknowledging this isn’t to assign blame. Because that is the furthest thing from what I’m attempting to do. It is simply to have a visual of some of the major things I need to acknowledge and feel through. I’ve been stuck for a long time. Stuck in the stages of grief. When I look at this list, I feel broken, vulnerable, ashamed. Mostly ashamed. But what I’ve noticed is that most of these losses were completely out of my control. I couldn’t control it and yet I allowed these losses to completely control me. Sure, my self respect and self esteem was mine. But, I didn’t even realize that was an issue until I worked through this loss graph and really thought about what loss means to me. I find that I am more prone to getting stuck in the emotional response to loss. Such as depression, rage, and/or victim mindset. But the beauty of acknowledging these losses is that this is the part I get to control. I control how I respond from here on out.
I am going to allow my self to feel these feelings. I am allowing air to contact these wounds to promote healing. Ripping off the bandaid of overworking, hobbies, school, parenting, friends, etc. Loss can be so painful. But it has also given me some things too. I hope I’ve encouraged someone out there to acknowledge loss. Feel free to make an account and drop some comments below. See ya next week.