Friday, December 11, 2015

She is Good

I do not understand life, or why things happen the way they do. I do believe that the people and events in our lives are put in our path to guide us and to teach us if we can allow that to happen. Life is also random, and no one deserves tragedy, pain, or suffering to befall them. We do not always get what we deserve. Sometimes we get more, and sometimes we get less, and here is where I used to tell my kids, "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit." We blame ourselves in order to make sense of trauma, to give ourselves a false sense of control, thinking that if we are "good" we can prevent further suffering. My grown up mind understands this, but the wounded little girl inside is still working on figuring it out. I wasn't raped because of anything I did or didn't do, and even now, if someone hurts me, it isn't because I am flawed. It also isn't always because they are flawed, but simply because we are all human beings, and most of us are trying to do the best we can at the time with whatever resources are available. Note that I used the word always, because yes, my rapists were flawed in a big way, but what happened was that I carried that trauma into every other interaction I had in my life, blaming myself, hating myself, and feeling unworthy and unlovable. I'm not ruined because of the people who abused me. Sadly, for much of my life, I thought I was irreparably damaged, and because I hid what happened, I spent years terrified, and hiding in shame. It takes work to undo the stories we tell ourselves, but we can write new stories. I easily take the blame when something goes wrong because it is a deeply ingrained groove in my record, and sometimes the record skips, and I get stuck. I have also learned to create new grooves. Nothing complicated. "I am good, I am good, I am good..."  I invite good things, because I deserve good things. If bad things happen though, that does not mean I deserve them! This is a difficult concept for me because I get stuck in the brain of a child who was traumatized, and that is how I made sense of it all. Even now, when someone hurts me, I automatically try to figure out what I did wrong, and how to prevent it in the future. It is a knee jerk reaction, but then I step back, and rewrite the story. I'm guessing that eventually, I will not jump to conclusions, but at least I'm learning to separate my child self from my adult self. I'm also learning to love that child-like self. 
She is good...

Artwork by Amanda Cass