Tuesday, March 6, 2012

my assignment

I feel really weird talking about anxiety, eating disorders, and abuse.
I don't want people to think:

1) I just want attention.
2) It wasn't "that bad."
3) I want your pity.


Y'all, it totally freaks me out to be writing about these things, but I really, really, REALLY feel they need to be talked about. That's how we can help others. That's how it becomes real to people. That's how some may recognize the destructive or dangerous place where they are.

Please share your stories, too!

Anyway, my therapy assignment for last week was to write down what it felt like growing up not being able to make my own decisions.

My mom likes to be in control. A lot of things I decided to do, she would shut down or say they weren't good enough.

Favorite example: in high school, senior year spring semester, I had raised my GPA AND moved up in the class rankings. This was no easy feat: I was now 7th in a class of 500+ people. I was SO excited.
I came home and told my mom the good news.
"Well, just think of how much better you would have done if you would have actually applied yourself."

My mom also liked (likes?) to dig around in my things. She never thought I looked "hard enough" for something, even if I went through my entire bedroom or KNEW that I didn't have it. She rifled through my backpack and through dresser drawers on several occasions. She never liked when I locked my bedroom door. (If I ever needed to be alone or if I really needed to cry, I would go into the bathroom and lock the door because that was the one place I knew she wouldn't go.)
Recently, my parents' cat took a pen off of the counter and batted in under the couch. My mom was CONVINCED someone in the family had taken it, even after everyone said they didn't. My mom walked in to my little sister's room in the middle of the night  while she was SLEEPING – to go through her things, looking for the pen. My sister rightly kicked her out.

Every time I messed up, it wasn't, "Oh, I did that when I was younger, too. What did you learn from it?" It was more like, "How could you do that? That was not a smart decision. I thought you knew better than that." (Well, obviously not.)

The list goes on.

Note: I was a GOOD KID! I never drank, never did drugs, never had sex, never even had a boyfriend. Made excellent grades and had really great friends.

So, how did it make me feel?
• Like I wasn't able to make good decisions
• Like my opinion wasn't valid or valued
• That she liked my sisters more than me (They were able to quit the same activities I had to stay in, had later curfews, etc.)
• Like I didn't know what was best for me
• That it didn't matter what I liked or didn't like; my feelings didn't matter
• That I wasn't to be trusted, ever
• Like I didn't have any privacy or some space of my own
• Like I needed to be perfect

Now, I'm learning to reverse these ideas I have about myself.
It's difficult, but I have to do it! It's only healthy.

PS - My therapist encourages me to journal! WOO HOO, I love me some validation!

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