The background was always my place to be, even as a small child. The observer, the listener and keeper of secrets.
The other night, while attending a women’s church service, what did I do? I went to the far left side, last row, and last seat. That was a normal, typical thing I do and have done. I don’t want to be in the way, bother anyone, just be there and take it all in. Perhaps, too, feeling intimidated, not as good as others present and just downright fear within. I noticed my mannerisms, my breathing which was shallow and sadly a photo was on Facebook with me in the background. In the photo, I was talking to a sweet lady, but you could tell I was having all these feelings and thoughts, uncomfortable.
While now I understand this is typical of one who dealt with childhood emotional neglect, abandonment, shame and feeling unloveable, I understand myself more and am trying to do and think the opposite, although slow as Christmas, I feel at times. I did not stay in the furthest chair, although I did stay on the back row, I moved to the middle and others came around to sit. I noticed my pattern but changed it. Slightly.
To stand, sing, raise my hands in worship, there has always been a hesitation and lack of self-confidence of that I am unworthy to do so, plus learning of shame moreso recently. My former counselor and my own research the past five years have opened my eyes to a lifelong battle of torment within.
As a young girl, and I am sure I am not alone although I felt alone, we go through those awkward years. I would never want to repeat those years, ever. Of course, we do not have to worry about that but touching upon areas back then while in counseling, brings it all back. If no teaching, direction or encouragement was given, it becomes overwhelming and the negative thoughts of not good enough, not pretty enough, smart enough and all the other not whatever phrases, get heaped up and up to where you just exist. Questioning everything and everyone, being observant of it all, way too much at times.
Never knowing or believing I was pretty, smart, etc. When I voiced that I wanted to be a teacher, I was immediately shot down with, ‘If your sister did not go to college, you cannot go.” Those words hit me and I can still remember where I was at the time and how I felt so defeated and it stuck, proving I was not smart enough and not special enough for them to even care about me. My grades took a nosedive and understandably so through graduation and I made it through, which was a miracle.
Some kids can be downright rude but so can adults, including family. Words matter. If a child is already struggling, that just fuels the flame for hopelessness. To cope, you search out others that just might believe in you, offer a morsel of love whether verbally or a hug and hope that you will feel special, if just for a bit. That little bit given and received can hold one in peace in order to cope of the memory or touch felt for days, if not longer.
Life went on and while I did manage to show them that I did have what it took for vocational school at least, I also was in sales and did quite well with both. In elementary and throughout my school years, I would take a zero for a grade each time because I definitely would not stand in front of others and I did not care about the grade. So to be in sales was a definite miracle, plus it pushed me forward.
It was not until years later, I was engaged and then married, when I should have seen the red flags but he loved me. Right!? Somebody loved me. Before marriage and after marriage, time and again, I would become jealous because I would see him ogling another woman right in front of me. Before marriage, talk about an old girlfriend to me. Before marriage, it was sweet of him to go buy me an outfit, which was pretty but not my style, only to find out it was another girl’s style that he looked at and admired a lot. He wanted to date her but was stuck with me, I felt. Makes one feel really good. The honeymoon, we were fighting at Walt Disney because he was viewing half-naked women as they walked by, in front of his new bride. Now doesn’t that cause a real turn on in bed later. Years and years of this and to say each time to me when mentioned that it did not happen, caused crazy-making thoughts to be built in my mind. Or another fact in my face that I will never be enough.
Thank God, I was a Christian and knew to put my faith in the Lord, it is by His Grace I am here. Thankfully, too, I had counselors at various points through this with my marriage. One counselor, right off the bat, saying to me that I need to get out. Of course, with small children then, I would not do that to them. I am stronger than this battle although I was emotionally losing the war. Not to mention the spiritual side, doubting God and physical ramifications from it all.
Many years later, at my wits end, I finally went to a counselor that heard me and understood me and felt the anguish within. While she did not come straight out to say leave him, we spoke often of this scenario. Counseling was mostly to heal me in the broken parts of my life in the years that followed. Rarely did we discuss the marriage in our discussions after we pinpointed him as having Aspergers, which put some of the puzzle pieces together. The ogling was just rude and disrespectful and would be to any woman.
My counseling was to focus on me and healing emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. I was about dead walking through my former counselor’s office door and she would attest to that.
It was probably in the third year with her, we hit some major roadblocks but breakthroughs came and I was different. I felt different. This battle has been hell but I am coming through. It was when I was in a small group class with church, actually three classes at a time, each week and they all related one to another, not as planned. That’s God. That was for me! My healing gradually was happening. I left those classes and after dealing with unworthiness all of my life and moreso with my marriage, I truly felt I AM WORTHY come alive within me.
To feel that worthiness and to know that I am worthy was like gold to me. I believed it, I felt it and I am continuing to grow in this worthiness of being God’s Child.
Someone may look at me wrong, I may think they are thinking negative of me or whatever and it may trigger something within, but I do not let those thoughts stay long in my mind because I am worthy to God. What they say, think or do is their issue. I will continue to be kind and care but I know my position. It feels good, a freedom to be me, to be loved. I know God loves me.
💕 I AM ENOUGH 💕
I don’t know where you are or your story but you, too, are enough and you are worthy. You are God’s Child. He loves you.