I stand proudly as whole as I can be today, as integrated as I can be today.
I've recently retrieved, reviewed and embraced who I really am at my core
At my core,
I am an abuse survivor.
I am an immigrant who has felt for all of her life, lost between cultures and within her own family and self. Since I was a small child, I have had to survive alone in a culture that was not mine, nor my own choosing, where I could not understand the language and had to negotiate cultural differences myself. Where, any attempts to assimilate were met with rejection and marked as betrayal. As a small child, I was used to dishonesty and manipulation, and therefore often felt confused.
I am a sexual assault survivor, and arguably, many, most women, have at some point in their lives experienced sexual assault. I've often attracted predators because of my vulnerability, because I am used to mistreatment and violations. In my times of being sexually assaulted I felt like I deserved the abuse and had to apologize if I couldn't take it. I often took on the shame of other people who projected theirs onto me.
I have had my power and sense of self, sense of worth, taken away from me over and over and over. I have had my life threatened by the people who were supposed to love me. I have experienced abandonment and rejection based on who I am. I have had to take on the burden of domestic violence, had my sense of safety threatened and then told I was the problem and reason for anger, abuse, mistreatment. Because of various moves as a child, which rank as #2 traumatic events in a child's life after a parent's death which I've also experienced, I've had trouble maintaining friendships. I often block myself from love for fear of not being able to handle it and because I feel I don't deserve it. Sometimes I believe in my conditioned weakness and lose sight of how strong and resilient I am.
I have felt, and often feel, raw. I often feel sad, misunderstood, alone but within that is my comfort zone. I am used to isolating myself even when my parents didn't try to isolate me, as a coping mechanism. I was taught to believe that I was not deserving of respect, boundaries, autonomy and ownership of myself. My father felt that I belonged to him as an object because I was his daughter. My parents did not allow me to be strong and centered, and in social situations I was bullied because I was an easy target. As I grew up, women disliked me from a glance because they were intimidated by me and I just thought it was because I sucked as a person. I was used to being stabbed in the back. My self assessment never matched up to what other people saw me as. Men assessed what they could get out of me and saw me as a sex object. I have often felt like I have no idea what my needs are, nor have I ever had the space to consider them. I have been trained to give everything I have to others and place others above me. I have been conditioned by my culture to act in ways that are not healthy, that disown my own sense of values, virtues, feelings and authenticity. I was taught that I am less than a man and that my contributions will never measure up. I fell for emotionally unavailable men and continued to re-traumatize myself after a life time of abandonment. I have suffered from PTSD, depression, anxiety and pain. I accepted that suffering was part of life until I realized that that belief will lead you to the hospital.
I have in the past, and still do, default to dissociating because as a small child it served me well to live in my imagination when my reality was too difficult to face. I do things without support and sometimes don't work well in a group because I didn't have support as a child. Sometimes I'm described as timid, because I'm used to being berated and scrutinized for making tiny movements/actions.
I have a super natural sense of perception that often feels alienating. I see, feel, hear, understand that which most don't. I feel like I can't connect to many people, and as much as I can understand, hold space for, and feel compassion for everyone, I often feel that very few can truly understand me. I am sensitive and at times, insensitive. I can often feel insecure, inferior and be my own worst enemy. Most times I can't allow myself to see my potential. Even though I know in my core what it is I'm here to do. Sometimes I have trouble explaining myself, and other times I black out because it is a trauma/dissociative response from my childhood. Sometimes I have a speech impediment because it's a fight or flight response, since much of my life was lived in that state of panic. Many times I have trouble staying in the present even though I've gotten much better. Sometimes I kiss my dog a little too much.
That is my truth. What is yours?