I'm such a hypochondriac... I am sick - my jaw hurts, my throat is sore, my ears are stuffy and my head feels like a balloon and if I lay on my side I get really dizzy and it feels like I am gonna faint...it's been like this for days and since I'm so scared of doctors I haven't called them until today. They thought it could be "loose crystals" in my head - wtf does that mean? I got an appointment for tomorrow so we have to wait and see.
Now I'm hiding under the covers and hoping not do die or that my thoughts will cut themselves on my broken head crystals...
In a very intimate ritual with myself earlier this week - I finally found self-forgiveness after almost 20 years of blaming myself for making so many mistakes that has caused such misery in my life. It was a very emotional moment for me. After so many years in therapy, talking about what other people had done to me, all the damage they caused, all the horrible memories they had planted in my mind, it was still something missing. I still couldn't feel happy or 'healed'. My heart was still in pain at times, curling up like a hard fist inside, with a hole in the middle. It wasn't until I understood that I had been generous about making closure with the people in my past, and making an archive for the painful memories so they wouldn't make a mess in my head anymore, but I had forgot about my part in all this. After all, I was part of all these tragic situations that the psychologists referred to as a 'trauma' - all the memories that I had been playing over and over again in my head for almost 20 years seemed to be looping movie scenes where I was the main character. I was the victim of course, a victim of mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, but at the same time I let it happen, again and again since I didn't leave the relationship when it started to be destructive or when I knew deep down that it was slowly destroying me.
I stayed, and I also welcomed more destructive relationships after I finally broke free, like I was reconstructing it because I felt so at home in the twisted power dynamics where I gave up all my power and the control of my life to please my lover. Terrified of being rejected or abandoned, I would rather stay in a painful and destructive relationship than to feel like I was all alone - which is ironic because I have always loved solitude - to be all by myself, I am never bored in my own company. But of course, sometimes it feels more safe to stay in an abusive relationship, than to leave because then you could be stalked, threatened - or worse: killed. This is one of the biggest reasons why so many women stay with abusive men (or vice versa). To keep the danger close, so you felt like you had some control.
Anyway, it wasn't until a few months ago that I could see exactly how much blame, shame and guilt I have been putting on myself without even noticing it, and I started to investigate it to see what I could find so I could understand it and later forgive myself, in order to let it go, to close the door to my past once and for all. What I found was shocking - I have been blaming myself for so many things that were never my responsibility, I have been carrying a very heavy load for a very long time. I felt guilty for all kinds of things - of course because I stayed in those relationships, but also for not being able to say 'no', to stand up for myself, I was blaming myself for each orgasm I had been faking (because I really hated to have sex with my abuser so I wanted it to be over as quick as possible), I felt guilty because I had lost connection to myself (a self- abandonment), that I lost my inner voice, that I lost my power and my path, I was blaming myself for gaining weight, my creativity blockages and therefor watching my art career slipping through my fingers, for making bad decisions, for putting myself in situations where I felt helpless and small instead of strong and in control, I felt shame when it came to my sexuality, what I wanted and needed sexually, but never had been comfortable enough to explore with someone, for being a push over, for playing dumb so that the men could feel smarter, for feeling like a 'whore' when someone told me I was one, for looking at myself in the mirror and hating my body, I was blaming myself for feeling like I was a guest in my own life for so long, for not making any money, for wanting to be a writer and a poet and not having read one single poetry collection or a famous novel, for wasting my talent, for doubting my talent, for making my fans disappointed, for making my parents worry, for wasting so much time and energy on the wrong things and the wrong people - and for creating drama and feeling like a freak because I have PTSD symptoms that's being triggered sometimes. And then I felt guilty for feeling guilty because I knew it was wrong to feel guilty (intellectually).
With guilt comes the need to be punished. I could see that it had been impossible for me to feel happiness, joy, pleasure - in anything, when I felt like I deserved to be punished (by myself and others). So to make bad choices, to look for new destructive relationships and feel depressed was perfect ways to punish myself. I became an expert of self sabotage, but without noticing it.
It was all the good things I have inside - pleasure, happiness, my sexuality, my creativity, my power, energy and inner peace - all that could make me feel free and happy as a person, was locked away in a 'guilt vault' because of the guilt, shame and self blame. The only way to unlock the vault and to let all my good things out was to forgive myself.
And I did forgive myself. It was a very personal experience and I have never felt so close to myself, so intimate with myself - and so full of love for myself. My heart is no longer a painful place or contracted and filled with holes. It feels complete, soft and warm. It's a very natural feeling, nothing extraordinary or magic.
Although the experience of self forgiveness felt kind of extraordinary and magic. But now what? I have a "new" soft heart, and the door to my past cold finally be closed without the feeling like there's something missing. Now, I have to carefully explore what was locked away in my guilt vault, all the wonderful things that I couldn't enjoy in my past because of all the guilt and the shame. I feel free that way, but I am aware of the fact that it will take a while for me to get used to the good things because there's always been a feeling of wanting to be punished for wanting to enjoy it. But I will slowly reprogram my brain to just accept it all and to break the bad patterns of thinking about these things as out of reach. It will be a struggle but a damn great one! I've come a long way and now the old journey is over and replaced with the beginning of a new one. A journey that is ALL about freedom and happiness. I feel lucky.
And I will always remember the big lesson I've learned: "no guilt: no punishment".