I consider myself to be quite an eclectic person. I’m made up of many different parts of different cultures from all over the world. I am an avid lover of the arts, music and people of every color and nationality. No matter where we come from, we have many things that are the same. One being our inner demons. All humans have them just like we want to be loved and want to be accepted.
Just over a year ago, I started learning that I don’t have to carry these demons forever. As intelligent as I am, one would assume that you already know these things but somewhere inside of people, when bad things happen we lose all common sense and logic. I did. Now I am slaying each of my demons one at a time.
It started in 2019 with a new therapist who I wasn’t excited to have to change to because he is a male and I have a lot of trust issues with men. He was totally like me. Realist, not textbook by any means and he challenged me as well as calling me out when I needed it. He sent me to DBT group and a self compassion group. Of course being who I am I went into these groups thinking this is all common sense wtf am I doing here? About a month into group, I realized that I was participating and learning things about myself that I had locked away long ago to protect myself. I started changing my attitude and enjoyed the safe environment I was in. I could be myself and I was around people who get it. I wasn’t broken, alone or messed up. It was really nice to have that safe haven 3 times a week when the rest of my reality was scary for me.
The self compassion group was especially hard for me. We learned about shame and being vulnerable with others as well as accepting and loving ourselves. That’s the hardest thing in my life….Loving myself. I didn’t feel like I deserved to be loved. I thought I was the problem. I felt ugly. Then about 3 weeks into group, for the first time in years I heard myself say out loud that I am loveable ( I have said this repeatedly but never believed) I am worthy. I can put those demons to rest and leave the past behind me. I cried out loud in front of the others when I heard myself say those words. When I finally got to that point my therapist started challenging me to get rid of things one at a time. I wasn’t really down for it but I love arguing and being challenged. So we started working on those demons.
I had to start with stuff like going back into the world without being afraid of things like swimming, going to the grocery store all by myself etc…Those things were very scary and my reality. It took me a few weeks, but I finally took swimming lessons again. I had a very insightful, in tune teacher who was kind and helped me through the rough lesson days when I was set off or just afraid that day. She wouldn’t let me give in and quit. By the end of summer, I was no longer afraid of the water. The triggers were very rare and I was enjoying the time to myself every night. I am beyond grateful for what she did to help me in every way not just the swimming part. That was my first win on my own. I did it. I didn’t die and nobody tried to drown me. That was a life altering start to change in myself. My personal trophy was knowing that I took something I loved back. I wasn’t allowing any person or circumstance dictate me. It was refreshing.
The next demon we worked on was myself and my destructive ways and addiction to wanting to die. That was one I didn’t want to face after all in my mind I have always been the problem. I have carried that weight my whole life since I was six years old. At 49, I was still carrying that weight and it wasn’t mine to own. I turned to self destruction to justify the ugly I was feeling inside. I was a beautiful child and woman but circumstance eventually made me want to be ugly outside as well. I thought maybe then the pain would stop and the bad things would stop as well. That wasn’t so and I knew it but logic wasn’t my friend at the moment. I have continued working on self acceptance because I want and deserve to have my self worth back. Nobody had the right to take that from me. I will always be a work in progress and I have finally started to see that I am a beautiful human inside and out. I can’t change the past but I am healing that part nobody had the right to take from me. Another demon down.
My “father” was the next biggie. In my eyes he was nothing but a sperm donor. He was first hero and first worst enemy in this life. He never protected me from the ugly things that had happened. I was being bad. I was the problem. By the time I was a teenager he was doing as much damage to me as the ugly things. He would tell people that I was the family tramp etc. I was accused of doing drugs and drinking when I didn’t. I got tired of being punished (in very physical ways) for things I didn’t do so I rebelled and started doing them because I would at least be punished for a real reason. At just short of 17 he refused to get me much needed medical attention. I took myself to the hospital and when they called to tell him that they needed permission to treat me because I was going to die if I didn’t get help, he told them hell no. That was it. I cut him off. Over the years I repeatedly tried to have a relationship with that man. Everytime I allowed him in he betrayed me, hurt me and things would regress to the past. Even after his death he had to get in one final blow. He stated in his will that I had been disowned from the time I was a teenager and I was not to be considered part of his family. That almost killed me. Literally. I tried to commit suicide. I already had a very ugly life at the time and he confirmed that I was just trash. I have finally learned that I am everything he was not and he couldn’t stand it. A good parent who was raising my children and providing for them on my own. I was successful in every way and that pissed him off. I have taken back that part of me that allowed him in to try to break me. He will not take part of my well being anymore. His shit wasn’t mine to carry and I have finally let it go. I am grateful he helped give me life but anything past that he is non existent. I am also healing those parts of myself. I can’t take back any of those circumstances but I have too much life to live. He can’t do any more damage. He’s out. One less demon to fight.
We’ve been working on husbands and other partnerships. Damn. I really struggle here because I have always made questionable choices in men. In hindsight, I didn’t know how things were going to be and it’s not my fault but yeah…I still battle internally that I must have been the problem. I mean really, who has this kind of thing happen repeatedly? I did. Their attempts to control me, gaslight me, kill me and tearing me into less than nothing worked. I don’t know how I ever survived any of them through anything other than sheer will. I am a very smart, well educated person. One would assume that I knew better…I’m in the position that I am now slowly allowing people in. I want to be loved unconditionally for who I am as a whole. I want to be someone’s only one. I want to be important and beautiful to someone for the rest of my life. I’m accepting that in order to have these things, I have to be vulnerable and allow myself to take that risk and trust others. This is a risk I am finally ready to take again. I know that everyone isn’t the same. It’s those inner demons trying to keep me locked up that hold me back and I am not willing to feel lonely and alone any longer because of fear. If I choose to not allow anyone in, I am letting them (the demons) control and dictate my happiness and life. My happiness is mine to own. I don’t own the the shit that others have done and it’s finally time I live again. Slaying another demon. Permanently. Taking some more of my shit back. It wasn’t anyone’s time take in the first place.
My lists go on but what about your demons? Are you slaying them or letting them dictate your happiness? Are you existing or living? I spent too many years in survival mode simply existing. I taught myself ways of functioning that nobody ever had a clue something was wrong. The deepest inside wrong. Now, I have rediscovered what living feels like. I feel emotions and I handle those instead of hiding internally. Being mentally healthy is so important. I didn’t realize what was happening right before my own eyes. It took someone from the outside to call me out and made me face everything that was killing me. I had buried these things and life was great for many years because I knew which wall to put up for self preservation. When that wall came crashing down, I had 40 years of emotion, hurt and anger to sort out. 40 years of carrying the weight and owning shit that wasn’t mine to ever have to own.
Don’t let yourself fall into those traps. If you look within and find that you’re in a.place you don’t like then it’s time to start fighting your way out. Don’t be ashamed of being labeled. Don’t be afraid to say I am not ok. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The longer you wait the more self destruction you will do to yourself. There isn’t one human on this planet worth dying for internally and most certainly not a permanent death. Nobody.
We are each beautiful amazing creatures. We all matter. We each own unique things in this life we contribute to the big picture. If you’re holding back and feeling trapped it’s time to start slaying some of those demons. Life is too damn short to let the ugly control us. Slaying these things are hard work. They’re painful. They don’t go away but we can learn to contain them and take back the things that are ours. Happiness. Joy. Love. A sense of value and self worth. These are things we can take back. They were ours to begin with and nobody ever has the right to take those away from us. Those things are the things we need to own. Not anybody elses shit. Ever.
If you’re struggling please reach out to those around you. It’s ok to not be ok. Love yourself enough and never give up or in.
If you don’t know where to start or who to turn to my info is available. Please reach out to me.
More Love. Less Hate. H