Good to see you again!
So I gave you the affirmations and the contract with yourself in an earlier lesson. Now for those to be effective, I need to bring something to your attention. Whether your abuse was Chronic (ongoing and repetitive) or a one-time assault, your inner voice changes during abuse and post abuse. So even though you may not be IN the abuse anymore, it has followed you. And most of the time, survivors don’t even realize it.
It could be SPECIFIC phrases, words, or names that your abuser used against you.
OR it could be the negative reaction of others when you tried to share your abuse.
OR it could even be yourself.
The shame of the event has caused you to speak down and harmful to yourself; you may have ALL THREE of these negative shame-based voices in your head. These voices fight to PROJECT the abuse as your fault because there has to be SOME reason for the abuse. That’s what we tell ourselves at least.
We MUST have deserved/caused the abuse (hint-there's that inner voice). Often the characteristics or motives of our abusers come out in their speech AGAINST US. They work to project how they feel about themselves onto us. It can cause us to have a tornado of confusion in our heads. We begin to question ourselves and our realities. We may start to mentally backpedal and feel like reality is sand slipping between our fingers, and we cannot grasp it. To help you better identify projection when it’s happening, here is the definition:
1. an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim.
2. to attribute (one's ideas, feelings, or characteristics) to other people or to objects
The abuse may not have killed you, but the mental demons after the abuse most definitely will, if they are not sent back where they came from. HELL.
You must learn HOW to identify these destructive lying voices and SHUT THEM DOWN. To believe different about ourselves, we have to stop listening to the same projecting lying voices and replace them with TRUTH speaking voices--(that’s where the affirmations help!)
If your abuse was chronic as mine was, these voices can be difficult to identify because they aren’t voices anymore, they’re ingrained in our daily attitude and existence. I’ll use an example of myself.
I am almost 30 years old, and I am a person who can get along with pretty much anybody. I have always been easily liked and liked others easily as well. But I have a challenging time having deep relationships. I get to a certain level and then that’s where the relationships stay. For many years I attributed it to many things.
One of the main ones being that these people had good deep relationships elsewhere, and they enjoyed me, but they didn’t need another deep, close friend in me. But that wasn’t the case in many situations. It was Me. Deep down, I didn’t believe I had anything to offer others. I believed a lie. Deep within myself, I thought that I was either too much or not enough.
I’m just a BLEH person.
There is nothing special or significant about me.
I'm uneducated and ignorantly passionate.
It also began to affect my marriage. I have SO MUCH past baggage I didn’t feel that anyone would want me. I was too much of a “project.” It required too much work to be in a relationship with me because my past and my PTSD and anxiety put some limits (at this point in my life) on what I could do. I struggled feeling worthy of being in a marriage and fought being reliant on another person in any way.
All these issues were rooted in lies, I believed about others and myself. It’s a sad existence, isn’t it? What is even more sad is I didn’t recognize them until I began doing some deep self-examination and cause and effect questioning in specific situations.
When we have been deeply injured in life, it is easy to think the pain we’re feeling in a relationship is being caused by others. And while it CAN very possibly be that, it can also be that it STARTED with abuse and these are manifestations of the abuse’s long-term effects on our thinking and way of being in relationships. By NOT doing the deep work of self-examination and asking ourselves HARD questions when we’re in a painful place, we do ourselves and the ones we love a SEVERE disservice.
I linked a couple resources below, which continue to aid me in my journey of deciphering projection, lies, and lack of self-awareness. I cannot stress enough the importance of self-awareness and self-examination.
We cannot change others. We can only change ourselves. That is the root of healing.
Think through these questions:
What are some known lies / projections you have believed?
Ask yourself what are 3 negative things that are part of your daily self-talk. Write them down.
Now ask yourself when and where those negative thoughts are rooted. Write it down.
Now ask yourself if they are TRUE about you as a person.
If they are true ask yourself WHY are they true? Write it down.
Then ask yourself HOW those things became true about you. Write it down.
Now ask yourself for two steps on how to CHANGE AND CORRECT those negative/toxic things about yourself. Write it down.
Choose daily to begin CHANGING that negative toxic thought/behavior pattern. If they aren’t true, write WHY you believed them and COUNTER them with Truth. Write it down.