It is important for me to remember to look at how far I have come, rather than how far I have yet to go. However, there are some days I still forget.
For example, I am remembering a time when I could not prepare a meal – even for a good friend – without being overwhelmed with anxiety which of course does not contribute to a relaxing fun time (and often not a good meal). I would get overwhelmed just thinking about how difficult it would be (projection and/or “future fear.”) Then I started to get a little depressed but fortunately caught myself with thoughts of how I had forgotten fears I used to have.
A number of years ago, I could not apply mascara in front of my very best friend without shaking so badly the mascara would be all over my face so I simply would not do it.
Wow, I have come a long, long way, but it has been baby steps for many years. I did not wake up one day with a list of fears and just tell myself – “Oh cool, I think I will just be done with that list. I wish.
Every time I go within, I learn a little more about me but never everything I need to learn. Every time I go within because I am feeling fear of a future event, I get to remember the forgotten fears that I am no longer attached to. Remembering gives me the strength to move through the future fear.
Recently, I have been choked up on the verge of tears realizing for almost a year now, I have been closer to the real me than ever before. For this past year, I have not needed approval and/or support for any of my decisions. It actually happened organically; I didn’t even realize until recently it was how my year unfolded. I did not one day tell myself I was never going to ask anyone for their opinion. This process is very important for me to remember because for most of my life, I have tried to make major decisions about being a different person – which is good, but I always wanted it instantly. I would figure out in my head (usually with help of a friend or professional) why I behaved in a certain way and when I learned about new behaviors, I simply told myself, cool I don’t have to do that anymore and I can immediately begin the new behaviors. Not. I did not know it took time and consequently, I would “beat myself up” verbally and my life would get worse with each new awareness. A nightmare.
For most of my life I have needed approval for most everything – always checking if my ideas were okay, are we okay, etc.. For the people closest to me, my heart aches and at the same time I am so grateful for their patience with me and my endless questions and concerns.
On the other hand, it is ironic that at same time I was needing approval and/or support for even breathing the same air as you, I had a reputation of being “independent” and “never needing anyone.” I was such a fraud but had no clue I was. Most people, believed I was totally self-sufficient. I actually thought the same thing and I did not realize until this year, the degree to which I allowed other people to dominate me. I did not realize it until after I made it through a year with asking or telling anyone most of what I was doing. Of course, I shared major events but it was not in the ways of seeking approval or support. It was simply telling friends things like “hey, I bought a car,” without any thought of what their reaction would be. I have made many major changes in my life this past year and all of them were my decisions and I just went with them.
A close friend has helped me get clear about my role in my family of origin which I think will actually be the title of a chapter in my next book (now in progress) – “My name is Carol and I am invisible.” In my house – especially at the dinner table – we could not speak unless spoken to. I was always, always wrong about something which gave my dad permission to beat me with his belt.
To my narcissistic mother I was just an accessory and to my father, I was just an object for him to release his anger. When they were not needing me to satisfy their needs, I was invisible. I believe that new information was the beginning of me getting past my obsession for constant reassurance that everything is okay – still loved – still loved, etc. Apparently, if I am not someone’s accessory or toy for whatever, I had no purpose. That ended this past year.
I have accomplished much and had many successes and only recently began to live my life for me on purpose and with purpose. Today I know I am okay. Today I know I am a valuable, worthwhile person that can have, do, or be anything I can dream of. I no longer need parents to approve of my life.
This is the year I became Carol. This is the year I began to be the person I came here to be. Certainly, my entire life to this minute has been important to me becoming me. With this awareness I was able to give that final shove to any negativity which has blocked me from me.
Remembering my forgotten fears from the past have helped me avoid fears of the future and live as me in the now.
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