As I’ve been growing my blog and business I’ve become even more aware of my self doubt holding me back.
I have always thought it was my voice, my own doubt that caused it but having really analysed this now, I know it is someone else’s voice I hear. In fact three people, who at different times in my life (sometimes together) have literally told me “you’re not good enough”, “you don’t deserve to be happy”, “anyone is better than you”.
I once overheard a conversation over the back wall that sent me crying to my room at about the age of ten, no one knew. And the older I became the less I said how I felt, other than angry.
I became jealous and competitive for a time, but my general feeling throughout my teen years was one of total belief that I was and never would be enough.
I joined the military for a time, and felt that I had done something people would be proud of me for, I married a man who had been vile to me in front of people who care about me and no one said anything. This made me feel like I’d either imagined it, or I wasn’t worth standing up for.
I remember on my wedding day, surrounded by happy friends and family, feeling a sinking feeling but knowing I had to go through with it because otherwise I’d been seen as a failure. I thought, at the ripe old age of 20, that this was my last and only chance of happiness.
My beautiful son was born and the confusion got too much. The feelings I had for him overwhelmed me, and when I looked in the mirror, soon after his birth, I didn’t recognise myself. I felt that I could never be enough and now it wasn’t just me it was too much. I don’t remember much of my first few months of being a mother. There are photos of me at my sister’s wedding, but I have no memory of that, or many other days in that time.
The one day I do remember, is the day I looked up at my then husband, and realised I had a baby. It was like a bolt of lightning that shot my mind out of oblivion and into to such guilt and depression that it physically hurt me.
The guilt that I hadn’t been there to care for him, to bond with him, to be his mum was unbearable and further solidified my knowledge that I was not enough.
Despite this feeling, I was driven to look after my son, I wanted to make every day count and we have a close relationship because of this I believe.
My marriage ended and I felt liberated in a way. This man, although he had been there whilst I was so ill, told me we were having more children, end of discussion.
I knew this could not happen. I couldn’t risk the same thing happening again and being away from my boy again.
I left and it was very acramonious and messy. He blamed me, and decided because of that, he wouldn’t have anything to do with our son. Once again, I felt like I had let my son down. I still do on this matter.
My second husband, I know now, was one of those people who can sense weakness. He bombarded me with messages and love and gifts and told me I was the most beautiful person he had ever known. I needed to believe that, I never had that feeling before. He made me feel like a princess. Until he didn’t, and then it would be my fault, always my fault.
In the background, the real voice from my childhood remained in person, in effect backing up what he said, making me question myself and lose myself more and more.
To cut a decade long story short, that husband and that real voice from my childhood, tore my family apart, and near enough destroyed my sanity.
During this decade I begged doctors to tell me why I felt like this but none of them could.
But the day it really did implode was the day other people finally realised what had been happening to me. A policeman told me I need to protect myself and fast, my friend realised what I’d been hiding, my GP had tears in her eyes as I told her why I thought I was mad and needed locking up and she helped me realise what I’d been subjected to.
I have never questioned my soundness of mind since that day.
But those people’s voices are the ones that hold me back sometimes even now.
I’m not telling you this for any sympathy, I don’t see myself as a victim or a survivor, for me, I have had to forgive three people to enable me to move forward. I don’t want to look back at that. My forgiveness doesn’t absolve them, or make me under any obligation to see either of them ever again, it frees me!
Although their voices creep into my head due to years of conditioning, I have other, stronger voices now. I have my son’s voice, telling me I’m a good mum, firm but good 😉. I have my partner, Mark’s voice which is gentle and encouraging and accepting of who I am just as I am. But I hear my voice in my head now, my self esteem helps me to identify which voices to listen to and which to acknowledge but ignore, and it also tells me not to be so hard on myself for letting the ghosts remain.
“Our scars remind us that the past is real” Papa Roach
Without that dark, I wouldn’t have the light that I have today. The peace in my mind now, is interrupted less and less by these negative voices, and the fact I have peace in my head at all still remains a novelty.
I no longer have to watch every word I say in case it’s twisted. I can have my own feelings without being called dramatic. I am not ignored or pushed aside. I can succeed without being pulled back and criticised.
Part of me wants these scars to heal over without a trace because they still hurt every now and then, like right now, because I’m writing about it. But my past has taught me a lot about people.
I still blindly look for the good in everyone, and I don’t ever want to stop doing this, even though it’s very unpleasant when I get it wrong.
Maybe it’s because of these people that I have worked so hard to make myself good, and authentic, and have spent so much time trying to figure my own head out.
Maybe I was always good and authentic and that’s why it took so long for them to nearly destroy me.
But I know this, I won’t be successful to spite their voices in my head, I will be successful because I am worthy, as we all are.