Friday, March 25, 2016

Banishing Self-Hate: Put it on Trial



My dad was just a tad shy of emulating Ward Clever. Parking himself on the floor in front of the family room TV for nightly porn sessions, the constant trade-ins for a new rental computer without a virus from a hardcore site, and the XXX photos of my mother spread eagle and framed on the walls, he fell a bit short. His mindset when it came to women ran pretty parallel to his actions. At thirteen years old, my dad made a point of telling me that women were invented to serve men and that really this was the sole purpose of the female. So I shouldn't have been surprised by my dad's reaction when I told he and my mom that my brother – six years my senior – had been raping me for several years. I thought he was actually going to give him a high-five and, "Way to go!"

For my entire life, it was drilled into me that women were inferior. In both word and action, I was degraded; my mother was as well. My dad didn't even allow me to finish high school, although I begged him to let me. The impact of this upbringing carried over into a very emotional adulthood when I chose to marry at seventeen.

I married a man striving to meet his best personal potential by means of maintaining a good moral compass and  through a college degree he was then chasing (and later pursued). I saw him as an upgrade – from myself. He emulated everything I wanted to be and everything my father wasn't at the same time. He told me the sweetest things all of the time, and I heard none of them; I took them as passing lies. After all, I had been told so many negative things so much more often and for so much longer.

I had been so programmed and so truly lied to, that the voices in my head didn't even like me. They said unspeakable things that I internalized. And I listened to them more than any kind thing that any other had to say to me.

In the midst of a late-night, muti-hour long argument, my husband of several years had finally had enough. He yelled at me, "Why do you value their words over mine, when all they say is degrading bullshit?" I responded to him that my parents had known me longer, to which he reminded me that he knew me better, and that my parents were jackals.

I see it everyday. A friend will hear one negative comment on a day when everything else is glitter and gold, and she's left unable to recover. To an extent, it's really about how the human psyche works. But here's the challenge, and I challenge you: If someone says something negative or you get negative feedback, put it on trial. Write it down on paper if you have to. I heard for seventeen years that I was disposable, unloved and was, basically, a toaster. Let's put this on trial as an example, shall we?

First of all, I'm not disposable, unloved or replaceable, and neither are you. Each person is a combination of thousands of unique traits on a physical, psychological, and intellectual level so intricately combined that no one person can wholly be duplicated. Although I may not serve someone's purpose, I am still purposeful to someone, if only myself. And, the people around me love me. That's valid, tangible evidence that I'm surely loved and not disposable in the least.

You also have to look past the statement and into the intent or motivation behind the comment. Opinions are like assholes; most of them stink. Don't waste your time giving value to the bullshit. Particular people in this world will never see my true glory because they are blinded by their dedication to misunderstanding me. And so it will go for you.

Place your time, trust and love carefully, choosing where it belongs. Not everyone will be worthy of those three things. And if you start believing some bullshit that steals your joy and robs you of your smile – put it on trial. Test it. If it can't be proven true, then why are you buying into the lie? Be you  100% and don't water yourself down for anyone. And be sure every morning to give that chick in the mirror a kiss on the cheek, a smack on the ass, and a thank her for being your greatest ally.

---PLD

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