Self-acceptance can seem elusive

Self-acceptance has always seemed elusive to me. Given my family history, there are still times when I question my perceptions. Despite my best efforts I battle with my thoughts when triggered.  In hindsight, most of my interactions with my parents left me feeling undermined. I was brought up to question my opinions, worth and existence. This went beyond the ‘children should be seen and not heard’ attitude at the time. My opinion was treated as the least reliable in the family, hence I developed a pattern of self-doubt.

Those of us with a history of childhood abuse naturally choose to believe the negative comments about ourselves rather than trusting the good intentions of those who believe in us. In my case, positive words were often used as a lure and then cancelled when I had been reeled in. I learned not to trust any encouragement given by others and instead chose to believe the negative stories. It is difficult for us to trust positive comments when they have been used as a lure into abuse in the past.

I now understand that I was experiencing ‘gaslighting’ which was used as a means of control. My memory, perceptions and often my mental stability were questioned. This left me doubting myself. When I first left home and the gaslighting reached its peak I began thinking I was insane. At the time, my esteem was low, I questioned everything I did and doubted others who believed in me.  No wonder life was a train-wreck in my 20s. Then some good friends who offered consistency, love, and support entered my life. Slowly things turned around as I learned that believing in myself was good and the right thing to do.  

But we live in a world where we will encounter those who use the same gaslighting tactics. It is when I encounter these individuals or have family interaction that I fall into the old hole. Then I find myself slowly crawling out by going over old ground.

I am sharing this because I want you to know that it is okay to fall back into the old hole at times. If you find yourself going over old ground that you have covered before, don’t be concerned. You are most likely returning to yourself.

In love, Jenny

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