Hi everyone, first time posting here. I just watched Maid on Netflix, which is about a woman fleeing from domestic violence with her young daughter. It got me thinking about my own history. The main character, Alex, was so strong and assertive and firm in her choices to stand up to her abusers. When she finally did go back, the motivator was that she had no money and needed a place to sleep. That was totally different from my own experience with DV and sexual abuse.
As far back as I can remember, I learned how to compartmentalize. In order to avoid conflict, I would just agree with anything and everyone, and do whatever was asked of me in the moment, even when it was wrong or I disagreed.
This wasn't just childhood. I continued to do the exact same thing as an adult. A few examples I'm not proud of: I slept and lived with a married man... went blind in one eye from a DV assault and didn't get medical care... was planning to get an abortion (mother nature had other plans)...oh and I did drugs. I'm sure there is more.
I know this sounds like an excuse, but I barely even remember any of it. It's as if I wasn't there. My compartmentalization is so effective that it blacks out portions of my life, temporarily detached me from myself as I do things that the "real me" is opposed to. People would ascribe certain motivations to my actions, but it wasn't what they would think. It was that I was in so many different compartments I lost myself. So many different compartments to appease so many people, and nothing for me.
All of this stuff happened in my 20's going into 30. I learned from some mistakes, but the compartmentalizing thing I still do. It's not an excuse for bad behavior. My behavior has been terrible, sometimes wrong, even more often at odds with my personal values or desires. Same goes for my words most of the time. But I'm in my 30's now and a lifetime of this habit has left me without a self, without a coherent story because my story is about abandoning myself to keep the peace, compulsively.
Life is complicated. I don't think there are good guys or bad guys, or not many who fit that bill. There are good and bad actions, and sometimes we fall into a spiral of doing the wrong thing over and over again because it feels safest. I want to wake up. I want to find out who I really am, assert my boundaries, live according to my own values and not what others expect from me. I guess I'm weak, for going the "safe" route that has brought me to this point where my past self is misunderstood, but also not really a good person...more of a weak person, a scared person, a person who will not break a habit to become a better person no matter how many people she hurts along the way.
I don't want the rest of my life to be like this. I also don't know how to come to terms with my past, the parts that are my fault and the parts that were done to me, to come to peace with myself and others...how to live with good boundaries in the present...how to have a future where i'm not this yes-woman who keeps losing herself and doing terrible things. it is the real me. the wimpy scared person with no boundaries, that is me right now. the things i do as a result of those boundaries arent exactly me, but they are my actions even though i don't *really* want t0 do them.
It's time to change. I am so full of guilt about all these expereinces past self put herself though because she just couldn't say no or stand up for herself. And I guess I need to have compassion for her, but I don't like what she did. I do know how terrified she was and that in those moments maybe she truly could not have possibly stoof up for herself or for what she thought was right.
I don't want to be like that anymore. I need to stop going to my safe, non-present place and learn to engage with life as me, as I really am, with my real thoughts and feelings and opinions, and also to stop being angry at my past self. she made a lot of bad decisions and she doesnt deserve to get off the hook for that, but she was going with the one survival tactic she had ever learned, and it wasn't a healthy one. Pieces of her were not awake, while life went on for other pieces. Compartmentalized.
Life is complicated for everyone, that's a fact. Almost no one if a pure vessel of "good" or "bad". I think I can find peace with the past while breaking out of these bad habits and creating a future where the real me is finally free. I have hope, but I just don't know how....how to get there #DomesticViolence #SexualAbuse #PTSD #CPTSD