Thursday, March 20, 2014

How Do I Learn To Trust Myself After Being Taught Not To?

Part 2 of  "10 Things I Needed  To Learn In Order To Heal"

I remember walking around the house as a ten year old wondering if I was mentally retarded. 

 How would I know if I was?  

What if I was too retarded to understand that something was seriously wrong with me, and no one would tell me the truth? 

I knew there was something wrong with me, and no one was talking about it.

I was told I could not trust my own eyes, my own perceptions.  

I was told that because I was a girl and didn't "learn" I could know and decide nothing on my own.  
This was under the guise of religion, but used in my family as a control tactic.  As a way to make me submissive.  To take away any ability to think for myself, or to make any kind of decision on my own. 

 I am NOT referring to halachic decisions.   

I am referring to decisions about how to feel and how to think, and basic needs like having glasses when I needed them.
  I was told I did not need glasses, even when the eye doctor insisted that I did.

I was told I would have to trust that my parents knew better, and listen to my parents, who would tell me what to do until I married.  After I married, I would listen to my husband.
I had no sense of who I was and what was real and not real about me.

  I didn't get enough honest feedback, or validation, to know these things. 

 I had to figure it all out on my own.

 I was trapped by my parents views, needs, and beliefs about me. 
 It took twenty years in therapy to sort through the piles of confusion. 
 Truth mixed with lies.  
Lies mixed with truth.  
Who is this person named Genendy?  
Did she ever truly exist outside of her parents minds?  
How could my whole huge family lie about me?  

I learned that I was just as capable of lying about myself in order to stay connected with my family. 

 I could deny my reality just as well as they could.  

Telling the truth is much more painful and lonely. 

 Trusting my memories, feelings, and experiences was much more painful than not being real, and walking around in a cloud of confusion.  

The more I learned to know and trust myself, the more denying my reality in order to stay connected to my family, was no longer an option I could live with.  Art therapy and Journaling helped me tremendously with this.

The more I trusted myself and my memories, the more I healed. 

 The more I trusted myself the more I felt safe, connected, present, and whole.  


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