So I’ve taken on a freelance job recently. I’m blogging and handling the social media management for this new client. I have been excited about this, especially because it is on par with my own focus of mental health awareness, trauma healing and emotional wellbeing.
This week, I became physically ill with stomach pains, frequent trips to the bathroom, no appetite, low mood, lethargy, lightheadedness and an overall feeling of being unwell. I still completed my assignments, but it’s been rough. If I had a job away from home, I’d have probably been let go.
I couldn’t figure out what was going on with me. After a long day of working, I took a few minutes to meditate. During the guided meditation, the instructor said something to the effect of “you are enough, you don’t have to believe the lies that you have to earn it.” (Not her words exactly, but how my heart received it.) I instantly started to cry.
In previous relationships, that was exactly what I was taught. I wasn’t good enough. I had to earn respect. I had to perform to be loved. I had to make the other person happy through what I could do for them. Otherwise, I was worthless and unworthy.
Then yesterday, I found something I had written last year during my mental breakdown. I wrote how I was sick, had been tested for Covid twice (both times negative), bloodwork came back fine, and I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Only later did I realize how much my anxiety had spiked and how depressed I actually was. I had become borderline suicidal at one point, which was why I left that job. The stress of it was too much for me.
But what about now? This job isn’t stressful. I love it! It’s exactly what I enjoy doing. So what gives?
It’s me. I’m putting the pressure on myself. I’m trying to prove I’m good enough for this contract position by trying to make sure everything is perfect, so my client is happy. What I learned in previous relationships has carried over into all aspects of my life–especially in my career. Basically, I make myself sick with stress and the need to please.
I’ve noticed in my marriage, I still strive for perfection (but fail miserably). My husband is the most kind, respectful and loving man I have ever known. Yet when he says he’ll take care of something for me (like making me something to eat), I immediately feel guilty for not doing it myself.
I find myself doing things for him he could easily do. I try to take care of him in every way, and do as much as I can to make sure he sees I’m worthy of his love and affection. It has nothing to do with him. He loves me unconditionally. It’s totally me!
I’ve not worked through the years of degradation, the guilt and shame, and the belief that was beat into me that I’m not good enough. I’m still jumping through hoops to prove I’m worthy, and nobody is demanding me to do so.
Thankfully I have a wonderfully supportive husband, a mother who always has my back, friends who check on me, and a son (my ride or die) who often calls me out and tells me to stop beating myself up. I’m so very grateful.
Self-healing is a process. I’ve gotten a bit lax on doing the inner work, because I’ve felt pretty good recently. But then situations like this arise, and I become aware, I have to keep digging deeper. Obviously, there are many wounds I have not yet healed. I may be away from the men in my past, but the effects of their abuse still linger. I don’t want them to control how I think, act, or feel anymore. Looks like I’ve got work to do.