The difference a conversation makes

Remember this post? It was awhile ago but apparently it’s been percolating.

I wondered in that post and aloud why at my core, I believe I don’t matter.

My family growing up, even called me “Captain Protector”. I thought I had moved past this. In fact, I have moved just not quite past it. The wound has healed but the resin remains. A deep message buried inside me says – “You aren’t worthy” and that’s why you weren’t protected.

I made the connection yesterday. I talked to my therapist and to my Stephen’s Minister and to my friends and thought on it. And then the Universe and my conception of God, pushed me over the edge into the wall so steep that I would pay attention. I started failing – or it felt like I was failing. I had several clients not working out the way I wanted, lessons that I thought I had learned were smacking me in the face, my business partner was saying things that were piercing the armor. I really felt like I was flailing. *cue a mental breakdown that involved unplugging all media and playing Angry Birds*

When I started talking to my therapist about it she asked a few questions and I suddenly realized this wasn’t about “failure”. I made a connection like this:

1. Beast/Monster panicking me was not just a monster, it was THE Monster. It was the mother of the beasts that Beowulf went into the wild to slay.

2. It was the core belief that I was a failure. And I had wondered what it was about and had given up knowing and was just going about fixing.

3. A belief that hardwired doesn’t take kindly to being “fixed” – all the boundaries I had set, the work I had done on believing not just in word but in deed that I matter, pushing back and addressing people and situations that don’t work for me anymore brought this one up ROARING.

4. After recognizing what it was, we talked about if it was really about failure.

5. And it was but in a weird way. That protection, that saving, that need to save people was at my core about wanting to be protected and loved and accepted. It started as protection but as I aged the need to be the one that would say YES. The one that would stand alone with people who were picked on, to friend people and put myself in harms way at any cost. And it kept going. If I say yes to being treated like shit, people will like me more. If i say, I will sacrifice for others, then I will be loved more. It got wrapped in my brain.

6. As it unwraps. It comes down to this. The more I say No. Not just no to things, but people treating me a certain way, no to situations I can’t possibly do, situations that bring harm to me in mental or physical ways – the bigger the FAILURE monster was. HUGE.

7. So I’m basically by saying yes to everything I was setting myself up to fail as you can’t do or be everything to everyone. You can’t make everyone happy. You can’t continually mentally stab yourself and think that the wounds won’t bleed.

8. In my brain, every time I sacrificed me, I told myself sub-consciously I don’t matter. Every time I tell people, clients included that I can do something I clearly can’t because either there isn’t enough time, enough money or both, then I’m setting myself up for failure. I am late because I want people to not be mad. The examples through-out my life past and present are too numerous to list.

So the monster has been named. I physically felt the yarn unwind in my head when this clicked. I literally saw the connection and why it’s been raised it’s head so strongly lately.

So now, the real work starts. I have to physically identify that process as it’s so ingrained I don’t even realizing I’m doing it. I have worked hard to know when someone violates a boundary and I physically feel that. The same now, with men/romance in my life. I don’t need to rescue or save them and I can recognize that feeling when I listen. Not so much with this. I’m not sure I’m explaining it great. Just knowing it’s root and how it started by something not particularly evil (a need to be loved) and how it twisted is crucial. That buried kernal of loathing – it’s deep but it’s days are numbered.