A Beautiful Mess

A Sexual Abuse and Addiction Recovery Blog

Meeting My Own Needs

on March 17, 2011

Just an update about what’s been going on in life.  Life has actually been quite busy for me.  I remember a time when I used to fret about building a support network.  Somehow, somewhere along the lines, a support network much larger than I dreamed of has materialized.  I am blessed.

The hardest part of recovery and healing for me, right now anyways, is looking at my mother for the role that she played in things.  It’s hard for me to categorize her as one of my abusers, but it is the truth.  And I guess, the truth hurts.  I fantasized for a long time about her someday becoming the mother I always wanted.  Her apologizing for what happened, taking accountability, and us getting help and moving forward.  This will never happen.  I do feel silly sometimes because well into my adulthood my inner child was still seeking to have my basic childhood needs met, but through the wrong people.  I chased my abusers affection and attempted to get validation and acceptance from them.  Well, that’s like blood from a turnip.  I could rationalize all day about why things happened and all of that, but when it comes down to it.  I don’t have to rationalize what my abusers did to me.  In fact, it’s best that I create some boundaries and just accept things for what they are.  Hurts quite a bit, and deep down I feel guilty for placing the accountability where it belongs and not on me, but … it is what it is.

Anyways, in group last week, we made a list of things we felt a child needed.  Point: We still need these things and now that we are adults, it is our obligation to provide these to ourselves one way or another.

  • Protection (physical and emotional)
  • Guidance
  • Healthy food and dessert 😉
  • Unconditional Love
  • Safety
  • Trust
  • Positive encouragement
  • Acceptance
  • Healthy outlets
  • Loving healthy touch
  • Permanence
  • Stability
  • Sense of belonging
  • Toys
  • Consistency
  • Enrichment
  • Warmth and nurturing
  • Hope
  • Support
  • Someone in their corner
  • Spiritual development
  • Healthy boundaries
  • Positive role models
  • Mirroring
  • Limits with love
  • Age appropriate rules and rewards
  • Solitude
  • Natural consequences
  • Clothing
  • Life-applicable lessons
  • Respect
  • Friends
  • Validation
  • Hygiene
  • Outdoor activities
  • Exercise
  • Innocence
  • Fun/humor
  • Mother/Father figures
  • Education
  • Healthy sex education
  • Artistic expression
  • Age appropriate responsibilities
  • Privacy
  • Autonomy (rights to thoughts and feelings)
  • Morals/Values
  • Culture/Diversity
  • Imagination

How am I giving these to myself?  What am I already receiving?  How do I self soothe / calm myself?  Celebrate what I’m doing right!  What feels out of reach?

I am going to touch on those in the list that affect me the most:

Someone in my corner —->  Build support network, do unto others as I would like to have done to me, start getting more involved in my interests and find people who share the same ones (although, I have to admit, going to the gym was and still is to get fit, but all the cute gents… well, that’s just a perk – hey I’m single, I can soooo look ;)), working on character and integrity, I realize that in order for people to want to be in my corner, I must do all I can to be the kind of person that I would like to attract

Protection (physical and emotional) —-> I am more careful to look before I leap, I take heed of red flags when meeting people, work on physical fitness, prioritize my recovery and my family above all, avoid alcohol and drugs, create barriers between me and those that are not respectful of me, practice patience and not rush into exposing too much of myself to complete strangers

Stability —->  I still struggle with this one, because economically, I am usually in some form of crisis.  I only work very part time, but I did put together a resume that isn’t the most impressive, but hey, it’s the truth and THC is going to provide me with a letter or two that can at least provide the employer with notes to my consistency and showing up on time.  I am not quick to attach to people, so I am not dealing with the ups and downs of losing people in my life, because I don’t just invite them in immediately.

Respect —-> Respecting myself is rough.  Not because I don’t want to, but because when setting boundaries and being assertive, there is always the chance of rippling the waters and having to stand my ground, regardless of the outcome.  When, in group, it’s easy because the environment is “safe”, but in the real world, I’ve seen some really crazy shit and sometimes it’s scary for me to follow through and really stand up for myself.  I intellectualize a lot of this and know what I am supposed to do, but it’s a lot harder for me to DO, than to simply say.  My boundaries are constantly being tested by some people and I am realizing that these people lack respect for me and I have a great need to create distance between me and them.

Unconditional Love —-> I am not perfect.  There isn’t a person alive that is.  Although, I know these things, sometimes I want to beat myself up for mistakes and allowances I make for those that abuse or have abused me.  I am a work in progress and I will find ways, such as positive self talk, working my coping mechanisms, providing myself with a safe environment and surround myself with family as much as possible.  I am learning to love myself.  I’m not where I want to be, but this is a process and I’m dedicated.  I have gotten to a point where I can look at myself in the mirror and like who I am becoming.

Autonomy (Rights to Feelings and Emotions) —->  Sometimes this one is hard for me because others will not validate what I am feelings and sometimes they make me feel as though I don’t have a right to feel what I am feeling.  These people are NOT experts in my life, nor have they walked in my shoes, so I need to take the power back and validate myself, first.  Another one of those things that I am working on, but it’s much easier to intellectualize.

Privacy —->  I do not owe anyone my life story.  It’s a privilege for me to share it.  By allowing myself some privacy, I also protect myself.  This one is hard to wrap my head around sometimes because I feel like I owe authenticity to everyone I meet, but that is not true.  I owe it to those that deserve it.

———————————————————————————————-

My family has been incredibly supportive.  I can’t begin to express in words how much it means to me to have their unconditional love and I could cry every time I think about it.  They mean the world to me and without them, surely I wouldn’t be here.  In my darkest hours, my dad, my stepmother, my aunt and my grandmother (RIP) have been so strong and there for me.  Because of them, I know what love is.  BLESSED.

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3 responses to “Meeting My Own Needs

  1. Lisa says:

    Sounds like you’re doing really well. I liked the list, something everyone could learn something from. Take care!

  2. what u r doing here take courage. putting it our there for us makes us all feel less alone too. thank u for your words and spirit! keep on!

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