Updated: May 24
You choose your actions! This is a fair statement, right? So, let me ask you something. When was the last time you, as an adult, said to yourself, or someone else, something that sounded like;
• “I need ice-cream because I need to feel better”,
• “I need to drink alcohol because my childhood was abusive”,
• “I need to use anything to numb out the assault I endured in my early 20’s”,
• “I need to buy these clothes because they will fix the emotional hurt from being teased in school”
What ever your version is, or was, did these actions help the memory of the experience move you into a position that lifted you up and left you feeling like a victor, a survivor, a champion? My guess is that they did not!
I know this because my personal story, a series filled with multiple situations of abuse and assault, started at age 12 and ran rampant in my life until I was 26. Now don’t get me wrong, I had many blessings and an abundance of joy during that time frame as well, but those violating acts that another chose for me dictated some very ill effective choices in the actions I chose after surviving them.
There were periods of eating to sooth and periods of withholding food to sooth, heavy drinking to cover up the social fears and allow me to be in those normal teen/young adult social settings. There were periods of completely seeking numbness in any way I could achieve it, and a need to have the right clothes (costume if you will) that allowed me to feel “right” in whatever setting I was heading to, be that a new job, a function, a trip, and so on, but it always equated to a shopping spree to create the image I felt was necessary or different than what I felt inside.
And guess what? Not one of them allowed me to see that I was a survivor. That I was not defined by the bad acts of another. Even though these terrible things happened in my life, they happened to me, despite my desire to have not experienced them. Nope, the actions I was choosing only perpetuated the decreased self-esteem, fear, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and loneliness. They were not working the way my mind was telling me they would. And the continued effort, the dedication I invested in the belief that they would, only created addictions to them and subsequently, a loathing for them and myself for believing in them.
When I had finally had enough, when I was shown proper love and respect, allowed myself to have self-love and respect, and I decided I was tired of carrying around the bad acts of another as if they were my own bad actions, I was free to experience the life I had always longed for.
Sure, it wasn’t easy. And in all honesty, the developed addictions took a great deal longer to be removed because I didn’t see the connection, nor did I know then what I know now.
What I can tell you is this; the journey of self-repair is more than worth it! I wouldn’t go back to any one of my old ways of thinking or acting for any reason!
What I know now is that I control my actions, my words, my thoughts, my feelings. My internal dialogue no longer consists of external driving forces. Sure, I get angry, hurt, and upset about other people’s choices. The difference is I control that. The feeling, emotion, or belief is mine. “They” whoever or whatever, don’t make me do, feel, act, or react; I take ownership of that!
You too can learn how to choose better actions! If you need some help getting started, let’s chat!