I am prone to abusive behaviors in my life. In every aspect. I see this. I know this. I am facing this.
However, I also think that I assign myself a lot of gratuitous guilt about certain things, and it’s very hard for me to know where the line is between standing up for myself and attacking or abusing someone else. I feel guilt for all of it. Sometimes my guilt is warranted, but maybe sometimes it’s not. It’s very hard for me to tell the difference.
I grew up in an abusive environment, and through those struggles I became a very strong-willed person, so that I’d be able to constantly defend myself and others from abuse. I can always take a stand when I need to. The problem is, I also tend to take a stand even when it’s completely unnecessary. I developed a very black and white sense of right and wrong, because that was how I found the strength to fight back when I was young. I’m learning not every situation is like that, and I’m working on developing better ways of handling those less dire situations. It’s not always as simple as right and wrong, and it’s not always necessary to make it into a fight. It’s a hard mindset to step out of.
I internalize all of my suffering in a way that makes it an integral part of who I am. Some aspects of that are good, but most of them affect me in a way that doesn’t allow me to heal from it. So now I’m almost always in a state of mind as though I’m in that sort of situation, whether I really am or not, unless I can very purposefully and consciously pull myself out of that way of thinking. That’s really hard to do… and it’s so easy for me to immediately revert back into that mindset. Ultimately, it culminates in me lashing out and causing pain to people I care for. The worst part is that I somehow subconsciously feel justified, because right and wrong are black and white in my head, and in my head right is right and wrong is wrong, and I’m taking a stand for what is “right”… but I’m realizing more and more that my head is not always the most reliable moral judge.
I am getting better. The more distance between myself and the people who have been tearing me apart my whole life does make me feel like I’m slowly seeing things more clearly. I am reinvigorated too. I am learning. I see myself, painfully clearly. I also see some of the past things that have happened to me in a new light; I see things I never noticed before. I see the reasons why some people absolutely have to be cut out of my life, for the time being at least, even though that is another source of guilt for me…
I really hate to play fucking victim, but the fact is that I am a victim of plenty of destructive things I’ve been subjected to that were not my fault. I’ve been damaged, devastated, betrayed, neglected, and ostracized countless times by the people who were supposed to love me and nurture me, and to teach me how to grow. That is not my fault. Even though I was always taught that everything was my fault, their shortcomings are not my fault. Their failures are not my fault. And I refuse to take responsibility for it anymore. Going on 23 years, and I’m finally learning some burdens are NOT mine to bear.
However, the part that IS my fault, that I’m responsible for, is that I have let myself become another link in the chain, and I am guilty of exemplifying some of the same behaviors that destroyed me. I don’t really know any other way to be… I never had positive role models in my life. I tried to imagine them, and I tried to become the ideals that were painted so pretty in my head, but a fantasy is just a fantasy. I could picture the end results that I wanted, but not how to get there. It’s caused me to be incredibly inconsistent.
I’m trying to focus on breaking that chain. I do not want to keep being everything I always hated. I just need a little help to figure out how to be the kind of person I’d be proud to be.
I know I have to work hard on this. I’ll talk about it. I’ll get perspective from other people. I can’t just search my own head and try to find these answers, because everything in my head is exactly what lead me to this, what made me who I am.
I will get better. I’m determined. The worst of me is not all that I can be.
I will need some help. I will need some guidance. And I know I will need some time.
I suppose we’ll see where it goes from here.