Wrong But Not Bad

If the people to whom we looked, for love and protection, imposed traumatic shame for failed similarness and submission, that was a breach (by them) of their power.  They were wrong.  Period.  Maybe not bad, but wrong.

If wrestling with pain was treated as weakness or disobedience by the people we counted on to raise and teach us, we learned that openly expressing feelings, was bad, broken, troublesome, shameful.  We learned fear and may ourselves have become bullying and mean-spirited, also. AND maybe we found a way to manage the pain, through obsessive or addictive behaviors…or maybe we just disintegrated.

Recovery gives me permission to re-examine and to share honestly about my early teachings and beliefs- which were childish, at best and narcissistic and bullying at worst.

Being forsaken by my mother and her family was as painful as it was defining.  They were my first important people, showing me exactly how much I mattered and deserved to feel seen, loved, wanted, connected, and safe.  I am not wrong for feeling hurt.  I did not deserve that.   

I reflect regularly on one of the more significant violations/punishments, because of its lasting effects for my children.  Two emotionally similar people colluded to hurt/teach me, in a very particular way, and by proxy, are doing excruciating harm to my children.  

The persecution did not occur because I earned or caused it –but because hurt people hurt people. I am not so mighty that I may provoke otherwise benevolent people into  dehumanizing, abusing, marginalizing.  

Mistreatment does not begin with the target but with the perpetrator. AND that betrayal, in no way convinces me that it happened– because of me: because I am unworthy, inferior, too much or too sensitive…. I am rightly hurt by emotional violence and I reject the messaging that I am responsible for the behaviors of others.  If only…

Because I had been indoctrinated in this way, I too was harmful and naturally dismissed my own bad behaviors as merely the clear and direct results/consequences of what someone else did or did not say or do. That is THE sick training. Unwellness. Brokenness. Once I knew better, I did better. In scapegoating families, it is frequently believed that “You are either like with us or against us.” and “You/he/she got what you/he/she deserved.” This is how abuse gets normalized. Being abusive and diminishing is not normal, healthy, or sane.

By sharing my experiences, I connect with others also recovering from systems and environments which demanded denial and contraction, as terms for engagement.  I firmly embrace and send the message that— this experience does not make a person terminally flawed, unique, and alone.  It is more common than abusers would like for us to believe.

I will comfortably list 10,000 ways in which I have failed, disappointed, hurt, changed, and repaired. My need and willingness to do so, are one distinction and divider between my family of origin and myself. I have difficult and strong feelings and I make mistakes. I am human AF and breaking the sick cycle, one day at a time.

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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