During an abusive relationship
we are convinced and conditioned to believe that we can’t do anything right, aren’t smart enough, have no special skills,
And, speaking from personal experience here, I think it’s fair to say that once the abusive relationship has ended
as we start to figure out who we are and how much we’re actually capable of, that maybe we’re pretty damn smart after all, and DO have various skills and talents and gifts
we sometimes try to overcompensate.
“I’m going to prove my abuser wrong,” may not be a conscious goal, but it drives a lot of our self-acceptance journey. “I’ll show everyone.”
I’ve seen this in myself at least two ways. Tell me if you relate.
One is that I try too many new and different things with a desire and expectation to master every one of them. Hobbies. Pastimes. Side jobs. “I must do each of these and be excellent at them all!”
Two is that I get overwhelmingly frustrated and have a mini (internal) tantrum when I *can’t* do something. (Example: making the new TV antenna I bought over the weekend work, after reading and following all instructions, and troubleshooting too.)
It’s a bit of a trigger. Feels like the old (abusive) days of self-doubt and a poor sense of self-worth.
But the key, dear survivors, is not in what we can’t do. Who cares if we can’t do it all? NO ONE CAN. (Least of all our abusers.)
The key is to find what you ARE good at, and what you love, and pour yourself into it. Very likely more than one “it.” Then let yourself off the hook for all the other stuff you aren’t meant to master.
Let our fellow women and humans shoulder the expanse of all the things we want and need done well. It is not YOUR responsibility to write important words and paint beautiful art and tackle car mechanics and master home repair and manifest wizardry in the kitchen
Internalize as you learn and heal that you can do ANYTHING, because you have endless worth and are so f*cking intelligent and filled with empathy and compassion and talent,
but none of that — none of what you internalized because of your abuse — means you have to do everything.
And honestly, furthermore, the only person you have to prove your worth and ability to is…