Friday, November 28, 2014

I had a patient last week with a tattoo on her arm;  it read "Love is the anchor of the soul".  I believe that to be true but I think that I must first love myself and trust myself.  I grew up in a family in which I was told "Don't feel that way.  Don't say that."  What was real and what was presented as real didn't always match.  I found it very confusing.  I still find it very confusing.  If I don't like someone, I don't like them.  I don't pretend to like them sometimes and then talk about them behind their back.  I get confused when people do this and yet I know this is how the world works.

Mostly what I learned from my family was to not trust myself.  God, I hope my children trust themselves, although how they might have learned that would be a mystery as I certainly couldn't have taught them that.  Living with my ex-husband also taught me to not trust myself.  I was the "unstable one" in our relationship, or so I was told.  Except I wasn't.  My boss at work told me that my "negativity was bringing the whole department down" and I believed him.  Except when I look around it's untrue.  I have asked co-workers, is this true?  Am I bringing the department down and their answer is always no.  More craziness.  More moments to distrust myself.

So when I feel a knot in my stomach, a pounding in my chest, I try to ignore it, make excuses.  It's me. 

Along with this learning to trust myself, I'm learning how to accept and love myself as I am.  I don't have to be perfect to be loved.  I am loving and compassionate.  I am also passionate and when I feel emotions strongly, I cry.  I cry a lot.  When I'm upset, I cook or bake.  When I'm bored I'll bake.  I like to keep busy and I like to walk outside so that I can hear the trees.  I love dogs but I don't want to live with one because I don't want the responsibility anymore. I like my house clean and tidy.  I like my workplace clean and tidy too.  I am forgetful and sometimes I don't pay attention.  I like to exercise and enjoy the feeling of sore muscles the next day.  Sometimes I get lost in the past or in the future and forget today.  I am very organized.  I believe the best of people.  I am easily swayed.  I am all these things and more and I don't have to change a damn thing to love myself. 


  1. God, yes, all of this. Unbelieving that we are crazy is hard work.

  2. Unbelieving we are crazy and difficult -- this helps me so much. Thank you. I'm grateful for how clearly you untangle these things.

  3. I. LOVE. THIS. deb, i've followed you for a long time and i proclaim that the strength reflected in this post is just great. elizebeth's attribution of 'untangle' is right on.


  4. That's why we (we shrinks, I mean) talk about some family situations as "crazy-making." I've worked hard - and am still working hard - to undo all the bad messages I got growing up. Perfection is both unattainable and unnecessary. And I think those of us who are passionate and cry easily are living more honestly.