“It is all your fault.”
“You ruin things.”
“You deserve to suffer.”
“You are a bad person.”
I could go on. This has been the long standing internal monologue that I have had in my head since I could talk. I don’t know if guilt was ingrained in me from my strict Catholic upbringing or if it was just built into my bones as I was created, but I struggle with it.
Last Friday would have been my ten year wedding anniversary. We made it to eight before I brought it to an end. All the stuff that went into the reasons for ending it, well, because they didn’t seem to matter to anyone else, they didn’t matter to me. I internalized it as all my fault. It seemed careless and sudden and I don’t know how I even decided it, but one day I decided that people don’t simply throw bags of ice at people’s faces with all their might when said person just accidentally rolled their ankle and was crying. I joked about it. It didn’t sit right with me. The sticking to the lies, even the tiniest ones after being caught, that should have been a red flag from the beginning. I could go on and on, but my point isn’t to prove why to anyone. My point is I didn’t think I deserved better. I thought he was better. Better than the completely dysfunctional relationships I had in the past with my family and guys. In some ways he was. He worked hard. He had parents and family that I loved dearly. But I never did anything right. These internal beliefs were written down in my mind by him too over and over again until they were all that I could see, feel, believe.
If everyone who I had loved told me the same things in different ways, how could they not be true? Punishment for normal childhood behavior and teenage rebellion against insanely strict control left a mark. I was irresponsible. I was not to be trusted, I was no good. I did not deserve unconditional love. Boys who hurt me left me believing that I was unattractive, I couldn’t do better, I deserved to be treated poorly. And then this. I thought a safe bet, a kind boy wouldn’t change into something virtually unrecognizable as an adult. But it happened. And it was partially always there, I was just too busy internalizing my faults to pay mind to them.
I am working hard to end these tracks that play on repeat. Everyone makes choices that they later wish they hadn’t or wish they had acted in a different way. That is part of life. That is part of learning. I am trying to believe in myself. I am an imperfect person, but I am a good person. I am deserving of love. I am a good mother. I allow myself to feel happiness. I am letting go of those that make me feel otherwise. I need those who support my healing, who deserve my love, surround me with light and joy. I deserve my love. I’m working hard to believe that.