Trigger warning: child abuse
“You are selfish.” My mother would say to me so many times I cannot count. Any time I did something she didn’t want me to do. She said many other things…but I won’t go into that this time. My whole childhood my family told me who I was. It wasn’t kind. For most of my childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood I sincerely believed it. They told me I was a bad person in every way. They used my deep desire to love them and my various weaknesses so that they could manipulate me into being their scapegoat so that I could be used. And it worked for a long time. However, I knew it wasn’t right…I just didn’t know why or how and most importantly what to do about it! It was only when I stopped listening to who they said I was and started looking within that I made my first step in empowerment. Not only did they have no idea who I actually was, they were saying what they said about me because of their own trauma and chosen dynamic. I wish I could have just stopped with realizing finally that they were wrong and didn’t want to know me because that would contradict the scapegoating dialog…but it is never that simple. First I had to face that what they said wasn’t true, but then I had to figure out who I was and more importantly who did I want to be. Once I started to figure that out by building my self awareness, they couldn’t use me like they had before. It did up the anti, but that only proved the truth. The problem is that this lack of self awareness isn’t just in the homes of abusers. It is our whole society. None of us are really encouraged to know who we are. We are all told what to think, do, and surrounded by constant stimulation telling us who we are and what we should be. But the key to self awareness is to only look within and ask your self why. Why do I feel that way from that comment? Why did I do that? Why did I assume that was their motivation? And that will help you understand your unconscious mind. Asking why you made the choice you made, will help you understand your conscious mind. Learning how to connect with your body will help you understand who you are right now. Facing your past the good and the bad, the successes and especially the mistakes will show you who you were. And then figuring out who you want to be will give you a path for building your future self. When you have no doubts about who you are and have learned how to love, value and respect yourself; it is so much harder to be manipulated and used. Because the truth is that you are the only one that can truly know who you are.