Friday, December 9, 2011

Understanding my search for negative confirmation

I've had a rather enlightening week.  Finally, something seems to be 'clicking' in my head.  What has been spoken to me I have finally internalized and know to be true.  It is pertaining to what I have often referred to as the double standard that I keep for myself.

I understand this ball of 'badness' that I previously mentioned and how I couldn't explain it and so sought to confirm it.  I still don't understand why I have seen myself as such a bad person for most of my life.  From a small child, I always felt I was to blame for many problems that went on around me.  I was responsible.  If I didn't exist some negative event wouldn't have happened, it was always my fault but unexplainably so.  As I grew older, my rational mind developed with much ease.  As anyone close to me knows, I am a capable academic; a good friend; a party lover; a focussed, compassionate, energetic nurse; all qualities that stemmed from my rational mind while the emotional mind withered.  In an attempt to have logic on my side, I sought answers to why I was a bad person...what exactly had I done?  I came up with little that any person wouldn't do at somepoint in their lives and even with the perfectionistic standard I set for myself it still wasn't reason enough for this deep belief, this knowledge I felt I had that I was so bad and dark.  I had to figure it out...what if, perhaps, it wasn't what I HAD done but what I HADN'T.  I applaud myself for my creativity in conjuring up standards and rules and scenarios that could confirm my negativity...I hope to be able to apply that quality to other, healthy aspects of my life in the near future.

I present you with an example of my thinking that provided me with the confirmation of the badness that I believed was me:

Imagine I am in a store and I see someone shoplifting.  If I choose to say nothing - whether that be confronting the offender themselves or telling an appropriate athority - I was thus also guilty of theft.  But that didn't explain the hate I had towards myself in other situations where where guilt by omission didn't apply.  So, I took things one step further:  If I was in the store where a person shoplifted and I wasn't a witness, I SHOULD have seen them and I should have followed that with telling the appropriate person, etc.  Therefore, my existance was to blame for the success of this person's crime and thus made me guilty as well.

This situation could apply to anything.  My desire for a reason for this inherent badness, that made no logical sense to exist - just as a feeling - skewed my thinking to the extreme.  Any situation could be twisted to explain why I felt such guilt, I created explainations.  I was a desperate for an answer to my feelings and beliefs as those around me have been over the years towards my behaviour.

I still don't understand where the original thought/feeling of guilt came from.  Why would a young child assume guilt for such things as the cat catching a bird, a t-bone collision three cars away, or the pain causing her grandmother's moans two rooms away?  As I grew older, it always boiled down in some bizarrely logical way to my existance.  Like this: I had a feeling, my feeling was real, I believed my feeling to be an accurate reflection of reality that was manifested internally.

I now understand that due to my ultra sensitivity, lack of objectivity as a child, and inability to talk about the feelings I was having to recieve the help of a parent/grown-up to understand situations differently and therefore feel differently and more accurately about things, I crippled myself.  There is no blame here:  not on me - for this started long before I could understand it; not on my parents - for they could not be aware of the feelings I was having.

Understanding this has been a great gift.  It explains so much...the creation of the 'ball of badness' that has existed in my mind within me for so many years and the perpetuation of the negative thought pattern.

Now, with this understanding in my pocket, I can move towards giving that child who internalizes everything and assumes blame a voice.  I may be nearly 28 but it is never too late to change and grow and learn a new interpretation of the world around me to enable me to leave my guilt ridden life and move towards one of internal calm and a rational mind that works together with my emotions to create an accurate experience of all that is life.

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