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Found an old journal

Old 05-28-2013, 08:24 PM
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Found an old journal

So, when I began on my own journey of recovery, I knew I had some deep-routed issues that have been going on for many years. I knew that I had mostly likely been co-dependent in one way or another for pretty much the majority of my life. I did not, however, realize how cripplingly sick I really was until tonight.

Throughout my adolescence and into adulthood, I have kept journals off and on. I would write for a few months then forget about it for a year and so on. Anyway, I found one journal that documented what I would consider my "darkest days". One reoccurring theme was an ex boyfriend of mine that I dated off and on from 8th to 11th grade. Given the time that all this occurred, I'm sure I dramatized some of it, but it was none-the-less a twisted relationship from what I read. I can see now so plainly how he manipulated me in so many ways and how I ate it up. No, he was not an addict, but he was still very sick. He had many issues of his own and, of course, I thought I could save him from himself. I was the one that ended the relationship but wrote about how incredibly guilty I felt for doing that to him.

The thing that scares me about reading all that is, there were a few things that reminded me of my relationship with my A. Not so much about him though, it's more about my mind set. The things I said about him that I say about my A. The way he's "the only one that's ever understood me", "he's the only person I have ever been able to share everything with", etc. Why is it I feel I can only open up to people with "issues"? Do I really feel like a mentally healthy person would not be able to understand or accept me because of things that have happened/I've done in my past? Like they're better than me for some reason or I'm not worthy of their love? How messed up is that? I guess sick really does attract sick... ouch.

As unpleasant as it was, I'm really happy I found that journal. I needed to see that.
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:36 PM
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This is why I feel journaling is probably the best form of self-therapy. What a treasure you found now that you are doing the work to be able to go back to your youth and see how long your thinking has been off. If you have a therapist, this found journal would be a great tool to help in the healing process.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:14 AM
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I have kept a journal since I was 12. It is a very effective way to call yourself
out on your own BS.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:24 AM
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bb89--

i also have kept journals on and off since 8th grade and i've had both positive and negative experiences with going back and reading through my experiences. i've also had the same realizations that, holy s**t, those are the exact same things i said and did and i'm still doing it!! wtf.


Why is it I feel I can only open up to people with "issues"? Do I really feel like a mentally healthy person would not be able to understand or accept me because of things that have happened/I've done in my past? Like they're better than me for some reason or I'm not worthy of their love? How messed up is that? I guess sick really does attract sick... ouch.

i struggle so much with this. it is one of the issues i focus on in therapy. i come from a "good" family and i wasn't "abused", but i often felt the need to be perfect, i often felt ignored, i often felt i was being told my feelings were stupid or irrelevant--although this last one was more subconscious until i got older. my parents were also very unemotional, unexpressive, and unaffectionate to me and to each other. my father was gone a lot. i think i started my first romantic relationships with a self-esteem deficit that allowed me to get into awful situations from the beginning. i didn't know what real love was and i can remember even seeing some of the possessive and controlling behaviors my first real boyfriend (age 15-18) displayed as evidence of how much he cared. that is sick.

anyway, following that experience, as is often the case, i landed myself in an almost identical relationship for 2.5 years after that. what i experienced in those two situations, as well as some of the behaviors that i engaged in in response to my experiences, left me filled with a lot of self-hatred. sooo...somewhere along the line i developed this belief that only other f**ked up people would EVER understand or want to be with someone as f**ed up as me. i was too damaged for a "normal" guy.

one of the biggest pieces of this problem is the self-identification as "damaged"...as though that is or was all that i am. like someone came along with a giant rubber stamp and plopped it on my forehead--"DEFECTIVE" "DAMAGED GOODS"... you start to wear that crap on your sleeve without even realizing it and the people who can see it are the ones who unconsciously or consciously prey on people like us because they know we will tolerate their bulls**t and they'll be able to manipulate us. then you get MORE damaged and the label gets more engrained and blah blah blah...the cycle continues.

i have worked through the damage from my past relationships to the point where i do not walk around in my life feeling like i have a neon sign over my head--or a stamp on my forehead, like i said. the behaviors are harder to change. obviously, i am still struggling with this relationship i have or don't with my addict.

i've rambled, but the point i'm trying to make is that you're not the only one, this feeling that 'damaged' can only be with 'damaged' is pretty pervasive even when people aren't aware they think/feel this way, and there is a way out of it. it starts with us... it starts with taking the focus OFF what you think is so damaged about yourself and focusing on what isn't...realizing DAMAGED isn't a permanent condition. i can remember times when i was younger when i would feel like no one could even KNOW me at all if they didn't know what f**ked up circumstances i had been involved in. as though i needed to disclose it all. as though it WAS my identification. it isn't. it never had to be. we learn as we go and some of us have more to work through and past than others...
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:53 PM
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"i can remember times when i was younger when i would feel like no one could even KNOW me at all if they didn't know what f**ked up circumstances i had been involved in. as though i needed to disclose it all. as though it WAS my identification"

Ohhhh, I know that feeling well. There is a fine line between owning your damage and letting it own you.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:53 PM
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Jaycee Lee Dugard was a young girl who was abducted and kept in captivity for many many years, forced to have a child with her captor, sexually abused, etc. Since her rescue and rehabilitation she has shown that she's an extremely strong and beautiful person, inside and out. She sometimes speaks as a victims' advocate, and one of the things that she always says that I really hold onto related to this:

"This is not who you are, this is just something that happened to you."

When she says this she is often referring to abuse, but it holds true no matter the exact circumstances of each of our personal pasts. We have been through a lot, every single one of us, and though our experiences may have helped to shape our character, those experiences don't have to define us. We are not those bad things, those are just bad things that happened to us, we are each of us so much more than that.
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