I’ve had some good things happening in my life lately. I’ve been taking some big chances and it’s been working out. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? I agree it sounds nice. But I’ll be honest. My system is in chaos. My anxiety has been unusually high. I haven’t been sleeping well. My thoughts are racing. I am stressed out. I am more stressed out than when things are going wrong. It doesn’t make sense. But at the same time, it makes all the sense in the world. For my inner parts, it isn’t normal for things to go well. So when things start to look good, my inner parts come out expecting the absolute worst. When I get excited or happy, some inner parts become terrified. It would be easy to invalidate them about this. It would be easy to think that I am being crazy. But when I look at my past, this response is completely reasonable. So instead of arguing with myself, I need to give myself the compassion I have always deserved. I need to acknowledge the history creating this reaction. What are my parts saying?
It’s a setup. It seems good, but it is going to be bad. This was the story of my childhood in many ways. I was lured into many dangerous situations under the pretense that something good was happening. This was one of my mother’s favorite tricks. After a while, she knew I didn’t trust her, so she would use others. She would make my friends and boyfriends lure me into bad situations. Maybe they knew they were doing something mean. Maybe they didn’t. But it made it impossible for me to trust anyone. I never knew if they were “working” for my mother. The flying monkeys were everywhere. So nobody and no experience was safe. Not surprisingly, I isolated more and more as I got older. But there was still that desire for connection. And it never failed to get me in trouble. Now when I connect with even the most random person, I can sense that mistrust coming in. Are they working for her? Are they going to try to harm me? Are they setting me up? I know it sounds like paranoia (and it is), but it is based on valid reasons from an extremely traumatic past. It is not to be discounted.
It will never work out. Something will go wrong as soon as I get excited about it. The messages were clear in childhood. I was not allowed to have what I wanted. If I was too happy, something would be done to reduce my happiness. Joy was dangerous because it might bring confidence or hope. Those things were not allowed in my family. I had to be oppressed at all costs. My mother put so much effort into thwarting the things I loved, it was mind-boggling. How could one person use so much energy to destroy another? I often wonder how much good she could have done in the world if she had focused all her energy on something positive. But she didn’t. So my parts are always waiting for the inevitable destruction of my happiness. They see it as an absolute given. NOTHING good will ever last. In the end, I’ll get excited only to be decimated by something awful. I am NEVER supposed to get my hopes up. This makes embracing great things incredibly difficult. But it is clear why I feel that way.
I am fooling everyone. My mother was devoted to ensuring I internalized all the shame and self-blame when bad things happened to me. I learned that bad things happened to me and others because I was a problem. I was cursed. I was wrong. I was bad. I was evil. I was a witch. I should have never been born. I was an imposter. I needed to hide my true self. My innate characteristics were everything the world despised. I had to shrink, hide, avoid others and never let anyone know enough find out the truth. If I get too involved in something I love, if I connect with people too much, they will figure out how bad I really am. And then, I will lose it all. Everything I love will be lost. They will take it from me because I am undeserving of all that is good. So I must avoid connection with people who could figure out who I really am. That means I must avoid connection with people. And while it is completely unrealistic, it is completely understandable that my inner parts would feel this way.
Indeed, there is a setup. In my childhood, I was set up to believe these things. And there was no way I could have avoided these beliefs. My life was orchestrated to lead me to them. But that doesn’t mean I have to live with this pattern for good. I can recognize these beliefs. I can hear them out. I can feel the terror underneath the surface. And I can continue to make choices to change those patterns. I can choose to ground into another truth that empowers me. I can consider how things could be different. I can help my parts heal and see the world in a new way. Will this happen overnight? No. It is quite a process. But when I stick with it, I have seen it work. I have seen it change. The patterns do shift, but it won’t happen if I don’t believe myself. I have to listen to the terror to find my happiness.