Over the last several years as a therapist with my own personal history of trauma, I have undergone a journey of self-discovery and awareness. It has truly been a process, not happening overnight. How many times do we just wish that change would happen like yesterday already?
Early on in my process, I came to the realization that I am codependent. Meaning that I tend to just do what others want and what others expect of me at the expense of what I truly want. Codependency has caused me to hide my true feelings, appearing one way on the outside and FEELING much different on the inside. An inconsistency, if you will. I have lived this way for a long time. It is quite exhausting! However, I get it. This trait helped me survive growing up….just make those straight A’s and join that swim team and my parents will be happy! If they are happy, I am happy. Right? WRONG!
My process is now shifting into a new season. It is time for me to start a conversation with my parents around what my childhood was like growing up. It is time to address the elephants we have danced around for years in the room. I have waited to start this talk with them, because I want to come into this conversation from a place of compassion, love, AND MY TRUTH, not anger and not my codependent place. I have worked on the anger piece and it is time to let go of my codependency with them. These no longer serve or protect me as they once did. I am grateful that they helped me survive and now I need to SPEAK MY TRUTH. I need my voice to be heard regardless of the response I get. This is for my healing.
What has allowed me this new freedom to start a conversation with my parents is that I now have compassion toward them. I have more understanding of their histories, their stories of childhood, their traumas. Armed with this understanding and that of my own background, I am now free and clear to begin a conversation, not a confrontation but a soft, calm, graceful start up. This will be the start of a series of conversations I hope to have over the course of this year. I have high hopes and low expectations. While I am not responsible for my parent’s response, I am responsible to my Little Bethie. She has a voice and it is time for her to be heard. Compassion AND My Truth.
Until next time…Bethie