For some of us, our families were not safe for us to speak out. We protected ourselves by isolating, burying our feelings, denying, abandoning, and ignoring our True Self instead, presenting that False Self to the world. This behaviour allowed us to manage our fear of others and minimize any criticism. We used this to protect ourselves from people who we felt could hurt us, but at the same time, we did not allow others to get close to us and became even more isolated. Our fear of intimacy increased. The more we isolated ourselves, the greater our pain became until eventually, we “hit bottom.” We had disassociated ourselves from others to the point of no return. Our loneliness and unrealistic fears crippled our ability to engage in meaningful relationships or become a productive member of society.
We thought that if we could maintain control and manage the chaos in our lives that we would be accepted and respected by our peers. This false sense of self continued to perpetuate and feed our constant fear, anger, and pain within. We continued to sacrifice our True Self. Eventually, we started to realize that the walls we built to protect our True Self has become a prison and the only way to break down this wall is to overcome our fear of isolation.
As a solution to our problems, our false sense of self is sometimes manifested as a people-pleaser. The dilemma is that we try to suppress who we are while at the same time try to analyze who others want us to be. We create a mental prison that comprises shaming beliefs about ourselves. We often become enmeshed in others and lose our identities. The Game of Dissociation allows us to remain a victim, avoid facing our fears or take action to move forward.
It is challenging to begin the process of learning to trust again. We are afraid to share openly without being judged or criticized. Unconditional acceptance allows many of us to be able to discontinue defending our False Self and take responsibility for our mistakes. Personal criticism is less hurtful. We listen to what others have to say about us and decide if it is true, instead of becoming defensive. As our self-worth and self-esteem gradually increase, we begin to realize that it is no longer necessary to protect our True Self.
The process of emotional recovery is a lifelong process.
Overcoming denial and fear are major obstacles many of us continuously experience. Our feelings of helplessness are replaced with hope. We begin to discover our True Identity as being capable, worthwhile, and loveable. Although we still have personality defects, our feelings of inferiority and worthlessness diminish. Our need to play the role of rescuer or victim in the game of Dissociation diminishes. We start to learn to allow others to accept the responsibility for their decisions and do not attempt to control, manipulate, or rescue them. We empower them rather than enable them. We became over-involved in other’s lives to avoid looking at ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we lost our ability to stand up for ourselves. We lost our voice.
By supporting and encouraging others, we can rebuild our True Self. When we are no longer in denial, we can accept when a relationship is unhealthy for us and replace that with a healthy relationship. We have interdependent relationships with healthy people – not dependent relationships with emotionally unavailable people. We learn to express our feelings in a safe environment without guilt. We learn to withdraw from people or situations that keep us emotionally dysfunctional. We “detach with love.” It will most often feel awkward in the beginning, but eventually, we feel alive – possibly for the first time in our life!
As we begin to become emotionally healthy, we begin to have compassion for others trapped in a “drama triangle” caused by their learned helplessness. Like us, they are also desperately searching for a way to escape this insanity. As our True Self continues to become stronger, we start to observe the unhealthy dynamics around us we were once blind to. We are no longer compelled to rescue someone else impulsively. We can now patiently wait for them to ask us for help. The road ahead of us is still unknown; however, instead of continuing to play the game of Dissociation, we can take our place in this world as vibrant lovers of life. We are no longer reactors.
If any of this sounds like you, I would like to invite you to join our Ladies Only sharing session. For more details, click here: Empowerment_Session