It was difficult for me to deal with other people’s emotions because I didn’t know how to deal with my own in a healthy way. I think it bothered me when my children cried when they were sad, hurt, or afraid because it felt like I was like looking into a mirror and seeing something I wasn’t willing to do myself.
One of the things I learned when I was a child was that whenever my abuser came to me I didn’t have much of a voice or vocabulary like “no” or “stop it.” I just felt like I had to give up and give in because I didn’t have any power. In my mind my feelings didn’t matter. I was invisible.
In the series called The Truth Is Not Delicate I describe a list of unhealthy thoughts and/or behaviors about what I may have taught my daughters as they grew up in a home with a young mom (me) involved in an abusive marriage and who was just discovering that she was sexually abused as a child.
Something that has become very important to me is my level of awareness. Lately, the area I would like to have more awareness revolves around how my past has affected me and as a consequence has influenced those around me.