As a child, I had very little independent thinking outside of my father. My abuse started when I was so small, that it was as if I had become a solider in my father’s army. Enlisted without cause and disabled of any independence.
There were no Saturday morning cartoons in our house that I can remember, just silent play waiting for your next command to come in. I lived as a child adult.
My own thoughts? I scarcely had them.
When I was a teenager, I did some thinking about boys but still not many thoughts were my own. My mind was gorged on survival and flooded with words of obedience to my captors. That’s just how it was.
When I left them, I was on auto-pilot waiting for my next instructions in life. I had never been taught to think for myself – quite the opposite.
Flip forward to learning how to stand up for myself in an abusive marriage. I didn’t know how. I hated how my children were being treated but silently I suffered and prayed that change would happen.
Slowly but surely I began to learn that I had to take action. No one was going to hand me power or authority over them. I had to learn to be my own person and take it back.
And so the long journey through the maze of self-discovery began.
I had no idea who I was. I had no idea of what I had been through. I had no idea how to get out.
Lesson Number One: I had to learn to trust myself and my ability to relearn.
Lesson Number Two: I had to create and build my voice. My inner dialogue was now taking on strength.
Lesson Number Three: I had to keep my mind intact and away from the influence of my family. They called me a liar. They kept up the pretense that if there was a problem, I was the problem.
I was not insane. I was bringing clarity to myself. My world was becoming mine. I was taking it back from them. No longer determined to comply with their wishes, I was moving forward in life and leaving enemy territory.
Taking my first steps independently; I began when I was about 35.