A Creek of Disapproval

No matter what I did for my parents, it was met with disappointment. Even when they abused me, if I couldn’t complete the task because of a physical limitation, I was gripped with fear that they would now approve of me less.

Loving me less wasn’t even a thing because love didn’t live in our home but their approval somehow counted.

If I could satisfactorily completed their ugly requests, they’d leave me alone for a bit and punishment wouldn’t come calling.

After everything I had been through on my journey with these monsters, my best efforts to give my body in service to them was sometimes not good enough. Why does that matter?

It matters because children need approval. I needed to be known and I desperately needed somewhere to turn to be safe. In the absence of these things, approval was really the only thing I had left to find any worth through.

Their disapproval of me was their punishment to me.

The pendulum has swung for me today and I no longer need their approval. In fact, it is the approval of God and God alone that I live for today. His approval is easy.

We start learning these ways of regulating our feelings from the first moment someone feeds us when we’re hungry, covers us when we’re cold, or rocks us when we’re hurt or scared.

But if no one has ever looked at you with loving eyes or broken out in a smile when she sees you; if no one has rushed to help you (but instead said, “Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about”), then you need to discover other ways to take care of yourself.

You are likely to experiment with anything – drugs, alcohol, binge eating, or cutting – that offers some kind of relief.

The Body Keeps The Score, Bessel van der kolk, m.d., page 88

I’d like to report that I use none of the above mentioned coping mechanisms today, but I wouldn’t be telling the real story.

I struggle.

My struggle is to continue to teach myself how to come out of living a life completely numb and continuing my strides into the life that has deep feeling; a place where my memories are allowed to be free in my mind. I trust myself today and worry less about tomorrow but it will be a lifelong journey for me.

Steps of this magnitude are felt. Growing is uncomfortable. Pain often has accompanied my healing strides – but I get it.

I don’t want my story to end with comfortably numb, I want my story to end uncomfortably alive.

4 thoughts on “A Creek of Disapproval

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