Growing Pains

I approached my trip out west as a pilgrimage. It was a necessary step to grow as needed; the action that was required to take my self-awareness to the next step. Little did I know the emotional digging I began several days ago would go even deeper.

I had a major epiphany yesterday that gets to the root of my rejection issues, I think. I realized that when my dad died and I felt like an outsider in my own family was when I decided I needed a qualifying person to matter. Everyone else just sort of “puts up” with me because I come with the package, not because they want to.

And aside from a very, VERY small group of people I still feel that way in every relationship. Worse than that, I think that I’ve cultivated relationships that keep me in this pattern.

It goes something like this:

I find people who either don’t really like me or shouldn’t like someone like me, then I assume that they shouldn’t like me for whatever reason and spend the rest of the relationship doing whatever they want to try and “earn” their affection… but always doubt that it is genuine.

Fun, no?

Is it any wonder I’m an insecure mess?

But this is the pattern that is, for lack of a better word, “comfortable”. I’m too afraid to really matter to someone because I’m afraid they’ll die or leave – like my dad – so I chase after the unattainable, like approval from my mom and my sister, who were already in enemy camp with no real room for me.

It’s kinda funny to think that I have survived all the stuff in my childhood with relative success only to learn that these things have very insidiously infiltrated every other area of my life and hard-wired me for continuing failure.

So coming out to L.A. has hit on all this and unearthed it so that I can now mother my inner child and tell her that she’s good enough to matter to people, and to only give my love and attention to those who will return it. People like my family, my wonderful husband and my friends who are going to be there no matter who I’m friends with or what I can do for them.

I’m worth more than what I’ve given myself.

But it’s very difficult to change these patterns and it still triggers old pain… so while I know that I’m doing what needs to be done to heal, it definitely hurts.

It’s like childbirth. It hurts for a time but it brings forth a new being very much worth being treated like the beautiful, unique individual that she is.

I can’t fix what happened.

But I can take what I know and move forward.


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