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A New Perspective on Labels

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I’m slowly getting back into the rhythm of writing and as much “normalcy” as I can gather around myself. It’s not happening quickly but it’s steady (so YAY! for progress). 

I’ve been quiet (still) on social media. I’ve been working on projects – both personal and professional – and trying to keep my focus. Not always easy being who I am. 

All my life I’ve had some “quirks” that I thought were just inherently part of me. Little bits and bobs that made me appear anywhere from “fascinating” to “downright odd.” 

It’s only in the last few months that I’ve started realizing that many of my mannerisms and habits stem from my severely abusive childhood (that was compounded by pain endured as an adult). 

I’ve always avoided LABELS (something that’s been drilled into me my entire life as “very bad things”). When other people put labels on their own experiences, I could feel empathy for their pain, help them, but couldn’t see a straight line to our similarities.

Their pain was theirs.
My pain was mine. 

No matter who I had in my life, what job I held, where I lived, or if things were semi-okay…I held myself apart at all times and did one thing all day, every day: SURVIVE.

It’s only been recently that I had an epiphany…at almost fifty.

I have suffered from depression but didn’t label it.
I have suffered from severe PTSD but didn’t label it.
I have suffered from anxiety but didn’t label it. 

I didn’t label the issues I had (and still have) which meant, in my mind, none of it actually existed. If it doesn’t exist…there’s nothing to address.

You cannot fix what you will not face. 

In every area in my life, I consider myself pretty brave. When it came to saying, “I need help,” I found myself incredibly weak. 

I found out recently that hyper-independence is a carryover from extreme trauma. No one was there to save you before so in every single way, you will forevermore save yourself. 

An article on Medium called “Your Extreme Independence Is In Fact A Trauma Response” really broke this down for me. I felt it to the depths of my being. [When you get a moment – give it a quick read.]

I realized I’ve been careful to never truly need anyone. I like a lot of people. I love many of them. I will be there whenever I can and let others need me…but I was always cautious about needing anything in return.

This is based in fear…

Not so brave of me after all.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my independence. I enjoy my own company. Overall, I feel happy with my life and proud of what I’ve accomplished. 

However, I see that because I let the wrong people in (again and again), I’m hesitant now – even disturbed – by the thought of letting anyone new into my life. 

Another aspect of hyper-independence is being attracted to people who need from you…time, energy, advice, money, etc…so that you’re always in the power position. 

This describes every relationship I’ve ever had. 

I’ve rambled and I do apologize. I wanted to share the fact that – even though I’ve lived through a lot during my almost half-century of life – there is always more to learn…even about myself. 

Now that I’m facing it, I’m prepared to fix it. 

Progress is a lovely feeling.

I hope you’re being safe out there and finding joy every day (even in the smallest places) because life is too short to waste a moment.

Much love from my little world to yours,
Shayne

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cutting edge thinking, feel better, letting go, life change, personal development, self help


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