A long time ago, when you were a wee thing, you learned something, some way to cope, something that, if you did it, would help you survive. It wasn’t the healthiest thing, it wasn’t gonna get you free, but it was gonna keep you alive. You learned it, at five or six, and it worked, it *did* help you survive. You carried it with you all your life, used it whenever you needed it. It got you out—out of your assbackwards town, away from an abuser, out of range of your mother’s un-love. Or whatever. It worked for you. You’re still here now partly because of this thing that you learned. The thing is, though, at some point you stopped needing it. At some point, you got far enough away, surrounded yourself with people who love you. You survived. And because you survived, you now had a shot at more than just staying alive. You had a shot now at getting free. But that thing that you learned when you were five was not then and is not now designed to help you be free. It is designed only to help you survive. And, in fact, it keeps you from being free. You need to figure out what this thing is and work your ass off to un-learn it. Because the things we learn to do to survive at all costs are not the things that will help us get FREE. Getting free is a whole different journey altogether.
i think i gasped a little when i read this because it’s almost word-for-word my therapist’s explanation of why i learned to be anxious as a child (“if your dad might blow up at any minute then your anxiety protects you”) and why it’s not helping me now (“he’s not here anymore”).
Ooh my therapist talked about talking about my life as exploitation and I went bone silent
The things we we learn to survive don’t always make us thrive
wow. this is hittin home for me in so many ways~ Wishin everyone good luck on their journey of unlearning~ (via kenyabenyagurl)
…This. All of it.
this is exactly what my therapist says, with the addition that the path to healing does not involve telling this part of you that acted as a survival strategy to fuck off and quit complicating your life; it involves acknowledging it, thanking it for its work in keeping you alive, and then working on reassuring it and the rest of yourself that you no longer need that protection.