Don’t let me define myself by my past

I am more than my past; more than the things that people have done to me, more than the things that I have done to others. Yet just as others find it hard to understand this, so do I.

I live in a whirling pot where my reality, my sense of truth about the world and myself is formed by what people have told me or done to me, and a lot of it isn’t very nice. So I end up thinking that I’m worthless, that no-one cares and that there is nothing I can do to make myself feel better or to change my lot in life. I’m just a dreg and will always be just a dreg. I tell myself every day that I just have to accept that and carry on as I am. That is how I survive. If I don’t wish for better then I don’t end up being disappointed. And believe me, I can’t take any more disappointment in life. So I just try and survive as I am, it’s the safest thing.

So I end up living in a whirling pot of negativity, of closed doors, of hurt… and it never stops… unless you help me break out of it. I need you to give me hope, to give me a sense of possibility, a taste of what life could be. I need you to show me that life isn’t just something that is done to me. Show me that I can reclaim my life and can be in control.

Yes, life has been crap. People have neglected me, abused me, generally not met my basic human need for love, for care, for support. A large part of why I am the way I am today is other people’s fault. But don’t let me stop there, in just blaming. If you do I will be no nearer to solving the problem that is my life. I will still be stuck in my pot of negativity and hurt, dwelling on the past and thinking that nothing can change.

Show me that my power and control lies in how I respond to my past. Only I can choose how I respond and that is my power. Whether I’m still around those that mistreat me or not, show me how their treatment of me is not who I am, does not have to define my life and show me alternate ways of validating myself and getting a sense of value and self-worth. Help me to move on from blame to finding solutions to my problems.

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Life then doesn’t look so gloomy. I suddenly have choices to make; I’m back in the driving seat of my life.
So if my underlying problem is that my parents don’t give a stuff about me, help me to focus on other people who do care about me. Help me to accept that my parents may never change and seek to solve my care-deficit problem by looking elsewhere. It could be another relative, or failing that a mentor. If things change with my parents then great, if they don’t then at least I am meeting my need elsewhere. I am choosing to own and carry on with my life and refuse to be held captive by other people’s inadequacies.

If I have suffered from physical abuse of some form, help me to process my feelings about that, and move on. Help me to see that my life does not need to be defined by what they have done to me. I wasn’t in control then, but I can be now. I don’t have to let them control me now, in terms of how I think about myself, how I behave. I can choose to move on. Only I can do that for myself, nobody else can do it for me.

Whatever my issues, I need to be able to look forward, at new possibilities rather than just dwelling on old hurts and pains. Yes I do need to work through my past but don’t leave me there. Help me see who I can be, rather than who I was made to be in the past. Help me regain control of my life and see that it is me who holds the key that can let me out of my prison. I may not have built the walls but I can break out. You just need to show me how.

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