The only self-doubt I hear in my head come in the fading voices of my mother and my former husband. (They say you marry one of your parents and wow, he was a doozy.) Any limiting beliefs I might have had came from a source outside of myself. I am wired to be confident and self-assured. Perhaps that threatened people as I was growing up and instead of supporting me and encouraging my unique approach to the world, I was forced to believe those who loved me and told me that I was too … much, loud, sensitive, tall, curious, stupid, strong-willed, inquisitive, wild, spirited, engaged. Pick a trait and I was too much of it. I spoke to my mother for only the first 18 years of my life. She was toxic, likely still is. I was somehow able to find a part of myself that knew that if I stayed in that relationship she would have killed me – beyond simply crippling my spirit. Nowadays that act is called setting boundaries, in the old days it was called survival. (Was my father complicit? Of course, but he gets a pass for a myriad of reasons.) I then subjected myself to 18 years of marriage to someone equally toxic who simply picked up where my mother left off – and then added his own broken and twisted spin on it all.
I don’t have to live that story anymore.
Over the last 6 years I’ve focused on raising my children to adulthood and shed myself of all beliefs that are not my own. It has been hard work, excruciatingly painful at times. What are my beliefs? My truths? They were buried underneath 50 years of shame, guilt and the endless expectation of conformity and success in the eyes of others. The journals that have been filled and burned! The tears that for years weren’t “allowed” were shed by the bucketful. There were days I didn’t think I’d make it.
Now I am living my version of me. Whole and happy. This is my best life. How does it get better than this?