as I walk

the journey to becoming me

17 Years

I’m attempting to use radical acceptance regarding my past – not the things that were done to me, but the things that I’ve done.  Actually, it’s one event in particular.  I’m hoping that if I can accept it, I can move on and finally break down some intense core beliefs (ie: I’m a terrible person, The bad things I’ve done cannot be forgiven, etc).   
I just don’t see though, how it’s possible to move on.  I don’t see how I could be forgiven.  
That’s one of the reasons I held so tightly to Christianity – the promise of forgiveness.  I never felt it though.  Even when I worked for years with the youth group at church, I didn’t feel it.  I figured that I was simply doing Christianity wrong.  So I kept trying harder and harder to be perfect all the while feeling guilt and shame.
Those feelings have haunted me since 1996.  17 years later, I’m finally ready to try to squash it, not avoid it, squash it, for good.  Last night I took the first step in moving on, I broke my silence and told Kelly what I did back when I was a junior in high school.  Then today I told one of the therapists at the program.  It was relieving to know that after Kelly had processed everything, that she still loves me.  It was even better to know that the therapist has heard my story multiple times and that she did think it was bad, but that I wasn’t bad.  
For 17 years I’ve walked around trying to please everyone because I truly thought that I was a bad person and I didn’t want others to see that.  
My plan is to use every skill in the book (literally – “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook”) if I have to, but I’m going to get over this.  The therapist had a good suggestion – that I write a finite plan of atonement.  Whatever that means to me, it could be lots of little things, one big thing, it doesn’t matter really what it is, just that once it’s done, it’s done.  I can’t add anymore to it.  I will have atoned for my wrong doing.  I will have forgiven myself.  That’s really the first step.  I’m ready.

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