As a child I had low self esteem from sexual abuse and school bullying. In order to cope with insults I face everyday, I would insult myself before classmates would have their turn. I thought if I verbally abused myself enough that when they would have their turn I would be numb to their insults. You can’t really hurt someone who has a hardened scar from years of self flagellation. (Ironically I would develop another harmful habit-self harm by cutting) I had replaced the bullies by becoming my own bully. I stopped myself from participating in school activities that would help me develop a sense of self. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself or my “imperfections”. Any hurt I had I would conceal or get punished for crying out for help. The sexual abuse caused me to silence myself in fear of no one believing me. I had to develop my own support system.
Darkness vs The Light
The light is “good”. The light is happiness, health and stability. The darkness is turmoil, instability, and unhealthy coping skills. Trauma can force us into a dark cave. The darkness can become a security blanket. Unhealthy behaviors, negative thought processes and sometimes the trauma itself is the new norm that we adapt to cope. This is the reason some people develop Stockholm syndrome to their abusers or situations. For example someone who grew up in a household with drug addicted parents may subsciously seekout partners with a drug dependency because that is the environment they are accustomed to living in. Trauma survivors can also develop a dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder. They create new personalities to function.
The “healthy” goal is to remove people out of the darkness and into the light without consideration that the darkness has become a bandaid that has fused into the skin as a protective layer. You would go into shock if someone was to rip the melted in plastic. The act would take a layer of skin off. It would be damaging. I came to an epiphany in my journey of healing that the darkness is not a healthy place to live but the light burns. I decided to live in the gray for now.