Reaffirmation

69469_553742927979985_1420159206_nI thought this was a very bad week, and it was very difficult in many ways. However, G-d has a way of changing “bad” into “good”–or if not exactly “good” then at least “beneficial.” A friend did something earlier this week that triggered memories and feelings of the emotional abuse I suffered. I felt anguish, sadness, anger, feelings of worthlessness, self-blame, confusion, powerlessness, and loss of identity. My stomach felt tied into knots, I felt emotionally and physically exhausted, and I had trouble sleeping. Because we were already worn out, it was even more difficult to deal with all this. I thought, “Why did this have to happen NOW when we are already pushed to the limits of our endurance from JJ’s battle with cancer???” 

I don’t want to describe the actual situation, and neither do I want to get bogged down in a description of my life story. Frankly I am tired of talking about it. However, I do think it would be helpful to describe what emotional abuse is and how it affects a person. The following is from several different websites:

Emotional abuse can be defined as any behavior that affects the psychology of an individual by overpowering him/her. It involves verbal, as well as non-verbal abuse that eventually undermine the self-respect and independence of the sufferer…

An individual under prolonged abuse loses his/her self-confidence, self-concept, self-motivation, and self-worth. It can be more harmful than physical abuse because it can undermine what we think about ourselves. It can cripple all we are meant to be as we allow something untrue to define us. 

6 (1)I have fought very hard to overcome these things and become who G-d designed me to be. Sometimes it feels as if I have to keep fighting and fighting these battles, and I get discouraged. But when I look back, I discover that each battle that I have fought has strengthened me in a different way. Including this one. I have made progress this week. While I will always strive to be loving, patient, compassionate, and understanding towards others, today I began to re-affirm my declarations for myself, which I first began to develop when emerging from emotional abuse. They are:

  • No matter how good-intentioned they may be, I will not allow myself to become anyone’s “project” to fix and mold into what they want me to be.
  • I will not no longer silently accept criticism, insults, disrespect, or devaluing without the right to explain, defend myself, or make it right.
  • I certainly have my share of weaknesses, imperfections, failures, and annoying habits, and I will take responsibility for them. However, I will not allow anyone to shift blame onto me that is not mine. I will not apologize for things that I did not do.
  • I will allow myself to fail, mess up, be imperfect, have bad days without beating myself up about it–and without letting others make me feel like a failure.
  • I will remember that I have the right to my own feelings. What I feel is not “nonsense.”
  • I will remember that I might not be the same as “you,” with your gifts and strengths, but that does not mean that I am flawed. It means I am different, with different gifts and strengths. God designed us to be different and a difference is not the same as a flaw.
  • I will remembered that it’s ok to have my own likes, dislikes, and opinions.
  • I will set firm, healthy boundaries even if someone gets mad at me for it.
  • 148935_10151322130714939_143478872_nI will not allow someone’s disapproval of me to make me feel worthless.
  • No one is strong all the time, including me. I will not just forgive others for mistakes and failures, I will also forgive myself for mine.
  • I will view–and treat–myself as a beloved daughter of G-d.

I thought this was a terrible week. Now I am becoming thankful for how G-d is using it to strengthen me.

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6 Comments on “Reaffirmation

  1. Dear Teri, as far as I can see you are the most kind and loving friend I have and whatever “people” may or may not think I’m proud to have you in my life. And do I recognize this struggle. And I just thank you for you’re words because they will help me too in the same path. Love you very much and I please enjoy the Shabbat and take all the rest you can have beautiful daughter of Abba Father. ❤

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  2. You are made in HIS image and likeness and you always belong to Him !! This imperfect world we live in is a daily challenge for us all and He knew it was when He placed us here and that being said He promised to never leave us alone or abandon us, so never loose sight that you are a child of God and He is with you always, love ya
    Linda

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  3. Yeshua (Jesus) said in Luke 6:31: “Treat other people as you would like them to treat you.”

    A famous rabbi named Hillel (born Babylon traditionally c. 110 BCE, died 7 CE in Jerusalem) said, “What you yourself hate, don’t do to your neighbor.”

    I try to keep these wise sayings in mind.

    I think that if we want people to be kind, understanding, patient, compassionate, and forgiving of us, then we ought to be so toward others. If we can’t bear someone pointing out our weaknesses and flaws, what makes us think others can bear it? If we refuse to listen to others, why should they listen to us? If we share our opinions, we ought to let others share their opinions with us.

    What I find most difficult to bear is an unfair measure. For example, I hate it when someone considers something to be a virtue in themselves but a flaw in others–just as “I” am merely telling “you” the truth, but “you” are being critical. If it’s a virtue in me, it’s a virtue in others and if it’s flaw in others then it’s a flaw in me. I hate it when people criticize others but refuse to allow themselves to be criticized. Or when they freely disagree with others opinions, but allow no one to disagree with their opinions. Or when they want people to endure their flaws and annoying habits, but they don’t endure the flaws and annoying habits of others.

    We all are imperfect and sometimes fail to treat others as we would like to be treated. That’s where forgiveness comes in. But what I hate most of all is when someone criticizes a person and then silences or cuts off that person so she can neither defend herself, explain, or make it right.

    I think we ought to be respectful, compassionate, patient, understanding, and forgiving toward others. However, I think that I also should receive it. I used to think it was selfish to want to be shown these things but I am learning that is untrue. I don’t think that we ought to “get revenge” or trade insult for insult. However, neither do we need to accept disrespect or abuse. That’s where my “re-affirmation” list comes in. Relationship is about giving and receiving. I need to give to others, but I also need to receive the same things in return.

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  4. I do agree with you here Teri, and I had a lot of time to deal with this kind of situations in my family when I was the daughter but also when I was the mother. And I have learned that I have to be forgiving but I deserve the same treatment. And if not than at the end of a very very very long journey there comes a time that I have to say that we have reach the end of that journey. Because if I let it go on I’m treating myself as not worthy of anything and that I did to many times and it coasted me grief pain and at some point almost the end of me. So if giving and receiving are out of balance than I have to do something about it…..Thanks for sharing ❤

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