On my mind tonight....
Sometimes...well, often, I find myself being so hard on myself for being so scared of the lady downstairs. Like, I should just get over it, right?
When someone is anxious or scared about something, there's usually a reason underneath...and so I have discovered this for myself...
I've been dreading letting the landlord know that I'm moving because I've been afraid that when the lady downstairs finds out she will bother me to no end...and ask questions...plus in the last few days she's already left me 2 notes. She's so sick.
Not only does she remind me of my mom by treating me like an object that has no voice, but deciding to move away reminds me of the time when I knew I needed to get out of my parent's house because the atmosphere was not good for me and would only drag me down till I would be at the point of wanting to end my life. Again.
The only way I could find to get out was to go teach school in a new community 6 hours away. I didn't think my parents would let me move out for the real reason I wanted to move out.
So my fear and anxiety of the lady downstairs is very deep rooted. And for a very real reason. Not only was food withheld as punishment but there was never any emotional connection. Not only was there physical malnourishment but also emotional malnourishment. That's a lot of deprivation.
Most of my childhood I felt like an object. The only thing that mattered was what my parents wanted. I, who I am as a being with emotions and gifts, was squashed down, crushed, trodden underfoot, by the very people who were supposed to protect, care, and nourish me, to nurture and develop and strengthen. But they did none of those things.
I was an object.
I was a thing to help them reach their goals.
I was a thorn in their side because I couldn't meet their expectations.
I was a free source of labor.
I was not worth being taught life skills to help me prosper.
I was just an object.
A thing that could be kicked and slapped and pushed around.
An "animal" that could be threatened and forced to do whatever they wanted me to do.
Supposedly devoid of any self agency.
Supposedly devoid of emotion.
Supposedly devoid of any gifts and talents.
Is it any wonder that I feel some of those same things because of the way the lady downstairs treats me?
I am a being.
I have emotions.
Very real emotions.
I am worthy of love. Respect. Kindness.
I have gifts and talents.
I have a voice and I'm learning to use it.
I am very creative.
I have opinions and preferences.
I have a big heart.
I have things I like and things I don't like.
But what can you do when you live in the same house as one who treats you like an object?
I deserve to be treated like a human being.
I deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.
I deserve to have my voice listened to.
I deserve to be heard.
I deserve to be allowed to be an individual with likes and dislikes.
I deserve to be loved for who I am.
I deserve to have space to develop my gifts and talents.
I deserve to have true friends.
I deserve to be cared for.
I deserve to be human being. Not an object.
So much deprivation. There's a reason why I am afraid and anxious.
Not so very long ago I used to believe that I just needed to pray more or trust God more or read my Bible more or whatever else christianese that christians tend to say to the hurting and struggling in their midst. People who say such things have no idea how much harm they are causing on top of the wounds already bleeding.
I've been there. I used to say the same things. Till I was the hurting one. The wounded one. The struggling one. Then I realized how much those spiritual bandaids DIDN'T work. I realized that they just built walls between the hurting and the other individual. I realized that it created more wounds on top of the ones already there and the real need was squashed down into the darkness ...
So next time you find yourself wanting to tell someone that they should pray or worship or read the Bible. Stop. Remind yourself that you don't fully know the situation like God does. Remind yourself that you don't know how much they've already prayed. Remind yourself that they don't need advice right then. Instead...
Be open minded.
Ask if they want a hug or what they need in that moment. They may not know.
Most importantly, take time to just listen.
Sometimes that is all that is needed.
And I am angry, deeply angry, at how I've been treated by not only my parents but also the lady downstairs...an anger brought on by the injustice and mistreatment by the ones who chose to do so. Righteous anger.
No one deserves to be treated like an object...each individual matters...