Tabula Rasa

Wicked Wednesday #35 and Word for Wednesday #32

The prompt for this week’s Wicked Wednesday is this great photo by Molly Moore

A dark alley, photographed by Molly Moore.

I really wanted to write a story for Molly’s amazing photo, seeing it took back to my teens in London, I had an idea but then I started thinking about things I didn’t want to, so I ended up with this post which would have been more appropriate for Wicked Wednesday a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t going to write anything, I’m sure some of you must be getting fed up with my personal posts. But this is a positive post, even if it doesn’t seem like it. And I haven’t done a Word for Wednesday for a while either.

IMG_3026

I couldn’t decide between words – Guilt or shame.

I’ve always thought what I felt was guilt, but since reading this post I know it’s actually mostly shame.

From the website Becoming who you are :

Guilt = I did something bad.

Guilt is a healthy reaction when we act outside our values and standards.

Shame = I am bad.

Shame is something we are taught, that we carry around like a lead weight. It’s shame that leads to self-defeating and harmful behaviours. Once we believe we are bad, shame erodes our desire to change. We stop thinking we’re loveable or worthy of love. After all, if we are bad to our core, what’s the point in trying to change?

Here is the difference:

“My behaviour was wrong” vs. “I am wrong”.
“I made a mistake” vs. “I am stupid”.
“If I had/hadn’t done that, then this wouldn’t have happened to me” vs. “I deserved this to happen to me”.

I’m not going to go over my relationship with my ex. I had always described it as a shitty relationship, I didn’t think of it as an abusive relationship until 5 or 6 years ago. Before the days of the internet, abusive relationships were all about battered wives. I wasn’t battered, I don’t think psychological and emotional abuse were even thought of as a thing. I don’t remember ever seeing anything about it. The sad thing is that if he had hit me there is no way I would have stayed with him, but he didn’t, so I put up with it.

Once I acknowledged the abuse I started to talk about it more, only with a few people but they understood, some had been in abusive relationships. That combined with accepting that I’d let it go on for far longer than I should have led to my being able to find closure (hate that word) about our relationship.

The one thing I’ve still had a real problem with is my relationship with myself. I like who I’ve become but I still don’t like how I think and feel about myself sometimes. It’s gotten worse over the last few months since I’ve been depressed, I think one is feeding off the other. I know on the days when I feel really low I can’t stop the ugly thoughts, I feel worse blah, blah, blah. And even on the good days sometimes it can be a struggle, but I do feel things are improving.

Yesterday this happened on Twitter (can’t figure out how to copy Tweets 😀 )

Dawn Retweeted ༺ QuietღMind ༻ ♦️

And it’s only the guilt I place upon myself.

Dawn added,

The conversation continued for a bit and I was encouraged to stop feeling guilty. I had to get off the net for a while because it led to the usual crap, but when I really thought about it I knew that I am the only one who puts me down, I’m the only one who says nasty things about me. Every other person I know has been nothing but supportive and encouraging and I finally ‘knew’ I had to stop.

Then I saw this Tweet:

do you remember who you were before you became who people wanted you to be?

I was 15, I hadn’t even had a chance to be me before I had to become something else. And I thought, as I have done a few times, ‘Who am I? Really?’ I still don’t know, I always seem to become who others think I am, whether I want to or not. I think that may be why I’m finding it so difficult to be with other people. I’m tired from people’s expectations, which are really only the expectations I put on myself – what do they want?

And finally I saw this:

But you must first have the courage to take it all down and throw it all away (aka let it all go)… The courage to do ‘nothing’ while this is happening… The courage to have ‘nothing’ while this is happening… The courage to simply be while this is happening, not having any idea who you are in this new space of ‘nothing’…

https://bayart.org/2016/07/12/chaos-mess-ruin/

Everything sort of fell into place, another weight gone – things that I know logically are finally getting through to that damn voice in my head.

I need to stop with the circular thoughts, they take me nowhere. It’s not doing me any good thinking and re-thinking the past, I really need to let it go. And most importantly I need to be still for a while, to stop worrying about what I’m going to do, right now it doesn’t matter, I have time to figure it out (I hope).

And the title for this post?

Tabula rasa refers to the epistemological idea that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception.

I’m not a totally blank slate but I need to just stop and let me become me.

More Wicked Wednesday here.

WickedWednesday

And more Word for Wednesday here.

10 thoughts on “Tabula Rasa

  1. It’s a tough journey when all around you are ‘perfect people’ telling you what to say, how to dress and how to behave. Abuse is so corrosive when it’s coupled with shame. Keep dropping the past and embrace the freedom of acting only for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like one giant step you are taking in the right direction. I think you should come back to this post frequently, especially on days you feel negative about yourself again. You are one strong woman!

    Rebel xox

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a very powerful question “do you remember who you were before you became who people wanted you to be?” I think to come extent we all experience this. I know I certainly did. It took me a long time to put the brakes on being what people wanted me to be and started being me but even now there are things I still struggle with.

    Mollyxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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