Not Selfish

Self-care is not selfish.  Hard to believe this or implement it if as a child you are told that getting enough to eat is being selfish.  I was told I had to go hungry so my brother could have seconds.  Sad thing, food would spoil in the refrigerator because it wasn’t eaten fast enough.  As a child, I blamed myself for wanting more to eat.  I was blamed for being too big and wanting too much.  Entering high school, I was 4’11” and weighed 90 lbs. I didn’t understand the distortions I lived in.  I didn’t understand that how I was treated was about control not about what I needed.  I didn’t understand that pitting children against each other kept us divided and easier to control.  I didn’t understand that getting what you need is not selfish.  As an adult, why don’t I just get over it?   The training gained as a child is extremely difficult to overcome.  It became part of my value system.  Part of my counseling was to rip out all this corrupted and distorted foundation and lay down a new belief system.  It is a work in progress.

#24 Doing things for myself (resting, watching a movie, a massage) without feeling selfish and guilty.

Judy’s perspective is shared here:

After ripping out my foundation and almost everything I believed about the World I lived in, my counselor started with human rights.  He gave me a sample list then I was to write my own from that list.

This took many sessions to work out and refine to ones that I believed were true.  However, intellectually holding a belief and internalizing that belief are not the same thing.  I was doing great for awhile then events occurred and I fell back into the same poor habits of self neglect and guilt for caring for myself.  Recently someone shared a bunch of memes about guilt trips.  They were supposed to be fun.  I didn’t laugh.  I felt chilled to my bone.  I was falling back into those guilt trips.  I want to come with new ones,”You don’t have to take every guilt trip you are offered,” “Guilt trips are not free rides,” “Friends don’t send friends on guilt trips,” and a few others are coming to mind.  I’m back at the drawing board working out what self-care looks like.  I know what it is not, self-care is not selfish.



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