Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Addressing Your Own Reality

I have been reading a wonderfully inspiring book by Ashley Judd called, "All That is Bitter and Sweet," and I wanted to share some of the realizations that I have come to experience while reading her book.  First thing I noticed is that when her sister Wynonna is in therapy there is a healing process that the therapy center uses, and it is about addressing reality.  What this means is that the person in therapy or who is in the healing process is able to address their own reality of situations they have experienced in their lives that led to their addictions, or whatever they are being treated for.  The person who is in treatment explains their reality in a safe place where no one can contradict them or tell them they are wrong, or that it didn't happen that way.  I find this process one that I would like to explore in my own life, that has so much value to it.  There are so many different reality's of a situation depending on who you talk to that was involved in them.  This process is so important, because like myself and many others we feel that is it hard to speak up against what has been done to us, because we are frequently invalidated when we express our reality to the ones who have hurt us.  I know when I have brought up certain situations with my family, certain family members immediately argue with me and question my reality, especially if they feel that I am pointing out something they have done wrong.  I find the idea of allowing someone to have their own reality so freeing, and that others can realize that everyone's reality is different but that's ok, we are all entitled to our perceptions it's what is so genius about being human, we are not meant to be the same.

One example of a hurtful situation is one that happened when I was a teenager.  When I was in High School I didn't eat right, I have been a very picky eater my whole life, also I worked at Dairy Queen and ate alot of crap from there.  Also in being picky I did not eat alot of the meals my mother or step-mother made for me, I ate other food instead, and I was constantly criticized about my weight and what I ate.  I was not a fat teenager I was actually very, very, skinny, so I couldn't understand this abuse.  I began to eat in my room alot away from the criticism of my family and away from anyone who would look at what I was eating.  I also ate alot, but I was always very skinny.  Then I began to feel hurt by my friends who would approach my husband and even my family, including some of my best of friends who would ask if I had an eating disorder, or whether I was on drugs????? because I was very, very, skinny.   This has really hurt me to this day, I have always wondered where this attitude came from, was it jealousy? worry? or both??  I never really have addressed this issue with any of the people who have thought this knowing that they really didn't know me well enough to begin with to assume I must have something wrong with me.  What hurt me most in this was that no one could just ask me to my face, and then when they were told I didn't have an eating disorder, and no I wasn't on drugs they still couldn't believe it.  It also made me feel bad about myself when I was constantly criticized for what I ate, and my weight, I used to think I was chubby in high school and it made me feel fat, even though I was a size 00-2.  I am thankful that this criticism and abuse didn't ever change my eating habits or make me obsessed with my weight because so many women out there go to dangerous lengths to be skinny.  It also made me feel worse that anyone would wish I had something that seriously wrong with me. I hope one day I can say to those people that their actions have hurt me and caused me pain, only then will I be able to find my voice.

I also hope anyone who reads this finds their voice to tell someone they know about an incident that hurt them, and to express their own reality because it is in fact our world that shapes who we are and others who can choose to hurt or heal us. 

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