So I’ve been trying to take better care of myself lately. I don’t really know what sparked it, but self-care has always been a weakness of mine and therefore also one of my main areas of development. See, I’ve realised now that, sure when I was small not taking care of myself was a way for me not to draw attention to myself, a way of avoiding danger. It is a habit that helped me back then, but is hurting me right now and for most of my adult life.
I remember when I first started therapy… I wasn’t accustomed, or I guess I didn’t know I was allowed, to even go to the store to get food for myself. I will never forget the first time I got into the car with the sole intention of buying myself something to eat at the local spar. It was sushi. When I got home my husband told me he was proud of me. I didn’t understand why. In that moment I didn’t comprehend that something in my brain was changing, shifting, realising, becoming. Today I still don’t like to do things for myself. I don’t shop, washing, cleaning and organising are things still associated with my traumatic past. When you’re in survival mode every day you don’t think of spending time on organising personal belongings – you don’t know if they’ll still be there tomorrow. When you’re living in a prison cleaning doesn’t seem like a worthwhile activity… I’ve had to slowly start working on realising that I’m not living in a prison anymore. I’m living in a house, a house that is mine, a house that I can dream about because it will still be my home tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that.. I have the responsibility to take pleasure in taking care of it as time spent on improving my living conditions is time spent well. It’s a new realisation for me, but one that I am enjoying exploring.
As part of this journey I am reading, or rather listening to the voice of Abigail from the google Chrome extension “Read out loud”, the book “Healing your emotional self” by Beverly Engel. I hope this book brings me some more wisdom, closure and welcome positive change. I am blossoming ☺.