My dad (I guess my parents in general, but mostly my dad) has always been big on the idea that we create our own reality. We’re responsible for everything in our lives and everything that has ever happened. I was exposed to this… philosophy (I’m not sure what else to call it) a lot, from my dad but also from family friends and audio tapes my parents listened to in the car and events we went to and… all kinds of things. I assume that for my dad this belief is empowering– it means you are in control, that you can changes thing, make them however you want (one day I’ll get in to my experience with my dad making things ‘however he wants’ but that’s a topic for another time). Ideally it gets rid of the victim complex, because you’re responsible for the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I realized this morning that the way the I internalized this was not in an empowering way. Instead of making me feel like I have the power to create my life and change things (not to say that I do not believe I can do those things, but I don’t find them to be rooted in this particular belief), I feel like in being 100% responsible for my life, I am to blame for anything bad that has happened to me.  (my father would take issue with the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ so for his hypothetical benefit I’ll say) experience that doesn’t feel: happy, right, enjoyable. Essentially I’ve made my self a victim to my own power.

A good example of this is with my last boyfriend. I am of the opinion that he more or less broke up with me because I wouldn’t have sex with him. He never said this, but once I could finally get the whole thing in perspective, that’s what I realized.
I know that I did nothing wrong in terms of how the relationship ended. In fact, I am glad that it ended when it did, because goodness knows what would have happened had it continued. So I don’t blame my self for the relationship ending… Instead I blame my self for the fact that it happened at all.  The thoughts go something like this: there were all kinds of signs. I always felt terrible after I was with him. Friendships were almost ruined over this relationship. He wouldn’t take no for an answer before we even started dating. I knew/saw how insecure and immature he was. He was an inappropriate jerk to people. Ultimately, I should have known better. 

And the thing is that it doesn’t stop with the ‘I should have known better.’ I berate myself endlessly for not listening to my self and others, for not seeing the bigger picture, for letting my self be treated badly, for not realizing that I was being treated badly, for compromising my self. For making a mistake. For not being perfect.

My dad never said I had to be perfect. He never said that things were my fault if they didn’t turn out the way I wanted- if they didn’t turn out well (“good”). But through my personality, and my experiences, and the patterns of action I’ve had in the world, that’s ultimately the belief that I adopted.

Now that I know I can work on changing this for my self, but it’s not some surface level thing that I can just flip a switch on– it’s become part of my habits and one of the lenses I see the world through.

The funny thing is that I’m not even sure I believe we’re in control of everything. But I guess you don’t have to believe something is true or right to internalize it.