We are all born into a unique social environment known as ‘family’. The people of this environment contribute to our genetic make up, our physical environment, and our psychological well being. From contraception, our family leaves an impression upon who we are and where our lives will be directed. A kind of legacy.
My legacy is a scrappy package known as Complex PTSD. For me, it is living with the knowledge that my parents never loved me, and there was no one in my childhood willing to help me escape their abuse. Some might consider this a negative statement, and yet as much optimism as I continually throw at it, this is my reality. It was only very recently, at 27 years old, that I have come to accept I am permanently marked with being ‘a strong survivor of child abuse’. And frankly I don’t even understand what this mark looks like.
I recently read a book by Mark Manson titled ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’, which ironically called me to question all of the f*cks I’ve ever given towards my ‘legacy’. He mentions that our values can be lost in external needs, leaving us incapable of truly accomplishing our dreams. We should instead be focusing on internal values. For example; rather than wanting to be the best in a certain industry we should be focusing on something like continually increasing our skills and abilities in that industry. I really enjoyed his breakdown of these concepts, but I didn’t expect to realise that I have what he described as ‘shitty values’. When being honest with myself, I saw that my deepest value was to not be seen as the girl from an abusive childhood. And especially to never be seen as a victim.
At face value this doesn’t appear to be shitty at all, I truly believed it was an excellent measurement of my personal success. It has been the driving force of every good decision I have made in life. The problem is that I am a victim of child abuse, so I had failed my measurement of success before I was even old enough to know my own name.
Where does this leave me now? It leaves me with an empty space for my core values, and the challenge to figure out what values I want driving my approach towards life.
I will be posting weekly updates on my experiences of living and evolving with Complex PTSD. Please feel welcome to discuss your experiences or questions in relation to these issues!
Warm regards, xxx