Friday, September 06, 2013
This seems like a crazy tangent- but I promise it all wraps up in the end. This is raw and exposing but if even one of you can benefit from the things I've learned then its worth putting it out there.
Yesterday I was clearing out the DVR for a bit while Dane was in school and came across Oprah's Lifeclass: Fatherless Daughters. What an eye opener! I didn't realize so many women felt the exact same way I did.
Being a fatherless daughter is tough. My dad was present but I was still fatherless. He didn't care about us and we were burdens to him. Iyanla Vanzant explained on there that your relationship with your dad is your first intimate, non-sexual relationship with a man. He shows you how you should be treated, valued, etc. and when a dad leaves or is gone, he takes a piece of that little girl's soul with him. That girl will always have a void in her that, as a young woman, she will try to fill. This often comes in form of promiscuity due to craving the attention of a man, even if she's not interested in him. (I could go on for days with information I learned in this episode, highly recommend watching it if the shoe fits)
Check! Lately I've been working through my past and trying to purge my heart from shame and guilt that I hold. It has been a long process because I just ponder it here and there. Try to feel and sit with the raw emotion, find compassion for the scared girl I was, and constantly remind myself that the person I was back then is not who I truly am. When you know better, you do better!
Iyanla had the women do an exercise to dig deep about their dads. She had them repeat (summarized) "I am a fatherless daughter. Because of that I feel _____. To fill that void I feel deep down, I ________. But really I know that I do that to fill the void of my dad being gone." Some women said they try to be super-mom, over-compensate, etc.
My answers to that exercise was I feel worthless and unworthy of love. My dad only showed up for the good stuff: band concerts, HS and college graduation, anything that involved being in public so he could appear to be a good dad all the while neglecting us at home. To fill that void I BECAME A PERFECTIONIST. I thought since he just showed up for good stuff, I had to constantly do good stuff to be worthy of love. I had no idea that I would be loved without being perfect. Talk about pressure!! I turned to being a perfectionist to fill that void of feeling unworthy of love, because who doesn't love a perfect person?!
This perfectionist thing was so much more deeply rooted than I ever knew. But I feel like I have officially found the cause and I can now heal my open wound and embrace all that I am, imperfections and all.
Next up: going through my story in my head. The story I tell myself about my dad and whittling it down. Taking emotions out of it, and taking my power back. I have to get rid of what is and what might have been had he been around. One thing will never change: he wasn't there for me. A girl needs a father but I am a woman now. He is just a man. I say who I spend my time with, and how often I see someone. The ball is in my court.
My dad is in his 50's now and I just saw him on Monday. He hasn't changed a bit and that's ok, it's his perogative. That is all he is capable of and that isn't enough for me and I can say that as a woman. I can't expect more than he is willing to give. Thankfully I have an INCREDIBLE step-father and husband that have shown me what real men are and have always pushed me to raise my standards and expectations for myself and others that I choose to be around.
Perfectionism isn't realistic. It was when my life really started feeling out of control and less than perfect that I really turned to food for comfort. It was then that my weight started ballooning and it was then that I realized that I could not always be perfect. I ate myself into a food-cushioned coma so that I could numb myself from my painfully, non-perfect life.
For the first time in my life- I really feel free. Free from the stress of perfection, from the void unworthiness that was rooted deep in my gut, and free from the need to use food to cushion me from the world.
I'm imperfect and that's ok. I'm still lovable, I'm still worthy, and I can see with 20/20 vision that true love is sticking through the thick and thin, perfect and imperfect, good and bad. I never expected everyone I love to be perfect, I've always loved them the same- my impossibly high standards were only imposed by me, on myself and its time to be free of the ball and chain that weighed me down. I am imperfect and I am lovable.
:) It's amazing what a little thinking time on the treadmill can do.