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The Symptoms of Self Abandonment

He was still laying there with me, just as clueless as I was. "What did I do?" he asked. "I have no idea." I responded, feeling frozen, a bit numb and empty. That's what bothered me, I had no idea. We were kissing, lovingly ... and then an anger built up inside of me followed by a feeling of absolute emptiness and numbness. This was a feeling I was very familiar with, especially when it came to men or other significant relationships in my life. What I didn't know was that I was seconds away from having a life changing epiphany in 3...2...1..... "I don't think you know who I am." I blurted out, turning to look at the man I had known for 6 years. "I'm a lot more radical than I pretend..." I went on to tell him my deepest feelings toward a particular topic we had been discussing earlier, and they were, very radical, at least in contrast to the common narrative. I felt shaky, yet liberated. There was a sense of adrenalin rushing through me, I was scared... scared of him not loving me, but excited to no longer feel like I didn't like myself. It was as if a wall of bricks had suddenly disintegrated around me, making it easier to stretch out and breath, but also causing me to feeling exposed and vulnerable- I liked it more than I feared it. That "paused" empty feeling vanished, and the underlying anger turned to pure passion towards the subject at hand. He did not receive me perfectly, as a matter of fact he warned me not to "Go off the deep end." and reminded me he wanted me to "Be happy." and not "Angry with the world." but it didn't matter, I was stabilized in my truth, and if it came across as radical or "too much" it didn't matter, because I felt alive. Exposed, and alive. It was so much better than feeling suffocated. I would come to understand that angry, numb, empty cocktail of sludge I was feeling was a symptom of self betrayal. I had learned at a young age that self betrayal was how to get my needs met for acceptance. As a child my father had called me "weird" on many occasions, and at cut me to the core, so I had learned to disguise my weird, to temper my wild and to dull my wisdom to avoid the devastation of rejection and ridicule. But in the process of trying to win love from him and many men after him, I lost. Lost my voice, lost my self respect, lost my convictions, lost... my way. This was the precise reason I could be blissfully happy in a relationship in one moment, and packing to leave in the next. It wasn't about them, it was about how much I was honoring my truth vs how much I was betraying myself in each moment. The self betrayal was deep, and intricately woven throughout my life. I would catch myself a dozen more times slipping into the coma of it, but the difference was, now that I was aware of the pattern I could catch myself and course correct by pausing to ask myself what my truth was, and then by boldly sharing it. No more tempering or dampening. No more self betrayal. It felt like a liberation my soul had been asking for my entire life. Suddenly, and finally, the "weird" little girl I once was had an advocate, and that advocate was me. Ironically, when I was in the middle of self betrayal, most people would have labeled me as wild and free. But there was so much I was still holding back. Sometimes we think we're free when we are still in shackles. That's because, we are so much more than we pretend to be.

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