“YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE’S AFFECTION OR APPROVAL IN ORDER TO BE GOOD ENOUGH.”
Well that grabbed my attention (maybe yours too?), and not just because it was all in capitals on my phone screen. I kept reading the rest of the paragraph, which thankfully was not in capitals.
“When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, it isn’t actually about you. It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs, and you don’t have to internalise that. Your worth isn’t contingent upon other people’s acceptance of you – it’s something inherent. You exist, and therefore, you matter. You’re allowed to voice your thoughts and feelings. You’re allowed to assert your needs and take up space. You’re allowed to hold onto the truth that who you are is exactly enough. And you’re allowed to remove anyone from your life who makes you feel otherwise.” – Daniell Koepke
This was originally posted here
And that, I have discovered, is how you start a day right. The internet came through for me this morning, and spat out the exact words I needed to read in light of recent thoughts and feelings. It struck such a chord with me; it addressed all the things I wouldn’t allow myself to do, and quashed the self hatred that had been growing into an unmeasurable force so perfectly that I felt as though it had been written specifically for me. Frequently I stumble across bloggers who take my breath away, whose writing moves me, but it has been a long time since anything has struck me on such a personal level. What I’m doing is ok. I thought, and then… I am ok. And thinking that, thinking something that is now so alien to me, felt amazing. There was a seismic shift in my mood so great it went beyond the limits of the richter scale. Why is it ok for everyone in this house to vent their feelings towards me, and yet I can’t express the hurt I feel or the emotions I am trying to deal with, because they don’t like to hear it?
I was not so long ago encouraged to talk to a certain person in this house about my emotional state (which at that time was particularly bad due to the worsening physical things that can’t be fixed – still not mentioning them, denial is officially my new home), until I actually tried to confide in them about it and they tried to shout my depression and PTSD out of me because it frustrated them and they found it too irrational to understand (which made me feel stupid and ashamed and weak…) Anyway. Reading the paragraph I quoted above led to a chain reaction of me questioning all the behaviours I hate myself for, and step by step having thought processes that went a little like this:
Self, maybe you aren’t a complete butt-hole for wanting some support from your family, maybe you aren’t a monster for sharing the way you felt with someone who you loved enough to try and confide in. Maybe it just makes you human. It isn’t your fault that she didn’t know how to deal with it either. It isn’t your fault that the conversations swiftly ended with you being shouted at due to her frustration. You threw emotion at her that was too hot to handle, it burned her too, and she reacted in surprise, without thinking. You were just looking for help and you didn’t know where else to turn. That isn’t a bad thing. Congrats for having the guts to step up and take a shot when you could barely support yourself. Why have you been ridden with guilt and self hatred for so long? Because she told you it was selfish? This seems quite stupid, now that I look back on it, you are your own person. You are whatever you think you are, right? Maybe? Except a screw up – maybe we aren’t one of those after all. Maybe we do actually deserve this space on the planet. Maybe we aren’t a waste of anything, not medicine, not space, not even air…
Do you have any idea how it feels to think like that after years of slowly detaching yourself from who you are out of shame and self loathing which spiralled out of all control? Do. You. Have. Any. Idea?
“Unfortunately, the people who are supposed to love us aren’t always able to give us the kind of love we need. Whether they are our mothers or our fathers, out grandparents or our siblings, some family, no matter how good their intentions, leave us feeling empty, invalidated, uncared for, and alone. And on the days when that pain becomes too much to bear, our work is to recognise that those people whose love we so desperately pine for are never going to be able to meet our needs. Not because they don’t care, but because they can’t change who they are”
“Their scant affection isn’t a reflection on our worth. It isn’t even about us. It’s about them and their own limitations and struggles. It’s about their unique way of expressing love and the fact that it doesn’t match up with our own. And we don’e have to internalise that. What we need is to start reaching out to the right people. We need to create a family of people outside of our family. People who can meet our needs and reciprocate our love.”
” We need to appreciate our families for the ways in which they are able to show they care, and be accepting of the ways that can’t. We need to make peace with who they are and if necessary, we need to give ourselves permission to let go. We need to know that our worth isn’t something another person’s love can give or take away. We need to trust that without their affection, we are enough” – Daniell Koepke (again, I mean what an amazing human)
Daniell Koepke is an undergraduate psychology student who set up the Internal Acceptance Movement (I.A.M) (which also has a Facebook page) as an online space to help people overcome their struggles, after recovering from an eating disorder. I have also concluded that she is an awesome, inspiring and insightful human being (her story is pretty awesome). I hope she doesn’t mind me quoting so much of her material! (Ok now I’m terrified about that)
I took the risk of quoting so much of someone else’s material because I know quite a few people who I think also need to read it, and if you think that’s you then yes, it so totally was!
Today was a good day. A really, really good day. It rained torrentially all day but it was warm and I love listening to the rain. I sorted more of my room. I read some of my book. I cooked, properly cooked (because I love to cook up things using random ingredients). Now I think I might draw. And that’s all ok. It all felt ok. I felt/ feel ok with being me. And that in itself is far, far beyond ok.
I’m doing good, I think.