When living with an abuser, such as a cult which rejects alternatives or people who have no respect for you, we adapt to these situations. Starting wth children who are not capable of defending themselves or given a choice, but just the same for adults, it is human psychology to maladapt to the environment.
Even after someone has escaped an abusive religion or family or relationships, we have internalised the habitual thoughts and values of the abusers. It may not be a simple (hahahahaha) step of terminating toxic relationships.
When someone is trapped in a stressful relationship, Psychology advises to develop healthy and creative pass times to counteract the negativity IN SECRET. No mean feat doing such but it delivers dividends for our psychological health.
To weave these two lines of thought together, maladaptation + escaped abuse, we are left with ourselves. Critically, now, it is up to us to address the maladaptations within us. I was very well trained: the constant criticism, negating, deflecting and denial of my needs is something I’ve been doing to myself with no help from anyone else.
Strange, but true.
When I consider myself based on evidence, I’m creative, fun, not particularly academic and shit at maths. I love driving i.e. terrify people whose mental processes are somewhat slow. I’m rather handy at fixing things and I’m quite partial to interior design: I choose + you pay = you very happy.
My internal abuser constantly tells me I’m worthy of death and nothing else. Detailed plans included.
In choosing to live for me, I’m still quite lost and am still reorienting myself. Addressing the tidal waves of uselessness and failure of my life leaves me sinking for days…
Gradually, piece by piece and bit by bit, I’m relocating pieces in myself to rebuild my foundation. I’ve always had a knack for rock walls and rock stairs and fixing things. Now I’m applying these skills to my identity.