Regaining Sight

131378514099412954_fEDn93AT_cWell it’s official my case has been closed. I received the letter yesterday from my therapist that my file had been closed, but I would be welcomed back if I need services. Doesn’t the BUT get you every time? You’re not a loon right now, but you certainly have the potential for future lunacy.

Since I received the letter, I can’t help but think about all I’ve learned about myself over those 3 years. One of the biggest obstacles I overcame was feeling inadequate. This ran deep.

I spent my crucial formative years in the shadow of my sister. Some years were more like an eclipse, but we don’t need to get into details. My sister and I are very close in age, at only 15 months apart, which provided plenty of opportunity for comparisons. She was smart I had commonsense. She had confidence I needed approval. The list goes on, but I’m sure you get the idea.

Confidence: the quality or state of being certain :certitude <they had every confidence of success.

Of course I could dwell on the fact that it took me 40 plus years topcgoldmineWhen_will_ghosts_learn_to_use_computers_copy open my eyes, but what good would that do me. I have to accept that I wasn’t ready, or willing until recently to regain my sight. No regrets, just following the master plan. Now that I can see, it’s time to move on with the knowledge and understanding of what I learned from this journey. Oh, what a journey it was….

All of this insanity started to surface when my sister told me she had a reading with a Median. Apparently my dad came through during the reading giving her praise for what she had done with her life…a pat on the back from the spirit world. Needless to say the ghostly compliments pushed me over the edge. I didn’t get any praise in the real world and she is getting them from the efing grave!  I’m sure you can all understand how that might annoy someone with insecurity issues. The tears started, but this time they wouldn’t stop…Houston, we have a problem.

After many conversations, tears & laughter with my therapist I was able to recognize some very important traits about yours truly. Some good, some bad, but all me.

First things first: Children do not come with instruction manuals. For generations parents have been doing the best they can with the knowledge they have on hand, along with some instincts. In this case none. My mother was an orphan raised without role models and my father was raised by his mother, however was on his own at a young age. A perfect union of the blind leading the blind. Lesson: Don’t waste time pointing fingers at your parents, you’ll never move forward. Learn to understand and accept the circumstances surrounding the bigger picture. The whys’ are not important, they will just continue to hold you in the past. 

Be original

Powerful beyond Measure

Second: My sister was already the “smart” one placed high up on a pedestal at home, leaving me at the base. So that good old-fashioned Catholic school education provided a generous amount of reinforcement for my insecurities.The constant comparisons, along with a heaping side of humiliation became the pillars for my issues. Lesson: If you’re not happy being in the shadow, step out and see what the light has to offer. I guarantee you’ll be happier in your own light.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Marianne Williamson

Third: I spent YEARS focused on the wonderful labels that were placed on my sister, without recognizing my own. Labels are sticky do not apply onto people. While I was trying to live up to her labels, I was living down to my own. I was the quiet, nice, dependable one with a big heart. Not too shabby, right?  My need to be something I wasn’t brought out the worst in my good qualities. This caused me to be more of a doormat wall-to-wall carpet or an extreme pleaser. Lesson: Don’t waste time resenting what you’re not. Enhance your strengths, embrace your weaknesses and never be ashamed of who you are.

2603712254306951_LdPDqA7c_bFourth:  I always thought life was good up there on the pedestal. I imagined there must be rainbows, unicorns and butterflies just waiting to blow glitter on my sister every day. Who wouldn’t be jealous? What I didn’t see were the pressures to meet those high standards that were so generously distributed. Lesson: The pedestal is big enough for everyone. Never be afraid to use your talents. Live your life being as marvelous as God intended you to be and never dull your sparkle for someone else.

Fifth: Holding on, whether it’s anger or hurt is not healthy. Considering my extreme need to forgiveness-300x199please I had a debilitating habit of remaining silent, never confronting, never resolving and never trusting. So, who’s up for a big glass of poison?  Taking a long hard look at my past hurt wasn’t easy. But, doing it in a setting that allowed me to express myself constructively, understand it compassionately and recognize the role I played in each situation, I was able to let go. Lesson: Forgiveness and Letting Go are your best friends. They are a wonderful couple that always bring along freedom and well-being to hang out. This doesn’t mean you will forget the hurt, it means you now have the power to look back without that triple threat of bitterness, resentment and anger preventing happiness in its tracks.

Life is better, but I still consider myself a work in progress who is still learning while she does her best to Enjoy the Ride!

37 responses

  1. Well done, Tops. Good for you getting beyond some of the biggest road blocks. Because we are all just works in progress. And I say that as the most perfect of five children.

    1. Hahahahaha! If my siblings would be more like me it would be so much easier.

  2. Nice work. I’m dealing with family stuff myself, which I’m good with – it’s trying to keep everyone else sane that gets to me about once a week. Thankfully, I learned to let go a while ago – it definitely helps.

    1. Oh, keeping the other sane is enough to kill anyone. I know exactly what you mean…good luck!

  3. Loved this. I can relate to so very many parts of your journey which means it’s great writing. I love my therapist and hope he ever retires. Because of my work with him, I have gotten past so many hangups with my parents that I used to take personally. Until I realized they were doing the best they could with whatever their life had shown them. Good for you for delving into yourself. It makes us powerful. Thanks for sharing. Great writing.

    1. Thank you and thank you for stopping by. I was guilty of taking things personally as well. It’s amazing how much better things get when you stop.

      Glad you had such a positive experience with your therapist, I highly recommend it to everyone!

  4. Thank you for sharing and good for you for seeing all those lessons your therapist guided you towards seeing. Once you understand your self on a very deep level, dealing with others becomes cake! It’s a long journey to get there but so worth it. Not to mention you now have the mental tools to deal with the issues that will continue to come your way. You should be very proud of you! So when & where is the graduation party & what can I bring 🙂

    1. Thank you Jennifer. Writing about it all is a huge part of the healing. I appreciate your kind words : )

  5. Wow! This must have been such a huge revelation. I think all kids seek approval from their parents. I tell my kids how proud I am of them, often. Now you can be proud of yourself!
    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. My problem was believing the praise. I am in a much better place. This blog and all of the support i’ve gotten was a huge part of the healing.

      1. It is a great support system with real people in a virtual world!

  6. What is it with sisters? I will have to write my own post about the issues I have had with my sister. And the issues we have both had with therapy, depression, etc.

    1. My co-worker has 6 sisters and their ability too get along was driving me crazy, until I noticed a pattern. They don’t discuss anything, it’s all under the rug. My sisters and I are passionate, if you know what I mean.

  7. free penny press | Reply

    A few years after my divorce I finally nerved up and went to a therapist.the man was a freaking marvel and after 6 months he declared me “all ready to rock & roll” (well not those exact words but you get my gist)..I learned so much, just like you did and while I still have a few things that need tweaking onward I march.. So happy you have reached that place of forgiveness, confidence and peace. You rock Miss Lady!!

    ps- I also think Marianne Williamson is the bestest!

    1. Marianne Williamson speaks loud and clear to me! I’m still tweaking as well, but its good. Thanks for your kind words.

  8. I’m happy that you got to that place where you could let go. Keeping it all in seems so much easier sometimes. I don’t know what it’s like having a sister, but I get the feeling being inadequate. The worst part is, nobody can say or do anything to make you think otherwise until you change the way you see yourself. I’m still getting there, but I’m very happy for you:)

    1. People were always telling me, including my sister but, I didn’t believe it. Hang in there kiddo and be glad you are heading in the right direction while you’re young!

  9. Good for you!! Learning lessons that need to be learned is hard. And then afterward you look back and wonder why you didn’t see it sooner. Such is life. But at least you’re on the right track now!!

    1. You are so right. I was blown away by the fact that I didn’t see it sooner.

      1. I had my own revelations recently, and when I looked back and saw what I didn’t see it astonished me.

  10. Michelle Gillies | Reply

    Those are some pretty powerful lessons. Families and especially sisters can really take their toll on our psyche. I can only hope to end up as healthy minded as you.

    1. Thank you! Maintaining it all is the hard part.

  11. Oh, Life… wonderful post, moving and from the heart. I spent most of my thirties in therapy. Literally a whole decade. Reading this post reminded me of some of those times and the lessons learned and most of all those I am still trying to learn. Your courage in writing about this experience is incredible and is a blessing to me. Thank you for sharing. If you ever need a boost, just email me. I understand. DAF

    1. Thanks so much. It’s amazing to see how many people have sought outside guidance. I was hesitant about writing this, but I felt it was necessary for the process of healing. Being more open is part of my growth. Thanks as always for your kind words.

  12. ciao! just inspiring.

  13. Being a work in progress is a wonderful thing. Keep it up! xoM

  14. This is a great post. I just loved that line, kids do not come with instruction manuals. So true. I myself think about these issues many items. We all need to consider ourselves as works in progress.

  15. Thanks for sharing your journey, it’s important not only for you, but for us all. And that Eleanor Roosevelt quote is one of my favourites. Believe it!

  16. Those are some pretty powerful life lessons. At least you can say you learned them now rather then having this conversation in your 70’s or later. I think we’re all a work in progress but seeing our changes helps to move forward faster 🙂

  17. I love your lessons. Thanks. Truth be told, we are all works in progress, even those on the perceived pedestals. People who have perceived success are as imperfect as the rest of us. I also love the Roosevelt quote. She was a genuine person and deserves as much praise as her husband. So, let’s live by her motto and that of Ricky Nelson – “you can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.” And, just to be clear on one point, I am reading your blog, not your sister’s. I don’t know her from Adam, but I think what you have to say is pretty interesting. Well done. BTG

    1. Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by.

  18. This is quite an essay. With your writing talent is rather amazes me that you ever felt inadequate… also your humor. Can’t imagine your sister being as funny as you. See, to me that’s everything, having the gift of making people laugh and in print no less.

    Enjoyed this…you get an A plus for candor.

    1. Believe it or not my sister is hilarious, it’s genetic. Thank you for your kind words, they really do mean a great deal.

  19. We are our own worst enemy, aren’t we? Wonderful articulation of what you’ve learned over these years in therapy. Print this post out and read it over once in awhile so you never forget it!

  20. […] I am glad that I’ve people like Lisa, Elyse, Hippie, Deborah, Judy, Maxi, Sir Charles  who helped me and supported me during this […]

  21. Hurrah !! Had to scan the above twice to make sure you didn’t cover this yourself, but nope. Kudos for your accomplishments here in blog land. In case you don’t know this, you are GOOD. I check in with your blog regularly because it is funny and an inspiration. So glad you did this hard work for yourself, so that you can let more you out here in the world. Best wishes —

  22. Way to go! it’s like graduation, but without the awful ceremony.

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