Compassion from strangers is providing a foundation of care I never received.
I’ve been applying for full-time employment, and it’s hard and I’m tired and I just can’t handle putting myself out there every day and never hearing back. I mean, I get it. No one likes rejection and that’s just part of the job hunt, so I need to toughen up.
But I’m not going to toughen up. Also, I’m not going to stop writing about my trauma and that could be hurting my chances with potential employers. Everyone is saying it’s an employee’s market right now, but I’m not seeing that. And whether or not that has anything to do with the content of my Medium posts, I may always believe that every failure or loss of opportunity relates, at least in part, to the sharing of my abuse.
And it may or it may not. But as a survivor of child sexual abuse and adult sexual assault, we often feel that everything we touch turns to shit and nothing truly good or life-changing can ever happen to us. I want desperately to be loved and accepted for me, all of me. And that includes a potential employer. But who would take a chance on me now?
I’m on a journey to take my feelings seriously, value my time, effort, passions, and abilities, and spend my time reclaiming the ground I’ve lost to decades of pain.
And just when I think I’m doing great and making the things I want to happen, I feel paralyzed by the knowledge that I’m not good enough to be writing, especially not telling my story. I don’t matter. My voice is irrelevant and I’m going to lose everything. And that’s the shadow voice. I now know what to do with it; let it speak. That’s why I’m telling you this. I’ve always thought that everyone feels feelings of paralyzing anxiety, so what? Push through it. Do the thing you want anyway. But it doesn’t work for long and always ends in exhaustion, confusion, and more self-loathing. Because I haven’t addressed the original blow that dealt the wound.
I realize now that the statement, “Everyone feels like this,” is, in fact, a dismissal of my truth and my feelings. Because while it may be true that everyone feels inadequate, other people’s feelings about themselves have nothing to do with mine.