There used to be a time I was filled with pride when it came to my ultra independence and not needing any help, anyone or anything. It was validation and proof that I could make it on my own if need be. This pride was probably around the same time this picture was taken. A picture full of life, like there wasn’t anything too big to tackle. A picture full of confidence with a big smile that ensured I could take on the world, no matter what. A picture on a high note, a good day, feeling empowered while standing on my own two feet, firmly on the ground. Unshakable.
I remember times when a girlfriend asked how I do it! To her it seemed like I had superpowers, being the strongest individual she’d known. For me it was simply a way of life, the only way I’d come to know in my existence. Years and years later, her statement finally makes sense, although I still can’t answer it. There are times now I feel like a worry wad and it’s aways strange territory. Armed with more knowledge and wisdom, a deeper understanding of all inner workings, at times I can’t help but wonder as I asked myself “what happened to her”, me, the one behind the confident and energetic smile. Too many times I feel tired now. Tired of battles I don’t care to fight. Tired of the battle of chronically hurting all the time. Maybe I just to handle it better and even as this picture was taken, I was well into my battle with the rheumatoid arthritis already. Maybe it just eats away a little more each year, each month, each day until the tiredness reflects in eyes that have lost their luster.
I used to think “Mama raised me well.” Like her I became a strong woman, dealing with things on my own, never asking for help, never being in a position dependent on another. No I never did find myself on that track and she led by example all her life, concealing her own struggles, holding it together, keeping her emotions carefully under check. I grew up much like her, strong, fending for myself, making a life for myself, never in a bind I couldn’t get myself out from. No…I was always prepared and I always made sure of it. The only thing different between us was that it was me who wore her emotions on my sleeve most of the time. For Mom it was a sign of weakness, her own past trauma which ultimately contributed to my trauma and the damage of how I viewed myself. This created an inner child that would hold on to that trauma, that event, storing it for all eternity, becoming a part of your self worth, our struggles and our demons. It is here where something like being independent, normally viewed as an attribute, can actually become a burden, something that weighs you down and develops hurt and pain within, based on your life experiences.
Somewhere I recently read that ultra independence is a trauma response and the title couldn’t have rang truer. It could mean a lot of different things, such as your perceptions, feelings, impressions, reactions, experiences and how we feel that leads to such trauma.
For example: Moms belief about my feelings created trauma within me. It left me feeling as I was weak, not strong enough, that I couldn’t do it, that I had to prove it to myself but mostly others, her, alone and without help to gain worthiness. This is just one example of what can happen and for each experience an inner child is created that lives within us, holding on to that trauma, waiting to be healed. When a woman dares to look and heal herself, she then heals the trauma not only of herself, but that of generations of her family. Her mother, grandmother, all the way down the line as this ancestral trauma is passed from generation to generation.
Ultra independence is created when we believe that we have to prove something and when we had a hurtful experience.
Maybe it is the status of how we are viewed by others that hurts. That way we don’t fit in and feel like an outsider.
Maybe it is from being misunderstood, of being lied to and taken advantage of.
Maybe it is due to neglect, abuse, betrayal or disappointment.
Maybe it is from abandonment. From not feeling trustworthy, capable of making sound decisions.
Ultra independence is always a result of broken trust issues. A soul contract you make with yourself to never again go down this road.
I have reached a point I am no longer proud of my ultra independence. Life has shifted and today I am more interested in understanding the causes that led me to feeling this pride the begin with. To understand the triggers and the wounds that were created a long time ago and to heal this trauma for myself and for Mom and everyone else down the line.