When I look back at some of the things that I wrote on my site about my struggle with depression and anxiety, therapy and mental health, I'm slightly uncomfortable. In many posts I state that I'm 'sober' when it is very apparent I'm in a lot of distress and that I'm hurting. Therapy is a process and a long one. It's also not as straightforward as it is sometimes made out to be in movies, school or society as a whole. It is so much more than just talking about your feelings and your past. It's about coming to the realisation that things were not okay, why they weren't okay and how exactly everything played out the way it did. In my case I'm confronted a lot with the choices my parents made, how I was raised, and it's extremely confusing and painful. So painful in fact that it is making the relationship with my family very difficult. I can't bring myself to pick up their phone calls or even talk to them over text. When my phone rings my eyes widen in fear and I can feel the panic rushing through my veins.
I'm sure many of us have heard that therapy is a place where we talk about our childhood, while that is true for me personally, I have to add that talking about your childhood is also opening up about mistakes that were made, mistakes made by your parents. As we grow up we are taught that parents are there to set an example, a good example, that adults are always right and they are the ones to be trusted. In therapy I very much learned otherwise. While at the age of twenty I did stop idolising my parents to some extent, I didn't realise I kept on downplaying things that were not okay. I do believe it's a child's natural instinct to be protective of their parents, but when I was explained certain things through my journey in therapy (about regular family dynamics), I felt personally attacked. Like I was my parents' parent. When the roles in a family are distorted or reversed, and a child is put in a position where he feels responsible for his parents, that just isn't a healthy environment to be in. It's wrong and I felt very strongly about sharing that here today, in my one year therapy update. When you feel like something between you and your parents just isn't right, you are most probably correct.
I started a conversation about this just last week, about how I was tired of being judged and blamed for doing things my own way and not the way I was raised. For choosing a healthy and happy path but being called an egoist in the process. I was told I shouldn't care about this so much and that life is not about pleasing your parents, my answer: easier said than done. Especially when you do something nice for yourself, and your whole family reacts like it's a attack on their livelihood. Even though it's wrong it's still confusing. I was taught to feel guilty about self care and I'm changing that now. Along with those changes come a lot of shitty choices to make and those involve potentially cutting people out of your life, among other things. Choosing for self care and choosing for yourself can be very lonely and it takes guts. Remember that in order to make changes you're gonna have to be very courageous and start saying no. Set up boundaries and be clear on who's responsible for what. These choices are often going to be paired up with a feeling of guilt which will be very unsettling but I urge you to keep on going.
Want to know what I do with my life besides blogging? Take a look on my Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all at joliennathalie! I host self care parties, tour my house, cook, declutter and show exclusive behind the scenes footage! You're welcome ;)