Forgiving Myself

Posted by mouthyb | Posted in | Posted on 1:32 PM

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It's a truism for children with abusive childhoods that the wounds inflicted therein are not ever really gone. Sometimes they hurt less, sometimes more, and the ramifications of what we learn about ourselves are on-going.

I learned a lot of things about myself in my childhood, not the least of which was that some fundamental social and personal deficit made me a bad person, and essentially unloveable. Certainly this is exactly what my parents told me. The on-going feelings of inadequacy, rejection and an incredible, un-shiftable feeling of isolation. I genuinely thought I was damned to a life in which I was close to no one, even when I wanted to be (which was not all that often).

I've been holding a grudge against myself for years that was unable to be shifted by reason, by research or by my own efforts for not being the sort of person who could be loved, directly as a result of being raised by two people who did not love me, and my on-going problems connecting with people.

The other big revelation, after officially being diagnosed with Asperger's, is that I no longer have to keep coming back to my own unknown deficiency as a reason why I am, on some level, unloveable. Seems a little weird, but stay with me: biology is not mutable, though it is able to be worked around. If this deficit is a function of my personality, then I must (on some level) want to be isolated. It is not, however, a function of personality. As a function of biology, my desire to connect or not to connect (my therapist spent a lot of time before the diagnosis wondering why I didn't seem to 'want' to be more social) is immaterial to the fundamental difficulties I have.

Or, to put it another way, my understanding of myself as someone able to understand and narrate their own experience has been validated. There was some question, for me, about my ability to know myself based on genuine efforts to get to know this or that person that blew up, sometimes catastrophically.

Emotionally, to the extent that I am emotional, this means that I can forgive myself. That nagging sense that I must somehow be sabotaging myself and what that meant for my ability to know myself can be dismissed.

And that? That is more a relief than I can easily explain.

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