Making Friends With The Dark Side
All of my therapists, spiritual teachers and healers, and wise friends have told me I must make friends with my dark side in order to fully heal and move on to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Phew, that is so scary and I respond to that differently at different times. My stronger self eagerly agrees and gets started, then scares herself so badly she backs away and hibernates, sometimes for a long time. My insecure self backs away because of “what will people think of me?”. I hate having that thought, but have it I do. My warrior self says “do it for the highest good of all”. My fearful self says “I can’t”. A Course In Miracles tells us everything is manifested from either Love or Fear. Fear keeps me imprisoned; I know it. Love gives me courage to move forward. So why do I keep pulling back? It must be Fear.
The root of my dual thoughts, my seeming wishy-washy decision-making, my presently being caught up in inertia and apathy in my life come straight from my childhood and my growing up in a dysfunctional home with dysfunctional adults in a largely dysfunctional community. My greatest quest in life has been for LOVE. Love. I have longed to be unconditionally loved and accepted. My biological father abandoned me in babyhood and when I was intermediate age of about 8 I created a fantasy which became a belief, a hope, and a lifelong quest; one that has not yet been found. When at age 17 I gave my father the opportunity to become my shining knight on a white horse he took advantage of my vulnerability, my desperate need for love and approval, for HIS love and approval, and sexually abused me for the next several years. I was so desperate to believe in his love for me that I allowed myself to be abused by him because I knew that if I didn’t give him what he wanted he would stop loving me which is ultimately what happened.
I believe my quest for a lifelong romantic partner and my successive failed relationships – one marriage, 2 committed relationships, 1 best friendship that later became romantic, and 2 attempts at dating to perhaps become life partners – , all monogamous on my part, can be traced back to this failed early relationship with my biological male parent. I was set on a path of unfulfilled love and longing at a wee age. I’ve been in recovery to heal this wound since 1980 – psychotherapy and addictions counseling.
To this day I long to be in a healthy and fulfilling love relationship. Recently I found a book that goes straight to the core of my relationship issues. “The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us” by Ross Rosenberg. Second byline – “Emotional Manipulators, Codependents & Dysfunctional Relationships”. The first line of the Introduction “This book is about love and the pursuit of one’s lifelong romantic partner” grabbed my attention as if I were a thirsty sojourner who happened upon a clear, cool spring in the middle of a desert. You will hear from me as I progress along this new pathway. As always, please, please do comment if you have something to add to this conversation.