Elli made an observation this morning, in the middle of a larger conversation, that is reverberating in my brain today.
She pointed out that when I need to do something for the family, or work, I get it done. But when it’s something for myself, like fiddle lessons, or losing weight, or getting some time away from home doing fun things, I don’t follow through.
She’s not wrong. And part of that is a very family-focused mentality, but it’s also a self-esteem issue. On a deep level I can’t seem to get through, I don’t think much of myself. No matter how I act, I see myself as wanting in every way. So why should I cost my family money so I can learn to play the violin better? I don’t deserve that. Why should I go to movies, or have a night out? I don’t deserve it.
And it’s really hard to break through that, because you guessed it: Why should I? It isn’t worth it for me.
I’m trying to break free of this, but it’s a habit of mind that I’ve been living with for forty years now, and the neural pathways were laid when I was much, much younger, when I lived with my adopted family.
It’s hard to shed a toxic family, even when it’s been 27 years since you spoke to any of them.