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Good Things

(This is an encore post from John Joseph.)

One of the side effects of the childhood sexual abuse is the pervasive sense that I don’t deserve good things. Maybe it’s the way I was treated by my abusers, in that I was only worth what they wanted out of me. Or maybe it’s a self-imposed sentence that condemns me to languish in the land of ne’er-do-wells.

I can’t shake the feeling that I’m undeserving of life’s simplest pleasures. Is it just me, or does everyone cower inside waiting for the next tragic thing to happen? If tragedy isn’t happening fast enough, am I the only one smart enough to choose self-sabotage as a means of controlling my circumstances? Isn’t something predictable— even failure—better than the excruciating fear of the unknown?

The current of fear and the desperate need to control life runs deep. It’s not that I don’t want good things; it’s tough to believe that I should have them. And even more difficult to believe I deserve them. Someone else is always more deserving, better looking, or better qualified. Call it low self-esteem or the fact that I always sucked at sports. Regardless, I always seem to think I deserve to lose.

Even my faith in God suffers on account of this. I assume that I'm the exception to grace. I’m the one who succeeds in out-sinning his forgiveness. I’m the one who stumbles on the unpardonable transgression and falls headlong into it. I’m the one who is mighty enough to predestine myself to eternal damnation because I certainly don't deserve heaven or happiness.

A big part of my recovery is to accept and relish the good things that come my way. I have to choose to by-pass self-sabotage and make peace with the unknown events of my future, no matter how they turn out.

Letting go of some of my control and trusting others again (including God) can be healthy choices and effective steps toward my healing.

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

I can so relate to this. I have undermined my own success so many times in so many areas just for that belief that I don't deserve good things. I remember looking back on the relationships that I was constantly getting involved in thinking that's all I deserve. I just don't deserve anyone good or healthy I would only bring them down.