I am good. I have worth. I have power. I have hope. I have a purpose. I can have feelings. I can say no. I can live. I deserve care. It wasn’t my fault. I am safe; we are safe. I am free.
These are the stones I’ve gained. They aren’t false beliefs. They are the truths I learned from being free.They don’t weigh me down like the other stones.They don’t need to be thrown out to sea, or thrown out of my mind. I hold them close to me. I hold the beliefs in my mind everywhere I go, and the stones in a jar I keep with me. The stones remind me of what’s already growing inside: my new beliefs, the truths that I’ve gained from the lies I threw away.
I am good.
I was a good child. I am a good adult. I am a good friend, a good colleague, and a good human being. I was a good daughter, even though I never got the good mother I deserved. I do good things. I think good thoughts. There is goodness inside of me that was never allowed to come out. But now it can. And now I know. I am a good person, inside and out.
I have worth.
My body matters. My thoughts matter. My feelings matter. I matter. I am a human being, and human beings have worth. I am worthy of respect, kindness, and love. I am worthy of family and friendship. I am worthy of so much. I matter.
I have power.
I can make choices now. I may not always know how to, but I am learning. I have the power. My mother can’t make decisions for me anymore. I make my own decisions. She took my power away from me, but I got it back. Now I am learning to use it.
I have hope.
I see opportunities. My mother wanted me to be nothing, but I am going to be something. I used to live in the darkness, where there was no light. But now I know that light exists, so I try to talk towards it. Even if I still stumble in darkness, I can remember that there is a flame.
I have a purpose.
I try to believe that there are reasons that things are the way they are. There is a reason I’m still alive when I should be dead. There is a reason I found my way here, in this city, at this job, writing this blog, telling my story. I am not useless, or a waste of space. I have a purpose, and I will make a difference to someone, even if that difference is small.
I can have feelings.
I can be angry without being my mother. I can be sad without being punished. I can cry for as long as I want. I can feel without fear. I can feel something other than constant fear. I don’t have to hide my feelings anymore. I am learning that it’s okay to feel.
I can say no.
I couldn’t say no before, because saying no never worked. No one listened. I became powerless. I lost my ability to say no, and it caused me a lot of pain. But I can say no now, because I have power. I don’t have to comply with other people’s wants at the expense of my own needs. I can say no without feeling bad or wrong for doing so. I can be assertive now, and no one will punish me for it.
I can live.
I don’t have to die now. I am not destined for a life of pain. I still hurt, but hurt is not my life. I no longer wait for death. I no longer wait for an end to the pain. I find relief in the every day. The little things are the reason I can keep living.
I deserve care.
I deserve to receive care from others. Friends, coworkers, doctors, therapists. I am worthy of others’ care. I can go to the doctor. I can ask for things I need without having to feel guilty. And I deserve my own care, too. I deserve to take care of myself, in the ways I should have been taken care of as a child.
It wasn’t my fault.
My family’s failures were not my fault. My father’s death was not my fault. The abuse was not my fault. I was a child. I wasn’t to blame for any of this. It was never my fault, no matter what she said and still says. I didn’t do anything to deserve any hurt.
I am safe. We are safe.
I got away. I escaped. My mother can’t hurt me now. She can’t hurt my parts any more, either. I try to let them know that. I try to let me know that. I don’t have to be scared all of the time now. I am trying to learn how to be not scared.
I am free.
I can leave my house. I can walk down the street. I can lock or unlock my door. I can buy what I want. I can eat what I want. I can do all of the things I should have been able to do before, but couldn’t. I am free now. She can no longer control me.
They are the stones I’ve gained.