If ever I have to say anything about myself, it is that I am not a victim of people and their games, but a survivor of the extremes they have put me through. Being myself has never come easy because I got lost in the sea of other’s standards, but slowly I am learning who I am and where I fit in this world. There are many places I feel unaccepted, and some, I’m finding, where I am accepted – for who I am, not for who I think they want me to be. And there lies the key to happiness – to be as accepting and loving of myself as others are of me. After all, I have to live with me the longest, and there is no escaping me, so if I can’t accept and love myself, how can anyone else?
I grew up in a home with love and acceptance. We had rules, curfews and chores. There were consequences for our bad behaviour or disobedience. But my life outside my home has been riddled with abuse. My psychologist says it’s rare to come across someone who has endured what I have and their childhood not be scarred by parents with addictions, abuse and/or domestic violence. Whenever a new counsellor took down my family history, they always expressed surprise that I have had so much abuse for someone who has not grown up in it at home.
Even though abuse didn’t happen to me at the hands of my parents, it did happen in my home. My cousin was the perpetrator. And with him, he stole my childhood, my innocence, my confidence, my trust and my spark.
One near fatal relationship, three abusive marriages, bullied at school, betrayed and set up by friends, just to name a few, have contributed to my abusive life. All of this has led me to, and reinforced, the inevitable place of hating myself. Where else could a person possibly end up after such events? There is something very wrong when you start looking forward to going to work and dreading going home at night. Home is meant to be a place of safety, security, belonging, and refuge, but for way too many people, this is not the case.
So, how do you view yourself? With love or hatred?
It was because of all the abuse I received that I ended up hating myself and it being reinforced time and time again. I believed I was worth nothing. When you believe that you are worth nothing, you will allow any type of treatment from anyone. Anyone kind and loving is rejected as “too nice” or something to that effect. Consider a young girl who is crying because her boyfriend yelled at her and said some truly mean and hurtful things. But she rejects the nice guy who has always loved her, saying he is too nice. Why? Because it doesn’t sit right with her view of herself. She hates herself and doesn’t believe she deserves it. If she did, she would reject the guy who abused her.
It has taken me over 30 years to learn how to love me effectively and successfully. Mostly, I have had to discover this on my own because there was nothing that gave me a map to follow, so-to-speak. There was lots of inspirational stories out there, but nothing which outlined how.
Then, in 2014, I started to write a book which I decided to title “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore”. It is a self-help memoir where I tell the reader about my life, identifying the areas which enabled my self-hatred and offering practical steps in how to go about implementing permanent change. My book encourages an interactive journey with the reader through twelve chapters designed to be easy to follow and understand.
Presently, Austin Macauley Publishers in London are publishing my book. It has just had its second edit, and there will probably be a third one to happen before printing commences. It shouldn’t have to take 30 plus years for a person to learn how to love themselves. My book has been written with this in mind and so it is my dream and prayer that “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore” teaches others in less time than it took me to discover and learn.
I know that when I tell people about my book, most ask where they can get a copy. Let me encourage you to follow me on FaceBook so when the release date is known, you can be one of the first to know and put in your calendar the book launch of “I Don’t Hate Me Anymore”. Pre-sales orders will also be up and running very soon. And, finally, don’t forget to follow me on WordPress so you can keep reading my great blogs and enjoy my writing. Thank you to those who already are. Without you, I am nothing but a sounding gong. (FaceBook page is https://www.facebook.com/AllisonRoseClarkAuthor/)