As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I've worked, I've discovered a deeper reason for exploring each "Thing." Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I've worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I've made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I've come. It's important to do that, once in a while.
Original post from The Mighty:
10. "I have trouble accepting any kind of love because growing up, it was always given with strings attached or used as a tool for manipulation. I don’t trust that others have the capacity to love me unconditionally, so I hide away parts of myself, never allowing myself to experience the vulnerability that comes with being loved, chosen and accepted by others."
My sister's response:
"Love" was about manipulation. Gifts and compliments were ways to butter me up. It was all about luring me into revealing more about myself, and then they'd take advantage of my vulnerability, either wanting something from me or attacking my soft spot. I learned to never reveal anything, even if it meant lying. If Abraham could lie about Sarah being his sister, in order to save them both, then I figured I could lie to protect myself from the predators in my life.
I chose to change, over and over again.
I adopted a dog. She taught me about love and acceptance and strength and courage. Then I adopted a horse, and he taught me about tenacity and patience and consistency and the power of a thousand-pound animal giving you their trust. They were the gifts God gave me to teach me about love from the ground up.
My last counselor told me that he wanted me to learn to stand up for myself without losing my tenderheartedness. I opened my heart to more people.
I'm not sure I've reached the point where I could be as vulnerable as I need to be in a marriage relationship, but I've come a long way. The characters in my stories are a safe way to visualize what I'd like and work through the potential problems.
I'm grateful for the wonderful friends who have patiently helped me. God is good.