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:
17. “[I] won’t let anyone see the ‘bad’ side of myself.”
My sister's response:
A tough way to live. It's also a miserable way to live, not to mention impossible. Sooner or later, you slip up. It also requires maintaining a series of lies.
This one is a good one to explore "why." Why don't I want anyone to see my bad side?
A survivor has been brutally taught that they are inherently bad. If they weren't bad, all those evil things wouldn't have happened to them. An abuser excels at manipulating the victim. Convincing the victim that they are the problems allows the abuser to justify whatever they do because it's the victim's fault, no matter what it is.
Allowing others to see my "bad" side meant they could use it against me, too. They'd see that I deserved all the abuse, bad, evil things done to me. They might even join in on dishing out more.
If someone doesn't want you to know about their bad side, it might not be because of pride or wanting to appear perfect or superior. It might be because they don't want you to join the list of those who have hurt them. More difficult to grapple with is that they believe they deserve nothing else.
I know that my abusers lied. Knowing this does not make me less leery about revealing my faults. However, over time, I've discovered that revealing my faults has another outcome: It helps others feel like they are not alone in their imperfections. Revealing my "bad" side exposes the truth: I'm human.
There is another aspect I never appreciated. I didn't understand it because my abusers muddied the positive so thoroughly that all I saw was the negative. I not only hid the bad side from others, I worked to hide it from myself. I have a frightening temper, rage that dented a frying pan when I threw it on the floor. By trying to keep my bad side buried, I couldn't work on improving it.
Earnestly seeking God's help required I choose to look the ugliness in the face in order to create a plan of action to make permanent changes. It's painful. It's scary. It's worth it.
No one likes to come across in a bad light. I also had to learn that this is true of everyone. It requires strength and courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Exposing imperfections opens the possibility of being humiliated and hurt. It also opens the possibility of discovering a new and precious gift, connection, understanding, patience, desired change. Make the choice to be healthy.