You little brat! Don’t think that I’m not going to see you for who you really are now that your father isn’t here to protect you!
She grabbed my wrist hard and snatched the yogurt cup from my hand. I thought she had broken my wrist. I was stunned and couldn’t speak. I didn’t understand what had just happened. One minute my father was standing there in the kitchen and she was sweetly caressing my hair as if I was a good girl and the next my father was leaving to go back to Panama City and I was looking at the angry, distorted face of a woman accusing me of something I hadn’t even done, simply because I was grabbing the yogurt from the fridge that was part of my daily afternoon snack.
That was the moment I learned that someone can voluntarily choose to see you as something you aren’t. That someone can twist your actions and your words into something that makes you seem like a monster.
For some reason this kept happening to me throughout my life growing up. Always with women who were in positions of power. Any time I showed up authentically and powerfully, I got smacked down. Like the time I got an A on a test the rest of the class got B’s and C’s on and the teacher insisted I cheated. I answered all of her questions, proved to her I hadn’t and she still leaned over to me in front of the classroom and under her breath whispered to me: don’t think I don’t see you for who you are. I have my eyes on you and I will catch you.
Of course, she never did, because I was simply not cheating.
It didn’t make matters any better that I was growing up with a close person in my family on the Narcissistic Personality Disorder spectrum. People with NPD think they are right about everything and if something you are or do doesn’t line up with their idea of how the world should operate or be, they tend to accuse you of being a bad person because you don’t line up with their ideals. Or if you dare to stand up to their abuse and ask them to stop, they spread rumors to everyone who knows you to make you look like the “bad guy” and them like the victim.
Like the time I dated someone this person in my family didn’t agree with and they called me up to tell me that I had clearly deliberately decided to date this person to “ruin their marriage” and “destroy the fabric of the family.” Apparently that was the motive that was projected onto me. It wasn’t enough, I guess, to simply be in love with someone and want to be with them.
This happened to me everywhere, over and over. I vividly remember being in the online forum for my coaching school because I love to help people and being called by the head of the department and told to stop acting helpful as a ruse for getting clients. I cried my eyes out for two days over that incident. My coaching practice was sold out, so I didn’t need clients.
Being online and more visible in the last 7 years has brought with it its shares of projections from other people as well. When you’re online and someone hasn’t sat down with you face to face, sat in your home, had a conversation with you over tea and can hide behind a screen, a lot of things you say or do can get twisted. Especially when most people out there are not taught to process their emotions properly and healthily.
Just this week I was accused of benefiting off the suffering of others and only choosing to speak up about social matters when it was “beneficial” to my business and when I could make money off of it.
Clearly this person has not been following me very long (cause y’all know we always talk about the difficult stuff here and always have). And clearly this person did not know me at all other than what they saw in a few posts they read, or they would have known I have been getting in trouble for fighting for social causes my entire life. Waaaayyy before I was online and visible to larger audiences.
It was a particular incident this week where a posse of people intent on proving me to be an ignorant @sshole executed a series of mean messages and comments filled with sweeping generalizations about me that got me to really sit with this on a deeper level than before. And to be clear, this is a wound I have been working with my entire life, so this is not new. But it’s amazing how different experiences can break you open into healing the wound on deeper and deeper levels.
The wound I have around not being seen.
I have carried it with me my entire life, being raised by a family that cow-towed to a narcissist who had to be the “good one” in the family, therefore I had to be the “bad guy” role, whether that was actually me or not.
I felt that inner child who is so hurt from the emotional and physical abuse she endured over perceptions about her that were not true and that instead were the projections of mentally unstable family members.
I felt the child in me that wants people to see how much her heart loves and how deeply she cares. I felt the child in me who cries every day for the world, who sees so much pain and suffering and who has gotten into a lot of trouble going against the status quo and defending those who have less privileges than her. I felt how hurt she gets when people twist her kindness into a projection of a person who does not care, who isn’t aware.
I felt that wound deeply. I talked with a therapist I trust. I called my soul back to me. I called my power back.
I told that child in me that it is safe to be powerful without other women trying to tear you down. I said out loud: I am complete with that pattern, and I am done with calling women into my life who continue to live out that pattern with me, where they deliberately choose to use me as a punching back for their own triggers and projections. I cut the cords even deeper.
And something in me released. A deep-seated fear that says: if you don’t see the goodness in me, if I can’t prove my goodness to you, then I won’t survive.
And I reached a new level of “being done” with how I am interpreted and perceived. I healed a deeper part of that child who grew up around female figures who accused her of bad intentions that were not there and constantly demanded she “prove” her goodness to them by doing what they think she should do.
You want to send me ugly messages telling me I’m just like every other scammy marketer out there because you have a chip on your shoulder about marketing? Go for it.
You want to tell me I only care about supporting causes for the underprivileged in our society that are near and dear to my heart because it’s “convenient” for my business to “appear” this way and that my care for the world is not genuine? Go for it.
You want to tell me who I am, what is really in my heart and soul and what I do or don’t fight for every day after seeing me for a few seconds on a screen or reading a few blog posts? Go for it.
You want to assume what I’m aware of and not aware of and draw vast assumptions and conclusions about my character and my care for the world from that? Knock yourself out.
You want to call me superficial, money hungry, elitist, or greedy because I charge for the work I was put here to do? Go for it.
The truth is, there is nothing to prove, love. You don’t have to keep trying to prove your goodness to people who actually never wanted to see your goodness anyway. It’s pointless to spend precious time and energy trying to prove your goodness to a person who is simply using you as a tool to work out their own projections and triggers.
I am not going to fall into a trap of showing you “what I have done” as “proof” of being a good citizen of this earth.
Because I know who I am. I know what I am here to do. I know what is true in my heart. I know how much my heart bleeds for this world and how hard I work for all living beings to be free. I know what I work towards every day behind the scenes and have my whole life.
I am not here to show off all of my acts of service to prove my goodness, holiness or worthiness to you, because that defeats the point of doing an act of service. It’s not for accolades or for you to notice me doing good things. It’s because it is my duty as a citizen of this earth who has advantages that others do not.
You have nothing to prove, love. I have nothing to prove.
Does that mean we shouldn’t constantly check ourselves, look at our blind spots, continue to work on ourselves and improve every day? Not at all. All of those things can happen without you having to constantly prove your goodness to another person who is deliberately choosing to project their own fears onto you.
I am complete with this pattern. Think of me what you will. Sew a scarlet “A” to my dress. Talk horribly about me behind my back and in private forums. Write passive aggressive posts about my perceived evil-ness on your social media. Make me the horrendous villain in your story. Burn my effigy. Have at it.
I release it all, I release the desire for you to truly see who I really am. I do this for me and I do this for all of us.
I am who you say I am. I resist nothing. Create whatever avatar of me you need to create.
I release my attachment to being seen by you.
And then repeat after me the above words if you are done with this too.
The truth is, you have nothing to prove to anyone other than to God/Universe and yourself. There are people who will never, ever see you and don’t want to see you because they need to make you the villain in their story. Let them, hon. Let them.
Let it all go.
Did this resonate with you? I’d love to know what resonated with you the most in the comments below.