This is a letter I have just written to my adult daughter who is continually treated by the important people in her life as though she doesn’t matter.
I was up half the night thinking about you. There are some things you need to know about me…
When I was fifteen I fell in love with a girl at school. I was walking on the moon! Floating on air. I had never been so happy.
This lasted about two days until she told me that she just wanted to be my friend. Then she went out with my best mate instead so I had to see them together all the time with all the obvious pain that that entailed.
Two years later I fell in love with someone else. She only wanted to be my friend as well. And she also went off with my best friend.
I was by this time excruciatingly lonely and miserable. I was painfully shy and thought the only way to get close to girls was to become their friend. It was a rubbish technique for pulling girls because by the time I felt safe enough to tell them how much I liked them I was well and truly in the Friend Zone.
After two broken hearts I basically retreated into myself and tried to hide from the word the best I could. Mainly by getting drunk a lot. At this time of my life I was surrounded by people, but felt entirely alone and miserable.
When I was twenty-one I had my all time low, when I fell in love with a girl who was delightfully shy and totally alluring. Unfortunately for me she was a bit of a slut too. She went off with ALL of my friends! Of an entire pub full of ‘friends’, only one turned her down because of how I felt about her.
I was hanging around with all these people who just didn’t care that I was in love with this girl. She would tell me that we were exclusive, only to get off with one of my mates the next time she got drunk. Which was never more than a week or two away.
I would cry a lot and run and hide again. After a couple of weeks she would smile at me from across the room, I would forgive her and the cycle would begin again. The worst of it was that deep down I always knew she would do it again.
It went on like this for one long very painful year.
By this time my self-esteem was so low I didn’t even have the courage to walk away from all of them. I truly thought at that time that I didn’t have a choice. But eventually I finally came to my senses.
By that time I was totally devastated, my soul was destroyed and I was hurt beyond belief. I built huge psychological walls around myself and I trusted nobody. Those walls became so thick that I am still knocking them down today.
This kind of thing went on for years after this too. Nothing quite as bad as this one, but I could never trust anyone and my self-esteem had taken such a beating that I was always in the Friend Zone. Always lonely.
Finally in my late thirties or thereabouts I was sitting with about the eighth girl I was in love with who was telling me she just wanted to be my friend. This time it was one time too many!
I became unbelievably depressed. This girl, who happened to be the only friend I had at the time, (until I blew it by falling for her of course) dragged me to the doctors where I was prescribed Prozac.
I remember so well coming out of the doctors. I collapsed on the ground, against the wheel of my van in the surgery car park, and sobbed like a baby.
Three days later I felt a rather nice tingling sensation in my arms and I knew the Prozac was beginning to kick in. I didn’t like it though!
That day I realised two things.
- I didn’t want to rely on anti-depressants. And,
- I realised that if so many girls only wanted to be my friend, it must be because of something I am doing.
It wasn’t them – it was me!
A healing journey begins
I drove to the doctors and handed them my box of pills telling them I didn’t need them after all.
I was lucky in the fact that I lived alone on a narrow boat at the time so had plenty of privacy and space to begin exploring my inner most feelings in an attempt to get to the bottom of my issues.
I wish I could tell you that I had an amazing epiphany and all was immediately good again, but I can’t. My healing journey took a decade or more, gradually peeling away the lairs of pain one by one and healing them.
As I went through each healing moment my happiness and self-esteem grew. It was an exceptionally long, and often painful, journey. But life became a direct reflection of how much healing I had done – and continues to do so today.
The more of my issues I clear out, the easier and more fun life becomes. @TheVividCoach (Click to Tweet!)
Eventually, I brought myself to a place where I could sit down to lunch with a beautiful woman and, for the first time in my life, just enjoy her company without feeling a desperate need for her to want me.
That woman was your mum. We enjoyed each other so much we fell in love. She was the first woman in my life, since my mum, who loved me back…it had been a long time coming – I was forty-four!
If we have a pattern that keeps repeating in our life, such as falling in love with girls who want to be our friend or the important people in our life treating us as though we don’t matter, it is a lesson for us to learn about ourselves.
The pattern will keep repeating itself until we recognise how WE are creating it!
I promised to give you a question but actually I have several for you to ponder. The art is not to quickly answer, “I don’t know”, but to soul search in the faith that you have the answer within you. Keep pondering until an answer comes.
If you are anything like me, each answer will create ten new questions at first. Spend time alone with a note pad and a bottle of wine and look for the answers. Cry when you need to, get angry if you want to, but find the answers and heal your stuff!
The more you allow yourself to create a life of pain, the more pain there will be to heal. So the quicker you get started the quicker and easier you will find it.
I was in my mid-forties before I could even sit down comfortably with a woman I was attracted to (can you believe that?) You are only twenty-six. It will be far quicker and easier for you – and you’ve got me to help, support and guide you too (if you want it).
As promised, here are some questions to get you started:
- How am I allowing this to keep happening to me?
- What needs to change in order for it to stop happening?
- Which part of me needs this to happen in this way?
- Which part of me needs to feel like this? Or thinks I deserve to feel like this?
- When was the first time in my life that I felt like this? (this might be the beginning of the cycle)
Healing is the most painful and difficult thing we as humans can do. It is also the most liberating, life-enhancing and beautiful experience. It is hugely satisfying and beneficial.
In the end it just comes down to this though. Healing is merely recognising a subconscious part of yourself that wants something you consciously think you don’t want.
The hidden part is so much more powerful so keeps creating what you consciously think you don’t want – which is the cause of your continued suffering!!!
Inner conflict – two parts of you pulling you in different directions. Healing is essentially uncovering that hidden need and accepting that part of you with love, compassion and gentleness. All you have to do is notice. There is nothing else. The rest takes care of itself.
Why should you do it?
Because without it, your life will simply keep repeating the same old painful patterns over and over.
Because you are an amazing, beautiful, wonderful person and you deserve to feel love, hope, joy, happiness, fulfilment, peace, confidence and all the other wonderful feelings that life has to offer -all the time!
Because you deserve, as much as anyone, to have people in your life who treat you as well as your mum and I do. With respect, consideration, love, thoughtfulness, compassion, support and encouragement. Everyone should treat you like that, baby. Not just us!
Because you DO matter!
Because you are about to get pregnant and have a child. Everything you feel will be felt by your unborn child. All of your fear, all of your insecurities and all of your issues will be transmitted and programmed into your child in an amazing and powerful way.
Choose now that you will lead by example and become a POSITIVE influence in your child’s life. Start looking for the truth and happiness that lies buried inside of you.
I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that my letter hasn’t upset you and you can take it for what it is. A guiding light from a loving dad who hopes you can learn from his journey. I wasted three quarters of my life in loneliness, heartbreak, misery and pain before I woke up to the fact that it was all my own doing.
As easily as we all allow continuing pain and struggle in our lives, we can just as easily allow continuing love, abundance and fun. But we have to consciously choose it to be that way, or the default setting is shitsville!
It just takes a little effort and a lot of determination is all. But the effort is well worth it.
John Freeman is the author of Vivid Visualisation, Success without Stress. He creates unique, personalised guided visualisation recordings that bring all the benefits of visualisation without the effort. Find out more at www.vividvisualisation.com.
Image courtesy of Negative Space.