Several days ago I began this series as an addendum or in follow up to an article that I wrote, Living with a Disability — Go and Make it a Good Day. I began this series because in my experience I found that I could not begin to Go and Make it a Good Day until I addressed what kept me from being able to Go and Make it a Good Day. Per your information, each part of the series builds upon the previous parts of the series and each part of the series is connected to the series as a whole.
That is why I suggest that each of the previous parts be read for context.
I hope you are benefiting from my experience, strength and hope. Please let me know if the content of the series is helping you. Thank you.
Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by and visit with me. Several days ago I introduced a series, Living with a Disability — Go and Make it a Good Day. Over the past several days I have begun to speak about the first part of the grieving process. I then went on share how I came to the awareness that I needed to confront my denial. In today’s article I will continue to share what I discovered about the insidious nature of denial.
When I decided to confront denial, I became aware of how much my life had been infected by the lies that denial told me — on a regular basis. As I examined the specific lies that denial told me — to keep me from the truth — I experienced spiritual awakenings. One of these spiritual awakenings revealed that denial had been acting as a door — in that denial denied access to unwanted thoughts and feelings that would seek to show me my reality. In effect, the voice of denial would discount, minimize and marginalize the relevance and validity of my thoughts and feelings. Denial would also shame me for having those thoughts and feelings.
In essence, denial imposed a code of avoidance to mask what needed to be addressed. Denial operated in such a way through shame to actively silence my reality. Shame became as it were a haze that blinded and proactively discouraged me from challenging denial’s deception. Denial also sought to discredit my reality by ridicule and fear. Ridicule disparaged the importance of my reality while fear kept me feeling isolated, alienated and abandoned.
Because I was led to believe that I did not just make mistakes, but that I was a mistake I remained in denial. For many years I sought to justify my worth and value through people pleasing, approval seeking and mind reading. I attempted to do more to be enough. When these strategies failed I sought to discard parts of myself that I found to be displeasing to my family, friends, teachers, schoolmates, employers and coworkers in an attempt to prove that I was not a mistake. Slowly– but progressively — denial stole bits and pieces of my reality. In the process of discarding parts of my reality, I discarded parts of myself.
Through my growing awareness, I found myself becoming increasingly angry. I was angry at myself, angry at other people and angry at my reality. I was angry at my deficits and limitations — even though I still had not come to terms with the impact that those deficits and limitations were having upon my life. I was angry at the notion that I had a disability and that disability constantly seemed to get in my way. I was angry because I had been unable to defeat denial’s message — that I was inadequate. I was angry at myself because no matter how hard I tried to be successful I could not do enough to be enough.
At a root level — I now realize — I was angry at denial because I was afraid. I was afraid because I did not know how to live beyond the confines that denial set for me.
Please read Part 6 for context. Thank you.
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