Finding Your Voice

by Jamie Lynn Wilson


Hey guys. So I’ve been finally breathing a little lighter and loving myself a little easier these days. I’ve been on a healing journey and now I’m at the part of developing new thinking patterns. Along this healing path, I have begun to understand that I can have more fulfilling and safer-feeling relationships than I ever thought I could deserve.

My friendships are shifting my parenting methods are shifting, my perception of my marriage and family life is shifting, and my perception of my Self is shifting. This was incredibly scary at first, like trying to stand on shifting sand with a blindfold on and only the wind to guide me. In hindsight, I had many tools available to me at the right moments to make these internal shifts toward the Light, toward Love, toward Hope.

Unfortunately, the foundation for my self-image and my understanding of relationships and attachment was crumbly, insecure and downright abusive. I learned that humans were not safe, that love was evil and dirty, and that I didn’t deserve respect.

And now, in my 40’s, I’m finally dumping all of the baggage and allowing the internal shifts to proceed with less complaining from me.

My Friendships Were…

I’ve always been more of a one-on-one type of person, than a group-of-friends type of person. I like to know that I am included and wanted, not just an extra body hanging out. I like to let people know that I see them, but i also like to hide at home in the safety of solitude.

I would select my friends based on 1) who didn’t run away from my trauma-dumping and codependency. People who were willing to listen to me complain, offer me “support” (reinforce my complaining, “you poor thing”), didn’t have any boundaries, and their own self-esteem issues so we could comiserate.

The basis of my friendships was my need for narcissistic supply. Ouch.

Saying that aloud about myself still stings. Self-evaluation, self-discovery, self-forgiveness, self-healing – it all begins with honestly seeing the things about ourselves which we need to see. “Well, Jamie, I’m not narcissistic so I can’t relate to that, but I’ll keep reading anyway.” Let me explain.

A narcissist is someone who never was allowed their own power, who never found their voice or their worth. So they interact with other people in a manner which draws other peoples energy out of them. Pity and sadness (or guilt) on the part of the “friend” is exactly what the narcissist may be after, as now they have replaced their inner-conflict with your pity. The narcissist leaves the conversation feeling validated, the “friend” leaves the conversation feeling drained. If you’re lucky, you’ve already learned to accept what your pesonal boundaries are (sometimes leading others to consider you a “bitch” if they can’t manipulate you) and you’ve learned how to navigate away from energy vampires.

It is perfectly acceptable for you to maintain your power and energy for your own use.

It is perfectly acceptable for you to change the topic or walk away if you feel your energy being drained.

You do not owe anyone (except your children) anything. And even that is not 100%.

My abusor still had my power, decades later. My first human interactions as an infant were “you are here to make me feel good” and “playing isn’t safe” and “daddy’s home, I’m not safe.” I desperately wanted to be safe, but in my childish logic I decided there was no safety or living for me. I began lashing out at those around me, remaining silent, isolating, and begging god to let me die. I hope you don’t have those experiences. If you did have those experiences, I am here to show you how I got back up on my feet and began to embrace life.

My friendships were all about me and my pain.

My Friendships Today…

My friendships today no longer require daily text messages and phone calls, or events scheduled together on the calendar. My friendships no longer consist of “these are all of my problems” conversations. I have strengthened myself to the point where I do not crave the external validation the way I once did, as an addiction.

Now when I am in a bad mood and I begin a text message complaining, I can ask myself “is sending this going to help me? Is this trauma-dumping or a friend asking for reasonable support?” When I first had my Big Reveal, I went around telling pretty much everyone. I put my abusor on blast. I found my voice, and it was horrified and lonely and defeated. My voice cracked and groaned before it warbled unintelligably like a dying cat. It was like an out-of-tune symphony of chaos.

And as I sang, the pain began to go.

As I spoke in therapy, my voice shook less.

As I set new boundaries around what was acceptable to me and what I needed and wanted, I was terrified. I was afraid of rejection. I was afraid of everything.

Your Voice

Have you been silenced or beat up or kicked around? There’s only one honest answer – yes. Have you gotten back up and dusted yourself off? The answer is probably also yes. Your voice is here to sing a melody, or croak a tune, that no one else can do. There is a superstar inside of you.

I was scared at first to assert my boundaries. As an abuse victim, I had no autonomy and no voice.

I had to admit that I was self-victimizing decades after the actual abuse had ended. I had to admit that the only one harming me now was me. I had to stop, look, and heal.

There is no ending in sight for my healing journey, but there are roadmaps and mileage markers along the journey. There are friends, neighbors, and people on similar paths to create joyful experiences along the way.

I am speaking up for myself when I feel confused, frustrated, overwhelmed now – instead of just screaming at the world.

I am “speaking” through my podcast, my blog, my art. I am speaking to say, “let me hear you.”

What is an idea that pops into your head? What are some ways you can feed your soul and soothe your own voice? What are some thought-patterns you are working on overcoming? In addition to narcissism, I am working on radical acceptance of my anxiety symptoms flaring up at times, radical acceptance that my human value is just as high as everyone else’s, and working on being gentle with myself.

Today my voice says “I like myself a little.” Somedays, it says “ew” and somedays it’s like Lizzo, “Baby how you doin, doin good as hell.” And I hear all of this is normal. I hear I am actually more like everyone else than I believed. I have value and a voice. Do you? Feel free to email me and let me know

Published by Surthrivor

Surthrivor: a survivor who takes control of their own recovery.

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