I’ve felt like a fake most of my life living with fear that one day everyone will know the truth – I am just a fake. This feeling has impeded my ability to move forward, to embrace and enjoy the success I have, to feel confident in my skills and abilities. Some of you know exactly what I mean.
I am going to sound a little egotistical right now and that is not at all how I feel. Just not sure how to share with you my accomplishments without sounding that way. Growing up in an abusive home and then marrying an abusive man and finding an abusive therapist created in me the belief I am wrong and it is all my fault. Because of that belief and the programming of my childhood, I’ve felt like a fake. I was homeless as a single parent for a while – not street homeless but living from friend to friend trying to survive, trying to recover from an abusive marriage, living with severe depression. During that time I decided the only way to not live a life of monetary poverty was to go to school. I had no confidence in my ability to ace college. I graduated from high school with a 1.5 GPA. One person believed in me and it wasn’t me and I started college. I did great. Carried a high GPA and graduated from University of California Berkeley and started a Master’s program in counseling. I’ve co-authored books, wrote a mini-book, wrote a book of poetry, created a counseling center, create new businesses, a great hypnotherapist, a visionary. When I looked at those successes, I felt like a fake. I suppose that had some to do with the brokenness inside of me.
I’ve wanted to grow my business, write my book create my dream while I help others create their dreams. It seems there is always a reason that can’t happen: not enough time, not enough money, who would want what I offer, too busy with a job. Busy parenting or grandparenting. There was always something. There were so many excuses.
In EMDR therapy last week, we explored growing my business and the excuses easily and effortlessly rolled off my tongue. The therapist patiently listened and then interrupted me restating my successes and then said, “You feel like a fake and if you proceed in growing your business everyone will know it.” Really? Silent for a moment, I responded with a resounding “yes” and my secret was out. Now I would have to admit I was a fake! The despondency was overwhelming. She went on to explain that often times children who are abused have an exaggerated since of their gifts because the abuse exaggerates them. As children we are unable to operate at the level of an adult because we are children with children’s brains and emotions having the adult world thrust at us. The gifts in childhood were exaggerated and programmed. For me, and likely true for some of you out there, if I experienced success as a child that it was pure luck. If someone respected me and showed me value, the parents would say those people don’t see the truth of who I am. Of course I have felt like a fake.
I can tell you how excited I am to hear this. The exaggerations are based on the truth of who we are but as children we aren’t ready to stand in the fullness of that truth and in a way it is faking it. So how am I going to move through this? Self-talk, reminding myself of the successes I enjoy, disconnecting the program, reprogramming with EMDR and moving forward creating my dream and that, my friends, will eventually still the dis-ease within.