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May 24

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What happens when you stop believing a lie?

I have just had my mind THOROUGHLY blown.  The kind of blown that rearranges the space-time continuum.  Normally I wouldn’t write about something this profound quite so soon after it happened (I usually take a little time to digest before sharing) but writing about anything else right now seems kind of pointless.

If you’re a regular reader, you have probably gathered that I had a crazy love/hate relationship with my father. He was bigger than life and the kind of guy whose presence enlivens any room he steps into. Many, many people thought of him as a hero (and weren’t afraid to tell me so) – someone who could swoop in and save them, someone who could make their lives better with a well-placed phone call. I saw him being that man to other people, which made it all the more confusing when he turned into an abusive and emotionally violent man with me and my mom.

Living in my father’s world was living in insanity.  He had some very loving moments, but that made the whole situation even more debilitating – why couldn’t be like that all the time? How do I know when he’s going to be okay and when he’s going to be bat-shit crazy?

My response was to freeze. I shut down. I learned to be quiet, to lay low, to do everything as perfectly as possible to avoid making waves.

At some level – sometimes conscious, sometimes unconscious – I’ve been angry at myself for a long time for just laying down and letting him run rampant over my life.

Here’s the mind-melting part: Today I realized that I actually did myself a huge favor by freezing. Living in that kind of insanity meant that I had two options: freeze or fight back. A mentor said to me today, “It was so crazy, it’s a wonder you didn’t take a frying pan to his head.” In that instant I realized – fighting back would have meant meeting violence with violence.

And it would have been impossible to meet that level of emotional abuse and violence with anything but an equal or greater show of abuse and violence. Which means that, in that alternate universe, I would have developed into someone that my current self wouldn’t even recognize as me.

When faced with two options for dealing with insanity, I chose a route that allowed me to safeguard the essence of my soul. The alternative very likely would have pushed me into my own insanity.

Choosing to freeze means I still have some more clean-up to do, but it’s clean-up that’s doable.

I’m so grateful to that younger version of myself for choosing the option that allows me to be an adult that I can be proud of.

Wow.

***

I’ll be appearing on Karen McCrocklin’s Hay House Radio show “Out From the Inside” tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon EST.  The topic is “Absolutely Positive” and we’ll be talking about The Miracle Journal.  [To listen to the show, click here.]

Karen previews the show (and says some really lovely things about me :-) ) in her most recent blog entry: http://www.karenmccrocklin.com/radio-show-ep/absolutely-positive-leah-and-the-miracle-of-fluidity/

About the author

Leah Carey

Leah Carey is the Chief Miracle Officer of The Miracle Journal, where she writes about the large and small miracles that happen in her life every day. She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, freelance writer, and lover of life. In all of those pursuits, she works with people to identify what’s already right in your life so you can build an even more joyful and fulfilling daily experience from that foundation. You can find her on Facebook, , Twitter, and YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.themiraclejournal.com/2011/05/24/what-happens-when-you-stop-believing-a-lie/

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  1. Jeffrey Sumber

    I love how vulnerable your posts have become, Leah. It is exciting to watch you unfold in your willingness to be yourself as you discover yourself. You are a wonderful teacher.

  2. Leah Carey

    Thanks Jeffrey. It means a lot to me and I’m honored. Sending you love!

  3. William

    Leah, I absolutely love this: “Which means that, in that alternate universe, I would have developed into someone that my current self wouldn’t even recognize as me.” I’ve often wondered how to talk about alternative life paths and how who I am fits with all options of who could have been. Thanks for this beautiful post!

  4. Leah Carey

    Thank you William. :-)

  5. JoAnne Bennett

    Wow, your post really spoke to my heart. It was one of those articles I could read over and over again to say I think I finally found myself in Leah’s words. Although my adoptive mother was the one that was verbally and emotionally abusive, my stepfather was the hero to many as a long-time medical doctor. Looking back, I realize that I needed a daddy so as a child that I was willing to “freeze.” But sadly he couldn’t and didn’t protect me as “my hero” from the wrath of my adoptive mother who most definitely suffered from serious mental health issues. I don’t know how adults expect children to see things through grown-ups eyes. Thank you for sharing such an insightful post!
    JoAnne Bennett recently posted at their blog…Loves me not…

    1. Leah Carey

      Thank you so much JoAnne. I’ve spent some time looking at your blog and I commend you for the work that you’re doing through your writing as well. Sending you a big hug,
      Leah

  6. Pam

    Leah,this is my story.I choked back tears as I read it out loud to my partner.I just couldn’t believe what I was reading,such an accurate description of what I lived,and how it affected me,and I have never had the words to describe that person,to have it make sense…Thank you so much.

    1. Leah Carey

      Pam, I am so touched by your message. Thank you for letting me know. It seems like we have a little sisterhood growing around this post. You are not alone. Sending you a hug, Leah

  7. Jeanette Sandor

    Leah, I so related to you! It is a beautiful thing to begin to appreciate the aspect of ourselves we want to overcome!
    Jeanette Sandor recently posted at their blog…Raising an appreciative child

    1. Leah Carey

      Thank you Jeanette! What a lovely way to say it. :-)

  8. Tonya Sheridan

    Leah,
    It’s sad when children don’t live an environment where they feel safe. Sharing your insight not only helps with your own healing but touches so many other adults who experienced the same emotional pain. Safeguarding your soul was the wise thing to do and your beautiful soul shines through in your writing.
    Tonya Sheridan recently posted at their blog…The Danger of Female Bonding

    1. Leah Carey

      Thank you Tonya. How lovely. :-)

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