When Will You Take Center Stage In Your Life?

by Annie Kaszina on July 20, 2010

When my first book was published, some fifteen years ago, it
didn’t mean much to me… At least, until I held a copy of it in my hand.  

Why was that? 

It was never going to be a book that would set the world
alight; I knew that.  It was of interest
to, at most, some 300 people in the Whole world who shared my interest in an
obscure academic topic. 

Holding that book in my hand, and seeing my name on the
cover, gave me something I didn’t already have: it put me on my own mental map
of the world.    

At the time, I had a young child, so I was struggling with a
severe case of “mummy identity”.  But,
more importantly, being in an abusive relationship had led me to be, at best, “a
bit player” in my abusive husband’s life; I was nothing in my own.  

I had, more or less, fallen off my own radar. 

Like all abused women. 

As far as I was concerned, I was simply that unworthy being
who shuffled along in my husband’s shadow. 

The book I held in my hand reminded me that I still
existed. 

I wish I could say that it did more than that, but it did
not.  Because that is what happens in an
abusive relationship: you disappear from your own map of the world. 

You only have to listen to an abused woman.  You only have to listen to yourself. 

You have your list of priorities: your partner, your children,
your pet… 

And then nothing… 

Look down far enough and you will eventually find yourself,
at the very bottom of the heap: the Woman Who Believed She Didn’t Matter. 

The Woman Who Did Not Matter To Herself – Because She Did
Not Matter To Her Abusive Partner. 

It would be terribly, terribly sad – I’ve no doubt
that you have experienced it as being terribly sad – were it not for one thing: 

Your partner does not have the power to decide whether or
not you matter. 

Only you have that power

Until now, there has been a problem – let’s call it a ‘belief
malfunction’: nobody taught you to believe you had that power, so you never
learned that you had it.   You didn’t know even that you were allowed
to have that power.  That is why you
haven’t been able to claim it for yourself.  

Yet. 

Your first experiences of not mattering – or not mattering
as much as you would have liked – came when you were a child, did they
not?  Naturally enough, that young You
did what all children do, and generalized. 
The child could not say to herself: “This adult is too focused on their
agenda to be sensitive to my needs.  The
fact that they have prioritized their agenda is all about them.  It is not a reflection of my worth.”

Honestly, has there ever been a time when you have
been so hard pressed that you have given your children (or friends), a lower
priority than you might have wished? 

When you were a child, that adult (those adults) did not put
you center stage, for their own reasons. 
But there is nothing to stop you now.

You can start to put yourself center stage now. 

How do you do it? 

Don’t even attempt to do it the hard way; that is, by
getting out there and trying to do something that is so foreign to you.  Instead, start running a new scenario in
your head.  Go back, if you like to when
that young You did not feel she mattered.  

When you get to the point at which she is overlooked, change
the scenario
.  Have her successfully
attract the adult’s attention.  If
necessary, have her explain to the adult why this so important to her, and make
sure that the adult understands, and responds appropriately.  

See that she gets her needs met.  See how good it feels for her. 

Do that several times. 
In fact, do it as often as you feel like doing it.  You can do it with several different
scenarios, if you like.  

That’s all you need to do. 

The worst that can happen, is that you have spent time
daydreaming in a more constructive way than you do when you focus on old hurts,
or making someone listen to you in the here and now. 

That’s the worst that can happen.  More likely, you will start to make a mental shift without even
being aware of it.  

You might find yourself spontaneously edging onto
your own stage.  You might even find
yourself heading slowly but surely towards center stage in your own life.  

That place is yours, by right.  

Are you willing to own it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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