This draft has been saved on my computer for some quite a while, I decided it was finally time to complete it.
"I don't believe I am deserving of happiness." This is something I admitted to somebody recently. Stating that was not, and is not, a ploy to get attention, I could really care less, but more of a 'getting it out in the open' thing so I can start moving ahead with healing myself. I have to learn to be okay with admitting things.
My therapist and I have discussed countless times how much I suppress my feelings, happy or sad. It's a bad habit that I've had ever since I was a little girl. I don't recall when it started but through therapy and reflection, I've found that I did so because I was more worried about my father's feelings than my own.
After my mother left us, he was a single parent. As I grew older I had my moments of feeling sorry for him. It couldn't be easy raising two girls by yourself on one very small income, so we were told... about the income anyway. In addition, if my memory serves me right, it wasn't long after my mother left that my grandparents passed away (my father's parents). It was apparent that my father was in a deep fit of depression and so I felt bad. Every day was a similar routine and every night ended with him in his recliner chair watching TV or reading the newspaper... eventually falling asleep. It was hard to see him that way - after all he was my father and I loved him. I had no bad feelings towards him other than some fear because of his bad temper.
Now looking back it's plain to see this habit of suppressing my feelings so I didn't upset my father more was incredibly damaging. My decision, conscious or not, to aid to my father's emotions more than my own has caused some major problems in my emotional development. In some ways, I'm still a child. Growing up, there were many times where I played more of a parental role because I had to deal with my father's childish temperament and ways. Though I still cried in my room or wrote out my feelings in poems, I wouldn't let emotions consume me nor would I even acknowledge them. This causes me to act pretty childish when I'm forced to deal with my emotions nowadays and it's yet another thing I'm ashamed of. But I can't hide from the truth anymore... not if I want to face my demons in order to defeat them.
Getting back on track, the reasons I don't believe (or didn't believe) that I deserve happiness are many. For one, I don't know how to truly feel happy. It's such a foreign emotion to me that the moment I start to feel it, I run away mostly by playing it down. A recent example of this is my moment on stage with Katy Perry. Any fan in their right mind would be ecstatic, and I was in that moment and the moments we were still at the venue. The next day? Forget about it. Though I shared my experience online, I felt embarrassed and almost wrong for being excited about it or because it happened to me. Whenever someone would come up to me to ask about it or congratulate me on it, I tried to hide my smile and not say too much about how amazing it was. How fucked up this that?
Another reason I don't believe I deserve to be happy is that I still feel bad for my father and what he went through. My emotions about the entire situation are still very mixed and I give myself a hard time for feeling bad for him. Why should I? He made conscious decisions that he knew would affect our family negatively. He made his mistakes which tore our family apart. HE DID IT ALL yet I feel guilty about it and I feel like the bad person. In turn, it makes me feeling undeserving of happiness. Why should I be happy when I feel bad for someone who was arrested for rape on top of being so abusive to my sister and I growing up? It baffles my mind.
I know better than to truly believe that I don't deserve happiness, but that doesn't mean it's easy to be happy or to move past this. As with everything I'm battling in therapy, this is something that will take a while to turn around and heal from.
I ask that anyone who has been through something similar and has advice, please share it with me either in the comments or via e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org