I have a disease.
It’s been killing me slowly since the day of my birth.
There is no cure. No remedy. No magical potion.
Hi. My name is Trish.
And I am an Indigo Survivor.
This is just a small piece of my story…
Not so long ago someone close to me accused me of “living a lie”. Told me I was a “survivor’ as if it were a dishonorable thing. And because it was someone whose opinion of me matters, for the first time ever, I actually felt ashamed to be labeled Survivor.
More recently, someone else close to me told me to “just be honest” about how I was feeling. As if all the truths I had shared with them were suspect, and all my spoken emotions were a lie.
Naturally, I bristled at the implication of being anything but authentic. But lately I’ve been thinking about exactly what they were both trying to tell me.
I am not defending my person. Or making excuses. That’s not what I aim to do with personal disclosure. No. This is more an out-loud witnessing of an epiphany on my journey to self discovery. My blog has always been a form of therapist. A sacred space to share my truth. No excuses are needed here. I am who I am.
Flawed. Imperfect. Struggling. Coming Out Crooked. Trish.
But self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love are huge parts of personal growth. And I am a full-bodied YES for personal growth. Over the past two years I have been learning to do all three parts, and in doing so I’ve come to recognize and applaud the human condition in all its brilliant colors.
And in this moment I am recognizing that I am a fucking rainbow!
When you live your entire life in survival mode, you learn to lie in order to please people. And you learn to do it really well. A well crafted lie can make all the difference. Between acceptance and rejection. Between violence and safety. Between life and death. And if there is anything I have learned about human nature, it’s that we all want to be accepted. And that our very survival depends on it. Some of us do some crazy-ass, fucked up shit to get there. But, in the end, we all just want to be loved.
For me, the lies and people pleasing began in early childhood when seeking kindness, warmth and love. Things that should have been birthrights, but weren’t. The lies and the people pleasing began when the message become clear that I was not good enough the way that I was.
That I had to change who I was in order to be loved.
A fucked up message to be sure.
But one that has resonated with me, and been confirmed, time and time again.
Until it became my reality.
I understood this message when trying to survive an abusive, teenage mother. Then later, trying to survive systemic corruption in a system that was supposed to care for neglected and abused children. Then later, enduring the touch of a mans hand on my babyish body. Then later, suffering the physical attacks of a bullying foster-sister. Then later, in rejection from an emotionally vacant foster-mother. Then later, in surviving the near death experience from my abusive, full-grown, biological mother. Then later, in the pounding, bone breaking fists of a pimp. Then later, in the selling and buying of my body. Then later, in the sanctioned rapes of a husband.
Ya. I’ve been through some shit.
And yes. I learned to lie.
To the world.
But more importantly, I learned to survive.
I learned to manipulate, finagle, cheat, swindle, contrive, plot, scheme, trick and obscure the truth in every case scenario where Fear demanded my actions. Fear of Abuse. Fear of Abandonment. Fear of Anger. Fear of Confrontation. Fear of Emotional Hurt. Fear of Not Being Accepted. Fear of Not Surviving.
Sometimes my very life depended on my ability to tell the perfect lie. And, in many ways, the lies became my truth. So the bigger question here could be, “Am I really ever lying?”
For people like me, over time, the lies take on life much bigger than ourselves. They become our alter ego. Our Prominent Self. They become so embodied, so enmeshed into our person, that they bleed into the very heart of our being. And the lines between what we want and what others want from us become ridiculously blurred, to the point of self obscurity. And they become as natural to us as breathing.
But, I do need to stress something here.
These are not lies meant to hurt or deceive or destroy another person. They are meant for protection. For survival. They are in place to please the people who make emotional demands on us. Who tell us they will love and accept us, if we do this…or that.
And so we do.
The lies are compromises.
And built-in safeguards against abuse, violence and neglect.
And they ensure our invisibility.
The less we demand for ourselves, the safer we are.
And the sad thing is.
We don’t even realize it’s happening.
We. Just. Do. It.
Because somewhere along the way we learned that we had to change who we were in order to be loved.
A fucked up message to be sure.
And one that has resonated with me, and been confirmed, time and time again.
Until it became my reality.
So why do I call myself an Indigo Survivor?
Well, today I learned that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the ribbon color is Purple. I didn’t know that. Did you? Kinda gives a whole new meaning to the movie The Color Purple. And like Whoopi’s character, Celie, I too have lived the greater part of my life in the purple shadow of domestic abuse. Then I learned that October is also Child Abuse Awareness Month and the ribbon is Blue. Who knew?
But what about the millions of survivors who live smack dab in the middle? Like me. Well, I think we need a colored ribbon too. And it should be Indigo.
And the people pleaser part? Well, that’s pretty evident in my testimony.
I have been socialized from birth to make myself agreeable. Not to rock the boat.
Taught to sacrifice my needs for the needs of others. To make others happy.
And in return I’ve been promised love.
Mostly I didn’t get it.
But sometimes I did.
Somewhere between all the varying shades of black and blue there is the perfect shade of Indigo.
If I’d had a choice, would I have lived a different life? Been a different color?
But I didn’t have a choice.
So I’ve made the best of the Life I’ve been given.
And at the end of the day, I haven’t done half bad.
So ya… I am a Survivor. And fucking proud of it!
And we Indigo Survivors deserve a recognition ribbon too, dammit!
Side note: The inspiration for this post came from my home-girl, Tikeetha. Then, just now, I read another amazing blog post from rarasaur. Two truly inspirational women who, in the telling of their stories, have given me the powerful gift of inclusion. It’s healing. Reminds me I am not alone in this crazy life I’ve lived. And somehow validates my person.
Thank you ❤
To be continued…