On one hand, I feel like I’ve backslid a lot in my journey. I’ve had a lot of fits and starts, lately, and then gone back to eating my feelings, when I swear at the core of me, I’m not an emotional eater. Yet, I do it.

On the other, I’m starting to see that there are still hurdles for me to jump in my mental processes. Looking back, I know what started the spiral. Knowing, understanding, and working toward resolving that issue will get me back where I was.

Let toxic people go.

When I was a child, my father purposely made me feel guilty for things that had nothing to do with me. Things that went badly were my fault. He did it often enough that I just automatically started assuming responsibility and feeling bad about things that couldn’t possibly have been my responsibility. The few times I attempted to confront him on his own bad behavior, he made those things my fault, too.

As an adult, I’ve had to fight a tendency to feel guilt over things that have nothing to do with me. I thought I slew that dragon, but similar behavior from another person, accusing me of things I hadn’t done, cranked up that guilt. Worse, it was over how I have handled my mother’s estate, which (by law) must be completely above board, and has been. Despite knowing I’ve done everything right, that sense of guilt crept in — not just regarding obvious things, but those that aren’t.

Before this trigger, I had already second-guessed myself numerous times over my mother’s care. Did I do the right things at the right time? If I did, why did bad things happen? Logically, I know I did the best with the situation I had, but emotion has little to do with logic. And gaslighters know that. They know it’s not just about what they make your fault; it’s about how you internally punish yourself for perceived wrongdoings.

One of the most important accomplishments I’ve managed in my life is to reclaim my health; my physical health through losing weight, my mental health through understanding the mechanisms that make me want to punish myself by pushing away the world, insulating myself with weight. It’s a never-ending battle, but I’m battling.

Logically, I am okay. Mentally, I’m getting there, and this is just another process I will master. I am back in the saddle and I have my plans in place. When I realized just how much I was punishing myself for things that I couldn’t have possibly done or controlled, I have been working on releasing the baseless guilt — as well as releasing the one who intentionally caused it. Toxic relationships aren’t necessarily always easy to spot, especially when society thinks you should keep those relationships intact. And it’s totally okay to release that toxicity so it stops doing you harm.

A little Brittney for ya… since the title fits.

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