This week I have been pondering stinking thinking. That’s the name a friend of mine gave to the negative self-talk that victims and survivors of abuse rehearse over and over in their heads. I guess we all do this to some extent, but when we do this is it possible we are really asking, “What’s your worth?”
Those who come from healthy backgrounds and loving relationships don’t usually understand how pervasive the issue of negative self-talk can be. It is literally a death sentence and the key tool an abuser uses to control their victim. They tend to do such a great job at controlling us with negative words, that over time, we believe them ourselves. Even after an abusive relationship ends, it can take years to replace the tape that tells us our worth is nothing!
For me, some of those tapes have never been fully erased (think deleting a file, only to find it still lives in the computer’s recycle bin, or something a digital forensic FBI agent could find even though the computer was thought to be wiped clean). For the most part, I think I empty the recycle bin, but I still find something I missed along the way, or it is an attachment to something I didn’t think I needed to erase. One of the reasons I can find myself Weary by Wednesday is how I handle negative self-talk and answer the real question of, “what’s your worth.”
Am I what others think of me?
Am I the sum of my failures or mistakes?
If I did everything perfectly, would that change anything?
Next to physically getting away from an abuser, the next biggest hurdle for survivors of abuse is finding our value and worth. But where do you look to find the truth about your worth?
My go-to verse has always been Isaiah 43:1
But now the Lord who created you, O Israel, says: Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43 Living Bible (TLB)
God not only created me, but he ransomed me and he calls me by name. He does the same for you, no matter where you have come from. This verse is only the beginning of the truth of our worth found in the Bible.
I encouraged someone this week to make a list of things to answer her negative self-talk. Some verses, compliments, and accomplishments, so that when the question of, “what’s my worth,” surfaces, she will be ready with the right answer.
What is on your list of comebacks for stinking thinking? What’s your worth?
Thanks for sharing your Wednesday with me. You are stronger than you think. I’m praying for you.