What I’m really afraid of when I am afraid to be seen

hiding_kittenI have been tapping on the subject of visibility, and I found out that I’m not actually afraid of being seen, but of something else.

But first, I’ll explain what tapping is, because it’s how I discovered my deeper fear. Tapping – Emotional Freedom Technique – is a practice that helps you process deep-seated emotions and fears through tapping on parts of the body with the fingers of either both hands or just one. (You can watch Gala Darling’s EFT demonstration for a brief demonstration of using both hands.) The points to tap also vary from practitioner to practitioner, but they seem to follow acupuncture points.

While tapping, you say to yourself something like, “Even though I am afraid of ______, I still love and accept myself.” You can say whatever makes sense. It was through this self talk that I realized I’m not truly afraid of visibility itself.

The self-talk evolved like this:

“Even though I’m afraid of being seen by people…”

“Even though I’m afraid of people seeing me and loving me…”

“Even though I’m afraid of people loving me and trying to own me…”

“Even though I’m afraid of people trying to own me and demand I take care of them…”

I’ve talked a little before about parentification – when a parent turns a child into a replacement for the other parent, who is absent, neglectful, or abusive. My father was neglectful and abusive, but my parents didn’t divorce because they held tight to the very damaging idea that staying together was “better for the family”.

Obviously two people who hate each other should not stay married. One of the many negative outcomes of this situation was that my mother came to me – a young teenager – for support and advice about how to do things, including how to raise my sister. I don’t blame her for doing this, especially after reading Bethany Webster’s articles at Womb of Light about the Mother Wound.

But nonetheless, it’s left this scar on me – I am afraid that if someone loves me, they will turn me into their parent and make me take care of them, and I will have no freedom, and I will resent them.

I have to admit that this has been the case in my romantic relationships – even the one I’m in now, which is very good and fun and rewarding. I’m lucky that my partner was open to the realization that he looks to his partners to take care of him, and now he’s working on taking care of himself; and we’re both working on discerning the difference between supporting someone and taking care of someone.

The solution to not being parentified again is to establish clear boundaries between me and anyone I love. (And also people I don’t love.) So… I will be tapping on that subject now, because enforcing boundaries makes me uncomfortable, as I’m sure it does for most of us.

Image credit: Alexas_Fotos