I have been working with an amazing group of inner parts this past year. The freedom fighters are some of the most authentic parts I have met.
In some ways, they are more devoted to my real purpose than my inner children. They truly don’t care about the opinions of others. They are tired of being controlled by nasty abusers. They are tired of being told what to do by society. They are sick of the rules and norms created by those who clearly want to control the masses. And honestly, these are not parts I am used to hearing from. My survival strategy was to conform. In a way, conformity was my way of rebelling. I was controlling my abusers by never stepping a foot out of line while plotting their deaths in my mind. But these freedom fighters don’t accept any conformity. They will die for the right to be who they are. And that is why my controller shoved them deep down inside where I would never find them (or so they thought).
But the lid on that Pandora’s box has been lifted much to my controller’s dismay. They are out. And they have much to say. I have found myself questioning and breaking rules and norms (and maybe a few tiny laws). I have been doing things at the last possible minute. I have been doing more of what I like. And my controller is not happy. That said, they are coping without any major meltdowns. But there is a darker side to these freedom fighters which has been painfully obvious to me the last year. This darker side is something my controller fears most of all. This darker side is futility. And this powerlessness was inevitable. These parts wanted pure authenticity. And I grew up in a family who refused to allow me to be authentic. It was like beating my head against a brick wall. As I developed my very strong conformist parts, the battle against authenticity waged on the inside too. My freedom fighters were fighting a war that seemed lost. Futility, powerlessness and hopelessness settled in. They gave up.
Now that I am on this journey to wholeness, I have to take the good with the bad. I love the authenticity of these parts, but it comes with an endless supply of paralysis. While the futile messages have been many, there was one that jumped out at me last night. It came through loud and clear. It even jolted me a bit.
“You can’t escape.”
After years of trying to escape my past, I guess it is not surprising that some of my inner parts would feel this way. But it runs deeper than my past. It is about life in general. I can’t escape my past. I can’t escape abusers. I can’t escape the control from others. I can’t escape people trying to take my power. I can’t escape all the ways society tries to keep me down. This is how the freedom fighters think. Their futility isn’t about my worthlessness or uselessness. Their futility is about how society wants to keep me down. They are convinced of this truth. They have never been more sure of anything. It is why isolation is one of the most common strategies of the freedom fighters. It is why people choose to move off grid. It is why people choose to run, even from experiences that might be good for them.
But it is also why people fight against control that is not okay. It is why people stand up and say, “Enough is enough.” It is why we fight for justice, equality and the right to be who we are. These days, we are seeing more and more freedom fighters breaking through the conformity and fighting for what they want. And this isn’t surprising. There is a threshold of control people are willing to live with. There is a line in the sand. If it is crossed, people decide conformity for the sake of safety isn’t worth it anymore. On the other side of the line, survival stops being the main focus because conformed living is no longer worth it. There is too much lost in that life.
I also understand there is privilege in these statements. Not all people can fight back and survive the fight. I know this. I used to belong to the least privileged group in the world: children. And I know that I could not fight back because death would have been the answer. I would not have had the chance to be anything but dead. And there are adults living like this now. The choice is not available to them. But it is available to me and I will do my part. My freedom fighters will not have it any other way. And they are done being squelched by control and conformity. I have no idea what is coming in my life, but I can be sure of a few things. It won’t be powerless. It won’t follow the rules. And a lot of people won’t like it. Too bad for them.
Written By Elisabeth Corey, MSW