13 Reasons Why, Book Club: Fiction to Reality, Depression/Anxiety, Trauma

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I don’t want to see my true self” (Part 2)

13reasonswhyfear

Please Read “I don’t want to see my true self” first.

Facing Your Fear of You
Takeaway points:
1. Fear is an emotion that has no right or wrong.
2. Fear to see our true self is the issue, not fear
3. When Fear dictates your choices, fear becomes the problem.
4. The fear to face our true self is a message to tell us that there are contradictions in our values that we can’t reconcile within ourselves.

Self-Reflection Activities
# 1: Is there specific images that you want to maintain? Do you wish people see you in a certain way? If you do, what types of image that you try to uphold?

# 2: Underlying this image, there is a good value/virtue you want to maintain. What is that? (Strong, Dependable, Perfect, Considerate, Pleasant, etc.)

# 3: If you do not have this image, what do people see in you? (Imperfect, Vulnerable, Weak, Mean, etc.)

# 4: When you think about the way people truly sees you, how does that make you feel about you? (Fear, Hurt, Worry, Disgust, etc.)

# 5: Take a deep breath and notice your physical reactions when you think about the answers from the question # 2. Are there any areas of your body that you feel distressed? Where?

# 6: Focus on this physical sensation and ask yourself that: what’s your judgment about your true image?

#7: Ask yourself, how has this judgment controlled your life? How long do you plan to have this judgment continue to control you?

#8: Write a letter to your Fear of _______(such as fear of imperfection, fear of vulnerable, etc.).

Tell your fear of _____ how it has controlled your life in what way. If there is an advantage of its existence, thank this existence. Then, you have to decide whether you are going to take that control back or not.

A friendly reminder:
This exercise might elicit different feelings that “feels like” hard to tolerate. If it brings up a lot of emotions that are hard to endure, talk to a friend or seek professional help. You might be on the verge to reconcile a tough memory or traumatic event. Don’t bury it away. On the other side of the fear is your courageous inner strength that is waiting for you to dig out.

A (Short and Simple) Example: My Fear of Imperfection

My mother is a typical Asian mother, a perfectionist. Being an immigrant, my biggest shame is that I can’t speak or write in “perfect American English”. Here is an example from my own experience.

# 1: Is there specific images that you want to maintain? Do you wish people see you in a certain way? If you do, what types of image that you try to uphold?
Yes, I would like people to think that I am perfect in my English. I want people to see me as writing in excellent American English and speaking with no accent.

#2: Underlying this image, there is a good value/virtue you want to maintain. What is that?
The image I want to maintain is perfection.

# 3: If you do not have this image, what do people see in you?
The truth is that I can never be perfect in my English writing or speak.

# 4: When you think about the way people truly sees you, how does that make you feel about you?
I feel very scared when people think I am not perfect in my English writing or speaking. I am not only feeling fearful but shameful.

# 5: Take a deep breath and notice your physical reactions when you think about the answers to the question # 2. Are there any areas of your body that you feel distressed? Which area?

I feel my heart pounding very fast that it is almost as if my heart is going to jump out of my chest.

# 6: Focus on this physical sensation and ask yourself that: what’s your judgment about your true image?

If I am true to myself, what I want to say to me is: “Shame on you for not getting the writing/speaking accurately! Everyone lives in this country can do it perfectly except you!”

#7: Ask yourself, how this memory or judgment have controlled your life? How long do you plan to have this judgment continue to control you?
The logical side of me was knowing that no one is perfect for anything. Part of me also knows that I can’t be perfect in everything I do. However, in the real bottom of my heart, I feel fear, shame, sadness, and worry how people are going to see me.

I do not and refuse to have this shame, fear, and worry continued to control me. I have decided to accept my imperfection, not just in my English skills but all areas of my life. Somehow, I realized this: there is no way to hide my flaw, not only English but all areas of my life.

#8: Write a letter to your Fear of _______(such as fear of imperfection, fear of vulnerable, etc.). Tell your fear of _____ how it has controlled your life in what way. If there is an advantage of its existence, thank this existence. Then, you have to decide whether you are going to take that control back or not.

(Well, I am not going to write this letter here because it’s too personal. However, if I do, it’s going to start like this.)

My Dear Fear of Imperfection:

I can still hear mom’s voice telling me how shameful I am that I didn’t do it perfectly………

Friendly Reminder
If I have learned something about being a therapist, that is: no one is perfect, and there is no therapist or a friend can be your savior. You have to be your savior no matter what happened. I tell my clients all the time: “If I am not a good match for you as a therapist, by all means, please fire me and go find someone else. At the end of the day, your life is much more important than my feelings.”

Please remember: “YOU ARE IMPORTANT” and don’t let anyone decide whether you are going to seek help or not. If you are in a difficult spot in your life right now, please continue to seek help no matter how many people you have to talk to find that person who can help you.

Original Work:

Here is the link to the original novel of “13 reasons why”

Here is the link to the Netflix drama of “13 reasons why”

Resources:

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network hotline 800-656-4673

National Suicide Prevention Hotline hotline 1-800-273-8255

 

From Fiction to Reality: “13 Reasons Why” Series Articles

From “13 Reasons Why” To “Facing Your Truth” — Prologue

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth”— “Truth”

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I don’t want to see my true self” (Part I)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I don’t want to see my true self” (Part 2)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I refuse to see it” (Part 1)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I refuse to see it” (Part 2)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” – “It’s painful to see it.” (Part I)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” – “It’s painful to see it.” (Part II)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I can face my pain now.” (Part I)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I can face my pain now.” (Part II)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” – “Facing the truth about rape”(Part I)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” – “Facing the truth about rape” (Part II)

From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — Epilogue

 

17 thoughts on “From “13 Reasons Why” to “Facing Your Truth” — “I don’t want to see my true self” (Part 2)”

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