by: Marcella Lestari | 30 October 2021

My tendency used to be avoidance of myself. I did this by focusing on what I must do and ignoring my needs. I copied the lives of my parents at the cost of understanding myself and living according to my identity. I did this with a faulty sense of altruism, thinking that I was doing my best for my family. 

Living in such a way was comfortable and safe. I did not have to risk conflicting with my parents. But it was also lifeless. I felt like a robot, not wanting to have my own will, fearing that my will might go against my parents’ will. It got to a point where I considered committing suicide repeatedly. Yes, it was unbearable. But I could not comprehend what was wrong, and deep within, I was avoiding going head-to-head with my wounds.

I encountered PRH during such period, in which I was practicing harmful self-avoidance. Through its workshops, analyses, and methods, I began to build up the courage and determination to be more true to myself, to feel that I belonged to me. My defense mechanisms surely came up during the process, and many times I struggled with embracing the love that I have for my life. However, the authenticity of the educators, their persistence and perseverance in helping others nurtured me, just as a dying plant receives light, water, and compost to help sustain its existence.

Today I’m more able to rely on my own strength in navigating my life. The intensity of pain that normally disturbed my daily functioning is more manageable, and I feel more free to answer my inner invitation to fulfill my needs. As a result, I also feel more independent in relating with other people. Existing before others still presents a challenge to me, but even as I feel the pain, I have the courage to choose to exist rather than deny myself again. Belonging to myself now becomes a priority, and the approval of others no longer controls my life as much. I realize I still have a long way to go, but seeing how far I’ve come, I can’t help but be grateful for the life that I have. I am here to stay.