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confused and abused
July 25, 2001
10:48 am
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playful707
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September 30, 2010
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i am 47 and divorced/single and have been for 14yrs. i come from an incest family..sex was brought on at an early age by dad..older sis caught us...has been mean to me all our life...mom and sis fondled me constantly..when 18 got married to an abusive man just to get away from home...he was an alchoholic..stayed 12 yrs...later met another alchohoic..he was killed mom dies 9 months later..met another man who i thought was my life...he left me and married someone else while i was living in his home..and evetone I know has a a chance for second marriage...life and love...i feel like a freak..something is wrong with me...met friends in cyber space..had strong feelings for one..he turned out to be a liar ..i have no luck in love...i was abused in marriage...
and people say i need counseling...
what can counseling do for me after all these years...i am confused??? can anyone help..I have shut people out of my life
prefer to be alone on one hand and hate being alone on the other...
so angry at life and scared...

July 25, 2001
12:09 pm
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Ladeska
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September 27, 2010
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This is one of my writings and thought it might be useful to you...

"IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY"

The way we think and process things has a lot to do with - how we've been programmed to think by things that we aren't aware of. At some point in our lives we have to stop and evaluate whether this programming has been good and healthy for us and if not - can we give ourselves permission to tear it out by the roots and replace it with what is life-giving?

Influences in our lives that are good, balanced and healthy all the way around - will encourage us to learn how to critically think, and will make contact with what we innately know to be true, honorable and worthwhile. Consequently, the flip side of that is we will have influences in our lives which dictate to us a groundwork for destruction and untruths. The hub of where that comes from is from a place of someone else needing to control us for their own purposes and needing to use us as a scapegoat for what truly belongs in their own court and in their own reflection.

Negative patterning in our lives usually always has it's roots in "fear". Fear of rejection and abandonment, fear that we are not worthy enough to attain what is good for us. We accept what someone has transferred onto us in many cases and take it to be our own truth, when in all reality it isn't truth at all. We then fall prey to - someone else's agenda, in order that they may use us for whatever selfish reasons. People who are desperately void - feed off of other people, just like any scavenger would do. We provide food for them. As a product of that - we slowly die from the inside out, because we cannot keep up with the imbalance of too much going out and not enough nourishment - coming in. We are very attractive to them in this way and they have the right to do this because we do not have healthy boundaries. We need to be needed
and our value as person grows on this foundation. This becomes our main pattern for existing and it becomes - our undoing over time.

Oftentimes, we go through life, switching from one dictator to another until we weary of it, to the point of near destruction sometimes. Eventually, it brings us front and center - with ourselves. No one else, just "us", eyeball to eyeball with - "who am I, really and what's going on here?" We have to ask ourselves if our self worth has been centered around trying to get approval from someone else. Many strong people fall into this category and that makes it all the more difficult for them to see this going on. Survivors of a lot of life's ills have a prideful way of not being able to recognize certain dangers. They identify with people who are survivors themselves and match up with the strengths of that, but seldom see the weaknesses hidden within the fabric, thus, the blindness. They say - but, these people understand me, we share the same hurts, they are a lot like me, etc., etc. But the truth is, when you are involved with a wounded person, they oftentimes turn in to feed on "you". And we confuse our need to be needed with our need to be sucked dry. Boundaries keep that from happening, while still maintaining a friendship or relationship. Few proud survivors know how to do this until they are kicked repeatedly and see the "need". Just because we identify with certain people doesn't mean that we need to be joined at the hip with them. Because in all reality, you may have the same hurts and understand them, but you may have moved on in a lot of respects and acquired some strength and health along the way. In ways, that they haven't. They in turn, see that you've "done the work" and they want the benefit of it - without - doing the work. It is your responsibility to recognize this "before" you get all the way in the tunnel and back out, set up boundaries and stay behind them. In as much as they know where your hurts are, they know where the food is and they will rob and pillage on a regular basis, until the well is dry, IF you allow it.

How does one recognize a dictator/predator when they see one? Maybe the following questions will help answer that question and alert you to this "before" it happens. Too often we get caught up in the haze of the beginning wonderment that we don't see the thick fog that is coming right behind it. These questions should throw up a few red flags for you.

*************************************************************************************************

Do I have to lay aside any of my values, like the freedom to think for myself, at any time?

Is my own ability to reason called into question by the other party, when I challenge something?

Am I very rewarded in some way for - just going with the flow and being non- confrontational and passive?

Do I find myself stuffing a lot of my own feelings in order to maintain a certain amount of peace and just survive?

Is just surviving - good enough for you?

Am I ever really and truly validated when I bring up issues that concern me, or am I more patronized or punished or just plain ignored?

Does this person seek to find others that will agree with them and gang up on me at times?

Do I sink into that numb place of - just allowing someone else to steer my ship, in order to avoid conflict?

Am I constantly fed a diet of negativity about myself and how I just don't seem to measure up in a lot of ways, and then patted on the back when I perform to suit someone else's needs? Kudos given......only when they get what they want from you, otherwise, endless criticism or apathy given to you.

Do you spend a great deal of time thinking about what's been said and done and rehashing it over and over in your head - asking yourself - what was meant and what could you have said or done differently in order to please them or truly connect with them?

Am I constantly more concerned about their needs and wants instead of my own?

Are my conversations one-way, in that - I'm talked at and not "with"?

Do I do all the listening and understanding when little or none of that comes my way?

Am I only validated and agreed with - in order for the other person to gain something?

Do apologies from the other person sound more like - they wouldn't have to apologize at all if " I" had not reacted the way - I did? (Btw, this isn't an apology - at all)

Do I start to believe what I am being conditioned to believe about myself? Does my self-talk start to reflect that?

Do I beat myself up repeatedly and without mercy, when I perceive I've made some sort of mistake, barely looking at their responsibility in this, too.

Does my life start to become consumed with - what makes the other person happy, even if I'm miserable and doing without?

Have I lost sight of - what really makes me happy? Do I feel like I even have the right to ask the question? Do I spend a lot of time trying to figure out why I'm not making "them" happy?

Are you allowed to have your own space, your own friends and outside interests? If you do have them - are they constantly ridiculed?

Do I think a lot about how I might change them or what the possibilities are of "what if"?

Is guilt, confusion and numbness the more constant state of mind - rather than contentment and peace?

**************************************************************************************************** **

If you can answer Yes to most of these questions - you are not being validated as a human being. And you have basically allowed yourself to be stripped of your rights to function as you were designed to function in a whole and healthy state.

I'm going to talk female to female here, because my ministry is to women. Our very design is to be able to lean into - a man - in a state of submission, but never surrender. There's a BIG difference in these two things. Submission means - a blending of two people that are strong and complete in their own selves, and Surrender is a one way street where one is very deficient and feeding off of the other one.

We can be taught how to surrender by women in our lives that have followed this line of victimization in their own lives and thus - teach us - this Is the right course for us by example. So, it's not just men that teach this and condition us to believe this course for our lives - women can also play a part in this. Unfortunately, we accept this kind of thinking very easily because these women are the only examples we have close into us. We look to up to them - regardless of what we see and consequently, whatever we see is what goes in and is received by us. Children are not mature in their discerning abilities. They are extremely impressionable and learn things on a level that is highly suggestive. So, basically - what they see - is equated to being - law. No questions asked. If mother is not validated as a woman - the daughter learns right then and there that - this is who she is. The mother is the role model for the daughter. So often, when that model is negative and dysfunctional, I hear the daughter loudly proclaim that she will NEVER be anything like her mother! That may be true in ways that glare at you, but what has slid into the subconscious and into the root of her self-esteem is a different matter altogether. Where the daughter really connects with who she is may indeed have more to do with what she saw from her mother, than she is eager to look at.

A woman who has been in an abusive or neglectful relationship with a man does not always know what it's like to experience the flip side of this pattern for life. They do not know the difference between Submission and Surrender. It was never so beautifully illustrated to me - as when this older woman told me this little story. She had a dog that was this beautiful little fluffy white dog, who had been her companion for many years. She said to me, now watch this very carefully - I'm going to speak to "Sir Guy" in one way and then in another. Watch the difference in his reaction to me.

First, she called to him in a real commanding tone, "Sir Guy! Come here NOW, get over here and LAY DOWN!! Sir Guy instantly went into this body language of cowardice. He trembled and sort of halfway walked and crawled over to her, with his head down and a very downtrodden look about his whole being. I halfway expected for him to leave a little trail of urine on his way over there to her. Was very painful to even watch this. She says to me - "this" is Surrender. He's - beaten, as if he gave way to something more powerful than him and there is a lot of fear in his reaction. He surrenders out of fear, not love.

She then releases him and lets him run around for a minute or two and then she says - now we shall see - Submission. She calls to him again and says in a real loving and unthreatening tone of voice, "Sir Guy, come here sweetheart! Come on, Momma loves you!" Sir Guy bounds over to her, wagging his tail, with his little face up looking at her adoringly, with no fear in his body or demeanor at all." He lays down at her feet and waits for her to pet him. This.....is Submission. It's a giving over to me, because he knows that I love him and will do whatever I do out of love for him.

We, so often, as women, mistake our need to submit to a man, as a way of filling a void that is open in us - as if we cannot be whole and complete without unconsciously wandering into this station in life and just letting things happen. We feel driven to it and it almost seems right. We experience pain from it, but are trained to ignore it enough to not do anything about it, because after all, that's what we saw growing up. We surrender - in order to be complete, instead of submitting in order to bring our completeness - into connection with - someone else's wholeness.

If the things are present in the checklist above - your need to go there and their need to feed off of you - does not indicate "wholeness" from either party. And the results will be disastrous ultimately. And no, it may not happen instantly, it may take many years to actually strangle the life out of you. But, the inevitable will happen, nonetheless. Regardless of how much you may have said you would not repeat history or would not be like your mother, it could happen easier than you think. Fortunately, it can "not happen" just as easily. Life is work. You're going to expend the energy in one direction or another. So, when I say it's "just as easy", I don't mean it's not going to be hard work. It's just a matter of which way you want to throw your energy, to the wind or toward something positive for yourself.

I really like Gahlil Gibran's example of how a real "union" should be. It is taken out of his book "The Prophet" and is as follows:

Then Almitra spoke again and said, "And what of Marriage, master?"

And he answered saying:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

There is so much "wisdom" in those words. I think about them a lot and their truly deep meaning as they apply to our everyday lives. Our partners should never - own us. We are to give ourselves, but not to give the rights over - of our very souls. And definitely not to give to them - the place whereby we draw our strength and personhood. The minute that transaction and transfer takes place - we are doomed and on a course that will end in - us basically being "dinner" for another human being.

We need to get our life's energy from God and not by allowing another person - to become God in our lives. Many unbalanced and predatory people get very excited when they see a person that reflects a lot of vibrance and sunshine. Why? Because they see "food" and green grass and a place where they can feed off of someone else's light and energy. And they can be so very seductive in their need to reel us in and basically become a vampire in our lives as they suck the very life out of us.

Will they feel compassion for us as they do this? Very rarely, if ever will you truly see - real compassion for this trespass. You may be "convinced" for a time that it's real compassion, but as you hear only words and no action, you'll come to understand things quite differently. You will only see it, when they are not getting their way with you and trying to talk you into more "surrender" in order that they may continue to feed and get what they need from you. A vampire never truly feels sorry for his victim - because he needs it in order to stay alive. If it's not "you", it will be - someone else. It's narcissism in it's truest state. So, as long as you are going with the flow - all will be well - or at least for a time until you experience some kind of pain that makes you wince and cry out.

What we can really learn here, if we will, is that two negatives or two needy people will not produce even "one" healthy and whole person. Two minuses in this equation - do not make a plus. We can rework the math all we want to, and many of us, spend many, many years - reworking the problem. Determined that we will ultimately solve the problem - with the wrong numbers. We manipulate them into thousands of different equations and still - It won't work. So, shouldn't you get rewarded for hanging in and for paying "your dues" like a good little girl? Hm,m,m.....where would that kind of thinking come from? Where would you have seen a woman in your life who spent years and years trying to earn someone's love by being so good at bearing it all and maybe in the end turning out to be a really cold and bitter person because of it? History gets repeated, if we do not consciously throw a stick into the moving wheel.

So, what makes us become willing victims in the first place? What makes us not only surrender to this position, but actually look for it and seek it out ourselves? Which sometimes - definitely means - turning those people away in our lives that are very healthy and balanced and "whole". There really is something to the phenomena of - us only attracting - certain kinds of people to us.

We do look to repeat - whatever example has been lived out in front of us by a very important female in our lives, which is usually, our mothers. What we have seen day in and day out becomes a very powerful fiber in our subconscious. It becomes even more ingrained when you add the fact that this is your most trusted female in your life. This is who you look up to and identify who you are as a female with who she is. The same is true in the animal kingdom. It's very natural and not something we think about, we just do it instinctively.

Reality bites later on when - we react on a subconscious level to stimulus that we aren't even aware of. We blindly walk toward the red bell and ring it for the poisonous cheese and don't have a clue as to why we are even doing it. The bell may even be red but fashioned in such away with other adornments that we convince ourselves it really isn't red at all. But, in all reality - it's the same counterfeit, just dressed in different clothes.

We ingest this poison and from time to time, check in with ourselves and say - what's going on here? This isn't really fulfilling me and it's causing me pain as well? But, we so often just bury this and eventually go on because - we've been conditioned to accept this - as a normal part of life. It's not always just our mothers that model these things to us, it may be our grandmothers, our aunts, our mother's friends, etc. I grew up in the South and that was especially true in that culture. If you were to break from the norm and from the tradition of "this is just the way we always do things", you'd better be ready to face a powerful resistance. People who think for themselves make other people very uncomfortable sometimes. This is especially true where people think as a "herd" and find their security and identity only in numbers. Breaking out of molds that are unhealthy for us takes great courage. It all boils down to - what is your life worth to you?

So often, we just deny that we are doing anything dysfunctional at all and are nowhere near - repeating history in any fashion whatsoever!!! Be it far from us to be that stupid! After all, we are the next generation and we will do things - our way! Really? Are we really strong enough or willful enough to resist - a subconscious pattern that's been laid in us from the cradle? Well, we won't be strong enough until we stop, get down from our high horse and deeply realize that just because we have been conditioned to not truly take care of ourselves - doesn't mean - we are stupid, or less than a person, or doomed to be anything like anyone else - if we don't allow it. We are "free" people and we need to act like it.

We walk into our prisons, with the only key in our own pockets, shut the door and start crying out from the injustice of it all, when all along - we have the only solution - within ourselves. We've been very good students in a particular classroom, where our controllers convinced us that there was no escape. So, what good is a key in the pocket if you don't believe it will unlock the door?

The opportunity of the moment, of the present second that we are living in - is always with us and always available to us. We can change history - just that fast, by starting to turn that wheel and go in another direction. We may have a lot of stallouts along the way, we may run out of gas, take a couple of wrong detours and forget from time to time that we have the right to - direct our own lives and take responsibility. We may stumble a lot, but a step taken is a step taken. It's not about perfection, it's about being willing to be imperfect and getting back up - and making tracks consistently in the other direction.

When a woman "believes" because of whatever conditioning - past or present - that she is not whole and complete unless she has a relationship going has believed something that is very contrary to her well-being. And this pattern of living will never benefit her in any way. In fact, it will be to her undoing and demise.

This kind of thinking is apparent when you find a "relationship junkie". Whereby the scenario is - they quickly get involved out of one relationship - right into another one. Or, you find them doing very poorly in between relationships and seem to experience a level of ecstasy in the beginning of every new relationship that soon fizzles out into trauma of one kind or another. And on and on the circle goes....

What happens is - this woman never takes the time to be complete and whole in her own right - apart from a man being present in her life. She's bought into the lie that her life has no meaning if her worth is not defined by - what she means to a man. Being alone - can feel scary and we are capable of being with that scary feeling long enough to address some issues - just as much as - we are capable of being with the scary feeling of endless pain and confusion - being with someone who is not good for us. If we are going to go through pain at all - we might as well make it work for us instead of against us, right? It's never ceased to amaze me how women will stay in a horrible relationship for years and years and say that they cannot get out of it because of how hard it would be to actually do that. Hm,m,m......let me see - maybe you might experience six months of pain getting out of it - in contrast to - living in something very unhealthy for six years! We are capable of reasoning - better than that, don't you think?

Is it that we don't think rationally or critically because we're too numbed out? If so, how do we got "un-numb"? Shock therapy works really well. Trouble is, we so often wait for that shock therapy to be a blow that comes with a very high price attached to it, which - we pay for dearly, with interest. We either just ride the waves until something happens that crashes up against the rocks so badly - we almost don't make it through it or we decide to numb out and die a very slow death. There is another option. What's the worse thing that can happen? We'd end up at ground zero? So? Haven't we been on the bottom of the pile a lot - the other way around? Sure we have. So, why are we so scared about doing it when it means - doing something healthy for ourselves? Good question. It needs to be answered by anyone that's tired of going round and round in vicious circles. I suspect that the answer has something to do with - the poisoned cheese. We think we deserve that as food for our lives. No one deserves that. Whatever rule book says that - is trash. I don't care who wrote it, or how many people in your life have followed it - it's crap. But, "You" have to be the one to - disbelieve it. The buck has to stop here - with you.

So often the anger and rage that we keep just below the surface is what we feel towards ourselves for taking into our lives what we innately know is extremely unhealthy and illicit. We swallow it anyway and then turn around to blame whoever is around is for it. In all reality, we slowly become - what we hate. We start repeating history. We learn how to not take responsibility for our own actions and for our own lives, just like the people who have victimized us, and we learn to hate ourselves for it. Why? Because we know that is wrong. We have earthquakes inside our being that tells us this. We do have our early warning system. What we've settled for does not line up with our gut very well. But, we quickly follow in the steps of denying that we have any power to stop it and that it's always someone else's responsibility.

If we're so afraid of being alone, we might want to ask ourselves what is it about ourselves that's so scary to us? Hey, if we're miserable being with someone, then maybe it's worth a shot, trying to learn to like ourselves! What does being alone really involve - in the realm of - learning who we are, what we need and just how to function as a whole person without a significant other in our lives? It means - making ourselves - the significant other. Sounds selfish, doesn' t it? Well, some kinds of selfishness are very good and healthy. It's a place we should have learned about early in life and in our development. But, life is seldom fair and seldom set up in such a fashion to be the ideal anything for us. We are a society of dysfunctional families. That's part of our humanness. It's also part of our humanness to be able to accomplish impossible feats - because of our reasoning abilities. That's what sets us apart from the animal kingdom.

The trouble is - we have grown accustomed to using our abilities to do other things like - survive in traumatic situations, learn how to lie, manipulate and cover up for other people, adjust well to boundaries that move and safe zones that never quite measure up to the meaning of sanctuary at all, and how to never acknowledge that you are in pain because other people are more valuable and important than you are, and last but not least - you learn how to live on adrenaline because without it - you'd go into shock being confronted with something called - "Peace".

Peace and quiet - can be disturbing when all you've known is noise and confusion. It doesn't feel normal at first. In fact, it might feel downright uncomfortable and painful. We busy ourselves, even with very unhealthy things, because we don't want to truly know who we are. Why?

Maybe it's because, for some reason or another, the biggest lie of all we've believed about ourselves is that we are unworthy of having a good relationship with anyone. How can we learn that early on? Like I previously stated, by the role models around us. How our fathers treated our mothers - told us what we are worth as women. If our fathers treated our mothers poorly - guess what? We immediately take that in, even as little girls, as this is a roadmap for who we are as well.

Accordingly, if our mother's allow this kind of treatment - that deepens this belief in us - that this is all there is. If our mother fails in really being a healthy and whole person in her own right, she then passes that legacy down to her female offspring, by example. It becomes imprinted with little effort on her part to do so. And we take into our being a very nasty untruth - about who "we" are as a woman.

We go through life repeating a pattern, built upon a foundation, that has nothing whatsoever to do with - who "we" are, but since it went into our being at such an early age, we immediately accept it to be the truth. Thus, we are influenced and conditioned by - outside influences that don't resemble anything near the definition of what truth really is. We need to be "willing" to acknowledge that what we know - may be wrong and need changing. We need to acknowledge this will take effort on your part and a lot of it.

We have to be willing to dig down to where the lies are and uproot them. We have to spend the time examining where these patterns have come from. It's not about laying blame anywhere, it's about identifying things as they lay and as they truly are. It's not about continuing to pile boxes and boxes of unresolved things into our closet and shutting the door on Pandora's box. Pandora's box will blow apart. It always does. Information and education is a healing thing and a freeing thing in our lives. What we have learned wrongly can be set rightly.

Oftentimes, when you get into the throws of this - it's very, very hard not to keep on beating yourself up and going into this self-talk that is highly destructive. It's almost like it is comforting to us in some sick way - to keep this up. If "feels good" to pick up the ballbat and keep hitting ourselves in the head with it. Sounds strange, but I know too many people who do it. I was one of them. We punish ourselves in our present adult lives for wanting to be free, because someone browbeat us in our childhood lives and convinced us we did not have the right to want to be free. They also effectively convinced us that we did not have the power to be free. Thus, the reason anyone ends up a victim of any sort.

Whether we want to take responsibility for it or not - we choose - what and who comes into our lives. They don't just happen there. If we have a low self esteem - we call to those people - by our demeanor, our reaction to them, our body language, the way we dress, the way we talk, etc., etc. and we draw them to us. Why? Because it - affirms what we have believed about ourselves. And these people, consequently, will be drawn to people that will be - willing victims to a predator who has need of us for some reason or another. It appears in the beginning to be a "heavenly match". So, often these people resemble to a great extent - the fathers in our lives that did not treat our mothers very well. Or, they resemble other men in and out of our mother's life if she became single at some point. We quickly pick up this image and make it our mirror image. Just like we play dress-up with mother's clothes, we also play dress-up with what mother does and how she feels. We put it on and take it inside ourselves - the same way.

The only way you can break this cycle - is to spend the time - getting to know who you are, what your needs are and how to fulfill them without - needing someone else. That quiet place, like I said, can be downright uncomfortable in the beginning, but it's well worth the time spent - getting past that point. Being alone - and numbing out within your shell - isn't a good tradeoff here. That's just as bad as jumping from one relationship to another. Both are counterproductive.

It is very helpful to sit down with yourself and really look at what you saw in your mother and her life with a man. What did she feel? What were her actions? How did you feel about her - watching her? How did you feel watching the man in her life - by the way he treated her and how she treated him? When she would get hurt - did you feel it? When she was happy, even if it was one of those rare "up" times in an abusive relationship - what did this teach you as a woman? When she was sad and wasn't validated as a woman - what did this say to you - about you as a female in a relationship with a man? And do you now say things in your self talk that were things you'd say about your mother? If you think she's stupid or a witch, etc., etc. - do you really deep down feel this way about yourself?

There are so many questions to be asked here about - what kind of transference really went on here. But, what is essential to realize is that - the transference happened, whether you wanted it to or not. It just did. Whatever your mother went through - you went through as a female and it taught you - who you were. You may profess on the surface that you are nothing like your mother and never will be, but the truth of the matter is - your subconscious - wrote the whole story down and carved it into your being. And that's where you have to go - in responsibility to yourself - to get at the truth. And don't think it's just us women that do this. The flip side of this coin is true with men and their fathers as well. (smile)

We don't need to try and work out our own stuff - via - being in a relationship with someone else. We just hurt ourselves and other people. And this is what happens time and time again with - relationship addictive people. And someone always - gets hurt. Always. No one survives this. Pain is a good teacher, but you don't always have to learn this way. Being abused as a child until "you got it" isn't the only way you can learn as an adult. As a child, you learned that because it was your only choice at the time. Not so in the here and now. You have other options.

After being in a very unhealthy relationship - time needs to be spent - just healing and getting to the point - where you can start reasoning things and building a better foundation for yourself. But, our problem is - we've been taught to be - strong little soldiers - considering everyone else's needs, but our own. All that gets you - is a lot of pent up anger - towards everyone in general. But, the responsibility of it - lays in our court. No one else is responsible for that - but us.

When we get to that place where we are whole and comfortable with ourselves and become the "keeper of the gate" in our lives, then.... will attract healthy people to us. Keeping the gate - basically means that - we spend time asking ourselves what makes us happy and then going about doing whatever that means for ourselves. It means finding out what having boundaries really means.

It also means - being the one - who chooses someone. Not the other way around whereby we wait for someone to - choose us. Sounds simple, but you'd be surprised how foreign this concept is to a lot of people. For example, don't you have the right to interview your employer to see if they offer what "you" need? Or are you more concerned about how you appear to them and if they want you or not? Same thing is true when you go to take a class. You have the right to sit in on the class and see if you and the professor are going to click. You have the right to "choose" who will be teaching you. Otherwise, if you don't click, what's the point? You learn nothing, get a grade and what was really accomplished here? It really turns your whole perspective around when you start looking at things this way. It's totally against the norm. But, it puts you in a position of having good self esteem and being in charge of your life. So, who cares if it's the norm or not?

Think about all the times that unhealthy people have come into your life and how - they - were attracted to you first and sought "you" out. It's amazing how many times that is true. But, if you make a list of what you want and what you will not settle for and "keep the gate" so to speak - you - are the one in control and the one looking at that list as you go along and saying - well.....okay, this is there, but this isn't, this is sort of in the grey, but this isn't. I can live with this, but this I can't, etc. And some things - need to never be negotiated, regardless of how great and wonderful that beginning time in the relationship is. Sometimes, the greater the whirlwind in the beginning, the bigger the crash is in the end. That's why you need to carve out - what you want and need "before" you meet anyone. You can rest assured, if you don't have that established with yourself, you will be prey for someone. No gates, no fences, no boundaries, no guards only means - hey, nobody's home, so let's loot the place, right? And You.....have given your permission for that to happen.

I notice that we try to do things backwards sometimes. We meet someone and then try to make them "fit" - the list. Just a little girl - picking someone like Daddy and trying to do whatever mother didn't do in order to make - him happy. And then if he doesn't get won over the way you want him to be, tons of anger comes out against him and yourself. After all, you've put so much energy into turning so many flips and performing so well! SO WHAT DO YOU MEAN - you're not going to change into what I want you to be??? I've worked so hard for it! You OWE me, buddy!!!

No they don't. You owe it to yourself - to not try and change anyone into anything. Pick someone who simply IS what you want. They do exist. We just don't choose them because we want to get our "fix" . The little girl in us wants to finally WIN over a father that never was there, or betrayed us in some way. Trying to win in this way - will always bring us defeat, over and over and over again. Thus, the reason so many women find themselves in a cycle of pain.

If you've had a charmer for a father that was also abusive - that's going to be a difficult process. Not an impossible one by any means. But, it does mean you'll need to become very familiar with what a charmer/abuser is made up of. They are very good at being extremely manipulative regarding what they want. They are some of the most seductive, seemingly wonderful men on the planet. They are very, very good at being - temporarily - everything you have ever dreamed of. But, the glitter - doesn't last.

Women who are involved with this men become conditioned to a particular pattern of living. These men can be so wonderful and charming when they are nice and so horrible the rest of the time, which is usually 90 percent of the time. A woman learns over time that it's okay to take days and days or months and months of abuse, in order to experience those few times of absolute bliss! The charmer/abuser knows this - all too well. That's how they keep their victims right where they need them. A woman learns that she must take all the bad times and "earn" her right to be treated well. And after so much pain, doesn't a little loving feel oh so wonderful?

Women get locked into this cycle of behavior and don't even realize it's even happening. It's just the way life is for them. An abusive person uses these nice times to be the closet thing to a sincere apology you'll ever get out of them. It's the way they make their conscience feel better about how they've treated you. It doesn't mean they are sorry at all. It just means they, once again, use "you", to make themselves feel better. That's all it means.

So, the first thing to do is - to become educated through reading and talking with educated people on the matter. Our little girl will be drawn to someone who was just like Daddy. And will try our best to do what our mother's could not do in order to change him. Basically, we have taken on her role in this and claimed responsibility - for not being good enough or worthy enough to be loved and be "what He needs". So, we spend a good deal of our lives trying desperately, going through man after man - in order to fix this. Hear me now - you'll never "fix" anything this way. Never.

Even if our father was just never emotionally available to our mother and she had to stuff her feelings and never really acquire true intimacy with him - it's still a dysfunction that got transferred to us. Whatever example got laid out for us - we have to look at it and see how it plays out in our own relationships and lives. Otherwise, we will go through life ripping off the face of whoever the man is in our lives and replacing it with the face of our father or whatever man was in our mother's life. And we'll try to "fix" what she could not fix or win for herself. We will pick the same kind of men that she did and we will repeat her patterns. They may look different in the aspect of having different jobs, living different life styles, but it's the "basic" personality traits that are important to look at here. And more important than that - is how being with them - makes us feel ultimately. If we end up feeling like a failure, feeling like we are insignificant or unworthy - then we need to examine what's really up here. And we need to look at the lie that we believed about "who we are as women" in correlation to - who our mothers were as women. They are not the same thing and we need to bring this truth to the forefront of our being. That's the only way to unlock this pattern and to bring the subconscious and conscious to the table for a real - heart to heart talk.

Emotionally and relationally handicapped people who have been raised in a very dysfunctional home - have to mechanically get in and really look at why they operate the way they do. It sounds weird, but they definitely cannot - trust their feelings - to be the water that floats their boat. Dysfunctional feelings - are very hard to get rid of and even harder to train. What might "feel good" is often - what is so very destructive for you. Like any drug - there's no getting around - withdrawal time. It's necessary. That's why - you have to spend the time - very mechanically - laying things out and looking at them. It's almost like going in for a surgery. Everything has to be x-rayed and scoped out. This and that test has to be ran - in order for the surgery to be successful and full health to be restored. Basically, whatever was diseased has to be removed and the place where it was - has to be thoroughly cleaned out and all the root system stripped away. That's why boundaries are so important. They aren't just for other people to recognize, they are for "you" as well. To keep you within your own gates, especially when you feel like being weak and stepping back into territory that would devour you, especially if you are weak when you go there. Feelings during a time of healing are to be heard but not acted on. The pangs of addiction will tell you a lot of things. Very few of these things, if any, need to be acted on. Allow the feelings to run through you like a river that is cleansing itself.

Relationship hopping - never gives us the time we need to really address the issues in our lives. It just gives us our drug of choice for the moment until things eventually - get bad again. We get that time of ecstasy and we're off and running for one more ride on the merry-go-round. Once again - defining our worth - by how they receive us or do or do not love us. Wow, what power we give people over us, huh? They can basically find that vulnerable place inside of us where we are open to believe anything and then they slap the hell out of us - and we believe we deserve it. If we didn't - we wouldn't stay. It's that simple. The length of time - we stay - is equivalent to how much we believe we deserve - mistreatment. Again, if we have seen our own mothers take such abuse and allow it - we write that on our own hearts. It becomes what we subconsciously think - we deserve in life. Good, bad or indifferent, we do look to them - to see who - we are.

At some point, we have to learn to be responsible for our own thinking and to recognize what is unhealthy within us and to replace it with what is healthy. It's called - abandoning childish thinking for adult thinking. What was learned as a child - does not have to be lived out - as an adult. It takes work, but it's going to be work either way. Living in hell - is work, too. Just depends on how you want to spend your time and if you want to build a temporary house or a permanent structure that won't blow over in the first big storm.

The sky is limitless. We look at it everyday and all we often see - is the box we are enclosed inside of. Why is this? Can't we just as easily - see the sky? Of course, we can. It's a matter of choice. It's a matter of using that courage we have to endure horrible pain and hardships - in the direction of doing good things for ourselves. If the energy is going to spent anyway - why can't we make it work for us? You might be surprised how great the rewards are and how much less - the energy might end up being! But, what is life-giving - is like that. We just get used to being in a sewer..... Slime starts to look like food and having someone feed off of us all the time - starts to numb us out. I think I remember that in the animal kingdom - certain spiders and vipers - numb you out and paralyze you - by spitting poison at you - right before they kill you. So, numbing - isn't always - a good thing.

Respect the earthquakes in your life - when your guts cry out and the numbing stops. Learn to really love that wall when you hit it going about 100 mph, because these are the times when you are the closest to being able - to save your own life. It's the only times when you truly listen to anything. The rest of the times - you're playing those old tapes in your head and walking around with blinders on your eyes, doing the same old worn out dance steps. Earthquakes tell you that you have swallowed something very nasty - as the truth - and your inner self - is trying desperately to throw it up and get your attention! Lies don't set well with us. They eat us from the inside out and they definitely make us want to throw it up at times. It doesn't fit, it doesn't digest and it will not make us healthy - anything.

The process of self-discovery is a very wonderful road. It's nothing to be afraid of. Quite the contrary. We just have to be willing to turn off the old tapes and have the courage to look at ourselves in the mirror for who we are - maybe for the very first time. If we cannot truly love ourselves - no one that is capable of really loving us - will ever be attracted to us. Someone is at the door. Maybe you've never been properly introduced. Meet yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised. You may just realize you never really looked at who you truly are. You've been too busy believing a lot of lies that have no place in your life at all. People have thrown up an image on the wall for you to stare at and be brainwashed by. It's not you. Claim your own thoughts and take control of your life. You are a unique creation. There is none - like you. The moment of opportunity is - right now, this minute, this second. This........is where the essence of life truly is. So, what are you going to do with it?

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