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Lolli, please elaborate re: previous post
October 31, 2006
10:24 am
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road less traveled
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Hi Lolli,

You sure peaked my interest with your thoughts on dealing with abandonment issues on a previous post, Oct 27.

Please elaborate for me regarding re-parenting ourselves.......which you offered to NAZZDACK there.......I've been on my rosd less traveled only a few months, learning to take care of myself.........and would like to here more about what you have to say regarding re-parenting ourselves.

Here I am, age 51, and ready to deal with these issues. Fortunately my parents are still alive, (though divorced since i was 10 years old), and perhaps my learning to communicate with them in a productive way, can play some role in my healing. But I am not sure how to approach it. I have an idea that perhaps by my writing letters to them individually I can begin healing in this area? Perhaps this would be a good way to see what their response is, whether they want to go there with me, maybe in person later, willing to talk to each other, and listen to each other with compassion?
I know it's important on my part, to carefully avoid putting up any judgemental road blocks in my communications with them. I've done alot of work already on forgiveness, but for some nagging reason I think it's MY TIME to address some childhood issues with abandonment now, for me, for my emotional health.

Perhaps you have some elaborating thoughts on this subject?

Thanks, Lolli, in advance for any input you have to offer me 🙂

What an awesome chatroom this is, sure glad I found it!

RLT

November 1, 2006
10:01 am
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bumping up

November 1, 2006
8:14 pm
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hi RLT,

I'm so flattered you created a thread looking for me! (or is it the other lolli in this board?- oh well, I can share or even pillage the glory... lol)

Hmmm... the book I read about the "re-parenting" theory (although it's more of a "what is" than a "how to")is called Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families
by Charles L. Whitfield. Although I just looked on Amazon, and there are tons more and some of them look like "how to" books, though I haven't read any of them yet.

I think the basic idea of "re-parenting" is that none of us had perfect parents... so in some ways, parts of us suffered and didn't have the chance to grow up. There are places where we got "stunted" in our emotional development. In order to get through our childhoods with the parents we had available, we developed certain ways of coping... including shutting out certain emotions. This WORKED for us as children, and helped us "get along" and get the most out of our parents. But now, as adults, those coping mechanisms cause problems.

For instance, I wasn't really "allowed" to express anger in my family - it was too upsetting to my mom, and I had to take care of her emotional need that everything be "safe" (read: no anger or negative feelings) and predictable. So, I became a happy "perfect" and independent child. I was easy going, didn't complain, etc. But while this helped me get as much affection and approval as I possibly could from my mom and other adults, it also made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to say no. I was repeatedly sexually abused, and as an adult I have many co-dependent behaviors and relationships. So now I'm realizing that sometimes saying "NO" is a very good and healthy thing!
Okay, long "for instance." Sorry about that!

Now, HOW do we "re-parent" ourselves so that we can basically "raise" the parts of ourselves that still function as children? This is the more difficult question, and I suspect it is highly individual. They ways I've been doing it so far:

1- not "making" myself say yes to people when I really want to say no

2- giving myself "play" time... i try to give myself a few hours each week where i go sit on the floor in my bedroom and cut out and paste pictures and decorations in a scrapbook. sometimes it is just for fun, sometimes it has to do with specific dysfunctional things from my past...

3- when i feel sad, i make myself warm cups of tea or hot cocoa and wrap myself in a warm blanket

4- if i'm really stressed, i let myself take time out with a hot bath

5- one time i turned on the shower and put on some galloshes and jumped around in it just for fun

6- i bought myself a really cuddly teddy bear and sometimes i take it with me to support group meetings

These are the ways I've been trying to get "in touch" with my inner child... but I'm sure everyones ways are different.

It feels really strange at first, but as you do it more, you will start to get in touch with the child in you who was hurt. The point of doing that is that you will be able to see/hear more clearly what that child in you needs. The voice that was stunted/silenced will GRADUALLY start to come back and you will be more and more able to take care of yourself in ways you and your parents never could.

Now... in terms of the other stuff you said, about communicating with your parents... can you give more information? What is your story?

Are you basically talking about confronting them about the ways you were hurt as a child? Are you trying to reconnect with them after much time apart?

I guess would need to know more before i could even presume to have an opinion. These things are tough. hang in there. you found your way to the road, and that's a good thing. make sure to give yourself a HUGE pat on the back for that!

🙂

(((RLT)))

November 2, 2006
4:20 pm
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bumping for RLT...

November 2, 2006
8:02 pm
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b-b-b-ump!

November 3, 2006
10:37 pm
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don't know if RLT is out there anymore, but bumping just in case...

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