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Owning a Sense of Self
October 16, 2005
3:15 pm
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Lass
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Garfield:

These lines in this article on parentification jumped out at me.

"She learns to do what she must, not what she wants...."

"She is unacceptable to her parents and worse yet, since she wants them to be happy with her, she is unacceptable to herself. And here begins a lifetime habit of rejecting who she is or what she wants in favor of what others want her to be. She becomes "a professional doormat" - allowing others to walk all over her because she knows she is no good and the least she can do is try to please others who supposedly are."

"The payoff for the relatively small effort of keeping your Anxiety Chart and Diary is enormous. I have found over and over again that if we want to change something, the first thing we need to do is pay close attention to it. We need to learn everything there is to know about it."

My comments:
I spoke at my mother's funeral service, mentioned an old riding aphorism: "If you throw your heart over the fence, the horse will follow." I said that my mom had spent her life throwing her heart over fences, and I had attempted to follow, but that I hadn't quite made it over all the fences. Picture a wreck of horse and rider, entangled and mangled in a jump. Not pretty stuff. I also said that I knew she actually loved me. But the performance thing was a big deal. I worked so hard and long at gettingrady for all these horseshows that I got very sick with mono and Epstein Barr, which I was suffering with when I was showing at the Junior Grand Nationals.

My mom was an alcoholic. She worked since I was age two. I had a significantly younger brother I had to take care of, as well as most household chores, as I was "very organized."

I felt that others were right, I was wrong, others had worth, I had to earn mine. My worth was what you mirrored back to me.

I believe strongly in doing writing, as is done in 12 step programs. I have gained so much in understanding what happened in this past dysfunctional relationship, especially the red flag behaviors and idea of honoring my own intuition and knowing.

I believe more than ever in placing my care and my reliance upon God, not man, and doing what I can to love and support my own self-esteem, rather than trying to conscript another person into the job of doing for me now, as my parents should have at an age when it was vital.

There is a way out of this mess. I believe we can actually pray, grieve, write and engage in appropriate self/other care our way through and out.

I am very grateful for your loving support, and I must continue to seek all avenues of help placed before me, being as willing as only the dying can be. This is a killer emotional state. It is much more than lost love heartache. It is the grief of a lost childhood, now a lost person. I can find myself if I look at me, and create a life.

It is a good thing to help others, to think of them, and to get out of ourselves. Unfortunately, those of us without much of an identity need to find ourselves first, and this advice is not helpful, just condemning. If that were to entirely work for us, with all of our past caretaking, it already would have. Get a bit selfish, and get a life of your own.

I believe we need to actually walk ourselves back through the developmental stages we missed, by being loved and loving, playing, creating, trusting, risking.

Love, Lass

October 16, 2005
3:28 pm
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garfield9547
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Hi Lass

I agree. It is a tough road, but one we have to walk in order to heal ourselves. So much anger came out of me through my healing. I had to cut contact with my mother. This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. My mother is very immature and has been enmeshed with me my whole life. I went into depression and bavk. Luckily my husband surported me.
I also know it has been hard for my mother, but I own it to myself and my children to be a happy person. To also be able to enjoy life without feeling guilty or shamed for who I am. As a child I always felt I never fit in anywhere. A outcast. My parents did not axcept who I was so how could I???
If my mother could have found it in herself to stop her abusive behaviour I would of still had a relationship with her. This was sadly impossible and I had to cut all contact.
I've been in therapy for almost 2 years now and feel as thow my life is only starting now.

Love
Garfield

October 16, 2005
3:34 pm
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garfield9547
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Lass

Just wanted to add. You spoke at your mothers funeral and it seemed that you did not feel as you were worthy enough. I felt the same. I spent most of my life trying to make my mother happy. To believe that my mother cared for me and loved me. I discovered that I did not have a mother and that I have to accept that. I have to be my own parent and love myself. This has taken a long time and a lot of grieving for that child in me that always longed for the love of a mother.

Garfield

October 16, 2005
3:50 pm
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Anonymous
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Lass, I loved picturing the horse, heart and fence you mentioned. Ive felt you throwing your heart over some fences/posts and reaching out to me and others big time!
((L))

Garfield: I underlined, bolded, copied and pasted the article! I also feel like beginning to get a identity at an old age. And, yes, lets go back and check our first identity: the one God gave us, his image, perfect, though I still dont understand why he made seed of the avocado so big!! ((G))

October 16, 2005
4:06 pm
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garfield9547
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Hi Sininho

I can also relate to what Lass said about the horse, heart and fence. I can feel the pain just reading the words. Feeling the pain and realising was my start to healing.
I have put this article in my favorites. When I feel like it I go back and read. It really helps.

The avocado seed? I had to laugh. Good question.

Garfield

October 16, 2005
5:36 pm
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garfield9547
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Lass and Sininho

Enjoy the week that lies ahead. Thanks for the chat. It is so nice to get rid of bad emotions if you can write about it. I feel much better and ready for bed now.
11:37pm

Garfield

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