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Safe People
December 4, 2010
12:00 am
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It No Longer Matters
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4-Dec-10

As some of you
know I finally had enough money in the bank that I thought I could
afford a few sessions with a therapsit to "tie up all the loose
ends". I have had two sessions with her and will be going back on
Monday. This thread is my feeble attempt to sort some things out
before I go back. I really like the fact that I can emaail her some
things between times for us to talk about when I get
there.

One of the things
she has me doing is reading a book Safe People by the same authors
as Boundaries. The book is Christian based. Some of you who have
read it may want to respond to me about your thoughts of how I am
interpretting it. Please, please, please do not us this thread as
an opportunity to tell me how wrong Christianity is---I am so weary
of the disagreements.

One thing she had
me do was write down my thoughts about men. In doing so I equated
several men to predators. All the men I have dealt with in my life
have hurt me in some form or fashion. That was sort of eye opening.
My next assignment was to go in and pull out the positives of what
I thought about men. I think the final straw in not trusting men
was when my cousin (a male) was coming over to my dad's house
(after he died I moved into it and my cousin was coming over to cut
the grass and do things for me) and he came into my bedroom and
touched me inappropriately.

Now that cousin
has cirrosis of the liver and is in pretty bad shape medically and
my aunt fusses at me for calling to check on her but not talking to
her son. She tells me how good he has been to me and how rude I am
being.

Next the therapist
had me answer some questions about what happened when my dad was
angry, what happened when my mom was angry, what happened when I
was angry with my dad and what happened when I was angry with my
mom. I'll post that in a minute if you want to read it you can and
if you don't you can skip it.

Back to Safe
People: Well in reading the book, I have realized that I haven't
always been a safe person for others to be around. I think we could
all safely say that we have experienced unsafe people and sometimes
we have BEEN the unsafe person.

Unsafe people lie
instead of telling the truth. That statement describes my mother.
Some of the ways we lose our safety is that our bonding process was
interupted. This describes my childhood. I could never count on my
mother. I always ran to my father and then she drove a wedge
between us. And somewhere along the line we have lost the ability
to judge character and trust ourselves.

I am beginning to
see that I stayed in a bad realtionship because I feared the
isolation and sense of abandonment. I have railed against the
loneliness so many times on these threads. Now I am at peace with
it for the most part. I also think I might have been feeding into
the Merger Wishes with my ex husband. He is from a family that has
very deep roots in this county. His family helped settle it in the
1840's. While they are not among the "affluent" they are on the
edges of it and move comfortably in and out of the "social circle".
It is a small town and my last name means that I can walk into
several of the shops and just by signing my name have an "account"
and get whatever I want. (10 years ago that meant a pair of diamond
earrings today it means getting a prescription filled at the local
pharmacy if I don't have the cash) . That isn't something I could
have done with my maiden name and quite frankly for many years I
was so embarrassed by some of the shenanigans my mother pulled that
I didn't want anyone to know who I was. (I once told an attorney
who I was and he had been hired by my mother to defend her in
something she pulled and the look of amazement that I was her
daughter was like a knife - I never felt the same around him
again).

In looking at the
anger questions I realized that I have never been allowed to
"safely" get angry and have my opinions and requests validated. I
fear confrontation. I find that I have a lot of needs that I cannot
get satisfied. My own loneliness, my inability to ask for comfort,
a sense of helplessness and as always that inferiority complex. I
have never thought I was "good enough" on my own.

Even on here a lot
of times the advice is to get active in something. We get active
but are still frustrated that we aren't "bonding" or finding any
friends. In the book the authors talk of a patient who took this
advice literaly and was doing dancing lessons, sports, music, art ,
Bible studies, and going back to school to work on an MBA but they
described all of her activities as functional rather than
relational.

Is that something
some of us are doing. We are going through the motions but we are
"buying it" or "owning it"?

I don't know.
December 2 was my dad's birthday so my stepmother and I went out to
lunch. She questioned me on why I wasn't dating anyone. I haven't
been on a date in over 2 1/2 years. I told her I was in therapy and
one of the issues was that I just didn't trust men. Surely there
has to be some good ones out there, but I haven't gotten up my
nerve to try. Yep, I am lonely sometimes but so far I haven't had
the gumption to get up and do anything about it.

Someone posted on
another thread something along the lines of "she isn't where she
was and she hasn't gotten where she is going but she is on her
way". Perhaps I am on my way? All growth is a little
uncomfortable.

Last night rather
than stay home alone while Cat went to the movies with a friend for
a "birthday party" I offered/asked to go along with the other
mother. Progress?

Bitsy

December 4, 2010
12:00 am
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Lanigirl
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Bitsy,

Thanks for sharing
your progress.

You made some good
points in here. It gave me some things to think about.

I think it's great
you asked to go along with the other mother.

December 4, 2010
12:00 am
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chelonia mydas
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((((Bitsy))))

Excellent
insights, thanks for sharing.

I too think I have
relationship and trust issues.

Your comment about
functional vs relational involvement struck a chord with me
too.

Glad you are here,
I enjoy reading what you write.

Yes going out last
night was definate progress.

December 4, 2010
12:00 am
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It No Longer Matters
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Thank
you for taking time to respond to me.

Bitsy

December 5, 2010
12:00 am
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bevdee
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Miss
Bitsy,

I know exactly
what you mean about anger.

I feared my anger
more than I feared others anger - are you like that? I can take the
wrath of god before I would express my own justified
anger.

My mother didn't
allow it, especially when it was directed at her. When it wasnt',
she would say, "Bevdee, that's so unladylike", "so unbecoming of
you" 'You'll catch more flies with honey...." (why would I want to
catch flies?!?) "We don't hate" (The current buzzword for that is
"don't be a hater".) If I was angry, it equated hate, and my
religious upbringing didn't allow that, so my anger was a sin. In
my family.

When it was
directed at her, I got slapped down, literally. Then I was scorned
verbally and shunned until she let it rest. I was shamed publicly.
Better to say, "You're right mom, I'm wrong."

So when my anger
did surface, it had boiled beneath for quite a while, and would
erupt like a top popping off a pressure cooker. It scared people,
and it scared me.

December 5, 2010
12:00 am
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It No Longer Matters
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Bevdee, thank you for expressing that. It is so similar to how
I have felt. Religion has never played into the "reasons" I
couldn't be angry. I think I have just feared the reaction I would
get. I was afraid I would say things in anger I couldn't take back.
The last time I got really angry it was during a fight with R
before I ever came here. It was definately an unladylike fight. I
became physically afraid of what he would do to me.

Bitsy

December 5, 2010
12:00 am
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StronginHim77
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I
like the distinction made between "functional" and "relational"
activities. Really nailed an important point.

Keep
sharing...

This is good
stuff!

- Ma

December 5, 2010
12:00 am
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ANGER
SURVEY

WHEN MY DAD GOT
ANGRY, HE His lips disappeared. It was my clue to run for the
hills. If I remained in place the next words out of his mouth would
cut to the quick and leave my soul bleeding.

WHEN MY DAD GOT
ANGRY, HE once punched a hole in a wall to keep from hitting my
mother. She was drunk and he had discovered she had gotten yet
another loan and forged his signature. I think that time I might
have been the one to actually sign his name although I didn’t know
what I was doing was wrong. I think I kept very quiet about who
actually signed the loan docs.

WHEN MY DAD GOT
ANGRY I disappeared. I hurt that he was angry. It made me sick to
my stomach. I knew most times it was over something else my mother
did. I don’t know that he was ever really angry with me so much as
he was disappointed in me. I could not stand the look of
disappointment in his eyes and did whatever it took to make sure I
didn’t see it often.

WHEN MY MOM GOT
ANGRY she withheld affection from me. I always knew I had to do
whatever it was she wanted or there would be hell to pay. Sometimes
she accused me of the most atrocious things and got on the phone
and told anyone who would listen.

WHEN MY MOM GOT
ANGRY most times she got angry because she had been caught doing
something she knew she shouldn’t have done, such as sign my dad’s
name to yet another loan. (Who really knows what she did with all
the money). She was constantly threatening to turn my father into
the Masonic Order and have him brought up on Masonic Charges
(whatever that means) and when she would really get in a pickle she
would pack the two of us up and check into some motel (not hotel…
She would then spend the rest of the night on the phone telling
whoever would listen what an SOB my father was.

WHEN MY MOM GOT
ANGRY I am not sure what I would do. I don’t remember. I think I
must have had some sort of resignation of “oh, here we go
again”.

WHEN MY MOM GOT
ANGRY I... I have no answer for this.

WHEN I GOT ANGRY
AT MY MOM, SHE looked back at me in a drunken stupor. It was like
she couldn’t comprehend what I was saying to her. I finally
realized it did no good.

WHEN I GOT ANGRY
AT MY MOM, SHE sometimes told the story of how my father beat her
while she was pregnant with me. She said he would kick her legs at
night. She also told the same story about when she was pregnant
with her son. She said that my grandfather beat her. I once asked
her cousin about it. She looked me dead in the eye and laughed, and
told me it was an outright lie. She told me that my grandfather
worded himself half to death to make sure my mother had anything
she ever wanted. Having known my grandfather I cannot imagine him
doing any such thing and having known my father, I don’t think that
story is true either.

WHEN I GOT ANGRY
AT MY DAD, he just sighed and told me he was doing the best he
could. That sort of took the wind out of my sails. I really don’t
remember being angry with him too many times in my life. I was
angry with him for not protecting me more from my crazy mother. He
tried to divorce her when I was in 8th grade but when the attorney
told him Mother would get custody of me he stayed. I guess he
protected me in his own way.

WHEN I GOT ANGRY
AT MY DAD, he did what he was going to do anyway. I was hurt when
he married my stepmother. Her daughter was “maid of honor” (T has
Down’s and walked down the aisle, but a friend of SM’s actually
signed as witness.) and her two sons walked her down the aisle. My
dad asked his brother to be the “best man”. I had offered to help
with the reception or anything else. I even had a lady who was
going to make the wedding cake as a gift to me, but all my efforts
were ignored. When I got to the church the day of the wedding my
aunts and uncles and their spouses, and my grandmother took up the
first two rows. My family and I sat on the third row. There wasn’t
even a special place for me to sit. I finally decided that my
father was just being himself…a man, not thinking past the end of
his nose and that my stepmother (God love her in that Southern Way)
just didn’t know better. It hurt for a long time and even now as I
type this still hurts a little.

WHEN I GOT ANGRY
AT MY DAD, he never seemed to realize it.

TODAY WHEN I GET
ANGRY I yell, and curse. I sometimes could actually make a sailor
blush. I hardly ever do this around anyone. I mostly do it when I
am alone. I do sometimes worry that when I am mad at Cat my words
are hurting her like my father’s words used to hurt me. I try to be
careful of this. I try to discipline her in love not anger.
Sometimes though, as a parent you have to show a little anger at
what they have done and then temper it with “even though what you
did makes me very angry, I will always love you”.

TODAY WHEN I GET
ANGRY I don’t think I get angry so much as I get hurt. The times in
my life I have gotten really angry, I have ended up hurting myself
more in the long run. I let anger and resentment build in my
marriage…every time I tried to discuss my feelings they were
denigrated…until I finally blew. Here I am …42, single, and
struggling daily. Who did I hurt? Myself and Cat.

Bitsy

December 5, 2010
12:00 am
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chinadoll
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Bitsy,

This is all from
my own perspective and experience, based on your
comments:

I think that what
I tend to do are "functional" activities. When I go to the gym, to
school, to work, I am there for those purposes. I am not really
looking to bond with anyone. Well, I will say at work, I do have
some friends that I feel close to, more than others. But always
when I have worked different jobs in the past, I don't go to work
looking to make friends. If I happen to make friends, then that is
good, but I don't go there hoping to make a friend.

But I don't see
this as a problem for me. I don't see it as going thru the motions.
I suppose I have always been somewhat emotionally detached in that
way. Like I am going to work to do a job, not to socialize. People
at work may have seen me as stand-offish, but I am one to
concentrate on getting my work done first, and then I can relax and
take a break and chat. Or, I save the "socializing" for the lunch
break or when there is down-time.

I have a lot of
friends that I share different levels of connection with. Some
friends I am more bonded to than others. I do spend a lot of time
alone, but a lot of times, it is on purpose. I don't feel like I
have to be around someone all the time to feel connected to them.
Time spent with someone does not make a relationship, a connection
and a bond make a relationship.

December 6, 2010
12:00 am
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It No Longer Matters
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I
have tried for many years to bond with various people. It doesn't
happen. I have 4 women I consider friends. I have made them over
the last 20 years. Other than them I have functional relationships.
I am involved with a group of women from a Bible study I do, but I
do not consider any of them friends. Just acquaintances. This isn't
what I want but I have learned to accept it and deal with
it.

I am finding that
if I keep myself busy with the functional I don't miss the
relational as much. Perhaps not the "healthiest" attitude, but it
is the one that works for me.

This is only a
problem when I am bored and craving company and I have no one to go
out to lunch or dinner with. It has been this way my entire
life.

Perhaps I am not
tactful enough? Perhaps I have a wall around me that doesn't allow
others to get close? I don't know...

I really wasn't as
focused on the functional vs. relational when I first started the
thread. There were several other things in the original post I
thought people would pick up on and comment, but that seems to be
the one that "spoke" to most people so I followed along.

Bitsy

December 7, 2010
12:00 am
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It No Longer Matters
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I had
a therapy appointment today. We discussed some of these issues and
the fact that I avoid forming relationships because to me a
relationship equals hurt.

We also talked
about this site and this thread. I think it is fair to say that I
have also experienced some hurt here as well as in real life. There
are those here who have been quite supportive of my growth and
healing and some that haven't. To all I wish only the
best.

I haven't felt
"safe" here for a while and have thought that perhaps my time here
was coming to an end. I haven't wanted to face that because I do
care about so many of you and want to know what is going on in your
lives. I also hate it when someone "gets in a snit" here and leaves
and I don't want to be that person either.

I am not sure what
the next step is. Perhaps tomorrow I will know. Someone recently
posted a quote about "she isn't where she was and she isn't where
she is going but she is on her way"...I guess I am on my
way.

Peace,

Bitsy

Bitsy

December 7, 2010
12:00 am
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Perhaps this will explain.

Bitsy

December 9, 2010
12:00 am
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Bitsy,

I have so wanted
to get back to you, but chaos reigns in my world. House torn up to
replace floor, no running water, and no internet. Me- with no
internet!! I've decided to wait till after the first of the
year.

I was angry at my
daddy because he left us with my mom. that's how I felt. She left
him,.and he fought her for custody, but he didnt get us cause he
worked 2nd shift. I never told him I was angry. He apologised
before I could work up the nerve.

I also know about
relationships= hurt. I have probably overlooked good people cause
they didnt hurt.

OK scuse the
typos, this is from my cell. I wont have anything better til the
weekend. Positive energy zingin at ya, southern girl. G** love
ya.

December 9, 2010
12:00 am
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bevdee
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Bitsy,

I have so wanted
to get back to you, but chaos reigns in my world. House torn up to
replace floor, no running water, and no internet. Me- with no
internet!! I've decided to wait till after the first of the
year.

I was angry at my
daddy because he left us with my mom. that's how I felt. She left
him,.and he fought her for custody, but he didnt get us cause he
worked 2nd shift. I never told him I was angry. He apologised
before I could work up the nerve.

I also know about
relationships= hurt. I have probably overlooked good people cause
they didnt hurt.

OK scuse the
typos, this is from my cell. I wont have anything better til the
weekend. Positive energy zingin at ya, southern girl. G** love
ya.

December 9, 2010
12:00 am
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MsGuided
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((Bitsy)). All you can do is heal yourself. These thrads won't
met the needs of everyone or do what a good therapist can do. It
sounds like you have a good one. :0) You can't please everyone and
disagreements are always hard to engage in without letting our
triggers or weakness get in the way to screw things up.

I just wanted to
pop in a say you're ok in my books. One day you'll feel confident
enough to choose the right people and believe in yourself enough to
deal with the rough spots.

Hey ((bevdee))
wired without wireless..hm......MSDOS or Landline Barbie?
;0)

Love
yas!

December 12, 2010
12:00 am
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bevdee
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Hey
MsG!!

Good to see
ya.

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