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Who's to blame for your frustration?
November 7, 2006
6:58 pm
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turnabout
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If you seek to find how others are responsible for the frustrations in your life, you will find it, and in so doing affirm for the world that you give others control over your quality of life.

If you seek to find how you are responsible for your own frustrations, even when thinking you're frustrated with someone else, you take responsibility for your quality of life, and in so doing gain control over it.

It's something I've been facing lately. No matter the size of the frustration, it's up to me how I handle it. It's up to me whether I allow someone to impose themselves upon my time. It's up to me whether I let someone else's expectations influence my moment to moment choices. It's up to me whether I tense up when someone wants something I don't want to give and try avoiding it, or face it head on and be absolutely honest about what they can or cannot expect of me. It's up to me whether I choose to begrudgingly accept their lame excuses or openly acknowledge the truth of their responsibilities. It's up to me whether I MAKE lame excuses or just accept responsibility when I truly have messed up.

Putting up with frustration in my life or rejecting it ... it's all up to me.

And it's up to you. It's all in what you seek. What are you seeking? What others are doing TO you in any given situation, or what you can do for yourself?

Peace & Love to you all.

turn

November 7, 2006
7:14 pm
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katiescarlet
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Turnabout,
That is a very poignant statement. Thank you very much for sharing your insight. Now if only I could practice what you preach. I am giving it my best and was actually a tiny bit successful today.
Much gratitude to you and all the wonderful people on this board.
Katie

November 7, 2006
7:18 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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I agree and disagree...We are all entitled to feelings, and some of which you can not control. You cannot help feelings. You can control what you do with them. I believe that if you let it control your life, that isn't healthy. But to tell yourself, hey, that doesn't bother me...you are lying to yourself. To say that the frustrations that have been created due to the sexual and physical abuse that I have endured is sole a choice that I make...I disagree.. WHOLE heartedly. I didn't ask for that. Does it frustrate me that things in my life will NEVER be what they could have been otherwise...YES. If that makes me wrong in your eyes...then so be it. If the frustration that my mother hasnever had the ability to love me is wrong, then so be it. Should I let it control me...AGAIN NO. But they are normal human feelings and reactions.

You say...if you are seaching to find out how others are responsible for the frustrations in your life, you will find it. I am not indicating that you are saying that what happened to me was my choice, but rather it is how i deal with it that is. You are right...But, I will always be frustrated by the situation that I could not control. I do not believe that any amount of counseling will allow me to not feel frustrated by my mother sitting in the room while I was sexually abused. I guess if that is wrong in the eyes of some or all, then I will go with that.

Sorry, but i was frustrated to some degree by this, and i will take responsibility for that.

November 7, 2006
7:30 pm
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lovetocrochet
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Hey Scared,

I'm with you 100%. I'm going through a LOT of anger and grief while working through incest issues as well as being abused and neglected in many other ways by my bio-family. I USED to say that stuff didn't bother me, and all it did was make me sicker.

I do think that how we allow others to influence us NOW, as adults in our contemporary lives, is up to us. In that sense I think turnabout's thoughts are true. But I think to try and apply this to events that took place when we were helpless, as children, is not appropriate.

As you say, feelings just happen. They aren't right or wrong, they are reactions to what goes on around us, to us, and inside of us. There's no magic formula to just shut them on or off - we'd all have to be like CyberMen from Doctor Who if we wanted that.

I think even if we could automatically switch our emotions around we wouldn't be happy with having that kind of control or the outcome.

Anyway, sorry, rambling. Gotta go fix dinner...

November 7, 2006
7:31 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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Thanks LTC, because I started to think maybe it was me and i was out of line....Nice to see you by the way...

November 7, 2006
7:50 pm
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katiescarlet
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I am truly sorry for what you all are going through and to say life isn't fair is an understatement. I don't think any person would belittle or in any other way insult the pain you must feel. I prefer to look at turnabout's statement as one of honesty with ourselves and those around us. We have the choice to be honest about our feelings or deny them and if we choose denial we only invalidate ourselves.
To be strong and succeed in getting through our pain and frustrations, we must face the underlying forces at work and deal with them. Sometimes that is easier than other times and if we need help, we must seek it, whether it be in a forum such as this or professional counseling. Nobody will help us if we don't first help ourselves.
You are all very courageous to talk about what has happened to you and I hope I have not offended anyone with my perspective especially since it is many of you who have inspired me to face my own demons.

November 7, 2006
7:51 pm
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turnabout
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thanks, katiescarlet. I'm glad you're getting a lot out of this place. I know I have.

Scared,

I never said to say things don't bother you. That would be a lie. And I'm not saying that anyone consider mistreatment to be acceptable. Just the opposite.

You ... anyone ... has every right to feel angry, frustrated, indignant when someone mistreats you. All of it. Abuse isn't fair. It's stupid. It's mean. It's wrong. It's all those things that make you feel angry about it. And the abuse you suffered, the pain you experienced, deserves sympathy. But I wonder if you are giving yourself sympathy for it?

Frustrations in the present over past occurances seem to often be due to a person mentally trying to undo what happened to them, making themselves relive it over and over again, in essence abusing themselves. You can choose to feel sorry for yourself... I mean true sympathy. You know what, you didn't deserve it. You know what, it was wrong, it was stupid, it was unfair. And you know what, you deserved to have that pain acknowledged back then. You deserved to have someone reach out to you. Your mother, family, a friend ... whomever. You deserved to be held and told it wasn't your fault.

And now, when the memory of it frustrates you, can you hold yourself and soothe yourself with all the words you needed to hear then? That's how you can take responsibility for your frustrations. You can't control what other people will do, no matter how stupid and unfair it is. What you can control is what YOU do to you. That's what I'M talking about here.

November 7, 2006
8:20 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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Again, I can't say that i can make it in this world alone. I don't think any of us should. I think we should take care of ourselves, but to live a life of being alone...I don't even have the desire...maybe because that is NOT where I am yet, I don't know. Maybe after more counseling and more time here, it will happen...BUT I still don't think any of us can love and nurture ourselves completely in a healthy manner.

November 7, 2006
8:41 pm
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truthBtold
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Again, as I have said in other posts...that all of our own answers lie in the peaceful silence and quiteness and stillness of our own wisdom....It's there. Always has been. All that we need is already there - just waiting for us to acknowlege...simply put.

We DO HAVE everything we need...if only we allow ourselves the liberty of listening...just simply listening to our own wisdom is the most important thing we can do.

No therapists. No self-help books, no affirmations which ALL seem to focus first and foremost on our "logical" brain....just simply listen and accept our own inner voice with no hidden agenda....and the answers and validation will appear in the most natural way possible. Ways in which are normally associated with general development as a child - but were "short-wired" because of the all of the chaos and the attention in which we were forced to direct to "others."

It's there. It's ALL there...and has been all along......

The results of just listening to ourselves can not HELP but develop a sense of sel-esteem and self-love...simply through this most wonderful simple process.

You just have to be willing to get in touch with your own self....no one else can do that for you.

Incredible - yet ---very, very simple.

I know - because I have just experienced it for myself recently and it has made all the difference in the world.....and it's free....just for the asking!!!!!!

November 7, 2006
9:37 pm
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lovetocrochet
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Good to see you again too Scared. I've had to kind of be in my "mental cave" recently, a lot of layers coming up... plus we all got wiped out with a stomach virus the past week or so - I'm the last one to get it as usual. My son got gastritis from it 🙁 Thankfully the doctor prescribed him something that's letting his little system heal up so he's running around all happy again tonight.

November 8, 2006
2:14 am
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turnabout
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Scared,

I don't understand your last post. I don't know where it's coming from. Did you mean it as a response to what I said? I don't understand why you're suddenly talking about not wanting to be alone and being unable to make it alone. It seems like you're arguing against something, but what you're saying doesn't contradict what I'm saying, nor what I've seen anyone else say. So, I don't understand what you're really trying to argue against, if that's what you're doing.

truthB,

I agree with you totally, but it can be very difficult getting to the point of trusting our own inner voice. I remember needing "proof" that I could rely on my own opinions before putting it first above any other input. Haltingly and warily I started risking decisions based on what that inner voice told me was true, and I found that my own insight is more often right over any given advice. It didn't happen overnight, but a little at a time, one decision at a time.

For me the key in any situation is to look for what I CAN'T control (like the choices other people make or have made), accept the fact that I have no control over these things, and then ask myself, "But what is it that I CAN do?" Instead of focusing on how I am helpless, it turns my focus around to how I am empowered.

After creating this thread, I found the following article which expresses the idea I'm talking about in a different way.

A Culture of Accountability by Dr. Nathaniel Branden

I found the first section really valuable, but after that he goes into talking about the value that different societies place on accountability, which lost my interest I'll admit. But the first part is really good.

November 8, 2006
2:50 am
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chloeysmomma
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i blame myself for my troubles thanks for the thread

November 8, 2006
10:54 am
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turnabout
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I certainly hope you don't blame yourself, chloeysmomma. Blame isn't productive for anyone. I used that word in the title (perhaps an unfortunate choice of words) because that's what we often do automatically. I consider blame to be an inappropriate assignment of responsibility, like when we hold someone else responsible for causing our actions or hold ourselves accountable for what someone else is doing. Blame self-sabotaging.

I worded the title that way to call attention to indicate we need to get away from trying to blame anyone, ourselves included, which only reinforces our sense of helplessness, and instead look for the solutions that ARE available to us no matter what other people in our lives choose to do.

November 8, 2006
11:08 am
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sleepless in uk
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Thanks for this Turnabout. I found the link very useful. I struggle myself to resist the urge to 'rescue'my kids and my husband and other family members

the link was very helpful

November 8, 2006
11:08 am
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ScaredinMichigan
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turnabout,

Until I have some time to think about how I want to word my answer to your last question..I will leave it alone. But first, I want to apologize. Just because I didn't agree, didn't mean that I needed to respond. It just frustrated me. It is a tough point in my life, and I am trying to sort all of why I feel the way that I do. That isn't your fault. Please for give me. When I can respond and do it clearly, I will. What I was trying to say made sense to me, and I will attempt to figure out a way to do it, and not sound rude. But now is not that time. But I wanted to apologize. Thanks

November 8, 2006
12:18 pm
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Wow, turnabout, very very good. Such a well put starting post. I'm going to print and keep prominent till it is "absorbed" better.

Isn't blaming and criticism the opposite of denial, deflection, and justification as far as taking responsibility?

Scared, being angry is really the first acknowledgement of how abused we were when we had no control and could not be held responsibile at all. You have so many "layers" of feelings that you describe. Im glad you can articulate them so well.

It sounds like IT IS about our reactions. So if you are arguing about what's for dinner with your h, do you just react to his escalating controlling anger and aggressiveness by giving in, or ..... how do you react? The way you did as a child, or in another self-protecting way? Yes , we will choose how we react separately from how we feel, and denying the feelings does not make them go away.

Taking responsibility maybe lies in acknowledging ALL the feelings and trying to deal with and detach from them as much as possible.

Allowing yourself to trust today's feelings?

November 9, 2006
4:54 pm
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turnabout
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Hi Scared,

I hope you do come back to express yourself more comprehensively. I asked for an explanation of what you were reacting to b/c I got a strong impression that it was really to me and what I said. I mean, I think I hit a nerve, definitely, but I got the sense something going on in your own life that's making you question yourself is the true offense, ...and maybe my some of my words opened up a can of worms on something you're feeling insecure about and maybe beat yourself up over a bit? I want to help if I can. That's why I'm validating everything I've heard you say here. I see no contradiction from what you've said with the intention of my own words. I think in the effort to apply them to your own life, my words were taken out of context b/c of something you're dealing with. I don't try keeping up with all the threads, so I'm only vaguely familiar with your story and cannot attempt to guess at where exactly the misunderstanding lies, but I'm happy to talk about it.

I appreciate that something in what I said frustrated you. There's no need to apologize for speaking up in disagreement. I don't take offense at all. You have every right to speak your mind at all times, and I take none of your remarks personally. I would just like to understand.

Brynnie and sleepless,

I'm so glad you got something useful out of this thread.

I don't know about blame and criticism being the opposite of denial, deflection, and justification. Seems to me they go hand in hand. Not sure I get what you're saying there, Brynnie.

You also said...

Taking responsibility maybe lies in acknowledging ALL the feelings and trying to deal with and detach from them as much as possible.

Allowing yourself to trust today's feelings?

...which I whole heartedly agree with. Well, I don't know about the detachment part really. We want to detach our feelings from other people's behavior, not detach from our feelings. (Not sure I'm reading that the way you intended.) Ironically, when we do fully acknowledge our feelings, the detachment of them from what other people are doing happens almost automatically.

So when feeling frustrated, it's good to acknowledge that frustration and allow that it is happening for a reason. Don't dismiss it. But don't stop there, either. Ask yourself why you're feeling frustrated, explore that as fully as you can and then ask yourself what you can do about it.

November 9, 2006
4:59 pm
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turnabout
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I asked for an explanation of what you were reacting to b/c I got a strong impression that it was really to me and what I said.

Sorry... meant to say "...wasn't to me and what I said."

November 9, 2006
5:08 pm
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armyleo
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Didn't mean to interrupt, I'm a little slow and didn't get all...however something caught my eye.

Brynnie you said "denying the feelings does not make them go away." No they don't go away I guess, but it's a way of survival for some.

November 9, 2006
5:17 pm
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armyleo
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Ignore my commeent, don't understand, this don't know why I wrote???

November 13, 2006
5:21 pm
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thedogsmom
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Well said turnabout.

I understand what you are trying to say here. True...we are all human..people will not always treat us 'fairly' or even 'humanely' sometimes. We have a right to our feelings of frustration, anger, sorrow, etc... for the hurt that others actions have caused us. But we also have to hold ourselves accountable as to what to do with the anger-or frustration---do we let it eat us up...keep feeling sorry for ourselves and destroy the rest of our time on earth? Or do we have to finally one day- address- admit and ACCEPT that we have been treated 'unfairly' or abused WRONGLY and allow us our own time for our grief over it.. and then find a way to USE those experiences to actually move FORWARD...and start taking responsibility for creating our own happiness and future destiny?

I agree with you. I have let him frustrate me. I have lived with and accepted his lies and his 'abuse'...I have allowed myself to be paralyzed by the never-ending grief of a bad relationship. Instead of telling myself. Enough is Enough. Just because he isn't treating me right..is no reason to NOT take care of myself. I need to make the changes to make myself Happy. AND NOT count or wait on him to fix it and therefore fix me! I can allow his actions to destroy me --or I can move forward and choose to live my life anyhow- regardless of whether he is meeting my needs. I am the only one who has the power to make me HAPPY!
thanks turnabout.
TDM

November 13, 2006
5:39 pm
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truthBtold
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Well said TDM,

I am a poet and a bonified "word freak"

To me, what has helped alot is to painstakingly distinguish the difference between "Cause" and "Blame" (though full-blown "Blame" does have it's place - in the beginning....)

A very thin line, to say the least....but, nonetheless, has helped to keep me grounded within my ownself and give me the CLEAR perspective of what lies deep beneath my own motivations and ever changing slant on reality, experienced in the "first-person." and NOT the narrative.

November 13, 2006
7:09 pm
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turnabout
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You hit the nail on the head, TDM.

And I do think that we need to acknowledge and validate for ourselves when someone isn't doing their bit in a relationship. But then there comes a point when we're all talk and no action, just like them, and we use them as our excuse for why our lives are so miserable so that we can deny our own accountability for thwarting our happiness. We use their bad behavior and their need to change as the excuse for why we don't address what WE need to change.

And what you said is dead on, too, that just b/c someone else isn't treating you right is no excuse for you to deny treating yourself right.

I think I know what you mean, truthB. In the beginning, we're often so accustomed to accepting ALL of the responsibility for the state of a relationship, that when we realize they have a stake in it to, placing blame on them is the beginning of stabilization. Eventually, you get to a point of assigning responsibility where it belongs, but at first it is such a revelation as to how THEY'VE been disrespectful and irresponsible, it's necessary to focus on that for a period, while breaking the old habit of automatic self-blame for everything.

Thanks guys for stopping in!

November 13, 2006
7:21 pm
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truthBtold
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THIS has been a real growth thread/post for me. Thanks.

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