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You've Got to Stand for Something, or You'll Fall for Anything
October 17, 2001
1:56 pm
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Ladeska
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He's got one problem, you've got another one. Yours is your self esteem. His is - he's an asshole.

When you..........appreciate you.....when you "know you" - spend the time in getting to know yourself, learn how to hold your head up, own your stuff, but at the same time - affirm your positives, your talents, your gifts.....then and only then - will you DRAW the person to you that is an "equal". A person that is like Kahlil Gibran so beautifully states in his book "The Prophet" on Marriage...

We are to be like two pillars of the temple - standing together, but not in one another's shadow...

And to drink the same wine, but not from the same cup... (paraphrased by me)

But, the point is - when you stop this dance of assuming so many things, when you stop allowing others to use you, when you stop assigning blame and using stereotypes and trying to please everyone else on the planet except yourself....then - you will find "you"...and the person that will greatly compliment you - will find you as well and you won't have to put up a For Rent sign on your forehead either. (smile)

C'mon, girlfriend, pull up your panty hose here and act like Royalty because I got news for you - if you don't - ain't no Prince coming down the path for you at any time.

Back to the question..."Who are you?" Thought you'd sidetracked me, huh?

October 17, 2001
3:43 pm
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Cici
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Keep going? that will take some tissues, the house to myself, and maybe involve yelling myself hoarse at the computer screen, ha ha ha.

Seriously, though, I was yet again holding the hand of another friend through her breakup and I realized that half of her problems in all her relationships came from not having any clear boundaries in her life. I am beginning to wonder if this is a total epidemic.

October 17, 2001
4:25 pm
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Ladeska
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I really think it is Cici....and it all revolves around - what self image got formed early on and then got frozen in concrete- as THE LAW. Like I often tell people I work with - once "you" tell yourself something - it goes right in, through no strainer, no analysis - it's just law. If someone else says something to you - you analyze it and may or may not believe it. So if...a child gets a certain image stuck in their mind of "who they are" fertilized with alot of pain and trauma - it's pretty set - no matter how outlandish it is or wrong, doesn't matter. It's planted deep and it grows like wildfire.

The only way it gets corrected is when the adult self with an adult mind - visits the site where a child made a decision that affects a lifetime of patterns and choices. The adult has to pull the weeds up by the roots and say - Hey, this needs to be examined over here....is it truth or is it a compilation of B.S.?

Isn't easy.....because you're talking "to you" the one who erected this in the first place as - who you are. So, first things first - Self on the throne "who knows it all" - has to be removed from power. (smile) OuCh that hurts! Hate it when that happens....

But, who we believe ourselves to be - is made up many things....how others viewed us, what others expected of us, wanted us to be, demanded that we be, gave us love if we were that and withdrew it if we weren't...emotional blackmail I think it's called...and so on and so on.

Getting to the core of the "raw us" is rather scary...at least we had an image to hold onto and at least our pain - is OUR pain because we've believed it! Not many people have the courage to really step up to the plate and GO - WHO's in there? What's your name, who are you?

When that is cleared up or at least put on the path of self-discovery - then.....they can start operating from a place of - I provide my needs - someone else merely compliments me. I love me - therefore I don't need you to do it for me, but if you do - how nice. If you don't agree with me - I won't be jumping off the nearest bridge because I value my own judgement, etc., etc. If a person doesn't do this - they will always be putting a bandaid on a gapping wound.

Not to go off down the road of total narcissism here...and there is indeed a balance - but some of us really never discovered our raw self. Life happened and here we are - with someone else's face plastered on us, with a life that doesn't fit - I'm a size 9 being stuffed into a size 5, never did like Ford Broncos but I'm driving one, can't stand being a ballerina, but damn it, come hell or high water - gonna be one because mommie dearest wanted to be one herself growing up!!! blah, blah, blah...

Said all that to say - true self esteem steems from - real "self knowledge" and "self awareness". We talk so much about how we want to know how someone else ticks, what kind of eggs they like, what will make them like/love me...when all along - we sit there ignored by "us". Basically, we're the hypocrite. Love ain't happenin' until it blooms from within. We can chase our tails all day long and everyone else's - ain't happening.

October 19, 2001
2:20 pm
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distracted
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Hi -

Seems that this discussion has moved on...but I've been reading...and thinking...and spinning...trying to get a grip on things and figure them out...which is why I found this conversation interesting...boundaries...do these apply to me? do I have any? And, due to some things someone recently said to me, and recent conversations with friends and therapist...I realized some things. So, I have a question. How can one have such strong boundaries yet have such weak boundaries?

October 19, 2001
2:26 pm
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Ladeska
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Give an example. First thought off my head is - you can't have, is a contradiction of terms. But, my guess is you mean to say - have boundaries in one area but not in another?

October 19, 2001
3:01 pm
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distracted
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yeah I suppose that is what I mean - one area but not in another...selective boundaring? (uh huh that is too a word!)

Had a conversation with someone who I've not known for long - someone I've not had serious conversations with - just interactions as with most people you come across in day to day life. She made some observations the other day. Things most people don't notice...one of which was that I don't let anyone in - don't let anyone close... This came on the heals of a conversation I had with a friend who had just told me that the boundaries I have are very thick. That she had been trying for years to help me open up, to show she cared, to ask questions, to give hugs, etc...trying to get through those. Said I was a tough nut to crack...I asked her to use another term to describe me....

Now, I don't understand these exactly - how some people see them, some are impervious too them, some people can't get around them..and why there are a few who get in so easily...cracks in the mortar I suppose... But these are the ones I can look back and see as a constant throughout my whole life. Until recently I wouldn't have thought there were any cracks in the mortar.

So, on to the next set of boundaries. Now boundaries, as I understand them, have the sole purpose of keeping you safe - protecting you from the bad. I have those ^ up there ^ that are, for the most part, very strong - almost set in stone. Beyond that, they are nonexistant. That doesn't make sense to me. Whether or not those boundaries ^ up there ^ are crossed - there are no other boundaries as far as I can see. WHY have such strong boundaries in one area and not the others? How can you take care of yourself in such a way but not take care of yourself in other - equally as important ways?

ok now I've got myself confused...who knows what I am trying to say....

October 19, 2001
3:15 pm
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Ladeska
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...hm,m,m,m....trying to unravel the yarn here...OOPS, Hairball instead..

Anyways....I think I understand what you're trying to say but I have to go right now and will try to get back in here on the weekend. You're not wierd at all. Is the position most of us find ourselves in at some point in our lives at least. Good place to be in though - the introspective space of - I'm being aware, looking under rocks - realizing that I am a vibrant, living, changing being...(smiles) Try not to be so serious over the weekend, okay? Do something comical, outlandish, play dressup!

October 20, 2001
1:11 am
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wallace
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Hi Ladeska,

When you said know yourself. What if you don't think you come up to scratch. Sometimes I don't think I do. When someone complements me, I get suspicious and at times have become annoyed because I don't believe them. With this guy I was talking about, sometimes, I can't see what he sees in me & that's why I continually look for reassurance from him that he likes me. Maybe its me with all the problems and he is a stable, regular guy. The other day, I was mean to him for no good reason other that to get a reaction and I think (although he hid it quite well) that it may have upset him. I can't believe that I have sunk to this level. When someone criticises me, it cuts me to the core and I can no longer function around that person. Is this all self-esteem stuff? How can I change it?

October 20, 2001
3:34 am
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deficiency
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October 23, 2001
1:29 pm
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Ladeska
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Of course not. It's a country song anyways, I think... Or is in a song I've heard lately. You might appreciate this, too. I wrote this after the WTC tragedy. Share it with anyone you want to. I hope somehow it helps you guys...

THE REPLY

You sneak into my midst
and kill my children like the coward you are,
taking your own lives as well because
you don’t have the guts to face me
Man to Man.
You dance in the streets
thousands of miles away from me - happy your mindless puppets have once again
murdered heinously and you have taken pride in that
with your smiles and upraised hands to
who you consider God... might be.
I also take note of the fact that you, yourself remain out of harm’s way..

......not for long....

I do not stand backed by such cowardice nor do I stand applauded because I have slaughtered thousands of innocent lives.
I stand.....facing you....with full resolve to answer the question your bullies have thrown across the fence into my yard

...You ask...

Will you take our punishment?
Will you take our jealousy and hatred?
Will you swallow the blood of your innocents without choking?
Will you allow us to now sneak back into our hole, after dancing in our streets, hiding behind
the skirts of the Taliban with a smile on our faces,
smug in our denial?
Will you answer?

I stand, ready to Deliver that answer.
There will be no cowardice in my voice when I speak to you
I will face you front and center.
And if you run from me - I will find you.
I will face you with millions of faces who’s heritage isn’t a bloodline of persecuting the innocent
but is a bloodline of religious freedom for all and the protection of every individual within our borders,
including those who have fled your brutal tyranny in order to pursue peace for their families here.

I will answer you and I will not stutter.
You will understand every word I speak because -
I will deliver it with Thunder that will neither entertain or acknowledge your denial, your cowardice
or your pathetic jealousies for what you have not been able to accomplish for yourself.
Engrained into my heart, never to be erased...are the visions of those children still strapped within
their airplane seats, removed yesterday from the rubble,
Carved into my memory are the body parts that lay in buckets, ready to be gone through a piece at a time...
Rest assured...deep in the lining of wings that are now outspread and
on their way to you....I take with me every tear, every cry for help, every drop of blood that was shed on my soil..
Yes.....I will.....answer you very soon.....
When I come I won’t be cloaked in disguises I will be wearing my colors proudly and will call you by name.
I am coming.......and when I speak......you Will - hear me.

Signed....... THE AMERICAN September 12, 2001

October 23, 2001
1:46 pm
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Ladeska
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Ooops. Meant to read at the end - Signed - The American Eagle.

October 26, 2001
2:00 am
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amymarie
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Does this boundary seem stupid nowadays? I have two boundaries that are somewhat stringent and cliche, but...

I said I would not have children unless I am married first (I am 24, have been with my (sometimes abusive, mentally ill) boyfriend for 9 years and we are not married yet and still don't have children for this reason.) I set this for myself because I was the child of a single parent and it was hard... I have hypermorals I guess, which leads to my second boundary.

I will never become an alcoholic like my mother. Because I set this, I refuse to sip, smell, or be near alcohol (which makes me brutally unpopular and 'I don't know how to have fun' according to my mother) and my fiancee stays away from it out of respect for me.

Are those really old-school in this era? For me to believe at 24? Is it just me, or is it shiningly obvious that I have major issues? LOL

October 26, 2001
12:48 pm
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NO, YOU DON'T. IF BEING FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE WITH A CLEAR JUDGMENT IS A NEGETIVE ISSUE, THEN I HAVE A TON OF THEM ADDED TO MY REALY NEGETIVE ONES.

October 26, 2001
3:34 pm
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Cici
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Ladeska,

Is it possible to have intensely fearful reactions when you have been abused in the past and you finally start setting them?

I finally put my foot down to a male friend who constantly manipulated me and disrupted my home and my relationship with my husband. But when I finally moved to cut off the friendship because I realized he was a manipulater, he reacted very negatively, there was a lot of screaming and yelling, and I felt terrified inside. I got through it, I feel a lot better each day, but still...is it normal to feel so raw as you begin to set boundaries? And is it normal for those who consistently violate your boundaries to react so aggressively and defensively to your new approach to life?

October 28, 2001
2:43 pm
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Ladeska
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Wallace,,,,sorry I haven't responded to you before now... but, regarding what you asked, it is self-esteem that's sick here and you've identified it.... I surmise that it started early with you, which is usually the case with most of us, we look to certain people in our lives, authority, family figures to approve of us and when they give us something that's twisted in response - then our self concept gets twisted as well.

The roots of the tree bear fruit....so, I would suggest that you just sit back and think about - where your concept of you was founded... Who reflected back to you - who you were? I think when you start unravelling some of this - things will start to clear up for you, or at least the fog will be greatly lifted.

October 28, 2001
2:52 pm
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Ladeska
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There's my little sweetheart!!! Hi Cici! Yes, yes....all is normal in what you just described. Control freaks HATE not being in control anymore. Bummer. But such is the narcissistic 6 year old not getting their way, right?

And yes, your reaction to doing this at first is also very, very normal. You've been trained to react to the snapping of the guilt trip whip. And, you've done it - therefore, going in a new direction feels very uncomfortable for you. You're going crossways over tracks that have already been deeply rooted in you.

But the only way to make these new tracks the ones that you default to emotionally, is to keep making them deeper and deeper and pay little attention to the feelings that will scream in pain. I don't like these new shoes!!!! Well, that's too bad because I'm wearing them anyways until I break the damn things in!!!! (smile)

Good for you!!! So glad to see you do this! Actually, what you are doing is identifying "who" is in your life and "who they are". You are the one that's slipping in behind the controls and saying...this is my life, my house and I WILL DECIDE what goes on here. No, they won't like it - the people who have no respect for you anyways. But, you need to know who they are and treat them accordingly.

His response to you - wasn't okay and you needed to see that. Bullies and manipulators always do this to see if they can reel you back in and give you the appropriate beating. I think not. You know what's going on now and you need to go back to your castle wall and stand vigilant guard and say - Um, no, didn't work, bounced back, locked and loaded.

So PROUD of you! Just know that this is oh so typical of abuse victims....feels really strange and all sorts of ghosts come out of the closet....but that's all they are, Cici....ghosts... Get back up, stand straight and say what you mean and mean what you say. Don't stutter and use your head instead of being guided by your feelings. Once the patterns are in place, the feelings will eventually follow and default to what is healthy. (hugs)

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