Passing on dysfunction to the next generation, no thank you

Written by Amie on January 28, 2014 – 3:18 am -

It feels empowering to uncover the dysfunctional behaviors I had been living with my whole life that I was conditioned to believe were “normal”. It feels healing and powerful to notice them before they get passed onto my kids. I’m sure my kids will have their own set of “issues” to work on stemming from their childhoods, but I sure hope I’ve minimized these possible issues somewhat by waking up to question all aspects of my life. It isn’t easy being a parent when we have wounds from our own childhood to process, but it is all part of the journey. We can only hope that we catch them and heal them so that our children don’t inherit them. I truly have compassion for all parents trying to heal while also trying to give their children a healthy emotional start. We can’t give what we don’t have. It takes great awareness, courage, willingness, and vulnerability to change those aspects of our lives that have always been a part of who we believed we were. Most of the time I am able to remember this, and just accept what is. And then there are the times when an adult who isn’t able to look at their own issues or wounds comes into contact with my children. This is when I accept their limitations, but I also must take action.

a-line-in-the-sand

Because of the fact that I didn’t have healthy emotional role models in my life as a child, I am vigilant about making my children aware of unhealthy behavior. I want them to know what is acceptable behavior and what is unhealthy behavior. In fact, they are old enough now that they point it out to me, I don’t even have to say anything. I want them to know they absolutely have a right to put boundaries in place that will help to keep them emotionally healthy. It saddens me when an attempt to manipulate my children is made by someone who claims to love them. The same type of manipulation I had to deal with is now being tried on my children. This makes me angry. I have compassion for this person’s limitations, but I also will not allow this type of behavior to be a part of my children’s lives. At least not while my kids are still under my watch. I understand how and why this happens, but I will not tolerate it. It hurts that a person will lie straight to me and say they didn’t do it. It could be so simple! A simple, “yes, I was feeling so upset about our estrangement that I thought getting your kids involved was a good idea. I see now that it wasn’t a good idea, and I am sorry.” This would be a healthy response. But that is me wishing for something that isn’t there. And so I move on.

I move on and I remind myself how far I’ve come on this healing journey. I try to remember to commend myself for all of the hard work I have done in order to get to this place of loving myself, and of healing my depression. Years of hard painful work. I remind myself it is my right to honor my need for emotional safety and health for myself and my children. If there are people who choose to stay in their story and lash out at others, that is their journey. I have to work on keeping myself and my family healthy. If that means not allowing certain people to correspond with my children, that is what I will do. The dysfunction stops here. I feel sad that I am blamed for messing things up, speaking my truth, supporting others, and setting healthy boundaries. But this is my journey. I own my life. This is my life and I am healthier and more at peace than ever before.  I still feel sad and disappointed at times. There is still some letting go to be done. I intend to stay healthy. I intend to protect my children from dysfunctional patterns as much as I am able to. I intend to be present and alive as much as  possible. And I intend to accept what is.

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Posted in Awareness, Healing & personal growth, healing from depression, Help with depression, Mindful/respectful parenting | 4 Comments »

Surrender,accept,let go and remember self-love

Written by Amie on August 22, 2013 – 1:32 am -

“The way back to my real environment, the place where my soul was meant to exist, doesn’t lie through any set of codes I will ever find outside of myself. I have to look inward. I have to jettison every sorrow, every terror, every misconception, every lie that stands between my conscious mind and what I know in my heart to be true. Instead of clutching around me all of the trappings of a “good” person, a “successful” person, or even a “righteous” person, I have to be exactly what I am, and take the horrible chance that I may be rejected for it. I can’t get home by cloaking myself in the armor of any system; social, political, or religious. I have to strip off all that comforting armor and go on naked”. ~Martha Beck

 

the scary part

Another layer of healing and I feel like I am recovering faster each time. The pain is deep, but I don’t stay in the pain for very long. Crying is so healing and cleansing. First the anger, then the sadness, deep grieving, and then relief. I feel lighter each time. I remember a time when I would stay in the anger phase without allowing the raw feelings underneath to come to the surface. Staying in anger creates resentment and eventually depression. I know this now, and I continue to work on it. Allowing the raw feelings underneath the anger to surface is the scary part at first, but once they show themselves, great relief comes sooner. Anger is always a sign that there are needs not being met, a sign that something is not “right”. I think as a culture we have been taught that anger is bad, but I disagree. Anger is only an unhealthy thing if a person stays in the anger stage without processing the real feelings underneath, or if they act out of anger and harm another person. When used as a sign that something is off, anger is a wonderful tool.

incapable of really *seeing* me and *hearing* me

I was very angry last night. I received another letter from someone who has hurt me deeply but won’t acknowledge their part in the  hurt. This person denies ever hurting me. This person goes so far as to act completely perplexed as to why I am hurt. Hearing this hurts even more. At least it did temporarily. The anger turned to hurt and sadness pretty quickly. And then the grief hit today. The letter I received made it so clear that this person will not take responsibility for the hurt they have caused. The clarity helped me see that I need to let go of the hope that things can be any different. I surrender to what is. The facts keep being shown to me. The fact that this person is incapable of really *seeing* me and *hearing* me. And this person is incapable of taking ownership of the hurt they have caused. So for me, I accept them for who they are, but that doesn’t mean I will subject myself to further hurt. People continue to hurt others when they are incapable of noticing how their words and actions affect others. I understand, but that doesn’t mean I will choose to be with people who do this.

I love myself and I have compassion for myself

So, I continue to let go. It is a process to be sure. It is not easy, but it is getting easier. It is difficult to truly let go of the hope that things will change. But if I hold on to hope, it keeps me suffering. It keeps me in a holding pattern so to speak. Waiting and hoping. Not a healthy way to live. So, I surrender to what is, I let go, I accept, and I send healing and love to those who have hurt me. If I find myself wishing for something to be different, or wishing for someone to finally understand and take responsibility for their actions, I am not letting go. I am holding on. It is a slow process. I have to remind myself often to trust the Universe. Everything happens for a reason, everything unfolds exactly as it should. I continue and I trust. And I send more love to them. I hear what they say and I remind myself that they are in pain. I surrender. I accept. I let go. And most importantly, I love myself and I have compassion for myself. I honor all of my feelings, and I allow myself to feel however I feel without judgment.

a song that helps me process my emotions

I want to share this song with you that I listen to when I feel angry. It is helpful when I know there are deeper feelings underneath the anger wanting to be felt. It really helps me feel my anger and then let it go so that the feelings underneath can come up. The meaning of the song has nothing to do with why I listen to it. I feel the emotion in the song, and I believe this is the reason it is helpful for me when I’m angry and I am having trouble allowing my emotions to emerge. 

It is Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready TO Make Nice”

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Posted in Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Nurture yourself, Self-love | No Comments »
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