Dysfunction runs deep

Written by Amie on May 20, 2013 – 3:00 am -

 I am not responsible for others’  feelings or their emotional pain

It is a really good feeling knowing I don’t have to respond to people who act in dysfunctional ways toward me. Setting boundaries feels very empowering. It was not easy doing this with people I have been interacting with for a good portion of my life. I can have compassion for them *and* I can ignore their pleas to engage in unhealthy behavior. I don’t have to respond even when they are accusing me of untrue things such as being full of anger and hate. In the past,  I may have felt the need to defend these lies, but today I know the truth, and that is all that matters to me. I have never felt more at peace than I do right now, which makes it a bit easier to ignore their words.  I don’t have to respond even when they are saying hateful and cruel things about me. It took me years of healing work to get to where I am today. It feels really good to be in this healthy place! I know how much I have grown, because I am able to hear words today that would have been so incredibly hurtful a few years back,without believing them and turning them against myself. I have learned that cruel, hateful words are not about me, they are about the person saying them. Today I am able to see that the person or people hurling these cruel words at me are in deep denial and deep emotional pain. And I am relieved to know for sure, that I am not responsible for their feelings or their pain. They are trying to say I am responsible. That’s okay if they want to say that. I know my truth and that’s all that matters. It feels so good to see through the “nonsense”. I see clearly how people “project” their own emotional pain onto those around them.

 emotional projection

I have been learning a lot about emotional projection. It took me awhile to really understand what it is. The Universe must have thought I needed an example to help me understand it better! Someone who claims to love me accused me of being filled with hate and anger. In so many words, they are saying that since I am not going along with the protocol so to speak (which means I am changing a pattern that was deeply set for years) and I am speaking my truth, it must be because I am filled with anger and hate. I find this fascinating. This person is completely convinced that I am acting dysfunctional, when in reality I am standing up for myself and I am saying “NO” to unhealthy behavior. This person is calling me disrespectful because I refuse to continue unhealthy behavior. I am saying, “no, I will no longer participate in the pretend everything is ‘normal’ game”. In reality, this person is angry and resentful at someone else but is  saying *I* am the angry and resentful one. Instead of dealing with his/her true feelings and the circumstances they are living with, they have chosen to blame me, saying it is *me* who is causing the problems. It fascinates me what the mind is capable of making us believe.

others may dig their heals in to hold on tight to what they know

Dysfunction runs deep. If one person in a close-knit group begins changing the group dynamic by growing emotionally and getting healthy, the whole group starts shifting. Some of the group members may also begin growing and healing, while others may dig their heels in to hold on tight to what they know. Even those members who know the group is unhealthy may still choose to stay with the way things “have always been”. Even tragedy may not change the way they do things. Keeping things the same may still win out even if one of the members snaps, goes into a  rage, and threatens another person in the group. The other members have learned to protect the “group leader” so to speak. It is the way it has always been done, so some people have a very difficult time changing what feels familiar. Some  may even blame the group members who are getting healthy rather than calling out the unhealthy behavior of another member.  I know from personal experience how hard it is to change and heal from dysfunctional behavior. I also know I couldn’t live in the dysfunction anymore, so for me, there was no choice but to face the truth. I couldn’t pretend that the way things were, felt good or healthy to me. They didn’t! In fact, they felt completely insane! In order to heal, I knew I had to break away at least for awhile until I was capable of being around the dysfunction while also being able to maintain my own well being.

 give yourself permission to set boundaries

My well being is my priority. Others have to take care of their own well being. (I am talking about adults here). I realized a few years ago that I was sort of the peacekeeper of this group. I was the one who took on the emotions of others so they could remain comfortable. I suffered. In a big big way. My well being was not my priority back then and my health paid the price. I was so deep in depression, I can’t begin to describe it. And since I am on the other side of it now, I can see how dysfunctional patterns become so ingrained in some people, that they will not even consider that maybe there is another way of being in the world. I have compassion for people who are suffering and for those who may not see another way of being. I can have compassion, but I can’t heal their wounds for them. It is up to each individual to heal their own wounds. I will not take on the poison words from people who choose to live in an unhealthy way. I will not tolerate behavior that feels hateful and that comes from a place of emotional unconsciousness. I am in a healthy place and I plan to stay here. If any of this scenario rings true for you, I hope this will encourage you to give yourself permission to set boundaries in your life so that you can heal and grow to be healthy and happy. Setting boundaries is such an important step to take on the journey to self-love.

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