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 »

letting go of the outcome

Written by Amie on July 18, 2013 – 2:56 am -

“The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.” ~Osho

 

not conforming to dysfunctional ways

I had about a month of not having to deal with people accusing me of ruining things. What “ruining things”  means to me is that I shook things up by not conforming to what other people wanted me to do. I didn’t go back to “business as usual”. This felt really good to have some time away from the unhealthy actions of people who were living in their roles of the victim.  Sad, but good. And then today, another form letter arrived in my mailbox. I call it a form letter because it is words written down that have no feeling in them whatsoever, besides an attempt to guilt me in hopes that I will say, “sure, let’s go back to the way things were.” It is so very sad to me that some people may never face their emotional pain. Instead, they project their negativity onto those around them, especially any loved ones that allow them to. They project their negativity onto others, blaming the other people instead of facing the truth. It is easier to do this, I get it. And it is hard work to face years and years of dysfunctional behavior. But, it is also the only way to heal yourself and to heal relationships that have been harmed.  

DEAL with the affects of alcoholism and enabling and unhealthy behavior

Unhealthy behavior can be blamed on alcoholism, on drug abuse, etc etc. However, my question is always, “what is the alcoholic or the recovering alcoholic, or the person overeating, or shopping too much, etc. covering up?” What feelings and experiences are they avoiding that they aren’t ready to face? Instead of facing their pain, they tend to lash out and hurt others. It can be verbally, emotionally, or physically, or all of these.  I get it, it is painful work to face emotional pain. Yes, people are affected by loved ones who have addictions. I get it. I have been affected by alcoholic behavior. I was also affected by enabling behavior. I get that too. I was forced to draw a boundary. I had to if I wanted to keep myself healthy. To further my own healing. To DEAL with the affects of alcoholism and enabling and unhealthy behavior (instead of just blaming alcoholism, I took action). I have worked through many of the issues that have stemmed from this. Years of undoing the unhealthy behaviors I learned. It gets very tiring to hear someone telling me I have been affected by alcoholism. I get it. I know. I took action. Stop using this as a way to avoid looking at your own pain and avoid taking action by continuing to tell me  I was affected. I get it, it is more convenient to blame everything on something so that no action has to be taken.  Other people, on the other hand, have not taken action to change their situation and begin their healing. Therefore, boundaries must be put in place. If a person chooses to live a certain way, I am okay with that. But please don’t ask me to pretend I am okay with living that way. I love myself enough to take good care of myself. Please stop trying to put blame where blame doesn’t belong. It is what steps you take in order to take your power back, to begin healing , that will change things. If no steps are taken, the unhealthy person or people will continue on down the road hurting others and not taking responsibility for their actions.

But don’t expect others to be the target for your anger and lies

The truth is that I wish healing for all those I love. That doesn’t mean I want to subject myself to disrespectful, unhealthy, and sometimes very mean behavior. I won’t. It means I will send them love from afar and let go of the outcome. I have to let go. I have to take care of myself and my family. I have been doing my own work for years now. I don’t care if someone disagrees with my going to therapy, or to therapy in general. I’m not trying to tell you what to do, I am doing what is best for me. I only wish healing for all. Staying in denial can be a necessary thing for some people. I get it. Sometimes it truly is just too painful. I understand. But don’t expect others to be the target for your anger and lies. You will have to deal with that yourself. Again, I will send you love from afar. If you don’t understand where I am coming from, it might be helpful to find a therapist that will support you. I only wish some people understood that doing inner work creates self-love. It can be frustrating to hear that some people believe therapy is about sitting with the therapist and bashing those who have caused you pain.  Healthy therapy is not that at all. Healthy therapy is being supported on the journey to self-love. It is about truth, it is about taking responsibility for your actions, behaviors, and words. It is about taking ownership of your life. It is learning to be truthful about your feelings and learning to feel your emotions! It is about being gentle with yourself while you unlearn beliefs and thoughts that were never true to begin with. I still believe all is exactly as it should be. I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing. Everything happens for a reason. It is a process. Be real. Be truth. Be love. Be authentic. Heal. Grow. Love. Find your truth. Live your truth. Be brave. Be courageous. Love yourself through it all. Be gentle.

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Posted in Awareness, Connection, Healing & personal growth, healing from depression, Self hate, Self-love | 2 Comments »
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