letting go; it is a process

Written by Amie on March 26, 2014 – 3:14 am -

bypassing old protective programming

It seems as though there are endless opportunities to practice letting go of the things that can’t be the way I want them to be. It is so interesting to me when I *know* something intellectually, but it isn’t quite resonating with me in my body emotionally. For example, in my life right now there are a few people who I really wish would *wake up*. I am not saying this in a judgmental way. Not at all. I’m saying that I wish they would have that “a-ha” moment when they realize how much they have hurt people they love, including me. The moment when their heart bypasses their old protective programming and their  human vulnerability comes  forward. I find myself wanting to tell them how hurtful their words and actions have been, but I know my feelings will be dismissed and I will be told I am angry and hateful. It is frustrating and very sad that we can’t have a conversation as people who, on some deep level, care about each other. On some deep level, beyond the defensiveness and the conditioned beliefs we have learned, lie two souls who just want to be loved and connected.

charge-hug

 I was closed up tight

It sounds so simple when I look at it from this point of view. I honestly believe it could be simple, but only if all parties are willing to put aside their armor, and just express their truth. Instead, I have to keep my boundaries, otherwise I continually get hurt. I understand exactly where they are coming from. I remember wearing my armor so tight that nothing could get in. I couldn’t admit to a mistake, I couldn’t admit I needed something, I couldn’t admit I was hurting. I was closed up tight. And this is why it is so difficult for me. I understand exactly where they are coming from, and at the same time, I crave an authentic connection with them that will never be unless they become conscious of their own wounds and begin to heal. It is contrast at every turn for me. I am not the same person they used to know. I am who I was born to be now. So I don’t relate in the same ways to people anymore. It is difficult to be around the old behaviors. It is difficult to be around the dysfunction, that in the past, had intensified my self hate.

focus on *how I feel* in a situation

I used to think something was terribly wrong with me because I felt one thing in my body, while at the same time, I was told a completely different truth. (It was a way to keep the facade going that everything was perfect and wonderful) I couldn’t figure out the inconsistent feelings for a very long time. I have since learned to focus on *how I feel* in a situation, not what someone else tells me is true. Trusting how I feel has been, and still is a difficult practice for me. Some days it clicks and I trust without a problem. Other times I question every single thing people say and do, and I doubt my gut feelings. I’m getting there, albeit slowly. It is a re-learning, it is a process. It is still tricky for me sometimes when someone sends me a note with words that, years ago I would have thought, “this is nice’. (While also feeling crappy inside, and assuming its just me,  something is wrong with *me* if I can’t see that this person is being nice) I received a birthday card the other day, that appeared to be a birthday card, but was really an attempt at guilting me. To some, it may have been considered “nice”. However, I am able to translate, or decode words from people now. I know the patterns.

 unresolved emotional wounds

I always come back to this: why do I want to spend time with people who can only see themselves as victims. By this I mean no matter what is said, they turn it around as though they are being attacked. They reach out in the same manner  that  worked on me in the past. Guilt and shame got me every time. I would feel so guilty that I would never question the behavior of these people, and I would go back every single time. I would go back to living the dysfunction I felt familiar with. Until I started waking up and realizing my true self was completely buried. And slowly, I had to distance myself. Then a year ago, I had to draw even deeper boundaries. Here we are over a year later, and they not willing to look within themselves to see how their actions have hurt. Hurt deeply. Had I not begun the process of waking up, I would be hurt over and over again. Because each time they ignore the needs of others, the hurt is compounded. Each time they twist the truth, they cause deeper hurt. Each time they use guilt to try to persuade, they cut deeper. This is the part I have a hard time letting go of. The fact that they refuse to truly accept how their behavior affects those they claim to love. I am no longer a victim to this behavior. Yes, it is difficult to understand, but I also know its not about me. They are acting and speaking from their unresolved emotional wounds.

I know for sure

It gets easier for me to let go when I am reminded of just how dysfunctional this situation is. At the very beginning of this situation, when someone very close to me was hurt, nobody came to her to see how she was doing. Instead, they ran to the side of the person who did the hurting. This is when I know for sure I am doing the right thing. This is when I know for sure I am breaking the cycle, at least for my own family. And still, it is difficult to let go of the hope that things will ever be healthy. It is a process…..

Great clip with Brene Brown about having the courage to be vulnerable.

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Posted in Awareness, Connection, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Self hate, Self-love | No Comments »

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 »
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