Activity 2, Self-help: Your response now to the inappropriate responsibility.

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C.

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Self-Help   

2.   Imagine what you would say to your parents/abusers today about who was responsible.  As you speak to them, what feelings do you notice within yourself?

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C.

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I would say "Ignorance is a choice.  You chose to birth and raise me.  You chose not to learn how to raise me.  I had all of the signs of struggling child displayed by shyness, fearfulness, insecurity, and limited friendships.  Yet, you chose to focus on yourselves and your own dramas.  I was powerless and helpless, dependent upon you to learn how to survive emotionally.  Yet, you never took the time to respond to my emotions.  And if you didn’t know how to do so, you didn’t take the time to learn.  But you brought me in to this world so it WAS your responsibility.  Instead you ignored or corrected my painful emotions.  You parentized me to respond to YOUR emotions at the expense of my own wellness.  You fought in front of me.  All of this occurred frequently and persistently for the 18+ years that I lived in “my” home.  As a child you “taught” me not to trust myself and not to trust my emotions.  Since these are part of the core of the inner reality of any person you “taught” me that I was not of value, not important, not good, and not lovable. You chose ignorance.  Your choice wounded me deeply, at the core of my inner identity and left me emotionally handicapped and ill-prepared for the world.  It caused me to have C-PTSD, to not recognize healthy relationships, to feel insecure and to be irritable.  Your behavior hurt me in a way that will never leave.  I have a burden to carry forever.  I will recover.  I will heal.  It will happen because I and a few others will provide me with the type of love and support that you never provided."

I felt anger when I wrote this paragraph.  A fair and justified anger.

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VeryFoggy

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I wouldn’t even try.  Today, if we were still speaking, which we are not, they would deny it happened, they would say I was exaggerating, or they would say I was lying. And chastise me for saying such horrible untrue things about them. Their saintly selves.

What do I feel?  Futility. Utter futility.  Hopeless. Not worth the argument. Denial is their way of life. Not just a fleeting moment. They are still living in denial, which is why we don’t speak.  Because I refuse to live that way. And I refuse to have that conversation. It’s pointless.

But I do go talk to my child.  And I hug her, and I tell I love her, and tell her she is not bad, and that it wasn’t her fault, and I forgive her, and I hold her, and I wipe her tears ever so gently, and I tell her no one will ever do it to her ever again. And I tell her to go play when she feels better.

Oh and I scream in the car while driving. And I beat the steering wheel. And I call him names. And I have written many letters, unsent letters. Some are posted on Out Of The Fog. Some are private. MANY letters. And they are WAY too long for this forum.  But the letters help most of all.


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Kizzie

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Wow C, you did you grow up in my household?  It's almost eerie (but also very reassuring) to read that many of our parents were so similar. I don't have anything more I would write to my parents, you captured what I would say so well.  I love your phrase - "a fair and justified anger."   I am finding too that recovery is about realizing anger can actually be healthy and a sign of self-worth.   :hug:

Like you Very Foggy, I choose not to have the conversation with my actual parents because it is pointless.  My parents were broken at some fundamental level and would never understand that what they did was wrong. They strove to look like good parents, they just didn't have the ability to actually be good parents because they don't have that piece of being human that allows them to be grounded in reality and connect with others in an authentic and loving way.   :sadno:

All those years what I didn't understand was that I was up against a personality disorder.  And lord how I tried to break through over the years, but to no avail. I just could not connect with that thing inside of them that made them see or hear me, and it took realizing that it was me against a PD to understand and accept that there  isn't any point in trying. My FOO are simply and irrevocably broken and there is a peace of sorts in that.

I try to help my IC to understand this truth, that her parents were not and could never be the kind of parents she needed and deserved, but that she has me and I will take care of her.  Like you I let her be angry and cry about the ghosts of the past and then encourage her to go and play.  She likes the latter very much  ;D



« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 05:08:51 PM by Kizzie »

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marycontrary

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C., you precious thing, you literally took the words out of my mouth. Thanks! Here is your evil twin's take...

Me: You guys are a bunch of stupid jackasses for treating your awesome daughter/wife/ sister in a way that drove me completely away. It sucks to be you. You lost a very loyal, giving, and loving woman. However, I don't put up with this * now, and life is so wonderful. It is like a fairy tale. Sorry you are not a part of it, you epic bags of dicks...

Sorry for the curse words...please edit if necessary.  ;D

Yes, basically what C wrote.

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anosognosia

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C., you're leaps and bounds ahead of what I want to say to them. I wish I could have come up with that myself... one day I may be!

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Annegirl

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This helped a lot to read all the responses. I think mine would be closest to Mary contrary's…. I wish I could tell my mother that she doesn't know who i am. Who she made me was someone who didn't speak outside of the house who didn't know how to look after myself only how to do what other people told me even when i was starving , cold, not allowing people to give me gifts, be kind to me, help me out.  I was the one responsible in my "house of origin" responsible to raise my siblings at my young age and make sure my father was happy and fed. Now you "parents" through no fault of your own as you tried your best in the only way you knew how have washed your hands of me and my family. You know you're the ones missing out on the most wonderful grandchildren and sadly part of me is happy fr my children's sake and for the sake of giving you this 'revenge'

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C.

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Haha mi gemelita diabolica, Mary, too funny!  And thank you for the needed vehemence.  I found another evil angel so I think we're becoming triplets and she says the following:

"What the f*** were you thinking?  You pride yourselves on logic?  Science?  Intellect?  Love?  You hypocritical a*** h*****!!!  You are so stuuuuupid!!!!  Q mierda tienen en la mente!!!  Life is not all logic.  Humans have feelings.  Proven.  You cannot pretend them away.  You cannot ignore them away.  You f***** the word love when it fell out of your mouths.  It’s a lie from you.  What you did wasn’t love.  It was hellish, evil, pure unadulterated ego.  Nothing you’ve ever done has been for me.  Puta la gueva q son ignorantes!  So go back inside that hellhole you call a home.  Leave me alone.  You are self-absorbed, ignorant, vain, worms.  F*** you.  I hope that you mull over how you f*** up until eternity. I’ll do this myself.  I’m done with you.  Now, you feel the loneliness and the abandonment that I felt.  Ciao!"

 :cheer:    :waveline:    :cheer:

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Annegirl

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 :applause: I love it C.
 :hug:
!que buena!

Okay, I'll give it a shot. This feels slightly scary, strangely.

You were under a lot of pressure. I realize that. Who better than I? My brother spent a lot of his time in his room, or with his friends. My father was too ill. And no one else took the time to really look at us - to see through our pretenses and realize just how hard it really was to cope with Dad's illness. Our entire lives were built up around him. It was like cramming an elephant into a tiny room: there was room for very little else. He came first. We had to find a cure. If I'm honest, I still can't see a way how we could have avoided this. How anyone could have avoided this.

And for many years, that was all I saw. That was what I believed. "It was hard, but we had no choice." My eyes only opened to the reality of it when I had kids of my own. When my own life got stressful and I had as little energy as you had - and I still racked my brains on how to spend time with them, how to make their lives fun, how to make sure their needs were fulfilled. My oldest isn't an easy child, she's as sensitive as I ever was and as unlikely to just say what's bothering her. But I'm going out of my way to make sure I'm treating her differently than you treated me. Because even while I was still in denial about what happened to me, I knew this deep in my bones: that NO WAY am I ever going to treat my babies the way you treated me.

Your chores always came first. The house had to be pristine. We always had to keep up appearances. We had to be very wary of the outside world - but you never put the blame on the outside world: "people are like that, they're shallow and likely to believe the first impression they have of someone" - so yes, maybe it's like that - but why couldn't you just cheerfully say: "so pick which ones you want to impress and tell the rest to sod off"? Nooo, it was all: "--and therefore, you must always take care that your appearance is above reproach". Your life was chaotic and out of control - so you made up for it by controlling me. You saw that I was suffering, that I couldn't cope, that even our daily life was insupportable to me ---- and what did you do? You told me what attitude I ought to have. And then you left me to it. And it's b******* to say that you simply "didn't have enough time". For when your chores were done and my father was taken care of, you chose to occupy yourself with your siblings' constant drama, you chose to do charity work, you chose to do anything but spend time with me or take adequate care of yourself. You did have a choice. You could have seen how bad it was for me. You didn't. And every time I told you, you left me to it.

You left me to die. That's overdramatizing things a bit, of course. But that's how it felt. A death of the soul. I could feel how the damage kept on creeping deeper and deeper. I could feel how I lost layer after layer of my true self, my inner power, my sense of self-worth. I could feel that I slowly ceased being me. It was terrifying.

And you told me what attitude I ought to have and then left me to it. You saw that I was crying every day, that I had no friends, that I was struggling, and you told me to "find my joy in doing my duty". I was depressed, and you told me to fix it with hospital corners and keeping a neat notebook for my school work. If only I'd have used an ink eraser instead of just crossing things out! Ah, then happiness would surely have settled on me like spring dew. But nooo, I kept on crossing things out and I was chronically late and my room was a mess. So you washed your hands off of me.

I gave you more than enough time to reconnect with me. We were fine all through the Nineties - because I'd learned to cope with things by adopting a strong Fawn/Flight response. You approved. You liked how fast I was when I was doing my chores. You liked how neat I looked. You liked how successful I was. You liked that the focus of our conversations could be entirely on your concerns: on your plans for the house, your chores, your protegés. When I was depressed, jobless, grieving for a good friend, and struggling with PTSD, you went back to how you'd always dealt with that. You told me what attitude I ought to have, and you left me to it. You told me to do my chores properly. I was so depressed I was fighting suicidal thoughts, and you talked at length about how important was to make one's bed in the mornings. That entire story, and THAT was what you focussed on: hospital corners.

Get out. I'm done. I'm through. I'm done with your mindgames. I'm done with your hints. I've completely and utterly and absolutely lost any patience I ever had with your constant warnings, your constant worried looks, your constant reminders that I do my duty. I'm done with the manipulation. And I'm absolutely, one hundred percent done with your constant over-control. Get out. You chose to keep your distance. Now go keep it.

And you know what? For the first time in forever, my attitude is just fine.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 09:20:32 AM by schrödinger's cat »

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marycontrary

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Good Job ladies!!!

 :bighug:

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C.

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Thank you everyone for your encouragement  and Spanish words.  Mil gracias!

And Cat. you go girl, you told her what needed to be said and yes, your attitude is wonderful.  Your attitude is perfect.  For me "perfect" means it's exactly as it needs to be at that moment. 

Make your bed when and if you feel like it, how you feel like!  Personally I have a big down comforter that I can just throw on top of the sheets haha  ;D


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Annegirl

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SC i really feel what you wrote. its awesome. Very deep and i so get it.  :hug: