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struggling to keep going

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This topic contains 38 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  anita 3 days, 16 hours ago.

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  • #215855

    caroline
    Participant

    Yes that fits for me. My family are very different from how I want them to be which conflicts with my belief is not having much worth. My mind  says ‘who do you think you are, your not important enough to have standards of what you will accept and not accept’  ‘your so deluded when you think your ok as you are because no one likes you, deep down you know this is true, where are all the people in your life, there isn’t anyone because nobody cares about you, they just feel sorry for you and occasionally use you for something or dump there stuff on you because they know your desperate for any kind of attention and so unsure of yourself that they can dump there crap on you so they can feel better’

    I know the hard truth is despite my need for connection and belonging I must go without and gradually spend less time with them and hopefully meet other people that genuinley like me. I know you usually advise people to cut ties permanently with the family members that have done the original damage in order to heal but do you think seeing them on a rare basis could still help me heal?

     

    #215863

    anita
    Participant

    Dear caroline:

    A child perceives reality correctly. There are no previous experiences to distort the perception of reality, for a young child. This is truly what reality was in your early life, you really were “not important enough” to your parents. There really was no one there for you (“there isn't anyone”), and they really “dumped their stuff on you because they know you're desperate for any kind of attention and so unsure of yourself that they can dump their crap on you so they can feel better”.

    But not because you were not worthy of being treated as important enough, and not because there was something wrong with you.

    You asked me: “do you think seeing them on a rare basis could still help me heal?”- I don't think seeing them on any  basis will help you heal.

    I think that seeing them triggers hope that can never be materialized (a redo of childhood),  and it triggers the messages they instilled in you, reinforcing the experiences of childhood. In a sense, by interacting with them your childhood keeps happening. What do you think?

    anita

    #215905

    caroline
    Participant

    A few  replies did not send which is frustrating so ill try and tie it together the best i can.

    it does not trigger hope anymore with my mum but it still does with my dad but what does continue to happen is me feeling like i have to hide who i really am and the weight of the sadness combined from both parents passing the energy onto me. i am left feeling unseen, unheard, misunderstood and depressed about my life.

    i do think the amount of therapy i have had over the years, the more awareness i now have and the healthier changes i have made and still want to create does count towards healing? I think i may have said before in a previous post that alot of the material of the work that was explored in therapy was about forgiveness, forgiving myself mainly for my parental mistakes i have made which naturally turned  towards my family and the way thet have treated me. i see it as a contradiction as i need to feel compassion towards myself for mistakes i have made and this has been guided to approach it by seeing myself as doing what i felt was right at the time with the limited resources i had. hurt people hurt other people and its the same for my parents. as im writing this i realise i may be confusing forgiveness with acceptance. although its a long way off where i can imagine a life without them, if or when i am presented with the opportunity to cut ties, this would be the hardest part of all of it even more than all the hurt i have felt as i dont want to hurt them by abandoning them. when i look at my parents i see broken adult children who never got what they needed either, how could i do that to them?

    putting my parents aside, who am i without my family? i am a small person in a small world with no money of my own, no friends (only one) no relationship (i really want one but im really scared my anxiety will show up again as it usually does and having to feel so much shame when they get to know me and then of course waiting for the rejection) unemployed as i dont know what to do with my career so to cut ties with my family would isolate me completely and then i would really have no confidence to take risks.  im so eager to be with someone right now that i would probably end up being needy and moving the relationship too fast.

    is it ok to continue doing what makes me feel good until i feel a bit more confident with getting into a relationship or am i putting off the vulnerability that always comes in any relationship? do you think im in a position to look for a relationship? sorry if this is too many questions.

     

     

    #215967

    anita
    Participant

    Dear caroline:

    You wrote: “I don't want to hurt them (your parents) by abandoning them. When I look at my parents I see broken adult children… how could I do that to them?”-

    I relate to this thinking/feeling very much. I saw my mother as a little girl in pain and her pain was all that mattered to me. I couldn't imagine not being in contact with her, thinking it will kill her to not be in contact with me, that it would be too painful for her.

    This is what I learned: when a child grows up with lack of empathy, unseen and unheard, the child makes up for the lack of empathy by feeling lots of empathy toward the parent, and focusing on them a whole lot, seeing and hearing them, overly so.

    A child is one mental entity with the parent. If the parent is not seeing the child, the child will make up for this lack by seeing a whole lot of the parent. If the parent expresses no empathy for the child, the child will make up for this lack by feeling a whole lot of empathy for the parent.

    You wrote about your experience with your parents: “I am left feeling unseen, unheard, misunderstood”- So you do all the seeing, hearing and understanding.

    Only that because of that  one mental unit we start as, we really see ourselves when we see them. I did that: in reality I was the child, but I felt that my mother was the child. In reality I felt that I couldn't live without her. But I felt that she couldn't live without me. In reality I needed her, but I felt that she needed me.

    “do you think I am I'm in a position to look for a relationship?”- if you can take it slowly and get to know a man first, before developing a deep attachment to him, and based on what you learn about him figure if it is a good idea to move forward, then yes, you are in a position to look for a relationship. Need to plan the looking so to maximize your chances of finding the right man for you. It is all in the cautious, patient and wise planning and executing.

    anita

    #216193

    caroline
    Participant

    ive beem thinking more about what you said about how to continue to spend time with them just reinforces the need to want to be loved by them. i thought i was ok with it but its not that simple is it.. today my mum was in hospital and i witnessed her feeling happier about being there, getting so much attention from doctors and nurses and of course myself, sister and my dad. i really did see her as a helpless child today and still manipulating the conversation under these horrible circumstances. im a believer in our mental and emotional reressed thpughts and feelings manifest physically if its given the attention and care it deserves. i wish my mum felt the desire to want to make better life style choices because she has a family but my mum always puts others on pedestals and speaks highly of how kind and caring other people are and how she prefers them. my dad is quite similar in this respect. on the way over to the hospital i was alone with my sister in the car and once again she started putting me down and bullying me. ive decided i know longer want her or my mum in my life after today. im still holding out for my dad even though deep down i know he doesnt really care too much about me either. it will be hard doing this though as she has promised a day trip with my daughter where my neice and nephew will be going too (she doesnt get to see enough of them as it is due to my brother in law and my sister) cutting off my sister means never seeing my neice and nephew again well not intil their older as i know she will use them as a weapon against me, i feel really angry towards her at the moment and in a way it feels good because ive made up my mind, i just dont want to lose my neice and nephew as their still very young and she will probably turn them against me and of course my daughter losing them too. is this the price i will have to pay to respect myself and think of my own wellbeing?

    #216195

    caroline
    Participant

    sorry for the spelling mistakes

    #216239

    anita
    Participant

    Dear caroline:

    I didn't notice any spelling mistakes.

    “is this the price I will have to pay to respect myself and think of my own wellbeing?”, not seeing your sister's children, you mean?

    I suppose so, but it is not such a bad idea to not see them at the point that they take on the.. family tradition of disrespecting you: your father making fun of you, your mother rolling her eyes, your sister putting you down and bullying you. Is it not a matter of time before your nieces and nephews “catch” the sentiment?

    My point today: you were born with as much value as any other person. You are as valuable as any other person in the world. In the context of your family, you were treated as one of little to no value. And this treatment is ongoing in the present. For you to experience well being, it is necessary that you feel and believe that you are valuable. This feeling and belief is impossible in the context of your family.

    So got to remove yourself from the context that maintains un-wellness.

    The great majority of people who are treated disrespectfully by their families do not remove themselves from their families but instead, keep trying and trying and hoping and trying. They keep trying even when they think they gave up, sort of on automatic, still trying.

    anita

    #216351

    caroline
    Participant

    yesterday was the final straw for me. my sister putting me down calling me a weirdo because i didnt want to talk to her and my mum almost smiling as she said this, when i stick up for myself im the bad guy. im always having to fight my own corner against my family and im sick of it. my dad is also two-faced. we worked together yesterday and a customer was quite rude to him about the work that had been done (she was quite within her rights though as my dad is not as good as he used to be so he cuts corners where he can) i didnt like the way she spoke to him and because my dad normally never will say what he really thinks of people that annoy him he said nothing, (the lady was quite patronising) i interrupted and commented about how she spoke to him. she responded to humiliate me in front of my dad and he said nothing. im so angry for feeling sorry for him and standing up for him. later on that day when we had a chance to speak about it, he done what he normally does, appears to be caring and on my side and then said do you think you could have handled her as she is so qualified? what an invalidation. when he relayed what happened to my mum later at hospital, my intention was just to explain it the way i understood it and how it had already been discussed with my dad, he showed a different side to him in front of my mum, again making me feel himiliated, potraying that i didnt handle the customers comment well. it doesnt sound like alot but to work with my dad takes huge effort on my part and i dont like how i end up behaving. i become aggressive and i end up embarrassing myself which triggers all my shame.

    i could go on and on about my family but it doesnt really matter because i dont want them in my life anymore. i want to do it gradually instead of abruptly to make it easier.

     

    you have really helped me anita to have the courage to see this for what it is and even with potentially losing my niece and nephew. i have thought about it and they already look down on me anyway and so does my daughter because as much as i dont want to sound like a victim all my family have put me down or abused me. i have tried to protect them in my own way to help them feel less unhappy but i realise now my efforts have been a waste of time so they already will carry on with the family tradition. my sister is a very toxic person and i worry about the harm she might cause as she has already said she is gonna get involved with my daughter currently living with her dad because she thinks im not doing enough (very hypocritical of her as her husband takes drugs in the family home and has a horrible temper)

    i have been really honest with myself and have decided that i dont have to feel guilty for not wanting them in my life anymore when all they do is hurt me. im just trying to be myself. being around them knocks my confidence and i end up feeling bad about myself, this will not help. i realise this more than ever now. i now have to learn how to change these habits of mine especially when i am lonely or need financial support from them. i dont want to depend on them for anything but im scared of not having money and not having anyone if their was a crisis that could happen, being alone and afraid.

    #216355

    anita
    Participant

    Dear caroline:

    When it is a family tradition, a consensus, that you are unworthy, when a family bullies one of its members repeatedly, on an ongoing basis, three generations, yes, it is time to leave that family. What you describe is not uncommon: bullying within the family does happen. There is no changing of this dynamic, only exiting it.

    Again, there is no changing it. This is your role in this family. Not your fault and not of your doing.  There is nothing you can do to change this role, one that was chosen for you, one that newer members learn from older members and continue.

    You wrote, “I'm scared of not having money and not having anyone if there was a crisis that could happen, being alone and afraid”- I am very much aware of how powerful fear is. And I am aware of financial concerns. I can see how you can get scared in certain circumstances and turn to that family for financial help and emotional support (the bits that you can get in-between the put downs).

    I recommend this one thing: when that happens, that is, when you feel scared and turn to them,  keep in mind your current awareness of who they are and who you are. Keep in mind that you are a worthy person turning toward people who will, once again and forever more, treat you as if you were unworthy.

    And do write anytime, about anything.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 3 days, 16 hours ago by  anita.
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