Archive for dysfunctional relationship
I grew up receiving the message that I was not that important. My feelings were invalidated and my emotional needs were discounted. And ‘that’ causes some life-long belief systems to develop when it comes to self-care and self-love. Learning that I was not important led me to discounting myself. This led to putting myself and my needs last and to breaking agreements that I made with myself. Breaking agreements with myself leads to not trusting myself in the same way that I don’t trust other people who break agreements with me.
The start of a new year always reminds me of this issue. I love the beginning of a new year. I relate a new year to a new page, a new blank slate that I can fill up in any way that I want. A new year brings new choices, new opportunities and new adventures. I often think in terms of “this year I am going to…..” and when I don’t do what I promise myself I will do, I damage the relationship I am building with myself. I damage my self-trust.
When I first noticed that I was doing this and that I didn’t actually trust myself because of it, my solution was to stop making agreements with myself. That didn’t pan out to be the best answer because the message that I was giving myself was this: If I can’t keep agreements with myself I won’t agree to anything at all. And that thought is related to many of the abuse tactics that I lived with for so long. For example in the past when I got upset with my husband for always being late, his solution was to stop agreeing to any specific time. (he admits today that he thought this was a genius idea and also admits that it was abusive) So he would call and ask if I wanted to go with him somewhere, but he would not tell me Read More→
Happy New Year! Welcome to Emerging from Broken 2013!
I talk about the belief system and how it is developed and how we are brainwashed into believing that the problem is us in the first place. There are specific abuse tactics that are used to cement this brainwashing which cause the ‘fear of consequences’ for going against the controller in a dysfunctional relationship. One of these tactics is ‘punishment’ or ‘fear of punishment’ and like so many other abuse tactics it is very often issued in a way that is hard for the receiver of that punishment to put a finger on it. Remember that the foundation is laid very carefully to discredit a child in an abusive or dysfunctional family and to make sure the child is always looking at themselves when it comes to where the problem originated or who it originated with. This part of the grooming process is usually rooted in psychological abuse although it is often cemented via other types of abuse.
There are many ways to punish people without physically hitting them or calling them names. There are tactics such as “the silent treatment” “withdrawal of attention” or “withdrawal of interest”, in other words “rejection” and those abuse tactics communicate a message very clearly, even if we are not consciously aware of that message. When we are kids and an adult uses psychologically abusive methods to ‘punish’, most kids understand the consequence of their action (rejection) but don’t always recognize the actual message with any clarity or consciousness. Then, the way that we learn this acceptance of the message without questioning it very deeply (out of fear of the consequences), is carried into adulthood with us, therefore as adults we don’t see the tactics we have already been successfully groomed to accept without question. But the fear of the consequences may be very much still in control of the now adult victim.
For example, the time my father-in-law took my 2 year old son out of the farm yard without telling me he was taking him. I freaked, thinking my baby crawled under the fence and was lost in one of the many fields or had been mauled by a cow or had been cornered by a coyote. We have literally miles of land. I jumped in my car to go get my husband and there was my father in law, with my husband in one of our hayfields with our 2 year old son. Without thinking (normally I would never have stood up to him) I told him to never take our child out of the yard again without letting me know. He got angry with me! He was so angry that he spat out that he would never take him again.
There was something about the way he said it though that gave me an erie feeling as though I was the one that had done something wrong. I agonized over that whole thing, justifying to myself that I was right, that I HAD to know where my son was, that I could not actually be expected to just “wonder” where he might be at any given time. But I was really scared too because I had dared to Read More→
I watched a show the other day where the in-laws were totally against the daughter-in-law and the whole family (the husbands parents and grown siblings) went on the show to publically gain validation that they were ‘right’ to be against her even though her husband was totally FOR her. They were all insisting that he couldn’t really be in love with her. And if they couldn’t conceive of it, then it must not be so. They dictated ‘respect’ to her. They demanded that she have respect for them but it wasn’t mutual respect, it was that one sided kind of respect. She was supposed to respect them even while they looked down on her and they were very open about their beliefs that their son had made a mistake in marrying her. These people ganged up on the woman (and it seemed to me to be because she had different viewpoints than they did) and never considered that the grown son/brother had a choice or could think and make decisions for himself. The married couple had been together for around 10 years and had two children but his parents and siblings refused to believe that he had chosen his wife and that he was happy with his choice! They insisted that his wife changed him, and that he wasn’t ‘himself’ anymore. They begged him to “come back”.
The grandparents were so disrespectful of their daughter-in-law that they justified disregarding the daughter-in-laws rules when it came to the children and they publically refused to respect her choices when it came to those children. These parents/grandparents thought they had a ‘right’ to do and say whatever they wanted!
It really reminded me of my life and the way my in-laws regarded me. And because of their actions and disregard, my in-laws lost their son and their grandkids. I was just someone who could cook for family dinners or christmas and holidays and do the mundane chores for their son so he could work more for them. I know they didn’t care about me or about losing me. They never approved of me in the first place; but I am pretty sure they didn’t consider that they might lose him.
When my husband drew HIS boundary, his family blamed me. (This is not so surprising when you think about it; abusive controlling people always blame someone else and never look at their own actions.)
BUT when I look at this through the grid of truth, the way that he was treated by them, why on earth didn’t they think he might draw the line somewhere? Looking at the way they Read More→
“It is only when we feel deprived that we resent giving to others. Self-care does not mean you stop caring about others; it just means you start caring more about you. Start thinking about yourself more and others less. Since you have a choice between taking care of someone else, or giving to yourself, try choosing yourself sometimes.” The Right to Innocence by Beverly Engel
In a dysfunctional relationship, there is an imbalance in the way that each person is considered. In a relationship based on equal value, everyone’s needs are considered. In a healthy relationship based on the true definition of love, everyone matters. I have tried very hard to teach and model healthy relationship in this website with the readers here.
Once in a while I post a request for donations at the end of a new article. This is the first time that I have ever posted a blog post about it on a main page about it. I hate asking for donations because sometimes I get nasty emails from people accusing me of doing this blog for money; I have been compared to ‘abusers’ because I asked for donations. This is very upsetting because for six years now, (three with this website) I have done everything to contribute to the healing of others without any thought to my own gain. And I have become aware that I discount myself in doing so. In order to ensure that ‘other people’ are comfortable, I have discounted myself, which is exactly what I did in the past with my relationships with my family and what I write about here in Emerging from Broken.
I have heard some bizarre things from people when I have requested donations at the bottom of a blog post. More than once people have said to me “well I WAS going to donate until you asked”. (I have no idea what that means! When I don’t ask no one donates!) Sometimes people stop commenting when I ask for donations. I posted a request for donations on facebook once and no one clicked the like button or commented, which is really odd because normally I get at least 80 likes per status update in the facebook page for EFB. The message that I get from this is that nobody ‘liked’ me asking for my needs to be met… and that also reminds me of the dysfunctional family system that I write about here in Emerging from Broken.
Very often people send me advice about how to change the website to a membership site that people have to pay for. But the thing is that I don’t want to change the site; It works this way. It is free to ALL. It is helping people; whoever wants to access the information on it. I know that not everyone can afford to hire me to do one on one work, just like I know that not everyone who reads my work can afford to give a donation to it, but I want you to understand that free content is not free. I pay a webmaster monthly to do the security and back-ups and updates on this site. I pay for the auto responder and the hosting fees. The way that I developed this community was and still is intentional. I don’t do it for me; I already know all this stuff. This is my gift to a hurting world. I am working on a Read More→
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. find out what it means to YOU………
A lot of my emotional healing grew out of realizing the truth about some of the concepts that I had been taught wrong. The people who were in a position of power in my life taught me a lot of false definitions of words like love, respect, relationship, trust, forgiveness and a few others. Growing up from so young with the false definitions I had been taught caused me to automatically accept them as the truth.
Yesterday on my previous post “how to recognize when your best interest are not being considered” when referring to her mother a commenter wrote “I am sure she thinks she deserves to be respected…” and it got me thinking about how much learning the truth about definitions of certain key words and concepts helped me in my process of overcoming depression, trauma and low self-esteem.
When I refer to a person in a position of power I am not just referring to our teachers, the police, or judges or government. I am also referring to “our elders” and our families. My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were all in a positions of power in my life. My in-laws were in a position of power in my marriage and in our lives. All these people were in that power position because they were “the adults” and I was a child. In my childhood that meant that they were right and I was wrong. In my adulthood, this belief didn’t change because they never let it. In both cases (as a child and as an adult) this is called a dysfunctional relationship because the elders decide and communicate that not everyone in the relationship has equal value.
It was a huge part of my survival mode to go along with these false teachings and when I became an adult I still believed the false truth that Read More→
Today I was thinking about how many emails I get from people who sincerely want to find validation. Unfortunately most of them want validation from the people who invalidated them in the first place. I am always thinking about ways to communicate WHY hurt people seem to think that if the people who invalidated in the first place would finally validate, then life would be so much better. It is the way our belief systems have been fed and formed that is at the root of this dilemma. And there are MANY hidden false truths back there that govern the confusion we are dealing with.
It occurs to me that the people in my own life who invalidated me had this kind of “if you don’t comply ~ Good-bye” attitude towards me. In realizing that truth I remembered that my mother always said “if you don’t like it, lump it.” I don’t remember if I ever wondered what the hell that meant but I always took it to mean that if I didn’t like it, too dang bad. And that means the exact same thing as “if you don’t comply, good-bye”. When I got older she started to say Read More→
I am an advocate for truth. I am an advocate for the truth that leads to freedom, wholeness and healing. I am an advocate for the truth that leads to healthy self esteem, the true definition of love and equal value for adults and children, bosses and employees, teachers and students because in the eyes of the truth, we are ALL people with equal value. Although we may have more authority in some situations, we do not suddenly reach a certain age or status which gives us more value than someone else has.
I will no longer do what “they” have decided is best for me to do or what “they” think I should do. I will do what I believe is right and best for me. When others tell me what to do or what I am doing wrong according to them, my ability to make decisions for myself is insulted and that kind of put down is devaluing.
I am not going to be who others say I am or who others want me to be. I am who I really am. No one else can define me. When I am defined by others I feel judged and unappreciated and it stifles my ability to be who I AM.
Taking my life back means that I am in charge of it now. I am the captain of my own ship. My happiness does not depend on someone else’s happiness anymore. In learning what was best for me and living in that definition, I empower all those around me to Read More→
Some people act as though they believe that there is not enough love in the world to go around. They act as though they need to make sure that they are getting all your love and no one else is getting any of it as though if you love anyone else these controlling people will “miss out” on some of your love. In the past I put a lot of effort into trying to make these people feel like my love for them would never run out because I mistakenly believed that my love for them, could save them and if I could save them, they would love me back and that would save me.
And at the same time it seems as though these controlling and manipulative people also believe and go to great length to communicate, that if you love yourself, you will be spending your love allowance on yourself instead of on them. Heaven forbid that happens! This “don’t love yourself” concept is taught in tons of ways always with the threat of becoming a horrible selfish person if you do anything to nurture or acknowledge your own value.
They picked on the way that I dressed. They picked at the way I did my hair. They picked at me all the time to make sure that I was feeling bad about myself. To make sure that I was trying harder. To make sure that my self esteem was kept low. To make sure that I was always questioning myself and not questioning them. And all of it was presented as thought their judgement was “for my own good”. That this “picking at me” and criticizing me was going to make me a better Read More→
“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is YOU who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” Les Brown
There is a critical fact that I had to DRILL into my brain in order to get the full benefit of the process of emotional healing.
EMOTIONAL HEALING DEPENDS ON ME
My emotional healing would not have been accelerated if my mother or father suddenly admitted their part in all the dysfunction that I grew up with. It would have been wonderful and today it might mean that we could restore our relationship and heal the damage there, but it would not be the source of my emotional healing. It would not be the necessary fuel.
Emotional healing would not have happened more rapidly if my parents sincerely apologized to me for the damage that they contributed to in my childhood. It might have helped a bit but it would not be where the healing comes from.
My emotional healing would not have happened faster if Read More→