Saying Sorry Doesn’t Automatically Cancel the Damage

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emotional abuse emotional healingLast week I published a guest Post by Pam about Self Abuse and how sometimes we “learn to be self abusive” by the ways we are treated as children. I enjoyed the conversations that went on in the comment discussions. I’m adding to another highlight to the conversation about self harm today.

 

Something that I was really confused about, both in the past and during my process of emotional healing was that I mistakenly thought if someone was truly sorry for their behaviour I believed it should cancel the DAMAGE done by their behaviour. I thought that I should be OVER it as soon as someone expressed regret for their behaviour.  I felt guilty and ashamed that I still felt the effects of the damage that was caused to me. I am not talking about an isolated one time minor incident such as my mother losing her temper and calling me a brat. I am talking about being devalued, criticised, discounted, picked on, neglected and or abused over time.

 

I am familiar with both sides of this coin. My mother never said she was sorry for any of the damage that she had a hand in over my lifetime.  A few times she said “I’m sorry but…” and the BUT always had excuses tagged on to it like “I’m sorry but I never wanted to be a single mother” or “I’m sorry but you were not the easiest person to be around.” Or I’m sorry but I had a really bad day…” well, you get the picture.   

 

When I finally drew my personal boundaries with my mother, she withdrew from my life. At first I was shocked but eventually I was able to see the whole picture of my life and dysfunctional toxic relationship with my mother, and I actually understand why she doesn’t want to have a relationship with me or even to try and work things out with me. It helped me immensely to finally understand that this is about my mother and NOT about me. Healing from the damage caused by my dysfunctional and toxic mother’s lack of interest in me had been up to me and has never depended on her apologizing.

 

My mother has never tried to make amends to me or in any way tried to restore our mother daughter relationship, so in healing from the damage caused to me in our dysfunctional and toxic mother daughter relationship I learned that I could heal without my mother making any amends. I don’t need the “other person” to “do” anything in order for me to recover.   

 

My husband on the other hand, did try to work things out and get things between us resolved. The damage caused by my husband discounting me was not gone just because he realized he was doing it and began the process of learning how to have an equality based relationship with me. He wished it were that easy, and I guess that I did too, but I still had to look at and define the damage that was done to me and heal from it. HE didn’t cancel the damage he caused just by saying he was sorry for all the years of putting himself and his need/wants/dreams ahead of mine. And the fact that I was still in pain from the damage he caused, and still had healing to do didn’t mean that I didn’t accept his apology.

 

Because he apologized and learned to have a real relationship with me, we are still married.

Personal Recovery and emotional healing is not about the relationship with the people who did the damage though. It has been so important for me to understand and to remember this truth. Emotional Recovery is about personal healing from the damage that was caused. Emotional Recovery does not depend on someone else’s decision or reaction to what I decide to do. They might be sorry and they might not EVER be sorry, but at the end of the day, it matters not.

 

It isn’t that I held a grudge, which is often what he accused me of, in his attempt to get me to just “get over it”. It was the wounds that went deep. Part of it was that I had been denying that there WERE wounds most of my life, and now I was taking an honest look at them.

 

It isn’t wrong to still be hurt and feel hurt for a while afterwards. The fact that I was hurt was the truth. His “I’m sorry” didn’t change that. After years of being discounted; it was important for me to understand that the change in my husband was only a very small part of solution towards healing our broken relationship.

 

The healing work still had to be done by me regardless of what my husband or my mother or anyone else does or doesn’t do.

 

Please share your thoughts, feelings and stories. This is a safe place. Please remember that you may use any name you wish in the comment form and that if you change your mind about using your real name, you may at any time change the comment form.

 

Exposing truth; one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

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111 response to "Saying Sorry Doesn’t Automatically Cancel the Damage"

  1. By: Sophia Posted: 3rd October

    Darlene,
    I’ve been thinking about this saying sorry issue. If we do make mistakes and we are adult enough to realize that our mistakes hurt someone, then we have to accept that an apology alone is not tgoing to make it all better. I went through this a few months ago at work. I had done something, not meaning to cause harm, but it ended up causing some tension between a woman I work with and her supervisor, and she was rightly upset and concerned for her job. Even though I did apologize, relations between us were strained for a few weeks, and inside myself I recognized that this was a natural outcome because I had caused her to distrust me. I wouldn’t have dreamed of telling her to just get oover it. I had to humbly wait, and show that I would not repeat the offense, and gradually rebuild trust. A tough lesson, but it was the nature of reality.

    Sophia

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd October

      Hi Pinky
      I didn’t think that I would had what it would take either! But I did.
      Thanks for the update about your court case etc. Wow… crazy world we live in!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Jessica
      YIKES! Breath woman! My heart goes out to you BIG TIME! I totally understand what you are going through. Please share as often as you need to.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Vicki
      I am so sorry that you are going through all this stuff right now. It is normal for all these feelings to come up; possibly you are coming out of the fog.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Sophia
      Yes, this is very true Sophia, as a mature adult, we know that it takes time. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. I have done things like this too. Thank you for adding this point.
      One of the problems that many of us have is taking the point you just made and using that as the excuse to excuse the behaviour of someone who is NOT sorry at all and not willing to believe they did anything wrong in the first place. These are two separate points. Again, thank you for adding this point!
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Vicki Posted: 3rd October

    I don’t even know WHAT to think. My brother, who I left a few weeks ago, doesn’t really give two shits that I did. But, while I was with him, he never stopped saying “Family’s important. You have to see family b/c they’re family.” And, “I care about you b/c you’re family.”
    Well what’s up with him now? Either all that crap he said was ALWAYS crap, and he’s the biggest liar I’ve ever met, or I don’t understand why his withdrawal means never seeing, talking or knowing me again.
    Just b/c I got upset that he turns every freakin’ thing that happens to anyone, anywhere, to be about him. That’s why he flew into a rage when I mentioned that Eric, my daughter’s dad, died in the World Trade Center. There was no obvious way to turn that into being about David, so he told me, and I quote, “Nobody gives a shit that that happened to you.” And the words aren’t the worst part of it. I don’t know how many times I have to tell people I don’t care what they think, b/c they’re going to think what they want with or without my permission. But, blowing up like a volcano over every damn little thing, especially when he can find no way to make himself the most pitiful person in the room, doesn’t work for me.
    I absolutely HATE when people blow up and their anger is 50,000 times magnified over what it SHOULD be. Everything isn’t melodrama, blowing up and feeling sorry for David, but that’s all he’s ever going to want from life.
    The weirdest part of doing this is that I can’t figure out why I have all these strange feelings.
    Like why do I feel completely isolated from the rest of the family? I didn’t leave THEM, I left Davis. They still let David trample them into the ground and go back for more.

  3. By: Jessica Posted: 3rd October

    My mother came to visit this week. She flew half a country away to spend time with my family. She got here on Saturday. She wanted us to go out to eat, so we did. She wanted to go shopping yesterday, so we did. Since last night she has been literally walking around my house saying how much she wants to drive to the next province over (6 1/2 hours away) to visit my Great Uncles. She asked how I felt about her going. I said “it’s your vacation, do what you want.” For the past 24 hours I have NOT heard her shut up about going and not knowing if she should, CLEARLY waiting for me to either get mad at her annoying behavior and give her a reason or to tell her to go and it starts all over again! I can’t take much more and I even went as far as saying I’ll take my youngest child and drive her there and back within two days if she wants to go that bad. Once she accepted this she then starts asking if I want to go to the mall and go shopping. I don’t have money to do that this week and said I have no reason, go if you like. I have 3 children taking naps and I’m NOT waking them up to go out for lunch at McDonalds! NON-STOP! Then I finally lost it and yelled “GET THE “F” OUT AND GO SHOPPING!” She tried to hug me and ask me to go again stating she just thought I wanted to go. I guess saying no 500000000000000000000000000 times didn’t clue her in. I gave up and sat down to watch cartoons. She left upset at me. 10 minutes later the phone calls start. ONE AFTER ANOTHER! “I’m sorry!” “Is there anything you need?” “I’m sorry.” “Do you want me to get something while I’m out?” “Are you sure you don’t need anything?”…..on and on and on. I’m seriously thinking of personally using my credit card to rent her a hotel room. I honestly don’t know how much more I can take without losing it. Being away from her for 6 months has taught me one thing…..she’s like one of those dogs on a leash. They never really understand WHY they’re on a leash, just that if they literally pull at it making a choking sound you eventually give. I’m ready to let the leash go and hope it gets stuck to a tire wheel!!!! OMFG! Rant done. Thanks for listening/reading/whatever!!!! ….I may be back LOL

  4. By: Pinky Posted: 2nd October

    @Darlene,
    Thanks for sharing! You have worked through so much! I would not have had what it takes to restore the marriage. Gd gave you a lot of grace and you are now in a great place! I have not had that experience with my husband at all. But I have with other people. One expression that abusive people use and also those in denial who don’t want to address the issue is they say “let it go” When I hear that expression I know there is a world of toxins behind it like a poisonous snake bite!

    I also wanted to tell anyone who was aware that I was sued for 20 million dollars on false charges by abusers whose attorneys are worse then them. They slandered me in the international news and harassed and threatened me for 9 years.The judge was bribed and if I went into the whole story it would sound like science fiction. It may never be fully over but it is 95% over and the good news is the judge after 9 years went into hiding due to another unjust case where she is in fear of being caught. Though they can bribe another judge it is still good news. The bad news is the administrative judge who was good suddenly retired out of the blue. She had ordered them to drop the case against me and they refused. She is gone now.

  5. By: Naomi J Rock Posted: 2nd October

    I believed the same until I converted to Catholicism. This is how it was explained to me by this story: An elderly lady sat in her front room crocheting when a rock crashed through her window. She went over to look and see who it was and realized some kids had been playing stick ball in the street with a rock and stick… She could see one child slowly making his way up her sidewalk. Then there was the quietest knock on the door as if the child had not really wanted her to hear it. She opened the door and said, I wondered if you were going to make it up here. He said, Mam, I’m sorry for breaking your window. It was an accident. Will you forgive me? She said “Oh yes of course I will.” The boy whirled around and started running down the sidewalk yelling thank you over his shoulder. She yelled “Hey wait sonny our buisness here is not over yet. He turned looking at her with a shocked face and said but I thought you forgave me? She said “I did but there is still the matter of the broken window and how you are planning to fix it.”

    A true apology comes with reparations. If you are truly sorry then the change of attitude will be reflected in the actions that make it right. Without actions, it’s just words and words without actions are called “lies”.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd October

      Hi Naomi
      Great Story! Thanks for sharing it here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: joy Posted: 1st October

    Karen

    I love what you have written.. very beautiful!! Learn to bake for one self instead of scavenging for crumbs.. even the tiniest crumb and now you don’t have to scavenge any more..

    Very beautiful

    Joy

  7. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st October

    Hi Jeanie
    I am so sorry! I missed your comment (#56) the other day when I was answering comments! Welcome to EFB
    I totally understand what you are saying. Even though I felt sorry for some of the people who were being abused, I had to set that feeling sorry for them aside if they were also abusing me (ignoring and neglecting is still abuse) and start taking care of me and letting my feelings come out too. It took me a while to really feel that I deserved anything good but it happens. Keep going forward,
    Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Karen Posted: 1st October

    Here’s an addendum to my earlier poem called “Crumbs.”

    Day and night I forage for crumbs you toss on marble floor. I find one scattered here and there. I discover one in a dusty corner, another in a deep crack, one by the toilet. I don’t care if they are stale, mildewed, contaminated; I am famished. I sit at your feet begging for more crumbs as you gorge yourself feasting. I sit and beg, all the while, hoping, one day you’ll bake bread and hand me a loaf.

    You never do.

    You never will.

    So I grab what few crumbs are left and walk out the door. I must learn to bake bread on my own. I must learn to feed myself. It isn’t easy, but I do.

    Now I am the one feasting and I will never hunger again. My stomach is full. I bake bread every day and I will always share my loaves with others who cannot bake bread yet.

    I will encourage them to leave crumbs behind and teach them how to bake. And during the process when they become discouraged, I will tell them one day they will learn.

    They, too, will have full bellies.
    They, too, will hunger no more.
    They, too, will share their loaves with others who have yet to become bakers.

    They, too, will survive the crumbs.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st October

      Sophia,
      I have heard of that Hawaiian practice.
      I agree with you that this “new thing” sounds like another way to enrich/protect the oppressors…
      Thanks for posting more info.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Karen
      Thanks for coming back and sharing again! This is excellent. “Now we have to learn how to bake” Very profound indeed.
      This is what I am trying to do here! Sharing my loaves with others while teaching them to BAKE for themselves. I LOVE IT!
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    Darlene

    i must confess am afraid of the anger emotion.. but i know am angry because so much time and money and tears went into creating and establishing trust I was trusting my secrets to her.. i told her everything. now what? i dont matter my words did she even hear them . .did i ever matter ? 🙁

    THank you Darlene for saying its ok to be angry . i am every thing right now angry, confused, lost, upset, sorry..

    Joy

  10. By: Sophia Posted: 30th September

    Darlene, after I posted here I went and did some research on ho’oponopono, and that in itself was an education. Basically it started as a traditional Hawaiian practice to help restore family harmony, but that bears very little resemblance to this creepy new age pap that is being sold now under the same name. It is another form of cultural theft to enrich the oppressors. That is a story for a whole new chapter: the way a dominating culture uses abuse and trauma and theft of all value and resources against another culture……

  11. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    Sophia

    You said ” so why are we expected to just be able to ‘get over it” when we are emotionally traumatized” I have someone on f/b telling me that I need to move on get over it. on my most recent trauma . . making excuses for how my T dropped me which caused me to second guess my own feelings.

    I think i have more traumatized by my ‘healer’ in one night than many others how have hurt me over time 🙁

    Joy

  12. By: Sophia Posted: 30th September

    Oh, and Lynda, I’m really grateful for your example of how emotional trauma is like physical harm, and needs TIME and proper attention to heal. If you were stabbed no one would expect you to forego proper medical treatment, we know that can be dangerous. So why are we expected to just be able to “get over it” when we are emotionally traumatized? Thank you, I know I will be using your words when talking to others about this. Hugs, Sophia

  13. By: g Posted: 30th September

    oh yes, am writing a letter to the abuser when i was 19 and i no longer care if it will be acknowledged, i just want to do it… now or never,or else i will be doing it in my “deathbed”..just to finish my process of healing…i will do it no matter if i will be told that they are sorry or not for the damages done to me…G

  14. By: Sophia Posted: 30th September

    I was also sensing that she was telling me that I was “spiritually incorrect” for even acknowledging the existence of trauma. In the system she describes we are apparently supposed to apologize to the universe for having created a reality wherein someone could hurt us! If we just keep repeating their mantra of apology, love, and forgiveness, then every thing will be great. I find this really frightening! I am actually proud of myself for seeing the problems in this belief system and not allowing myself to be talked out of my point of view.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th September

      Hi Sophia,
      This makes perfect sense to me! That kind of thinking is what got me stuck and sicker for so many years. That kind of thinking cemented my self blame issues and prevented me from living the life of freedom and wholeness that I have today. I tried all that crap for so many years the hair on the back of my neck stood up when I read your comments. I am proud of you too for seeing the problems in this belief system.
      Thank you for sharing! Listen to your intuition on this one!
      Hugs Darlene

  15. By: Sophia Posted: 30th September

    I had an unsettling experience today, although it was subtle and it’s interesting to me that I caught it at all. I was doing some volunteer work for a local political campaign and I went to have lunch with one of the other workers. She has treated me well in the office and I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable. We chatted about mutual interests and future goals, and I said that it was one of my goals to find ways to help folks recover from trauma. She sort of drew back then and muttered something about how maybe some things had happened in her life, but she just tried to put them behind her and move on. Then she said that she practiced something called ho’oponopono in which every person is supposed to acknowledge that they are 100% responsible for everything that happens to them (!) and that even people who have been hurt should recite that they are sorry and ask for forgiveness and say “I love you,” and that this is the thing to do even when faced with violence. Apparently, you are supposed to recite this over and over in a ritualistic way no matter what is happening in your life and this is supposed to transform everyone around you into kind loving people. Well, I just said that it didn’t really resonate with me and that I was happy with the results I was getting from my therapy, and she sort of frowned at me. I had a thought flash through my mind that this seemingly nice woman could be dangerous. That word actually popped in my brain: danger! It seems to me that she is in denial and uses a sort of new age system to keep her pain at a distance, and this nice “front” she had would dissolve if I had challenged her beliefs much further. I feel now that while I have to work with her in the office, I no longer trust getting close to her. Does this make sense? Thanks, Sophia

  16. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    Darlene: thanks for pointing this out. I must try harder.. you are right i need to stop looking for excuses for those who hurt me.. I will try harder…It’s not my fault for what happened and she knew how much what she did would hurt me . she was well aware. more than any other person what would traumatize me. which causes the deepest scar in my heart.. knowing she knew it would hurt me and did it anyway.

    Thanks for getting me turned around .. I am experience a whole array of emotions right now

    ((hugs))
    JOy

  17. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    Darlene

    I just saw email come in as I entered. hope i answered right but I have shed tears now 3 days. i have one many tapes going on in my head..I have not been able to concentrate..this is me . broken me who she said needed to learn things I never learned as a child so how would me who am still a child in handling thigs know how to handle what she did? I am lost.

    Hugs

    Joy

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th September

      Joy,
      One of the first things that I learned on my journey to wholeness and in my “growing up” was to stop blaming myself or finding a justification for every single person who ever hurt me. My common phrase was “in all fairness to my mother… she was a single parent… or in all fairness to my boyfriend I did slam the door right before he grabbed my and slammed me into the wall. AS if what I did or what the circumstances were justified the actions of someone esle.

      You may not know how to handle what she did Joy, but that is what you are leaning now. Don’t excuse bad behaviour. AND it is okay to be devastated. BOTH at the same time.. All feelings at the same time are fine. This is the process.
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    Darlene: Guess am going backwards and making little of how i really feel . I am doubting my right to feel hurt since i am measuring her intelligence to mine. .and was feeling that maybe I am not right for being so broken ..but this then is saying that its ok to do such things to me.. and I shouldnt say its alright. so am all mixed up . .Perhaps in my mind saying she was having a bad day makes it easier to move on but really is not putting the responsablity for the wrong in the right place..

    You are right.. am making excuses.. i have been doing this all my life am a professional covering over all the bad things done to me. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME T????

    joy

  19. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    Hi Darlene

    Guess I am not going the right way .. am going to make me to blame.? Am trying to make excuses for the wrong done to me..?

    JOy

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th September

      I would say that you are trying to make excuses for her. This is no different from what battered wives do; their husbands come home from work and beat the hell out of them and they say.. “Oh poor dear, he must have had a bad day, he must have gotten in trouble with his boss or one of his co workers got mad at him…” SO WHAT?
      They (the victim, wife, or child) wish they had not said the offending or trigger phrase. The phrase they “think”caused him to fly into the rage and hit them. (taking the blame for the results)
      We do this with our abusive parents too. We make excuses for people who treat us like nothing and in the end we are agreeing with them that we are in fact nothing. But you are not nothing. You are worthy and the LIE is that you are not worthy. The lie here is that what she did may be justified when there is no way that it can be.
      Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    Darlene

    My anger is cooling and am really starting to feel sorry .. after all we were doing so well.. I wrote poems of how happy I was and how much she was helping me. .I was angry hurt.. was feeling abandoned. .like a little nobody. but maybe she is feeling like that too.. maybe someone said something mean to her before she came to my session .. i don’t know . I wish i could undo that day .. make it disappear like it didnt happen.

    My eyes are darkened from tears.. my heart is broken from grief. but I am trying to get back up from allthis.

    Love

    Joy

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th September

      Joy
      As a professional coach who helps people to live a new life story and move out of victim mentality and survivor mode, I encourage you to read your last two comments and be aware of where you are going with your thoughts.
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    Karen: Thank you . .I so appreciate you breaking thing down for me and making it so digestable. I need to work on moving on now .. Letting go of what happened.. I know I wasn’t the reason it happened.. I am did my best to do what my therapist wanted. I feel in my heart she must have some things going on . and was unable to voice the so what I got was her frustrations . Perhaps if she would have simply cancelled our appointment for that day and let things cool down in her mind from whatever is happening . I would still be her client.. THere must be someting happening in her life .She was not always so curt.

    Thank you for every thing..

    JOy

    Robin:

    Thanks for your compliment. it as probably the most tear filled poem I have written so far.

    Hugs

    joy

  22. By: Robin Posted: 30th September

    Joy, Lynda, and Darlene,

    Thank you for your understanding and support regarding my comment from yesterday. I believe that all of you are right. EFB *is* a place where I have found acceptance and love, though I’m afraid to think of this support as love, like maybe I see it as more than what it really is (does that make sense?) And I also agree that the key to healing is self-love, love from within.

    My problem yesterday was that I was completely overwhelmed. I’ve shared about my mom and I’ve shared about the lady from church who is still harassing me by email, by the way. But on top of those things, my boss has really been harassing me as well. It’s the same system we’ve been talking about. He is constantly fault-finding and is never, ever satisfied. I was so bombarded by everyone else’s view of me that I lost sight of my own. My self-esteem was in the toilet yesterday. All I could see was my struggle with my mother (my egg donor – Karen, I liked that title), all of the fault-finding that the church lady implied just because I made a choice she didn’t like, and the negative attitude and comments from my boss. I felt like a colossal failure and like there was no hope for someone to really appreciate me, let alone love me.

    I see things differently today. After much journal writing and prayer I realized that these negative outlooks and comments were their problem and not mine. I realized that my boss finds fault in me constantly because he’s a narcissist and sees me how he wants to see me and not for who I really am. He projects what he hates about himself onto me. I realized that the church lady is a controlling freak and I refuse to be her source of narcissistic supply. And my mom… I know exactly who and what she is, but I won’t say it in front of polite company.

    I think this is the reason I felt so unloved. I lost sight of all the good things in myself and only saw faults.

    Whew… I think I vented everything. I hope this makes some sense.

    *Hugs everyone*

    BTW- Joy that poem about your T was the best one yet.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 30th September

      Joy,
      thanks for sharing your thoughts, your anger and your poem! Anger is part of healing.
      Keep working this out by sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you for your encouragement to Joy and for finding that blog post by Susan and referring it for Joy ~ I was going to do that this morning! You saved me the task! Great to have you here!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Robin,
      Makes sense to me! you sound great! Thanks for the update!
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Karen B Posted: 30th September

    Joy, It’s really beautiful how you can express yourself so eloquently through poetry. I went back and re-read your response to my post – it was really unprofessional of her to just drop you when she’d promised she wouldn’t. When she knew what a fear/issue that was for you because you guys had talked about it already. So she can’t claim she didn’t know how much her actions would affect you. Your last paragraph in the poem so expertly describes the impact of her actions on you, and how badly she’s let you down. It’s so hard to take the rejection from someone who is supposed to be in a position to help you.

    I also wanted to point out that you’ve apologized to us for being so angry, and I hope you know that it’s totally normal and a healthy response to be angry when someone hurts you. Anger is like physical pain, it’s a signal that we’ve been hurt and a signal to us that our boundaries have been violated, so hopefully you will give yourself permission to feel all the emotions that arise because of this experience – the anger, the disappointment, the grief, the sorrow – whatever comes up. In my experience, I have always tried so hard to “be strong” and “keep it together” and respond rationally to the painful stuff in my life – I over-analyze and second-guess my reactions to things and have not fully allowed myself to FEEL my feelings and have had to learn how to stop judging myself for and trying to stifle my emotional reactions. I think it’s important to just sit with ourselves and allow the feelings to come and to just be okay – to love ourselves and listen to and honour our feelings without judgement. To let the waves of grief or sorrow or rage or whatever build and churn and swell until they naturally crash and then subside and trust that if we just sit with that and love ourselves through it, we’ll be cleansed by the wave rather than drowned by it. I’m in the process of doing work on this myself and it does seem to help with my healing. Doesn’t mean I enjoy it while I’m caught up in the turmoil of it though – processing the pain (which often means revisiting older, deeper pains) feels so awful while you’re in the middle of it. Sometimes we do need a life preserver to hold on to, or a hand to help us pull ourselves out when the whirlpool is too strong.

    Anyway, I know how much we’re conditioned to feel bad or wrong for having feelings – especially “negative” feelings like anger, and how hard it is to get past that programming that says we should always be nice and cut everyone else some slack and forgive everybody etc., that being angry is something we need to be ashamed of. Not sure if you can relate to any of this but I just wanted to say that if I were you, I’d be REALLY angry too, and so so sad, and that feeling strong for a while and then breaking down and crying again later seems to me like a totally normal, healthy response.

  24. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    written to my former T but she will never see:

    You cut my heart out

    You cut my heart out; you pulled out from me every ounce of trust
    And took the meaning you once gave me and trampled it to the dust
    You toppled the mighty tower of hope you once built up in therapy
    And left me broken in pieces, now I scramble to put together “me”

    How do you explain it, when so much trust was handed over to you:
    Leading me to believe that there was nothing you and I can’t do?
    You had my confidence ; then one evening you cut me to the core
    Called me a tangled mess that you weren’t going to deal with anymore.

    So here I am broken by the one who was suppose to heal me
    Wondering how in the world such could happen, what an irony.
    From friends or famly one might expect such things to come to be
    But not from one was educated to help, who holds the title of phd

    joy

  25. By: joy Posted: 30th September

    Karen: thanks for finding that post. I will look it over again .. Susan is an excellent writer .. I loved hearing her speak on blog talk radio ..whe she had Darlene as a guest

    Joy

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