The Fear of Good-bye if You Don’t Comply

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problems with parents
if you don’t comply ~ good-bye

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 “if you don’t like it you can leave” which is exactly what I thought she had been saying all along anyway.

To “lump it means “to accept or tolerate a disagreeable situation: In northern English  the word “lump” also means to carry, especially something heavy so in other words you can like it OR carry it anyway. In even more other words  ~ this is a blunt reminder that YOU HAVE NO CHOICE, and that is what I grew up with. I had no choice. I had to like it or lump it ~ comply or good-bye and that is pretty scary to a child when the true implication of “lump it” is the biggest fear a child has; It means that if you don’t want to like it, if you refuse to carry it, perhaps you would prefer the alternative;

Which Is Rejection

And rejection to a child means death.

I discovered on the emotional healing journey that there were leftovers to this whole dysfunctional upbringing and from these unhelpful threats disguised as some sort of loving parenting statements. I learned to fear rejection for one thing and I carried that fear well into my adulthood without considering that I might be better off without these people that I was so afraid of rejection from.  I had a boyfriend who was physically abusive when I was in my late teens. I was so afraid to stand up to that abuse because of that fear of rejection.  The ways that I had been treated as a child had primed me to define myself as “unworthy” and the ways of society as I grew up taught me to be accountable for my life. It was pretty easy to draw the conclusion that I must have done something to have deserved this man in my life to be so angry with me. I was willing to share in the accountability for what he was doing because of the conditioning of my past when I was a child with no choice. I had learned to “lump it”.

Emerging from broken is all about learning WHAT the conditioning was in the first place by learning what the belief system is about certain things. With statements like this there was such a double standard. I had to become aware of that double standard so I could overcome believing in it. For instance, I had to like it or lump it but that statement only applied to me just like the definition of love being compliance and obedience only applied to me ~ the oppressors had a different definition of relationship and even of love or respect that applied to them~ and that was how I learned relationship worked. The one with the most power wins. The truth is that ISN’T how relationship works. That is how dysfunction in relationship works. I had to look at how all these truths I believed in malfunctioned together.

I had not ever been empowered by anyone at any time in my life to receive the knowledge that I actually HAD a choice OR that what happened to me might have been wrong in the first place. I had learned to “like it or lump it” and I continued to abide by that expression even when it was unspoken because I was so afraid of “good-bye.”

Please share your thoughts with me and with this community of men and women who are striving to overcome the belief systems set in place in childhood. Together we are so much stronger. Your identity is safe here. Please feel free to use any name you wish to use including only a first name or a screen name. Although emerging from broken has a facebook page, the comments on this blog are not published on facebook.

Exposing Truth one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

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480 response to "The Fear of Good-bye if You Don’t Comply"

  1. By: Lianne Posted: 20th June

    I’ve read this before, but read it again after you reposted it on Facebook. Being an adoptee had me dealing with fear of rejection from day one. Add in a mother who sent my brother to boarding school when I was 5 because “he was too hard to handle”, and then her telling me, “if you don’t behave, I’ll take you back and trade you in for a new model”, definitely left me feeling like I had no voice and I had to turn myself inside out to comply. Not having boundaries in our family also left me so confused as to what complying was that I became hyper-vigilant. It’s taken a lot of inner work to see it for what it really was – her stuff and not mine. And years later I am still working on it.

  2. By: Miranda Posted: 20th June

    I read your story Darlene and it is a mirror of mine. I found that as I grew into adulthood I lived in a state of perpetual confusion. I thought there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t ‘sort’ my life out. I had no self worth nor any knowledge on how to exist as a person.

    The ‘don’t make a fuss’ ‘don’t moan’ ‘don’t answer back’ were so deeply rooted in my early conditioning that I endured grooming by a paedophile, 2 rapes, physical and domestic abuse culminating in several mental breakdowns and alcohol dependence. I self medicated to hide the misery and horror of a life I still didn’t understand.

    I will always mourn the loss of those years I spent in confusion and the good people I pushed away unknowingly because of fear and the fact that I had no idea how to cope with kindness or love. But looking back no relationship could have worked until I had sorted myself out, found out what was ‘wrong’ with me in a psychological sense and found help.

    Years of therapy and antidepressants have enabled me at the grand age of 54 to understand what happened to me, how it happened, that it wasn’t my fault and that I am worthy and I can go on now with my head held high. That I have an opinion and the right to voice it, I also have the right to say ‘No’ and to walk away which, once I had the courage to do it gave me my power back. But your mind will only allow what it can cope with. Every week or so some part of the jig-saw will fall into place and a little more of my life makes sense. Its a lifelong journey and I wish all of you courage and strength in your respective journeys.

  3. By: bethany Posted: 20th June

    This is me growing up definetly. To this day I am that person that does all the things asked for fear of rejection. If I don’t do just as asked I feel as if I’ve failed the whole day.”don’t like it? Too bad” was what I heard from my dad all the time. Middle child and oldest female didn’t get off too easy…

  4. By: Colleen Posted: 3rd February

    When I was young, my mothers favorite tactic was to tell me she was sending me to a detention home. Scared me to death. Left huge emotional scars. I hate the panic I feel when I think my son is upset with me. I’m terrified he will cut me off and prevent me from seeing my little grandsons. I feel so needy and weak.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th February

      Hi Coleen
      That is horrific! Those kinds of things leave long lasting scars. There is lots in this website about how I dealt with that fear and overcame it. 🙂
      hugs, Darlene

  5. By: mountain_mama Posted: 24th June

    My abuse by my brother (8 yrs my senior) started so young, that I thought that was love. I never told because he told me he’d kill our whole family. At the age of 4, I took on the role of protector for my family. Fast forward 30 years, and my parents have known a few years now. He’s been financially supported by them for 45 years, while I’ve been on my own since 18, and never been allowed to come back home. When I told my parents I was going to prosecute him if they didn’t keep enabling him, my dad said, go ahead and kill me, and you can live with THAT for the rest of your life……. I disowned him in that moment. I’ve tried my whole life for his love, and he showed me in that moment that I never had it, and never will. I was crushed, but I’ve learned that it’s ok. I don’t need him. I have the family I’ve chosen and created, and I’ve chosen to teach them right from wrong, and not even think of them most days now. I never thought I’d get here, but here I am… ok. I let go of the hurt and the hate, because Jesus carries it for me. Vengeance is mine, said the Lord. It was really hard to give it to Him, but when I did, this burden has been relieved. It feels so good to let it go. If you still hold on, I encourage you to find someone spirit filled to pray with you, over you, for you. It IS possible.

  6. By: Lora Posted: 24th June

    Hi Darlene! I’m having a bitter, angry day today and I thank you for the opportunity to vent. I’m having those feelings I get quite often when I hit deeper layers. I just want to check out of this life. I’m done, I don’t want to face this crap anymore. I’m tired of the layers, the memories, the ingrained beliefs that have tormented me all my life.

    I feel like was poisoned all my life and I’m doing my best to flush away the poison with love. Learning to love myself has been a roller coaster ride or should I say more like a pin ball game. I slam around against old beliefs and get woken up to release them and create new ones. Sometimes I just want to be still and with draw from the world because I am tired of the triggers and mirroring from others. I have learned some new ways of coping with I am grateful for and then sometimes I really just want to through in the towel.

    I have deep layers of hate towards people in general sometimes and I release the energy that is behind it all. I have been guided to read so many spiritual books that it makes my head spin and they trigger more crap. Taking responsibility for healing myself sometimes feels like I am being punished on a whole new level for things I have done in a past life time. I am reaching higher levels of spirituality that challenge me to the point where I do want to give up and then I seem to be drawn to your web site where I have an opportunity to give a voice to my hidden pain.

    I don’t feel like a victim anymore because I have taken full responsibility for my healing. What I find incredibly complex about all this is how the patterns of dysfunction are created. I can humbly admit that I too have become an abuser, mostly to myself but what’s the difference. The pain it creates for myself and others is the same. I realize through my own healing process why people choose to stay abusers, I don’t support them for their choice but I do have compassion for them and choose to stay far away from them.

    This healing journey takes courage, strength and committment and I believe self worth is what keeps people from healing. I know for myself when I reviewed my own behaviour there are traps that can keep a person from moving forward. I have times where I don’t feel worthy of love and support and I have to trudge through those layers.

    I am grateful that I found the right teachers and healers to help me in this process and I realize that if I continue to hate my abusers or continue with self loathing then I keep myself hostage to the dysfunction. Forgiving myself for hurting others has been my greatest challenge and blessing. Once I forgive myself I find forgiving others just happens naturally. I am not less than or more than anyone else. I am a soul who is just trying to learn and grown into the person she truly wants to be.

    I have no idea how many layers exist within me to heal, all I know is I will continue learning how to love until I leave this planet. I continue to be grateful for healing, wholeness and love everyday and I find it always takes me to a better place within myself.

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories, it helps me to stay focused on my own journey. Namaste to you all!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th June

      Hi Lora
      Thank you so much for sharing here. There is a reason this whole thing is called a ‘cycle’ and I too had to deal with the way I was repeating that cycle. I too have had times where I didn’t feel ‘worthy’ and had to find a way to keep going. Sometimes it was only to stop the cycle that I DID keep going! And it gets better and more clear all the time.
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: DXS (JJ) Posted: 7th June

    I was looking for the most appropriate post to put this comment.

    The one thing I haven’t seen Darlene address is M-O-N-E-Y (other than her child support post).

    Is the real reason you don’t stand up to your parents due to a fear of being cut out of the will? If this is your fear, it makes it real messy. So you have to mitigate it.

    PARENTS DO NOT OWE CHILDREN AN INHERITANCE! It’s nice to get one, but it is not “owed” to the children. This is the mindset you have to take. Then, do whatever it takes to save some money so that if you lose a job or something, you don’t have to beg your parents for money. Believe me, if you are already having issues with your parents, and then you have to beg them for money, it puts you in SUCK UP mode, and you cannot get out of it.

    If you are having issues with your parents, the last thing you want is to owe them money. Make it your number one goal to not “need” them for anything! Then they can’t hold it over your head.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th June

      Hi Mountain Mama
      Welcome to EFB
      Thanks for your comments!
      hugs, Darlene

      Hi DXS
      I have written about this but it is a touchy subject and it is really complicated. It is something that comes up in one on one work a lot but the client has to realize for themselves that the ‘money’ is a tactic that many parents use to keep the adult child ‘stuck in the system’.
      Having said that, it is very true that parents are not obligated to give children money or inheritance but there is way more to this subject than just that.
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: JMJ Posted: 10th October

    Thanks Darlene and all contributors to EFB. I have been reading through this site for a couple of months now and this is my first comment. As I read, I remember more and more incidents where my true self was dismissed, ignored, invalidated, devalued or abused by my parents or step mother. I am going to take some time to write my own story in a journal at home so that I may finally start to heal from living in the ‘fog.’ There are so many parts of all your experiences that I identify with, too numerous to mention and I get overwhelmed trying to put it into words. I am grateful you are here.

    Jodie

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th October

      Hi JMJ
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken
      I am glad you are here too! I am sure that you will see through lots of ‘fog’ as your write it all down! I look forward to hearing from you again.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Mimi Posted: 23rd September

    Karen Ranes,
    I like what you said ~ “funny the abuser doesn’t like you but they seem compelled to keep you around.”

    So puzzling isn’t it? I think the truth behind that with my own mother is, she needs someone to measure herself against. Someone to boost her, in her own mind. In the past (before it got to this level) my mother has stated she’s interested in what I’m doing/wants to hear from me and what’s going on in my life.

    The problem with that is, she makes everything I tell her into her own story. It’s either something she gloats about to others, ie. my successes, or, it’s something she cries about, ie. my problems. Perfect example is my husband’s affair. She told about 8-10 people the very day she found out. AND, some were people we know. But, she will come right out and say, “you know I don’t tell people things you don’t want me to tell.” WTH?? That makes no sense whatsoever.

    In my 20s when I had horrible panic attacks, she told everyone she knew, and made it out like she was the doting mother, saving me. She had RESCUED me. What people didn’t know was she was also browbeating me in private. I needed to get my shit together, pull myself up by my bootstraps, stop seeking attention, etc. She could say she rescued me because she let me move back home when I became nearly debilitated by it. In her eyes, that was a heroic act.

    Recently, she said she wouldn’t be around forever. Then she asked, “who’s going to save you then?” What an insult. That truly insulted me. That was over 25 years ago, and she wants to bring that up now? It’s her way of stating how far ABOVE me she is. How fragile and mental I am. How broke I am, etc. The funny thing is, I know approx. what she’s worth. (it’s all about money to her) I know her lifestyle as well. I’ll be shocked if she has a dime left when she dies.

    A year ago, her stupid husband came to me on several occasions in private, asking me not to tell her. He said in one of those conversations that my mother wants to live hollywood style. Fly here and there, etc. The funny thing about that is, I don’t think that’s her hearts desire. I think she just wants to be able to tell people she’s flying off here and there. So ridiculous. She must be miserable!!

    She turns 70 in a few weeks. I am sending a card. I’m contemplating writing a letter and spelling out some things I haven’t had the chance to say. I know it won’t make a difference in her. I feel like I might get some level of freedom for at least telling her. Maybe I’m wrong about this. Darlene, do you have an opinion about this you’d like to share? Please?

    Peace and love to everyone,
    Mimi
    ps – my mother didn’t really attack until I was a teen either. Actually, I was around 11 years old. When my dad left, she unleashed on me and it just continued from there. She can call me crazy… I don’t care. I know who’s crazy!! 🙂

  10. By: Karen Ranes Posted: 21st September

    Wow Sylvia thats really wonderful. I am glad for you. I too am
    beginning not to care either.
    After 5 months NC (i had written 3 x stating my issues and
    saying I no longer sought contact) out of the blue my mother
    calls me. Chatty about things going on, stated she didnt want to talk
    about family issues. Back to exactly the same devaluing phone
    calls she always made. I was polite, gave up no personal info
    and got away as quick as I could. I dont want to have contact. none.
    But it was impossible to say to her face. I felt like I would be
    acting rude. But she can pretend everythings fine, not discuss
    her behavior towards me and it made me feel like a bad person.
    i wanted to say.
    .. I dont care how friendly you act towards me, its all
    a lie to draw me back into the family so I can be put down, and
    used. Im just not interested in being part of that now that I know the
    truth.
    I guess I’ll have to write it down and set it by the phone.
    I wanted to say it so badly but she went on and on about
    herself and her friends. She went out of her way to ask me about
    what I was doing and how Im doing physically? (not mentally
    she said she doesnt want to hear that) Shes never asked that before
    thats how I know its all fake. In the past the calls were always
    Everything thats happening to my brother, her health issues, and
    unpleasant things that happen to her friends. If I opened my mouth
    to speak she would immediately say “let me tell you this before I forget…”
    Its a hook to drag me back. Funny the abuser doesnt like you
    but they seem compelled to keep you around.
    Years ago when I spoke up and said no I was dropped. Now she
    only has me or my brother. No one else. Now instead of being cut off
    in anger when I go no contact shes pretending everythings fine,
    essentually ignoring my “bad behavior”.

    She doesn’t hear me. That is my number one problem.
    To her nothing ( I hate to speak in absolutes but here its true)
    I say, think, do, or accomplish is of any interest even in conversation.
    OK. I understand it. I see its not me. I live far away and do my
    own thing. So calling me and acting that way is deliberate. I
    guess she thinks I am fooled by this and will jump back into the fire?
    Its confusing. Thanks for listening.

  11. By: sinitta Posted: 20th September

    Hi Ladybug,

    I love your “puppy”anology. Its soo true Just because I am older when the emotions rise I know to treat and talk to myself as a child as that is what I am experiencing in that moment

    . Im bored of people giving positive affirmations when they have no idea. Like I had not spent years living in denial doing positive affirmations. As I thought they would make a difference,because that is what the books said… well books are not always right and neither are people.

    I think people are afraid to listen as they think it will rub off on them.You know with all this info about forgiving ,letting go and letting god ..blah blah blah… Maybe it brings up emotions in themselves they dont want to face,I dont know. After all its better off to live in “denial” go spend christmas with your family and pretend.Than to rock the boat.

    Love lots
    Sinitta

  12. By: Aurele Posted: 20th September

    Sorry I “imagine” and not “imagined”.

  13. By: Aurele Posted: 20th September

    Hi Sylvia,

    I am very happy for you, that’s great ! I imagined it’s the result of a huge work.
    For me, I think it’s sad we had to rebel. I didn’t want to, I just wanted to be loved as healthy parents do.

    Hugs and love.

  14. By: sylvia Posted: 20th September

    Hi Aurele,

    I hope you are feeling better, I know you have had a difficult time just lately. I havent read Alice Millers book yet, but what you say about parents trying to kill their childs personality certainly makes sense to me. Something profound has happened to me. This morning, I woke to the revelation that I NO LONGER CARE that my parents didnt love me. And they didnt – my mothers Narcissistic Personality Disorder rendered her incapable of loving anyone or anything, and my father didnt love me enough to protect me from her abuse. And I simply dont care anymore! In fact, on reflection, I am rather flattered, because the only child they could ever have “loved” and approved of would have had to have something wrong with it. By this, I mean, it would have been like a minature robot, a deaf and blind mute, or one of Pavlovs dogs, so well trained that it would salivate on demand! It would have had to have been silent, repressed and totally compliant to the point of being afraid to speak, or even look them in the eye. A healthy child, like me (Christ knows how) who was full of curiosity and intelligence, who had likes, dislikes and a budding unique identity was an infuriating inconvenience to my father and a terrifying threat to my mother. So I have concluded that I must have been too “normal” to be lovable to them! Yay! You know what? I think I may have just EMERGED FROM BROKEN!

    Lots of love from Sylvia! xxx

  15. By: Aurele Posted: 20th September

    Hi Janie,

    I love what you said here “We were not “bad children” for being disobedient, anf not folowing the family mores and sicknesses, we were good children, trying to define ourselves and how we related to the world. If you rebelled,it was actually a healthy response, especially with all of the insanity going on around us”. Thank you.

    I read again the drama of the gifted child by alice miller which is very enlightening for me.
    There is an example of a boy who was creative, intellingent, compassionate. His parents destroyed him because he was able to see through their lies and mad behaviours. They were jalous of his gifts too. They try to destroy him and punish him by sending him in a correction house. That way, they can avoid looking inside theirselves. They were proud because with that treatment, in killing his personnality, he was more easy, make less “problems” than anymore.
    Pff, what losers. Exactly the same for my “father” who was proud of himself because thanks to his beatings when I was 3/4, I obeyed and ate quickely my meal without saying a word to protest.
    I recognize myself a lot in this example.

    Hugs.

  16. By: Aurele Posted: 19th September

    Love and hugs to you too, Darlene.

    Janie, thank you, it’s great to have your feed back and support.

  17. By: Aurele Posted: 19th September

    Thank you Darlene. Fortunately, you are here :).

  18. By: Janie Posted: 19th September

    Jane, my heart goes out to you today. You are very courageous, as a child, and now, to get through the abuse and neglect dealt out by your mother. Hang in there, and I hope you practice exercising your right to speak everyday!

    Aurele, I hope your neck gets to feeling better. How terrible! I am so proud of you, for staying strong, and not contacting your abusive family members.

    Darlene, What your daughter is studying sounds so interesting. What types of things would she like to do with her degree?

    Hugs all around,
    Janie

  19. By: Aurele Posted: 19th September

    I have rotation of my neck vertebras, as a result of the beatings I received and the doctors don’t listen to me…:(((

    I have all my body is unbalanced, my joints are damaged.
    And it’s a real battle to find a good health professional and it’s expensive… I am so discouraged,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th September

      Hi Aurele
      I am sorry that you are so discouraged today. I understand how hard this must be for you. I want you to know that there is hope even when we don’t feel like there is hope. Hang in there.
      Sending you love and hugs
      Hugs, Darlene

  20. By: Aurele Posted: 19th September

    I would like to add, that today I feel horrible pain.
    It’s really hard for me to wait for my unemployement benefit, which I couln’t have until 1/2 months. I feel very guilty for being unemployed, and doing nothing all day, I feel like a failure.

    I haven’t seen my mother or sister or granmother since 2 months and it’s really, really hard.
    I so struggle to be on my own. I have so much fears, the most important is concerning my body.
    I always have issues of illless with it, result of this huge distress and anxiety.
    For example, yesterday, I took a lesson of Qi Gong to help to deal with my chronic joint pain. But the Gi Gong teacher was abusive, I hate her, she hurt me a lot ! There was an exercice in duos where one of the person had to tap with a lot strenght, from the neck to the lombar vertebraes. But I have problem with neck vertebraes, and he teacher taped me so strong that now my neck is totally blocked and I have again horrible pain in my neck and my jaw :((((. I can open my mouth only 1/2 centimeters. I have problem to eat, to turn my head, I feel soooo exhausted and tired. Pff…

    Hugs to everyone.

  21. By: Aurele Posted: 19th September

    Hi Sylvia,

    It’s the same for me, I suspect my fahter being attracted by babies and by very young children.

    I remember one night to be scared to sleep alone and to ask him if I could sleep with him like I used to do it with my mom when he was working outside during the night. I was 3/4. I remember his reaction of reject and disgust towards me : “no, parents never sleep with their children, I never will do that” because he had bad memories of his chidlhood, like what I was saying was horrifying, like I was abusive with him making an abusive propostition !
    I only wanted a father who comforts me and show me some affection, that’s all ! How could I understand his reaction at my young age ? I feel very very rejected and bad about myself.
    He protected him self about his feelings of attraction he had for my body this way, with rejecting me and made me feeling ashamed too.

    Thanks for this discussion,
    Love.

  22. By: Jane Posted: 18th September

    I grew up in fear,fear of my surroundings,fear of people,which included family members. I had no voice I said very little only enough to get by.My mother told everyone and anyone that I was very shy and I didn’t speak, People accepted that teachers,relatives,etc…I even accepted that.That’s the way it was. Every time I wanted to break out of this mold that my mother put me in I couldn’t do it. I would start to shake,I would turn beet red,I would get hives,my voice would quiver,I just fell apart. I wanted to cry I would think why can’t I be like everyone else so vibrant and full of life and not afraid to talk. What is the matter with me!My mother never used the words like it or lump it. It was more like get the hell out you son of a bitch. Everything was her way I don’t remember a day that it was my way. She always denied me as if I was never really wanted I spent 23 years in that house with her and I don’t remember ever having a meaningful conversation with her at all. She never even discussed womanhood with me I was 11 years old the day I started my period I screamed at the top of my lungs that morning when I saw all this blood in the toilet I thought I was dieing she said nothing is wrong with you,stick some toilet paper in your underwear and go to school. My aunt worked at the cafeteria at my school,she showed up took me to the restroom because she had a belt and a pad for me that was the most humiliating day of my life and I still had no clue as to what was happening to me.To top it off one of my classmates was in the restroom and she was peeking into the stall making fun of me she was a mean girl with a smart mouth, again that made for a horrible day.My mother was probably the cruelest person I ever met. I have to go through the rest of my life undoing the damage that she has done to me. I am thankful for this site because everything that was pushed down inside me finally has an escape to freedom. Thank you Darlene for the work you do to help others get their voice back! Hugs, Jane

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th September

      Jane
      Oh my gosh! What a horrible thing to have to have gone through! That was a heartless thing for a mother to do. Wow. I just want to encourage you that once I found the right path to healing, it only took a few years of intense work. I no longer feel as though I will have to spend the rest of my life undoing the damage. I feel whole and free now and I feel that I HAVE the rest of my life to live. I am grateful for each new day! This process set me totally free!
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Janie Posted: 18th September

    You know, in reading the Erikson quote over, I remembered the teacher told us, that those who didn’t try and differentiate themselves in that 12-18 stage, that didnt do all those things that normal teens do, would most likely have mental illness later on.
    My sisters did not dare and do these things. No social lives. No testing boundaries or questioning the world. That is why they are extensions of my mother today. Wow, an ahah moment!

    Thanks,
    Janie

  24. By: sylvia Posted: 18th September

    Hi Janie,

    I found your comment really interesting. Yes, I too, believe that it is perfectly normal for teenagers to rebel, to have mood swings, to want to spend more time with friends and less time with parents, etc. Also to experiment, to find their own preferences, this is how we develop our own unique identities, and it is all part of the totally natural and correct process of seperating, of individuating from our parents. This is how we prepare to live independently in the world. All of these things were what I was punished and reviled for. I received so many mixed messages. They called me babyish and immature, while attempting to keep me as childlike as possible, and accusing me of being a slut in the same breath. They made me feel disliked and unwelcome in the family home, while trying to keep me a prisoner inside it. No wonder I was out of touch with my emotions. I struggled for years, to actually identify what I was feeling at any given time. It was like having my inbuilt emotional navigation system removed. I am now much more profficient at listening to myself, but it has taken a great deal of time to get to this point.

    Love, Sylvia x

  25. By: sylvia Posted: 18th September

    Hi Aurele!

    Yes, it is a terrible thing when the first man with whom you will ever have a relationship,(your father), makes you feel that you are dirty and disgusting. This is how we go on to have relationships with other men who treat us badly, it feels familiar to us. I have a theory about my father. I think he was attracted to very young girls, but felt ashamed of this. When I started the process of becoming a teenager, he projected his shame onto me in the form of disgust, making me feel as if I was defective, so that he didnt have to look at himself. This, combined with a complete lack of interest in me as a person, made me feel unworthy and unlovable. While he himself never did anything remotely sexual abusive to me, I think his attitude contributed to me becoming a rape victim at 13. I felt shameful and “less-than”, and I believe the rapists picked up on this, in the way a predator will target a more vulnerable creature. My mother also, had made me feel very ashamed of my body with crude, humiliating remarks. I was made a target for further abusers. But, I am getting better and better at caring for myself. And yes, when I said you were going places, I did indeed mean that you are making fantastic progress!

    Love, Sylvia x

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