· Tell a person they shouldn’t feel the way they feel
· Demand a person to not to feel the way they feel
· Declare a person too sensitive, too “dramatic”
· Ignore a person’s plea to connect
· Judge and attack the way a person feels
· Rally others to join as you work to convince a person to believe there is something wrong with them for feeling how they feel-invoke shame and fear of abandonment
Fuck Fuck Fuck….What to do…this is the dynamic to which I will no longer consent. My 85 year old mother, with cancer won’t budge, to tolerate any hint of a pain, I cannot contain or deny. I no longer accept this “abuse” and from where I am today, I see only these choices. Stay away altogether OR, well, that is all I see. I am not able to pretend that the pain of her attachment to my ex, as a workaround to healing conflict resolution, has not been harmful to my children and emotionally traumatic. The only offer- that I show up and pretend.
Just for today, I fucken cant, any more than my mother can say to me: Your feelings are real and important, though I do not share or understand them. I see how my words and behaviors alienated you and divided us. I think begging God is not working…or it is taking too long. She doesn’t have much time and I cannot force my own healing to come sooner than it will. I lack the resilience to consent to even a moment more. Very painful.
Consenting to invalidation is neither wholesome nor badass. I am not afraid. I am just not willing to be treated this way-in person. I can live with being estranged from them, but not from myself. Finding my tribe is a wholesome, badass mission. I cannot do that when I am pretending and denying.
Reposting Tom Weston’s Five Rules of Being a Grown Up, as I am still struggling with compliance issues:
The Five Rules of Being A Grown Up
By Tom Weston
1. You must not have anything wrong with you, or anything different about you.
2. If you have something wrong or different about you, you really need to correct it. You need to be able to pass under all circumstances.
3. If you can’t correct it, or change it in any way, you should just pretend that you have. It’s not a problem anymore. Good news!
4. If you can’t even pretend to have corrected the situation, you should just not show up, because it’s very painful for the rest of us to see you in your current condition.
5. If you’re going to insist on showing up, you should at least have the decency to be ashamed.