I prioritize the closeness and connection of my chosen relationships, holding zero regard for an illusion or status of having said “relationship”. Life is both too long and too short to pretend.
I have many swirling thoughts in need of sifting, from the last weeks of church and today’s meeting. For now I have time and energy only to share a reading from my program of recovery, which is front and foremost on my mind.
A brief study of some intangibles:Our attitudes are usually conveyed to other people by what we say and do — and how. If the attitudes really reflect what we feel. Gentle actions and soft, courteous words may only counterfeit our true feelings. We may even think we have overcome resentments, self-righteousness and self-pity, but if they are still there inside us, they will in some mysterious way emanate from us and deny what we try to convey by our play-acting.“How can he tell?” asks a confused wife. “I never raise my voice, never argue, try to do what he expects, and yet he’s always challenging me!”Today’s ReminderMerely to change my behavior, and what I say and do, does not prove a change of inward attitude. I am deceiving myself if I imagine I can completely disguise my real feelings. They will somehow come through, and prolong the hostility in my family. I must root out entirely the troublesome emotions I’ve been trying to hide.
The white knuckled, tight jaw, grin and bear it vibe— I cannot live in that way that or near that energy. It feels toxic to me, debilitating. If our truths divide us, that means we are not to be together, NOT that we are enemies but that we are unable to support each other in living as our best, fullest, truest selves. It makes no sense for me to place energy in pretending to be or feel a certain way, so that I may remain in “relationship” with a person or group. My experience is that people deeply committed to appearances and rightness and who boast willingness/commitment to enduring their own pretending for the “sake of the relationship”, become deeply enraged at the audacity of authenticity. In them, there appears to be a constitutional desire, to punish the truth speakers(those called to be transparent about their own unique and personal truths), and this shared anger can serve as a basis for connection. In the world of therapy, this is referred to as trauma bonding and triangulation.
While behaving in ways that are unkind and harmful, both my sister and ex would assert that their alliance and antics are harmless and that they are free from anger– that subjecting my children to the unwholesome gatherings is nothing more than trying to create a sense of family and connection(while attempting to alienate their mother). They are free from bad feelings– I am the only one broken enough to have or express pain or anger. I will never not feel angry about what this does to our children–the incongruous messages, the deception and the forced closeness with people they observe being harmful- while insisting on displays physical affection, forced proximity and and feigned connection. So YUCKy.
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