The message was consistent, from my family of origin and in my marriage–that my experiences, needs, desires, concerns were invalid, inadmissible, troublesome. When (99.9% of the time) my needs or sentiments were not shared by the others, voicing them served only as grounds for gossip, debate, and conflict.
In my program of recovery, I was directed to avoid jumping in the ring when invited. To stop participating in my own abuse and neglect. While I could not stop it, I definitely could make it worse, for myself, by reacting or coninuing to try to speak and be heard– about the thing. I learned to stop engaging in ways which were escalating, and seemed only to diminish me. I was taught for the first time, how to practice basic self-care, to nurture myself and build resilience. Sadly, I still have no clue how to intentionally seek and do activites which might enrich and elevate the quality of my life. —Only to stop the bleed- to put distance between those and that which harms me. Catherine Ghoneim Whitney
Having been shown that abuse is earned, and the shame is for and on the abused, I too, adopted and justified abusive behaviors. How was I ever to learn or believe in my own goodness when my family, showed me consistently that they did not? And also — when they abused a person, it was only because that person deserved it???
I am tired, tired from the unlearning– the constant exercise and practice of new thinking and behaviors which do allow me to break the cycle, but coupled with the unforgettable grief, leave me with little energy for much else– like figuring out how to live this life. I observe people all around, achieving, celebrating, relaxing, aspiring and creating. I am grateful to be now working with a therapist to see if I can begin to build some of that into my days. I sure would like for my boys to have more than a shell of a mom, who literally scrapes by one tedious day at a time. OH– And for Sweet Greg to have a fully alive partner who willingly engages in and embraces life, at least some of the time.Much Love,
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