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Archive for the ‘Dysfunctional Behavior’ Category

Hiding from me what you do on your computer late at night continues to reinforce the message I received in childhood that I am not safe, things are not as they seem and what I want is of no consequence.

My grief is so deep. I am dirt to you.

You continue to over power me,  to control and win regardless of what I ask of you.

As long as my environment is not safe I will continue to recoil in fear.

I am an adult trapped in childhood trauma and I trust no-one but myself.

Nobody understands…..

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I thought toxic people could not interfere with my serenity but when I look back now I can see the infiltration was a slow process.
My friend was going through a very difficult time with her partner who I had deemed a sexaholic. She was not ready to look at that scenario which I respected.
On numerous occasions throughout the week she would relay to me the toxicity in her life and how she was so depressed, she tried to kill herself, he hit her, he hid money from her and I chose to listen to it.
I tried to hand the decisions back to her so I wasn’t a dumping ground but that was hard for me for I am not skilled in that technique and I am a fixer.
I remember when she first started to externalise her frustrations to me because I looked at her negativity in disbelief. I was past that stage and no longer felt the need to negatively externalise my dirty laundry. My self talk was not raging.
Slowly slowly her negativity crept back into my life until it again became my habit.  I needed it, I had to drop my “stuff” off somewhere, so I joined in.
My friend had bipolar disorder and was quite obsessive and possessive. She would turn up at my doorstep unannounced or her partner would dump her at my place after they’d had an argument letting me deal with her. At one stage she walked straight in my front door without knocking (that was a few months ago and I’m still freaked out by it now!).
Her obsessiveness exacerbated quite quickly during a very stressful time for me work wise. I was not emotionally in a position to cope with her constant texting, emailing, phoning and visits so I chose to politely terminate the friendship.
Surprisingly there was no drama (or comment) from her end but the RELIEF I felt was an eye opener for me. How did I let this person have such control over me? I felt such freedom after finishing the friendship (and still do). I was obviously so suffocated that I didn’t even realise it until it was over.
If I look closely at the friendship, I wanted to fix her. I saw myself as a martyr, the friendship was very unequal.  Whilst I enjoyed her company at the time, I lay in waiting for her to realise what she was dealing with in her partner – perhaps to validate what I believed was happening, I don’t know.
I’m happy that I did not leave her in the lurch without resources. She knew about the 12 Step Program for those affected by sexaholism, my thoughts on her partner and the patterns of her past relationships and family of origin. She HAD choices but I couldn’t make her choose them, I couldn’t save her from the grief of this disease at my own detriment. I was powerless.
My progress is that I have never before this terminated a friendship with honesty. I have never before said how I felt and I have never before said it politely!
Today I am more mindful of the people I become involved with.

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The inner child feels a lot of  pain and confusion today.

There is a nagging urge to make everything better, but how?

She is overwhelmed with everyone’s problems, she cannot cope.

She cannot fix everything, it is all too much.

Heavy chested, she has failed again.

She wants to run away and hide where nobody can find her;  to be free.

She hangs her head, hoping nobody will notice her.

There is something lurking in the shadows of her soul.

A very subtle guilt and shame nags at her insides.

It has nothing to do with today’s complexities.

A deep sorrowful groan is biding it’s time, waiting to surface.

She knows it is for her dad.  She is sorry she made him drink again.

She will try to do better next time.

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There was a time in my life where I could not feel any hope. I had completely forgotten what hope felt like.  Today I am recognising that hope has returned to me.

I am learning to love in a different way, to love a person for who they are, not what they do.  I am feeling a more deeper, grounded, accepting love. It has been a very slow process however the results are worth the wait.

For too long I put my life on hold waiting for others to save me, change their ways and make me happy.  In my eyes, “they” were the problem.  Now I acknowledge that I am the only one who has the power to change myself.  I have had to step forward regardless of what others do or do not do or my life will keep passing me by.

I am told to get myself out of denial but for today I cannot for I know my patner tries, he works his Program and is at a different place in his recovery than I am.  I continue to carry the full load alone in the hope that one day he will be considerate of me, acknowledge all the things I do and be willing to share the load equally with me as is done in a healthy partnership.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings
the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That
could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet,
never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

– Emily Dickinson.

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Little Miss Muffet (Art by Tracie76)I was getting ready for bed one evening and right beside my pillow on the wall sat a Daddy Long Legs spider.

I had just come home from a 12 Step meeting so I was calm and content. I first found my thoughts moving to leaving the spider there or gently picking it up with my bare hands and taking it outside for it would do me no harm. When I came to my senses my self talk included words such as “Don’t be so stupid, it’s a spider”, “Get rid of it”, “Flush it”, “Squash it”, “Vacuum it” or “Stick it in a jar”.

My initial kind reaction got me thinking about my childhood and my dad.  My dad was my God, he knew everything, he was always right and I was the apple of his eye. When I was about 4 or 5 years old, I recall my dad showing me a daddy long legs in our bathroom and telling me they won’t hurt me. He proceeded to pick the spider up with his bare hands and take it outside to set it free.

He often did that with bugs, lizards and spiders but the only thing I automatically leave be around my house today is the Daddy Long Legs spider.  All other creatures meet a timely death!

I began to realise how ridiculous my initial reaction to the Daddy Long Legs had been. A spider should be a spider regardless of its size, colour and name.  I am certain if it were a black spider (small or large) resting by my pillow, I would be struck down with fear and would remove it in an instant. Kindness wouldn’t enter into the equation.

It showed me to what extent children adopt the behaviours and thoughts of their parents.

It was now time for me to decide how “I” felt about the Daddy Long Legs. Thirty three years later it was time for me to make a stand and make my own choices in life, figure out my likes and dislikes and who I was inside.

A very small incident but such a good example of how important parenting is.

(I flushed it by the way!).

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I know very little about Amy Winehouse but when I read of her death and reports that she had been a drinker, drug taker and self harmer, I wondered what was causing her so much pain.  So I took the time to take a look at what had been reported on her family of origin over the years.

Amy Winehouse with Daddy's Girl Horseshoe & Naked Lady Tatoo

When Amy was 2 years old,  her father Mitch Winehouse reportedly began having a ‘not so secret’ affair for eight years before leaving the family home to be with his secretary/mistress when Amy was 10.  The Winehouse kids used to call their father’s mistress “Daddy’s work wife”.  I can only imagine the emotional pressure Mitch was under trying to maintain a business and keep two women happy at the same time.

She reportedly took the news of the family separation ‘all in her stride’ and it ‘didn’t seem to affect her’ according to her father yet she suddenly became more independent.

I can only imagine the thoughts in her head would have gone something like this:

  • “Can’t trust anyone anymore, need to look after myself now”;
  • “I’m not good enough”;
  • “I am alone”;
  • “Nobody loves me”;
  • “I’ll be good and he will come back”; and
  • “I need to be strong, mum needs my help”.

Fear of abandonment runs very deep and when you have a father that is not emotionally available to you, you do what it takes to get people to notice and love you.

As an adult, it seems Amy went on to seek out emotionally unavailable men, trying to make right the wrongs of her past yet ended up repeating her childhood like so many of us do.

However I do applaud Mitch Winehouse for publicly admitting his wrongs.  He would not be the first parent to walk around with their head in the sand not realising exactly how their actions affect the lives of their children.

If we had more people in the public eye opening up about their parental errors, the world just might start listening.

Mitch Winehouse, the power is in your hands. Let’s not let Amy’s death be in vain.

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There’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza dear Liza, there’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza, a hole”.

My grandmother used to sing that children’s song when I was young but little did I know I would have a hole in my bucket (my soul) when I grew up because my caregivers were so focussed on each other and my father’s alcoholism they were emotionally unavailable to me.

As a result I developed coping mechanisms, ways to help me feel loved, wanted and accepted for who I am.  I tried to fill the gaping  hole in my soul  the only way I knew how as a child, by self medicating through fantasy and role-playing.

In essence, I stuck a band aid over my hole when I needed love and comforting.

Band aid’s eventually wear thin and get replaced with new ones, sometimes bigger and stronger.

I still carry my band aid close to my chest but it has served little purpose except to temporarily patch up my underlying problem – pain, loneliness and an inner longing to be loved, accepted and wanted by my family. 

I can scream, rant and rave that life’s not fair but it won’t change the fact that I cannot go back to my childhood to ask my caregivers to meet my un-met needs.

It is now up to me to fill the hole in my soul by reaching out to a power greater than myself to provide me with the love and acceptance denied of me in childhood.

I can do this by reading 12 Step and self-help literature, attending 12 Step meetings, talking to other members and/or attending counselling.

As I watch a few grains of yellow sand fall into my bucket I am reminded of what a slow process this journey is and every now and again the band aid comes away and I am reminded of the deep despair I carry within.

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