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Posts Tagged ‘adult child’

Repressed Anger

Is it really a bad thing that I express my repressed childhood anger towards other people who irritate me?

At least it’s coming out, right? ūüėÄ

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I have spent much of my life disconnected from things.

What does that mean? It means feeling numb, without emotion, without opinion, the absence of enjoyment, not really knowing who I am and not feeling connected to my body, needs, wants and desires.

A bit like a living zombie!

I have actually had a few moments where I have felt connected and free. Earlier this year when I made the big decision not to join my family of origin for Christmas Day was one of them. It was my way of standing up and saying that I was no longer going to continue to play the game of denial. I was no longer going to sweep the family secrets under the rug.

My decision saw my connection to self and wonderful carefree feeling last for some weeks but I was subsequently shut down again after an argument that reminded me of abusive treatment in my past. I retreated back into my safe hole.

I’m finding myself curious about feeling like “me” again and I want to experience it more but I do not know how to switch myself¬†back on again.

Perhaps it is something I need to give myself permission to do or perhaps there is another phase in my healing that needs to unravel, I’m not so sure.

I do know that I want to experience more of it. I deserve to experience more of it rather than stay trapped by the abusive experiences of my past.

I no longer want to be a living zombie.

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I think my feelings of inadequacy perpetuated from childhood. The things I did and tried so hard at were never good enough in the eyes of my family and extended family. Their hurtful comments and put downs left me feeling like I was a failure, worthless and not as good as my relatives, who they praised.
 
By putting someone down was how my family of origin learned to “encourage” someone. I know this because I did the same thing as an adult. ¬†When I became aware of it I realised that it just doesn’t work. If it made me feel inadequate and miserable as a child (and as an adult), then it will surely make others feel inadequate and miserable too!. ¬†Time to change my ways from negative encouragement to positive encouragement and that is what I try to do today.
 
Last week I left my job of 11 months and am moving onto another job next week. My former boss said great things to me such as “the new girl is not like you R.C” (my brain was saying – I bet she’s not as dysfunctional as me!) and “any time you need a reference, you’ve got it” (my brain was saying – he doesn’t really mean that,¬†if only he knew¬†what goes on behind the scenes!).¬†
 
My inner critic in regards to performance will be there for a long time I think because I have lived with negative encouragement (outside and inside)  for almost all of my life.  
 
I can see my flaws and I am of the dysfunctional belief that they outshine my positives when I am around others.  Perhaps that is because my flaws were always pointed out as a child and my positives were generally overlooked. 
 
I have often read that the adult child spends a lot of time covering up their true selves from the belief that they are bad.  I could never really relate to that until I was offered my new position. The offer triggered a great fear in me that everyone will see how bad I am,  I will be truly exposed and all my flaws apparent. It was a necessary part of my recovery to uncover that memory/emotion and to debunk an old childhood belief.
 
It will take some time for me to completely believe positive comments from others in lieu of second guessing them. Nevertheless I can feel a shift forward in my self belief after this incident and that’s some progress on my part.

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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 have lived with the diseases of sexaholism, codependency and alcoholism for nearly 40 years.

They have broken me many times and brought me to despair.

Sometimes it gets so tiring fighting off these diseases in my life.

They will do what they can to show me I am worthless and useless.

Many times I feel I can’t go on living but my human spirit continues to keep the blood pumping through my veins.

I do not know why I am allowed to wake up and face a new day, why I am not simply taken peacefully in my sleep.

Today I ask the darkness to swallow me up for I do not wish to see tomorrow’s light.

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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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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 Рpain, 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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