What kicks off these writing sprees is I realize present circumstances are being discolored through the pain-filter of the past and I refuse to "live" there and allow that experience to sit in my life, unchallenged. I don't dwell, but I do dig and try to, hopefully both- understand and heal it. This is nothing new, its gone on since I first journaled at 12.
It should be said that how I see things sometimes aren't what my loved ones intend, that what I experience is filtered through a past of abuse at times, and leaves the world distorted. It hurts them and it hurts me. This isn't fair to them and I hate it for them. Sometimes I get so tired of having to work through the warped horror-house mirror to understand what they meant, if they're willing to talk to me about it. I sometimes doubt I'm worth the trouble of these uncomfortable conversations these loved ones go through, often over and over. I get so tired of it for them.
Thankfully, I am surrounded with people, especially this person, that values me as much as I him. We both came away with an awareness and understanding and more closeness than I'd ever imagined. This is what patience and love is.
What is left is love and understanding, strength and faith.
First realize we all have our stuff that comes from those first 10 to 20 years of our lives. Those habits started way back then can either effect your life a little (if your family was kinda healthy) or alot (your family was like mine.)
These habits will follow us for lifetimes if we let it. But, don't kid yourself, it is harder done than said to eliminate some issues. And talking about it once or twice in therapy won't cut it, either. Sometimes, just sometimes, you just have to resign yourself to live with it. It means some suffering, but it is what it is.
Ylanla Vanzant (my heroine, one of my fav authors) says that close relationships offer us mirrors that give us chances to heal. This is her quote from In the Meantime:
“Sooner or later, we must all accept the fact that in a relationship, the only person you are dealing with is yourself. Your partner does nothing more than reveal your stuff to you. Your fear! Your anger! Your pattern! Your craziness!"
God Allmighty, do I ever have so much to heal. How this manifests is a benign conversation that triggers a malign response in yourself (myself).
So, two loving people are having a conversation about an opinion/feeling about someone. I see that the very important other person listening to me often takes the viewpoint of the other person in the topic, explaining them.
Suddenly, I feel put on the lower realm of the proverbial totem pole. Between us, this syndrome has happened a bit, and it always strikes a chord- a pretty low one. Did I get angry? Maybe, but it hurt first. Why?
Depending on what the hububs about, at those times, I hear
"Your issue isn't as important as theirs, shut up."
"Be better. Don't sink as low as to get irritated."
"You don't have the same privilege they do to make mistakes."
"You don't have the right to your feelings about this."
and on a really bad day for me,
"You don't deserve better."
This strikes such a chord that tonight I cried, allowing myself to feel the pain of it, realizing the tears were old ones. I was almost tempted to promise myself to give in to others (later situations) for whatever reason I should-- or not bring up any conflict (strong feeling) involving myself with my love.
(Side note, in this particular relationship, I believe the habit my love has about this is permanent- and I also believe my reaction to it is equally set and permanent, so this will be a healing area for me on an ongoing basis. Not such a bad thing, as this issue for me goes deep.)
If you didn't know, altho I had 2 half brothers, I was raised as an only child, very secluded (<--sheltered does NOT fit, but perhaps sequestered) from other people and that habit stayed much later, too, hence the exaggerated importance of my parents. Its that way for ALL only children, but me moreso because of how controlling my Dad was. FWIW, I still have nightmares almost every night.
So, my Dad drank, acted like an abusive ass and beat my Mom. He cussed me and sometimes he tried the physical stuff on me. I got angry when he acted like an ass, I didn't take it. To keep peace, my Mom made reasons/excuses/justifications for him, trying to shut me up so I didn't rock the boat. It didn't work. I was the loud speaker heralding WE'RE SINKING in a very dysfunctional, leaky raft full of people who needed both straight jackets and life preservers.
He had a bad day.
His stomach is hurting him.
His back is hurting him.
He's not mad at you, I did .....
Well, you shouldn't have done this....
He went over to Frenchie's and he gave him one of those pills!
You know he wouldn't have done that if he'd been sober....
What this did was turn me against both of them and ended with me whooping his ass, mano a mano. (I looked it up, it isn't mana for women, either). Yes, I did and no, I'm not proud, but I don't regret it. He didn't touch me again in anger or control, so I consider that a success.
The other origin. First, understand my mother was a peace-keeper when other people were in conflict. (Blessed are the peacekeepers, eh? I call bullshit. Instead, do the healthy thing and validate the one in front of us without denigrating the other person or stay out of it. I found that empathy and validation is the best way to defuse a situation containing strong feelings. You go the other route and you create... guess what? Resistance.)
Anyway, knowing this about her-- and in my rather short and unemotional way to put it-- my poor Mom had such an awful upbringing, she was envious of Cinderella. At least Cindy there had warmth, food and a life without molestation. So, in comparison, no matter how bad mine may seem to you, to her it was a castle in the clouds. What this meant is that if something happened and I was on the crappy end of the deal, I was expected to be the bigger person and let it slide. I eventually believed I must be perfect and have no "flaws".
It seemed I was the last one allowed to be righteously indignant about anything if it made her feel conflicted. What grew out of that was a perfectionist woman who was afraid to be human and have human feelings and if I did, I'd die defending them, like a bulldog on a bumper. Worked through that. Ok, kinda. It took me years just to be able to cry for fear of what it would mean for or do to the one in the room with me.
The term for those statements and that state of being is invalidation, taken from http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com/2007/02/invalidation-invalidation-is-to-reject.html is defined as
(Introduction) to reject, ignore, mock, tease, judge, or diminish someone's feelings. It is an attempt to control how they feel and for how long they feel it.
Tangent to be answered later... my question is why? What threat does someone's emotions have to the listener? I get my Mom's fear. But other people, especially if it has nothing to do with them? Isn't it riskier (relationship-wise) to diminish "your" person's experience? Anyway, the site goes on to read...
Constant invalidation may be one of the most significant reasons a person with high innate emotional intelligence suffers from unmet emotional needs later in life.(1) A sensitive child who is repeatedly invalidated becomes confused and begins to distrust his own emotions. He fails to develop confidence in and healthy use of his emotional brain-- one of nature's most basic survival tools. To adapt to this unhealthy and dysfunctional environment, the working relationship between his thoughts and feelings becomes twisted. His emotional responses, emotional management, and emotional development will likely be seriously, and perhaps permanently, impaired. The emotional processes which worked for him as a child may begin to work against him as an adult. In fact, one definition of the so-called "borderline personality disorder" is "the normal response of a sensitive person to an invalidating environment" (2)
At one point in time, I could have been dxed with BPD, which is complex PTSD mixed with an emotionally sensitive person. I, if I'd been dxed, was the type that took on too much responsibility and didn't "split" other people, I split myself.
That is the root of invalidation--- the person doing the invalidating (minimizing, explaining another, etc) is having a hard time handling their own feelings brought up via conflict, usually anxiety. It has nothing to do with you. What an aha moment.
What to do instead? Is one expected to always take the side of your spouse or friend? First, feelings aren't wrong. Always validate those and side with those. That's the root of the issue, anyway.
What I want from myself is first when this comes up again, and it will-- to not take it out on the other person and concrete my position with them like I did with this one lady. To this day, I do not like her and I could beat her with a pooper scooper because of her position being defended like it was. I'm human and I admit it, as embarrassing as it is. I do have a dark side, albeit funny sometimes.
Second, I want to be strong enough to stand where I feel right about, even after having heard my love's viewpoint (if the explanation doesn't make sense to me). I don't want to fear if I stand in my position, I would be giving up love or esteem. I suppose we all fear that. Whether or not we get there is the mystery.
Third, to eventually say I don't need tempering. I'm fine as I am. I won't spontaneously combust or beat someone with a pooper scooper. (But add Tequila and all bets are off).
What I do need is someone who understands, listens and maybe laughs it off with me. If you can't say anything, how about, I can see where you would feel that way?
Get to the root. check
Figure out what is needed. check
Good healing process. Thanks Ylanla for bringing that gift of awareness.