“They Did the Best They Could” (Part 2)


denial 

PREVIOUS : They did the best … (#1)

 

 

First – Review Part 1


2. DENIAL : Re. US (cont.)
i. PROBLEM

We want to ‘forgive’ without going thru the process of healing!
• Most of our parents may not have been evil – although some definitely were, & some things they did are unforgivable. repetition compulsion
There are ACoAs who are determined to ‘have it out’ with a parent or other abuser, or try to explain. Yes, we’ve tried – over & over – but got flat denial or more abuse. It’s been an absolute waste of time – they don’t want to know!

Motivation
WHY do we want to approach them about the pain they caused?
Usually it’s because the WIC wants to do the impossible – change them, get them ‘to see’, force them to admit their culpability, OR just hurt them back….

ii. REALITY
• we are very angry at them. We need to feel it, but only in safe ways & places, away from them – with people who can hear our pain & don’t have a stake in shutting us up
• our WIC is still in deep shock. We need to identify & validate those early experiences before we can let ‘move on’. Until then, our life is run by our damage

• we need a clear picture of the toxic lessons we learned, so we know what to change
• we have to stop wanting our unavailable family’s approval & love, since they can’t because they haven’t dealt with their early damage, & probably never will. As adults, some of us have a better relationship with parts of our family, but most don’t. We have to accept that or we’ll keep feeling devastated

• we can’t afford to exonerate them, to white-wash the abuse & neglect.  It’s what they taught us to do – to never hold them accountable.  SO now we don’t hold others accountable either for bad behavior, letting ourselves be exploited

➼ WHY is this this process important? Because – as long as we negate their responsibility, we take it on as ours. We need to see the truth, not them, so we can stop copying old patterns (Freud’s Repetition Compulsion)

This bears repeatingself-hate tells us we always cause all our suffering – old & new. This is a lie.  Just think – our parents were fully formed & set in their ways before we were born, no matter how young they were. We could not possibly have been bad enough as ages 2, 5, 10…. to warrant the punishments & accusations we got! It was their damage, their rage, their abandonment pain, their addictions, their anxiety – NOT US!

BTW, sometimes it’s OK to talk with family members – if they’re willing, to:
• ASK questions about :
– what they remember about us as kids, & their early experiences with us
– about a parent’s childhood & life before kids, or what our siblings went thru & how they saw things back then. It can be very helpful because each kid’s experience is different, which can round out our understanding

• And to TELL them:
– what WE remember (good but mostly bad)
– how we felt back then, and now
– what we needed & missed
– how we’d like to be treated in the present…..

….. BUT ONLY when we’ve done some rage work, to approach them with equanimity & boundaries, and without the expectation that they’ll change understand or respond ‘sanely’!
It’s not about punishing them OR getting them to see our point!
So – what would be the point?

✶ The main purpose is for the Inner Child (damaged & healthy) to hear our Adult stand up for ourselves. To finally have our say, no matter what the outcome. We we voiceless as kids, but not anymore!
EXP:  After may years of Recovery, one woman sat at the kitchen table for 2 hrs, calmly telling her narcissistic mother what she’d learned about her childhood.
At the end the mother’s only comment was: “So you’re saying I should never have been a mother”.
“Yes” responded the daughter, unfazed & without guilt – even tho that’s not what she’d said or implied. Then they went about making dinner. Amazing!

NEXT: They did the best…. #3

2 thoughts on ““They Did the Best They Could” (Part 2)

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