LEARNING HOW TO BUILD A LIFE
on the experience of those who know
PREVIOUS: RECOVERY – IS & is NOT (#1)
SITE: “25 Things you do as an Adult when you’ve experienced Childhood Emotional Abuse”
(like the Laundry List)
IS NOT….❖…eliminating ALL pain from our life
IS...❧…a combination of gains & losses, fulfillment & disappointment, joy & pain – part of being human, not superhuman. Only addicts – of any kind – want ‘no pain’ & think that’s an appropriate goal
IS NOT…❖…trying to get from our family all the things we never got as kids, nor assume we can have a ‘great’ relationship with them – if only we were well enough
IS…❧…accepting there’s no ‘if only’ about our family & our childhood (SORRY!)
• It was their damage that prevented them from being all we needed. It was never because of who we are/ were! Yes, it was done to us, at us, with us – but it was never ABOUT us ie. our essence
• and, unless family members have been growing too, or changing enough, we may take more radical steps
We can choose how to deal with them – by :
a. having rare or no contact, to protect ourself from abuse & mind games
b. no contact for a long time, until we are more healed, so our buttons (which they installed) get much smaller :)! Then re-connect & see….
c. limited contact, to see who they really are, for clarification & validation of how they treated us – which will diminish our self-hate, & allow us to gain some emotional distance from the family drama
d. regular contact, spaced out AND only as friendly Adults. Don’t expect them to be parental if they can’t. Interact superficially or only in ways that suites everyone. Don’t push for the impossible!
➼ Others will often disappoint, which can make us sad & angry. That’s normal. It just doesn’t have to devastate. NOW it’s truly up to us to become Kind Parent & Wise Adult for ourselves, with the help of therapy, H.P., Program & other support systems.
IS NOT...❖…saying we have forgiven our family, as if it were an intellectual decision, made once & forever, hoping that will wipe out all of the damage they inflicted, & all of our pain
IS…❧…knowing that forgiveness is a gift from H.P. – a ‘letting go’ – as a result of our willingness to do Recovery work to clean out old emotional wounds.
Forgiveness is the end product of that work, rather than a prerequisite for growth, as many tell us. Forgiveness isn’t genuine without healing our rage & sorrow. (9 posts = 4 types)
PROOF : when we try to ‘will’ forgiveness & think it’s all behind us – eventually some life-event will stir up that unresolved pain & bite us in the butt. Besides, some abuses are un-forgivable! But we still have to let go of being a victim of our own rage by feeling the sadness that’s underneath (“Forgiveness Is an Inside Job“)
IS NOT…❖…getting over our rage, so we don’t have to feel it any more OR not having any more terror, worry, sadness… if/when we get ‘really healthy’
IS... ❧…knowing & accepting that we’ll always have some vestiges of the old pain, fear, rage, shame & abandonment hurt, BUT that those Es doesn’t have to control us
…. being willing to separate internally, from the bad voice & externally, from harmful people. It’s absolutely necessary to get away from damaging situations & negative thoughts. After all, if you kept scraping away at a sore on your skin, it wouldn’t heal, would it?
• At first this ‘letting go’ can bring up fear & depression, but with time, it will allow us to heal old wounds, making us less fearful & angry.
We can find & use new ways to deal with those painful Es – by: learning to accept & comfort ourselves & letting them out in safe places & ways. Then we’ll experience pleasant, joyful emotions as well.
NEXT: RECOVERY – IS & is NOT (#3)
3 thoughts on “RECOVERY – What IT IS & IS NOT (Part 2)”
You have an awesome website. So much info…so complete.. thx
You’re welcome & thank for letting me know.
One way recovery is expressed in my life is when some of the constant pain is replaced with good feelings every now and then. It catches me off guard – I’m surprised to be feeling a tiny bit good. It doesn’t last too long but just getting a hint of a good feeling is surprising and nice. It happens when I’ve been nurturing little Shana a lot. And letting her cry and being there for here – reassuring her – loving her. (I haven’t been doing much of this lately—but that’s another issue).