RECOVERY – What IT IS & IS NOT (Part 2)

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 9.30.12 AM 

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
(just like the Laundry List)

 


RECOVERY 
IS NOT….
❖…eliminating ALL pain from our life
IS...
❧…a combination of gains & losses, fulfillment and 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 were! (Yes, it was done to us, at us, with us – but it wano more blames never ABOUT us  ie. our essence)
and, unless family members have been growing, or changing – enough – we may choose more radical steps

We can choose how to deal with them – by :
a. rare or no contact, to protect 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 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 & pain. (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 sorrow 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’Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 9.38.11 AM

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: letting them out in safe places & ways, learning to accept & comfort ourselves. Then we’ll experience pleasant, joyful emotions as well.

NEXT: RECOVERY – IS & is NOT (#3) 

RECOVERY – What it IS & IS NOT (Part 1)

in with the new 

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
Dismantling the old patterns

PREVIOUS: Self-esteem IS

SITEBenefits of a Gratitude List

 

IS NOT…❖…expecting to get unconditional love and perfect sanity from any human. It’s unrealistic, but the Wounded Inner Child demands it anyway. Now – when we don’t get it, we accuse others of abandoning us!

IS…❧…understanding that in adult relationships –  each person has their own needs.  Since our parents couldn’t give us unconditional love, when it would have been ‘normal’, we can only look for it now from ourselves, our pets & our Higher Power.  As we interact with healthier people we will receive more appropriate companionship – be mirrored, understood, respected, considered, loved…but never perfectly!
🦋

IS NOT…❖…being free of emotions (Es) that were unacceptable in our family, controlling our Es or trying to have ‘appropriate’ Es. Those are signs of damaged thinking – (CDs) – NOT the same as being in control of our behavior!

IS…❧…accepting all emotions as legitimate. Humans are built with the capacity AND the need to feel. Es are the natural indicators of our reaction to any experience – to let us know whether something is good or bad for us. Re.T.E.A. —
Actions may, or may not, be good, & can be corrected, over time
• Unhealthy Thoughts can be reframed & replaced, when harmful or incorrect
finger Es
Es just are. They can go from very joyful <–to–> very painful, but are never good or bad! We need to have access to a wide range of Es, with many shades. It gives us a sense of vibrancy & allows us to connect with others.
Only looking seeing everything in B & W = tv, paintings, walls, clothes….. can become quite boring. Suppressing or narrowing down Es (to 1 or 2, like rage or fear) will make us cold, hard, distant & ultimately limited, one-dimensional.
The intensity & depth of our emotional reservoir (old childhood pain) is so great that it will never be completely empty.  Accept this & learn how to manage Es rather than trying to spiritualize them away!
(review “Feelings Aren’t Facts” posts) (MORE re. hand-emotions)
🦋

IS NOT…❖…trying to fix our childhood damage, to eliminate all character defects & do is easily and quickly.  Any effort to fix ourselves means we think we’re bad, that our badness is our own fault, SO we’re responsible for doing anything we can to eradicate it. (BTW, this is one of the reasons why many ACoAs want to be dead)

IS…❧…accepting that alcoholism & co-dependence have left deep scars & emotional hangovers. (ACoA site) These will take our life-time to gradually heal. Being human means we’ll never be perfect – but Recovery IS truly possible!damage?
Many have proven it.
Humility (not humiliation) is acknowledging our human limitations, with a consistent willingness to evaluate ourselves with compassion, in honesty & reality, modifying our thoughts & action so we can reach our own goals
🦋

IS NOT…❖…being ‘serene’ all the time.
• To always be pleasant, kind, honest, thoughtful…is a disguise for a wide range of emotions we don’t find acceptable
• To still be the good boy / girl, in the present, is the symbiotic need for our family’s approval, rather than becoming our own person
• Forever trying to be ‘so good’ is a negation of our legitimate rage & pain of childhood abandonment

IS...❧…gaining genuine serenity, based on a solid emotional, mental & spiritual foundation – from the inside.  This creates the unshakable knowledge that we are ok even when we’re in pain, under pressure, not understood or supported.  We can have upheaval, express intense pain / anger… and still be at peace, deep down.  Serenity is the by-product of knowing & accepting ourselves in the moment, trusting our gut, having a great support system & a loving H. P.

NEXT: RECOVERY IS / IS NOT #2