abnormal psychology, adult children of alcoholics, alcoholism, anxiety, buddhism, domestic abuse, domestic violence, health, psychology

The Right to Change Your Mind / Don’t Stay “no matter what” .

It is easy to develop bad behavioral patterns. We become co-dependent or addicted to certain behaviors that are not healthy for us.

We are used to doing things a certain way. We make choices and stick to them “no matter what” Sometimes we have to make a U Turn.

Well, I am back now in one piece. I did not realize that the snow storm was in full force. I made the choice to go to visit at work while I was in the nice warm house.

I really wanted to introduce my daughter to my friends at work and I wanted to visit my patients.

I did not check the weather report or ask anyone in the house how the roads were. I just took my teenager and got in the car. We slid it out of the of driveway. I decided to drive a bit and see how the roads were.

It became apparent quickly that the snow was going to continue and that the plows were struggling to keep up. I got all the way to the sign for my job.

I looked up the big hill and saw it was covered with snow. I went about 3 feet up the hill and the car was sliding down. I realized that even if I made it up the hill, it was going to be treacherous getting down later.

I told my daughter that this was a life lesson for her. In the past I would have kept going just because I had made the decision to go to the building and I had come all that way.

Sometimes in life, we make a choice to begin on a path. Sometimes it is a relationship. It could be a career or a job. It could be behavioral patterns that we establish or a habit of some sort.

We have decided to go along on this path. We do a lot of work along the way. We stick in there when it seems that there might be something wrong. We should probably have changed our minds sooner, when the evidence presented itself that it was not a healthy or safe path for us.

But looking up that slippery hill and feeling the car begin to slide made me stop right there and think.

Just because we got all dressed in our coats and scarves. Just because we drove all that way. Just because I really thought it was a good idea at the time.

Even the fact that I texted my friend at work to tell he we were coming and she was excited to meet my daughter, is not enough reason to continue into a situation full with peril. You have to be able to see ahead enough to think about what is likely to happen.

Where is this path leading you? If you follow it , even against your intuition telling you that it is bad, even if your rational brain tells you there is danger, then you are going to be hurt.

I am an adult child of an alcoholic. For some reason we have a compulsion to continue with any commitment and any choice that we make. It makes us feel inadequate when we give up.

But the other day I was thinking about this very thing. Why did I stay in abusive relationships, even when I could see a path to get out. it was only because I said I would. I told them I would stay with them and I felt that I had to stay no matter what.

It is the “no matter what” thinking that can get you into trouble. Once you notice that it was either a bad choice to begin with or that something has changed to make the situation different than you originally signed up for, then Change Your Mind. Run, Turn around, Go back, Go sideways, GET OUT.

Follow your instinct. Listen to your rational brain. Trust your feelings. Don’t let anyone even yourself, make you feel bad for changing your mind.

Many women (and men and unborn babies) die every year from being in harms way from domestic abuse. The women feel obligated to stay no matter what, because they said they would. They made a promise to stand by his side.

But what about her feelings? What about her safety? What about her self-esteem?

Other consequences of staying on a path “no matter what” is staying in a thankless job when you have chances to go do something that is more suited to you and would be better for your self-esteem.

WE stay with what is familiar and what we are used to. We stick to the promises we made, even when the person does not deserve it and is not honoring their end of the deal.

If it helps you, you could think of it this way – The other person has broken the contract by not honoring their end of the bargain. They broke it , not you. You are free to walk away without feeling like a quitter.

So I told my daughter, we were going to back down the hill. I was changing the original choice to go up there. It had become apparent that the situation was very unsafe. The likelihood of damage to the car and to ourselves was too high of a risk.

Assess your risks. Not just at the beginning because new information comes all the time. If new information tells you that something is wrong, that is the time to assess the risks again.

If it is not worth the potential hurt to you, then don’t continue. There are other paths that are full of possibilities. There are adventures awaiting you and very interesting people to meet.

Change the path. It is ok. Think of all the possibilities that are waiting to meet you on another path.

There is always another choice, another path, another job, another lover, another lifestyle. There is no point of no return as long as you are open to possibilities.

It is your life. You are the one that has to live with the consequences of your choices in the end.

You have the right to be safe, happy and productive. You have the right to pursue the paths that look good to you and change to a different path if you want to.

Enjoy your paths and your choices. God Bless all of You
Thank you for Hearing my voice


6 thoughts on “The Right to Change Your Mind / Don’t Stay “no matter what” .”

  1. I am glad that I found this post. Wisdom is encoded in every line. For me, the reasoning is, I’m staying until I’m ready to love. It has to do with not letting other people bully me
    into subverting my goals. But that is either or thinking. The last time I did this it resulted in the loss of my ability to work. So thank you for this post.


  2. Very well said. Great point and analogy. When I realized I was stuck in that sort of stubborn thinking, I decided it was better to do what was ¨right¨ rather than what was ¨good¨. ¨Good¨ might please the abuser, but ¨right¨ would leave me with less regret. They were no longer the same thing, if they ever were. That helped me a lot, to discern the best path at crossroads in the time of leaving and the years just after.


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