Teaching Children to Have Self Esteem

While it is true that life can dish out some unfair circumstances, we do not need to “prepare” our children for this by treating them unjustly.

Children and teenagers are very aware and sensitive about fairness. It is emotionally and psychologically painful to them to be treated in ways that are unjust.

They need to be heard and validated. If we are to teach them to have integrity and to treat other people fairly, we need to do the same with them.

Children and teenagers do not learn by what we say, as much as they learn from what we do. Our actions are far more powerful that our words.

Children learn what they see and what they experience.

They should have a chance to tell their side of things and to talk about their feelings. We cannot teach them that our legal system offers a fair trial and then turn around and punish them without hearing them out.

Let us treat our children that they matter. Their integrity and self esteem matters.

This is the way they can learn to set boundaries with other people.

They can learn how to explain how they feel about things and why they feel that way.

If a situation arrises that the child will experience consequences then they should understand what is happening and why.  Those consequences should be equal to their behavior and not overblowing what actually happened.

Teachers that punish an entire class of students, for the bad behavior of 1 or 2 students, are not teaching the children that they are individuals with individual rights.

Sometimes there are unavoidable consequences for a child due to something their sibling or their classmate did, but consequences should not be inflicted upon innocent bystanders just to exercise control or to make a point.

Children need to grow up in a safe emotional and psychological environment.

Imagine if you were at work and forced to do overtime without pay, all because of a disruptive co-worker who slowed down the progress of the workday.

You would feel angry and mistreated. How would this affect your feelings about the supervisor that made you work extra hours with no pay?

How would this affect your overall morale?

There is an old saying that you may have seen on an office poster….

“Until morale improves…the beatings will continue..”

You cannot punish people into wanting to behave better. Children and teenagers are people and they need to be able to trust their environment.

This will allow them to blossom and learn. A benevolent and just environment will allow children.  To feel valued as individuals.

The ability to express one’s emotions and thoughts is a learned skill. To be able to present your side of a situation in a logical and understandable manner is a critical life skill.

Let us hear our children and teenagers out. Teach them respect of others and respect for themselves.

Let us celebrate the young minds and remember that those minds can tell when they are treated unjustly.

There is a psychological consequence for every negative experience and there are associations wired into the brain im regards to repeated experiences.

If we want the respect of our children, we need to treat them with compassion and empathy, as best as we can. There is no rule that says the adult cannot apologize if you make a mistake.

It shows the child that you respect them when you admit when you are wrong. It teaches them that everyone makes mistakes.

When you forgive your children for their mistakes they will learn to forgive you for yours. This will help to build their self esteem.

Self esteem is critical for survival. If we bring up children to be adults that cannot self-generate self esteem then they will be targets for predators and abusers.

Children and teenagers that learn to express their feelings and expain their side of things will be better equipped to deal with the people they meet as adults.

 

Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents

Low self esteem.

Lack of being able to self generate feelings of self worth.

Fear of doing things that make other people upset, angry or disappointed.

Difficulty prioritizing oneself.

Trouble feeling motivated to get ahead in life. 

These are some of the symptoms of C-PTSD from growing up with a narcissistic parent. Your subconscious brain is programmed very early about your identity, and  your role in the family and your place in the world. 

Associations are deep in the subconscious.

If you do not comply with the other person, there will be consequences to pay. If you cause someone to become upset , you will pay dearly. 

People from more health families learn to look out for themselves. You learned that in order to protect yourself, you have to look out for others. 

People from functional families were taught to be in touch with their own feelings and to love themselves.

 If you were the child of a narcissist, you were taught to defend against the wrath f the narcissist by not expressing your own feelings. Eventually you began to have trouble identifying what you want at all. 

As an adult this wiring in your brain keeps you from taking care of yourself properly.

You still have that hyper-vigilance that there is a threat of danger when someone near you is not getting their way. 

You may have a fear of being abandoned by the people you love, if you consider your own needs to be equal to theirs. The longer you cater to the desires of other people, in a relationship, the more they come to expect that treatment from you. 

People around you can become conditioned to expect you to always agree, always go along with them, and never challenge them. 

One of the many problems of this “people pleaser” behavior is that it attracts narcissists and predators. Narcissists and psychopaths want easy prey or at least a victim that had obvious emotional wounds that they can use to use against you. 

If you have never practiced standing up for yourself, then you have no idea how to do this, and you fear the consequences of doing so. What would happen to your relationships if you said “no” to someone? 

What would happen to your world of you began to prioritize your own needs? What consequences would follow if you believed that your needs and ideas were just as valuable as those of the people in your life?

Well, you can see the people in the world who are not afraid to say “no.” You interact with them all the time. They say “no” to you all the time. These people are not all in the same category. 

There are people who do what they want all the time. They never let people cross their boundaries. In fact, they cross over into your world and stomp all over your rights and invade your boundaries all the time. 

These are the narcissists. You may have a fear of becoming like that. You do not want to become the parent that emotionally abused you. The very person that caused much of your difficulty in getting what you want out of life. 

But there is another category of people who stand up for themselves. These are people that have healthy boundaries but still respect the rights of other people. They do not exploit and manipulate others. 

They express their feelings and let people know what they want. They go after the things they want out of life and they consider their personal dreams, desires and emotions to be a high priority. 

 These are not narcissists. They do not use aggressive, emotionally manipulative communication. They do not covertly try to get emotional reactions from you, in order to exploit and control you. 

There is a line between assertive and aggressive. You are being assertive when you express what you do and do not want.

You are being aggressive when you make it clear that you do not care what the other person wants. You undermine, lie to, and gaslight people to get your way. 

Being assertive and having healthy boundaries does not have to injure other people.

You are not a bad person for looking out for yourself.

You are not a narcissist if you care about your own feelings and needs. You are a normal human being. 

I will write about this topic again in the future. Please leave comments below about a specific question or particular problem that you have.

Give me some ideas about problems of having C-PTSD  (complex PTSD) that you are dealing with. 

I want to hear from adult children of narcissistic parents. Also from anyone that grew up under the heavy cloud of a narcissist in some capacity. It is not always a parent. 

Also, if you feel that your ability to move forward and get momentum in life has been affected by narcissistic abuse, either during childhood or as an adult, please leave me any ideas about questions I can address in a future post. 

 

 

 

Children Should Have Magical Holidays

zzz

Image

You Know a Psychopath

Most people think that psychopaths are only in the movies or that they are in prison for serial killing sprees. This is not true. Psychopaths are around you and you have interacted with them.

No, this does not mean you are in danger or that they will be physically violent if they do target you for “special attention” as a particular favorite victim. It does not mean they will target you at all.

What is does mean is that 3 out of 100 people you ineract with is a psychopath. They can appear charming, they may take great care to look attractive and they often hold positions of respect within the community.

Psychopaths are teaching, giving therapy sessions, leading churches, contributing to charities and giving you medical treatment. They make up 3 to 4 percent of the population and you have exchanged words with one of them.

Being in the presense, even daily, with a psychopath does not meam they will ever harm you. They may just be using you to help maintain or promote their image, which is their “false self.”

Psychopaths will only specifically target certain people, usually ones that are predisposed to abuse. Other people are used as tools, proxies and pawn pieces in their games.

Narcissists , sociopaths and psychopaths are one and the same but they are on a spectrum. You can look up Nine Traits of Narcissism on google or YouTube.

The term sociopath is not any different than a psychpath. There was once a desire to make a strong distnction between narcissists and psychopaths and to create a label of in-between the two ends of the spectrum.

Make no mistake, someone with 9 traits narcissism is potentially dangerous and someone with 7 or 8 traits ( a sociopath) is also very dangerous. They may not choose to be physically violent but they are a danger the mental health, and ability to thrive of their victims.

If you are working with one then you may find yourself harrassed, bullied and feel your job is in jeapordy due to them. It probably is.

If your landlord is one then you may feel the same level of harrassment, threats, and manipulation from them as the one at work.

If they are in your life and you are not providing them with narcissistic supply, making them look good, feeding their ego and listening in awe of their stories of grandeur, then you might be tormented by them. They may torment and bully you to get things to go the way they want or just for sadistic pleasure…it depends where they fall on the narcissim/ psychopath spectrum.

None of the people who have malignant narcissistic personality disorder have any feelings of compassion,  emapthy, love or remore. Although they can emulate the words and gestures of people that do have these feelings.

Narcissists will woo you in order to lure you into trusting them. They can appear normal, even charming, for short periods of time. It takes extended interaction with them in order to see their mask slip.

If something seems inconsistent or “off” about someone and you find yourself recounting conversations to try to make sense of what seemed to be perfectly rational but later did not fit, then be wary.

Narcissists use “word salad”, re-framing, pre-supposition and other neuro linguistic programming (NLP) techniques to manipulate and confuse you. You can look these techniques up on google to learn more about them.

Some people spend years learning NLP techniques in order to use them for good purposes like helping clients lose weight or overcome a phobia.

Narcissists naturally use these techniques …but with insidious intentions. If you feel like you are being dominated in every conversation, even when you are in the right, just be wary.

If you feel like someone is always dominant in conversations about topics  you  are more trained and skilled in, that is anothercred flag.

If someone knows better about every single topic you have ever discussed with them, that is a red flag. Who knows better than you about everthing? Probably only someone with such a huge ego that they pretend to know things they don’t, just to put you under their foot.

Someone who is a “pathological lier” is probably a narcissist.  They can lie right to your face with eye contact,  and sound very sincere or even offended and indignant.

If you feel your will power being sucked out of you and your identity and self worth leaving the room, every time they are in it, that is not normal.

Normal people do not have that effect on others. They do not feel the need to push others down in order to appear bigger and better.

You have interacted with these people without knowing it and you never knew why you felt bad everytime you were around them…or you wondered what it was about you that made “dominating manipulative people” seem to intimidate you.

Intimidation is a game to them and it is also a way of survival for them. They do not want you close enough to see through their games so they will keep you at a distance.

As long as you are struggling to deal with their games, you are too focused on what is happening to you to really look at them and see who they are. They are deceiptful, bullying, “all knowing” people who always have a hidden agenda.

Their behaviors are often confusing because you are unaware of their agenda, which always has to do with them.

Even when they seem to be doing benevolent acts of service their is a hidden agenda behind it.

You might want to consider doing some research on narcissism and psychopathy, just to protect yourself. In this case knowledge is empowerment. These people want to disempower you by starting with your self confidence and distorting your perception of reality.

Some study of neuro linguistic programming will also help you to protect yourself from tactics being used against you that you have never heard of. There are some great videos on NLP hypnosis by David Snyder on YouTube.

You can research NLP techniques of “re-framing”, “presupposition”, “word salad” and others.

You can look up “gaslighting” and you will find written information and videos. I am going to post some videos about gaslighting in the next few weeks and I will put the links for you here.

There is no reason to have parts of your life miserable because of not knowing the tactics of narcissists or how to identify them. You can also look up “red flags” of a narcissist or “red flags” of an abuser and you will get some information.

Trust you gut and do not trust people that make you question your own perception. If something seems off…it probably is.

The abuser who Steps in After you Leave an Abusive Relationship

“Women who have experienced domestic abuse may also be drawn to men who appear strong enough to ‘protect’ them from their abusive ex – only to wind up in another destructive relationship.”

I got this quote from Avalanche of the Soul blog.  This is something that I have experienced but it never occurred to me that other domestic abuse victims also had this happen to them.

You escape from an abusive relationship and you are broken and psychologically injured. You have nightmares. and PTSD and you jump when someone touches you. There is a feeling of danger and threat all around you. You do not know if you are safe yet..

You wonder if the abuser will come after you. You wonder if they will retaliate by coming after your children while you are at work. You feel vulnerable and afraid.

purple ribbon

image from pinterest

There is an extreme feeling of loneliness because you are not used to being alone.

You are not used to making your own decisions because the abuser always made them for you. Your self confidence about making decisions and knowing what to do has been crushed down by the abuser.

You are trying to re-learn how to have self love and self confidence.

You feel like you have lost your self worth. Nights are long and the pathological loneliness eats at your emotions and your soul.

You wonder if you are lovable and you are not sure because the abuser told you that you were not lovable.

The abuser drilled into you that no one would ever want you and that you were very lucky that they put up with you at all. They told you that you were dumb, too sensitive, too illogical, too naggy, too needy and mentally unbalanced. They cause you to develop mental illness like depression, anxiety disorders. phobias etc and then they used that against you.

You were degraded and humiliated.

You were disrespected and treated like an abused child. There is no one you can talk yo because people who have not been through abuse have no idea what it is like. They think your stories are exaggerated or made up.

So when you meet a guy that seems strong and also sensitive, you are lured in. He talks about how he hates abusers and that men like that have no balls. He says that men who pick on women are not real men. He tells you that women should be respected and cherished.

You want to believe him and you do.

He will be your protector from the ex, in case he comes after you or the kids. He will be a comforter because he understand what you went through. He is a real man because he thinks that abusive men are weak and just overcompensating for small dicks.

So you get into a relationship with the new guy and you do not even notice that he is ;love bombing you and pushing the relationship to be too serious , too soon.

You are a relationship with another abuser…but you have no idea.

dom viol wa

image from pinterest

You Miss the Red Flags

You miss the red flags when he is impatient with the waitress and the taxi driver. You do not notice that he expects special VIP treatment wherever he goes. He tells you that he is doing it in order to help you. You have been through so much and you deserve to be treated special.

You miss the red flags when he insists that he right about everything. Your opinions are pushed aside and he has to let you know how things really are. He says he is just making sure that you are seeing things the proper way. He wants to protect you from your confusion.

He says that you were very damaged in the last relationship an that sometimes you mis-interpret things, especially his words and actions. But never fear…he is here to interpret your reality for you and to make sure that you see things in the proper perspective.

Little by little he isolates you from friends and family. Little by little you are wearing the make up and the clothes that he suggests. After all…he says that you look really fat in that pair of jeans….

You are trapped and it is too late

He has combined the bank accounts and taken over the money. He has possibly made you quit your job or otherwise done things to entrap you.

He has made you dependent upon him to survive. He controls the car and your ride to work. You must comply with his whims if you do not want to lose your job and further entrap yourself.

This is the abusive man who steps in after you have gotten out of an abusive relationship. He is the one that knows you were abused and he knows exactly what you want to hear. He claims to hate abusers and sees them as less than manly.

He lies and manipulates you. He puts on a false self…a mask of “the good guy”. You believe him and you are lured into the web of lies.

Soon the love bombing stops. The idealization phase is over. The devaluation begins and you never saw it coming.

Adult Children from Dysfunctional Families Dealing with Emotions and C-PTSD

rain dance

This term “dysfunctional family” is a catch all basket term that includes a variety of types of malfunction within the family that can cause trauma and C-PTSD to the child.

Children of alcoholic parents fall into this category and even have their own phrase, which many of you have heard “Adult Children of Alcoholics.” Of course adult children of drug addicted parents, whether narcotic addicted or even prescription drug abusers also falls into this basket term.

The family can be dysfunctional when one or both of he parents are abusive in a physical, sexual, mental, emotional or any psychological way. Abuse can occur from other members of the family other than the parents. Even siblings and grandparents can cause the home to be unhealthy psychologically for the children growing up in it.

Some preteens ans teens are left alone most of the time due to a single parent work schedule and no other relative available. Having to parent yourself all the time can cause psychological dysfunction and important “brain software upgrades” can be missed at these ages. 

This may not be the parent’s fault and may be circumstantial but can be as devastating to the child than if it were intentional. The intention of the parent to be abusive or to create a psychologically damaging atmosphere to grow up in is not the main factor of whether or not the child is damaged.

If you were in any atmosphere that interfered with your normal social and psychological development them you may have C-PTSD from your childhood. C-PTSD is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

C-PTSD is caused by years of being in various situations where you felt unsafe and you also felt trapped into the situation with no choice to leave it. 

As a child we are mostly sentenced to the life we are living in therefore there is a feeling of powerlessness about having to stay in the situation. It can feel like a prison.

If there was a divorce or other upheaval like moving a lot, then we may have been in multiple environments with different kinds of abuse, or trauma that happened at various ages and from various different people. This is the root cause of C-PTSD.

Complex trauma is built over time and compounded by one traumatic event or situation being piled on top of the next.

There can be years and years of traumatic experiences from emotional abuse by different relatives and non-relatives like babysitters and people that dated our parent. Moving and having to be the new kid at school and adjust to unfamiliar houses and neighborhoods can also be traumatic. 

Being different than the other kids at school who have more stable lives can lead to bullying at school, which further compounds the complex trauma.

As you were growing up you may have felt like there was something wrong with you because you never seemed to fit in with the other kids who did not share your trauma and inadequate support system.

The feeling that there was something wrong with you further compounded the trauma.

Love Yourself

As you got older the type of abuse you were exposed to probably changed. As a small child you may have been emotionally abused by being ignored and minimized. As a teenager the abuse may have increased to aggressive yelling. hitting, or being thrown out of the house for periods of time.

Layers of Abuse and Trauma

The combinations and layers of abuse, neglect, and trauma that can occur are endless. Each person has their own experience and each person’s past is unique. Your story won’t be just like anyone else’s.

If you feel like something is wrong with you and it feels like it goes back into your teenage years or your childhood, then you probably have complex post traumatic stress disorder. 

I am going to write a series of posts about C-PTSD because I feel that so many people are suffering from this and either do not know that they are, or have no where to turn to for help with it. The results of C-PTSD can be devastating. Most people with C-PTSD have mental illness of one kind or another or a co-morbid condition of more than one mental disorder. 

Depression is common with any kind post traumatic stress disorder. There will also be hyper vigilance about things that feel threatening.

The amygdala has become dysfunctional and the fight or flight mode is likely to turn itself on at the slightest trigger of a memory associated with earlier trauma, even of the trauma happened before your conscious memory can remember. 

Trauma and abuse can occur in infants and very small children.

The memory from this age cannot be stored in the conscious memory system. The memory will be stored in the subconscious as feelings of fear and being unsafe.

 There can be triggers that set of your fight or flight mode and you do not understand them because they are from when you were too young to remember. If you came from trauma that you do remember, it is very possible that there is also trauma that you do not remember that is from when you were an infant and in your toddler years. 

20150828_184731

Flashbacks are pictures, sights, sounds, feelings and other memories of a traumatic event or situation which come back to our brains like they are happening right now.

Emotional Flashbacks

Emotional flashbacks are a flooding of a negative feeling that overcomes you when something triggers a past trauma. Emotional flashbacks may come to you like anxiety attack or a wave of depression. They may come in form a sudden distrust of a person or situation that is triggering the memory of a past abuse.

Realizing that we may not remember all of the reasons why we experience floods of seemingly illogical emotions can help us to heal from our trauma.

We never feel things for no reason. People may tell you that you are overly sensitive or too thin skinned or that you tend to over-react to things, but you are none of those things.

If you are sensitive to people saying certain kinds of things to you, then it is a response to earlier wounds that were inflicted upon you. When old wounds are opened up and even pressed into, there is going to be an emotional response. This is no overreacting, it is simply reacting to someone throwing salt into an open wound.

Some of your wounds may have occurred too young for you to remember.

Some of your wounds may have caused during adulthood such as a partner being abusive. Even then this abuse was also probably opening older wounds that you already had.

Most people do not stay is abusive relationships unless they were trained to do that as a child. Abuse victims get that same feelings of being trapped into a cage that they had when they were growing up. 

Fight, Flight or Freeze

The fight or flight mode actually has one more possible part to it, which is the “freeze” mode. It is really “fight, flight or freeze.”

When we feel that we are in danger, especially if it triggers earlier trauma then the brain often goes into the freeze mode. This is a way of the brain trying to protect us although it may not serve us as adults. These post traumatic stress responses are very powerful because they are embedded in our subconscious. 

Our subconscious brain has a lot of power over our feelings and our reactions. In order to heal from complex trauma and post traumatic stress much of the work needs to be done at the level of the subconscious brain.

This can be done through meditation, certain NLP techniques, listening to audios designed for this that put us into a light hypnotic state. If you prefer you can go to someone who does hypnosis and specializes in C-PTSD and PTSD.

I will close for now because this is getting so long to read. I plan to write a few more articles about this topic. This was intended to the introductory article about this.

Blessings to all,

Annie

Two New Videos About Narcissistic Abuse

I was able to make an upload two new videos to my YouTube Channel today.

The first one is a Part One in a series of videos dispelling the myths about abuse victims.

The second one is about the idealization phase of narcissistic abuse. What is it? Why does it work? Who does it work on? How can you avoid being duped by this tactic?

Stop Beating Your Head into the Wall

people with no empathy

A Little About My Mother – and How we Can Re-program our Brain to not Accept Abuse

We repeat the behavioral patterns that we were brought up with. As adults our brains are wired from the programming we learned growing up.

The bad programming can be overcome.  First we need to become aware of what the programming is and what incidents caused it.  It is hard work, because we have to dig into our past and remember things that we may have repressed and buried deep in our brains.

The problem is that those things are still there. The way we were taught to see ourselves and our roles, is still there.  The way we were taught to deal with our thoughts and feelings is still there. Our general self esteem or lack thereof was programmed into us too.

People pleaser syndrome is a reaction to an unsafe and unstable environment.  Nearly everyone with People Pleaser Syndrome was conditioned to prioritize others, and respond bases on other people’s feelings. It was a self defense mechanism that we learned, in order to survive in a hostile environment as children and teenagers.

I have never spoken about my mother on this blog. I have repressed my memories and my feelings about her for years. I have not heard from her in years. She has no desire to speak with me and I have no desire to force myself back into her life. 

I have reasons for this. You won’t even guess what the main reason is. My secondary reason is because I do not want to deal with her abusive behavior towards me.The primary reason is about my sister.

My other had this very weird kind of disorder that caused her to only have one daughter at a time, It is very strange and the reason I do not talk about her to people, is that I do not think they would believe the stories I could tell about her.

Telling someone painful stories and then having them think you are making  it up or exaggerating, is painful and in validating. That is why most people think my mother is dead. I have been asked that before.

“Is your mother dead?”

I said “No, Why do you say that?”

They say “You talk about your father , step mother and sisters, but you never mention your mother.”

So, the answer is “No”, my mother is not dead, but she is mean and cruel to me. I could possible get her to be nice to me again, but that would mean her writing my sister off as dead, and then talking mean about her and to her face.

My mother had lots of problems…alcoholism, raging…probably borderline personality disorder…and hot and cold moods. 

She had one daughter at a time. She would validate the existence  of one of us and at the same time, banish, disown, leave for dead…the other one of us.

This could change on the spur of the moment , based on something she imagined in her head, that one of us did to her. or did on general. It was not logical or based in any reality.

Once I was in the car with my  mother and my younger sister. My mother screamed at me and told me to shove my sister’s head down in the back seat. so that when we drove past her boyfriend’s apartment, he would not see her.

She wanted Jenn to not exist. 

I asked her why I should do this. She said “I told him I had one daughter. I did not mention her. If he sees her, then he will think I am lying, but I am not”

I asked her why she told him she had only one daughter and she said “You know how your sister is. I do not want him to know about her. It will be embarrassing to me and he might not want to date me anymore.”

It was always about the men and what they wanted and what would keep them from breaking up with her. As far as the men she dated goes…this particula story I just told you was when she was dating this guy that was 10 years younger than her.

I finally found out why he was dating her. He had seen us together at the pool.  He wanted to sleep with a mother and a daughter. He was in the middle of our ages, and this was his perverted idea.

He dated her first, then he started inviting me to his apt to listen to music. I was 16 and very naive. I did not know he was trying to get into my pants, until he came out and said something very disgusting to me one the phone one day..that  I will not repeat here…but the lightbulb finally went off in my head.

So, she went back and forth like this between my sister and I.  One day she had one daughter and a few months later, she would change daughters and disown the other one. Whichever one of us she was talking to, she would bad mouth the other one of us to.

One day I was perfect… and Jenn was horrible. Then Jenn was perfect… and I was scum on the bottom of her shoe.

When I was 19, my sister lived with my Dad, who had moved to Florid for work. He paid for a plane ticket for her to come visit me in Baltimore. I was so excited to see her and to have her spend the week with me!

At this point in time, my mother was talking to me. She had disowned my sister for getting into a bad crowd. She had not spoken to my sister for several months.

I felt bad for my sister that my mother was not talking to her. I took my sister to my mother’s house , to try to play the peacemaker….

It was awkward at first. My mother had not seen her in a long time. But within about 10 minutes they were chatting away, like old friends.

Then my mother suddenly got very cold to me. She said,”You can go home now. I will bring your sister home later this evening.”

I told her that I thought the three of us would have a nice visit together. I do not know what in the world made me hope that it would work. It never did, no matter how many times I tried it.

She sent me home and I sat there alone for hours, waiting for her to bring my sister back to me. I was looking forward to spending the week with her, I had not seen her in many months.

My mother finally showed up at the door. Her boyfriend and Jenn were sitting in the car. She looked at me very coldly and said “Go pack your sisters stuff up. Put it all back in the suitcase and do it right now. We are going to dinner and she is staying with me.”

I was very confused and I asked her if she was taking both of us to dinner. I seemed like a reasonable thing to ask.

She looked at my like I was very rude. She said “I  did not invite you to dinner. You are NOT invited. Go get her stuff.”

I said to her that I was looking forward to spending the week with my sister. I said that Dad had sent to her visit me for the week. I was happy to let her see anyone, but she was staying at my house for the week.”

To which she said “You do not invite yourself to dinner, when no one invited you. Your sister will be staying with me for the week and you are not welcome to come over. Get the stuff and do not make me get the boyfriend to MAKE you.”

So I was afraid of whatever threat she was making about the boyfriend that I did not know at that time. I went downstairs and got all my sister’s stuff packed up. I was sobbing as I put her things into the suitcase, because I missed her very much.

My mother was yelling down the stairs about how slow I was and that any person should be smart enough to able to pack a suitcase faster than that, when they were told to hurry up.

She took the suitcase to the car. She did not let me say goodbye to my sister. The boyfriend did not say a word to me.

They left and I never saw my sister for a long time. They took her for the entire week and they would not answer the phone when I called to say hi to my sister. I was not allowed to call .

I saw her for an hour, when I first picked her up from the airport. I drove her to see Mom. That was stupid. Then I lost the entire visit because I wanted to be the peace-maker.

So, I grew up to be the peacemaker that does not even recognize when I am being abused. The severity of my mother’s mental abuse on my sister and I, was so bad that I hardly notice milder levels of abuse.

I grew up knowing that sometimes I had to sacrifice myself for someone else. In order for my sister to have a mother, I had to give up having one. I had to endure being the bad daughter that had been excommunicated, in order for my sister to have a mother.

This went back and forth so many times. When I was in my 30’s, I let my sister have her mother. I stepped out because anytime I go back, she could turn on my sister.

My sister has been through enough trauma and she needs that relationship with my mother. I am better off away from the entire thing.

This is why I am writing this. We have to know where our behaviors come from. I know that when my mother used to drink, I had to walk on egg  shells not to piss her off. I was 16 and she would throw me out of the house at 10 pm, and I would be walking the streets trying to think of where I could sleep.

I was taught to be hyper vigilant about other people’s feelings and to do whatever would keep them from getting angry. yelling at me , hitting me, throwing me out of the house, or disowning me for months.

These programs in our brains, have to be rewired.

We have to identify the viruses and where they came from. Then we have to look at them rationally and see what purpose the behaviors served at the time. They were needed for survival at the time, but now, they are causing us to end up being abused by other people.

Once we retrain our brains, then we can prioritize our feelings and recognize abusive behavior when it begins. Rather than tolerating it because we go into post traumatic stress and then react the way we were conditioned to react.

Blessings,

Annie

Safe

Cars make noises

as they drive by outside

I want to be inside

where it is safe

Sirens are loud

and invade my nervous system

I want to be  inside

where it is safe

People passing by the house

making noises

that remind me

I do not want to go out there

I want to be inside

where it is safe

Safe inside the house

I am safe inside the house

But where do I go

if I want to be

Safe Inside My Mind?

Previous Older Entries

Categories