Dealing with a Toxic Parent

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Dealing with a toxic parent is frustrating and it can interfere with your personal life. 

Setting boundaries with them can feel impossible. You don’t know whether to go low contact or no contact with them. The feelings driving you are coming from your subconscious belief system that has been conditioned into you by the parent, and society. 

You may feel like you are taking the more noble path by continuing to cater to them, but you are being driven by habits that have been repeated since your childhood. Thought behaviors and conditioned emotions drive your choices. 

You can override your conditioned patterns, but you have to identify what false beliefs you are holding first. 

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You Can’t Please Everyone! People Pleaser Syndrome

If someone has consistently shown you that they do not have a desire to care about how you feel, then stop expecting to find kindness and caring from them.

They may not want to care about your feelings. They may not have the capacity to empathize with you. Either way, you cannot force people or convert people to the side of kindness and compassion.

If someone never listens to your thoughts and feelings then they possibly never will. Communication goes two directions. If you always listen to their side, and they never listen to your side, then see it for what it is.

If your communication is consistently not being heard, no matter what the circumstance, then most likely this person has no intention to hear you.

Holding onto beliefs that you can “make them” care about you, is not productive. Find alternative ways to deal with conflicts and situations with them.

Evaluate what they do with information you give them. What has happened in the past, when you explained your reasons, and your thoughts to them?

Do they end up using it against you?

Do they completely disregard it?

Do they hear and remember what you say?

Do they claim later on, not to remember what you said?

Do they make fun of what you say and belittle you?

Do they laugh at you?

Do they become angry when you present your side of a situation?

Do they give you equal time to explain yourself or do they cut you off?

Do they bring other people, who seem inappropriate, into your conversations?

Look at the history and make observations in present time. See if they are the same way with other people.

Learn what their usual tactics are, in order to get their way.

Observe their responses to situations where you or others try to stand up for an opposing or alternative opinion.

Making these observations will help you to learn things about this person’s behavior, attitude and patterns.

Often people that are rigid, unbending, and always right, have observable, predictable response patterns.

If you can learn this about them, then you can use it in order to find ways to deal with their rigidity.

You have to work around people sometimes. Most importantly you have to protect your mental state and not allow people to cross into your emotional boundaries.

You cannot make them care. You cannot logically or rationally convince them that they should care about the feelings of others, or your feelings in particular.

But you may notice that you have been doing things to put yourself in their line of fire. You are giving them the advantage, by assuming that deep down they are really a caring person.

The more you believe that an abusive person really wants to work with you , the more advantage they have over you.

Not only that. They are probably fully aware that you want them to care and that you believe they want to.

There are people that will use your kind beliefs about them really being a caring person inside, against you in situations.

Observe people like this with an objective, scientific like mindset. Take notes on each situation and how they respond.

If you are dealing with a rigid person that never has empathy, then you need to know their response patterns. It should not blindside you, when they respond with a completely narcissistic attitude.

Dealing with these kinds of people can be stressful and crush your self esteem and feelings of self worth.

Situations where people like this are harmful to you are: as bosses, supervisors, neighbors, therapists, doctors, landlords and other positions where they can affect you.

Intimate relationships with anyone who has no empathy or compassion for you are even more dangerous.

People will not always believe what you have experienced with someone who lacks compassion. You cannot always get your opinions and observations about them validated.

Also be careful talking about this person to others.

You do not know who they have manipulated into doing what.  In a work situation, there may be minions who will report back to the narcissist about things you say.

That is why it will help you to take personal notes. Write down what you said and exactly what they said in response.

If you are on the phone, you can do this with a pen and paper during the conversation. If the interaction is in person, then take notes when you have privacy to write them

Keep your notes as “word for word” as possible. Do not change their wording to what you think they must have meant.

The exact wordings will help you later on, when you look over lots of interactions on paper. You can find inconsistencies and gaslighting tactics this way.

There are compassionate people, but all people are not compassionate. There are people who care about what happens to you and there are people who never will.

Your Peace of Mind matters,
Annie

Light in Darkness

Step lightly and tread a gentle path

You never know what you are walking on

Until you are mindful of it as you go

Listen and see with watchful eyes

Your heart will speak the truth

Be open to seeing more than others

Tell you is around you because

There is always much more than

Your eyes can see if you rush

Breath in your surroundings to perceive

Without biases , without assuming

Things are what you are expecting

If you assume what is there…then

That is what you will see….

Presupposition can murder the senses

And dull your ability to see truth

Sometimes more beautiful than

The others can perceive it to be

And other times darker and more sinister

But see what you are able to see

Never allow others to do your seeing for you

Or give meaning to things without your consent

Your perception becomes your reality for the time you are perceiving it to be

You must see what you need to

And not let others influence you in a way that distorts your truth

Or tarnishes your vision

Walk gently and look freely

Choose your own meaning and feel your emotions

Your spirit is resilient but the mind can be interfered with …

If you are not mindful

Walk gently for you know not where you are walking

Or what you are stepping on

Unless you are aware as you go

Create your own manifestations, and build your own bridges to walk over the water

Until you can walk upon the water with faith…

And without fear

Do not bury your feelings or let others minimize them

Do not allow others to discount what you feel and what you know

Walk softly but speak the truth loudly when it is necessary

And speak the truth gently if it is harsh o

Have compassion when no one around you does

Believe in what is right when others turn their back

Always believe in yourself especially when others shun you

Believe in your intentions when others try to shut you down

What you see and what you feel is yours …and yours to value

Stand up when others have fallen

Stand up when others try to make you stay down

Live with kindness and speak with truth and light

If you let the darkness make you hard to see

The ones who need your light cannot find you

Your light is very important to the ones lost in the dark

Let fear be comforted by truth …

Not the truth of darkness…

But the truth of the light that is within you..

The light that sometimes barely breathes and flickers in the dark

But cannot be extinguished

By anyone

Let your light comfort and inspire

Allow it to flicker like a flame…

Next to fear and sadness

To give them hope

Your light is always within you

Even in the darkest of times

When it is hard to see

No matter how small it may seem at times

Your light has great power and strength

Compassion will flame the fire

 

Retreating to the Bed During Depression

The desire to set up camp in your bed often goes along with depression.

Some people wonder if they are depressed or if they have an actual “disorder” of depression. A disorder is just what it sounds like. Your life has become disorderly…unmanageable.

You want to do things like set up camp in the bed.  and only come out of bed for necessities. The bed is familiar thus the brain perceives it as safe.

Your brain wants to keep you safe. Your subconscious brain leads you away from anything it associates with pain or danger. This could be any kind of danger incuding emotional trauma.

If you have mental illness then there are some things that are a threat to you but would not be a threat to other people. For example, if you have a severe anxiety disorder, depression or PTSD then going out to the mall can be riddled with possible threats.

An uncontrollable environment like a store, or driving in holiday traffic, can be triggering to those associations in your brain.

There are images, feelings and emotions associated with the sights, sounds and situations all around you. It feels safer in the bed, because it is a more controlled environment.

The holiday season makes it harder to go out and deal with the uncontrollable, unpredictable environments like the crowded stores.

The fear center of the brain is on high alert. It may even become too much to be in fight or flight mode and then your brain may throw you into a derealization/ depersonalization state.

This is that detached from reality state. You float through the motions as if you are watching a movie or you are in a dream. Your brain has become so overloaded with pain that it pulls your conscious state away from reality

The bed can feel like the only safe environment to be in. It is comforting and it is your personal space.

You are not alone if you ten to retreat to your bed when you are experiencing depression or severe anxiety. I have done it many times.

If you are stuck in the bed now, take time to get some nutritious food to eat. Just think about the food groups and eat a little something from each one.

The nutrition is critical for your brain function snd your physical strength. Your immune system needs to be supported by foods and perhaps vitamin supplements.

Be compassionate with yourself. You do not have to be judgemental of yourself. The inner tapes of negative thoughts about yourself were put there by others.

Show kindness to yourself. Offer self love and acceptance. The holiday season is very difficult for people with mental illness.

 

Depression, Loneliness and Invisible Illness

Depression and lonliness can exist together, but they are not exactly the same thing.

Lonliness is something experienced by all people at some point but it is not always accompanied by depression.

Usually lonliness is thought of as occurring in solitude but this is not always true either.

Some people experience lonliness in combination homesickness , when they are away from familiar people and surroundings. They can feel this even when there are people around.

Other people feel like they do not fit in and this leads to lonliness with people around. Some people feel more lonely around groups of people than they do when they are by themselves.

There are other circumstances where people experience lonliness with other people around. Some of these circumstances tend to cause a co-existing condition of depression and lonliness.

People with invisible illnesses like chronic pain, chronic illness, and mental illness often feel both lonliness and depression. There is a feeling of disconnection from others when someone cannot find anyone that can relate to what they are going through.

Toxic loneliness is something that happens to people that cannot tolerate being alone or cannot tolerate bring without an intimate partner.

Ross Rosenberg coined the term “pathological loneliness” when he was doing research with his clients that suffered from co-dependence.

He discovered that one of the reasons so many people go back into abusive relationships is the pathological loneliness.

Both the terms toxic loneliness and pathological loneliness refer to this intolerable pain associated with being alone.

Usually the abusive partner lures the victim back in with false promises that things will be different. The victim who is suffering from such severe emotional / mental distress from being alone takes their chances and goes back.

In the mind of the victim, the pathological loneliness and the depression that goes along with it, is more painful than the abuse was.

People with codependent personalities usually developed pathological lonliness as children from neglect and abuse.

Depression can also develope out of childhood abuse. This can be any type of abuse, including emotional and psychological abuse. People that were abused as children often have complex post traumatic stress disorder as adults.

C-PTSD can involve depression, anxiety and sometimes pathological loneliness. There are often internal mental tapes that play inside their head that repeat negative things.

Being alone can make the internal dialogue louder. Thoughts of worthlessness, shame and failure play over and over. These tapes are implanted in the subconscious during childhood by others.

Many people with C-PTSD do not realize that they have actual trauma that is the same as PTSD which was caused at multiple ages and multiple circumstances.

Many people who have mental illness like depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder had chaotic, traumatic, abusive or emotionally devaluing chilhoods.

People with depression have organic differences in their brains which can be seen with brain scans like an MRI. Certain parts of the brain that are supposed to light up to show activity, do not light up.

Depression can also co-exist with anxiety disorders. The sensations of imminent threat that occur with PTSD and CPTSD, can be felt alongside of depression and loneliness.

Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate one feeling from another. It can be helpful to people to be able to identify what sensations they are feeling.

Sometimes looking at the feelings and figuring out what is based on current circumstances and what is from early programming can help.

People with disorders of depression often feel lonely because they are unable to find people to understand their illness. Being disbelieved and invalidated can open up old wounds from childhood.

Some people are unaware that they had any abuse or emotional trauma because it happened at a very young age. The brain stores memories differently before the age of 5.

Conditions like depression and toxic loneliness are no less painful than other illnesses. Unfortunately many people are not empathetic about invisible illnesses.

You are Just as Worthy as Anyone Else Is

You are beautiful and worthy. If you feel that your life has no purpose then you might just be off course. You may be in a job that is not serving you or following a path that is not serving and supporting you. 

You can make changes that create opportunities for you to explore your value and worth. You may not even know why you ended up where you are. Other people may have influenced you more that you realize. 

You have a right to make changed in your life, even of other people will feel disappointed or not understand. You have the right to live your own life and make your own choices. Other people are often concerned with their own agenda and will tell you what they need to tell you, to get their way. 

you are beautiful

You do not have to believe everything other people tell you or want you to believe, especially when it come to who you are, what you are capable of, how you should feel, what you should feel obligated to or how you should live your life. You are the one who has to live this life of yours, not them. 

If you feel that you can do something better or different , then you probably can do it. You just need to be supported. If the people around you are not supporting you then you surround yourself with people who will. 

Once you set onto a path of pursuing what you want to do, many doors will open to you. You have to take a step in the direction that you feel called to walk towards. There are possibilities that you cannot even see yet. 

Sometimes who we hang around with, who we believe and what we think about our skills, is just habit. These are  habits if the brain. Thought patterns and thought behaviors can be changed by you. They are only habits that have been learned and ingrained into us, but they are not permanent. 

You are beautiful the way you are because of who you are inside and what potential you have. But you can make changes to make yourself feel more beautiful and more worthy. Your environment, your friends, your work and your surrounding should support you in the best way possible. 

You can become what you feel you are called for. Reach into yourself and listen to what you really want and think you can do. Do not let bad programming that others infected you with, stop you from believing in yourself .

Go after your dreams and explore what you want out of your life. Realize your ability to be supported by life and those around you. Get links to more articles  by adding your email and info and subscribing HERE.

Blessings, 

Annie    

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People Pleaser Syndrome and Being Targeted for Abuse

If you are always finding yourself at the bad end of unfair and unbalanced relationships, then you might have People Pleaser Syndrome.

Most people who have People Pleaser Syndrome, including myself, have come from a background of being emotionally and mentally abused, manipulated and scapegoated.

It may not be readily apparent to you that you had emotional abuse as a child, because this syndrome will cause you to question any abuse that you have experienced. People may have manipulated you into thinking that your childhood was free of abuse, as part of the mental abuse itself.

Gaslighting a person into doubting their own feelings of being abused, is mental abuse. When you feel like you are being treated unfairly and cannot communicate about it, your reality about the abuse can become confused.

I have done a lot of research recently about People Pleaser Syndrome. There are many lists that you can find that will describe various characteristics and qualities of people that suffer from it. I have also gone through my own situations in my mind, to identify what characteristics that I have tended to demonstrate over the years.

I recommend that you do your own research about this topic, if  many of things on this list  seem to ring true for you.

I have written this list off if the top of my head. Some of these characteristics have been brought to my attention from articles that I have read.

Some of them are direct examples from my own life. All of the things on this list have caused me problems in my own life over the years.

Characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome

1. You take on the feelings of others as if they are your own.

2. You feel the need to fix the problems of other people

3. You feel responsible for other people’s problems and guilty about them

4. It is easy for other people to make you feel guilty

5. You can easily be forced by others to feel shame

6. You carry toxic shame

7. When other people are unhappy, angry or disappointed with you, it makes you feel like you have the responsibility of fixing their feelings

8. You have trouble doing, not-doing or saying anything if it will get a negative reaction from the other person

9. You want people to always approve of you, your beliefs and your actions

10. You feel the need to always justify your actions and decisions to others

11. You have great difficulty in saying “no” to people

12. You are often talked into doing things you really do not want to do.

13. You are talked into not doing things, that you do want to do

14. You tend to do whatever will keep the peace, even if it is not good for you

15. You have trouble standing up for yourself, but always listen to other people who are standing up for that they want

16. You give other people their way, much more often than you just do things the way you want to

17. You question the validity of your personal wants and needs, when it conflicts with those of others

18. You often put your own dreams and goal on the back burner, in order for someone else to fulfill their dreams

19. You do not express your anger about being treated unfairly by others

20. You tend to allow your partner more benefit of the doubt than they allow you

21. You cover  for other people,  even if they would not cover for you

22. You have C-PTSD from some sort of childhood abuse

23. It is sometimes unclear to you how you feel about things and if your feelings / thoughts are being “put into your head” by the other person

24. You allow other people to tell you “how you should feel” about some things

There are a few reasons that you need help for People Pleaser syndrome. If you are recognizing very many things from the above list, then I encourage you to do some further research, get materials which will help you and work on a plan of overcoming this.

In some cases, professional mental health treatment may be appropriate. I am not a therapist and this article is not intended as a replacement for professional mental health treatment. I am just validating your experiences with my own and hopefully helping you to take a look into your own tendencies and patterns.

If you have the characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome, then you are likely to be a target for predators that will take advantage of your good intentions. There are narcissistic people and other toxic personalities that look for people that are easy to manipulate with guilt and shame.

There are people that actively seek “people pleasers” in order that they can subject their will upon them. If people can easily push our anxiety buttons about confrontation, then you are the type of person that can end up in domestic abuse situations and abusive relationships.

People pleasers try to avoid confrontation that makes them feel guilt or shame. Abusive personalities will sense this about you and deliberately force you into anxiety, in order to manipulate you.

Other problems you probably experience are in work situations and social situations. Dominating people will overcome you at work and in social circumstances. It is just the way they are.

It is hard to compete and get ahead at work if people take advantage of you. Even if there are nice, kind people where you work, there is always one that will destroy you, when they realize that they can use you as a means to get ahead.

It is nice to want to believe that the world is full of people who are compassionate and caring, but  we realize that this is not the case. You may be around many good people in your situations, but it only takes one person to really injure you.

We will talk more about this issue and ways in which we can retrain ourselves to have different habits. These are habits that are rooted into us, but they are not unbreakable.

The most important things are to be able to identify when we are being treated unfairly and not to feel guilty for standing up for ourselves, or otherwise protecting ourselves from abuse.

You have a right to your boundaries, your self confidence and your self esteem.

In fact these things are necessary for you to live and thrive well. Your dreams matter and your happiness matters, just as much as anyone else’s.

I got the following idea from a Teal Swan video about how to make the decisions that are best for you. What she suggests is to ask the question “What would someone who loves themselves do?”  If you keep this in mind as you are interacting with people, then you will have a frame of reference for when to say “no” to people. 

Blessings to all,

Annie

Be the Person You Envision You Could be – In Spite of What Other People Think

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There is a great healing that comes along with accepting ourselves just as we are. You are not a compilation of your mistakes. You are the beautiful person inside that is more meaningful to life than you realize.

Once we can do that then we can begin to explore who we can become. We do not have to be entrapped in a perception that because we have not done things in the past that we cannot do them.

Others say things about us. They label us, describe us, talk about us. They tell us what we can do, what we can’t do, what we should do.

They advise us on our careers, families, religious beliefs.  Other people’s opinions can limit us if we choose to believe their perception of us. 
They can  limit our potential.
They can  limit our possibilities.

If we allow them to keep us in the little box they have assigned to us then they will destroy what we could have become.

We do not have to take on the perception that other people have of us. There are great gifts deep inside of you that have yet to flourish. Because others in our lives do see our possibilities, we do not explore them. We feel like we need to conform to who other people think we are.

To reach out for possibilities and explore untapped gifts inside of ourselves is to upset the apple cart. It upsets people who have their reality based on who they think we are. They have assigned to us roles and levels. 

You are far more gifted and intelligent than you let other people see. You keep those parts of you hidden and give up on them as unattainable dreams of who you wish you were. 

If you have a vision…a picture in your mind’s… eye of you want to become…of things you wish you could do…then do not let other people determine your boundaries or keep you in their box. 

It might be inconvenient for other people to get used to you becoming more of who you are. People like to keep things the same.  Some people are better off when you are struggling and kept down. Your true self may intimidate them.

But you are not living your entire life to fit into another person’s perception. That is not your purpose.

But there are so many things you can do and so many other people who can benefit from your stretching beyond just going through the motions of your designated roles. Some people may not even be worth keeping in your life, if they are always minimizing you and telling you what you cannot do.

It is not for others to determine our giftings and our potential. 

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We are each of us on our own path. We are on a path of discovery. Discovery of knowledge, beauty and spirituality. Discovery of our own potential and possibilities.

Reach into your heart and mind. Feel what your soul is calling you to do. The people that see you day to day can sometimes be the ones that know you the least. They just know the role that you play.

You have a purpose that is beyond the people in your family. your workplace, your school and your group of friends. You can start right where you are. It does not matter what  choices you have made in the past. 

The past has gone and you are not the person that made those choices anymore. You have already lived through the consequences of bad choices and good choices. The future is now.

The future is now and it is flowing freely moment to moment.

Each new moment is a fresh opportunity to think differently and see things from a completely different point of view….to see yourself as much more significant than you have ever considered before.

Blessings.

Annie<3

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