Never meant this was a useless forum

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It helped me a lot especially regarding my mother and realizing that relationships even in DNA families are a choice. We choose to have them, but it is also fine to choose not to. I learned it was ok not to love a mother who hadn't loved me and never even tried to know my kids.

    I just mused, which I do often, if it is a good fit for CD. It was never meant to be a clique. Anyone was and still is open to anyone.

    I owe a lot to cedar and Copa in my quest to nail it all down. Thank you both.

  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You are welcome, SWOT. Thank you.
    The amazing thing is that we were there for each other, like a safety net, or at least it felt at the time as if this was so.

    I have been thinking about the clique-ish-ness. A clique to me is a group there for each other with common interests who does not readily allow in others. I think we met the the first part of the definition for sure.

    I am thinking about Groucho Marx's saying about not wanting to belong to a club who would want him as a member.

    I do not think there was any reluctance on our part to admit others if they were willing to pay the price which was a degree of self-disclosure and vulnerability that I am wondering is even wise or safe in a forum such as this.

    I think the price of membership to FOO was one that few would want to pay or did want to pay. It was our willingness to pony up that gave the cliquish aspect. Once we had revealed ourselves, the three of us, I think I for one wanted to preserve that identity which we had created.

    I wonder if it was even possible for others to follow because of how much skin had already been bared. We all had too much skin in the game, before we knew how far we had already gone.

    I have had regrets.

    Never for one second, SWOT, have I believed you to have felt FOO to have been unless.
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I read through FOO a couple of times, and frankly, it made me uncomfortable.

    It was like reading the transcripts from group therapy sessions. You were discussing personal issues on a level that I'd feel uncomfortable disclosing to a therapist.

    It also bothered me that here, unlike facebook where you can create hidden, private groups that are not visible to the public, those very private feelings were exposed to the wandering public eye.
  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I love that you posted this, Going.

    Thank you.


    I believe, I think I am pretty sure, that the healing accomplished here had to do with its public nature. A decision to stop the domination of shame must be taken publicly, it seems to me. Even the one-on-one of therapy (or the warmer, more supportive communication of group therapy) does not accomplish what was accomplished, here. Part of the capacity to heal, I think this is true, had to do with the fact that we had already established identities here on the site. We were not only poor, abused and blah, blah, blah, desperately seeking surcease from a healthier-than-us, sometimes arrogant, therapist we were paying to listen to us. In engaging as we did here on the site, when we told our truths, when we healed or broke down or got through something hard, what was happening to and for us was real. We continued our work on and interest in, other parts of this site. That mattered for integration of self, I think. We were declaring ourselves as ourselves, the good and the bad ~ and all of it, human. Because of that, we could let go of role. The skin in the game Copa posts about was the currency of reputation here in this cyber-place that matters so much to each of us. It took courage to stand in our truths. The changes in our perceptions of self and other went bone deep, and we supported one another and we came through it.

    Over the past weeks, I have been thinking about what was accomplished here. I would do it again. (I would still be doing it now, if anyone were willing.)


    Interest in working in so public a forum seems not to be sustainable. I am like, ridiculously grateful to have had this opportunity. I have that million stars in the sky feeling when I think about the differences for me, now.

    Before the work done here, I was a sitting duck for my family of origin.

    Total sitting duck.

    I had forgiven things I had no right to forgive, but I had not forgiven myself. Salvation for me was somehow tied into responsibility for bringing us (my family of origin) together. That was my role. Because Family Dinner imagery represented hope of future redemption, the ugliness of what was really happening in our interactions could be negated or ignored. I literally excused hate-filled and inappropriate behaviors from my mother, my sister, my father, my brothers, as they happened. I did not falter. I was blind as a bat and scared to death and I did not freaking falter.

    I had turned my abusers into almost godlike beings who could do no wrong.

    That is slavery mindset. Worse still, the mindset hurt into a victimized child (whichever role he or she is required to play) is similar in nature to the mindset of the masochist.
    And as you know, that is a moving circle, built on a continuum, too. Weighted on both sides. Affecting every choice, every attraction, every satisfaction.

    Together here on FOO Chronicles, we came up with some amazingly instructive material.

    Among the most helpful concepts were the understanding that victimized children will have been socialized in environments invested in creating and sustaining the same kinds of belief systems fueling the victimizations of racism and sexism and homophobia and etc in the wider world.

    Copa's intuitive understanding that (like the Biblical Joseph) victimized children have been sold by their families into a slavery mindset was explosively healing.

    Unraveling the dynamic of The Shun, realizing shunning too operates on a continuum and that it is not some regrettable thing that somehow seems to blast in out of nowhere was mind boggling. Shunning, the dynamic of The Shun, is the fulcrum, is the core energy, of those families or social organizations employing it.

    That was huge, for me.

    Once I had burst through the denial that was what Family Dinner was all about, I had nothing at all. Because of the Shun Dynamic. The two things go together: Denial and the truth it was designed to shield us from.

    But here I am.

    I think we did astonishing work here on FOO Chronicles.

    Even with everything I've posted here, without the Family Dinner imagery and the legitimacy of hope it provided, the hurts and very real losses of function in my so darkly dysfunctional family of origin can still leave me reeling. The dysfunction is ongoing. It seems we cannot love ourselves or one another out of it no matter how hard we try. Unbelievably enough, the jockeying for position is ongoing, even today. Strangely isolating actions will be taken, hurtful belief systems will be meticulously created and presented again and again, tomorrow and forever. Yet, there is no leaving our people that we love. Not really. It isn't that we stop loving them or wanting them in our lives or missing them.

    It is that we stop believing them or believing in them.

    Once that happens, we are free. We can, if we are determined and very strong, reorder our interpretations of self and forgive. Not them, but ourselves. This is very hard work, to accomplish this shift in perspective regarding who is the bad guy here.

    There are those who will claim there is no bad guy.

    I have seen the bad guy. Right up close. The everyday banality of it.

    They did what they did, they continue to do what they do, our families of origin. They know what they are doing, and they do it intentionally. That is the piece I never got. I was all about how they must have been hurt, to behave as they did. Or how they didn't understand. Or how I must be just an awful person, to think they did what they undeniably did do. It was a very hard thing to admit they knew what they were doing.

    Maybe, that was a harder admission to make than to confess, to myself, the horrible, life altering wrongness of the things they did do.

    That is where I am, now. How is it they could hurt me, could hurt one another, and mean it and let that stand?

    How could they see me (or anyone) suffer and find some value or justification or pleasure in it? Like with the story I am always telling about the lady driver and the eye rolling family of origin (mine), unified in their contempt for this innocent.

    What is that.

    That is the dynamic of the Shun. The designation of someone to unify around and proceed against.


    On so many levels, our people are our heroes. I am not sure whether that is a function of denial.

    It could be.

    Freedom from our pasts is a cold and almost excruciatingly lonely place.

    Denial is seductive.

    There is such heartbreak in breaking through it. There is shame and hatred and light and roaring darkness, and much strength and courage is required, if we would change those things they taught us about ourselves, and about the value and meaning of our lives.

    I think it cannot be done, alone. I think it can not be done in the context of therapy or even, of group therapy.

    I like your idea of private Facebooking as an appropriate medium for this kind of work, Going. But. As I went through this, the thought of those, unknown to me but reading along, whether now or in some future time, and able to benefit from my journey strengthened me. I am enamored of the idea of leaving a map. Of leaving the how did I get to here in my healing. How did it feel. How did I survive it. What did I learn, and was it worthwhile?

    I love that idea.

    The answer is yes. It was worth it.

    I don't know why I don't seem to feel the shame of public exposure regarding what I have done here. I wish my story were prettier, too. But somehow, mine is not a very pretty story at all.

    I had to know.

    We cannot sleepwalk through our lives taking responsibility for everything to the point that people hurt us or our children. I don't know why they do what they do, why they would pick to do those things.

    Why doesn't matter.

    Okay. So I am making circles again. I still get such a shock when I think about these things.

    I will stop now then.

    I just feel so pleased that your intention was to protect us, Going. I had thought you were offended that we wrote as we did.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well.this wasnt done to make others comfortable. I do share all things with my therapist,by the way. I feel if someone is uncomfortable reading certain posts, it is the persons responsibilty not to read them, not mine.

    I dont feel comfortable with every post here, so i dont read the ones that I dont feel comfortable reading. Some posts give me the creeps. That is My problem. We dont control what other write. And we shouldnt try.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I do not think this had to be the case.

    I think what we did not anticipate is that with the degree of investment and risk that each of us took, there needed to be an investment in the safety of each of us as people. Even a therapist, guided by professional ethics and laws, fails his patients. How could it have been that we would not have failed each other?
    Today I read of an important social theorist from France of whom I had not heard, of if I did, did not pay sufficient attention. He was Foucault's teacher. Pierre Bourdieu, was his name.

    These are some quotes I got from Amazon Reviews that struck me as similar to what you are saying, Cedar.

    Bourdieu argued: "that cultural structures are absorbed into the unconscious structures of our minds, creating a predetermined framework ("habitus") within which individuals work. "

    "The structures of society are reflected in and mediated through places of everyday life, such as the domicile, and in practices such as gift giving. Essentially, culture reproduces itself by structuring the practices of individuals within the group; powerful figures within the culture are often able to (consciously or unconsciously) shape these structures to reproduce their own dominance within the system. "

    "Bourdieu suggests that "habitus" explains such observable phenomena as generational conflict, since structures change over time, making the "habitus" of one generation differ somewhat from that of their parents or children.

    "since "habitus" is unconscious, I suppose it must be observed by an outsider, as Bourdieu observed the workings of the "habitus" in Kabylia. If the "habitus" relies on unconscious structures within our minds, does naming the habitus and bringing its workings to our consciousness do away with the efficacy of the "habitus" itself for those with enough education (symbolic capital) to think through Bourdieu's theories (can we become conscious of our own "habitus?)"
    I think one thing we failed to do was to look at how we, the three of us, utilize the same mechanisms that do our families. Except unconsciously. I think both shaming and shunning came to be employed by each of us here on FOO, for example. How could this not be the case? We learned from masters who did not teach us much of any constructive and proactive means to self-express or self-protect.

    Not one of us can be faulted either for manifesting or employing uncritically the behaviors, all of them, of which we consist--those with which we were formed. That is what happens in any powerful means of change in which relationship is a center, the triggering and the overpowering need to make manifest, our core conflicts. So that we can become conscious of them, and change them. Transference occurs. It is inevitable. It happened to us, too. But we could not utilize it for a good end. It wiped us out. Not individually, but collectively.

    Because there was neither a structured commitment, nor a means to dialog about process to the extent that became necessary, the work stopped. I do not think it was, in the main, the visibility. Although in SWOT's case, it could have been this to some extent. I think it was more the stuff to which I am referring. At least in my own understanding of things.

    Then there is the most fundamental of things. In any group, people leave and drop out. This would have had to have occurred here, too. We set our sights so high, nobody else seems to have wanted to follow. Bittersweet. That is what it is.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    While I think the reading of the FOO-work might be instructive or even interesting, I do not think it would much enable change. I believe that any changing was done in the relationship formed. I think that each of us needed to know that there was a reader who had something at stake, that would hear, and respond. I believe that the level of itself was healing. Not accepting impropriety, but the continuing illusion that there was acceptance of the person. But the thing is, that is what fell apart. Real people were involved, not avatars.

    There is a way that I am left with the sense that I was not seen and heard as a person, but in some barely dimensional sense, as someone who wrote useful and helpful things, but was not in my own self worthy.

    That is why I am not sure it was worth it to me. And why at least in a feeling state, it was a failure. There is nothing I learned or experienced that was worth the default.

    To me there was a schematic quality, when I look back, not a holistic one. Instrumentalism, not reciprocity. There was the illusion of reciprocity. I guess that is why it could end so easily.

    The awareness of this is useful because it calls me to acknowledge and value and to work hard at the relationships I do have, most especially with my son and with M. Here is where risk is rewarded, and relationship strengthened and sustained.

    I guess that in itself is growth. And if FOO helped me to this, I am grateful.
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Before Going posted to us as she did, I had no idea there were such things as private online groups devoted to healing. I never forgot what Going suggested and yesterday, I found a site which offers exactly that privacy and support Going told us about. So, Going was right, and they are out there.

    Thank you so much, Going.


  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Cedar. I am not on Facebook but I would be interested, too, in such a site if you are willing to share how to find it.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

  11. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Member

    i have to ask - what are you talking about?
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Cedar. I miss you, too.

    I felt so happy when you wrote of D H Mama last week. I had so worried about her. I am glad for D H and you that she continues OK.
    For a long time 3 of us did a lot of work on the FOO forum (Family of Origin). Actually, we started it. Subsequently there has been some difference of thought about whether such personal and private disclosures were appropriate here on CD.
  13. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Member

    wow, interesting! thanks for letting me know.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    PiscesMom, I was interested to read about your son's diagnosis change. It looks like they are refining their thinking about him. That should help, no?

    How are you doing, PM?
  15. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Member

    hi thanks for asking! I have been talking to his therapist and she is not sure,but they are thinking he is "wired differently." She has not heard back from the psychiatrist. I am going to call her this week, and ask if they have a diagnosis yet. I cried a lot in the last few weeks - how horrible to have a child w autism (lol - ID first, or person first language - not sure) arrested at 14! But if he is it was not noticed even tho' he has been in Special Education since first grade. It seems like he might be discharged at the end of summer. He will probably have home visit in June or July. I can't wait!! It is so great to talk to him, he sounds so much better.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    PiscesMom, I so feel your pain.

    I am a single Mom, too.
    I am so happy for you (and for him.) It is so great that he and you have the opportunity for this intervention--even though it has been so scary and difficult--it is possible the direction of his whole life will change.

    Take care.
  17. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Member

    i hope so! thanks! and i will post more once i know more.