That "why." Do we ever really know? Why does it matter?

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've come to the conclusion that the question can never be answered and that the abusers may not even know why they do it or THAT they do it. I think THAT is important. Perhaps, like many of my FOO, they think they had a relatively "normal" family and that their behavior is normal. I know mine think they are normal. So what's the point of figuring out why?

    I sort of think most of our parents had inept parents and that's part of t he why. They could not or would not face their own upbringings being deficient so they copied what they knew...the divide/conquer and favorite/scapegoat and belittling and lack of teaching us proper coping skills. And it affected all the siblings in the family differently, but do you believe you have any siblings who really have good coping skills or are basically happy and normal? Don't all the children suffer?

    I'm not on a hunt anymore. This is my conclusion. Fortunately, to all who still suffer, you CAN pretty much learn to accept it and move on with your family of choice, friends who love you, and other people who are good for your soul rather than soul killing.

    Ok, just my thoughts. Not very deep. Have a great day to all ;)
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I agree that it is often a generational thing.
    And back then... the resources were not available to deal with much of this "stuff".
    Psychoanalysis wasn't exactly effective.
    There were no forums for common discussion.
    Even talking about this stuff with your friends brought stigma and alienation.
    So they muddled through.

    It is up to US, with more resources and more knowledge, to find ways to break the cycle, so that our own kids can continue the upward spiral.
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Agree. Yet many parents still abuse their children and there will be another generation of abused kids...puzzling because of what you said. SO MUCH is out there.

    I think most dysfunctional families are generational and know no better so think they are not abusive and get scapegoating at the one who may see it for what it is...? Does the "why" matter?
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    In the end no. It may help some people to understand 'why' and make it easier to move on or to forgive, but it does not change what happened. Most of us on FOO are around the same age. Our parents are probably close in age as well. I think that if we look back at the social and political climate of the times, and the things that they may have experienced, it might be a clue into what shaped them as people and as parents. Does it really matter? Not one bit.
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    The "why" matters to me because I am trying to figure out what makes me- me, how to change patterns and grow as a person.

    I am looking into my FOO from that viewpoint, not to judge,or blame, but to understand myself better. It also helps me to understand my relationships with my siblings, then and now.
    Maybe my "why" is more focused on why am I the way I am? Trying to be kinder to myself.Trying to understand some of my life's decisions, my responses and feelings about myself.

    I think all of that does tie in to my upbringing and FOO history.

    You gals already know this, you are the FOO Chronicle professors.

    Did not your examining and reflecting help you to know yourselves better?

    We are all imperfect humans. We all make mistakes.

    The past is the past, and one cannot change it, but can I learn from it? If I stepped back and removed the emotional response, would it be a better way to see things, more clearly?

    I know I cannot broach the subject with my older sibs, they don't want to talk about it, so if I need to, I can talk with lil sis.

    Mom is on another path, with her illness, she doesn't need hard questions, just gentle love.

    If I had a dollar for every time my d cs brought up their past and blamed me for their troubles I would have a pretty nice little savings.

    I guess it is the great circle of life.

    The never ending question.


  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Leafie, it helped me a lot!!! But I still dont reallyknow why. I know what happened and havedumped the shame, which is important, but I dont know what makes them tick.

    But I do feel better about it. I dont believe it was me anymore. They just need a scapegoat because of our toxic upbringing.

    Maybe I learned more why than I thought!
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It was helpful to me to understand how different my family of origin was. Maybe, it was my mother who was so different. Maybe that is what affected everything else. To have been able to put a "why" to it helped me understand I had been through something really bad. Worse than normal badness, maybe. So, I saw just the beginning piece that maybe I was very strong and not just intrinsically a wrongness at the core of me; something to be covered and hidden away, lest others know it too. Through the work we have done here, I was able to understand the difference in perspective attained through seeing the abuser hurting me through my own eyes, instead of seeing myself being hurt through the abuser's self-justifying eyes.

    That piece was crucial to healing shame and contempt, and to giving myself permission to heal.


    I required witness, to do that. To grant that process legitimacy, I mean. Our abusers were very sure, when they did what they did, that they had every right to do it specifically to us. We learned that about ourselves from them. That is what we need to heal: We need to relearn the value of life, and to reclaim the inalienable right to cherish our great good fortune in being alive, right here, right now, all of our lives.

    So, that is why we have to scour those childhood memories clean; that is why "why" matters very much.

    We need to get it in our bones that we each are so perfect; each of us, every one of us everywhere, every living bit of matter anywhere, a gift so miraculous it boggles the brain. That is what was hurt out of us.

    The Light.

    We could not see a thing, by the time they were finished with us.

    Remember the poetry: Savaged dead and stolen, blind.

    That was exactly true.


    That is where we heal. Understanding they had no right. They are human like us. They are not specially designated superhuman people. They are human, like us, and what they did involved choice and was very wrong and not decent and not correct. So, like all twisted secret things at the heart of them, rotten. Nothing to stand on, there; no way then, to stand up.

    So, we have to stand ourselves up. We have to believe we deserve to stand, first. Then, we have to believe we can.

    It's harder than a person would think. Believing and deserving, I mean.

    That's the key, though.

    Those are the things shame destroys.

    And I do not see the value in that win.

    Unless the value was our presence as witness.

    That could be.

    And whether we were strong or whether that made us strong, here we all are.


    Children are dependent beings. Parents are not meant to view them as hostages to something no one understands.

    We need to get that, to heal.

    They had no right.

    Those feelings will have been whirling through the room during every abusive incident and during many times when the feelings were there though the abuser was not able to act on them. (And had to wake us up in the middle of the night, sleepy sentinels of sanity; targets for rage at something we did not understand, so we turned it on ourselves because they taught us that it what to do with such strong emotion.)

    That is the purpose for us, for me for sure, in completing what we have begun, here: To see myself and my children and my D H and my house and clothes and pets and cars and the quality of my day through my own eyes and never again through those of the abuser.

    Life is sweet.

    My life is sweet.

    It's like that.

    I find nothing to forgive in what happened to me, or to my sibs, or in what is happening, now. Choices are made. Play the game as written or don't play at all. It sucks to be out here in the cold, but I could no more run with the wolves now than I ever could.

    But I have been contaminated by them.

    I don't understand the why, but I am learning where it twisted me and deciding whether to accept the twist or refuse it.

    Very lonely, either way.

    It's like the piece of research Serenity found for us about flexibility versus rigidity in family roles being the defining factor in dysfunctional families. That is what I see in my family of origin insisting that our family remain a hierarchy.

    The world is so cold. The tricks are so stupid, the reward in them so cheap, and so hurtful. I will never get the win in it for them.

    I just don't get it.

    So here I am, kicking the can down the road. No particular destination in mind, so I must already be there.

    Very lonely.


    I can trust myself.

    Maybe that is why it matters. I believed them. I believed in them.

    And they are not trustworthy. And I love them and so I am vulnerable to wanting them to be happy and safe. And the things that make them feel happy and safe hurt me. Whatever the thing was that created the dysbalance in the first place, that is still the key dynamic. It is a rigid thing, an expectation that forever floats up first, like something awful from the bottom of something that has no bottom. And they keep insisting there is nothing the matter here. And I keep saying: "Yes, but all these bodies are making it really stink."

    And some of the bodies have my face, and some have theirs.

    And they pretend there are no bodies.

    And I am like, in a gas mask and astronaut hazard gear so I don't get any on me.

    But they are having dinner. Together, those dirty rats!

    And I am not.


    So, one day soon, I will remove myself and then, the astronaut hazard gear will go too, because I will have accepted something I don't yet understand. And whether I do accept it or whether I don't it will be too late.

    It is already too late.

    It was always too late.

    So, we have time, then.

    And I will breathe and the air will be fresh, and I will be used to the silence.

    And find the tiniest flowers, and the overarching trees and the waterfalls and make a Garden.

    So, that will happen after I remove the astronaut hazard suit.

    I am alien to them, then.

    Different than them.


    I call my own dead bodies home.

    I am my own. Like the Marines, we do not leave our dead behind for them to see or make fun of or prove themselves against.

    There are still plenty of bodies floating in that water.

    None of them are mine.

    Not anymore.

    A choice.

    I think I learned compassion for myself through our work here, Leafy. And I learned how hurtful the way I had been taught to understand everything was, how toxic it is to think along those patterns my family of origin finds rewarding.

    "Just don't think, Cedar."

    I heard that a million times.

    "Don't you dare."

    Who talks like that.

    People who abuse their own children in the first place.


    And it may not even be that they are the wrong ones. It's that I cannot walk that way. It seems wrong to me, and the prize at the end seems to be some tin thing that could never ring with the true, timeless clarity of crystal. But I am lonely, and I miss them, and I wish I could hear and see and laugh with them...but then I remember that never happened.

    It's a very strange thing, to get that piece.

    I still miss them, though.

    From a very far distance is the best way to miss them. Up close? I want to kick them in the pants. Maybe they are right. Maybe everything should be done to my mother's specs. But it is too hurtful.

    So, I'll be having my lunch all by myself.

    Like in that Eagles song.

    Pretty shaming, to sit there stupidly trying to eat lunch when the food is crummy and ill-prepared and people are throwing it at me because in the end, none of this has anything to do with nourishment.

    So now I feel like Kung Fu.

    No particular place to go.

    Hair a mess.


    Sun coming up.

    I suppose I was hoping for a triumph. Hoping they would want me enough to change their ways. That didn't happen. I may be eating alone, but I am eating nourishing food that I am not allergic to, and that does not make me sick, and that has been prepared with devotion and purpose and intent.

    I guess that is fine, then.

    Lunch on the road; nourishment, complete and perfect, in what is at hand.

    Another choice.

    Everything to do with how we choose to see.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, Cedar. Leave it to you to be able to explain about the "why." I believed it too. Believed I was bad. Believed I abused people. Hung my head in shame. Never realized I was just playing a part in a play that my sick FOO had cast me in. If I were all that they made me to be, NOBODY would love me. I wouldn't have my chosen family and friends. Oh, once again you nailed it. And made me think of the cast in a play mentality.

    We were all in their play, their writing and their casting. And we had to find out that we don't have to be in that play.

    Thank you, as always, you are so smart and kind.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I love this definition. I love it because it is true of what happened when we were little, but I love it because it is exactly what is happening to us today, too. I have been thinking alot about shunning, and what that is and what it means and why it would happen and how it would be justified. I thought about the way the shunning family of origin seems to need to keep checking in a little, here and there, to wet their hands in heart's blood. (I have been officially shunned once before. For five years, and in that time many strange things happened. I am comparing the two, and all the strange little oddities that happen along the way ~ weird occurrences that fit nowhere. Abuser is star, everyone else, interchangeable. Pawns, to the Abuser's Queen.

    A game, of black and of white mitered bishops
    played on a Board, universally black....

    It really is that way.


    It seems so stupidly cheap a thing to hurt so many for.

    That theme rings through so much of the healing of this time.

    How cheap was the thing for which we were sold. Enslaved Copa and Serenity, like Jacob. Remember when we read about Jacob and enslavement and freedom. I am going to go and find that thread, to learn what there is to be learned there now that we all have changed.

    Leafy, you will benefit too, I think. That thread is from the time we came to understand we were imprisoned somehow, in something we could not see or name. Enslavement...but what is freedom. What does that mean, to be free?

    I think about my mom probably still working away on the murder mystery she insists of making of my grandmother's life to destroy her to me, and to everyone who loved her, as she includes the story in the family geneology (probably with all kinds of hurtful things about me and my children. There is no point in what she is doing, and yet, she is doing it.

    That is the way abusive people do it. They destroy. They destroy every kindness, every graceful thing, every strength.


    For those reading along who missed it, there was a thread once about the President's State of the Union address. Someone wrote in with these words:

    "We are a strong, tightly knit family coming through some very hard times."

    That is the way to see what is happening with our kids.

    And never to see them or ourselves through the greedy, filthy eyes of the abuser, again.


    The more I thought about it, the more clearly I saw that shunning in place has always been a condition of life in the (or at least in my) dysfunctional family of origin. As I have healed and been able to look at it at all, I am seeing shunning and being shunned and the whole sickness of identification of who is the one shunned and who is the shunner and which is the power position in a situation so deadly pale as the nest of vipers thing it is. Everyone has to play, has to choose sides, for that system to work, for it to move and come real.

    I am losing the shame of the shunning.

    Once that is gone, I will be me, again. Humor will return, and I see and feel it, already. Generosity, and heart, too. Fear of it is a huge part of the control in shunning. It really does hurt; it is such a hurtful, shaming thing, to be shunned. Remember my posting about my mother drawing back her arm as though she were going to strike me when I was visiting her with two of my grands. I think about that alot, because of the incongruity in it.

    I don't know how old she was then, but old. My father was already gone. Sometime within the past eight years, then.

    So, she was really very old; but the power dynamic had shifted. With my father's death I chose to believe in my mother, again. A second chance. My mother blamed everything about what was wrong with us on my father.

    On my dead father.

    Isn't that something.

    In any event, it did result in her being given heart access to me in a way I knew better than to allow. It did (my father's death) re-embroil me in my mother's machinations.

    The shunning was the result.


    Anyway, I think of that time she drew back as though to hit me, and of the stupidly contemptuous, self satisfied smug little grinning. Eyes on. Blue. And of the stupidity, and the shame and surprise in it. Of the swallowing anger and the trying to behave as though this were normal and, as my mother implied, funny.

    A private joke.

    I hide from the rage; hide the rage from me. There is the trauma: Rage

    One cannot experience killing rage or the trauma required of cowardice and still carry a tune, to paraphrase Woody Allen.


    She was reasserting dominance.

    Over me.

    And beneath the anger in that realization is the sadness of why.

    Like in Forrest Gump: "Why'd this have to happen, Forrest?"

    "You got shot, Bubba."


    So we see the whole play. We see all the roles; we see the nuances of gaslighting and there were and are nuances in it. And how real it seems to us ~ real enough that a grandmother like me can have been tossed into...wonder what state that was, that I was tossed into. It has to do with the shunning that then occurred. It has everything to do with obeying the abuser's unspoken contention that the only reality that matters here is hers. My grief and shame at the shunning, or at the way my rotten family behaved when the family
    D H and I had created faced its challenges so beautifully (
    and that is the other thing that is changing for me, you guys ~ I see the strength and the beauty and courage and bravery in us, now. That I could not see them before was, also, an artifact of abuse. Think about the way we think about what has happened with our kids. Artifacts of abusive interpretation of self, courtesy of our stupidly grandiosity-fixated abusers. Who see, in the pain of our losses, vulnerability and grandiosity for themselves.

    We are targeted.

    All that stuff about the sisters fixating on us is real.

    Our mothers fixate on us too.

    Because here is the other thing, the other and maybe, the bitterest thing, that happened when our daughter was placed in treatment that first time and my mother said: "Well, I guess you weren't such a good mother after all, were you?" Or whatever it was she said. As I heal, I am losing the echoing, shockey state that keeps the traumatic thing accurate.

    The point is that my mother's comment switched my attention from an adult who loved her daughter and was determined to help her to the status of a savagely abused child who is, once again and forever, fixated on the freaking stupidly destructive #@%$& abuser.

    On her eyes, watching me to see it hit.

    That is what my mother's comment did.

    I wish some therapist had been able to know and tell me that.


    How everything is changing in the way that I see, now.

    Kaleidoscope, again.


    There is too much shame, at first, even to admit that we are being shunned ~ this should immediately have been a clue for us that shunning was always a weapon, and was used routinely, and that shunning can occur as a matter of degree)

    And we needed to learn too, that we were more than the role they required us to be. That is where so much of the pain for us is, I think. As we realized we were forced into a role and try to leave it behind us, the old conflicts ~ guilt, shame, the absolute conviction of: "Who do you think you are." "Just don't think" "Don't you dare" ~ all of it, everything they did to enforce those roles, for us and for everyone in their lives ~ comes roaring back to real. And we forget, for a little while, which was the true thing and which, the lie the abuser enforced belief in.

    That is why we need one another, and Brene Brown, too.

    To help us stand right up in the face of it and walk away from the role and into real.

    Here is something else that is occurring to me just lately. We feel rudderless as we come real because our abusers enforced the parameters of our realities. We were taught it was wrong to think, that we were somehow intrinsically stupid, or that thinking and choosing hurt or enraged our abusers, and was a betrayal.

    I cannot have been the only one this happened to.

    That is part of what we are recovering, here. It isn't only about reinterpreting traumatic self identity. It is about reclaiming our brains and brain power and right to make mistakes and not be afraid to try because we may not be so perfect that the abuser cannot destroy what we have taken our courage in both hands to create.

    I have been thinking about Leafy's poetry, and about my own, and about the abuser's responses to children so creative they bubble with it and cannot choose not to have it.

    Like, in brilliant, blazing circles that leave sunspots. And we are like, poetry drunk.

    Who could know whether that is good thinking or bad thinking.

    The problem our abusers had with it is that it was thinking. A piece of the spirit they had not contained.


    It must have driven them crazy, to have us as witness.

    Think about that.

    A conscious witness, never quite dominated. Our attention always wandering; poetry drunk.

    How cool is this, you guys?

    Each of us writes beautifully, powerfully, gracefully. We are similar in that way.

    That had to be the difference, the thing that drove our abusers nuts.

    Poetry drunk, making meaning or seeing stars where nothing ever grew, before.

    Good for us, then.

    We will write beautiful things after this time together. And probably, will never forget it.
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Ah Cedar, there you go again, that incredible mind, thinking, writing, how fortunate and blessed we truly are. I shall never forget the way your words look and feel, how they dance and stir the heart. You have a true gift.

    Copa, Serenity, Insane. It is like the longest and best never ending sleep over.

    I miss Feeling, I hope she is okay, but Feeling, if I write anymore to you I feel like a stalker. Just know that I miss you and hope you will come round and check in.....

    SWOT- We are in their play....How expressive and true are your words, and you speak of others intelligence.

    For me, it is one person. One person so ruthlessly dominated, so cunning, that it is not until years, no decades later I see it. I don't even know if ruthless is the word, maybe subtle, a subtle dominance.
    Is there even such a thing?
    Have I imagined all of this?
    My sister.

    I am being shunned as I write this. I didn't even realize.

    I spoke with my mom, she sounds much better, not coughing so much. She asked me about Rain, and Tornado and her great grands. I talked about Viktor Frankl and Brene Brown. I told her how difficult it has all been, but that I could be strong and vulnerable at the same time. That after all of these years, I am learning my vulnerability is a good thing.

    She was there, my mom was, in the room when Attilla screamed over the speaker phone that she did not want to hear anything of my family, anymore. That she was done listening to me cry. That she had helped me so many times and she was done, done. I made the unladylike gesture, several times. I had helped her, too. I thought we were sisters, and that is what sisters do.
    I suppose, I was not a willing, subservient general to her Ghenghis Kahn, I would no longer accept her spit in my mouth (that was gross Cedar, really, really gross.) I can't believe I just went there. Ahem.

    I would not follow blindly behind her, and do her bidding. I saw her nakedness as she paraded gleefully down the road, flowers and cheers, thrown at the beauty of her style, the magnificent attire, exposed, to me, naked.
    I shouted it back to her in the van that day. YOU ARE NAKED! I see you! (Okay that is imagery, she had clothes on.)

    I faulted in my fealty.

    So, she does not call. I do not call. What am I supposed to say? There is nothing I can say.

    Thank you sisters.

    I have my glasses on, and they are not fogged up.
    I am going to do some more thinking.

    Yuck, hock, spit in the mouth, yuck, and that was an honor?
    Just ewwww.

  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Okay. So what I meant here was that interpreting ourselves through the abuser's eyes lent a feeling of certainty. We did not think for ourselves because to do so brought punishment. What we learned was that to give up was to win. To have been dominated (broken) made the parameters of thought and behavior clear. To let go of those teachings leaves us rudderless and uncertain, with no way to hold faith with ourselves.

    Still, I am not being clear.

    In our changing of our behaviors today where our kids are concerned, or our mates or our lives, we have no guidelines. No one does. But for us, to rebel was a killing offense. That is why we feel dangerously out of control. We assess our responses through ethical guidelines, not because everyone else is able to do this with clarity and conviction ~ because we all are uncertain in untried situations, and every situation is different, but because we were taught not to think. Not to question. How else could the grandiosity addict abuser have gaslighted our realities so effectively that we still fear crossing them today.

    Flexibility, openness, curiosity, an assumption of cherishment and awe at the simple wonder of what is ~ all these things are required, to be present in a life.

    And we were brought up in environments where the smallest deviation from the abuser's proclamations was deadly.

    Still not being clear.

    I will get it, though.

    So, when we feel rudderless and uncertain, we are dealing again from the abusive, power-over parameters of our childhoods ~ from that time, as Copa tells us, before we had words. Without our words to name and define and understand what these feelings are, we forge ahead without the certain understanding of love that those not having survived abusive childhoods make these same decisions from. Our realities...if we fall, if we "fail" (another concept that I think does not exist for those not raised as we were), there is shunning, and not the loving support of family, for us.

    That is why this feels so scary.

    For others, to fail is a temporary fluctuation, and our people cherish us through it. For us, there is shunning and the threat of it and service (enslavement) to the abuser's grandiosity addiction.

    So, it's scarier for us.

    That is why maybe, having one another as we do here, works.

    For once in our lives, shunning does not mean no options.



    Probably what the needlepoint in the saddlebag on the Conduct Disorders motorcycle says now is: I Am.

    Okay. One more observation. When we did fall, when we did fail (which to everyone else is just making a mistake, and mistakes are okay but for us, it was not a mistake, but a fail) ~ when we did "fail" our abusers moved in. Moved right in on whatever vulnerability there was to re-establish that power-over base that enabled their grandiosity fix. They mattered. Not us. Not how badly we felt at our "failure". I am thinking about the posting about how to help your child survive not having been chosen for the team. I am thinking about Serenity's beautiful voice, and her mother's denigration of her ability to perform through not celebrating the wonder of a talented child and what that can mean for a family.

    That is the difference.

    We were not celebrated for the right things, and were destroyed routinely, with absolute conviction, for every "failure", which was only a mistake for our peers.

    We went into the world like that, you guys.

    We left our weirdly dysfunctional mothers and sibs and stepped into the world with less than nothing, more than naked, mistakes turned into deficits.

    All these things, we are understanding, now.

    That is why too, we are fearful about making wrong steps or taking wrong paths or using wrong words.

    Our abusers, live and well in our psyches, today.

    Out they go.

    So...could someone clarify this for me? I am getting too many imageries, and while this is good for me to know, it is making my communication of it here a little...a little muddled.

    Okay, so this is going to be one of those posts I will be a little wierded out over later, when I know what it is I am trying to say. But when I am through this layer, I will know the difference between mistake and failure.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Beautifully said. Magnificent!
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  14. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    No. It requires bravery to question what we were taught, on pain of shunning in whatever degree, was the right way to think about ourselves and our situations. This means Leafy, that you are being totally brave to taste and confront and question reality as you were taught it.

    This is what bravery feels like then, Leafy.

    "Let me win. If I cannot win, let me be brave."

    Patrick Kennedy
    Special Olympics Chair

    That is the feeling, when we recognize the cheapness of the win we have suffered over for all of our lives. That cheap, power-over grandiosity that, once we see it, we do not unsee. Then, we see it in their smallest actions...and all we really see is the love that never was, and that is a sadness for us.

    What it might have been; what it should have been. What everyone else has, and we do not.


    We have shunning. We have stupidly competitive game playing that wastes our time of our lives with its meaninglessness to us.

    Wasted, that time, those times when we gave them our time of our lives because we did not believe the first time, when they told us, with great clarity, who they are.

    We are not them.

    Count our blessings.

    I am stuck in italics again Copa, and no matter how many times I push the blue button, I am still in italics.


  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Is it about being good enough? Being good enough in our own minds eye to make mistakes and see them for what they are? Mistakes?

    Trying and not succeeding, and still trying, but the mistakes became huger than the trying.
    It wasn't that they were huger.
    They became like that because we looked at ourselves with those eyes.

    Those eyes that would revel in our mistakes and the blunders of our children. Those eyes that rolled and formed the words-
    "See, it was you all along, you just weren't good enough.
    If only you had listened to me and done what I said, you would be okay, but you are not. You were never okay, and I told you all along. You don't listen to me, and you never did, I will hear you no more, and speak to you no more, but I will speak of you."

    That is what it means to me right now.

    It is wet and humid with the rain and low hanging clouds. I can't see the stars this morning. The sky is covered with clouds so full, yet the rain just eeks out and drizzles. Slowly dripping.

    The stream below, once dry and lifeless, is bursting forth with sound.
    I cannot see it, but I hear it.

    It is like that today, the memories, so full in my mind, but drizzling in. The realization, coursing through my veins, like the sounding stream below. Finding it's way to the ocean, muddied waters.

    The filter is gone, the swamps, long ago filled and built up into communities.

    It is my life, with all of the experiences and yesterdays developed into what I am today. I am.

    The ocean is tainted brown before the reefs. I am.

    I am the ocean, and the taint of the unfiltered memories stain my soul. I am.

    I will rise with the tide of my promised future and cleanse myself with a mighty swell of waves, large and magnificent. I will wash the muddied waters fresh with whitewashed waves, beating upon the shore. I am.

    I will knock down all of the concrete buildings and return the swamps and revitalize the land, replenish the eco system, replant indigenous plants.

    Protect the land, protect the ocean. I am.

  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    We are real, in allowing our vulnerability. Maybe, we are hearing ourselves for the first time.


    So, back to the clarity about this thinking I am doing this morning. What I am saying is that those feelings of rudderless, or of not knowing the landmarks that would tell us we are proceeding correctly as we change the nature of our interactions with ourselves, and with others, that is bravery. That is the feeling of courage, when we fly by the seats of our pants having chosen the best we know or can learn.

    It only looks like bravery once we are safely (and successfully) through the changed interactions where we have chosen some new way of responding that we believe in.

    So, we are doing well, then.

    When we feel uncertain, we must check our intentions and reality check, too, but then, we must learn to accept and even, celebrate not knowing, not feeling certain we have handled whatever it is well.

    We probably have handled our situations well.

    We are cultivating flexibility and presence, so if we haven't done it perfectly, we can know we have learned something worthwhile. If we can hold faith with our processes, I think we will be okay.

    Fear is the place to put boundaries around. Love, I think we have that. Fear is the thing ~ that fearsome place where we feel so small ~ that is the abuser's vision, and those are the abuser's eyes we are seeing ourselves through.

    Sometimes, we won't be able to do anything more than allow the feelings and survive the feelings and whatever the aftermath is.

    So, that is courage.

    Sometimes, all we can see is the fear. We do not see ourselves, standing up.


    We seem to be well able to see that for one another, though.


    Thank you.
  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Cedar, off to start the day, get ready for work.
    My boss will not be happy, I was out sick last week.
    He will make sly little remarks, a chihuahua, nipping at my ankles.
    I will tell him, as I always do, "Aww, you missed me. Remember, boss, it is a hazard of the job, I am exposed to illness daily."

    Chihuahua, I shall be Cesar the dog whisperer, making that sound, "Shhh-shhhh."

    Good day to you my sisters
  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I cannot get that imagery out of my mind, as I come through this layer. It feels like that to me, to see what was done through my own eyes and not through the eyes of the abuser.

    Like a rape; or like a person kidnapped and made to serve in that way. And who goes on believing that is her purpose, in the world. To serve in that way; to be made happy, and to feel fulfilled, in serving in that way.

    Like the General.

    And we do not want to be spitting on anyone ourselves.

    So, it is better to know.

    I am sorry for the ugly in it, Leafy.

    I feel very ugly, sometimes. I look very ugly to myself, sometimes. I find I have not been kind or generous or strong in my life and I wonder how I remained locked into them. And I feel badly for myself, and protect myself and find myself worth protecting, and admire my bravery and courage and heart.

    Our abusers had no right. Decency forbade it. Had we not been as kind, as forgiving, as willing to believe the beautiful things we believe, they could never have played their sick little games as they have. That is probably why they look at us so closely, as they do. They are trying to figure us out. Maybe, they expected to see eradicated instead of just broken.

    Look what they have done, to our sibs.

    To their mates.

    To our grandmothers.

    And to our children.

  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is what I mean, that feeling, when I post that I no longer believe in my sister. I believe her. I no longer believe in her. That person I believed her to be never was.

    How lovely for all of us that she may, just as easily, have chosen to step into that reality, that loving place where there is time. I will say this for my sister. She tried, I believe with my whole heart that she tried at least half-way, until my father died and my mother, destroying my father's reputation without a second's remorse to do it, took precedence, once again, in the family. My sister said again, in that last conversation we had, that my other had changed.

    My mother seems to be very good at change.

    This kind of thinking is why D H says I will need to be wide awake, should anything happen to him, and when my mother passes, whether he is still here with me or not.

    Without the gyre turning tirelessly, voraciously, at the center, the hatred will collapse when my mother passes. It will be like the shed skin of a thing.

    I note that I am not so fascinated with the why of it just lately.

    I suppose the questions have been "Why, what was it about me, why would someone have chosen what they chose." And now, as the why behind it comes clear and the disbelief surrounding the hurt of it dissipates, there is only me, here.

    And not her.

    Not my mother.

    But I don't miss her; that is the difference. Always before, I was willing to be who I needed to be, to believe whatever I needed to believe, to have her, to have my mother, to believe in her and in me and in all of us. Somehow, Copa's contention that there are many facets to love fits in here. I can love her, and us, and myself. Somehow, that fits in here and when it does, I will have another shining piece of the mosaic of self that I find lovely and perfectly mine and that I reclaim.

  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    No I think it is about seeing them for who they are. We have been perfect, which is better than good enough, all our lives. Perfect is forever unattainable, and was the only way for us to deal with the anxiety of the grandiosity addict abuser. "I wasn't done, yet. I can do more, can do better, can smile while I do it and with never a hair out of place, I will dance faster."

    I will take your abuse, will take everything you dish out and raise you one, making of it something palatable.

    The trick in perfectionism is that we never attain it.

    It is how we deal with anxiety.

    That is where the fifteen minute timer comes in.


    Toss them out, those wicked, stupidly grandiosity addicted abusers. Maybe, like our children must do too, they will hit bottom and change.

    This is at the heart of our dissatisfaction with our physical appearances, especially as we age. Is this process more difficult for us (as everything else has been, too) than it is for the general population. Artifact of abuse reality would say the answer there is yes, a thousandfold.

    It would be interesting to learn what part this childhood dynamic plays in addiction to plastic surgery. I wonder how that works, when we feel we are never done until we are grotesquely twisted versions of the selves we are meant to be.

    Where was I going with this.