The win and the loss

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by SomewhereOutThere, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    We have "spoken" much about...what is the win for them to treat us like dirt?

    We have all had many answers, but nobody knows for sure why they feel so good being so mean to us.

    I have come to believe a win for them is when they can get to us and make us think about them too much. My mother definitely was like this. She loved to act one way then move in for the kill, at least to me. I won't lie. I doubt she did this to anyone else in FOO except my dad. She was darn mean to him too. In my case, I know she was both infuriated and jealous at my extremely close relationship with her own mother who favored her brother (my Uncle) and me over her. That would even come out in her words at times. She fought her "my mother loves brother more than me" all her life. I heard her arguing with Grandma while she was in a nursing home about the end of Grandma's life. I was standing outside in the hall. But she also resented how much Grandma took my side when Mother was mean to me. And she took it out on me in spades. The win was that she was my mother and it hurt me that she did not love me. And she would show me this to the grave.

    I don't want to give anyone the "you're in my head" win anymore.

  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Serenity.

    I am struggling with this lately in a way that does not seem related on the face of it, but it is, I think.

    I studied long ago the idea of "value." I found it fascinating the distinction between use value and exchange value.

    Use value is related to intrinsic value. The essential value of something independent of its value bought or sold. Food, housing, clothes, commodities etc. all have a value in their basic use. We need them. They have what I will call an absolute value.

    Exchange value is the value on the market. What somebody will pay for something can be far different than its intrinsic value. Look at a house. The same house in Malibu will cost more than that house 100 miles inland.

    The relative value of the same house changes by where it is built.

    What does this have to do with the win, you ask?

    I think what happened to us in our families, some of us, is that we grew up with an uncertain idea of our value to anybody. Our self-esteem is very variable, depending upon the circumstances we find ourselves in. Or the circumstances we make for ourselves.

    In problematic families like our own there was a great deal of competition around the child with the value because there was never enough unconditional love. Or any for that matter. Our value to our parents was always contingent, it seemed to us. We seldom got the sense that we were good enough or valued enough to be protected no matter what. The siblings always fought one with the other to have a higher relative value to the mother. One achieved that higher value to the mother by winning over one's brothers or sisters. Some of us refused to play the game.

    I think making sisters or brothers the "bad one" may stem from this. I am good, she bad, means the mother will love me. A strategy to win "self-esteem" by any means necessary, by making the sibling less worthy. Highly impaired parents play the same game with their children, competing with them instead of loving and taking care of them.

    A well-loved child has a sense of their absolute value to the mother. A minimally loved child will assess her value based upon her behavior or her circumstances or whether she is the "star" in her own mind, based upon criteria which is always shifting.

    Entering into this are concepts we have written about on FOO. The concept of "Germany" for example gets to the idea of defining one's own value, one's intrinsic value, oneself, by how one treats oneself and cares for oneself. This is independent of how any one other person treats you. This is independent of how you are valued by your family and society. It is the absolute belief in oneself. It is a decision.

    It is a very hard thing for me to get to this place.

    The piece of it that I do not understand is this: I had the courage and the independence to not play the game as a child. I had the drive to establish myself independently through my efforts. I had the sense of self to build a personality which was non-conforming and individual.

    But I always believed my value to be very minimal. Even though I know that this is not true.

    I am in agreement with Cedar, that there are practices consistent with deciding value. That it is related to work. It is a practice that must be adhered to every minute. Going to bed on time. Getting exercise. Taking care of one's body and clothing. Cleaning the house. Setting limits with people, including children. I believe that there must be a decision every single minute, to decide one's value. By each decision I decide my own value to myself.

    The more we do this, the more it can unnerve other people in our orbit. Like our sisters. Because they want to believe that their value is greater than our own, if we come from families that did not permit the children to feel their absolute and intrinsic value.

    The more we set a limit with a family member, the more we take care of ourselves, the more we act like we are valuable to ourselves, the more unnerved they may feel. So that they feel like they have to do something destructive and mean "to show us our place," to "show us who we really are." I am thinking of Cedar's mother here: "Just don't think, Cedar." With statements like "who do you think you are" either manifest or implied, our families try to put us in our our lower relative that they feel valuable in themselves.
    Living our lives establishing through our actions, that we value ourselves, is the only way to do it, I think. And letting go the idea that anybody else matters except the people we love absolutely for themselves, no matter what. Whether they are rich or poor. Young or old. And first among them, needs to be ourselves.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    This statement has so much awesomeness to it, that I wish I could give your post four stars!!! Your whole post is excellent. Thank you.
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    OMG!!! More awesomeness. I don't know if I can handle this much awesome wisdom in one day.

    Yes, they belittle us and label us and demean our worth and value and the good we have done so that they can feel superior. I LOVE IT FOR IT'S TRUTH! And it's so mean. And now we all know it's mean. So we can disregard their lack of being able to value us. It is about their own low self esteem. BEAUTIFUL!!
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    YES! YES! YES!

    I don't think I've read any post yet, with all the wise and wonderful words I've read, that resonates with me as much as this one. Thank you, Copa. And now I need to set a strict boundary with my sister, that I will never even read her headline posts again or go to sites where she posts. That is actually a boundary because she WANTS me to read them. Her old board administrator got it and maybe she is banned and that's why she suddenly showed up on another board I used to go to (but won't anymore). If I limit her ability to communicate with me over the internet, that is a strong boundary.

    You're really rocking it today, Copa. I can't thank you enough for this bit of intelligent thought.
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Those are abusive to a child. How would they like it if somebody said that to them? "Just don't think, Dottie" (made up name). I know my own overly sensitive mother, if told by one of the people she wanted to love her, to "just not think" she'd be in tears. The bottom line is, abusers, especially abusers of their own children, even if it is only one of them, are weak bullies. If my Uncle Vain who was a Golden Person to my mother had ever said "Just don't think, Dottie" she would have cried buckets because she valued him more than herself. Yet she resented bitterly that her mother had clearly loved him more than her.

    Good example of "they can dish it out, but can't take it."

    My sis is the same way. Cries a lot when people she values, often very questionable people, are mean to her. But has no problem doing it to me. And, trust me, I comforted her many times through her tears. Dang!!!!

    Best.Post.Ever., Copa ;)
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Serenity, each of us lived in the same kind of family. And were similar as children, in one important way. By that I mean we did not buy into the mother's system of pitting child against child, so that none of them felt intrinsically worthy.

    Each of us tried to remedy our lacks in our lives, with some degree of success.

    What puzzles me is this: what gives one child the courage to think for herself? And why if she does, would this absolute sense of worthlessness persist? I think I am struggling with both a sense of my lack of worth, deep inside myself, as well as a related guilt about what I have.

    It seems a quandary to me that I could have gone on my own from the beginning...and achieved like somebody "worth something" but never remedied my sense of not being "worth much." It is like nothing really has ever touched that.

    I think that was why living in Latin America meant so much to me and my self-esteem. Because it was a decision by which I defined myself to me, as being worth enough to do it.

  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I think we all have an inborn personality, Copa, and intelligence. I do not have a super high IQ (although my verbal IQ is high). I am very creative (as I think we all are here) and think outside of the box. I think you, as well as I, could see at an early age that our mothers were not "right." I knew very young that my brother was unusual too...he did not act like you typical little boy. I have often wondered if he has Aspergers, but his therapist of many years has told him he does not. I don't know if that is true or not, but he has never been diagnosed with it so I can't say he has that. But he and I were buddies when young because he liked to play with me and neither of us had friends. I knew my parents were not like the parents I saw on television. I felt my mother's dislike. I did not have a docile personality. I was always a fighter for myself and spoke back and spoke my mind. My mother didn't like it (shrug).

    My brother never criticized her. Maybe he had no need as she treated him like he was a form of a Jewish Jesus Christ. She had many Golden People in her life and some Scapegoats, in which me and my father were two.

    My sister was largely ignored from what I remember as a child. She was the stereotypical "lost child" who never spoke back, tried to find solace with friends, and desperately wanted Mommy to love her so she did not say anything to tick her off. Shes was not beloved as a child, but not picked on because she was docile. On the surface she still is. She is your typical passive-aggressive.

    Our different personalities helped AND harmed us. Mine made me a pariah in my FOO, but I eventually shown in my own life, far from them. After my first marriage, which was not good but at least ended amicably, I was able to think I deserved love again and experienced true, unconditional love for t he first time and made a great family. I have had it for twenty years.

    In the meantime, my more docile sibs do not have that and are afraid of intimacy. My mother never found true love either. She met a man she claimed to love who cheated on her. These things did not happen to me. I was careful about who I got close to the second time around and first husband was just not a cheater. Nor was I.

    Copa, in the end, we were t he fighters and the stronger ones. And our fragile, weak mothers didn't like it and our sisters didn't like our successes. So we got picked on and we loved them so we cared, but caring can only last so long.
    Caring for those who care not for us gets old. I'm over it.

    My dad thinks I have his genes. He is 91 and clear of head. I could be around thirty more years. I am not going to spend those thirty years pouting about who doesn't or didn't like me. That is a waste of my life and it would be a waste of anyone's life.

    You are very smart, Copa.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    What I am getting at is this: I was strong enough to be myself but I do not believe in my worth. How could both of these things be true? I have a very low sense of my absolute worth. Even though I know by many criteria (relatively) I have been somebody who should have high regard. It is confusing. I do not feel I deserve much, at the heart of me. I can say it had to come from my family. I want to change it.

    I want to feel self worth. In my own self. About myself.

  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You ARE strong, Copa.

    But the tapes are still in your head. It's not really that hard to understand. I think we were all there. Trust me, I have not accomplished nearly what you have, but I don't feel worthless anymore. That doesn't mean I don't have moments.

    Your worthless feelings are just words or actions from your FOO that are deep inside of you, although you know intellectually that you have succeeded far more than most people. It is quite a dilemma that I totally understand and I feel badly for you.

    The important thing is that you realize that feelings are not facts. You ARE worthwhile and good things SHOULD happen to you and I wish every dream you ever had comes true!
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Serenity

    I have grown to treasure you and to respect you very much over these months. I understand better now that you explain it.

    I do believe in myself and always have. But I have done so in spite of being treated badly, not cared for well or enough. I am always on the ready to turn against myself and to accuse myself as not enough, not good enough or worth enough, because that is what I learned based upon my life as a child. No matter what I achieve or have or am, there is always that deep hole. I was not loved in the way that I needed. Then. It does not have to be now.

    As you explain it I can see that it is a "tape" but it does not represent a reality that exists now. It is more of a memory, one that I need to acknowledge and learn to discredit. Actually, having written this, I feel closer to my son who struggles with the same thing.

    Thank you, Serenity.

    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Copa it helped me to replay the memory in front of a witness. That is where Maya and the black lady from Matrix and Lisa came in. Unless we can know, when we review traumatic memories, that the abusers were wrong, I believe we re-traumatize ourselves every time we review the memory. We do not know another way to think about what happened to us. Those were our parents, our sibs, betraying everything decent to service their own grandiosity or whatever their win is.

    But whatever their win was Copa, it was our loss.

    Find a series of witnesses you can imagine watching that adult who was your abuser abuse that little girl ~ thirty to fifty pounds soaking wet ~ who was you. Watch their faces, Copa. That is how I learned just how wrong what happened to me was.

    Maya. The black lady from Matrix, smoking and laughing and baking cookies ~ but she has seen it all.

    Lisa: "Not acceptable."

    If you can find witness Copa, those feelings will change. You will see yourself being hurt through the eyes of your witness. You will never again see yourself being hurt through your abuser's eyes. Everytime you see yourself that way, the initial abuse is made true all over again. Once you have a witness, every time you think of the abusive incidents you will see through the eyes of your witness and heal more.

    And that will change everything.

    I am happy this is happening for you, Copa. It would not be happening now if you were not ready to heal it.

    It is very hard.

    It is worth it, Copa.

  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    "...and it hurt me that she did not love me."

    Is it that these were people who did not love us, or is it that our mothers were women who could not love anyone?

    I think my mother (and my sister) cannot love. That is why we were so blown away by the wonder of that Sleeping Beauty kiss, or of caring for our roses, thorns and all. We had no way of knowing that intensity of feeling existed, the way we felt about our lives with our children.

    I don't know Copa, but I feel the same way. As we have worked here on FOO Chronicles, I have come into possession of my own home, of my own husband and my own dog and cat and the weather and of a kind of permission to savor the taste of my life as my own. I have been naming this real versus role in my posting here. Real feels so color filled, and so flavorful and rich. I am thinking these changes have to do with having resolved to be kinder to myself; with confronting the negative tapes with nothing stronger than that one, small wish for myself: kinder.

    Because the resolution to be kinder was such a gentle thing, I have learned to treat myself gently. Over time, coupled with being away from my Family of Origin and with our work we do here on FOO Chronicles, I have come to value ~ I don't know. Everything seems to have changed and it has to do with the Benedictines and the Buddhists and with finding Germany. I am beginning to have a concept of Germany which has to do with external, as well as internal, change. Germany will be ethically to reclaim internal locus of control in the sense of creating something new in the world. Always before in my life, the place I was most content and the value I was most in service to was the home. Was the emotional feel of a thing; was peace and happiness as the primary value however hard I worked to achieve it.

    And I did work very hard for that.

    That heart of the home sense of things is changing.

    Of course I still want things run well at home. But I am thinking of other things now than the way the sun fills a room in the morning, or filling a particular room or garden area with white lights to make it beautiful at night.

    I actually did those things, and loved doing them, and thought all the time about the emotional tone of our living spaces.

    Now, I have a sense of picking up, of seeing differently and space for change. Maybe that is the way to say it: Roominess and breath and space, this time feels like. Here is an example: When I regret the things lost now, I know the kids will come through it. Before, and still a little bit now, I would feel my heart close in fear and rage and I would suffer for the way things happened. I would recommit to finding the way to help us all to be that family we were meant to be.

    Now, the difference seems to be that I welcome and embrace and am invested in the family we are. I am thinking I could even say names of diagnoses without tumbling into horrified believing or roaring into angrily disbelieving.

    We are not going to test that one just yet.



    It has to do with combating the negatives with that gentleness that was kindness to self, and it has also to do with trust, these changes. I think it has to do with being away from my Family of Origin ~ all of them, my sister (who, as I come more and more out of denial, may have been the most hurtful of all of my relatives because I trusted her to love me the way I love her and she does not) included ~ long enough to recognize contempt masquerading as concern and hatred masquerading as love. Though we seem to have been able to love (Copa's Sleeping Beauty kiss; the rose and its thorns and everything having to do with The Little Prince) we seem not able to extend those mercies to ourselves.

    That is what is changing for me.

    This summer, it will be two years since I have spoken to my mother or to my brother. It will be one year since I have spoken to my sister. It has been since my father's death almost seven years ago now, that Family of Origin dysfunction went skyrocketing into the stratosphere with my mother's ascension to the power position of elderly lonely widowed matriarch.

    My mother was extended every mercy; every honor. We (I did, for sure) chose to believe the lies she told were how she truly believed things had happened and not that she was lying to destroy us all. But she did lie to destroy us all. I had such a hard time believing this could be true, but then, I read about your families.

    You cannot know how grateful I am that you shared true and painful things with me. I think I would never have believed what was right in front of my eyes without you.

    And then, my mother would have won.

    And now, I am determined that she will not.

    She will not win in the sense that I step away from who she brought me up to believe myself to be.

    That is the change we are working for, here.

    To claim our true selves, who turn out to be such lovely and ethical people.

    Guilt, resentment even, and rage ~ these were the cost to us, of believing our abusers when they hurt their belief systems into us.

    Those are the places you will reclaim as you come through this.


    Witnessing the behaviors and choices my mother and my sister have made and seen to fruition and even, thought were funny (like the lady driver and the eye rolling incident, or like my mother and WalMart and the feeling of whore) while working here, and being cherished and strengthened and encouraged here on FOO Chronicles made it possible to me to admit what was happening and finally, to stop forgiving them. I forgave them so routinely that the part of my brain where I should have been thinking WTF was silenced. I could not see anything wrong that my FOO did to me. I could recognize echoes of wrongness in innocuous things ~ in hearing about how they laughed at the lady driver. In the whore in the sun imagery that had to do with my mother and that trip to WalMart where her intention was to subvert me through vanity.

    That is what happened there, you guys.

    I grew up like that.


    Okay. So, sometimes, I still get mad enough to use that little red CD demon.


    Finally, I was able to believe I should be honored. To believe, and to believe it sincerely, too, that I should not be lied to even by my own mother.

    What is happening to us over time as we heal I think is that we no longer betray ourselves so automatically that we lose respect for what is real. In that we do that, and in every instance when we do that, we weaken and denigrate ourselves.

    But that was a requirement for our survival, when we were little girls.

    And I believe we have known all along, what this cost us.

    And we hid that from ourselves, too.


    I should be cherished and valued for myself, and not just for appearance or for whatever influence I carry. Which influence, interestingly enough, FOO seem determined to destroy, both in destroying my reputation, and D H reputation in the places where our lives intersect publicly, and in their own thinking.

    This kind of poisonous thinking is opposite of everything normal families do. There is no pride in our toxic families. There is no compassion for sure, but there is no pride. There is no honor in a job well done. Everything, everything serves the corrupt value system of the abuser. We believe we need to ferret out the damage. We believe we need to determine who is the liar here, our mothers (or whoever our abusers have been and for me, this now includes my sister) or ourselves. What happened to me is that we reach a tipping point. Enough evidence is accumulated that there is no longer a question of whether to believe ourselves or our abusers.


    It is that fast. All at once, we are headed for Germany.

    There is a period of disbelief. Like a kaleidoscope feeling where thousands of hurts and beliefs about ourselves are changed or healed below the level of conscious thought.

    It is very much like breaking through the surface of the sea into brilliant sun.

    Disorienting strength.

    It's like we have been dragging weighted chains.

    Because of this, we are very strong.


    I still feel sense of surprise that this is so. I no longer feel sickened and weakened because this is so.

    There was a time, and those who have been following my process and witnessing for me will remember it, when I was furious, when I seemed not able to open my eyes in the morning without finding myself enraged. The places where that rage lived are where I am open, where that sense of roominess, of white draperies and blue skies and ocean breezes and white sand are, now.

    Whatever. I am waxing poetic at great length, again. I am still trying to define it to myself. I want also to leave a map for whoever comes next. I remember when we were so afraid, and when we did not know whether we would be okay as we punched through the layers of denial and shame and hurt and crushed spirit.

    I think this is important for us to know, too. A valuable, factual report on how this feels, and on what happens next, and on holding faith with ourselves through the anger and the pain and the disorientation as we heal.

    And to trust that, however angry we become and however rotten it feels to be in process, we are healing. It is real.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Cedar, I think my mother was a woman of extremes and black and whites. If I were actually into diagnosing...she had lots of borderline traits...that's as far as I'll go on this forum. She over=loved my brother. He was brilliant, nice, perfect to her. Yes, I heard her actually saying things that meant this. And he over-loved her. I often wonder if she is not the reason he has never had a romantic relationship of any kind. She squeezed the life out of him...he was just so beloved by her. She had others she loved that much too, mostly men. She also had my father painted black as night. As well as me.

    From where I sit and what I've observed and what I heard from her, she always had her "all white" favorites, even among the grands whom she actually did see (thankfully they were not my kids). Interestingly, her fav grand, or t he one she bragged about the most to me, was a girl. Even when I was calling her, and she refused to ever call me back, sometimes she forgot it was ME she was talking to, and she would spill her guts and it was always about how wonderful this one grand was or how brilliant her long term boyfriend was (he eventually cheated on her). But she never cut HIM off just like Sis never cut off her very abusive boyfriend. Doesn't make sense, but because they painted ME black, and did not paint their boyfriend's black, they were tolerated, even loved. Is that a normal love? I don't think adoring those who hurt you so much is a good thing.

    I don't think they know how to love normally. But in my case, my mother did love, although it often was not a healthy love. She could hate too. Very
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    This is a thought I've been pondering lately.

    Does it matter if they think they won?

    I think hard about this. After all, despite my accident being a setback, my life has been good since meeting my second husband and the more I understand my FOO the better my life gets without them. They may think they won something over me. So what?

    So...does it matter? I think I'm the winner because I have what neither has. But do THEY care? Do I care if they care? Not particularly.
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It matters if we believe ourselves to be as they told us we were. We are free of them, have been free of their influences, since we were able to survive physically without them. Since we were about twelve, then. And yet, they dominate us, still. Their thinking dominates us, still. Some crazy somehow, we believe in them, still. (!) We believe their truths over our own experiences of the world, and of our own lives. We follow the paths they set our feet to follow. In that sense, whether they won, what they won, has nothing to do with them. Their time is past, and has been past, since we were able to understand there was something deeply the matter with our families. Nietzsche's "love came first" figures in, here. Maybe for them, love does not come first or ever, or at all. But we refused to believe it, about our families of origin. We took the blame, instead. We lived guilty, fearful lives instead, always trying to find some balance between the love we know is real and the abuser's continuing contemptuous dismissal. We believed them, we believed in them, and we refused to leave them there in their contrived worlds where fear of the abuser's contempt mattered more than anything but the love we felt for our own children.

    That is another benefit of Copa's Sleeping Beauty kiss.

    Not only that we loved, not only that we were able to love generously and to welcome without calculation, but that we loved something more than ourselves; that we loved something ~ our lives with our children ~ more than we feared those who had abused us. What the abuser taught us was that fear and love go hand in hand. That was the truth they twisted and hurt into us, for the sake of some win we not only do not understand but find reprehensible.

  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is what we understand once we no longer fear their contempt, their vicious ridicule, even their shunning.

    They have done everything to us that they can. We had one another, here on FOO Chronicles. And so, we were not alone with them or with their belief systems. Because we had one another, and because we were honest about our pain and confusion, we did not break. We shared the hurt and the shame of it and we came through it, healing.

    Once we see who and how they are, once we actually see the nature of their "win" and understand it to be nothing more valuable than the primary abuser's bloody power-over arena extending long past the time she could force those belief systems onto any of us, then how in the world would we ever take anything they say or think or do seriously again.

    You win, and I do too, Serenity, in a game we never even knew we were playing. To us (to me, for sure) the "win" isn't even a lonely thing, anymore.

    I am not even lonely for them, anymore.

    I never thought that would happen.

    I wish it could have been different.

    It wasn't.

    I don't even say "I wish with all my heart it could have been different" because like you, I am not so invested in anything about my mother or my sister or brother, anymore. I hope their lives are going well. I wish them no harm or anything like that. That feeling of excoriated is ~ I feel compassion for myself now, that these terrible things happened to me. All of my life, there were people I thought loved me who did not love me. I came out of that system with love and fear and pain and contempt all mixed up. When I think about my mother now, there is no future fear in it. There is no fear of the hurt that attends every thought of her.

    Always before, though I did not name it that, there was future fear (disguised as hope ~ as determined belief, even) in my thinking about my mother especially, but probably about my sister, too. It felt sad, and so lonely, when I realized they do not behave as people who love me would behave.

    That was huge.

    It meant not that they had changed, but that I had.

    It was a tipping point.

    I never believed I would give up that dinner imagery that represented how it could be for us, for me and my children and grands and my FOO.

    They are incapable...but sometimes, I think it has to do with ethical choice. That they are indeed capable, but made another kind of choice than I did, than I do. Here's the thing: the thing we did not understand was why everything always seemed to go so unbelievably wrong for us in our interactions with FOO. We none of us could figure that out, remember? We had been so ashamed of what was done to us ~ so ashamed that our own people did not value and cherish and protect us.

    That was not our shame.

    That is their shame.

    That is the tipping point. That is the place we stop being afraid of the hurt they can betray into us.

    This place we have come to is not a win for us.

    But it is freedom.

    In that we are free from their ways of thinking, about themselves and about us, we win. They lose ~ but the thing they wanted to win was as pointlessly ugly as it seemed to be, when we first healed enough to be able to glimpse the truth of it, so like you, I have no feelings about how they think about any of this. I assume the worst possible interpretation, and I am certain I am correct in that.

    That is who they are.

    Nothing to do with me.


    I think they cannot hurt us now. Without fear, in the world they taught us was real, there is no love. Love and fearsome hurt were bound up together, in the dynamics our twisted families of origin insist on.

    No fear means we are free of all of it.

    It's like Dorothy lifting the curtain on the Wizard and finding nothing but a shyster from Kansas. That is the central freedom, here. The Wizard chose to set himself up the way he did. Lift the curtain and we see a series of ethical choices we made in one way and our abusers made in the opposite way. Dorothy could have taken the Wizard's position or made a thousand other compromises.

    She went home to Kansas.

    Exposed, the Wizard left Oz as well but who cares or even remembers where he went.


    I don't know why they like to hurt us Serenity, but they do. Once we lose our fear of them, we are free.

    That Sleeping Beauty kiss was a doozy.


  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am here but a little out of it, with lots to do, and mildly frantic inside of me. While I am doing nothing.

    I will comment just this right now: I am buying scarves. Because I realized almost all of the ones I have are junk. I did not know before. All of them are from the thrift store. I was earning big money and I bought everything I could from the thrift store. And I am not cheap. I could not entertain the idea that I deserved better.

    I had to face that all of these scarves were junk or maybe 85 percent of them. So I researched scarves. The epitome of all scarves is a Hermes. I bought one on ebay. Then I bought half a dozen other scarves of related cache but not as coveted. Thus cheaper. But brands, like Dior or Richel or Canova. Names I did not know until a few days ago. Their commonality? They convey a sense of high value to their wearers and about them. Well, I did know Dior.

    At first I envisioned myself in certain NY activities, as not good enough, not as good as the ladies who were there with me. Which is the justification I have used for all of this buying. So I look like I am enough.

    And while pursuing this activity last night I went to my email where I though I had saved the list of brands that I was learning to search for. I did the search in my email for scarves and an email I had written to my son came up from Summer 2014, when I thought we would go to Detroit. I had bought us the 3 of us the props I thought somebody in Detroit winter would need, and I was telling him about it.

    I was stunned at the tone of the letter. The love. I had never in my life received a letter with such an open heart. It was as if to enter the letter was to be enveloped with love. It was the most generous letter I can recall reading in my life. Generous with self. When I say it was a love letter, it conjures up the sense of something inappropriate so I will clarify that it was a "mother love letter."

    I got angry reading it. And at the same time I chided myself. I got angry because I felt the cruelty at how he treated me and that I did not deserve it. And then I realized yet again how that might be a large part of it. How does an adult son leave such a love? He can only fight his way out of it. Which he did.

    How much easier it is for him to treat me with love now that I do not any longer surround him with it.

    I am tearing up now because I am recalling the buying of scarves to establish my value. I feel very sad for us, each of us, who never knew what it was to be loved by a mother in the way we loved our children. I feel sad for the women we were and are who walked through the world without the armor of a sense of securely held value and may still. (I will have my Hermes scarf to protect me. I do not even care if it is ugly.) I feel sad for myself who still cannot give herself order and cleanliness in her lovely home.

    I will check in later.

  19. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi all, I have been following along reading, and late to posting again.
    Had a lot on my plate, literally and figuratively (UHG Holiday goodies). But, I am working at reclaiming strength, rebuilding.
    I think that is why I did not want to focus on the issues of my past, I had enough to deal with through the festivities, and feeling very unfestive, if you know what I mean.
    I like your comparison with the wizard, Cedar, (well it is from my all time favorite movie). But, mostly, I like it because my relationship with my sis, has been puzzling at times. Like the wizard, she has done some good deeds, and there are endearing qualities she possesses, mixed in with some disturbing things, albeit. For me, examining this has been somewhat freeing, but also imprisoning, as I battle with what went on, and the fact that I still love my sister. What a strange place to be in.....I am searching for a descriptive and this is what I found from Steel Magnolias, Ouiser Boudreaux, seems folks put up with her, but she was also the talk of the town, folks knew what her makeup was, what she was capable of, both not nice, and nice deeds.

    but she was a crusty character, with some good traits......reminds me too, of the rapidly rising power figures at work, or non- profits, it is amazing how many folks see them for what they are, the hidden agendas and self promotion at the expense of their victims. Do they see themselves this way? I do not think so. They feel they are the victims. They have to, otherwise how could they continue in their machinations? It is the stuff many a novel is written of. What is the win for them?

    What is the win for people like some of our family members? I truly do not think there ever is a win, guys.

    I have come to think of folks like this, (and the world has more than it's fair share of them) operating from this emptiness, like a GIANT black hole, that can never be filled, or satisfied. It must be miserable, to feel this way. A never ending need, to suck happiness and joy from their targets, or the need to control people, or to have this feeling of entitlement, to whatever they want, no matter what they have to do to get it. Garnering up soldiers to support them, if one is not on their "side" one is then targeted.
    I am writing of my sis already claiming family treasures, like the seagulls in "Finding Nemo" "Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine." How sad. What win is in that....nothing.
    Oh heavens, I still haven't fixed my, blood test..keyboard...anyway,
    I digress and switch to my phone....sorry.

    I am wondering, if you sisters are like me, and seem to run into folks bearing uncanny resemblance to FOO, in their actions, how they treat, and view you, or other unfortunate souls on their radar?
    I am feeling like a magnate is attached to me, for this. Am I putting out pheromones, or subconciously seeking out people with this, this, what the heck is it, a gene? Am I re enacting my childhood, so to speak? Or is life just throwing this stuff at me, so that I complete this lesson? Pass the test?
    Or, are there just so many people out there in the world, who operate under the same m.o. ?

    I found this article, which I thought interesting.......

    so, understanding this, knowing the "win" is not ever achieved by folks like my sis, it is more about trying desperately to fill a void within themselves, that only they can fill, by loving themselves.

    It helps a bit to know these things, and to focus on the only control I have, and that is to try harder to live my life to the best of my ability. To focus on what is the win for me, to be a decent, kind and loving person, despite all of the "Finding Nemo" seagulls out there.

    These people are operating from this emptiness, and there will never be a feeling of a win, or satisfaction.

    It will always be a game to them, and the trick is, I think, not to be a pawn on their chessboard.

    That is a big win, for us.
  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I have been feeling this way, a lot, too Copa, it is hard, and I know the frustration of it. I think it is a part of this journey. It is not a comfortable feeling. Looking around at all the stuff I need to do, but not having the feeling to do it, yet. What a headache and a tug of war, inside. Ugh.
    I am sorry you are feeling sad Copa. I think you are also being very hard on yourself.
    I look at it more as a way to reinvent yourself, to find yourself. You have great value, and I see you finding this more and more in your posts, and your response to others in need of help. Your scarf buying, may seem like a setback to you, but you have come so far, Copa. I think you are understanding your value, more and more. That you deserve to have things that truly represent you, and you do.
    The video I found of Iris Apfel, in the being kind to ourselves thread, mentioned her "mistakes" and she said, her greatest accomplishments, happened by accident. She had no plan, I found this pretty astounding, for such a successful business woman. I think you are being hard on yourself today Copa, and it will get better.

    You are already taking steps to reach the order you are seeking in your house. It will take time, but I know you will get there. Me, too. I have been in a state of almost paralysis, through the holidays. I have to get through this, and I think I am, with really, tiny, tiny steps.
    I think you are way further along, than you give yourself credit for.
    You are doing well Copa, and you deserve to wear your Hermes scarf, although I hope it is a pretty one!