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Being Friends With Your Inner Demons

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floridaredman posted 2/20/2014 09:26 AM

Inner demons are those entities within or even outside of ourselves we rationalize with to do irrational things.

The most confounding and confusing question for WS's and BS's is "why?"

Why did I/he/she do it?
Why would I/he/she risk so much?

If you think back, every wrong action you did as WS took some rationalizing for you to go through with it.

"He/She doesn't care about me anyway"

"I need to do this for me"
"What he/she doesn't know won't hurt him/her"
"I know this is wrong, but it makes me feel alive again and wanted"

All the while there is this little voice giving you affirmation to these things. You still have the choice to do or not do the act. Whether it is texting,sexting,skyping,messaging,making plans to meet,meeting up and going through with plans of infidelity.

You could say no at anytime,yet we as WS's chose to be friends with our inner demons and agree with them.

Inner Demons could be;

Lust and Addiction
Low Self Esteem
Anger
Shame
Selfishness


Lust will cause you to want something extraordinarily.Whether it be sex, attention, alcohol,drugs. You have a burning desire to do these things. There will be no satisfaction until
what is calling you is fulfilled. It's a fleeting fix because it's never satisfied. You have to do it over and over again. Afterwards there is a sense of relief and then emptiness.

Low Self Esteem makes you feel worthless. You don't matter.This can lead to lack of boundaries. You want to feel worthy to someone so you will do things out of bounds to win their favor.
Also you relinquish your own self worth just to feel important to someone else.

Anger gives you justification to go through with wrongdoings. It will tell you that you have been denied to be your own person. That you have a right to be happy at the expense of someone else.

Where does the anger come from ? Is it coming from somewhere that happened a long time ago? Or is it just prevalent now with your spouse?

Shame comes with it's own baggage and can be tied in with low self esteem. Shame comes with fear. Fear that people may not accept you because of who you are and where you come from. This can have 2 manifestations

1. You overcompensate and try to be what you believe you are not
2. You are easily persuaded to do things for acceptance

Selfishness speaks for itself. It's all about you and how you are benefiting.

There are more but theses stood out to me.
Being friends with these will always cause destruction and turmoil and not with just infidelity.

The key to "why" is finding out why you so easily go along with these and get away from one key factor Self-Control

Inner demons want control. It is up to us not to give it to them. It is up to us not to be friends with them and listen to them.

BrokenButTrying posted 2/20/2014 09:35 AM

Thank you, floridaredman. Your posts are always so helpful and give me a lot to think about.

My inner demons are low self esteem, shame and selfishness. I am working very hard on why I let them take over and how to prevent it in the future.

floridaredman posted 2/20/2014 11:31 AM

Thanks BBT,
I am glad it helps

stilllovingher posted 2/20/2014 12:39 PM

HI FRM
Great post.

Lust and Addiction
Low Self Esteem
Anger
Shame
Selfishness

these concepts are so intertwined and dependent upon one another, it's ridiculous. It becomes a "chicken/egg" dance in no time.

Low self-esteem leads to fear, which leads to anger, which leads to destructive actions, which gives way to guilt, and we round robin back to fear!

What are you afraid of?

To end the cycle, you have to break the chain

Its important, also, to not get so cought up on "what happened" that we neglect "what's happening". Because ultimately, the key is this...

It is up to us not to give it to them. It is up to us not to be friends with them and listen to them.

Good stuff, FRM.

Take care.


floridaredman posted 2/20/2014 14:12 PM

What are you afraid of?

To end the cycle, you have to break the chain

Its important, also, to not get so cought up on "what happened" that we neglect "what's happening".


SLHer,^^^ That's some good stuff right there!

Thank you for your post. It's good to see you on the thread

Dadto4girls posted 2/25/2014 04:41 AM

Hello Red
I'm new on here but have been reading a few posts for a while and this has really stood out for me.im a struggling former wayward and I intend to use the points you have raised to try and get some structure to the damage I have done to my partner.
Regards

Joanh posted 2/25/2014 08:33 AM

Yep and yep and yep,

I read this and I felt that overwhelming hoplessness, cause everyone of those demons are playing a part in my life.

It seems to be so much. On the otherhand, in thinking about what you have posted,I also realize that once you are aware of these demons, you can fight them and battle them and make them go away. Conscious thought. No longer are they subconscious feeling or demons.

Only when you know your demon can you do anything about it.

Which is also slowly allowing me to accept, who I am, and move forward without them controlling my decision making or feelings.

Thank you for this post. It will help with a lot of people.

You were one of the first SI people that welcomed me. Thank you for sharing your learned experience, it has helped me.

Kyrie posted 2/25/2014 11:44 AM

I don't see a stop sign, so I hope it's OK for a BS to join in. Floridaredman, your post could have been written by my fWH. Obviously, both of you have done a tremendous amount of work and self reflection. It's been difficult, but I know it's made my H a better man.

But this really stood out to me:

The key to "why" is finding out why you so easily go along with these and get away from one key factor Self-Control

I wonder if self-control can become a kind of demon. Without going into my H's FOO stuff, he's always, since he was a little boy, been about self control - I mean, to the point of not ever really having freedom to explore parts of himself. He's always felt it necessary to exhibit self control and was often rewarded by the adults in his life for being successful at it.

Since DD, I now see this "quality" has been more like a burden. I have to believe the A was perpetuated by finally letting go of self control. For once in his life, he rebelled against those expectations and he befriended the demons you mention. This realization makes me sad because ultimately, I think he's been saddled by self-control to the point that he's not been free and eventually, he cracked under the weight of always "keeping it together" - this may have made it easier to befriend his inner demons.

So I wonder if self-control, like a lot of things, can become a bad thing. In retrospect, my H will say that one of his misguided justifications for giving into an A was that he felt that after being the good guy is whole life, he deserved the chance to be bad. And I can't help but hear some resentment when he says that - you know, resentment for having sacrificed some freedom while growing up in order to be this guy who always kept it together.

Of course, this realization will now create a tricky situation for him. He'll have to embrace self control again (a demon) in order to reclaim the life and integrity he lost. That seems like an impossible task.

Thank you for this thread. It will give both of us something to chew on together. I'm going to have to think of ways I can support him - maybe provide him space to set self control aside and just let go.


badchoice posted 2/26/2014 09:21 AM

I think he's been saddled by self-control to the point that he's not been free and eventually, he cracked under the weight of always "keeping it together" - this may have made it easier to befriend his inner demons.

I think this is a great point. As a child, I was always the good one, while my sister was the wild one. I got all of my validation for being good, quiet, not causing a stir.

Later in life, I still did not know how to express myself, or allowed myself to feel the 'bad stuff', so when the shit hit the fan in real life, I had no coping skills to navigate them.

While I think self control can be a good thing in certain areas, not eating the entire cake, bag of chips, etc, it can also be a negative trait when you 'control' your emotions to the point of being robotic, as I had become in life. My self control 'demon' was my ability to control emotion. Or to put it better, I just didn't feel anything. I had learned at an early age that it was not safe to feel - so I didn't.

Great topic. the parts about anger and self esteem really hit home.

Thanks FRM

floridaredman posted 2/26/2014 10:16 AM

Hello Red
I'm new on here but have been reading a few posts for a while and this has really stood out for me.im a struggling former wayward and I intend to use the points you have raised to try and get some structure to the damage I have done to my partner.
Regards

Welcome Dadto4girls,

I am glad that this post was helpful to you. I hope that it will be useful to you along with the many other posts here on SI

floridaredman posted 2/26/2014 10:29 AM

I wonder if self-control can become a kind of demon. Without going into my H's FOO stuff, he's always, since he was a little boy, been about self control - I mean, to the point of not ever really having freedom to explore parts of himself. He's always felt it necessary to exhibit self control and was often rewarded by the adults in his life for being successful at it.

Kyrie and badchoice,

You both bring up good points about self-control.
Anything done in excess can be harmful. There are ways to use self-control that is not "abuse" or abusive to one's self. Too much of it makes you feel imprisoned and entitled, not enough of it gets you into situations that prove detrimental to you and those around you. Even self-control needs moderation. Thanks Kyrie, badchoice and Joanh

somethingremorse posted 2/26/2014 10:33 AM

This stood out for me:

The key to "why" is finding out why you so easily go along with these and get away from one key factor Self-Control

Inner demons want control. It is up to us not to give it to them. It is up to us not to be friends with them and listen to them.

I'd get discouraged and give up. If I want to get better, I have to realize that those EXACT same situations are going to present themselves. I have to control my reaction to them so I don't withdraw or give up.

I think that's what you meant. Or it is like art, and I have my own interpretation of it.

floridaredman posted 2/26/2014 10:46 AM

I'd get discouraged and give up. If I want to get better, I have to realize that those EXACT same situations are going to present themselves. I have to control my reaction to them so I don't withdraw or give up.

somethingremorse,

That is exactly what I mean. Inner demons never stop, they never go away. They make take a break, but they always come back. It is up to us how we react to them. Your interpretation is spot on, especially if it can help you and others.

knightsbff posted 2/26/2014 14:14 PM

Great post FRM.

I've been kind of coasting lately and you gave me a push to start journaling so I can organize my thoughts and get back to digging deeper into some of my demons.

Actionsoverwords posted 2/26/2014 17:27 PM

I am not only friends with my inner demons, but I served as their best man at all of their weddings,go on vacation with them 4 times a year, and we finish each other's sentences.

This is just powerful stuff here and this is perhaps the most elegant way I've ever heard the demons described. Thank you FRM.

mrs7 posted 2/28/2014 13:44 PM

Really good stuff FRM
and I can relate to all those inner demons.

Actionsoverwords, that was a funny post. You and those demons obviously have a close relationship.

floridaredman posted 3/1/2014 15:17 PM

I've been kind of coasting lately and you gave me a push to start journaling so I can organize my thoughts and get back to digging deeper into some of my demons.

knightsbff,

I am a fan of your posts...I am honored that this was/is inspiration for you to dig deeper

Thanks Action and mrs7...your posts are greatly appreciated

SpotlessMind posted 3/1/2014 15:50 PM

Thanks so much for this post, FRD.

I know my husband struggles with some of these demons (I plan to send him a link.)

My demons are self-esteem/shame, the two BFF demons. They seem to go hand-in-hand everywhere, and wanted to keep me as a third in their bestie sandwich. I've worked on extracting myself from their terrible influence for at least 10 years, without really understanding the shame component. Now that I'm aware, I'm hoping to make even greater strides in my journey toward believing in myself and shame resilience.

I do realize it's a journey, and not a destination. If the trauma I've experienced these past few months has taught me anything, it's that the demons always skulk around, seeking the opportuniry to creep back into your good graces when you are feeling particularly low. Awareness and diligence are key.

They can keep their BFF necklaces this time around, cuz with demon-friends like that.....

thisissogross posted 3/1/2014 16:15 PM

This thread is reminding me of the first book my therapist suggested, "owning your own shadow" by johnson. It's focused on identifying and learning to balance/harness and work with the inner demons discussed here, as opposed to trying to obliterate them. The theory in the book being that while those drives/aspects of self can be damaging and destructive, they are usually the other side of personality traits you value or that are necessary. Lots of focus on acknowledging and then finding (safe and healthy) expression for our dark selves.

Ugh. I'm pretty sure I didn't explain that very well. Anyway, like this thread, I found the book thought provoking. It's short too, very profound read for me though.

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