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Ownership of feelings

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MissesJai posted 6/30/2014 09:20 AM

"He/She made me feel xxxx". I've said this many times. I've heard others say this many times. I've read it countless times on SI from both BS & WS.

For a very long time, I believed that others were responsible for my feelings.

The truth is nobody can make us feel anything. Whether we like it or not, we choose how we react, what we feel, how we express those feelings. Regardless of where we are in our journeys, we must take ownership of our feelings if we truly want to heal.

If healing is important to you, I encourage you to examine how you manage your feelings in a very honest manner. Do you own them? Do you blame others for them? Do you allow yourself to feel them?

IMO, if you are willing to do the work in this area, you will see the benefits almost immediately.

Be blessed...MJ


BrokenButTrying posted 6/30/2014 09:55 AM

This is something I'm working on at the moment. But I'm struggling with this

The truth is nobody can make us feel anything. Whether we like it or not, we choose how we react, what we feel, how we express those feelings.

Where do we draw the line? Because this essentially implies that the WS is in no way responsible for the BS' feelings after dday. That the BS is choosing to feel that way and none of what they feel is caused by the actions of their spouse - because they could choose to feel differently. Which, I think everyone would agree, is inaccurate.

I'll admit I've been stuck on this for awhile now. I'm doing well with mindfulness, choosing how I react to things. But no one ever taking any responsibility for other people's feelings... I can't get my head around that.

[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 9:56 AM, June 30th (Monday)]

MissesJai posted 6/30/2014 10:39 AM

Because this essentially implies that the WS is in no way responsible for the BS' feelings after dday.
I disagree. Yes, the WS is responsible for behaving is such a way that would generate feelings in the BS. But, the WS does not own the BS's feelings. They do not control them. That's why everyone's feelings are different - some are angry, some are sad, some are devastated, etc.
But no one ever taking any responsibility for other people's feelings... I can't get my head around that.
It took me years to wrap my head around that. Going to a Retrouvaille weekend along with IC definitely helped me to get to the point where I truly understood that I am responsible for my feelings - even if someone did harm to me or my family, ultimately I own the feelings that come from that. Nobody makes me feel anything.

BrokenButTrying posted 6/30/2014 10:46 AM

I think I have more trouble because I'm Co-D.

I'm really proud of myself for how well I've done to step out of the Co-D cycle but I am stuck on this.

MissesJai posted 6/30/2014 10:57 AM

I'm really proud of myself for how well I've done to step out of the Co-D cycle but I am stuck on this.
I am proud of you too and yes, being Co-D makes this process challenging - but you've proven your strength and with time and continued work, you will get this. I promise.

tired girl posted 6/30/2014 11:03 AM

This was something I tried to work really hard on after my DD two years ago. I really wanted to blame Hl for everything I was feeling, but really tried to keep it more to this is how I am feeling.

BrokenButTrying posted 6/30/2014 11:08 AM

Thanks MJ

holesinmybucket posted 6/30/2014 11:31 AM

MissesJai:

BS here, hope you don't mind

I agree with your statement. While my Wh actions are definitely the catalyst for my feelings. Ultimately, it is up to me to find the root cause of my feelings and fix them. For example, I still feel very insecure at times, so I had to figure out what would help me to become secure within myself, such as working full time or going back to school. This helps offset the fear of being financial dependent of my WH.

Forgiveness of my WH and myself (for being so blind) during his A's I was able to look at my feelings with less blame attached and more self control. I want to say while I agree that we must all take ownership of our feelings...this does not mean that we can control how we feel at any given point. I am not able to just stop feeling hurt or abandoned by my WH, however by taking ownership of these feelings I am able to process them and work on fixing them. This is very important, because otherwise we risk rug sweeping, by telling ourselves that we do not want to feel a certain way, so we shut those feelings out. IMO this is not good for true healing.

Just my thoughts

MissesJai posted 6/30/2014 11:32 AM

I really wanted to blame Hl for everything I was feeling, but really tried to keep it more to this is how I am feeling.
Applause. I think we all fall into this trap at one point or another.

rachelc posted 6/30/2014 14:32 PM

I can get the ownership of feelings thing. I had two horrible in your face triggers this weekend. They had to do with his past actions but they were my feelings to own. The thing is, I have to make a choice myself to do something about the feelings. And that choice is sometimes unclear. I want the choice to honor myself. What is best for Rachelc, ya know? But I do not know what that choice is.

tired girl posted 6/30/2014 15:02 PM

I have to make a choice myself to do something about the feelings.

Why? Sometimes nothing can be done about how we feel. Sometimes we need to just feel them and move on. Sometimes our spouse does need to share with us. Just depends. But if your H is consistently not helping you with your feelings, how is that honoring you?

rachelc posted 6/30/2014 15:10 PM

I told him about them. But, there is nothing he can do except comfort me, which just makes me feel more alone because there is nothing he can do for my feelings... I think the action part is on me, even if it's just changing my thoughts.

MissesJai posted 6/30/2014 15:41 PM

I think the action part is on me, even if it's just changing my thoughts.
this is good stuff, rachel.

20WrongsVs1 posted 6/30/2014 16:45 PM

Great topic, currently at the forefront of my personal work. My signature sums it up beautifully.

MJ, may I ask if you and BH are on the same page WRT this philosophy?

This mindfulness, or whatever you want to call it, has revealed that my children are never annoying. No matter how many times DS9 makes the same goofy sound in the back seat of the car, I can choose not to feel annoyed. Not saying I'm there yet!

rachelc posted 6/30/2014 17:00 PM

Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom."

I don't understand this quote, and I've read it and pondered it many times. Get mad, don't get mad...I still have the same feelings. Have a trigger, don't tell hubby, or tell hubby. I'm far from the raging lunatic I was at Dday. My response is different. The feelings are not. What am I missing?

BrokenButTrying posted 6/30/2014 17:10 PM

For me mindfulness is about choosing my reaction.

For example: my son's are arguing over toys for the 1000th time today. It's irritating, their shouting and screaming annoys me. But I can choose what I do with those feelings and how I react.

I can just *be* angry and shout at them. Or I can process that anger differently and remain calm and sort out the disagreement without raising my voice, making sure no one, including myself, is upset.

Or I can give them chocolate to make them both shut up

HopeImOverIt posted 6/30/2014 17:21 PM

But no one ever taking any responsibility for other people's feelings... I can't get my head around that.

Maybe it's the difference between CARING ABOUT someone else's feelings and taking responsibility for them?

My WS and I were both in therapy. At one point I told him - using what I was taught in therapy - "I feel hurt when you XXX with other women."

And he replied - possibly using what HE learned in therapy? - "You feel that way because you choose to feel that way."

Technically true, but not at all helpful for repairing a marriage.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 6/30/2014 17:24 PM

This is one if those topics that I like how it sounds but just can't seem to buy into. It seems too black and white for me.

I have this image of my husband in the floor in our kitchen in the most immense pain I have ever seen. Where the pain is visceral. I saw in one second a man turn from being witty and gregarious to serious and untrusting. How can my husband have very real symptoms of PTSD and be required to take responsibility for how he feels?

If no one can make us feel anything, then why have I been spending the last 4 years apologizing for how I have made my husband feel?

I get that we need to be responsible for our feelings but I do feel if is possible that it should be in conjunction with how the people in our lives make us feel. I don think it's possible for us to go through life and not be affected in some way shape or form by others actions and words.

Would we tell a child whose mother verbally abuses them that they need to take ownership of their feelings? That no one can make them feel anything? If I was told over and over again that I was worthless, I am probably going to begin to believe it. On the other hand, when I go to a friend's house, her actions can make me feel welcome (or unwelcome for that matter).

I believe that others are the catalyst for our feelings. But I think it's up to us to decide what to do with them. Perhaps the healthy thing is to learn to process them and work through them in a functional way.

Honestly, I don't know. I just have a hard time with this concept as an absolute.

BrokenButTrying posted 6/30/2014 17:26 PM

Maybe it's the difference between CARING ABOUT someone else's feelings and taking responsibility for them?

I think you're right, Hope. Thank you

MissesJai posted 6/30/2014 17:34 PM

MJ, may I ask if you and BH are on the same page WRT this philosophy?
After attending RV, we are on the exact same page. We both really, really get it now.

A dear friend of mine, who happens to be neck deep in his own work, said this to me when we spoke about ownership of feelings:

Our emotional experience is a direct expression of our identity. When we know who we are, we know how we feel and why we feel that way. We CHOOSE our emotional reality based on our truth. This is the result of diligent mindfulness. Too often, we abandon ourselves to embrace someone else's emotional reality. We give up our power and defer responsibility to others for our feelings.

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