I talk about this book so often that a couple of my friends are like "Yeah, yeah, yeah that 'Abandonment' book... we know!"
Finding new hope, new love, new dreams!
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. ~Maya Angelou
I realized very early on after Dday, that I am really codependant. I feel like this book helped me start to wonder why I'm that way, and admit that some of my past really set me up to be like that. My dad was injured when I was very young and couldn't work, yet was very distant with me even though he was home all day long, and my mom had to work long hours. I was terribly shy in school, and I always remember sitting alone at a lunch table in 7th grade for half the year, after my friends from elementary school kicked me out of their 'circle' because I wasn't cool enough for them. There was another group of girls who were all really nice, and I WAS near them, but still alone, at the end of the table. I never realized that I was suffering abandonment then. I always just focused on feeling sorry for myself that I couldn't make friends, never realizing that people were trying to BE friends with me, but I was outcasting myself, by not trusting them. When one individual girl came along, a new student, we quickly became good friends. I was ok, that's what I thought. I always felt like I was just meant to have a sole friend, and not be in a click. I think it sort of trained me to seek friendship with a sigle person, and rely on just that one person, and thus be terribly co dependant on them.
I dunno, I guess what I'm just learning now is that the past has a bigger impact on me fundamentally that I could ever see before. Meeting WH, and latching onto him immediately, was not caused by him, it was the way I was due to my past abandonment.
Sometimes I just think how I'm feeling "exactly as miserable as before I met him" and now I'm starting to realize, that's the flashback, like me remembering how I felt back then. It's crazy that a flashback can make me forget that I have two beautiful children, a great job, my finances are good, I have friends now, a lot of things are going great. I just think of me in my first year of college, where I was depressed, lonely, thinking I'd never find someone, and daydreaming of meeting prince charming all the time. All that sadness, just because I'm currently single? geesh! :P
I am glad you find this book insightful and hopefully it will be beneficial for you!!
When I get the bad memories (triggers), I practice staying in the moment (Shattering exersise). When I feel down, I imagine dream house and try recharge myself.
Please take your time. Hang in there!!!
ETA: Try give a little girl in you a hug, and talk to her that you as an adult will never abandon her. You will be always be with her.
Bumping for other people.
[This message edited by beach at 8:35 PM, November 12th (Wednesday)]
This book has probably been the best self-help therapy for me yet.
My father was an abusive alcoholic and only parented as well as a drunk could when he was beating us. Abandonment.
My mother was never around as she was the main income earner. When she did get a break, she spent all her time at church praying for a better life for her family. Abandonment.
My first serious boyfriend was an abusive piece of crap who would leave me on a regular basis. Abandonment.
Nine years ago, our oldest son was killed instantly in a car crash. Abandonment.
As I've been reading, and of course reflecting on my life, there were times when I would just well up with tears and couldn't even focus on the words anymore.
I knew, I mean really understood that abandoment issues rear their ugly head in our adult lives but I just never really *knew* to what extent.
This book just blows me away.
[This message edited by ohpuhlease at 12:55 AM, November 16th (Sunday)]
((((op)))) You have gone through lots of abandonment. You can see those characteristic of your Outer-Child. It helped me doing the self-dialogue.
SUMMARY OF RAGE
Rage is a time of power surges and blown emotional circuits that plague us at many points throughout the abandonment process. Rage maintains an internal dialogue that feeds on itself and fans its own flames. It seethes beneath the surface.
Until we recognize our outer child, we act without thinking. We use our anger to justify our behavior. But there is a way to use our rage energy constructively. Constructive rage does not destroy, inflict injury, or perpetuate pain. It does not retaliate. It converts to healthy aggression. It is the energy we need to rebuild ourselves and our relationships.
Recognizing outer child traits allows us to choose our actions rather than be guided by habit and reenact deeply entrenched patterns.
The deconstruction of the outer child holds the key to true recovery.
FOURTH AKERU (RAGE) EXERCISE: IDENTIFYING THE OUTER CHILD
The Fourth Akeru exercise is an awareness tool designed to help you better understand your responses to anger and change your behavior.
We have already discussed the inner child that part of us that holds onto feelings of frustration, resentment, and rage. The outer child acts out the inner child's anger. By becoming aware of your outer child, you are finally able to gain access to your primitive, unconscious defenses that interfere with your relationships and your life plans.
In the hierarchy of self, the outer child is sandwiched between the inner child and the adult:
Left unrecognized, your outer child can subvert your best intentions. Recognizing behaviors that stem from your outer child is the first step toward positive change.
Your outer child has been the hidden saboteur in your life. It rationalizes its maneuvering by claiming it wants to protect you. It poses as your ally but acts out rather than asserting your true needs.
Identifying your outer child builds upon the previous Akeru exercises by lending them a new level of personal awareness. In exercise one, you learned to use the moment as a source of personal power; in exercise two you began a daily dialogue with your innermost needs and feelings; in exercise three, you learned to strengthen the relationship between your needs and actions through a visualization exercise that shaped your vision of the future. This fourth exercise helps you to recognize the self-defeating patterns that limit your life progress.
The key to disarming outer child defenses is to acknowledge them. Once you learn to identify the special features of your outer child, you'll expose its covert operations and look for emotional triggers that set them in motion. You'll emerge with a new level of insight that puts you in the driver's seat.
Your task is to isolate and take command of your outer child behaviors, using the same separation technique you used to create Little and Big.
Form a mental picture of your outer child 丒an image distinct from Little or Big. While Little represents valid emotions, the outer child acts out undesirable behaviors, especially deeply entrenched patterns that stymie your growth. By separating these behaviors from your true feelings, you gain psychological distance from which to observe the interaction between the two.
It may take time to establish a clear representation of your outer child. But once you learn to separate behavior from feelings, you can dismantle automatic and troublesome responses to the many stresses you encounter.
OUTER CHILD INVENTORY
What follows is a list of 100 easily recognizable traits common to the outer child in each of us. They are presented randomly, reflecting the illogical thinking of the outer child. Your daily exercise is to use this inventory to become aware of your outer child 丒to spot its behavior and find its hiding places. Remember that your outer child is a misguided expression of your inner child's feelings. Touch base with what your outer child is doing by keeping an active inventory of its behaviors, using the list as a guide.
Each of us has a unique outer child, depending upon our individual experiences, needs and feelings. The list of 100 traits is by no means exhaustive. And not all of the items will describe you. The more you are able to recognize your own and other's outer children, the more self-awareness you bring to your relationships.
You can circle the items on the following list that relate to you, or just read through them, allowing your awareness to build. The random nature of the list is designed to catch your outer child off guard. Hopefully, this will help you to recognize aspects of your behavior you otherwise wouldn't see.
For best results, read through the entire inventory more than once. You may not recognize your outer child at first glance. Remember that your outer child lives in your unconscious mind, and because some of its characteristics are less than flattering, it may be hard to own them. Stick with it until your outer child begins to emerge. You can add to this list as you discover traits unique to your outer child.
Reviewing and updating this inventory daily is the key to breaking down outer child defenses. By keeping your outer child in focus, you'rel move beyond where 90 percent of people are able to go and truly understand the dynamics of your behavior.
Each time you spot an insight or trait related to your outer child, you're keeping your unconsciously driven defenses in better focus. As a result, you'll be able to choose more constructive responses to stress.
Outer Child Inventory
1. Outer child is the selfish, controlling, self-centered part of all of us.
2. Outer child encompasses all of the outward signs of the inner child's vulnerability 丒all of the scars, the warts, the defenses that show on the outside.
3. Outer child is developmentally around seven or eight. Self-centeredness is age appropriate for the outer child.
4. Outer child wears many disguises, especially in public. Since other people's outer children are usually well hidden, you may think you are the only one with an outer child.
5. Outer child is the hidden Chuckie of the personality. Even the nicest people we know can act like a seven-year-old with a full blown behavior disorder when they feel threatened enough.
6. Outer child is developmentally old enough to have its own little executive ego (much to our chagrin). It's old enough to forcefully exercise its will but no old enough to understand the rights and feelings of others. (Inner child isn't old enough to have its own ego, so it has to appropriate ours.)
7. Outer child steps right in and takes over, even if we had every intention of handling a particular situation in a mature, adult manner. Outer child handles things its own way, leaving us holding the bag.
8. Outer child can dominate your personality if you're had a history of repeated abandonments. Many abandonment survivors of childhood are mostly outer child.
9. Outer child throws temper tantrums and goes off on tirades if it feels criticized, rejected, or abandoned. If Outer seems emotionally disturbed, it's because of what you're been through. Don't blame your outer child 丒it doesn't react well to blame.
10. Outer child takes revenge against the self. It sees itself apart from self and creates a schism between Big and Little whenever an opening presents itself.
11. Outer child likes to blame its faults on your mate. It tries to get you to imaging that your unacceptable traits belong to your mate.
12. Outer child doesn't like to do things that are good for you.
13. Outer child would rather do something that will make you fat or broke than think or fiscally responsible.
14. Outer child is a hedonist.
15. Outer child talks about your friends behind their backs.
16. Outer child thrives on chaos, crisis, and drama.
17. Outer child enjoys playing the victim.
18. Outer child distracts you when you're trying to concentrate.
19. Outer child loves to play martyr.
20. Outer child is a world-class procrastinator.
21. Outer child makes huge messes that take forever to clean up.
22. Outer child makes you late for appointments.
23. Outer child loses things and blames it on others.
24. Outer child can find an excuse for anything.
25. Outer child tries to look cool and makes you look foolish.
26. Outer child is the yes but of the personality.
27. Outer child is reactive rather than active or reflective.
28. Outer child explodes when it encounters difficulties with its own abilities.
29. Outer child can never be wrong.
30. Outer child hates asking for help. It's stubborn, ornery, blind and pigheaded.
31. Outer child acts like a tyrant but is secretly a coward, afraid to assert its needs.
32. Outer child acts gracious when a friend steps on one of your toes and then holds onto the anger for the next twenty years.
33. Outer child specializes in blame; if it has an uncomfortable feeling, somebody must be at fault.
34. Outer child uses crying as a manipulation.
35. Outer child criticizes others to keep the heat off itself.
36. Outer child has a phony laugh to cover up stray feelings.
37. Outer child acts on its own, rather than consulting us, the adult.
38. Outer child needs total control to avoid having to feel inner child's feelings, especially hurt, loneliness, disappointment or loss.
39. Outer child can't stand waiting, especially for a significant other to return your call.
40. Outer child doesn't form relationships 丒it takes emotional hostages.
41. Outer child doesn't like to show its vulnerability; it keeps its injuries hidden.
42. Outer child will demand, defy, deceive, ignore, balk, manipulate, seduce, pout, whine and retaliate to get its needs for acceptance and approval met. It doesn't see this as a contradiction.
43. Outer child has a favorite feeling: anger. In fact, outer child's only feeling is anger.
44. Outer child has a hole in its pocket when it comes to either anger or money. Both must be spent right away and damn the consequences!
45. Outer child wants what it wants immediately. Yesterday.
46. Outer child wants to get right in the middle of things when you try to start a new relationship. It becomes more reactive, more demanding, and needier than ever before.
47. Outer child may be found in our mates. Sometimes we marry a person who can act out our own outer child wishes. Hopefully, our mate's outer child doesn't act out against us.
48. Outer child may be found in our children's behavior. When we get into power struggles with one of our real children, we find ourselves battling our own outer child. Sometimes we secretly encourage our real children to fulfill our outer child needs. They act out the anger we don't wan to own.
49. Outer child goes off on a rampage if it detects even the subtlest signs of abandonment. This leaves Little in jeopardy, unprotected.
50. Outer child strives for its own self-interest while pretending to protect Little. But your outer child wants one thing only: control.
51. Outer child is a people-pleaser with ulterior motives. It will give others the shirt off your back. And what have you got to show for it? Nothing. You're left cold and naked.
52. Outer child is not old enough to care about others. Only you, the adult, can do that.
53. Outer child tests the people it looks to for security 丒to the limits.
54. Outer child tests new significant others with emotional games. Its favorite is playing hard to get.
55. Outer child can be very cunning, putting its best foot forward when pursuing a new partner. It can act the picture of altruism, decency, kindness and tolerance.
56. Outer child can be seductive, funny, charming, and full of life. When it succeeds in catching its prey, it suddenly becomes cold, critical, unloving, and sexually withholding. Outer child makes us pity the person willing to love us.
57. Outer child is the addict, the alcoholic, the one who runs up your credit cards and breaks our diet.
58. Outer child enjoys breaking rules. Your best friends may have very dominant outer children living within. Their rebelliousness might be what you enjoy most about them.
59. Outer child actively ignores you, the adult, especially when you try to tell it what to do. Outer child just goes right on doing what it wants to do.
60. Outer child strives for independence. Maybe someday your outer child will become independent enough to leave home, but don't count on it!
61. Outer child gains strength during dormant periods. Then, when you feel vulnerable, your outer child acts out, jeopardizing the new relationship.
62. Outer child tries to defeat the task of intimacy, which is to get your inner child to become friends with your mate's inner child. Intimacy is when you nurture each other's inner child and don't take each other's outer child too personally.
63. Outer child loves to hook up with your mate's outer child. They instantly get into power struggles. It is futile to try to control each other's outer children. Your best bet is to find something for your outer children to do other than interfere in the relationship. If you can't ignore them, send them out to play.
64. Outer child has enough vanity and pride to try to conquer an emotionally dangerous love, one who is potentially rejecting, distancing and abandoning.
65. Outer child thinks emotionally unavailable people are sexy.
66. Outer child is attracted to form rather than substance.
67. Outer child wants what it wants 丒emotional candy. This goes against what's good for Little, who needs someone capable of giving love, nurturance, and commitment.
68. Outer child seeks all the wrong people. It can't resist a lover who won's commit.
69. Outer child refuses to learn from mistakes. It insists upon doing the same things over and over.
70. Outer child developed during the rage phase of old abandonments when there was no one available to mitigate your pain.
71. Outer child becomes most powerful when Big and Little are out of alignment.
72. Outer child believes laws and ethics are for everyone else.
73. Outer child obeys rules only to avoid getting caught.
74. Outer child can dish it out but can't take it.
75. Outer child can be holier than thou.
76. Outer child loves chocolate and convinces you that it's good for your heart.
77. Outer child beats up on other people's inner children 丒especially the inner child of a significant other.
78. Outer child bullies its own inner child.
79. Outer child tries to get self-esteem by proxy by chasing after someone who has higher social status.
80. Outer child can deliver a subtle but powerful blow if it perceives a social slight, no matter how small.
81. Outer child covers up in public. Some people are better able to hide their outer child than others. Of course, some outer children are easier to hide than others.
82. Outer child can't hide from your closest family members: they know. That is what intimacy is all about: the exposure of your outer children.
83. Outer child can express anger by becoming passive. A favorite disguise is compliance. Outer child uses compliance to confuse others into thinking that it doesn't want control. But don't be fooled; outer child is a control freak.
84. Outer child finds someone to take for granted and treats them badly without having to fear rejection.
85. Outer child expects new significant others to compensate it for all the hurts and betrayals inflicted by old relationships dating all the way back to childhood.
86. Outer child protests against anything that reminds it of being on the rock.
87. Outer child refuses to stay on the rock. Unlike Little, Outer climbs down, picks up a hatchet, and goes on the warpath.
88. Outer child has a chip on its shoulder, which it disguises as assertiveness.
89. Outer child is like the annoying older brother who constantly interferes in the guise of protecting you.
90. Outer child doesn't obey the golden rule.
91. Outer child obeys its own outer child rule: Get others to treat you as you want to be treated, and treat others as you feel like treating them.
92. Outer child needs to be disciplined, but don't expect limit-setting to go smoothly.
93. Outer child provokes anger in subtle ways, and then accuses others of being abusive. Other loves to play the indignant injured party.
94. Outer child submits so it can seethe at being dominated.
95. Outer child knows how to wear the white hat.
96. Outer child is master at making the other person look like the bad guy.
97. Outer child behavior ranges from mild self-sabotage all the way to criminal destructiveness.
98. Outer child can gain control so early; the individual doesn't develop any true empathy or compassion for himself or others. The extreme outer child is a sociopath.
99. Outer child needs to be understood, owned and overruled by an airtight coalition between the inner child and adult.
100. Outer child holds the key to change. Inner child beholds our emotional truth, but can't change. When you catch your outer child red-handed, wrest the key from its hands and unlock your future.
Separating Feelings from Behavior
Outer child has its own covert agenda. The only way to expose and derail that agenda is to maintain your daily inventory. Don't let your outer child remain in an unseparated state, entwined with your feelings, where it can control responses from within.
Separating feelings from behavior is a crucial step in the healing process. So often people use feeling as an excuse for unacceptable behavior. Your task is to keep tabs on what your outer child is doing. As long as you keep your outer child in focus, you can gain mastery over your life when stressful situations crop up or afterward.
Adding Your Outer Child to the Daily Dialogue
One of the best ways to gain mastery over outer child defenses is to strengthen your bond with your inner child with ongoing daily dialogue. Speaking to Little every day, on good days and bad, helps to satisfy Little's need for love and nurturance. Since the outer child thrives on need-deprivation and unacknowledged feelings, staying connected to those feelings can steal your outer child's thunder.
Many find it helpful to include their outer child in their daily dialogues. Some find it works best to keep the dialogue exclusively between Big and Little, talking to Outer behind its back. Here is a piece of Keaton's dialogue following a date.
LITTLE: I liked Janice. But I was so scared the whole time. I felt so needy and I couldn's relax.
BIG: That was Outer trying to hide your feelings.
LITTLE: Well, it's your job, Big, to keep Outer out of the way. He was stiff as a board.
BIG: I'm sorry Outer made the date so uncomfortable, Little.
LITTLE: Outer was trying to control me. Janice will never want to be with me again. And I liked her. I wish you stopped Outer from ruining the date. You weren't doing your job.
BIG: How can I help you with being afraid, Little?
LITTLE: Just don't leave me.
BIG: I'll stay with you, Little. But tell me, how can I help you feel less afraid, more relaxed?
LITTLE: You抮e ashamed of me when I feel afraid. I can tell. You don't want me to be afraid because it embarrasses you. You don't want me to have those feelings.
BIG: I accept you as you are, no matter how afraid you might be feelings. But I would like to help you feel more relaxed.
LITTLE: I think you only want me to feel relaxed because you are sick and tired of me feeling this way. You don't like me. You don't really accept me.
BIG: If that were true, Little, that would be very upsetting and make you really mad.
LITTLE: It does. You're the one who lets Outer get involved! You want Outer to hide my feelings and make them go away. You don't accept me 丒you just want to change me. I'm too much of a nuisance. I can't help my feelings.
BIG: If I am able to accept your feelings and love you for them, then maybe Outer won't need to come in anymore and try to take control.
LITTLE: Outer is your job, not mine. But I do want you to be proud of me, no matter how I'm feeling. I don't want you to be ashamed of me and try to hide me, even if I'm feeling insecure.
BIG: Next time I have a date, things will be different. If you're afraid, I won't try to cover you up or put you in a straitjacket. I'll let you have your feelings.
Keaton was not able to bring closure to all of his uncomfortable feelings, but through the exercise, he gained awareness of its emotional triggers and was able to better understand the deeper issues. It brought him in touch with deeply rooted shame.
Identifying outer child behavior is a process, not a quick fix. In fact, the outer child thrives on a false sense of closure and easily hides behind the illusion of control. Many abandonment survivors, overwhelmed with a tumult of feelings, may crave immediate gratification feel-good relief. Mastering the outer child is a slower process but a powerful vehicle for real change.
Another way to include Outer in the daily dialogue is to let Little talk to Outer in the presence of Big. Here's a sample of Marie's diary:
BIG: Outer, Little has something to say to you, but there are ground rules you need to follow. The rules are, you can't argue or criticize Little. Just listen quietly.
BIG: No buts, Outer. You need to hear about the consequences of something that you did.
LITTLE: You ruined everything, Outer. I was feeling sad and upset because Paul left early. And then you had to go and freak out like a maniac. You just couldn't stop yelling and screaming. And now look what's happened. Paul is mad at me and I am even more sad and alone.
BIG: Remember the rules, Outer.
BIG: Do you remember what you did, Outer, that got Little's feelings so upset over Paul?
OUTER: I was only trying to help.
BIG: I know you meant to protect Little, but sometimes by fighting for Little, you make things worse.
OUTER: Well, what did you expect me to do? Paul left early and I felt very rejected and mad.
BIG: Do you remember what you did?
OUTER: I yelled and accused him of being selfish and inconsiderate and I cried.
BIG: And what happened next, Outer?
OUTER: He got really mad and now he's not calling anymore.
BIG: Are you aware of how Little feels?
OUTER: She is sad and alone because Paul is mad at her because I yelled.
BIG: That was very good, Outer. Can you understand your part in it?
OUTER: Yes. But I was very mad at Paul for acting like he didn't like me.
BIG: Never mind, Outer. You leave handling the feelings to me. Your job is to find enjoyable things to do, not to take over when something goes wrong or when Little gets upset. That's my job.
Again, these dialogues involving Outer won't instantly resolve a conflict, but they will help you clearly distinguish feelings from behavior. Your task is to keep them separate so that your adult self can better make decisions and control your actions, rather than letting your outer child gain control.
Identifying outer child behaviors benefits your inner child as well. It lets you blame you unacceptable, counterproductive behavior on Outer and attribute only the pure, valid feelings to Little. Little can look directly to your adult self for reassurance and love, without taking the rap for Outer's behavior.
Establishing a strong alliance between Big and Little frees Outer from its need to defend your feelings. Your adult self now controls how you express your feelings, releasing Outer to use its assertive energy in other, more productive ways.
ADDING OUTER TO THE VISUALIZATION EXERCISE
Another way to put the outer child concept to work is to add it to your visualization exercise.
Many do not find it necessary to include Outer in their dialogues or visualization exercises. They keep Outer in check with the daily inventory alone. That quick, daily reminder is all they need to control their frustrations and reactions and change old patterns.
Daily outer child sightings serve as a powerful vehicle for personal growth and development. As your ability to spot your outer child improves, you act more and more out of free choice, no longer tied to outdated behaviors. You finally determine your own life direction.
[This message edited by beach at 10:27 AM, November 20th (Thursday)]
[This message edited by beach at 12:40 PM, February 2nd (Monday)]
I am definitely no stranger to the rage cycle, and I have entered into the lifting one. I find both of these stages to be the easiest ones, because they feel more empowering. But I don't always know what to do with my anger (how to express it in constructive ways). But I have very much enjoyed feeling an increase in confidence during the lifting stage.
Shattering, Withdrawal, and Internalizing the Rejection are the hardest for me. I had to re-visit some of these areas after contact with my WS, and it was very painful. I often feel very alone and lonely during these stages. It feels especially hard to go to work when I am feeling this way. I get depressed, and want to pull the covers up over my head because I feel flawed, and very self-conscious.
I re-read what the author said about Internalizing Rejection last night. There was one part in particular (about self-esteem) that stood out to me, and was difficult for me to read. It is as follows-
Most people recognize signs of low self-esteem in themselves and others. They include:
*Difficulty asserting yourself
*Feeling inhibited in certain situations
*Excessive need for approval
*Difficulty tolerating imperfection in yourself or others
*Feeling inadequate, not good enough, not up to par
*Becoming intimidated around those who seem to have a stronger ego
*Comparing yourself to other people, feeling they have what you don't
*Being oversensitive to criticism
*Avoiding competition for fear of failure
*Fear of performing- you're convinced you'll make a fool of yourself
*Fear of succeeding- you don't want to make others envious of you
*Letting performance anxiety hold you back professionally
*Ruminating about how you behaved during a stressful social encounter
*Worrying about how others perceive you
*Letting insecurities interfere with your relationships
*Avoiding the spotlight but resenting the lack of recognition you receive
*Difficulty expressing anger or negative feelings directly
*Difficulty asking for what you want, especially if it is emotionally important to you
*Difficulty accepting compliments
*Wanting power and authority but having difficulty marking your territory
*Feeling small, weak, easily taken advantage of
*Putting yourself down before others have a chance to
*The need for immediate gratification (more is said about this in the book)
[This book also let me know that it is perfectly normal to have stages of feeling like you're a toddler having a tantrum, or like an inconsolable, crying baby].
I feel for you. I do have low self-esteem and it is rooting from abandonment issue.
In my culture, we were taught that H is sperior than W, and think about other people first. I am being Americanized now though. MIL taught me how. :) Oh and H taught me to speak up, too, because he is not a mind reader and that he failed that area (he was telling jokingly). In our household, H is always superior, had verbal traits, and strict one with the kids and they respected him, but they were afraid of him.
Post A, I reconnected with my self, and read many codependency and abandonment books. After I was forgiven, I felt that H and I are now equal partners. I was then able to applly the knowledge that I learned from books how to put the boundary and how to respect myself and then I was able to speak up my truth without feeling afraid of H's reaction.
I am not really focused person, like not centered especially at work. I still feel like out of balance. I might check out Reqall. At work, I am not really motivated and my mind wondering off and check in, if not post, I lurk SI. I want to work on that right now.
It boils down to,,,, it is rooting from your family of orgin (how you were raised) or childhood.
I am going to share something from the book "Recovery of your self-esteem - A guide for Women" by Carolynn Hillman
Why we are the way we are.
We devalue ourselves andtreat ourselves in harsh, judgemental, overly critical ways because we have been taught to do so. Each of us comes into the world with her own personality and temperament traits. Some emerge from the womb as lusty babies who spend most of their our family members - usually with mother's first, and the with those of father, siblings, and other housefold residents. Gradually the circle widens to include additional relatives, family friends, peers, siblings, friends, teachers, coaches, neighbors, camp counselors, clergy, and many others who touch our lives in some way. In each of these interactions there is the opportunity to be nurtured and CARESSed( C - Compassionate, A - Acceptance, R - Respect, E - Encoragement, S - Support, S- Stroking).
A noted longitudinal study of babies from the age of two months into adulthood shows that a crucial determinant in a child's emotional growth and development lies in how the parents respond to the child's temparament. If the parents react to the child's personality with loveing acceptance, the child grows up to feel good about herself, and capable of many things. If the parents react with annoyance, anger distance, or by being overwhelmed, the child grows up feeling troubled and sometimes gets into trouble. Some children are lucky enough to have parents whose personalities mesh welll with theirs, or have parents who are able to appreciate their child's personality even though her temperament clashes with theirs. Others are not so lucky. They have parents who mainly disapprove of them, who constantly criticize them and demand that they be both different and better. Still others have parents who largely ignore them, parents who pay attention to their children only when their children are catering to their needs. The children of these critical, distant, or self-involved parents grow up feeling that they are not good enough to merit their parents' love, so they constantly criticize themselves, hoping to improve and thereby gain their parents' attention and approbation. The most unlucky of all are children whose parens seem to hate them - nothing these children do is ever right or can ever please. They get the message that they should never have been born and , in identification with their parents, hate themselves for being here and having needs. They spend their lives trying to make up for what they believe to be their badness. Most people's experiences growing up were somewhat mixed. Perhapes, one parent was nurturing and CARESSing, and the other was withdrawn, or critical, or absent. Perhaps both parents were sometimes overly critical, and sometimes caring and compassionate. Maybe one parent was both self-involved and critical or over-involved and critical. Perhaps your parents divorced and remarried, or only one remarried, and you grew up shuttling back and forth between two very different households. The possibilities are endless.
First though, I want to make clear that we are examining these styles of parenting to help ourselves, not to blame our parents. I firmly believe that most parents, no matter how much they might not have me our needs, did the best they could at the time - and they too were once children and suffered the raveges of family and society. This doesn't mean, however, that we don't have a right to feel angry , sad, or hurt about many of the things that our parents did or didn't do. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and work through, so that we are not burdened with them for life. We all know that "she who does not learn from history is bound to repeat it". Our history is important to each of us so that we don't perpetuate what started in childhood.
If you have the over-involved parent, Those of us who had intrusive parents may have impressive accomplishments in the world - we developed a lot of strength in pulling away from mother - but we are not impressed with ourselves and do not feel successful, because inside we feel bad and guilty. We hurt in a place where we cannot let others in, though we may feel that it is the others who are not there or will not enter. We do not realize that it is our own door that is not really open.
When we have the distant parent, enter adulthood longing for closeness, while often afraid to be vulnerable. We search for the magic that will make us "like everyone else" - loved... accepted... valued. This becomes our holy grail, our golden fleece. Only instead of traveling the world searching, we search within ourselves - to figure out what is wrong, missing, lacking, what is off-putting about ourselves. If only we could find the magic key, we could turn it and make everything right.
When we have the narcissistic parent, we often have difficulty being empathically connected to others. We cannot give what we never received. though we may have pleasant, charming personalities, can be entertaining and erudite, and often have lots of people we call friends; underneath we feel emmpty. Our relationships usually lack real intimacy, and it is very difficult for us to CARESS and be CARESSed. As we head into mid-life we often become increasingly depressed, as our youthful good looks start to fade and people become less interested in playing mirror to our sparkling surfaces. We long to be seen ... and appreciated.... and loved - but have little idea how to let another human being get really close to us. Moreover, we usually are not aware that we are not close to the people in our lives. We just know that something seems to be driving us, and making us unhappy, and we easily feel picked on and not appreciated.
The insecure parent - some mothers or fathers are so insecure themselves that, despite their best intentions, they can model only insecurity to their children. Their children sense these parents' insecurity and view the parents as weak and inadequate. These children are likely to regard themselves, too, as insubstantial, feeling "How can I be worth when I am the product of such and inferior being?"
In adulthood some of these children will identify with the stronger, perhaps bullying parent, while others will identify with the insecure parent and become insecure and overanxious to please. Insecure women tend to seek our authority figures (often mates) who seem sure of themselves, hoping to find a confident parent who will bestow on them the mantle of worh and adequacy. Unfortunatelly, all too often, insecure women choose mates whose aura of self-confidence proves to be ersatz.
And then the highly critical/abusive parents.....
and so on....
sorry. You can get more from reading this book. Recovery of your self-esteem - A guide for Women by Carolynn Hillman (recommended by BrokenRoad)
Anyways, my point was that keep good image (appearance/status), is rooting from trying to get approval from parenting (or authority) figure by acting certain way.
Hope this makes sense.....
I am tackling this issue now as matter of fact by reading the book .
I think, this is a timely article for those of us who are working on self-esteem.
February 26, 2009
A Self-Esteem Exercise
Our primary relationship in life is with our selves. No one else goes through every experience in life with us. We are our one permanent companion, yet we are often our worst critic. To remind ourselves of our magnificence, we can do this exercise: Five Things I Like About Myself.
Begin by writing down at least five things that you like about yourself. This is not the time to be modest. If you are having trouble coming up with a total of five items, you know that this exercise can really benefit you. Be sure to include more than your physical attributes on your list, since our bodies are only part of who we are. If you are still struggling with what to include on your list, think of what you like about your favorite people, because these traits are probably qualities that you possess too. Another way to complete your list is to think of five things you don't like about yourself and find something about these traits that you can like.
Continue this process for a week, thinking of five new things you like about yourself everyday. At the end of the week, read the list aloud to yourself while standing in front of a mirror. Instead of looking for flaws to fix, allow the mirror to reflect your magnificence. You may feel silly about standing in front of a mirror and reading aloud a list of your admirable attributes, but it might just bring a smile to your face and change the way you see yourself. Remember, it is when you feel the most resistant that this exercise can benefit you the most. Because we are constantly looking at the world, instead of looking at ourselves, we don't often see what's magnificent about ourselves that others do. When we take the time to experience ourselves the way we would experience someone we love and admire, we become our best companion and supporter on life's journey.
Source : dailyom.com
Let's add the word "really" in your sentense.
Think of it this way.
You are your own care taker and a cheerleader. By writing out is kind of like enphasise more (and which means you are doing proactively, not passively...) and it will help ingrain into our brain and over time, it will be able to help developping the solid confidence within us.
did you know that you can learn how to turn rocks into gold? That's the next step....
That's what the book "Recovery of your self-esteem - a guide for women" by Hillman tells readers that by using own self-criticisms to set goals for ourselves. I am working on this list now....
For example in the book:
one woman's self criticize list
#1: Has something terribly wrong with her that makes people not like her - Truth is many people like me and I get along well with them. Some people, especially people who are condescending, narcistic, and competitive, I have a great deal of difficulty with".
Self-criticism #2: Not assertive enough. - I need help to become more assertive.
Self-criticism #3: Shy - I am becoming less shy, but need further acceptance and encouragement so I can feel more willing to put myself out there.
Self-criticism #3: Always feeling sorry for self. - I need to have more compassion for myself.
Self-criticism #4: Big baby, bothered too much by her problems. - I am not a big baby, but I do too easily interpret the actions of others as negative reactions to me. I also too easily accept other people's dissapproving opinions of me, and assume they know the awful truth about me. I need help to feel better about myself and to develop a system for evaluating myself that is not based on others' harsh judgements.
Self-criticism #5: Lousy job, no relationship, no children, no future - a big failure. - I need to learn to accept myself and my shortcomings and have compassion for myself while giving myself the respect, support, encouragement, and stroking that I need to be able to pursure my goals with belief in myself.
You get the idea?
I am working on it, and it is hard.
You are welcome, heart_tears
He needs to ingest this information to work on his FOO issues. Bigtime.
[This message edited by FaithFool at 11:29 AM, March 30th (Monday)]
I am reading this now, and absolutely loving it.
I'm having some trouble with my dream house though, and I wonder if anyone has any advice...
Right now, WSO and I are in complete limbo. We love each other, but there are big issues on top of his A. I am trying to do my part in fixing the things I can change in me and the way I interact with him. I don't know whether he is capable of doing the work he needs to. He has made some steps that were extremely difficult for him, but I don't know if he can address his commitment issues stemming (I think) from abandonment. I also have abandonment issues, but they have the opposite effect on me: I cling too hard. We are both afraid of real emotional intimacy.
Because I don't know whether we will be together anymore, I am trying to construct my dream house in a way that doesn't involve him and doesn't remind me of him. However, when I first walked into WSOs mother's house six years ago, I literally thought "this is my dream house". I just absolutely loved the way she had decorated the place... and it keeps intruding on my dream house. The living room is mine, but the kitchen is still all hers... it is what I would have dreamed for myself, but having it cropping up in my dream house now makes it feel like a sad and unsafe place. I love to cook and eat with friends, the kitchen is very important to me. Also, one of the suggestions is to imagine a new partner, a family maybe. I'm not thinking of a new partner because I'd like to be with WSO - but again, he keeps appearing in my dream house with me, and again it makes me feel sad rather than strong and safe.
Did anyone else have these kinds of problems with their dream house? Did your partners/exes or reminders of them keep popping into it? How do you deal with that?
My dream house is extremely sparse, but extremely expensive and modernistic, which he would absolutely *hate*
All smooth surfaces and walls of windows overlooking the ocean, no clutter to block the view of the infinity pool.
He's never even entered into the equation in that department, thank goodness.
It's the one place I can go where he doesn't take up any space inside my head.
[This message edited by FaithFool at 2:34 PM, April 18th (Saturday)]
I don't know whether he is capable of doing the work he needs to. He has made some steps that were extremely difficult for him, but I don't know if he can address his commitment issues stemming (I think) from abandonment. I also have abandonment issues, but they have the opposite effect on me: I cling too hard. We are both afraid of real emotional intimacy.
When you mentioned about intimacy issue in your statement, I wonder how each of your family of orgines are.
Like were either you and your WSO's parents, distant and strict, or overly involved? That's you may want to look into it.
My parents were emotionally too distant, and always compared with other people's kids and they were always right. We didn't know how to deal with things when people got upset, sad.....etc. It was very dysfunctional...
Have either of you checked out about each FOO in IC or something?
My dream house is located by the beach, and very open and has a big window.