Author Topic: Time to move on  (Read 1056 times)

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justus

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Time to move on
« on: June 30, 2011, 11:28:37 AM »
I am reading this book about depression, "Creating Optimism," because DH is often depressed, and this book says it will help me as much as him. The exercises in the chapter I am on are about finding the "inner saboteur" which was developed before I was 6.

Frankly, I am tired of looking at that part of my life. I will finish this book and do the exercises, because I can see the value in them, but I plan on getting through this quickly.

How many different ways can one dissect one's childhood? I have written and re-written those childhood stories, I have taken different perspectives, I have turned it inside out and am in a good place about it. I know my Ps did their best, and my OS was just a kid who had no idea the harm she did to me. Forgiveness isn't necessary, and I don't hurt over it. I just don't want to relive it anymore. It is like picking a scab that is no longer there.

I guess I am at a different stage in life now where those issues are dealt with. It is a good thing.

Offline Scoop

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 11:39:02 AM »
Ah but Justus, imagine the people who HAVEN'T examined their lives.  They're the ones this chapter is aimed at.

I couldn't tell you very much about my life before I was six.  I don't remember much of anything before age 9.  Coincidentally (not!), that's when my Dad quit drinking.

justus

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 12:15:38 PM »
Oh, I can see the value in it. "The unexamined life is not worth living..." and all that rot. Having done it, it has helped me understand who I am, but at some point, you have to act on it and move on. I guess I am at that stage.

My SD called DH the winter before last and told him what a horrible father he was and how all of his "selfish" decisions had ruined her life.  >:( DH was in the middle of a deep depression and was talking suicide, then he gets this drunken call. She was still at the stage of blaming her parents for who she was. She has since moved on to actually taking responsibility for her own life. But, I remember being at that stage at a younger age. It took me becoming a Mom myself to understand that my Ps were less prepared to be parents when they had kids than I was. It took me a lot longer to let my OS off the hook for the horrible things she did. It is a process.

For a long time, the things that I was angry about was how my Ps treated me as an adult. They made the same mistakes made by their own Ps, the same things they used to complain about. DH had the same problem with his own M. Now that I am a mother of adult children, I see the traps my Ps and MIL fell into, and I am doing my best to avoid them knowing that if I weren't aware of those traps I would have eagerly stepped right into them. I am sure I am making my own, not so unique brand of mistakes.

I think this is why I hold Ps and ILs to a higher standard that adult children and SILs/DILs. We have been there, we should be the adults in the situation, while they have no idea what our perspective is, and are in the process of becoming adults.

Anyway, I am just tired of looking at the past and want to live in the present, but I do need to do this work, so I will. *Le sigh*

I guess I am at the point where I am just tired of looking at the past.

Sassy

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 12:47:38 PM »
Justus I always love your posts. They're well thought out and enlightening.  Since you're still doing some reflecting while reading that book, finding the "inner saboteur", here's what I thought about while reading.

I was trying to remember the story about your sister.  I looked back at your Readers Digest version.  :)  For what it's worth, what was touched on your sister from childhood there, seemed primarily about how she as a child was framed by the others who were shaping your view.  Sister cast as the role of your saboteur. Perhaps later forms habits how you talk to / relate to yourself, the inner saboteur?

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From the time we were little she was jealous of any close relationships we formed from best friends, to our best friends mothers to our In-laws and even our GM, her mother. She was not happy unless she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was most loved. She even had to be more important than our spouses. YB has never been married, and never will be

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M and GM felt they had to protect OS even from me, because I guess I had all of the "advantages." My parents were married, I was considered prettier (small, light skinned, blond, and blue-eyed while OS was big for her age, olive skinned, brown eyes and hair), back in the 60s people did look down their noses as illegitimate children. It was because we were always being compared that I thought I was a talentless schmuck. Heck she was older than me and did do things better than me, as it should have been, but for some reason they used my "deficiencies" as evidence that she was OK.

The result was that I was the scapegoat. OS could do no wrong, I could never do anything good enough. Every little thing she did was praised, and I barely got noticed. I was never allowed to have a relationship with my D, because OS might feel bad. A lot was expected of me, yet I could not ever do anything better than my OS because she might feel bad. I was expected to do well, but not too well.

Add to this the golden boy YB, and well, I was the epitome of the underachieving middle child. I didn't know that I was full of potential. No one ever told me that I was smart or pretty.

I was the person whose job it was to make my M's world OK.

This may or may not apply here.  But what I thought about was this.  Divide and Conquer as a long term manipulation technique. The less warmly siblings hold each other, the less they communicate. The more control the Divider has of what information is given to each sibling, (friend, family member).  Siblings can't compare stories, if they're not speaking to each other, if they only see each other in front of her, and make plans through her, like holidays. 

Offline elsieshaye

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 12:51:11 PM »
It took me becoming a Mom myself to understand that my Ps were less prepared to be parents when they had kids than I was.

Oddly, I became angrier at my father after I had my son than I had been previously.  I ended up with similar mental issues after my son was born to what my father had been going through during my childhood.  I definitely was able to understand his rages, and panic attacks, and other issues with a lot more compassion than I ever had done previously.  The one key difference though was that I got help.  I went to a psychiatrist and a therapist, got on meds, and did whatever I needed to do to ensure that I was as healthy a parent as possible.  What I -didn't- do was blame my child for my own problems and then beat him. 

But, yes, I agree - there comes a time when you've processed all that stuff as much as it's going to be processed, and then it's time to move on to actions.  I think it's kind of a spiral, though - there are times when we end up having to somewhat revisit things we thought we were done with, because an event has triggered a hurt we thought was over.
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 01:43:06 PM »
When I agonize over something I did or didn't do in the past or others did or didn't do…I bring myself into present as soon as I can and look back at them as stepping stone. Lessons. They got me here no many how times I fell…and here is wonderful. Sending love...
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

justus

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2011, 01:50:23 PM »
Thanks, Sassy.

You got that divide and conquer thing right. I was never close with OS, because I don't think she ever saw me as an actual human being. I was just a piece of furniture to her. Even as adults this was true. I was really tight with YB, though. It was after a conversation with M in which she became aware that he and I were closer than he was to her that she began a campaign to poison him against me. Essentially, she made him choose between us, and of course he chose her. Stupid idiot should have refused to choose.

OS actively participated in marginalizing me. She was one of those difficult kids who made everyone miserable if she didn't get her way, and most often took it out on me, because I was safe. I can't tell you how many times she beat me up. We shared a room, but if she wanted something of mine, well, she took it. What was hers was hers, but what was mine was hers also. I just wasn't safe with her.

There is so much I could write about our childhood together. I know that who and what we were had much to do with how our parents parented with us. She was merely responding to her environment. But, when she became an adult, she was responsible for who she was. The common saying after she did something heinous was, "Oh, that is just how she is..." Meaning I, or whoever she had wronged should just bend over and take it. All of her screw ups were like a pile of big rotting elephants in the room that none of us were allowed to talk about. I cut her off finally when DD became her target.

With this book, I am supposed to figure out what roles we all played back then, and then to examine which role(s) I am playing now, and how I am re-creating the relationships I had or witnessed in my early childhood.

Elsie, I had a bit of that anger, too, but it was because my Father was an awesome GF. It  made me angry that he couldn't be that way for me when I needed him so badly for me to give me any sort of attention, but he was too much of a coward to stand up to M.

The way I look at it, back in the 60s, there weren't so many easily accessible resources as there are today. You can look something up online in a snap, therapy is paid for by insurance, there are drugs to help you, advice boards to post on, dozens and dozens of books easily available on just about every mental health issue, and there are support groups galore. But back in the 60s there was a stigma attached to someone who sought therapy, you had to pay for it out of pocket, it was expensive, and there really wasn't much beyond psychotherapy available, which would not have helped. So, I give my parents a pass on a lot of their issues from back then, however, I don't give them any passes for the last 10 years or so when all of this was available to them, and they knew how to access it, yet chose to let me go.

Thanks Loise, I can use all the love I can get.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2011, 04:50:47 AM »
I think once you reach the point of being tired of the past, you have actually reached a monumental point of healing.  I think it is at that time in your life that you realize that the past is exactly that.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline elsieshaye

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Re: Time to move on
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2011, 05:41:15 AM »
Elsie, I had a bit of that anger, too, but it was because my Father was an awesome GF. It  made me angry that he couldn't be that way for me when I needed him so badly

OMG, yes - this was true with my father as well.  A lot of it had to do with him simply being healthier when my son was small than when I was a child, but it still hurt to see him be Grandpa of the Year (he really was a terrific grandpa, and some of my son's happiest memories are still of the time he was able to spend with my father before dad's death) when he was so abusive to me growing up.  It was also very hard for me later on when my son would say what a wonderful person grandpa was, and want grandpa stories.  I really had to dig deep to come up with ones that weren't colored in some way by the abuse.
This too shall pass.  All is well.