This is a painful lesson. One I have to remember when I start to get back into some old resentments against family. Hurtful things they did in the past due to a lack of empathy and validation have caused me acute suffering, including accidents. In trying to get away and being denied an avenue of expression of the valid frustration and rage due to invalidation it ended up turning back on me. And I can forget this at times and start to blame myself instead of seeing how I was being driven nearly crazy with no way out at all and no validation.
I can only thank sweet fate that I am now with the therapist I am with. She validates me and gets me. Where I fall into problems is in expecting shut down people who lack empathy to care what they are doing or even care about me.
Today I had a big slap in the face about this issue. I got really angry then asked myself why I was allowing their shitty behaviour to affect me. In one of my daily readers it says we have a choice whether or not to take offence at someone’s comments or behaviour. I think what happens though is that when it starts to hurt us, if we are working to practice self care we need to let it fall off of our backs, rather than pierce our hearts too much. What others say or do is more about them and their particular biases and experiences than about us. It still hurts me deeply and I am not going to deny that. But on some level if I don’t want to go mad or get really sick I just have to let it go there is no other alternative!
Some people’s minds too are only capable of a shallow depth, they lack the appreciation for nuances and subtleties. And we cannot expect everyone to ‘get’ us, the world simply does not work like this.
Part of what I now understand to be co-dependence is that we expect something of others to make us happy, when really that is not their job or rather we expect this of the wrong people due to the degree of emotional neglect in our past. Once we stop going to a rock for water we are better off. Once we know what we are looking for and who can give it to us we are likely to be less frustrated and our bodies suffer less.
The work of being an emotionally mature adult involves these kinds of recognitions. It is up to us to find what makes us feel happy and energised and also to find out what makes us feel depressed and unenergised and make better choices on how and when and where we invest and expend our energy. Sometimes the best thing to do for our emotional, physical and mental health is to disengage or pull back looking for a way to self soothe.
These are the thoughts that came to me today when I was getting a bit buffeted about by resentment over past things. The person who hurt me is not suffering. They are having a great time, doing what they want to do, taking over the place I want to go to, owning their power to choose, making themselves happy. Why am I not doing the same? Do I want to stay a victim? No!! This person thinks of themselves first. They don’t really care how its affecting me. I personally could not be that way. But they are! If I don’t like it I just have to steer clear. Welcome to the world of the younger sibling! Still angry, can’t do anything to change it. Gotta let it go!
All this happened couple of weeks ago. I saw how much my inner child was trying to express the pain of being a younger sibling in a family where others energies were otherwise engaged. I found myself crying a lot and really grieving the past, which was deep work I needed to do in order to come to a clearer adult level of reality and recognition. I felt the loneliness and heartache of that little child left alone for so long, having to squelch down and deny her longing and erect great inner barriers against that kind of deep longing and need. I felt how sad that was then. Gosh! That’s a lot of sadness little Debs. Come over here and lets have a cuddle. Now I want you to know its not a sign of anything you did wrong. Its just the way the world was. You can learn to look for something good to fill the emptiness, what could it be? Listen to a piece of music you like. Make something beautiful. Write a blog or a poem about it. Ask a friend on an outing. Go hug Jasper. Plant something in the garden. Once the feeling is done and the deeper recognition comes then you are able to feel good and full instead of bad and empty. In the place where before there was just a hollow sadness you can now feel joy and peace. Yippee!