Changing age-old conditioning, with a new focus

I’ve been feeling just a bit overwhelmed lately. I talked to that same 6ft tall friend of mine, who was such a life raft when i left my psychopathic X, over a year ago. We were up talking til 3am. First on the I.M. and then (after our fingers got tired) the phone.

The conversation started really nice, until I asked about my friend who threw so many red-flags that particular night. I don’t know how that girl does it, but she got me REALLY talking about myself, what’s left of me after my X; what I’m fighting to accomplish and why… Oh good LORD, this list could go ONNN…

I started out by asking about him nicely. Pretty soon, she was saying the hard things- some of which I don’t agree with. That resulted in my getting defensive with my best friend. She let me know it, too, “You’re angry”. me, “I’m not really angry, What you said doesn’t make sense to me at all.”. She said, “You ARE angry, your words are sharp and cutting.” I’m glad for the instant messenger, otherwise I think I might have said some things to my friend, LOUDLY and would have regretted it. She was right, I was sharp and cutting. I didn’t like what she had to say. I didn’t agree with it. I felt like she was telling me I was wrong, that I was imbalanced in my perceptions. The thing is, in a way that’s exactly what she was saying.

I let her know as respectfully as I could, yet in no uncertain terms, what I thought and defended myself to her. I couldn’t continue living the way I was. I didn’t want a repeat. I felt I was being attacked and being told i was wrong in taking things (the red flags) the way I did and handling it the way I did. I agree there is ALWAYS a better way. In this case, I reacted correctly. I didn’t allow it or ignore it. I didn’t reason things away, I called a spade a spade, and reacted accordingly. I told her that it sounded like she was suggesting I should have made excuses for his behavior, or excused him for it, and stay the same little “woman” I have always been. Not happening. She suggested that I should be “OK” with the way I am (my weaknesses included, which I need to change so desperately) and I’m looking at the “picture” wrong. I don’t know how it got turned around to that, but she’s good.

After 2 or 3 hours of talking, she started sinking in. The bitch :D.. I love my friend. My perceptions and ultimate self-sabotage were the areas that were imbalanced…”skewed”. She was right, after I softened a little bit, I saw where she was coming from. My perceptions of the whole situation with my x, as well as any man who crosses my path, are produced by bitterness and fear. Nothing more. She’s right about that. Recognizing MY own need for change, is a much-needed thing. Without my experience with my X-Psychopath, I wouldn’t have ever recognized, faced, or known the need to change. For that, I’m grateful. I hate to say that anything good came from that relationship, but the fact remains…there is some good from it. It shocked me into recognizing the hard things about myself. Things that needed attention for decades.

Self-sabotage… I didn’t like that angle. It took me some time to see it, and again, she’s right.

In tackling the areas that need to change, many of which are life-long conditioning, I was viewing those things with bitterness. Not at my X or any other abusive asshole in my life, but at MYSELF! I was bitter that my own weaknesses precipitated the abuse and mistreatment. I WAS ANGRY that I was the underlying cause…my refusal and inability to stand up for myself, for reasoning things away, for being afraid of being wrong. Self-sabotage. I was diving head-long into the unknown direction of changing and relearning LIFE. I have been relearning and establishing boundaries, but not with love in my heart for myself. With pure bitterness. Again, I was afraid of being wrong in how I took care of these areas. I AM afraid.

The only way I can see to change conditioning, aka: habitual responses, is to step outside of the “norm”. It begins with one step in the opposite direction. With practice and implementation we create NEW habits and new conditioning…healthy conditioning. I’m keeping my eyes looking forward from here on out. Each attempt at steam rolling through the changes was underlain by my own bitterness. It created a tail-spin of sorts. I was attacking that which I hated the most, though I’ve been thinking it was my own conditioning, it turned out to be that I’ve been attacking MYSELF! Not with love, but with beating myself senseless.

I wish it was easier, but the fact remains that it’s NOT EASY. To go into the fight with bitterness against ourselves, is self-sabotage. We become like the monster as a result, in that we belittle ourselves and criticize. We echo the same sentiments that we heard from our Psychopathic/Narcissistic X’s. We become our own worst enemies, that way. I include everyone here, since I know I’m not alone in the battle, with full view of myself.

Today I start the fight with new vision. My girl-friend suggested that I write 100 wonderful things about myself. She said she already knows I can’t do it. She says that to challenge me. I can. It will take a lot of soul-searching, and even more time to complete, but I CAN do it. I’ve never looked at myself in a positive light…not really.

Day one…Step one…


13 thoughts on “Changing age-old conditioning, with a new focus

  1. I’m glad you friend was able to get that through your thick skull!! Hehe!! It’s so important to like ourselves and love who we are in order to give the most. We can only talk about THEM with anger for so long. Instead, we can talk about THEM and interject some real insight and solutions for other when we really like, love, and trust ourselves. You have too much greatness inside of you to lose it in bitterness and anger for HIM. Make it positive. It works magic in many parts of your life. Really!!!

    1. many times I’m able to figure out the hard things on my own, with time. sometimes, I don’t have the confidence or where-with-all to take the information to heart. That’s where our greatest friends come into play. I happen to see myself very fortunate. Whatever I can’t see, myself, I can count on my friends to sweetly and lovingly, slap some sense into me! HEHE!!

  2. Shoot. This is twice this week when I sit here saying, “This is me. This is me. This is me.” Self-sabatoge. Wanting better for myself but still beating myself up for making mistakes, for slipping up, for being fat… and on and on. 100? Maybe make it a challenge, for Valentine’s Day maybe… This is not easy.

    1. This is where my feeling overwhelmed comes from! I start with goal, but I haven’t given myself anything to grow from. Self doubt, belittling and fear…it’s these things that I believe zap our strength before we ever get out of the chute! We’re already defeated if we doubt we’ll win! Something else my friend told me….”What are the most powerful words in the English (human) language?”… “I AM”. I am STRONG! I am BEAUTIFUL. I am an over-comer…If we feed ourselves words that are self defeating, where do we glean our strength from? If we are afraid of failure, and tell ourselves, “I’m too weak to conquer this”, what do you think we’ll be? This is powerful for me, too. You can do it, but I think if we view everything as a challenge, we will also set ourselves up to fail. We do because we DESERVE it! I’m hoping this will take some of the weight off of the hurdles. I believe it will, and will bring more joy into my steps.

  3. weareonebyruth

    100 good things about yourself. I understand the self criticism and striving to become better until all I can see is the bad that is still invading my life. I am glad your have a friend that stuck with you and offered such an interesting challenge.

  4. Pingback: 100 Wonderful Things About Myself… or not… « The Project: Me by Judy

  5. woundedphoenix

    It’s so strange, I am incredibly angry at myself today for self-sabotaging. I think it’s half the battle won when you can name it.

    1. Your realization about your relationship with your mom, is new. You’re not ‘just’ dealing with a break up from a bad romantic relationship. You are trying to break contact with your Mom, for your own benefit. I have to ask, though. Are you breaking contact because you believe it’s best for you? Or are you doing it because someone suggested it? There’s a reason I’m asking this. If I try something (like breaking contact or reacting) based on someone else’s suggestion and it either doesn’t sit well with me, or my conscience goes into overdrive, I go into a tale-spin of sorts. Either way, it’s scary. It’s full of uncertainty and guilt (which you should shake off!). Most of all, it’s heart-break. If you don’t find the part that exists in your heart, that knows and believes you MATTER and are WORTH IT, it’ll be even more difficult.

      I do believe that breaking contact with her right now, is necessary for you. That is my own opinion, based on what you have shared. However, it doesn’t have to be forever! I don’t believe your mom will change in the way she treats you or your sister. It’s unhealthy for everyone, but especially for you. You need strength. You need to find who you are, without her negative (and abusive) influences.

      Please forgive me, I know I have never been in your shoes, yet I am an empath. I’ve always been. I imagine how you feel about the whole situation. Ending contact. Everything. If I am wrong in what I’m about to say, PLEASE tell me!

      I imagine your heart. I’m not saying that you’re anything but a beautiful, ADULT woman! You are wonderful, in spite of all you have been through. You are viable and your emotions are expressing the need to be softly coddled. Girls crave that softness from their Mom. Girls and women need their Mother’s guidance and touch, to be whole (in a way). You grew up in all of that abuse, thinking that the little things she would do were an expression of her love. That the rest didn’t matter, or pushed it away. You’re not only dealing with the realization that she was completely and 100% abusive, but also the loss of your Mother’s spiritual touch. The one that matters the most. That is partly what you are hanging onto. That is what your child’s heart is craving. You are longing for that.

      That is very VERY understandable and natural! It’s also natural for a child to wonder why they are “bad”, or feeling that, that child is somehow responsible, or somehow caused whatever “bad” has surrounded them. Now, you are trying to do what is best for YOU, and you still feel guilty. Like you are the cause.

      Your world dropped out from under your feet, leaving you grasping at whatever you can as something solid.

      This is where the self-sabotage comes into play. You are carrying guilt that doesn’t belong to you. IT DOESN’T BELONG TO YOU, nor should you carry someone else’s guilt or BLAME. You are also grieving what you lost. Love yourself to do what is right for YOU! A sentence I read…only 4 words…was exactly what I needed at the time. It’s sooo powerful for those of us who try to carry guilt that isn’t ours, or who are afraid to “feel”, because we don’t know how to process it. Especially anything negative. That sentence is:

      Your feelings are valid. I’m going to repeat that in caps, because I want it to sink into your heart… YOUR FEELINGS ARE VALID! Once you are really able to grasp it, this will enable you to replace the love and softness from your mom, that you crave so much, with being able to Mother your own heart. It’s ok to give yourself that motherly hug, and tell yourself “I love you”. This will take time. Make sure you give yourself that time. It’s VERY important.

      Once you are stronger, then try to build what ever relationship you can with your Mother, if you decide that is what you want to do.

      I’m sorry for the book. I actually woke up thinking about you, then when I found your comment, I had to say this…right or wrong.

      I do care about you!

      1. woundedphoenix

        Wow, I am sobbing! I cry when people say nice things to me. Thank you for your book.
        MY FEELINGS ARE VALID. I don’t know if I have ever actually heard that.
        Thank You.

        1. You are so welcome 😀 The first time I read it, then repeated it to myself, “My feelings are valid”, it was such a shock! But spot on for what I needed to hear. I’m glad it helped you, too! Huggs, sweety!

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