Acceptance and Rejection


I’ve been thinking about several things (as always), over the last few months. The most prevalent of those has been, “validation” and “trauma bonding”. I could go into what causes the trauma bonding, but what I really want to touch on, is the other side of it. What else keeps us stuck in abusive relationships? The trauma bond is a huge factor in that, but before the bond takes hold, I believe a fear of rejection is the initial culprit.

A fear of rejection, I believe, is the cornerstone to trauma-bonding. in abusive relationships, whether that be in a family – between child and parent, or a pseudo-romantic relationship, is something we are conditioned to, as children. Emotional abuse, or being repetitively unaccepted by our peers, can create a fear of rejection. Sometimes, it’s so deep-rooted, it’s hard to combat later in life. When we are repetitively told that we aren’t “good” enough, in whatever way our families or peers choose, we become hurt. We feel that rejection, deep down. It translates in our psyches and hearts as, “I’m so stupid…”, “I’m unlovable…”, “I’m always unwanted…”, “…unappreciated…”, ugly, stupid, bad, not valid, “I don’t belong…”, etc… The list goes on. After time, we become a victim of self-rejection. We are always waiting, and preparing ourselves for what we are used to. It’s hard to accept that someone might actually care about us. So hard in fact, that we create scenarios which would produce the same effect. We worry. We second-guess another person’s intentions, or expect them to change from “good” to “bad”. It’s what we are used to. It’s what we expect. Sometimes we respond incorrectly to something another says or does, because we are so sure we will be rejected or treated poorly. But, that’s another story which I’ll touch on, later.

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Those of us who are conditioned into a fear of rejection, HATE rejection! It’s horribly hurtful, from any source. When we are in love with someone who is continuously rejecting us, it’s unacceptable to us. We cannot accept what is happening because it’s directly opposed to what we are craving… ACCEPTANCE… When we are the child of a parent who is rejecting us, or who is abusing us emotionally, it creates the same feelings and responses as those who are being rejected within a relationship. It creates in us, every single time, the feeling that the world is falling out from under our feet. We panic, trying to hang onto whatever sliver of hope that “maybe, this time, they will finally love and accept me…”. It’s that hope that keeps us hanging on. We need to be accepted by those who are supposed to love us. When we are forced to go without that feeling of closeness throughout life, we crave it MORE, as adults. It’s almost an addiction. It’s a base-human need, in order to fully thrive in life. Our psyches know we need it. Our hearts know, as well.

I want to post this as it stands, but will continue in another post, later. There is so much to this, that I believe we all need to consider. Feel free to add your thoughts as we go along.

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It’ll Wash


I remember life as a young wife, with young kids and a husband who really didn’t give a damn. I

Life is a precious gift. Don't waste it being ...
Life is a precious gift. Don’t waste it being unhappy, dissatisfied, or anything else you can be (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

was determined to be the perfect wife, Mommy, cook, hostess, baker and maid that I could possibly be. I was determined to be the personification of the Domesticated Housewife. I said domesticated for a reason… The tamed wild beast called “woman”, after the male’s influence and intervention, is “domesticated” much like any other animal. That’s the way several men view women in general. It still brings me to tears.. It’s what I believed my calling was. After all, wasn’t that every woman’s calling? I know that is so way off base for any normal girl. Most girls set out to see their dreams come true, and to anyone who would stand in her way?? Hell hath no fury as a woman blocked from what she wants! Except me. My dream was to serve. Seriously. My dream was to achieve absolute perfection, from the domestic view-point. I wanted my parents to be proud of me. I wanted my husband to be happy and proud of me, too.

Didn’t happen.

Ever.

“Hell hath no fury as a woman…”

With each day that passed, it became more and more apparent that my husband wasn’t happy with me, other than as a servant. I wanted him to be IN love with me, which he never was. That  was reserved for my best friend, who lived down the road. It was reserved for the younger girls who he worked with in our church’s drama group. It was reserved for every one else but me. This produced a drive in me that wasn’t a good one. I worked harder and more furiously. He would leave his week-old socks (he wore them for a week) in the middle of the living room after I cleaned it, expecting me to pick them up. I asked him to “Please put them in the laundry” and his response was the same as any other chauvinistic jack-ass…”I work all day, while you do nothing. I think it’s only fair…” This included yard work, spending time with us as a family and so on. Ok…I sense a tangent brewing. Moving on…

The harder I worked, perfectly timing everything in the house, the more demanding and gestapo-ish I became, and the more my husband viewed me as a tool. Everything was done in the house by 9am. The shades wouldn’t open until then, because I didn’t want anyone to see my house as a mess. My kids would be kids, leaving toys around. My year-old daughter would tip her bottle, just to see it drip. Cute, right?  I panicked. If I left a butter knife in the sink, unwashed and undone, I would freak. If my ex left anything out of place, I would freak. Get the picture? In my exuberance to be the perfect “whatever”, I was creating an absolute hell for myself, my family and especially my beautiful babies. In feeling like a failure in every area, quickly fighting to become something for others to be proud of, I was becoming a type of monster. I called this phase my “cleaning frenzy”. It wasn’t fun for anyone. The difference is that I recognized it. I’ve always been a prisoner to introspection and extrospection.

020My then 18 month old daughter would spill something, as normal babies and children do. I didn’t want to freak out in any way, so I handed her a towel and showed her how to clean up her own messes. Of course it wasn’t perfect. She missed a little here and there. I learned to breathe deeply, saying to myself, “It’ll wash”. This brought a sense of peace to my heart, strange as it might be. As the years have gone by, I’m not nearly as uptight about my house being spotless. I like it clean, don’t get me wrong, but I recognize that other things in life are more important. I’m ok with that to the point that I can border on being a slob! lol! I’m a housewife by nature. I’m a giver and server by nature. I honestly don’t know where I picked that up, but to serve makes me happy. Like I am making a difference for someone else.

I also recognize that try as I might, I will never be perfect. I have shortcomings. I do stupid things and make stupid decisions without thinking them through.

On the days that i find myself getting down on myself for not doing something “good enough”, my automatic response is, “It’ll wash”.

The peace that the phrase brings, is the good thing about it. There is a bad thing, too. Life is constantly fighting to hold a balance to all things. All life. All of nature. For anything good that happens, there will be something bad. For every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction. It’s a law of physics and a law of nature. Ok..now that I’ve thoroughly confused you all 🙂 …

“It’ll wash”.. what that does in the negative spectrum, is allows you to push away anything negative. If the normal reaction is to get upset about something, taking a deep breath and allowing yourself to resign to, “It’ll wash” allows you to dissociate from that thing, situation or what-have-you. The bad part is in the dissociation. Left out of balance, that breeds the belief that your feelings are invalid. That situations will go away without any intervention from you. In my case, it reaffirmed what I had always been taught. I further solidified that belief. that type of life. Not good.

Left unchecked, you will find yourself further pushing anything negative away. “It’ll wash” will cause you to keep from dealing with what needs to be dealt with. Devalue. Discard. Dissociate. You put yourself in a realm of resignation. Something that becomes habitual over time, which keeps you from living. From experiencing life. From allowing yourself to grow.

There’s a place for that phrase to become a part of your thinking process. There are also places that it should be the LAST thing you resort to.

“It’ll wash”. When the house is a mess, with your kids’ toys all over the place. Lawn needs mowing, dishes need to be done, etc. etc. etc. and your toddler comes to you with a picture he/she drew. When your best friend is having a bad day. When life over-rides the mess. “It’ll wash” will allow you to keep everything in a healthy perspective for the moment. It’s in the moment that we produce lasting memories. Never something planned, and always something spontaneous.

Keep that from permeating every area of your life. Life still needs to be dealt with. However, when it’s something that you can’t change. Something that you are unable to handle for the moment, “It’ll wash” will give you that peace you need in the moment.

Take the time that your family needs to know you love and care about them…more than the house…more than work (when you are able to). Take that moment. It could mean their life, later on. It could be the deciding factor that tells your kids that they are precious to you.

It’s all in the perspective.

For the moment.

The skin crawling sensation


This past week or 3 has been a flood for me! Ground-breaking realizations have abounded and seemingly ‘bounded’ all around me. All of these have been necessary, though I won’t say at all, fun.

One of these is something I realized about 1/2 way through my time with the Monster. Part of what made my skin ‘crawl’, or the sensation of it, was when my X would talk “too much”.

I’ll back up. But, before I do, I do NOT want to keep rehashing everything and in doing so, appear as though I’m not on the right road to recovery by my refusal to move forward. Actually, I’m moving forward, backward, side-ward and loop-de-loopward (spell-check isn’t going to like that one). Sometimes its in the memories that our biggest “ah HAH!” moments come through. As we heal, we also uncover things from our past. It’s like a veil has been lifted and we can finally SEE. This is no different in the aftermath of a Psychopath. It can seem that we are stuck ruminating, being drawn or addicted to the ‘victim’ state for validation or sympathy. Don’t get me wrong. For some, it is EASIER to stay stuck than push through to the “you” that you’ve needed to validate all along. Not the victim, but the person you were supposed to be! Changing, learning and growing in the wake of psychological and emotional rape. Clear? Clear!

Skin crawling. It always happened when he was saying something to me. ALWAYS something out of the blue, with no preliminary phrase or action, it was just “there”. I learned to recognize what happened prior to the sensation. One of which was a change in his normal tone. He was normally abrupt and determined. When he was fishing for information or covering “something” up with a precursor/lie, his voice was sing-songy and unsure. It was obvious that he tried to cover it up with spot jokes, but my intuition was always quite adept at recognizing these things. It was my “introspection/extrospection” talent which allowed me to put the pieces together. Let me tell you, IT SCREAMED AT ME!

*Just a thought…brainwashing, as I learned years ago, can also include certain tones the perpetrator uses, including a “sing-songy” voice, intended to soothe and lure the victim.

Here were some of the instances. I won’t list details as many will recall some of these scenarios, but if you are curious about any of these, let me know and I will give you details… The Key… The “how many men have you been with” lines… The attack early on about my ex-boyfriend trying to get me back when he previously seemed supportive of me and the concern I had… the push to get me to go to management to turn in an old co-worker from the gas station I worked for, for sexual harassment… and finally: Trying to get me to say something negative about a co-worker.

Each and EVERY time, the skin crawling sensation was a reaction to his out of the blue statements or questions, and was in conjunction with some scheme he was setting up to be implemented even MONTHS down the road. Many times I could figure out what he was scheming, which worked in my favor. Other times, I couldn’t figure out his scheme until later..then it was the most earth-shattering “ah hahh” moment, and very very shattering to me.

I was never wrong, by the way, when I finally figured out how to think like him. How to recognize these “set-up” times.

He talked too much. Prior to finishing up the finalities of his schemes, he felt the need to set up a plausible lie or lies. He tried to cover his steps with camouflage…a lie, a suggestion that he counted on to steer me (or others) away from his intent. The “key” was one of these. I will say, he constantly schemed against me primarily, though I’m sure his scheming wasn’t limited to JUST me.

One of the things I’m known for with my friends is, thinking and analyzing upon waking up. This is one realization that hit me first thing this morning.

Why the incessant lies and cover ups? Why would he say SO MUCH in order to mislead me or others? Why did he ALWAYS go too far in the lies, which always exposed his true intent?

HE DIDN’T TRUST HIMSELF! Light bulb goes here! Lightning, fan-fare, the crowd roars…”YEAHHHHH”.

The number one thing I discovered about him in my search for understanding (while still in the relationship) was that he was highly paranoid. Paranoid Personality Disorder and symptoms of it, fit him to a “T”. He trusts NO ONE in his life. I think least of all, himself. He doesn’t trust his ability to keep from exposing his lies and disturbed self to everyone around him. He doesn’t want to get caught. It isn’t because he has a conscience, which would keep him from doing wrong. It’s because he didn’t want to be discovered. Psychopaths have a social understanding of right and wrong. They know what will get them into trouble or have adverse effects that would remove the veil for ALL to see! They know (at least a book-knowledge) right and wrong. They know what they are doing to you, as the victim. It’s intentional and CALCULATED.

I think this is important. It’s important for other survivors to understand a little more about WHY he did what he did. It still makes no sense from a human standpoint, But, we didn’t deal with a HUMAN, now did we?

One more notch for me!! One more thing conquered on this road of healing. I’ll write about all the other ones, later.

Regrowth, reaffirmation, validation, establishing and solidifying old and new boundaries. These are all successes that I look back on as steps ALREADY CONQUERED in this journey.

Once the light goes on, the steps become easier. A huge door has been opened to me and the garbage is spilling out and away from me!

Understanding is such a strength!

 

Validation


I see a trend in my thinking right now. So, I’m just gonna go with it.

Validation: 

Merriam Websters says; Validation : an act, process, or instance of validatingespecially: the determination of the degree of validity of a measuring device

I love the in-humanness of Websters. It’s always cut and dry in the definitions of English terminology. Unfortunately, it’s lacking in HUMAN understanding. I’ll do my best to fill in the gaps..

Validation: The act of understanding and accepting one’s own or others’ deep emotional well-being. The process where-by a person is able to deal with and accept their own emotions caused by grief, mistreatment or abuse. To validate another’s emotions, means to allow them safe-haven when needed and keep from laying blame on the offended party. Recognizing that there are REASONS for bad behavior, allowing for the core of the problem to be safely expressed. 

I know that doesn’t quite do it, so please feel free to list what your own personal definitions of validation, are.

If a child is misbehaving or throwing temper tantrums, this should not be allowed! They need to understand what respect is for others, and that included outrageous expressions whether in public or in the private home. This brings an imbalance between the roll of parent and child, by which the child gains authority over the parents, eventually, and not the other way around. Teaching self-respect and self-expression in non-violent ways, is important. You can validate a child without allowing for violent outbursts or screaming at you. That said…

It’s important for young children to be validated. In my previous post “Perfect”, I outlined some abuses I went through as a child. The one thing that echos throughout the entire post is the LACK of VALIDATION, and it’s effects on the rest of my life. To invalidate a child’s emotions or blame them for any abuse done TO them, creates such hell for even the young child. They learn, early on, that they don’t matter in this life. To a young child, this creates inner turmoil that their young minds can’t understand. Life is supposed to be safe with their parents, not threatening or even dangerous. The effects can go a couple of directions:

1) The child learns to be silent, allowing for abuse to befall them, because they feel there’s nowhere to turn for help. The abuser is the one that matters, to the young (or older) child. Or,

2) The child resorts to violent outbursts and acting out, in order to be validated.

In both instances, there is much anger in the child.

In the first example, that anger is directed INWARDLY at themselves, without fully understanding why. In the second example, the anger is directed at EVERYONE in and around them. It’s the only way they can be heard. Even with violent outbursts causing the child to be reprimanded and punished, they still act out, violently. It’s the only way they can express the grief and anger they have, inside. Understand, however, there is anger being directed INWARDLY, in both examples.

For older children who have learned these things, many go on to alcohol and drug abuse. Many become violent in society and find themselves in and out of the court system. They are looking to find validation that they matter in this life, that we see their worth. There comes a time that these children are responsible for their behavior, yes, but to understand WHY the behavior is happening will allow us to help them where possible.

Parents who come from abusive homes, might have a difficult time processing mistreatment of their children. It’s easier to ignore the mistreatment than it is to face it and protect the child. This continues one part of the cycle of abuse. It allows the victim mindset to grow in a sweet pliable mind of a child. It doesn’t belong there, people! In ignoring the abuse and dismissing it, entirely, without validating the child’s need to be heard, understood, loved and protected, parents inadvertently continue the abuse for the child. There is no where they can feel safe. For the introverted child, this can manifest in many ways. These are clues into what is happening to that child.

1) A young child might harm him/herself in different ways, included in that but not limited to, are: Hitting, biting, gouging at face, picking at skin, banging their head onto floors or walls. These might be accompanied by inexplicable bouts of rage, and NOT that which is being brought about by being told “no”. One is an expression of severe inner turmoil, the other is just a normal child-like temper tantrum. It’s important that parents keep from confusing the 2…

2) A Child who is past the potty-training stage might willfully urinate him or herself while in the presence of the parent. Some will also defecate. This is not to be confused with the occasional “accident” where by the child has been playing and waited too long to make it to the bathroom.

Too many times, parents are too quick to INVALIDATE the child’s only avenue to process the abuse, or to try to get someone to notice them. For the young child, these outward expressions are all they have to tell us that SOMETHING, SOMEWHERE, IS GRAVELY WRONG! For example: When a child has an inexplicable bout of rage, and in turn bites him/herself, the parent might choose that the BEHAVIOR isn’t wanted, and bites the child themselves, in order to curb that behavior in the child. The parent invalidated the child in doing so, without recognizing that HUGE warning sign that should NEVER be ignored or punished. There is something WRONG! The parent needs to #1, PROTECT THE CHILD by investigating the cause. Sometimes a child-psychologist will be needed to make the causes known.

Understand, folks, THERE MOST DEFINITELY IS A CAUSE!

Do the child a favor. Stop the abuse. Recognize the warnings that your child is giving you. Validate your young ones and make sure they know beyond a shadow of a doubt they are SAFE!