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tell me, if you feel comfortable sharing... how did you come to reclaim your self-confidence in your twenties?


I think being in new positions at work, and other areas ofmy life, and branching out in things I didn't know I could do. Then, discovering some things that I could do.....and do it well. At first, receiving compliments about the job I had done (or whatever it might be)boosted my confidence, but as I grew I realized that I should not consider my worth or if I had done a good job or not....based on what others said or thought. I had to know within myself that I had given it all I had and if I fell short of expections (mine included) it didn't delete my value or worth as a person. I have to watch that last part so that I don't grade myself based on what I do. Worth is not based on performance.

I heard a preacher say that most of us need to stop trying to "do".....and just "be".

I use to read a lot, and self-improvement books were at the top of the list. I also learned that just b/c you have a person that is critical does not mean you are wrong. That person who is so critical is the one with a problem! My focus had to be that I did not catch the disease and find myself with a critical heart.


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
Cyrena #2109604 11/28/10 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cyrena
The pain was terrible, yet ... then it was gone. I saw the past couldn't hurt me anymore, because I was so much stronger now than as a child. Also, I wanted my life to be about ME, not defined by the actions of another, deficient person.

Your whole post again is very reassuring Cyrena. Thank you. This I felt in particular, was very empowering. I'll hang onto these thoughts as best I can.

Originally Posted By: Cyrena
Take care, FMV (a wonderful name, by the way)!
smile Thanks! I can't take credit for it though... I'm a big Harriet Lerner fan and this is from her work.


I cannot complain for not receiving from others, that which I've never asked them for.
sandi2 #2109608 11/28/10 04:52 PM
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Thank you too Sandi for your insights. I appreciate your comments about self-worth. My IC and I talk alot about the concept of worth. I wonder sometimes if I'll ever fully believe in it and never look back. Perhaps for me, it's just going to be a life-long work in progress; sometimes there and sometimes slipping back to what it had (or hadn't been) as a child. IDK.

Originally Posted By: sandi2

I also learned that just b/c you have a person that is critical does not mean you are wrong. That person who is so critical is the one with a problem!
It's interesting you'd say this. When you first started talking about criticism, I thought... well I don't think that was my case. But this comment makes me wonder, if maybe it really was...

I think the criticism I lived with came across as accusations. She'd accuse me of thinking, feeling and believing all sorts of horrid things about her... things I never ever would have felt or thought. And I'd be left to defend myself against things I didn't even feel. I'm starting feel now, what I likely didn't know I felt (as a result of these accusations) at the time - frightened, panicked, angry, helpless. And then after the fact, I'd start to wonder... "oh my gosh... DO I think and feel these horrid she's accusing me of??? Maybe I do and I just don't know it??" I think that was when I began to learn that I shouldn't trust myself, my opinions, my feelings. When I started to believe the blame and accusations more than I believed my own thoughts... or in my own self; and started really, to loathe myself for all these things that I 'must' feel, because she told me I felt them. Yuck. What a twisted mess.


I cannot complain for not receiving from others, that which I've never asked them for.
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It sounds as if she had a lot of problems about herself. That would have been very hard for any kid to overcome.

((hugs))


It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!
sandi2 #2109863 11/29/10 04:09 PM
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Just a journal; still trying to sort my thoughts. I know this isn't M stuff. I guess I've just gotten used to releasing this crap here. Please don't feel like you have to respond; it does help just to write. Anyways, Sandi, Yes, she did/does have a lot of problems whether she wants to admit it or not. It's very sad. Thanks for the hugs. Hugs back to you for your kindness.

I went for a nice long walk by myself last night; it was pretty, the snow is still fresh and some folks have their xmas lights up already. It felt good to be out in the quiet and dark but I found old memories just kept tagging along with me. At times it felt like I was trudging along, dragging a heavy wagon behind me with my mom in it complaining and angry and crying... and I wanted to let go of the handle, but when I imagined letting it go, the image of her sitting all alone in it on the sidewalk, popped into my brain, she was crying and begging me to come back, all alone and frightened as I walked away. It made me as angry as it did break my heart.

So then of course I couldn't get to sleep AGAIN til late again last night and started to wonder if it's time to stop going to therapy. Nothing is going to change what has been, and it seems like I've just been getting more sad and angry... well... at least I've gotten in touch with my 'angry' again. But what's the point of it. I've been angry before. I was very angry about this same old thing in my 30s. Yes I was judging myself for it back then, but at least I know I'd felt it for a time. And the only result? I'd become so disagreeable and unhappy, my H and I started having troubles and he'd told me he was thinking of leaving me. So I just don't get it. My IC keeps saying I'm supposed to 'feel' my emotions. But when there's nothing you can do about them, no one you can hold accountable... what's the point? It seems like feeling them is just making them more intense and is getting me nowhere.


I cannot complain for not receiving from others, that which I've never asked them for.
sandi2 #2109864 11/29/10 04:12 PM
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I'm sorry, FMV--this must be SUCH a difficult minefield to try to wade through. I admire your strength and determination--I know you will make things better for yourself.

I'm wondering--what was your mother's childhood like? Was she subjected to the same kind of mental and emotional abuse, or was it a mental imbalance in her case?

Cyrena #2109866 11/29/10 04:27 PM
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Morning Cyrena; sorry to be crying on your shoulder again. frown I don't know much about her father because he died before I was born, but I think he had a pretty bad temper. No physical abuse there but likely some mental/emotional. Her mom had a heart of gold.


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This is exactly when you need to be crying on shoulders and unburdening yourself. It's what makes this place so important.

It's great that you are willing to go further than your mother and grandfather did: to admit that a problem exists and to tackle it and end the cycle. That takes such guts, and also such self-love, that you would go through the pain to make your life better.

I understand what you're saying about feeling as though you either have to swallow the sadness and anger or go through cycles of feeling them and getting nowhere. I just want to reassure you that there is another possibility: that you feel them and release them.

In my case, my abuser made me both a victim and a caretaker of HIS needs. It was difficult for me to put my needs first, because caretaking become ingrained in me. Even when I managed to push him out of my life, I still took care of others: my family (who couldn't come to terms with what I told them happened), my kids, etc. But I didn't really know how to look after myself in a non-critical way--I didn't really believe I deserved it.

I felt as though having been victimized changed me in ways that made me different from other people. But in a way, I was clinging to what I knew. I didn't realize it, but I was afraid to think of myself as NOT a victim, as just an ordinary human being who goes through the suffering that's part of the human condition.

What I'm getting from your "vision" during your walk is that you, too, are at a point where you would like to throw away the burdens your mother laid on you. But you don't know who you'd be without that story, without the anger, without the caretaking--who you'd be if you were just FMV, without the victim-story. It seems as though the anger and sadness won't leave you, but isn't it possible that you aren't quite ready to shed them--because it seems as though that would have to leave a void.

I think it is possible for you to stop pulling the wagon, once you're ready. Forgiveness is a way of changing the story. If you imagine taking the wagon to some place your mother would have loved (a cathedral; a cottage by the lake; some place where she was happy) and releasing her into the care of some beneficent force (Jesus, Mary, her own Higher Self, the spirit of her golden-hearted mother...) in a loving manner, how does that feel?

((((HMV)))) I know it feels as though you're been going around in circles, but I think you have made a lot of progress, even if you can't yet see that.

Cyrena #2110362 11/30/10 10:06 PM
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(((FMV)))
Wish I had something to offer, other than you are an incredibly resiliant person, keep it up.


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Hi FMV -

I know you don't know me but I'm unravelling a verbally/emotionally abusive marriage and of course it goes back to my mother too. I so relate to what you are saying that when someone tells you who you are, what you think, what you mean, etc, you can get confused as to what you actually do think and feel.

Please accept this quote if it fits, and discard it if it doesn't - it's from Patricia Evan's Verbal Abuse site:
"Verbal abuse creates emotional pain and mental anguish. It is a lie told to you or about you. Generally, verbal abuse defines people telling them what they are, what they think, their motives, and so forth. The best way to deal with a verbally abusive relationship, whether you are the target of verbal abuse or the perpetrator, is to find out everything you can about verbally abusive relationships and their dynamics. Usually one person is blaming, accusing, even name calling, and the other is defending and explaining."

I know this is no answer, but hopefully a validation of what you have experienced. (())


Me: 42
Him: 43

Two divorcees in a relationship
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