Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by a short guy, Feb 28, 2013.
I know the key is loving myself and all will fall into place. It always has.
I am so hard on myself, obviously not respecting myself. Yeah, I do know that's where to start.
I respect your continual transparency. I learn so much. Thank you !
My current issues:
1. Not porn at the moment thankfully.
2. My grandson is a great 6 year old boy but struggling emotionally and behaviorally because his father, who doesn't live with him, is a dysfunctional alcoholic and rage-oholic, probably the most immature, selfish, meanest and disrespectful person I personally know. His mother and my wife's daughter has many good mothering skills and many poor one's. She's making some changes for the better. Interactions with her son are often dramatic and emotionally draining. Our grandson is often disrespectful, acts like he rules, yells and is demanding, doesn't listen, etc. He basically is acting just like his father many times. She is overly stressed, is not taking care of herself, her health, and in my opinion often not making the best choices.
My wife and I are living with them until November. We're trying to save money to move, live separately. We're broke because we went through our savings helping her out. I do have a good job, but it's not paying enough... to get paid more I'd have to work more, but it's physical and I'm working as much as I can without injuring myself. I need to make more and am working on other ways to supplement that aren't as physical. That takes focus and time and I'm distracted by all the drama here.
I'm not handling our grandson being so mean and disrespectful towards my wife well....
With a dad like that, I'm glad your grandson has you for a grandpa. You know, my grandparents were better role models for me than my parents were. You're also modeling for your children and in-laws how to be a good parent. I hope you will be able to get out of that house soon, as I can imagine how wearing it must be on you, but at the same time, your presence there may make a real difference, so I am glad for the little boy's sake you are there.
Time to get the old costume out and lighten things up my clowny friend.
Yea, I know my wife and I are a good influence. I don't know how much it will make a difference but at least it's something. If we had not moved here we wouldn't be around to have any positive influence. I just have to let go of wishing things were different for him and thinking it's my job to make everything better, it's out of my hands of course.
I'm swinging, up/down, happy/depressed, joyful/angry. But in truth I'm not anywhere near how moody I've been in the past. And I know it is normalize to be having some emotional difficulties with all that's going on. It does help to stay off of the addictions, porn and sugar. Thanks for bringing some light on the subject and into my journal.
3. I'm hitting my head again, once in a while, like every few weeks, I turn my anger inward. I get angry at my 6 1/2 year old Grandson for being so disrespectful. I don't take it out on him. I secretly berate myself and hit my head, hating myself for being so mad and wanting to smack him (which I never do). I do talk with him about it, that I don't understand why he is disrespectful to my wife, his grandmother. I'm dumb founded, I say in a few words. When I'm alone with him it's easy. It's straight talk, we have fun, he's great. But when it's my wife or my wife and her daughter and all of us together he can be annoying.... to be continued.
It sounds like your grandson's issue is with women. From the way you have described his dad, that seems to me to be the main relationship problem though. He's angry at his dad and has learned from his dad's example that he can safely express that anger toward women. But not toward his dad.
I think this little boy needs some guidance about some healthy ways he can express anger and frustration. And plenty of time with his grandpa to see a better way of behaving.
RE: hitting your head. This is going to sound odd. I don't know if it is good advise or not so take it with a grain of salt. Could you imagine yourself as two people, one who is physically abusive, the other as being physically abused. Could you have a conversation between those two sides of yourself. Both sides are hurt and are expressing that in a "codependent" way, so to speak. Why is the abuser hitting? What pain is he going through, and why does he think it's ok to use violence to express that? How and when did he learn that? And why is the abused part of you letting this happen? Why does he think he deserves this? What will it take for him to stand up for himself and say "no" to this abuse? Can you reconcile these two parts of you, like twin brothers, and get them working cooperatively in a more healthy way?
Please don't have a split personality because of what I said. But I have just found this kind of exercise to be helpful, particularly as I try to integrate parts of my personality that are less appealing to me. I'm trying to recognize that those parts of myself are there for a reason, have some legitimate needs to express and things to teach me.
I think Squire's suggestion is a good one. Create an intervention of some sort. It doesn't matter why we do the negative things that we do. Realization comes (or it doesn't) when we find better ways of moving through our day. Some people chew their nails, pick at the lips, pull out eyebrows, or bang their heads. These are compulsive acts that serve to soothe, kind of like sucking our thumb. I soothe with food and alcohol. I find walking is a better way to soothe myself, so I will sometimes choose that instead of reaching for the wine bottle or a piece of chocolate.
You need to keep coming here and writing and writing and writing. We learn so much when we do so. I'm writing to you right now, but I realizing things about myself.
Yes, he learned to disrespect women from his dad. And his mom allows herself to be disrespected by his father, by him, by men in general. I am a good role model for him right now. My dad was a good role model for me.
I do understand some of this, been working on it for years. The abuser in me is like a parent, a combination of my parents, but mostly like my mother.
My mom was critical of me and withdrew her affection when I was bad, disappointed her, she used guilt. I was always trying to please her and felt like I never could. She was not complimentary, didn't praise me, she pointed out my errors.
My dad was kind, not critical, he praised me. But he never taught me things, he just did them himself and I got the impression he expected me to be able to do things as well as him, that I should already know how to do everything. So I watched him and learned by imitating. I didn't ask for help, thought it was wrong to ask for assistant, thought learning was bad, that I should somehow know everything like my dad, the perfect driver, farmer, carpenter, the jack and master of all things. He was like a benevolent god. My mom a controlling and critical authoritarian provider.
The abused in me is the child that never grew up. This part of me feels I should be perfect and able to do and handle everything just like my father. And when I screw up he feels worthless, useless, scum. And feels deserving of punishment. The parental me is disgusted by the child me who isn't being an adult.....
When I think of my situation as two adults living in my head, one the abuser, the other the abused, that's a new take on it. They'll be having a conversation in the near future, during a meditation I'm thinking. I'll be giving that some thought, thank you.
My head hitting is rather spontaneous, it happens so quickly. The intervention must be immediate, 5 slow deep breaths, 1:2 ratio breathing... At that moment of frustration, I think instead of hitting someone else, I hit myself. I've never hit anyone else in my family, but have come close. I've always turned it inward. This is where it would be healthy to express my feelings. Not acting on them, but expressing them. Not always holding the feelings in, which is my usual way. It would be OK to say to my grandson, "when I see you do ..... I feel sad, or hurt, or angry"... something like that. He's been hearing yelling, cursing, berating language from his father all his short life.
Would a punching bag and boxing gloves be a hobby you could take up, with your grandson? It might be helpful to both of you. But you teach him only to hit in these controlled circumstances: you have to take the time to put on gym clothes for it, you have to wear the boxing gloves, and you hit only the punching bag. So those parameters help prevent it from becoming aggression expressed wantonly.
How about yelling with jazz hands? Or, a sudden burst of fake tap dancing, unless you can actually tap, which would be cool, too.
Most of the time I think Saville gives wise advice. This is not one of those times.
Dude, this is epic wise...cracker advice.
I was actually serious. If you feel the impulse to bang your head, then try something else instead. Don't think about it, just do something silly. I've done it before and for me it has worked. It sounds frivolous, and maybe it is, but the alternative is butting the head. We can often expose our inner workings by creating parodies of them.
RE: making peace with yourself, a little while back I did some reconciliation work with the homosexual side of me, which I had rejected and tried to suppress all my life. I visualized myself at 14-16 years old when I was maximally confused and struggling and talked to that part of myself like a big brother. Though I have chosen not to allow that part of myself to act out sexually, that doesn't mean I can't love that vulnerable part of me and appreciate what his struggle has brought to my life, the positive qualities that has helped create in me, not just the negative. I bought myself a cross necklace as a symbol of reconciliation between me and God and me and myself. A symbol that this part of me has been redeemed and is loved.
Maybe you want to have something you can wear that symbolizes making peace with yourself. The next time you feel like beating yourself up, you can hold on to that symbol and remember that you have made peace with yourself.
I'll give some thought to your ideas Seville and Squire, thank you.
Something structured, intentional, planned. I've never liked anything violent. I didn't like how it made me feel... angry, which I felt guilty about, or afraid... which was a sense of lose of control. As a kid in school, junior high, we actually did real boxing in gym class. We didn't punch bags, we punched each other. I didn't like it. But I do remember punching my brother in the stomach really hard once at home. I was upset with him about something. He asked, "Why'd you do that?" And I replied honestly, "I don't know." I wasn't in touch with my feelings.
Something to do, or say to myself, or touch, on necklace or in my pocket to remind me of my higher goal, intention, the bigger picture. To break the moment. On the goofy side all this reminds me of the kids game "it's opposite day". So when I'm angry and about to loose it and hit my head...
A recurring issue is my thoughts and emotions are fluctuating so much and quickly, I'm reacting to triggers. I'm living in the past in my mind much of the time for the past week or more, awake and asleep, I'm reliving my life in my dreams too, afraid to step out of my child-like comfort zone, afraid to take risks in my business venture. I keep dragging my feet and getting caught up in the minute details and am afraid to move ahead. I keep telling myself I can't do it, or anything, I will fail. I've failed (in my overly critical eyes, but not really) in the past. I've never amounted to much because I've quit many time.....
All this is nothing new and I can get out of this. I do have the skills and knowledge and ability to take care of myself. It's just a difficult time because we just moved to a completely new place 1,400 miles away, we spent our savings, starting from scratch, we're living in a difficult situation with family.
This is from my Pilgrim's Roadmap 2 journal. It sounds kinda weird but I found it to be very effective in putting to rest recurring troubling memories and emotions from the past. In most cases it just took going through the exercise once to resolve even deeply troubling episodes. Maybe it will be useful to you as well.
"Inner Child" reflection to heal the roots of PMO
After identifying anxiety as the primary trigger of PMO for me and learning to manage the symptoms, I realized I needed to figure out the root causes of it. Much of it was rooted in persistent negative memories from the past that left me with feelings of anger, shame, and fear. I started picturing these memories as moments in time where part of me is trapped, reliving the same unresolved event that caused me pain. These earlier "versions" of me can be thought of as my inner child who needs to be protected in these scenarios. This is the process I used to re-integrate these parts of myself:
Mentally visit a persistent memory
Talk to the version of me that is experiencing that, ask what he feels and be supportive of his emotions.
Stand up for that version of me in the memory if necessary, defending against people or situations causing him distress.
Invite that version of me to leave that memory and go to a safe place I mentally construct. He can enjoy the safe place as long as he wants and heal from being trapped in that memory.
Imagine destroying the old memory with an airstrike, throwing it in a black hole, etc.
Try to identify a positive characteristic about that version of me. Something I need in my life today. I like to give that part of me a powerful descriptive title, like "Bold" "Resourceful" or "Survivor."
Tell this part of me I need him on my team and invite him to join me at my "round table," or hug him and absorb him into myself, making us one person.
I save a list of those descriptive names so I don't forget that those are part of me, versions of me I can draw upon for any situation I face today. Here are the qualities I've salvaged from my memories:
I am Squire. Jesus-follower. Giant-slayer. Wolf-tamer. Sly and cunning. Resourceful survivor. Bold, curious risk-taker. Word-craftsman. Castle builder. Guardian of truth. Forgiven, free, integrated and whole. Giving--and expecting to receive--compassion and respect. I am not a "nice guy." I am a warrior.
Separate names with a comma.