Friday, August 21, 2009

Change is inevitable...

In this journey, change is inevitable - although for us who have come from not so healthy backgrounds, those from our past may not appreciate it as we change and grow.

As we learn to treat ourselves with respect and practice setting personal boundaries, we might begin to hear some "change back messages" and find ourselves having to grieve a new loss as we realize that some of those relationships may not grow with us.

Anytime a ghost from the past insists that you do something - or not do something - or risk some consequence....or if someone calls you out on your mental health issues and says they are "worried that your (mh) is causing this change in your behavior"....and they want things to go back to the way they were....are examples of "change back" messages.

Or maybe it becomes all about them and their right to do or say whatever they want without regard to how it affects you. In other words - they believe it is their right to abuse you and you are not allowed to say that you dont like it. They may call it "taking care of themselves" or "being assertive". I call it being rude, insensitive and aggressive when others attempt to barge into my personal space or bully me into submission.

These are the old "dont think, dont talk, dont feel" messages that a lot of us grew up with. This is one way that we learned to accept unacceptable behaviors in others and stay in abusive relationships as adults - because we were not allowed to say "I dont like this" and be heard.

Another good one is when it is along the lines of "if you cared about me you would....". In a healthy relationship you are free to be who you are without this type of emotional blackmail.

Or maybe they throw a good dose of emotional abuse in the mix and say things like "you may be doing ok, but I doubt it"....these kinds of statements are from an abusive past and can fuel self doubt, shame and anxiety.

It's sad when relationships change like this - when we realize that not everyone likes it when we begin to heal from the damage of childhood "issues". This is another part of the "hard work" of healing from a broken past.

I found a good quote on the subject that gives me encouragement when I have to stand up to those "change back" messages and be true to myself...

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.

What is a "change back" message you have heard in your journey?


Ellen said...

Yeah, a lot of people don't much like it when we change. I've basically made a bunch of new friends since I've made changes in how I act and what I accept. I really like the quote by Alice Walker. A good thing to keep in mind. Ellen

Susan said...

Thanks, Ellen for stopping by! I found it to be really tough when I started realizing that I would have to let go of those relationships...another part of the "hard work" of grieving the past and moving on with the future. *sigh* and *smile*.