Borderline personality disorder, chronic stress, anorexia, mood and anxiety disorders. Our yesterdays linger, and hurt – badly. If we opt for relief and healing, we have to gain insight into our past – and its pain – and process, as we move forward. Chipur friend Nancy sure has.
It’s guest post time again. If you’ve frequented Chipur, you know how much I love ‘em. And that’s ’cause they’re the very essence of sharing, learning, and healing. Sooo, I’m giving the nod to Nancy. Her message is mighty…
What do I do to so enrage men? Why is it that men cannot stand the shame of being confronted with something they don’t like? Are they all narcissists, needing to be constantly reflected as the charming men they think they are?
Hi, my name is Nancy, and I came from a very violent family of origin. The featured image could well be a snapshot of my family life. But to be really perfect, it would have to show my dad, or a brother – not my mom – violently doing all the talking/arguing.
Women in my family were taught to shut-up. Men, two brothers and a dad, were all bullies who when challenged reared-up and argued me down, put me in my place, or left. My mom gave up trying to deal with an abusive husband, a doctor who specialized in alcoholism, and quietly went to bed. She got good and drunk, of course, before hand; however, it kept her silent.
I know she lived in fear.
And now my own inability to speak up to bullies is really hurting me. Just recently I sent a love poem I’d written to my big brother. It was a poem that basically said that although he criticizes me, I still love him. He has now gone silent (he does not understand his criticism hurts), and I doubt he will include me in any family affairs now.
This is all very painful for me, as they are all the close family I have since my sister died in October of 2013.
Visceral Questions & More
What do I do to so enrage men? Why is it that men cannot stand the shame of being confronted with something they don’t like?
Are they all narcissists, needing to be constantly reflected as the charming men they think they are?
Why are women such easy targets?
For some reason – a deep grace and my own drive – I know a great many wonderful “macho” men who are also sensitive and kind. And I have known many of these kind men over the years. I am most grateful to them for letting me, in my ragged way, try to express myself.
Somebody, in my early days as an adult child of an alcoholic, said in a workshop that each time a child is born a new family begins.
Well, I was the third child after my older brother, who was a real problem child. I was a very good girl, and overly attached to my beaten and alcoholic mother. This position, the third in a family of four, is called the Lost Child.
While I received a car for high school graduation, I have had very little, if no, support or acknowledgement from my family after my parents died. I finished my master’s work and began a PhD in Transformative Learning and Change. I graduated summa cum laude for my BS, but was too ashamed to give the commencement speech.
So the featured image speaks much to me – if you imagine the man doing all the arguing.
My mom was a painter and she longed to go to college, but never had the opportunity. She died without ever being able to fully express herself. I have the only painting she ever signed. It hangs proudly in my guest room.
A last story – I am an ovarian cancer survivor. I have been told that ovarian cancer is a sign of repressed expression or creativity based on the womb being the most creative organ we have. While all the men in my family play music, write poetry, and do many creative things, both my sister and I did little – and my mother’s ambitions were throttled.
I wish for all who have been dominated by authoritarian figures, men and women, to consider how they might better learn to speak truth to authority.
Best wishes to all on this difficult journey.
We’ll Close Now
Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your story. I know it couldn’t have been easy, given the thoughts and feelings it likely stirred-up. You’re a recovery-warrior, and I hope you know that.
Again, folks, doesn’t matter if it’s expressed in chronic stress, anorexia, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder, chronic depression, and more – our yesterdays linger, and hurt.
How ’bout yours?
Perhaps it’s time to explore and process (as you move forward)…