Everyone has an inner child that goes about life on what it’s learned so far. Some of the lessons are harsh and come from the very people who are supposed to love us the most: Our parents. Our parents are only human and sometimes they perpetuate bad behaviors by repeating them with their children. We can say they don’t know any better and maybe they don’t. They raise their kids the way they were raised and certain abusive cycles continue on throughout their children’s lives, and then throughout their grandchildren’s lives. I don’t think humans do this intentionally. It’s this subconscious mind fuck that we don’t know “literally” exists until someone points it out to us.
I do believe we have a choice to not hold onto the past and have a better life. I believe this with my whole being. My parents were old school Sicilians. Translation: There was a lot of fighting in my household; both mental and physical abuse, which will not go forward into my child’s life. When I was 7/8 I made a decision, watching my mother slap my brother across the face repeatedly, knowing he couldn’t defend himself, that when I got older no one was going to do that to me. I’ve kept that promise to that little girl inside of me. Although some patterns, like a high tolerance for bad behaviors (i.e. the mean guy I married when I was younger), carried on, I got out of that due to the promise I made myself when I was small. Which simply put was, “When I’m bigger, you will not do that to me”. I didn’t realize how many different things can stem from childhood up through the present.
When I got into life coaching, I began to learn different things: how to process emotions, what emotional triggers are, how to cope, how to change and how to be more of who I really am. Who I really am is very soft hearted. I love to see people smile and be happy. I like a bit of an adrenaline rush, that I can get from a Steven Segal movie, because the adrenaline rush is what I’m accustomed to from when I was a child. The feelings I get from seeing that type of movie “replaces” the negative ones. After all, the bad guy always gets it in those movies, right? LOL That’s positive! Only the adrenaline when I was younger was due to abuse or fighting that endlessly went on in my house growing up, and then throughout adulthood. I’ve always stuck up for what I believed to be fair, not only for myself, but for those I care about as well. The thing is that not everyone is ready to accept and/or break free from certain deeply imbedded scars. It’s not that they wouldn’t change, given the opportunity or the support. They just do what most do…”they fight it”, because it’s unfamiliar.
By understanding my emotions, I was able to realize when a pattern I’d become familiar with was missing from my life. In these moments, I knew I had to recreate the pattern in order to keep myself from sabotaging something good, by drawing in something bad. You follow me? The movie creates a false sense of what I went through and appeases that old pattern in a way. It’s why I do it and it works. As time goes on I will heal and learn more about what I need and want. Most importantly, the negative patterns and behaviors will fall by the wayside as I learn to be calmer. That’s my ultimate goal, to be calm.
Make no mistake; to not recreate certain patterns in our lives requires us to pay attention to OURSELVES FIRST. Those very things about ourselves tend to lead us to others who exhibit behaviors that make us feel comfortable, even if they’re bad behaviors. There’s comfort in being around a particular type of person. We can grow accustom to it. It’s not normal if everything is calm and serene. Yet, it is something you can get used to IF YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO IT. It’s not a shock that I rant about things that strike a personal nerve or that I find to put someone down, its how I’ve been made up. It’s based on the decision I made to myself when I was younger, that I would protect myself (and subsequently others) when I was 7 years old.
You can do this too. You can change any relationship in your life. These changes sometimes require us to remove toxic people in our lives and know that while it does feel badly to do that, there always seems to be remorse that follows, for both parties. To avoid recreating these patterns, you have to get who you are straight. You have to identify what type of people you consistently attract and how you fit into that picture.
There are subtle things that take time to recognize, try not to beat yourself up; you’ve been this way a long time. HOWEVER, here’s the thing…when you’re born, you are a clean slate. Your life is taught to you. Even behaviors are taught to you by those around you. Anyone can teach you; parents, teachers, peers, friends or anyone who you’ve ever come into contact with
YOU CAN ALSO LEARN A BETTER WAY IN RELATIONSHIPS. Some of those ways are not so clear so I’ll define some for you.
1. You decide how you wish to be treated. Reciprocity in relationships between people is very important. If you’re consistently being the “good” one, there’s no prize for that. It is what it is, as it pertains to an abusive relationship.
2. You set a standard and you learn to set boundaries with those around you. Fair minded, compromising boundaries that do not sell you short.
3. When someone consistently confuses you with their outbursts, has you walking on eggshells and leaves you confused ALL THE TIME…it’s THEM. Especially if they are the ONLY ONE making you feel this way. In part, it’s definitely YOU as well, because you allow it to go on by staying in the relationship.
4. If you’ve had an abusive childhood and no true guidelines for how you want to be treated, you need to develop those guidelines, live them and be with the person who treats you how you desire to be treated. Take a look at who you’re with and see if they honor you AT ALL. Do you keep holding onto the HOPE that the other person will change if only you LOVE them enough? You could be waiting a very long time; because the very real and sad fact is that this person you’re dealing with does not love themselves.
5. If you are constantly confused by good behavior/bad behavior periods, keep a diary so you can clearly see exactly what you’re dealing with. Confusion with another human being in a relationship is one of the first things that I’ve noticed accompanies abusive relationships. Say you’re doing something really good and this person lashes out at you for no apparent reason. That type of behavior is likely to confuse you. You figure it must be something, right? Sure it is…it’s usually them.
6. Some people feel guilty about leaving someone who is abusive. Depending on how long this cycle is, my thought process is that YOU did NOT make them this way and it is not your job in life to fix them. They have to want the help. Plus, it can’t be during one of those good behavior periods when they are only good for a little while, in order to keep you, lull you into a false sense of security and then…POOF…they do it all over again. This is what your diary is for, so you don’t think you’re losing your mind.
7. If you’re losing friends and family over this ONE person, who do you think this is all about?
8. If the only reason you open up to this person with your deepest thoughts is to hopefully get them to open up to you, this is a mistake. This person isn’t safe and you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Keep in mind that what you say will be used against you later as a manipulative tool to cut you down and make you feel bad.
9. Know yourself. Meaning, go back to number one up there: HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE TREATED? HOW? We’re not taught this in life. We’re taught to listen, do as we’re told and make others happy. Yet, I don’t remember the lessons siphoning in there as to what makes US happy as a person. We tend to think that making someone else happy is the ultimate goal, because that’s what we’re taught. We aren’t taught things about how to “honor ourselves” as people or as an individual. Learn what this means to you.
10. Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse, if not worse. Trying to be all that someone else wants you to be, while they criticize you, put you down and minimize who you are, does not benefit you. That person will never have your best interests at heart; no matter how well they say it or how manipulative it comes across.
11. If they hit you once… they will hit you again.
You do not need a partner’s approval to this extent. What you need to do is determine your own worth and get out. Yes, there will be that little inner child of yours screaming and hoping that things could be different. I understand this thought process; I’ve been there once or twice myself. I know that child; all she’s saying is for me to make wiser choices in relationships. She should not have to fight that frigging hard to have healthy and communicative relationships in her life.
I remind my inner child when she’s sad, that I’m doing the best I can to become more of who I really am. I do this on a daily basis. Sometimes things hit me out of the blue and I shift those old patterns around too. Sometimes we can get SO ANGRY when we realize we’ve been mistreated by parents or others, and it’s good to acknowledge that anger and get it out. However, get it out and learn how to let it go. That kind of anger and bitterness can consume your life, your heart and your mind.
We want you to be happy. Happiness really does come from within. You need supportive people around you, find them. If those around you are not supportive, go online, find a group there. You’re worth it. In closing, I hope I’ve been clear. You were not designed to be someone else’s emotional punching bag. That’s not what relationships are supposed to be all about. If you read something or see someone in a relationship and wish that was you, then even just for a moment you think that it could never you be you, you’re wrong! It can be you. You can develop new patterns, behaviors and guidelines. You can learn how to express yourself, as skeery as that may feel, until you get used to it. Know that you can have a better life…and it can start TODAY.
If you are in a very volatile, abusive relationship, please get help and formulate a plan. Do not leave the diary of the abusive individual’s behaviors lying around the house.
Please do not stay in a relationship that makes you feel small. They are not a science project, where if you LOVE THEM enough you’ll get it back one day. That’s not how this type of relationship works. I implore you to value yourself enough to leave and if you don’t understand what this means, to value yourself, ask your inner child. She knows…think about it. Don’t stay where you are mistreated. You were not put on this earth to be mistreated. NO MATTER WHAT YOU WERE TAUGHT YOU CAN LEARN A BETTER WAY.
My favorite statement is, “I care I will not carry”. Find one that works for you and get the help you need. XO
This post was written by Mystery Coach.
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