May 3, 2010 (Toxic Parents, self-help book)

Monday, May 3, 2010

pg. 192: Toxic Parents: Beliefs in relationship with parents:
(excluding mother because of death)

DEFINITE BELIEFS

  • “There’s no point in talking to my parents because it wouldn’t do any good.”

POSSIBLE BELIEFS

  • “I couldn’t survive without my parents:” without father’s financial support or mother’s estate money after death.
  • “I have to make it up to my parents for being such a bad person (in their eyes).” It seems like my dad thinks I’m a bad person and wants me to pay for it, so I stay away from him, hoping to escape punishment for being bad.
  • Adding one more, not on the list in the book: “My dad cannot live without me.” He tried to contact me sometimes. I want him to disappear and live separate lives. He’s like an ex boyfriend who can’t take a hint that the relationship is over. Get away, you booger. God damn, dude.

FEELINGS (in relationship to dad): pg. 196, Toxic Parents

  • I feel guilty when I don’t live up to my parents’ expectations.
  • I feel scared when I try to stand up to them. (although I’m not sure if I’ve ever really stood up to them)
  • I feel angry when my parents try to control me.
  • I feel fucking pissed when they tell me how to live my life.
  • Angry when they tell me how I should think, feel or behave.
  • Angry when they tell me what I should or shouldn’t do.
  • Angry when they reject me (?).
  • I feel guilty when I get angry with them.
  • Fucking pissed and angry when my dad tries to contact me. Get the fuck out of my life! You’re not good for anything, fucking bastard.

CONNECTING WITH “BECAUSE”: pg. 198, Toxic Parents

[Note: The pattern here is this… I have this FEELING because of this BELIEF, based on the lists above.]

  • In college, I felt scared to stand up to my dad because of the belief that I couldn’t survive without him (or at least his financial support).
  • I feel angry when my dad tries to contact me because of the belief that I have to make it up to my parents for being such a bad person.
  • I feel angry when my dad tries to contact me because there’s no point in talking to him, since it wouldn’t do any good.

In my relationship with my parents, this is how I behave: (pg. 199, Toxic Parents)

Compliant behaviors:

  • I don’t tell them what I really think.
  • I don’t tell them how I really feel.
  • Teenage years: I often became the peacemaker in some conflicts or at least tried. Then I gave up.

Aggressive behaviors:

  • (?) I constantly do things (like not talking to them?) that I know they don’t like to show them that I’m my own person (not sure of the reason—or maybe it’s to show myself that I can be my own person?).
  • Early 20s, I often scream, yell, or curse at my parents to show them they can’t control me (or as a reaction of anger to their attempts to control).
  • I blew my stack and cut my parents out of my life. I’m done. I’ve had enough with my dad. I cut him out and everyone connected closely to him, or anyone who speaks with him.

FEAR OF ANGER (pg. 224, Toxic Parents)

“…emotional expression was discouraged. Anger was something only parents had the privilege of displaying.”

  1. Give yourself permission to be angry.
    • Normal emotion (not bad)
    • signal that something’s not quite right, currently (means that something needs to change)
  2. Externalize anger and get it out in open.
    • Pound pillows
    • talk to trusted friends about feeling
    • write
    • imaginary conversations
    • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY!!! (repressed anger is draining)
  3. Say out loud: “I feel angry. I have a right to feel angry. It’s ok to feel guilty about feeling angry if that’s what it takes to deal with that anger. I’m not wrong or bad to feel this way.”
  4. What is my anger teaching me about myself?
    • boundaries
    • defining relationship limits
    • “I will no longer permit my father to control me or  devalue me.” Instead, I retain control and make my own value. I love myself and value myself.

Therapist recommended going to an al-anon meeting because I’ve been having trouble remembering parts of my past; hearing others speak of their childhoods, or their parents, can help jog my memory. Maybe I’ll identify with something.

Father was oldest [of three total children], took responsibility for family. [Note: Likewise, his father, my grandpa, was the oldest of ten children and is reported to have been somewhat bossy, dominant, and domineering in the past. Both probably took responsibility for being somewhat of a parental or authority figure to the other children.]

Al-anon meeting, Monday 6:00pm, Mission church.

FACING FEARS

Ok, so getting on a stage at the dueling piano bar might be helpful for facing my fears.

I grew up feeling invisible, neglected, and unloved. Unworthy of attention. Afraid of making mistakes. Fearful of failure, to the point where I’d often rather not even try to do the task at hand, to avoid the risk of failure. There is also a fear of intimacy and getting close to people.

So on stage, I’d be visible, given a lot of attention by default since I’m the entertainer and I’d receive applause (approval, form of love). I’m also bound to make mistakes, along the way. I’d probably play for smaller crowds at first, which is a more intimate setting.

So I’d be facing, like, a handful of some seriously deep fears.

Now I hope it goes at a slow pace, just so it’s not overwhelming emotionally. Whereas before, I was impatient and eager to go go go fast fast fast. With emotional changes, I’d like it to be gradual. Otherwise it’s like a shock of jumping into ice-cold water! Brrrrr.

I’m used to being ignored, used to being unimportant, used to neglect and taking on the Invisible-Person-In-The-Background role.

The piano bar, playing for Sammie… it is emotionally scary and frightening. It is new territory. I’ve got to push through the fear to overcome it. Thank goodness Sammie is helping, so I don’t have to do it completely alone.

I hereby lay to rest my fantasy of the good family. I hereby lay to rest my hopes and expectations of my parents. I hereby lay to rest my fantasy that there was something I could have done as a child to change them. I know that I will never have the kind of parents that I wanted, and I mourn that loss. But I accept it. May these fantasies rest in peace. (pg. 229, Toxic Parents)

The book says to say out loud: “As an adult, in relationship to my parents, I am responsible for gaining the courage to express my real feelings to them.”

That is ridiculous! No way in hell would I allow that kind of vulnerability to my dad. To reveal my true feelings requires trust. I don’t want to trust him. He is a horrible, evil, monster, in my eyes. Why would I put myself in such a vulnerable position? I feel so angry right now, at the thought of a requirement to initiate contact with that fucking bastard.

Mad as hell? You bet.

I’m working under the assumption that he’d betray me (yet again) and use the personal info to hurt me. I can’t take that kind of pain again. I’d rather die. It’s like someone asking me to voluntarily be whipped to unconsciousness, after finally getting away from the whippings.

FUCK. I’m so pissed right now. SO FUCKING ANGRY. I hate him.

The name of the next chapter pisses me off even more: “Confrontation: The Road to Independence.”

What the fuck good would that do? My dad can fucking rot in hell. I hate him so much. I still fight back revenge fantasies. I want him to suffer horribly. I fucking hate him. I still think that if I allow myself to stop hating him, then that will be like saying: “it’s ok, what you did to me, in my childhood.” It’s fucking not ok, asshole.

I fucking HATE THAT FUCK BITCH ASSHOLE. Fucking die already. Why the fuck is he still alive?

HAAAAAATE Ahhhhh, I fucking HATE him. I want him to die.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ok, well… I’ll consider it.

grumble, grumble….

“…willingness to take personal responsibility for confronting my difficulties.”

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