How many of you out there reading this can relate to the title of this discussion?
This is a phrase that is taught in the rooms of recovery and therapy. “My parents did the best they could” How many of us have heard this term? It’s usually followed by, ‘It is not your parent’s fault you are the way you are. You are now an adult take control and quit blaming your parents; when you blame your parents you remain a victim and are powerless.’
Now I want to reiterate that the last part of the statement is true. When we as adults continue to blame the people from our past including our parents we do remain in the ‘victim mode.’ It is a way to point the finger and keep the attention off ourselves. This way we do not have to take responsibility for our own mess or our unhappiness after all they did this to me.
Taking responsibility means looking at our parents, partner, teacher, etc…whom ever the authoritative figure in our lives were at the time seeing the events that occurred, feeling the unresolved feelings around that experience and doing the work we need to do to move forward. This might include grief work, forgiveness work etc… We no longer suffer from the effects of that event. We make new choices with a new understanding and resolve and move on never forgetting the experience, but releasing the ‘resonance’ around it. You know you have truly worked through something when you can visit it in your minds eye and have compassion and empathy for both parties and there is no surge of negative emotion or reaction to the memory. This is when you know you have let it go.
However, there is a missing piece to this process. When we have been traumatized as many of us have; and we have lived this way for most of our lives accepting and letting go of the past is easier said than done. The residual affects still haunt us daily sabotaging our emotional well being, happiness, and stability. Many of us have stuffed traumatic memories so far into the basements of our subconscious we couldn’t remember if we wanted to. We do the same things over and over in many areas of our lives expecting different results, but the result are always the same. We are left with what ever it is we believe about ourselves usually not loving. The results are always the same anger, shame, guilt, depression, confusion, not good enough, unlovable, this list could go on and on and on, but we won’t.
However, there is a part of us that remembers (OUR BODIES!)
Trying to transform and heal our wounds with only our minds is futile at best.
You may get the mind to accept it, but the body can not be fooled.
We know instinctively what was needed or being withheld.
As adults we go on denying how deprived we feel, and never address, process, or resolve the ‘resonance’ and meet the need masked in our attempts for peace.
The mind can rationalize what happened, it can down play it, but our body can not be lied to. Statements like ‘My parents did the best they could’ or ‘they meant well’ or ‘their intentions were good’ mean nothing to the body. It only understands the words of emotion like ‘this hurts’ or I am frightened’ or ‘I am angry, sad, or powerless.’
Parent’s actions with their children do affect us as adults because we are not taught how to process the feelings that arise as they come up. Most time were told not to feel what we are feeling, or we shouldn’t be feeling and we begin to doubt ourselves at a very early age. This starts a spiraling cycle of doubt, confusion, self criticism, self judgment, and we learn not to trust ourselves. We quit listening inside and start searching for answers on the outside and we abandon ourselves. Thus we are left with a bottomless black hole that needs to be filled. The black hole of deprivation is what feeds our compulsions and addiction.
The inner child in us is split. How many times have you felt like you are not whole?
Or that you have a split personality? I thought for many years I was a schizophrenic, but time after time when I was tested ‘they’ medical professionals told me I was normal and there was nothing wrong with me. It sure didn’t feel that way in my body. That’s because I was fractured and pieces of me were missing and acting out wanting to be healed! The part of me that was unhealed wanted to repeat and reenact the past compulsions and broadcast the unaddressed needs repeatedly.
As I healed myself through CMR I began to feel more whole, more complete, and more at peace with myself.
The mind wants to avoid grief and forgiveness work. Willingness is the key just like in the 3rd step of 12 step programs. Grief work addresses not the other’s intention but the impact of their actions on us. However, forcing grief work can retraumatize us. Willingness is the key just like in the 3rd step of 12 step programs, and only you know when you are ready to open that portal. However, grieving the past, forgiving ourselves first and then others if necessary, and accepting that our lives have value and purpose frees us from the past.
Do you have something inside of you that wants to sabotage your happiness and well being? How can you give it space and empathy? Who would you be without your 'story' of what your parents did or did not do?