How can I forgive?

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New  you begin to see the true nature of the abusive relationship you have been in. Colored glasses off, the clarity is blinding. It is like flying above the devastation of an earthquake and fire. Down below is wreckage, vast stretches of ash and rubble.  The world you tried to create is gone.

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You know seeing clearly is the first step in creating a new reality, but that look back to where you have been hurts so.  You may wonder, how can I ever forgive myself? You might ask, how can I forgive the blindness, the inability to stand up for myself? How can I forgive betraying myself?  How did I allow the degradation, the abuse, and even promote it?  Why did I keep it secret?

How could I have let the need for love and approval stand in the way of seeing clearly?  How did I allow fear to control me?  How did I allow my needs and fears to create an illusory world, rather than the one I really lived in?

Being honest with yourself is difficult, but look both ways:  honor your strengths, your attempts at health, as well as see clearly the ways in which you twisted reality to your own detriment.

Carrying around bitterness, anger and resentment is toxic.  You are the one who gets sick. It contaminates all relationships and undermines everything you touch. You may wonder, how will I ever find peace of mind and the freedom to look forward, instead of being stuck in the devastating past?

Do you ever feel trapped by your hurt and anger – wearing it like a straight-jacket? You may be exhausted by the raging inner battle of self hate competing with hate of the other?

Getting past denial can lead to the murky waters of guilt, resentment, rage and bitterness.  Darkness threatens to overtake the progress that you have made. Without forgiveness of yourself and the other, you remain in the equivalent of Dante’s Hell.

Saying No

Without a strong and consistent No to abuse, you passively allow the attachment to continue. It’s not just no to the real flesh and blood person.  It is No to the energetic connection and well, and that is the hardest to release.  Yet, without forgiveness of yourself and the other, the attachment remains stubbornly intact.

What is forgiveness?

Bing forgiveness

Let’s look at the principles of forgiveness to see if we can find a path to the freedom from the pain and fear of an abusive relationship.

It may mean something like this:

  • By releasing the fate of “the other” back to them, we relinquish the false belief that we had control over them at all.  We did try, didn’t we?  By seeing that you are actually “doing them a favor” by honoring their path, you are able to come home to you!
  • Knowing that leaving that empty hole in your heart, you leave open the possibility that you can fill it with healthy energies.  It’s like living on a diet of junk food, giving it up and going through withdrawals.  When you add whole, organic foods, you give your body real fuel, fuel that enables you to live more fully.  Same thing!
  • By giving up the pattern of draining your life force into anger, guilt, bitterness and hatred you transform that energy into saving your own soul.  By forgiving and releasing, YOU are free.  Forgiveness, really, is ultimately about saving yourself.  They are the only one that can save themselves.
  • You have a right to be here for you.  By attaching to someone who disrespects or uses you, you may have created a false identity based around the distorted needs of the other.  What identity would you like to create for yourself?
  • Remembering that feelings are fleeting, changing, always moving you can witness your feelings instead of identifying with them as You.

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  • Which takes us to the next point:  The witness!!  If you float above your feelings you will see there is a conscious, wise and centered you.  Don’t see it yet?  Sit still and invite in your elevated consciousness.  When you “look down” you will see the running show of experiences and feelings and thoughts – all changeable and the basis for learning. The Witness is that precious part of yourself that is eternal and on an amazing life journey – capable of connecting with great wisdom and love.
  • Consider this: life is like a play, and we play our part.  That is a role, or we may live multiple roles.  The Witness is your authentic self, not a role.
  • Spiritual growth allows you to actually experience your Higher Self, and the intelligent life force – which may be Christ for one, Allah, or Buddha for another, an infinite number of forms of God-consciousness.  You experience God in your own way, but finding God is a sacred journey which allows you to realize you are not alone. In this way, you can do what seems impossible!

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  • Gratitude for what you do have paves the way for transformation.  Like a caterpillar creates a chrysalis which dissolves into the miraculous butterfly, you too can transform into your own unique shape and with your own flight pattern.
  • It is time to identify those thoughts and beliefs that are twisted on themselves, like:  “It was all my fault.  I was so stupid.  I am guilty of anger and if only I had been stronger.”  These are childhood beliefs (reinforced by your abuser); and when viewed from the adult perspective, you can release them like dandelions blowing in the wind.

Bing Dandelions blowing in the wind

 

What is compassion?

Compassion is the vehicle by which forgiveness can take place.  It is a form of love which accepts fully and unconditionally.  In it is the key to your healing. By loving yourself unconditionally and compassionately you liberate your ability to re-define your Self.

By having compassionate acceptance (and clarity) for your abuser, you can say NO to the destructive dance and embrace yourself.

Namaste,

 

Cynthia

I Own It (Third Impression)

I always knew it wasn’t right. I ignored my knowing. Maybe he was just having a bad day, or he drank too much. He just lost his mother, or his ex-wife wasn’t nice to him. I made excuses for everything he did.

In the beginning it was coming from a loving and compassionate place. I am a loving Mom, so I took care of him, somebody else’s kid. On a cellular level I knew there was something wrong with him, his character.  Over time I squashed my intuition. All the excuses took hold and I denied my wisdom. He really didn’t mean the names he called me, he is just tired. He called my fat, dumb. He told me I bring nothing to the table. Your family and friends laugh at you. You have a terrible job, you are not capable of taking care of yourself and your kids. You are an alcoholic, you are broke. I am glad your ex didn’t give you the money. You don’t deserve it. Why do you think your ex cheated on you?

I now realize I was making excuses for myself, so I didn’t look so bad by accepting the unacceptable! I denied myself the truth. I allowed him to trash me. When I started to wake up I broke up with him, over and over. He kept coming back, wearing me down. I allowed him to get me to the point of rage. I became him. I became vicious and said such mean things to him to get him away from me. I didn’t realize that I was giving him exactly what he wanted. He wanted me to viciously attack him, even to hit him. He wanted me to degrade myself. I have made myself sick by taking in his poison. You know the ‘pain in the ass’ I have? The pain that won’t go away. I know what that is all about now.

The irony: everything he said about me was actually true for him!

I gave him my power.  I denied myself my life. I ALLOWED THIS. How could I have taken away my own power and given it to this idiot? I am capable, smart, a good mother, friend, daughter, sister.

He inundated me with countless emails, texts and calls every minute of the day. Out of fear and loathing I focused my energies on him. Every minute of my waking life was focused on him and what he would say or do next. It changed the way I lived my life, the way I thought and felt. It changed the way I viewed myself. My life was no longer about me. It was about him.

It’s going to take a lot of work to undo the damage inside my head. Five years of brainwashing has taken its toll on me. If I engage in this energy, then I own it.

It’s not about me taking legal action against him, though that is probably coming. His toxic ways have invaded every aspect of my personality. It was like a wholesale invasion. I became him. I spewed it back to him. It makes me feel sick to know how I allowed myself to behave. I became who he wanted me to be. The things I loved and wanted to do I stopped because he was there. I gave up my most precious interests and the things that nurtured me. Hate changed me.

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Mercy: How to break out of an abusive relationship

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My heart aches for you. Here are some thoughts:

 

  • Breaking out of an abusive relationship may be even harder than being in one. What you have gone through so far is unbearable. Getting out of it will even be more difficult.

 

  • If you are really seeing that your relationship is abusive and toxic, if you have tried your ways and it hasn’t worked, the only way is to make the break.

 

  • Build the courage. It will take all you’ve got.

 

  • Prepare to end your relationship.

 

  • Acknowledge that you are being controlled and manipulated. Denial is your enemy.

 

  • Notice: how many aspects of your life are being controlled. Are you controlled by the emotions of your abuser? Have you lost yourself?

 

  • Think about the reasons why you need to leave. Look carefully at what you will gain: the capacity to enjoy life. Remember, you have a right to live.

 

  • Plan your exit. Know that no matter how much you will seem to lose, you will gain yourself.

 

  • Even if you lose your house you can find a way. Nothing is worth the loss of your true self. Your authentic self.

A. Introduction: Power Politics or True Empowerment

 

Power Politics or True Empowerment

by Cynthia M Chase

     With awareness, we have choice. Knowing the “truth” can set us free. This blog is based on personal and 30 plus years of clinical experience. It is my hope that by sharing the intricacies and inner workings of abusive relationships, both abuser and the victims of their abuse can be set free from their suffering and pain.

     The depth of pain felt by those dis-empowered is extraordinary.  Sometimes people say, “It’s only emotional pain, not physical.”  No scars or black and blue marks are left, but the psychological wounding is profound.  Just because the effects are not physically evident doesn’t mean that it hurts any less.  The hidden twistings and turnings that make up an emotionally abusive relationship can be hard to describe.  The Police won’t arrest the abuser since their ways are hidden behind closed doors and sometimes even the victim doesn’t understand what is happening.

     Accommodations are made, subtle adjustments are put in place to placate the abuser and to try to keep safe.  Over time the victim doesn’t often notice the ground lost or the confidence diminished.  Denial is the constant companion of the victim.  I was there, I know.  It is because of my own pain, years of denial and devastated self-esteem that I had to fight to empower my own life.  “What is wrong with me?” “What is wrong with him/her that makes me hurt so?”  These are the questions that plagued me.  This is my contribution to those of you who are suffering victims.  If you know what makes you vulnerable to these manipulations and if you begin to track the motivations, techniques and behaviors of the Abuser, you have a chance to change your life.

     The Abusers are in pain as well but are more difficult to help:  often they fight awareness of what they do, how much pain they cause, and sometimes don’t even care.  Certain Abusers act as though their feelings are the only ones that matter.  I offer compassion to you – you may not even know the loss of humanity that has robbed you of a heart.  Look carefully at yourself.  Understand that this loss deprives you of true empowerment.  The power that you seek over your Victim is a hollow victory.  Where is the happiness and contentment that you deserve?  You can never find it by using, manipulating or overpowering the other.

     As a psychotherapist of over 30 years I have seen hundreds of people caught in the web of an emotionally abusive relationship.  I have shared many of the ideas with my patients which I will now present to you.  They have been helped and have urged me to spread the word so that others may also seek their own salvation.  I honor them as I share my insights with you now.

I will be introducing ongoing chapters on this blog, Power Politics or True Empowerment on a regular basis.  I welcome your feedback and the sharing of your experience.

     Abusive relationships are based on the belief that external power over another leads to “winning.” What I have seen is that, on the contrary, abuser and victim become “locked in a death embrace” and both lose, unless detachment is achieved. Detachment facilitates the ability to “come home” to the self, to grow, and move towards self love.

     I have separated the abusers into two categories: The stealth hunters and the raptors. Based on nature’s model the first group hunts in the dark, keeping somewhat hidden in their search for prey and tending to camouflage their aggression. My focus here will be on stealth hunters. The second group, the raptors, is the equivalent of birds of prey: they attack, maim, and kill their prey. This may be the focus of a later blog.  Just know that in reality, there may be a fuzzy line between the stealth hunters and the raptors.

     First I want to talk to you about the abuse cycle. Then I will identify the characteristics of the stealth hunters and the victims or prey. We will approach this dysfunctional relationship in terms of how the abuser and victim connect with their energies so you can see why it is so difficult to “untangle the web”.  Then we will take a look at what a healthy relationship looks like and what kind of healing is needed to be free and empowered.

     We will delve into the Bill of Rights for both the Abuser and the Victim and end with thoughts on how to heal both the hunters and the prey.

     The journey is one from darkness and despair to freedom and light.  It’s not an easy journey but one worth traveling. There is hope!  Let’s begin.