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Understanding Step one and step two.
#45
(30-11-2011, 12:52 PM)Roxannesins Wrote: Somehow it feels wrong to write it here, but I dont know where to and I need to try and get this out. I have to let my past go. I dont know if I would be able to share all of this in my meeting, or if it would serve any purpose, because I would feel like I am just selfpitying and taking up place. I dont know if it serves any purpose sharing it here either, but I am telling myself that I need to work on my trust, because I dont trust myself. There is something in your writings that  I can relate to and that I wish to grow into. I now both feel encouraged by your reply and a ashamed for taking up as much space as I am going to do. But here goes.

Here is my therapy.

It was two weeks prior to christmas. I, almost five years old at the time, was at my fathers place, with my father and a friend to him. The three of us was having a lot of fun. They were teaching me how to play poker. We played for money and I remember I won, a bit less than a pound, in one round. My father and his friend applauded me and I felt so happy, also
slightly embarrassed though, because I had a sense of they were letting me win.

Then I heard a noise, and again, and we realised that someone was throwing small stones on the window. My fathers apartment was on the second floor and I went out on the balcony, seeing my mother and one of her friends standing below. It was inbetween snowing and raining. They yelled at me to say to my father to go down in the stairhouse and let them into the apartmentsbuilding.

When my mother came into my fathers apartment and realised that my father and his friend were drinking beer, she got very upset. She got angry and began yelling at my father about he had promised not to drink while I was visiting.

I got afraid and felt sorry for my father. I tried to explain to my mother that we only had a good time, and that they had taught me poker, and look, I even won... My mother wouldnt hear my pleeds and she was still angry with my father. My father told me very calmly to listen to my mother because she was right. He said that I should go along with my mother and that I would meet him at another time. He said he was sorry.

I didnt want to leave, but my mother carried me out into the car and then we drove home.

I have a rather complicated childhood story. Stories like the one I just told happened several times, but in somewhat different shapes. But this pokergame I had forgotten all about and only came to realise at my meeting a while back when a fellow compulsive gambler told me about the first time he was exposed to gambling. My urge to gambling is tied closely to poker. Sometimes I also went binging on black jack when I felt too tired to play poker, but mostly just poker.

My mother was and is always there for me if I needed her. She has bailed me out so many times that I sometimes dont understand that she still would want me as her daughter. She has never been able to fully see and understand me though. And I have hurt her so many times.

When it comes to her emotions I listened to her and supported her for so many years. When it came to my emotions, she would feel threatened or tired or even accuse me of trying to hurt her, when all I wanted was for her to understand me better. Like I wrote earlier I have now stopped to try to reach her on a deeper level, because I know she and I are too different. I am not angry at her anymore but somethings still are painful to think about. I am trying to set healthy boundaries in my relationship towards her.

Like during my whole childhood she would say things, and then if we got into an argument and I would ask her about some of the things she said, she would completely deny them and say that I was making it up. And even when I tried to say things in the most non-threatening ways, she would still throw it back at me, telling me that I was just trying to get at her or put guilt on her. I know she never did any of this to hurt me, it is just that a part of her sees me as a despiteful and mean child. Part of her sees me as a child who always had to question things and ask the unnecessary and hard questions. She told me not to long agoe: even as a child you always had to critizise everything trying to put me down. I do remember asking a lot of questions, I also remember my mother working a lot and being tired so I always wanted to show her extra consideration, I dont remember critizising her. I know that she feels like I did though. Even so the biggest part of her however loves me, which she has proven far too many times by not leaving me.

When I was a child I truly wasnt despiteful though. And I truly wasnt mean. Even if she interpreted me that way. But like I said, I did ask many questions and wanted to discuss things. Partly because I wanted to be acknowledged. Partly because I was curious and wanted to understand about the world and about myself. But yes I felt hurt many times, and perhaps that
made my questions sound despiteful... I really dont know.

As a child my biggest rolemodel was Jesus. And I thought that if I could be as good and as pure as I possible could be, then perhaps I would be worthy of love. This included not only my action, but also my thoughts. I ought not to think mean things about others, but always try to understand and feel compassion instead. In many ways I was a very sad and misunderstood child. Atleast I felt that way. But I always tried to act and think good.

Noone else in my family went to church or was religious, and I got the feeling they thought it was a bit corky. Still it felt safe for me, and for a couple of years I went in the churchchoir and got free lessons by the leading church musician playing the organ. Sometimes I went to the church when I knew it was empty after school. Since I knew where the key was and I was allowed to go there practising the organ, I let myself in. I then would cry and pray that my father would come around and understand how much I loved him. And that noone was mad at him. Perhaps then could he be my father again. I was nine and ten years old.

My mother claims things about me, even to this day, like that I was a sour looser because sometimes I began to cry  when I lost a family board game. We both remember that I used to win most of the time. We both remember my big brothers bad temper, that he sometimes could through a gameboard off the table when he lost. We both remember that the family sometimes didnt want to play games with me because I mostly won. However, at some point, since I enjoyed playing different boardgames, I began to make bad descisions on purpose, beginning to loose on purpose, just so as they would continue play with me, and just so as my big brother wouldnt get mad at me. However at those times, after I lost they would say things to me like: aaa pooor Paula, too bad you didnt win this time. And that did make me feel upset because they sounded mean. And when seeing that I got upset they would begin to say to me that I was a sour looser, whereupon I would say that I wasnt, whereupon they would continue saying that I was, where upon I would start to cry. Not because I lost though...  My mother still claims though, that I was a horrible sour looser as a child, and when I have tried to explain to her that I wasnt, or just ask her please not to say that anymore because I dont feel like that is true  and it is hurtful for me to hear, she wont listen and just says that she has the right to say what she thinks, that she has the right to claim what she perceived, and to her, she knows that I was a sour looser. THat is the way she sees it and always will, and I cant do anything about that. It might only be a small insignificant thing, it still hurts though.

I have always been very sensitive, and easily have began to cry. But it was never intentionally or in a manipulative way. Mostly I cried because I felt misunderstood or because I felt unjustly treated. I cried because I had no words and couldnt protect myself. At those times my family came down pretty hard on me. Calling me spoiled and even worse making fun of me in rather mean ways. Therefore I learned to try to avoid all crying in the open, and when I needed to cry I ran out in the forrest above my house. There were a big rock that I used to climb up on, and there I could release my tears. Alone.

I dont think I was a child easy to love, I was too much searching for acknowledgements and propably got under peoples nerves. And I did have a lot of thoughts.

My father was hardly ever there for me, in the sense that my parents got divorced when I was younger than two, and after that I only saw him, i am not sure perhaps about ten times. Some of these times, because of my fathers drinking and the people that was around him at those moments, I was exposed to some traumatic situations. However, there is another side of the story. When me and my father was alone, I did feel like I was being seen and understood. He enjoyed discussing things with me. He took me outside teaching me about the forrest. He took me fishing. He taught me to ramble all the swedish kings and the years they were at the throne. He taught me to multiplicate and to spell difficult words, and he enjoyed it just as much as I did. This was before I had even begun school. Isnt that strange that even though I hardly never met him, I feel like he did understand me...

Everyone used to say that I was my fathers girl, and my older sister was my mothers girl.

Everyone used to downtalk my father, because he was an alcoholic, because he was hurting me and my sister, because he was a man.... yes that is the way the arguments tended to go. When I became a mother and went to family dinners with my daughter they began this similar downtalking men again. My daughters father didnt want to become a father and made the choice not to take part. But then I told them not to talk that way about men infront of my daughter. That I wanted her to make her own experiecnes about humans no matter if they were males or females. Even if their reactions were that she will only be disappointed in time when she starts seing men, and that it is better she is prepared, somehow, I dont know why and I am myself suprised, but they acutally have respected my wish. And atleast when I am present they dont talk like that anymore infront of my daughter.

Of course parts of their complaints about my father were valid though. His absence hurt me alot and I used to cry myself to sleep at nights because I missed him so horrible and I was so worried about the way he might be feeling or doing in his illness. I always cried as quiet as I could though, not to worry my mother because I knew she had so much on her plate already. I never heard my father downtalk anyone, except himself.

When I was fourteen and on my way to school I happened to bicycle past my father. I got a bit shocked, at that time I hadnt seen him in several years, and his hair had turned grey. Before it was all black. I was in a hurry and had so many mixed emotions towards him. So I turned my head the other way, pretending I hadnt seen him. Just as I turned my head away I saw him turning his head, him seeing me turning my head away. A couple of weeks later he phoned me up, being drunk and crying. Claiming to be the most horrible father when his own daughter didnt want to say hello to him. And I lied. I told him it wasnt me. I asked him when it was. And I told him it couldnt have been me. He said again, and I told him it wasnt me. And then I quickly excused myself telling him I had to rush off somewhere. And I hung up. And I felt like I had turned into Judas.

Some weeks later I manage to lurk out where he was currently living in another city. I went there one day without telling anyone and pressed the doorbell. First it was quiet. Then I heard his footsteps leading up to the door. There was a peepwhole in the door. Then quiet. Then the footsteps walked away again. I stood there frozen for a while, but didnt dare to press the doorbell again, so I finally walked away. I felt so ashamed.

Three years later I was home from summerholidays from school when the phone rang. I was home alone, answered and heard his voice: Hi.. do you hear who this is? I was filled with all sort of emotions, joy, fright, excitement, and answered him: Yes, I hear. I had butterflies in my whole body and tried to think up something to say, something to ask him, when he asked me if I could help him to look up a phonenumber in the phonenumberbook. I said sure and put down the phone, reliefed, because this would give me a minute to gather my thoughts and emotions. Happy and eager to speak with him, I searched through the phonenumberbook, found his number and lifted the phone once again. But he had hung up and was gone.

About 15 months later I got noticed that my father had died. In phneumonia. At that point I felt like I broke. I was at my school abroad and went down by the sea hiding behinds some cliffs. It was raining heavily and strong wind. And I was crying and screaming out loud. I was in so much pain. And I felt like I truly hated him for dying away from it all. I hated him for never coming through as my father.I was sitting there for a couple of hours and then a searchparty came and found me. Everyone was worried about me. I was wet and cold but told them that I would just sit alone for a short while still, then I would come back.  

I went to the funeral and I cursed him when I stood over his grave. At that moment I truly felt like I hated him. I was 18 years old.

A year before he died me and my sister talked with each other, saying that we almost wished that he was dead. Because if he was dead, we wouldnt have to hope anylonger. Hoping for him to come around. Hoping and waiting was the worst feelings for me ever.

I began to gamble heavily at the age of 30, briefly after I had finished my therapy which I told you about before, and I lost all control soon there after. I still went back though, several times, loosing it all over and over again.

Now it is twenty years since my father died. And I dont hate him anymore. But since I managed to abstain from gambling I have realised that I still miss him awfully... And it still hurts so bad when I think about him...

You are right Dave, that there is growth in me. I am beginning to find a calm within that is less illusive than it has been before. I still have a lot of fears though, and I am still finding it very hard to trust myself.

I am getting more and more aware of my fear of intimacy. Well I have always known I am afraid. But I am beginning to feel like I can work against this fear in new ways, not like before by roleplaying, or while gambling by avoiding, but by trying to
stay humble and trying not to be afraid. Somehow I know it is there in me somewhere even if I still bail out most of the time. I totally agree with you that protecting yourself in a healthy way has nothing to do with fear.

My meetings serve a great deal for me in my recovery. Not the least because I think it is the first group of people I have encountered where I feel like I am accepted and understood. Without being put on a piedestal. Without being judged. With all of my different traits of compulsiveness and how the gambling made me do so many awful things.

Thank you so much for writing that my answers are for me and always will be. I have always felt a sincere mistrust against  myself and my emotions. I am starting to think that perhaps it is wrong to think about my emotions in terms of being trustworthy, rather I should work towards accepting them for what they are.

Like instead of trying to figure out whether my feelings are right or wrong, perhaps I what I need to focus on is to question how I allow them to affect my behaviour in healthy or nonhealthy ways, how I allow them to affect my interactions with others in healthy and nonhealthy ways. One day at a time.

Sometimes it feels like everythings goes around in circles. And even if I understood or felt something a while back, the same issue comes back in a new shape, and I then need to understand it all over again, with some new dimension to it. I am so afraid that I again will fall back into destructive avoiding life behaviours, making myself into a failure, even if I deep down know I am not.

Love myself. Trust myself. I am trying to accomplish this by building on healthy actions and healthy descisions. It is difficult though.

Thank you. With warmth
Paula

Hi Paula

Thank you very much for your open share.

In my writing I find my answers and my understanding.

By opening up my inner child has a voice.

Over time I got to know myself more and more.

You have always felt a sincere mistrust against myself and my emotions, it sounds like you have fears of exposing your self to much.

Is it you do not trust your self or you do not trust being hurt again by another person.

By sharing you get to know your self more and more.

Our feelings and emotions are a kind of honesty to our inner self.

By sharing we learn to articulate more of our self and also see and feel our self in other people.

In time as I have empathy for myself I am able to empathy for other people.

By me being hurt by other people who I have got emotionally involved with the pins of partings ways felt like I was betrayed and cheated.

Only by giving of myself unconditionally I would stop hurting myself by having such high expectations of others.

By me being fully trustworthy, that require me to be completely honest with myself and only then could I be honest with others.

I decided in time of healing should work towards trusting fearless and accepting people for who they are.

For me being aware of my feelings and emotions was about learning what was healthy and what was unhealthy.

I could only love others when I loved myself.

I could only trust others when I trusted  myself.

I could only LOVE myself when I reduced my fears in myself.

I could only reduce my fears when I healed my pains.

Every pain in my life caused fears in me that I did not understand.
  
By healing my pains, could my inner child come out to play.

My feelings and emotions are about interacting in a healthy way, when I am hurting or being hurt I react in unhealthy ways with my feelings and emotions. 

Are my feelings are right or wrong, or perhaps I could understand what is healthy or unhealthy, interactions or my reactions.

When my pains are healed, my fears reduce, my expectations reduced, loneliness reduced and boredom reduced can I come out of myself.

My healthy interactions happen when I am free of my fears and my pains.

My unhealthy reactions happen when I am filled with fears, when I am in pain.

Once abstaining is one day at a time, that reduces me self abusing myself.

Only then can the healing process even start.

In causing our self abuse it was fear based escape, then the fears grow even higher.

Fear escape fear escape, then abstaining stops the unhealthy cycle.

Only then can we get an understanding what is healthy and what is unhealthy.

Today we choose self abuse or self caring.

The money only the fuel for my unhealthy habits.

During the time we are vulnerable while abstaining it is this time we get to open up more.

Reducing our fears increases our trust issues.

When we are vulnerable it is healthy to make a call and talk our vulnerability out to a like minded healing person

The love we have towards our self grows are our fears reduce.

Only when we love our self can we value our self more and more.

Setting boundaries is not a control issue it is about having a nurturing caring affectionate voice based on peace to speak up and protect for our self.

Building a stronger foundation for our self on healthy actions, on healthy words, and healthy actions and healthy decisions. 

It is healthy skill to learn.

Love peace and warmth to every one.

Dave L
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Messages In This Thread
Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 24-05-2011, 07:47 PM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 29-05-2011, 02:01 PM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 05-07-2011, 03:14 PM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Paula - 06-07-2011, 11:52 AM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 11-07-2011, 08:16 AM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 19-09-2011, 06:59 AM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 25-11-2011, 07:08 PM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 27-11-2011, 05:56 PM
RE: Understanding Step one and step two. - by gadaveuk - 18-02-2022, 09:17 AM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 09-12-2011, 05:07 PM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 16-12-2011, 04:53 AM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 16-12-2011, 06:31 PM
Re: Understanding Step one and step two. - by Guest - 16-12-2011, 06:34 PM

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