Letting go of toxic people (parents, spouses, family, and friends) with honor.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Echos of Abuse
"My parents have both been deceased for ten years. I have finally given up all hope that they will change." - annonymous
I have pretty much recovered from what the Counterfeit Mom did to me & my siblings, the abuse & witness abuse we suffered in our childhood, and the emotional/verbal abuse she dished out to us as adults. She robbed me of my childhood, she robbed or at the very least contaminated much of my adult years, and now that I am finally free of her physical presence by going No Contact (NC) the evil damage she left behind is trying to rob me of my Motherhood.
I almost deleted this post in fear that people will not understand and get the total wrong idea. I pray that you will understand that I am being totally open & honest about how terrible it is to have been born in The Kingdom of Narcissism (KON) and just because I was abused, I will not be an abuser. You can bet my life on that one!
I am so very nervous that those who read this will not understand, and get the wrong idea about me. But the need to discuss this topic is very important that even though you have left the KON it doesn't leave you, at least not right away. Okay fear not here goes. . .
God has healed me in so many ways. First and foremost by having a close personal relationship with Jesus. I learned that He is the Savior, so I don't have to be for my biofamily, and especially the Counterfeit Mom. I learned that I was created to love others, and be loved be loved by others, which is apart of the abundant life GOD planned for each of us.
I learned that I do not need to earn love. I learned that Where there is Love there is no abuse, and where there is abuse there is no love. I learned that I don't have the power to help change a person who is unwilling to change. I learned that even though I can not change a person, I can change the situation by leaving the abuser. I have learned so much and I have recovered from so much.
What I haven't recovered from is the Echos of Abuse that run so very deep in my mind. Please know that I would lay down my life to protect my Beautiful Daughter from any kind of harm. I have been afraid if I talk about the Echo's of Abuse people will get the wrong idea about me and my Beautiful Daughter's safety.
The Echos of Abuse are a shameful secret that those of us who were born into the world of abuse keep from others, our spouses, and even ourselves through denial. I have shared these Echos of Abuse w/my Dear Husband , closest friends, and respected professionals, and they have reassured and confirmed to me that there is no concern for my child's safety.
To have so much fear of something that you are afraid to acknowledge even exists gives it too much power. As I am writing this right now I feel, people will get the wrong idea and think that I am an abuser or will be an abuser, that I will hurt my child. If you think that you are completely wrong. If I ever seriously thought that I would hurt my Daughter, I would lock myself in my room and pick up the phone and call for help. If I even raise my voice to a level or tone that is less than loving that really bothers me.
I treasure my daughter so much and she is the greatest gift God has ever given me. I love the innocents and joy she has about her life and her strong sense of self. I would never do anything to take that away.
These Echos of Abuse are like the thoughts that tell you go ahead run that stop sign, nobody is looking, your running late, no harm will come out of it. If you say you never had a bad thought of doing something that you know you shouldn't, not even for a split second, then you are either lying, or can walk on water.
Of course you don't act on these bad thoughts, but they are still there none the less. They are not something you focus on or constantly think about, but seem to come out of nowhere and you quickly brush them away. Then there are those who give these thoughts consideration, and even act on them, and commit a terrible crime. But that is not what I am talking about here.
In my day to day life I don't even think about the momster, unless I am writing about her on my blog. I have accepted that in regards to the biofamily, It is what It is, and have moved on enjoying my Family of Creation and friends. It is those extremely "trying" moments when my beautiful daughter is being so darn stubborn/disobedient when verbal discipline fails, redirecting fails, encouragement fails, timeouts fail, taking away toys, sending her to my room where there are no toys fails, reminders of positive reinforcements fail, you name it, I've tried it, and when these tech. fail to modify her stubborn/disobedient behavior, when those seldom times happen when nothing is working, but a swat on the bum -- that fact that I have to lay a hand on her bum to snap her out of her stubbornness & disobedient behavior and motivate her to change hurts me so much. My husband points out that it hurts me way more than it does our daughter who is over it rather quickly and I am still suffering from it hours later. Some of our well respected friends are totally against spanking, and some spank only as a very last resort, like us.
When there is a conflict of theory of the right and wrong thing to do, how do we decide? Both sides have great points. Well, to break this stand still I turn to the Holy Handbook. I know that God sees controlled spanking as something helpful and not harmful to a child when done correctly. In my Country and state, spanking is considered a form of child abuse to many people. Intellectually I know there is nothing wrong w/physical discipline when everything else you have tried fails and you are in control of your emotions and the strength of the swat, so that you are not abusing your child. Like I said, I spank very very rarely, and it is the last thing I use when trying to modify my daughter's behavior.
In fact I am seriously considering giving it up altogether. As my wonderful husband reassures me, being spanked like he was vs. being abused like I was are two totally different things. Still I avoid it whenever I can. I assess the situation and determine is she tired and needs a nap, frustrated because she can not express herself, or is she just wanting to push her boundaries and be defiant for the sake of being defiant.
When we have these "trying" interactions, not only do I have to challenge myself to come up with something clever that will modify her behavior, I have to fight these Echo's of Abuse that run in my head like a horror movie of the evil momster beating me & verbally abusing me for something "so terrible" as forgetting to take the trash out, not getting my chores done on time, or having a respectful independent, not defiant, feeling or thought.
These Echo's of Abuse lay dormant and wait until I am at my weakest to come forward and attack me while I am preoccupied with a very challenging stressful, & frustrating situation with my beautiful daughter. During these trying times I realize it is not my beautiful daughter that I am having a fight with but the Greatest Counterfeit of all who is "trying" to get me to hurt my beautiful daughter with all these evil images & memories of abuse that flash across my mind saying, just do it, go ahead and slap her sassy little mouth, just one quick "little" slap, or hit her and that will put a quick end to all this chaos.
There are those Evil Echos of Abuse that tempt me to verbally/emotionally abuse her by calling her terrible names, even the smallest of transgressions "she's acting like a little brat, go ahead and call her a brat" will open up the door to compromise. One compromise will lead to another and another until the Legacy of Abuse is complete. I vowed many years ago that I will not continue the Legacy of Abuse, but that doesn't mean that the Echos of Abuse automatically stop and don't ever cross my mind even for a split second. I wish it were true and I pray that these Evil Echos of Abuse will just disappear and never return. That they will be completely gone, no trace what-so-ever, like they were never there. Perhaps when enough time has passed, and enough distance has been placed between me and The Land of Abuse.
Until that day comes, I will remind myself who's daughter I am, and who I can run to when the attacks of the enemy come to kill, steal, and destroy my family. I am not the daughter of the evil momster, and thus destined and doomed to be abusive & evil like her. I am the daughter of the King of kings. Noting & No one is more powerful than Papa God, and when I am under attack I call upon Him and He says, go to your room, give yourself a time out, let's talk for awhile, and this to shall pass. And it does. Usually, in less than 5 minutes my beautiful daughter has done her tantrum & has tears of true remorse, and I apologize for raising my voice if I did and hurt her feelings.
Even raising one's voice is a sign that you are getting out of control. If timeouts are not working for your child, give yourself one! After she apologizes & I forgive her we talk about the alternative right choice she should have done. We talk about our emotions; for example, how her feelings were hurt when toys were taken away and that Mommy did not want to take her toys away and how Mommy's feelings were hurt when she refused to do what she was suppose to do (clean up toys). What is so adorable is that my little daughter will tell me her dolly babies are being naughty and not cleaning up their toys and I ask her to tell me how that makes her feel & what she should do?
There are times when I come into her playroom and she has placed one of her baby dolls in a timeout. It is when I saw her spank her baby doll that I was convicted, I can do better. I must do better. By the strength of GOD I will do better. I am going to do my very best not to spank. Being a loving Mom is tough when you have great role models to rely on (your parents, grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, etc), but when you come from the Land of Abuse where evil was your role model being a loving, understanding, self-sacrificing Mom seems to be a Mission Impossible, but that is just a lie. With God all things are possible.
It has been explained to me that the mind is like a radio that picks up different signals (ideas) from various stations (sources). When we have a bad thought that crosses our mind, we do not have to act on it, and we can change the station. We can recognize that just because we have a thought that crosses our mind, that thought did not originate from our mind. We can "consider the source". When we have trouble identifying the source we can ask ourself, if I act on this thought will it result in hurting or helping someone?
I don't know if anyone else has struggled w/finding the balance between discipline/punishment and the fear of domination/unhealthy control.
Where is that perfect balance?
I have a sibling, who doesn't even use timeouts, and I love my niece, but even her mom says that "sometimes you are a brat". I would never call my niece a brat, but her own Mom and siblings have. I don't believe it is my niece's fault, because her Mom is afraid to discipline/punish her to modify her behavior. My Sister is so afraid to repeat what was done to us and be over controlling and at the extreme end, abusive, that she lets her child get away with everything. My niece is jealous of everyone and must at all times be first and must argue about everything her Mother tells her. She enjoys teasing and will not share her toys. She is in Kindergarden, but is very emotionally immature for her age. Let's pray she grows out of it. I think that in my Sisters fear of being like the abusive momster. My sister has swung completely in the opposite direction, and became so passive in her parenting that she has created a spoiled brat that believes the world revolves around her, if left unchecked I fear my niece will become a full blown Narcissist.
As a Mom you want your child to listen, and do as you say, because it is the right thing to do. You want them to learn that they can't have everything their way and must accept without having a tantrum that Mommy or Daddy said no. I find myself explaining/replying to my daughters rebellious statement, "well I just don't want' to" that "Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do." That simple true statement brings up pain for when the abusive momster used it against me. Or "you need to do what Mommy says because I am the Mommy and you are the child, you are my daughter and I am in charge of you". Just asserting that little bit of power over her doesn't feel comfortable, because it is contaminated w/the Echos of Abuse from my childhood. I hate what the momster did to me. I hate that I am hypersensitive to the healthy control a parent must have in raising her child. I hate that I can not experience a normal peaceful Mother and Daughter discipline moment w/out feeling like a bad person.