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Forgiveness and self flaggelation

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by had, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. had

    had Peer Supporter

    My miserable experience with family is one of my biggest TMS triggers. In addition to TMS I have physical disabilities that cut my life short in my 30s after poorly done surgery, and I saw everyone I cared about slowly start resenting/blaming me and turn away as I have learned is quite common. I've been told a few times "You need to heal all these relationships you damaged". The thing is I didn't do what they claim. I just didn't. It's not even a matter of perspective, the things they claim are just made up victim blaming and revised history. It's like some absurd suburban Game of Thrones where people who hated each other before are pals now that they have someone to rally against. There is no love there.

    Forgiveness is supposed to be important in healing, but it has always bitten me in the arse and made things worse as they never actually change their behavior or take any responsibility. If I try to meet them in the middle, admit my faults, and try to heal things, they end up just pulling it all to their side and taking my contact as proof they were in the right and I finally admitted that. I gain nothing, feel no better, and regret expending the emotional energy whilst ending up right back at the same strained place. I've done this several times.

    I have tried to just "accept" this and move on, but its one of those things that is always back there in my mind, the guilt, the doubts (maybe it IS me?) etc. To make it worse I promised my deceased grandfather at his funeral that I'd care for my grandmother, and then my life collapsed medically and financially and I cannot manage myself even, so I feel tremendous guilt there even though she is hateful to me for not taking care of her like he did, while she lives better and healthier than me, is secure financially, and badmouths me to others. All of this and my failed attempts at independence led me to living with my father (many times divorced and not pleasant) and his current wife who hates me and makes it known daily. I believe he accepted me here out of guilt and out of ego leverage over the other side of the family since he was mostly absent in my childhood.

    As I sit here trying to use TMS mindset to move forward and not lose a once in a lifetime job opportunity that I have been seeking for years so I can get away and have my own life, aware that fear, guilt and all the negative things are fighting me, I feel blocked at every turn. Massive symptoms lying in that "might be TMS but could very well not be) scary zone, debilitating and making me want to just end things quite often, are taking all of my energy and I am getting nowhere. My deepest emotional issues are not solvable as they are all about abandonment and lack of love and I cannot change those people, and at best are just able to be "accepted as the way it is". Is that enough? Is writing off an entire selfish and narcissistic family, knowing they blame and hate me, the cost I have to pay to flush this? I am not sure I can ever not doubt myself, worry I am wrong, worry I will regret not kissing up to them and at least making THEM feel like it's all ok even though it's a one way street. That seems what people claim is the "high road" but all I can think is how it just makes me feel like shit and ultimately hurts me.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    Family fueds and dysfunctional family relationships are a/the main cause of TMS and there comes a point where you have to choose how much you can and ought tolerate. Your situation sounds utterly crushing, unrelenting and ultimately untenable. Sometimes you have to walk away for breathing space and for clarity, and yes for healing.

    You mention a life-changing opportunity. This you should embrace with open arms because this will give you the freedom you need to move on and into recovery. Forgiveness and acceptance come later, right now they are psychological luxuries that you cannot emotionally afford and that are apparently not graciously received anyway. Stop trying to make an awful situation better and instead move towards getting yourself the hell out of there. You can work through the tangle of emotions at another time.

    Healing is an act of ongoing authenticity. It's choosing to let go of the mindgames and emotional bullshit that enmeshes people in chronically dysfunctional relationships. You don't have to be the scapegoat for your family anymore. You can break free of it and you can then begin to nurture your self-esteem which has been so shaken by the many harms and hurts you've endured.

    Your deepest emotional wounds can be healed. You simply need to be in an environment and with people who care and treat you kindly. No-one can live in a toxic situation and not be poisoned and bruised by it.

    There are many people on this forum who struggle desperately with harmful family members and situations, and many are estranged. Following a horribly tumultuous year I and my husband have had to sever (in one case) and seriously curtail (in 3 cases) relationships with his family. These people are irredeemable and too mired in a mess of their own making. I gave it my best shot for a very long time during which I experienced the conflict you describe. My husband is disabled due to Parkinson's and our lives have been decimated on every level by the impact of this. I know all too well what it is like to be 'blamed' and judged for a tragedy that you did not invite. As nigh-on impossible as it may seem and feel, you can extricate yourself and you can resolve or at least massively improve the symptoms you have.

    The first step is the hardest of all but once your mind and heart are set on reclaiming your life, it will gradually become easier. Go gently. Start small. Begin with finding something good about yourself that you can believe in, such as the willingness you have to heal and repair the damage in your family. It doesn't matter what they think or how they react, what matters is that you possess the intention. This is deserving of self-compassion. This is how we all climb out of the emotional quicksand and pain, one step at a time, one bad feeling countered at a time, one flare of pain soothed at a time...on and on and on.


    kindle123, HattieNC and had like this.
  3. had

    had Peer Supporter

    This is part of my problem though...while in a perfect world I'd have a great family and healing would be possible...I don't believe it is possible with them. My experience has shown me the best possible outcome maintaining contact would be shallow and fake niceties with no real substance, and perhaps some deathbed apologies when life has passed and it's too late. I try my best to meet them in the middle but honestly feel they can't give me that same respect. The best I have felt emotionally are the times I've just been far away from them, but it's never "great" as those wishes/guilt/and sadness are always weighing me down. I was also cheated on and betrayed by the one person I finally let in past all that damage after not trusting due to my family history and that completely wrecked me....even 10 years on I just don't believe people care. I feel I cannot win. Even the most optimal possible solution is still heavy...living in isolation.

    This sort of thing is why, while I understand what TMS is and what my issues are, I feel I am in a neverending losing battle because life keeps passing and will sooner than later be over. I often feel I am forced to spend all of my energy surviving the problems and don't have enough left to truly live and enjoy anything. Sort of like having a migraine or terrible flu etc...all you can do is lie in bed and try to endure it and look forward to feeling better....only it never ends. There are just so many, TOO many, migraines and flus and bad relationships to deal with....not enough time left, or no comfortable and pain-free time left, to be ME..if that makes any sense. So exhausted.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    It makes complete sense. You feel you are drowning, overwhelmed, misunderstood, disrespected and alone. No one can bear so much. But it can diminish and it can end. Fuck your family, they are not your people. Sometimes we must seek those we belong with and these people will see your beauty, your sensitivity and your strength. You are quite right, healing is not possible with the family you were born to. You have tried to reconcile and that is admirable but some people are simply too stupid, too bitter, too lost in the drama to understand. You are not.

    If the best you have felt emotionally is when you are away from them, then get as far away from them as you can. Then you can begin to work on the guilt, the sadness and hurt. It's all too close right now but time and distance are powerful healers.

    Betrayals burn deep. They change us. Yet these too can be mighty healers. They help us become sovereign and to truly penetrate the immense beauty of forgiveness. This is for the future. For now you need to gain some traction, some faith in yourself.

    Tell me about this opportunity that waits in the wings.
    HattieNC likes this.

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