Old Messages

August 17, 2008

I am realizing that there old abuse messages that can be triggered in current life. When they are triggered, it can be very difficult to see clearly what is really going on in the present. The past and the present can become all mixed together.

I figured it might be helpful to identify some of those messages from my own life. Messages I somehow got growing up…and some even into adulthood…written as if they are being spoken to me:

Good girls do what they are told.
…because I’m right.
…because I know.
Never challenge authority.
Never question authority.
Always obey authority.
You are not authority.
You are stupid.
You are smart…you should know.
You don’t know…we do.
If you…(fill in the blank) you will be love.
If you…(fill in the blank) you will be accepted.
You must do things the right way only. (Perfectionism)
If I am unhappy, it is your fault.
If I go crazy, it will be your fault.
If your sister turns out poorly, it will be your fault because you are a bad example.
Doing a poor job is deserving of criticism.
Doing a good job is simply expected and not deserving of praise or gratitude.
Do it again…and again…the whole thing…until you do it right.
Do NOT defend yourself.
Do not try to explain.
Do not tell me I am wrong.
I know you better than you know yourself.
I know what you think and feel…do not try to correct me.
You cannot hide from me.
I will always know the truth.
You cannot keep anything from me.
You must answer every question…completely…and precisely. (wow…I wonder if this has anything to do with my tendency to freak out over filling out forms?)
You must never hide anything from us.
Obedience must be immediate…and without question.
Never share anything negative about the family with anyone for any reason.
Image is everything.
What other people think of you is all important.
You must hide your true feelings.
No one will accept the real you.
Being accepted is everything.
It does not matter if nine out of ten like you if the tenth one does not. You must win the tenth one over.
You must do whatever is expected of you, regardless of how it effects you…or makes you feel.
If you are not right all the time, there is something wrong with you.
If you disagree with someone, one of you is wrong. It is your responsibility to change their thinking…or change yours.
If you are wrong, it is shameful.
If you are wrong…people will think you are stupid.
If you don’t know something…people will think you are stupid.
You must be all things to all people.
You must never do anything wrong.
You must be a sexual person.
Being a sexual person makes you a … (fill in the blank).
You must tell us everything we want to know.
It is OK for me to be angry with you and take that anger out on you. It is not OK for you to be angry with us.
It is OK for me to “discipline” you until my anger is spent, but it is not OK for you to cry out, or yell, or duck, or hide, or resist in any way.
You are to know what I mean, regardless of what I say.
You are to anticipate what I need…and meet that need.

There are other messages, too. But this is all I am going to list at the moment. There is already plenty here. Wow! As I look over this list, I am amazed at how many of these messages I had forgotten because I simply do not live by them anymore. Way cool! It feels good to be free from them.

Some of them, however, I find can still get triggered, even if only subtly, still today. I need to watch out for that. It really feels good, though, to see how much I have actually grown. I will keep on working on that.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

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