Let’s face it. You have found your way to 2btru2you because as a child or as an adult, the people around you who are supposed to love, care for and protect you confused you. To survive, you developed coping skills that helped you get through those situations. Your coping skills worked – you survived. But the same coping skills that helped you survive abusive situations are not the same coping skills that will help you thrive in a world of abuse-free relationships and situations. Thoughtful Thursdays will support you as you rebuild your coping skills in a way that leads you to a healthier life.
Before I introduce the first skill, let’s look at two examples of how you get invalidated in abusive situations.
- “Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about!” Did you hear that as a child? Many of us did! This phrase invalidates your feelings. You were hurt enough to cry. Someone told you that you should not be crying because you weren’t hurt enough. When they said this to you, you felt confused and learned to distrust of your own emotional process. Over time you began to feel that you couldn’t “hold back” your tears. If you allow yourself to cry, you believe you will never stop. That’s because you’ve held your tears in for too, too long. Tears that are out-of-control or constantly being pushed down do not belong in a healthy, happy life. Thoughtful Thursday exercises will help you learn to trust yourself again.
- Someone who says they love you does something to hurt you and then says what they did is your fault. This happens in childhood as well as in adult relationships. It leaves you distrusting your own inner voice. You find yourself dancing because the puppet strings are being pulled – but you don’t feel at all like dancing or smiling. You empty out your insides to cope with the confusion and fear. Once you are safely out of a situation that forces you to shut yourself down, Thoughtful Thursday exercises will teach you to way up your internal righting response and help you permanently cut the puppet strings.
Thoughtful Thursdays will feature a weekly exercise for helping you learn:
To stay in the present moment rather than being overtaken by thoughts and feelings related to your past.
To balance your thoughts and feelings to help you make better decisions.
To improve your ability to tolerate uncomfortable feelings so that you can evaluate them and use them effectively to heal.
To reduce incidents of being overtaken by your emotions in situations where becoming emotional works against you.
Improve your ability to interact with others effectively.
Visit http://www.2btru2you.com every Thursday for a new tip and exercise for improving your mindfulness on Thoughtful Thursdays – beginning next week. Or subscribe to get the Thoughtful Thursday tips delivered directly to your e-mail inbox by clicking here.
© Tamara Bess, LMFT 2016 All Rights Reserved. Any use of this article without Tamara’s express written permission is prohibited.