Posted by: Judy | April 24, 2012

Sharing other blogs….

Before starting in on the serious stuff, I had to share Finding Subjects’ post yesterday. It made me laugh.

This was a great post about anger and tied in with a post my sister had written. I love seeing different bloggers tackle the same subject. I’m always amazed by the similarities and gratified by the unique perspectives. I have basic ideas and some detailed ideas, and others come along and fill in more details creating a more complete picture.

I suppose what I wanted to express with the posts of the last two days is that there is no reason to feel alone. Though specifics may be unique, the broader, general picture is shared by people all over the world.

What else does this drive home to me?

We have a choice:

1. We can choose to remain the same.


2. We can choose to change.

If we choose to remain the same, there’s nothing more to do.

If we choose to change, then there’s a lot of work to do.

However, before falling under the axe of feeling overwhelmed there are still pretty limited choices:

1. I will do it alone.

2. I will accept help from others.

For the record: If you choose 1 the second time, you might as well have chosen 1 the first time.

Yes, there are things you have to do yourself. However, if you could have extracted yourself from the mess alone, you would have done it a whole lot sooner.

Of course, this is all based on my experience. I went through two counselors and changed a little, but I wouldn’t let go of some of my unhealthy relationships, which were most of my relationships. It wasn’t until I was willing to stand alone, rather than be dragged back into the old habit that I was finally able to start making changes, because I opened myself to new friendships, healthier friendships. The changes themselves didn’t actually start occurring until I embraced healthy people. I couldn’t embrace the healthy people, until I let go of the unhealthy people in my life.

The unhealthy people in your life take everything, so there’s no room for anything but them. When you let them go, it’s dang scary because there’s this huge void where they resided. Hang on. Nature hates a vacuum. You either allow in another unhealthy person (a pattern I repeated more times than I care to remember) or you welcome someone who is healthy. For the record, the space that only allowed for one unhealthy person is more than adequate for lots of healthy people.

I have a wider range of friends now than I’ve ever had in my life. The circle exploded when I realized I needed help if my plan to change was to work.

Why did I need all these people?

I needed examples.

We do not learn by osmosis. Really.

Granted, there were people in my life I wanted to be like that I had to let go.


They were truly innocent. I could not make the quantum leap from the ugliness of my life to the purity of theirs. I didn’t understand them. Their lives hadn’t been touched by evil as mine had, and a part of me didn’t want to sully them with the filth I knew too well.

Do I still see myself as dirty? No. I’ve given everything to Jesus, and He makes me clean, but He does not wipe clean my memories. I’ve learned from those experiences, and I’m endeavoring to use what I’ve learned to help others, if nothing else to help them know they are not alone, and they can survive and find joy in life.

Choosing to change is huge. It’s scary. It isn’t easy. But choosing is the first step, and you may have to make the choice hundreds of times before it sticks. Never give up on yourself. If you give up on yourself, then they win. Yes, I use this reminder, a lot, to help me keep struggling forward, especially when I feel like I’m sliding backward. As long as I’m facing the direction I want to go, and struggle to take the next step, no matter how small, then I’m succeeding.


  1. Woohoo. This helped settle the problem of chapter two. I felt it was wishy washy now chapter two is what do you choose and you can hang on while the change happens. Thanks. 🙂

    • You’re welcome. 🙂

  2. This is a really terrific look at the process of individuation after being enmeshed in a severely dysfunctional family.

    I think you’re right, that we are left with this horrible void when we separate from bad relationships — it can feel like a black hole sucking away energy and joy or simply hungry to be filled, so we gobble up things indiscriminately. For a long time, I felt like that gaping hole was going to be something I had to learn to get used to, but I think it really is changing shape and becoming smaller. I don’t think it will ever be completely gone, but it just seems to take up so much less of my core being now. Thank goodness!

    And I know what you mean about being frustrated with backsliding, etc. It annoys me that it has been years that I embarked on getting myself better, and I still feel far from mentally solid. But I try to remind myself that I am living more mindfully than probably many people who haven’t had terrible childhoods, and that is probably a good thing.

    • A good thing, but there are times when I wish there were an easier way to learn it. 🙂

      Sigh… for some unknown reason WordPress refuses to allow me to use my usual hawk picture. Stupid computers.

      • Whoohoo! Figured it out. WordPress wants me to choose it each time, over Twitter or FaceBook. So, now I have an additional step… “If you can’t make a product better, make it harder to get into.”

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