Posted by: Judy | October 13, 2014

Perhaps the lesson is…

Love your enemy. Maybe God is endeavoring to teach me to love my enemy.

I’ve never wanted to label NM as my enemy. What else do you call someone who undermines, abuses, tears down… disrespects…

http://dyandiamond.net/2014/10/09/youll-do-it-when-you-are-ready/

It was only last week that I was able to tag what I’ve been feeling lately. It was my third counselor who used “Man’s Search for Meaning” to help me understand I was like a prisoner in a concentration camp and my parents like prison guards to help me accept the situation I was in. He also pointed out that my parents see me as an extension of themselves. Because I am an extension of them, they are permitted to comment on everything I say, do, or eat, and I am expected to appreciate everything offered.

In our campaign for the truth, this summer, both my sister and I attempt to explain what they do, in detail, and how unhealthy it is. Neither one has changed. Neither one sees anything wrong with their behavior.

I’m the one who’s wrong, in their eyes. In their eyes, I’m unfeeling, angry, unreasonable. And yes, I recognize the insanity of being both unfeeling and angry. This is the world I’ve spent my whole life in.

After last weeks discussion here, I re-examined my choices and decisions.

To be honest, I’m not sure I know how to live outside the insanity.

This does not mean I’m giving up. I’m simply having to go back to the foundation and check each building block.

Which is what has led me to the perspective about loving my enemy.

Thanks to the gentle exploring of my friends here, I stepped back away from defending myself to exploring.

At lunch on Saturday, my dear friend asked pointed questions. We talked over possible answers. She played devil’s advocate, so to speak… actually, she played the best kind of friend: She held me accountable for my choices.

Starting from the perspective that nothing on my parents’ side has changed, it held that something on my side had changed. The question was what had changed on my side of the equation?

The discussion here, last week, made me explore what I’m feeling. I had to admit that I feel like I’m being stalked by my parents. They watch what I do every moment I’m not in my room. They interrupt me in my room, despite being told it bothers me and despite the sign that says “Writer at Work.” Not even leaving is an escape, unless I leave my phone at home, but then I have to return sooner or later.

The thought popped into my mind that I’m being stalked, by my parents. I’m not sure if I feel an “a-ha” or a “Duh” moment about that. Stalkers are enemies.

I’ve been thinking about this for a few days. Interestingly enough, since this thought came to mind, my anger has eased. It feels… freeing? Is that the word I want?

What surprised me more was the sensation of love I felt. Loving them as my enemies means I turn them over to God. This does not mean I will tell them I love them. The price they exact at such an admission is painful and ongoing. I don’t know why this feels different. I only know it does, and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I don’t pretend to understand. I’m simply embracing it and following where God leads. I hope.

My friend and I discussed what my options truly are. I’ve already started implementing some of those options, like the time I spend with my BIL’s dog, for starters, and spending more time elsewhere. Meals are about to become a game of my own creation.

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Responses

  1. I definitely love my parents, which kind of makes me annoyed because 1) that makes it harder for me to be separated and 2) they don’t love me, only an idea of me. Like you said, they see me as an extension of themselves,and so when I do not behave as they wish it is an affront to them personally, like a misbehaving arm with a twitch that needs to be beaten into submission.

    I guess I would also say I hate them too. But really not any worse than I hate myself. In that respect, I suppose they succeeded in making me an extension of them. 😦

    I’m really glad you have friends to meet for lunch, your BIL’s dog and you sister to hang out with. They are good for you.

    • That’s it exactly: “a misbehaving arm with a twitch that needs to be beaten into submission.” And also the hating them no more than I hate myself. Something my friend and I discussed is my fear of being like NM because sometimes I see myself do something she does. I really hate that.

      Yes, they are good for me, and I am going to find more things good for me. Not giving up. 🙂

      • Oh, man, do I ever worry about turning into my mother. At least my husband knows NEVER to say, ” you sound like your mother” to me unless he wants to send me into a tailspin.

        When I do in fact sound like her, I try to evaluate whether that is entirely a terrible thing. If it’s in anger, absolutely. I have caught myself in the past sounding like her with my son. It was becoming more frequent when he was four or five, so I went to therapy. Thank god I did that. It’s also how I realized how angry my mother was inside, how control was so important to her. Because I saw it in me. But not all anger equals being like my mother. I also see myself putting my head in the sand sometimes like my father. I guess if I were to have a point here it’s that we learn a lot of behaviors from our parents and it’s important to evaluate whether it’s something we want to perpetuate or if it’s something that doesn’t really serve us. I think if the narcissists in our live were able to self-reflect, they’d see that their behaviors aren’t serving them. Unfortunately, they are unable to do that because they are never wrong.

        Sorry so long! I’m pretty sure the chances of you turning into your mother are nil.

        • You’re right: The big difference is that the Ns will never seek help because they’re either right or it’s someone else’s fault.

          Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Stalking is a good way to say it, I feel like that with some of my former unhealthy friends and in-laws. They keep a watch out to see if you trip up or find something to badger you with. It really is different than ‘seeing’ a person for who they are.

    I like what PV said “But not all anger equals being like my mother.” My biggest fear is being like her and my second fear – being like my MiL. I used to equate anger with my mother but ‘absoluting’ her behaviors does me no good. They represented a distorted unhealthy approach to emotions and feelings.

    I like the implementing other options. 🙂

    • I hadn’t thought of it as aboluting; you’re right. My sister reminds me that I’m already different because I AM working to change.


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