Posted by: Judy | August 15, 2017

13 of 25 Things

As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I’ve worked, I’ve discovered a deeper reason for exploring each “Thing.” Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I’ve worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I’ve made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I’ve come. It’s important to do that, once in a while.

Original post from The Mighty:

https://themighty.com/2017/06/childhood-emotional-abuse-adult-habits/

13. “I find myself always explaining my every move. I explain why I bought something, why I did what I did, etc. I feel like people think I’m lying to them, so I owe them a detailed explanation. Also feeling as though if I say ‘no’ to someone, they’ll hate me. So even if I’m inconveniencing myself, I’ll say ‘yes.’”

My sister combined 12 and 13 in this response:

https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/07/12/woes-of-people-pleasing/

My response:

Explaining myself was a habit developed young. I had to explain so thoroughly that I couldn’t be questioned or have what I said twisted. I could state an absolute fact, like the sky is blue, and I would be questioned. “Are you sure?” It’s difficult growing up in a situation where the worst is thought of you. Explaining wasn’t about being open; it was about defending myself.

It was years before I heard the term “Gaslighting.” Funnily enough, I’d seen the movie. I did not see the correlation to my own life.

As to saying ‘no’ and feeling like they hate me, not so much. Instead, my ‘no’ was questioned to the point where I was taught I didn’t have the right to say ‘no.’ If I did, I was disrespectful and disobedient. ‘No’ was negative, and no negativity was allowed, at least not from me.

I was to be perfectly cheerful and pleasant, but not too cheerful, at all times. I was to give whatever was asked and then some or I was lazy and unhelpful.

Thankfully, God taught me how to say ‘no.’ I can’t remember if it was a class, a book, a lecture, or my first or second counselor. The changed started with practicing saying ‘no’ to little things, things that didn’t matter. I was told to say ‘no’ to little things I wanted but didn’t matter as practice. When I discovered that the world would not explode or implode because I said ‘no’ I progressed to little things that did matter. I learned to say ‘no’ first with the option of changing my mind.

Do I still say ‘yes’ when I wanted to say ‘no’? Sometimes. Service usually isn’t convenient.

I learned that saying ‘no’ to one thing always meant saying ‘yes’ to something else, and vice versa. I needed to choose my priorities or someone else would choose them for me. ‘No’ and ‘yes’ are all about setting and maintaining boundaries. If I want to be healthy, I have to set and maintain healthy boundaries.

It helps me to think in terms of God has work for me to do, and the adversary has plenty of distractions.


Responses

  1. I hadn’t heard or, remembered, the term gaslight. Making someone question their sanity. That is life with abusive people. It got so old having to fully explain myself about everything and still not be believed or I was questioned more. What I said was never enough. I’m proud of you for taking the steps to be healthy and good with just being you and doing what you want sometimes while still be helpful.


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