I just came from reading a blog that I have recently discovered called Emerging From Broken which you will find at the following link: http://emergingfrombroken.com/ . The blog is written by Carla Dippel and Darlene Ouimet. I hope that you will go to their blog and read the articles that I am going to give you links to in this article.
I recently read an article that Darlene wrote called "The Twisted Accountability Tactic & How it Works http://emergingfrombroken.com/?p=671. Darlene posted this article on March 26. Here is my comment [with some minor editing on my part] to Darlene's article. My comment is about responsibility and self-forgiveness:
"I am not responsible for what happened to me as a child [incest]. As a young adult, I still didn't 'know better'. Today I do.
Today I can take responsibility for my behavior and thoughts. Today I have boundaries. It was a difficult struggle to discover and set up those boundaries. Today I can honor those boundaries and the inner children inside of me who are all depending upon me to keep them safe and loved. I wasn't always able to do the safety or love.
Forgiving myself in 12-Step programs [Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics] was confusing because I thought that I was responsible for all of the abuse that ever happened to me. I didn't need forgiveness for the incest happening to me. I needed self-forgiveness for my adult reactions that continued to harm me and my inner children. As a step of self-forgiveness, I worked really hard and long to learn what self-love meant. I had to learn to love myself and how to keep my adult self and inner children safe as an adult.
I had to stop blaming myself for not being able to keep myself safe as a child. I didn't have the tools to do it then. I had to forgive myself for the blaming of myself that I did. Forgiveness for the blaming was easy to do. I acknowledged that I was never taught the tools to keep myself safe. I was also taught the art of blaming at a very early age. Neither of my parents knew how to take responsibility for their actions either so they couldn't teach me. Blaming was taught to them as well so they passed it on to me. . ."
The second article from Emerging From Broken is called "Valued Because. . ." and was written by Carla Dippel. Here is the link for this article: http://emergingfrombroken.com/?p=676 . This article was posted on March 28. Go and read Carla's article. Carla's article brought up memories for me of when I would try so desperately to be a "perfect", "good little girl" for the adults in my life. These two things put such stress on me that I was having headaches at least by the age of seven, if not before. Here is my comment to Carla's article:
"Carla, well said. I was the "perfect" "good little girl". I was the quiet child that everyone said was "different" because I was so well behaved. I was afraid not to be good. I saw when and what my younger siblings got spankings for so I didn't do those things. I did nothing to call attention to myself except that I attempted to excel in my grades at school. I wasn't a straight A student but I got mostly A's and a few B's and usually 2 C's---one in math and one in science.
Instead of playing in church, I sat perfectly still beside my grandmother watching and wishing that I was the little girl in the pew in front of us who played and talked to her mother and finally laid down and fell asleep in her mother's arms when she was tired. [I have this memory from at least the age of three, maybe younger.] No matter how good I was, it never felt good enough.
As I grew up, I talked little and I had no opinion on anything because you might not like me if my opinion was different than yours. I was so afraid of saying the wrong thing that I didn't have anything to say. I was so afraid that you might not like me that I never explored who I might be. I didn't know who I was.
Then I met and married this wonderful man when I was 20 years old and a college student. He taught me to laugh and wanted to know what I thought. He slowly pulled me out of my shell. Whatever he saw in me, he liked and grew to love. He gave me a safe place to let out the real, inner me that no one else seemed to see. We have been married for 37 years. Our love grows stronger each year. [Yes, I am going to share this article and what I just said about him with him. He can handle it.] The worst times were those early years when I was struggling so to know myself and learning to love myself. I hated who I thought I was for years.
Today I love myself and by some strange miracle, he does too. I am the complicated one who put both of us through Hell for quite a few years. I had to figure out what I didn't like before I could figure out what was okay and then discover what I did like.
Today I know myself pretty well, still not completely since changes happen every day but that is what keeps life interesting. I send you blessings for your journey of today. I wish for you the best that life has to offer. . ."
As of this weekend, I am now using my Facebook page to reach more people with my blog articles. I also learned how to use Twitter so you will find me on Twitter as patriciasinglet if you are interested in following me. Over the weekend, on Facebook and Twitter both, I have had some really interesting conversations with several friends about recovery. I hope you will join me as I learn what I am doing.
I also gave my blog a new look. I hope you like it. I love the look. I love bold colors and the red seems right for the topic of incest. It isn't quiet or shy like I was as a child. It suits my personality of today much better. I am sometimes bold and loud and not perfect by any means. Let me know what you think about the new look.
Also, another new blog that I have discovered this weekend is called Stepping Stones which is written by Ellen Brown, a Certified Professional Coach. I started out reading an interview that Ellen did with my friend Dan L. Hays. You will find this interview at the following link: http://ellen-brown.com/blog/2009/11/23/an-interview-with-dan-l-hays-healing-from-abuse-a-journey-of-faith-hope-and-forgiveness .This interview is about Dan's book Freedom's Just Another Word.
I just ordered this book to read and am expecting it any day now in the mail from Amazon.com. I will be sure to do a review of the book and share it with you when I finish reading it. After the severe storms across the U. S. this weekend, I hope that you are all having a glorious Spring day like I am.