Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Dad Issue From My Past Still Affecting Me Today

As the holidays are fast approaching, I have noticed several things from my past coming to the surface. My mom has been in two of my dreams recently. Rarely does either of my parents show up in my dreams. Two nights in a row is a sign of something but I am not sure what, other than the anniversary of her death is coming up on November 20. Maybe this will be a year that I do some more grieving. Maybe there is something that she is trying to teach me but I don't know what it is yet. I will wait to see if I get anything more from her or my dreams.

Everywhere I turn for the past few weeks, some survivor is talking about the silent screams of their abuse. I am familiar with those silent screams held inside of you as a child being physically, sexually abused by an adult. You hold the screams in because of the fear that once they start, you may not be able to stop them. You hold them in because, if your abuser can't deal with your tears, he certainly can't deal with your screams of pain and horror over being raped by a grown man when you are just a small child. You hear the screams in your head but no one else does but another survivor who has them too. I know those silent screams are still there inside of me but have no idea what to do with them other than acknowledge their existence like I am doing now.

Over the past few days, I have been part of two conversations in different groups. In both conversations, I expressed a difference of opinion to the other person's opinion. Both times, my opinion was rejected, which is their right. What is not their right or anyone else's is to say that I am still in victim mode or creating drama just because I voiced a different opinion. I got angry. In talking it out with some friends, I realized that the source of my anger was an old issue from my dad and his controlling behavior. As a child, until I left home at 19, I was not allowed to have a difference of opinion with my dad.

Expressing my opinion is important to me as an adult. I work hard to not do it in an aggressive, abusive way like my dad did with his laws that he stated in my childhood. Everything my dad said was to be accepted as law in our house. He was the dictator. I am not a child to be ruled by anyone today. I am an adult and I do often have an opinion. I respect the opinions of others and I hope they will respect mine.

I can't change or fix another person. I can try to understand them and their view point. I don't mind that others have a view point different than mine. Those differences are what make the world an interesting place to me. When another person starts name calling or treating me like I am inferior to them, then I feel as I did as a child who was not respected, not listened to and not allowed to have an opinion. Don't call me a victim or say that I am creating drama just because I express an opinion different than yours. I have learned not to strike out at a person in anger. I will regret what I say each time. I have learned that if I am angry, it is my issue, usually from the past, that I need to work on.  Usually I work on an issue by writing about it, as I am doing now. The other person's issues are not my business.

Another person's air of superiority can only affect me if I am feeling inferior. I have come to know that a superiority complex means the person is feeling inferior inside and afraid of others seeing it. I know because I used to do this with a sarcastic tongue. What we often see in others is because it is also a part of us. I have been there, done that, when I was younger so I know the fears behind the superiority and the sarcasm. Both keep others from getting too close so they can't hurt you. Today if I use sarcasm it is only in fun and never to hurt someone else.

We all have our own issues to deal with sometimes on a daily basis. Just know that your issues are yours. If someone else triggers you, it isn't their responsibility to fix it or you. It is yours. If you are angry or scared or sad because of something that was said or because of a situation you are in, look to yourself, usually your past, to find the answers. If you concentrate on the other person and what they said or what they did, you won't heal you. You will just add more woundedness to what you already have. My computer says that "woundedness" isn't a word. Well, it should be. Neither is "thriver" and again, it should be. As survivors, we are changing the world, one person at a time. We are inventing a new vocabulary to help us do it. Hope you are loving this late Sunday afternoon, my friends.


Mary Graziano said...

Pat, you are so right. We do have a right to our own opinions, as a child I too was not allowed to voice my own opinion, I had to keep everything inside. Even as an adult, when my parents were alive, especially my mother, I would not voice my opinion to her even if she was wrong, I would always agree because I was afraid of what she would do or say. Now that they are both gone, I still find it hard to voice my opinion, but am getting better at it. We are not victims, we are survivors/thrivers and are not living in the past any longer. We have decided to move forward and achieve what we missed as children. We want to thrive experience all that we were not allowed to experience, and one of those is voice our opinions. Thank you for this wonderful blogpost, you have a right to your opinion as I do, and if others do not agree that is fine, but don't start an argument over it and think that your opinion is the only one that matters, ours do too. Hugs and Love to you my friend. <3

Patricia Singleton said...

Thank you Mary, my friend. Yes, we all do deserve to have our opinions heard wither someone else agrees with us or not. I want others to be as open-minded about my opinion as I am theirs and sadly that doesn't always happen when defensiveness steps in. I don't like arguing. I do like discussing things. Differing opinions don't have to turn into arguments. When name calling starts, then conversation goes out the door. I wish I could remember who first said that. It is so true. I love watching you grow and seeing your self-confidence grow with you. <3

Mary Graziano said...

You are so right Pat, it doesn't and shouldn't turn into an arguments. I too hate arguing as I grew up with it, and I will then turn quite, and shut down.

Patricia Singleton said...

Mary, thank you. My dad loved to argue and in his mind he was always right so no one ever won an argument with him. They would finally just walk away in frustration. Conversations are worthwhile. Arguments are not. No one really wins an argument. Both sides get hurt and say things that can't be taken back once they are said.