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Deprivation-Giving yourself what you need.

Old 06-16-2013, 12:52 PM
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Deprivation-Giving yourself what you need.

I am just learning about deprivation. I was raised in a family where self care was considered selfish. Being an individual was selfish. It's very much don't disappoint the family, embarrass the family, family comes first etc. My sisters and I are all adults and they still think they can voice their opinions for how I live my life. Oddly, I was never given the same option. If I do something displeasing then it often results in silent treatments. I have realized I have really held myself back in life because of a fear of losing the family. My life doesn't reflect me at all. or very little.

My question.....how do you heal from this....how do you start giving yourself the life you need or want even when the voices in your head are yelling at you that you are selfish and bad and worthless.

Thank you.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:08 PM
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Helltoraise-

I don't know how to tell you specifics as I am just learning how to turn the corner in my life and have some fun (which also does not happen in my life or my family).

I grew up in a very codependent household and it sounds similar.

Al-Anon has helped me with this significantly, but I really needed a therapist to work it out with also. I live 2800 miles away from my family at this time which helps me to not engage with their stuff or them with mine. I hope this is not the case forever but the distance helps me for now.

Have you read anything by Melody Beattie? How about Claudia Black? They were some eye opening experiences for me to read and helped me to not feel so alone about my family of origin.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:13 PM
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Melanie Beattie's book, Codependent No More, started me on the path. Also, therapy and Adult Children of Alcoholic Parents were so good and are good.

I had a codependency relapse recently due to 'empty nesting' with one of my five children as an active heroin addict...and it was awful...but am back on track with this site...and also naranon and Melanie's book and some other steps.

It will help...keep coming back.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:15 PM
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You are telling my story...just that I 'woke up' at age 45 when my father died...before that, it was all just wondering why they acted like that...and caring for them...more than enough. Have come to understand that that was my condition for being in the family...doing and being there emotionally for all...while being perfect on the outside. So much happier today 13 years after Dad died...he died of codependency health related issues...made myself a promise not to do so...working on it.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:16 PM
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I don't have anything to add, here--I came from a family that pretty much didn't discuss private stuff--our own or each other's. So no wisdom or experience on what you are dealing with.

Just wanted to send a hug and to reassure you that many others here on this forum DO know exactly how you are feeling, and you are not alone. I know people can heal from this.

Hugs,
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:18 PM
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Dear Helltoraise.....by the way I like your name--considering what you have just shared with us!! (LOL).

I was just reminded, by your post, that in some asian cultures, the image of the family comes before individuality or personal desires. I is a great sin to embarass or bring shame to the family. I am not trying to make any specific point to you........I am just musing outloud.....again.......

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Old 06-16-2013, 04:39 PM
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I think with family as with other people, that pesky truth still stands that people treat you like you allow them to.

My situation is slightly different - we were encouraged to be individuals, however, we were DEFINED. Since I made the mistake of marrying a drunk, I have been defined as She Who Must Be Given Constant Advice And Pity. (Forget the fact that my sister is going through some midlife crisis and has joined a cult and is giving them her life savings. I'm the one who's in trouble. )

It's hard because you sort of feel obligated to humor them. But I found that I needed boundaries with them as with other people or they'd simply eat me alive. I think we're a family of Codies all trying to boss each other around... Except I'm the only one working a program.

I started with going "mhm" and letting their advice go in one ear and out the other, but as I've gotten further in my recovery, I've felt the need to be clearer. I've told my sister to back off (sometimes harsher than maybe necessary). I've told my parents to stop meddling in my relationship with my sister. I've told my entire FOO that My communications with them is communication with individual persons, and since they are unable to refrain from using my life as dinner conversation (they're all 3,000 miles away) I won't share things with any of them that I need to be kept in confidence.

Yeah, things are a bit frosty between us right now but that's still better. I figure they'll get the message eventually...
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:11 PM
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I started small. I like fresh flowers. I gave myself permission to buy some flowers every week at the grocery store. It was just a few bucks, but having those flowers on the kitchen counter was pleasant, and I gave that pleasure to myself.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:17 PM
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I think we all need to realise that we are responsible for our ourselves & only we have the power to meet our own needs.
Sometimes other people can think bad of us but it is truly how we think of ourselves that make the difference.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:26 PM
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Thanks to all that replied. I like the fresh flowers idea as a start. The idea about Asian cultures was interesting. I think there is a balance. I sometimes think the West takes rugged individualism too far.

My therapist says this belief system is ingrained in me because it is how I was raised. Not because my parents are bad, but because it was probably taught to them. I guess I'm trying to figure out how to deprogram myself and learn new beliefs. It is amazing how easy we can play out old beliefs in our lives without realizing it.
I suppose it will be normal in a way as I practice doing differently for it to feel weird and unnatural at first?
There is a saying I like, "Going sane feels a lot like going crazy."
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:54 AM
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Love that saying...going to copy for myself.

The fresh flowers idea is so wonderful.

Yes, when we allow people to treat us poorly, they do...I am continuing to work on changing that.

In addition, the ideas ingrained into us...yes...that makes sense.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:07 AM
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Helltoraise,
I was raised in a family that mirrors yours and Lillamy's. Love that -the part about the sisters bossing each other around! That's exactly what we do in my family too!

Throw in the mix a raging tempermental dictator father, and a drunk righteous minister mother, and you can imagine just what I grew up with, a large family too.

For us, it is simply best that we keep our meetings limited. Holidays are enough to set any of us off balance for a week. Each of us has our issues that are clear as day (supposedly) to the others, as there is judgment there.
For me, having limited contact is the only way for now.

So how can you overcome these voices in your head telling you that you are bad or worthless?
I think you have to really delve into that. Examine it deeply. Guilt doesn't work on us, if we don't actually feel guilty! So why do you feel guilty? Why do you feel worthless? Catch yourself in mid-thought on these things, and then look at them as rationally as you can, as objectively as you can. Observe where you might improve, and learn to discard that which is invalid. It's not easy, not easy at all. But self-examination is the only way to overcome this.
Can you grow out of the identity that you feel you were given? Yes. You can create your own adult identity that can be quite different from this bad one you describe. It's not done with some blazing forth energy though, it's done with quiet reflection and balanced logical thinking.
The thing is, it's nearly impossible to do that if you are immeshed in constant drama. You do have to remove yourself somewhat.
So you're off on your own I presume...and when you sit in your own space, can you listen to the quiet when alone and feel ok with yourself? I'd start there. Get to that place that when you are sitting alone in your own space you are ok with who you are. Journal, reflect, and do of course what you need to get accomplished for your own self-esteem.
People in families like this need to be able to be comfortable alone in their own space, first. Then they need other positive influences and people that are not part of the dysfunction of the family. It's a never-ending process, but with each freedom you give yourself, you feel yourself stronger and more stable with who you are.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:32 AM
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Very good thread for me today. It isn't the 'I'm bad' that does me in it is the 'I should's" When it comes to my family the "I should's" are going to be the death of me, especially when there are multiple people with poor boundaries. There is no stopping. They will suck me dry of every last ounce of energy, time, emotion, myself and my kids will pay the price, until I collapse and then they will back away and tell me what I did wrong and why I'm collapsing while telling everyone else they rescued me and thank god for them.

I'm teetering on the ledge. I need to find the strength to verbalize those boundaries and then hold to them when the I should's and guilt trips come hailing down.

Sometimes I think it would be so much easier to just be ALONE and far away from all family.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:33 PM
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HelltoRaise,

I keep getting reminded of this lately. "What do they tell you on the airplane?" "Put on your oxygen mask first, then help others with theirs."

For your health and the health of everyone around you, make sure you are taken care of. It is that simple and that hard. I have trouble with this also but I know that when I take time to make sure I am doing small things to make myself happy, my kids and everyone around me benefit from it.

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Old 06-17-2013, 12:49 PM
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I think for me it was about accepting that my parents did the best they could with what they knew at the time.

I needed to re-learn behaviors, understand what is healthy and NOT feel quilty to act in healthy ways when those around me saw it as un-caring or un-loving or selfish.

After having gone to al-anon for a while, one day my dad fell in the back yard, he was so drunk he coudln't get himself up. My mom went into panic mode yelling for me to out there and help him up and get him inside the house. When I said no, he's a grown man and he can sit there until he is able to get himself up, he's not hurt just drunk......her reaction was "how could you do this to me".....that's when I knew I was on the right road to healthy!!!
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:55 AM
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My mom takes the idea that I should be grateful. For example, I have worked dead end jobs all my life.(in my 30s) I was also a stay at home mom. When I explain to my parents that my current job is not good enough to support my girls and I and I need to go back to school. Her response is well, be grateful you have a job. I couldn't never place it until I started healing, but I find this attitude to be paralyzing. Of course, I am grateful to have some money coming in, but I think I have to be realistic about what is working and not working in my life. In the past this idea of just being grateful has made me feel that if I didn't just accept my lot in life and stay put than I wasn't grateful. I somehow felt superior like I deserved better. Yet, if you can improve your situation through education or gaining new skills than why not go for it?
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:09 AM
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Can't you be both grateful to have a job, and also go back to school to broaden your future job prospects? Why does one negate the other?
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:18 AM
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You would think that, but it's not really how it's presented when told be grateful for what you have. The idea come to me from these boards, some one shared a story about a woman with a broken down car. Every day she expressed gratitude that it got her to work and back. One day, it dawned on her she had the resources to buy a better car. It kinda follows along those same lines. I realized how stuck I had become. I'm not saying I curse the job I have, but I can do better for myself.
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