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Anyone ever feel this way?

Old 06-01-2002, 09:15 AM
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Morning Glory
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Anyone ever feel this way?

In families, the process of scapegoating can occur. Usually one child or family member is selected. However in some families, more than one person can be placed in the role of scapegoat. There can be so much emotional and verbal abuse of the family scapegoats, that they can easily begin to feel they should have never been born. This sense of guilt at being is even greater if those who are being emotionally scapegoated are also being physically or sexually abused.

Family scapegoat who become the objects of frequent or ongoing verbal or other forms of abuse need to develop coping strategies to survive, some of which may be dysfunctional. For example, abused persons with little support and no way out may start to drink, use drugs, overeat, lie, steal, or they have memory problems and make frequent mistakes. These behaviors then become the object of criticism by the other family members and the scapegoated person may criticize himself or herself as well. The self-criticisms and the criticisms of others lead to guilt of doing, which only reinforces the scapegoat’s fundamental feeling of guilt of being.

Another important factor in such situations is the humiliation involved in being the recipient of verbal, physical or sexual abuse. The awareness that one is being used and that others have power over one’s body, emotions, thoughts erodes the integrity, which can make one feel like a thing, not a person. This vulnerability to the verbal and other forms of attack to others can create a sense of powerlessness and worthlessness that can lead to a sense that one does not deserve to live and a feeling of guilt at simply being alive.

One woman writes: "I’ve been criticized from the day I was born. My mother told me she was ashamed to have such an ugly child. My dad wasn’t happy with me either. I felt I shouldn’t have been born and never existed. I felt guilty for being alive -- for breathing, eating, sleeping, having fun, working, anything. Even today I can feel guilty about anything I do, even going to church or doing good deeds, because I feel like I shouldn’t have been born.

"To try to steal a little peace and happiness, I lied a lot about what I did and where I went. I stole money too, to feed my addiction. Of course the family caught me lying, stealing, and drinking, which only gave them more cause to hate me and criticize me. I couldn’t argue with them because, of course, it was wrong to do those things. But even if I never told another lie and was the holiest person in the world, I would still be guilty in their eyes -- guilty for being me or for just being."

" I’ve cleaned up my act somewhat. No more drinking, stealing, lying. But I slip sometimes, and when I do, I’m scared that doing just one little wrong thing will cause my family to reject me. Then I’ll be outcast. It’s like they are all watching me, waiting for me to make a mistake. I know I’m exagerrating the feeling of being watched, but it’s also true that they look, and judge me, more than they do others. I’m not imagining that they are looking and judging. They are. And they only see the bad, not the good. I can feel the negative energy coming towards me and it destroys me. I don’t even have the energy to fight back. I shrivel up. Then that makes me feel guilty for taking up room on the world, guilty for just being alive."

Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D.

Substitute the alcohol addiction with our co-dependency. These feelings may keep us from detaching from our A or they may still be with us after detaching from our A.

I think maybe a start would be self possitive talk. Pernell posted a topic on possitive talk. Maybe we who feel this way should start there.

<a href="http://soberrecovery.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=000416#000002" target="_blank">http://soberrecovery.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=000416#000002</a>

Any thoughts?

MG
 
Old 06-01-2002, 09:52 AM
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Morning Glory
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Here is an excercise and I'm going to do this myself.

Write down every negative thought you have. Negative thoughts are thoughts that make you worry, afraid, or feel bad about yourself.

After each negative thought, write down a possitive thought. Try to make the possitive thought something that is really true, even if it's something very small.

Then practice saying the possitive each time you have the negative thought.

Smoke also recommends a book called "the seashell people: growing up in adulthood by Martha Horton

MG
 
Old 06-01-2002, 05:16 PM
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Heres another homework assignment - instead of writing down all the negative thoughts - write down ANY positive statement said to you by others and who said them... keep a journal for 30 days of only positive statements said by others....

read all the postitive statements every night and at the end of 30 days count up all the positive statemetns said by each person and ranks the people.....take the top 1-3 people on your list and those are the people who love you most - who think the most highly of you.... use the ist to determine if a person is a beneficial influence in your life....

You might be surprised at the results....

Ogly
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Old 06-01-2002, 08:43 PM
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Morning Glory
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I am my only enemy. I do all of this to myself. All negative influences are out of my life. I somehow have to learn to stop doing this to myself. It's automatic.

Even my negative thoughts don't have words to them anymore. If I can solve this problem, I will become a whole new person. I wasn't aware until now that I was doing this to myself so severely.

Just something else that surfaced. This is going to be a tough one to solve.

MG
 
Old 06-02-2002, 05:12 AM
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MG
Thank you for posting that here! I think I see somebody I know.

Love,
Smoke
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Old 06-02-2002, 07:15 AM
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Hey MG?
Which book is this from? I'm going shopping.

Thanks!
Smoke
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Old 06-02-2002, 07:54 AM
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Morning Glory
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Here is the web page Smoke,

<a href="http://www.matsakis.com/" target="_blank">http://www.matsakis.com/</a>
 

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