Science now shows that the cause of addiction is not the addictiveness of the drugs themselves, but the underlying reasons for taking the drugs – the emotional pain, trauma, and disconnection/loneliness that users feel. The drugs are simply an escape mechanism to avoid feeling the pain and to feel connected to something. If as a society we help people to heal the pain, to feel connected to others and enjoy life, then the use of drugs will decrease. Love and connection is the answer.
When a person has suffered many disappointments in life, they learn to switch off from life, from expecting good things or even believing it is possible for their life to work out okay. This is a self defense mechanism aimed to limit the pain received and protect from further disappointments.
But switching off from life, hope, faith is a disasterous thing to do, it is a giving up of life force energy, of joy, of hope, of happiness. It will inevitably lead to judgement, ridicule, low self-esteem, depression and feelings of unworthiness.
If the major traumas occurred when a young child, 0-7 years old, it is highly likely that a pattern of learned helplessness was embedded in the child’s unconscious and as an adult plays out constantly in all aspects of life, leaving the person feeling a victim, feeling unable to change anything and accepting life is always going to be this way.
With such pessimism life becomes drudgery, one boring or scary or threatening and dangerous day after another. It is easy to see why people may self medicate through addictions to avoid the emotional pain and sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
It is a cruel way to exist, it is a numbing out of life, a walking dead scenario, feeling as if there is no point in staying alive or trying to change anything, because it feels like it never works or changes, it never gets better.
This is a very painful place to be in internally, to feel this hurt and broken that you don’t know how to go on, how to survive, how to live. You give up trying and just survive one day at a time. Life is monotonous, bland, boring and suffocating. Sadly this is a common state of being for many people. Gladly, you don’t have to stay stuck in it.
You only feel so helpless because it is younger parts of you that got hurt and disappointed, whose pain is so high, that it is over ruling everything else. If you heal these wounds and help free your inner child or younger selves then that pain will not be your primary emotion or experience of life.
You the adult has every opportunity to make different choices, to have fun, to be positive and enjoy life. It is just hard to do when your vitality, your life force is stuck in the past, playing out a repetitive loop of negativity.
So how do you free yourself of the wounds? There are many ways that help. At this stage it is just important to know you can break free, that you can heal and that life can become better. To let a glimmer of hope exist.
Just because people in your past hurt you or disappointed you, doesn’t mean it has to reoccur over and over. If you heal the wounds you can flourish. You will no longer attract in that treatment as you will no longer be a vibrational match to it. Once you have released the pain, your body can relax, come out of fight or flight and shut down zombie mode. Life force energy can flow freely through your veins again, revitalising you to live life fully, embracing possibility and taking action to live your dreams, your greatest potential while here on Earth.
To achieve this the wounds must be healed, the emotional pain must be released / transmuted and your heart opened back up to allow love in, to trust and take action, to risk changing / trying something new and letting people close.
When people are closed down out of disappointment, it is like they have bolted the door, put up a security fence, have guard dogs snarling, attempting to keep out anything good from occurring, so that they will not be disappointed or hurt further.
People with good intentions attempt to come close and they are faced with snarling dogs, electric fences and machine guns aimed at them, as if they are the enemy, when all they want to do is love you. It takes a strong and determined person to persevere in this situation and say “Let me in, it is okay, you can trust me”.
Many just walk away, they see the wounding in the other, the closed door, so they turn away. Hence the hurt person ends up alone, isolated, desperate for attention, for love, but not allowing it. No wonder they feel so hopeless.
There is a war going on inside, keeping the goodness away.When someone does come close they can over react with anger, feeling like “How dare they expect me to let them in, how dare they expect me to take a risk”. You push the person away so hard.
Depending on how deep the wound will depend on how automatic this rejection process is. It can be so strong that rage is triggered and a feeling that you could set the person on fire because they have threatened you and your safety by daring to enter into your closed kingdom, and it literally feels like a threat to your existence. So sad when really the other is saying “Hello, do you want a friend? Do you want to play?”.
It is like two young children meeting in a playground and the first person has planted their feet, crossed their arms, stomped on the spot and said “NO”, shouted “NO, you will not play with me, go away, leave me alone”. They are totally closed off in their tantrum about how they feel and what has occurred to them in life. Then they sulk, pout, kick and scream about how unfair it all is. Most of us can see this behaviour in toddlers, young children quite easily, but we fail to see that as wounded adults we are doing the same thing.
Life can’t change dramatically for the better unless you uncross your arms, suck in your bottom lip, and you open up to connection, to playing, to having fun. While you are shouting NO nothing much can change. So you have to be willing to lower the defenses, to open up to another way of being and to feeling and releasing the emotional pain underneath the wounds, then it dissolves, then you walk free of itand you can see the blue sky and sunshine and let it in, you can see the beauty in life and let yourself be replenished by it and experience good things and have your life work out more enjoyably.
It is clear that it is up to you to take action to heal the wounds. Noone else can do it for you. Even those brave souls who wear suits of armour and non-flammable overalls who come close wanting to help you move forward. Their efforts can only help if you let them in. If you keep shouting NO energetically or actually saying it through your words and actions, then their efforts can’t help.
It is up to you to take the risk to let life be different. You can do it and it is worth it, so worth it, to walk free from misery and enjoy life, to be pleasantly surprised by the mystery of life and finally see the goodness in all things. You can achieve this, simply by healing the past so it doesn’t cloud your future. It can be done and I and many others can help you do it, if you let us, if you open up and say “YES to life, YES I am willing to move forward and to risk being happy. YES I can do this, I will do this, I choose this”.
Then life will lead you forth to the right people, places, books, courses and whatever else you need that best suits you to help you heal and break free from the pain. It will be different for each person based on their current state of awareness, willingness, and ability to feel and release their pain. Some will need to do self-study at first, before they would be willing to risk seeing a therapist and trusting someone to help them move forward. Some may prefer talk therapy as they don’t yet feel safe enough to go into their bodies and feel what is there. Some may prefer to start with body work modalities to help the body relax and let go, preferring this as they are too scared to voice their concerns or speak the truth that they have tried to hide from their whole lives.
Inside your body are all the trapped emotions and memories from the traumas you’ve experienced. It results in muscular tension and holding patterns that are so common in our society. It results in tight, sore shoulders, necks and backs. It is literally like the body has clenched, locked down, armoured up in order to protect itself.
A large part of healing is releasing this tension, melting the armour and the hypervigilance that comes from being in fight, flight, freeze so much.
This has to be done slowly, gently. You can’t take the top off the volcano and have all the pressure escape at once. It’s too volatile, too dangerous, too overwhelming. You need to let out the pressure and steam slowly, gently, so you don’t explode emotionally, but also so your body can integrate the shifts and changes.
There are many ways to reduce the internal stress and pressure, soy ou can cope more easily with whatever life brings you. When you’re already stressed up to your eyeballs internally it makes it so hard to cope. It’s like you’re exhausted with nothing else to give or any capacity to take on more – whether that be a challenge at work, a family member wanting your support or asking you to do something.
When you’re already at your limit, when your plate is full, any additional stressors can result in strong, undesirable reactions. You might react in anger or rage, or just be irritable and cold pushing people away or ignoring their needs. Not because you don’t care. You do care. You just don’t have any more capacity to cope with another stressor.
Thankfully you can use a range of methods to diffuse your internal bomb. Most people turn to addictions to try and numb it, escape it, avoid it, distract from it. They get busy or drink or shop or play video games or any other distraction that stops them from feeling what is occurring inside.
Clearly, this is not a healthy or long term solution. Your nervous system still has all the charge in it, all the pent up energy and emotion, so addictions just form a temporary fix that is bound to fail as the internal pressure continues to grow and the person eventually implodes or explodes.
A much healthier way to reduce the pressure, to let out the steam is spending time in nature, going for walks or swims at the beach. Anything that helps you to slow down, to have greater relaxation and ease in your body.
I have found Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) particularly useful, as it lets out that tension from the body bit by bit, calming your nervous system and giving you more capacity to cope with day to day life. As you release the pressure, it is like you’re taking some of the burdens and pressures from your plate, so there’s room, capacity, to handle life events with a bit more grace and ease. You don’t get shoved into overwhelm as quickly.
TRE is a set of simple exercises designed to help the body access its innate stress, tension and trauma release mechanism. This is an inbuilt tremoring process that uses up the stagnant energy, melts the armour and helps you shift out of fight, flight, freeze into relaxation and ease within. When this occurs it is easier to interact with others as you feel safer in your body, less threatened and defensive. It’s a powerful process for calming the body back down to it’s natural peaceful, playful state.
Excitingly TRE can be learned quickly and once learned you can use it for free for the rest of your life. You can do the exercises and tremoring releases in your own home, whenever you want.
If you want to go deeper, learn more or have some support as you go along, you can see a TRE practitioner like me, but you don’t have to do that regularly. You can just do it when you want to or if you need some extra support.
TRE gives you back your freedom to engage in your healing journey and to heal at a rate your body is comfortable with, listening to and honouring your body. It is well worth learning TRE to empower yourself and move forward with your life. You don’t need to stay stuck, defensive or hidden. You can be free.
There are many roads home, to healing, to your heart and wholeness. It doesn’t matter which road you take, what matters is your willingness to take a step forward into the unknown, into life being different. If you are willing, the Universe will meet you and guide you forth.
May you learn to run joyously along your path, knowing you are taken care of, and see the beauty of life and love all around you. For it is there just waiting for you to open your arms and embrace it. Life really is good once you heal your pain and can see more clearly. May you obtain inner peace as quickly and as easily as you can. With love, Amen.
Some are and some are close, still maintaining a heart to heart connection between family members. In today’s world people are very busy, achieving, being better than others, obtaining things / material objects. These advances in gadgets, in stuff, are valued more highly than taking the time to BE, to connect with friends and family in real life. It is quicker, easier, more hassle free to just connect on social media and keep your physical distance, to have space for self, to rest and recover after working hard all day or facing your own emotional turmoil.
We are here on the planet to go through our awakening and this requires events to hapen to get us to stop and rethink our choices. It requires events that totally alter what we see as important and valuable in life, that is why the tragedies occur, the near death accidents or illnesses, the loss of relationships, family members or careers, the bankruptcy and crime. It all occurs to get us to stop and feel.
While we are busy living normal life we are often on autopilot, we go about our days the same way, over and over. It is comfortable, relatively easy, we don’t have to expend too much energy. Our comfort zone is stretched if we are asked to do much more and we may resist by shutting out that person and their demands or whatever it is that is asking us to stretch. It is easy to get lazy, to just rest and watch TV, to cuddle your pets or children or partner and to switch off from what is occurring to everyone else and the larger world. This is not callous, not personal, it is just human nature, to care for those you hold dearest and to draw a boundary around them and your way of being and to keep that safe, happy and easy.
Anyone wanting to come into your space may find it hard, if your boundaries are very strong. You simply don’t let them in, there is no time available for catching up or getting to know each other. No time for interaction. This is not necessarily a personal rejection, it is just that the person or people inside the circle are contented with their lives as they are and do not see the need to let anyone else in.
This may change in time, they may become more open and available, a career change, a new child, a special event, starting a hobby, or a loss of some kind may lead them to open the door a little wider. Their circumstances may change and they may need more people to help them, if someone was ill, if there was a new child or if their was unexpected loss in some way, whether that be a death of a loved one, loss of a job, crime and loss of posessions or finances. These losses occur to get people to open up, to step out of their comfort zone and to expand their consciousness. These life changing events kick-start the next phase of your evolutionary growth. They are meant to occur and they serve us. They shake us up and get us moving again.
If you are upset that people will not let you in, that the door is closed, their boundaries too high, then look within yourself, look within and see why you are upset. You as an adult don’t need these people, you just want them. You can survive on your own. Any pain you are feeling is a trigger to heal that pain inside.
Many of us in childhood did not get our own needs met. We were left with an emotional deficit and we are hungry, starving for love and acceptance. We try to get it from many places and one of those is our families. We assume that they are our blood and we should be close, together, supporting each other. We should be happy, friendly and caring of each other. But this is just your thinking, your judgement.
You chose to incarnate into your specific family for a reason. If you chose a family that is disconnected, you did so for a reason. Perhaps you wanted to learn independence, self reliance and contentment outside of the family realm. If your family was all loving and kind and life was easy, you would not evolve at the rate you do when life is challenging. The challenges occur to help you go within and heal, to reconnect with your own divine nature and that of Source.
As you heal yourself you find that you don’t need love from others, you realise you are love, that is your true nature, and the nature of the Universe. We are surrounded by love and support all the time, but we don’t see it until we heal all the pain and trauma through which we view the world and those in it. We judge based on what is inside us. Each person, each family is doing exactly what they need for the evolution of its members. In time as they all heal and become one within themselves, love will flow freely throughout that family system. Until then there will be blockages, their will be conflict or separation.
You can’t force people to change, to heal, to let you in. What you can do is choose to love them anyway and to focus on healing your wounds and reconnecting to peace and love in your heart, so energetically love flows from you to everyone, instead of pain and judgement, shaming or blaming of those involved.
Try to be compassionate, try to accept that each is doing what they need to for their evolution and each is awakening at their own speed, evolution cannot occur over night, it takes time, lots of time and different people have different abilities to do so. We need to learn the skills to change our thinking patterns, our subconscious beliefs, our conditioning and emotional density. We need to learn how to take responsibility for our own lives and make the best out of what we have. We need to learn the power of gratitude and positive regard, seeing the best in things, as opposed to the worst.
Life truly can be Heaven on Earth if we do the work to heal ourselves. When we do so we make it easier for others to do the same. Energetically our freedom radiates out into the family system affecting others, making it easier for them to do the same. This is how we can help and make a difference – by loving everyone as they are and accepting their choices and journey. We can focus on our own healing and evolution and know that when everyone’s hearts open back up love will flow freely between us all and families will be more harmonious. This will all take time and we can’t force it.
Don’t torture yourself by judging your family. Heal yourself instead, enjoy your life as much as you can and the doors will open in time, allowing greater connection to those you love. First you do the work internally, energetically and then it manifests in the outer world. Choose peace and love – that is what the world needs and what you are craving. You have to give it to you. You have to heal your blocks to receiving and to letting people close.
When you are healed and energetically open people will come, some of your blood family and some your Soul family, those who resonate with you, love you and want to be with you. These are your true tribe or family. The ones you birthed into were just the catalysts for your evolution and growth. Know in your heart you are okay, you are loved and you are held dear by all who know you, it may not seem like it, but the love is there, just waiting for you to heal enough so you can feel it. May that day come soon. Blessed BE. Amen.
Yet another article with the science showing what survivors of child abuse have always known. Abuse in childhood leads to significant physical, emotional and mental difficulties in adulthood. The good news is that more and more people are recognising this and that we can’t simply “get over it”. Abuse changes the way a child reacts to stress and constant exposure leads to changes in the child’s DNA resulting in the ‘fight or flight’ system being always turned on. The ongoing, chronic stress unfortunately leads to inflammatory and immune responses that damage health as adults.
Joan Kaufman, director of the Child and Adolescent Research and Education (CARE) programme at the Yale School of Medicine, recently analysed DNA in the saliva of happy, healthy children, and of children who had been taken from abusive or neglectful parents. The children who’d experienced chronic childhood stress showed epigenetic changes in almost 3,000 sites on their DNA, and on all 23 chromosomes – altering how appropriately they would be able to respond to and rebound from future stressors.
Likewise, Seth Pollak, professor of psychology and director of the Child Emotion Research Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, uncovered startling genetic changes in children with a history of adversity and trauma. Pollak identified damage to a gene responsible for calming the stress response. This particular gene wasn’t working properly; the kids’ bodies weren’t able to reign in their heightened stress response. ‘A crucial set of brakes are off,’ says Pollak.
It is great that science is catching up. They are also recognising that there are many ways to heal which can help survivor’s bodies relax and not be in ‘fight or flight’ all the time.
Science tells us that biology does not have to be destiny. ACEs can last a lifetime, but they don’t have to. Just as physical wounds and bruises heal, just as we can regain our muscle tone, we can recover function in underconnected areas of the brain. If anything, that’s the most important take-away from ACE research: the brain and body are never static; they are always in the process of becoming and changing.
Even if we have been set on high-reactive mode for decades or a lifetime, we can still dial it down. We can respond to life’s inevitable stressors more appropriately and shift away from an overactive inflammatory response. We can become neurobiologically resilient. We can turn bad epigenetics into good epigenetics and rescue ourselves. We have the capacity, within ourselves, to create better health. We might call this brave undertaking ‘the neurobiology of awakening’.
Today, scientists recognise a range of promising approaches to help create new neurons (known as neurogenesis), make new synaptic connections between those neurons (known as synaptogenesis), promote new patterns of thoughts and reactions, bring underconnected areas of the brain back online – and reset our stress response so that we decrease the inflammation that makes us ill.
In the article they specifically mention ‘Meditation, mindfulness, neurofeedback, cognitive therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) therapy’ as some of the tools that can help survivor’s to calm their bodies and reprogram their minds.
I have found a wide range of techniques helpful including:
Psych-K or Lifeline Technique to release trauma and reprogram the subconscious mind so you can change negative beliefs about life and the world into positive ones e.g. so you are not always expecting the worst and you can start to feel safe, so you believe that you do deserve good things and that people can treat you well;
Mindfulness and meditation techniques to still the mind and create space to witness what is occurring instead of reacting automatically;
Skill development including thought stopping, boundary setting, inner child, and self love skills, so that you no longer allow yourself to be abused by others or by yourself;
Family Constellations to heal the trauma in the family system and reconnect with love, thereby allowing greater lifeforce and harmony within.
There is lots that can be done. While adverse childhood trauma does have a massive impact on your life, it can be healed.
In this short video Nadine Burke Harris explains how adverse childhood experiences impacts the health of the child and continues to do so over the lifetime of the person. She explains in scientific terms why this occurs and ways the impacts can be reduced. She believes that this is a public health issue and should be addressed as such with multidisciplinary teams available to help affected individuals to heal the trauma and reduce the impacts.
When somene has been raised in a violent, rage filled home it is understandable that they automatically expect the worst to occur, because in their childhood home it did occur.Any small provocation could turn into World War 3, and as a result the child learns to brace itself ready for what is to occur. The body goes into fight, flight or freeze ready to protect itself from the danger that was always present.
Even if the rage and terror only occurred occasionally, it is likely the child would be on high alert, as you never know what wil trigger a rage and horrible experience for them and the family. This fear of what may occur and usually does occur, leads the child to not be able to relax and enjoy life.
Good events often turn bad or nasty once the drunk parent loses their temper, so having fun feels unsafe, dangerous to the child or doomed to end badly. This is why many children raised in alcoholic or drug addicted homes don’t know how to have fun. They tend to isolate preferring to stay home or alone as this feels safer than risking interaction with others or having fun.
The reactions of childnre are not exaggerated. They respond to what occurs in their environment. If danger, violence, hurtful events occur often enough an association is built up in the brain that pain is what life is about. It becomes the dominant neural pathway and belief of the child, so naturally they expect the worst and they do so because it often happened.
It is very hard to change this deep patterning of expecting the worst. It is not as simple as changing a thought. Every fibre of your being is used to violence, danger and preparing to protect itself. The terror, the helplessness and powerlessness of childhood abuse is catastrophic. A child in an abusive home will literally shut down, numb out, and fantasise leaving and having a better life.
The fantasy leads to resentment, shame, guilt and blame. It leads to more longing and feeling not good enough. Your family, yourself, your life are all judged as not good enough and as needing to change. This frustration at what is can become explosive rage at the unfairness of life, of your experiences. You can then become violent, filled with hate and the cycle repeats. The child then grows into an adult with volatile tendencies and may become abusive to their families, existing and new. This is the repetitive nature of abuse in families.
The abuse comes from emotional pain that has not been dealt with. The sadness, the rage, the helplessness is all bottled up inside. If allowed out explosively it is destructive. If kept inside it is deadening, life becomes a numb, painful place where you just go through the motions, doing what you have to do, but not really feeling or enjoying anything very much.
Deep depression and sadness can occur as you realise how much you are missing out on, as you can’t shake off the doom and gloom and it feels like life never changes or improves. It can feel hopeless and people often wonder what is the point of going on. Here is the risk of suicide. Children who were abused can grow up feeling unloved, unwanted, unnecessary and feel like there is no point living, [that] noone would really miss them, etc. STOP! Stop this thinking. You are deeply loved, deeply, deeply loved, by God and many of the people around you, they just may not show it to you in the ways that you would like. Most parents do love their children, just their own emotional pain and addictions stop them being there for the child, stop them being tender and caring.
To stop expecting the worst to occur we have to learn to be kind and loving to ourself. We have to make the effort to do fun things and to enjoy life. Try out a hobby, a sport, an activity of some sort and find what makes your heart smile.
All the negative emotions and painful experiences will need to be released, so you can return back to a state of peace and calm. This will happen slowly and naturally. Don’t push it, force it, try to make it happen sooner. Remember to be kind to yourself in all you do.
When an emotion comes up, feel it, then let it go. Don’t hold onto it. Don’t go into judgement about it or the people involved in the remembered situation. Judgement just keeps you stuck, feeling justified in your pain and dysfunction. Judgement and blame are just ways to stay stuck in your head, ruminating over what occurred, instead of being in the present moment and listening to your heart.
When you have experienced deep pain and trauma your heart is often filled with such sadness that it is hard to feel it and sit with it. If you need help processing your emotions get it. You need a safe space in which to rest, to feel what needs to be felt and to release it safely – a counsellor, a friend, a family member, a space in nature that you connect with.
There are lots of ways to release the emotion – drawing it out, singing, running, crying, whatever works for you to shift it from locked inside your body, to being released outside of you. The concept of emotional transformation is to lovingly release what no longer serves you. You just feel it and breathe through it, until your body calms back down. You do this every time you are triggered and notice your body going into restriction, bracing itself for the worst to occur. You do this every time you feel the emotion from the past bubbling up to be released.
The more you clear out the old buried emotion and trauma, with love and kindness, you create a space for new energies to enter, for joy and peace to take hold, for love and kindness to become your dominant experience. As you do this you start to expect love and kindness, it becomes your new norm. First it comes from how you treat yourself, then it will come from those around you – as like attracts like. Vibrationally those around you will mirror what is locked inside you.
You don’t ever need to accept poor treatment, just walk away, send love and know that it is not personal. Anyone who hurts another is in inner turmoil and is just as mean and cruel to themselves. Such people need love and acceptance, not judgement and rejection. It is okay if you can’t do this yet. If you feel you still need to defend or protect yourself from others and the outside world. Your defensive patterns and automatic reactions will soften as you heal, as you start to experience kindness and peace inside. It does require a lot of self love and self kindness, which you may not be used to doing. You have to cultivate this habit, you do so by tuning into your body and what it is feeling and what it needs. If it needs to rest then rest. Don’t push through till you are absolutely exhausted. Rest. Be kind and tender to yourself. Become the loving parent you didn’t have – be that for yourself.
Learn to have fun, try things out. Don’t be surprised if you don’t feel much fun at first – you are used to social situations being challenging or threatening, so it is going to take some time for it to stop being the automatic reaction and for fun to take its place.Keep doing things and you will notice in time that you are relaxing, you are having fun, and all is well.
You don’t have to stay stuck in pain or isolation. This does not help you. It just avoids the work needing to be done to find freedom and peace. There is much you can do to change negative beliefs and programming, so that you do expect good things from life and you do enjoy whatever you experience. These belief changes will help, but the trauma and pain needs to be released too. You can try to think positively as much as you like, but if you haven’t done the deep healing work, you are just playing around the edges, like the tip of an iceberg. You can make the tip look nice, but there is still much more to be done underneath the surface.
The most important thing to realise is that your reaction of expecting the worst to occur is a normal, understandable reaction for someone who experienced constant or ongoing terror as a child. You couldn’t relax or enjoy life because of the abuse occurring, the rage filled or drama filled atmosphere of your childhood home. So your reaction is normal and it can be healed – it just takes time. So be kind to yourself as you go along the healing journey and don’t give up. With every step you take, every emotion you release, your life is getting better and better. Your vibration is rising as you have less emotional density locked inside and therefore you will attract differently.
It is a long journey and sometimes it feels ridiculously long and tedious, but it is a path you have to walk if your life started harshly. You can find your way to peace and happiness, it just takes time, self love and peaceful thoughts. Do the work required and you will be rewarded with a much more peaceful experience of life. You can have a life filled with positive events and experiences, and as that becomes your normal day to day occurrence, you will learn to expect the best to occur each day and you manifest heaven on Earth. Remember it is possible. It just takes time and effort. You can do it. You deserve it and you can achieve it. Blessed BE. Amen.
The below is a wonderful post by Ally Hamilton explaining how to cope with a loved one who has addiction or mental illness. It is wise advice about not sacrificing your own life trying to rescue someone who does not want to help themselves. Thank you Ally x
People can only drive us crazy if we let them. A person can spin his or her web, but we don’t have to fly into the center of it to be stunned, stung, paralyzed and eaten. Remember that your time and your energy are the most precious gifts you have to offer anyone, and that includes those closest to you, and also total strangers. Your energy and your time are also finite, so it’s really important to be mindful about where you’re placing those gifts.
It’s hard not to get caught up when someone we love is suffering, or thrashing around, or in so much pain they don’t know what else to do but lash out. It’s hard not to take that to heart, or to defend yourself, or to try to make things better for them, but you’re not going to walk into a ring and calm a raging bull with your well-thought out dialogue. You’re just going to get kicked in the face, at best, and I use that analogy intentionally. People in pain–whether we’re talking about people with personality disorders or clinical depression, people suffering with addiction, or people who are going through mind-boggling loss–are dealing with deep and serious wounds. They didn’t wake up this way one morning. Whether it’s a chronic issue, or an acute and immediate situation, when you’re dealing with heightened emotions including rage, jealousy, or debilitating fear, you’re not going to help when a person is in the eye of the storm. If someone is irrational, trying to reason with them makes you as irrational as they are; you can’t negotiate with crazy. I’m not using the word as a dagger, I’m saying we’re all crazy sometimes, we’re all beyond reason sometimes. We all have days when we feel everyone is against us, whether that’s based in any kind of reality or not.
You can offer your love, your patience, your kindness and your compassion if someone you care for is suffering. You can try to get them the support they need. You can make them a meal, or show up and just be there to hold their hand, or take them to the window to let in a little light, but if someone is attacking you verbally or otherwise, we’re in a different territory. You are not here to be abused, mistreated, or disrespected. You are not here to defend yourself against someone’s need to make you the villain. You don’t have to give that stuff your energy, and I’d suggest that you don’t. It’s better spent in other places.
We can lose hours and days and weeks getting caught up in drama or someone else’s manipulation. That’s time we’ll never have back. Of course things happen in life; people do and say and want things that can be crushing sometimes, but the real story to examine is always the story of our participation. If someone needs you to be the bad guy, why do you keep trying to prove you’re actually wonderful? Are you wonderful? Brilliant, get back to it. If someone has a mental illness and they are incapable of controlling themselves, keeping their word, or treating you with respect, why do you keep accepting their invitation to rumble? You already know what’s going to happen. Don’t you have a better way to spend your afternoon? My point is, life is too short.
When a person is in the kind of pain that causes them to create pain around them, your job is to create boundaries if it’s someone you want to have in your life. You figure out how to live your life and honor your own well-being, and deal with the other party in a way that creates the least disharmony for you. That means you don’t get in the ring when they put their dukes up. You don’t allow yourself to get sucked in. Do you really think this is the time you’ll finally be heard or seen or understood? People who need to be angry cannot hear you. It doesn’t matter what you do or say, they have a construct they’ve built to support a story about their life that they can live with; it doesn’t have to be based in reality. Not everyone is searching for their own truth or their own peace; some people are clinging to their rage, because that feels easier or more comfortable, or because they really, truly aren’t ready to do anything else yet. You’re not going to solve that, but you can squander your time and energy trying. You can make yourself sick that way. I just don’t recommend it.
You really don’t have to allow other people to steal your peace, whether we’re talking about those closest to you, or people you don’t even know, like the guy who cuts you off on the freeway, or the woman talking loudly on her cellphone at the bank. You don’t have to let this stuff get under your skin and agitate you. You don’t have to let someone’s thoughtless comment or action rob you of a beautiful afternoon. Of course we give our time to people who need us. I’m just saying, don’t get caught up in the drama. Sending you love, Ally Hamilton
I love this video by Johann Harri. In it he explains that the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it is connection. We all need to feel connected to others, to belong, to be loved and accepted as we are. Without that we look for that connection in things or substances.
When a person has been deeply wounded, they will project that wound out onto others. They will see others as wounded and in need of fixing. When in truth it is themselves that need healing.
Because of the depths of the pain, a person will see wounds everywhere, they will feel the pain of others – it is like they can see it, feel it, smell it. They don’t want to be in it all the time, so they try to fix people or run away, so they don’t have to be surrounded by pain. But you can’t run away from what is inside you. It always goes with you.
Some people are more sensitised to it than others. If you were raised in an abusive home, you learned to watch others closely, to see their dynamics and watch for danger. You could see their pain and see when it would burst out to attack others. You learned to do this to help yourself survive and not be in danger. You focused on the pain of others to protect yourself from their outbursts. In this sense it was a good skill that you developed. However, the habit of watching and feeling other people’s pain never got switched off. So now as an adult, you still see people’s pain and fear it will result in an emotional attack at some stage. So you stay on high alert inside and feel threatened by their pain. This is why you try to fix others, so you can relax and not have to be on guard all the time. That is your own issue. There is no danger. Other people, most people, are capable of managing their pain and not having it burst out and affect others.
It is only because of your past experience as a child in a volatile, abusive home, where your parents didn’t cope with their emotional pain, that you fear it all the time. Alcoholics in particular are known for lashing out with their pain. The drink inhibits their ability to manage the pain and their reactions to it.
Once drunk the pain and their sadness or anger about it comes spilling out and it may get projected onto all those around them. It can be overwhelming as the person has a massive release, a let go of their built up pain. However, because they don’t work through it, they don’t have any insights or forgiveness, it just happens again and again. The pain builds inside them until it topples over the edge and then cascades like a water fall from them to their surroundings.
People who don’t drink excessively, generally don’t react that same way. They can sense the emotions building up and do something constructive to release or manage them. most can heal themselves or at least not explode out affacting others.
The problem with children of alcoholics is they are used to seeing the pain of others as a danger sign, a warning to be careful and watch out. They don’t trust the other to handle it responsibly. Clearly the issue here is this high alertness and expectation of abuse – for that is what the urge to fix others really is. It is as if you have decided that you can’t relax or feel safe unless all the others are okay. Hence you see the problem as them and their behaviour, instead of recognising it as your own issue and wounding that needs resolving.
Once you have resolved your own pain and retrained yourself not to react in advance or expect the worst, then you can relax and be happy. The fixing that is needed is of yourself, not others.
Once you heal the pain in yourself you will not be so affected by others or care about their pain. You will happily live your life doing what you need to do and trust them to resolve their own issues without your help. They don’t need you to rescue them. You need to rescue yourself. The urge to fix others shows you are still drowning in pain from the past or outdated belief systems and defense mechanisms that are no longer needed. Thank them for keeping you safe in the past, and reassure your inner chld and those protective parts of you, that their efforts aren’t needed now. You are safe. You are an adult and you can walk away from anyone who did abuse you.
You are not a child trapped in an abusive, scary, volatile, unpredictable home any more. If you don’t do the work to heal yourself you react as if you are still living in that dangerous home, even though you left it many years, even decades before.
The feelings of pain and the need to protect yourself by watching others and attempting to manipulate situations so explosions don’t occur – is so strong that it will stay with you your whole life – unless you explain to the guard dog that the danger has past. You can take off the armour, put down the sword and relax. It is time to do it. Time to have fun and play.
Ultimately that is what we want – for you to play and have fun, and for you to have reprogrammed your subconscious beliefs so that you expect goodness, love and support from others. You feel peace and joy when others approach you, rather than angst and fear. It is your inner work you need to focus on, not what the other is doing. That is their business to resolve and action. Yours is yours. Focus where you can make the most change – in yourself. Do that work and be a positive role model for society – of healing, wholeness and love – that is what we need, more people who have done the inner work and can role model it for others.
Others will heal themselves, when the time is right. That is not up to you or set by your standards or expectations. Let people off the hook. Love them as they are. Support them to grow in their own way and time. Let go of control and choose peace, for it really does exist. It is just a choice you need to make. Blessed BE. Amen.