I was away for a month over January and prior to leaving I had organised with neighbours and family to keep an eye on Dad and to be aware he may call them. There were some jokes going around about how long it would take, upon my return, before he stopped appreciating me again. Well, the morning I arrived home he was so thrilled he told me twice(!) that he was pleased I was back. He’s never said that before!
It’s been almost 2 wks now and his moods began yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised that I’m better able to remain balanced and centred, but had to stop myself from accepting blame that is not mine. OS lets me know in advance that his emotions are full and he’s ready to burn and let off steam. This is a pattern I’ve seen over the past 12mths. I’ve stopped reacting and am working at not responding at all. I’ve seen that with no response from me, he turns it upon himself and finally it dissipates. Who’s he hurting? Only himself.
I’ve been questioning why I accept blame that is not mine. Over the past year I’ve been able to identify imprinting from both of my parents about this. I asked my brother one day how he is able to remain objective whenever Dad vents at him for things that are not his. He gave me a flat look and told me he never understood why our parents would blame him for things that weren’t his. I’ve been thinking about that. He has always had the self confidence and knowing of what is his and what isn’t. That’s admirable and has given me a measuring stick against which to explore why I’m not the same.
Mum blamed me for not being the daughter she wanted, however I am the daughter she needed. Dad blames me because he’s experienced that I accept it. We’re both currently reassessing that one.
Today I had reason to look back and see how abusive Dad has been and that has had me questioning why. I’m reminded that our reflections are always amplified so that we can see them. I’ve been seeing the ways in which I abuse myself and many I have stopped. Increasingly subtle abusive self talk continues and that can be challenging to hear.
While I’ve become more aware of Dad’s attempts to trigger me and have stopped reacting and responding, I’ve noticed that I feel guilt. It’s been coming up a lot lately and I have no reason to be feeling it. Guilt because Dad was angry that I turned the oven on during a hot afternoon, yet he turned on the stove and the grill. Guilt because I eat what I know is healthy. Guilt because I bought myself a treat. Guilt, like all emotions, is not logical. I heard myself today slip into that subtle self talk of verbal abuse and that’s what’s had me thinking this through.
Where does this guilt come from? I accepted guilt as a child when I spoke up about my abuse. That got me nowhere, except more abuse from those who felt betrayed. Oh, there’s imprinting about betrayal! Got you! pulling it out now.
Guilt because my parents would direct anger at me. This is going deeper and I have many more questions to ask. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying about Dad. He’s a remarkable man and cares about me. We do laugh together, more often lately.
Are you understanding why asking questions is so important?
Are you able to hear your own self talk?
Do you accept blame? do you know why?
In what ways to do beat yourself up? or maybe you don’t?
What do you feel guilty about? and do you know where that originates from?