I Can Do What I Want Challenge! Skateboarding! 🏂😃🍄 And Dealing With Difficult Relationships💙

Our relationships are essential to our survival.

When we are young we depend on our family to survive and those relationships shape our view of the world while influencing our patterns of behavior, boundaries, self worth, neurobiology, identity and expectations.

In childhood we learn defense mechanisms in response to our experiences in relationships. We may form trauma bonds and codependency with caregivers and learn ways of survival which may impact and hinder us for the rest of our lives.

Unless we become aware and recognize that our responses and boundaries are unhealthy we will continue the pathology into adulthood and unconsciously perpetuate the same patterns in other relationships.

If we grew up with dysfunctional, abusive, traumatizing experiences then as adults there must be healing and integration if we are to live healthy lives.

The problem is that unhealthy behavior is an epidemic and goes unchecked, it’s viewed as normal. Families keep up appearances and no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.

As a society we have barely addressed emotional intelligence/literacy. There has been a lack of empathy and compassion along with objectification of others with blatant narcissism by the patri-kyriarchy. Abusive behavior has been normalized so those in power may remain in power over others. We have allowed abuse to continue as a foundation of our society.

We have been socialized in such a way that it’s difficult for us as a whole to recognize when we’re allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of through manipulation, covert, coercive control and psychological abuse.

We don’t know what healthy behavior is, but we do know that what we are experiencing doesn’t feel good or right. Our logical hearts always know best. We live with the aftereffects of trauma and complex PTSD. If we stay stuck in dissociation, numbing, denial and avoidance, we can expect more of the same. More trauma and the cycle continues.

The first step to extricating yourself from an abusive relationship or to heal difficult relationships that are capable of salvaging is awareness.

If the dysfunction is all you know, then it will seem normal to you, it will be your comfort zone. You’ll be used to the unease, intensity and chaos. You will be used to unpredictability, walking on eggshells, trying to placate and maintain the peace, an impossible task. You will be codependent, trying to manage the chaos by putting your needs last, your boundaries mostly nonexistent. There will also be happy, good times in the mix, keeping you hooked with intermittent reinforcement.

You’ve been living like this your whole life.

How do you become aware and figure out that this is not appropriate?

Thankfully we have the internet and maybe you read something that gives you an aha moment. Or maybe like me, you have children and you realize that you could never treat your kids the way you were treated and aha, you begin to educate yourself and learn a helluva lot and never look back.

With coercive manipulation and control, it’s more difficult to discern. Because there are so many specific, insidious creative ways to manipulate, there’s no way to define/label it all. So you may get confused and make more excuses and continue to blame yourself because you have no outside validation that this specific behavior is abusive. It’s not black and white behavior like hitting you or stalking you.

Or you may get hung up on trying to figure out if they have a personality disorder, etc. but they don’t hit all the marks to qualify, so you continue to seek reassurance that it’s really them and not you? Because they’re constantly blaming you and turning it around on you when you try to address problematic behavior they never accept accountability.

Now you know that you don’t really know?

You’re not happy, in fact you’re most likely struggling with intermittent anxiety, depression, emptiness and feeling like life’s not supposed to be this difficult. But you don’t know what to do? It’s hard to figure things out because you don’t have the space and stability to work on it, but it keeps nagging at you. This isn’t how I imagined life would be? Is there any way to change it?

You eventually conclude that you can’t change the other people and they’re not even listening to you, but you are afraid, feel obligated and guilty.

You reach the point where you are suffocating and surrender to the fact that you can’t fix them, but you can save yourself.

That’s when you become open and willing to try something different, step out of your comfort zone, you begin to get curious and question, “Is this all there is?”

I’m here to tell you there is so much more for you and you’re so deserving and worthy of more!

You have the power to say no to the crazymaking and to break free from the cycle of abuse and trauma.

If you are questioning if your relationship is healthy, it’s probably not. That’s the time to take stock, educate yourself, enforce healthy boundaries and seek outside help if need be.

To heal from trauma we need a safe environment. It’s only common sense to leave abusive relationships. Coercive, covert, emotional, psychological abuse and control is every bit as damaging as overt physical abuse.

Being loyal to someone who is abusing you, making excuses for them, saying they can’t help it while staying and sacrificing yourself is not compassionate or loving, it’s enabling and perpetuating the cycle.

At least if you choose to save yourself there’s a chance for you to live a healthier, infinitely more joyful, peaceful, loving life which contributes to the highest good so much more than a toxic life with an abuser.

You have permission to choose what’s most loving of yourself always. You get to choose. There’s always help. You’re not alone. It may seem like you’re stuck, but there are choices. It’s so hard, but so worth it.

Once we take our power back we can heal ourselves and the world.

Every time we impose our will on another, it is an act of violence -Gandhi

 

 

Michelle Miyagi
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