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making peace


Endlessnight
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I've realised that in order for me to be able to accept and live the life I have I need to make peace with the fifteen year old girl inside of me. But how do I do that? I would like to be able to hug her and comfort her, tell her everything will be alright but that would be a lie. Remembering how alone, how confused, how alienated and how so much in denial she was that her own father could betray her in this way. Put in a world completely alien to everything she had ever known. Told she could no longer wear the pants and short skirts which were the only clothes she had. Given long dresses to wear. Then a long overcoat, then a headscarf and finally a veil to cover her face with. How do I comfort that girl that was shut up in a room for most of the day while her younger brother and her father went out with the men she was left alone, or with female relatives when she couldn't even understand what they were saying to her? How do I help her get over all the things that changed for her? Never again to ice skate, play badminton, table tennis, go for a walk, to a library, to the cinema, hear music, smell flowers, watch the clouds and find shapes in them? I know I have to let go of that girl to be able to move forward. But I still don't know how.

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Oh M, my heart breaks and I'm crying for you. (That's my own stuff by the way.)

Maybe the task is not to let her go, but to befriend her, just listen and hear her, know that you understand each other. Validate her, she can be a companion always with you who understands how you feel, why you do things you do, knows you're "just a soul whose intentions are good." Cradle her, no-one else gets her, no-one listens! Hold her and don't try to reject or abandon her as everyone else seems to have done.

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Hi endlessnight

Thank you for sharing that very personal story, you have indeed touched my heart this morning.

Never forget, never abandon who you are.

Always comfort, always understand and always look ahead and be the strong person you know you can be.

And want for your older self what you could not give your younger self .... :P

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Hi Luna and Linda. I betrayed her because between her and the person I am now are so many wasted years. If I dont forget her how can I accept this life I am living? From my teens to my fifties I have been in denial, I opted out of life instead of working, planning so one day she would be able to do the things she longed to do. I stopped living and just gave up. How can I befriend her? I don't want to war with her. I don't want to forget, though remembering how desperately unhappy she was (is) makes me feel the same again. I abandoned who I was a long time ago. If someone can tell me how to make peace with myself I would love to listen to any and all advice you can give me that might help. The teenage girl that was and is always with me wrote this a long time ago to herself.....

Stop caring, that's the only thing to do when people continue to lie and betray you.

Stop caring, and make yourself go numb inside, because if that's the way the world is how else will you survive?

Stop caring. First in pretence, then in reality. When they laugh at all your troubles. What good can love be?

There's no one to turn to and nowhere to hide.

They wore away your self respect and stole away your pride.

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Hi Endlessnight:

Stop caring, that's the only thing to do when people continue to lie and betray you.

Stop caring, and make yourself go numb inside, because if that's the way the world is how else will you survive?

Stop caring. First in pretence, then in reality. When they laugh at all your troubles. What good can love be?

There's no one to turn to and nowhere to hide.

They wore away your self respect and stole away your pride.

Haven't you reversed all of this towards yourself/towards her?

Haven't you started careing for yourself? To me when you reverse those negative actions towards yourself, you do that for the inner girl to and allow yourself to grow to betterment, just as she does along with you.

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Hi again. Linda, I know that to win this war I must make peace with myself and that's it's a long process but that's where I am stuck. As I keep saying, I dont know how to. I don't know how to bring inner peace to my warring self. Muse, as for caring for myself...I don't. I do not and never have liked myself much. I know I need help to win this, I don't know where to find it or how to go about it.

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Hi Luna and Linda. I betrayed her because between her and the person I am now are so many wasted years. If I dont forget her how can I accept this life I am living? From my teens to my fifties I have been in denial, I opted out of life instead of working, planning so one day she would be able to do the things she longed to do. I stopped living and just gave up. How can I befriend her? I don't want to war with her. I don't want to forget, though remembering how desperately unhappy she was (is) makes me feel the same again. I abandoned who I was a long time ago. If someone can tell me how to make peace with myself I would love to listen to any and all advice you can give me that might help.

Dear Endlessnight,

I also have many regrets. 'Stuff' I wanted from my life that didn't happen. Important stuff. Grieving came upon me unexpectedly. About ten years ago. And the power of that grief was incredible, frightening and unrecognized until almost over. Sobbing, for long periods, rage, at no one in particular, depression, so deep... All of it. But with it comes a cleansing, a looking forward, what can I do with the rest of my life that perhaps I'll feel my life counts for something more. And an appreciation of the good memories that also came unbidden with grief. And knowledge that I had given. Am not sure why it happened when. Perhaps a death...another loss? Skills learned in therapy helped me to a place where I could manage so much pain? After being numb so many years. There will be bright, unexpected spots in our lives, no matter where we are. Read the other day something like a rating from 30% to 80% happy, is happy. Or something like that. Most of us sure don't get what we want. And just realized am talking mostly to myself. Oh boy. "But we must be careful to not overlook what we have."

Am crazy today. Is it psychosis? Is it me standing up?

Will put some stuff in my blog. Am needing to write, too, but not at anyone in particular. You can go there to see how I am...:)

Mostly I wanted to cheer you, to encourage you to not let another moment go by in regret and suffering. Find your middle, and your dream, and learn to trust your guts again.

loves and hugs

katleen

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Endless and Katleen,

Katleen said it very well. We all have regrets and all of us could spend the rest of our lives over the milk that we spilled long ago.

The idea is to start to cultivate self acceptance. Too many of us can think of reasons to hate ourselves. Wha for? The idea is to live and to live now.

Endless, are you afraid to accept yourself and the person you are?

Allan:)

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Sorry - this is long.

M, have you talked to your therapist about this? This whole self-acceptance process is a great therapy goal - it just makes life and everything lighter when you're not in war with yourself.And very rewarding when you begin to see that you MIGHT actually get to that point. Which you CAN.

So I was in therapy, trying to look at all the nasty, horrible stuff in me. I was finding things in myself that I was shocked by, that I didn't like and was not prepared to have in me. My therapist was great about asking why I wasn't allowed to have faults when I easily accepted them in others? Well at first it was "I can't have them, it makes me bad, other people are more important than me and besides I'm defective" and then - tellingly, and what I think was at the core - "If people find out out that I'm like this, then they will not love me and they will leave me."

Well, that was a very good reason to reject and push away all the unacceptable parts in me - who wants to be rejected and cast out?

But - that was a distorted perception and I was to learn that that which we reject won't just lie down quietly. It takes a lot of energy to keep it down there. I would say to my therapist how tired I always was, and even more so after a session where I had opened up these things I found in me that were horrible. And he very gently said "Takes a lot of energy to keep them pushed away, doesn't it?" It was one of those OMG moments.

At the same time this happened, I had joined a Tibetan Buddhist meditation group and had gone on a weekend retreat and I was also reading about Jungian psychology. On the retreat our teacher emphasised how vitally important self-compassion was, because all sorts of thoughts arise when you sit still and if you're busy trying to shut them out or reject them, then you can't focus on being in the Here and Now. What? Here I was being told that in order to meditate, it was a REQUIREMENT that I be compassionate towards myself!

Around that time I was reading a lot about Jung's concept of the Shadow - which is made up of all the things we reject in ourselves. It does not go quietly, or lie down, it pushes. And the only way to make it go away or at least dampen it down, was to accept what I didn't like, upon which it would move out of the Shadow into my conscious awareness. ("Oh OK, yeah, that sounds quite simple!") And then: Accept how bitchy I can be?? How weak and needy? How sarcastic and judgemental? I don't think so!!"

I was reading other psychology books and read one called "The Tyranny of Malice" - about the qualities of greed, envy and malice in us. I was getting more and more horrified at how evil I was, and thought there was no hope for me, but I'd looked at the Contents page and the last chapter was "How to overcome malice" so I soldiered on. Well, it was to blow my mind. (later)

It said that we cannot erase our malice or greed or envy, but we can decrease it, by cultivating and practising its opposite - love. Practice kind gestures, and acts of love. Not only to others, but also yourself. As your focus goes towards the desired quality, its opposite loses power - and one day, it's just so puny from being starved of focus that you look at it and go "why did I let that be such a big deal? It's just a tiny part of me. I know how to do its opposite, from all the practice - it seems so unimportant now and yeah well, it's still there, but it's so small, it can just sit there." And then I was startled to realise that I was okay with that puny, shrivelled up thing just to lie there, it was insignificant. I had "accepted it!" At the time it wasn't a big deal,thing, it was just a shrug. It didn't feel like "accepting". Only later did it dawn on me: OMG. :eek:

I became aware of how I wasn't so tired any more. (I wasn't full of energy by any means, just not AS tired and not as burdened down.) Jung's theory said that if you can move something from your Shadow to your conscious acceptance, it no longer pushes back and that part of your Shadow no longer looms over you. Wow. Another OMG Sounds too good to be true.

Once I cottoned onto the fact that saying "I must accept this, I must accept this" was only magnifying it and that the way to make it shrink was to practice its opposite, it wasn't as hard to look at all the evil I had. And...lo and behold! people still liked me! Who'da thought?

We have this idea that we must get rid of things in us that are 'bad'. We can't. The more we push it away, the more it pushes back. Leave off "I must accept this, I can't accept this. I must ...." Practice its opposite.

It took a good year or maybe two, with little wins along the way, every now and then. I wish I could parcel it up and send it to you, but I guess each person has to go through the process, just understanding it intellectually doesn't do it. But I found that having read and understood in theory what the mechanism was (although it was never going to apply to me, you understand! :D) actually facilitated the emotional understanding and motivated me to do the work. Which took a tear or two. Or three. Or a gazillion. But then I'm an inveterate cry-baby.)

A few questions:

Are you ever alone, so you can just sit and cry and not have to keep up appearances? (Are you still sharing a room with your niece?)

How is your relationship with your therapist (I assume female)?

Can you talk and open up to her?

How often do you see her?

Are you able to order books over the internet and receive the parcels?

OK, interrogation over. :)

Hugs!

LOL, I sat down to write something about your child self - how on earth did I get so side-tracked? Now what was it I wanted to say...?? Hmmm I'll try retrieve it from the memory bank (lost the catalogue once I got onto Seroquel, so it's a bit of a job....)

Edited by Luna-
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I think Luna makes a great point when she says:

"We have this idea that we must get rid of things in us that are 'bad'. We can't. The more we push it away, the more it pushes back."

I'm not religious, but something I do like about religions is the saying "thou shall not fight evil"-- becuase by fighting it, you are at the same time reinforcing its presence. If we had 100 people and only one of them is experiencing some kind of "evil," but then that person tries to rally up all his 99 other friends to fight an evil that does not exist for them, he has essentially exaggerated the presence of his original evil... This of course is only partially satisfying, but it is definitely something that has to be considered as it is true to an extent...in my opinion. I mean the quote in a literal sense contradicts its deeper meaning in that one is in fact fighting evil by not fighting it... but I suppose that depends on how you like at things...

The part that I am trying to figure out is whether or not the proper thing to do is to "Practice its opposite." By practicing its opposite are way not in some way pushings things back into a "shadow"? Are we accepting what we don't like about ourselves if we only concentrate on its opposite? It's seems there is a preference being made, which is a distinguishment between what is acceptable and what is not-- which is what we initially said is not the right thing to do.... Something seems unsatisfying there...

Edited by nathan
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I dont want to be the person I am because of so many reasons. The person I am is useless, hopeless, defeated, negative, unlovabe, unable to love, frozen, negative, joyless. The person i am exists from day to day but does not live; does not want a future, has no hopes of one, wishes there would be none.

Who would i like to be? The opposite of everything I am? Or at the least a person that feels she has a reason to go on from day to day. That there is, can be, a point to it.

Yes, I think back too much over my mistakes and beat myself up over them. That's because I don't see a way forward so I spend all my time thinking over what could have been instead of thinking of what could be, frankly because I dont see any could be in my future that would make it worth living or worth hoping for.

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Hi Luna. Thank you for taking the time and going to the trouble of writing and explaining about your own experiences. I'm not sure I understood everything you were saying, but I do know that it's not so much that I reject any part of me, I dont. I want to let go of the regrets only, not of the girl I used to be.

I do have time to myself to have a good cry, if the tears would come. They seldom do anymore. I think it's because of the meds (lol). In a way it's better, because before I started them all I did was cry and cry and when I wasn't crying I was being bitchy to everyone (excuse my language).

I dont have a therapist. I can't order online. I can't really receive parcels (it's a long story). Take care.

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