Bring Back The Fun!

by Annie Kaszina on January 11, 2012

What place does fun have in your life? 

Has an abusive relationship left you feeling like a hollow shell?  Or a pale shadow of the person you really are?

An abusive relationship revolves around his feelings, and his hypersensitivity to offence, where you’re concerned. How many times did he work himself up into a frenzy of indignation over “the wrong tone of voice”, or “the look on your face?”

Life, with an emotionally abusive partner, is full of tiny, meaningless incidents to which he attaches massive, awful consequences. It quickly becomes no life at all.  Which is why recovering from an abusive relationship can be such hard work.

He’s left you with a legacy of fear, of second-guessing yourself.  “If I do X, I know something bad will happen.  I don’t know what it will be.  But I’m bound to be punished for it.”

No wonder you don’t feel free.

When clients start working with me, they’re still caught up in the abusive mind-set.  Which means they feel miserable, and devoid of hope for the future.  An abusive partner’s judgement doesn’t just cast a black cloud of criticism over your past and your present.  It stretches forward over your entire future.

Yesterday, when I was talking with my group coaching clients, I said that fun is something sorely missing from the lives of abused women.  How can I possibly have fun when things are so bad, and so sad?” One woman asked.

How can she afford not to have fun? 

How can you afford not to have fun? 

I’m guessing you’ve tried waiting to be happy, and have fun, until your life turns a corner, and ‘things’ start to look up.  And it’s been a long wait.

Haven’t you earned the right to a little happiness, NOW?  In fact, haven’t you earned the right to as much happiness as you can possibly want?  Besides, what happens if you do have a little fun and laughter in your life?  The abusive figure(s) in your life will not be amused.  (But they weren’t amused anyway.)

You know how hard living in Abuse World is.  You know how hard it is to carry that burden of shame, and misery, and fear, and loss.

Is it a crime to put it down for 5 or 10 minutes?

Is it likely, if you put it down for a little while, that burden will run off and abandon you??!!

I don’t think so, somehow.  I can’t believe you do, either.

Chances are that burden will stick around for a while.  If you take the time to have a good look at it, you’ll probably see the label he sewed onto it for you; “Precious.  Never let this burden out of your sight, under any circumstances.”

Does that sound like him? 

I’m a Contrarian.  For that reason alone I’d put the damned burden down for a few minutes at a time.  Honestly, it’s not going anywhere.

Nobody else is going to pick the wretched thing up and run off with it, are they? 

It has no value to anyone else.  It doesn’t even have much value for you.

Except when you tell yourself that what’s happened to you is who you are, and you let that burden define you.

But that burden is not who you are.  It’s just a burden that you happen to be carrying.

What’s happened to you has stopped you seeing who you truly are.  It’s enveloped you in a fog of misery.

Having fun is a great way of clearing that fog.

What can you do for fun? 

Any simple things that make you laugh.

When can you start? 

How about right now?  How about giving that burden the big heave-ho off your shoulders, and having a break from hefting all that weight around?

And what if you can’t come up with anything to do for fun, at the drop of a… burden?

Then, how about this?  I’m not saying it isn’t childish.  But childish is good, too.  How about you visualize that nasty-looking burden – because it is a nasty-looking burden – landing on the floor with a resounding thud, while you show it the finger  – or whatever gesture you feel appropriate.

See how it likes that!

See how much of a rush you are to put it back on your shoulders after that.

That burden is what’s making you miss out on fun, laughter, connection and lightness?

Do you really need to carry it around with you 24 hours a day?

If you’re tired of carrying around the burden of an abusive relationship, but still telling yourself you ‘miss the good times,  you’re missing a vital piece of the puzzle.  The good news is this: there’s something that can really help you.  Once you know what sets a good relationship apart from a bad relationship, those ‘good times’ won’t suck you back in anymore.

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