10 Things Holding You Back

by Annie Kaszina on August 13, 2012

This week, we’re going to turn our attention away from the anatomy of your abusive relationship, temporarily, to take a look at 10 things that could well be holding you back –  even if you’re no longer in your emotionally abusive relationship.  

  1. Your bad habits.  Yes, I am pointing the finger at you.  It’s not The Finger of Blame, though.  It’s the finger of accountability.  (Blame is nasty; it’s used to punish you.  Accountability is simply about owning where you are in your life, so you’re free to accept – and change – things as appropriate.)  You have a very bad habit of blaming yourself for everything, don’t you?  Don’t believe me?  Think about it: how often do you apologise in a day? 
  1. You treat yourself like the enemy.  Well, you do, don’t you?  When was the last time you gave yourself the benefit of the doubt?  When was the last time you showed yourself as much empathy and compassion as you show other people?  When was the last time you said to yourself; “Yes, but… I’ve got so much potential??? 
  1. You deprive yourself.  I know that’s what martyrs do.  Heaven knows I was pretty good at it myself.  BUT… that doesn’t make it right.  Depriving yourself of time, consideration, and good things, generally, doesn’t mean there is more for other people.  It simply means there is less for you.  Believe it or not, you are not a One Woman Distribution Centre.  It is not your life’s mission to try to compensate other people for whatever they lack.  (So, your partner had a lousy childhood; it’s not your responsibility.  Your partner is a lousy parent.  Please, please, do the math: you can be one great parent, but you cannot be two great parents.  Depriving yourself, constantly, for your kids doesn’t make them feel good: it makes them feel beholdenWho likes to feel beholden?) 
  1. You live in the past.  I did it, too.  It goes with the territory.  It goes with having an emotionally abusive relationship.  But it’s not helping you.  You spend a ton of time looking back at “The Good Times”, and The Bad Times.  I hate to have to tell you this but… “The Good Times” weren’t really that great, and The Bad Times nearly crushed the life out of you.  That was then.  It was lousy.  You have the present moment to live in – same as everyone else.  And you have a future.  Other people have been through what you’ve been through, and gone on to create their happy life.  You can, too.  It’s time to let your past be the past. 
  1. You frighten really easily.  It doesn’t take much to frighten you witless, does it?  I’ve worked with women who were on the point of giving up on getting substantial maintenance from soon to be ex-husbands, because they were terrified of looking bad, or what he might say to them. (I helped them to get over that fear really fast, so they could secure their financial future.)  If fear disempowers you, there’s something you need to know: the worst has already happened.  He was the all time worst.  He has already happened to you.  The important thing, now, is to learn how to get your life back.  Make that your mission. 
  1. You give up on yourself.  Like all the time. You have some hopes, and dreams, but you don’t truly commit to yourself.  You still believe you have to live By Kind Permission…. of The Most Punitive, Unkind, Judgmental Person in your life – your Sneer-Leader.  If you’re going to get out of this dark place you’re in, you need to become your own Cheerleader.  Enlist appropriate support, by all means.  That will shorten your journey dramatically.  But, still, please understand, you have to become your own champion, and hero.  Once you accept that, your life will start to look up.

  1. You procrastinate.  You’re terrified of getting it wrong.  The point is, you already have: you ended up with him.  Making mistakes is unfortunate.  What turns a mistake into the end of the world is the failure to take action.   He was a mistake you stuck with.  You might like to think, going forward, that you’ll never make a mistake again.  That’s not going to happen.  Unless you do N-O-T-H-I-N-G from hereon in, mistakes are pretty much guaranteed.  But you don’t have to invest in your mistakes, the way you did with him.  Doing nothing, or sitting with an unsatisfactory situation, is the biggest mistake you can make.  
  1. You tell yourself stories.  You tell yourself stories about how bad things are, and how Bad Things always happen to you.  You tell yourself the story of your lonely, miserable future.  Those stories make you terribly, terribly miserable.  What’s to stop you tuning in to other stories?  Stories about people who’ve managed to do what you don’t think you can do?  What’s to stop you telling yourself stories about things you have achieved, and can still achieve?  As the resident storyteller inside your head, you get to choose the stories.  Honestly. 
  1. You compare yourself.  Other People can do, be, and have everything you’d like for yourself.  But you can’t.  Or, at least, that’s what you tell yourself.  You stick your nose through the prison bars of your misery, and the comparisons you make, and you look wistfully at what Other People have – or, at any rate, what you think they have – and you don’t have.  Instead of comparing yourself (“They’re wonderful, and I’m useless) ask yourself: “What can I learn from them?  What do they do that works, that I could incorporate into my life?” 
  1. You don’t laugh enough.  Mr Nasty has a talent for spreading doom and gloom.  He does that for a reason.  He doesn’t want you to laugh.  There’s nothing like laughter for cutting problems down to size.  The more you laugh, the better you’ll start to feel.  Which means the chains that bind you to him won’t be as strong.  So laugh a little.  Laugh a lot.  You could wait for Life to get better before you start to laugh.  Or you could start right now.  I know what I chose to do.  I suffered from all 10 blocks.  I started laughing. I laughed myself right out of my abusive relationship.  Will you?


 

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