Gransnet forums


Recognise how far you have come.

(85 Posts)
Starblaze Mon 14-Sep-20 10:01:42

Let's just forget any version of "get over it". Try this instead:

When we have been in a state of overcoming for much of our lives, it can be difficult to surrender to the fact that there is no longer anything to overcome. Wilfull overcoming and goal-centeredness become an entrenched way of being- one that is associated with our very survival- and it can be difficult to slow down and realize that we made it out. That we are no longer at risk. That we created a healthier, safer reality. This is as true for people who overcame poverty as it is those who made it out of unsafe home environments. Many of us- and I am one of them- have great difficulty recognizing and integrating the fact that we are no longer back there. Our minds know we got out, but our animal bodies are still carrying the same anxieties that fueled our overcoming. In my own experience, the key to the shift in awareness is developing our capacity for surrender to our bodies. Only when we can drop down below our wilfull warrior, only when we can slow down and truly FEEL the change, will we be able to integrate the fact that we are no longer back there. For us to know the war is over, we have to allow ourselves to breathe deeply into the beautiful world that we have constructed with our own efforts. We have to raise the white flag in our hearts. This is no easy feat- surrendering brings up the old anxieties, at first- but if we stay with it, it will become a natural way of being. And the wars of overcoming, slowly become a thing of the past…

~Jeff Brown

ineedamum Mon 14-Sep-20 11:01:31

I read a wonderful book which helped me. Basically with childhood trauma your brain and how it handles emotions wasn't allowed to develop at its correct rate. So when triggers happen, your brain has learned to respond the way a child does ie fear, loneliness and despair.

The brain can relearn to deal with emotions, but first steps are to breathe deeply in crisis or triggers.

Madgran77 Mon 14-Sep-20 17:55:46

When someone has had a serious life threatening illness, survives the gruelling treatment and has counselling to overcome the trauma of that experience day the counsellor is likely to ask "When will you stop being a cancer patient?" Its a life changing moment in changing thinking, approaches, stopping for someone in that position if the counsellor chooses the right moment. Its the start of "feeling the change"

I know it is not the scenario being described above but reading that brought it to my mind.

That is an interesting "Jeff Brown" quote Starblaze

Starblaze Mon 14-Sep-20 19:35:38

I don't know if there is a famous Jeff Brown out there Madgran? Just someone I follow after reading a post, don't really know much about him apart from, liking his words.

I guess it's the same as, if you have been hit often in the past, sudden movements make you flinch.

That can be upsetting to people around you because they register your fear and your flinch but maybe don't know or understand why it is there. Maybe focused on a "reaction" rather than your unintentional instinct.

Moving past those triggers is everything and you can have 80% of them behind you but some don't see your progress... Some don't see their own progress

So important to recognise

Smileless2012 Mon 14-Sep-20 19:46:52

That's a good point Madgran, when do you stop being a victim and start becoming a survivor?

I am not a victim of the abuse I suffered as a child; I am a survivor.

I am not a victim of our son's estrangement; I am a survivor.

We are formed in part by our life experiences. We can use those to help others; to talk about what 'worked' in our recovery; to empathise with those with a similar experience and even if engaging with others whose experiences may not be the same, we can at least identify with their pain even if the cause of that pain differs to our own.

Madgran77 Mon 14-Sep-20 19:59:27

No I don't know if there is a famous Jeff Brown either, doesn't really matter, its an interesting quote.

Yes hitting leaves a legacy of flinching

Cancer leaves a legacy of thinking in specific ways because of fear. I was surprised that the quote made me think of that, but it did. "Feeling the change" is a good description

Starblaze Mon 14-Sep-20 20:08:26

I see and feel so much change in myself Madgran that's why it hurts when people say I should just get over it or that I'm harming my own children.

I was a better mum than mine without any good example to learn from.

Yes I've worked to be better and if anyone tells me that my wanting to work at it is somehow worse than their "everything here is perfect and wonderful just because I said so" then.... Urgh fine, let em

I'm in a mood aren't I? Life's punching me when I'm down a bit lately and I'm flinching.

Sometimes I think perhaps I did join the wrong forum if I wanted at least a balance of support to... Something else entirely...

Smileless2012 Mon 14-Sep-20 20:10:58

There's so much that can leave "a legacy of thinking in specific ways because of fear" isn't there Madgran. My poor mum was successfully treated and cured of cancer but the last 15 years of her life were controlled by her fear of it's return.

She was cured physically but not mentally/emotionallysad.

Madgran77 Mon 14-Sep-20 20:13:30

I see and feel so much change in myself Madgran

That's good.

For someone who has suffered a life threatening illness it is "feeling the change of perception of themselves, of their future life" In some ways similar maybe?

Madgran77 Mon 14-Sep-20 20:14:50

Smileless I am sorry that your Mum could move beyond that fear and sense of being trapped as a cancer patient with all that implies

Starblaze Mon 14-Sep-20 20:17:47

I haven't had that experience Madgran my scare was caught quickly, cut out, nothing further needed. People close to me have had terrible times. It seemed to be, throw this treatment at you till it looks like it might kill you and hope it kills the cancer first.

Cancer is terrifying and traumatising and people who gave survived it have my respect

Madgran77 Mon 14-Sep-20 20:21:06

Terrifying indeed and counselling can help with the aftermath if survived, as it can with many traumatic experiences, if the right counsellor/style of counselling is found

Starblaze Mon 14-Sep-20 20:24:46

Yes it can. I do have experience there.

Starblaze Tue 06-Oct-20 20:54:25

More wise words from Jeff Brown Facebook page. He is so uplifting in troubled times

Starblaze Tue 06-Oct-20 21:14:57

When you are trying to heal from anything or in my case, a highly abusive relationship that begun before you could even speak.....

At first you just can't see your progress. You feel like things will never get any better for you. After a while you can measure your progress in years, then months then weeks then days.

Things happen in life and you can measure your strength and your resilience against them.

Over time I have learnt to understand my mum, I've learnt why she became the way she did. I've learnt to let go of the bad feeling towards her and pity her. Maybe that's not forgiveness but it is allowing her to be her and live her life while I live mine, apart.

I've also learnt how and why I am different to my mum and understand where that made my path branch away from hers.

I think though that there is no set standard or distance or measure for where anyone should be.

Just the ability to keep going and growing and knowing that people around you appreciate the effort.

HolyHannah Tue 06-Oct-20 21:33:05

Starblaze -- I think the biggest thing for Me was realizing that 'mom' and I were never 'close' the way I thought we were/she told me we were.

Even though, as you say, our unhealthy relationship began before I could even talk didn't mean I didn't see the 'wrong' in the home. I think that unnerved her.

The anger and bitterness from her cycled into her being more bitter and unhappy... So I had a polar-opposite personality.

That said, if you aren't allowed proper anger then you end up depressed on many levels. Learning about proper balance and healthy emotions/emotional regulation is a key to healing. That's how I know my 'mom' was not healthy. She lacked emotional regulation. Since I was punished for having the 'wrong' emotions I never developed those 'bad patterns' that I think she hated in herself.

Understanding that was all projection? I haven't had a suicidal thought since and my depression is as cured as it can be. I haven't had a real panic attack in years. My C-PTSD symptoms have improved... All by not believing what I was taught/projected onto growing up and that's how far I've come in therapy.

Starblaze Tue 06-Oct-20 21:53:56

I understand that Holyhannah more often I was told the emotion I had were different than they were. There are only so many times someone can say. "stop being angry, stop shouting" before you do get angry and start shouting.

I had so much love from my Dad, unconditional, real, heard and seen. I knew she didn't love me from a young age. I did live in fear though that I deserved that and if I spent more time with Dad he would reject me too. That meant I turned down opportunities to live with him which is a shame.

We have our children and our good relationship as one of the destination in that journey though and that brings a lot of comfort. It also brings a lot of persistence lol

Starblaze Tue 06-Oct-20 21:54:47


rosecarmel Wed 07-Oct-20 03:07:54


rosecarmel Wed 07-Oct-20 03:11:25

"That said, if you aren't allowed proper anger then you end up depressed on many levels."

True- Which is why being asked to forgive before things are sorted even roughly enough leaves too many "loose ends" so to speak and you just wind up being angry all over again-

Starblaze Wed 07-Oct-20 10:21:29

I think maybe anger can be tied to guilt so strongly that it's impossible to express it at all. Especially when you grow up being told anger = bad.

Anger is actually self protection isn't it? A boost of adrenaline, a means to get us out of fearful or dangerous situations? A clear warning to others "I'm protecting myself! Stay away!“.

I used to just cry angry...

Light bulb moment

Took me a while, thanks guys

Smileless2012 Wed 07-Oct-20 10:28:27

Anger can be a positive emotion.

"All who live should rage. People who are angry get up in the morning, people who are sad sometimes do not" Alice Jolly, from 'Dead Babies and Seaside Towns'.

3nanny6 Wed 07-Oct-20 13:44:05

Anger can be something that surfaces in an argument/fight.

Anger is an emotion necessary in the human being make-up.
In many people female/male and children anger is some reaction to frustrations below the surface. In a controlled scenario perhaps with a counsellor getting underneath the anger to the root of the problem is helpful

Anger not properly harnessed can be destructive and at times downright dangerous.

Starblaze Wed 07-Oct-20 13:48:40

I expect there are healthy and unhealthy ways to express anger. Being angry all the time would be exhausting.

Screaming into a pillow I heard is good.

Kate1949 Wed 07-Oct-20 13:54:12

When I was in tears in the GP's surgery last year, when a straw broke this camel's back, he told me that I should 'forget the past and move on'.
That's easy to say. Some things are very difficult to 'move on' (I hate that expression) from.