Friday, December 15, 2006

Dr. Laura

I used to listen to Dr. Laura on the radio. While she can be a little strident, I found she was often right in her opinions. Also found some of the callers so completely obnoxious that I couldn't stand it anymore and I quit listening.
Last week I got her book Bad Childhood Good Life. I thought it might be worth a listen.
I was the victim of sexual abuse as a very young child and as a teenager and young adult, "experienced" quite a few of the "manifestations". On a scale of one to ten on the self-esteem meter, I would have had to stack boxes to stand on to reach level one. Accordingly, I behaved as a person would who thinks they are "damaged goods". It was a terrible time in my life.
With God's help and the love and support of my husband I have achieved so much. But I still struggle. My mother resents my happiness and has not only not spoken to me in 10 years, but has never seen my 2 youngest children. I have quit trying to repair the rift, because she is so bitter and spiteful, I do not want to expose my family to her hatefulness. It is so hard to know that one's own mother despises one and that one's own father cannot rouse himself up enough to make any effort at getting to know 5 of his grandchildren. My own anger spills over into other areas of my life and spoils so many things for me.
While the church says to forgive. It never really say how. Doctors say "let go of your anger", but give no examples in ways to do that? Do you just forget about everything and act as if nothing has happened? That can't be right, can it?
In the book, Dr. Laura says that as an innocent childv/victim "Your pain is rightous" (in other words, you have a right to be angry about what was done to you). As to the "letting go" of lingering pain/anger, she says "don't eat it or deny it" But that letting go means....not allowing feelings or bad thoughts from childhood squeeze out any joy from your life today. The biggest challenge is to keep striding forward. Don't wallow in the past. It cannot be changed. Change the dynamics in your life that continue scratching at the scabs and scars of the past. Remove yourself from people and/or situations that continueously bring up the hurts and anger.
Wow! To me that is a powerful message. I will have to think on it awhile, because it almost seems too good to be true. I can forgive people, but then say goodbye to them and it does not make me a horrible person. EVEN if those people are your parents.
My head says this is true, but my heart says it may not be...... Sometimes it's just so hard being a grown up. But being grown up with a family of my own, I think maybe I have to make painful decisions to protect myself and my family from situations and people who are so hurt and damaged themselves that only cause harm when they're around. Pray for them. Love them for the good memories you can find....certainly. I can do that. But it's o.k. not to let them be around you until, they too (if the ever do) come to realize that blaming others for one's own unhappiness only goes so far and then one has to take responsibility for one's own self.
Geez....that's pretty deep for only 10 o'clock in the morning! I better go make some tea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri,

I found your blog through a comment you made at Brocante Home. This blog entry of yours is a bit old, but I hope you will discover my comment.
Have your ever read a book or listened to a CD by Louise Hay? She has helped me a lot to find a way to forgive and to go on. Maybe you want to give it a try? I started with her book "You Can Do It" which did have an audio CD included...and have bought several other ones by her in the meantime. You can listen online to her at Hayhouse Radio for free too. Just google a bit.
About knitting: The Debbie Stoller books are great for absolute beginners and advanced knitters. I can only highly recommend her. Maybe your local bookstore carries her books and you can have a look inside.

Good luck!