A sample from Book 9
My Turn, Your Turn
I'm not you
you're not me
can we agree
I've taken it
called me names
‒your smeared campaign
left me in open terrain
running like a hurricane
my I...redirected blame
leaving me totally drained
‒all so, so in vain‒
in you...pain remains
‒I've not gained fame
just added pain
in me...a mixed-up pang
I'm not you
you're not me
can we agree
from all other's pain
my I to reclaim‒
silencing the rein
my own thinking
‒all that re-directed pain
I've released the inflame‒
filling my own inane
understanding self-love's domain‒
to self first
I'm not you
you're not me
can we agree
is your pain
do I ingrain
what's not mine
I'll let you yell, complain‒
can't be drained
have your say
me...you can't arraign
my I...in God's† grace
I'm not you
you're not me
there's no choice
but to agree
(November 17)—The writings are more important than the mimes. Seriously. If you know someone hurting today, direct them to my author page. I can’t promise anything, but I know I’ve been there. Maybe, my work will let them know they are not alone.
It’s all a process…God’s time is not ours. Open your heart. Help that person open theirs. No one has to hurt alone. We all will go through the five stages of grief. There’s no…no getting around it, but we can get through them…yes, we can. It’s easier when we know that we have a team supporting our way. I’m on that team. Are you? God bless.
Feel the light…if you are hurting, you will make it through. I know this is fact. Love the skin you are in. You may have a difficult person in your life, but do you realize that you are difficult, too?
In Chapter 7 of Stop Walking on Eggshells by Mason and Kreger, which is titled ‘Asserting Your Needs with Confidence and Clarity,’ when they mention BPD or BP, [BPD stands for Borderline Personality Disorder, which is a person who has been diagnosed with the disorder.
BP stands for Borderline Personality, which stands for someone you think may have the disorder], you can just about put anyone’s name you know in place of those abbreviations! We are humans. We all try…at least, the majority of us…to be compassionate and understand others’ pain.
[I should note here that there is a huge difference between a narcissistic and psychopathic personality and the rest of us! These I’ve explained in my previous writings and will be included in my books. There are also plenty of books by professional PhD’s who can explain these in depth.]
Mason talks about sponging, reflecting, and mirroring, which are very understandable concepts. We often absorb other people’s pain…meaning: We often cry when someone we love experiences a great deal of pain…stuff like that. The difference when it comes to taking on pain that we shouldn’t, sponging, is when we feel, on a personal level, hurt that is not our own and it changes our personality.
For example: Say you’re in an argument with someone and they call you a snob. You know you are not a snob. You are probably shy or you just keep cool or you are an observer or you just rather be alone, or you are an introvert. That’s who you are. You know that’s who you are. You don’t need to explain this. The other person’s view of you is not your view. On the outside, they see this person (you) who doesn’t communicate or talk to them as others do. They see this person (you) who thinks they (you) are better than them because they (you) don’t talk to them, etc., etc.
That person has a right to feel what they want, but when they call you a snob, your immediate reaction would be hurt if you haven’t learned that other people’s anger or hurt is not about you. I know. I have experienced this exact scenario several times in my life. I was floored each time when I was called a snob. I was hurt (reflecting). Why would they think that? I was insulted and wanted to lash out, but, instead I held it in and blamed myself for how they felt about me—I must be doing something wrong (sponging).
I learned later that that snob was a re-directed emotion. It wasn’t about me at all. I didn’t know about mirroring until years later. That’s to do with how we communicate with the other person to not take the blame of how they (the other person) feels. This is explained thoroughly in Mason’s book, which I highly recommend. Here, I won’t rewrite his book. This has everything to do with boundaries.
I said in an earlier writing that when my therapist told me I may have Borderline Personality Disorder that I wanted to punch her in the face. That was not a literal intention, just an emotional one by the way.
Chapter 7 in this book, shows me the reality of what she meant. Yes, I have a few examples. I have several more books about this disorder to read, but just reading this first one, I don’t think this disorder is a disorder really. What I see is that when we experience pain, a really deep pain, we covet it, and, then instead of talking about it or dealing with it, we let it affect our entire life, exploiting our buried hurt onto others.
Example: It took me three years to get through the roughest part of the five stages of grief. My daughter was there the whole time. He [the sweet man] was there, off and on, as well. Both of them saved my life in so many ways. Both of these people, whom I love very much, did something that hurt me so profoundly, but because of what they did, they made the deepest impact on my healing. I’ll explain….
I would re-direct my pain onto my daughter over and over. No, I didn’t really see this right away, but eventually I did. In fact, I re-directed my pain on all three of my children. I wasn’t doing this on purpose. I was doing this out of fear of everything. No, I didn’t know this when I was doing this. It was the final action of my daughter that truly woke me up. Okay, before she did what she did, he did something that started the whole process.
I was drowning. Truly. I was in therapy. I was doing all that was asked of me, but that freaking pain wouldn’t let up. My mind would constantly turn back around and all these negative things would swallow me up over and over again. So, what did I do? I re-directed it onto those I loved the most.
My daughter kept taking it. He…he had no connection to me like my daughter had, so, he left. We loved each other, but he had a past, too, and he already went through what I was going through. He didn’t have to deal. He had his boundaries already set.
I had zero boundaries. So…bye, bye, Karen. Did that hurt? Hell yes! What did I do? I did what I had been doing since all the darkness hit me, I lashed out completely, but, then something clicked: I love him. He didn’t have to change. I had to get a grip on this pain that was consuming me. Hence, all my reading from Joyce Meyer to the books I’m reading now. That first move by him opened my eyes to one single thing: With him, that heavy, heavy pain that sat on my chest from the divorce and deception and abuse was lifted.
I could breathe again. His love showed me that I could love again. His love also taught me that he wasn’t [x], he was his own individual person and because God showed him his boundaries, he wasn’t going to cross them even for me, even for the love he had for me. That was very serious. I didn’t learn the lesson immediately. I suffered and was still blind until my daughter’s lesson for me came. She had had enough, too. She left. What drove her to leave? Me.
My mother was in the hospital with her forth mini heart attack. My sisters (now, I love my sisters very much, but I can’t change them…they have to do that on their own) directed their pain onto me. I absorbed it all and told my mother I had to go. I then took all that hurt put on me by my sisters and placed it on my daughter. I had no right to do that. I didn’t realize what I had done until the pain consumed my beautiful daughter’s face. That was the last draw for her. (There’s only so many sorrys a person can take.) She was gone.
My sons had already departed the scene over a year before. They’d show their face, here and there, but they weren’t going to be there for me to throw my pain on them. So, there I was alone without the ones I loved. I was on my own. Totally, for the first time since the darkness hit me. I was forced to look at me! What my daughter and he did hurt…hurt like hell, but if they hadn’t done what they did, I’d still be back there, lost in that horrible pain that had consumed me.
So…[x], who was taken from his mother at a young age and had to live with his father (who’s a good man, but because of a rough childhood himself, ended up with an aggressive personality as an adult), then [x] lost his mother before the healing process could be completed between the both of them, had developed that narcissistic personality and directed all that pinned-up pain on me, then I took all that pain (sponged) until it exploded, which ended it all in divorce because I wasn’t going to tolerate it anymore.
My explosion during that period was turning around all that I had sponged back to [x]…(reflecting). That was supposed to force [x] to look at himself and his pain (mirroring), instead of directing his pain onto me. All this led to me acting the same way when it came to my own pain, which led to my daughter and him [the sweet man] forcing me to look in the mirror and see that my hurt wasn’t caused by them, but by me. Does that make sense?
Mason talks about how in order to not take on another person’s pain, we must do the following:
- Maintain your [our] own sense of reality despite what the other person says.
- Reflect the pain back to its proper owner—the person with BP [causing you the pain].
- Express confidence that the BP [other person] can learn to cop with his or her own feelings.
- Offer your [our] support.
- Make it clear that the BP [other person] is the only person who can control his or her feelings and reactions.
- Show by your [our] actions that there are limits to the type of behavior that we will and will not accept.
- Communicate these limits clearly and act on them consistently.
Then Mason mentions steps to take to ensure that we maintain our own self value and feelings:
- Remove yourself [our self] from an abusive situation.
- Let the BP [other person] take responsibility for his or her own actions.
- Assert your [our] own feelings and wishes.
- Disregard name calling and provocative behavior.
- Refuse to speak to an enraged person.
- Decline to let anyone else’s public behavior embarrass you [us].
- Simply say no.
Do you see how I replaced the BP identity with just the other person? I did that to show that we all experience this type of behavior. Some people experience it in a calm way, others don’t. In my experience, [x] showed it to me, I showed it to my daughter and him [the sweet man], and, then they in turn, showed it to me.
We experience pain. We each deal with the pain in a different way. This is where ‘My Turn, Your Turn’ comes from this morning.
Another shorter example: I have to deal with physical pain all the time. It gets to me at time. I don’t deal with it very well. A couple of days ago, I lashed out at him [the sweet man]. He really didn’t know what hit him. It was only the next day that I realized it was me being in pain that I couldn’t handle, not him. I re-directed my frustration with my physical pain onto him. It was really great to have someone who can understand and help, instead of hinder.
Think about that before someone’s anger gets to you. Is it you or them? Most of the time, it’s them. Stop Walking on Eggshells can really help you and them to understand. God bless you and keep it moving forward.
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Additional On Abuse…Codependency, Narcissism, Trauma…and Healing
(Each page has loads of additional books (in every format), videos, instruction materials, and inspiration gift ideas.):
I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai
Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin
Pathways to Recovery, A Strengths Recovery Self-Help Workbook by Priscilla Ridgway, Diane McDiarmid, Lori Davidson, Julie Bayes, and Sarah Ratzlaff
Power: Surviving & Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi
Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger
The Anger Control Workbook: Getting Through Treatment and Getting Back to Your Life by Dr. Matthew McKay and Dr. Peter Rogers.
Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter