Secure Connections Allow Us to Feel Safe When Proximate or When Distant From our Other

Your romantic partner just left on a distant work related job.  Inside, two days later, you feel a growing chill.

You are not alone in this type of response. Physical separation can challenge intimacy. (Save the snarky comments on the positive influence physical distance can also have Carl. ūüôā )20111013-114942.jpg

We want safe connections. What and how do we get those?

Secure interpersonal connections allow us when together or apart, in any place we find ourselves, we find that we are still connected.

In contrast, when you and I, he and she, her and she are doubting our own self and/or each other, in crisis and unpaired spirits, when together or apart, in any place we find ourselves, we find that we are not. We are not connected. Connection isn’t only about proximity of person to person.

This can be one of the healing forces in victims of abuse. In the discussion of our last post, Col said:

I have been trying to figure out how to connect back to a part of me kind of lost behind….

…Time to build some trust bonds.

Likewise, Antonia reminded me of this. ¬†Although she came in with “her eyes rolling in her head” – her words weren’t always entirely connected, Antonia’s courage in life was¬†undiminished. ¬†I learned a lot from this survivor who spoke with a Sevillian accent, (including the¬†theta sounds.)

I am so pleathed to meet you, Doctora!

Her teeth were stained and overlapped each other and the right side of her face and right arm I saw were in a ruin of tumbled scars. Story unfolded that she was molested as a child by her brother for years. Her mother had died young and her father had helped her understand that that was what girls were for. Escaping from Spain to France, she married in hopes to be given a “start-over.” Her husband was violent though and finally when he lit her on fire, she was hospitalized long enough to grow some scars; inside and out. She threw herself into another “start-over,” this time including God and three years later, landed in Temecula.

Throughout the progress of her story I was sounding dismay at her suffering. However, I couldn’t for very long at any time before she’d offer me comfort to me!

No no! That was all before….

…I am thankful for my life!

I hab so much! God is really good to me. He sabed me!… ¬†Her scars were tight around her soft smile and eyes.

I know in my boots that Antonia is not all that she is today because of her medications, psychotherapy and life-saving skin grafts.  She is connected.  She is connected to her Me and to her Other.  She has security that is bigger to her than her insecurities.  (Remember yesterday when Suzicate described the friendliness of that?  Thank you Suzicate.)

This ties us in to one of our premises of what it takes to be our own friend Рaccountability to Me.  Although we are all victimized, being the victim is our choice and we have the power.

Questions: What has grown your sense of safety in your connections? How does your perception of abuse, victimization and maltreatment relate to this? Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  You have the power to have safe connections to self and others.

Are You Empowered to Start Everything and End Everything With Me?

Yesterdays blog-post brought a few neighborly questions for us to follow-up with.

One is regarding emotions from bluebee.  Is jealousy medical?  Followed by, What part of emotion is under our control?  Indeed.

Second, Sarah quietly slipped the question under our door of how to respond to emotions and behaviors that come from brain illness.  How?  Indeed.

Third, Carl banged a little louder when asking, what keeps him in a relationship with someone who is maltreating him verses leaving?  Indeed.

There is a nice flow to these. ¬†They are leading into the next and circle back. ¬†Emotions and behaviors come from the brain, much which is out of our control and some of which is. ¬†The choice to engage in the life of the ill is like any other choice. ¬†Our own. ¬†If it matters to us if the way the brain is working in the “other” is in their control or not, we can spend more time trying to sus that out. ¬†I’m not sure myself when I get it good from someone mean, but it has become easier to take care of my junk rather than there’s. ¬†For that, I will say a million thanks. ¬†If I’m getting yelled at, I do the checks on myself – anxiety? fear? anger? fatigue? shaking? dizzy? tone of my voice? do I know what this person is yelling about? (most often it has nothing to do with Me), empathy? empowerment? You’ve told me that you are growing in similar refreshing ways.

Face Down w/Laundry and Gwen Stefani

Image by NCM3 via Flickr

I’ve seen this play out a little in my children. ¬†My daughters and son are supposed to do the laundry every morning before they play. ¬†I don’t know how many years now, but their arguments haven’t changed.

I’m doing this all by myself. ¬†No one is helping me!

Mom! ¬†He’s just laying on top of the clothes! ¬†

Mom! ¬†…

These questions above…;

  • where emotions and behaviors come from,
  • control over biological symptoms,
  • do I respond to others with brain illness
  • or do I walk away

These questions don’t mean much if we don’t find where our empowerment comes from. ¬†Me. ¬†Everything starts and ends with Me.

I’m ill for reasons I have nothing to do with, yet I will be accountable for myself and how I affect others.

I feel emotions I didn’t ask for, behaving ways that I am a spectator to rather than a whole person, yet I will do what I can to gain health. ¬†In that, I have control.

I surrender what I don’t control to my Higher Power. ¬†I take medication. ¬†I exercise, guard my sleep hygiene and get regular sleep, eat responsibly, gather and engage community, attend therapy groups and/or individual, I try while at the same time I let go, I love my flaws as I love my perfections, I try to develop my natural genius, try as often as I can to pour any energies I have in that direction as I know I will heal faster, enjoy life more and be more successful at all my efforts when I do.

It reminds me of that saying, that if I have success, it is from standing on the shoulders of giant midgets.  We are all flawed.  We are all wonderful.  We are supported by others who also are full of flawed perfections.

Do I have control? ¬†You bet. ¬†…And no way. ¬†Always, there are both.

Do I talk when someone is mistreating me? or mistreating themselves by neglecting their own self-care? by letting their illnesses shape their lives?  Do I walk away as that may be what my self-care demands.

Everything starts and ends with me. ¬†There are a lot of stops along the way with other forces, but empowerment is mine. ¬†Indeed. ¬†That’s what I hope my kids will learn when doing the laundry.

Love – Take What is Already Yours. You Have Been Given Love.

Stef's Present with Handmade Wrapping

Image by ex.libris via Flickr

Self-Care Tip #194 РTake what is already yours.  Be a friend to yourself.

Parenting, we hold the power in the relationship between us and our child/ren.  If we are emotionally maltreated by our child/ren, we parents are still the ones with the power.  What are we giving to her if we teach her that we will take the terrible words and dark emotions?  When we take the projected anger when we have the power to choose not to, what message are we giving to ourselves about ourselves?  What is the message if we say by our actions that Love demands from us to accept, to take and to be a victim to the emotional abuse?  Is that what love tells us?

It is difficult to receive maltreatment from anyone. ¬†And because of the suffering involved, we can misinterpret the message, “This is the sacrifice that Love demands” – the sacrifice is doing what other people want before taking care of yourself.

It is difficult not to receive maltreatment as well. ¬†Which choice is more consistent with our understanding of Love? ¬†The words in the message might be the same, “This is the sacrifice that Love demands.” ¬†However, the interpretation of the message, of what the sacrifice is – that meaning is different. ¬†The sacrifice is, rather, taking care of yourself first so that you have the best of you to offer to others.

To read more on this topic, please see posts, Criticize if You Love Me, Listen to The Intention in What People Say and Stop! Before Hurting Yourself or Others.

Because we as parents hold the power in the relationship, we can feel trapped by our own power.  What a confusion for many of us.  Holding power but feeling helpless.  Holding a stick in both hands, so to speak, not seeing that we can still use our occupied hands for anything else in the mean time.

This kind of choice takes Love.  This is the kind of choice that is a work of a life-time or of a moment, but is life.  See, Let It Go and Keep Going.

We can’t teach others that we are valuable and how to treat us with Love if we don’t do it ourselves for ourselves. ¬†When we act on Love, self-care means that we don’t accept treatment that is inconsistent with Love. ¬†If we accept bad treatment, we are saying that self-care is accepting our lack of choices versus making the choices that are still available despite the¬†circumstance.

FriendShip... A gift of God.

Image by ~FreeBirD¬ģ~ via Flickr

This of course applies to any relationship. ¬†It applies to any connection, whether it is in the work-place, marriage, if you are the child in the parent-child role, friendships – take your pick. ¬†You can choose Love. ¬†You can choose. ¬†Self-care starts and ends with “Me.”

Freedom is a gift. ¬†No matter how many times it is wrapped up and placed in our hands, if we don’t open it, use it, own it, we will never have it. ¬†Freedom to choose has been given to us before we were born, just like our salvation. ¬†The salvation will never be taken away. ¬†Nor the freedom. ¬†Both are elemental and constant. ¬†But if we don’t pull on the ribbon, lift the lid and take – we can’t expect anything but living without what was inside. ¬†Does the title “victim” even hold if it was our choice not to take what was already ours?

Question:  How do you claim your freedom to choose when all you perceive at the time is what has been taken away?  Please tell me your story.