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Getting Through : Dealing

What can I do ...?

from holysavage - Saturday, November 17, 2007
accessed 564 times

I know how this might sound seeing that I have been out for almost 10 years now but I'd like to know if there are any others around who feel (or have felt ) the same way.

It just seems that every time I am faced with a situation where I should stand up for myself I end up freezing with fear. That goes for my boss, with my fiance,with just about anyone that's a little bit more forceful in their words with me. The worst thing about it is that even when I know I'm right I still back down and I still hear a little voice in my head from my twisted past that tells me to "shut up and back down if not you are going to get it!" I remember that my mom in TF used to slap me around when I would so much as question her judgement and voice my opinions to her and so maybe that has something to do with it.That's not to mention all the other things I suffered at the hands of the "Home Shepherds", hard labor, silence restrictions, isolation, ridicule, etc. I try so hard to get rid of that in my mind but it's just so fucking hard to do. My fiance is very patient with me cuz he sees that I'm trying but since he knows nothing about that part of my life it's hard to make him understand. It's like I'm still a scared little child at times and I know I have to get it out if not I'm going to get pushed around all my life. But I just don't know what to do...has anyone out there gone through something similar? Can anyone give me some advice? Thanks so much.

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from figaro
Friday, November 30, 2007 - 08:39

I used to be, then I decided I wasn't going to be a victim any more. I know how cliché that sounds, but its true. I stopped backing down in almost every type of confrontation. I got my ass kicked pretty bad at first, and every now and then I still do, but I would rather get my ass kicked fighting then running.
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from Haunted
Friday, November 30, 2007 - 05:53


You're not alone at all! This is a typical/textbook reaction for someone who has been intimidated and abused for their entire childhood.

It takes time but just remember: you've made a life for yourself after being brought up in an evil cult!

Anything else is a piece of cake in comparrison.

(And hey, at least you know how to use an ATM and a cell phone
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from raddah
Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 04:32

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
I know how you feel. When I left the family I barely had a personality/identity. I had a very low self esteem and I was very insecure. I went to a therapist friend of mine and it was great, she helped me a lot.
I bought some books to help me understand and learn more about childhood traumas and etc. One of the books I liked a lot was “Emotinal intelligence” from Daniel Goleman. I agree with ESJ that you should tell your fiance about your life in the family I think it would make him know and understand you better.
When I met my husband I told him about my life in the family. Telling him about my past was great for both os us. He admires me for the decisions I made of leaving TF and starting a new life on my own at the age of 16 and with no support at all.
Good luck!

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from rainy
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 12:31

I know EXACTLY what you mean, and yes, this is the result of how we were raised. Being aware of it is a good first step. Personally, this affects me to such a degree that I have found it easier to remain single, it's the only way my life can be truly mine. I find it hard to live with my parents for the same reason. I'm lucky now to have a job where nobody is overbearing, it's doing me the world of good. Good luck to you, I think we all find our own way. ESJ's advice is wonderful. I'd love to get some therapy as well, I just don't have time for it. At the moment I'm surrounded by people who respect me and understand that my less forceful nature doesn't mean I don't have opinions. That's making it easy. I find arguing online really helps practice for real life. This site has helped a fair bit. :)
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from ESJ
Monday, November 19, 2007 - 04:50


This is a really hard pattern to break, I know. I've actually sent a couple of SGA's to do a "Self Assertion' course in the past, to help them with this, and it may be helpful to look around your area to see if there are any of these type of courses available. (They're usually for one night a week). - Or make an appointment with a life coach that helps people deal with this. What helped me was a a good book on Assertiveness Training called 'When I Say No I Feel Guilty' by Manuel J Smith. (It may be out of print now, but still available at the library or second hand at I've seen some other good books around on this subject as well.

The most important thing is that you're aware of it, and awareness is the first step. Its a matter of taking small steps. Sit down and write out some of the scenarios you've experienced lately and then write out the kinds of words and actions you would have liked to have said and done in that situation if you had been feeling more self empowered. Then stand in front of the mirror and actually practice them like a script. Then the next time a similar situation occurs, try out one of your pre-practiced 'come backs'. You won't believe what a buzz you'll feel afterwards when you first stand up to someone and stop them from dominating you or 'heavying' you. I remember - (and it took me years and years after I left TF before I could do this) - the first time I stood up to an overbearing bully and told them cooly and calmly and very firmly to 'Fuck off'. God it felt good!

Another thing, I think for your own emotional well being that it would be really good, if you feel you can, to share a little more about your childhood with your fiance so he has a deeper understanding of you. If you don't want to tell him everything right now, just tell him you had really overbearing parents who would never let you disagree without meting out some traumatic punishment, which causes you to now clam up whenever you feel the need to 'have your say', and ask him to help you with this. You could even ask him to practice your little 'scripts' with you so you can feel more empowered at work. Get him to pretend to be the boss and help you figure out what you could say and how to act. I wish you all the best.
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