How many of us grew up with parents who may not have actually said the words, “Do as I say, not as I do,” but their actions followed that line of logic?
As awake and aware as many of us are, we never know what will still “trip us up,” emotionally.
We may feel quite in touch with ourselves, happy, and feeling groovy, no matter what is going on around us….and at this point in my life, I can say this is me, where I live most of the time.
Until it’s not…
And I am plunged headfirst into not being able to see or figure out what “exactly” triggered me and struggling to gain clarity on how I actually feel IN THE PRESENT. (Past be gone!)
Sometimes it’s multiple triggers at once, which elicit an emotional response I am none too thrilled with, but at the same time it also provides an opportunity for clarity and growth (yeah…yeah).
I had an incident recently with my mother.
Well first let me preface with, I have done a ton of clearing house in the parental attic, so it’s not about victimization. It’s about modeling. (See Albert Bandura–social learning theory)
My mother created a situation in which her words showed no grasp of how she was affecting others, namely one of my kids with her decided course of action. I had a very heated conversation with her about it, because I was reverted back to some other dimension, um….my childhood.
The memory of she was always right, the rest of the world was wrong…and even when she was wrong, she was right.
This confounded me for years. I couldn’t figure out how that was, where she never did anything that could be criticized or where she’d feel it necessary to apologize. I could hear her potentially saying, “I am going to rob a bank and it’s perfectly okay, but if you rob the bank you should go to jail!”(Okay, it’s a little much, but you get my point)
I grew up being blamed for things I did and didn’t do, so I went through much of my life feeling like everything was my fault and running from the criticism of it…whether it belonged to me or not. Thankfully, through much commitment to changing the trajectory of my journey this is no longer the case.
I watched how this conversation with my mother, once again seemed to turn the corner into that territory….she was excusing her behavior and her choice (which adversely affected one of my kids…and her response was “I don’t believe she’ll be disappointed,” followed by her refocusing on what I was saying to her as I suggested some rather unkind meaning to her intended action rather than her decision)...and I was once again the asshole. (Woot Woot!)
It’s funny at this point, but it took me a few weeks to unravel where I went emotionally and to really try to understand the dynamic.
Then it dawned on me…holy shit! It’s the pattern that keeps on ticking! The “no responsibility for shitty behavior (other person) and when I’ve (Tracy) had enough of it, I am the asshole routine.”
Oh ho, ho, ho….
This was awesome.
Cuz this time, I didn’t feel shitty…I just wanted clarity about my feelings toward my mother.
I realized years of watching this Edsel (one of the worst cars ever made) being rebuilt in my life over and over, I knew I finally had clarity and detachment from this model. Just like deciding to end the 5 year on-off relationship I was in or my marriage–somehow it was my fault that I wanted better treatment for me (even though it had been discussed countless times).
Modeled to me since birth…do as I say…not as I do…. I was responsible for everyone else’s feelings, but when it came to my own…shove them in a box or risk an adverse reaction.
I no longer worry about what outcome happens from speaking my truth and if anyone out there worries…please contact me. I’ve become the observer of a past dynamic, not swept up in it’s undercurrent.
I share this, because I know, no matter where anyone is on their path….something will come along to trip us up.
We want to feel like we all have it together.
It’s just sometimes we don’t…and it’s okay. We never know when we’re going to be triggered, but when it happens it is an opportunity to grow.
And if you need some help getting unstuck, learning to love yourself MORE, and like what I write. Then please join me in my new program, it’s less than the cost of a weekly latte! 🙂