Sunday, November 15, 2015

Can You Really Follow Your Own Advice?

I should feel blessed but most of the time I just find something to worry about.  I believe this is a learned behavior from watching my mother worry about everything.  All the time.  She was great at putting her fears into me, and this is something I saw because I was pretty good at doing this to others that I loved.  My children as well, however I still love them.  :)  But with relationships its very unfair to put your fears into them.  You should approach relationships as individual as the people involved. 

I know you think you do.  I think I do too.  But we don't.  Not if we've been hurt even once in our lives.  And we all have at least that.  Because when we've been hurt, we learn from that experience.  And we try not to make the same mistake again, so we are armed.  We are gun-shy.  We are defensive.  And we tend to make the new relationship pay for all the things the past relationships did to us.  It can express itself in many different ways.  Anger, paranoia, silence, sarcasm, nagging, jealousy, and sometimes quiet agreement.  That last one was a specialty of my moms, "Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves." She was fond of saying.  Bitter and cynical, but true. 

When you let someone else talk they will inevitably tell you everything you need to know about them.  Who they are, what they stand for, turn ons, turn offs, all of that, sure.  But they will also show you how they treat others and what they really think by how they talk about others.  But here is where we stop really listening, and let our egos somehow step in and tell us,  "Sure he cheats on her, but he would never do that to me." Or how about this one, "She says the worst things about him, but I know I can trust her with my secrets." Or this classic, "He hit her but I'm sure she'd deserved it, he'd never raise a hand to me, I'd never let him." And when we start to believe this is when we are making a mistake.  Assuming that they will treat us differently than others in their lives, because somehow we are more special to them.  This is a fallacy. 

My mom also used to say this about paranoia, "You can only be paranoid about behavior that you can imagine happening.  Therefore if you aren't capable of the same behavior, the idea never crosses your mind."  Wow.  That was eye opening.  I think she's right on one level.  Abuse is the behavior that you might not be capable of repeating once done to you.  Although there are theories that abusive husbands/wives were beaten as kids, same with childhood rape and pedophiles.  But not all.  I'm a survivor of abuse and not abusing.  Some of us get help and love and the right environment after a traumatic abuse and it stops the pattern.  Others, like me repress it until adulthood or strong enough to remember it.  In either case, these people usually are not repeaters of abuse. 

It really is a shame that we can't see our own lives and troubles as clearly as we can see others.  If we could just follow our own advice we'd be happier and healthier individuals.  Personally I believe it's harder to do than quitting smoking.