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Thread: LA Shrinks (Bravo)

  1. #31
    FORT Fogey Imperfect1's Avatar
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    Re: LA Shrinks (Bravo)

    Just like some of you, watching Dr. Greg's struggle with his father reminded me of my own childhood and my struggles growing up with an ice cold mother and an abusive step-father. I was terrified of my step-father and did not have the nerve to confront him until I was in my 40s. At first (like most abusers) he claimed he didn't know what I was talking about, but when I insisted on discussing it, he came around to apologizing for, as he put it: "whatever I might have done" --- but he still claimed he didn't remember having done anything to me. At that point, I literally started reminding him of the DETAILS of MULTIPLE incidents and FINALLY, he really did start to remember some of them, and then there were a lot of silences and a lot of tears, but he genuinely seemed to feel very remorseful and gave me a heartfelt apology.

    Here's the odd thing though. . . you'd think that after finally getting the acknowledgement and the apology that I had waited so long for, I'd feel some sense of relief, or vindication, or something, but what actually happened was, after that talk was over, I felt pretty much nothing, and it's been quite a few years since that day, and I still haven't really had any emotional satisfaction out of it. But the one good thing that came out of it, was that even though we never spoke of that topic again (!) it did seem to 'lighten up' my relationship with him a bit, and I was even able to enjoy his company a little bit from time to time in his later years. The bottom line, for me though, was that I finally realized that because the apology and the vindication didn't turn out to really help me feel any better, I had to just let my hurt feelings go, in my own mind, in order to have any chance of peace of mind for the future.
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  2. #32
    everyone's a critic... holly71's Avatar
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    Re: LA Shrinks (Bravo)

    Quote Originally Posted by Imperfect1 View Post
    Just like some of you, watching Dr. Greg's struggle with his father reminded me of my own childhood and my struggles growing up with an ice cold mother and an abusive step-father. I was terrified of my step-father and did not have the nerve to confront him until I was in my 40s. At first (like most abusers) he claimed he didn't know what I was talking about, but when I insisted on discussing it, he came around to apologizing for, as he put it: "whatever I might have done" --- but he still claimed he didn't remember having done anything to me. At that point, I literally started reminding him of the DETAILS of MULTIPLE incidents and FINALLY, he really did start to remember some of them, and then there were a lot of silences and a lot of tears, but he genuinely seemed to feel very remorseful and gave me a heartfelt apology.

    Here's the odd thing though. . . you'd think that after finally getting the acknowledgement and the apology that I had waited so long for, I'd feel some sense of relief, or vindication, or something, but what actually happened was, after that talk was over, I felt pretty much nothing, and it's been quite a few years since that day, and I still haven't really had any emotional satisfaction out of it. But the one good thing that came out of it, was that even though we never spoke of that topic again (!) it did seem to 'lighten up' my relationship with him a bit, and I was even able to enjoy his company a little bit from time to time in his later years. The bottom line, for me though, was that I finally realized that because the apology and the vindication didn't turn out to really help me feel any better, I had to just let my hurt feelings go, in my own mind, in order to have any chance of peace of mind for the future.
    I'm sorry you didn't get the feeling that you were hoping for. Did you at least feel a sense of closure, like you could at least move forward & not let the past haunt your present?

    I think for me, a lot of my hurt feelings, particularly for the past 5 years or so, come from the things my mother currently says/does to me. It's like the past is smacking me in my face all over again. Since I can't really talk with her like 2 adults (I'm refraining from saying "reasonable adults" because she's not, sorry to say), my only other option is to cut her out of my life, & I just can't bring myself to do that.
    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  3. #33
    FORT Fogey Imperfect1's Avatar
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    Re: LA Shrinks (Bravo)

    Quote Originally Posted by holly71 View Post
    I'm sorry you didn't get the feeling that you were hoping for. Did you at least feel a sense of closure, like you could at least move forward & not let the past haunt your present?

    I think for me, a lot of my hurt feelings, particularly for the past 5 years or so, come from the things my mother currently says/does to me. It's like the past is smacking me in my face all over again. Since I can't really talk with her like 2 adults (I'm refraining from saying "reasonable adults" because she's not, sorry to say), my only other option is to cut her out of my life, & I just can't bring myself to do that.
    Thanks for asking, Holly. I think that for most of us who have these kinds of problems, it's always complicated. And for me, (and from what I can see, I think the same is true for Dr. Greg on LA Shrinks) the answer is both yes and no. Yes, I got a little bit of 'closure' out of the fact that my step-father did acknowledge and apologize for some of what he had done to me --- but I 'expected' that getting an acknowledgement and apology would make me FEEL BETTER about what my past was like, and surprisingly, it didn't. My situation was also complicated by my feelings of anger toward my mother who didn't protect me from his abuse, and she wasn't the world's greatest mother, either.

    So what I finally learned is that these feelings of hurt and betrayal don't just magically go away. We have to actively CHOOSE to stop letting the past (and in your case, the present) actions of others continue to hurt us. But here's the icing on the cake that I DIDN'T EXPECT. What I DO now have is this amazing sense of POWER because because once I realized that, suddenly for the first time in my life, I WAS THE ONE WHO DICTATED what kind of relationship I had with my parents. And that was the thing that really changed everything! No, I can't erase the past, but the balance of power has now shifted. I am now the one who can control and limit how much, and in what way, and how I feel about everything concerning my parents. And once I realized this, I MADE SURE THAT THEY KNEW IT, so since then, they've have to dance to MY tunes, or they else we don't dance at all. And it worked, because instead of continuing to have a relationship with my parents from the perspective of being an abused or mistreated child, since that realization, I became an ADULT in the relationship, and the relationship with them became one of EQUAL ADULTS with my having MORE than equal power and control over the relationship. Big difference. HUGE!!!!! And THAT'S what caused me to begin to 'feel better' about myself and the situation.
    holly71 likes this.

  4. #34
    everyone's a critic... holly71's Avatar
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    Re: LA Shrinks (Bravo)

    Quote Originally Posted by Imperfect1 View Post
    Thanks for asking, Holly. I think that for most of us who have these kinds of problems, it's always complicated. And for me, (and from what I can see, I think the same is true for Dr. Greg on LA Shrinks) the answer is both yes and no. Yes, I got a little bit of 'closure' out of the fact that my step-father did acknowledge and apologize for some of what he had done to me --- but I 'expected' that getting an acknowledgement and apology would make me FEEL BETTER about what my past was like, and surprisingly, it didn't. My situation was also complicated by my feelings of anger toward my mother who didn't protect me from his abuse, and she wasn't the world's greatest mother, either.

    So what I finally learned is that these feelings of hurt and betrayal don't just magically go away. We have to actively CHOOSE to stop letting the past (and in your case, the present) actions of others continue to hurt us. But here's the icing on the cake that I DIDN'T EXPECT. What I DO now have is this amazing sense of POWER because because once I realized that, suddenly for the first time in my life, I WAS THE ONE WHO DICTATED what kind of relationship I had with my parents. And that was the thing that really changed everything! No, I can't erase the past, but the balance of power has now shifted. I am now the one who can control and limit how much, and in what way, and how I feel about everything concerning my parents. And once I realized this, I MADE SURE THAT THEY KNEW IT, so since then, they've have to dance to MY tunes, or they else we don't dance at all. And it worked, because instead of continuing to have a relationship with my parents from the perspective of being an abused or mistreated child, since that realization, I became an ADULT in the relationship, and the relationship with them became one of EQUAL ADULTS with my having MORE than equal power and control over the relationship. Big difference. HUGE!!!!! And THAT'S what caused me to begin to 'feel better' about myself and the situation.
    That is awesome! I should implement this approach!
    Imperfect1 likes this.
    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  5. #35
    FORT Fogey Debb70's Avatar
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    Re: LA Shrinks (Bravo)

    My parents were never physically abusive, but they were VERY emotionally and verbally abusive, mainly due to their OVERLY zealous involvement in their church. It was pretty horrible, though, I did have many benefits growing up, so I hate to complain. I endured much of it respectfully, but when I was 18 years-old, I stood up to my parents and defied them. It was a really big deal. I thought they would have a stroke, but I held my ground, respectfully, but firm. It wasn't anything horrible. Anyway, from that day forward, they never gave me another order. They left all my decisions up to me and never commented, unless I asked. GREATEST thing I ever did.
    holly71, Jexter and Imperfect1 like this.

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