Letting Go, At A Deeper Level, In Order To Move On.

After writing my "story" yesterday afternoon, I had a breakthrough during the night (processing at a deeper level). A paradigm shift. What I realised was that I had "let go" of my sisters and other family of origin members (who were not treating me appropriately - all my life - as a result of the dysfunctional family dynamics) at a "Head Level", i.e. cognitively. But somehow was still trapped within the "life script" at a deeper, emotional level.

Because I hadn't let go at that deeper level, I found that I was often still "frozen", especially when I re-visited the situation by either trying to contact sisters, or even talking about the situation, and the past, to my husband, kids, or close friends. Unable to do the things my head kept telling me I should be doing, to bring about independence (from my dysfunctional family of origin) and be free of the early childhood messages of being responsible for them and their well-being, in every way, including not criticising or thinking badly of them, which obviously I did when I spoke about them and the way they treated me.

I remembered a time when, at the age of 9, I was "responsible" for ensuring my 5 year old sister was on the school bus to come home. Not my older sister, nor my twin, they weren't responsible; just me - I was responsible. One day she wasn't on the bus, and when I got home I was shamed so badly about "not looking after her" that I ran all the way back to school, in a state of sheer panic, crying and trying to find her. When I returned home, there she was, safe and sound having caught the next bus. But I was still shamed for having not been "responsible", for having let her (and parents) down. That's just one example of how I was made responsible (or to feel responsible) for all my siblings, as well as my parents. That "life script" has followed me for so long, that whenever I have felt (at a deep level, not in my head) that I have let down a family member for whom I had taken responsibility (long after my parents died, their voices were obviously still in my head) that even saying goodbye to them by letting them know I didn't need them in my life any more, didn't set me free. There have been times that I just become "frozen", unable to move on with my own life at every level, because of this fear of having "let them down", not taken responsibility for keeping them happy or keeping the family together.

I have now connected several incidents (from early childhood, some as young as 2 years old) and the punishments that I received as a result of my "misdemeanors" (I won't go into them here, they're very very personal and traumatic) and understand that some of the ways I "punish myself" now are connected to those situations. So now, I'm saying affirmations to acknowledge and let go of the need to treat myself as my parents did. Affirmations, written, spoken, thought and reflected back to me by my wonderful husband.

Will keep you posted. Wish me luck. I'm 63 years old and still getting to know me, the real me, and what I can do for myself to be happy, and free.

lorraine48 lorraine48
2 Responses Jun 22, 2011

I was just like you, Lorraine. the oldest, responsible for all the others. i had a similar situation. I was "supposed to" take care of everyone younger than myself. . My sister and I went bike riding down the block. She fell off her bike and was bleeding. I yelled at her "Get back on the bike." But she wouldn't come home with me. So I ran home, not that far, and yelled for my parents to come. They scolded me "You should not have left her alone". Hell, I was probably six years old. She had a cut knee. Me, i had a wound too. Constantly told "Yo're the oldest... You should know better... you are responsible." I remember Friday nights, ,Dad would drive us to a big supermarket. He and mom went inside to get the groceries. I was left outside in the car to babysit. Yeah, a six year old in charge of three little kids. If that happened today, four little kids sitting alone in a car, we'd have been in foster care that same night. So I entertained my three siblings. We sang, read books, told stories. i did a damned good job. And I was good in other ways. I excelled at school, brought home all kinds of awards, honor roll. the whole bit. Today i'm 60 years old and my next closest sister will not speak to me. Don't know what I did to her. Is she mad I left her on the sidewalk when she fell off that bicycle so many years ago?

Good for you Lorraine! I just let go of my family of origin this week... too many years of abuse and my being the "dependable one" - but never doing anything correctly. I've finally reached a point in my life that I am no longer going to be held prisoner to their dysfunction. My siblings and mother have made it clear time and again that I am the "black sheep", yet I am always the first one they would call when something wasn't quite right. I told my mother yesterday that I was done and will be leading my life away from the family from this point on. She tried one last time to "shame" me into playing a part of their dysfunction... she started out by telling me that I need help and should go to counseling, and she ended with "you are so cruel to me". I walked out the door and didn't look back. It was such a free feeling! Today, for the first time in my life, I woke up happy. For the first time, I listened to what my husband was saying to me... didn't try to think ahead to head off anything, but listened to what he was talking to me about. And I was able to respond appropriately. I am amazed at my own transformation. :) Keep up the good work and know that you are doing right for yourself... and in the big picture YOU are the only one that matters. Keep on, keepin' on! :)