On March 26th, we discussed styles of distorted thinking and faulty assumptions.
These were the following statements we were asked to examine and reflect on:
#1 everything I do must be absolutely perfect; otherwise I am a failure
#2 I must always be at peak efficiency and performance
#3 Life is fair
#4 If others disagree with me, then I must be wrong
#5 I am only worthwhile as long as I am doing something for someone else
#6 The way to be accepted and appreciated by others is to give and give
#7 Anger is bad
#8 Being healthy will mean not having strong emotions
#9 I have to do everything I am asked to do
#10 I have the power to change people
#11 Good relationships have no relationships
#12 It is unbearable when life is not the way I would like it to be
#13 It is easier to avoid life's problems than to face them
#14 I need someone stronger or more powerful than myself to rely on
#15 I need other people to be supportive of me
The 1st one I identified with was #2. It applies to me in the realm of weight, mood, personal care and household upkeep.
Nothing I do is or seems to be or feels "good enough" because I can compare it to something I was or looked or did BEFORE (in my past) which, at that time, wasn't good enough but is now an unattainable "ideal" because of how far I have fallen.
Writing it like this -- it sounds like perfectionism and yet I have never tried to be perfect and I am one of the furthest people from perfection.
So I think I've just confused myself somewhat...
I can say that the farthest back that I can relate it to my life was to being compared to my older siblings by our mother and a few of my teachers.
Next #3. I must say that I get enraged at every instance where I am, once again, shown that life is not fair. My core belief is that all things should be fair and equal and I think, ironically, that it comes from the fact that being abused in my childhood by a neighbourhood bully and even though the school, my parents and his parents knew about the physical aspect of it -- no one stopped it and it continued for YEARS!
That clearly showed me that life was NOT fair and so it is a huge anger trigger for me.
#5 resonates with me in a few ways. Partly because a mother is supposed to be a martyr (learned at home) and partly because my emotional needs were ignored a LOT in my life and I don't want anyone I care about to feel that way.
#6 is very much the siamese twin of #5 in a multitude of ways with the added bonus of my adoption and abandonment issues thrown in. [Paragraphs not included] I am an adoptee who grew up in a household that was emotionally detached in so many ways.
Add to that the fact that both my adoptive parents died before I was 35.
[Paragraphs not included]... I claim some ownership in that one, but it still hurts.
#7 I struggle to express my anger in a healthy way and to teach my children how to do so as well which segueways right into
#8 I have been chastised and/or mocked for being "overly emotional" aka "too sensitive."
It is an on-going struggle to this date. It arises in all areas of my life but the only other thing I've learned to do is to squelch my emotions and feelings so it's like I can either choose to explode or eventually implode with the strength of whatever I am experiencing but not expressing.
It is scary and embarrassing and it's just as if my inner self has been transported so that when these overloads occur -- it is not a 40+ woman feeling this way at all.
It's a young girl, a child, my inner child, reacting to the feeling of being victimized, or controlled, or being under someone's thumb.
[Paragraph not included]
When I get emotionally overwhelmed like that I "time travel" and am not emotionally equipped, in that moment, to express myself in a way that feels safe so I react in two ways re: fight or flight -- I get aggressive or I acquiesce.
It has even happened with a mental health professional. I tried to avoid those two responses by communicating in the form of a letter because my feelings of hurt and betrayal and anger and depression lasted for weeks.
I ended up being literally chastised and then punished for it. The punishment being the assessment written about me by the so-called professional which was completed after that and after I terminated his services.
Stupidly I had trusted him to remain professional when I revealed my deeper emotional self rather than my protective intellectual self.
#9 I do feel that I am slowly but surely making progress with this one - though I am certainly the tortoise if this one is a race. I do find myself feeling guilty if I say "no" and I have a real struggle with creating natural and sustainable boundaries.
#10 Can fees into the martyr concept as well in a roundabout manner making me feel as if, "If I can change so-and-so, then I can change myself!"
#12 The big one that falls under (into?) this assumption for me ios the following -- "If our home was perfectly clean and orderly then everything would feel better; I'd have more hope!"
I cannot explain WHY this one is - it just is! Maybe it relates to my late parents being on their way to being hoarders? (Not messy or dirty - just a whole lotta junk)
My maternal grandparents are the same way.
#13 sometimes I do lose myself so far into the depression and the hopelessness of it all that I do avoid things. And not just the problems but anything and everything I can avoid or ignore or put off -- I will do that.
Taxes, other important paperwork are actually some of the toughest things for me to get done.
#14 I have actually always seen myself AS the strong person for others to rely on whoch is why it's so hard to accept where I am now...
#15 this is true but I still don't really understand why this one is a bad assumption??
If anyone actually made it through that, have you got any thoughts on it?
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