Friday, October 31

Untangled From the Tentacles of Guilt and Codependency 10/31/14

1.  Fear of abandonment.
2.  Defensive hope.
3.  Fear of confrontation.
4.  Developing character discernment.
5.  Not being codependent---swallowed up by what others think of us or caught up in rescuing others.
6.  Romanticizing relationships.
7.  Assuming the victim role. Passivity.  Not facing the issues in our lives that need work.  Not taking care of ourselves.  Not protecting ourselves from abusers.

      Victims surrender their dignity.

     They fear rocking the boat in the other person's life. They are afraid of offending.  Even when this boat is a garbage barge.  And it carries a city's worth of trash. Victims do not stop the perpetrator from dumping this barge on them.

     They let him routinely pour condemnation, judgement and shame within the ocean of their soul.  Victims are not proactive.

      All seven issues listed and more must be rooted out.  That is, if we want healthy, life-giving relationships.  Ones where each person is present, authentic. (See here for more about this.)  When we are with a safe person, intimacy thrives.

     We bond when relationships have emotional safety and reciprocity.  These are the friendships that bring vitality.  They are connections that invigorate. When we are with Safe People, we feel energized, afterwards.  We feel we are a better person because we spent time with them.

      Unsafe, toxic people.  They are just the opposite. They suck the life out of us.  I wrote about assuming the victim role, yesterday, dancing the dance of passivity.

      Today, we look at guilt.  Be it false, imagined or true.  This negative feeling draws predators who can smell our vulnerability through lead.
       People who carry guilt will look for someone to play the guilt inducer role in their life.  The guilt inducer plays the martyr role, acting like his misery is the fault of the person wracked with guilt. 
      The guilty party, in turn, is hooked into taking responsi-bility for the other person's pain or anger or disappoint-ments. [Which is not his responsibility, ever.] He is easily manipulated.  He never feels free in the relationship. 
      The hook, however, lies within the person who picks the guilt inducer.  She will feel as if the guilt is "put on her," or so and so "makes me feel guilty." But this thinking is a disa-vowal of responsibility .  For someone to make us feel guilty, we have to have some part of us that gets hooked into that dynamic and agrees with the accuser.                                                                          Cloud, Townsend, Safe People, 105. 
       We can free ourselves from manipulators.  It is realizing no one can make us happy, sad, angry, experience guilt or any other feeling without us first giving them permission to do so.  The following wraps up the quote above:
      This is why the power to be free [from manipulators] is within us.  We begin to deal with our guilt [and our bag-gage]. We become free of the hook that guilt inducers use to control us.  Safe People 105
     I have a difficult client.  Each time we meet, she tries pin-ning blame. On me. She takes no responsibility for what happens in her life.  Her problems are because of others.  She cannot see her contribution to her problems.

      During sessions I do not buy her victim mentality.  According to her, this makes her feel bad.  I don't accept the guilt she tries to ply.

       Every time I do not accept her accusations, she's startled.  I understand why.  Ninety-six percent of the world is codependent.  Such people are susceptible to guilt.  She has never met a person who wasn't moved by her manipulation. Until now.

      I am not motivated or intimidated by the guilt.    Her blaming comments don't move me.

     People loved by a supportive network, are untangled from tentacles of code-pendency.  Wracked with guilt, they aren't.  Nor are they anguished by mis-treatment.  The grip of lies and gossip cannot grasp a person with a strong supportive network.  Such an individual has a healthy self-image.

     It is derived from the love experienced their Balcony People.

     Resilient people embrace negative realities.  They use such circumstances to further their personal growth.  They do not have a victim mentality.

         Guilt no longer rules the feelings of those who stand in their power, recovery and integrity.  The resilient are bathed in love.  They are acquainted with authenticity.  Reciprocity and emotional safety marks their relationships.   Condemnation, within or without is given perspective.

         For the resilient, mistakes are not failures.  Lapses of character or fortitude are opportunities for exercising recovery.  They maintain integrity.  They remain true to their values.  They enjoy healthy relationships.

         How? By being honest---present---with those they relate with.

        People with recovery are loved.  They are filled with grace.  They are not condemned when  making a mistake.  They are not ridiculed when they reveal their vulnerabilities.  They are loved by others.  They are gentle towards themselves.

        Moments of vulnerability----admitting weaknesses is easy. They are aware of their triggers. They bring them up when troubled. This openness reveals their humility, teachability.  We learn the value of transparency.  Errors are seen as a chance for growth.  Negative generational legacies are replaced.

        Condemnation once known when making a mistake is replaced with applying self-compassion towards ourselves.  We are gentle towards our wounds.  When we err, compassion replaces self-judgment.  Living authentically, we let others know our warts.  They do not define us.  We present a complete view of ourselves.

       When our vulnerable, less-than-best part of us is loved, it can be healed and transformed. If this Hunchback portion of Our Inner Self is condemned, we have a problem.  Our progress will be slow. This needy part of us retreats. Healing will not take place. This internal Quasimodo that does not get restored.

       Healing takes place when truth is matched with loving grace.  Beauty happens when this happens.  Our inner deformed self transforms into a prince.  I know this to be true.  I see it every day. It requires work, not excuses.  It happens when truth is balanced with grace.

       With recovery, we learn we are not loved for what we do, or don't do.  This is true even when we think we should have done it, whatever It is.  We are loved for being ourselves.  Who we are is good enough.  If we aren't in another person's eyes, that individual is unsafe, not us.

       If a person is falsely accused, boundaries and recovery allows him to not swallow the poison of shame proffered by the accuser.   Guilt mongers no longer manipulate.  The unsafe person needs to process his inaccurate judgments.  It is his problem.

How About You? 
How do you prevent guilt from eating or manipulating you? 


Thumper said...


Wow! What an amazing post! I never realized that I could actually be picking my guilt inducer and that I am a part of this process of getting "hooked" in by agreeing with the accuser. I am giving this person permission and power over my sense of self. I suppose it is like a dangerous dance with an unsafe partner. I can see that once I stop allowing manipulators to trigger my victimization, than I will be better off!

Pablo said...

Dear Thumper,

Thank you for signing the guestbook of this inn by sharing your response to this post.

Abusive people know how to prey upon us. We need to be vigilant. Growing in recovery means learning new principles to replace inadequate values instilled in us as children.

As I tell my clients, a person cannot get our goat if we don't let them know where it is tied. :-> Sometimes the best thing we can do is walk away or say "I have something else I need to do." We do. What we need to do is separating ourselves from that person!

Wishing you a great upcoming week. I am grateful you drop by and keep me company.

The Innkeeper

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.