Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby oak » October 5th, 2017, 5:14 pm

Okay, it is time for the big one:

My parents and siblings have raised their voice to me for the last time.

The next time they raise their voice or speak disrespectfully (as decided by me), I am ready to offer them estrangement.

If they can decide right then to speak to me respectfully, then we can stay a family. If they won't, we weren't family to begin with.

They are welcome to be angry with me, but I am not their lackey. I am their son and brother, not a flunky.

I've realized my family talks to me worse, with more anger and hate, than the worst people at work talk to me. I don't tolerate it anymore at work, so I certainly won't tolerate it from people who are supposed to love me. If they loved me they wouldn't talk to me this way.

I was told that family is love and caring. These people do not act loving or caring to me, so the "family contract" is not in effect.

There's lots I don't like about John Wayne, but one of his quotes is the standard I hold people to, now:

“I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby manuel_moe_g » October 5th, 2017, 5:21 pm

Congratulations on setting basic and realistic boundaries on the people in your life. You deserve it, and it is part of personal growth.

Please keep journaling the process here, we are cheering for you.
~~~~~~
http://www.reddit.com/r/obsequious_thumbtack -- Obsequious Thumbtack Headdress
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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby Namu » October 9th, 2017, 8:02 am

Hooray, oak! Hooray for you reaching the end of your patience with being mistreated!

As I just mentioned briefly in another thread, my own family relationships are not good. My family aren't (mostly) blatantly abusive, like yours, but they're insidiously destructive. I've gotten to the point where their intentions aren't interesting; it doesn't matter whether they mean well, if the fact is that their effect on me is destructive. I've basically said good-bye to my father, and I've really backed off from everyone else -- mostly just by not exerting myself for the sake of keeping those relationships on life support. It makes it easier that I live hours away from all of them.

It sounds like simply choosing not to initiate contact may not be a solution for you. It may involve many trials and repetitions to find, set, and enforce the necessary boundaries. It seems like a Herculean task, and one that will require alternative relationships and supports; without other people to rely on, it would be a lot harder to recognize and resist undermining, lifelong family dynamics. I really hope you'll make it a priority to build a good support system -- therapist and support groups, at least -- so that you'll have safe havens when things get overwhelming and confusing, and so you'll have extra ideas to draw on.

I think assertiveness with family members is fundamental, and extra-difficult. I congratulate you for finding the courage and independence of thought to acknowledge your own perspective as legitimate, valid, and primary. Family members can get so cranky when we presume to define our own selves! They can interpret it as betrayal, and their tactics for sucking us back into the system can be sly, underhanded, and nasty.

My thoughts and good wishes go with you.

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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby oak » October 10th, 2017, 3:02 pm

Namu, good evening and thanks so much for your kind, thoughtful post. I am delighted you crafted such a lovely reply. I appreciate, also, very much your and Rivergirl's replies to my dental saga. You're a great addition to the forum!

I've certainly taken your advice to heart!

One of the great things about assertiveness is that I know that the needle has moved. After years and decades of being acted upon, I can and will act for myself. I won't step on their dignity, but I will insist on my own worth, the sanctity of my person. And I get to decide when they find this out.

I really like what you said about building a new support network: I learned that my family and coworkers not only won't help me, they will actively hurt me while I am hurt. These are not friends. I don't know how I'll find a true family, but I'm going to try.

Addendum:

Considering how sad I am, often, today I decided to do something for pure pleasure: on my way home from work I played Pokemon Go for an hour. I got some sunshine, fresh air, and took two gyms. I was happy for an hour. I was my own man.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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