I’m participating in the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge through October and will be following the prompts suggested. I’ve also decided to focus on the theme of Anonymously Me – stories that people have shared with me and that we could all learn lessons from. If you have a story you’d like to share anonymously on Everyday Gyaan, do contact me. You can be assured that I will keep your name and details confidential. Today’s story, I Saw Patterns, comes from a middle-aged woman.
I Saw Patterns
I found myself in the middle of a dissatisfying life. I felt constantly betrayed. I kept attracting drama and toxic people and I couldn’t figure out why. …There were pieces of me that were screaming for attention and begging to be healed.
The messages kept getting louder. Self sabotaging behaviour. One relationship after another not working out. Bitterness set in and life was lacking in passion. The question was how to heal myself before I ruined my life completely.
I realised that this negative pattern was trying to teach me something very important about myself.
Childhood dictates adult behaviour
I had learned to behave in a particular way during my childhood. In these formative years, this type of behaviour brought benefits. Various kinds of negative behaviour took place within my dysfunctional family. Emotional manipulation, criticizing, playing the victim, sarcasm, withdrawing, silence, placating and people pleasing….. Every family member chose their tactic . My choice was to be the one who placated and pleased everyone to keep the peace.
As I began therapy I discovered that I had a terrible fear that I would lose love, approval, belonging and comfort if I expressed and lived authentically. I had no idea how to set clear boundaries with people. I regularly permitted people, friends, lovers and family members to take advantage of me emotionally, financially, sexually and take me and my time for granted.
My parents had taught me to behave this way to get any kind of love, affection, attention or approval from them. I had learnt to ignore my own value, needs and wants in favour of my family.
My perfectionist mother would often pick on me and I learnt how to become whatever she needed including her confidant. She would share things with me that only adults should know. My father was a workaholic and I quickly learned to understand his job and speak his ‘work language’ to get his approval.
To survive my family I had to put aside my interests and my voice and focus on the needs of others. This became my survival tactic for life.
Saved by therapy
I’m so grateful to my therapist who gently led me to see this, providing space for me to reveal myself. For the first time I felt seen and heard. I slowly learned to take responsibility for my behavioural patterns.
I didn’t need to change – I needed to find that part of me that I had lost when trying to survive. My core self. My authentic self.
I have worked on healing my inner child. I looked at myself and my ‘negative behaviour’ with self-compassion. Step by step I started the journey of making peace with myself. I created new memories of choosing my own needs before those of others.
The process has been long and difficult. Sometimes I fall back. But I’m more aware now. If I find myself starting down the road of people pleasing, I stop and take stock and realign my behaviour.
I saw the patterns and allowed them to speak to me.
I’m grateful to Corinne and Everyday Gyaan for giving me a platform to share my story anonymously. Would you like to share your story too? Email Corinne at contact (at) everydaygyaan (dot) com.
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A story of many where childhood upbringing sets a pattern difficult to break. But I’m glad you’ve been able to break it ultimately and realize your true self.
It is so important to give your child a fulfilling upbringing sans any shred of negativity! Wonderful post.
So true.. I so strongly believe that most of the issues of the mind find their roots in one’s childhood. And not many are open to the therapy approach to heal themselves.. And that’s the worse part!
Many children of my generatio nhave gone through this; I have seen most of this pattern in my growing up years and realised what they were doing to me now.. My mother’s favourite trick is manupilation and maybe thats because thats the way her mom did it – but its sad as it has led to a breakdown of communications between us; well something is broken there! And now she is so set in her ways that even if I try to reason with her, she ignores it as she knows best!
I am glad you could find help to recognise what this is doing to you and how you need to get out of it! Pamper your inner child with love and throw away the guilt, even when it comes knocking to your door – hush it away!!!
I guess to be aware of your shortcomings itself is a step ahead. Then finding solutions via therapy is the next step to working yourself out of your comfort zone.
Vinay Leo R.
It’s not easy to break patterns, but it becomes necessary to. Need to break free of drama and toxic people too, and I hope that that happens.
It’s not easy to break patterns. If anything, it’s very very tough but if we can some how muster the courage to do it a lot can change for the better in our lives. I hope I have that courage one day to change those aspects of my life which exhaust me.
Unfortunately, it’s the kind of patterns existing in so many families where we lose the self. Over the years, I learned my lesson and still trying for what matters is the self. We are taught too many things about sacrifice. Thanks for sharing this brave post about your life’s journey.
True and honest. We see these patterns everywhere and sometimes they affect us in the worst possible ways. Sometimes we need help to bring us back to life
Thanks for sharing this story. Childhood conditioning can lead to many fears that remain with us until we choose to recondition ourselves. Our parents mean well but often their ways creat discord with our true selves. After all we are all different and unique and there is no one size fits all. Glad you broke the pattern.
A tight hug to the child in you. My heart went out to the baby who had to learn to hide her true self to please those she loved. No one should be made to go through such traumatic times. Maybe the ones who withhold love are the ones who craved it but never got it. The vicious cycle continues. I am glad you found this safe space to share your thoughts with us. Stay strong and take care. We need more such safe spaces and special people who give us the same. Corinne, you are a gem.
Congratulations to your guest for this post. It’s not easy to break out of childhood patterns, but it’s great that she’s trying.
Sanch @ Sanch Writes
We become who we are thanks to our experiences in childhood. Family, school, religion, culture all play a role in shaping us. Therapy is so useful in identifying these patterns and making sure they don’t play out over and over again. Thank you for sharing your story.
Experiences of childhood stays forever. I was bullied a lot as a child, that made lose my self esteem. I lost confidence in myself and these childhood experiences stayed with me. Today the people I have met in my life through blogging helped me regain my lost confidence but I took more than 20 years to get it back. I understand what you have shared. But I am glad you are striving to break the pattern. So am I.
It takes lots of courage and strength to break the patterns. Thank you for sharing this story. I liked the quotes here.
Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)
So true about the patterns of childhood repeating themselves again and again in adult life. Good therapists are lifesavers – literally. My heart goes out to the woman whose story you blogged today. Thank you for providing that safe space for some of us.
I can relate to this post very much! I am totally with you!! I am glad you have broken the patterns. It is the most difficult thing to do. Wishing you all goodness here on!
Childhood patterns can be effective for the life time..if negative..one needs a lots of courage to get rid of those and I am glad the guest of this post is able to do so…best wishes..
Being kind to our inner-child goes against all that is ingrained in us, especially if one is a people pleaser. Making your own feelings and needs a priority, feels like some forbidden fruit. But, once you start, you feel so free.
Healthwealthbridge by Dr.Amrita Basu
A very insightful post.Its true childhood shapes our personality and we spend our lives trying to get better.
I’ve seen this in my own experience. Whatever we saw during childhood, we think of as “normal.”
Until we learn to do better!
Blessings to you!
Bringing up a child is a big responsibility and allowing them freedom to think and not manipulate is even a bigger responsibility.
This is a pattern many of us have seen – around and sometimes up close. I am glad she was able to go through therapy to understand herself and heal. Thanks for bringing her story to light.
Making peace with our inner-self will leave a lasting impact on us. If not anything it eases out our pain and makes us more peaceful and happier than our previous self. I am glad that you got rid of those negative patterns in ur life.
Everything that ends well is always well, isnt it? I hope that the troubled soul is now on the path of peace. May she live her life with great joy and fervor, this time for herself! God bless!
– Anagha From Team MocktailMommies
Sometimes it is the parents who do a lot of harm to their child out of ignorance. They really are not far sighted when they set a wrong example hoping that they could get away with it. What could happen to the child later by their carelessness is probably beyond their imagination. Thanks for sharing this insight, Corinne. I look forward to more of such anonymous and meaningful tales here.
Our childhood experiences may stick with us for years and continue to influence us well into adulthood. Glad that your guest was able to recognize and break the patterns that were suffocating and shackling her!
It was me some years back and her story reflected much of mine too. I also learnt to break the pattern with the love and support of my family, friends and doctors. I’m enough and happy today. Really appreciate Corinne for providing platform to share their hearts.
We all need outlets, and it’s great to see that the guest found one. sometimes we need to accept the past as life teachings and move no, no matter how difficult it is. We all fight our demons. Hope and pray we leave a better tomorrow for our children.
Unfortunately your experience is common! Good for you to get therapy and stop the cycle!!
I am glad that the author is able to find herself/himself now and is taking the help of a therapist. The habits formed in the early years are hard to go. It’s so sad to see a young person going through all those emotions when they should have been leading a happy carefree life.
If we keep finding ourselves at the same crossroads and see a pattern emerging , more than looking outwards and introspection is called for . More often than not – the questions and answers lie within. Its heartening to see the author on a path of healing – I think its a big moral victory for her to pull herself up and move .
It’s a great step to be able to identify the negative patterns of life and dig into the root cause. Not everyone can do it. And what’s braver is taking action- i,.e. breaking those patterns and turn around the course of the life in a different direction altogether. Glad you’re able to do that. Kudos.
I am glad that the person mentioned here found her true self. I understand the feeling of pleasing others while we keep our happiness at bay up to some extent. I do not know if it is right or not but i find being a self-pleaser is way better than being a people-pleaser, At least it worked out for me. 🙂
I won’t blame the parents. The did the best they could (from what they knew-there weren’t any parenting journals then), and so are we doing as parents (with information overload on parenting). As parents we do try to nurture our kids very differently than our parents did.Yet so many people today are grappling with parenting issues and kids gone awry.
But, I must say I used to feel the same too, as the author did, at some point of time, but the day I made peace with my inner demons and chose to stop the blame game and pledged to work on myself as an individual, tending to my needs first so that I could then attend to others better; life began to look up.
The day I stopped begrudging what people/family did to me I started living. It is totally upto us, on how we want to lead our lives. One thing that the practise of Buddhism taught me was to never begrudge our parents. After all it is believed it is we who choose to be born through them. So despite the multitude of differences I shared with my mother, I learnt to and still am learning to make peace with her ways and accept her for who she is.
I do agree childhood does dictate adult behaviour and it takes a lot of hardworking and help/therapy/counselling/coaching to overcome those deep seated issues. But then that’s how we learn to take life in our stride and move on.
More power to the author for turning her life around and for her unrequited courage. spirit of persistence. May she continue to sparkle and shine. <3
It’s tough breaking patterns. And, it’s not just during childhood that we form behavioural patterns, but also during our adult life, over years of a particular pattern we follow to keep others happy and peaceful. That’s when we lose our peace of mind…ourselves. Your guest has shown tremendous courage in speaking about it and trying to work on changing that pattern. I hope she finds peace within herself to let go of the past and enjoy her future life.
This story would resonate with many people – specially girls. Many of us learn to become people pleasers just to keep the peace and that is so not right because it teaches you to kill your own wishes and desires. Such a heartfelt beautiful post.
Such a heartfelt post. Childhood experiences indeed shape us the way we are perceived as adults. Very few of us even realize that the problem in our current lives stem from scars of the past. Thought-provoking.
the bespectacled mother
What I read in this post is something I have witnessed closely in the family as I grew up. The negative self-talk used to be the way of life. Putting others before yourself was the norm even if you are straining yourself and constantly complaining internally. I feel glad that the person telling the life’s story was able to seek therapy, discover the pattern and could break it. I wish her good luck.
I also liked how Natasha has put her point across in her comment here. At some point, we have to make peace with our parents and stop blaming them since then only we will find the energy to work positively on ourselves.
I look forward to this series, Corinne. I am sure there will be lots to learn for me.
Sheethal Susan Jacob
i have gone through the blaming part too. But once I realized that it’s doing nothing good but just making the family uncomfortable and ruining the relation we have, I stopped it. Changing ourselves and our routes deliberately only works. Patterns that should be changed should be changed and that should be broken should be broken, Anything for happiness. That’s what works for me the best.
Overcoming the scars of childhood is extremely, to be able to live freely and towards future. And it is very difficult too at the same time, to brush aside your past and make peace it is. Those who are able to do it, are able to rise. Cheers!
Thanks for sharing this . I had never realized how childhood experiences can affect us in this manner. This information means a lot to me specially after becoming a parent. I am glad the person was able to break the pattern in this case
Being a parents is tough and so being a child. Therefore building healthy relationship is very important. it can leave scars on either of them. I am glad she is doing great and didnt shy away to take help . This
I can relate to this story. I still have to repeat to myself – “You can’t please everyone” – off and on. It took me a while to reliase that trying to please everyone is the wrong, self-destructive way to live.
Mamma Bear | Nikita
When I thought about the impact of my childhood on my present behaviour, I felt like I was just looking for something to blame it on. But after reading this I realised that it is not about blaming anything or anyone, but about recognising what events have shaped our current selves. This is also the reason why I am extremely careful about what I say to my child or what I expect from her. I’m so glad to read that the author us seeking help and hope that she will soon find her true self.