In follow up to the Op, ” Stop Cutting Yourself”, I want to talk about wanting to be rescued. When someone tries to commit suicide or is cutting themselves, (both being totally different issues) there can be this “lost hope” involved. The hope is that someone will catch you in the process of hurting yourself and stop you. This desire is an attempt of validation. Its an attempt to prove that you are loved. That is why you want someone to intervene. People even do this by not calling relatives waiting for them to call you. There is a book out called games people play and its worth a read.
If someone intervenes or if God stops the suicide the thinking is, then I am valuable. You know what? That is nonsense thinking. This type of seeking of someones love is called codependency. In this situation there is some missing logic. Still, to a degree we all want to be appreciated and we all want to be respected or approved of. When we are hurting, when people have trashed us, when our feelings are bruised; we want someone to say, there there, I think you’re great. Its actually a strange thing that its like a gas tank.
Here is what is wrong with wanting someone to rescue you. You can be sure statistically that if you are jumping off a bridge almost always no one is going to stop you. Why? Because Each person is doing their thing. They may be shopping or Watching TV or at work and not aware of other things. (You are like that right now. Are you aware of everyone and what they are doing? Are you calling everyone every minute to see if they are OK? So why would you think they will call you? Why would you think they would come for you? Is your lack of calling an indication of their worth? ) The person you hope to have save you is likely getting garbage bags at Costco or cant find their bankcard while trying to get 20 bucks out of the machine. They likely are having a tough day too. People do not have a crystal ball. Who just stops randomly and says, Oh, I will go look for someone in my family trying to jump off a bridge. Who does that? You never have. Have you? People should not be looking to find you on a bridge. How do I know that? When was the last time you went looking on a bridge for any of your friends? Who does that? And does that mean? Why would you think that someone finding you means that you matter? Its bad logic. Why would you expect a rescue or think it would determine your worth? Its sort of like driving the car without air in the tires, hoping they will magically fill up. The math doesn’t work. reality is different. You are not valuable based on someone’s opinion of you. If someone doesn’t rescue you it says nothing about your worth. If you are hoping for help without asking for it, you are thinking wrong and need to stop right now and change what you are thinking. There is a better way to look at things.
There is a whole lot of things going on in peoples minds that they don’t know is going on. First, lets get this out of the way: You are far smarter than you think and far more complex than you realize. So, Lets get into some stuff. I wont delay.
I don’t know if you have heard of pavlovs dog. (Classical Conditioning.) This 1890’s a Scientist of sorts, Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov experimented with dogs and the behavior of Dogs. Every time a Red light went on they would feed the dog. The dog learned if they saw the red light to expect food. Sort of like when you see salad at a restaurant soon after you expect real food will follow. Do you have a Cat. As soon as they hear the can opener, Blam the meowing starts. Their brain is smaller than a orange. Good thing Cats are not 400 pounds. ( some cats are pretty big but not the ones you keep in the house.) The way the cats come running you could get hurt bad. Still they are conditioned. The same goes for us playing Piano or driving a car. We condition ourselves.
Did you know Humans can be like that. We can learn to react to the behavior of others in self defeating ways. We can make choices by instinct.
Did you know that you can train an elephant with a little piddly rope. You can tie a little Elephant to a tree when they are young with a very small rope. Because they are little and cant get away they are conditioned to believe it. They learn they cant get away. So when the Elephant get older their owners tie them with that same little rope Yet the big elephant who is very capable of breaking the rope stays tied to a tiny tree and feels helpless to get away. Its just mental nonsense but its true!
People many times will stay in abusive situations. They will respond in predictable ways as well. They will seek love from abusive people hoping to get love from a jerk. When rejected we by nature want to fix things. Thats normal. Thats also conditioned. You don’t like me, but you have too like me. Please person who doesn’t like me, Like me.. At its core it is normal to want to restore Relationships, even the abusive ones when we know we deserve better. And strangely enough People will fight to be in a bad situation. “I must stay and fight to sort this out!” no, that’s Nonsense! You are doing poor emotional math and adding numbers up wrong.
For the few people who got involved in cutting, They may be seeking attention, but But many times cutting is not about Attention. Its a mix of wanting to be in control, feeling oppressed and wanting the oppressor to comfort them, But also wanting to push the Oppressor away.. Its in this quagmire of thinking such that they cut themselves. They feel the pressure of not being heard and being shut down and want to push back at life and troubles and instead they push against themselves. They end up abusing themselves.
I have to repeat what I said in the last Op. If this world or someone you know, or some life situation is against you; If a army is fighting you, making you Anxious , causing you stress. Don’t join them! Do not join their cause. Don’t act against yourself. At the very least, be on your own side! Take sides. Take your side! Don’t join them in destroying yourself with destructive behaviors like cutting. And don’t expect them to love you as a condition of you feeling OK about yourself. People don’t tend to see your needs. They see their own.
Most times you know when your thinking is wrong or when you are out of sorts and its bad.
While you might say, I will get back at those who hurt me and I will do this and make them ashamed that they forgot me! You are just making a path toward acting toward yourself., not a path to harming them. Well, yes, you can do anything but its not going to fix things. And because you nor them generally sit around looking to intervene, they will without meaning any harm miss your attempt to get back at them. So Stop. Tell me, is it worth winning against yourself? When did you switch? When did you start turning the anger toward yourself. You are playing tug of war with the other person but they are not there to participate. They are barely hurt if at all by your actions. And all you will end up doing is hurting yourself. You get the brunt of it with no benefit. If you have been hurt, say it, but don’t hurt yourself.
Maybe you are hurt by them, that hurts. So, I have been in that club too but don’t hurt yourself. You loose far more than they do in this transaction. When you act against yourself the person who hurt you won, because you acted against yourself. A win for you is to not act against yourself. All you have to do to win is to do anything but hurt yourself. That actually may be hard to sort out. But simply breathing and going to a doctor or teacher or friend or parent or police officer is a far better action. In that second the power of others over you is less. The first step of basic survival is not to put a big hole in your own boat. But to be clear, I’m not saying put a hole in their boat to retaliate. No holes in anyone’s boat. First, to start, No hole in your own boat because you are mad at them. Stop with the holes. The blame the lashing out or lashing in. And breath.
Have you seen this: Some kids will burn their beds. Or, Some will go sleep with others in some loose sexual relationship. Its an emotional expression. But it can be fueled by an aggression at life and trouble. This behavior is a type of rage and some times the people are doing it do not even realize it. Its less about being loved and more about punching in the air. Some will get bad boyfriends or girlfriends, tattoos, race their cars till they break one or more of them. Some will Spend every dollar in their savings just to lash out. In the end its self destructive behaviors born out frustration with life are not going to fix things or make things turn out your way.
You may not realize its a habit now, its Pavlov’s dog ingrained in you. Learned behavior to trouble.. Unfortunately, there is generally a heavy reality of life to follow. Its why its called self defeating behavior.
After cutting, after drinking, after gambling every dollar away, Life is still “not” going to go your way. Those Actions do not Fix Life. They make the hill slippery. Whats the answer? The simple answer is to stop digging a hole. People generally do not smile after they leave the casino. Stop going. The problem isn’t solved by you attacking yourself. You know that right? You know what? You deserve better. There are other ways to sort out messes. Take hurting yourself off the table.
Its easy to say stop its another thing to grasp the math to help you stop.
Identify it when you start destructing. Take acting out, off the table. Realize this is not accomplishing your goal. And You don’t always have to win. Most people do not win all the time so its not that big of a loss to have some loss in life. You are not as bad off as you think. Even with a loss. Instead sort out issues or accept that there is grief. Retaliation turned back on yourself is not winning either.
Part of the solution is to get on your side. There is a lot of self esteem to be had by getting you on your side. If its just doing the laundry and cleaning up, Poof, look at you! Any act to help yourself feels good.
I wanted to write this op, not to go over Cutting again but to focus on the thoughts being thought in the space of your mind. Unfortunately I am mixing the two subjects up a bit. I will give my self a break. I am not the sharpest guy and who cares. Why would I target myself. I may have written a wordy Op but really I didn’t do that bad. So why not give myself a break. its a gift to myself. One pardon to myself for not being perfect. You can do positive math too, not just negative math.. That was some positive math.
So, Strangely, You were hoping for someone to find you to rescue you from killing yourself or hurting yourself. You wont have good luck with that. Just think, You intentionally found a private or secret place to cut., So think, you make it harder for you to be found. So why would someone find you. Just stop that sort of stuff.
You want someone to find you. Why not sit at the kitchen table. Will abusing them by abusing yourself in front of them really help. No. Imagine the thoughts you are adding up.. So what are you seeking when you expect to be found? Why be caught up in what they think or what they might see or how they will react? You are giving them a lot of power, not taking it away from them.
Take your life back from acting out. You realize you put your life in their hands. When you say, “Now, they will see this..” You now know you have become co-dependent. You know that you have twisted the issues in your thinking. And now you want to harm yourself. It didn’t fix things last time and it wont this time. Its not helpful. Its adding to your issues. Them finding you and you cutting you does not sort it out. its a byproduct. Unfortunately is complex to grasp in the moment. The best thing to do is seek out help while you are in a good mood.
My thought is that you stop waiting for them to listen to you or to see you. You have a piddly rope that you tied to them. Now you feel captured and not able to move when you have issues that overwhelm you. Its a piddly rope. You know what, there isn’t a rope. So what is there? perceptions.
Perceptions that you need their approval. Your need for approval is a rope tied to a tree. (there is so much to say about this moment of thought) Instead our life should be filled with and we should be talking about vision, dreams, creativity and even about God speaking to you, but instead, these bad thoughts mess things up. Your mind is a special place filled with this conflict and pain OR direction and vision. You are tied up with worry about what someone else may or may not say or think or do on some issue. Its a blockage.
I don’t want to go on a bunny trail here but at some point the topic of this space inside the mind should be explored. (What is conscience. ) Its very interesting that we live on a basis of conclusions and beliefs some of which are vapors and blockages that are not actually there. I have competing thoughts of what write. (PTSD has some parts to it that are like that. In the moment thoughts can catch you and put you into a mood.)
Back on track. Does the person you are hoping to hurt or the person you hope will save you, have a little booth with a sign on It saying ” This is the gate way to approval town.” just win my approval… Who died and made them the king of your Approval or self worth. Why do you need people to light your light-bulb. Why do you need this thing to go right to make you happy? The whole thing is a trained behavior. You are not in as deep of a crisis as you might think. You cant fix everything this second, but awareness is part of the solution.
So lets say you are getting sloshed in a bar, night after night. What pain are you nursing? You didn’t get your approval in that bottle? So now you are drowning your sorrows. Wow. Have you created a little piddly rope you think is a steel cable. Drinking can be a type of grief and loss because you lost someones approval. Become Aware.
We know Life is not always easy and lets face it, if we had just a few thousand dollars extra or a different job or nicer spouse or school to go to, fill in the blank, we wouldn’t be hanging on that person or thing crying in our beer wanting things to be better.
Today. Lets just call it like it is. Co-dependency. Half of our issues are about over selling of the need for someones approval. Whats crazy is; we might seek it from someone we never met. Some troll on the internet, Some Boyfriend we have not even met yet. We are complex people. Seeking love and approval in the abstract. Fundamentally, You have every right, as much as anyone else, for peace and security. Its not always easy to get, but we all should have a dose of it once in a while. If some Jerk is unreasonably being hard on you, try and sort it out. But, if can cant work it out. So be it. Its a good time to square your shoulders and to breath.. At the very least do not cut yourself because of some random problem putting pressure on you. Don’t start a destructive behavior to vent your frustration, because of them.
I hope that you are seeing a point. You need limits and Boundaries. There are those people and then there is You. There is co-dependency and there is grief and there is an imaginary rope. It reminds me of another book called, “where you stop and I begin” I think its clear that we are dealing with perceptions and a list of people we contact. These issues are about letting outside issues damage the inside.
If you are one of those people who plucks a daisy and say, she loves me, she loves me not… It has to be said. It doesn’t matter which peddle you land on. A flower does not determine your destiny! You do! stop that bad thinking. And if you fail today, you can try tomorrow. You have every right to be happy. Its work. But it does not depend on what others do or think or say. The work is harder when you are depressed but everyone deserves some happiness, even if its hard fought.
The frustration of co-dependency is that you make more Anxiety for yourself because you are waiting for another person to approve of you and you cant depend on them to fix your situation, specially when they don’t even know is their situation to fix.
Today, give them the day off and stop waiting for them. Stop fretting over not having their acceptance. Stop waiting for them. Stop waiting for others. Stop tip toeing hoping someone will appreciate it.
Lets start today settling for less from others. None of us have it all going on. Don’t worry, the grass is not greener on the other side. (most of the time.) Don’t feel hard done by. If someone is harming you. If its dangerous call 911. If its not so bad, put a soft but strait forward end to the abuse. Take one step at a time to make your life better.
Start right now, make life better by not acting against yourself. And don’t hang out where you used to hurt yourself. Be on your own side. Here are some resources below worth looking at.
A quick google can find you some info on Codependency:
- Codependency no more. https://www.codependencynomore.com/
- Boundaries: Where you stop and I begin. https://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-Where-Begin-Recognize-Healthy/dp/1568380305
- Games people Play. http://www.ericberne.com/games-people-play/
- Adult children of Alcoholics. https://adultchildren.org/
- Adult children of Dysfunctional families https://psychcentralreviews.com/2016/adult-children-of-dysfunctional-families/
- Alanon. https://al-anon.org/
SECOND HALF OF OP:
Most of these books or sites hit on the issues of altered perceptions affecting our lives. I think it takes about this amount of time for someone to get board. Its also an emotion you might want to get away from.. funny how that is a similar emotion. Call this the second half of the OP after the trip to the fridge.
One might want to know what is normal then? Interdependence and Independence and some codependency. As a Christian I was liberated by following Jesus Christ and warned to stay away from Alcohol and Sex outside Marriage and abuse or abusing. I was taught to love people but also to defend what is right and expect it from others.
Because of the number of good people among a few bad apples, I saw good examples of loving couples and had ongoing teaching about proper love toward others and God.
Still I like most have sought the approval of others and felt shamed or shunned when I didn’t get it. Books like those above helped me. But don’t get me wrong its no cake walk to be kicked around by people. There is a lot in the bible about suffering and Martyrdom by stinking people who don’t give a care about human rights.
Did you know Everyone (but one) of the 12 Apostles following Jesus (including Jesus) was martyred. If you think you are going to be treated well in your life as a rule, Its not going to happen. There are some amazing days and some amazing people but there are also some thugs. There is a lot of hurting people in this world too. Some of those people will hurt you. It doesn’t mean you cant be whole as a person and see life as an adventure.
When I was a Child I had a few bullies on my tale. I was born in a Non-Christian home. I became a Christian early on at a young age and I got abuse from all sides. I was in luck, the church I started going to wasn’t twisted. In fact, it was a nice garbage man who attended that church, who donated time to the church driving the kids on the bus. He would picked me up as a kid and take me to Sunday school. Thankfully at church I met a lot of great people. Wow, the music was great. I had a wonderful Sunday school teacher; and I found a good friend. Peoples families were fantastic. So while My brothers were abusive to me and my parents emotionally flatlined toward us kids, I found some sanctuary in church people.
My first job at 15yrs Old was filled with abusive men smoking dope. My High school was filled with a bunch of dummies who didn’t care about anyone but themselves. Thankfully, my church was this sanctuary of hope. No wonder some churches named themselves that. 35 years have passed, since I found shelter in the church. And now I am still a worshipper of God. And, I have my eyes open. The world is a mixed bag of good and bad. Its not worth harming myself over what others say or do. Life is to big to be bound up in what some other person or situation is throwing my way. Life has had some serious bumps, but, there has been some pretty good times too. I just wish I knew then what I know now. I would have lived it with far less Anxiety and I would have untied the rope of co-dependency much sooner. Best wishes and may God bless you in your Life.
Psalm 27:1-8 King James Version (KJV)
(Scroll way down to comment.) don’t forget to click on a link or two to find a related scripture.