I have to tell you all again how much I appreciate the love, support, and care that you give to one another. I try to read every response even though I don’t always have time to personally comment. You all make me proud. I love to see how you take what Satan would love to crush you with, and rise up, get strong, and help your sisters stand strong also.
Today I thought I would answer a question about another type of destructive relationship, still controlling and crazy-making but not in a marriage.
Question: My mom is very negative and controlling. Our discussions consist of her complaining about her husband and anyone else she can think of.
I would never share anything too personal with her. She didn’t know where I worked, nor does she have my home phone number, just my cell.
I don't enjoy talking with her on the phone – but she is my mom.
At one point she was calling the police to do wellness checks on me whenever she didn’t hear from me for long periods of time – even though our history was never close nor did we communicate often.
Because of that, I decided to start a scheduled call with her (once a month) in order to try and keep some semblance of relationship and keep her from calling the police so frequently.
Then my marriage fell apart and right after, I moved out of my home and separated from my husband. I finally confided to my mom that I was no longer with my husband and that we were getting a divorce. That was during our June phone call.
A week or two later she called the police on me again. She told my family that I was in hiding and even told them that I might be dead.
I finally had enough and realized that no matter what I do she will use manipulation to feed her worry/anxiety – thus calling the police. At one point she was going to file a missing person's case a week after we had spoken.
I cut off all ties with her – except cards I send her via regular mail. I told her that if she sought counseling I would speak with her and her counselor but otherwise, I wouldn't be calling again or answering her calls.
My problem is I still struggle with my decision. Am I being unreasonable? I feel like I have been in so many toxic relationships (mom, husband) for so long that I have a hard time believing that I know how to respond and worry that I am overreacting. What do you feel an appropriate boundary would be?
Answer: You have every right to ask your mother to honor your privacy as an adult daughter. She may desire a closer relationship with you or more contact, but that is not her decision alone to make. It takes two willing people to form a healthy relationship.
It sounds as if you’ve struggled with your mother’s intrusion for years and created some specific boundaries around the amount of contact you had. However, your mother worried when she hadn’t heard from you, and then called the police to check on you. Why didn’t she just call you and ask if you were okay?
I'm curious, do you have siblings that you keep in touch with who can communicate to your mother that you are fine? If you are an only child and she has not heard from you in a long while, and you didn’t return her calls, it would be reasonable that she would become anxious about your well-being, but regularly calling the police is over the top and abusive.
During your June call, you confided something personal to her. You shared that your marriage was over and you were getting divorced. During that time did you also disclose that you were in danger or worried for your safety? It once again seems drastic of her to check on you after a week as well as to tell family members of her concern for your safety or to threaten to file a missing persons’ report. I can see where her negative story telling or her desire for extra attention frustrates you.
Therefore, your next step was to invite her to do her own work and get some counseling around how she interacts with you and treats you. You also told her that you would be willing to be a part of that conversation. That’s an appropriate boundary that you have put in place so that your mother isn’t continually intruding on your life.
But you worry now that you might be overreacting. You second guess yourself because you have lived with toxic and controlling people so long you don’t know what normal or healthy looks or feels like. And, it’s true. Sometimes when we are around something that feels like it’s about to snuff the life out of us, responding strongly and setting a clear and firm boundary is what we need to do, at least for a season until we get stronger so we can handle it differently.
For example, I remember with my own mother I could barely hold any conversation with her without either her being abusive or me getting triggered. It took a no contact boundary for a while so I could do my own work and get healthier. But later on, when I was healthier and not as easily triggered, I was able to spend time and help her when she had lung cancer, and do it with a good spirit. But had I not done my work, I would not have been able to care for her in the same way.
You’ve been through a lot. Be compassionate toward yourself. I don’t think you’ve overreacted, but even if you have, let it go.
You are learning how to get healthier and setting boundaries and having limits is part of living in healthy reality(Click To Tweet).
If in hindsight or later on you are able to adjust those boundaries or relax those limits, then do so. If not, then know that you are putting yourself in a place where you are not targeted by your mother’s issues. Writing to her regularly is a way you can honor the relationship and keep her informed that you are alive and well without allowing her to have access to you or act inappropriately by calling the police.
Friend: How have you handled boundary issues with a relative that you don’t live with? Do you second guess yourself?
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Oh my…. I have the same issue with my own mother. Everytime I talk to her, its almost a constant stream of complaints – mainly about my father, but also about friends, family… no one does anything right in her eyes. She verbally belittles my father for all the world to hear. If I give her any personal details about my life or struggles (was in a destructive/abusive marriage myself), it always comes back to how hers is much worse, my father is terrible, etc.
I think, in her way, she is trying to relate – but she’s squashing me, not relating!
I’ve told her that she is treating my father with disrespect, and I will not listen to it while I’m around, but I’m tired of “reminding” her every time I’m there! I dread going because I don’t like listening to it – and I live far enough away that if I do go I don’t want to turn around and leave. Then I feel guilty! She really cannot see it – all she sees is what boils down to – everything isn’t getting done her way.
Hi Refocus Reclaim,
I completely understand/ know the guilt and frustration you are experiencing with your mother. I also get the statement, “I think in her way she is trying to relate – but she’s squashing me, not relating!”
I think when we assign positive motives to another’s behaviour – “I think in her way she is trying to relate” – this can often be as detrimental to the relationship as assigning negative motives. I am beginning to learn…oh so very slowly…to take behaviour at face value. Assigning any kind of motive is just not helpful. In this case, it will only increase the guilt of sticking to boundaries. (And assigning negative motives to others’ behaviour doesn’t allow me to see clearly either- I’m assuming the worst of them.)
One thing that made a huge difference for me in coping with the growing guilt of sticking to boundaries is a girlfriend who is about 5 years ahead of me in healing with regards to her mom. When I feel guilt, I fire off an email and she encourages me to stand my ground!
I will pray for such support for you, if you would like. We cannot set boundaries in a vacuum. It’s a losing battle.
Thank you, Leslie, for addressing this issue. So many of the issues we are facing in our own marriages are stemmed from unhealed past wounds in our formative relationships ( I note the correlation from the initial post and from the above reply ~ mother / daughter and then husband / wife).
After many repetitive sick behaviors (and finally one that broke the last straw w one of my children) with in-law family members, I offered a choice, in grace, after having done much of my own work ~ I shared first w h and then with family. I cited the ongoing situations I witnessed and then called them out for how unacceptable they were. I invited them to please seek the necessary help to eradicate these behaviors and then very clearly let them know that until such time as they were, there would be no more communication with them. My h was free to associate with them if he chose, but myself and the kids would not be. They chose to interpret that as my having a problem … not them.
I realized that in an effort to “keep peace” and in longing for the family I so desperately wanted, I had allowed way too much on behalf of my children. I am thankful that my oldest was only five at that time.
Do I regret that decision? Here’s ultimately what I’ve come to recognize that I regret … not having the family that I always wanted for my children. The decision to remove them from the insanity (now 20 years later) I have no regrets about. I have, as my children have become older, shared with them as they’ve asked, my reasoning for my decision. In broad strokes, choosing words wisely. I have also told them that if they desire, they are always free, as adults, to pursue relationship with them ~ none have.
I do believe, and am ever grateful for this, that once we pursue our own healing we are free to “walk with the wise and grow wise” as Proverbs tells us. We can speak truth in love and learn to honor the position as best we can … all while remembering to honor our own positions and defend our children.
Thanks ever so much, Leslie et al, for providing a “Walk of Wisdom” for us here in this safe space!
Dear Dawn, Love this! “I do believe, and am ever grateful for this, that once we pursue our own healing we are free to “walk with the wise and grow wise” as Proverbs tells us. We can speak truth in love and learn to honor the position as best we can … all while remembering to honor our own positions and defend our children.”
Dawn, this is so very true!!! “So many of the issues we are facing in our own marriages are stemmed from unhealed past wounds in our formative relationships ( I note the correlation from the initial post and from the above reply ~ mother / daughter and then husband / wife).” We carry those patterns of relating into our marriages and thus we come into Leslie’s primary focus: marriages. So we really do have to look at what we bring to the marriage and heal what needs to be healed “before” we take the plunge. If we do this, we will be attracted to “healed people” and they to us.
I agree that the honoring/loving principals taught in the church are confusing to most. This is why I believe that healthy boundaries should be encouraged in the church. After caring for my two elderly parents until their deaths, I realized that our primary task is to honor and serve God with our lives. If ANY relationship is literally sapping the life out of you to do this, then we are not honoring but being codependent. I believe that honoring means we speak kindly, take care of all their needs when they age, as they cannot and handle their financial affairs in a God-honoring way, seeking His help and will as we do so. I see it as if it honors God, then it honors my parents.
For those of you with toxic relationships, this is extremely hard and must be done from a distance. But I do believe God will guide you down the right path and give you the strength and peace to follow His will.
I have second guessed myself many times where my relationship with my mother is concerned. She and I are very different and she was very controlling and manipulative when I was growing up and still has those issues to this day. When the bible tells us to honor our parents, I have learned that that does not mean we can not set healthy boundaries and have our own privacy, even if it means hurt feelings. I have not been able to trust my mother on many occasions, feeling that she would not keep what I shared with her confidential or would be secretly happy to learn of a struggle I was having, so I do not confide in her. It is the way it is and I no longer live in sorrow over that, but have accepted that until she decides she needs to change, it is not wise for me to open up to her. Having said all this, I have doubted myself in how I see and relate to her, but have realized that it is actually me getting healthier and seeing what I have needed to see so I could respond appropriately. It’s not easy when it involves a parent, but it sounds like you are handling this in the most appropriate way you know how. I would encourage you that if you are a Christian, that you pray and ask for continued wisdom and guidance in your relationship with her as well as all relationships. Pray for your own complete inner healing as well.
My husband is a narcissist. I step in when my husband has unreasonable expectations, demands etc. It’s really tough & confusing when they know that the Bible & the church says to love and honor our parents. Now that I think of it, it must be very tough for abused children to hear this in church. The church needs to address these issues if they want to be relevant to young people.
Such a good point, Maria! There is so much that needs to be done for the church to be relevant in this culture.
I am ever grateful for the bodies of Christ that realize this and are peddling fast to keep up with the downward spiral of society that is rapidly seeping INTO the church.
I agree with Dawn. Such a good point you share here: “It’s really tough & confusing when they know that the Bible & the church says to love and honor our parents. Now that I think of it, it must be very tough for abused children to hear this in church.”
My h was such a one as this and has not been able to detach from the family system of n abuse he was indoctrinated into. I think the scripture is like a glue that bonds them to this kind of misguided loyalty. He seems to now feel entitled to the same loyalty from his children and wife regardless of his now n abuse of us.
Sad heredity really.
Lori and Dawn, When abusers hear sermons/teaching about obedience, submission etc, the abuse at home gets worse. Sometime back in a Sunday school class, we watched a video on marriage. There was an older couple on the video talking about how they enjoyed each other etc. When we got home, my husband had a pity party about why he probably would not have what they had, and I was to blame.
I can relate well to what you described and the journey of second guessing (especially when it’s tied to our parental wiring)
“When the bible tells us to honor our parents, I have learned that that does not mean we can not set healthy boundaries and have our own privacy, even if it means hurt feelings”
Well expressed here and appropriate given many (adults not children) are learning how to navigate these patterns.
I love the Lord and desire to learn everyday how he can transform me into the person that can best be used for His glory.
This has been a complicated place for me & my journey with parents (whom I love and want to honor) but who have also been quite harming to my growth through the years.
I think for me the question hasn’t been do I or don’t I honor my parents… but the question has been What is Honor?
What does the commandment to honor really express and what is the overall theme?
As a young child, I was thankful to meet Jesus and was taught to Love the Lord with all my heart, to embrace His love ~(How much greater His love was & is that I can barely grasp)~
I have been through a long journey and still on quite a path… the Lord has continued to show me much of what I struggled accepting in relation to my family dynamics.
Some families form very distorted views of the verbs love and honor, they can even biblically emphasize these directives and yet still struggle to grasp what they might resemble.
For me, I had to chose the love and honor that would bring light and healing to my world and especially my own family (husband/ children), but those with distorted love messages or impaired ways of understanding respect and honor don’t respond well to healthy boundaries and verbs of these. Which is excruciating pain for my heart because of how much I care.
Currently, I am honoring and loving them beyond what they can ever offer to me. I am pursuing to be as healthy and God honoring first above meeting their standards and terms (which would be translated comforts).
I’m in continued prayer for their hearts where their hearts will embrace the Love He has for them fully, because His love is Perfect and nothing is more precious.
Thank you for letting me share a painful yet purposeful part of my journey.
Hugs and healing to you all🌸
Love how you said: :For me, I had to chose the love and honor that would bring light and healing to my world and especially my own family (husband/ children), but those with distorted love messages or impaired ways of understanding respect and honor don’t respond well to healthy boundaries and verbs of these. Which is excruciating pain for my heart because of how much I care.
Currently, I am honoring and loving them beyond what they can ever offer to me. I am pursuing to be as healthy and God honoring first above meeting their standards and terms (which would be translated comforts).”
Same, and it is excruciating. I do believe it is honoring to our parents (and friends and family) when we seek to follow the Lord first and forsake all others if necessary to do so.
Thanks for your understanding and connection with this.
I like how you put the ‘forsaking all others’ as I have come from plenty of impaired perspectives growing up and in the church community filled with more impairment.
But I do see ‘some’ willing to entertain awareness and willing to learn more of these misapplied issues and yes teachings.
I’m so thankful for your voice here as you bring so much support to what needs such support pouring in to grow & rewire beliefs.
I think it was you that recently posted a YouTube video about the narcissistic victim abuse ~ it was an excellent interview covering many angles which was very helpful! Thank you🤗
Have a blessed day to the full Lori🌅
Lori & Aly,
Such wisdom here. Love the question, “What is honor?”. It is truly the crux of the matter. I believe as you indicate that when we honor the space in our own hearts that Christ desires to heal, then we can begin to grow and flourish. When we come out of the painful soil of incorrect doctrine and belief systems that often exist in unhealthy bodies of Christ ~ usually equating to co-dependency and enabling ~ we can begin to truly experience and deliver both “love” and “honor” in the biblical sense that it was intended.
When you say, “Currently, I am honoring and loving them beyond what they can ever offer to me. I am pursuing to be as healthy and God honoring first above meeting their standards and terms (which would be translated comforts).” I can relate. In my family of origin, I had to first get to a healthy enough place in my own journey (I believe you call it seeking light and healing) that I could recognize and accept the reality that my parents were never the parents I had longed for (extreme dysfunction) and decide that the best way for me to honor them (if I wanted any semblance of relationship with them) was to truly recognize them as a ministry. A place to BRING the light and healing that I had received… with a LOT of boundaries! Once I adapted that mindset, I could truly love them with the love of Christ … in VERY limited time frames again with very structured boundaries.
So when we ask “What is honor” I think that to truly love as Christ did, it means we must follow His example. The first and foremost place he exemplified honor was by respecting and honoring the choices of those He encountered. He often spoke truth into the situation and then offered them the opportunity to join Him to receive abundant life in relationship with Him. Then, most importantly, He let them decide and respected their decision, moving on when the answer was no.
I love how both of you have recognized and articulated the need for creating that “healthy space for relationship”. I think we often get caught up in the fact that these are relatives and thereby should be given free continual grace passes to continue in darkness.
Thanks both of you for articulating these points so beautifully..
Hi Aly, Dawn, Lori, DJ,
I remember the first time hearing about when Jesus said, ” who are my brothers and sisters?” when someone pointed out that his mother and brothers were outside. Then he points to those sitting around the circle, referring to these as his family! This was so shocking to me, I remember thinking how hurt my mother would be by that statement. It almost felt blasphemous. Now I know why. Because in our home family was the idol. And so much was sacrificed on the altar of that idol. Peace, Love, Honour, Respect, honesty, privacy, compassion…the list goes on and on and on. So that by the end what was left…or maybe it was from the beginning….was the image of a family. It was ALL about image and what everyone else thought of us as a family.
I like, Dawn, how you talk about your parents as a ministry. To bring light and healing with LOTS of boundaries. With Christ, I can actually see that as a possibility. I’ve had glimpses of that but haven’t been able to sustain it because I haven’t grieved the reality of what I had growing up. I’m still very reactive to my mother.
Nancy, and others in this link above,
I appreciate how you articulate this dynamic and the conflict it brings out.
“It almost felt blasphemous. Now I know why. Because in our home family was the idol. And so much was sacrificed on the altar of that idol. Peace, Love, Honour, Respect, honesty, privacy, compassion…the list goes on and on and on. So that by the end what was left…or maybe it was from the beginning….was the image of a family. It was ALL about image and what everyone else thought of us as a family.”
This for me began a huge turning point in my life quite sometime ago, it began slowly and I continued to seek God for how to ‘well very carefully walk the line’
For several years it was manageable because we were able to have some healthy priorities ~ but there was still a lot of pressure and angst when we would disappoint a few ( mainly the controlling ones) in the mix.
But God continues to bring us a spiritual support in our church and surrounding.
Even though I was walking the line.. and holding my (children) as they got holding this was proving to be even more difficult based on them being highly influenced with the (covert idolatry of the family, let alone my husband in intensive recovery/rewiring).
I think it was Dawn who wrote about her parents as a ‘ministry posture’, which I love and so can see the beauty in that!
I think I hoped to be some sort of expression of that for the (Young next generation in our entire family of origin) but I believe a prerequisite for that would have been any respect for my perspective on growing and gaining awareness of the attitude &things that slowly eat away at leaning toward that process.
As much as I love my family of origin and all those entailed, they are so valuable to me! ~
God clearly showed me that our children were our first responsibility for ministry for His kingdom.
I knew this to be true for us, but I didn’t like the answer, nor did I want to grieve the loss.
God and the supportive people around me could weigh in and show me the disproportionate facts taking place.
The value I had for them, regardless if I felt wanted, respected etc.. was value that they didn’t have for me.
Sure they can understand value but in these dynamics it’s coming from a very dark selfish area that looks like value but getting closer… isn’t.
The duplicity and the lack of facing idols within my parents situation was well… ‘addiction’ does what addiction does. Being married to a work addict (now in recovery) I knew treating the addiction was a piece of it, the disease must be treated and as we all know where that leads us back to..Him! Thank the Lord for that🌅
Goodness, Im clearly guilty of my very own idols and the things that threaten my path, I pleaded for the Lord to assist and he continued to show me in ‘their responses’ and especially in His Word, where I needed to posture and act on my loyalty, especially as a believer~ if that in fact is what I claim.
Nancy ~ I strongly relate to the heart wrenching agony, I hope I can express that and be someone in writing that can be there as a spiritual sister for your heart.
Thank you all for being caring and supportive sisters in Christ! It’s alterning to ones heart to be seen and heard. I just am so grateful💕
It’s good for me to read that the ministry to your children is priority. Yes. At the beginning of this year I identified my priorities. My mother was not one of them- ‘ministering to my mother’ can’t even be one, for a long, long, while. My priority with regards to my mother is grieving the reality of who she is not.
In fact what kick started our healing as a couple (my h and I) was setting those boundaries with my mother (as well as with his).
My relationship with Christ first, then with my h, then with our little family. That’s work enough for now! Each of those relationships require boundaries around them. My mother had intruded into all of them.
Thanks for writing, it helped me stay focused on my priorities ❤️
Love this! “I’m in continued prayer for their hearts where their hearts will embrace the Love He has for them fully, because His love is Perfect and nothing is more precious.”
I am putting this one in my journal and praying this for my Florida kids!
Enjoyed reading your reply Aly. I honestly don’t feel honor for her in my heart. I honor her position. I do this by remembering her on her birthday, on Mother’s Day and at Christmas. And I periodically call her or visit her during the year when I feel led to. I do all this from my comfort level and how I am feeling led of the Lord, trusting him to protect me each time, all the while guarding my heart. I am believing for total healing and core strength to be established in each person who needs it, that has written in. I also recall someone on here praying for spiritual mothers to be provided. I had one years ago but since we moved 14 years ago, have not had that blessing. I certainly would love that and hope that prayer gets answered for all who would desire it. 😊
Did having a spiritual mother for a time, help you to grieve what you never had before?
I had already grieved much of that prior to meeting her. She was more of a blessing in the sense that she encouraged me, was someone I could call if I had questions about most anything, and she was maternal and loving. I have accepted the situation with my mother. Doing so, has helped me to focus on my life, the Lord’s plan for me and it helps me reach out and encourage others he places in my path. I know that our Heavenly Father is a perfect parent and comforts us when we turn to him. He has filled the void of not having a loving, caring mother and helps me every day on this journey called life. When I did have the spiritual mom in my life for a season, I was mindful to not “latch on” to her, respect her boundaries, and be thankful for the time she could give. I think people are so busy these days, they shy away from mentoring or spiritual mothering because of the fear of someone latching on and draining them. If the Lord provides any of us with spiritual mothers, I believe those are points to consider. 💕💕
Thank you Leslie .
So sorry to hear of peoples pain when it comes to their parents. But I am uplifted to hear stories of people who are free in Christ.
The Lord took me through a very prolonged painful journey with my parents. A journey that lasted 52 years. Our family bloodline on both parents sides is just infested with unclean spirits and generational curses and I learned everything about Evil that a person can learn. My heart had been repeatedly shattered more times than i can count.
What I have learned is that many deeply abusive parents are very protected and disguised by their role as parents and given a tremendous amount of power and benefit of the doubt. They have a special access key to the hearts of their children because of their role. It often takes decades for children who have been under the influence of manipulative controlling parents to break free because the conditioning is so wired into the fabric of their being. And also because of the sometimes iron clad denial that children had to construct to protect themselves emotionally as youngsters from their abusers.
I now believe that Christians may have to completely separate from unbelieving untruthful parents because of the influence of yoking with sinful people. My folks are not harmless to be around even as elderly people. They are always attempting to triangulate interactions and involve me in inappropriate and sinful discussions. They repeatedly cause unforgiveness and negative emotions to rise up in me and I can’t live in a state of grace with them in my life. I do pray for them always but I believe that I have a responsibility to the Lord to live truthfully and to disassociate with evil behavior. And , after 52 years, I’m very clear in what evil is in all it’s forms. I marvel at people who came to understand their own rights to basic respect and safety much younger in life than I did. And I congratulate people who are supporting others in these areas.
Totally agree with you here and I certainly wish I was a younger candidate to receive the truths I was desperate to understand. Even when I did begin to develop the awareness I was opposed that much more.
“I now believe that Christians may have to completely separate from unbelieving untruthful parents because of the influence of yoking with sinful people.”
Well stated, because we shouldn’t underestimate the power of ‘sacred people of influence’ in our lives and we should remind our children of these things… something that seems to be a theme in Proverbs.
Thank the Lord for His sacred wisdom available for our journeys;)
Blessings to you and your God inspired legacy!!
Thank you so much for speaking the truth of Luke 14:27 regarding comparative love. I am so thankful for your freedom and healing from all of this. I also believe it is the purest sense of the work of “honor” that you have chosen to embrace. You have given your parents the ultimate respect and honor of their choices to remain in the darkness.
I LOVE your comment: “What I have learned is that many deeply abusive parents are very protected and disguised by their role as parents and given a tremendous amount of power and benefit of the doubt. They have a special access key to the hearts of their children because of their role. It often takes decades for children who have been under the influence of manipulative controlling parents to break free because the conditioning is so wired into the fabric of their being. And also because of the sometimes iron clad denial that children had to construct to protect themselves emotionally as youngsters from their abusers.”
So spot on true. It makes me desire to continually purify my heart before the Lord in regard to my own relationships with my adult children. We have a sacred trust in our role as parents. Thank you for the beautifully articulated reminder.
God bless your continued healing and voice of wisdom.
“You second guess yourself because you have lived with toxic and controlling people so long you don’t know what normal or healthy looks or feels like.”
Now to me, this is worth the tweet!
Until we grow strong in CORE we don’t have discernment. And, it takes a long long time.
My relationship with my sick mother set the stage for being drawn to an NPD X-husband who while being gone, still have me fairly confused as a Christian about what healthy looks or feels like.
Yes I thinks it’s a tweet;) maybe a few!
My counselor would totally agree with your statement and would come alongside to carry the burden of the backlash when the person rises in truth.
I am truly sorry: You are dealing with a mother who is a narcissist and she sounds like my mother’s twin. You have not made a mistake going “no contact” but must be prepared for the fallout and ensuing drama. Our society puts motherhood on a pedestal and does not address (or allow) those mothers who are missing maternal DNA. I have gone “no contact” since my mother assaulted me at Christmas AFTER I was in a serious car accident. Since then, she has done everything in her power to turn the sibs and others against me. (She’s done this throughout my life, but now it’s industrial-strength hatred.) I am sorry for what you’re enduring and I pray it stops soon. You have done nothing wrong. Toni
I’m sorry for what you have endured through with your mother.
It seems like those with these destructive symptoms ‘get drastically worse the longer time goes on’ without any interventions.
Certainly not claiming here they can be helped~ just seems to be a pattern that as these individuals get older and the years are moving along the behavior begins to escalate and the possibility of awareness narrows.
Hope you have supportive people and you feel the healing in community that God can orchestrate for your heart. 💜
I’m sorry for what you have been through.
I am truly sorry that so many of you are hurting because of mom’s who won’t get help to learn to relate to their children in a God-honoring way. I kind of have to opposite problem. My son and family in Florida. I am in Chicago. We fly down every year to spend time with them, take them out to restaurants send very generous monetary gifts for birthdays and Christmas and call from time to time. My daughter-in-law and grandchildren never get on the phone to say Happy Birthday Grandma or Grandpa, Merry Christmas or worse yet thank you for sending me a gift. So now, the monetary gifts will stop. A mailed card will be sent on birthdays and Christmas with a note explaining that a relationship takes two and our standards are such that we express thankfulness for our blessings. I pray that they will be “saved” every day. It grieves me so to know that they live such hopeless lives and don’t accept the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I really look forward to perhaps seeing a posting on mom’s problems with adult children and their families in the future. Thank you sincerely Leslie for all you do!!!!
Hi Mary Ann,
What a great mom you are. That you won’t allow yourself to be mistreated by your children. Your tough love stance will no doubt be painful for you, but Hopefully good for them.
May God bless your efforts- that they be used for His Glory ❤️
Oh Nancy! Thank you SOOOO much! Your words have help soothe the sadness I feel over what I have had to do. God bless you!
Thank you for honoring yourself and sharing with your adult children what honoring you should look like. It is a good dialogue to begin with them. I am praying for an opportunity for them to take this with the grace it was sent and truly love on their mom a bit!
You sound like a treasure!!
“Friend: How have you handled boundary issues with a relative that you don’t live with? Do you second guess yourself?” . . . .I don’t have this issue directly but I do constantly second guess myself, —what ifs, etc. . . .But I think this issue shows were most of the work usually needs to take place —internally. We first need boundaries internally with ourselves. —Within ourselves. I have often thought that the first place we need boundaries most is internally with ourselves. . . .The issues (—whatever form it takes) would not be happening *externally* if it was not happening *internally*. In other words, I have to BE the change I want to see in my world. I need to be able to say “NO” to myself. . . .I also agree with the comments to pray about these issues, —consistently pray about them. —Now, if that relative does anything positive, I would recommend getting all over that even while having realistic expectations, rather than second-guessing. Focusing on the successful aspects of the relationship (—even when the success is modest) promotes positive affects, reduces self-doubt, and helps to maintain motivation. Nevertheless, realistic optimism does not include or imply expectations that things will improve on their own. Wishful thinking of this sort has no reliable supporting evidence. —Also, ask anyone and they’ll most likely say their relatives or their family is crazy, and if they don’t say their family is crazy, their friends are crazy, etc. That’s because everyone is crazy after really taking the masks off. The other times people are mostly masked and really trying to fit in. . . . .So, when we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far, far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice. We change our behavior, generally, when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing and that is why consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change. . . i.e.“No” is a complete sentence. . . .Still, it all starts from within us. I think the largest and most real conflict you will ever have in your life won’t be with others, but actually with yourself. —You solve it internally, it is most likely solved. . . .If we want to live an authentic, meaningful life, we need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others (—I so hate that, but I am always working on it), hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like us. Boundaries only scare off the people that were not meant to be in your life. If you tend to talk yourself out saying something, say, telling yourself that you don’t want to make waves, try telling yourself instead that it is okay to make waves sometimes and risk letting people know how you really feel. If you live your life to please everyone else, you will continue to feel frustrated and powerless. This is because what others want may not be good for you. You are not being mean when you express your ideas, feelings, and opinions, even if they differ from those of others. It will not be easy, nothing useful is, but it’s essential if we want our lives to reflect our deepest desires, values, needs, —those kinds of things. Never let your desire to have an accepting heart towards others keep you from your strong boundaries. The hurricane may come blasting at our door; yet it doesn’t mean we have to invite it in for tea, coffee or whatever. Sometimes, it’s important to recognize that the hurricane is a powerful and damaging storm, not some light spring shower. I certainly have had to do that with my own mother but it is never easy. I can say all the words about how it is the right thing to do, etc. but I wind-up feeling so bad about it.
Setting and keeping boundaries can have ripple effects on others too.
I just found out that our nephew is getting married next Feb, and would like us all to come ( It’s a 5 hour flight away). We are excited. My sister-in-law invited us to stay at her place but there’s a possibility that my abusive mother-in-law might stay there too. I told my sister-in-law last night. “I’m sorry to say that if she stays with you, we will not”.( note my sister-in-law feels the same way about her, but because she lives so far from our mother- in-law, does not have to really excercise boundaries. Their strategy has been to avoid. So far that’s worked well for them. My h and I have often regretted not moving FAR FAR away, too).
It feels so unfair to put someone else in this position of having to choose, or more specifically it feels as though we are forcing them to confront instead of continue to avoid.
But it’s crystal clear to me that we cannot and will not stay in the same home with her. Our limit with my mother in law is about 1 1/2 hours, and we go in REALLY prepared with a strategy, prayer, etc…
So smart to be, as scripture calls us to be, “wise as serpents and gentle as doves” (Matt. 10:16) when we are called out as sheep among the wolves.
Those tight boundaries help us to maintain sanity and safety for both ourselves and our children.
Good for you.
I am working on trying to “frame from the positive” with my boundaries. So in the situation above, on the first pass, I may say, “It’s going to work better for us to be over at the “blank” hotel for this stay, but we’ll look forward to getting together; and, of course, if I can be of any help (if that works for you) please let me know”.
That allows room for invitation of discussion (if she chooses) … or not.
I have found after all of these years of fighting and battling on so many fronts maritally and with family to get and maintain some semblance of healthy sanity, that is the one place I will strive to protect ~ a peaceful, healthy heart. That heart, when well protected, is able to speak life and peace from my mouth. (Luke 6:45, Prov. 4:23).
Always learning on this journey, right!?!
So grateful for the processors here in this forum!
Thank you Dawn, for the wording for boundaries that are “framed from the positive”. This is very helpful. Hopefully, as I grow into a less reactive phase of my journey I’ll be able to implement the “gentle as doves” element 🙂
Your post below really touched me too, Dawn. I love how you said we grieve with Hope. Yes. And that because of Christ “we can reprogram! And with submission and renewal we can become the mothers we never had.” This is one of my greatest goals: to glorify my Lord in mothering our precious girls.
Thank you for asking for spiritual moms for us all. My heart is so broken by a woman who has no clue how to be a mother. There is such a chasm in my soul for the mother I never had, that I fear if I were to really allow myself to feel the pain of it, I’d be swallowed up by it. I know the grieving of that “hidden/ secret abandonment” is key for me, but I am clueless as to how to proceed. I often fantasize about her death because then I’d have a tangible process of grief to walk through.
Thanks to sisters like you, I am reminded of the Power of my Redeemer and His provision for His beloved daughters.
Yes! I have no doubt you are well on your way already with all the hard work you are doing and have already accomplished.
Such a beautiful opportunity we are given when the Lord creates children, custom-made children, for us ~ where He knows our strengths and weaknesses ~ and designs them with those in mind. We have the beautiful opportunity to daily pick up our crosses and honor Him with our parenting daily (keeping in mind sometimes my cross would swing around and hit me in the head or I’d trip over it ;0).
Nancy, never be afraid to allow yourself the gift of grieving over that huge swath of hurt that your heart bears ~ Sister, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to allow yourself some space, open the door, and enter in! Because here’s the truth, on the other side of that abandonment grief are the fields of freedom that are described in the above post. That is victory for not only you but your husband (?) and girls as well. What an authoritative position to parent them from.
Maybe you begin here … I did. I had to cry my eyes out over the mom I never had. At the same time the Lord spoke to my heart to remind me that while she had abandoned me emotionally, He was never more than a breath away. I asked Him to take me back to my childhood and show me the hows and whens of all of that (I had such memory blockage on my childhood because of trauma). He did. It was a beautiful duet of grieving and praising. Of recognizing that He truly carried me through the waters and did not allow me to be burned in the fire ultimately. He showed me where He continually had shown up and protected me (believe me when I tell you, I had some CRAZY experiences of being in places that children should NEVER be). Entering into that space allowed the healing to occur that He was longing to deliver to me.
So yes, my dear, set your face like flint as Is. 50:7 instructs us to and head towards that space. He has not given you a spirit of fear but of power and of love and a SOUND, SOUND mind (II Tim. 1:7). You are farther along than you realize. Hugs, Christ Sister!
Thank you Dawn, for describing a piece of your journey with The Lord, through your grief.
I longed for my mom to be a mom to me. A friend and confidant. She was never emotionally available. And to make things worse she also was sexually inappropriate with me. My mother is TOXIC!
For many years after my father had an accident where he received a God miracle and survived, my mother always complained to all the kids (4) of us, trying to guilt us to come over more often because our father was dying. After the first 5 years I finally got tired of hearing about dad dying. I said mom, we’re all dying, we just don’t know when God has our date planned yet. We had my dad for 20 years after his accident. He suffered a bad brain injury and it took him about 9 years of rehab before he could function on his own without supervision. While he was recovering mom made dad’s life miserable where she was abusive to him. He finally had enough and ended their marriage after 45 years. On a happy note, the last 5 years of his life was the best relationship I’d ever had with my earthly father. His brain injury altered his personality in a very positive way. It was a blessing and I was honored to know him as the man he became. 😊
I’ve recently distanced myself from mom. Every time I call or visit there is DRAMA. What finally pushed me away from her was her violation of my person. She grabbed me inappropriately and made a crude remark and I suddenly had a vivid flash back to a repressed childhood event involving her with me – disgusting. I was the only child to be sexually abused by her. As a child, I had no voice. As an adult, I have a choice.
Over the past two years my sister and I have been putting aside our differences of mom’s attitudes to help her battle cancer. We take her to all of her treatments and follow up appointments, took her to surgery and continued to do all the right things folks do caring for an ill parent. She would continuously berate my sister for all kinds of stuff and accuse her of not caring. I wasn’t seeing what she was claiming. My sister even helped her get aide for her since she had all these new expenses. She got her help with gas cards, heating, and bought her nutritional meals that were easy to make and used her own vehicle to take her to all these out of state treatments. And all mom could do was to continue with viscous attacks verbally to her. And mom would complain to me about how rotten she was. There was no getting mom to see how truly loving and helpful she was being. It broke my heart. My sister is the most loving and selfless person you would ever want to meet.
To repeat about the other momma-drama would be spreading gossip. Those stories are endless and outrageous. And unfortunately as outrageous as they are, most are true. Ugh! We have our hands full just trying to be dutiful daughters. I don’t have it in me any longer. I’ve been trying to coach my sister to remove her blinders and quit being mom’s verbal punching bag. While we were growing up, I was the kid who was singled out for physical punishment and my sister was the princess. Now my poor sister is a verbal punching bag.
I told my sister about our mothers last transgression and how I’d experienced the flash back and made a decision to cut off contact. She doesn’t have my address, though she does have my cell. I still call her occasionally and she pushes to come over and see where I live. One of my brothers whom is of very questionable character lives with her and it is because of him I won’t tell them where I live. My last home I lived in, in the 20 years I lived there she never came over. I’d asked dad why she never came over and he said it was because she was jealous of me.
I’m done with my mom and I grieve for the relationship we never had. I pray for her recovery and she appears to be in remission. She attends church and I pray for her soul. I raise her up to God for a complete healing and I try to remember she is a child of God. I’ve forgiven her in my heart, but sadly I don’t want her in my life and it tears me up because she’s still my mom.
On a side note it was accidentally exposed that one of us 4 kids is not biologically a product of both our parents. My sister and I discovered this fact during mom’s doctoring. We were discussing donating blood in the event mom would need it. Dad was type B my sister is type A and I’m type O. Mom won’t tell us her blood type. Is there sibling DNA testing to determine if we come from the same parents? My sister and I have not decided if we would follow through with testing. 3 of us kids are really close and in the end DNA wouldn’t change the love we have for one another.
Thank you sweet Sisters for listening.
Dear Brave Rabbit,
Oh my! Words cannot express my outrage for what you have been under and going through… not just your childhood but your adulthood!
Your mother is obviously very very ill and should have been charged legally.
I’m not trying to be over to the reactionary here, but I can’t believe the forms of abuse you describe and little or no responsibility or accountability that your mother has had.
My heart goes out to your heart and I hope that you have found others in the body of Christ where you can be re-mothered and nurtured. Do you have a counselor to assist in all of this?
Are you still with your husband? Via other posts Brave Rabbit.
Thank you Aly for your mothering me, caring and validation. The memory was from when I was 11 years old which would have been 45 years ago. I felt then what was happening was very wrong, I remember crying and telling her no and my mom threatened that she’d tell my dad that if I didn’t do what I was told, she’d make sure I’d get a beating from him. As a defense mechanism, I’d learned from a young age how to hide inside myself so I wouldn’t feel the pain of my beatings. I’m sure the same thing happened here. I can recall the beginning of the event, then there is a blank spot in my memory and the next thing I recall is her telling me to get dressed and to go to my room. I couldn’t run fast enough and I remember sobbing into my pillow crying myself to sleep.
I’d shared with my counselor there is a gap in my memory where I’m missing a couple of years. Which would have been prior to the event above. While working on a timeline is when I discovered the missing time. What I’ve been able to piece together with the help of my sister is a house I’d lived in that I cannot recall at all. It’s about a two year span of time. My counselor said she could help me remember if I wanted. I’d told her then I’d rather not and I still feel the same now. And maybe, when I’m ready I’ll remember, but if I never do, that’s ok too.
How I’m not more messed up is another God miracle. I was swallowed up at one time when I felt the pain of living was worse than the pain of dying. I was saved in more ways than one. My favorite counselor is no longer in my insurance network. But we are in communication and she’s going to help match me up with a new one who’s covered in my current insurance.
I’m trying to stretch my wings and getting to know some of the ladies in my church. It seems to be a slow process, but I know God is there overseeing things for me.
I was finally able to meet with my pastor. He is a great listener. He said since I’m not in immediate physical danger, time is on my side. He likes the idea of my journaling as it’s a good tool to help me reveal my feelings to myself and I know it could be evidence, if I need it later. I’d read to him the letter I’ve written. Pastor would rather I speak to H in person, but understood my concerns. He gave me other things to consider to include in my letter. I’ve been redrafting since I saw him. It’s looking pretty good. Pastor also told me I can call him 24/7. I’ve also worked out an emergency phrase and plan with my one friend so if I need an emergency exit, everything is in place.
Last week my H was being a ding ding & hyper critical and a few minutes later his radio he was listening to faded out. Then he said, “It seems to work better when you are not here.” That thought stewed in my head for 5 minutes and I calmly walked out of the room, took a shower grabbed my hygiene products out of the bathroom, walked into my bedroom, shut the door and packed clothes in two pillow cases. While I was dressing I was running things through my head where I would leave the car for him to pick up, I’d call my friend for a ride and I’d email the letter to him from her house after I arrived. Then my phone rang and it was my mother-in-law calling to say she was just down the road and would be by shortly to pick me up. While in my red fog I’d forgotten about her and our plans for the afternoon. lol In one short moment, I abandoned my exit, hid my packing in my closest and left with my mom-in-law.
When I arrived back home later and entered the bathroom, it was glaringly obvious my stuff was gone and there was no way he could not have noticed. And I thought good, let’s see what he says. For me, that is a bold step. All evening he appeared to be . . off/different . . .(this event was 7 days ago)
In the meantime, I returned my hygiene items to the bathroom, but left my pillow cases packed. (They are still hidden in my closest.)
For the next two days he was super sweet and even made me breakfast! I think it’s been 20 years since he’s done that (I’d had wrist surgery).
I caught a glimpse of the man he’s capable of being. And I liked him.
I don’t know if this is another new twist to help confuse me, or if he’s just off balance and not sure what to make of me. Or if I’m confusing myself.
My friend is about as frustrated with me as I am with me. She was present with me when I went to see Pastor. I let her know how much I appreciate her and asked her to be patient with me and to just love me through the process. I feel book smart but my heart smart is a little learning challenged. 😃
I wish I could say I’m not scared. There are days I feel so sure about what I want to do/need to do. Then I lose my self-confidence. Then I play the game, is this my will or God’s will?
I’ve read Leslie’s book three times and I’ve seen all of Patrick Doyle’s videos. I’ve read others books and I keep getting the same message. But I fail to act. I try to live each day in CORE . . .
I also know that what ever I do, even if it turns out to be not what God wanted, he loves always and forever and he will forgive.
Thank you everyone for loving on me and praying.
I’m not sure how to say in writing~where my preference would be just sitting with you and listening to what you are going through. Im so very sorry for what you went through in those early years, i can see the weaving of God in many of things you are doing to find your strength. 💖
From your writings, it sounds like you have supportive people around you, pastor/ friend and possibly a new counselor.
You’ve been getting informed via Leslies material and videos of P. Doyle and you are journaling, I think these things are Brave steps!
You might not see the strength that God is doing emotionally for your heart right away as He is helping you through, giving you the clarity of things. I do think these places take time to step solidly in.
Wow, it’s a blessing that you are learning so much, but I hear your heart in feeling pulled in two. I think many can relate to what these feelings do to us mentally especially when we are ’emotionally linked’ to someone as you have described like your h.
“I wish I could say I’m not scared. There are days I feel so sure about what I want to do/need to do. Then I lose my self-confidence. Then I play the game, is this my will or God’s will?”
This Brave Rabbit is well ‘so common’, and so understanding to me because I had such similar self dialog. I just want you to know that being scared or having fear is ok, I would be to!
Some of my most courageous decisions had those strong fears within. Many of times I envisioned confidence (void of any fear) to be the ideal place to make a choice or draw a boundary. For me, it didn’t work that way. The Lord seemed relentless to see my fear and have compassion for it too. He showed me a lot of my coping skills that fear naturally aided in but He does give such grace to our fears, which in turn builds our faith.
When you wrote about the breakfast thing, it reminded me of a kind of individual that instinctively senses the other person getting stronger and knows the puppet strings…I’m not saying (I know) goodness I don’t want to come across that way but it seems like a similar pattern with certain abusive individuals. It’s almost like they have inside information about what ‘we long for’ and in the last possible moment they create that doubt. ~Have you been able to read or watch any videos on Cognitive Dissonance or trauma bonding? Just a thought it might help with validating some areas of the dynamic that can be vague.
By saying ‘what we long for’ I’m trying to say it’s the moments that we would like to feel seen and cared for by our h’s. Where we feel comforted and not mistreated or neglected. It seems to come in small doses (as you mentioned the 20 yrs) or in times of ‘desperation’ by your h for instance and that’s why it can be SO powerful in our brain chemistry. It has nothing to do with breakfast.
This is why the support and preparing you are already actively placing in your path will be essential for (the doses) to technically lose their power, as they should given misuse of them.
Brave Rabbit you are ‘Brave’ and you are discovering the things within your soul that the Lord has not allowed the enemy to steal. I’m praying for your heart and your healing💕
I admire your strength in Him! Your a precious sister in Christ worthy of safe and healthy love in so many ways!
Standing with you;)
Brave Rabbit, my heart aches for what you endured as a child, with no power of choice–it was robbed from you. You have overcome so much — and because of Christ you are a true and ultimate overcomer. To see such a lovely heart you have, that could not be stolen from you in spite of all that the enemy has schemed for and done–well, that’s quite a victory in the Lord.
Praying for you, and all my sweet sisters tonight.
In His light, we see light.
Dear Brave Rabbit, T.L., et al,
In His light we see a LOT of things I’ve come to realize.
So often for me, prior to my departure, were the co-mingled issues of reality and emotions and old hard wiring. I KNEW the right thing to do, but my hard wiring (and flesh) WISHED so desperately for an alternative outcome plus the added component of emotions ~ mainly fear of the unknown. This toxic combo was responsible for keeping me in a stronghold so much longer then I was ever intended to stay, and it led to some extremely dark places. I really wasn’t even able to discern that until long after I had extensive times of isolated healing.
In much prayer for continual guidance for each of us as we journey forward.
God’s grace for that journey.
You have just described my entire life with my mother. Thank you for your courage and transparency. This week, I learned that my mother removed me as her Medical POA (I’m the only one in the same state or side of the country – so this was not a smart move on her part.) I’ve also learned that she has turned over all her properties to the youngest brother in the family. This does not hurt, but their underhandedness and sick secrecy does; I can only imagine how my older half-sibs will react – as now they have also been excluded from the Will. (Welcome to my world!)
I am blessed with two aunts who are mother figures to me, and who cared for my grandmother in her end years – after my mother abandoned her and moved West. For all those who lack a true mother figure, I pray The Lord will enrich you with a woman who will love you and embrace, as our mothers are supposed to. Stay strong, lean in to The Lord; we are God’s girls above all else.
I’m sorry for all you’ve had to endure with your mother, Toni. Thankful you know the One who can heal all those wounds and be the best parent ever.
Brace Rabbit, I’m so very sorry for your pain. Thank you for sharing so we know how to pray for you. I don’t know what kind of resources you have– the Lord brought me a ‘Spiritual Mother’ who holds me in her heart daily. She also adopted me. God can do amazing things after we survive such painful childhoods. I’m praying for you💜
It’s heartwrenching to face up to the cruelty some people have to go through. I’m so sorry. This broken world is so sad. I pray God continues to heal you and that He gives your sister wisdom and clarity as she continues to deal with your mother.
Sweet Christ Sisters,
I am so heart wrenched to hear the stories of our “less than” earthly moms. My heart just breaks for the love and tender caring we, with these moms, did not receive. Yet, in Christ, because of Christ, we grieve with hope. We can reprogram! With renewal and submission to Him, we can become the mothers we did not have.
Today I am asking for every one with a “less than” mother, to be gifted with a “spiritual mom” that is a blessing of pouring in to the battered souls we hold.
So grateful to see how hard we are pressing in to seek the healing that has been gifted to us in our birthright as His Beloveds! Jer. 29:13
So beautiful, Dawn! Xo
Love your point about the internal boundaries, Aleea!
Thank you Dawn, you are a really good encourager, —I’ve always thought that. . . .That point about internal boundaries is made to me all the time by my counselor Dr. Meier, she talks to me about it, —a lot, because I can’t do it. Her father Dr. Paul Meier (Meier New Life Clinics) was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and trained Dr. Cloud, Dr. John Townsend, all those boundary expert “greats.” Like everything, the theory is easy. Like a women in my church always says: “. . . Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no more theories.” . . . .Anyways, encouragement goes straight to the heart, its really good stuff.
“Insight does not produce cure. Cure produces insight”
“When you move toward grace and connect with it, enormous Truth emerges and creates acres of freedom. Truth does not do it by itself. You’ve got to become vulnerable to the heart that is offered to you because it will melt you into all kinds of discoveries about yourself. It’s after we’re loved that we begin to have strength to face painful and bad things about ourselves.”
This is dr. Cloud answering a caller. Do you know what the title of that YouTube episode is? It’s called WHY DO I KEEP DEALING WITH HURT FROM THE PAST? WHY DOESN’T IT STOP?
Aleea, there is enormous grace ready to surround your heart, on this Blog. Likely at your church, too.
You can theorize about pain ( or Jesus or Christianity or boundaries or life or death or relationships) until the cows come home but it will never produce healing.
Making yourself vulnerable to grace, is what will.
Nancy, I love what you said to Allea.
Esp- insight does not produce cure, cure provides insight…..
I love that!!!!!
. . . Robin, I totally agree, that is so, so very good! re:cure provides insight. . . .Vulnerability seems to really mean to be strong and secure enough within ourselves that we are able to walk outside without all our armor on. —Armor that the Bible tells us to put on. Vulnerability shows up as is and in genuine strength and courage. Armor may look tough, but all it does is mask insecurity and fear. Maybe emotional pain cannot kill you, but running from it sure seems like it can. Aleea, allow. Embrace. Let yourself feel. Let yourself heal. . . .Vulnerability creates unimaginable space to build each other up, as much as it creates unimaginable room to tear each other down. . . . .From my years of reading and posting here, I see women’s desperate, unquenchable desire to step into their power, countered by the fear of what will happen if they do. The longing to express the riches inside them, wrestling with the deep terror of being burned by the judgment, the hatred, the rejection of church members, strangers or loved ones if they do. . . . .But, it is not someone else’s responsibility to break down my walls to get to me. It is my responsibility to let them in. Vulnerability. . . .strong and secure enough within to walk outside without all my armor on. —I’m changing and I’m terrified of how weak I feel, how vulnerable my flesh and soul has become but control is an utter illusion—a fact we will learn very fast as we keep learning. I cannot selectively numb my emotions, when I numb the painful emotions, I also numb the positive emotions too. Embrace the pain. Break a made up rule or two! Embrace the pain of others . . . that gives some chance at healing the endless cycles of generational repression and suppression that are rolling around in our DNA and the collective unconscious.
Thank you so much Nancy.
“Making yourself vulnerable to grace, is what will.” . . . .That’s so beautiful, —thank you Nancy. I also love the encouragement, —wonderful. Re: stalled in judgment, shame and blame . . .—I’m totally guessing at it but I think I simply can’t believe enough to heal. The healing comes because you believe. All I can do is pray: “Lord I believe, help my vast unbelief.” —I can’t change the shape of the evidence, —or the facts. —And for me, historical reality is a very hard road. I have spent too long with the facts which I did because I thought, incorrectly, they would increase my faith but the facts were not what I thought. They were far, far weaker than I could have ever imagined. . . . .But what really matters, it seems, is the faith and conviction with which you believe. . . I see people from all faiths healed by that.
If you believe it, if you can see it, if you act from it, it will show up for you. —amazingly, that seems the truth.
—Amazingly, believing, seems the cure. It is so clear that fear is the glue that keeps us frozen —and faith this like great solvent, but that requires we really, deeply believe. . . . .When you can truly believe in something and are capable of believing in something with ALL your heart, you are going to heal. It’s true not because it’s beyond doubt, but because you believe it to be true. You, Nancy, can make it true. I always think reality is objective but maybe, truly, your reality is what you believe in.
“Making yourself vulnerable to grace, is what will.” . . . I’m so sick of this being about me, my healing, etc. I want to help others but I’m terrified I’ll drag them straight to the bottom unless I’m healed first. I know Chrsitianity is true even if it is not true, because what is true is what gives life not what is historically, scientically, verifiably, objectively true. It is true enough to heal and that makes it true. Truth serves Life. . . .Yes, there is an outside world, and yes, there is an objective reality, but in moving through this world, we constantly apply unconscious filter mechanisms (they are unconscious, you don’t know you are doing it, —me too!), and in doing so, we unknowingly construct our own individual worlds, which is our “reality tunnel.” You are in one and it is working very well for you and that makes it true (—Truer than true). . . .because Truth serves Life. I’m in one that is not working for me but I can’t be in yours because yours is a first naïveté. I need a second naïveté. I apologize if I offend your precious heart Nancy, I’m trying to be vulnerable.
I am terrified somebody’s going to stick me in a cage. But, I’m already in that cage. A cage I built myself and it goes with me wherever I go. Because no matter where I go, I just end up running into myself. I can’t trust the Mind that is so far greater than mine. . . . I get my hand unstuck from the bar of my cage but as run to the door, the cage starts violently shaking and to stabilize myself, I grab another bar. So, I am still stuck, time after time, just on a different bars. . . “Oh Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee. I give thee back the life I owe. That in thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be!!!” I don’t know who said that but I pray it all the time and I add “Lord, I can’t believe on unbelievably insufficient evidence. —Your God, You know I can’t. I need a new revolution of the King of Kings.” . . .But this is psychological, it has nothing to do with what is or is not objectively true. —How do I get a second naïveté? —The experiences that make us the most vulnerable: love, belonging, joy. . . .require us to be brave enough to explore the darkness, that’s how we discover the infinite power of our light. . . .but it’s really depressing. The loner who looks fabulous is one of the most vulnerable loners of all. —Real dishes they break. That’s how you know they’re real. —You break, that’s how I know your real. I’m terrified that when I break, I’ll shatter into a million pieces. And yet I know, I am at my most powerful the moment I no longer need to be powerful . . .but because I can’t afford to fail, I can’t afford to trust. . . but maybe I can. I am stronger than all these words and I am bigger than the box I’m in, but then I see Christ and I fall apart, simply on emotion.
Here’s the thing Aleea. Your defenses (of retreating to your mind in order to solve the problem of pain) are so similar to mine that I sometimes get triggered.
This is not your fault. I hope you really hear that ❤️
If ever you become ready on this blog to talk about your current real life experiences, I hope to be able to support you. Otherwise it’s just too painful for me to enter in.
Thank you Nancy. I appreciate that.
“Here’s the thing Aleea. Your defenses (of retreating to your mind in order to solve the problem of pain) are so similar to mine that I sometimes get triggered.” . . . . I’m so sorry for that Nancy but I understand, as best I can understand. You do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do. I believe in intuitions and inspirations . . . .I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am. I have a hard time trusting my heart because hearts are hysterical unreliable organs to think with.
“If ever you become ready on this blog to talk about your current real life experiences, I hope to be able to support you. Otherwise it’s just too painful for me to enter in.” . . . . —Again, I understand as best I can understand. —And again, you do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do. Hearts are unreliable organs of knowledge.
. . . But, I believe your intuition is right in at least two important ways:
1) It is always in response to something you can see but I can’t because I am too close to myself.
2) I feel you have my best interest at heart.
I believe you know how to act spontaneously, without needing to know why. If we drilled down, things would rapidly fall apart. That’s why I say “Truth” serves life. You have an intuition in the sense of knowing how to act spontaneously, again without needing to know why. The why question leads to indecision, anxiety, caution and self-limitation. These seem all responses which originate in fear-based emotions. . . . I’m operating mostly from deep fears, mostly unconscious but at least I know that much. . . .Nancy, you could probably make very short work of slaying all my dragons because they are not yours. I know I can slay all my counselors dragons, oh my, they seem so simple to me, as mine do to her. But no one can slay our dragons, that’s why they are ours. But we can help sharpen each others swords and serious pray for each other. . . .I think a misleading perception is increasingly being perpetuated that the intuitive is all that really matters in any spiritual endeavor, and that the conscious, rational, logical, analytical mind is the mortal enemy of spiritual awareness and soul growth. I believe that to be wrong but I pray for sufficient wisdom to understand that wisdom apart from the Holy Spirit is the stuff of opinion tainted by the rot of my bias. . . .A butterfly does not wonder how it can stop being a caterpillar. It simply feels some feeling from within that tells it: get in this cocoon and grow within it. It trusts that feeling. When it comes out, it is radiant and beautiful. All the little bug did was follow its nature. Maybe we are no different. The Holy Spirit’s genius is as wide as the cosmos, while by comparison my intelligence can find room on the head of a pin.
Again, thank you Nancy. —I so appreciate that. The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. —So, again, always do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do.
—Oh, and Nancy, just to be really clear: these are my real life experiences. I sit on planes, travel places and think and think and think and think and think about stuff. Real life is really boring, rarely conclusive and boy, does the dialogue need work! But it is as real as it gets. I assume you don’t want to hear about 70% of my day re:about tax law (Section 355 – Section 7428, et.al. of the IRS tax code) —you haven’t experienced painful until we would have a “real life” discussion about that. It would be current however. —Nancy, believe me, to me there is no such thing as a boring person. Reality can be very boring. . . .Nancy you have children . . . and kids can create fun out of nothing and when this great talent is lost you become a boring creature which is called adult! I try to share everything I can but my counselor says that “. . . .Aleea, only share when you have NO unmet needs that you are trying to fill. Being vulnerable with a large audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations you might have Aleea for the response you get. If you share your shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.” —Who knows, maybe I should do the opposite of what she says, its not like I am getting healed or maybe I am I just don’t understand how.
Oh my, Aly please rest assured of one thing: I find posting stuff here so, so meaningful. I would never not respond to a post unless 1) I didn’t see a post 2) —and this happens a lot, —lots: the posts just never post. I did fully reply to your questions it just has not posted (—I even tried to post it on this thread). I’m afraid to try and post more than a couple of times because that can lead to multiple posts. . . .I’ve had posts, post like ten or fifteen times (—what a bloomin embarrassment, it is hard enough seeing my own stuff out there once without fifteen copies of it.) . . .Anyways, Aly. . . I’m always thankful when things post and I am so thankful that Leslie and her team do this for us. I very much appreciate them and your comments. —Always, to everyone/ anyone, my e-mail is in my Gravatar and anyone from here can e-mail me whenever they like about anything . . . .But, that said, it is so much better when we can have the discussions as a group on the blog. Despite all the delayed, lost, multiple, et.al. posts, —it is so very meaningful talking with people here and I need multiple perspectives because I’m a mess.
“To say I share with No expectations I feel is not really realistic. When we are honest and healthy in relationships it’s Healthy to have (some reasonable expectations)” . . . . I know Aly, I feel that way too, —for sure. I believe it is healthy to have reasonable expectations but many counselors I have talked to have counseled me differently. I have it right here in my counseling notes that Dr. Meier always gives me at the end of each session. —I don’t understand it either. . . . I am sick and tired of this being about my healing I want to help others but I’m afraid my “help” might do them in.
“. . . . being uncomfortable with being vulnerable and risking his heart, ‘expected me’ to not be vulnerable and not risk. This was not realistic let alone healthy expectations given our vows and marital roles.” . . . .Oh my, Aly I’m a total show-off, I would love to parade ever last problem and issue I have —in serious detail— out here. To restrain from doing that is, as I tell my counselor, —really hard. I’m angry, bitter and resentful toward my abusive mother first (—but I have terminated all interactions with her but actually do send her cards and letters still but I will not talk with her on the phone or go over there to be abused) and then with I’m mad with God, not with my spouse. I have not terminated interactions with God but I certainly have been tempted to and our relationship goes up and down and all over the place. I really have probably, already said way too much detailing all the issues I have with Him and my relationship with Him. But that involves Him asking us to believe in Him on totally, completely, insufficient, inadequate evidence.***** Aly, have you ever serious shared the gospel with lots of people out in the real word? I do in my travels and I feel like a total fool with the totally, completely, insufficient, inadequate evidence God has provided us with. I know all the text twisting, dodges, half-truths about history to make it all sound good but honestly just using primamry source evidence it is totally, completely, insufficient, inadequate evidence.***** . . . My counselor’s Ph.D. dissertation in psychology was on how people view God. —Just like their dominant parent. . . .I hear my mother in everything God says: “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, We are totally unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” . . . .I could rattle off hundreds of verses but you get the idea. . . .Well, my mother was a monster and as my counselor says “We view God like we view our parents.” I really don’t have problems at home and I don’t have children . . . we go to church, pray, study the Bible, et.al. That part is in very better shape, as far as I know.
“I love this about Him, and I actual desire to be always in the anticipation and yes Expectation of His promises!” . . . .That’s really beautiful Aly. I love to see faith like that! That so increases my faith. . . . I pray God will do exceeding abundantly above all that you could ask or even think. I love to see God overwhelmingly bless people, it always increases my faith.
Oh, lots of stuff including the footnotes did not post. . . .Anyways, I have the normal problems at home. I would access my home situation as full of love and God’s love. . . Yes, healthy love. I never knew what healthy really looked like but now, in counseling, I see it modeled very healthy, love-filled, God honoring lives and so I feel I can judge that pretty well.
“. . . .Personally, not saying I’m right, but I feel like you don’t really have a belief in God question. . .I feel like you have a pain question. . . .” Aly, so true. The questions, issues, problems seem very valid and very important but I have come to understand that they can easily be defense mechanisms!!! Problems with God are good from years of being quagmired.
“What I mean is … what is the purpose with pain? Why pain? A person who doesn’t believe in God cannot give purpose or explaination for pain.” . . . Actually, in love and I am so often wrong, I think they can give a better one. All the pain makes total sense without God, the universe in uncaring and cruel.
“. . . to me your Not irrelevant, your Not meaningless and your pain unfortunately can create purpose, sometime purpose we can’t see it we can respond to. In a nonGod worldview you can’t explain purpose. You can’t explain order from disorder~ meaning our galaxy system.” . . . .That’s right and would not that be why ever culture creates gods because it is unbearable without meaning? God is a defense mechanism against the meaninglessness of the universe? Aly the answer to the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” is that “nothing” is highly, *unbeleiveably* unstable. The natural state of affairs is something rather than nothing. An empty universe requires *supernatural intervention* not a full one. Only by the constant action of an agent outside the universe, such as God, could a state of nothingness be maintained. The fact that we have something is just what we would expect if there is no God. The universe is not fine-tuned to us; we are fine-tuned to our particular universe. . . . . Oh Aly, . . . .and still, still, *still* I’m deeply in love with Jesus. But it’s like the ultimate abuse situation. I so want the love but I hate the intellectual dishonesty. A women at my church has a son that is totally failing biology. He is an excellent student in everything else. It’s because she has taught him all this non-evidence based “information” and his mind can’t reconcile his love for his Mom with the actual data and facts. Let us be frank. When, in our whole lives, did we honestly face, in solitude, whether after all the Supernatural might not exist?
“We as Believers are created to Worship and Trust God!” . . . .I like that. I want to be loved by something infinite and I love to pray.
“. . . .will or have you received Christ as Lord and Savior of your heart& Soul?” . . . .yes, I feel as if I have.
“Your belief matters, none of us know what tomorrow holds.” . . .I know hell awaits those who question God’s infinite love. It seems Christianity is sold through the covert fear of hell. That makes it like a mugger in a back alley. Give me all your money or I’ll shoot you dead. ―Aleea, I don’t want to shoot you, because I love you but I will if you don’t obey. ―Do you see the abuse in that? It’s totally abusive and it sounds just like my mother’s “love”.
“My prayer for you is that the Lord will overwhelm you with evidence of His perfect love and that you will find rest in Him.” . . . That’s beautiful, thank you so much Aly. . . . . .Honestly, Aly, and I have thought about this for years, —what good is what is objectively, historically, and scientifically TRUE if it leads to Nihilism and loss of Personal Responsibility? “Truth” serves Life. . .What is “TRUE” needs to promote human flourishing. That’s why people deconstruct the verses in the Bible that are totally unworkable. ―I really believe the amounts of ingenuity used to harmonize blatant, crazy unworkable stuff in the Bible would have cured cancer by now ―seriously. . . .It’s a narrow way and everything we do matters (re: personal responsibility). Real Christ-like love contains zero attempts to hold power/ influence over other person. When we are attempting to hold power over another person (re: Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome), there is no room for real love. . . . . . I’ve studied deeply “the answers” they are, if sure looks like to me, defense mechanisms unjustified by the facts. Aly, it will not post if I write a whole bunch more. . . .So, I’m sending you a big hug. You make it true Aly, ―you, your love and care makes it true. People here make Christianity believable and that is why I love them and can’t get enough of them. You make it true not the scant historical, objective evidence. I don’t need “answers” I need real, pure Christ-like love. That’s the only answer there ever was.
Hello Aly, thank you so much for the response. Nothings been posting: shorter, longer, less references, this thread, the last thread —nothing. . . .And there is no difference, everything is the same as it just goes into a cache somewhere. Hopefully not to return in multiple copies. —Anyways, thank you so much for your most recent response.
One thing you wrote: “. . . but my child’s faith is actually increasing through this process as well.” —That’s beautiful and I am so glad for that! I love to hear about faith like that. When I have my sister’s kids over, it’s like the whole world of knowledge is not worth those child’s prayers “Dear, kind God! . . .”
“. . . I’m assuming you are also sharing your spiritual journey” . . . .I most certainly am and do and we pray and we study the Bible and. . . .and I have to be very careful not to overwhelm with my journey because then I get shut down no matter how on eggshells I am. Re: “God is a defense mechanism against the meaninglessness of the universe?” + “Now please explain to me your need for a Savior Jesus if … you believe in the statement of which you wrote above?”. . . .Aly, I’m simply saying that is what the other side would argue. Re: “borrowing from the Christian worldview” “God did it” is nothing more than a restatement of the problem. It tells us nothing about how God did it and provides nothing useful “God did it” = “that’s just the way it is”. An interesting question has been suppressed, not resolved. In fact, any “answer” that doesn’t explain and predict leaves the whole thing in midair. Those types of claims are no more believable than those of any other religion —If we want to come to the truth of something, we don’t make a straw man out of it, we make an iron man out of the opposing case and aruge against their stongest case. We even help them make the case if that’s where the evidence is leading. That’s the difference between motivated reasoning and wanting the truth. —Even if it makes a much sadder me.
Aly, if one is just positive, do you think that is a better way to try to heal? . . . Like, if it ever posts, do see the things I wrote about the reign of Caesar Augustus; Bethlehem; Nazareth; the Old Testament book of Micah, etc. —the prophecies. I could write an entire book on serious Bible issues like that —and its even, actually, far worse than I wrote. . . . Aly, I feel really bad when I write things like that —no matter how true they are. If one is just positive, do you think that is a better way to try to heal? I’m trying to heal more than I am trying to figure the Bible out. . . . It’s like, hmmm, the Bible has ocean-sized supertanker issues that would take a lifetime to sort out but I’m trying to heal —why divert to Bible issues? But then I think, —can we heal without Jesus and the stronger our faith is the better the chance of healing —right? . . . Thank you Aly! Despite all the delayed, lost, multiple, etc. posts, again it is so very meaningful talking with people here and I’m grateful that I get a voice despite all the posts that never post. —And God’s not keeping them from being posted. That’s the “God did it” = “that’s just the way it is” = “we just don’t understand yet” situation. Aly, some combination of the way my content and the Word Press software (the site’s software) settings are is keeping them from being posted. If we knew and those settings were different, they would reliably post. —Hard, hard, hard journey for me (Aleea = all emotion = not rational —at all) . . .” re: The Quest for the Historical Jesus is a total dead end, massively disappointing primary source “evidence” for the claims. —Jesus, to me, is a total “in love” experience. . . .hmmm, μια αγάπη τόσο δεξιά (One love, —So right). It has nothing to do with what is objectively, historically, verifiably true. A magnet that reaches to my heart and pulls me, —researching the “evidence” just destories that. Reason is the enemy of faith. —Again, my sister’s kids over, it’s like the whole world of “knowledge” is not worth those child’s prayers “Dear, kind God!” Whatever is going on its operating in a different registry. That registry of the mind has the healing. They have a first naïveté. I need a second naïveté to heal. In that registry of the mind, God is not approached as an object (—God as an idol that’s going to give us all this stuff) that we must love, but as a mystery present in the very act of love itself?
One of the things that has helped me when the need arises to interact with a destructive family member, is to always have another person in the room with me. The safe person and I establish a non-verbal sign for “time to leave” that either of us can implement at anytime during the visit.
I would also like to mention, that many of us are mothers. It would seem important that we think about our behaviors as mothers and mother-in-laws and make sure we don’t fall into the same behaviors. I know it is the last thing we want to think about or admit, but sometimes brace yourself ladies….we become like our mothers!
I can really see where your coming from here!
I’m thankful we have access to such wonderful resources to learn about ourselves and chose to ‘yes not fall into those patterns’
There will never be a perfect parent (except God) but there can always be a ‘growing parent’ if i choose to.
Here’s a great one:
How We Love our Kids.
VERY good point! Our children learn so much from our non-verbal life… we really need to watch how we behave/react in front of them and try to be good examples for them to follow
Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no more theories.” . . . .Anyways, encouragement goes straight to the heart, its really good stuff.
That’s the BEST!!
Keep on plugging at it, Miss Aleea! I honestly believe you are further along than you realize.
Your posts offer such wonderful insight and great food for thought.
Many hugs to you today!
Thank you Dawn. I so appreciate that. . . .The cave we fear to enter holds the treasure we seek. . . . but who wants to go in there? —That’s where the dragons we need to slay are. Dawn, if we can see our path laid out in front of us step by step by step, we know it’s not our path. Our own path we make with every step we take. —That’s why it’s our path. . . .I keep looking for that black as night moment, the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light. . . . I’m just trying to clear my own heart so I can see my path to Zion!
HI Free and Refocus Reclaim,
I have tried for years to ‘not be my mother’, to think about how I was behaving, to be aware, etc…and like you said, Free, I ended up becoming very much like her.
I’ve tried to fix myself for far too long. These strategies have not worked for me. The only way forward for me now, is through grief. Dawn’s answer to me, above, helped to clarify it for me.
He can’t redeem the areas of our lives that we don’t give to Him. As Dawn said we can reprogram through submission and renewal. The path to those things for me, is grief 🙁
I so agree with that, Nancy and Dawn. Grieving the loss helps us because it acknowledges reality instead of denying it, and it ends up promoting healing and enlarging our hearts. (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all portrayed as grieving in Scripture in different places, too.)
Nancy, T.L. et al,
Fear is such an evil taskmaster. It holds grief at bay all the while describing it to us as the enemy; when, indeed, it is a wise guide in our journey to healing. The enemy knows that. He steals grief’s friendship from us … to keep us prisoner.
Once we speak the word to invite grief in, we realize that our sitting with it and letting it speak to our souls …. ahhhh, this is where the healing is.
I so often sit and think about how we in Western Civilization minimize grief in our belief it is a weakness. I think of how the Israelites and ancient cultures would hire mourners, sit outside the city gates in sackcloth and ashes, and wail. Wail. We miss something in that culture here.
Even if it is the simple act of the invitation to grief to come sit alongside of us and speak.
That, Christ Sisters, is where He follows tenderly behind and tells us, “Yes, this is what I died for, My Beloved. Find your rest and healing in Me…I AM here.”
May we rest today in His presence.
Hi Dawn, T.L., and sisters,
“Fear is an evil task master. It holds grief at bay all the while describing it to us as the enemy, when indeed, it is a wise guide in our journey to healing.”
I’m putting this on my fridge. Thank you.
Here’s what happened today. I went to the counsellor and he asked me, for homework, to sit in my anxiety when it comes, if I could.
I had talked to him about the fact that I’ve always known I was controlling of others but didn’t realize that the driver of that was anxiety. In an effort to avoid my anxiety, I try to ‘fix other’s feelings’. So, he asked me to sit in the anxiety and try to come up with words to describe it. Sure enough I get home and that overwhelming feeling comes ( where in the distant past, I’d fixate on my loved ones, and in the more recent past, I’d turn up the worship music and worship),…. this time I just sit in it. I start to sob. My family comes around me. I’m ok. We eat dinner. The feeling comes back. I slip off to the bed and hide under the covers, and start to sob. I realize that what is underneath all that anxiety, is grief.
Grief of all the losses in my life. Grief that I have run from my entire life. Little things. Big things. Years and years of grief held at bay by ever increasing anxiety.
Fixing others’ feelings is my way of coping with the ever increasing anxiety. The ever increasing anxiety is the result of believing the lie that grief would harm me.
Yes, fear has had me fooled my entire life. It had me believing that grief was the enemy. No….grief is, as you said, a wise guide and friend.
Thank you for sharing with us, if I could just sit with you.. I hope you know I would. 💜
I know the Lord is with you and comforting you in your place. Please let me know how best to be there for you?
Hugs and prayers for healing sweet precious sister!
I’m so glad you figured this out and were able to “sit with the grief” and find that it is not an enemy; though it is full of pain. The mind does all sorts of talented things to distract itself from the good soul work that grieving our losses can accomplish.
I expect to have Grief as my companion for the rest of my life, until I see my girl once again. As I wrote in a poem not long after she died:
“and I am left
with this dark
I’ve learned to make grief an unwelcomed friend.
Grieving any loss (a marriage, a career, our health, our childhood, the death of a loved one) is facing the reality that we live in a fallen, broken world that aches and groans for its future full redemption. But whatever our losses, and whether or not we ever experience marital redemption this side of heaven, we have these words to trust in:
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
So we grieve our losses; but we wait, in certain hope, for the promised reality of what marriage on this earth is just a shadow of.
“- No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.…
Hi Aly and T.L.,
I’m so blessed right now, by you both.
Thank you T.L., for sharing the words of your poem ❤️
and for the verses.
Ahhh Nancy!! He is on the move. Love the choreography that took place in your life on this day. He moves in MIGHTY ways.
Keep pressing in to Him … invite Him in with the grief (He died for the privilege of sitting with us in that space ~ to deliver our healing). Grief is His tool … let Him use it to skim the dross. The tears are cathartic, cleansing. Let them flow. I thought they would never end. He promises that “weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning”. Ps 30:5.
With the blood of Jesus we can confidently call forth our healing into place. We learn that our old tapes are liars. The more we sit, the more we reprogram. He speaks our truth to us. So gently, so kindly, so beautifully. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Our rest in Him is a beautiful gift and promise. I am hugging you from afar today, Nancy
My heart aches for all those who had terrible mothering. Only the compassion of Christ can make up for and heal that lack, abuse, pain, and damage.
My own dear mom did the best she could under great duress: my dad was a “functional alcoholic” and compulsive gambler. She lived in constant insecurity, all while helping us children to feel as secure as she possibly could. Because her emotional needs were unmet, so were ours, largely. She had little left for us, as the fight to provide a semblance of normalcy took all she had; she did not know Christ.
I’ve always worked hard at “being there” emotionally for my children, who are all adults now, out of the desire that they not find an emotionally vacant mom. But I had the Lord to depend upon for this. I have also mentored/ spiritually mothered others, which has been at least as much a blessing to me as to those I have loved and supported.
I know we are each “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” and we are all somewhere in the process of healing from abuse, which takes time. Some of us have had terrible examples of mothering. And we have to fight hard to give to our children what we never received from our own moms. Yet the Lord can fill in the gaps. I think employing holy imaginations is needful. We have to have a vision for what our hearts have longed for and dreamed of. Below is one of mine that I have looked to for inspiration. It’s a long quote, so just by-pass if not applicable. But I think it’s a glorious vision worth praying that it will one day be true of each of us.
It’s description from C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce:
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done.
I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her……
But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face.
“Is it?…is it?” I whispered to my guide.
“Not at all,” said he. “It’s someone ye’ll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.”
“She seems to be…well, a person of particular importance?”
“Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.”
“And who are these gigantic people…look! They’re like emeralds…who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?”
“Haven’t ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.”
“And who are all these young men and women on each side?”
“They are her sons and daughters.”
“She must have had a very large family, Sir.”
“Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.”
“Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?”
“No. There are those that steal other people’s children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.”
“And how…but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs…why, I can’t count them. And the birds. And the horses.”
“They are her beasts.”
“Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.”
“Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.”
I looked at my Teacher in amazement.
“Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
Oh I love this TL! Thank you So much for writing out! Just Beautiful💜
Love, CS Lewis too a favorite.
Glad it blessed you both, Aly and Nancy. 💗
When I read that except my lungs spontaneously fill with air. I breathe deeply.
Thank you ❤️
…that excerpt my lungs…
Ahhhh…. T.L. How beautiful:
In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.”
Framing this on my computer! There’s the goal post! Let it be done through Him, our Great Overcomer!
Hope it’s ok to reply here:
By the way I did not ever see the response you said you sent, which I’m sure you did but there might be technical difficulties..FYI.
There have been a few recent posts that I never saw from others through my email account.., so maybe I’m doing it wrong.
Anyway I just want to reach my heart out here and give some thoughts to my take on vulnerability. Not saying mine is right, just a though and given your counselor Aleea, she has more of a relationship and experience than I do, please keep that as ‘super imp’
Ok you wrote:
“Aleea, only share when you have NO unmet needs that you are trying to fill. Being vulnerable with a large audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations you might have Aleea for the response you get. ”
For me, being vulnerable is risking and the idea ( I know in counseling it is a heathy theme to (posture NO expectations) but in my journey my expectations were very dysfunctional. I had to learn what Heathy Expectations looked like in order to have a voice and especially to place bold healthy boundaries!
To say I share with No expectations I feel is not really realistic. When we are honest and healthy in relationships it’s Healthy to have (some reasonable expectations)
I do think that even God places reasonable expectations on us in His economy to make choices everyday!
Why? Or what could they look like?
It’s reasonable because an expectation can be as simple as just being considered? Or having a mutual level of respect apart from disagreeing.
Maybe not being interrupted when sharing with a spouse or friend. Maybe it’s just being polite in certain places of sharing, like just listening. If someone askes me a question obviously in person or text they ‘expect’ to receive an answer. If I ask my h for an answer I expect to receive a reply.
And so forth.. I think you get the idea. I think we are wise to find ways of ‘integrating’ and not swinging the pendulum.
This forum is different so I’m not trying to confuse this notion… but my expectation would be that there would be a gentle response with truth and love… that is if someone even feels led to respond and maybe No one does or maybe no one wants to dialog. That’s ok too;)
Some want to comment and some want to have dialog.
Then I get to deal with my ‘disappointment’ ~ that is if I feel that, so in dealing with disappointment..,
which I feel is a healthy place of ‘that’s disappointing but that’s ok’ I get to have my place for my feelings or expectations and I get to receive a response.
That’s just my take on thing especially more important if I’m risking to be vulnerable and I’m well acquainted with a healthy expectation for me to have such as with my h is that he respect and hear my heart and treat me with honor and love not responding with mistreatment because I’m being vulnerable and he happened to struggle with those places.
So here’s was the conflict… h being uncomfortable with being vulnerable and risking his heart, ‘expected me’ to not be vulnerable and not risk. This was not realistic let alone healthy expectations given our vows and marital roles.
So I guess I truely feel that healthy expectations (not that they get met) are a very Safe place for me to find my path of growth.
Hugs and prayers to you Aleea, your thinking and risking💖 God has a way of showing up in such uncomfortable ways in our journeys!
I love this about Him, and I actual desire to be always in the anticipation and yes Expectation of His promises!
My hearts goes out to you and what you were the recipient of as a child with no choice and completely powerless. It’s makes me sad for ‘little Aleea’.
I’m very sorry truly for the impact that your mother has had on you in relation to who God is.
You and I have discussed in the past as you noted here today that we as children will wire in beliefs about who God is through our parents (to some extent and spectrum).
“Well, my mother was a monster and as my counselor says “We view God like we view our parents.” I really don’t have problems at home”
I agree with you and your counselor.
I’m confused about what you mean you don’t really have problems at home?
Do you mean your a married to a healthy loving husband, whom loves the Lord?
In relation to the worldview beliefs about who God is? Does He exist? The evidence you have claimed to believe that proves He doesn’t exist and so on…
Personally, not saying I’m right, but I feel like you don’t really have a belief in God question..
I feel like you have a pain question.
What I mean is … what is the purpose with pain? Why pain? A person who doesn’t believe in God cannot give purpose or explaination for pain.
Aleea my heart goes out to you, have you considered that if you are seeking to find a nonGod world then the world is meaningless, thus your prior pain of your mother would be meaningless and I guess irrelevant.
Now here’s my truth for you, to me your Not irrelevant, your Not meaningless and your pain unfortunately can create purpose, sometime purpose we can’t see it we can respond to. In a nonGod worldview you can’t explain purpose. You can’t explain order from disorder~ meaning our galaxy system.
We as Believers are created to Worship and Trust God!
Now this poses a great problem in a broken sinful world. Now how hard would it be for a child to trust and worship a God that has allowed such a faulty image of Him (broken unhealthy parent roles)?
God’s Word says children are blessings Aleea, and you are a blessing even though your mom couldn’t behave to treat you as such. But that doesn’t ever change the truth that you are a blessing!
I hope you will be open to some of my thoughts and feelings Aleea, you know what I believe and why.
You can decide and you now have a choice Aleea as to what you want to believe in and Most Imp. WHO.
It matters what your choice will be Aleea, will or have you received Christ as Lord and Savior of your heart& Soul?
Your belief matters, none of us know what tomorrow holds.
Being ‘on the fence’ is still a choice.
I’m all about critical thinking and searching the evidence and I understand all the places and research and exposure that has brought great evidence for your (questioning a true God), but consider the lack of evidence that doesn’t support (there is no God)?
My prayer for you is that the Lord will overwhelm you with evidence of His perfect love and that you will find rest in Him.💜
Sisters – Just wanted to share, I’ve been listening to a lot of songs from Ellie Holcomb’s album “Red Sea Road” tonight and wow….just so, so good. Great lyrics, good catchy music. Just the right sound for me where I am. Maybe it will minister to some of you, too. Many months ago, Audrey Assad was my girl. Very good, thoughtful lyrics, too. Here’s some from “He Will” by Ellie Holcomb.
Whether I’m in want or plenty
Whether I’m in health or ill
Our God promises His children
He will, He will
He’ll bind up the brokenhearted
Oh He will, oh He will
He’ll set captives free from darkness
Oh He will, oh He will
He’ll breathe hope into the hopeless
Help a restless soul be still
He will, He will
And from “Red Sea Road”:
We, buried dreams
Laid them deep into the earth behind us
Said, our goodbyes
At the grave but everything reminds us
God knows, we ache
When He asks us to go on
How do we go on?
We will sing, to our souls
We won’t bury our hope
Where He leads us to go
There’s a red sea road
When we can’t, see the way
He will part, the waves
And we’ll never walk alone
Down a red sea road
Love to you all – Be strong and courageous. He is for us and if He is for us, who can be against us?
Content, thank you for sharing those beautiful lyrics. I’ll look her up! Thanks also for the encouragement.
Thank you Content. I just listened to it on youtube and it’s very uplifting and lovely!
You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed!
Hi Content, I listened to several of her songs today. So good! I especially am ministered to by the Red Sea Road. Thank you for sharing them. Xo
You’re welcome, T.L.! The one going through my head today was “Rescue”….
“I need a rescue, I need a reckoning….”
and later….”I need revival, I need recovery”…
It joys me to hear that you are experiencing a loving marriage with your husband. You also answered my question on Jesus being your Savior Aleea, I’m joyed to hear this too!
As God designs one flesh for marriage I’m assuming you are also sharing your spiritual journey with your h and finding the amazing intimacy in God’s plan for marriage.
Aleea, I’m trying to understand your pain, your questions you offer here and most importantly where you are drawing conclusions about God.
“All the pain makes total sense without God, the universe in uncaring and cruel.”
Is this true? I believe not.
Aleea the fact the universe is present reveals God. Also you can call something pain or cruel if you don’t know the opposite (which is good) and God is WHO bring the good.
I’m not in agreement that you can state something is uncaring if you can’t borrow (the biblical worldview) to define what caring is.
For me and based on scripture Aleea, sin and pain make total sense.
“God is a defense mechanism against the meaninglessness of the universe?”
Now please explain to me your need for a Savior Jesus if … you believe in the statement of which you wrote above?
Aleea I care for your heart and what you have been through. I most certainly want to meet you where you are with your revelant questions but I don’t think having a Theological debate with you is going to help unless you are willing to receive some of the ‘logical truths’ I’m bringing to you.
You brought up science Aleea! I’m so glad you did.
“But it’s like the ultimate abuse situation. I so want the love but I hate the intellectual dishonesty. A women at my church has a son that is totally failing biology. He is an excellent student in everything else. It’s because she has taught him all this non-evidence based “information” and his mind can’t reconcile his love for his Mom with the actual data and facts.”
I’m sad for this mom and son because there is evidence based info avail to seek out.
My (young) child ~ more intelligent than myself had the opportunity to take an accelerated bio …and we have had the best time! Its extremely hard work but guess what happens when the cell gets studied?
Lots and lots of questions Aleea.
As a mother I love this, it’s a great opportunity to study with my children and seek out truth.
Science, technology and scripture all merge.
The Cell: the bottom line ~ they meaning scientists, can’t define the origin of the cell and the intelligent design of one single cell~ without the origin of an Intelligent designer. The Origin and that design didn’t happen by chance when you do the homework if what the cell functions as.
Without the cell there is no life.
My child’s class and teacher are coming from the secular school and teaching.. but my child’s faith is actually increasing through this process as well.
I will have to respond to other parts of your post in a separate one, you mentioned some other important issues and critical places you are drawing your doubts and possible beliefs from.
Here’s maybe something to consider regarding the abusive nature of your mother;
For me just because my h (or my parents) had abusive defense mechanisms doesn’t mean the rest of the world (esp God sense he doesn’t need to) will draw from those very broken core places… in attempt to control.
Hugs and prayers for your precious heart Aleea💗
I’m sorry about the posting issue too because I can’t understand your dialog with me other than really one thing that related to my last post. See below my confusion.
You wrote re your marriage:
“I most certainly am and do and we pray and we study the Bible and. . . .and I have to be very careful not to overwhelm with my journey because then I get shut down no matter how on eggshells I am”
This was in reference to you experiencing a loving marriage where you stated previously, it’s love like you have never known. (Paraphrased)
What’s with the getting shut down? And the Eggshells you feel..
I’m sad for you but also this seems contrary to what you posted early. This does not reflect a safe place to grow and be understood- your h has made a vow and the care for your spiritual health is essential when becoming one flesh.
Here is my take on the last post regarding other areas;
(I asked a few questions which I feel are pretty straightforward, I don’t have interest especially on this ‘type of site’ to have ‘more of a reasoning type of healthy theological debate with big words etc’ and yes (I understand arguing the others case to reveal their holes, but I’m trying to be a sister ~friend here)
I’m not experiencing feeling heard by you, which I feel I have brought plenty of ‘logical questions’ and examples …for your straight forward reply.
I have expressed with love to you ‘how much evidence’ there is for the Bible being true and reliable. Such as Prohesy and statictics.. have you yourself looked into this?
This is a yes or no answer.
The manuscript and archaeological evidence is overwhelming~
Aleea, as a sister in Christ, I’m giving a plea to you to consider the other things you have studied and why ‘their evidence’ seems so true to you? Why do they seem to have reliable info? Do you think they have an agenda?
Aleea, I mean this with as much care as I can write in my tone… I hope you can see that I might need you to come down to ‘my level’ for a bit too, by my level… I mean a simpler way of dialoging without the confusing intellect words etc. I have no doubt you are highly intelligent, but I would enjoy getting to know you past these ‘intellectual positioning places’
I like you for you beyond those things.
I just wanted to share a HUGE praise of the return of a Prodigal Son … one who was wandered into the weeds of an unequally yoked relationship … so deeply entangled … to engagement.
Let us be encouraged, that when we go to War in Heavenlies. He hears. I purposefully felt the Lord asking me to remove myself from him (after speaking truth to him unprovoked about the seriousness and pain of it never mind the disobedience). I then turned my efforts to war on his behalf in the Throne Room as the persistent widow. I called forth the truth speakers to bombard him from every angle (this is a child who has proclaimed a strong relationship with Christ and lives on the other side of the country). That Jesus Himself would “unleash the hounds of heaven to keep him in unrest until he found his rest in Him”.
After twelve weeks I received a call last night from a hopeful and broken returning Prodigal. One that included tales of truth speakers that were relentless and brave and kind and welcoming of him ~ offering him a safe landing space in which to heal and recover. Tales that spoke of repentance and asked forgiveness, recognizing his role, owning his share, describing himself as always having been the “elder son” in the story and now the brokenness of viewing himself in the new light of the returning one. Tears as he spoke of stepping down in leadership to heal. Oh Sisters, this mother’s heart. For Him, for him … for us all.
As we so often wander in the darkness of these situations. I wanted to offer hope and faith in His love for us. To see things work as He intended … maybe not in my husband, but in the son. Beautiful. Beautiful. Holy, Holy, Holy.
His name is matchless. May we all be encouraged today to stand firm, front and center, and speak the healing we so long for … for ourselves and our loved ones. He hears and is quick to respond to those who are ready to receive.
Crosses up today, Sisters. Off to the Throne Room.
Oh, Dawn! My heart rejoices with you for this beautiful homecoming! Praise God–He hears the cries of our hearts! May your son be blessed and nurtured in this holy path of vulnerability, truth, and obedience he has chosen!!!
Glory to God for answered prayer and praying with you that His Kingdom would come and His will be done here on earth as it is in Heaven!
Thankful with you today and praising God for such wonderful, glorious news!
I am rejoicing with you, Dawn! Praise The Lord for His faithfulness. He is a GOOD GOOD Father.❤️
Such a praise! So thankful we can share in this time of rejoicing with you;)!
I’m so thankful for the restored place that you are experiencing as a mother. Celebrating along with you!!❤️❤️❤️
Oh, wow, Dawn. So beautiful. So encouraging. Thank you. Offering up praise with you.
My mother’s denial is so powerful. She sends me a scolding response to an email where I informed her that my h was having a surgery. I opened this scolding email while I’m waiting.
The waiting room is the most powerless place.
Two hours later she sends me a text with hearts saying she’s praying for me. I inform her the following day that what I needed was support, love and grace, and that that was not what I received from her. She tells me that she loves me and that I’ve always had, and always will, have her love and support!
It’s like being slapped with one hand and hugged with the other. So confusing. I’ve taken many steps back from her this past year. Time to back up some more.
The good news is that The Lord showed up in that waiting room, after receiving that email. He encouraged me to keep my eyes from distractions. That’s what her out-of-control emotions are- distractions.
Is your husband ok? Nothing serious, I hope? (Sorry if I missed an entry explaining this.)
I am sorry for the difficulties and distraction with your mother. I can’t help wondering about the scolding? Do you mind describing this a bit? If it’s too personal or sensitive, I understand.
I am glad the Lord spoke to your heart, helping you to focus.
I’m glad you know your power of choice and that you can make stronger boundaries, as needed.
Ahh, Nancy, just found your longer, fuller explanation. Can I tell you something I keep observing in you that I love? It is a “childlike faith” that Jesus valued so highly. You have such an unaffected, clear, close relationship with Jesus, full of trust and confidence. I just love that.
My husband is doing remarkably well, thanks 🙂
As for my childlike faith, thank you for that observation. I am so brand new in Christ that I am amazed by this new life He has given me!
I pray that I don’t lose that as I mature in Him.