I used to have a thought and a way of acting.
I started using it when I was being sexually abused as a kid.
It worked great.
It helped me survive the abuse.
It became a part of who I was.
It became automatic.
To the point that I hardly noticed the thought or behavior.
I told myself:
- It was just who I was.
- It was how I kept myself safe.
- If people knew what I had been through they would understand.
- If people didn’t like it that was their problem, not mine.
So, what was my thought and behavior?
My thought was if I am larger than life people can’t hurt me.
So I was:
- Loud and angry.
- Fiercely determined.
- Highly overprotective.
- Always right.
- Quick to cut people down.
- Quick to cut people out of my life.
- A my way or the highway type of gal.
This worked great as a kid to help me survive my abuse.
And I thought it was working after the abuse stopped in my adult life.
But it really wasn’t working.
This thought and behavior caused:
- A lot of fights with my husband.
- My son to almost cut me out of his life.
- A lot of friendships to end.
I want to be clear.
I wasn’t doing anything wrong or bad.
This thought and behavior had kept me safe during 13 years of sexual abuse.
It’s just that this thought and behavior no longer:
- Served me for my highest good.
- Empowered me.
Instead, it disempowered me.
I also want to clarify:
The thoughts and behaviors created to keep us safe vary from person to person.
My husband is also a survivor of sexual abuse.
His thought was:
If I withdraw and comply it will end quickly then I can do what I want to do.
So, he became passive-aggressive in his behavior.
But his result was the same.
His thought and behavior helped him get through his abuse.
But it caused his first two marriages to end in divorce.
It kept him from making friends.
And his behavior and my behavior almost ended our marriage.
So, my question is:
Are thoughts and behaviors that once kept you safe working for you now?
Be totally honest with yourself.
Many of my clients initially think these thoughts and behaviors still work for them until …
They ask themselves the following questions:
- Is the thought I believe and the way I act working to empower me in all areas of my life (yes or no)?
- Can I absolutely know the thought I think and way I act is working to empower me in all areas of my life (yes or no)?
- How do I act (what happens) when I think that thought?
- What images do I see from my past when I think that thought?
- What do I imagine will happen in the future when I think that thought?
- Can if find times in my life when that thought and behavior didn’t serve me?
- What feelings come up for me when I think that thought (single feeling words – happy, angry, etc)?
- When I imagine I can’t keep myself safe, what do I do to feel better? (eat, drink, use drugs, binge watch TV or surf social media)?
- How do I treat other people when I think that thought and behave that way?
- How do I treat myself when I think that thought and behave that way?
- Am I empowered or disempowered when I believe that thought is true?
- Who would I be if I could not think that thought was true or needed. (What attributes would you display. How would you feel?)
- What new thought could I think that would empower me?
These questions will help you.
You will begin to uncover the truth about thoughts and behaviors that no longer serve or empower you.
Again, you haven’t done anything wrong.
It’s just that old way of thinking and acting no longer works.
So, it is time to practice thinking your new empowering thought.
This will allow you to find new empowering behaviors that serve you.
If you would like help learning to let go of thoughts and behaviors that are no longer working, just click: Schedule My Free Consultation With Cindy
I will help you!