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Some people don’t “believe” — 24 Comments

  1. Joyce, this is a very poignant article because anyone who has a family member or loved one who is an offender grapples with this issue. Even if the person has never been convicted or even charged of a crime or “bad behavior,” accepting that someone that we cared about has done something terrible is a difficult challenge, at best. At it’s worst, acceptance never occurs and the denial becomes pathological.

    For me, it’s always been an issue of control – I couldn’t control what/how another person behaved or what types of choices that they made, and THIS was part of the barrier to acceptance.

    Then, nobody WANTS to believe the true facts – they’re painful and disturbing. In the case of Jerry Sandusky, the things that he was convicted of having done were repulsive and reprehensible, and he continued to blame his victims and deny his own actions. This, in my personal opinion, makes him 100% evil and beyond redemption. The facts reflected that he did, indeed, commit heinous acts against vulnerable children, and anyone who sits on his particular fence is just plain stupid.

    I’ve sat on a number of fences throughout my lifetime, and I will never do it, again. I’m going to hop down on one side, or the other, but I’m not going to pretend that the facts are not facts. I don’t have to “like” the facts, but I cannot dispute them.

  2. I think Dottie Sandusky is’/t “stupid” I think he is just like my own mother, she has been “programmed” that Jerry is a saint and if she admitted even to herself that he is the monster he was shown to be, because he is what her life has been ALL about she would lose herself.

    Yes, she could admit it, but at what price? And that’s the thing, we all have to be willing to PAY THE ENTIRE TAB OF EMOTIONAL PAIN in order to get out of denial That’s the thing, like the old Negro spiritual says “I’ve got to walk this lonesome valley by MYSELF.” nO O NE CAN BE BORN FOR US, OR DIE FOR US, or LIVE for us, we have to do it ourselves. I can encourage you, cheer you on from the side lines, or even hold your hand, but still YOU must live your own life. When we make someone in our lives, no matter WHO it is, parents, spouse, child, friend the CENTER, the ENTIRETY of our lives, and convince ourselves that we can NOT go on without them, then we have lost ourselves.

    I think that is maybe why Dr. Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s search for Meaning” which he wrote about the EMOTIONAL torture other people in the Nazi camps endured and how the3y handled it.

    I think that Dottie is totally UNABLE to admit the truth even to herself, because to do so would bring down h er entire life in flames, all of her beliefs in Jerry as “saint Jerry” and she could not handle that.

    I feel for her and for everyone else who cannot/will not “believe” what is right before their eyes.

    I wish I could help Dottie, or anyone in her place, but until someone is willing to get out of denial (and they must do it themselves, for themselves) all of the attempts by others to influence them fall on deaf ears.

    Jesus said “they have ears and hear not, they have eyes and see not” and I think this is exactly what He was talking about, though the saying also fits in other venues.

    People like my mother, lilke Dottie, like many abused spouses and children who are trapped in denial are still suffering and dont’ know that they must BELIEVE before they can heal. A tough choice.

    • Joyce, there is a tremendous price to pay to acknowledge and accept betrayal. For Dottie Sandusky to accept what her spouse of many decades truly is would require her to take responsibility for TURNING HER HEAD THE OTHER WAY, and PRETENDING that everything was fine when her spouse was sexually molesting boys in their home basement. That is such a huge burden, that I can truly empathize with the enormity of this.

      That’s one of the road blocks in most people’s acceptance and recovery, I believe. It not only requires us to accept that someone that we love(d) with every fiber of our being has NEVER returned that love in a healthy manner, and that we were involved in the illusion, to some degree, EVEN we weren’t participating in whatever it was that they were doing.

      This is where forgiveness is so very, very important – it’s NOT for them. Forgiveness is for US, and IMHO, it is a vital part of the recovery and healing process.

      Yes, I wish that I could reach out to Dottie (and, others like her AND myself) and draw them into a strong embrace and let them know that they are going to be okay – to let them know that they didn’t commit the crimes that their loved ones did, and that they can call a spade what it is without being a “bad person.”

      Oh, my…………..

  3. As I go on further down the road toward healing I find myself feeling less anger and frustration at the UN-believers than I did previously. Hey, I was an UN-believer at one time, so how can I feel anger and frustration at them because they are still un-believers. The thing is I think that yes, we have to “forgive” (MY personal definition is to get the bitterness out of my heart toward them, but that doesn’t mean I feel any squishy feeling for that person or that I want them in my life, my idea of forgiveness is I MUST FOR MY OWN SAKE get the bitterness (no matter how richly deserved) because it is like a poison and will eat me alive if I don’t.)

    Jesus cautioned us about “Judging” and that doesn’t mean that we can’t look at a situation and KNOW WHAT THE HECK IT IS, AND CALL A SPADE A SPADE, but His message was more about UN-JUSTLY judging something in someone else that we ourselves do. For example “judging someone” as a thief when we ourselves steal. By the same ruler we are measuring others with we ourselves will be measured, i.e.

    He also told his disciples to look at the “fruit” of a tree and figure out if it is a good tree or a bad tree…in one example the farmer told the hired hand to cut down an unfruitful tree, and the hired hand suggested that they fertilize and water the tree for one more season and give it a chance, so there are times when a “second chance” is warranted, but if that fails to effect a “change” and an improvement in the “fruit” of that person, then it is time to cut it down.

    So as I grow in my own healing process I have more and more empathy for people like Dottie Sandusky and even my own mother who doesn’t “believe” the evidence that Patrick will never change, that he is not repentant. Dottie apparently believes, or makes herself believe, that Jerry is “innocent” and to let go of that unbelief and look at the evidence instead would devastate her. At her age she has nothing else left.

    I will be interested in the outcome of the various college officials who knowingly covered it up.

    • Joyce, I’m getting to that point, as well. My “anger” at people who were un-believers was (and, remains) based upon my anger at myself – “I should have known better than to ________.”

      I sincerely pity folks who are in the same space as Dottie Sandusky because it is a desperate, hollow, dark, and utterly empty place to be. The hope is false, and the individual “knows” this, on some level. But, the denial has become an Entity – a deity that has the power of life and death over whomever is maintaining Denial.

      To set aside Denial is terrifying on so many levels. It means that our systems of beliefs were flawed. It means that we made an error in judgement. It means that we pinned our trust on someone that betrayed that trust, deliberately. It means that we were used and discarded. It means so many, many things that are so terribly dreadful to face – I can truly understand and pity why a person would maintain Denial.

      What I learned about myself, personally, was that ridding myself of Denial didn’t kill me, even though I was certain that the emotional pain would be so great that it certainly would. But, that was God’s Grace that allowed me to act on the courage that I had been gifted with. Period. We are each only human beings, and FEAR is more powerful than any other feeling that I can imagine.

      So, yes……..I absolutely pity anyone who maintains Denial. I don’t have to agree with that maintenance or support/enable it, but I can certainly understand and pity someone who does. I don’t have to involve myself in their pathology – it’s not a requirement or obligation. And, it only took THIS long for me to “get it.” 😉

  4. You know at the HEIGHT of my denial I was working in a family medicine clinic and we did pro bono work for the women and kids from the DV shelter and I actually felt superior to them for going back repeatedly to a man who would beat them. I WOULD NEVER DO THAT!!! LOL Yea, but I was allowing my SON to use and abuse me and holding on to hope, FALSE HOPE that he would “reform.” LOL

    My “holier than thou” stance was hypocricy at it’s height! It took me years, decades, even, to get out of my denial, so I DO understand where the Dotty Sanduskys of this world hang on to their UNBELIEF in the evidence….

    In a FEW rare cases those families that do hold on to the belief that their son/father/daughter was convicted in error the family helps the person eventually get released. There was a case on 48 hours last night about a couple of brothers who spent 26 years in prison because a WITNESS to a murder they were charged with did not come forward and he eventually DID come forward (under duress) and the two men were freed….their family had stuck by them KNOWING they would not, could not murder the man they were convicted of killing (and basically without any evidence they did it) and while the family believed in their innocence, they had about given up on the brothers ever getting out.

    I know there are SOME cases of innocent people being sent to prison for crimes they did not commit, but the majority of cases where the evidence is VERY strong, like in Jerry’s case…and in my son’s case, we have to BELIEVE that evidence.

    I used to be very angry at my mother for being an UNbeliever, but now I actually feel sorry for her. To lose your entire family that loved you, to hang on to your denial is SAD. VERY FREAKING SAD for the person who holds on to denial.

  5. Joyce,
    there are several reasons why people “don’t believe”, I think.
    For me, it was simply unthinkable that anyone could be as evil as the person that I loved. Accepting the truth meant that I had to actually change my world view –COMPLETELY. It wasn’t easy to do but in the end, I had no choice because my life was at stake.

    Now, I run into people who “don’t believe” and it’s for the same reason, but they still don’t believe because they don’t think that their lives are in jeopardy.

    Others, like Dotty and Joe Paterno’s wife, Sue, have their identity wrapped up in their husbands’ identities. Both men also had their identities intricately connected with Penn State’s reputation and family. So many students and alumni could not bring themselves to believe that Joe Paterno knew and turned a blind eye because they also identified themselves with Penn State’s family reputation.

    This is most obvious when you watch videos of Sue Paterno explaining about “Who we are.”

    But there are those who profess not to believe, who know very well what is going on. They just don’t care. They are enablers for nefarious reasons of their own.

  6. Good points Sky, until I was threatened and realized MY LIFE was at stake I didn’t truly “believe” either….but when the “rubber met the road:” I BELIEVED and acted to keep myself safe.

    I remember a story I read somewhere, or heard, about a woman was being given a tour of a domestic violence shelter as she had come in that day for her own safety, and she noticed photos mounted on the walls of various women, and she asked the worker who these women were, were they people who had become successful after staying there or were they donors? The worker giving her the tour said, “Oh, no those are women who went back to their husbands and were killed by the husband.” HELLLLLLLOOOOOO!

    That story, whether true or not, is a good point because many many times it takes multiple times for someone to leave and STAY gone. Just like quitting smoking or drinking, it is a habit hard to break to become a “believer” that your very life may truly be in danger.

  7. I’m not sure if Mrs Sandusky knew what was going on the whole time or not. It is possible for people to hide things over long periods that nobody knows about and sometimes even lead double lives. I’m finding these things out as I go, so yes, it is entirely possible.

    But when presented with the facts, when you see it with your own eyes, when it is the undeniable TRUTH to the matter, you have only two options- Acceptance or Denial and both come in different layers or stages.

    Acceptance means that you understand – they DID do this. You don’t have to accept that you were a part of it, a reason it happened or the cause behind them doing it, just that yes, they DID do that.

    Denial, means you don’t accept what they’ve done. You might blame yourself for what was done and there’s plenty of excuses to tell yourself and everyone else who knows you both. Had you known you might have stopped it. They were never like this. They weren’t raised that way. You did your best to _______ (love, help, encourage, support) them.

    A lot of the excuses for Denial can also go for the Acceptance crowd too, but your reaction once you find out and how you proceed from there, makes a big difference in healing. Sure you loved, encouraged, supported and tried to help them- up until you found out the truth of what was going on.

    I can also imagine that if Mrs. Sandusky Accepted it, there may be a division in the family. There will be those who Accept it and those who Deny it. His parents, siblings, friends and family friends will take sides. They are also in the Acceptance or Denial camps, depending on how much TRUTH they have sought or been told. Sure its easy to take the side of the person you have known for so long. How could they possibly be like this? What they fail to consider is that they don’t live with them anymore and don’t necessarily have the day-to-day interaction with them. They don’t see or know what’s really going on, so Denial is the easy way out for them.

    • YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The blog is fixed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

      Okay, my thinking on this subject is that who “would” want to believe that someone that they love is an offender or that they’re of evil intent? Nobody wants to believe this, even in the face of irrefutable evidence! Don’t I know it?!

      You bet, I do, because I watched my personal investments dwindling at a very rapid pace, and I felt more and more disregarded and dismissed by the exspath, but I IGNORED these warnings because nobody that I loved and cared about could possibly be of “evil” intent. Cog/diss, at it’s worst, right?

      We don’t live in that Universe that “they” do, and imagining that there even exists another type of thinking that makes empathy nonexistant is unthinkable to us. Simply unthinkable. So, I can sort of “get it” about how deeply denial can run, and I know (personally) what a challenge it is to get OUT of the denial and face the ugly facts, as they are.

    • Oh, Phoenix, you are SO RIGHT there about the “two camps” I have only to look at my own nuclear and extended families to see the two camps of denial and believing that Patrick is a monster.

      I’m not sure how many of the kids of the Sandusky’s support dear old dad, I know that one of the adopted sons testified against him, and was apparently molested by Jerry, but I’m not sure about the others.

      The same was the case in Mrs. Madoff, because her two sons and their wives and kids disowed dad, and she stuck by him, (who knows, maybe she knew what he was doing all along) but in any case when one son (out of two) killed himself, and her other son and the families wouldn’t deal with her unless she started to BELIEVE she ultimately abandoned dear old bernie.

      As for Dotty—the STATUS that Jerry held, and she by being his wife ALSO held must have been like being “queen” and then having the “king” be tried as a traitor and sentenced to life in the Tower of London. Now she is no longer “queen” and her entire life was wrapped up in being “queen” and now she is alone and not only a “commoner” but one in which the king is shamed. For her not to also be “shamed” she must believe that the “King” is innocent, therefore she and he are not really shamed. Not that Jerry feels any shame, he did what he wanted to and he may be MAD but I will “bet the farm” he feels no “shame” as we would know it, only mad he got caught..

  8. Here’s another case of a wife who “didn’t believe” the allegations against her husband, which allowed him to continue to abuse children

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2594835/The-private-hell-Cate-Blanchetts-agent-How-Robyn-Gardiners-world-came-crashing-husband-Robert-Hughes-finally-convicted-child-sex-offences.html

    Because those who “don’t believe” the evidence and support the offenders, the offenses continue. I saw a drama recently where a jury member that convicted a man of rape and murder and and kidnapping later helped him escape whereon he went on to kill and rape several others. I thought at the time I watched this drama that the person who helped him escape was just as guilty of those murders as he was and should be prosecuted as an accomplice.

    And actually when we “don’t believe” and continue to enable them we do become accomplices is what they do because we allow them to continue their bad behavior with impunity.

  9. Joyce I imagine that those who ‘don’t believe’ and are in the camp of Denial and choose to continue to enable them do so for some reason.
    Maybe they refuse to admit failure as a parent, spouse, boy/girlfriend or friend.
    Maybe they have something to hide themselves, i.e. they are a warped, scarred, broken minded person too, or
    Maybe they highly fear the shame and embarassment of others knowing what Jr. did.
    It could also be a host of other reasons or a combination of several of them. We all have our own inner demons to contend with and ultimately- slay. These are some of theirs.

  10. Phoenix, I can “see” many reasons why someone would “not believe” the evidence before their eyes and all those you have named are indeed possible or probable.

    I also WONDER if we, as former “un-believers” where disordered people were concerned, at least in some cases, if WE are not different from typical people in the way our brains are wired. I’m not saying that DNA is the total cause of us being “un-believers” at some point but I wonder if a combination of genetics and environmental training doesn’t have a hand in it.

    Back nearly 40 years ago now…a researcher took one litter of pups to start, and over 25 years, he bred the most aggressive to the most aggressive until he had a race of “killer dogs” from a breed known to be very mellow, and he bred the most timid to the most timid until he ended up with a race of belly crawling fear filled dogs that would not fight back at all even for food. So I think, my opinion ONLY, that there is also a genetic factor in many victims. Also there is the “Stockholm syndrome” angle which must be genetic in nature and then is brought out when someone is captured, like the slaves for eons, most people who were slaves didn’t try to escape…or fight back, they gave in—and LIVED…so it also must be to one extent or another genetic

    I would love to be around in 60, or 100 years, and find out what science has learned about mankind’s brains and behavior. Just the clues we have now are very interesting.

    • Joyce, I don’t think we have a fighting chance of survival in 100 years. “Humanity,” is what I’m referring to. Via advertising, media, etc., we are desensitizing people, beginning at the earliest moments of life, it seems.

      Bob and I were having a discussion, just yesterday, about human cloning and my question was, “What possible benefit would this provide?” Seriously, I cannot imagine ANY benefit to cloning myself – the clone wouldn’t be “me,” per se, but a replication of myself, physiologically. Your response made me think about how different I might have become if I had not been raised in the dysfunction of alcoholism, abuse, and neglect. Which, in turn, brought about the cloning discussion. LMAO!!!!!!!

      At any rate, we won’t be able to winnow out evil, I don’t believe. With the choice of “free will” comes the ability to choose – to make deliberate choices and decisions. The ability to choose also allows the ability to covet, to desire, to want, and to take. The more we learn about human behavior, genetics, etc., the more we have to acknowledge that we cannot control. That’s my humble opinion, anyhow. LOL!!!

  11. I just read an article about the effects of trauma on the health later born children. The study showed that men who had experienced TRAUMA in their lives were MUCH MORE APT TO HAVE CHILDREN WHO WERE BI-POLAR.

    I had been aware of studies in the past which showed that women who had been starved during their pregnancy were giving birth to children who were low mentally, or retarded, even if that child had proper nutrition from birth on, AND here’s the kicker, the children were retarded for 3 generations even if they had good nutrition from then on. Especially the women who were born to the starved woman, as we have all the eggs we wille ver have when we are born so the starvation effected the eggs of those baby girls.

    There have been multiple studies done throughout the years on people in Holland who were starved during WWII by the Germans cutting off their food supply to that part of the country.

    I know that trauma litterally CHANGES THE PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL MAKE UP OF THE BRAIN of the person, which is scary when you think of how many of our young men whho have been at war in the middle east for 10 years and are coming home with PTSD…does this mean that they will raise a generation high in bi-polar disorder as they come home and have more children?

    You are right…even if your DNA was cloned into a baby that baby would not be YOU.

    DNA does have a great deal of influence but there are literally millions of genes that are not “turned on” or “off” by environment in our systems and those genes give infinite potential for both good and bad.

    Raising our children to be the kind of men and women we would like them to be is a challenge. I guess even with the best of intentions my child rearing experiences were not successful but it wasn’t because I didn’t love them and give them the best that I had, they also had FREE WILL and became what their DNA, environment and FREE will allowed them to become.

    The thing that is important is that because I do not agree with the way both of my biological sons have turned out I do not have to allow that to ruin the rest of MY life. Each of us is born and dies and lives the time between the two in the privacy of our skulls and we reach out through the “bars” to touch others, but we are still alone within our own heads. We make our own choices, and I choose to live a goood life no matter what the rest of humanity is doing. And I will reach out and touch those people in my life who are loving and kind, honest and considerate

  12. I thought I’d bring this article back up. It is amazing how my thinking has changed over the years from DIS-belief to UN-belief to fully and completely believing the truth. The truth WILL set you free, but if you hang on to the false fantasy then your life is in turmoil. It is amazing to me still just how much peace comes when you ACCEPT what is real and get out of denial.

    • Joyce, the progress from denial to acceptance has been such a transformation for me, and I’ve made countless references to how my childhood experiences are actually typical for children raised in dysfunctional environments to develop the deep-seated denial and “everything’s just fine” posture that is so dreadfully unhealthy.

      For me, personally, the acceptance was certainly painful to get to, and it wasn’t pleasant. But, I am not obligated to ***Like*** whatever it is that I’m choosing to accept. What acceptance did for me was to relieve me of that burden of the false control – that I could somehow Do Something to change the outcome or the facts. Once that burden was gone, THEN I had the ability to contemplate and forgive……

      And, in my case, there was no dramatic or cataclysmic events to herald the acceptance. There were no trumpets blaring or seismic disturbances. My progress from denial to acceptance is always a bit of an inner struggle similar to what one experiences when trying to settle an unruly 2-year-old child or skittish horse. It’s far more subtle and just as intense.

      Yes, indeedy! It is a total and absolute freedom for me, on every level. And, what a release of burden it is, as well! 😀

  13. Truthy, I agree about the dysfunctional environments and how they play into our denying the “elephants in the room.” Looking back over my life I saw GLIMMERS of the truth about my family being dysfunctional not “normal” or “good”—Laugh! WHAT IS “NORMAL?” LOL

    Anyway, I digress…I saw that my maternal unit could put up a “front” with the best of them, and that “family secrets” were to be protected AT ALL COSTS. I even on one special occasion realized that I COULD ALSO PUT UP THE FRONT that “all is well” when my life was falling freaking apart. In fact at the time I realized this my life WAS falling apart and a woman I worked with in a VERY stressful situation at work said to me “Oh, Joyce I wish I could be like you and keep so calm in the storm.” LOL another gal we worked with who KNEW exactly how my life was falling apart personally was there and heard it. We both looked at each other and then later laughed. I realized then that I could FAKE IT pretty good, just like Mama did/does.

    Another time when I was under TREMENDOUS pressure at work and literally so scared that sweat was running down between my boobs and my heart racing at 150 beats a minute and so hard I could feel it, I APPEARED to those around me as totally calm cool and collected. After these events and others Ii realized I could keep up this front VERY well.

    My son Michael though, can READ me…even if he doesn’t know why Ii am upset or afraid. Back when I was dating the psychopath after my husband died. My son and my best friend and he and I went on vacation to a big living history event in Colorado for a week. While we were there I realized that my boyfriend was sneaking around with another woman there, and in fact, one night he brought her into our camp for supper. She acted like what my granny would have called “an egg sucking dog” (aware of the situation and feeling a bit guilty) and I realized what was going on. I was upset and hurt and disappointed (because Ii really saw what he was) and since we were there in MY vehicle I actually contemplated not saying anything to him while he was gone during the day and packing up our gear, leaving his and heading out home, leaving him there with his stuff and no vehicle. However, I decided that I didn’t want to “ruin” my son’s and my friend’s vacation so spent the rest of the week there. LOL Afterwards my son told me “you were thinking about us leaving and leaving him there weren’t you?” LOL Yep, that man can READ me like a book no matter just how good at keeping up a FRONT I am. LOL

    In retrospect, I SHOULD have gone home and left the guy there. But at that time, I was so wounded, so deep in PTSD from my husband’s death that I wasn’t thinking very well.

    I didn’t actually break up with the guy for a couple more months after that. I was so NEEDY at that time after my husband’s death that I didn’t have the guts to push anyone out of my life.I had to try to “fix” the relationship. Fortunately, I fixed it by kicking him to the curb before I married him. Even then it was one of the most difficult and painful things to do I’ve ever done.

    It is important that we believe our own stories I think, and see ourselves for OUR part in them, but coming from dysfunction it is difficult to do so.

    • Joyce, what I’ve learned about the dynamics of family dysfunction is that secrets are kept and “At All Costs” is the caveat. Even when my mother would pass out with a vodka bottle next to her, or clutched in her hand, she WAS NOT DRUNK. She was “SICK.”

      So, “accepting” our own roles and so forth was simply never taught. If I was “taught” anything, it was that I was not only responsible for my own behaviors, but I was responsible for the happiness, health, and safety of OTHERS, as well. Literally. Not figuratively, but literally.

      Breaking out of that mind-set is no easy task. It is painful, challenging, and comes with its own type of anxiety. But, once that membrane has been pierced, the fluids can either seep out or rush out in one great mass – it doesn’t matter. Once the membrane of dysfunction has been pierced, BIRTH IS IMMINENT!! LOL!! That “baby” is coming, and nothing is going to stop it, and that even includes the desire to remain in denial!

  14. I think your analogy, Truthy, about it being a BIRTH is a very good one on many levels. It is truly a new birth for us, we are out of the strict confines of the “womb” of our family of origin, and we can stretch and reach and GROW. In that womb (either figuratively or physically) we have no more room to GROW, we MUST get out in order to grow. If we remain there in that confined space it will get tighter and tighter as we try and fail to grow correctly

    Unfortunately, the longer we remain in the tight confines of that emotional womb, the more stunted we will become. I know that the length of time I was in there emotionally, I made poor decisions and kept on trying to hold to the party line of I had to fix everyone else’s happiness.

    Even now, if I don’t monitor myself I will fall back into that “knee jerk” response, but it IS finally getting easier to say “not my monkey, not my circus” and mean it. I think in a way we are like reformed drunks, there is gonna ALWAYS be the temptation to fall back into the rut we came out of. I do, however, NOT INTEND to do so and will continue to monitor my own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors to assure I don’t.

    • Joyce, you wrote, “I think in a way we are like reformed drunks, there is gonna ALWAYS be the temptation to fall back into the rut we came out of.” This is SO spot-on, and it’s vital to get to the point of “acceptance” about this specific truth: it’s not that we’re literally addicted to “bad people,” but I was trained to avoid, ignore, pretend, and KEEP SECRETS, inadvertently by the whole dynamics of the dysfunctional family.

      And, yes………even today, I have to really pay close attention to MY behaviors in response (or, reaction) to the behaviors of others. I cannot control what THEY do – never could, never will. But, I do have control over how I react or respond. So, it will be an ongoing thing for me for the rest of my life.

      Once, there was a time when I would become SO angry at other people because they took advantage of my vulnerabilities, or other stuff like that, and my most recent experience of this was a great and true “Learning Experience.” YES, it is THEY who are using, abusing, manipulating, and exploiting, absolutely! But, it is also I who am reacting to THEIR manipulations, etc……..a confident mind-set and system of beliefs that is based upon facts and common sense gives me the power to walk away WITHOUT MALICE. This is a fairly new concept for me, given that I’ve spent over a half century living in fear-based and catastrophic thinking! LMAO!!!

      “Not my monkey, NOT my circus,” is excellent. And, it has become a mantra of sorts for me, too.

      😉

  15. Truthy, you are right about being able to walk away without even getting mad, just say to yourself “that person is not someone I want to deal with”—whether it is a business or personal relationship, doesn’t matter, just walk away.

    Unfortunately there are situations where we can’t totally walk away…like having children with a person who is toxic, or someone at your job. But you can EMOTIONALLY walk away from them…don’t allow their behaviors to influence your FEELINGS.

    It is not easy to get out of the pattern of getting mad at someone who does you wrong..it is a NORMAL response, but overcoming that tendency will give us much more peace than giving in to the anger. Or worse, nurturing that anger into a nasty mess.

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