Monday, July 10, 2017

Disconnection Is Rejection

Disconnection. What is it? I know it feels awful. I know it feels awkward. I know it feels off. I just had a difficult time figuring out exactly what it is. Until now.

What rule does it break? Something that hurt me so many times from different people throughout my life needed to have a rule... but there was nothing, so for years I suffered in silence through the neglectful disconnection I received from countless others without being able to put my finger on what was wrong.

Whenever you are neglected emotionally as a child, you become an adult who is missing a lot of things. You are missing key components of relationship interactions. A neglected child is a child who didn't have the back-and-forth interaction that a normal healthy child gets to have, so he or she doesn't learn what is good, bad, right or wrong, upside down or right side up. So much is confusing. Neglect causes an adult to be clueless in relationships, not knowing what is good and/or bad treatment. Such a deficient upbringing causes one to lean towards maltreatment. It's like an airplane with a GPS out of whack. Inevitably you end up crashing into an abusive relationship and feeling the pain of being burned alive inside.

And, if you are like I was, you blame yourself for the crash which makes it hurt even worse. You take all the blame and feel shamed for what? You don't really know. All you know is that you are upside down, feeling bad from a situation or interaction and you don't know what this person did to cause such devastation. You can't name it, so you figure the problem is with you. You don't for a moment think that there is something disrespectful about the engagement. Something that the other person should or should not be doing that you need him or her to do. You don't know what you need or what they didn't do that you need so you blame/shame yourself.

Even trying to explain this--disconnection--in relationship is devilishly hard, but I'm trying. I feel it, but have to blog around it to express the core of how it's wrong. 

It could be something as small as an unanswered text, a rejecting comment, a misunderstanding that was never made straight. A yawn. Selective memory. Here's a list of disconnections that I've noticed:

Friend who doesn't track you 

Have you ever had a friend who pops into your life, once a week, once a month, once a year and acts like your best buddy, but doesn't bother to ask how you're doing any other time?  Or fails to ask about that death in your family, or the new job you just landed? There is no continuation with this friend and you feel it, but you can't put your finger on it. Like a movie that has big chunks of the story line missing. You're close enough to warrant tracking. After all, when you are with this friend, you feel love and happiness, but when you part ways to live your life, it's like you disappear from their lives.  A text to them gets a nil response, as if they want you to go away. This hurts, but you may feel like you're too needy--or maybe this is the way relationships are supposed to go? No, that doesn't work for me.

Tracking is a respectful way to show that you respect and love another person. It is a skill that can be learned, and when it is not used, it can leave the receiver feeling badly and disconnected. This is not okay. It's not okay to engage continually with someone who fails to track you. I understand some people may have their own issues--but still, it's important for your own psychological well being to be around people who connect with you in a healthy way, and don't drop you like it's hot in between your face-to-face interactions. Does that make sense?

The therapist who doesn't remember that a dog bit you a few weeks ago

Yes, this actually happened to me. I was going to this therapist and she kept forgetting every day information that I was sharing during session. Like the time I went to list a house and the chiuahuah bit me and drew blood. I was sharing how happy I was to have set a boundary and stayed in the bathroom until they picked the dog up--but that's another story...

This therapist! She had great credentials. She went to Columbia University for Freud's sake! She wasn't tracking me by remembering my life. I didn't realize this was happening at the time. I didn't realize that this process of her forgetting things, and me reminding her, and me not being offended by this behavior--because it wasn't on my radar-- I didn't realize that this is VERY RUDE. It is a huge sign of disrespect. It was a covert way for her to establish superiority over me.

Instead of calling her out, setting a boundary and showing her that I have a right to exist, I went along meekly, while helping her out by repeating myself each session to catch up her memory. I actually went out of my way to MEET HER NEED TO forget about my life for which I was paying her healthily to help me process. My point is, if someone doesn't remember things about you, set a boundary or as in my case, get the hell out before things get worse.

Texts that say, "Hope you're having a good day!!!" 

Someone who texts you every day things like, "Hope you're having a good day!!!" is not someone interested in really getting to know you. That sentence is so vague. It would be wonderful if a close friend sent it to you, knowing that you will get together and talk more soon... but for someone to  randomly send these types of texts without asking you how you're doing, what you're doing and what's important to you--this is disconnection. This is a disconnected transaction. It doesn't work and it doesn't feel good. When people do this to you, notice it. It's not a good sign. Maybe they have their own issues, but you don't have time to disconnect with someone all the time.

You have a life threatening accident and they don't nurture you afterwards.

Let's say you have a life or death situation in which you are left recovering. Let's say that this person that you love and adore never bothers to call or ask you about your health ever again past day one. This is disconnecting behavior. It's as though you don't exist. It's as though your needs for nurture, care, concern, understanding, acceptance, affection, appreciation don't exist. And if you were neglected as a child, you don't even notice this behavior in others because it fits along with how you were raised. You know you hurt for some reason, but you don't know who did it--and you don't address the error with the loved one because you don't even know it occurred.

But then you grow and heal and learn that YOU MATTER and YOU HAVE RIGHTS in relationships!!!  You are supposed to expect to get your needs met equally. Whew! You realize that your loved one has been overlooking your needs for years, all the while you've been the servant without complaint; paying a debt you thought you owed. That's when you have to set a big boundary and remind your loved ones that you have a right to exist and that you have new expectations for your relationship. Respect or walk is what I say.

The friend who won't validate you.

Have you ever had a friend or family member, or spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend who refuses to validate you, give you compliments or affirm you? Like you'll be going through a hard time and start talking yourself into a frenzy, pumping yourself up saying, "but I can do this!!!" and they're sitting right next to you and their body language says they disagree. Their message to you is... "I don't support you." It's the worst feeling ever.

I didn't realize that this is disrespectful towards me. Invalidation. When someone fails to back me up, verify what I'm saying, support me with kindness. This is disrespect and unacceptable. It's covert abuse because you can't put your finger on what they're doing to you. They're abusing you by what they're NOT saying, not by what they are saying, so you can't effectively set a boundary without giving them a lesson in psychology. "Invalidation is when you don't nod your head yes when I make a positive statement about myself or my situation or my future." They will totally feign ignorance and you feel like a fool.

And you feel like a fool. Less than. That's what happens when someone fails to back-you-up in those times. This is disconnection. You feel like you're doing something wrong, without realizing that it is the other person's issue. THEY ARE THE ONES who cannot stand to see your need for validation to be met. They won't give you one drop--especially the little drops in between where you can't catch them not giving it to you.

Why? Because if your friend were to validate you, stay connected with you, respect you, call you for a few days a little extra when you're sick, reach out to you in between times of being with you, answering your texts in a respectful and timely manner... if your friend would do this for you, it would meet your needs. Loving behavior and connecting is what meets our needs. They don't want to meet your needs because they don't want to give one drop. Some may not know how. Others are literally holding back in order to cripple you.

If your needs are met, and you feel connected, you feel safe, free, loved, happy and content. That's how we are supposed to feel in relationships. It's not supposed to be about power plays, superiority, less than, one-up, disconnection. It's supposed to be about LOVE AND RESPECT. And now that I've healed and I understand my own worth and value more fully, I can protect myself from people who do things that are disconnecting towards me. I can back-off the relationship, I can tend to myself, I can set boundaries and make choices as to where I will put my energy and concern. I can nurture relationships that are full of connection and protect myself from taking the blame for what I now can clearly see.

And day by day, month by month, year by year, I see a little clearly what I missed. I can fill in the spaces with self love and self respect, and ease my own pain. I can recognize disconnection for what it is, a form of rejection--no matter how sick or inept the person doing the harming. I can connect with others who are present enough to connect with me. I hope this helps.

You are worthy of acceptance, connection and protection.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

100 Boundaries for Toxic People

It's important to set boundaries for yourself against all people--especially toxic people. Boundaries draw the line between you and another person. Toxic people are difficult to be around because their desire is to take you over. Toxic people want to control you and destroy your "I am." They sadistically want to control you and exploit your weak sense of self. If you were programmed during childhood to please toxic people, then you need to re-program your mind to set boundaries to protect yourself now.

You need boundaries that are quick and to-the-point. Clear, one sentence boundaries without explaining yourself. You need to practice these phrases so they'll be readily available when you're ready to use it. Remember to be clear. Don't feel you are being rude. You're not being rude when you take up for yourself and reserve space for yourself in a relationship / conversation.

Unlike with healthy people, when you set a boundary with a toxic person, DO NOT SHARE YOUR FEELINGS. They are incapable of registering feelings and have no empathy. Telling them your feelings only gives them more ammo. They want you to feel badly, upset, hurt. Just state clearly, and automatically what you are thinking in order to get them to back-off.  These people are bullies. They only respond to one-liners. It will shock them if they're used to you being submissive and non-existent. These boundaries will give you the space you need in the interaction, and will also help to strengthen your own position internally.

Don't say "I'm sorry." These are not nice people; but rather, they are secretly plotting and conniving to take you down. Be assertive, not sorry. Don't explain. Speak with confidence and clarity. Practice over and over in advance. These quips -- one liners help strengthen your sense of self, and keep you level in the playing field of toxic people in your life.

100 Boundaries for Toxic People
  1. Why are you belittling me? (Use this for covert abuse such as giving unwarranted advice).
  2. Don't minimize my needs.
  3. I don't need to hear that.
  4. That doesn't work for me.
  5. We can agree to disagree.
  6. I didn't ask for advice. 
  7. I hear that you don't like the red dress on me, however, it is the dress I choose.
  8. Why are you gaslighting me?
  9. Are you trying to triangulate me?
  10. Why are you looking at me like you just farted? 
  11. What business is it of yours?
  12. Stop changing the subject.
  13. Allow me to speak my turn.
  14. It's my turn to share.
  15. I don't need cliches.
  16. Stop telling me how to be. 
  17. No, I can't do it.
  18. Your expectations of me are higher than I am able to give.
  19. No, I don't see it that way.
  20. That's not the way I see it. 
  21. I disagree on that point.
  22. That has nothing to do with me.
  23. That's your opinion, not mine. 
  24. That is not a priority for me. (When they're trying to hijack your agenda)
  25. Are you bragging or sharing good news with me? 
  26. Why are you bragging so much?
  27. That sounds like a lie.
  28. Why are you telling me this? (When they're bragging non-stop)
  29. I don't talk about that. (Private issue of your own they try to bring up)
  30. Stop interrogating me.
  31. What's with all the questions?
  32. I don't share that.
  33. I don't want to talk about it.
  34. Stop bringing that issue up.
  35. Stop bossing me around.
  36. Stop talking about yourself and listen to me.
  37. No, I won't do it.
  38. Let's go if you can't act right.
  39. Are you implying that I'm ____? (When they're using covert manipulation)
  40. I am done with this conversation.
  41. I have a right to ____. (speak, share, be heard, be understood, etc... Don't explain it though)
  42. That's incorrect. 
  43. That's not true.
  44. We are two different people, each with our own ideas.
  45. Stop controlling the conversation.
  46. Don't talk behind my back in front of my face.
  47. Was that a back-handed compliment?
  48. You've got it wrong. 
  49. I know what's best for me.
  50. That is your opinion, not mine.
  51. I am competent enough to decide for myself what to do, buy, wear, say.
  52. Why are you baiting me to prove myself? 
  53. Why are you comparing yourself to me?
  54. If you don't like it, don't listen. (When Hitler tries to control conversation with another)
  55. How does that effect you?
  56. Why does that matter to you?
  57. That is my preference.
  58. This is my story, let me finish. 
  59. I have a right to share what is on my mind.
  60. Stop. I don't play that game.
  61. Stop. I don't like that.
  62. Keep your opinions to yourself. 
  63. Don't cross that line.
  64. No. I won't discuss this with you.
  65. I did not ask for advice.
  66. Your opinion of the situation doesn't match mine.
  67. That doesn't work for me. 
  68. I don't work that way. 
  69. You're expecting more than I can give.
  70. Stop changing the subject back to yourself.
  71. That was a rude comment. (Backhanded compliment)
  72. We are two different people.
  73. No, I don't want a hug, kiss, date, sexual advance. 
  74. No, I don't hug strangers. 
  75. I don't discuss that with strangers. 
  76. That's lewd. 
  77. I have my own ideas about what happened. 
  78. Why are you telling me all these personal details when we just met? 
  79. Does this story have an ending?
  80. I don't need to prove myself to you.
  81. I don't care about that. 
  82. That doesn't matter to me.
  83. That has nothing to do with me.
  84. That's your issue, not mine.  
  85. Are you trying to hijack my agenda?
  86. Stop trying to hijack my agenda.
  87. Stop trying to control me.
  88. No. You cannot do that to me.
  89. No. That's more than I will allow. 
  90. No. I won't play that role. 
  91. Stop repeating the same stories over and over. 
  92. I get it. You're ___. Please just move on. (tall, rich, handsome, beautiful, lovely, talented)
  93. I disagree.
  94. Why did you promise me __ and end up doing just ___?
  95. Are you love bombing me?
  96. I will no longer fawn over you.
  97. No can do. You're 30 minutes late!
  98. Stop minimizing what I say.
  99. Stop interrupting me.
  100. Are you trying to create an illusion / mirage?