Blessed are the poor in spirit

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Spirit in the sky

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Blessed are the poor in spirit
« on: June 17, 2019, 06:18:21 PM »
I discovered Fr Anthony by chance and this talk spoke to me
http://www.franthony.com/blog/happy-part-1-blessed-are-the-poor-in-spirit

The whole nc thing with my NMIL isnít easy for me. I question I decision, even though I know I made the right choice for my sanity. Iím trying really hard to surrender it all to God, Iím asking for guidance and Iím willing to accept help.

I suppose part of me wants to fix it, I want things to be different, I want my mil to be Ďnormalí I want her to treat her son and me with respect. I kept looking for a compromise but she was never willing to give up control and accept we had different views on life. Even after being abused by this woman for 18 years, I feel sorry for her. But I know if I show any signs of weakness she will try to control and manipulate me again.

Sometimes nc feels like my hubby and I are hiding, unable to face her because there is still the fear she will start her bad behaviour again.

I donít know what God wants me to do, I kept praying but is that enough.



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all4peace

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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2019, 06:45:50 PM »
I didn't listen to the talk, but I will try to answer your question. I believe that love and confrontation, forgiveness and reconciliation are deeply misunderstood by Christians. I was raised in a faith practice in which there was nearly zero confrontation, and "loving" in my home meant that you put up with abusive behavior in silence. I believe that sometimes unhealthy families distort their view of Christianity to the point that it resembles nothing whatsoever of how Jesus actually behaved.

There were times when Jesus was violent (overthrowing tables in the tabernacle)
There were times when Jesus was angry (railing against the Scribes and Pharisees)
There were times when Jesus was silent when being questioned (when nearing the cross)
And there were times when Jesus was tender, affectionate, engaging.

But those are ALL ways Jesus behaved. He called out poor behavior. He sometimes walked away from those who wouldn't listen.

NC doesn't have to be forever. DH and I chose NC for a time to allow me to get some relief from my anxiety, and now we're stepping back into VLC in order to not be hiding. The bad behavior continues. You really are allowed to choose the level of contact that works for you, your DH and your marriage. Sometimes it's a matter of counting the cost of contact and deciding if we can afford it and how often.

My best to you!

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Spirit in the sky

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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2019, 05:37:33 AM »
Thank you all4peace,

I think somewhere along the line I got mixed up and believed being Ďniceí was being a Ďgoodí Christian. Putting others first and being selfless was what I thought was the right path. I never felt I could or should call other people out on their bad behaviour and that goes way back to my childhood.

Iím loving the nc, I feel free for the first time in many years, I can look, say and act how I want without worrying about being criticised or put down. Thereís just a little voice at the back of my head, asking Ďdo you deserve this peaceí. I feel guilty being happy because, even though I dislike my NMIL intensely, I feel my happiest and contentment comes with the cost of her unhappiness.

That probably doesnít make sense, and I Ďknowí I am not responsible for other peopleís happiness but somewhere at the back of my mind I believe I am. I suppose itís old childhood conditioning, I could never settle or be happy until I did everything I could to make my mother happy, which was an impossible task.

I listen to talks and I read about Jesus and it all makes perfect sense when applied to other people, but when I try and see my own self worth, I automatically judge myself and think I donít deserve to be free from suffering.

At Ieast I can admit I need the nc otherwise I would fall back into the pattern of abuse. I definitely know I donít want to go back to being controlled and manipulated, so many I just need to learn to live with the guilt.

My hubby seems to have no regrets at all, maybe he just isnít showing it but he doesnít seem to be emotionally and spiritually  tortured the way I am.

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all4peace

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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2019, 11:02:17 AM »
I understand. DH and I are very similar that way. I think male and female brains are wired differently, and from what I read the female brain is wired for connection. It's very hard for us to walk away. It has taken me years to undo that wiring. While I still value love and connection, I can now also protect myself and my family. It's hard to get there.

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Spirit in the sky

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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2019, 03:47:17 PM »
I understand. DH and I are very similar that way. I think male and female brains are wired differently, and from what I read the female brain is wired for connection. It's very hard for us to walk away. It has taken me years to undo that wiring. While I still value love and connection, I can now also protect myself and my family. It's hard to get there.

Also the more time we have nc, the more time I have to recondition my brain. Iím starting to understand that I am protecting myself, I wouldnít willingly walk in front of a speeding car, so why would I willingly put myself in the firing line with NMIL.

Iíve also noticed Iím looking for other people to say, Ďitís ok to go ncí, like I need permission. I donít trust my own decision, so thatís something else to work on.

Also my NMIL always mocked my faith so I donít have to always feel I need to defend myself or my beliefs now. Sheís an atheist and hates Christians so I know she will probably be telling everyone I have gone mad.

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Bloomie

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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 12:01:22 PM »
Spirit in the sky - I think about relationships and connection a lot. Maybe you do too? I mean, a lot. I am wired that way. If a connection is broken I have been conditioned by the role in my FOO and errant Biblical teaching I have been exposed to, to be compelled to try and fix it. Sometimes even at the expense of my own well being and peace of mind. I have had to learn to honor that genuine kind of love for others drive in myself and set boundaries around the unhealthy aspect of it all at the same time.

For the longest time I would keep on trying to reconnect a broken connection like repairing bad wiring in a building that is going to burn the house down if not repaired.

I worked on my wiring because in my monkey mind that had to be where the problem was and maybe in part that is true. So, I diligently sought to eradicate all of my fleas and take 100% responsibility for myself in my interactions. I humbled myself, I served others over myself, I over looked offenses, I attempted to unilaterally forgive harm done (didn't realize at the time that is not really a "thing" and I was spinning my wheels), apologized for things I didn't do.  :blink:

When that didn't work to fix the connection I worked on the point of connection. I created wonderful opportunities for connection and familial fellowship and love.  :upsidedown: When that didn't work, I set boundaries with consequences (should've started with that - little did I know at the time). When that didn't work....well I am betting you get what I am saying. :bigwink:

With my own uPD in laws the wiring is faulty and there is resolute refusal to attend to it. Fixing the connection all by myself is not possible. And for me to heal from all of the big and little "shocks" to my now overloaded and wounded mind, body, and spirit that all of this visited upon me, I needed to remove myself from contact with them for a period of time before I could safely move to vLC, and in one case it looks like a permanent NC as this uPD in law refuses to manage themselves in respectful ways.

We have to let people go sometimes or they will destroy what is precious and vital to us and keep us from what God has for us to do here on this Earth that is far bigger and more significant than these in law relationships.

Does that hurt? All the way around? Yes, it does. Your mil is hurting because of her own choices. And sometimes, that hurting does its work in a person's life and sometimes it does not produce growth and change. Some have the capacity for self reflection, contrition, to humble themselves and accept another's human rights and honor their dignity and boundaries in relationship, and some simply do not and show no interest in cultivating these necessary qualities in their character and life.

Just as God gives us free will and allows the law of sowing in reaping in our lives, I believe we can accept that another has every right to chose how they respond to us and then we discern if their choices do or do not work in close intimate relationship with us.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 12:05:44 PM by Bloomie »
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

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all4peace

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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2019, 12:15:40 PM »
Iíve also noticed Iím looking for other people to say, Ďitís ok to go ncí, like I need permission. I donít trust my own decision, so thatís something else to work on.

Also my NMIL always mocked my faith so I donít have to always feel I need to defend myself or my beliefs now. Sheís an atheist and hates Christians so I know she will probably be telling everyone I have gone mad.
I'm so sorry for the disrespect your mil has shown to your core beliefs.

I understand the need for permission. I entered therapy entirely to get "permission" for basic boundaries. It's very understandable. For me, especially as relates to this forum and people's various definitions and beliefs about NC, it has helped me to broaden the definition of NC and to use different terms.

I have "taken a break."
I have tightly narrowed channels of communication.
I have clearly defined boundaries, which sometimes meant the other person chose nearly no relationship at all with me.
I have changed levels of contact depending on my current level of mental health, current challenges facing my marriage/family, current behavior of the likely PD family member.

Levels of contact don't have to be set in stone. They are flexible and changeable (of course aiming for consideration of all humans involved). For me at this point, I would call it LOC (level of contact) and say "My LOC is what works for me, my marriage and my family, with consideration of the other as possible."

And I echo everything Bloomie says. Some things are simply not fixable. A relationship requires 2, and sometimes the other is not in a place to contribute.

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Spirit in the sky

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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2019, 06:53:51 AM »
Thank you Bloomie and All4peace

After watching the video I contacted Fr Anthony and he suggested I keep talking about how I feel and to look to others for help. I have been doing that here and it has helped so much, but today I decided to talk to hubby about the situation. We have talked before but because he doesnít analyse everything the way I do I felt I was going on a bit when he had moved on.

We went for a long walk today and the conversation turned to his family. My niece and nephew have birthdays this week, they live in another country so we just post presents. Hubby and I got talking about how his mother has influenced all his relationships with other family members, especially his brother who has always been the golden child while my hubby was the scapegoat. She seems to be turning her attention to her grandson now who is 16 and in the past she has tried to make my hubby resentful and jealous of the new golden child.

Anyway I asked hubby how he felt about nc and he said he feels he canít have a relationship with someone who Ďpushes his buttonsí and doesnít allow him to be himself. Anytime he expresses his feelings or opinions he is called childish, told he needs to grow up, act his age or that heís Ďlost the plot. Basically if he doesnít agreed with her and do as heís told she goes mad, yelling and screaming abuse. I asked him was he sad and did he miss his mother, he replied that he missed the person he thought she was, but now he realises he canít have a relationship based on mutual respect because she doesnít respect anyone else or their feelings or emotions, itís all about her.

I understand what he means, we have tried boundaries and she agrees at the time and then ignores them when it suits her. She doesnít see a problem with her behaviour so she sees no reason to change, itís everyone else who is wrong.
I can truthfully say I donít miss having a relationship with her in anyway, I never felt I could be myself around her, I was always walking on eggshells waiting on her erupting over the slightest thing. I always felt like the peacekeeper trying everything in my power to keep my hubby and her from arguing and disagreeing. This wasnít a good thing on my part, my fear of confrontation only prolonged the inevitable, I was papering over the cracks that had been established years ago.

At the time I thought I was doing the right thing, of course now I see I was acting out of fear. Keeping NMIL happy was always the priority for a quiet life, what I didnít realise was while she was screaming and abusing evryone, hubby and I were silently screaming on the inside. We buried our feelings and emotions for fear of the consequences of upsetting her. The number of times we were emotionally blackmailed it unbelievable looks back. It was the fear of rejection that keep us entrapped and living like puppets while she pulled all the strings.

Hubby and I have both agreed we canít get through to her, no matter what we say or try to explain it gets twisted. So for our own sanity nc is the only way for now, I think we both need time to find ourselves, honour our feelings and just take a step back. No one could think straight when your constantly in the firing line or verbal and emotional abuse. When I compare the insults to physically  slappping someone in the face, no one would stand and let someone continually slap them without walking away or retaliating. And that is exactly what I have done for 18 years.

I even felt guilty about texting her and asking nicely to be left alone. I feel I have been divinely guided to this situation, I need to face some home truths. I needed a awake up call, being a good Christian isnít about letting other people walk all over you. Itís not about hiding or backing away from the truth, itís about being authentic, honest and standing up for what you believe, no matter what anyone else things.

Iím not answerable to anyone only myself and God.

Thank you again for all the comments and advice x

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all4peace

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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2019, 09:27:42 AM »
Spirit in the sky, that sounds like a really open and healthy conversation between you and your husband. What you share sounds entirely reasonable from where I sit. My best to you.

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Bloomie

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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2019, 12:55:38 PM »
Quote from: Spirit in the sky
I can truthfully say I donít miss having a relationship with her in anyway, I never felt I could be myself around her, I was always walking on eggshells waiting on her erupting over the slightest thing. I always felt like the peacekeeper trying everything in my power to keep my hubby and her from arguing and disagreeing. This wasnít a good thing on my part, my fear of confrontation only prolonged the inevitable, I was papering over the cracks that had been established years ago.

At the time I thought I was doing the right thing, of course now I see I was acting out of fear. Keeping NMIL happy was always the priority for a quiet life, what I didnít realise was while she was screaming and abusing evryone, hubby and I were silently screaming on the inside. We buried our feelings and emotions for fear of the consequences of upsetting her. The number of times we were emotionally blackmailed it unbelievable looks back. It was the fear of rejection that keep us entrapped and living like puppets while she pulled all the strings.

Wow!  What powerful realities and truth you speak here. This sounds an awful lot like healthy breaking free. Thankful you did talk this through with your DH and that you are on the same page as you heal and move forward in your peaceful and happy lives. No more screaming on the inside. :hug:
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸