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#357767 - 03/27/11 01:50 AM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: worldscentre]
sally123 Offline

Registered: 11/29/10
Posts: 54
This post hits so close to home, it is both inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time.... Such is the conflict of our relationships... The best lesson we can all learn is that in any healthy relationship we must love ourselves and protect ourselves first. This is for me a life long journey to full accept. I am so thankful Julia for this post, and this conversation...we can all learn and grow from eachother...much love xoxo

#357770 - 03/27/11 02:33 AM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: sally123]
hopeandtry Offline

Registered: 07/29/10
Posts: 476
Wow, wow, and WOW. It is comforting, though heart-breaking, to be reminded that others are going through the very same feelings that I am. @worlscentre, I thought some of the same things as you, and yes, you just have to trust that if it's going to work out, it will. I just decided for me that means not WAITING on it anymore. If something changes in the future, fine. If not, then I'm not spending anymore time waiting for it to change. I put in that time before...I did what I could on my end. I kept up hope, but now it's time for me to move on with my life.

@Julia, I'm really not "with" my ex anymore even in the friendship sense. I walked away just a few days ago and though I haven't necessarily closed the door for good, it will probably be a long, long time before we ever talk again.

#357772 - 03/27/11 03:02 AM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: hopeandtry]
hopeandtry Offline

Registered: 07/29/10
Posts: 476
Forgot to say, hope you feel better, Robbie.

#357775 - 03/27/11 04:25 AM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: hopeandtry]
Lost Spark Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 73
Loc: Chicago, IL
@Julia: thank you.. Your words hit me more than anything lately... Even more than what my parents, therapist and friends have said to me. I feel EXACTLY to a T, every feeling you described. I am taking care of myself, for once. It's going to be a long process, but I think I deserve to be healthy, again.

I'm not closing my chapter... Just putting it on hold. We'll see what happens. I love him dearly. I just leave it all in God's hands...

You all amaze me.

Robbie, my heart is with you right now. I wish I could give you a real hug right now.. Trust me.

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life." - John Lennon

#357889 - 03/28/11 07:02 AM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: Lost Spark]
Julia Offline

Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 76

Thank you for your perspective. My ex and I will probably be no more than friends. Too much has been said and done. I was feeling a world of hurt for a very long time after we broke for good.

Bitter is an elusive bitch, it seems to come too late... after all the crying, begging, trying, fighting.... after wanting something/someone so badly, you think you can't go on without them/it. Bitter comes after all self respect and pride have flown out the window.

Time has past and I have had a chance to reflect on all that happened during the years we were together. I can see where I played a part in our failing. I can now see that I hurt him at times and that his intentions weren't always bad. Time has a way of bringing light to all things.

I don't know what happened in your marriage. But I think I understand that you have children? I too was divorced a long time ago and even when it is the best thing to do, I believe it is never easy... especially when there are children involved. I don't believe any woman would have/share a child/children with a man she thought was poison. Maybe she hasn't had enough time to look back on your life together and see without resentment and bitter. Maybe she hasn't a lick of insight, or maybe she's hurting too.

All a body can do is to learn from their mistakes and try not to repeat them. I don't know you personally but I know you are here working towards healthy. That if you were poison you wouldn't be over here on the friends and family forum trying to help us. And somewhere under all your hurting you still want better for yourself.

I guess I am trying to let you know that things have a way of working out. I'm not meaning to make light of what you are going through, I believe anyone who works towards something better will eventualy have it. We all deserve to be happy, Robbie. Sometimes it has to be a conscious choice.


#357916 - 03/28/11 03:43 PM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: worldscentre]
SoniaDx Offline

Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 23
Hi Julia,

I wanted to thank you for reconfirming what I thought but wasn't able to articulate or put into words. In my case, before I learned my husband was a survivor we were already in counseling for other relationship issues. The reason was that I didn't want to be with him when he was acting badly and this was sort of an ultimatum. At the time, unaware that part of his behavior did have a deeper underlining cause I set up boundries and always felt guilty for what I thought was being unfair. But looking back expecting respect and to be treated the way I deserve isn't being unfair at all.

Now that I know about his trauma Ive been able to not take his behavior personally but it was hard to know the balance between my needs and his needs to be healthy. Thank you for validating my feelings of self preservation. I never really looked at our situation as conditional or unconditional I sort of looked at it as both of us contributing to the relationships failures and successes. And if we couldn't tackle major failures than we really didn't need to be together because it was harmful to both of us.

Your post put a lot of it into perspective. I've come to understand thar being a little selfish is okay too. After all, you're the only person who can make yourself happy. And you can't make anyone else happy either.

Thank you again.

#357955 - 03/28/11 11:54 PM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: Julia]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1

I'll send you a PM. You'll get a "chuckle."

#357957 - 03/29/11 12:01 AM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: Still]
Lost Spark Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 73
Loc: Chicago, IL

Love your new signature... It made me laugh!

Stay strong, love.

Lost Spark

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life." - John Lennon

#357969 - 03/29/11 02:10 AM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: worldscentre]
An Offline

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
Julia's post here triggered two reactions in me -

they overlap.

Mike Lew's ("Victims No Longer" author and my personal model as a therapist..) had one "golden rule" for F & F- esp partners-our ultimate responsibility even to the survivur (and primarily to ourselves) is to model healthy being that comes only with healthy boudaries.. It's not the partners unconditional love the survivor needs most, it's their own unconditional love of themselves- and as a wonderful survivor once wrote to F & F - an open letter to us all and primarily to his wife- the only thing worse than the survivor not making through recovery would be to have his wife also be destroyed by the csa-

We can't give unconditional love to others that we haven't first learned to give to ourselves- it's a mutual challenge for our Very Selves and the survivor .

A thought, another angle /perspective- isn't unconditional love the responsibility first of parent to child? Are we falling into the temptation to try to be that parent instead of the dignity and honor we'd show a survivor by treating them as an equal?

When an abused child gives a parent or other abuser their unconditional love, is it love, or is it not the necessity of dependent need? Ultimately the damaged child within need to reparent themselves. Even if just friendship support- is it truly friendship if the support is not mutual? or is it then parasitic. That's not to say there won't be times of ebb and flow support- it's the balance, the in-time flow of that river, not the waterfall of one side's neediness .

I think too of the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"- I'd not want anyone to let me continue acting abusive towards them should I have fallen into such behavior- were i truly their friend, calling me on it would be exactly the friend behavior i'd want from them.

"unconditional love' for that which is the Divine in self , would make continued acceptance of disregard from another a violation of their own inner Sacred Self - they may be out of touch with their own power and divinity at the moment, but for me love is not accepting the devaluing of their own Power and Potential by accepting maltreatment. Setting boundaries is a Circle of Love between both.

Is it unconditional love of an Individual or unconditional acceptance of standards that dishonor both -definitely an angle i have on "cheating"- it's very definition is taking what i haven't earned, what is not mine to take- so where's the logic - would that be love? to say i believe you're only capable of less than i have committed to - again true and appropriate in a parent-child relationship- and if we as a partner are comfortable in a parent-child type dynamic, what is that saying about our own need for control. it always makes me see the survivors acting out as the toddlers tantrum/ the adolescent's seeming defiant independence- each saying " I want to know I can be ME, and a powerful Me". From an adult relating to another adult, what would be more appropriate than saying I want to know I can me me- and sometimes, ... even often, for the survivor that means being apart to develop their own reparenting, to as, an adolescent does in time, leave home to become their Very Selves.
just a perspective. Certainly my own past "unconditional love" feelings were driven by need to be needed.. cause at the time, loving myself without the need for validation of my need by others, seemed impossible.

Another last of those "golden rules" we heard one way or another- Love thy neighbor (thy partner, thy fellowman/woman on this earth...) as ThySelf. It wasn't presented as Love thyself as thy neighbor. We can't give what we don't have to give... a one way street is not a circle, a circle returns to us from where we came- unconditional love returns unconditional love. One way unconditional love leaves us at the end of the street with no way home....

I've always felt that it is Not that the survivor is unable to trust us, instead it's trust in their own trusting they fear, because of the past betrayal and the current increased drive to trust to make up for that damage- so the awful struggle for them is balancing that knowing that we're trustworthy but that their ability to trust their trusting feels waaayy too dangerous, given the past. When they can begin to believe again in themselves and trust themselves, trusting another becomes possible.

it took me a long long time to understand and accept that I could not do for another what they could only do for themselves- and that my desire to do otherwise, to "rescue", -had more to do with my needs than theirs. And that for me, the greatest form of Unconditional love for them was to recognize and respect their Self Power, and accept whatever choices they make, even those choices that meant separation from them so I could give myself the unconditional love I wanted them to show themself- as Ghandi said it SO much more briefly LOL "You must be the change you want to see in the world". (I must be the unconditional love for myself- complete with healthy boundaries- that I want the Survivor to experience within himself. ) Ultimately then, that becomes your world, your rich inner world, your deepest reality.
Hope and Healing and thank you for this strand~~~~

Edited by An (03/29/11 02:21 AM)
Edit Reason: typing correction

#358141 - 03/31/11 02:30 AM Re: Conditonal Love [Re: An]
SunnyGirl Offline

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 79
I often think of things in terms of being the soundtrack to my life. What songs do I remember at certain points in my life? As I read this post, it is hard not to imagine a theme song that accompanies it. To me it is "Grenade" by Bruno Mars, Grenade :

Gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did

To give me all your love is all I ever asked,
Cause what you don't understand is

I’d catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah, yeah , yeah)
You know I'd do anything for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)

Oh, oh
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes, I would die for ya baby;
But you won't do the same

I know that seems unfair to think that way. I know there are reasons for his behavior -- reasons for why he felt he had to walk away and why he thought that was for my own good. When we were together, he was a different person -- not this automaton that is emotionless and detached. He was loving, showed emotion, and his friends and family described him as never being happier than he was with me. But then I decided to look out for me and not give up everything for him, and ultimately, it all fell apart.

Recently, someone who doesn't know the whole situation (about the CSA) said to me that it just sounded like he wasn't ready to commit to me. In the most basic terms, that is it. It doesn't necessarily matter why, but ultimately, he just is not at a point where he can commit to me. As a result, I find myself on a path not of my own choosing because I had thought my life was with him. But that does not mean I am without power. Maybe life is not taking me where I thought it would, but I still can control much about the direction I'm headed. This same person who gave me some advice recently sent me an email. It had nothing to do with my current situation but I found his signature line so compelling. It said:
"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself."

Edited by SunnyGirl (03/31/11 02:31 AM)
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us." - H. Keller

"Change & growth take place when a person has risked himself & dares to become involved w/ experimenting w/ his own life." - H. Otto

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