Many survivors have emailed me about their inability to get their needs met within relationships. When expectations are not met, they would rather isolate than be subjected to anymore rejection from others, which is only natural. We as survivors feel angry, depressed, and are at our wits end because we want to have more control over our lives but can’t seem to make that happen.
There are a lot reasons for that. I discussed several aspects of this dilemma in two of my posts:
Cycle of Child Abuse Trauma – Parts 1 and 2. I described how as infants and young children, we were caught up in the tangled web of our parents who acted out their emotions on the most vulnerable members of the family, us—because we couldn’t fight back. Our abusive environment was one where emotional blackmail was committed against us, and with no one to protect us, we internalized what is called “learned helplessness,” that no matter what we tried, we couldn’t change the situation.
Until survivors can understand these dynamics and choose to make a difference in their approach to getting their needs met, the old psychological records will keep spinning around. I will discuss the realizations I came to about my own conditioning in my next post titled “Cycle of Traumatic Reenactment.”
The shift that has to take place is one of being out of control to taking control. No one can do that for you, but I can tell you from experience, it makes all the difference in the world in attaining a better life for yourself.