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Thread: Trying to get rid of the shoulds

  1. #11
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    It sounds like the "should" is something you do to yourself, from a part of you that buys into the family placement of you as the scapegoat or designated victim.

    It is really hard to overcome that early programming as to how we are taught to see ourselves.

  2. #12
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    NewGig, are you trying to fill a dream that "if only" circumstances had been different OR "if only" you were smarter, wiser OR "if only" the sun never set OR Camelot was real OR...

    At the end of it all, some people are a bad mixture to be around for you. Each of us is worthy, deserving of courtesy and respect from those around us. If you know and understand that the only person you can control is yourself, choose how you want to be treated and dealt with and do it to others and let the rest go. If that means letting go of the undesirables in your life, do it.

    I think the old saying is really true, has been true for centuries, so don't keep trying to do it:

    "can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
    Be unable to turn something ugly or inferior into something attractive or of value, as in No matter how expensive his clothes, he still looks sloppy—you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. This expression was already a proverb in the mid-1500s."
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #13
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    It is very difficult when one's family seems arrayed on another side, and you are the only one with a different perception of what happened. Or they say "you're too sensitive" or "why do you feel that way?"

    I find myself doubting myself, and dissing my own feelings after interacting with them. Like I "should" be able to get together with my family without beings so upset and depressed.

    So I am telling myself that my feelings are my feelings, and I'm fairly sane, so they're not unreasonable, and probably best to limit time spent with folks who seem to disrespect me and absolutely limit contact with those who act abusively.

    And try to treat them the same way I'd treat anyone NOT in my family--with respect and courtesy, but not let them define who I am.

  4. #14
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    Honestly - sounds like it's time for the Cut Direct. I learned about it on an old site called etiquettehell. It's now badmannersandbrimstone. Basically, that person doesn't exist. If you see them in a social situation, for example, you see right through them. If they send you a card, it immediately goes into the trash. You become a black hole to their contact efforts. You deserve to be treated with love and respect.
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

  5. #15
    Senior Member lhamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGig View Post
    Yep, started in 3rd grade. Got diagnosed with PTSD at 45. Decades of it. Most of it was a waste of time. Some of it was very helpful!
    Trauma-informed therapy is very different than other types. Thankfully, it is becoming more available as those in the field recognize that trauma is at the root of many people's psych issues.

    Have you looked at CaptainAwkward.com? I have found her to be a marvelous resource for learning boundary setting.
    "Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite." Seth Godin

  6. #16
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Just because they are family doesn’t mean you have to have any interactions with them. I’ve blocked my parents’ cell numbers. I’ve not seen them since 2002. Life is so much less stressful.

  7. #17
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    Abusive family members- I have several, yes, I’m outnumbered. They say I am “over sensitive” and I “don’t understand.”

    Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do understand. I understand that there is no room in my life for mean, abusive, obnoxious people. I’ve blocked my brother’s cell phone number from mine, and severely limit my mother’s phone calls. Fortunately for me, they live 500 miles away.

    I’ve seen my sister once in 35 years; we exchanged hello at a funeral. After my daughter and I made plans to visit my mother recently, and mother dearest cancelled on us, Again, it occurred to me that I will not attend her funeral. If she doesn’t want to see us when she’s alive, I’m certainly not going to make the effort when she’s dead. Mother Dearest is 89.5 years old, she can’t live forever.

    Fortunately, I have very dear cousins who live close by, and I have good friends. Abusive family members have been permanently banished, along with any notion that I “should” be able to tolerate them.

  8. #18
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    That is pretty close to where I am. I have one family member who’s 1.5 hours away. We manage to have lunch together about once a year. The others no.

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