Your views on acceptance

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Registered: 03-24-2003
Your views on acceptance
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Wed, 04-23-2003 - 12:10pm


I have a question..more like several questions regarding a certain topic - acceptance. I had group yesterday and acceptance came up and the leader talked about how important acceptance is in dealing with pain. This particular topic came up unexpectedly to me and I reacted with a lot of resistance and anger. I left filled with anger. I embarassed myself and I displayed some embarassing behaviors. Ended up disconnecting a lot for the rest of the day. I struggled with getting myself to even show up to group yesterday because lately I just want to give up. After what happened yesterday, all it did was fuel my desire to discontinue group and therapy. Honestly, I don't know what to think of that anymore. I have a session with my T tmw and I'm finding myself debating if I should go or just cancel and forget everything. Of course, I know that I can't 'forget' everything so that option is pretty pointless.

Anyways, my questions... What does acceptance mean to you? Have you accepted what has happened to you? If so, how did you get there? If not, are to working to get there? What are you doing to achieve acceptance? How important is acceptance to you. I think the main reason I struggle with this is because I have strongly associated approval and acceptance. The group leader insisted we focus on acceptance without approval or something like that. The last 15 minutes was quite fuzzy.

Thanks in advance for sharing your answers/thoughts/opinions.

Kari

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Registered: 04-09-2008
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 12:42pm
You bring up a really good point about closely associating approval with acceptance. I can see why that was upsetting to you; I know that for me I have struggled my whole life with feeling accepted, since I always felt like the odd man out. I desperately needed approval, too.

Maybe the difference that the leader was talking about was accepting the fact that the abuse happened, instead of trying to explain it away or talk yourself into believeing that it didn't happen? By saying that you're not saying that it's okay that it happened. It's NOT okay. If you said it was, THAT would be approval. I knew for five years that mine happened before I was able to vocalize it to my counselor a few months ago, because I wasn't ready to accept that it had happened. I thought it was some kind of sick thought in my head that I was making up to make excuses for why I reacted to certain things or couldn't seem to "get it together."

When I first brought it up with my counselor, it was over the phone and I told her that I thought it had happened and wanted to address it in therapy. She told me to ask myself, "If it happened, what does that mean for me?" So maybe acceptance is a way of saying yes, it did happen, and this is why I react certain ways to certain things. Then from there you can work through feelings and learn to let go of the damaging self-talk and low self-esteem. When you accept it, you can put the blame where it belongs and take it off of yourself. I think that acceptance can be very freeing. For me, this has been a way to fit pieces of my life together that didn't make sense, and I feel that I am becoming more of a whole person. By accepting that the SA happened, things that didn't make sense about my life before make sense now. It's like putting a puzzle together. Now that I see myself as more of a whole person, I've actually applauded myself for being a survivor and making it through. I was always awkward socially, and now I know one of the reasons. I've always had to fight for what I wanted as far as succeeding goes, and I see that as a strength now.

I didn't mean to write a novel! My thoughts just got going. Hope some of this helps.

{{{hugs}}}

Heidi

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Registered: 03-21-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 2:04pm
Acceptance, for me, meant changing my definition of what it meant to be "healed." For a long time, I thought that in order to be healed, I had to make myself into a person who this had never happened to. I don't know that I thought of it this way 100% consciously, but all of my therapy goals reflected that value. I feel that I gained acceptance when I realized that I could never make myself into a person this hadn't happened to, that it was a part of me, for better or worse, on good days and bad. I feel much more peaceful inside now that I know and accept that in my future there are probably going to be days when my abuse backs up on me, when something triggers me, when I am sad. But that is normal for someone who has been through what I've been through. It's not a perfect life, but at least it's an honest one. I feel good about that.
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Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 2:42pm
I see where you're coming from, Kari. Acceptance often sounds like approval. But it's NOT. Not by a long shot.

I'm using acceptance in regards to myself. I'm accepting WHY I behave the way I do. There's a ton of self-awareness that comes from therapy but we need an equal amount of self-acceptance to go with it. Otherwise, we feel worse and more exposed. At least that's how I have felt.

Rather than beat the crud out of myself (or yourself), accept that there are very valid, understandable reasons why we react the way we do. Running and hiding is what we've known to do for way too long. Accept it. I'll dare say, embrace it. This embrace and acceptance is the most gentle form of self love you can give yourself. You are embracing those parts of yourself who have helped you all your life. I've found that as I begin to accept/embrace my behavior then I'm better able to change it. It has given me the sense of control I need to choose to do things differently. It's a much less hostile way of living. And it sounds like hostility, frustration, discouragement and despair are up big time for you.

Accepting where you are may be just the ticket for your peace right now. It might help you begin to take the next steps further along the path. Just a thought.

I'm sorry you're struggling so much. You're much too good of a person.

______________________________

P.S. Forgive me for speaking out of turn, but I was wondering if you might be locked in a nasty flashback. Hear me out. I feel such a trapped, can't-escape feeling in several of your recent posts. Believe me, I can totally relate to these feelings and the desire to run, hide and....QUIT! I was wondering where you feel these feelings in your body. If you really focus quietly, can you feel their physical presence. Often times for me it's a tightness across my chest or it feels like every nerve ending in my arms is firing. This is usually the part who is stuck and you can communicate with it to learn what's going on. Odd as this might sound, once you isolate the physical sensation then you can ask them to step aside just a bit so you can do the D/N-D writing with this part. It could be that you're frustration of not being heard and understood is stomping on an old feeling that's making you respond this way. This sort of writing and communicating may help you regain control. Just a thought. You know me, I always have a thought or two ;-).


Edited 4/23/2003 2:53:18 PM ET by cl-opal45

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Registered: 04-22-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 11:45pm
Acceptance to me........that took so long. First I had to accept that I was a victim of a crime.....accept that I was powerless over the things that were happening to me........I had to accept that God didn't cause it all to happen........I had to accept that I was not somehow born for these bad things to happen.

To me it was obvious that these things happened, I had daily memories, and also lost huge chunks of time. Like I remember watching the Brady Bunch when Iwas little, but seeing the reruns was like actually watching them for the first time. (Marsha, Marsha, Marsha....)

The hard part for me was that I had to accept responsibility for all the things I had done. The abuse was not my fault, but when I chose to drink my first drink, take my first dose of speed, talk someone else into using with me when they wanted to quit, took my anger out on people around me who did not abuse me, and pushed people away all in the name of avoiding my issues...plus, the over exercising, obsessing about my body weight, and sticking my finger down my throat, starving myself......these were all ways I avoided reality. I was so scared of facing my true feelings.

Thanks for the opportunity to get that out!

Lynn
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Registered: 03-24-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 11:03pm
Heidi -

Thank you for your reply. Reading your thoughts helped me out.

Kari

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Registered: 03-24-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 11:07pm
Free_girl -

"I had to make myself into a person who this had never happened to." This struck a chord with me but I'm just letting it sit for now and fester. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Kari

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Registered: 04-09-2008
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 11:17pm
Kari,

It makes me feel good that I was able to write something that could be of some help to you. I hope that you are feeling better. This stuff is so hard.

Sending hugs your way! {{{gentle, comforting hugs}}}

Heidi

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Registered: 03-24-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 11:27pm
I appreciate your thoughts. You said 'I'm accepting WHY I behave the way I do'. I really found that as an interesting comment. My initial reaction was a half 'huh?' and half 'so..'. I don't know if this will make sense but I realize now that noticing the way I act and knowing why I act the way I do, is two very different things! I've been trying to shift my attention onto why I do stuff rather than just simply noticing the behaviors. I haven't come up with some answers yet.

Embracing...now that was something that stirred some of my feelings. More than anything, I think it scared me. This self love stuff is a really tough thing for me to do. Each time I read that particular paragraph though, it makes more sense to me. I've been struggling an awful lot with self judgemental comments and one thing I have noticed is that rather than complaining to myself that I'm *still* doing this and not knowing how to change it, I'm asking or at least wondering, hey, why am I doing that? The complaining usually leads to negative thinking and that gets me down a lot.

Thanks! Kari

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Registered: 03-24-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 11:31pm
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Lynn. I'm glad it gave you the opportunity to explore and figure out things for yourself as well. You also nailed another biggie for me. Accepting I was powerless. I haven't been able to accept that yet but just recently I brought that up with my T so hopefully that's something I'll be able to change my view on.

Kari