Fern and Francine had the same problem but with different people. They thought they had to think of other people first, and that love and caring meant rescuing those people.
Fern’s husband was a bullying narcissist. He was always demanding, angry, and right. He constantly mocked and criticized her, controlled all their money, demanded she do all the work around the house even though she made as much money as he did, and bought whatever he wanted but told her that her wanting a birthday present showed her greed and vanity. Then there was his drinking, the pornographic web sites and the nights he stayed out until morning. He hated when she tried to interfere with his life. But maybe once a year he said something nice to her and she forgave everything.
Francine’s adult son was entitled, demanding and blamed all his problems on her. He claimed she’d never given him everything he needed when he was growing up and never did enough now to help him out of situations he’d gotten himself into against her advice. When she wouldn’t put up with his bullying and abuse, he wouldn’t let her see her beloved grandchildren. He seemed to enjoy torturing her by making appointments to bring the children and simply never showing up. She deserved pain; the guilt was hers.
Fern and Francine’s primary rule was that if someone was hurting or needed anything, or if they could see any potential in someone, they had to do the loving, comforting and kind thing by giving that person what they wanted.
They knew how hard it had been for them to overcome having been raised by crazy, bullying, narcissistic parents, and they hoped that if they were nice enough, Fern’s husband and Francine’s son would someday understand their pain and start being nice to them.
Fern and Francine decided to stop meddling in people’s lives.
They realized rescuing, caretaking and enabling had been taught to them by people who’d used and abused them all their lives. Now they were sacrificing their own bodies by meddling in someone else’s personal growth and development. They were choosing to be martyrs in order to save people they loved. They thought the reward for martyrdom would be success and love. They weren’t happy and singing hymns while being led into the coliseum to face the lions.
They decided they didn’t need to go on those roller coaster rides any more.
The battering on the rides hurt too much. They didn’t need to be bled dry or beaten as a scapegoat for someone else’s inner torment or sadistic pleasure. The only thing they could really do was get out of the line of fire and pray for those people. And they could lead wonderful, joyous lives while doing that.
They could love at a distance. Close up hurt too much.
It was especially hard on Francine because she was resisting the urge to meddle in her own son’s life but they both got themselves out of the clutches of their tormentors.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.