"Stolen Experiences:" The Trap of Doing Things Other People's Way!

in WORLD OF XPILAR2 months ago

I spent the majority of my earlier part of life doing things other people's way.

Of course, that can be a pretty common thing when you're a child — many parents expect their children to behave their way, and no deviation from that will be tolerated. However, once we reach adulthood, we have the freedom to break loose from those "emotional chains"... right?

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But it's not always as straightforward as it looks.

Certainly, I was raised by a mother who expected — demanded — that everything be done according to here sense of reality. I really had no say unless "my say" happened to almost perfectly overlap with my mother's.

However, then I got married to someone who was very particular about having the world turn out her way. She wasn't exactly demanding, like my mother, but she was manipulative and used various forms of "emotional blackmail" to get things her way.

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Lest this sounds like there was malicious intent at play, there wasn't. The behavior mostly had its roots in insecurity.

You've probably heard — or overheard — phrases like "if you REALLY loved me, you would ______!" That's basically a manipulation.

So, What's the Issue?

Aside from the manipulative behavior, what happens in situations like these is that a person seldom — or never — ends up actually having their OWN experiences. Their life essentially ends up being "filtered" through another person's reality.

And that's really not very good for your emotional well-being!

Much of the time, you're not really aware of what's happening, because you've been "trained" to think you are actually doing something because of love.

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It took me until almost age 40 to fully understand how I had been part of some very unhealthy situations for most of my life until that point in time. And — in a sense — I came to see how my own experiences had more or less been "stolen!"

Be mindful! If something doesn't feel quite right... there's a good chance it isn't!

Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your week!

How about YOU? Have you ever felt like you were always doing things of life OTHER people's way, rather than your own? How did that happen? And how did you feel about it? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!

(All text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is ORIGINAL CONTENT, created expressly for this platform — NOT A CROSSPOST!!!)
Created at 20210608 00:52 PDT
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This is interesting... and once again personal! One thing I am trying to tell my kids (I have kids of both genders) is the thing that "if you really love me, then you would..." is something to avoid at all cost. If someone tells you something like that, then it is really bad, and if they would tell it to anyone, then it is even worse!

If you really love someone, you would never ask that question...

I am kind of an emotional zero, meaning that I really don't care much about what people think of me, and I have never really cared either. As a result, I have just gone my own way, and probably hurted some people along the way as I didn't really care much about those around me.

Now I am trying to get better and not be a terrorist of my own will at all times.

I guess there is something good and bad at all ends...

"The only time we are in the middle of the road is while crossing the road from one ditch to another..."

 2 months ago 

The worst thing about "if you really loved me" is that it ultimately represents "conditional" love, not real love. What that statement is saying is that you care only as long as someone is pleasing to us, and once they stop being pleasing we no longer care for them. In a sense, it reduces love and caring to little more than a transaction, which is very sad.

Raising kids is... well, it doesn't come with an instruction manual! We've raised three (of both genders) and they have now all passed 30 and they are still alive!

As a daughter of a highly controlling and judgmental father, who expected his wife to enforce his rules on their five children, I turned out so goddamn wishy washy I was ashamed I didn't have any opinions of my own. My kids did whatever they wanted to, at home and at school. They have all turned out to be solid adult individuals with compassion and abilities to think for themselves. They can express their feelings. They can forge their own paths.

This nonsense that children need to be "guided" every step of the way is just that - nonsense. Let them figure out right from wrong by the effects and feelings their actions produce.

If I could do one thing differently, I would not have sent them to school, where control by pedantic, self-righteous and controlling teachers, administrations and governmental dictates does terrible damage to our children.

I let my kids play in poison ivy, after I pointed out the danger. I let them climb trees after explaining the possible problems. I did not punish them for their mistakes. Since we didn't have electronics, I didn't limit screen time. They went to bed when they were tired and ate as much candy as they wanted to. Funny thing is, they took themselves off to bed at reasonable hours, they didn't eat much candy because they figured out that too much made them sick, and they all can identify poison ivy.

A lot of people disagreed with me. They thought I wasn't setting enough "limits". Today, I can say that I am much closer to my children than they are, and that their grown children are no better or happier than mine.

To get back to you post, my regrets in life almost all involve my listening to someone who was supposed to know more than I did, and ignoring the red flags and misgivings I had at those times that I ignored.

Follow your own heart, not someone else's.

 2 months ago 

Sounds rather similar to my own path.

I was also ridiculously wishy-washy by the time I left home, and pretty much had to create my own self-identity at the point because I had never been allowed to have one.

Our adult kids are pretty good and well adjusted human beings, too... and unlike many who came from controlling parents who did the whole "helicopter parenting" thing, our kids willingly come home and spend the weekends regularly because they want to and like being here. And I think that says a lot about the approach of letting them largely find their own way. If there was a thing I'd perhaps change it would be that we were a little to eager to protect them from the consequences of their less fortunate choices.

Yes, my kids come home often even though they live pretty far away. That has been quite a blessing through covid, or I would have spent too much time alone for my sanity.

As for controlling parents, the worst of those who we still have regular gathering with still control whether or not their adult children can have dessert, based on how much of the other food they have eaten. It is the strangest thing. We can be sitting at a table of fifteen, and one of these parents will be watching what their offspring eat. I remember one time, when all the kids were young, the kids were excited because they were going to be allowed to have Skittles after the meal. When the time came to pass the Skittles out, each child, mine included, was allowed to choose ONE Skittle. lol. Their kids had massive candy stashes at home. I found out later that the adults had candy stashes of their own too.

 2 months ago 

While reading your post I can recognize my own mother and also that I am becoming slowly like her. I know that this is not good and every time when I realize it then promise myself that I should change myself.

You post is nominated for „Wold of xpilar“ Community Support Program, @booming account upvote. Only the posts that are not cross posted, original and posted from community page are eligible. If your post gets approval, then you get upvote within few days. Good luck!

 2 months ago 

My mother was unusually controlling and narrow minded... and that did not make life easy, to be sure.

Self-awareness is an important step on the road to making better choices.

Thanks for stopping by @stef1 and thanks for the Booming nomination, as always... I appreciate it!

How about YOU? Have you ever felt like you were always doing things of life OTHER people's way, rather than your own? How did that happen? And how did you feel about it?

Nope, I was lucky because I was raised in a big family (I have 8 siblings) and my mother, even though she's probably a controlfreak but we have a dad who is an easy going one. So, they taught me to take care of myself and just do what I feel right and comfortable with, ask them whenever I need.

When I worked in society and joined the organizations, I found my own way to deal with situation, thanks for the free will I recognized in me as a human. Sometimes, I met a difficult situation and forced to do things their way, when I feel like I would lost my freedom, I just left after I deal with it nicely.

I'm a stubborn one, so.. if I don't like something that hard to understand how, I just left. I'll do it in my own way, as long as I don't cause any trouble for others.

Thanks again for the beautiful flowers 😍