Sunday, September 16, 2007

Staying Stuck Part 2

Part 1

Don't ask me where I got the courage, because I haven't a clue but I interrupted her midsentence! I told her that I, for one, could not bear to sit there one more week and listen to her excuses for being stuck. As lovingly as I could, I told her that she, and only she, had control over her life. If she was not going to take the initiative to change, her life was never going to change. I told her it wasn't because she couldn't change but because she WOULDN'T change.

I reminded her of the suitcase with all of her excess baggage and how she had found all manner of excuses to not do the assignment and yet she pleaded for help. I told her I was no longer going to be responsible for enabling her evasive behavior. If she wanted to remain stuck that was fine, but I was not going to sit by quietly and not call it what it was her refusal to make the necessary changes.

I also told her I knew she was going to be very, very angry at me. I was willing to take that risk if it would help her to get unstuck. It was just entirely too sad to me to think that someone so young with the tools right in front of her was fighting so hard to stay burdened by her past. I told her I believed that while she probably wanted to strangle me, some day she would see how much I cared for her to have taken such a big risk.

The whole time I was saying this, my internal kids were shaking uncontrollably. They were so sure something bad was going to happen to them because we dared to confront someone on their behavior. Externally, I managed to keep a composed demeanor, I think the only think that gave away my internal conflict was the repeated cracking of my voice.

When I quit talking, the young woman began yelling, crying, you name it. Angry was an understatement. She went off on me like I'd just killed her best friend. BUT, and here's the good part, at group the next week she showed up with her suitcase with all of her excess baggage. And man was that thing loaded. She worked through every piece in that suitcase. However, she was still very angry with and and wasn't even speaking to me!

Luckily for me, one of my internal kids got pretty mad over this. She had had enough therapy now, that she knew she didn't do anything wrong. She knew she had done what she could to help a friend. Somehow she managed to keep the lid on the pain that should have been triggered by our programming. Believe me, that was a relief.

The following week the young woman came in to say she was leaving group. She was leaving her toxic family. She had quit her job and was moving to California. She had a job offer in a field she had always wanted to work but had never had the courage to leave home. She still was not talking to me!

Six months later this young woman came back to group for a visit. She came specifically to see me. She came to tell me that my honesty had saved her life. She wanted to say that the anger she felt towards me had given her the courage to confront the people she was really mad at in her life. Once she'd done that she knew she had the courage to move away and start fresh. She said she was the happiest she had ever been in her life. She came back to say that I was the first person in her life who had cared enough about her to stand up to her spoiled brat tantrums and she loved me for it!! Can you imagine that!

Now, my question is this. Do you go through life saying "I can't" or "I couldn't" so you are taking away all of your choices? If you do, here's a trick I learned that helps a lot. When you hear yourself saying or writing "can't or "couldn't" substitute "won't" or "wouldn't." Give yourself back the power of you choice not to change. And then when you don't like the way that "won't sounds, do whatever you're saying you can't or won't do. That will certainly help you to get unstuck!

1 comment:

Lady Of Chaos said...

Now that is cool! I bet you felt so good about the outcome! Definetly a memory to treasure.