RESPONSIBILITY for FAMILY MEMBERS

I CAN STILL REMEMBER MY MOTHER CLUTCHING HER HEART , THREATENING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK AND DIE, AND BLAMING ME FOR IT.
~ANONYMOUS

For some of us, the idea that we were responsible for other people's feelings had its roots in childhood and was established by members of our nuclear family. We may have been told that we make our mother or father miserable, leading directly to the idea that we were also responsible for making them happy. The idea that we are responsible for our parents' happiness or misery can instill exaggerated feelings of power and guilt in us.
We do not have this kind of power over our parents - over their feelings, or over the course of their lives. We do not have to allow them to have this kind of power over us.
Our parents did the best they could. But we still do not have to accept one belief from them that is not a healthy belief. They may be our parents, but they are not always right. They may be our parents, but their beliefs and behaviors are not always healthy and in our best interest.
We are free to examine and choose our beliefs.
Let go of guilt. Let go of excessive and inappropriate feelings of responsibility toward parents and other family members. We do not have to allow their destructive beliefs to control us, our feelings, our behaviors, or our life.

--Melody Beattie

Very pertinent for many of us...just wanted to share.

Jan ♥

Jan,

Beautiful! And perfect! ♥ This is a topic my therapist hit on with me last week! LOL! She said she was glad that my "taking care of" others had come up so we could address it. Ha! Well... You're right... We need to stop giving our power away to others, AND we need to remember what we DO have power to control, and what we DON'T. ♥

School... Here I go!! Year number TEN! Whew!! :)

Love!!

Jen

Jan,

You know this is a tough one for me. I agree to a large degree that we are responsible for our own feelings as are others responsible for theirs.

However (i thought i would refrain from a but), i do feel a lot of guilt at present for what i am putting others through. I think this stems from the sense that i have a choice in all of this. And i am not choosing well. In that conversation with my FM yesterday, they thought that it was a choice. That i can choose well or not. That pre ed, i chose well and i can return to that good choice or continue in the same vein. That when i am committed and determined or focus on better things, i will be over this. Knowing and hearing how much this FM and others are concerned about me and not being able to say that this does not feel like a choice (and truly believe it) means i end up feeling guilty. Not crippling guilt but i do feel bad. I guess when i think it is a choice, i feel in part empowered to change yet powerless cos i am finding it hard to change and in part disempowered because all the evidence i have is of my inability to completely let the ed go.

Another FM did let me know that i should be open because they deserve to know what is going on and i should not be worried about how that is going to make them feel because they are an adult and they choose to feel how they want to. This left me feeling a lot better. Like i don't have to hide things. Different strokes for different folk.

Thank you for this pertinent topic.

xx

Oh! I am so glad I'm not alone in this catergory! I love my mother and father to death. They have always had such high expectations for me and so often I feel as if I have let them down and made them disappointed and miserable - ESPECIALLY my mother whom I love so dearly!

Thank you all for your comments! This is a sensitive and individual issue, so we all have to decide what applies to our situation. Just passing things along....HUGS..Jan ♥

This post is why I am hesitant in including my parents in the recovery process. The disappointment, guilt, shame, etc. makes me nervous, I think the control my mother's emotions have over me have contributed to my problems with food. Being raised as a best friend isn't always the easiest thing to do. I like this line though "Let go of excessive and inappropriate feelings of responsibility toward parents and other family members" I feel like my father has been trying to tell me this for years but i never really take it to heart. Regardless, I will always have all the love in the world for my mother and father.
:) Sonrisas

Hmmm...there is a big difference between taking on another's feelings, and thinking you are responsible for always making them feel 'good', and being there for them in a loving and supportive way. Very individual, based on each parties' circumstances and needs. I do think that many of us here have felt that we are the negative influence, yet never take credit for the positive.
Thank you for your input...Jan ♥