"I believe that I am powerless and I would like to know how to reverse this"
I am in the process of leaving an abusive relationship. I also was abused as a child by my mother... the dynamics of my relationship with my husband are almost the same. I've only recently learned what verbal abuse is (which is what most of the problems are) and my husband and mother were also sometimes physically abusive. I am currently in counseling and am waiting until he leaves for military deployment to leave my husband safely.
I've realized I have a belief that I am powerless and I would like to know how to reverse this. I also have tended to attract a lot of people who want me to caregive for them and have had trouble setting limits when I've felt drained by the relationships. I've had friends, boyfriends, along with my mother and current husband I think who have wanted me to do this for them and I willingly did... until I would snap. I've done work on boundaries but find it difficult to set any with my husband.
I discovered your site over 2 years ago and it helped me grow enormously and reconnect spiritually during that time. However, I now know I didn't learn enough about myself and re-entered into my relationship with my current husband for many reasons... some of which I have not yet discovered I think. I know one of the reasons I've stayed this long (it has been 4 years with him) is because I felt as though it was my job to help him compassionately. I know now this is irrational thinking (codependent) and I am working on this. I also have other irrational thoughts I believe and am beginning to try to clear all of them out.
I am working on some of this and hope therapy and your insights will help me clear this issues for good as I do want to work in a job where I am in the medical field helping others but with healthy boundaries, where I can do what I love without suffering for it. I am finally realizing that I will not have the energy to achieve my dream of working in that field while putting so much of my energy towards taking care of my husband or my mother. I have dealt with depression constantly as a result of this and have experienced a large amount of stress.
I have had 2 dreams which from where I am standing now I feel are relevant to this issue I have. In one I was a woman who was in love with a man and cared about him so much I let him choke me to death as he was listening to another woman (a close friend of his) who wanted me dead for whatever reason. In that dream I died feeling sorry for him. I also had a dream where I was an Asian woman who grew up in a happy family but there was war and I felt it was my duty to save as many children as I could... which I did, making my way to what I believe was the US and married a man who was willing to take the children in.
It seems the theme of these dreams deal with me giving myself up almost like a martyr for other people, which for me even now I find hard to let go of as a spiritual ideal. I believe this is causing me to enter these kind of lopsided care giving relationships.
I also have a problem pointed out by an aura reader prior. I also have had dreams themed with both of the issues I've mentioned combined. The problem was that she said my throat chakra was not developed as I had not found my own power in speaking my truth or something along those lines.
Another reader has mentioned that I need to say no more to others, something which I believe is enabling me now to finally leave this abusive relationship as I did manage to finally say no to several people in my life. I believe this is due to me believing that I must do those things for others, even when they can do it for themselves, as it makes me a good person. I think this is a dysfunctional belief and would like to know what to do about it. I also have a lot of fear that I may not know I am a bad person and hence will hurt other people. I believe this is an irrational fear and would like to know what the cause of it is as I have no memory of my parents telling me this and how to release it as I've experienced it before and it has caused me many problems in dealing with other people before as I doubt myself tremendously in terms of my perceptions and reactions with other people. I believe this has held me back tremendously in setting boundaries with people who hurt me repeatedly.
My dreams are related to both my husband and mother. In many dreams with my mother I am powerless and unable to talk to her at all. She is not hearing me. Many times I scream and no one hears me. This is also a theme with my husband as I scream that he is in danger (in the dreams he is putting himself in a dangerous situation) and he doesn't listen to me. Both of them I feel powerless and I scream and scream but I am not heard. I would love to know how I can fix this as I do not wish to feel this way any longer.
I am also experiencing a lot of fear in moving forward in my life too as a part of me would like to believe my husband is sincere this time in his desire to change. However, the other part of me is suspicious of his 'sincerity.' I also have a large amount of confusion as to why I've been told by a reader over a year ago that my husband was a good fit with me. It seems strange as he isn't now from where I stand. I wonder if you have any insight into this. I suspect maybe I've trusted others way too much over what I instinctively know deep down as I had a gut reaction to my husband when I first met him of deep panic which I ignored not knowing what it meant then.
Are there any other beliefs that you see within me that I hold contributing to these problems? Anything else that comes up? Thank you very much! Also, I would like to know what I can do to heal all of this and move forward in my life and I would also like to know what I can do to make my current leaving the relationship easier. Thank you once again as I know I've asked a lot and my question is very long!
Hi - well, you are in the process of dealing with very BIG, in all likelihood, core issues for you this time around. So know that it IS a process, and one that will have its own timing to be healed. For something like this, there are many layers, and you can only deal with them as they come up and are ready to be dealt with. I think that, from what you have shared, you have learned a LOT and are on the right track to healing yourself and continuing to discover more and gain more insights and information about yourself that will enable you to dive deeper into this process. Like a great tree, we continue to grow new rings as we proceed on our life journeys. Good work!!
You are right that the issue revolves around feeling powerless - it is a belief that you are defenseless and that things are hopeless - or that perhaps you are hopeless. It is a strong belief in not being good enough, and there may also be some sexual guilt that goes along with this. (This may be from another lifetime, I am getting - the sexual part of it. Check out issues of sexual insecurity).
If you have a belief that no one will be there for you, or that you can't count on or trust anyone, or that no one will be there to support you, this can all stem from that belief that you're not good enough. Then you will create either being alone or being treated as not good enough, in an abusive way.
What we think and feel is like a radio wave. It is an energetic pattern that goes out into the world and brings back the same pattern or energy to you - it attracts a like vibration back to itself. Wherever we are carrying around false beliefs, beliefs that tell us we are no good, or not loved, any kind of energetic pattern or wavelength - whether it is distorted or healthy - you could call it a frequency or vibration - well, all that is in our lives gets created from that. All the Universe can do is be a mirror for you of your own INNER landscape - what is inside of you. What happens to us is never about another person, place, or thing. It is always about what we have going on inside of ourselves and that is what created such a situation. It's like standing in front of a mirror - or like painting a picture - we can only paint with the color of crayons we carry around with us. That is why it is crucial, if we want to have a good, happy, fulfilled, successful life, that we examine ourselves and our energy - what we are putting out - the radio waves we are broadcasting out.
Most of the time people aren't aware of what they have going on inside of them as energy patterns, so then they are shocked and wonder "How could this have happened to me??" And a lot of the time, these patterns are tricky and often very subtle and have to be dug out of the places where they have been mired and are hiding deep within us. It's easy to see it in someone else - but a clue is - whatever you see in someone else is a mirror for what you have going on inside of you. So, for instance, if you are feeling abused or mistreated by someone, well, you are abusing yourself by thinking that you are not good enough, right? Because we could ONLY see it, feel it, and be troubled by it because we have that SAME energy going on inside of us. We are vibrating along with them on the same wavelength, would be another way to put it. You feel that you can't trust your husband, but it is the energy of not trusting - yourself - that he is a mirror of. That is the place to heal within yourself so that regardless of whether you leave him, you don't create from that energy any more elsewhere. If you EXPECT it to come because that's only what you know and what you live with inside yourself, then it will come.
You are learning to love and respect yourself enough to form unions with people who support your development and to release relationships that handicap your growth. But again, the key here is to interact consciously - and that does involve, as the one reader told you, to be able to form healthy boundaries and enforce them, and to be able to say no.
As for what the other reader told you about you and your husband fitting - well, of course you fit in some ways, and anyone we meet, especially important relationships, we have a contract with for some point in our lives - you both attracted each other to be mirrors for one another at the time it was necessary to have that mirror. If you have chosen to move on and grow, and he hasn't, then ways naturally part. For a relationship to work, both parties have to be able to grow together, even though usually it is the woman who first must instigate the changes in herself. If the man can't match these changes, or chooses not to for some reason, there are no parallel tracks for the relationship, like a train, to move along on. But here again, the issue of empowerment comes up for you. One reader will say this, and another that, but if you turn your power over to another, then you will become confused. It's up to you to decide and feel and know what you need to do and what is true for you - again, you can turn to others for advise and support, but to take their words as gospel for you is to lose your own power.
I think that you may have the Rescuer archetype going on for you in this life. Here's some info that may be useful for you about that:
In its empowered profile, the Rescuer assists when needed and, once the rescue mission is accomplished, withdraws. A Rescuer provides an infusion of strength and support to help others to survive a difficult situation, crisis, or process that they lack the stamina or the inner knowledge to maneuver through themselves. Unlike the Knight, to which it is related, the Rescuer is more common among women, especially in its shadow aspect. The shadow Rescuer often surfaces through a romantic connection in which one party seeks to establish an intimate bond by lending emotional support, with a hidden agenda that assumes the rescued party will return the Rescuer's romantic feelings. Such romances are destined to fail, because the shadow agenda has to keep the "rescuee" in need of being rescued, lest the Rescuer lose her significance.
Healing and empowering the Rescuer within is a common emotional challenge, because being needed is essential to our nature. Most people can relate in part to the characteristics of this archetype which somewhat parallel the Knight, Healer, Hero, and even Servant. If you feel drawn to this archetype, then also compare the characteristics of these others to gain a full understanding of this archetype.
This archetype comes to the aid of people in genuine need, such as in threatening situations and natural disasters; he or she does his or her job and gets out (firefighter). When underdeveloped, the Rescuer may come to the aid of another who is in the throws of illness or a bad relationship, only to find that the rescued ultimately leaves as there is no further need to remain. Any relationship based on neediness has an unstable foundation for all concerned. The underdeveloped Rescuer must be willing to look internally at these issues. The challenge of this archetype is to evaluate the motivation behind why assistance is extended to another, or if personal gain is involved as the motivation, on some level
The shadow side of The Rescuer therefore, sets up relationships that result in the need to be rescued personally. A Rescuer needs to be needed, because they don't feel good enough to begin with, and he or she may have a deep core belief that "I am only important and loved if I am responsible for another and needed by them." Beneath this, of course, is the deep fear of abandonment. "If I am not needed, I will be abandoned, unloved, and therefore my survival is at stake, and I must make myself indispensable." This means that often the Rescuer will take it upon himself or herself to do the tasks another is fully capable of doing. Resentment on both parts can and usually is the result. Thinking that one will be loved IF one is responsible is a false conclusion. The opposite is actually true. By being responsible to oneself, and loving oneself, by being true to oneself, one already has love - inner love - because one is who one is, not because of what one does.
RESPONSIBILITY IS THE ABILITY TO fulfill ONE'S NEEDS AND TO DO SO IN A WAY THAT DOES NOT HARM ONESELF OR DEPRIVE OTHERS OF THE ABILITY TO fulfill THEIR NEEDS.
RESPONSIBILITY IS THE ABILITY TO BE WHO YOU ARE IN YOUR FULLNESS.
The shadow side also manifests in The Rescuer when the Rescuer derives a sense of power over others because as the Rescuer, he or she is the one with all the power and the "rescuee" is the weak one in need of the Rescuer's strength and expertise. Because of this, lopsided relationships are developed, similar to a person holding forth with a monologue in conversation when it needs instead, to be healthy, to be a mutual participatory experience. With the Rescuer in its shadow form, there is no give and take. There is only give with no receptivity toward the power or abilities or input of another. This can result in creating relationships where the one to be rescued is crippled, losing their their own sense of power, ability, or worth.
Often the need to rescue comes from a deep, inner insecurity, a need to have one's own power validated, affirmed, and recognized. Or it can be a protection against intimacy, because when one is in the position of power, one does not need to be vulnerable, receptive, or intimate oneself. Thus there is no danger in being criticized or judged. Many children think that it is their "job" to save mommy and daddy, and this pattern can remain stuck, deeply ingrained throughout one's entire life, then re-created and acted out time and time again in relationships.
There is nothing wrong with helping another, if there is a true need there, and one has been asked to help. It is never someone else's job to save another. We all must save ourselves. That doesn't mean we don't offer support and compassion along the way, when it is appropriate to do so. But that is different from coming from a need to help another, or a belief that it is your job to do so or something terrible will happen. Fear of destruction comes into play here - if I don't save them, we all won't survive. "I" won't survive. That is the core fear and motivation behind it all.
Because you are discovering your own power, how you relate to others, allowing them to have their own power, will also come into play. You may want to save others out of a projected need that you want someone to save YOU - so you put that energy off onto others. One does not want to be overly protective, or micro managing, as this results in crippling others and can instill in them a sense of insecurity and an inability to be able to depend upon themselves and their own power. However, one also does not want to be too distant or unavailable.
A good question to ask is: "Am I truly needed here? Is there a real need for me to step in, a real danger, or should I wait and trust that this person will, as a powerful soul and aspect of the Divine, find their own way? Is it more empowering for this other for me to not involve myself here?" An invitation for help is usually a good indicator that it is appropriate to offer your assistance, but even then, there are ways to facilitate and guide the person back to finding a way to figure it out for themselves, thus engendering more self empowerment.
Trust is a key component here, as trust in oneself and one's own power leads to the ability to trust that others, also, have the innate ability and power to find their own way and go through their own process appropriately, learning as they go, making mistakes, but being essentially all right. This gives you the Higher belief that God is at the wheel and that life is intrinsically SAFE and you an LET IT BE. That you are intrinsically safe and well put together to work right. That it's all ok. Then you can sit back relax and enjoy the ride. Always check your own level of anxiety and insecurity when working with the Rescuer archetype. Heal that first, and then your answers and responses to other situations will become much clearer and appropriate. Ask yourself: "Am I feeling anxious or fearful or insecure? Do I need to be needed at this moment?" If the answer is yes, then work internally to gain your own sense of self love, inner power, and safety.
You also mentioned the Martyr aspect possibility in all of this. Within the self-help field, the shadow Martyr is viewed as a person who has learned to utilize a combination of service and suffering for others as the primary means of controlling and manipulating her environment. Ironically, in the social and political world, the martyr is often highly respected for having the courage to represent a cause, even if it requires dying for that cause for the sake of others. Suffering so that others might be redeemed, whether that redemption take a spiritual or political form, is among the most sacred of human acts. While people recognize this archetype in others, particularly when they are directly influenced by the individual sporting this pattern, they often cannot see it in themselves.
The Martyr must have a sacred cause that is for the benefit of an entire perceptual system, be it religious, social, or political for which "to die for" has meaning. At this level, the Martyr remains an inspiration to so many (Martin Luther King). The archetype does not require death, but rather may include suffering years of "martyrdom" to protect others from the same fate (Nelson Mandela). From this perspective, the Martyr is a positive and powerful force. From its shadow side, suffrage occurs for no genuine cause other than one that is self-created, often used in hopes of obtaining pity from others or to establish a controlling relationship.
In order not to be controlled (or abused), we must look to how we are into that controlling energy (out of fear) ourselves. True?
Only the shadow side of the martyr archetype gives until depletion. The holy martyr can give selflessly because they've reached the stage of enlightenment that Buddhism calls no-self. On this level the archetype knows that service is joy, and takes delight in giving. The shadow martyr's form of giving can result in having a sense of entitlement. And, the shadow martyr can live life in such a way that he or she trudges through life, feeling that everything is a chore or burden that has to be endured.
The Martyr resents the constant problems that must be overcome. There is so much working against him or her that he/she feels that she cannot achieve her goal. The shadow Martyr believes that the future will be no better than the past or present, and nothing that he or she can do will change the outcome. It is his/her fate. The shadow Martyr feels that her own needs have been overlooked by others and rarely focuses on personal blessings and doesn't ask for what he or she needs because there would be no point. Since no one has ever offered help in the past there is no reason to believe that anyone would offer help in the future. The shadow Martyr asks over and over "Why me?" Deep down, she knows that she always secretly expected that this sort of thing would happen and physical pain actually gives some relief to her intense emotional suffering. She wonders what misfortune will follow this one.
With the martyr energy, you may feel that you need to or must sacrifice yourself in this arena for the good of others, or you may find that you feel put upon and resentful if you take on the martyr role when dealing with external power in the world. There can also possibly be an issue of rejection going on here, as a martyr is one who is usually not recognized for what they do. So, in issues of external power, you may see a pattern where you tend to come out on the losing end of things where others benefit but you do not.
In dealing with the Martyr archetype, there is a need to recognize that love for self is a primary factor for healthy relationships with others and with any other power sources. With the Martyr, it is important to recognize when and where you may be operating out of false illusions about life. Move instead into the realm of intuitive guidance rather then any ego concept of the need to sacrifice oneself. Check into issues where love and hate seem to be operating simultaneously, and see if you can move into a place of Divine reconnection in dealing with matters of power.
I think that as you work with these issues, you will be healing ancestral/DNA issues that have been passed down for a few generations.
As for making leaving the relationship you are in easier - when you feel secure enough in yourself that you absolutely KNOW that this is the right thing for you, and you absolutely know, bottom line, that you will in NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM - there's the use of that good "NO!" again - allow this abusive energy to exist in your space anymore, ever again, either within or without, then you will go with greater ease. This is your soul declaring and making an Act of Power and standing absolutely firm for yourself - being your own advocate. As long as you think you still need him to survive (that 'you're not capable or good enough' issue rising up again) you will want to believe that he will change, etc. etc., and it may feel very frightening to leave. When you know that you can trust yourself to protect and take care of and love yourself, and that is anchored well within you as a given, that fear will not be there.