Too many lives are being affected by out of control adults and frankly Im tired of witnessing what can now only be seen as an epidemic of people who can no longer handle their emotions. When are we going to stop enabling these characters and making excuses for them? Being emotionally numb, or not being able to emotionally regulate themselves enough to be able to offer those around them a level of personal safety is not the fault of others, but rather a reflection of their inability to emotionally mature. Sure as children I understand that these folk would have possibly learnt this bad behaviour due to what they too would have been exposed too, but it's no longer a good enough excuse. Research however suggests that not all these tricky personalities had trauma in their lives, some were jellyfished and put on a pedastal by their over indulging parents. Neither the overcontrolling bullying authoritarian parent or the jellyfish parent are ideal for teaching little humans to become well functioning big humans. Where are we taught this I think to myself? We need a parenting school, or should we have compulsory parenting courses for every new parent? But whatever the context and reason that people grow up to be controlling adults, it's time for these characters to grow up and emotionally develop, but someone needs to show them how. A healthy relationship to these folk usually has a different meaning to them, and sits more in control or be controlled rather than them having a concept of mutually sharing the power of the relationship. They also have quite a distorted sense of needing to be needed to the point that it's a personal offence if you don't need them to the degree that they think you should. Working with energy as I do, I have come to learn how these folk prey and feed off their unsuspecting victims. The partner is not seen as an equal but rather something to be conquered. How you can weed out a narc personality from the get go is to mention something about you not 'needing' this relationship but rather 'wanting' it! Expose your heart and watch as he or she responds. If they fly into a rage and toss their toys out of the cot ? Then you're looking down the barrel of a smoking gun. Get out of the relationship right there!.. However, if you're the really compassionate type what you'll probably do is to make excuses for their behaviour, feel sorry for them and think you've got a grip on this (possibly because you yourself might have some subconcious beliefs of needing to be needed) and all you have to do is to keep loving them more and things will be unicorns and rainbows again. Wrong move!..It will never be that again, despite having the odd taste now and then. They will know they dynamic really well and will just throw you some crumbs now and then to keep you guessing. If you've found you've missed the sign posts and you're in deep? it's much harder to just walk away. You're probably now addicted to this toxic reality and the pull to keep 'working' at what you know deep down isn't working is excessivly strong!..They're like a drug to you and the need for those unicorns and rainbows has now become the obsession. It cracks me up when people say “just leave” as they clearly have no idea or have experienced this type of relationship. Those who have will know exactly what Im talking about here. It's a tricky and confusing one to get out of, but it will never ever get better, in fact it will get worse. I think we need some more relationship support services who talk into these dynamics as we seem to have lost the art of something here or is it that we just have a new 'breed' of human coming through? I don't know. What I do know is that holding the tension of staying loving and compassionate and being abused and an emotional door mat is real and it's not talked about enough, at least not until another life is lost to an out of control adult. And those who support these folk when they know there is abuse (of any kind) happening are in my mind just as bad and need to be called on it as well. So remember how you know if you are in a dangerously controlling relationship is to put down some boundaries and see what happens, and if you are too afraid too? Then that in itself tells you a very big story. It's time to leave! and if you can't because you're in too deep? Seek support. Whilst it's not your fault that you find yourself in this position, it's going to be your responsibility to change it sadly and you are going to need as much support as possible. If you are still feeling sorry for them? Then consider that you leaving them might be the catalyst for their change where there could be an opportunity for them too, just not with you. Stay safe.
We are now living in a time, I feel, where bandaiding is no longer enough. It's time to dive in deep! and in my experience, we can either do that the long hard way? where things might even get chaotic? which of course leaves us responding from a vulnerable position. Or we can start to generate the life we want by being overwhelmingly honest with ourselves and taking some ownership for our own emotions. My philosophy on life is that generating the life we seek actually starts IN rather than out - and that the response to external stimulus is simply a reminder that we need to go inside to cause a different effect. Some may know this as the law of attraction. Change your vibration and change your life.
The tall poppy syndrome describes aspects of a culture where people of high status are resented, attacked, cut down, strung up or criticized because they have been classified as superior to their peers. Who decides what 'high status' means? It is soley the 'perception' of the person who is criticizing. Perception can only come from a place of our own belief system, and do belief systems change? Absolutely they do!.. It then becomes a bit of a choice as to what beliefs we consider are healthy for us and what isn't. Some beliefs are there to protect us which is vital... But other times those perceptions need to be challenged. People are always only going to resent in others what has not yet been reconciled in themselves. So don't hold back!.. Shine your light because it's not about YOU and everything about them! and if we all took responsibility for our perceptions? ... Well.. I can only imagine what that would feel like.
An Australian study has found that adding just one strength training session to your weekly fitness regime can lead to significant mental health improvements and more specifically that combining strength training with aerobic activities is likely to make a considerable difference. Dr Yorgi Mavros, a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney goes on to say that there is some belief that exercise may target the same pathways as antidepressants.
Having being in this position from both sides of the fence, i.e. someone who has struggled with depression between 30 and 40 years of age, and YET was an exercise instructor I feel I can talk into this subject from both sides. Firstly lets be really clear that when depression is part of daily life the energy levels are ridculously low as the body and mind are in fight or flight when awake. Sleep, can be minimal if depression's best friend 'anxiety' is also present!.. It's a viscious cycle and one which a lot of people simply don't understand. For those who, with good intention, recommend exercise when we are depressed, may not understand the physical exhaustion that goes with depression. The very thought of choosing to exert oneself when having hardly any energy to crawl through the day is very contraindicative. So how did I manage to do that? I've thought about this a lot and I can only conclude that my deeper beliefs around my sense of responsibility to others exceeded my responsibility to my own needs. Now I understand more about the power of our subconscious beliefs and how those beliefs dictate 95% of our day, it all makes more sense. I feel sad for those I lived with during that time as they were the only ones who had full insight into my state. Also looking back and knowing what I now know about depression, being a high functioning depressive made me quite a high risk. I thank god for my job as an exercise instructor as manufacturing those hormones may well have been part of the catalyst of recognising that I had some small control over my own thinking. I started recognising that the days that I exercised I had a subtle relief from myself.. My thinking turned from black thoughts to grey on my exercise days – and that was no co-incidence.
I have to be honest though if depression is the reason why you are going to turn your hand at exercise? Whilst it's a healthy and fantastic starting place, on it's own it may not be enough for a sustainable change, I guess it all depends on the degree of the depression. Mine was deeply entrenched and for me I found exercise was a great band aid and gave me peace for a day but it wasn't the long term solution that I craved. What gave me the sustainability and moved me away from depression was more coherent work so I could permanently create the hormones I needed. This required a practice which really has gone on to inform the rest of my now private business. I've been sharing my story for many years now in an NGO that supports people who struggle with their mental health, and I would like to think that it's had some impact on people's lives. Although my position has changed in my NGO work, I still am able to support people in my private practise. It's not rocket science how I support people, and it's all over the net now which is fantastic. However some folk still need that face to face support and Im thrilled I'm still able to pass on to other's how I got through my depression and anxiety for those who are ready to take the deep dive in with someone whose been in there but can now support others out. I also continue to take exercise classes on a Tuesday and Thursday @ 5.30 and a Wednesday and Thursday morning for rehabilitation or seated exercise options. The photo is Peter Jamieson – one of my clients who proves that strength training is valuable for any stage of life.