When Fear Rules !

The Evil Dark Side

by on Mar.06, 2011, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD, STOPPING ABUSE

The Evil Dark Side

Some of you have written to me in response to my articles about the young homeless girl that I now treasure as a friend, and yes, admittedly, have taken on the roll of a grandfather, wanting to teach, and guide, and keep her safe.

I listen to her as she shares with me the struggles and conflicts she has, wanting to be loved, wanting a family, wanting to be safe and yet being afraid that she is getting soft, and if not wanted, if not a “keeper”, how much more vulnerable she will be if she finds herself back on the streets. I feel her fear, and sense her tears as she fights the competing forces that try to tell her that she must just accept who she is. But she is truly strong and has jumped many hurdles including a first family placement who failed her.

She will never be back on the streets, because she has connected with a few loving people, a new family and me. But, her struggles and fears have enlightened me.

Those struggles have caused some of you to say to me, “ My issues are so small compared to this child’s .”

My response to that is that as much as she endured, as much as she faced the evil dark side of mankind, she survived because she dared to see a choice.

Choices create conflict, don’t they ? It was not until she, and you, realized there were choices, options to change your life, that the real anxiety and fears hit. It was her taking a risk to contact me through our web site’s chat room, her expressing to me the want to feel love and be safe that she ventured one step out of the dreadful life that she seemed destined to before. So, it is when you realized that you were not happy, just ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ with some significant aspect of your life that you really felt the anxiety symptoms hit a peak.

We can only ignore needs so long, we can only adapt so far to please others, before we realize we are not happy, just settling.

And it is not an easy path, allowing yourself to love yourself, taking better care of yourself, setting boundaries with those who would hurt you with words or deeds, those who would control and manipulate you seeing that your need for approval makes you vulnerable to their games.

As a grandpa, I want to protect those I love, but as much, I want to teach them how to protect themselves, how to set those boundaries, how to never be vulnerable to the games of the dark side, and how to respect themselves, and those who prove they can be trusted. As a therapist, I have a similar goal with my clients.

So although some of you have written that your issues seem to pale in comparison to this very very special person in my life, I appreciate that your conflicts are sources of pain for you, and your struggle is as important to you as hers is to her. At the heart of it all is self-esteem. You must be proud of the fact that you are not avoiding that which stands in the way of you becoming the person you wish to be.

So I tell my new grandchild, as i tell you, do not stop dreaming of how you want life to be, but be willing to take the steps, as scary as they can be at times, to make those dreams come true. It is hard work, and there are NO short cuts to change. We by nature resist change, but the option to create and allow change is yours !

Coach
Gene Benedetto, Psychologist

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