Put Down Statements Designed to Burst your Bubble

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abusive dysfunctional relationshipsHave you ever had fantastic exciting news and when you went to tell family, co-workers or perhaps your friends, you were met with a put down or some version of a put down? 

Have you ever walked away from telling your exciting news feeling somehow defeated or dejected or feeling disappointed and rejected; as though your good news somehow wasn’t that good anymore?

I have had major issues with this in my lifetime.

People who were “supposed to love me”; family, boyfriends and people who were “supposed to be my friends” said things like;

 “Well it can’t be that great”. What’s the catch?” Or “how did YOU get that award or offer?”  What about; “Why you?  Why would they pick you?”  

These types of statements have a clear message attached to them. The message is “WHY would anyone see value in YOU?” Those statements communicated to me what the speaker THOUGHT about me and how they defined my value and worth.

There were often really devaluing questions about the motives of whoever was acknowledging me; Questions like “are you sleeping with him?” “is that man in love with you?” “are you having an affair Darlene?”  Those types of questions make the statement that my ONLY value to anyone would be about SEX.  And those statements “defined me” too.  

Those statements hurt. They were invalidating. They made me feel dirty. Those specific statements about the  motives of men who acknowledged me tagged on to my already horrible feelings about having been sexually abused and the fear I had that perhaps that abuse was my fault. Because I was not heard, believed or protected, I already believed that I must have done “something” wrong to have been used that way.

If my only value was in sex or sexuality…which is what was being communicated to me by those statements, then what was I supposed to feel about those statements.  I was hurt but I didn’t say anything.  I couldn’t say anything because I had always been taught that I was wrong anyway.  AND because deep down I was not sure if those statements were true or false.

Put down statements like “why you?” infer other things too, like; what is so special about you? What makes you qualified to do that? And they always carry with them, a demeaning voice inflection.

Put down statements like this are insinuating that “there must be some mistake”. You must have lied about your qualifications. Or there must be some ulterior motive for them to have chosen you! It implies that if the person giving you the opportunity or acknowledgement really knew you ~ they would never have offered you the opportunity or recognition.

AND because of the grooming process that I went through from a very young age, it was not hard for me to believe that “if that person really knew me”, they would not have offered me the opportunity or acknowledgement in the first place.  When a child grows up being defined by abuse and malfunction, that child believes that only people that don’t know them will “value them”. I lived with huge imposter issues, and a huge fear of people abandoning me “if they really knew me.” So when it came to statements like “why you?” What could I say? I believed enough of the statement that I accepted it. I hung my head and felt “told” I questioned myself the same way; in agreement with the put down, and in submission to the abuser I agreed; “yes… why me?”

My mother was good at this type of thing.  She always had a way of squishing my joy over some accomplishment or any recognition that I got.  It was like if I was recognized, that it was insulting to her, or demeaning to her and lessened HER value. I suspect that she was afraid that if I ever found out my true value, that I would not worship HER anymore because if I knew my own value, I might somehow see her value the way that she saw it. (And although it looked to me like she was in total control of her life, the reality of that was quite different.)  

Here is what I found out;

The truth is that most people in my life did not pay enough attention to me to even know what my gifts were. They disregarded me as being insignificant compared to them because they wanted me to see myself that way. It was part of the way them maintained control over me.  Seeing my gifts was threatening to them, so they didn’t see them. With controlling and manipulative people, they are only interested in looking at me through the eyes of what I could DO for them or how I could contribute to whatever they were working on.  And the best way to keep someone doing what you want it to make them think that they will only achieve equal status to you if you do what they want. And that is where the put down statements come in. They are an abuse tactic.

This understanding became much more clear to me when I starting flying in my life; those same people were no longer interested in me at all. 

In the case of my mother, and her put downs aside from the fact that she wanted total control over me, she couldn’t stand to see me recognized. My mother’s jealously of me was evident from the time I turned 13 when she suddenly turned me into her competition.

My father was never interested enough in me to even engage in a conversation about anything I was doing in any part of my life.

I had a few bosses who kept me nervous and kept me scrambling to try harder in order to make sure that I never caught on to my gifts; if I realized my gifts, I would leave them and move forward to accomplish things without them.  Some of them took credit for my ideas and in the depth of my low self esteem, I didn’t fight that either.

These reactions to good news are pathetic. I never realized in the past that when people reacted like that it was a huge proof of how little regard that they had for me. They were more intent on putting and keeping me down, then they were on congratulating me or celebrating my win with me but the motive is about KEEPING me CAPTIVE and keeping me serving them. The motive is about making sure that I am always trying to see where I am in the wrong, so that I don’t notice that they are wrong.  That is not love. That is dysfunction.

And you know what I KNOW for sure today? I know that the put down statements were not about ME but about them. It was no reflection on ME, it was always a reflection on them. It reveals their character, not mine. In the past I put so much energy on proving my worth and believing that the proof of that worth being was in the way that I was received and regarded that I missed the truth that put downs designed to burst my bubble are not a statement about me; they are a statement about the person putting me down!

Today the conversation would be very different. I have a reply to this disrespect and disregard.  Now that I am out of the fog on this whole issue and realize that these put down statements have nothing to do with my value, but everything to do with putting me down and beneath them, here is what I say;

“Why not me!? What exactly do you mean when you say ‘why would someone pick ME?’ What a nasty hurtful thing to say to me. I am shocked at your lack of support and encouragement.  Your opinion and reaction to my good news shows me how little regard that you have for me.” (see note)

And they are speechless because finally, they got BUSTED; they got “told” and the truth (ABOUT THEM) emerged.

NOTE: If you cringe reading that statement I understand; I had been told for so long that I was “too sensitive” that when I first thought about speaking the truth in any of these situations, that “too sensitive” label jumped up and squished my conviction that they were wrong. Those days are gone.

Please share your thoughts.

There is freedom on the other side of broken…

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

 

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80 response to "Put Down Statements Designed to Burst your Bubble"

  1. By: Amber Posted: 19th June 2017

    This article brought up a very old memory. I was 15 and casually dating a guy from the other high school in my town. One night I attended a basketball game with my girlfriends and as we were leaving, a girl I only knew from classes walked up to me and said in a nasty tone “YOU have a boyfriend??” The emphasis on the word ” you” said it all. She didn’t think I deserved to have a boyfriend. I simply responded ” yes” but I remember feeling deep down inside that maybe there WAS something wrong with me and I didn’t have the right to have someone interested in me. Only much later on, I examined this closer, and realized that this girl was envious and was trying to put me down. I had to understand her motive to realize it was abou her and not about me at all. I also had to get past automatically accepting that there is something wrong with me when someone makes a mean comment.

  2. By: Carlos Posted: 12th February 2016

    When I finished my finals in high school in 2012, I got an overall score of 75 (And with Australia’s bonus points system, that boosted it up to allow me to gain entry into International Studies), which at first was a little bit disappointing as I was expecting a high 80 at the very most, but when my Mom found out she was like: “You can still get into University right? I mean the score isn’t that bad.”

    It felt uplifting to hear such words from Mom, but Dad on the other hand (this guy is clearly vying for Father of the Year for the amount of suffering I have had to endure from him) was where it felt like his words were converted into a “dagger” that pierced right into the heart. When he found out he was like, along with the accompanying signature death stare said: “75? You probably rushed your exams.” From his words, I couldn’t help but think about the following scenarios:

    (I) He basically defined my worth based on the score I achieved

    Well when you’re in an Asian family, of course expectations are bound to be high. I was just starting to feel good, when this man decides to shoot me down. What felt worse was this. When I told my cousin about the study group that I joined in order to prepare for my finals (really great environment where I got to stress out alongside my new friends whilst studying), my Dad decides to butt in and when I told him: “I was just telling my cousin about the study centre I joined and how it helped to ease out my exam stress. To which he responded: “But you didn’t even get a high mark anyway so why bother?” (I also felt that he thinks I was ought to sabotage my cousin by the time he does his finals, by talking about the said study centre). It really felt clear to me then that my father would eye people whose scores are below what he apparently achieved during his time. (Fair enough that a 90 is good, but that doesn’t make a person less if they scored 50s)

    (II) That I failed to be a sense of pride for him

    Whenever my Dad would talk to family/friends back in the Philippines, he would always praise my younger sister for her intelligence and how she got it from my Mom yada yada. When he felt shocked about my rather “appalling score”, I felt a little bit down because I felt that I missed that “milestone” in my life. But then again I guess it could have been a blessing in disguise anyway, as he would have probably just flashed my high score to boost his ego. When my sister finished her finals this year and scored an 84, Dad basically pranced around the office and made it a hot topic to his co-workers and the talk continued when she got accepted in a prestigious technical University in Australia. (I admit I was jealous, although I am gradually starting to walk away from that competitive streak of mine, as I don’t want to lose my sister in the process, even if she’s the “golden child”)

    (III) That he is “still living in the Philippines” when we are now clearly in Australia

    In the Philippines the passing score for your subjects at school was 75, which probably resulted in his shock towards my score, even when I studied so hard for the exams (I probably should have studied “smarter” and not harder but oh well). What does that even have to do with anything? We are in Australia now, where a “low score” won’t mean that you will end up fending for yourself in a “dirty job”

    So once upon a time, I graduated in high school, with a medallion, a couple of faculty awards as well as an overall score of 75 in my final exams, which even if a little bit disappointing still got me into University. The good news that was apparently “bad news” to the eyes of my father. (Who was apparently a gifted student due to the fact that there was a point in his life, where my paternal grandmother had to climb up the stage multiple times due to him receiving so many faculty awards). The same father who now claims, that he’s so proud of my achievements, when he was clearly the first person to shoot me down as well. Is hypocrite the right word to describe him in this situation? No, well I think it suits him nicely so hypocrite it is! You know what’s also funny? When I recommended the same study centre to my sister (prior to her finals), Dad was like in full control freak mode: “Do it!” Really Dad? The same study centre where I didn’t get my desired mark? Oh right I forgot she is your golden child, your protégé, someone from you could live your life vicariously (Heaven forbid) so naturally you thought that she would give studying in that centre more justice that I did.

    If ever I become a father, at least I now know what I shouldn’t do! See my Dad can be a “role model!” Albeit not in the ways that I expected, but hey works for me!

  3. By: talent Posted: 3rd April 2014

    … Am reading through these posts,
    and see another similarity.

    I, too, went back to school (university) and needed my mother to co-sign for a loan for me, and she, too, REFUSED!

    I think she could actually be JEALOUS of me
    as I just kept doing SO MUCH in my life, am SO ADVENTUROUS, tried SO MANY THINGS, travelled to SO MANY countries, received SO MANY awards and recognition, spoke before MASS AUDIENCES, have been the subject of documentaries, and am very popular with the people who know my work.

    SHE has NEVER SAID A THING ABOUT IT, only complains, and my whole family THINKS they have something to ADVISE ME ON, and CONSULT ME about when they are CLUELESS about my work, and have never done DIDDLY SQUAT in that domain!

    JUST SHEER NONSENSE, but they ALL UPHOLD each other,
    forming some CULT, where they just seek to recruit NEW MEMBERS!

    Honestly… they are SO SICK and SO HELLBOUND
    and do not even THINK to REPENT and SNAP OUT OF THEIR HELLISH GAME!

    I just stay away from them and don’t give them the time of day!
    I CONTINUE TO DO MY THING FULL THROTTLE, and don’t let them put a DAMPER on ALL MY ENDEAVOURS and NEW CHALLENGES I take on!

    I THINK they HATE ME MOST for THAT!

    Best!

    And Love & Support to ALL!

  4. By: talent Posted: 3rd April 2014

    This is SO TRUE and for ME!
    My family NEVER acknowledged ALL I did!
    I just kept achieving and achieving far beyond them, and they ignore it 100% like it never happened, meant nothing and was totally insignificant!

    I came home after 13 years with about 200-300 newspaper articles and interviews on me about my mission in newspapers from various countries, and do you THINK my family even READ 1 OF THEM???! Or even PERUSED THROUGH THEM??? NOT ON YOUR LIFE!! Not even my ‘mother’!!!

    I just recently realized these people have SERIOUS PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES! They have been JEALOUS of ME and HATED ME ALL OF THEIR LIVES! NOW, it is CLEAR to me that my ‘mother’ turned them onto the HATRED part to back her up!

    I just stay away from them but let them SEE my accomplishments.. not that ANYONE comments on it at all! But yes, I suppose, one becomes SO NUMB with the pain that they just can’t even REACT to them anymore.

    For instance, get this: I was in the third world on my mission and was being set up by some evil force I exposed. The guy got me thrown in jail as he warned me he would do but his trick didn’t work to get me a criminal record and get me deported as he planned, as I rely soley and wholly on God! And my own family did NOT EVEN HELP ME OUT of that mess, thinking I was a criminal, con-artist, did something wrong, deserved it… Actually, I KNOW WHAT IT WAS and finally SAW IT CLEARLY!

    It was THEIR WAY of saying: “I GOTTCH’YA!” They were SO INSIDIOUSLY JEALOUS all of their lives for all the recognition I received and honours, and popularity and travels worldwide, they thought NOW, they can FINALLY GET UP OVER ME and REVEL in their VICTORY!

    They are VERY SICK!

    I called my mother for Christmas and she was just crying over the phone. She was SO BROKEN. But honestly, I can’t even DEAL with her!

    To go home and to even THINK of hugging and kissing them is virtually without ANY LOGIC! It makes NO SENSE at ALL! I don’t know HOW I will greet them.

    I keep seeing in my mind’s eye, my ‘mother’ hugging me, but I can’t respond. I am just NOT A PHARISEE to PLAY their game!

    Even when she says: “I love you”, I haven’t the FOGGIEST NOTION WHAT she means or WHY she bothers to say it!

    I don’t understand them and consider them some low-life monsters and want nothing to do with them. They CANNOT ENTER my nucleus.

    I realized I was ALWAYS ANXIOUS around them ALL OF MY LIFE!I am JUST NOT COMFORTABLE BEING with them as ALL they do is GOSSIP behind my back, pretend, act, are very SNY… and yet, they have NOTHING GREAT they have accomplished at all: they JUST , JUST PRETEND . . .

    ho-hum

    and so, they’ve lived a lifetime….

    HOW will they give an account at the Last Judgment?… I know….

    I shall make my one comment and one comment only to call them to repentance, for THEIR SAKE, as they could do NOTHING to CORRECT all their wrongs with me.

    Neither my ‘mother.
    I don’t even consider her my ‘mother’.

    A mother should LOVE, be SUPPORTIVE, AFFECTIONATE, UNDERSTANDING….
    She has NEVER ONCE shown me AFFECTION,
    has taken EVERY opportunity to show me her hatred, while CAREFULLY HIDING IT from everyone else, so they don’t get ‘on to her’,
    has NEVER been understanding or supportive,
    only condemnacious and spiteful.

    Really a sad being.

    She also asked me to LEAVE the house last time I visited!

    GO FIGURE!
    I didn’t even LISTEN to her, but just STARED at her!

    So, WHY EVEN BOTHER TO VISIT or call them on Easter or Christmas? Makes no sense! Those feast days are for CHRISTIANS, not those going to hell!

    Makes NO SENSE at all!

    They should be CALLING ME to congratulate and greet me, not ME THEM! That is just SHEER NONSENSE!

    These people are ALL THE SAME as the devil TAUGHT THEM ALL HIS SAME TRICK!

    They are of ONE BREED, cut of the same cloth.

    And I want NOTHING to DO with EVIL CREATURES!

    Voia!

  5. By: sahitha Posted: 1st August 2013

    I am seeing my upbringing, parents and myself in a new light like never before. I think I was a threat to my father growing up because I was a very intelligent and confident girl. I knew I was good at academics right from a young age because I could see that I grasped concepts easily and always topped my class with minimal effort.

    I guess that recognition (from the age of 5 years) gave me a lot of self-confidence. I knew I had a gift. People commented how independent I was right from a young age. I think this threatened my father because he was of the opinion that girls/women were inferior to boys/men and could not digest the fact that I was more intelligent than him. That threatened his status as a man ( his only value and esteem came from being a man, not his achievements, not his sense of self).

    I don’t think me acting as if I was the next best thing the world has witnessed sat well with him. I was a kid so I could be forgiven for acting like that (but kids are always the nest best things in the world, aren’t they?). A healthy parent would see that as part of growing up and lovingly guide the child but this guy who fathered me was far from being healthy.

    He did not like the fact that a girl could be so assertive and independent, be her own person. Now he hasn’t got anything else going for him and naturally I was a threat. I used to hear the occasional snide comments passed by him through my mother that I thought too highly of myself and wasn’t as intelligent as I thought I was. Those comments used to hurt me but the problem was that I could not put a finger on them why they hurt because he never said those to my face. He acted nice to me and I bought it hook, line and sinker.

    I have to forgive myself now because I was only a child and cannot be expected to know people’s psychology. He even went to the extent of saying there were a couple of other boys in my class that were more intelligent than I thought I was and he coached them (he was a Maths teacher). I hated being taught by him because I was already quicker than he was at solving mathematical stuff and discovered more than one way of solving problems. I quite enjoyed doing that and I knew I did not need anyone else to teach me do that. I would ask if I needed help. I did not need being condescended to.

    I would argue with him that women were not inferior and are powerful beings should they decide to be so. I guess I was very good at logical arguments and spoke my mind when I needed to. My biological father, on the other hand, could not compete with my articulation and he nodded “yes! you are right” in agreement. Little did I know at the time that he was just trying to get off the hook but was plotting something else behind my back.

    I formed an impression of my biological father as a good-natured, gentleman with sound value system. In my little girl’s brain, I inherited those values from him and looked up to him. I could not comprehend that those values were mine alone and not necessarily passed down the genetic line. I still do not know where I got those values from as a young child when the adults surrounding me had different ones. I drew the logical conclusion, as a child, that I derived them from my father. There was no reason to think otherwise because he agreed with my argument.

    Now I realise why I was such a threat to him and why he never liked me but did not dare show it to me.

  6. By: GDW Posted: 17th February 2013

    Hi- I forgot to subscribe, to follow up comments, so I have to recomment!!

  7. By: GDW Posted: 14th February 2013

    Correction: Above, I meant convincing someone that they cannot do anything has serious consequences!

  8. By: GDW Posted: 14th February 2013

    Karenina,

    Wow, this sounds like my father to a T.
    I agree with Darlene that your comments are helpful in coming out of the fog (though to hear so many people say “they did the best they could” “they love you even though they hurt you” “they don’t know any better because they don’t understand/had a bad childhood/have ADHD”)

    What is crazy is that as I’ve gotten older, my parents tell me I can’t do something after I have already gotten proof of acceptance!

    When I got into college, my parents spent a lot of time telling me I wasn’t “ready” because of my “mental health”. I was already accepted! Also I had nowhere to live, and no job! I wasn’t welcome at home, so they seemed to want me to be homeless. They also put unrealistic expectations about grades/units, and most of all money to be earned (I was expected to earn $20,000 a year while getting close to a 4.0 at one of the top 50 schools in the US while overcoming PTSD).
    I know if my aunt hadn’t stepped in to tell me I could do it and provide financial support I would be a prostitute by now. That sounds extreme, but I came very close to that last summer, and I know it’s the truth.

    Even with her support, my father told me that I should be too ashamed to accept help, the he didn’t get any financial support in college (he got financial aid, and college was $500 a semester, not $30,000 a year). It took convincing from her boyfriend for me to believe I was worth “taking money” as my father calls it. She calls it a gift, which it is, when from her. From my father, money is more of an assault.

    I remember getting fired from my waitressing job due to bullying, and going without telling them to get a modeling job, as I couldn’t imagine any other way to pay for college/make $20,000. They couldn’t believe that Ford told me I had potential. They were closing there SF office and I was terrified of having to live with an abusive drug dealer and go onto food stamps again. I wasn’t healthy at ‘model weight’, but my father didn’t care. I thought it was that he wanted money, but now I see he liked my groveling and crying- if he met my needs I might become independent and healthy!

    I almost went to New York.
    My father said there was “New York is more competitve so you have no idea if you’d make it”. I never said I would! But I got encouragement already and was desperate! What a shitty thing to say to someone who is scared, broke, and insecure already. It’s like, how do you even know? He was making sure I could not succeed in any way- school, financial, etc. He pretends to feel so bad and even volunteers with sexual assault programs after finding out I was molested. Everyone thinks he’s good, but it is scary how much he has in common with the guy who molested me-
    The guy who molested me went to “Take back the night” for rape survivors.
    My dad and he both said “It feels like I’m missing an arm” when I went NC.
    I had to change my phone number when I went NC in both cases.

    And yet my dad insists that all the trauma is caused by this guy! That he is good! And because he is wealthy and a fantastic liar, everyone believes him. Honestly, I do often too.
    I am sick with self doubt and numbness as I write this. I felt I was coming out of the fog, but my therapist just kept trying to explain his behavior. I know she means well, but it’s getting to the point where I have to convince her of what he did. God I despise him.

    Anyway, convincing someone has real physical, mental, social, psychological and financial consequences. It’s essentially killing someone.

    I hate it- if nothing he says is truth, why do I believe him?

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