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nooblette

Chapter 2

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nooblette

I loved the quote at the beginning:

The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.

-Gloria Steinem

She gets into the causes in this chapter:

Biological predisposition-which I think I have-maybe. I see this in my daughter vs my sons, and I dunno if its the Y chromosome or what, but if I correct or tell my daughter no, she sobs-sometimes runs to the other side of the house and sobs on E's lap and she just makes me feel awful! But if I correct my son, (and its ALWAYS been this way!) he looks at me defiantly, he'll argue with me about how what he's doing isn't bad or dangerous, he'll sometimes just outright disobey me until I start to threaten some other form of punishment including toy removal to the top of the refrigerator. Its crazy the difference between the two. And I think I'm more like my daughter, with the *sobs* and "I can't believe someone just told me NO!" vs the fighter and defiant one

Societal beliefs-yeah I can see that. Movies often portray the women as the caretakers, as the gentle ones, as the compliant ones, the easy victims...

Familial beliefs-a BIG YES! Later when she describes the woman who waits on the man hand and foot and never crosses her husband and asks permission for everything....thats my grandmother to the T! She'll tell me "I'll have to ask grandpa first, but I think it'll be fine." She'll sometimes do a full 180 after she talks to him though. At one point a few years back I had mentioned that E had dropped out of college and was looking for a job and we were short on money, and she told me later that she was praying that he could find a job so I could stay home with my kids. I was really confused and wondered if she realized I was in school trying to get a PhD....not working to provide for my family exactly? But I think my world and my goals were kind of foreign to her? She waits on the entire family hand and foot for every holiday. She never fights with him, ever. The bottom of page 28 describes her exactly. She doesn't seem unhappy either and she thinks this is the way it "should" be. Its kind of that learned helplessness maybe? She's really a strong person though, and mows her own yard, works at the family business, invests in the stock market, she's an avid flower gardener and has her own mini-green house, she reads whatever she wants, she shops whenever she wants, and she's amazing. However whenever mealtime rolls around she bends over backwards and serves my grandfather like he's a king. And they're both happy that way I guess?

Experiential Beliefs-I was never sexually abused as a child, but since studying all of this the past year I realized my mother isn't very healthy emotionally and was inconsistent and random with how she raised me. My dad just didn't care most of the time, and my mom had enough of the family-society beliefs that she WAS submissive if my dad actually put his foot down about anything-which was very rare! My mom had some explosive anger, she was emotionally unstable, and she had a lot of not-dealt-with baggage that she still refuses to get help for. After my really long and unproductive conversation with her over Christmas the first thing she said was "I'm not going to talk to any therapist or anything about this!" which showed me that she KNOWS deep down that her behavior is psychotic but she doesn't WANT to get help for it. This made me sad, and the only thing I can do at this point is recognize it and try to help my siblings out in the future.

but I think being emotionally abused by my mom's weird problems gave me a lot of these symptoms she mentions here, including the "be overly trusting of others even when someone has proven untrustworthy"

I didn't really identify with many of the fears. I am scared of what people think of me, but I think that just hides my sense of humor IRL or any personality that might possibly exist deep down. After I chat with people I'm worried they don't think I'm interesting or cool or smart or whatever. I have secret fears that I'm just personality-less and people don't like me. But most of these fears don't apply to me, except the fear of conflict. I'm pretty secure with my family, I only socialize among a small group of women, I don't feel like I fit in in the first place-let alone fearing I might not fit in MORE if I'm not nice-I avoid large women social groups IRL. I have like 3-5 friends I interact with every week and I have absolutely no fear of losing them, I'm pretty certain they're mine for life ^_^ or until I move away or something.

They are afraid that unless they are nice others will not like them

They are afraid that if they aren't nice others won't be nice to them

They are afraid of confrontation and conflict

They are afraid of being rejected or abandoned by those they love

They are afraid of being ostracized from their social circle of other women

They are afraid of their anger, of what they might do if they get in touch with it

They are afraid of becoming like an abusive parent

They are afraid of being seen as too masculine I have no fear of this, again I wouldn't mind if I was called this!

They are afraid of being called a "b*tch" or a "ball breaker" I fantasize about being called these things :P

They are afraid that if they aren't nice, men will not protect them and provide for them

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SM

Noob wrote... "They are afraid that if they aren't nice, men will not protect them and provide for them ." (Sorry, I haven't figured out the new "quote" thingy yet.)

I believe that this is the crux of the problem. Women are not taught that we can provide for or take care of ourselves. Once you REALLY, REALLY get that you can take care of yourself, that you can say "kiss my a$$" to the world, THAT is the day that the "nice girl" is finally dead in you.

SM

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blackbird

Experiential

I think this was the driving force behind my Nice Girl-ness. After the attempted sexual assault (it was the summer after 4th grade), everything became a secret. I had a difficult time trusting people with my thoughts and feelings, and after that trust was broken, I started doubting myself. I had zero self-confidence and, more importantly, I didn't feel safe.

So, after hiding myself away for years and years, I decided I needed to grow up and let go of my fears at the ripe old age of 22. I was just a few months shy of my college graduation when I met ex and I was uncertain about what I would do with my life. Then, in walked this man (and I use the loosest definition of "man" possible) to my rescue; he had a job and said he'd take care of me. I mistook control for confidence and caring. Very early on, I knew something was terribly wrong, but I doubted my way through nearly ten years of marriage. I was convinced I was at least partly to blame, even if I never believed I deserved his treatment of me.

This bulleted list really hit close to home:

  • Blame themselves when something goes wrong - ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS. It's like a deeply ingrained belief that when something goes wrong, it could ONLY be because I messed something up

  • Believe their needs are not as important as those of others - If you asked me this question, I'd say that's ridiculous...and I would always have answered that way. But if I look at my ACTIONS, I'd say absolutely. I always used to put myself last. I'm getting better, but I have a long way to go.

  • Doubt themselves, including doubting their perceptions, their knowledge, and their beliefs - 100% YES. Even down to the simple things. Like when I'm given the wrong drink at a drive through, I immediately begin to question what it was that I had ordered just 30 seconds ago...and I'm able to convince myself that I got it all wrong.

  • Be overly trusting of others, even when someone has proven to be untrustworthy - I'd say this was definitely the case before, but I think I'm learning to protect myself much better than I used to.

  • Be naive when it comes to the motives of others - Most definitely. I'm slowly getting there, but I still have a hard time believing that people would be intentionally hurtful. Not ranting in the heat of the moment, but that cold, calculated manipulation...I just can't wrap my brain around it.

  • Believe they should meet the needs of others (especially those of their partner and children) no matter the consequences or hardships to themselves and that their own needs are not as important as those of others - Again, I'd say that if you asked me this question out loud, my answer would be a definitive no. But my actions suggest otherwise. I'm starting to see the importance of putting myself first, but this used to be a HUGE problem for me. I suppressed my needs so completely, I became unable to recognize that I even had needs.

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seeker

Lordy, Blackbird, that list strikes such a chord with me too.

its insteresting how we blame ourselves - or firstly look to ourselves and take resonspibility for what goes wrong - as opposed to THEIR rection of actually immediately blaming others.... when things go wrong.

I find that really interesting. It's like we are hardwired to take it on, and for them to pass it off.

I've always felt that I am overly trusting, and naive to peoples motives. I used to refer to myself as gullible, see the good in people. I'm still like this, but I think now perhaps a little wiser. I just don't want to go the other way - like him in being absolutely NOT trusting at all. See here again - they are the opposite to what we are - in that they are lacking in trust immediately, and they hide all their cards.

We are more open, they are closed. They almost expect the worst in people - and don't trust or rely on anyone - and just take from people what they can get!

I'm currently reading "Controlling People" by Patricia Evans.

I haven't been around in a while, but if I can work out how to get some comments up about this book I will do it.

Cheers,

RJ

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Sylvia

•Blame themselves when something goes wrong-- Yes. I feel responsible. I remember going on a whale watching tour with some friends. I wanted them to see whales of course but it went beyond that, I felt responsible. Small example but I think I had a twinge of insight that day. I remmeber someone saying on the board, "I felt responsible if it rained on the picnic" I have had similar feelings all my life. I think I am more away and improving little by little.

•Believe their needs are not as important as those of others--agree with BB. I think the statement is ridiculous. My actions say I believe this wholeheartedly. :(

•Doubt themselves, including doubting their perceptions, their knowledge, and their beliefs. I don't know about this one. I trust my gut instincts.

•Be overly trusting of others, even when someone has proven to be untrustworthy--I don't know how to get over this one with my X. I even started a thread awhile ago, "Why can't I think evil of people"

•Be naive when it comes to the motives of others. - Definitely. But again, it is mostly with X.

•Believe they should meet the needs of others (especially those of their partner and children) no matter the consequences or hardships to themselves and that their own needs are not as important as those of others. Again, I would never agree to this statement outright, but my actions say I believe this 100% wholeheartedly. :(

It was like I laid myself on the sacrifice block.

Sobering.

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Shalimar

I wish I'd found this book years ago, because a lot of it is how I used to be before I wised up. I could have saved myself years of heartache.

•Blame themselves when something goes wrong - I don't think I did before abusive relationships, and I don't now, but I definitely did for a while there.

•Believe their needs are not as important as those of others - Not anymore

•Doubt themselves, including doubting their perceptions, their knowledge, and their beliefs - Depends on the subject and my mental state. When I'm feeling down I doubt everything

•Be overly trusting of others, even when someone has proven to be untrustworthy - I used to be so naive and gullible. I couldn't believe that anyone (apart from the obviously criminal) could be deliberately cruel and manipulative. Now I know better

•Be naive when it comes to the motives of others - Not anymore - see above

•Believe they should meet the needs of others (especially those of their partner and children) no matter the consequences or hardships to themselves and that their own needs are not as important as those of others - I always balanced my needs with the needs of my child, as if I wasn't happy and healthy I couldn't be a good mum. Somehow this got completely demolished by The Failed Dementor and I ended up walking on eggshells and completely putting him first. Actually I do know how - if his needs weren't met the consequences were too awful to live with. Bast4rd!!

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