Moving forward?

Jigsaw Analogy recently wrote an entry on “the pity party” some abuse survivors have.  I’ll first say that I totally agree with everything written in that entry.  However, it made me think.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m living in the past too much.  I wonder if I’m letting my fears limit me.  I wonder if I’m running away.

On the surface, it looks like I’m functioning well.  I’m working.  I’m paying my bills.  I’m living independently.  I have friends.  But deep down inside, I’m still the scared, insecure little girl I was 20 years ago.

Have I gotten too complacent and lazy?  Am I too afraid to tackle those remaining issues?  I have that book my last therapist copied, but I’ve yet to open it.  What is holding me back? Am I having my own version of a pity party?

Funny thing, about 10 days ago, I thought I was making progress. But now it seems like what I was thinking is even more of a pity party.  I’ve yet to post it, but it’s about asking “Why?”.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Feedback?  Swift kick in the ass?

9 thoughts on “Moving forward?

  1. I hate the term “pity party.” It’s always bugged me. Maybe it’s because my mother used it to convince us we didn’t have a right to our feelings.

    All I know is it’s not the feelings that are the problem. It’s what we do with them. If we just wallow in them and use them to justify that we are stuck, they are a problem. But if let them guide us to the issues we need to resolve and put that information to use in our healing, then they are productive. It is the behavior that surrounds those feelings that are important, if that makes any sense.

  2. Ys says:

    i think risingrainbow said it perfectly. it’s definitely about how we use what’s happened to us rather than using it as an excuse. but then you can’t force yourself to feel differently. if you’re not ready to move on/make adjustments then you just have to be patient and ride it out ’til you get to a better place.

    like i say: rising rainbow worded it perfectly :)

  3. kprsjohn says:

    we all get lost at times in our past, but to us, as long as we don’t get stuck there and we learn from it, that is a good thing!

    peace and blessings


  4. Self pity is an important step in the healing process. To have pity means we feel sorrow for something and offer resolve of some sort. We pity the poor and give money and food to shelters. We pity those suffering from domestic violence so we give to shelters and other organizations that help the distressed. If we can have fellow feeling for them what is wrong with having it for ourselves? I believe it shows a certain amount of self respect to pity one’s self.

    I asked “why me” for the first time ever only a few short years ago. Before the answer seemed obvious. Now that I see things a little clearer and understand I may have a smidgen of worth I’ve healed enough to ask “why me?” That shows self esteem, self worth and a longing for justice. Saying “why me” says somewhere inside you realize you didn’t deserve to be hurt. That is healing!!!!!!! That’s not being held back by your past.


  5. My second comment is this-
    I’ve not read the entry you’re talking about so I can’t comment on it but I will say that many times when someone writes an entry saying other survivors pity themselves they do so in a judgmental tone. That tone can often trip up survivors that actually are moving forward just not at the pace others feel they should. Again, I’ve not read the post so I can’t comment on the content or the tone. I’m talking about pity entries that tell people they’re stuck and that survivors need to keep moving forward and growing and blah, blah, blah. The tone of many sounds accusatory, as if the survivors aren’t doing enough to heal. We don’t need the pressure, just don’t need it so I don’t read those kinds of posts….those or posts that press forgiveness. Girl don’t even get me started on that.

    Austin – healed enough to feel self pity but stuck enough to sometimes need a professional kick in the ass.

  6. i think that there’s a difference between refusing to take responsibility for our own lives (what i referred to as a “pity party” because i was feeling exceptionally cranky about a few particular people when i wrote the post–rising rainbow: i don’t normally use the term, and i tend to use it for people who want everyone to validate them in feeling sorry for themselves, **and** get angry at people who suggest they try some things on their own)


    i think that acknowledging the difficulty we experience is a really smart, healthy thing to do. and also, taking breaks from doing what some people label as “healing work” (ie, pushing through memories, or “getting better all the time”) is a good idea.

    where the problem comes in, in my opinion, and not as something i would necessarily say to a stranger (and most people online count as strangers to me), is when people don’t take action to improve the situations they’re complaining about, and refuse offers of help that aren’t rescue. the non-abuse-related example i used in my post was my sister, who is in her 40s, and who constantly mismanages her money. she blames this on the fact that our mother never taught her to budget when she was a kid. but my sister doesn’t take steps to learn these things for herself, and gets upset if someone suggests she take responsibility, rather than just complaining about what was lacking from her upbringing.

    we all have hard times, and struggle. and there is nothing wrong with grieving the past, because sometimes, the past requires a whole lot of grieving. but people who won’t begin to take steps to change their situation begin to lose my sympathy.

  7. Thanks for clarifying your entry JA. I know I didn’t do it justice in my description and I was also hoping people would head over to your blog and form their own opinions about it.

    And thanks to all of you. It was sort of a knee jerk reaction I had. I think my reaction demonstrates some of the fears I have.

    I’ll agree there is a time to grieve and a time to move forward. I think we can bounce back and forth between the two. I also think I may need to give myself more credit than I have been. Despite the depression and PTSD symptoms I’ve been having, I’ve been doing well.

  8. I’m sure you didn’t intend to continue this conversation but the comment JA ended with really stands out for me.

    “people who won’t begin to take steps to change their situation begin to lose my sympathy.”

    That is the true definition of self pity, they identify what is wrong but refuse to take steps to correct the problem then expect sympathy from others when they complain.

    I think the whole idea of self pity is screwed up. People immediately go on guard because no one wants to be thought of as a wallower. But I think what you described in your comment is right on point about what self pity is, complaint without action.

    I didn’t read your entry because of my own issues with the whole idea of self pity so please know that my comments have not been directed at your entry at all or at you. My comments were about other entries I’ve read and why I no longer read that type. I think I could write that line a hundred times and still be concerned that I’ve somehow offended you.


  9. Don’t worry Austin. You didn’t offend me in the least bit. I agree with you.

    And, I respect your opinion. You’ve helped me more than you can ever know.

    Take care of yourself.

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