Allegiance: loyalty to or support for a person, cause, or group
I pledge allegiance to myself and
the happiness I deserve
And to the people
I love in my life
To be one family,
For the health and welfare of all
Just as we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, knowing to do so will ultimately require some kind of sacrifice, mentally healthy human beings need to pledge allegiance to ourselves with the same expectation of loss. To eliminate dysfunctional people from our lives (an act of functional being)is no less a herculean task than ridding the world of dysfunctional leadership; it’s just being done on a much smaller scale….well, depending on how populated your dysfunctional world is. When a certain someone or a group of certain someone’s take control of your life then proceeds to cause you pain, fear, and anxiety which ultimately damages your self esteem you, my friend, are at war! Your objective: survival.
Survival can be achieved in a couple of ways. There is the often popular Vietnam strategy which involves a tremendous amount of behind the scenes maneuvering, manipulating, capitulating and plain old butt kissing which will take years and years and years of effort, a tremendous amount of your resources and a huge loss of personal life for absolutely nothing …not my personal favorite. Or there is the Desert Storm approach which involves coming in with everything you’ve got, getting it done quickly and getting out as fast as you can. Personally, I’ve grown to appreciate approach number two because I tried approach number one and, honestly, it SUCKS! The truth is when you are dealing with a dysfunctional world leader, ideology, friend or family member, no amount of ass kissing or negotiating or capitulating or threatening is going to make a whit of difference to them because they cannot and, in many cases, WILL NOT acknowledge that their way of being is harmful and should be changed. More often than not (perhaps as high as 99.9%) of the time they will let you know it’s YOU that is the problem, not them, therefore justifying their immensely self serving behaviors and their perceived right to rule and dominate. These kinds of dysfunctional people can only be made to understand the need for change through threat of loss, they need to understand there will be a high price to pay for them to remain in the position they’ve taken. For those who are fighting this oppression, difficult choices are going to have to be made and terrifying actions are going to have to be taken.
Warning: These choices and actions will not be appreciated by the dysfunctionist who will probably react adversely….
Now, once you decide you’re going to declare war on dysfunction in your life, both on your own personal behaviors and that of others, the planning phase begins. No good battle strategist charges in unprepared.
The first thing you will need to do is enter into an allegiance to yourself, to your own mental health and the mental health and welfare of those you love who are also being hurt by the behaviors. It’s a battle and it’s a difficult, painful and scary thing to do and more often than not will come with a high price. You need to be prepared to lose your relationship with the dysfunctional entities because it’s a high probability that they will not appreciate being confronted or challenged and will eliminate you from their lives through emotional hostage taking. As the United States does not negotiate with terrorists, you need to be prepared to stand your ground as well and not give in to their manipulations. You need to be prepared to experience a huge push back from not only the dysfunctional people you are dealing with but also others around you who are watching you do what you do. This may come in the form of belittling, harassing, reputation bashing, sabotage with friends and family, being ostracized and alienated, criticized, admonished and for some, threats to your personal well being.
This is where allies come in, in this battle for your very life you will need to create a support system (allies) around you.
This support system needs to be made up of those people who you know will be there for you when you need your wounds tended to, your broken heart assuaged and your funny bone tickled in order to put you back in balance for the next foray into battle. You need to believe that this battle may take a while to fight but that the rewards at the end will all be worth it, no matter how high the price.
So you’re probably saying to yourself right about now, “Ah, yah, well this sounds like a very difficult and painful process to go through and why would I do it anyway? Hey, I’m used to being in this crazy situation!”
Yes, I understand the perceived position of safety you would be giving up. Note the word “perceived” as our perceptions are warped and distorted by dysfunction. That’s what is so amazing about us human beings – the ability to adapt to just about anything including abuse. That is what allows a woman who is beat by her husband to defend and protect that same man if he is picked up by the police…she’s used to it. However, just for this moment, consider just a few of the reasons you might want to step out and take the risks and deal with the hurts. Knowledge opens the world of choices to us and choices give us power. When you make the right choices you eliminate the drama in your life which drains and distracts and eats you alive, you eliminate the vast majority of the pain in your life which can be physical, spiritual and mental, you eliminate the vast majority of shame in your life which is probably what immersed you in dysfunction in the first place and is keeping you here and you eliminate the vast majority of the sorrow in your life, a sorrow you aren’t even fully aware you have until you begin to take the steps away from the dysfunction. Once all the above is taken care of it creates room for all the good things to come in, i.e. joy, peace, happiness, self control, self esteem, confidence, and freedom from fear to name just a few.
We all have a certain amount of dysfunction in our lives and we will never truly remove all of it but for some of us every day is lived immersed in it. We walk around others as though we’re walking on precious china cups terrified we’re going to break one and upset our keepers. We lose personal freedom and even, for some, our families are sacrificed to the relationship. We lose and lose and lose and lose and have very little in our pockets at the end of the day. Isn’t it time to stand up and take the risk needed in order to create our own happiness, our own way in life without catering to the needs and fears and demands of those who are trained to destroy us?
Take the pledge and declare your freedom.
Suggested reading: http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com/Dealing-with-Codependency-Books/455