Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sphere of Influence

The serenity prayer is a great place to begin in determining which things are our areas of responsibility:

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

If you are a former victim of abuse, you are responsible for how you live your life today. You can directly control only your own behavior. You can influence (have a limited impact on) your children, spouse, friends, work associates, relatives, and others you interact with.

When some current decision troubles me, I often make myself a serenity prayer type chart:

What I cannot change/need God’s help to accept

What I can change/ need God’s help to be courageous about

Most often these are things about other people.

Most often these things are about me-my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, & behaviors

If I were to make a very general chart of some of the things I and other victims have struggled with it would include the following:

What Former Victims Cannot Change:

What Former Victims Can Change:

How our abuser(s) behaved in the past

Choices about how much we will process the old hurts and violations

The original impact abuse had on us

Decisions we make about how to live our lives today

The abusers’ opinions about us

What we tell ourselves about who we are

How many abusive and unhealthy people there are in the world

Careful choices about who we let into our most intimate circle

Which parents we have

What kind of parent we will be

The rejection we felt in the past

How we will accept and love others

No comments:

Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft