***This post was updated on the 2nd September 2017, to be more transparent about some of the emotional dynamics being played out within the family
The following is post is about two experiments I was involved in.
The first experiment was a family experiment between Pete and myself.
The second was a parenting experiment to discover the addictions I have created between myself and the kids, and to challenge addictions in myself and the children during the month.
Following you will find:
- A brief reflection of the family experiment
- An outline of the parenting experiment including some benefits, the details of what, who, where, when and why. Some of my personal reflections & learning during the experiment and a summary of where I am heading next.
After the “official” experiments ended I decided to continuing them as the first month I only began to become a little more aware of what is really going on in the family dynamic, I have yet to emotionally work through the causal reasons why our family is like it currently is.
Background and Reflections on the family experiment
Tristan, Pete and I began a family experiment in June as suggested by Jesus & Mary for the God’s Way of Education Project. I have written a previous blog post on this experiment click here to view.
The purpose of the family experiment was for the adults in the family to become more aware of the unloving family dynamics between themselves and how this impacts their intimate relationship and relationship with the children. Part of the purpose was to document the entire experiment, including the process, events, feelings and experiences for each person involved for God’s Way of Education Project.
After completing the family experiment I felt that I wanted to continue what had been started with Pete as I was seeing and feeling the benefits of what Tris and Jesus and Mary had been helping us with in our relationship.
I noticed the month after the family experiment was a really important one for me to continue to uphold a loving, truthful environment without having someone else to help me do that.
During the family experiment and the following month it felt confronting and emotional (when I allowed it) learning the reality and interplay between myself and Pete. Even now I find it challenging. I don’t always remain loving and firm (sometimes I just feel angry and want it all to end and someone else do the loving thing). Fortunately those times pass and I am realising that this is an opportunity for me to learn to uphold love and truth in every circumstance including with partner and children, I don’t feel very consistent with this yet.
Due to having outside perspectives to highlight issues in our relationship and feeling a little bit during this process I have began to recognise the emotionally abusive behaviour that I am open to from my childhood and how Pete is actually currently perpetuating that in our relationship. I have yet to allow the full feeling of it. I have begun to recognise the manipulative techniques that I used to think were “normal” and how Pete and the kids use these to undermine and pull me and others down to gain power and feel superior. I still allow bad treatment of myself and recognising the sin in both superiority and inferiority & allowing and perpetuating unloving behaviour is an ongoing process for me.
I recognised during the experiment that I want others to stand up and take action when people are unloving or will potentially or overtly be violent and angry and or attacking. For me the quality of courage needs to be developed and some ‘backbone’ grown so I am the person who stands up and takes the loving action. The best place to start is taking action in my relationship with Pete.
I decided to begin another experiment along with continuing the relationship experiment where I had the children live with me solo for a month.
I did this with the intention of challenging the addictions in the kids as a means to help me work through the emotions in myself as to why I created those in the first place.
Ironically I didn’t always end up challenging the kids addictions, but I definitely learned a lot about how I felt and what I want addictively from the kids in particular, but also from others in general.
Following is a breakdown of what occurred
- Feeling the reality of where our family is at
- Getting real with where I am at right now
- Discovering God’s Laws and how God feels about what is going on
- Recognising sin and where I am currently resistive to seeing & feeling
- Becoming aware of the real issues rather than remaining “blind” to them
- Challenge addictions and co-dependence in relationships
- Recognising that there is a problem in what I have been defining as “normal” within the family
- To gain education on what truly loving interactions between intimate partners feels like
- To gain education on what truly loving relationships between children and parents feels like from God’s perspective
- Feeling how I really feel and why I do what I do so I can change it
- To recognise, encourage and allow personal emotional experience
- Sharing the experiment with others who may be interested
- Because there was desire and motivation for the idea and I wanted to give it a go
Participants: Eloisa and 3 kids
Informal guidance and mentoring from Tris, Jesus & Mary
The experiment began on the 15th of August and went till 10th of September 2017
Eloisa’s home, Queensland Australia
Primary goal and aspiration:
Experiment for parents who desire to challenge their own addictions and re-educate children about Love and Truth from God’s perspective.
Parent to uphold Love and truth in every interaction, beginning with the ones they recognise and become sensitive to those they are not recognising
To enforce ethics, morality and loving consequences and restrictions when Love and Truth is not upheld both for the parent themselves and for the children
What it ended up being about:
I discovered that I have a lot of work to do as I need to be educated before I can actually educate others. Thus the experiment was more about me becoming aware of how out of harmony with Love and Truth I am and why.
It was an opportunity for me to feel about what it is really like in our family, the addictions I have created, how the children treat me is because I have allowed them to treat me that way and how I interact with the children is about my choices and decisions. How the children’s demands were about me wanting to avoid my own personal emotions (they became MORE demanding and needy of me when I wanted to avoid feeling terror, fear and sadness).
Parent to document and log:
- every incident out of harmony with love,
- the emotions that were exposed in all parties (if known, or just in self if not known)
- the consequences enforced
- the feelings exposed in enforcing consequences
- emotional addictions in parent
- emotional addictions in children
- To challenge issues within myself and personally recognise addictions in myself and what I want them
- To challenge my lack of action as that seems to be the thing that brings up my emotions the most
- To highlight issues in myself that contribute to the current family culture that I am currently skipping over, find out what I am skipping over and the emotional reasons why I am skipping over it
- To uphold a space of love and truth with both partner and children
- Parent to recognise how their addictions, emotional injuries and belief systems impact the family dynamic, specifically the children and how the parent has the ability to change the family culture
- Parent to recognise they are responsible and have an obligation to change the family dynamic in a loving direction
- To bring up the emotions in the parent and the parent to sincerely work through those emotions and enforce love and truth in themselves
- To recognise what is going on and what in the parent is causing the behaviour
- To work through the issue in the parent that is causing the behaviour
- Parents to recognise they initially created the causes of children reflecting and acting out unloving addictions, demands and expectations and it is the parents responsibility to re-educate children based on love (once the parents are educated and uphold love this becomes far easier to do.)
- Note: if emotional process is engaged by parents and then love and truth is upheld in the family environment it is very easy for children to change.
- To challenge the addictions in the children that have been allowed, encouraged and actively created
Experiment and reflections from Eloisa’s perspective
I feel this was the beginning of the experiment rather than the completion.
Though the family experiment, was challenging I have chosen to continue it because I have growing faith in the process and though it feels like our family is disintegrating I am also feeling better in myself and noticing slight positive change in some areas. I feel unhappy, but it is real and more reflective of where I am currently at. Though I am still very afraid of standing up to angry men in my life when I do I feel better about myself and it highlights the terror I have within me. I am coming to actually accept that allowing unloving treatment of myself is wrong. Abusers are responsible for their actions, but I am an adult now and I can say “no this is not okay with me”.
I am finding it challenging to uphold love towards myself when my partner manipulates and emotionally abuses me. I find it challenging to stand up every time with the kids in every situation for love and Truth. The children have been trained by us (the parents) and are now master manipulators. Due to Pete feeling that what he does is right and my allowance of his and others abusive treatment it means the children gain approval for remaining in addiction, feeling superior and treating others in an unloving manner.
I stress that the children are a product of Pete and my creation and it is both of our responsibility to work through the emotions in ourselves in order to actually deal with what is going on in the children. When there is allowance and overt approval for unloving and addictive behaviour a child will reflect that when that is all they have known. A child becomes attuned to their environment and insensitive to their conscience and other mechanisms that would help them feel what is ethical, moral, right and wrong.
In our family there is acceptance of treating myself badly from both parents, me and Pete. The kids are not going to change until the emotional allowance changes in me and the emotional justification changes in Pete, plus the external environment is a place where there is no option but to love and be truthful. When this dynamic happens then the children have the opportunity to easily feel through their emotion and undergo sincere change.
From my understanding, if only I change and actually stop allowing abusive behaviours towards myself and others and uphold a space of love and truth (this will partly improve how it currently is), the children will reflect this when they are with me. If Pete does not choose to change the children will still receive reinforcement for unloving behaviours from him and may not go through the emotional change necessary in order to truly change.
At this time Pete is resistive to seeing what is truly going on and how he is harming others. His desire for his addictions is currently far stronger than his desire to love and it is causing a lot of pain and harm within the family.
During the experiment emotion for myself has been exposed but has yet to be worked through. Please note there are areas for myself where I have work to do also. I am just focusing on the biggest issue we are currently working on.
I have discovered that I have addictions with the kids and Pete. It is taking time to become emotionally aware of them. It is one thing to see addictions, another to work through them.
- The courage to address issues of love and truth in the moment is something to focus on far more
- I have a lot of emotion I am not allowing to flow
- I have been avoiding feeling the reality of the situation
- I am terrified of angry, violent men
- I am easily manipulated through fears and beliefs I have about myself
- I found I really want my personal addictions, I act them out compulsively particularly when I desire to avoid feeling emotion
- I don’t want to recognise when people abuse me because I don’t want to cry and feel the pain of my childhood experiences
- Dynamics with Pete and I are reflected by the kids
- I have learned that if I allow any unloving or untruthful behaviour that I know to be unloving and untruthful there are always negative consequences
- By the end of the experiment I was more aware of allowing manipulation to take place between the children and by the children towards myself
- I was more aware of why I have allowed manipulation to take place towards myself from others
- Researching why loving behaviour is not happening in the household and personally deal with the emotional reason why, and take action to change the behaviour is confronting, challenging and beneficial. I can see when I am on my own where I allow myself to “get away” with not dealing with the reasons why I do things emotionally
- Emotions take time. It is one thing to have something pointed out to me, another to actually investigate, discover and feel the real feeling for myself. It is also very different taking actions myself and upholding love than having others around me do it
- Feeling even a little bit of emotion (when I allow it) brings relief, insight and a different perspective on the situation
- I am still finding out why I am so terrified and resistive to feeling all my emotions
- Letting issues drag on and not resolving them causes pain and suffering as compensation for not dealing with them emotionally
My faith grows every time I stand up for what I know to be right and though in the moment I find it challenging, uncomfortable and sometimes desperately want to back down (which at times I still do) I find that truth always makes things better when I stand up for it and when I don’t I feel uncomfortable inside for not doing the right thing
I recommend this experiment to any family, it is not easy, it exposes all kinds of emotions and dynamics for all parties involved. There is conflict, confrontation and even nastiness when we lack humility. There are times when I go straight into addiction to avoid my fears and do exactly what I have always done. The thing is now I am aware I do this I can recognise why I am doing it and notice that every time I reinforce unloving behaviour to avoid my fears it actually feeds the abuser, and doesn’t change anything. Every time I take loving action things improve inside of me even if externally it doesn’t improve
To Tris and Jesus and Mary for education, encouragement and pointing out my addictions and some of the underlying causes of why I behave as I do when I was not aware and when I didn’t want to do the loving thing!
Thank you for pointing things out in the moment as they were happening, this was so beneficial for me.
Where to now
- Continue the experiments until they become our way of life and sincere change occurs in myself and I hope the family
- Work on why I don’t let myself feel the reality, how sad, hurt, challenged, whatever comes up I truly feel
- Modify the experiments when change is not occurring and add to it
- Learn to allow all emotional experience
- Work through any blocks to emotional experience
- The most important part of the experiments is allowing time for feelings to be exposed, come up and be felt.
- When emotions are not felt no real change occurs in the parent or the child
- Document the process and emotions and situations that happen within our household
Until next time