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'Spiritual Bypass' - a question for discussion

I’d rather talk to people who are interested in listening. I get much more out of that.
So many times i realize that when it is obvious that someone doesn't want to listen to what i have to say I have to catch myself before I am doing the same thing back at them. The last few years i have been entertaining myself by playing the student when someone is blasting me with their rhetoric. Except for magical thinking. I gave all the tolerance for it i was born with away in my early youth. I can almost point to the month and year that i last entertained an attempt to lure me down that rabbit hole.
 
I certainly don't want to speak for @Applecore , and I would not try to speak to someone who I know would invalidate or further abuse, as whatever I might expect or hope for I can't imagine happening (if they wanted to take responsibilty they would approach me). But, that being aside, this:

One aspect of me saying my truth to the person who wrecked my life is that when I was a child I had to walk around them as if on eggshells. It was a tyranny without freedom to tell the truth. That's why I needed to do this now
and what Applecare said in other posts may be more of the key, becoming assertive, having a voice, speaking feelings. Not for a purpose of response as much as defying now walking on eggshells. It would be standing up to an abuser versus running or being terrified or silenced. The day the elephant realizes the ball attached to his leg was nothing, and is nothing, and acts accordingly. JMHThoughts though, I could be wrong.
 
heard a referance yesterday to "magical" thinking as opposed to critical thinking. I am ok with magical thinking until it gets in the way of critical thought and reasoning. The fact is, no one knows for sure but if you want to believe you do, that's ok. I want to be a part of figuring this shit out.
Don't try to block funding based on a religious view, don't try to paint "non believers" as being bad or evil, and for sure don't show prejudice against us on the job or in a school. We have lawyers for that. I think the separation of church and state is about halfway there, we need a guarantee for medical and scientific funding, before we start paying for anything based on magical thinking including a religious war anywhere, any time. (pretty much all war is). Anything less is a waste of time between now and the better future we would all like to see come about. I think that clock is running backwards some days.......

For what it's worth, my point of view is that magical thinking is right when I see an eagle perched on a nearby tree in the wilderness, and for some inexplicable reason it feels like a visit to say hello from my beloved, deceased father who I miss so dearly, and it is wonderous.

Magical thinking is wrong in many ways too. When it involves self-deception that is serving the purpose of self-flattery, for example that because you're in a special spiritual group on a higher path to enlightenment and thanks to meditation you know that everything is an illusion; so suicide, rape and child abuse is just an illusion too and nothing matters except of course your envy of your neighbour's car and your status as a member of a special spiritual group which is better than everyone else who isn't on a higher path to enlightenment. We need to watch out when magic gets comically Orwellian.

I think it’s an especially American concept to associate saying what you want as a form of freedom. Which doesn’t make it wrong or bad, but something to perhaps be aware of.

For me? I don’t need to go round telling people who have shat on me that they’ve been an arse. But it does inform the way I associate with them in the future.

I gain nothing, personally, by telling people things they don’t want to hear. I’d rather talk to people who are interested in listening. I get much more out of that.

Thank you for your input. I'm not American and while there's many things I like about America, I have a European's scepticism of American "Freedom and Democracy that was given to the people of Iraq in return for their oil" and the "Freedom to carry a gun" and the "Freedom not to receive free public healthcare and go live on the streets instead" bullshit, with all due respect to America.

By the way, I've also had experience of living in a totalitarian country, where the desire for freedom of speech without being killed was extremely real and nothing to do with the freedom to choose between Coke and Pepsi.

Having been traumatically imprisoned as child, the feeling of freedom I feel as an adult is real. I know myself pretty well by now, and I know I needed to tell the person who tried to destroy me what they did. It may be an extroverted personality trait, which I am above average on, and many people aren't. So what I did is not for everyone, it was for me.

Being self-critical for a moment, I can confess there may have been a compulsive element to it, it was something I felt was right rather than what I knew was right.

There was a family dynamic involved, which I haven't mentioned. There was a third person, an interfering go-between causing a lot of trouble by carrying and distorting messages between us (a flying monkey?), who I needed to short-circuit, too.

Thank you again, I respect and understand your point of view. I take my hat of off to you for not needing to tell people that they've been an arse. And I agree with you, I'd rather talk with people who are interested in listening too.

Thank you for listening so actively, it's much appreciated.
 
Having been traumatically imprisoned as child, the feeling of freedom I feel as an adult real
I hear you. There are still times where I need to experiment with things that weren’t permitted when I was a child. What happens if I break that rule? Or this rule? What does it feel like? Do I like it? What are the benefits I was missing?

Things we should have been learning as a child. But didn’t, because they weren’t allowed. If you have the freedom to make those choices for yourself now? Go hard and do what you need to:)
 
Having been traumatically imprisoned as child, the feeling of freedom I feel as an adult is real.
Speaking as someone who was imprisoned as an adult? I’ve done a whoooooole helluva lotta things in my life, just to prove to myself that I can.

Doing so? Is probably not something I’ll ever stop, entirely, but I’ve also learned that proving I can? Has zip zero nada zilch to do with the end result of having done so.

- Which, sometimes? Is PERFECT. Exactly what I needed, when I needed it, and all the consequences were both immediate & ongoing benefits to my life. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to prove to myself that I’m not trapped.
- Most of the time? The consequences …suck… and far outweigh the momentary bolster to my confidence / relief from my fears & insecurities.
- Sometimes? I have just seeeeeriously f*cked over both myself, and my life, for the foreseeable future.

I’ve learned my own tells, over the past 20 years, which gives me the rough odds on which of those 3 it’s likely to be. And have learned to …usually… hedge my bets, so that if the worst happens? I have safeguards in place to absorb the worst of the blows.

You clearly understand the best case scenario; for what you want to accomplish (feeling free), and why you’re doing this (to tell him off, rather than to seek his approval/understanding/agreement), & what you want out of it.

I would strongly recommend ALSO looking at the most likely (if you’ve done this enough times, in enough ways, to have a baseline), as well as worst case scenarios as well, and CYA.

Best of luck, to you. Chasing feelings is a difficult & tricky thing.
 
You clearly understand the best case scenario; for what you want to accomplish (feeling free), and why you’re doing this (to tell him off, rather than to seek his approval/understanding/agreement), & what you want out of it.

I would strongly recommend ALSO looking at the most likely (if you’ve done this enough times, in enough ways, to have a baseline), as well as worst case scenarios as well, and CYA.

Thank you for recommending this.

Worst case scenario is that he so can't handle what I've told him that he takes it out on his wife, my mother, who then never forgives me or holds a grudge against me for the rest of her life and it destroys my relationship with her. It's fear of that which caused my reluctance to speak up in the first place, for most of my life.

Most likely scenario, if I had to make a bet, is that he replies simply that he has his perception and I have mine.

Almost as likely is more spiritual bypass: Quoting the internal jargon of his particular New Religious Movement, in which everything is an illusion, that I am not living in the present, that I am attached to the past, or something about past incarnations having an effect on this life. I guess shrinks might call that avoidant or dissociative, I would like to read up on the difference.

Yet I also believe the letter is not simply a run of complaints, it's rather persuasive and as much about his problems as mine; and does leave a door open for him to walk through.

Btw what does CYA stand for?
 
There is also the option of no response at all. Total silence in the face of your voice.
That is also something to prepare for.

What strategies do you have to manage the feelings that might come from his reactions?
 
There is also the option of no response at all. Total silence in the face of your voice.
That is also something to prepare for.

What strategies do you have to manage the feelings that might come from his reactions?

Certainly yes I include silence, especially given the silent treatment is one of his standard tactics, and shunning of people who challenge doctrine is a known form of spiritual abuse among alleged cults. It's lower on the list of likely scenarios because the letter raises some practical matters to attend to that he has an interest in attending to.

Strategies to manage feelings will be the same I've always used in my circa 37 years of dealing with this person:
  • Knowing that the hardest steel is forged in the hottest fire: I have survived so much emotional distress, suicidal ideation and possible mental breakdown that I have full confidence in my own mental resilience, there is a rock inside me that cannot be destroyed.
  • Speaking into a voice recorder about how I feel.
  • Sharing with friends.
  • Going for a walk in nature.
  • Getting down the gym.
  • Watching a movie.
  • Travel.
  • Work.
  • Having a nice glass of wine, counted and recorded in my calendar for my weekly allowance. As a child it was cake, cookies and chocolate; in early adulthood it was drinking binges. Now it's under restraint and fortunately I'm not an addict.
  • Preparing what I need to tell my mother, in case of that worst case scenario. It may be simply to tell her that I have always loved her and always will, and could no longer live a lie.


Thank you very much for asking the excellent question.

I would like to keep learning and improving. What strategies go through your mind?
 
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They all sound really excellent strategies.
have survived so much emotional distress, suicidal ideation and possible mental breakdown that I have full confidence in my own mental resilience, there is a rock inside me that cannot be destroyed.
This is powerful. And really glad you feel strong like this.
What strategies go through your mind?
Not sure I have any! I'm learning from yours!
I've just gone through a similar thing, and it's very much pushed me off course and I'm crawling my way back to being ok again. So might steal some of your strategies!
 
I've just gone through a similar thing

Could you say more?

(I have tried to see if you have already said more on this forum, but somehow it's blocking me from searching your forum contributions, with the message "This member limits who may view their full profile.")
 
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Could you say more?

(I have tried to see if you have already said more on this forum, but somehow it's blocking me from searching your forum contributions, with the message "This member limits who may view their full profile.")
Oh! No idea why it says that.....

Sure. I recently told my sisters that I experienced sexual violence in childhood. We're all in our 40/50s now, so this was me breaking a lifetime of silence. I told them as my mum is sick and there was an expectation I go and help out. Only I couldn't cope and haven't done that. Whilst my mum didn't sexually abuse me, she is a very odd person with strange personal space boundaires/no boundaires, and a narcissist. So pressure was mounting for me to help and I decided to tell my sisters why, in the hope they would understand. One sister was fine. The other sister, who is very pro our parents and enables my mum's emotional abuse, has responded in similar ways I expected. Initially very angry at me that I said anything. And then sent me a 6 page letter all about her feelings, and saying I was punishing her, that our parents are not to blame, telling what she decided happened and telling me how things need to be. Not a word of "I'm sorry you went through that" or wanting to understand me. No care at all. So I sent a letter back, explaining how our parents failed to protect me, failed to notice, and just how hard it is/has been for me to be in their town where it all happened.
And silence.
Nothing. It's been two months since I sent that letter.
Still nothing acknowledging I have been through something traumatic that I shouldn't have been put through. And that my parents either deliberately chose to ignore it or were not capable of noticing, and how traumatic that was, another layer of trauma.

So anyway, whilst in my letter and in my face to face conversation to my sister I said what I needed to.
The backlash from doing that , and her response, has led me down a spiral with a lot of SI. What has triggered it is the reminder how little I was/am considered. I simply don't matter. And all the messages I growing up: I should not speak I should not cause problems. I am wrong. I am to blame. It's my fault etc.
All have come roaring up again.
And the lonlienes of back then during the trauma, and knowing it will never be different with them (my family) has just whipped the fight and life and joy out of me.
I am struggling far more than I anticipated I would. It's really been very difficult. A lot to cope with.

I certainly don't feel like a rock inside.
I did feel very empowered when I did it. But now? Not so much.
 
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