The other day I read a comment where someone wondered if we attracted what we know, and my response would be an indisputable yes. We are emotionally drawn to those people who feel familiar on our energetic level; i.e., those people who are on the same emotional vibrational level as we are. We find ourselves drawn to them and they to us, and it feels as if we have a strong connection to them. In other words, we are attracted to people whose emotional dynamic is similar to our early experiences of intimacy and love...and this is usually our parents.
“The healthy man does not torture others. Generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.” – Carl Jung
Males grow up seeing Dad physically or emotionally abuse Mom and feel that this is all right; this is the way relationships are supposed to be. Yes, they are wrong, and I am not making excuses for them, but this is all they know. This is what they equate with love, and the cycle continues until one day, one brave little boy decides he doesn't want to be like Daddy, or the abuser confronts and takes responsibility for the verbal and physical abusive patterns of behavior and seeks outside help....and, sadly, that is rare. All of the men who I have worked with all find a way to blame the wife.
This generational cycle also holds true for the victim. A woman who has spent her life watching Dad abuse Mom develops unrealistic beliefs of what constitutes love. Many women equate abuse with love...if he doesn't hit me, he doesn't love me. In my case, I was never witness to abuse of any kind. My parents HAD no relationship, each choosing to live together for the sake of the child, but living separate lives. Mom was never around; she worked all day, came home, ate dinner and freshened up, and then she leave and spend the rest of the evening with her boyfriend. My dad was an alcoholic, and all he cared about was having a six-pack in the refrigerator waiting for him when he got home....what you would call a dysfunctional family...
...and as a result, I grew up to become a dysfunctional adult. I attracted what I knew...men who had problems--alcoholics, drug addicts, a sex addict, a gambling addict--and, when one is in the throes of addiction they can become quite violent. It took me far too many years to realize that I may not have been abused as a child, but I had been wounded and focusing on men with issues kept me from looking into myself...so, in order to avoid going within, I kept drawing men on the same vibrational level into my life. One relationship would no sooner break up than I would find myself in another. I literally was drawing men into my life with a sickness like my father...
...and no matter how much I was making a conscious effort not pick anyone like my parents, my energy was attracting those people into my life whose inner emotional dynamic is similar to my first experience of love. Many of us spend our lives searching for our soul mates, but those of us who grew up with dysfunctional families, had better watch out, for these may be exactly the people who will fit your patterns and recreate your wounding...
...We get involved with people who are unavailable because WE are unavailable. We continue to be attracted to people who feel familiar because on some level, we are still trying to prove our worth by earning the love and respect of our unavailable parents. We throw our lives into rescuing the other person because that will prove our worth when the truth is, we need them to rescue us because of our lack of self-worth. It can become an endless cycle because the more we rely on dysfunctional people to prove our worth, the less worth we have for they drain it from us.
Sadly, until we realize that it is not possible to love someone enough to make someone to stop hating or being unavailable, we need to let go of the delusion that we can be someone's savior, and we need to take the focus off others and place it on healing our self...on understanding and healing the emotional wounds that have driven us to choose those who can never provide us what we want and need emotionally. Taking time to develop develop some healthy emotional intimacy with ourselves is imperative before we will ever be capable of being available for a healthy relationships.
Every woman who thinks she is the only victim of violence has to know that there are many more.– Salma Hayek
(This has been cross-posted at my I Am Woman. I have seen many blog postings in recent days on spousal abuse...verbal and physical...and feel this topic is too important to limit it to one blog. There are many here, who do not read that blog and vice verse. I work with both abusers and victims, and it is not pretty. Some of the stories would make you cry. Thank you all for listening today.)