Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Attracting What We Know

Dear readers, have you ever had something in mind that you wanted to write about; in fact, already have it written, and then something starts gnawing away at you, and you know it is something important that has to be written and shared....and as you begin to type, the words just start flowing?  This, my friends, is what happened to me this morning.  This is a post that HAD to be written.

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 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, 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.)


  1. ~mary you offer up such words with compassion and empathy...i was just talking with my husband the other day about our lives and how he is our littles model of what they will they will be as grown men...because they have watched and learned from him and from is ever so challenging even in your normal day to day to be careful of what you say or do...neither of us have been victim to mental or physical abuse or neglet but it is the stories that circulate that make me stay on my toes...everyone argues at one point or another but i for one hope that mine will grow up and know how to do such in a positive manner...never to mentally abuse or physically abuse another...thank you for allowing yoru thoughts and emotions guide you in writing this...much love light and blessings always~

  2. An important post, Mary! That's why it's so important to work on ourselves because if we heal our own wounds, we will attract healthier partners. It's true; I know it from my own experience too.

  3. Food for thought and I need to feed at the trougth more.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal post with such a powerful message. May your words reach the eyes of women who need to read them.

    So Mote It Be.

  5. Interesting...makes me wonder what in my past has made me who I am...

  6. As I read your post I couldn't stop thinking about a book that I recently read titled, "Soaring Above Co-Addiction" by Lisa Espich. It echos your comment of being in a healthy relationship, and shows you how.

  7. Mary....what an insightful post you have shared today.....having grown up in a family as you has taken me years and years to sort of get it figured out .....I'm not completely there yet...but at least my head is not in the sand.


  8. you well know you've spoken my experience too. The Dark Mother expresses it very well, I too, hope it helps the women whose eyes read them.
    Thank You always for sharing yourself so freely .... you make a difference!

  9. Excellent post.

    Thankfully I didn't marry a copy, of my alcoholic father. But have a history of "running out" and trying to "fix/help" others. Ugh... And this history has repeated itself. Ugh...

    Gentle January hugs...