At Bonhomie LLC, we provide individual, family, and couples therapy. We provide these therapies surrounding trauma/PTSD, men’s issues, women’s issues, cultural issues, adjustment, divorce/custody/family issues, spiritual concerns, life transitions, and more. While open to working with anyone ages 12 and above of any background, we greatly enjoy working with teenagers followed by young adults. If you feel that your concern or age has not been covered, please contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your need.

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Are You A Sacrificial Lamb?

You’re so happy, lost in love, floating on clouds, etc.

You don’t pay attention to the fact that you are slowly but surely sacrificing yourself away.

It starts with small things, like putting off maintenance of your things such as oil changes. Then medium things like sacrificing the things that you like to do for what they like to do. Then large things like your own maintenance. You don’t keep up your own medical appointments or appointments for your physical upkeep.

Eventually you are sacrificing your own upkeep, not speaking up about your own desires, nipping away at your non-negotiables, out of touch with your goals and aspirations, letting everyone else’s needs come before your own all of the time.

All in all you are reducing your own worth!

One day you come to the realization that you aren’t as fulfilled as you once were. Your once vibrant life has been reduced to one of simply going through the motions.  You begin to search yourself to determine why you feel that way. You realize that you are no longer in touch with who you are, due to stepping away from yourself for the love of your significant other (SO). You begin to play back various moments in your mind where you let go too much, should have spoken up, and minimized the importance of particular things to yourself. Maybe you even minimized your own importance.

You are determined to fix things and get back in touch with who you once were.  Here are some barriers to reconnecting with yourself that you may face:

  • Your SO may have never asked you to do any of the sacrificial things that you did, and now expects the sacrificial behaviors.
    • Many times individuals will go out of their way to do things for those that we love. In doing these things, there is expectation that they will respond a certain way to the gestures. When they don’t you can become disappointed.
  • Systems and entire lifestyles have been created based on the existence of your sacrifices.
    • After performing the same sacrificial acts for so long, it is assumed that it will always be that way. It becomes the norm.
  • If you add children to the mix, the sacrifices you made could become semi-permanent to permanent.
    • It can be difficult for children to adapt to change, as they tend to thrive with structure.
  • The sacrifices you have been making may now be integral to the functioning of your family unit.
    • If you don’t make the usual sacrifices, your family does not perform well.

As soon as you notice that you are sacrificing integral parts of yourself for the sake of your union with your SO, STOP! Whether it is that you notice it, or someone else points it out to you, do something about it immediately.

Here are some reasons to not put off getting back in touch with yourself:

  • The longer you are away from yourself, the harder it is to get back in touch with yourself.
    • After being away so long, who were you in the first place? Do you even remember?
  • The longer you sacrifice, the more resistance you can be met with when looking to reconnect.
    • Your length of disconnection can be understood to mean that the sacrificed items no longer matter to you. When you bring them up all of a sudden, why do they matter now?
  • You may decide to never fully get back to yourself due to the amount of change that is necessary.
    • It’s a lot of work to get back to the old you once you have been disconnected for so long.
  • You can grow to resent your SO, in some cases your children, if they resist the reconnection.
    • You may grow to feel that they don’t care about you or what matters to you.

The sooner you can stop the cycle of sacrifice, do it. If it is possible for you to avoid this pattern altogether, maintain the self-awareness that will allow you to do so.

Corletha Norman

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