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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: Dutch Uncle on August 12, 2015, 09:14:56 AM

Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 12, 2015, 09:14:56 AM
I've wanted to start a recovery journal for some time now, but can't decide on the format yet.
I feel I should also write some more "letters of recovery" in that section of the board, and this is not the place it was intended to that kind of stuff. But I might, for fear of flooding that section of the board.

But as a kickoff for this section, I've decided to first start with making a list of all the recovery I've already done in my life.
From some I have relapsed since, picked myself up again sometimes as well.

Edited to add: As I'll continue to add to this journal, both of stories past and present, I will insert events chronologically. In order not to mess up my original first post to much, I'll resort to my old computer-programming skills in BASIC. (Yes, I'm that old)
I've learned then to write every line in code (which had to be numbered) with a prefix in increments of 10, so if one would find out a line needed to be inserted for the program to work, one would have 9 opportunities to do so. So it's not going to 'neatly' ordered as far as the increments are concerned. But it will be chronological, as to the best of my ability I can remember. (I don't know why I even bother to explain this, it must be because I have a mild form of OCD
  ;D )

So what am I recovering from?
From being raised in, and still enmeshed with, a family with "cluster B"-PD-mom and an Aspergers-dad. I'm now, after a long and torturous journey, convinced this is so. I'm as sure as one can be without a formal diagnosis of them by a psych-evaluation team. This is why I will keep speaking of them as uHPD and uAspergers. But I am a 100% sure, as sure as an 'outsider' can be. In addition I have (had? I'm NC now) a sister who I now deem to be HPD as well (she's worse than my mom, if that's even possible) and a brother who tortured me physically as a child. A very normal family. Or so I thought.

03) A very early childhood memory. Probably the first time I spoke out (timidly) about how dysfunctional my FOO was.
I'm ten or so. Definitely primary school, so I can't have been older then twelve. But I think it was well before my last year there.
I'm sitting on the floor, upstairs, mom being in the bathroom putting on make-up and I'm saying, quietly while playing with my toys: "you and dad are going to divorce, aren't you." My mom did console me that this was not the case. I do remember her worried look on her face though.
In hindsight (very long hindsight ;) ) she gaslighted me. I'd now say. They did divorce, 25 years later, 15 years ago. I think my parents started marriage counseling around that time. Possibly they were already in it.

05) As a kid I was taken to hospital with acute appendicitis. 'Mom' brought me, ran of to do some errant and I only saw my parents again in the recovery-room, post-op. Re: Signs we missed that they don't care about us (http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=42972.msg392026#msg392026). Only now I am in the process of writing today A Special Mothers Day Message (http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3912.msg22712#msg22712) I remember that during my full week stay in the hospital I got a visit by a neighboring mother (of a friend of mine) and I felt so much more cared for by her than my own mom. Also I was delighted by the nurses who actually asked me what I would like to have for breakfast, lunch and diner, and my requests would actually be fulfilled. Hospital was actually quite a present place to stay.  :aaauuugh:

07) a puber's defiance: http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg13608#msg13608

08) Wow. Noises that trigger/bother me. That immediately brought back memories to "fleeing to the toilet", just like my dad did. (was he triggered due to his uAspergers?), and it reminded me how often doors were being slammed shut. Oh dear, how deeply buried some of this memories are. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3986.msg23224#msg23224

10) My first step in my recovery was leaving the parental home at the age of 20. One of the prime reasons to make sure I did well in secondary school was the promise of then being able to study 'in the big city'. That was a sure ticket out of the small town/suburb I grew up in that was boring as *. Well, as heaven probably, as it was dominated by very strict Calvinist religious politics. I was raised in the national 'Bible Belt'. Pinball machines were banned, just to give you an idea of how bad it was.

20) My second step was to move to a squat despite the fact that my dad threatened to cut my allowance. I had 'saved for' that in a way, as all my friends during secondary school got a lot more 'pocket money', gifts, mopeds (which would be the equivalent of a car in the US I guess (culturally speaking)) and such. "You'll get a study allowance later, Dutch Boy, so quit whining", my parents had always said. Well, that turned out as a way of extended control, I see now. The squat was to be renovated by us Engineering students though, so this was a poke at my future profession as well.

30) My third step was to break up with a girl who used dope and at some point in our relationship decided she was going to whore herself out to pay for her all-weekend drugged fueled parties. I hardy ever joined her, and I didn't enjoy those 'all-nighters. Did do the dope on those few accessions though. I had to stay awake! (read: be 'worked up'). I thought: "Well after a few months or so she must get disgusted/bored selling her body", so I hang around. She did get bored, but I guess the dope compensated for any misgivings she had about her 'job'.
I left. Heartbroken, but still, I did it. Dropped out of University for the following year. Started again the year after. Stupid. Engineering wasn't my ballgame, but I had blamed it on my relationship troubles (not blaming the girlfriend: that was a smart move/realization, I still tell myself).

40) My fourth step was to quit some vague therapy my mother had 'forced' on me during that 'sabbatical'. Some new-age* babble with a guy who had just started his practice. I only ended up there because my mom's 'Guru' didn't want to take me (I don't know why, and I never cared). In the third meeting we overstepped the allotted time by half an hour or so, and he blamed that on me! I should have watched the time! Dufus. I had noticed, but thought: "He's in charge, probably we are doing very well, for him to keep on babbling/asking me stuff." I never returned. "I'm more 'aware' then you are", I thought. And rightfully so.
*) disclaimer: "New age" is a bit of a catch-all generalization. While "new age" certainly has opened new vistas on plenty of fields of inquiry, many new age cults have emerged, and plenty of harm has been done as well, and continues to do so, IMHO. So whenever I refer to "new-age", I refer to dogmatic, close-minded cultism. As my mom practices it. It's a means of distancing myself from 'it'. I don't want to demean anyone. So no offense to anyone or anything is meant.

50) My fifth step was to quit my (renewed) studies in the last year of graduating. I didn't see myself sitting/working at an office drawing engineering-plans all day. Never got much appreciation from my parents anyway, mom actively sabotaged my 'dreams'. HPD… Drama wanted. (My brother who did graduate never saw his mom at the ceremony. Mom had a girls-together-only weekend with friends. Go figure. But I digress.) I was in my late 20's by then.

60) My sixth step was to go and work abroad in a field where my engineering skills were wanted, but in a profession that had little to do with engineering. Suddenly I was a 'specialist'! Ha! I had ended up there through a stroke of luck and perseverance.
(I did well, was easily accepted by 'the profession'. I had stumbled on a great 'niche market', and over the course of the next 15 years was able to build up a respected position as free-lance-specialist in many projects. To such an extent I became part of 'the profession". This ended about five years ago. But before I'll reach that point here in this timeline, I had some more recovery steps)

65) My mother gets a life threatening illness. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg13710#msg13710

70) During those 15 years I took taken a seventh step. Again a break-up with a woman I could not possibly spend the rest of my life with. I've talked about that in the music thread, here (very long): http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2089.msg13254#msg13254

80) The eight step was a break down because I was fired (through no fault of my own: there simply was a budget cut) and I got depressed/sick and went to see first a psychologist and then a psycho-therapist. I got back on my feet again and continued happily ever after(slight hint of sarcasm there). I probably will elaborate on this at some point. That was a tough period that lasted about a year and a half.

External factor: My parents' divorce. At last. The whole process will take two-and-a-half year. Awful. Lots of unresolved stuff there.
81) also 505) october 2015 Working through my parents' divorce. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2223.msg16803#msg16803 and 531) I think I still need to mourn the divorce of my parents.
85) Sending an unopened letter from uHPDmom "return to sender" http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg14433#new

90) The ninth step was to attend a post-doctorate (post-graduate in the US?) program on Project Management, tailored to my new profession. I didn't have a doctorate (!) but the board let me in on basis of my motivation and field-experience. And probably also since I had a sort-of Bachelor equivalent in engineering. Not quite a doctorate (=Master)  though. I remember that at the first 'class' a previous colleague of mine blurted out in my face: "I thought this was only for highly educated people!" to which I calmly and genuinely happily responded, smiling: "Yep!".

My parents' divorce becomes final. Well, insofar anything is ever final with them. "Over and done with" is not really in their vocabulary. Neither is: "Let's move on."

100) The tenth step was to actually go fully self-employed in this profession, with the now additional skills in (and certified!) Project Management. I started a business of one. A bit of a gamble. It worked out well. (Free lance doesn't exist where I live (at least that's what the IRS says here ;) . You are self-employed. You either have a business, or you have a job/position. There's nothing in between.)

Fallen in the pit, yet again
About five years ago came the downfall that essentially has brought me were I am today.
New regulations demanded I had to have a Masters degree in my profession. Quite a row broke out among the rank and file, as there were plenty of other people who stood to loose their jobs, and many companies now struggled to meet the new quality standards. A court-case ruled some program had to be set-up to make it easier for people like me to get a degree or certificate. I was not going to take a step down and decided to go for the Masters degree. I knew I had the intellect for it, so I decided to do this difficult thing. And expensive thing. And I would need to cut back on my working hours, so would loose income to boot.

I decided to study in the same city my sister was living in, a multiple hour drive from where I live. It was the best University suited for what I needed, and with Sis living there I thought: "Well, that could offset the traveling at times." Previously she had made it clear to me I was always welcome to stay over, when she had moved into a new house where I had spend days fixing, painting and cleaning (this was shortly before I even knew I could choose this University). I had never had a great relationship with her, but I considered it good enough, OK. (I still have to get used to that concept: good enough. It still feels for me as the equivalent of "indifferent", or a sleigh way of saying: it sucked.) She regularly whined, yeah, about mom, dad and certainly also about me, but this was 'normal', and we had always remained civil after such 'events'. In fact I thought this whole 'fresh up course' was a great opportunity to get a bit more 'together'.
WRONG.

The day I visited her to talk about my program at University and how possible sleepovers would fit her, she had one of her outbursts again, and everything I had ever done was horribly wrong. How I had always wronged her kids and partner, yada, yada, yada, and of course most of all that I was always doing her wrong. The same wrong, over and over again.
Baffled I left an hour early. My head spinned on the way back home. I had almost literally lost my ground. What the @#%&! was wrong here? She had told me stuff like this before, but never so ferocious. Or perhaps this was just the first time I really saw how ferocious her attacks were.

The date was 14 september 2011. About 9 PM. I've now made that my (re)birth date on this site. The day I consciously decided to step out 'what was', and to step into 'whatever may be'.

A few weeks later she contacted me, with what I now know to be a Hoover. She wanted to "talk it over". (That's a good one, I've learned by now: "to talk it over". Right! That's EXACTLY what it is supposed to be: not a conversation, not even a discussion or a debate… No, lets talk OVER it. Like a skipping stone over water. Boy, the power of language!) She sounded 'remorseful' enough, appeared to want to 'resolve' the matter, so I agreed to meet her, at her city.
WRONG. First meeting (6 october) she postponed, but I was so hooked and we set up another one. There I simply got the whole sermon AGAIN! Like I hadn't heard it before! (and before and before etc.) She had actually said so the previous time which had made me think: "Hmmm. yeah that's true. This is not the first time you've told me, I already hear this for decades. What the * am I even doing here?"

110) (this is actually recovery step eleven I realized during my last editorial check [of my first post])
I had (obviously) prepared for this "talk it over" (well, I had prepared for a conversation), and one of the things I wanted to know was if we were actually talking about the same thing, the same 'events' that had played out over and over again. So I had started to recollect these events in my mind, easily found six instances over the past 15 years or so where I had done this 'wrong' and settled for those: no point in dredging up more, I had six 'checks and balances'.
In a fit of FOGlessness, I realized that I should not ask her: "were these all instances of the time you told me I was doing you wrong?", for fear of her then denying those and finding something else to blame on me (I hadn't heard of "Plausible deniability" then. But I still 'knew' the concept apparently), but to make it an Open Question: "Can you tell where and when you said this to me before, sis?" An avalanche of examples flooded me. Of course there were 'the Six', six more where I immediately thought: "Good grief, yes. There's another one!" and about six that I was oblivious to (probably had repressed those) but which sounded very plausible.
She made some 'fauxpologies', but I didn't fell for those. (Like: "I shouldn't have mentioned the kids". "Right! Not only should you not have mentioned them, but you should apologize for 'bringing up the baby", I thought, but wisely(?) kept my mouth shut. No admission it was 1) a wrongful accusation and 2) it was wrong to use 'them' as a tool, a crowbar to make me feel bad about myself. )

So after a loooong "Talk" (no listening on her part, as far as I was aware) I found myself AGAIN going back home with my head spinning. "How can this be?", I kept thinking. "What is wrong with me?"
"I must be an Aspergers", I thought. "It's the only thing that makes sense. There's only one way I can 'read' my sister's emotional needs so badly and be so oblivious to it, and that's when I'm Aspergers." This was the 13 october.
The 22nd she mailed me in a nothing-has-happened manner. Pretended we could meet and spend time together, happily. I told her I already had made arrangements to stay at B&B's for the remainder of the year. That I wouldn't stay over at her place, that I didn't feel comfortable with it.

And then I started to slowly spiral down in the cesspool of my Dysfunctional FOO, of which I am still very much an enmeshed part. Though the FOG has started lifting ever since.

That's quite enough for today, I'd say.

I'll be back!
It's not going to stop at step twelve either I'm afraid  ;D .

Thanks for listening.

----------

400) Telling my mom to leave my house. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg14011#new

Present day recovery stories

500) august 2015: Me and my dad on a boat-trip http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg13609#new
501) august 2015: I'll bet a dear thing this realization has been a step to recovery http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2246.msg14006#msg14006 . #400 is a prime example of how I became allergic to questions like "are you feeling OK?"
502) september 2015: Sticking to my NC with uHPD/uBPD/"cluster B"-sis. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg14838#new
503) september 2015: On my way to shedding a Dependent trait: http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2363.msg15713#msg15713
504) september 2015: Intentions for Recovery http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg16551#msg16551
505) october 2015 Working through my parents' divorce. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2223.msg16803#msg16803
506) october 2015: Progress? I guess so. I vented my anger. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2736.0
507) october 2015: Setback? The horrors of an EF. Progress as well? First time I recognized an EF for what it was at the very moment http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2897.msg17431#new
508) october 2015: Allowing self-forgiveness. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg17515#new
509) october 2015: Changed my personal text (under my Avatar) from "Survivor. Spilling the beans" to "Survivor. Shifting the burden". Plenty of beans have now been spilled (more to come, for sure), and it's time to rearrange the burden on whom/what they weigh. Now looking for a new balance in/of things.
510) november 2015: TherapistMom, YOU'RE FIRED! http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3041.0
511) november 2015:
A reminder of my recovery motivation:
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now

A Chinese Proverb. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3044.msg18189#msg18189
512) and lo and behold a few hours later: I've planted a new tree: no more X-mas with the Dysfunctional FOO. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3052.msg18205#new
513) november 2015: I have sacked my TherapistMom, and will be processing the paperwork and other administrative 'duties' for a while longer. She'll fight her sacking no doubt (in my own bloody head !!!, good grief  :pissed: )  But she's off the job as of today. No matter how many tantrums she'll pull. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg18546#msg18546
(LOL, I now see I already sacked her earlier this month! (510). Oh well, this just shows how hard it is to sack her.)  ;D  Diligence, Dutch, diligence. You're doing awesome  :thumbup:
514) Told my brother off as a Flying Monkey: http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2310.msg19507#msg19507
515) Mom's  :dramaqueen: hoover averted. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2310.msg19508#msg19508
516) Punched through the FOG of Chaos Manufacture. Related to 502) (among others) http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2310.msg19509#msg19509
517) I will not have a purportful 2016. A happy 2016 will do just fine. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg19748#msg19748
518) Wrote a "letter of recovery to my Sister in Law", effectively stating why I am No Contact with her. Another codependent relationship ended. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3363.msg19876
2016
519) I woke myself up from an unpleasant dream. Now that is a good tool to have for countering EF's, dissociation etc. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3373.new#new
520) Discovered that I actually handled the ending of my FOO-codependent relationships quite well. That gives hope and confidence.
http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2170.msg20070#msg20070
521) Stepping further away from my codependent relationship with my brother and his FOC: http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3451.msg20347#msg20347
522) I promised myself to work on my "Fight" response, and bang! I've done it. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3543.msg20910#msg20910 A good fight response IMHO. Clear. Boundary setting and defending. Not offensive. Holding my ground. Respectful to my opponent even, I feel. I am not going to be 'pressed into service', and I press back just hard enough to stay were I am and want to be. I do not press back so hard that I have to take a step 'forward'. Then I would not be at the place I am and want to be either.  :thumbup: Good practice round. Balanced.
NB: this exchange reminded me of this audio-clip ***trigger warning: it's a rant on a variety of subjects that people may find rude for a variety of reasons*** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcvWzyvn4MI of Douglas Murray and my hero Sam Harris, where Douglas Murray slips into a rant against the 'liberal left', on and on (and makes a couple of excellent points) which at the very end of the clip makes Sam Harris chuckle, chuckle harder and then finds the rant outright hilarious. "I miss this capacity, perhaps I meditated too much and it has damaged my brain."  ;) "Keep this capacity well oiled, Douglas." are the final words of Sam.
edited to add a month later: well, that did cause a stir. I'm sorry about that. But today I want to add another worthwhile article: http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/01/15/the-dark-side-of-mindfulness/ . I post this as today I have become more aware of my TherapistMom's New-Ageism. I posted some of this in the "Religious Abuse" board. But it is becoming increasingly clear to me that her particular brand of Hindu based "therapy" stems from the same religion that still allows today for castes as the "Untouchables". And her treatment of me reflects this.
530) I'm mourning. Not in a depression. That's a relief. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=4018.msg23477#new
531) May: I think I still need to mourn the divorce of my parents. Most of the grief I feel there is the fact that it's a completely buried subject. Since both my parents have kept silent and/or very vague on their divorce, I really could not speak with anybody about it, and so I could never have any validation for my feelings/experiences with both the divorce, the divorce process and the horrible marriage it was itself. In a way my NC with 'mom' and 'sis', effectively disbanding the FOO as a unit/community I am finally grieving the divorce. I have hung a not on the wall in my bedroom saying: "If my parents don't dissolve their dysfunctional relationship (since they still continue, despite their 'divorce'), than I will divorce myself from their toxic dysfunctional relationship.

A joke about myself: or
"I suffer from an inverse Oedipus-complex, as even after my mother made herself available to me by divorcing her husband, I'm still not want to marry her."
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: a puber's defiance
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 18, 2015, 11:01:24 AM
One more from the past:

I'm a teen, I think. Probably at the onset of my puberty.

My uHPDmom is being obnoxious, and I resist. (I don't remember what this was about)
Mom doesn't let me off the hook, probably used all her manipulative, narcissistic, histrionic and Therapist/psychological skills to get her way. I continue to resist and end up calling her names.

Then dad kicks in, almost literally. He was already very docile by then (that used to be different, further back in time), almost neutered. (There has been a time (much later) I referred (internally) to my father as "the Ox". Both for his strength (he's a big man) and for the way this awesome and valued strength is made manageable  to meet the Oxen's owner needs.) By then my dad usually waited quietly at the proverbial side, watch us struggle with the demands of mom, and then kick in angrily and violently to protect his wife.

I ran. We kids all ran at such times. He may have been big, but us kids were much more agile. We ran to the toilet, bathroom or any space that we could lock us-selfs in. Until the wrath would have subsided, quite often by mom calming dad.

So I ran, up the stairs to my room. My dad in pursuit.
Until I stopped, turned around and said: "Yeah, hit me."
I was past caring.
Not that I had given up my defiance. No way.
But I was sick and tired of running.

My father raised his big and strong arm. Anger in his eyes. Rage even.
I stared back. Repeated: "Well, hit me then."
I was higher up the stairs than him. A few 'flights' (?) only. But it made me 'taller' then him.
That probably helped. He noticed he was fighting an uphill battle  ;) .

He backed off.
Never raised another hand at me.
He did find other ways, though. Not surprising, I guess…

So, that took care of one form of abuse.
One step towards recovery I'd say, in hindsight.
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: a boat trip with Dad.
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 18, 2015, 11:22:06 AM
This is all not complete without integrating the results from the boat-trip I made with my dad this weekend.

See this thread on it: http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2180.0

So I basically managed to stay calm, focussed, aware and in the 'present' to a remarkable degree.
I managed to make contact with my dad, without loosing contact with me.
Likewise I managed to keep my distance where appropriate, and managed to keep him 'at bay' where appropriate.
"You handled everything perfectly and sounds like you both respected each others boundaries.", a dear friend of mine told me when I told her about this trip I had made.

Which sums it up pretty nicely.

Yay for recovery  :band:
Title: *** Possible triggers on life threatening diseases ***
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 20, 2015, 05:01:09 PM
Right.

Now I'm going to touch on a very touchy subject… For me, my mom and the whole FOO, no doubt.

So, I dropped out of my Engineering Masters for being unhappy with it.
I had dodged the Military Draft by applying(?) as a Conscientious Objector (boy, what a man has to go through during his adolescence… ;) ), which was granted, and somehow I managed to get me on an assignment abroad to 'fulfill' my 'Alternative ('Military') Service to my Country/Nation'. (I'll probably write more on that later. Yet another 'recovery'. Trigger Galore this Journal is, LOL.)

So, I'm abroad and basically need to stay there for 14 months to fulfill my 'Obligation' to The State. It's OK.
Then halfway through my term, mom gets sick. Cancer.
We kids get called over. Bro is already an expat by then, and I'm at least temporarily in a similar position. Sis is still in our 'mother-/fatherland', albeit as far as away from our parents as possible. We get called over on the pretense (in hindsight) of having a say/being a sounding board(?)/"talk it over" with mom (and dad).
A cottage is rented by our parents to spend a few days and to have a 'family gathering'.
So we all show up, only to have 'the Bomb' dropped on us: Mom has already had surgery (we knew), but has decided already she won't take Chemotherapy, and also no Radiation-therapy (is that the correct term? I guess anybody who's been in the situation knows what I mean by that).

It's a done deal. Did I mention already I now think mom is uHPD?
If I did, I'm not even sure if that even matters in this case.
But I did feel 'the Bomb' was dropped on me: I had merely travelled thousands of miles (at my own expense, which I obviously had not cared about) to have me being told a done deal. I felt gaslighted (I didn't knew the term then, and I'm not even sure if it applies. I do think so though.) We kids (all full adults by then) simply 'agreed' to moms 'terms'. More out of numbness from 'the Bomb' I guess. That certainly was the case for me.

So we all basically spend the rest of the weekend trying to cope with mom's life-threatening drama, no offense meant in this case. But a drama nonetheless.

I had arranged for a two-week break or so. Went to see friends, Revisited my 'dorm'. Stayed over. Talked with them. Partied with them as well. Tried to have a good time, besides. Strange holidays, that.

Something didn't sit right with me. No Chemo? I could fully accept that. All that poison in you… Yeah, I could see the aversion to that. Making yourself, your whole body sicker to get cured for a very localized illness? Yeah, I got that. Not necessarily agreed, but to 'get it'? Yeah.
But not doing the Radiology? Nah, that didn't sit well.
I had the need to speak up, after the numbness had faded after a week or so. I felt she was giving up on a (presumably) effective treatment. And each day that passed, i felt more 'passionate' to not let my mom (possibly) go, not without a fight. From me.
It was partly a selfish act: I knew if I would not speak to her about this, and she would succumb to the tumor returning, I would not forgive myself for not speaking up when it had counted. But I was also convinced this localized treatment was a great asset in her rehabilitation. As convinced as a layman can be.
As a son can be.

So I arranged a meeting. We met at my parents home. Spoke with her alone, as it came to be.
It was quite bad. She 'accused' me of 'having had my head turned over' by my friends. That stung. But I did not led me astray. For I knew it had not been my friends who had 'planted' this idea in my head, but it was MY idea, to the fullest. I don't even remember whom of my friends had supported me. I'm not sure if I even had told them what I was going to do there, at that very moment.
So quite a battle ensued. A 'good' battle, I still think. I didn't budge. With that I mean: I didn't budge from this "talk" being one I felt necessary to undertake. I was not doing someone else's bidding. In my memory, she deflected most of what I had to say, and I did say, as something not from me. That hurted.

I listened to her counter-arguments, gave in where applicable (as far as I can remember), and in the end gave in completely. It was her decision what to do. Of course. This was what she thought best, it was her life, her body, and I had done everything to "talk it over", had made myself heard. Well, I had spoken up, at the very least.

So I left, amicably as far as I was concerned. Not happy, but satisfied. For both what I had done, and what she had done. "Respect" is the word I think is in place here. Respecting each others boundaries. Though I'm not so sure it was mutual… In hindsight, again.

This episode has been revisited in our (then) future contact. And here's the 'pun', so to say:
My mother has repeatedly referred to this as an epiphany/revelation/whatever that "Strife is (=) Love" (Strijd = Liefde). She since wallows in that "motto". Presumably before that as well. It 'fits' a uHPD, I think. George Orwell's 'Big Brother'/INGSOC would turn blue from envy, I'd guess. War=Peace, Ignorance=Strength, Freedom=Slavery.
Strife=Love.

Drama (tragedy) = Revue/entertainment (comedy)

Mother survived. And that sounds unnecessary harsh. I'm glad she did. Earlier, when abroad and hearing of her illness I cried, long and agonizingly hard. For the realization I might lose her. Thankfully there were kind and understanding people around me that time.

But her way to show 'love' has seemed to have turned into conducting 'strife' whenever she can. And quite possibly, that has been her way previously as well.
It figures.

Since she has also survived a heart-disease. And I definitely commend her for having kicked the "Grim Reaper" in the nether-regions succesively.

But Strife=Love? Not for me. Thanks, but no thanks.

And that's why this is a story of recovery. Yay!
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: Does my PDmom wants to destroy me?
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 26, 2015, 07:38:13 PM
(copied from a OOTF-thread, so it might look a bit out of context)

I do recall an incident, about two years ago, when I strongly felt a very destructive force coming from my mother when she visited me. Well, she sprung on me (is the expression I think).
She wanted to know if I was doing OK. I was, so I said yes. And since I really was, also my body-language or anything else could not have pointed to something different. I wasn't even annoyed or irritated or whatever about her suddenly showing up, that's how good I felt.
"Really?", she asked?
"Yes, mom, really  :) ", I said.
"REALLY?", she asked again, edging ever closer until she was literally inches away from my eye.
Eyeball to eyeball, in the most literal sense possible. I felt like she was trying to crawl into my skull, my brain. She was going to find out herself I was not doing OK!
I was terrified, nailed to the ground (in a sort of vain attempt to keep my ground).
Luckily the kettle blew(?), so I had to go to the kitchen to fix tea.
In seconds, with the spell of the eye-contact broken, I felt a rage emerging, HUGE.
I went back with the tea, and erupted. I told her off, yelled. Put her down.
It worked, but the Drama Queen had brought me presents (which was how she had wiggled herself in, this was the trap she had set up for me, I realized later) so she then proceeded to give me them.
Since I had suddenly gained a remarkable calmness after my eruption, that apparently had worked, I calmly opened the presents and let her rattle on niceties. The presents were crap, they were for some other person it seemed. A very ugly watch. I haven't wore a watch since I was 15.
She then wanted to take me out to diner.
I told her to leave my house, and I wanted her to leave "now".
She went, sulking. Or pouting. (Don't really know the difference. I discovered "pouting" only recently. I think it's sulking2, no? It's what toddlers do, right?)

So yes, I now believe( actually: I am now convinced) my uHPDmom actually wanted to destroy me. It might well be unconsciously and due to her illness, but that really doesn't matter.
It was wrong, and I knew it, then. Not only felt it, knew it For the very first time I had seen her behavior so openly, so clearly, so unveiled.
It was a 'lightbulb' moment.
The FOG had started lifting.
I had come aware.
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: "Return to sender"
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 02, 2015, 09:52:43 AM
About 15 years ago my mother left my father. Well, sort of. Now that I have become convinced she's uHPD, I see this more as one of her Dramas she acted out. I will write more on the process of the divorce that took almost three years some other time.

In any case, after she had come to visit me to tell the 'bad' news (inside I was cheering: "Hooray! I KNEW their marriage sucked! Hooray for validation!"), everything became secret. We kids did not get any information. The subject was effectively taboo. This was annoying for me. I guess I should view this as an abandonment of sorts.

At some point I got a letter from mom. It turned out later she had send the same letter to my siblings.
When I picked up the letter from my doormat, something was fishy about it. There was a sense of Doom about it.
I let it sit on the proverbial mantelpiece for a few days, unopened.
What to do with it? Read it? Throw it out? Burn/destroy it ceremonially? After reading it? Before?
Then I decided to do the unthinkable: I would send it "return to sender", unopened. I didn't want the crap in it, I had realized, and I thought it best if my mom would know I hadn't read it and didn't want it.

The following morning she phoned. Mail could not have yet been delivered to her, so I answered the phone. In a dramatic fashion she begged me to destroy the letter, forget what had been said in it, do the ceremonial cleansing with burning it or something, etc. etc.
Yep, do the dramatics.

I had calmly listened to her, let her rant on, and when she was finally done told her: "Don't worry. I haven't read it and it's on it's way back to you, return-to-sender."
 
:righton:    :righton:    :band:    :righton:    :righton:
     
:rofl:


I had snatched victory from the claws of defeat. For I was sure she would have been furious if I had discarded the letter before her dramatic pull-out. The timing was perfect. With neither of us knowing ;D .

Unbelievable it would still take another ten years before the FOG really would start to lift. And that four years after that I'm STILL writing about it, in another effort to truly purge it all.
Could somebody pass me an Enema? >:D
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on September 02, 2015, 10:25:21 AM
i really get that, D/U, it's like we have to keep going over the same stuff in our minds, keep nibbling away at the edges (ok image that just doesn't work with the enema metaphor,  :aaauuugh:)- until maybe sometime it settles itself down into the 'dealt-with' category. 

i wonder if it's something to do with what van der Kolk mentions in The Body Keeps The Score about how our memories are laid down, and if they get put in the wrong bit of our brain, they remain to us as if they were 'present' rather than 'past' and we keep getting re-traumatised by them until we can re-file them in the right place.  (that's my totally amateur paraphrasing of what he describes much more elegantly, sorry)
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 02, 2015, 10:52:11 AM
Thanks.

I should pick up on his work, if only for his Dutchness  ;D .

I agree on what you paraphrased. And to me personally that makes it at the moment so important to 'push out' the people who 'constantly' push my traumatic experiences back in the wrong place. I do this mostly by Low Contact, Medium Chill and other such tools, and am prepared to go NC if all those don't work and only seem to aggravate the situation (like what happened with my sis).

I cannot hope to get things in the right perspective, the right filing-cabinet, if I have people around me who re-stack them behind my back.

 :thumbup:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on September 02, 2015, 12:26:37 PM
yup, am doing exactly the same as you, have gone totally nc.

and the van der Kolk book, tho expensive, was worth every penny. also you can put his name into Youtube and it will bring up his lectures that relate to that book.

i am signing out now and doing that lazy sunday thing, as recommended by your wise self in another thread.  :yes:
 :hug:
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: Note to self
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 03, 2015, 11:59:09 AM
I have at least 20 years worth of Journals laying around here. I think I've destroyed everything from before 1994. (In 1994  ;D )

For long I've thought: "Why do I only write down this stuff, and never read it back? What's the point in just writing it down, and never look back to it? I should do* that. That might actually get me somewhere. Simply writing it down certainly doesn't work, as I have the feeling I write down the same thing over and over. And Over."

So why not embark on that project here, Uncle? Hmm?
In a few weeks it'll be four years since the FOG finally started to get blown away, and the Storm that invoked that event still hasn't died down. For the better I'd like to add. So why not:
- Pick up again on your journals of four years ago.
- Pick up on the journals of 5 years before that as well
- And those of 5 years before that.
- and from the very first you still have. 1994 IIRC.

It'll be a five year project to work through them. At least.
Why not, buddy…

*) I guess the should has always put me off.
You may, Uncle.
Or not.
My call.

While I was typing this, this song came up playing in my 'Music Library'

Frank Zappa - You Are What You Is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oblbLHYu6uY

Do you know what you are?
You are what you is
You is what you am
A cow don't make ham
You ain't what you're not
So see what you got
You are what you is
An' that's all it 'tis

A foolish young man
From a middle class fam'ly
Started singin' the blues
'Cause he thought it was manly
Now he talks like the Kingfish
("Saffiiiee!")
From Amos 'n Andy
("Holy mack'l dere . . . Holy mack'l dere!")
He tells you that chitlins . . .
(Chitlins!)
Well, they taste just like candy
He thinks that he's got
De whole thang down
From the Nivea Lotion
To de Royal Crown

Do you know what you are?
You are what you is
You is what you am
A cow don't make ham
You ain't what you're not
So see what you got
You are what you is
An' that's all it 'tis

A foolish young man
Of the Negro Persuasion
Devoted his life
To become a caucasian
He stopped eating pork
He stopped eating greens
He traded his dashiki
("Uhuru!")
For some Jordache Jeans
He learned to play golf
An' he got a good score
Now he says to himself
"I AIN'T NO NIGGER NO MORE . . . HEY! HEY! HEY!"
"I don't understand you . . . "
BWANA MA-COO-BAH
"Would you please speak more clearly . . . "
MERCEDES BAINNNNNNNZ

Who is who
(I don't know . . . )
'N what is what
(Somethin' I just don't know . . . )
'N why is this
(Tell me now . . . )
Appropriot
(That's a funny pronunciation if'n ever I heard one . . . )
If you don't like
(Where'd you get that word?)
What you has got
(Appropriot? The word is not . . . )
Drop it in the dirt
(Drop it yeah . . . )
'N let it rot
(I can smell it now . . . )
Someone else
(Here de come, here de come . . . )
Will surely come
(I told you they was comin')
'N pick it up
(That's right!)
'Cause he wants some
(An' he wants it for free . . . )

And when one day
(There will come a day . . . )
You wonder who
(I wonder too . . . )
You used to was
(Who I was anyway . . . )
'N what you do
(I used to work at the post office . . . )
You'll scratch your head
(But I don't wanna un-do my doo . . . )
'N look around
(Just to see what's goin' on . . . )
But what you lost
(Can't seem to find it . . . )
Will not be found
(A Mercedes Benz . . . )

Do you know what you are?
(I know . . . )
You are what you is
(I'm the kinda guy . . . )
You is what you am
(That ought to be drivin' a Mercedes Benz . . . )
A cow don't make a ham
(A four-fifty SLC . . . )
You ain't what you're not
(A big ol' red one . . . )
So see what you got

(With some golf clubs stickin' out de trunk . . . )
You are what you is
(I'm gwine down to de links on Saturday mornin' . . . )
An' that's all it is
(Gimme a five dollar bill . . . )
YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS
(And an overcoat too . . . )
AND THAT'S ALL IT IS
(Where's my waitress? Yeah . . . )
YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS
(Robbie, take me to Greek Town . . . )
AN THAT'S ALL IT IS
(I'm harder than yer husband; harder than yer husband . . . )
YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS
(I'm goin' down to White Street, to the Mudd Club y'all . . . )
AN THAT'S ALL IT IS
(I'm goin' down 'n work the wall 'n work the floor . . . )
YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS
('N work the pipe 'n work the wall . . . )
AN THAT'S ALL IT IS
(Some more . . . )

That song already made a hide impression on me waaaay before 1994...
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: Sticking to my NC with uHPD/uBPD/"cluster B"-sis.
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 07, 2015, 09:57:08 AM
This has taken some effort, pondering and soul-searching, with the aid of many here: http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2310.0

In the end I stuck with my NC. I told her "No" to a twisted invitation to her birthday-party.

The two most important reasons:
- I already have gone NC, and informed Dad and Bro on it, because they had to know I would not be seeing Sis as-much-as-I-had (to say the least) and things would not return to what they were.
Inspiration for that move (informing them) had come from http://izettl.hubpages.com/hub/Strained-Family-Relationships-When-You-Should-Cut-The-Ties-and-Say-Goodbye (a site that's been a guide during the LC/MC period before NC, even though I only stumbled on it when I was already way into doing many of the things suggested there):
#7) When applicable, talk to other family members about your situation, and let them know this person in particular and yourself will not be having as much contact, if any. Briefly explain and don't back down.

- Half a year or so into LC/MC I had already told my sister she was not welcome in my home anymore, and I wouldn't visit hers. That was a first boundary setting for me, making a point obviously, but we could (and did) meet a few times elsewhere. 'On neutral ground' so to say, though I never put it in those words. Why would I? It would only stir the pot…

Apart from the great feedback I received here, I did some searching on the net. Both old and new sites. One (on BPD) particularly hit home. I'll post some excerpts here, that confirmed "I am already doing the right thing", a mantra I've come to love.

Quote
An individual with BPD features can push your buttons like nobody else can. You'll keep trying to take the 'higher road' and intervene with her as calmly and rationally as possible, but your efforts are futile. Regardless of how hard you try to problem-solve without igniting her disproportionately volatile and dramatic reactions, you fail. She'll do and say things that'll trigger your rage, and there isn't a darned thing you can do about it. Just like a 3-year old, she needs to push the envelope with you, to find out where your limits are.
The bolded phrase has become a life-changer for me, and a dear friend (who works as a Nurse) had already mentioned this character trait in quite a few patients she has cared for: They keep pushing the envelope on hospital staff. And how important it is for the staff to keep re-affirming their boundaries, no matter how sick these people are.
Quote
When this darker side of your nature gets activated, you'll feel ashamed and guilty afterwards. The Borderline might even add to this, by telling you how deeply you've hurt them (but they're the one who's lit that flame!).
So you're damned if you take a stand for yourself--and damned if you don't.
[…]
You'll feel compelled to stick around, no matter how critical and diminishing she is to you, which is tied to an issue called 'learned helplessness' that you acquired as a little girl--and it's left you with masochistic tendencies
Now, "learned helplessness" is a very intriguing concept, and I'm pretty sure I suffer from it. When I'll get to a T, this will one of my major fields of inquiry/therapy.
Quote
Borderlines grew up with so much instability and torment, the only way they learned how to survive, was to block out that pain--or take control of it. This is why they'll pick fights with you, and disrupt any loving/positive time you spend together.
BINGO! Why didn't she simply invite me over? Have a good time?
NO. Lets create some Drama beforehand, and then there's a safety-valve in place for the party itself: Little bro (=me) can always be chastised if I don't 'behave', i.e. don't make the proper curtseys when it 'matters'.
Quote
Extracting yourself from this relationship is far easier said than done--and if that weren't true, you would have left long before now. Perhaps you're aware of her abandonment issues, health concerns, family dramas, etc., that have kept you feeling tremendous guilt about leaving, but now it's appropriate to take care of you!
You bet I'm aware of all that. If she doesn't have a problem with me, then she has a problem with mom, dad, bro, work, the house, her kids or her wife. I even got a letter from her once about all that went wrong on her Honeymoon (a years ago). WTF?
Quote
And now, your real drama unfolds. She may suddenly "want to talk," whereas before, you couldn't even approach having an adult conversation, without an act of congress! This has you thinking; Gee, maybe she really 'gets it' now, and there's a chance we can actually make it together. Wrong.
This, in fact, has been the story of our relationship for at least 15 years. Quite probably longer. But I don't need to figure out if it has been going on longer than that, now do I. (that's a rhetorical question, hence no question mark)
Quote
You've simply gotten her attention, 'cause you're half-way out the door, and you aren't allowed to abandon a Borderline. EVER!
Really? I already am? Woot! :excited:
Quote
Each attempt at reconciliation resuscitates your exquisite dream that it may be different this time. You're ready/willing to make special concessions and adjustments, which side-step all the usual triggers that have disrupted your harmony before--if you can remember them. The trouble with a Borderline, is the rules keep changing--and there's no way to find a solid footing, or trust that you've finally gotten it right with this person. Does this remind you of anyone you know? (Mom, maybe??)
She's a copy of mom. And I have to be HER mom. <--- The Dysfunctional mom that is, she doesn't know any other, even if she was staring her in the face.
I know this, for I am that non-dysfunctional mom. In all my Dutch Uncleness.
Quote
AFTER YOU'VE LEFT, NO REPLY IS THE BEST REPLY.
When it comes to somebody who's borderline disordered, it ain't over till the fat lady sings--and walking out that door could truly prove to be the easiest part of this deal, both practically and emotionally.

And, although I did reply, I didn't reply to her drama.
I'll have to bury my parents with this 'lady', and that's the only reason I have not kicked her out completely yet.
I may have to that at some point regardless, who knows, but not today.
:witch:
Bye sis! Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Widdiful Falling on September 15, 2015, 08:16:04 AM
Good for you, staying out of the drama!  :applause:

I know how difficult it is to extricate yourself from people like that. It takes a lot of courage to say no. I'm glad you're taking care of yourself by doing that. I'm also glad you had such a good resource before you went NC. I hope your dad and bro are understanding.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Kizzie on September 20, 2015, 08:17:49 PM
Really powerful posts Dutch which speak volumes about the trauma emotional abuse causes and reaffirms why NC and LC is a must for some of us. 

All of the excerpts in your last post resonated deeply with me and my experience with a NPD M and B. There is never any solid ground, sure footing. They keep going no matter what, they do not change.  That is so tough to accept. One quote did strike me as not being quite the case for me anymore:

When this darker side of your nature gets activated, you'll feel ashamed and guilty afterwards. The Borderline might even add to this, by telling you how deeply you've hurt them (but they're the one who's lit that flame!). So you're damned if you take a stand for yourself--and damned if you don't.

I don't actually feel guilty or ashamed when I look back at appearances of my "darker side" (and is it actually darker - not so sure about that). We're human and howling in pain, railing at the trauma and sheer injustice of having to deal with these types of behaviours seems perfectly appropriate -- as long as we don't get stuck there. I am not dammed if I let that part of me rise to the surface on occasion, it is a part of me and it seems to affirm or validate me as you have touched on above.

Thanks for sharing your keen insights  :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 21, 2015, 12:32:15 AM
Thanks, Kizzie.

I don't actually feel guilty or ashamed when I look back at appearances of my "darker side" (and is it actually darker - not so sure about that). We're human and howling in pain, railing at the trauma and sheer injustice of having to deal with these types of behaviours seems perfectly appropriate -- as long as we don't get stuck there. I am not dammed if I let that part of me rise to the surface on occasion, it is a part of me and it seems to affirm or validate me as you have touched on above.
You're right.
You state eloquently "as long as we don't get stuck there."
'Invitations' like these are designed to keep me "stuck there". While in fact I have moved on.
It's a trap, and the trick is to walk around it. I keep telling myself that now that I'm out of the FOG.
It takes an effort!  ;)
Title: Intentions for Recovery
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 28, 2015, 04:56:58 PM
This post is inspired by Pete Walker's: Normal and safe wants and needs to wish and hope for… to cultivate with mental, spiritual and emotional energy.

I have copied his list and revised it for my situation/being.
This list will be subject to change. (probably  ;) . Perhaps it will proof to be a constant, but I highly doubt it will  ;D )
Points 24 and onwards are my own additions.
 
   1.   I want to develop a more constantly loving and accepting relationship with myself. I want an increasing capacity for self acceptance. Indeed
   2.   I want to learn to become the best possible a good and loving friend to myself.
   3.   I want to continue to attract, into my life, relationships that are based on love, respect, fairness and mutual support.
   4.   I want to uncover live a full, uninhibited self expression.
   5.   I want to attain the best possible physical health. I'm satisfied with my current physical health. It's good enough.
   6.   I want to cultivate a balance of vitality and peace. I've had periods in my life where I had attained this. I want to go back there, in the present.
   7.   I want to continue to attract, to myself, loving friends and loving community, and know when it's time to end those not living up to this anymore, and act appropriately to those circumstances.
   8.   I want increasing freedom from toxic shame. Indeed
   9.   I want increasing freedom from unnecessary fear. Yet embrace that fear is an important tool that should be taken into account while making decisions
   10.   I want rewarding and fulfilling work. Similar to what I have had
   11.   I want a fair amount of peace of mind, spirit, soul and body. Indeed
   12.   I want to increase my capacity to play and have fun for grief, loss and 'letting go'. I used to think life could be had without those.
   13.   I want to make plenty of room for beauty and nature ugliness and fakery in my life. I used to keep my eyes shut for that, to my detriment.
   14.   I want sufficient physical and monetary resources. Though I'm well aware that much of it depends on circumstances outside my control.
   15.   I want a fairer amount of help (self, human, or divide) to get what I need.
   16.   I want God's humanity's love, grace and blessing.
   17.   I want a balance of work, rest and play. Duh!
   18.   I want a balance of stability and change. Duh!
   19.   I want a balance of loving interaction and healthy self sufficiency. And the latter is surely lacking, since I have sacrificed it to obtain 'loving interaction'. It does't work that way, I realize now.
   20.   I want a full emotional expression with a balance of laughter and tears. Tears are mostly lacking.
   21.   I want sexual satisfaction. I'm doing pretty well on my own at the moment, thank you. This surely is the least of my priorities now.
   22.   I want to find effective and non-abusive ways to deal with anger. Though I must learn that even if I do this, there will still be people around who scream: "Oh the agony!" Too many of them are cry-babies full of self-pity because I refuse to take their garbage out.
   23.   I want all this for each and every other being. Though I realize I'm very limited in making this happen for them.
   24.   I want to integrate the scientific method much more into my life. I want to give heightened value to observable facts, while remaining an open mind that my observance may have been obscured by factors previously outside my awareness.
   25.   I want to gain better acceptance that along my path old ways, old tools, old techniques might get worn out, become obsolete or simply have had there use, and they may be renewed, discarded, and/or improved upon.
   26.   I want to better integrate that life and death are integral parts of what it means to be living, and that loss may be grieved, just as birth may be celebrated. The one emotion is not better or more valuable than the other. I recognize that joy and celebration lift me up, and that they may supplant grief and loss, which put me down. I also recognize that grief and loss do not have to be shunned. They are unavoidable, and may be felt without regret.
   27.     I want to further my understanding, and more importantly, my experience of 'humanism'. In living as a human on this planet, and experiencing what it means to be a human living together with my fellow humans and the other species on this tiny speck in the vast universe, I'll be living a 'good enough' life. I cannot hope to comprehend the vastness of the 'whole-all' as the cosmos is called in my language, and whatever there may be out there: living my life on this planet is already stretching the limits of my capabilities as the organism I am. Trying to figure out what 'good' or 'bad' means to any 'higher' life form is a futile undertaking, and to get it 'right' I might as well be throwing a pair of dice. I won't be doing that either: I'll be looking and interacting with my peers. Understanding of the human experience is to be found and gained with them. This is my 'creed' , for lack of a better word, as an 'Agnosticist'.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on September 28, 2015, 05:32:15 PM
wow!  :thumbup: :thumbup: like it, D/U. :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Kizzie on September 28, 2015, 06:02:01 PM
Quote
I want all this for each and every other being.

Now that is humanism! It wasn't something I was looking for either but it has been a "silver lining" of having CPTSD as Walker suggests; moving from an angry, frightened self curled up tightly in isolation from the world to a sense of connection, compassion, concern and responsibility for the well-being of self and others. And there has been joy in discovering it was and is within me and not out there somewhere (a god, other people, etc). 

So glad to hear you are 'plumbing the depths' and coming up with much more than buckets of childhood "residual goo" :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 28, 2015, 08:19:20 PM
Thanks, both of you.

Yes, I have the feeling I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
Great. I was due for a break.  ;D
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: tired on October 13, 2015, 07:39:36 PM
something i notice : you put in details. not just generalities.  i have trouble with that. i might be able to say 'my mom isn't the nicest person all the time and it's an issue for me" but i can't say my mom said this or that and i answered this or that etc.  that's a problem.  stating things clearly as facts is important and that's the value of a journal. it doesn't need to be read. the point is to state the details in conscious form , in language, in sentences.  that makes them plain to see and once you see it you deal with it and you're done.  well maybe not that easily but still.

i have so much trouble with this so i never had a journal.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on October 14, 2015, 06:52:12 AM
something i notice : you put in details. not just generalities.  i have trouble with that. i might be able to say 'my mom isn't the nicest person all the time and it's an issue for me" but i can't say my mom said this or that and i answered this or that etc.  that's a problem.  stating things clearly as facts is important and that's the value of a journal. it doesn't need to be read. the point is to state the details in conscious form , in language, in sentences.  that makes them plain to see and once you see it you deal with it and you're done.  well maybe not that easily but still.
Yes, you are right.
I can assure you though that for me part of the process is to accept them as fact, and then to state them, write them down for the facts they are. For a long time I ignored (repressed? denied?) them, was 'only' puzzled by it all. I have a big pile of old journals laying in my living room, with the aim to work through them. Quite possibly they are full of facts, buried under a lot of confusion of the moment.
I can also assure you that it has taken a lot of effort for me to state all these facts here. A conscious effort not to obfuscate myself anymore. A conscious effort to blow away the FOG. All this has been hard work. The result might look as if it's 'easy', or that it's all 'clear' to me, but it isn't.
It sure does help to bring clarity, also to read it over at times when the FOG is moving in again.

It's a bit of the same process as when you write an essay. You start, put it down again for a while, continue, reread, revise, scrap, insert, change the order of the paragraphs… It's a job.

Perhaps you could give it a try yourself? Just by writing down the facts you do know? It doesn't have to be prose. Like you said: it doesn't need to be read. It's a tool to get the 'stuff' in 'order' for yourself.
This journal section of the board is a bit of a sanctuary for myself. Here I can be totally 'selfish'. Here I only need to 'share' with myself.
And it sure helps to get me sorted, and all the facts sorted. And in my experience it's been a great aid to get the facts to the surface, facts that have eluded me for so long.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: tired on October 14, 2015, 09:06:08 AM
terrifying but useful exercise
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on October 14, 2015, 10:29:05 AM
You bet.
25 years worth. Stacked in piles of roughly 5 years each.

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on October 14, 2015, 12:17:00 PM
 :yes: :yes:definitely agree on the benefits of writing down the facts and also the effects of the things that happened. it is easier than trying to get another person to understand in conversation.  the benefit for me of this journal section is also that sometimes people do feed back and that helps because it makes me feel heard and more importantly understood and validated.  very helpful.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on October 14, 2015, 01:02:39 PM
Oh yes. Feedback is great.
But where I elsewhere on the forum take consideration of the fact I'm in a conversation with you all, here I just dump anything I need to.  ;D

I try to view other people's journals the same way. And try to keep my replies short there. And always very 'to the point' if I think actual 'input' might be of service.

I think of the journals more as a 'lecture' I attend, while the rest of the boards are more of a 'seminar' or 'around the table' affair.
(with the possible exemption of "Letters of Recovery".)

Which gives me the opportunity to say to all who have replied (or have just read this journal): thanks!  :hug:
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: Allowing self-forgiveness
Post by: Dutch Uncle on October 17, 2015, 07:26:58 AM
This night, at my regular wake-up-in-the-middle-of the-night, I had a new thought/awareness: I'm forgiving myself for my NC with sis, LC with the rest of the FOO. A few old friends even. I may do so. I may give myself permission to forgive myself.
Regardless if 'they', or anybody else, will...

The past year(s) I have been rehashing, rethinking, ruminating, JADE-ing endlessly regarding my changed attitude and behavior towards them, and since I went NC with sis and LC with mom it has only increased. Both in amount as well as intensity. I keep judging myself, justifying myself. Towards 'them'. It's what has always been demanded of me!  :thumbdown:
Feel I have to justify it to others. And of course sometimes in reality I have to do that, explain 'it all'. A bit here, a bit there, a bit 'this' and a bit 'that'…

But tonight I felt, possibly for the first time, I can simply forgive myself for having had to make that decision, and having had to stick to it: the 'evidence' only kept piling up. Relentlessly.
I no longer have to justify it. I know why I did it, I know why I do it and I know why I will continue to do what I do. For better or worse.

I can now move forward with self-forgiveness. I have started to forgive me for it, and it takes a weight of my shoulders. Feels a bit unsettled though. New territory.
I hope I'll remember this thought/feeling many times to come. My Inner Critic will start to scream and shout some more, for sure. External pressure will continue to arrive. Explanations asked/demanded, disbelief encountered, shunning experienced: "You can't do that!" or "Shut up about it already!"
Yeah, that's what I thought too, for so long… I know where that's coming from…And also to where it leads…Alas.

May I have access to my self-compassion at those times and remember I have forgiven myself for this perceived transgression of the social 'Norm', and may I do so once more. And more. And m o r e…

This started out as just one paragraph.  :rofl:
I guess the need to JADE will only slowly fade.  ;D
But I've started to walk away from it.
One step at the time.  :whistling:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on October 17, 2015, 11:55:04 AM
this is a big step towards freedom. excellent.  :applause:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on November 12, 2015, 01:45:45 PM
More and more it's getting clear to me how harmful my Therapist'mom' has been. And how much it has contributed to the man I behave as nowadays.

A week ago I woke up, at night as has become usual, with a very powerful, liberating,'strange' feeling+thought: "Dutch, you can start looking from the inside outwards. There is no need (any more) to look from the outside inwards."
Very empowering.

And so the past week this has been sinking in deeper still, and I now know why I have been so afraid/shy/unaccustomed to "looking outwards, from inside": Whenever my 'mom' would visit, or me her, I have not been meeting my mother, but my therapist. And it is her who has always presented me with her view, the therapist's view, of my inner world.
Most of my efforts to express me, to be self-asserting, expressing my wants etc.: it has been met with this psycho-woman who started to analyze me. Pummeling me with her psycho-babble.
So any 'search' for me, has been met with an intrusive search 'in me' by my therapist. No wonder I have 'poor boundaries'.
I was not allowed to speak out from inside: the outside would speak for my inside.
The whole term "shrink" has suddenly become a very true experience, if only in hindsight.
I'm also now reminded of a very sick joke about therapists, which I will not tell here publicly because it's too gory. But it's very applicable in my case/experience. That'll do. Yuck!.

I didn't even hire her! She has imposed herself on me. Arrrggghhhh….  :pissed:

Well, today I have decided I must sack her. And tomorrow again. And the day after, again again until she is gone.

Sad thing is: I realize that it's not a far stretch to say that my mother has been kicked out/left when I was about 10, and was replaced by a therapist. Same for my brother and sister, and in the case of my dad: his spouse was kicked out and replaced by the therapist.
My mother has abandoned her family, and has send as a replacement a Family-Therapist, who did marriage-counseling on the side.
I will never meet the mother that left so long ago, again. She's been gone for about 40 years now. No way she can be traced. She might even be dead and buried. But even if I would somehow bump into her, or even if she would come actively looking for me, we would be total strangers, devided by decades of NC.
She has not seen her son grow up, and I have not seen her growing old.

Hey, Mrs. Therapist!
and impostor 'mom'...
You're FIRED.

This is what TherapistMom has learned along her way of becoming a therapist:
(https://shrink4men.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/yourfault.jpg?w=300&h=201)

edited to add:
Two awesome links that I had found earlier, and quite probably paved the way to see 'the forest for the trees' in the end.
This one has been my first lightbulb-moment regarding Therapist-surrogate-Mom
(As in: I got validation for my suspicions. I must have had a 'suspicion' of some kind to start googling this subject, I'd say, though I have lost track on cause-and-effect in this matter)
 (Why am I JADE-ing to myself in my own bloody journal? "Arrgghh" :pissed: , says an Inner critic. "Cool down, you may take it easy on yourself", tells my Inner Nurturer me, "you just want to be thorough when going through these motions that will have a big and lasting impact on your and other peoples lives. You are (already) doing the right thing this way. Hush now baby, don't you cry." :kisscheek: )
http://www.yourtango.com/experts/dr-margaret-paul/what-do-when-he-expects-you-be-his-therapist#.VME6Vktja0o
(Note: I did read it with a role reversal. More in vein of: "what-do-when-she-expects-herself-be-your-therapist."

And the second one I only started to read with more attention today (it's more like an academic paper, and very elaborate.) Especially the part on "Negative Impacts on the Family", about 2/5th down, really does strike a cord with me:
http://www.zurinstitute.com/therapistsfamilies.html

A related note I wrote to myself years ago:
http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2524.msg15777#msg15777
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on November 12, 2015, 04:58:33 PM
this is amazing  Dutch Uncle. and very powerful.
Quote
So any 'search' for me, has been met with an intrusive search 'in me' by my therapist. No wonder I have 'poor boundaries'.
I was not allowed to speak out from inside: the outside would speak for my inside.

The whole term "shrink" has suddenly become a very true experience, if only in hindsight.

these sentences, partic the bolded ones are very powerful and revealing for me too, thanks for sharing.

Quote
I will never meet the mother that left so long ago, again.
Quote
She has not seen her son grow up, and I have not seen her growing old.

this breaks my heart for you dear D/U.  :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: woodsgnome on November 12, 2015, 06:11:04 PM
Hey, Dutch :wave:

Reading this reminded me of a song, so I posted it over in the music thread.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on November 12, 2015, 07:07:39 PM
Thanks, both of you.

And woodsgnome: what a fitting musical reply as well.  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on December 30, 2015, 09:17:01 AM
Well, quite some stuff has happened since my last post here, and much has been said on that elsewhere on the forum.

points 514) 515) and 516) in my (updated) OP refer to that.
They are all related to X-mas-time.

I also made a post in the "Religious abuse" section on my 'God-fearing' dad, where I wrote:
Quote
NB: My dad is (what I think is  ;) ) a Calvinist, which is exemplified by the fact that he corrects himself (or me) if he tells a story about something "nice" he has experienced.
"Ehrm no, it wasn't "nice", I don't like "nice". It was "Good". This is not a one off now and then, nope: it's a reiterated matter of principle. :doh:
Well, yesterday I got a "Happy New Year"-card of him.
Off-course it didn't say "Happy New Year" but, in the true spirit of my dad:
"I wish you a good and useful/meaningful/purportful* 2016."
Sure, I suppose it's meant nice, but after a night of sleeping over it, it (unconsciously) dawned on me: I have to achieve! I have been given a task! I better not look back, 365 days from now, and realize "Nah, didn't achieve a thing. I just had a nice/happy 2016."
Bad Uncle. Bad bad bad Uncle.

Well, he can stuff it. I'm going to party like it's 2016, every day I can in 2016. That'll be good enough for me.
I'll probably have a few parties that suck. Oh well. It's the parties that are a ball that matter.
:groovey:

*) hard to translate the Dutch word he used, but there is a connotation with 2016 actually having to 'make sense'. I don't know if in English there is a word for the opposite of 'senseless', but in Dutch we have, and it is that word he used.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: woodsgnome on December 30, 2015, 04:01:56 PM
Not to barge in on a journal entry, but I think an English word that might describe the opposite of "senseless" is "relevant". I just used it in another context so it was floating around the brain matter and it matched what you seemed to be reaching for.

As long as I'm here, I'll just add that your struggles with all the hoovering, etc. seem at least to be allowing you some clarity for where you feel you need to be in this process. The rest of the road probably won't be any easier, but you have a better handle on it, too. Congratulations  :applause: 
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on January 11, 2016, 12:00:23 PM
First off, thank you woodsgnome. Your post has not gone unnoticed, and has been and still is much appreciated.


Secondly, and the main reason I make another entry in this recovery journal is that I found this article here (thanks, Behea1ty !) an inspiration, and an anchor for the progress I've made in the last year(s):
http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/07/09/end-a-codependent-relationship-the-healthy-way/

The conclusion of the article...:
Quote
Avoid codependency relapse by staying with your pain

Because you’re trying to control the situation. You’re trying to end your pain with force.

The whole point of healing from codependency is to finally feel your pain! To finally listen not only to your anger, but the deep wounds that lurk beneath it.

So don’t get rid of the other person just to avoid being reminded of how much they have hurt you, how vulnerable you are, and how horribly you can be hurt — for the rest of your entire life. Just work on yourself instead. Keep your relationship with you strong, and your other relationships will naturally fall into place

End a codependent relationship not by focusing on separating from the other person, but by reconnecting with who you are.

When you really heal from codependency, you see the frailty of humanity. You see how delicate you are, and how chaotic and dangerous that means life can be.
…resonates strongly with me, and I do feel that this is mostly what I have done with my codependency with regard to my abusive FOO.

I've reconnected, set boundaries, ended dysfunction, followed up with action on boundary-violations and witnessed that without dysfunction and codependency there is no other relationship (to continue).

As the article also says:
Quote
How to end a codependent relationship the healthy way

You end a codependent relationship, the healthy way, by transforming your behavior.

A relationship requires two people.

A codependent relationship automatically ends when you stop relating to the other person in codependent ways — regardless of whether you actually “end” the relationship, or if it naturally falls apart.

A codependent relationship automatically ends when you develop a healthy, working relationship with your anger (in other words, yourself) and use that relationship as a springboard for creating and maintaining sound personal boundaries that protect you.

When I've read the article a second, a third time I did see my ending of my codependent relationships with my FOO-members could probably have been a bit better. But it's been thoroughly "good enough" the way I handled it.
For a first go at it, it was pretty brilliant all things considered.
And any copy I'll make now or in the future will still be a "good enough" way. It doesn't have to be brilliant, let alone perfect. Ending codependency is a tough job. An emotional job and a mentally challenging one.

I can do this.
And I may draw confidence from that.

When you reread this in time, Dutch Uncle, let me have reminded you of that.
Peace.
Keep going strong.
Your younger Self.  ;D
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: V on January 11, 2016, 09:53:13 PM
DU you
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: V on January 11, 2016, 10:00:25 PM
    sorry, DU you journaled so much, I think that is/was a good way to help work yourself through this. I am not sure that would have helped me but I do find myself writing alot down when I am troubled with keeping track of things for whatever reason ...

    my "awareness" started at age 7 so if I had journaled my entire life - I am now 57 - ha, I may have surely beaten the number of your stack of journals. Someday I hope that you are able to finally and happily take them all out to the burning pit and light them up! well, that is a nice thought but so much work ... one might not want to even think about that ... but if you can come to the point that you have absolutely no doubt anymore then maybe it is time to just stop and get on with your life of freedom and believe me it's super duper peaceful !

    me for instance, just eliminated those family members from my life that truly were out to cause me pain - mainly my mother - and the rest of the siblings, well I tolerate them once a year at the family picnic where they oogle and google me to see what I am up too - ha, now who are they to say anything to me but I would cut them short like butter

   I love the wolf quotes by the native american indians ... "throw me out to the wolves and I will return leader of the pack"

keep the faith DU and god bless you and all of us ... Peace, V ! 
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on January 12, 2016, 02:26:47 AM
Someday I hope that you are able to finally and happily take them all out to the burning pit and light them up! well, that is a nice thought but so much work ...
My TherapistMom once suggested to burn my journals. Which I then did.
It didn't help a damned thing. It only has led to erasing part of my recorded memory.
It may have taken a long while, but in the end my journalling has led me out of the FOG, when I started to write down some suspicions (I might even say: predictions on fake promises that were made to me) and they turned out to be accurate.
That started the ball rolling on Gaslighting (http://outofthefog.website/top-100-trait-blog/2015/11/4/gaslighting). There might be much more of that in my journals. Trashing them is not an option.

And I would appreciate if god can be kept out of this thread. There is no such thing.
Which makes me remind myself of another great article I read on the very same site:
http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/05/28/how-the-new-age-is-the-new-religion/
that sums up so much of my experience in/with TherapistMom's belief system.

For laughs I should remind myself to this YouTube clip: "Oh God, It's Mom" - Mother Calls to Scold Sons During Political Debate on LIVE TV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q15xhG6pVUw)  :rofl: The  :doh:  both sons make… I can relate.

edit: changed the link to the youTube vid, as the original has disappeared.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on January 20, 2016, 02:46:46 PM
I posted part of this elsewhere on the board, yet my mind is running off with it. In a good manner, but I realize that what my mind is running off with is a private matter. And that belongs here.

I tried this the other day, and it worked pretty well I think. Didn't feel unauthentic at all.
Weird, yes. (as in: unfamiliar) (There's probably some 'pun' hidden in the unfamiliar there. Now my thoughts are racing. ;D )
I pictured myself in my parents-house, way back. Picked up the small boy that got so molested there, sat down, inside that house, way in the open in the living room*, and hugged and held 'him'. It felt quite physical even.
I'll try to do that more. Thanks.

You mentioned elsewhere (I think. Can't find it anymore. So perhaps it was somebody else who said this) that you spoke to the Inner Child as "you (me) are safe now" (or words to that effect). The "you (me)" struck a chord, as I earlier this month I 'spoke' to my Inner Child, and also referred to us as "We". That also allowed an 'opening up' to the "me" of now, as well as the "me" of then.
We'll be making a great team.  :yes:  "Me, myself and I."  ;D

added here for the purpose of personal journalling:
I only now realized that the physical abuse that my brother inflicted on me most often (always?) was done in plain sight, in the middle of the living room! Not somewhere hidden and secret, like in the back of the house or in my room or some such… Nope, right in front of everybody. Like he needed the stage… I made a post once about my brother blowing the horn (http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=2539.msg15840#msg15840) (which was about him actually playing a horn) and suddenly I see a connection. I may read more in it than warranted, but probably not.
But the fact I sat down with my "Dutch Boy" in the living room is because that's where I picked him up, where he was left after his beatings. Central Stage. And that's exactly where I should comfort him.

I then realized I got more to add to another post I made:
Perhaps I'll read the book at some point. […] Luckily I can read German, so when I feel up to it I can. It will probably cause a parade of EF's though.
Why did I write "luckily I can read German"?
There's no luck at all involved.
First I had to study it at secondary school (which was a bloody drag. "Damned Nazi's" and all that. Pretty convenient for kids in puberty to rebel against. Easy target. "I'm not going to put any effort in THAT"  ;D  Still, I had to pass my 'overall' grades. There was only 'so much' I could get 'away with'. So the bare minimum, that's where I was heading. Which still required a decent effort after dropping well below 'The Mark'.  :bigwink: ).
After that I boosted my knowledge. By making German friends (in adolescence, post secondary school. What the * did they had to do with anything that had passed? They weren't born then, just as I wasn't. I should make a post on that one time. Talking about a paradigm-shift! That was one! And boy, do I was conscious of it. Life-changing moment.  :thumbup: ), visiting them, speaking their language, and THAT is why I became pretty proficient in German.
Luck had nothing to do with it.
Effort, diligence, interest and most of all: A desire to communicate with my fellow human beings. If it took to learn a new and foreign language*, then so be it. The folks were definitely worth it. And so was I.
*) note to self: Language in this case is not just restricted to "linguistics". But the art and skill of putting an effort into hearing "meaning" in words, sounds, utterances, expressions.
Empathy in optima forma in my honest opinion and, most important, in my honest experience.

It's one thing to (inaccurately) think one is responsible for things outside one's control.
It's another thing to (inaccurately) think one cannot take credit for what one has brought under one's own control.  ;D
The latter is probably even more counter-productive than the former.  :wave:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on January 28, 2016, 04:59:57 PM
Placeholder post. At some point in the I will probably elaborate on this. I already did on loose sheets at home. But to put this into something coherent, in english as well… that may take some more time.

Anyway, Martin Miller's story (http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3452.0) triggered all this.

For now I will post the clip of "Nurse Ratched" from "One flew over the cuckoo's nest". It exemplifies for me what it has meant to have a TherapistMom.

In previous posts I already stated that my 'mom' (mentally) left "the house" when I was very young. Six, seven years old. Possibly even before that. By the time I was twelve my 'mom' had been fully replaced by her role/incarnation as Family Therapist/Marriage Counselor.

Nurse Ratched, in this scene, is the embodiment of it. "you know Billy, your mom and I are old friends, how could I not tell her this?"

It's the intimate relationship between 'mom' and '(Psychiatric) nurse' that takes precedence over the wellbeing ('cure') of 'Identified Patient' Billy. "Son of…"
How could "Nurse Ratched" forgo her obligation to her "old friend 'mom' ", even in face the fear-driven animalistic plea of 'son' Billy?

Billy starts beating himself up, due to the utter (internalized) conflict the 'mom' and his 'nurse' conspire too. Neither of them is even one bit interested in Billy's joy and/or wellbeing. They are driven by their complicit efforts to control him. And to keep him 'institutionalized'.

Nurse Ratched and Billy's mom are one and the same person.
For all practical purposes at least. From Billy's point of view experience.
Billy (and me) are encouraged to share all the deepest thoughts, feelings, experiences at 'the ward' . To be subsequently shared by the 'nurse' with 'mom', who will then judge. And punish. Well, both of them, in tandem. The 'nurse' will know the best 'therapeutic' punishment.
Nurse Ratched is "Stettbacher" in the case of Martin Miller. Well, in my translation/transference of the 'real life case' to the fiction of the movie that is.  ;D

***trigger warning: malignant psychological warfare and subsequent utter breakdown of the victim. Violence.***
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onm5gjgL97Y

I want to end this post on a lighter note:
The acceptance speech of 'Nurse Ratched' at the Oscar's.
Especially moving how she thanks her parents in sign-language.
Louise Fletcher Wins Best Actress: 1976 Oscars (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGl5U7nNlkY)
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on February 10, 2016, 07:56:21 AM
Well, the last days have been stormy. Not coping that well, boozing…
The only upshot with boozing is that I keep working through stuff. I drink beer, so it's a 'small drip'. Sometimes I think the sedation makes it able for me to feel the pain and frustration that otherwise would be too hard to bear and I would just seep it under the rug again, avoid it.
That does sound like a lame excuse for boozing though.

Anyway, I have been working through the FOO and NC/LC, and I'm ever edging closer to giving DramaMama the boot completely. I'm even rehearsing some very MC short sentences to bring her the bad news.
It feels like progress. There's still an umbilical chord so to speak. She has never cut it and has used it like a puppeteer-string. Time to get out the scissors and cut it myself.

Did have one other rather interesting thought I'd like to share:
In my research on Asperger's and it's effect on those around them, I stumbled on the term "Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome" (OTRS) and posted some on it elsewhere.
I guess DramaMama suffers from that. Sad thing is, since she herself has appointed as Marriage-therapist she has been the main driving force for the "Ongoing" part of the equation. 15 years after her divorce she STILL wants to (and does) talk things over with dad.  :doh:  So the Traumatic Relationship is STILL Ongoing. Good Grief. For dad as well. (Why he puts up with it is a mystery as well. I guess he still hopes she'll come back to him...)

All that is only an extra reason to cut the ties, as she no doubt will continue my Traumatic Relationship with her indefinitely, as relation-therapist off course, so I'll be stuck in this rut forever if I would relapse back.
I'm sure she'll do something outrageous at some point, and that'll be a good point to say "Farewell." So I don't have to bring the news 'out of the blue', making me the bad guy. (Well, I'm already the bad guy, and no matter what I'll be evil anyway, but at least it will not have been me picking an outrageous fight. Good for my own piece of mind.)
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on February 22, 2016, 03:59:40 PM
So, today I finally dared to delve into my old diaries.

Goal: to reconstruct the dates of my parents divorce.
I have already embarked on preparing an 'anniversary calendar' (1) for milestones in my life. Specifically tailored to my recovery for which (in order to honor Desmond Tutu's quote in my signature "To pursue the path of healing we need to remember what we have endured. Restoring ones sense of self means restoring memory, recognizing what happened. Without memory there is no healing") it's probably 'wise' to mark the dates I need to remember the abuse AND dates on which I "remembered and healed" them.
Good grief, that sounds horribly pretentious.
But I'm going to try anyway. Let's see how it'll work out.

The divorce of my parents has stretched out over a period of 2 1/2 year. And it's best described as "keeping everybody in the dark", i.e. Chaos Manufacture. Which of course involved feeding us snippets of information. Otherwise it wouldn't be Chaos Manufacture!
Like a true HPD, i'd say. (Which I suspect my TherapistMom of being.)
My diaries have gaps in them.

Prelimenary reconstruction (a bit more vague than my diary entries, to protect my privacy):
Late Winter 2001: 'Mom' "needs to meet me", I say OK, she arrives in a car that is not theirs, I think: "Oh dear, she's going to announce her divorce." I'm right. No specific record of this in my diary. But a strong memory. (Early Winter I have a mention of them celebrating their wedding anniversary, so it must have been after that.  ;D) edited to add: I recall my mother telling me a story (when I was in puberty) about a women divorcing her husband right after their 25th anniversary: "That was a great party, I enjoyed it, but now it's time to leave you". I even thought that was funny, to the disgust of my friends. In hindsight: they were right to be disgusted. Now, when I reconstruct this I see my mother has done the exact same thing. 15-20 year after she told me that story.
Spring 2001: Mention in my diary of a fight of me and dad concerning my birthday and his visit. Not very specific on what the fight is about, but I have a clear memory of a fight I had with him about attending a birthday of me by him and 'mom', which I didn't want because "Yes dad, you are still my parents, but you're not a couple anymore, so no, I don't want the two of you here together."
Dad never showed up. Nor did 'mom'.
No presents for me that year.
Early summer 2001: references to being troubled for a while now by "mom having left dad".
Late 2001: References (not clear at all) to a memory I have: 'Mom' and 'dad' had arranged for a meeting with their kids because "Undoubtedly you have questions, so you can ask them there." Me and 'sis' went (expat bro not  :thumbup: ), but didn't receive any (significant) answer under the guise of "that's something between your mother/father and me."  :thumbdown:  After this I had my first year of (total, yet temporary) NC with 'mom'. (I might elaborate on that later, if I have not already mentioned this in earlier posts here.)
Autumn 2002: A letter from 'dad' that he has "bad news": they will divorce. (When 'mom' came over the first time, my heart sang with joy, to be honest.  :rofl:  Didn't say that. Wise. I'm not a *.)
Spring 2003 edited to add: this is the year I told dad I didn't want him and 'mom' visiting me together on my birthday. 'Dad' came a week later, 'mom' the week after that.
Summer 2003 (!): A letter from 'dad' that the divorce has become official.
Interesting 'fun' fact: 'mom' divorced 'dad'. How come I have these letters from 'dad' stapled in my diaries, and non from 'mom'? I cannot think of another reason that "*cough* Gallant *cough* (enabler) dad has taken it upon him to bring the "bad news" on behalf of both of them (as stated in these letters) and woe-is-me :dramaqueen: -'mom' skillfully 'dotched the bullet'. For the divorce SHE wanted. (never mind if she was right or not to do so: she has left it to 'dad' to clean up the mess'/ do the 'damage control'.)
I will probably check some time later to see if I have any mail or letters from 'mom' from this period. Letters probably not (or I would have stapled them too I suppose), e-mails: possibly. Though we are talking 2001-2003 here. Antiquity in terms of e-correspondence.)

Reading dad's letters have been quite a renewed 'shock'.
I didn't delve to much in it yet: I just wanted to get the dates.

(1): In Holland it's customary to have an "anniversary calendar" on the toilet. With all the birthdays and other anniversaries of your social circle written on them. I guess since it's the only place you will visit daily, so one can't miss an anniversary. ;D
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle. The Runaway.
Post by: Dutch Uncle on March 10, 2016, 10:42:18 AM
Today I realized I have become(1) like the kids my TherapistMom used to bring over from her work. These were runaways from abusive homes. She started working as a counselor (or some such) at an agency where runaways would be provided with shelter and 'mom' was involved in finding a foster-family for these kids. (If reconciliation was not possible, not warranted and/or during a period where reconciliation/mediation was taking place. I guess What? probably. Given TherapistMom's unhealthy appetite for Drama, she probably took the job so she could meddle in the family-poo that caused these kids to run away. I feel almost sick typing that, it's a horrible accusation to make, but unfortunately I have to face the possibility it's just that why she 'loved' her job.  :dramaqueen:)
If she couldn't find one, she would sometimes take these kids in until a more permanent solution was found for them.
Talking about not separating your work from your private life, a trait she would continue by becoming the TherapistMom for all her kids and a TherapistSpouse for my dad. Highly unethical and unprofessional behavior on her part.
The plot thickens…

I feel a sense of relief realizing this. Mixed with a sense of shame (I shouldn't, I know, but denying this feeling isn't helping either) and a sense of revenge as well: Part of me wants to shout this in her face: "HELLO THERE! I'm leaving this family, I'm running away because I have a terrible abusive Mother, an abusive Sister, a Brother that beats me up and a Dad who is a Brute. I'm outta here! In yer face, Ms. Therapist. You suck! You all suck!  :thumbdown: "

I'm going to recognize all these three emotions until only relief is left of them.

(1) "become" sounds too passive here, yet it still somehow fits. Since I'm a victim here, so I should not take a too active stance in all this. I may be an agent in "running away", but I should pretty clearly keep in mind that I'm not an agent in the why I'm running away.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on March 12, 2016, 04:00:54 PM
A brighter story, for once.

Memories to a pivotal moment in my life, that does get an extra 'charge/load/significance' in light of all I'm working through nowadays.

I was a child up to 2nd grade in secondary school. During 3rd grade I hit puberty. My two (and virtually only) mates during the first two grades did not pass to third, which made this year a time of great changes. I got acquainted with another guy, and smoked my first joint with him. I started to acquire my own musical taste (Zappa) to which he had introduced me. We made plans to go on holidays together.
The son of a colleague of my father (they car-pooled), who I knew just as kids of befriended parents do, got wind of our plans and said: "I will be going with 5 others on holidays. Our parents will bring us and pick us up again after two (three?) weeks. Join us if you will." That sounded great and we planned to go with them.
Some time later my acquaintance bailed, and I stuck to the group of six other 'pimple faced' guys.
First holidays without parents! Yay!

I barely knew these guys, basically we had met only a few weeks before, perhaps two months at most.
It was fun, exciting, we acted crazy as 15/16 year old boys do, pushed all sort of boundaries, especially authority, and managed to stay just on the good side of the fence. (Well, probably we thought we were oh-so-naughty but were in fact pretty meek. But who cares: it's one owns perspective that counts, right? We went places where "no man has ever went before", so we had a ball to say the least.)

The most amazing thing for me however was that this was a group of friends who had one amazing trait that was completely alien to me and took me some time and effort to get used to: In a discussion they would grant each other a 'point' (and many kids that age think they have the whole world sorted out and the solution to any problem around: if only the world would listen and see things our way… So there was plenty to discuss ;D ) . "Good point." "You're right." "Didn't know that, interesting." "True."
I was baffled. I could make a point, and it could be granted. Never had had that in my life before. I was so not used to a discussion actually moving forward, or getting concluded even.
This was weird.
But in this few weeks I learned to accept and adopt this great new tool. And I started to grant points to others too. I don't think I was particular 'sticky' to begin with: in the FOO I always was made to lose, never could stand up to the intellectual superiority, discussion skills and verbal prowess of my elder siblings and parents, so I never adopted the 'never giving in'-style. I had grown accustomed to 'folding my cards' quickly or simply keep my mouth shut.
Now, for the first time in my life, I was part of a 'peer-group' where my opinion actually mattered and was valued, validated. "Wow, these guys are great" I thought, "what a bunch of great friends they are to each other. I want to stick around these guys."
And so I did. Apart from one guy I have lost contact with them in the years in between. Slowly, softly. We all went studying, moved to different cities, we got new and different 'peer-groups' there. Girlfriends, wives, some started families… Our lives took different paths.

But this has been a pivotal holiday.
I remembered this event today, as I become increasingly aware that this FOO-"conflict based behavior" that still is so prominent has never mellowed down. I've shared a lot already on the behavior of the 'cluster B' DramaQueens and the equally conflict prone anti-social brother who hates his wife so much that I (half-)jokingly told a friend (who asked about the how and why): "He will berate her for even breathing." Which he would if he could.
But I was especially reminded of this 'paradigm-shift' I experienced at the age of 15 by memories of uAsperger's dad, to whom I have said a few times over the course of the last years: "Say "Yes"! We agree! Say "Yes" for crying out loud! I just said what you say now, we're on the same side on this. Stop arguing (over nothing)! " He'll probably will never get to a point where he can say, assertively, "Yes". Which is sad, for and towards me at least.

But the upside of these realizations is that I know what I have chosen when I was 15, and that I know, because I felt and feel it, that arguing for the arguing itself is pointless, a bore, detrimental to relationships and harmfully abusive to health and life.

I can return to the 15 year old. I so often have returned to the 15 year old in my life, with considerable successes.
I know how to agree, I even know how to agree to disagree. Sure, I will also fight for what's 'right', I don't have to be a doormat.
My 15 year old Inner Child can be my ally again, and together we know how to make life agreeable.

Cheers, and thanks for reading.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on March 16, 2016, 10:00:53 AM
A quote I found in an online article (http://shrink4men.com/2016/02/15/what-a-narcissist-or-borderline-means-by-unconditional-love/) that too me sums up my FOO, and that will probably keep me on track of avoiding these nasty behaviors of them (and to know in general when my boundaries are violated in ways that demand the implementation of firm consequences):

“Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; the third time it’s enemy action.”
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on April 22, 2016, 12:45:48 PM
This video/talk by the author of "Stop walking on Eggshells", Randi Kreger, is Golden:

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Secrets of Limit Setting - Randi Kreger (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85_eYftuv0k)

It does tell the story of what I have been going trough for the last four years... It's a process.  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on April 25, 2016, 02:25:34 AM
Today I saw a video of a lecture by Bessel van der Kolk titled The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53RX2ESIqsM).

Very interesting, and in way very calming: there is a lot of interesting research presented, and in it it is explained how trauma affects cognitive functions as well as the loss of "Self" (which for simplicity sake I would call "dissociation", though that may be a totally wrong assumption/connection I'm making).

For me personally it explains, to my relief, why after my DramaSis (re)traumatized me at a point in my life where an academic pursuit was essential for me to stay in the field I was working in failed miserably: My cognitive functions simply went 'offline'. And so did my sense of "Self". The latter was challenged by DramaSis (this was the re-traumatization) to the point of almost destroying it, and I could cope with 'academia' as long as it was 'class'-based (basically following the course and it's rules) I was fine, but as soon as writing papers and the thesis came in view (and input of my "Self" was essential) I crumbled.

This lecture has been, already, an asset in self-forgiveness of 'failing' there and then: How could I succeed in 'academia' when persistent Trauma was inflicted on me by DramaSis and by extension the whole enabling FOO? (I'm not sure if 'sis' is the GC, she has had her share of abuse as well, but for sure I never got any recognition/validation for the awful way she treated me during the last years, and thus during my academic pursuit.)

PS: I posted this originally in "Books", as this video might help some others too, but decided to post it here as well for the benefit of my own reflection on how it all affected me the past years.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on April 27, 2016, 06:57:26 AM
I recently posted in the 4F trauma typology of Pete Walker on how I identify with the Fawn response.

At the moment these threads are under maintenance, and I can’t post there anymore, so I’ll do it here and later when the thread is back up move it there.

I got a response by MaryAnn, and it became clear to me I had completely misunderstood “Fawn”. It’s because English is not my native language. I had never heard of “Fawn” before, so I made my own interpretation/inference of the meaning of the word.
After MaryAnn's response I looked "Fawn" up in a dictionary: to praise someone too much and give them a lot of attention that is not sincere, in order to get a positive reaction

Well, that is definitely not my ‘default’ response, so I should more view myself as a “Freeze” type, as MaryAnn suggested.

That I “freeze” up to the point of ‘playing dead’ still holds though.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on April 29, 2016, 04:57:13 PM
A quote that struck a chord with me, as I think it is important to remember why NC with my uHPD (or otherwise cluster-B disordered persons around me) is so important:

Quote
Narcissists are said to be in love with themselves.
But this is a fallacy. Narcissus is not in love with himself. He is in love with his reflection.
- Sam Vaknin, self-identified narcissist:  http://samvak.tripod.com/msla.html

I have to deny them their reflection. Through me.
And NC is the only way to achieve they cannot reflect on me, and I do not reflect back at them.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 06, 2016, 06:26:38 AM
I've had a few strange days. Many ups and downs in one day, for days. I was switching between being very compassionate for myself, to raging and being overwhelmed by catastrophic thoughts and relentless Inner Critic attacks.

I did some reading in Pete walkers book: Chapter three on "Improving Relationships". The concepts of self-mothering and self-fathering. Quite interesting and nurturing actually.
Self-fathering I have been trying (and doing) for a long time now (I see in hindsight) but I never had thought of self-mothering. (The first being self-protection and the latter being self-compassion.)
Mostly because I already felt for a long time that I had missed out on a dad for a long time already. Twenty years ago I even made the conscious effort to bind more with my dad, told him so and it worked for a bit. This was after my first depression and not feeling comfortable with my therapists. Then, a year into this process my 'mom' walked out on dad which led to almost three years of divorce Drama. In hindsight I sometimes think 'mom' felt cheated (did she lose her narcissistic supply? Lost the ability to bully/abuse my dad as he now had a son who actually appreciated the man? Or at the very least a son who was on the path of having a relationship with his dad where the common ground would be: There where we appreciate each other is where we'll meet, not there where we disagree? No more put downs, please. For neither of us.) Not surprisingly my dad turned his attention to his wife, to safe his marriage and keep his life's companion, and contact with dad has since been worse than ever. The end of project "bind with dad", so to say.
But I had never thought I had been missing out on a mother as well. She had been there always, right? Good grief, the amount of attention I got from her. Overwhelming. Overbearing is probably a more apt word. Smothering?
The only caveat: it was not my mother, but my Therapist. (Or narcissist, or uHPD or whatever. But never my mother.) No wonder I failed to spot neglectful mothering, an absence of mothering.

This night was also up and down, but I managed to be able to switch back to self-compassion and self-acceptance time and again after Inner Critics attacks.
And then this thought dawned on me: I will try to rename the Inner Critic to the Internalized Critic. This is basically what Pete walkers says it is (so it's not an idea of my own): the Inner Critic is the internalized voice of my abusive parents and sister. And quite possibly of other abusive people in my past and present, though they have been cut out of my life already, whereas my parents and sister have had the opportunity to beat me up with impunity for decades.

But I think it might help me if I stop speaking of my Inner Critic, as to a large degree it isn't mine at all. It's nothing inherent in me. My TherapistMom used to send me that message, and it was only during my visits to the team of psychologists that I finally dared to speak the terrifying sentence "I'm afraid it's my mother who has installed in me the notion I'm psychologically defective and I need treatment." ("but I think this is wrong." Did I say this? I can't really remember. But I do remember that by uttering that long held thought and fear for the very first time ever in my life, I at least said it with the intent to figure out if this was right or not, and I wanted the psychologists to help me with that. SCID-II followed and I was declared 'sane', so to speak. Which led to me not getting any treatment anymore, which was the flip-side of the coin. And then I found OOTF and the community here. In a week it'll be one year ago I signed up. But I digress.)

I think and hope it will be useful for my recovery, in which the Inner Critic needs to be silenced after all, to bring an end to it being mine. It is after all the external criticism I have received for many decades that created and filed this Critic inside of me. And so by regarding it as the Internalized Critic, it may already out of the door with one foot. It will be purged. It's an alien organism inside my body, and my body should well be able to get rid of it.

So hi, Internalized Critic.  :wave:
I'm on to you.  :yes:
Let me show you the door. It where you're heading.  :spooked:
Slowly but surely. You have overstayed your welcome.

PS: One of the self-affirming, self-protective and self-compassionate thoughts/experiences I have had over the past days was:
I have been going increasingly LC with sis and mom for years. Pressure only mounted. I became an alcoholic, but when I decided to seek treatment for that AND the underlying problems, I made the conscious decision not to tell any of my FOO, for I knew that they (in particular TherapistMom and DramaSis) would decent one me like vultures. So I basically went NC on that particular part of my life even before I went NC with both of them on all parts of my life. In fact I went NC after the first or second appointment with the 'T-Team'.
I think if I had not done that, I would have never dared to speak up in front of the therapists about my TherapistMom being the 'evil genius' who unnecessarily pushed me into therapy in the first place (30 years ago).
So I'm giving myself a pat on the back and a big hug for instinctively making the right choice to free myself of the abuse. Had I not gone NC, I would still be stuck. The whole process I'm in now isn't particularly fun either, but there is progress and more importantly: I'm on a way out now.

 :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on May 06, 2016, 03:49:30 PM
just to say i'm so encouraged reading that! and that i have posted here today... twice!!  :stars: :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 06, 2016, 04:52:39 PM
Hi arpy1 :)  I'm happy you felt encouraged. And I'm happy you posted!  :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 09, 2016, 09:14:23 AM
If cPTSD is an "attachment disorder" as Pete Walker claims, (page 50 of cPTSD) shouldn't I primarily be concerned with what and whom I attach to, to with what and whom I am attached, to what and whom I might want to detach and to what and whom I am detached?

And given the fact I am dissociating at times, should these questions I ponder not only be aimed/considered with regard to the 'external' attachments (connections), but to those internally as well?

I know I should do away with 'shoulds' (LOL), and replace them with 'could', but as it is now, the above sentences wouldn't make sense. So for now it's good enough, these shoulds.  :yes:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on May 09, 2016, 09:21:06 AM
that's a very intriguing thought, DU, about attachment to self... have to ponder that.  :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 17, 2016, 06:15:25 PM
Rather than posting this in the "Book Club" tread, this is more for my own process, and what's more: I got pretty triggered by this week's chapter I just need to vent, and anchor myself in my experience.

(author=no_more_fear link=topic=3952.msg22960#msg22960 date=1463408021) (annotated by me)
Chapter Five

Overcoming the phobia of inner experience


Our inner experience is that which we think, feel, remember, perceive, sense, decide, plan and predict. These experiences are mental actions, or mental activity. Mental activity may or may not be accompanied by behavioral actions. It’s essential that you become aware of, learn to tolerate and regulate and even change major mental actions that affect your current life,  such as negative beliefs, feelings or reactions to the past that interfere with the present. However, it’s impossible to change inner experiences if you’re avoiding them because you’re afraid, ashamed or disgusted by them. Serious avoidance of your inner experiences is called experiential avoidance. In this chapter you will learn about the phobia of inner experience and build a foundation of skills to overcome it.

Understanding the Phobia of Inner Experience

Most people think of phobias as a fear of something external e.g. spiders. But some people can be equally terrified of a feelings like rage or sadness. Or a thought or wish, or a prediction that if they try something new they’ll fail, or even of physical sensations such as the rapid heartbeat and difficulty breathing that accompanies panic. Such a phobia of inner experience may involve shame or disgust in addition to fear. The phobia of inner experience is a serious problem, contributing to ongoing psychological stress and inhibition of pleasanter spontaneous activities.

For example, people may be intensely ashamed of rage because they believe that emotion could only belong to a ‘bad’ person or they fear the consequences of expressing it. Instead of feeling rage and dealing with it, they increase their misery by giving themselves negative labels. Their misery’s therefore compounded. Subsequently they avoid anger and situations that might evoke anger and when they feel angry they recoil in shame and disgust. Others may have fantasies of being cared for, yet feel very afraid and ashamed of these wishes because they have negative beliefs that being needy or dependent is weak and not normal. Again, this creates more inner distress and prevents them from accepting important needs.

Many people with a dissociative disorder are afraid of inner voices that come from other parts of themselves. They label themselves as ‘crazy’ and feel ashamed and afraid of these voices. Such feelings are often intensified if they have been labelled psychotic or ‘crazy’ by mental health professionals who did not understand the dissociative nature of the voices.
(and there is my TherapistMom: the  :witch:  to whom every single readily available emotion I expressed was negated and who blew them up to a BIG and DEEP inner defect of mine, to which I (shamefully from her perspective insistence) had no access to… and needed to ‘work on’.)
Some inner experiences may feel so threatening that almost any means of escape may be used, no matter how destructive. Maybe you stay very busy so memories don’t have time to surface. Other avoidance behaviours include drugs (I used to) or alcohol or other addictive behaviour, increasing self-criticism, withdrawing from others or blaming others for your inner problems. You may avoid it so much that you don’t view it as your experience.
Avoidance can be conscious or unconscious. We will begin by helping you be more aware of the ways you avoid inner experience in conscious ways. Once you become more comfortable in noticing how you avoid inner experience consciously, you gradually can begin to feel more secure to focus on some inner experiences of which you may not be aware. For example you may cringe or feel fear when you hear an inner voice but you may not yet know much about why that voice exists or what that part of you experiences.

Why People Develop a Phobia of Inner Experience

Generally the phobia of inner experience develops for three reasons.
First, many traumatized individuals did not get sufficient help dealing with intense inner experiences. They received too little help an reassurance from caretakers.
(Again: my TherapistMom. Seconded by EnablerDad and DramaSis. Memories resurface (not that they really ever left my experience) of me griefing over a relationship-breakup. I was sad. TherapistMom took me to her ‘office-at-home’ (which is probably a horrific case of intentional isolation: I was 20 or so, and my older siblings were visiting my parents, just as I was. WTF did she pull me out of the ‘family’ into her private practice? Good Grief…) where she kept on insisting I should access my anger or whatever. Point being: whatever the emotion I felt at the moment, it was THE WRONG ONE !
Thus, they feel easily overwhelmed, simply because they do not understand these experiences and feel they aren’t controllable.

Second, people tend to evaluate their internal experiences as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ They go on to label themselves the same way:  ‘Anger is bad so I’m bad;’ ‘only people who are unlovable feel shame, so I’m unlovable.’ Our inner experiences are not what make us good or bad, they are just a natural part of everyone’s world. (Except for TherapistMom, for whom nothing is what it is, and it's all just an opportunity to dig some 'dirt' up. And throw it in yer face! Ugh!)

Finally, certain inner experiences remind us of past traumatic experiences or as signals that something bad is about to happen. For example, when people, or a dissociative part of themselves, feel anxious, the emotion and physical sensations may immediately remind them, even if only on an unconscious level, of the fear they felt when they were being hurt in the past. They thus try to avoid feeling anxious so as not to be reminded of unresolved traumatic memories. Others might perceive an inner experience as a signal that something is about to go wrong. For example someone who feels sad may believe this emotion precedes an overwhelming experience of despair. Therefore, sadness is avoided to prevent the other difficult experience from occurring. The paradox is that what is fearfully anticipated would not likely take place if the present feeling of sadness is accepted and calmly experienced.
(Once more: TherapistMom: Simple and basic emotions that I expressed proved to be an Omen (<— Insert (New Age) predetermination and/or predestination) of impending and practically unavoidable Doom. I “wasn’t grounded”, were “not in contact with my Essence”, were “leaking my (life-)Energy”, or whatever Fundamental Flaw in my Being needed to be Adressed… By me in Solitude off course… The  :witch:  was only pointing out where I needed to direct my attention to… NOT at what I was addressing, but Something Else… Something Unfathomable… Anything but what I was experiencing… I always had to “dig deeper”… The Agony! No resolution possible, by definition.
No wonder I’m confused… The very essence of my ‘self’ has been deliberately, intentionally and purposefully (<— for the Grandiose Benefit of GuruMom who had to be instrumental in showing me My Way) destroyed, negated, neglected and amended… to fit her ’script’… of my life.)


The Need to overcome the phobia of Inner Experience

Healing requires you to work with these inner experiences in order to understand and change them. And you can’t change that which you avoid or do not know. Although it may be difficult, it is essential for you to learn to accept, understand, regulate and cope with all your inner experiences. They have got reason to exist and shouldn’t be judged as ‘good’ or bad.’ Everyone has inner experiences and if you’re able to tolerate them you can learn from them and what to do about them. Otherwise you remain captive to inner experience with it controlling you. Your work in this manual can help you learn to accept your inner experiences without judgement. In fact, this entire manual is geared towards helping you overcome your phobia of inner experience and feel less vulnerable and more comfortable as a whole person. You will learn much more about how to approach inner experience in the next chapter.
I have read that on average it takes seven attempt to finally distance oneself from ones abuser, so I’ll say it once more: “Mrs. Therapist (and imposter Mom)… You’re fired!”
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 19, 2016, 03:57:59 PM
Yesterday marked the day the psychologists who made certain I have no PD nor an anxiety disorder told me they could not be of any further service whatsoever.

I'm still in limbo if I can be happy overall of me even going down that route, or that it sucked overall and I shouldn't have bothered.

I'm telling myself that my effort in even going there, and showing my vulnerability in doing so, was a worthwhile effort. Even if after I told two long time buddies about the result and my 'quest' have not made any attempt to contact me since. I really should put "buddies" in parenthesis (?) there... Yeah right, one of them them invited me for New Years Eve. That has been "it" for the past year. The other one: zilch.

On the upside: my psychological review has proven me I'm not sick. I may have been injured, but that means I cannot, and do not, need treatment. Rehabilitation, "yeah that".
But I need another branch of healthcare providers for that.
And I can probably do without the silent "buddies", who only want to meet when things are swell...

Oh well, I made progress nonetheless the last year.
I should dance regardless... :groovey:
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: "The carrot on a stick." Having misers for parents...
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 26, 2016, 05:13:13 AM
The carrot on a stick. (in Dutch: "Er wordt je een worst voorgehouden....")

This night I realized how my parents have had such a skewed ‘reward-system’ for their (adult) children.
It has to do with “Intermittent Reinforcement” as well as with their miserly living/spending style.
And it has to do with what somebody from the Social Security Agency said to me when I had my my first depression/breakdown 15 years ago: “A carrot has been held in front of you which was then yanked away”… (I had gotten laid off due to budget cuts.)

All my life, all my youth and up till today my parents have always put a reward for me in the future. Never ever have I been rewarded for something, some achievement I did “out of the blue”. On the spot. In the moment.
They set us the goals, and put a reward on it. So rewards, presents etc where always something “to be had later”.
Now, I realize that doing that sometimes is good parenting, as children need to learn that “instant gratification” only ‘works’ up to a certain age. Or probably I should say: up to a certain age children can only deal with “instant gratification”, they have no concept yet of “postponed gratification”. Their brain is simply not wired for it yet. But the transition to ‘responsibility’ should be slow, gentle and age-appropriate. I (and my siblings no doubt) were treated as if we had the adult faculties of “postponed gratification”. (<—- why do I always need to “think it through” and write up some “brainy” background/larger picture? Oh, well…) As if we were responsible enough to commit to a mortgage… Good grief.

Anyway, my parents always did the 'postponed gratification', never the instant gratification. Never an ice-cream when we were at the beach (well, after long nagging perhaps), never a sudden “Let’s go crazy and go to the movies for the fun of it”, never a “you’ve got such good grades, here’s a present”, never a “here’s a nice dress, dear wife, because I love you so much”, never a “I was walking in town, saw this in a shop, and had to think of you: so I bought it. Here.”
Nothing like that, ever. And it’s not that my parents didn’t have the money…

What they did however was to make promises on what we would get, if…
For me personally this meant, among other things, that a lot of stuff that my elder siblings had gotten also ended up it that realm. If I would be their age I would also get it, if I would achieve the same they had achieved, I would get the same reward they had gotten etc.
Now, I don’t have the idea that the eldest (DramaSis) particularly got presents “spontaneously”, but the fact I was the youngest did contribute, I think, to me being confronted with all these “carrots” being held up in my face, time and again, a lot more than my siblings. If only since my brother is just over a year younger than my sis (and thus only had a waiting period of that time), while I am four years younger than him. Four years is an eternity for a child. Well, four years is even a loooong time ahead for an adult…

It also meant that rewards I did get at some point were rather inappropriate. For example my sister got extra pocket money to buy clothes when she was 16 or so. Appropriate for a girl who wants to dress up nicely in puberty, but it did mean that my brother and I got the same ‘present’ at 16. WTF? Especially given the fact I have never ever been with my dad in a clothing shop! I was left to figure out myself how to shop for clothes. Sure, I had shopped with mom for clothes (sort-of) as a kid, but that was her buying my clothes. Nobody had ever taught me how I could shop for clothes I liked or fancied.

I can’t remember I ever got praise for the cloths that I bought. Good grief no, that would be “instant gratification”. Dad was only interested if I actually spend all the allocated ‘clothes-money’ on cloths and not on petrol for my moped or something. Every so often I had to show up with receipts or some such, as he was afraid I was squandering his money. Or some such. The miser.
Mom was always in shock with what I had bought.

Now to the second part of the “carrot on the stick”: yanking it away again. The “bookkeeping” sessions always had the threat of the money taken away again, or cut.
But especially from my adult life I know very well how rewards that were promised were simply taken away again after a perceived slight I committed. Or simply because I used it “for the wrong things”. As I type this, I realize that practically all I ever got was money. Never a present or “thing”. Money. How inattentive. Not something I liked, or something that was useful, no, at best I would get money to buy it myself. And then I would end up buying the ‘wrong’ thing, or the wrong brand, or in the wrong color or something. There was always something wrong. As in: I never got praise when I showed up with the ‘thing’ I bought with the allocated ‘budget’. * no, that would mean they would have to give me “instant gratification”, or I should better say: “instant reinforcement”.
And it’s not so much they literally said “Wrong!” (although that also happened now and then) but more that always I would get an ‘opinionated’ reaction. They always had something to remark. They always had to ‘pee on it’ as we say in Dutchland. (a reference to a dog peeing to mark it’s territory, not to release the content of ones bladder ;) )

And then there are the presents that were promised to me, that I was ‘carrot-ed’ with, for milestones I never reached. Such as a washing-machine I would get when I would get kids. (Probably that should read: when I would get them grandchildren.) Another present my sis got first, and thus it was pointed out I would get it too. In time, after I reached the goal.
Well, I never got around to having kids, so I never got a washing machine.
Of other things I was simply stripped after I got it.

I remember well how utterly confused I have been at various points in my life that people gave themselves ‘presents’. What I now have come to understand is “self-care”. With my first proper girlfriend as a young adult we would go to a coffee-shop and have one of those fancy, delicious coffees with whipped cream and cinnamon and chocolate powder. I had never done that.
Or we would go to a restaurant around 4 PM and just have an ‘entree’ for a snack. Amazing. Wonderful. And such a treat. As a kid we would never get snacks in between meals.

With the friends of a later girlfriend they would buy themselves ice-creams. I was baffled. And not the cheap (pretty tasteless) ones, no, they would buy the ‘expensive’ delicious ones. I couldn’t believe it, and it took me effort to do the same and actually give in to the feeling of just how delicious and joyful it was to eat ice-cream with a bunch of friends and enjoy doing oneself a favor.

During my recovery the last year a lightbulb had already been lit with regard to “the carrot on a stick”. This had eluded me ever since the Social Security woman told me 15 years ago. Not in the least since therapy never took of then, due to waiting lists. But it had been nagging in the back of my mind, ever since. I think (but this may be a bit of ‘history revision’, but probably not) at times I was not feeling too well and I had the nagging feeling of: why can’t I enjoy myself? Why am I not content with all I achieve? Why can’t I accept the fact that people like me and I’m good at my job?
Or it might have been at the moments I was given “carrots”, or expected and anticipated rewards didn’t materialize. Or when I failed to reach a goal I had set for myself.
Perhaps in all three instances.

But never before have I realized how connected this all is with the miserly spending style of my parents, and with them re-possessing gifts already awarded.

They never cared for me. No wonder I have trouble with self-care.
Well, time to reframe that, again. I have known times I did ‘self-care’. I’ll probably be stuck with ‘relapses’ for the rest of my life. But I hope I’ll rebound quicker now I know this.
I ‘just’ have to learn to feel it now. And go beyond the pure cognition of “the how and why”. And feel the how and why it’s so good, self-care.
And I can do that by revisiting these good feelings I did have at times. Perhaps feel them a bit deeper and more uninhabited. And smack the Inner Critic, the internalized miserly parents, on the head. “ I’m having an ice-cream. You go sit there and miserly sulk, ‘mom’ and ‘dad’. Go away.”

edit: typos.

edited to add:
Inspired by a vid I saw there is more to add on the miserly spending style of my parents raisers/educators/prison wardens:

I was 15 or so, and my parents threw a party for themselves and friends (a birthday probably of one of hem.) Being the dutiful son, and of course also exited to be old enough to spend some of the evening with all these adults I helped them serving the guests drinks. I needed orange-soda or the like, and my mom passed me the liter-bottle. All the sparkling fuzz had evaporated, the bottle had been open for weeks or months even. I said: “hey, all the fuzz is gone, pass me another bottle.” “Oh no”, came the reply, “it’s fine.” “No, you can’t do this! These are your guests! You’re not going to serve them old no-fuzzy-soda, are you really?” I got stared at in disbelief, but a new bottle was opened…
That’s how miserly they were.

And when I was studying in my 20’s, they would bring with them on visits opened potato-chips bags (who had gone all soft, LOL.) other opened and/or past-expiry date stuff (beverages) and very light alcoholic drinks (1%) that I drank before I was 16, but was actually horrible, but it was chance to ditch the “no drinking before 16”-laws in DutchLand. These bottles would actually be from when I was 15 or so.
At some point I told them I didn’t want the old crappy stuff anymore, told them it was to old and thus tasteless and of too poor quality. I still see the horror in my mom’s eyes. What I nowadays attribute to “Narcissistic Injury”. Dad had his usual blank expressionless (Aspergers-)face, so I can’t tell what he thought about it. I think the next time they still pulled the same stunt (Bloody BoundaryBusters, those two) but eventually they ‘got it’, as I made them to take the stuff back home.
Good grief, I almost forgot I did had boundaries in place once…  :doh:

I think in my 30’s they started to bring me old crap again, and I didn’t want to make a fuzz, as they were in a divorce. Also all kind of childhood memorabilia started to end up at my place. Their memorabilia that is, I realize now.
I’ve started to throw some of that stuff out now, or destroy it outright. Somehow that is both a painful and liberating process. It goes piecemeal though. I guess I ‘inherited’ their slight ‘hoarders’ mentality. A “flea”. Time to rid me of that.

edited to add: And lo and behold, a few days after I posted this a Vlogger posted on the very same subject. Validation!  ;D
***possible triggers***Confusing Opportunity For The Carrot On A Stick: Another Narcissist Gift To Us (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXu0k8W3_9M)
He also makes a connection with what I posted below on "Failure to Thrive."  :thumbup:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on May 26, 2016, 06:30:48 PM
 :hug: :hug: :hug:
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: a sense of relief.
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 29, 2016, 07:48:24 AM
This night I had one of those experiences that sound sadder than I actually experience them. A sort of snatching victory from defeat’ kind off feeling. Happy with the end result, but so aware and worn out of the effort it has taken me, and at what costs it has all come about.

“Failure to Thrive” is a phrase that kept popping up in my mind. I think I have had that thought/feeling/emotion at various points in my life. And it came back this night again.

What triggered it was I was watching some YouTube vids on narcissistic abuse, and “Münchhausen by proxy” is mentioned with some regularity in them. I have for long now feared I have been the victim of that with my TherapistMom a.k.a. DramaMama being the perpetrator. (Or sick person, depending on the perspective. But since this recovery is a bout me, all me and only me (= healthy self-interest) and not her, she’s the perpetrator and I have been victim of her schemes.

“Failure to Thrive”. All her kids suffer from it, IMHO (though at the moment I’m deepest in the dung), and Enabler dad is as unsupportive towards his children as she is. No validation whatsoever, harsh criticism all the more, from both my ‘raisers’. And we as siblings tend to treat each other likewise. How could we not?

My “Failure to Thrive” (at the moment that is. I have thrived before) is really a feature of my Inner Critic, my Internalized Parental Scathing. The ever present voice that says I must be sick. In the head, as the psychological New Age Therapist crap has been the “Münchhausen by proxy”, not physical ailments. I dare say physical ailments where rather neglected in stead of ‘milked’, used a supply for attention. I already told the story about my appendicitis, where I was left in the hospital for hours, all by myself, while my female ‘raiser’ had more important things to attend to. She also did not visit me every day, which would not be an opportunity something a “Münchhaussen by proxy” character would pass on I suppose. Or perhaps that is exactly what such a character would do, as now the neighbors and friends of her who did visit me (I was visited every day, just not my her or dad or bro or sis) would visit my mom on the way back? Hmmm… So my ‘mom’ could get all the attention that otherwise would have gone to me?

But I digress. Physically I have always been OK, but every time I was ‘down’ (a failed exam f.e.) than that was cause for a major psychological fault in me. She had me attend a New Age therapist at 20, after I broke up with a girlfriend.

So my current depressed state, and the struggle I’m in, the self-sabotaging I do and did: I all write it up to the “Learned helplessness”, the failure to thrive, the constant negative attention I got from my parents. Not only was it the only way to get their attention (which it is), but it was the only form of attention given even when I would celebrate a success myself. Same story for my siblings, most likely, as ‘mom’s’ absence at the graduating of my brothers M.Sc. is illustrative. She probably had preferred to see him fail. Well, I have given her two such occasions: failing my studies that is, dropping out. While I have the intellectual skills. (The IQ, that is. Some cognitive functions are definitely not ‘online’. Some intelligence is failing. The will to thrive is failing. Or probably better: my thrive-toolbox has [strike]been robbed empty[/strike] never been filled by my ‘raisers’.)

In a sense it’s a relief to know this. Accept it. With all the sadness with it, but that sadness is, today, well in the background. Far background. Hardly accessible. Relief is at the foreground now, and it’s a relief of stress, I dare say. Which is probably a good sign for cPTSD recovery.

All what I wrote above, and specifically the sense of relief that made the acceptance possible, came after I woke up in the middle of the night, a bit stressed, when I thought (to) myself: “You’ve made it. Your ‘mom’ and ‘sis’ have ceased to contact you, and the enablers (‘dad’ and ‘bro’) seem to have backed off as well. You did it! You have pulled it off!”

I hope and wish, and even have a little trust, that I can move from surviving to thriving, thriving again.

I should hold this thought, and hold the memory of the feeling of relief of today.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on May 29, 2016, 02:59:32 PM
absolutely, D/U. these moments of insight are painful but at the same time strangely releasing/helpful/affirming. sending you more big hugs  n support :hug: :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 29, 2016, 03:34:59 PM
Thanks a lot. Twice.  ;)
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: reasons to keep my HPD mother OUT.
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 31, 2016, 08:42:18 AM
Since my 'physical' support-group has no grasp at all what I have been going through all my life, and the question/remark keeps popping up whether or not what I have experienced was intentional or not... and the best I can reply in order to get support from them is to reiterate that the point is moot as far as my experience of the abuse is concerned, and is irrelevant to the process of mourning and grief I'm going through these days, months, years... I do need to reiterate here, among my peers who know exactly what I have been through, must I make the following truthful statement as a powerful reminder for myself:
Lest I Forget...

My mother experiences pleasure from the hurt of others. There is Glee, there is Satisfaction, there is Revenge, there Resentment and not getting any of that incurs her Wrath. She must have it.
There is clearcut evidence for this:
- She goes to funerals to feed off the misery of others. The most striking and shocking example of this is when she told me how one of her old-time friends had had payback now that her two daughters had had failed marriages. That "showed her" (the friend) since the friend had dared ask her "Why on earth are you divorcing well in your sixties?"
Payback. My 'mom' felt validated or something. It's hard to put a word on it, I cannot even find the right Dutch word for it. Validation is NOT the right word.
To use the misfortune of two women, daughters of your friend no less, whom she has seen growing up from a very young age (from even before I was born!) to "get back at" your friend who was just baffled at her decision at the time... It's sick. And this happened ten years or so after the actual utterance of those words. THAT is how long my mother stores her wrath. She has waited for this ever since.

- In my youth she already told me "your brother will be in great trouble with his behavior when he gets a wife" (and she used this as an excuse to let him beat me up). Intent. It has been her full intent to make this actually happen. She set him up, she wanted this to happen. His payback time would come, and she probably has done everything to make her wish come true.
Well, she succeeded: my brothers marriage is an indescribable mess and he, his wife and his kids are suffering because of it.
I'm sure that 'behind the scenes' she is gleeful about it. And I must say: even outwardly she doesn't seem that concerned. I have yet to witness true concern for any member of my brother's family, and that includes concern for my brother's wellbeing.
I'd be willing to bet a small fortune she is actually waiting for that marriage to fall apart too. But not after the agony has been drawn out as long as possible. As she has done with her own marriage, and even continues to do so.

- I've heard her say so many times that my sister "is not getting enough" from her spouse. And again I dare to bet that this is the reason why her daughter in law, my sister's wife has been NC with 'mom' practically from the start of the relationship with my sis. But that is besides the point why I should never forget my mom's words: she wants my sister to feel that she is "not getting enough". My sister may not even feel she is getting enough. My mother wants to see my sister unhappy. And preferably split as well, I guess.

- What is my punishment for telling my mom I was happy about her divorce? I can't imagine. But it doesn't matter. If I would have opposed her divorce (which I haven't at all, LOL) I just have to look at how she treated her friend.

- I wonder: how will she have treated her sister, my aunt, who also told my mom "Why on earth are you divorcing?" with the addition: "My husband has had a stroke and is now hospitalized. He cannot even speak. You haven't got a clue what you are doing to yourself." (or words to that effect. Aunty told me this herself...) Given the funeral story I mentioned earlier, I bet my mom is waiting in glee as well to have her sister experience something horrible. I'm pretty sure the husband's stroke is not enough. That happened before my Aunt's faux pas, after all.
It's never enough anyway, I'm sure. There's always more room for "payback time".

And this is just the suffering my mom loves to see in other people. Presumably that is why she became a therapist. All that unresolved or resurfacing grief and misery in other peoples life. Awesome.
She also cannot stand other people having success:

- My brother's graduation? Mom was not present, she had a "girls together only" gathering with her friends.
- Me being admitted to the national gymnastics team? "If you don't want to go, you don't have to" was her reaction to the admission letter.
- Me having a hard time at university? "Is this really what you want to do?" Questioning my passion and determination. She has been pushing me all my studies to abandon it. She succeeded: I dropped out in my final year.
- At my sister's wedding, 25 years in the relationship (couldn't be done earlier legally): "How are you, mom?" I asked. "Well, mother of the Bride!" was her answer. Soon after I heard her whine to my sister that the main hall of the venue sucked. It was a beautiful summer day and the party was outside, as intended. Mom just had to rain on the parade, quite literally: If it had rained we would have to sit in the "ugly" hall, and mom just had to drive that point home. I left this conversation immediately. Disgusted.

edited to add:
- My mother has made it clear in the past that when she dies, there will be 'articles'/'journal entries' for me (and specific others) to read as she "doesn't see me fit yet to read at this age" (I think I was well in my thirties when she told me this. WTF?).
Right then I thought: "Fine. I will put those, unread, in your coffin. What the * do you take me for?"
I intend to keep that promise. In fact, I am contemplating, more and more, not to even attend her funeral. She's such a control freak, she wants to reign from beyond her grave. That I even spotted there and then. But I thought then her funeral will give me closure. Now that I'm NC, I have the feeling I'm getting closure before that. Why would I attend? Given her histrionics, it's probably going be one big Drama-Fest.

I may have to add to this, but presumably this is enough to reiterate my commitment to NC, and to keep reminding myself, as my friends will probably never get into a place they can validate my knowledge, through experience, having lived it time and again, not only personally but through witnessing how she does this with anybody who supposedly should be dear to 'mom', that it all is malicious intent. That 'mom' thrives on it. Waits for it. Instigates it whenever possible. Pushes every button she can find to make it happen. And pull a plug here and there, lets not forget that as well: her favorite put down for me was: "You haven't plugged your hole yet." (Given her New Age babble, that's probably a hole in my Karma or Aura or some such nonsense. She loves to pull any plugs I have in place. Or drill some in me.)

Happiness in others makes her sad. Sadness in others make her happy.
It's true. There is no denying.

Nor can I deny it's the opposite in me. I am glad for other people who are glad. Even if I wouldn't be glad myself. I'm sad for other people who are sad. Even if it would not make me so sad myself. I'll do what I can do (which is admittedly is often not that much, though not much is often all it takes) to end, sooth suffering I witness.

Not her. She'll gleefully watch from a distance, and kick others when they are down. What? She''l make people trip so the fall down!
She is a dangerous woman. Spiteful. Vengeful. Wrathful.
I hate her behavior. I'm sick of it. Quite literally.
I need her out of my life.

I often and for a long time feared I was self-destructive. But I have to face the fact that it's my mother who is destructive. One more for the Inner Critic to shut up.
edited to add: This is the best video I have seen on the Inner Critic. I got it bookmarked, but in case I reread this: Listen to this, Dutch! Flying Into Glass: The Narcissist's Voice In Your Head (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okwk4xl8yQ8)

Something else that came up a few days ago: I have only gotten negative attention from my 'mom' (and 'dad' as well, but different) I have such an aversion to negative attention, I dare not go out for help. If I ever turned to my parents for help, they would only push me deeper in the mud, drag my further through the mud.
I'm so afraid to be a histrionic, that I play the invulnerable. If I ask for help, and help is given, or at least to be had if I fulfill certain requirements, efforts, I'm immediately scared I will be let down as soon as I comply. As has been my experience so often. I wrote about this on my miserly parents, a few posts back. The carrot on the stick. I have lost faith that sometimes the carrot is real. And up for grabs.
Learned Helplessness. It always comes back to haunt me.
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: why I should stay NC with 'sis'.
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 31, 2016, 10:21:36 AM
Lest I forget, part II

I really need to write a same post with regard to my sister:
Sorry for the double post. I’m most afraid to post again as people might not read the post I just made. I guess I’m craving for attention and validation. NOT the validation my ‘mom’ wants to have! Arghhh…

My sister is just like my mother. The worst part? Even her kids have told her so. I was dumbstruck, mostly because I agree. I couldn’t tell her that. Probably I should have. Perhaps than she would have left my life, instead of me going NC with her.
Than again, probably me going NC is better: it gives me ‘agency’. Now I feel less need to ‘crawl back’. Though it’s hard to resist at times…

So, my sister also enjoys suffering in others…

- When I told her the girlfriend I broke up with had phoned me and said: “I feel so bad I can kill myself”, (and I only told sis a long time (years?) after,) she said: “Imagine how much you have hurt her!”
Taking the side of my girlfriend. Typical Narc behavior, I have now come to know.
But what’s more: I remember so well how hurt I felt. I had kept this ‘news’ from my parents (as I had expected something like that from them: they always take the side of the (emotional) abusers, so I thought I would encounter some sort of safety with my sis. But no. A stab in the back is what I got.
She should have said: “Good you got away from her. Imagine you would have had kids with her. If she’s capable of this, she’s capable of worse.”
That’s how I experienced that particular ordeal at least: I spoke softly to ex-GF on the phone she shouldn’t kill herself. And during the call, or shortly thereafter I did have this feeling, knowledge even, that I had gotten of ‘lightly’, that it had been the OK choice to break up with her. And that this had been blatant Emotional Blackmail.
But the guilt stayed, and I have had many years(?) visions of me getting a phonemail of her parents that she HAD killed herself, or that I should aid her in therapy…
I think I only opened up to sis when that particular horror scenario (catatrophizing anyone?) had passed. Only to get beaten up again by ‘sis’.

- later, when I and my sis talked about having kids (which I was open to) she brought up this girlfriend again. Arghhh… “She was the best option you have had (in your life).  :aaauuugh: I was stunned, literally. I knew this to be not true, on the contrary. She wanted me to hook up (proverbially) in hindsight with the Blackmailer.

- One time she was visiting me with one of her sons. I took them out to diner and somehow the conversation touched on the subject of my brother. Sis told us (or more in particular I think it was addressed at her 17 year old son) that my brother was spoiling his kids (then pre-teens (!)) and they would “pay the price” when they would be 18. There’s the “payback time” again!
Stunned I was, again. (I guess I really am a Freeze-type :yes: ) And so I kept quiet until son-dear immediately parroted his mom. I don’t blame him, but that was the moment I spoke out: “Well, let’s first see how YOU will turn out at 18!” A bit harsh, I guess, but I don’t really regret it. I hope it has learned HIM a lesson not to judge people BEFORE the fact. I guess what my sis said there is prejudice in optima forma. Prejudice squared.
My sis really wanted (and probably still wants) my brother’s kids to fail. Again a case of “getting the parent” through the misery of their kids. I can get so worked up over such injustice, such vengeance, such glee. Yuck!

- One of her sons had a relationship break-up. GF had left him. When sis told me, she said “It’s good for her, but not good for him.” Does anybody else sees this as a Red Flag? I did. WTF? She should have solely been focussed on her son’s misery, agony, heartbreak. Who cares if it’s good for ex-GF? How comes she knows it’s “good for her”? Why even mentioning it to me?
I guess she likes to take the side of “the winner”, in this case ex-gf. Having been won over why she dumped her son. Saw her point of view.
Then again: her son is a man. Not something she can relate to. She’s a bit narrow focussed on women, this sister of mine.
I wouldn’t be surprised if she has passed on all ex-gf grievances over son to him, and possibly even berated him for it. Told him how he should do ‘better’. Told him how he ‘wronged’ her. Like I had wronged the GF I wrote about above. The gf’s reaction was only good for her…
Probably a ‘learned behavior’ from the time my mother would berate her spouse to my 12-year old sister, and ever since…
Men can do no good… There is a sexist element here, there is no denying, alas…

- Again, a visit from her with a son. There is a crackdown on crime in the city I live in at that moment. Son is a bit upset about this, and I tell him he doesn’t fit the profile of a criminal. To calm him. Sis butts in that one of his friends (a colored guy) does fit the profile (BS off course, they are small kids) and son should feel bad if his friend is profiled and he not. Her son (naturally) does’t look happy… He’s not allowed to feel safe… Good grief.

- I move in a new apartment. She visits with a son. Tells me that men who live alone have a higher chance of dying early. WTF?

- My dad is in poor physical shape. She’s afraid he’ll end up in hospital while she’s on vacation. And that she will not be informed by him. She asks me to phone her, even if he doesn’t want that. So now I can take the fall: I have to suffer dad’s wrath by shoving aside his wants in favor of the wishes of sis. This was a classic Double Bind. Lose-Lose scenario. For me.

- edited to add: Gaslighting.
As said, my sister couldn’t marry earlier as it wasn’t a legal option. She fought hard with the gay community to get it legal. Kudos to her.
A few years ago there was a gay-parade in her own city, and part of the festivities were that gays could get married by the Mayor. She planned to do this with her girlfriend/partner of 30-odd years. I congratulated her with it, wholeheartedly.
Fast forward a year or two. I’m visiting my nephew, her son. He’s in his mid twenties. He asks me if his parents are married or not. I say: “Yes, they married at the gay-parade.” I’m a bit put off by the question, meaning: how come he doesn’t know? What’s the uncertainty about? Where did this question arise? If he didn’t know, then there wouldn’t be the question in the first place, right? I shrugged it off. Was happy I could give him clarity.
Fast forward another year. Sis is getting married. I ask her: “Huh? Didn’t you marry at the gay-parade a few years back?”
“No,” she says, “I never married before.” with a typical tone of voice of: “how can you be so stupid. How can you even think that?!”
Gaslighting. Plain and simple. I can picture her smirk when she told me on the phone.
She told me her wedding plans a week before my dad’s birthday, and was told to keep it a secret. Aunty who would be at dad’s birthday party was not to know. And thus I couldn’t congratulate her wife-to-be and her sons at dad’s birthday.
Divide and conquer. It’s all about control. Control of information so anybody can be manipulated into anything.
She even uses her own kids and wife for her own 'pleasure', to their detriment.
Here is a video that explains exactly what my sister did on that birthday of my dad: When Narcissists Invite You to a party/gathering  - Platforms for Discard and Degradation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOB-nVgMrKk). I thought it was just me who was annoyed by this. But now I finally have the validation for my experiences: it isn't me... It's her. And she discards everyone in her surroundings, even those she SHOULD love, professes to love: her wife-to-be and her children. They were discarded as they could not be congratulated on the upcoming wedding of my SiL and the wedding of their parents. t's mindbogling. She is a narcissist, probably of the Histrionic variety. 
But a :witch: for sure.

Again, it’s all intentional. It’s all aimed to throw somebody of their feet. No comfort, no peace. Ever belligerent, always looking out for the confrontation. There’s no let down. To instill fear. In anybody.
Not just in me, but in her own kids as well. In the kids of my brother (by proxy), in my brother himself no doubt.

I should also never forget that my sister is instrumental in dragging me back into all the family-drama. For a long time I have successfully escaped the family drama by a lot of the techniques advocated: Medium Chill, Grey Rock, Do Not Engage etc.
Yet it's her who keeps dragging me in since she is not doing any of it.
She passes on her own dysfunctional relationships with my parents on me, much like my mother passed on her problems onto her.
And she HATES is when I don't bite. When I tell her: Oh yeah, I know all about it, you're nothing special, I suffer, SUFFER YEAH, from the same crap as you. It's horrid. walk away, dear sis.
THEN, I'm being selfish, only talk about myself, have no ear for her,  :blahblahblah: .
But the ugly truth is: she doesn't have an ear for me. I must listen again and again again about the ever continuing dysfunction. And If I don't want to, as I know from my own experience all too well how horrid it is, I'm inconsiderate.
Well, I just don't want to be triggered into EF's by your stories, sis.
Have you ever said to me: "Oh dear, how horrible, I know exactly what you are going through?" No, never.
You may think I'm devaluing you by saying" Oh dear, I know exactly what you went through, they do exactly the same to me." But I'm not.
It's that you have not witnessed me growing up there, while I have seen you growing up there, 6 year older sister. When you left, somebody else had to be given your role. You think it stayed with you. And it probably did, those few times you met them again. But in all that time in between your visits somebody else got to be their punchbag. Either me or our brother. And it probably alternated.
You think they stored it all for you: well, let me expose you an ugly truth: they didn't.

You want me to fix your broken upbringing. I can't. And most significantly because I received exactly the same as you. You just don't want to see hear it. As you've not seen it. I saw yours, dear sis.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on May 31, 2016, 02:32:21 PM
so much pain, and now so much anger, wonderful anger.  you are perfectly entitled to be this angry. to be hopping mad. beside yourself with the fury of it all.
and maybe ur friends  can't understand the reason for all the pain or the anger. but i guess they either haven't had such a crap deal or they can't find their own anger, i don't know.
but you are doing the exact right thing, D/U. you are angry about the vileness of it all.  and so you 'should' be. it was vile. and it damaged you  so much. and you didn't deserve any of it.  and you do deserve attention and validation, and it's definitely  not being histrionic. it's just being vulnerable. and honest.
i reckon that this is really good to get it all out here, where you're safe and with people who know what you're talking about. may you feel increasingly empowered and able to validate yourself inside too, where it's hardest to do.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on May 31, 2016, 03:04:18 PM
Thanks so much for your kind and understanding words, as you give always.

I want highlight one thing particularly:
and maybe ur friends  can't understand the reason for all the pain or the anger. but i guess they either haven't had such a crap deal or they can't find their own anger, i don't know.
I've come to know that it's the ones who have a clue are the most invalidating. "Get over it, just like I did." Yet they still put up with all the crap, IMHO.
The ones who have no clue at all, they know it's Bad. Even though they don't know exactly how bad it is. But they know it's bad. And they validate.

Strange thing that.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on June 08, 2016, 04:24:18 AM
I have hung a note on the wall saying:

I am not the problem.
I have a problem.

For me this is erasing a "tape" that has been running in the back of my mind for ages. An Inner Critic statement.
I'm happy I had this lightbulb moment a week ago.
Another step forward. It might even prove to be a leap.  :)
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on June 30, 2016, 09:08:33 AM
I've had a few bad weeks, and especially the last couple of days have been bad. I slipped back into all my addictions. Heavy smoking, drinking, playing mind-dumbing only games that are a huge time-sink. Oftentimes all three at the same time.
I received a letter by my 'dad' this Saturday. That was a trigger in itself.
I first wrote him a letter back (that I wouldn't send) even before opening the letter. That was triggering too I guess.
Then I opened the letter the day before yesterday evening, and I couldn't sleep afterwards. Wrote him one more letter. 5,6,7 A4-sheets long. Double sided. I let it all run out. Went for a night walk. Wrote another letter. Just as long. Probably said much the same.

Then it dawned on me. It's a Hoover  :hoovering: , he's making empty promises, and he will keep enabling DramaSis and DramaMama (who is his Drama-Ex, but which he doesn't want to acknowledge.) In my eyes he's enabling his own abuse by her as well. So how can I expect him to not enable abuse by others towards me? It's how he lives his own life, being a doormat. Of course he wants me to be a doormat too. He thinks he is setting the right example, and is either baffled or furious I'm cutting both  :dramaqueen:  :dramaqueen:  of them out.
:witch: :witch:
And thus I have to cut him out as well. This is going to be veryLC or even NC with him too.
He keeps busting my boundaries. And of course, busting boundaries is par of the course in my FOO. That will never change. Nobody in my FOO has any concept of respecting other peoples boundaries, and it sure is becoming increasingly clear I will not be the one who is going to 'teach' them. My 'leading by example' (primarily leading myself for myself by example/experimentation on how I actually do this: boundary setting and boundary guarding  ;) ) has not lead anywhere yet. The long years I started doing this with DramaSis and DramaMama has only worsened their abusive boundary-busting, and also 'dad' is not picking up any clues. In his letter he is again busting boundaries I now already have set three times or so.

I really do have to keep reinforcing my boundaries, as I have been doing ever better and better, and I really should not fall not the trap of "intermittent reinforcement" again.
I may well not answer to his letter at all.
Or I may. I don't know yet.
Somehow he is different as the enabler, and I think I can and probably should tell him he busted my boundaries again, and that from now on no calls at all and no e-mail at all is in effect. I already told him two years ago he couldn't call or e-mail me, except in the case of "urgency". I had to reinforce that a few times, and though annoying, it was sort of OK. I cannot expect him to follow through immediately. Not from where we come. But a few weeks back he again called me and e-maild me with something totally unimportant. He was trying to be nice and attentive. Which he is NOT, as he is busting my bloody boundaries!
I think it must be serious, and than it's not.

He has to learn, and I have to learn that busting boundaries requires proper action. From my side. Natural Consequences I heard somebody once say on what NC 'is'. That struck a chord with me.  :thumbup:  Still such a hard thing.
So I will have to tell him I will not answer any phonecall by him, and I will tel him that already at my provider his mails wil be filtered out, and they will not even reach my inbox. This is not true BTW. I do not know if it's even possible. But anyway, a white lie on my behalf is not going to hurt. What IS true is that I will not read any e-mail of him ever again. And he must know this.

I'm an inch from having gone NC with all my family members.
I feel sad.
What a downhill road this has been.  :fallingbricks:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on June 30, 2016, 10:03:22 AM
really feeling for your pain, D/U. this is so hard for you and you are doing such an amazing job of being honest with yourself and dealing with this c**p.

i hope you are managing not to beat yourself up too much about using old (and not so healthy) coping strategies as you try to get your head round what this all means for you and decide how you're going to deal with your father. sometimes if there's nothing in place yet to replace them, it's somehow impossible not to revert to old things. we've all got our fall back positions.  don't let the IC bully you on this one. you're doing your best.

but i guess i just want to say this is really big, and maybe dealing with one thing at a time is ok here. take your time, don't underestimate the impact this is having on you as you get wiser to what's happening in terms of the behaviours they are using to try to enmesh you. and at the same time deal with the huge amount of EFs that they trigger for you.

it really isn't a downhill road, though i know how much it must feel like it is and how desperate it feels to know you are waving goodbye to even the dreams and hopes of family you wish you had.  it is actually an uphill journey, that's why it's being so hard. downhill is easy, comparatively - you just slide.  and you're definitely not sliding downhill.  i take my hat off to you, Dutch. you are stronger than you know. it really has been a bloody difficult period for you and you're doing great, honest.  :hug: 
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on June 30, 2016, 10:37:14 AM
Thank you arpy1.

What I wrote about "the downhill road" got me thinking the past hour or so.
Perhaps it's not such a bad thing, going downhill.
Maybe I should 'get of my High Horse' of wanting to be part of family. This family in particular that is.
Perhaps going downhill is exactly what I need be doing, instead of the uphill battle.

I hope this comes not across as a rebuttal as what you just said. I know very well what you mean by it, and yes: from another perspective I am gaining higher ground, with wider vistas.
I also just  had memories of me and a friend walking up the Olympus in Greece. We were 18 or so. I might scan the pictures and post them here.
It's quite an easy walk up there. In that respect it's more a really huge hill than a mountain. You can drive up must of the 3 km height it is, and from there the slope is really gently upwards. A 'walk in the park' really. I mean really. Only the very last bit, towards the highest peak that is called "Zeus' Throne" is not that easy. Still a walk, but if you fall there... that didn't look too comfortable an experience to go through.  ;)
Still, we did it and made it.

We ran down. Well, not the part from Zeus' Throne to the 'hilly part', but from there. I think what took us four hours to get up to, took us just one hour to get down, LOL.
Perhaps I should start running downhill. That was as good an experience in itself as 'sitting' on Zeus' Throne.  ;D

Oh what the heck. Of course there are online photo's of it. The dip in the middle is where the 'seat' is, as far as I remember. With on both sides the 'arm-rests':
(https://cptsd.org/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.panoramio.com%2Fphotos%2Flarge%2F61326538.jpg&hash=87983ba264310dadb077d5b516cab8a8)
The low ridge on the left is the path towards the climb. That already was a bit scary. If I see this now I'm amazed I climbed the rest. It looks horribly dangerous now. Juvenile elation (?) I did that, I guess.
On the foreground you see the 'hill' and the 'walk in the park'. There's even grass, see?
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on June 30, 2016, 05:46:07 PM
wow! beautiful image!

yes i get what you're saying, so maybe you're doing both, eh? both attaining slowly your real goal  which is healing, and letting go of the one that was unattainable - finding it with the FOO.  sounds like good sense to me.
Title: Personal thought-stoppers: a start.
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 04, 2016, 05:21:42 AM
After I snapped out of my major dissociative episode I have made progress. I think. I feel.

I don’t know how it works, but somehow I have processed something in that dissociative episode, or in the immediate aftermath.
Any way: I have the idea I have finally passed the stage of denial about the abuse that has been inflicted on me. A sort of new acceptance of where I am and how I got here is present. Still hesitant, there’s still an urge to revert back to “it wasn’t that bad” and “they are all victims too”, I at times feel compassion or things that sort of resemble forgiveness.
But I mostly forgive myself, am in the process of finding calm and peace with myself, and all of myself, including the abused boy and man I am.

I am in the process of formulating thought-stoppers. They still feel a bit awkward, like I’m playing word-games. Like I am self-deception myself. But I’m not. There is a deeper conviction it’s the right thing to do. The original phrases that my abusers put in my head with their gaslighting, those were the word-games. I am correcting the word-games by speaking the clear real phrases.

An example is related to what my TherapistMom has long told me, and of which I have always been resistant. That resistance was always broken, and I followed her under pressure, but never fully, and never with any enthusiasm.

TherapistMom has always groomed me to be the one “who could uncover that what is/was hidden”. I was groomed to be the whistleblower on the family’s dysfunction. No doubt to blow the whistle on the others and thus make her get off scot-free, but that’s not really important.
I stil have difficulty with my no contact and the way I went about doing that: without confrontation. Off course it’s agonizing for me, as I was groomed to always speak out, which was then only ammo for more shrewd gaslighting to follow. (that I’ve learned in the last year(s) ) She, and the rest of the enabling family-members, would then know what was in danger of being ‘uncovered’, so they had ample time to hide it better.

But now I have a thought-stopper to relief me of my agony:
I will never tell her why I am no contact, for then she can do her own dirty work of ‘uncovering’ what SHE is keeping hidden at all costs.
I am done with ‘uncovering’. I HAVE it uncovered: she’s a narcissist of the HPD variety, and she has been instrumental in making her family a very sick dysfunctional one.
Let her worry what I know and don’t know. Let her be in agony that I’m not telling her “what keeps us apart” as she wrote in her latest letter.
I’m done with the job I never signed up for, but was pressed into service for.

I had this thought yesterday, and in fact it made me laugh: “let her uncover herself what she keeps hidden.”

Another one of hers: she has often said to me “you’re not going for it (with full commitment)” I often found these remarks odd, and hurtful. They were always meant degrading when I was on my way to try and achieve something.
I have now a note hanging on my wall saying:
“No contact with TherapistMom.
I’m fully going for it.”

I know it will take time and effort to say these thought-stoppers to myself. It will take practice and courage. As I hardly dare to even type this.
And I have had to write it down several times for myself, in a sort of “breaking the spell” effort. It sounds like a good idea, it sounds fair, it sounds sensible, it feels good (since I laugh!) but at the same time there is still a lingering fear beneath the surface.

So, I thought it good to share and post this in my recovery journal.

I’m happy to be back from te dark place I was when dissociating, and to experience that being back is bringing progress almost immediately.

edited to add: Another one: My New Age smother has the believe that we pick our parents before we are born, as they will give us what we need to resolve our karma from the past life. (or something that effect: I'm not into it)
I never believed it, and have resisted it.
Now, I will counter the inner critic when she shows up again:
What I have to learn from having you as a mother is that it's OK to cut your mother out of your life, and to not feel bad about it.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Three Roses on August 04, 2016, 02:59:24 PM
 :applause:

It's Good to have you back! You've been missed :)
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 08, 2016, 09:20:29 AM
Had a conversation with my dad on the phone. (http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=4420.msg26529#msg26529)
In which I stood in my story, and told him things we had never talked about before.

added 29 august 2016
Rather than continuing that thread, I want to write some follow up here. As this is not really succes/progress, but rather 'set backs'.

My father has memory issues. For quite some time now, many years.
My sister has been going on about it for even longer as he has, and fearing he was experiencing Alzheimers. Perhaps that's just her being DramaSis. But going into that possibility would be a digression.
I had always put a aside, as not being a big problem. But three years ago I changed my mind: "What if I'm not taking this serious enough?" and so I went to a few meetings for "relatives of people with Alzheimer" in centers that care for the elderly. I phoned a friend who works in a sort of hospital for the elderly, and found out he actually spends a good part of his time on the memory of the elderly, and I phoned a 'hotline' on Alzheimers. After a few weeks, maybe a month or so, it was pretty clear my dad does not have Alzheimers.
The subject has resurfaces a few times, his GP does check him up on his memory regularly: not a problem in sight.
Now he's at it again: he now thinks he might have a brain tumor (since he also has balance-issues. Which he also has had for many years.
Now, that might of course be a possibility, but I'm not buying it. In any case he has now been send to a specialist (geriatrician) where the first test again said "No Alzheimers" and further tests will be done.

However, I'm convinced there is nothing wrong with his memory or brain, the man is in denial. Abuse amnesia? During the original 'sunday call' where I spilled the beans on my no contact with his wife (of whom he is divorced ("but only legally" he says  :doh: They life in two houses...) he asked me on how it came about I hadn't want to receive e-mails or phone-calls from him for close to two years. So I wrote him on how it had come about, by quoting the mail-exchange we had prior to me cutting of e-mailing him.
He has brushed that 'document' aside. It's "too difficult" and he can't remember well anymore.
And so during the past week it has actually hit me even harder: it IS A PLOY from his side, he wants to keep his 'selective memory', he DOES NOT WANT his memory restored. If he would have studied on what I have written him (and at 80+ he is still studying Hebrew, which is another clue nothing is wrong with his memory...), seen and taken the facts for what they are, he can no longer do any history revision, and he can stay in his 'plausible denial' mode. And of course gaslight me and accuse me of being unreasonable.

Two years ago (almost to this day) I went to my GP because I had become an alcoholic (still not under control, but better) after I had caught myself saying to myself (while walking half-drunk on the streets) "Your Life Is One Big Lie!", which within seconds (or even less) switched to: "No, Dutch, it isn't." (I suppose I was dissociating at the time. Oh the blessings of learning cPTSD and it's symptoms!)
Now I realize a big part of my life is a lie: The lies in and of my FOO. And my father's *cough* memory loss *cough* is a major factor in keeping me trapped in the lies, the confusion, the manipulation and will guarantee there will never be any 'closure'.

My signature line by Desmond Tutu has been a true guide in my recovery.
It's so sad my dad has chosen to do exactly the opposite.
As is it sad that because of his choice, I will have no other option than to distance myself from his 'amnesia', and avoid him and his fantasy world.

To add some more:
There have been periods in my life where I would visit my parents (while still married) and where my father would sit with his eyes closed in a chair while I talked with my TherapistMom. No doubt, in hindsight, my DramaMama was monopolizing the conversation to begin with, and my father withdrew. Perhaps he was even dissociating himself at those times. He would then butt into the conversation with something that had been said an hour or so before (at least it seemed like an hour, but for sure the conversation had long drifted away from what had been said.)
I once mentioned this to a friend (a long time ago as well, perhaps this was when I had my first 'nervous breakdown'/therapy 15 years ago) and even he knew what I was talking about! Which is quite remarkable, as I hardly ever brought friends home, even when I was a kid. (none of us kids did, actually. We all went 'out' to the homes of our friends...)

So, it might even be that I 'learned' to dissociate by simply copying my dad. That was the way he coped with the harassment of his wife, and so did I. And possibly my sis and bro learned the same thing...
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: arpy1 on August 08, 2016, 01:31:02 PM
sending a  :hug: to you, D/U. glad things are progressing for you.  :yes:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 25, 2016, 08:46:13 AM
Via another forum for "children of autistic parents" I found this article, which struck a chord. The Core Self (http://www.mathijskoenraadt.com/essays/the-core-self.html)

Especially the end quote attributed to Steven Stosny is pretty well describing the stage of recovery I'm in at the moment:
Quote
“A person with a strong core self cannot be verbally or emotionally abused. But the relationship with an abusive person most certainly will be damaged. This bears repeating: Your partner—or anyone else—cannot emotionally abuse you once your are in touch with your core self and your core values; only relationships can be emotionally abused.”
I'm still learning this: that even while I at times may not feel personally abused anymore by my abuser's insane accusations, gaslighting, history revision or whatever (which does take a conscious effort for the most part) it still harms the relationship, and just as I make a conscious decision to not take it personally, I make the conscious decision as well to keep my distance to those persons who do their very best to abuse my person(ality).

I think I used to put relationships above all else. Which meant selling out my own person/self.
It somehow feels as a 'natural' result that if I stop selling my-self out, then in some cases the relationship gets 'sold out'. That may be at a point my own doing (going Low or No Contact for example) but I should keep in mind that a relationship is always between two people/persons, and that if the 'other' is damaging the relationship by, for example, continuously trampling my expressed boundaries, they are as much responsible/accountable for keeping the relationship abusive/toxic, as I am for ending the abuse/toxicity by ending the relation as it is.

A new baby-step forward.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle : Projection
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 26, 2016, 02:34:47 AM
"Projection" was one of the favorite terms TherapistMom used when I was growing up. Everybody was always "projecting".
About a year (or two) ago when I started to realize I was not raised by a mom, but by a therapist, I had a phonemail with my dad, where he used the term (conditioned as he is) and I told him he should not use it. (Which threw him in a fit of rage, accusing me of saying to him he was projecting, and I had to tell him (inwardly laughing) "No dad, I said one should NOT say to others they were projecting!" But I digress...)

Recently I read an article (forgot where) that made an excellent point: there is a thing as "useful/helpful projection" a.k.a. empathy. If done 'right' of course, one of the hallmarks of empathy is knowing you might 'read' the other completely wrong. Which saves you from 'pushing your own agenda' while trying (pretending?) to be empathetic.

Today I found this article (http://thoughtcatalog.com/shahida-arabi/2016/06/20-diversion-tactics-highly-manipulative-narcissists-sociopaths-and-psychopaths-use-to-silence-you/2/?utm_source=manipulativearcissists&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=ad) on projection that will probably be of aid to me in my No Contact with DramaSis and DramaMama, and other narcissistic behavior I might encounter.
Key paragraph for me:
Quote
Solution? Don’t “project” your own sense of compassion or empathy onto a toxic person and don’t own any of the toxic person’s projections either. As manipulation expert and author Dr. George Simon (2010) notes in his book In Sheep’s Clothing, projecting our own conscience and value system onto others has the potential consequence of being met with further exploitation.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 29, 2016, 12:45:58 PM
Oh dear. I received a mail from my dad regarding the passing away of an old neighbor/friend of him.
The mail was addressed to me, sis, bro and wife.

I'm sure I have already talked about these friends of my parents, especially the funeral of the husband of the women who passed away now.
And that when my parents went to the husband's funeral, and I expressed interest, connection and compassion for their loss (in mails addressed to them individually since my parents are long divorce now, and I had also received separate e-mails from them regarding this matter) my DramaMama went into full DramaMode on how this (now passed) friend of her had had the audacity to question the divorce DramaMama initiated back then, and how she had learned at the funeral of said friend's husband that both her daughter's had been divorced as well, and said friend thus had had her 'comeuppance'.
I can't believe I'm even typing this, but it's true. Mind-blowing. I hereby forgive myself for having contracted cPTSD.

So, in response to dad I basically said all of the above (which I have done once before, which drew a blank) and I feel pretty good about it, though awkward.

Funerals are all about the Cluster B, aren't they. Kick their victims when they're down. Preferably behind their back.
I told dad I would not be writing mom. That I'm done with mom's friendship with these people.

Yuck.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Three Roses on August 29, 2016, 03:39:08 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on August 30, 2016, 11:06:08 AM
So, a day later, I feel pretty good about my reply to dad's mail about the funeral of the friend-who-dared-to-question-'mom' . There is a whispering voice in my head who says: "You are just like her! Foul mouthing her behind her back!", but that it's just a whisper says enough. I'm not, really.

I have finally broken the taboo on TherapistMom being always right. For 50 years I have never been allowed to "tell on her". Nobody was. And surely it was my enabling enforcer dad who always stood behind her. It feels good to finally "tell it like it is" *, and especially to be able to just quote her. I'm not making this stuff up. I'm not sure if she told me this on the phone or by mail. I think the latter. Which would be even better, for my own mental health and restoration of my memory. Yet I feel no compulsion to check. I KNOW. And I got my triggers in this case, and the EF's I had yesterday and even today to show for it. Ha!

I'm also reaching a bit deeper level now, a day later.
I liked these friends very much. Staying over with them for a few days was always great. These kind, joyful, caring, open people: an oasis to dwell in. So much different then I was used to. (yeah, that's a cognitive view I have nowadays, but the feeling I had then, as a kid, they match.)
And I did tell my DramaMama then, at the time of the funeral of the husband, I felt so much positivity from them.
And what did DramaMama do as a result of me telling her that? Smear the reputation of these dear people. By bringing up her divorce. Good Grief, it's hard to fathom the depth of the black hole these Cluster B's have. And to stay with the analogy: how they hope so much the gravitational pull will suck you in it as well.
Her 'divorce'... The Drama that keeps on giving... The Drama she demands to get pity for... For ever and ever... For all the Drama she has created in the Broken Family, that one is her crowning achievement. For which she wants to be crowned...

But I digress.
What I need to say here: The funeral/divorce story just shows what her favorite pastime is: pull any support or positive feeling from anybody. How dare I hold these friends (of HERS!) in high regard? How dare I ?. Burn and destroy, is what her first reaction is.
I need to be there for her. "For ME ! You hear?! You need to be here for me in my misery of having divorced your dad! How dare you have fond memories of others on their funeral?! Pity me! On this day of mourning for them!

This is how she destroys any positive role-model I might have.
I might get a positive self-image. Modeling myself on nice people.
Then I wouldn't need to go in therapy, in her office. Then I would be 'lost'. To her.

When I was a kid, one evening (at diner no doubt) my parents told us that when they would die, we would be adopted by these friends. Strange conversation. A bit too adult a conversation. Even my elder siblings must have been in their (late?) teens as well. I cannot have been older than 12. But was probably quite a bit younger.

What a way to destroy my positive memories with these friends, my potential adoptive parents no less, in the way my 'mom' did.  :dramaqueen:

I should be glad I'm NC with her. An NC she has even acknowledged.
Yet joy will never be part of my NC. Relief, yes. But that's quiet another emotion.
And I mourn.
The quite horrible thought just popped up in my head: "I wish I had been adopted by these friends. Life now might have been so much better than it is."  :doh:

Good Grief. Quite literally.

*Tell it like it is- the B-52's (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pejsl59PRqQ)

"Tell It Like It T-I-Is"

Doin' it right, day and night
Doin' it right, day and night
Doin' it right, day and night
Yeah, tell it, tell it, tell it like it T-I-is
I gotta feel it
You gotta move it
You gotta move it, move it, move it
To the deep, deep rhythm
Tell it, tell it, tell it like it T-I-is

Seems like things are gettin' so bad
That you can smell it
Yeah, so open those eyes
And get the real picture
It's time to tell it


I wanna talk, baby
I wanna say something
I've got to tell it like it

T-IE-IE-IE-I is

Tell it, tell it, tell it, like it T-I-is
Like it T-I-isTell it, tell it, tell it, like it T-I-is
Like it T-I-is
Tell it, tell it, tell it, like it T-I-is
Like it T-I-is
Tell it, tell it, tell it, like it T-I-is
Like it T-I-is
Whoahh!

Tell it, tell it
I've got to tell it
I want to tell it-whoo!
You got me talkin'
I wanna say something
Got me talkin'
I wanna say somethin'-yeah!


If you're looking for a moving sidewalk
Dreamin' 'bout a monorail to take you away
Well, the day is now,
And her's the biz-
You better get the real picture
Tell it like it T-I-is

I'm spinnin' to the rhythm of the earth
And the ocean
See the situation
Oh what a sight


I wanna talk, baby
I wanna say somethng
I've got to tell it like it is
T-IE-IE-IE-is
Like it T-I-is

Tell it, tell it, tell it, like it T-I-is
Like it T-I-isTell it, tell it, tell it, like it T-I-is
Like it T-I-is
Tell it, tell it, tell it, like it T-I-is
Like it T-I-is
Tell it, tell it, tell it, like it T-I-is
Like it T-I-is
Whoahh!

Ooh, don't upset
The balance of your nature
Make the jump when the coast is clear
Ooh, don't upset
The balance of your nature
Reach the level above your fears


Can you feel the movement
Hear the untamed melody
Tell it like it is and was and
Always should be-yeah!


Like it is and was, and always should be
Is and was, and always should be
Is and was, and always should be
Is and was, and always should be

Tell it, tell it
I've got to tell
I wanna tell it-whoo!
You got me talkin'
I wanna say something'
Got me talkin'
I wanna say somethin'

Tell it Tell it Tell it Tell it
Tell it Tell it Tell it Tell it
Tell it Tell it Tell it Tell it
Tell it Tell it Tell it Tell it
Like it T-I-is
T-I-is!
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 01, 2016, 06:33:52 AM
Yesterday I got a mail by my dad. About something other then the mail I had send him. He wanted something from me.
This got me angry. That I had already been triggered by another hoover-mail by DramaSis probably didn't help.

So I replied to him. That what he wanted I could not deliver right now, as this whole funeral and my DramaMama's behavior on the other previous funeral (and aftermath) had upset me once again.
Then I proceed to tell him I don't want any mails anymore about deaths of him and wifey's (former) friends, no obituaries and no post-funeral talk.
'Mom' and 'dad' always attend these events together. I'm pretty sure that for my dad these deaths and funerals have a positive quality insofar he can spend the day with his divorced wife and hold her hand and pretend to the rest of the World what a wonderful couple they still are. I've witnessed this behavior (especially him sucking up to his wife and basically having his focus on her the whole time) and it makes me sick. I always make sure I sit at the other side of the auditorium or church-service (in case I do a attend a (family) funeral). I can't stand to be near them.

I even made a list on the friends I specifically do not want to hear about. The friends I suspect he'll send me mails about, out of a fake concern I must be touched by their deaths as well. As I type this I realize this is also a form of 'enmeshment': they (both my parents) enmesh me with their friends, and have done so since my childhood.
So I've made it very clear (not that it will make a dent in his thick Aspergers skull, presumably) that these 4 or 5 couples I have mentioned are THEIR friends, and that I don't need to be informed for MY sake, as that usually is the message being send to me in these mails: that he is doing me a favor by telling me. While I actually don't care that much for these people, I have no bond with them.
I told him that as far as these friends' children are concerned, the same applies in case of their deaths. I have been friends of sorts with a few of them, with the children they had of my age. But always via my parents. As soon as they moved away or when I left home, I've never seen or spoken with any of them.
I also told him I don't want to hear anything about deaths on my mothers side of the family.
Because I'm sick and tired of these mails and events, now that I know what 'friendship' means to my mother... and what my mother actually does on these funerals. That she fakes her concern and compassion, but in the meantime is a vindictive backstabber.

Then I proceed to tell him that if he wanted to inform me of deaths in HIS friends circle, that might be different. Or that if he wanted to inform me, talk to me about HIS mourning and grief, HIS process, HIS experience with a specific death it would be fine to tell me. Even if it was somebody from 'the list'. But that he had to keep his wife out of it. And I told him (truthfully) that all these times in so many years he has never talked to me at all about HIS grief or mourning. That I have often asked him about it (sometimes a few times even in the weeks after a death) and he has never said a word about it. Specifically not with a dear friend of 60 years (!) he lost a few years ago, and not with the death of his brother.

It does sound hard, and I did find it confronting to write him, but the truth is I don't want to hear about these things if he cannot or will not say a word about what it does to him. It is then a non-event. Perhaps even a pity party, but an awkward one as he doesn't want pity.
His almost totally unemotional way in handling deaths and funerals are actually one of the traits I attribute to his (undiagnosed) Aspergers. He knows he has to go through all the motions, as he sees everybody doing it, but his are 'mechanical'.


I ended the letter with a bit on sis' hoover, and told him this would be the last time I even answer an invitation by sis, so he would know in advance I will not be coming, even if I don't tell sis or anybody else I won't be coming.
This was a reaction to him mailing all dresses he would be coming to her birthdaybruch, which infuriated me(*) and for the first (or perhaps second time) I had a violent rant (in the privacy of my own home  ;) ) against enabling dad.
I think I'm reaching new levels of processing the anger and frustration in my FOO, by now being able to acces the horrible and abusive enabling my father has pulled off my whole life, and him going to funerals with wifey who foul-mouths the bereaved.
(*) Reasonably there is of course nothing wrong with him saying he will attend, and also not for doing so publicly by doing this via a "reply to all". I did the same after all. So, I chalk my reaction up as an EF, triggered by both the hoover itself, my dad's denial of me not wanting to see sis anymore (which has lead to a couple of very unpleasant situations for me) and his general enabling of any and all abusive behavior that has gone on in the FOO since time immemorial.

Again, I feel pretty good, though exhausted. But at least I have told him, in writing, so I can ditch all future funeral mails with a clear conscious. I don't expect him to actually stop sending them (he is as boundary busting as anyone in the FOO, and he lets his boundaries be busted even more frequently) but I've done what I could do, and felt I had too.
I can't afford to get much more of these EF's on DramaMama making funerals about her and being witness of her vitriolic abuse directed at her 'friends'.

edited to add:
I realize I left out (in this recovery journal) an important part of my mail to my dad:
The closing sentence was:
"i want them out of my life, they are out of my life, and I'm not going to pretend  otherwise."
(with "them" referring to DramaSis and DramaMama)
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Three Roses on September 01, 2016, 02:11:15 PM
 :cheer:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 02, 2016, 08:37:37 AM
Memories of my dysfunctional family, and what it meant to have a relationship:

In one word: misery.
This is going to be a long rant.

My earliest memory of me having the idea that a ‘loving’ relationship is (and should be) based on misery is when I was a young boy (primary school) and the (young) brother of a girl of my age unexpectedly died because of a heart-condition (discovered post-mortem). My parents knew this family via church. I remember I thought this was a perfect opportunity to marry this girl. I fell a sort of in love with her (even though I have never met her).

In my FOO there was a never ending stream of misery discussed at the diner table.
All the misery around was being ‘imported’ and discussed in length.
I will only mention the external misery, but there was plenty ‘of our own’ of course. Possibly if only because that was the only thing that would draw attention from our parents.
From an early age I have stories of:
- The divorce of a befriended couple of my parents. (That took years)
- A neighbor ( 10 houses down the street) with an obsessive compulsion for cleanliness. This lasted for many years. (eventually also resulting in a divorce)
- My father had a minor surgery and shared a room in hospital with a terminally ill cancer-patient. So when my father returned after a short week, for many months all the horrors of his roommate’s ever progressing decline was talk of the table. Of course the wife became a house-friend, and when she started dating a year later or so, all the difficulties of starting a new relationship became talk-of-the-table. This new relationship has ever since been a difficult one. This is the women whom I at some point gave ‘marriage counseling’ when I was 15 or 16.
- My brother’s girlfriend ran away from home, him and everybody else. My brother traveled to her hide-out (which she disclosed after a month or so). Of course for many years to come her parents became house-friends to discuss all the difficulties. My brother had a long and miserable relationship with her. I’m not sure, but I think in the end she broke up with him (again), many years later.
- Another girlfriend of my brother (living a thousand kilometer away) got terminally ill with cancer. Even when she broke off with my brother, TherapistMom kept (or perhaps even increased) contact with her mother. Many years after the death of said girlfriend I had to hear about this mother’s struggle with accepting the death of her daughter. My brother had left house by then. Quite possible when he visited, this would be a ‘good’ diner table subject.
- My mother’s difficulty with accepting my sister’s homosexuality was a source of misery for many years.
- My mother discussed troubled families she dealt with professionally at length.
- We took in runaways from another job my mom had when no foster-family could be found in time. Their problems with their families where also shared at the diner table.
- The problems of (extended) family parents with their adolescent children where discussed at length. The same for the children of befriended couples.
- All marital problems between befriended couples were discussed, whether they were present or not.
- The husband of our cleaning lady got cancer and died. This was good for may years of misery regarding the illness and grief of his death.
- Another case of a child’s death.
- Talk about how the inheritance would be split when my father would die (Mom would get everything. My parents were afraid their children would be so anxious on getting the hands on the money that we would force our mother from the house we were living in). I was a pre-teen.
- Talk about who would adopt us if both our parents would die.
- I had a friend in secondary school (early years) who’s father was an alcoholic and who had affairs. That was a golden opportunity for TherapistDramaMama to jump in off course. So I had to listen at the diner table how difficult it all was for my friends mom. That resulted in divorce. Thus more misery. Years later she became terminally ill with cancer (I had long lost contact with the friend when he had to double a school year and I passed), so then that was discussed.
- The child of another church-family had a severe accident that had her wheelchair bound. Good for years of misery-discussions.
- Another divorce of ‘friends’ (whom I had never heard of before), where the wife said to her husband, the day after their 25-year marriage jubilee party: “25 years was enough. Bye.” (How’s that for keeping up the pretense?!)
- The difficulties of raising kids as a single mom. (Also a divorced friend)

Good grief.

edited to add:
I just made a post on a new hoover by DramaMama. (http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=4706.msg27893#msg27893)

There are actually some gory details I feel necessary to add to this post. For my own recovery. Restoring memory and all that.
***possible triggers on a past suicide of somebody and other nasty deaths***
This daughter of this friend who now is on life support in a hospital did kill herself a couple of years ago by self-immolation in her back-yard. This was of course reason for my DramaMama to draw attention to herself by mailing me about it. WTF? I'm pretty sure I never even met this daughter.
And I must confess that since, and especially since me coming out of the FOG (which was after that particular event) I have had thoughts like: if her mother is anything like mine (which she almost certainly is) I can understand her setting herself ablaze. Mind you, and I want to make this perfectly clear, I have no wish, and never had, to take my own life. But I can relate to this daughter: the ever continuing destruction of self-worth by my (and almost certainly her) DramaMama, is crazy-making and can make people desperate.

So it's a 'good' one to add to the above list: It has never stopped, the misery 'sharing', three decades after I have left 'the house'. "Misery" is the keyword for having a relationship. There simply has never been room, or appreciation, for anything else.

I’m going to add some more to this: My DramaMama and her friends deaths:

A few years ago another friend/disciple of her died. I hadn’t met her much either, but I liked her, the one or two times I did meet her. She appeared to me as a ‘jolly’ women. But I must confess I’ve seen and met her so few, it might have been just the impression I got. But why wouldn’t have my mom have some ‘jolly’ people around her? The friend-who-dared-to-question-DramaMama” was a ‘jolly’ women too in my experience.

That friend died of acute Creuzfeld-Jacob (or some-such I remember) and DramaMama had to cancel another holiday of hers when she heard the news.
What I most vividly remember of DramaMama’s stories of the whole ’visiting’ event is that ‘Mom’ had showed up at the hospital (where said friend and already been hospitalized for days by then, effectively in a coma or some such and basically delusional because of the Creuzfeld-Jacob induced brain damage) and New-Age-Mom felt that she had been able to “make a mutual connection”  with her. WTF? And of course this was presented as only DramaMama had been/was able to connect to said friend. Not friend’s husband, not her children, but ‘special’ DramaMama.
This friend was also taken off life support, but oh boy/girl was DramaMama happy she had had the chance to arrive in time to witness she “got through to her”. “Very Special, isn’t it Dutch?”, she told me gleefully.
To be honest, I felt vicarious shame/embarrassment on how the direct family of said friend must have felt: to have such an entitled women around who (no doubt in my experience) will have involved herself in any discussion/deliberation among the family members on what the appropriate action woud be regarding life-support and friends (quality of) life. She had been in contact with her, no?
Well, most probably NO, indeed.
***end triggers***
Point being of the whole 'blanked out text":
The whole dynamic I described in readable text is STILL going on. ~This is not something that just happened in the past and stopped, no. It still continuous up to today.
And it will continue indefinitely. Unless I cut Contact.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Three Roses on September 02, 2016, 01:21:43 PM
Ugh! These matters were not the sort one should share with children. Forcing you to deal with adult matters at a too-young age is harmful, at least; I'm sorry you were burdened with all that. :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 03, 2016, 06:19:19 AM
While working on my dissociation again, whilst viewing this video on Cognitive Dissonance – How Our Mind Tricks Us Into Staying (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrPqZI9YLZM) I'm suddenly reminded on what my English teacher once called me: "credibility gap" (which is a play on my name).
Perhaps I was expressing dissociative behavior even then, and he had sensed it. (without him probably knowing what it was all about).
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 04, 2016, 06:47:50 AM
Events of the past days and week have brought me back to my childhood, especially the years I was living alone with my parents. My sis left when I was 12, bro when I was 15.
I think I was the "forgotten Child" after all. When sis left, all attention was still going te her: Years of my mother trying to come to terms with sis' homosexuality, which included a lot of mother-daughter-weekends, and by the time that was sort of done (if it ever was) my bro's GF ran off to a foreign country, he joined her and then that was a major issue in the 'household' (IIRC that happened basically as soon as he had left for college)
Perhaps I didn't notice the attention still going to sis, or had grown so accustomed to it that it appeared to have been 'solved' accepted. Or I had accepted that this is what it was. More like I had been groomed.
Or 'mom' did have to give less attention to sis, as she now had to hoover her other narc supply as well: bro.

Anyway, so both my sis and bro left home (both for college) which resulted in them becoming even more the focal point of attention from my parents...
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: NC with bro is here.
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 04, 2016, 12:16:33 PM
Boy, do I have a lot of recovery-journalling to do. The process is going through some rapids at the moment.

My brother repatriated with his family. He has a very bad marriage (signified by him having affairs, at one time he was starting a second family 'on the side', him working towards divorce etc.) and now is pretending he and wifey 'staying together for the kids'. Which is a bald faced lie. Which I know for a decade now, and I cannot keep up appearances anymore, especially not in the face of his kids.
(I wrote about this in History repeats itself. Another generation being abused. (http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=3451.0)
So for a year now I have refused to visit him now that he is repatriated. Not that he has been too inviting, as I had to learn from mom and dad he WAS repatriating and I never got a change of address from him. Last X-mas I had to contact him on where to send the X-mas greeting card to. That is how close me and my bro are at the moment.

Half a year we had a meeting (just the two of us) where I would tell him why I don't visit. He brought up my NC with DramaMama, and I said to him: One subject today, you may choose: My NC with mom or me not coming to your FOC. He choose the first. Which admittedly was easier for me too. Speaking about my grievances on a third party is easier than airing my grievances about him to his face.

The past week I got triggered, and I did send him a card (and by extension also his FOC as it was not in an envelope) where I said I wouldn't be visiting them and that my brother knew. This was not a good move on my part, I regretted it the day after, but truth to be told: my brother does know I'm not buying his lies and deceit. And he could have known in detail, only also choose the easy way out last time: change the subject of our meeting to my NC with DramaMama.

So I got a pissed very short mail from him that he didn't know and now wanted to know.
I answered pissed to that, told him he already could have known for long if he hadn't changed the subject last time.
To which bro replied I should set a date for a meeting.
A dragged my feet little, but while doing so I realized: "Wait a minute, it always me who does initiate "WTF is going on" meetings with him (people pleaser syndrome), now HE wants to know, who does HE not pick a date?" and stayed silent. Admittedly, that was also a Freeze response. But one I also settled for.

Today I got a mail from bro: "Really, it takes more that three weeks for you to reply and set a date?" Which is funny, as this brought back memories (and perhaps even EF's) to me trying to organise something for our mother's jubilee a few years back, asked bro and sis if they were in to do something together, where my brother initially didn't reply and I had a back-and-forth e-mail conversation with sis (all CC to bro) that more or less concluded with the proposition: "Lets pick a date, at the latest six weeks from now, and then we have many months to figure out what would be a nice/good thing to organize".
For six weeks still no reply in any shape or form from bro, until he mailed at the very last moment he didn't know if he would be able to pick a date.
I remember well that my visceral reaction was: "How on earth did that take six weeks to write?"
I also remember well that I decided the and there that from that moment on I would allow myself a six-weeks response time to any of his mails about whatever subject. I was done with these games he plays.

So I answered my bro yesterday "That we got of to a good start" (sarcasm) "you suddenly seem to be in a real hurry, and if that's the case YOU could have set a date. You want to know after all, don't you?" which I really do feel is the case too. your crisis is not my emergency is phrase I picked up somewhere on how to deal with these manipulators (and my bro is one, and not only with me) and I have a not hanging on my wall (to stop me from people pleasing) "No more Mister Nice Guy. (only in selected theaters)."

A few hours later I got his reply: "Forget about it." (liberal translation: screw you)

To be honest, I thought he might, and 50-50 I hoped he would. It saves me a lot of hassle.
So I replied back: "That's clear language." (liberal translation: Check, Roger, message received loud and clear. Lets forget about it. Suits me too.)

So that's it: NC with bro. Who is a DramaSis' and DramaMama's enabler anyway, and the relationship I had with him has for a long time now slowly narrowed down to him complaining about his wife and the schemes he was setting up to have it all his way and depart from his wife preferably in a manner where he would loose practically nothing, and she as much as he could possibly make her loose.
Which will stil happen at some point, no doubt, and I cannot watch this 'train-wreck in slowmotion" progress any further.

I guess that's a peace of sorts.
I'm giving myself a  :hug: . What a family.  :stars:

Update: I got another mail from bro. "Sorry. I was in a foul mood this morning. I'd like to meet. Is date X, time Y location Z OK with you?"

I replied: "yes, that's OK."
I will be this week.

Good. Progress.

Update II: So I met him today. I had been in a state for days now. Well, for a year is probably a more accurate description.
I rehearsed hard, long, often and out loud. So much to say!
Shortly before I went down I made a note with the three reasons why I will not visit him:
(and they actually do come in this order)
First: my relationship with him sucks.
Second: I've been hearing about his horrible marriage for over a decade now, and I can't take it anymore. I'm done. I can't have another three years at least* like that. (* bro interrupted me at that point: "Perhaps even longer." LOL. Talking about affirmation/validation.  ;D )
Thirdly: He is 'pulling the wool over my eyes'/taking me for a fool/gaslighting me (of course I didn't use the term gaslighting) and I'm having none of it.

Basically that's all I said. He sat there sternly, and actually only responded to him 'pulling the wool over my eyes'. By trying to convince me he was not pulling the wool over my eyes by pulling wool over my eyes. Right... :roll:

I then asked him if he anything to say to the other things, and he said no. Then proceeded to blame his wife some more. I let it run. It was soon over. Anyway, it only reinforced my resolve to get out of that mess.
"Now I know what I can tell my kids why you won't visit", he said to close the subject. Right! Like he is going to tell them any of this.  :blahblahblah: :blahblahblah: :blahblahblah:
Not that I mind, I knew beforehand he will tell kids nonsense anyway. He has been gaslighting his kids for a decade now, why would he stop now?

So it was all over within 15 minutes.
We did end up staying together for half an hour. I asked about his kids and their school (last year for the eldest: University next year) and other stuff like that, and then had a talk about our old dad and his deteriorating health. That was actually comforting. We probably will be getting along there. As far as our uAspergers dad allows us near.

I feel OK.
So it won't be NC, but LC.

Update III, 6 hours after the fact:
I'm angry. I'm furious. I'm indignated.  :pissed:
Part of... stop ... ALL of his 'pulling the wool over my eyes"/gaslighting had just one focus: his wife is to blame. Really. I can't even express or try to explain how this 'works', but he has yet again managed to try to convince me (which I dissociative (?) just let pass by) that everything is to blame on wifey.
About a year ago I spoke to a dear friend of me about me not wanting to see bro anymore, which confused her, and to sort of try to tell her just how bad it really was I told her: "My bro finds offense in his wife breathing." And this really is not that far besides the truth. If at all.
I'm not concerned about my sister in law's physical safety at all, but apart from that my bro DOES resent his wife for simple things to the equivalent of her simply breathing.

I'm so glad I got out. But as with DramaMama and DramaSis now the circus of the Flying Monkeys will start with PsychoBro.
I guess the only upside is that DramaMama and DramaSis are out of the picture Flying-Monkey-wise.  :woohoo:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 11, 2016, 12:37:40 PM
I really need to move forward to a new step in my recovery, and in my process of grieving.
I also feel it's time, I'm ready for it.

I've been watching this Vlog (Narcissism Losing a Sibling to Triangulation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPpa-sNHnoY)) a couple of times now and it has made quite an impact. I think I have seen it before, but now I was struck by his insistence to NOT "educate" ones siblings (or by extension the other parent, other family or other 'dear ones' of the Narcissist) especially if one has identified them as narcissist too. But even quite possibly to not "educate" non-narc 'dear ones' who are all victims of the narc's abuse by definition. Even a Golden Child.
In shorthand: to stop JADEing to anybody.

I've spend the last years learning about narcissistic abuse, and other abuse, and identified with plenty. Too much probably. And by that I don't mean I identified with abuse that was not inflicted on me, but that learning about all this abuse has re-traumatized me. To an extend that has also been part of my healing journey, as per my sig:
Quote
To pursue the path of healing we need to remember what we have endured. Restoring ones sense of self means restoring memory, recognizing what happened. Without memory there is no healing --- Desmond Tutu

I have had a huge need to JADE to anybody who would listen. And to anybody who would not listen. I managed to keep it very low profile with my FOO (I just named a few actions and specific behaviors to explain/justify my NC, never used the word narcissist or anything close. I kept it to telling my remaining FOO what it did to me, why I disapproved of it, and did also appeal to possible shared experiences. (f.e. when I said the never ending boundary violations where a reason to go NC.)
I never dared to go further than that, which was partly fear of not being believed, but also because I had prior knowledge it wouldn't work anyway. Thanks to my extensive study/research on going NC with family members.

Now that I have gone NC with DramaMama and DramaSis for over 1,5 years now (with the occasional 'slip of the tongue'), my recent 'coming out' to dad why I went NC with DramaMama, and my little bit more recent announcement of LC with PsychoBro to his face, I also feel the need to JADE lessen.
Bro had his umpteenth chance to actually engage in conversation, and passed for the umpteenth time. Granted, all the other chances he has gotten were far less confrontational than this one. So that he didn't bite now is no surprise. But it still doesn't change the fact it has been the umpteenth time. And I want it over and done with. I'm pretty sure he is ASPD anyway.

So I'm basically left with only AspergersDad, and it seems I'm actually making some progress there. I must try to keep a cool head, as an Aspergers will never be able to fill the emotional void, which he assisted in being created in the first place. So why would things be much different from now on. He's been the enabler for sure, Aspergers or not. That's bad enough, and there's no sign in him letting up on that either. The best I can hope for is that the subject of DramaMama a.k.a. his wife "I love very much" (still) will once more disappear in the void of silence, where she has been in the 15 years since she left him. I probably will have to make little effort to make that happen in any case, but I have already decided I will call him on the previous 15 years of silence if he will not stop suggesting to me to 'forgive her, she's your mother after all". That I now have cut contact with her is not a reason to suddenly to end his 15 tears of silence over her.

I'm as sure as I will ever be able to get that TherapistMom is a Histrionic PD with probably all sort of nasty cluster-B comorbidities. My latest reminder of her wishing her former friend her comeuppance (http://comeuppance) on the funeral of her husband has once again solidified by conviction she has the same in store for me, my dad, my sister and my brother in particular. She must gleefully watch how he has messed up his marriage and how his children pay the price. She had predicted he would get in trouble "once he would get a wife" when she instructed me to not resist te torture he inflicted o me in the living room in full sight of anybody present.
That's one masterpiece she has created, and the narc loves to see the reflection of him/herself, her craftiness, her beauty and her omnipotence. Well, she had predicted all this set bro up for this misery 40-odd years ago. She must feel proud she knew that non-interference (neglect) would mean bro's inevitable downfall. And she needed me in her scheme, couldn't have me resist and mess up her plan for him.
She's a patient women: she waited 15 years for her friend to get her payback after all.
The mess with my bro is a gift that keeps on giving, as his marriage is already in shambles for 10 years, in full view to anybody (before that it was more covert). And it will continue to be like this for at least another 3 years. I wouldn't put it passed her if she is the one who keeps delaying the divorce my brother so craves, and actually already has set many steps to achieve, but then backing out when the jump has to be made. Not surprisingly, the longer the divorce is postponed, the messier it gets, and the messier the eventual divorce will be.

But as said, I'm out of that loop. I will not see my Bro's FOO until he gets divorced, basically, which is postponed for at least three years.

So here's to no more research on narcissism, no more gathering of more 'proof', no more sidesteps into "the narc's spouse' and 'siblings of narc parents' etc etc etc.
I know where I'm at. My position is well defined.

From now on it will be ME, ME , ME and MY, MY , MY recovery.
That sounds scary narcissistic, but what the *.
I know it's time to put me first. I will not explain a damned thing anymore.

I'm moving on.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Three Roses on September 11, 2016, 02:45:40 PM
It doesn't sound narcissistic at all, to me. It merely sounds like you're shifting your focus from being self-defensive and watchful over your boundaries to being more active in the pursuit of more healing. Well done, you! :applause:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 14, 2016, 06:19:05 AM
I realized that my father's is pressuring me into a forced commitment with my 'mom' (http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=4420.msg28252#msg28252). (Discover your core commitments) (http://traumahealed.com/articles/discover-your-core-commitments/)

See also A tool I invented to manage my dissociation. (http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=4764.new#new) To that last thread I made I want to add here:
One of the many therapeutic destructive psychobabble/spells she said to me over and over again was "Je doet het er maar steeds mee. (Dat is niet goed.)" Which translates roughly as "You always settle for how things are. That's not OK."
Well, there are plenty of moments in life where "settling for it" is fine and/or the only option. As the serenity prayer says:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.


I like that better.

In the same vain from the movie "On Golden Pond" (IIRC)
"Life is not about getting what you want,
but about wanting what you get."

And a Dutch song that I really love:
"Had je het al in de smiezen,
het leven draait niet om winnen, maar om verliezen
En wie dat het beste kan
die sterft straks als een gelukkig man
of vrouw
het leven gaat van AUW."

"Had you already figured it out?
Life is not about winning, but about loss.
And he who can lose well,
will die as a happy man
(or woman, life's OUCH!)
Title: Journal of a Dutch Uncle: Fear and Anxiety.
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 24, 2016, 09:54:40 AM
Having recovered somewhat from the invasion of my privacy by DramaMama (whom I’m tempted to call TerrorMom from now on) I’m today reminded of what my Psychologist said to me when I turned to her for a possible Anxiety Disorder: “Fear is not by definition irrational, Mr. Uncle. There are many instances where fear is very rational.” (and thus healthy, I add myself)

My fear of DramaMama entering my house has been proven very adequate, as in: predictive. I knew what was going to happen, and she did not fail to proof without any doubt the her entering my home was to wreak havoc. It's only her chat trick that did me in.
I forgive myself for that. I was just being decent. That subsequently law-enforcement had to be called in is none of my doing. She is to be held accountable for that.

And it proves the Psychologist right too: I do not have an anxiety disorder. My anxiety is very much in order.  ;D

Perhaps I should throw a party in honor of my anxiety. Such a worthwhile trait and tool to stay safe!
It's just a thought. Such happiness is not in me right now. But who knows... some day.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 26, 2016, 01:29:00 PM
Official results of my SCID-II regarding
Quote
Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) is listed in the DSM-IV-TR as a "Cluster C" (anxious or fearful) Personality Disorder. It is defined as:

A pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

- Has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others
- Needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of his or her life
- Has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of fear of loss of support or approval. Note: Do not include realistic fears of retribution.
- Has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy)
- Goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support from others, to the point of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant
- Feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or herself
- Urgently seeks another relationship as a source of care and support when a close relationship ends
- Is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being left to take care of himself or herself

A formal diagnosis of DPD requires a mental health professional to identify 5 of the above 8 criteria as positive. Some people exhibit all 8. Most exhibit only a few.

I wish I never took up moderation. Volunteering for that at least fits the psychological assessment made. In a sense that's a relief. (relieve? I can't be arsed to look it up) (well, at least that passed the swear-filter inhibited . No guarantee it will give me a pass though! I should not be surprised retribution will still be coming my way. Oh well, I've had plenty of that. And I still live.)

I'm content with this being a personal recovery journal.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Three Roses on September 26, 2016, 03:08:10 PM
No retribution, only love to you my friend.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 26, 2016, 03:17:42 PM
No retribution, only love to you my friend.
I've hardly ever seen such a disingenuous statement in my life. I've hardly been invalidated as much is this. You are sending me love? This is love I can do without. Since it isn't love, not in the slightest.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 26, 2016, 06:27:46 PM
love comes in all forms, on all levels, in many differing degrees.  it is the most precious gift we can be given.  i have no doubt 3roses was sincere with her gift of love to you.  i'm just sorry you couldn't accept it.

it's too bad that the moderation job was an act of volunteering to do things that are unpleasant.  that is very sad to me.   i would have hoped you had looked at volunteering to be a moderator for this forum as something well worth doing.  i think it's a valuable job. 

as far as retribution towards you, i would hope that we're beyond that.  we're all wounded, we're all looking to heal, and we're all learning, even when we make mistakes or through the mistakes of others.   we're in this together.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 26, 2016, 06:45:20 PM
Love doesn't come in the either form you or Three Roses present it to me.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Three Roses on September 26, 2016, 09:29:00 PM
It doesn't matter if you feel it or not, DU. I respect you and send you my brotherly love in my thoughts toward you. You have been a valuable asset to this community and many have been comforted by your words here. I hope that will be true in the future, which it will be if you stay.

As far as me being disingenuous, I'm sorry you feel that way; I can wish someone well without having to agree 100% with them. I did not agree with you, that's true, but it doesn't affect my regard and appreciation of you and your contributions.

So love to you! ;)
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: movementforthebetter on September 26, 2016, 10:13:45 PM
It certainly was never my intent for anyone to be singled out, punished, or for you to feel you have to resign over this issue, Dutch Uncle. That said, I totally get why you would. There is no way I personally could handle moderation here and I doubt I'll ever be altruistic enough to want to.

Thank you for your service to the community, which was above and beyond any reasonable expectations for a person working through their own challenges. If you ever choose to take it up again, I would support you, but I also get if you're just done. That's fair!

My challenges to the rules were made in that thread, no need to rehash here. But allow me to reiterate that they have nothing to do with you personally. Just wanted to let you know that I do value your presence here, and your perspective. I even read through the original thread on swears and you and I were of fairly similar minds (your posts were from 2015, though).

To be honest I cannot imagine much being harder than for a group of people, more easily triggered than others, to have to monitor themselves! A whole bunch on unflattering similies come to mind. Ideally, we could have moderators without c-ptsd, but then they'd have no reason to be here. We are all muddling through together.

I hope you'll feel better about this soon, whatever shape your future participation takes.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 27, 2016, 01:04:55 AM
It doesn't matter if you feel it or not, DU.
LOL.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 27, 2016, 01:18:30 AM
It certainly was never my intent for anyone to be singled out, punished, or for you to feel you have to resign over this issue, Dutch Uncle.
One thing is certain, you were not the single one who beat up on me. Half the site ganged up on me. Including my fellow moderators.

My challenges to the rules were made in that thread, no need to rehash here. But allow me to reiterate that they have nothing to do with you personally. [...] I even read through the original thread on swears and you and I were of fairly similar minds (your posts were from 2015, though).
I can assure you my moderation has never been 'personal'. I'm of the opinion I (as moderator) should uphold the guidelines as they are. Not to uphold them as I personally think they should be. If it had been up to the member Dutch Uncle I would have shrugged it off. You can rest assured I, as a private person, still stand behind everything I said in 2015. But becoming a moderator doesn't mean that suddenly my private views become the site's standard. IMHO.
Typing any form of a swear word is not acceptable "f***" or  "f**k" for example. The filter will pick up most full swear words and replace them with an "*" but it will not pick up  "f***" or  "f**k" so these are what may slip by (or swear words that are not in the filter).
I was so stupid to think a**, b***h and d**k would fall into the same category.  :doh:

Quote
I hope you'll feel better about this soon, whatever shape your future participation takes.
I think my time here is done pretty soon. It's open hunting season on me now. I've experienced this before. It's already been said I "do not seem remotely concerned with the effects these decisions of yours have had on many of us, possibly including causing people to leave the boards." I was so stupid to think moderating by the guidelines would actually keep people at the boards, in particular those who are offended by swearing and count on the 'staff' to uphold the rules. That the site and community they signed up to actually would be as presented as in the guidelines.
I was wrong.
It's now being suggested that "maybe we all need to grow thicker skins, and stop focusing on everything that offends us". I'm baffled by the sudden turn-around on 'offensive language'. I would have appreciated it if I had been given the memo before I started moderating.

Oh well. I wish everybody happy swearing!
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: radical on September 27, 2016, 02:18:51 AM
I've kept out of this until now, and usually I don't read journal entries (just a thing of mine)

I've been mildly concerned about this situation, but don't know how to help.  This is such an intense situation, a forum for people recovering from developmental trauma.  We talk about our most tender feelings, about our pain, humiliation, shame, the experience of powerlessness and abuse, and all the fallout from that.  We also talk about sex, love, hate and religion -  in fact, we talk about all the things most people avoid discussing other than with their most intimate friends and then just occasionally because they are potentially incendiary.  We do it because we have to, because we are determined to heal, because we are gutsy and strong despite everything that has happened to us.

I've often thought moderation is a huge ask, an enormous responsibility.  I know I need to get away quite regularly because I come to feel overwhelmed, and I'm very glad it isn't my responsibility to oversee the discussions, especially for such long shifts.  I feel for and appreciate the three of you who do.   Do we need to lighten the load somehow?

Dutch Uncle, I think I can appreciate that you might feel betrayed and hurt as well as angry.  You do a stressful job with long hours.  I appreciate you.  Equally, I think it is important that we are able to talk to each other with authenticity.  Fawning is a problem that I'm trying hard to overcome, but it is a judgement call about how to approach difficult feelings about things others have said and done.  Yet if we don't bring all of ourselves here (as respectfully as we are able), just the nice bits, how can we trust each other?  I know if there was nothing but warm fuzzies to anything anyone ever said, I wouldn't like it.  It would be one big fawn fest and I'd start to have that sickly feeling of being patronised by others, and repressed, myself.

I don't want anyone to leave.  I hope Meursualt will return, though I have no idea why he went. I don't know what the answer is, but we are all going to get things wrong now and then, so we have to be patient and forgiving.  I can't see any way around that.   :hug:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: movementforthebetter on September 27, 2016, 02:35:21 AM
Dutch Uncle, I would like to clarify some things. I did not gang up on you. I did not send any private messages, though I would have been within my rights to do so. My words are chosen carefully and posted publicly, and will continue to be. I am not here for drama but wellness. And yeah, I am going to comment on my observations from time to time, especially if I perceive an injustice. And apparently my words ruffle feathers, or, dare I say, can be triggering. I was very careful to not lay blame but instead question the guidelines and their application. I didn't even know which mod had contacted the members. But this is the internet and any words here words can be a trigger to anyone, regardless of what the words are... Which was my entire point. That's the last I'll comment on it. I am sorry if you think I bear you ill will or wanted something to happen to you. I certainly did not. I am truly sorry that my words have hurt you.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 27, 2016, 03:10:33 AM
@radical
As I've said in many posts in the "Welcome to OOTS" thread: the guidelines are here to keep this a safe place for all members.

When the guidelines are not enforced, this is an unsafe place.

Last year there has been an elaborate discussion on swearing, and the rules as they stand have been drawn up, by the administration, as a result. I know there are plenty of folks here who wouldn't mind swearing all day long. Others are apparently very sensitive to it. I've had posts of mine moderated for language I even didn't know was offensive. And I still don't understand how people can find it offensive. But it was deemed it was, and thus I refrain from such language.
Or I could have left. But I didn't.

I don't want to scare anyone away, not as a member, and also not as a moderator. I know from personal experience how hard it can be to get moderated. And it's no fun to have to 'dish out'. But if the guidelines are to have any substance, then moderation is needed at times. When the guidelines are violated.

But that's not my business anymore. In any shape or form.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 27, 2016, 03:22:10 AM
My words are chosen carefully and posted publicly, and will continue to be. I am not here for drama but wellness. And yeah, I am going to comment on my observations from time to time, especially if I perceive an injustice. And apparently my words ruffle feathers, or, dare I say, can be triggering. I was very careful to not lay blame but instead question the guidelines and their application. I didn't even know which mod had contacted the members. But this is the internet and any words here words can be a trigger to anyone, regardless of what the words are... Which was my entire point.
I've chosen my words carefully as well. Apart from the "questioning the guidelines" I could have typed what you posted. I was upholding the guidelines.
Quote
I am sorry if you think I bear you ill will or wanted something to happen to you. I certainly did not. I am truly sorry that my words have hurt you.
I do not think you bear me ill-will.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Three Roses on September 27, 2016, 03:35:17 AM
No one ganged up on you, least of all your fellow moderators. You were disagreed with, Dutch. That is all. You hurt some feelings, not in your adherence to the Guidelines but in your approach. I hurt people's feelings all the time! It's part of being a human. We learn to say "oops, sorry" and move on.

It's not open season on anyone, no one's mad, we are all just damaged people who've evidently suffered some sort of mass trigger :P

I still extend to everyone my best regards, and my most genuine wishes for peace & healing.

Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: mourningdove on September 27, 2016, 03:46:05 AM
Quote
When the guidelines are not enforced, this is an unsafe place.

Right, and when they are enforced in an authoritarian manner, and with poor communication, then this is an unsafe place.

Quote
It's already been said I "do not seem remotely concerned with the effects these decisions of yours have had on many of us, possibly including causing people to leave the boards."

Yes, I said that because it was what I believed at the time, and now I believe it even more. I haven't once seen you consider why it was that so many people were upset. Instead, you have just been blaming and accusing everyone who had a problem with decisions that you made as moderator. Everyone makes mistakes, and you don't seem to have considered that you might have in this instance.

I've never had anything personal against you, and I hope that you don't leave the site unless you really want to, but I'm very glad that you stepped down as moderator, especially after having seen the way you have dealt with all this. You now seem to be saying that people initially had a problem because you enforced the guidelines, but that was never the case. The problem was in how you enforced them and in the ways you communicated about it.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 27, 2016, 05:14:00 AM
Quote
When the guidelines are not enforced, this is an unsafe place.

Right
&
I'm very glad that you stepped down as moderator
That's at least two things we agree on.

The fact you don't see me considering doesn't mean I don't.

As far as the communication is concerned, I've already made my view on that matter clear. And it's clear I hold a minority position on it. I can live with that.

To err on the side of caution I have disabled all PM's (except the Administrator's) so that all commination will be out in the open. I've never been fond of PM's anyway, so it's no loss.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 27, 2016, 05:42:42 AM
It's not open season on anyone, no one's mad, we are all just damaged people who've evidently suffered some sort of mass trigger :P
I hope you're right, but it wouldn't be the first time I would be the target of a deliberate and orchestrated witch hunt by a collective. Very secretively of course. But I have ironclad proof. That definitely IS a massive trigger for me. And it most definitely played a role in my actions.

I hope I'll fare better this time, but I'm not holding my breath.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Kizzie on September 27, 2016, 02:37:29 PM
Dutch I want to thank you for your time and effort with regard to OOTS.  You have given much of yourself and I and others do appreciate it. The fact that your moderation of the swearing issue did not go well does not erase all that you have contributed.  Stepping down as Moderator was called for but we are all human and most members understand and accept that.  I hope you do decide to remain and that you can leave this matter behind.

Now that you and others have had an opportunity to air some feelings and share some thoughts I would again ask that you and everyone please move on.

Kizzie

Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 27, 2016, 02:40:07 PM
Dutch I want to thank you for your time and effort with regard to OOTS.  You have given much of yourself and I and others do appreciate it. The fact that your moderation of the swearing issue did not go well does not erase all that you have contributed.  Stepping down as Moderator was called for but we are all human and most members understand and accept that.  I hope you do decide to remain and that you can leave this matter behind.

Now that you and others have had an opportunity to air some feelings and share some thoughts I would again ask that you and everyone please move on.

Kizzie
Noted.

edit: I guess I could also say "Roger" or "confirmed" or "message received" or whatever in that vain.
I'm sorry for feeling the need to elaborate on that one word reply.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Wife#2 on September 27, 2016, 03:02:46 PM
Dutch - I missed the situation it would seem.

As your online friend, I just wanted to offer you this  :bighug: and say that I hope you remain with us. Your insights have been so helpful, your encouragement needed many times that you freely offered it. For that I am deeply thankful.

Perhaps it's best to let this recovery journal close and open a new one for the next phase of your recovery. I would welcome the idea of you remaining at OOTS. Watching your recovery has sometimes encouraged me that recovery is possible at all.

Thank you, friend, Dutch Uncle.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 27, 2016, 03:24:03 PM
Perhaps it's best to let this recovery journal close and open a new one for the next phase of your recovery.
Thanks for the suggestion, it's in way appealing, but all this is part of my history too, and as my signature says: "To pursue the path of healing we need to remember what we have endured. Restoring ones sense of self means restoring memory, recognizing what happened. Without memory there is no healing." so I politely, though decisively and respectfully decline, dear friend.

Thanks again, being called a friend is the most gentle thing I've heard in all of this.  :umbrella:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Kizzie on September 28, 2016, 05:55:35 PM
Dutch, I would point out that you were not at all gentle with your peers in the swearing situation and the anger and offense is wholly justified on their part imo.  There is no conspiracy, no witch hunt, only understandable reactions to how you treated people. 

This is what a friend tells you - the truth.  It is embarrassing to make a mistake, I know that, we all know that.  It's in how you handle the mistake that matters. 

For the sake of your own recovery please try to get out of fight mode and see what I am trying to tell you, have been trying to tell you gently and privately at first and now clearly, emphatically and publicly.  You made a mistake in how you handled the swearing issue and some recognition of this and an apology are in order.
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Dutch Uncle on September 29, 2016, 12:16:12 PM
Dutch, I would point out that you were not at all gentle with your peers in the swearing situation and the anger and offense is wholly justified on their part imo.  There is no conspiracy, no witch hunt, only understandable reactions to how you treated people. 

This is what a friend tells you - the truth.  It is embarrassing to make a mistake, I know that, we all know that.  It's in how you handle the mistake that matters. 

For the sake of your own recovery please try to get out of fight mode and see what I am trying to tell you, have been trying to tell you gently and privately at first and now clearly, emphatically and publicly.  You made a mistake in how you handled the swearing issue and some recognition of this and an apology are in order.

At this moment I’m not even sure anymore what would and what would not count as a “Fight” response, or if anything I do here or don’t would sufficiently count as “For the sake of [my] own recovery”.

I’ll be gone for at least a while.

 :spooked:
Title: Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
Post by: Kizzie on September 29, 2016, 02:53:07 PM
This thread has been locked.