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Messages - Butterfly

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Books & Articles / Re: Review of Karyl McBride's book
« on: March 26, 2017, 10:58:52 PM »
My new favorite book. It's like a complete outline to healing. After telling through part one and two I made a workbook out of part three to tie up loose ends in my healing journey.

Recovery Journals / Re: Journey from Oz to "Meh"cca
« on: March 26, 2017, 10:49:36 PM »
Thanks Three Roses. Kizzie had asked I put together my story so it's a work in progress. I so appreciate you popping by!

Emotional Abuse / Re: forms of bullying
« on: November 24, 2016, 02:04:03 PM »
To me it sounds like stalking - a form of bullying. That can be stressful. While I was completely enmeshed with uPDm and enF they would suddenly just show up places they knew I'd be running errands or drive by my house. It boggled my mind that even after spending all day shopping and having lunch out they'd still stalk me. Insatiable.

It's not cowardice, you're protecting yourself and i see what you're doing as taking great courage! It might help to read up on stalking a bit. So sorry you don't have peace in your own home. Is there a way to plant evergreens or some trees to block view more? Cover windows with some pretty privacy film?

Recovery Journals / Journey from Oz to "Meh"cca
« on: November 20, 2016, 01:41:03 PM »
This is my story and is a work in progress will be back to edit

From the outside looking in our family was warm and close and we had fun, and we did . . . sometimes. That's the thing about abuse and personality disorders, things change on a dime. One moment laughter and fun and without warning a dark storm cloud rolls in for no reason at all and it wasn't in the forecast.

Growing up in a multi-generational home there were layers of abuse as grandparents abused my parents, in turn my parents abused us, their children. So we didn't see it as abuse, this is family, this is love, this is . . . normal. We didn't know any other way, no way to measure, so this was our normal.

Enmeshment and complete lack of boundaries was normal, anyone can say and do anything to anyone and it was accepted. Name calling was common, physical abuse came out of nowhere without warning because uPDm had had enough. Constant hypervigilence became necessary for survival in a very real way. Being able to read the mood to try to 'forecast the storm' meant I might escape the rage. But to the outside world presenting the picture of a perfect and happy family was paramount. Keeping our 'dirty laundry' from outsiders was very very important.

To make matters worse enF blamed me for uPDm rages telling me it must be my fault she's in this mood despite the fact that she was in this mood when I arrived home from school and I'd tried my best to coddle and help her but she was still in the mood when he got home from work. I'd failed my job as a daughter by not controlling my uPDm. So began a lifetime of becoming the toxic emotional dump for uPDm and my being held responsible for her emotional and mental wellbeing.

When I reached adulthood I was fully enmeshed, no boundaries, I didn't know where I ended and others began, I was codependdently wrapped up in helping others. My entire sense of self worth based on how much I can do for others to the complete neglect of myself. Several times I tried to have a sit down discussion with uPDm and enF about what an adult relationship with them looked like for me. Simple, yes? Not for an enmeshed daughter. Wanting to live my life with my new husband, have my own friends, come and go without reporting my whereabouts to them caused massive Hoovers, fits of crying, raging, pleas that 'all we want is a close family' and on and on until DH and I would comply and fall back into our assigned role as submissive children.

Finally we relocated to the other side of the continent, we were free, we had a life. However the FOG reached across the distance and my mind, heart, emotions were still very much codependently enmeshed. We were finally Hoovered to move back after uPDm told us they didn't have long to live. That was 13 years ago when they were middle aged and we fell for it hook line and sinker so moved back to care for them except they didn't need care and our lives slowly fully enmeshed once again.

It was suffocating, my body was in pain, my mind and heart were screaming, I didn't know I was experiencing cPTSD. Doctor after doctor pointed to depression, no medical cause for the utter lack of strength and fatigue. Me? Depressed? My life was great, or so I thought, ignoring the nightmares and lifelong thoughts of suicide. I really was in the FOG and didn't even see I was fracturing to pieces from the stress and cPTSD.

Shopping and lunch with them daily meant I was immersed in abuse between the fun times. They are fun but then the dark storm clouds roll in without warning. Being in daily contact with the abuse meant constant triggers, there wasn't a moment I wasn't triggered and hypervigilance was required at all times. How could trauma become post traumatic if it was constant, current, not in the past? Once I was in actual fear for my life as uPDm rages threw her into a driving frenzy and I'm still not sure what triggered that episode. Daily contact meant daily episodes and I came home, curled up in a ball, wrapped in a blanket, crying and sipping wine to self medicate escape.

Episodes. That's what I'd always called her rages as if they were single individual occurances and not the constant control it really was my entire life. I remember the day I was head butted out of the FOG by uPDm. For an entire month before that day she raged with passive aggressive digs and outright hostility. My crime? I'd run errands without her. Yes that's right. Research lead me to Out of the FOG and my journey began. Newly armed with tools I prepared to battle to take back my life, well take my life since it wasn't something I really ever possessed. I had never individuated or fully separated. It was time.

The recurring lifelong nightmare that plagued me was a dark figure chasing me. Desperately I tried to move, to scream for help, but no sound came from my open mouth and I was paralyzed to move in the dream. My journey out of the fog was mirrored in my nightmare, as I learned boundaries and found my voice in real life then in my nightmare I was able to whisper a small protest and whisper for help. The faintest whisper but it was a start. As I found my voice in real life, verbalized boundaries, spoke up to the bullying and passive aggressive attacks then in the nightmare I screamed and fought the faceless figure. Finally I had my voice in real life and in my nightmare. Today there are no more nightmares.

The first step was boundary work and tying boundaries to core values strengthened me as a person, through boundaries I was able to separate and individuaute. By defining core values I found my authentic self. Unfortunately me as a separate individual isn't something uPDm or enF understand​ or accept. They define love as enmeshed and any other love language is foreign and not a 'real relationship' so at this point an adult to adult relationship isn't happening. It's ok. I accept their limitations and allow others to be themselves, make their choices and live the consequences. 

Another key was learning to feel feelings, to name them, to recognize anger at a lower level instead of just ignoring what my body was screaming. EF and triggers are a signal to me things have gone too far and I had to pay attention to emotions at lower levels. I had to learn to recognize anger. Maybe I even needed to learn to feel anger. Anger signals a violated boundary. Since I had never had boundaries before I had to learn what a broken boundary felt like and what anger at a broken boundary felt like and then how to respond to that anger. So after boundaries my next task was learning to feel and respond to anger at a low level, to be able to speak without freezing. Having boundaries attached to core values made them a part of me, they became internal, responding to boundaries became more of a natural response, very little thought required.

I know who I am and so does everyone who interacts with me since I'm able to clearly articulate my values and boundaries. Other people are responsible for their feelings and I'm responsible for me. My marriage is improved since both DH and I learned boundaries and how to better communicate. I've learned to have needs and limitations. Friendships are enriching and sources of mutual encouragement. Association with others is strengthening and upbuilding.

Contact is currently low contact, occasional email or text for wellness check, talk of neutral news topics, weather, even less frequent occasional phonecall. Family gatherings are medium chill, casual conversation about common interests. I never did do a time out or NC so the key for me was dialing back contact to allow time between contact to heal from triggers. We never did have the heart to heart regarding the past. No need since it would be denied and gaslighted or the usual massive Hoover. I drew a line in the sand and from that day addressed abuse in the moment as it happened. Nothing about others changed, I changed, I decided the abuse was over, I took my power.

The FOG, the Fear Obligation Guilt, exist only in our head and only if we allow it. Once we choose to take our power the FOG can evaporate and we can begin to heal from cPTSD. Its been months since feeling triggered, any uPDm 'episodes' give me feeling of Meh and make me roll my eyes inside thinking 'there she goes again' and I walk away or end the conversation. Working on myself, boundaries, healing was intense and daily, I was relentless and pursued wellness as if my life depended on it, because it did. In a very literal way my physical well-being was on the line not to mention my emotional and mental health. My healing journey continues and i wish all here peace and healing as well. You are not alone and life does get better.

Personally i had better success with a counselor and phycologist than with psychiatrist. For me i didnt need anyone to tell me what i have and there is no one in my life to share it wirh outside dh and he is validating. At least there was someone in my life to validate. Honestly most of my validation came from here on oots and also ootf so i understand wanting and needing validation. Its probably worse having a dr disagree with what you know is true.

Exactly, yes. Emotional flashback only, nightmares very cryptic but solidly grounded in real life experiences when I started to examine things.

"do not necessarily remember their traumas (one of the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis) or at least are not preoccupied with specific memories of their abuse, but the continue to behave as if they were still in danger" this exactly. I didn't even recognize my childhood or current situation as abusive - emotionally enmeshed and suffocatingly controlled through passive aggressive attacks or verbal rages for noncompliance even as an adult.

If you need a diagnosis for specific purpose (school, employment) then it might be good to keep searching for the right doctor or else help educate the current doctor. If a diagnosis of ptsd is sufficient to get an official diagnosis for accommodations wouldn't it hurt to just leave it at that?

General Discussion / Re: Physical Ailments with CPTSD
« on: October 08, 2016, 12:31:36 PM »
IBS from stress? Definitely for me, I could feel my intestines constrict and my stomach aches terrible if I'm around updm and she's in a 'mood' - seething rage about to blow.

Rotator cuff? I can see that too because if the shoulder is tight the whole mechanics is off and every time you lift your arm if the mechanics is off the tendons hit the roof of the bone structure.

Sanmagic, hope the massage is helping. It's worked for me in the past too releasing issues and emotions. I had one healer type massage therapist who knew exactly what my emotional issues were the first time I met her just based on where the tension was and what organs and energy flow she felt were affected.

Checking Out / Re: Checking In
« on: October 08, 2016, 10:50:16 AM »
Thanks guys! Kizzie, yes I find myself feeling so suddenly tired like there's no fighting it and will just nod off during the day. So glad your knee is doing well and that you're healing! The body is amazing to me in what it can do and overcome even if it's difficult to grant it the patience it needs :)

Checking Out / Checking In
« on: October 07, 2016, 10:02:08 AM »
It's been a long time, far too long, and I miss the community here. Had some major surgery and it's been a difficult recovery. It's as expected but very involved, and difficult. Painful and draining. It's made me sleepy, always sleepy, even now off the pain meds I'm still sleepy.

Anyway I'm checking in and not sure how often I'll be back but just wanted to give a wave

Friends / Re: how to end a 'friendship' gracefully & tactfully?
« on: May 23, 2016, 09:58:08 AM »
Just to add I find that toxic friendships fade as I become stronger at setting boundaries. Sometimes they probably don't even begin. Calling out bad behavior immediately in a calm way from the start.

It's also become my strength to face that I can't control others, only me, truly. When uPDm says something rude instead of telling her that's rude I say 'why would you say that' and shut it down.

This person may have honed in on your nature and is taking advantage. You get to decide how you spend your precious time. You've already said why and telling her you've already said why it isn't working is sufficient. You owe no further explanation. She may try to Hoover you back in, turn it around back on you, and try to work on this or that, make false promises only to fail if it's not in her nature to respect others. It's not wrong to be busy, unavailable, block email and number if you choose. Protect yourself any way you wish.

It's good you have this safe place and also T to get this out. Sadness and tears are a release, they're about loss and letting go. All my life I was chastised to hole them back but now I cry in a quiet place, in my pillow, soft sobs and tears and breathe through the spell. It feels much better to release my pain than to hold it inside. It hurts me to hold it inside.

Friends / Re: I'm out of sync with people who don't have cPTSD
« on: May 23, 2016, 09:25:08 AM »
Hopefully since I'm replying now and you've left you're having a decent time.

Two thing helped when I went through intense social anxiety with cPTSD:

One was preparing for topics that were safe such as gardening, weather, news items that were non controversial, and things of interest to the other person if I knew their interests. For example if a friend is an avid fiction reader, even though I'm not, I'd check the best seller list for some titles to ask what she's heard about them. She'd be happy to relate and the conversation flowed as I showed interest in what she had to say. I'd get lost in listening. That brings me to #2:

Listening became my mode of operation. It still is mostly. Listening with real interest worked really well for me and if there is a pause either ask a thoughtful question or else something that prompts them to continue such as 'wow, tell me more' or some such phrase.

Even if you get this too late for this trip, maybe going forward this or something else might help.

General Discussion / Re: CPTSD vs PTSD?
« on: May 13, 2016, 12:30:03 PM »
 First and most apologize profusely I did not get to read all of your post as I am in a rush and I'm running late but I saw the subject line and wanted to pop by with a thought. What I have heard and there is a post here somewhere regarding this, PTSD versus cPTSD is  that PTSD assumes that was a dramatic event and treatment is to get you back to normal before the Trumatic event happened. Treatment for the PTSD is different because with cPTSD there is no normal to return to and it has to be created from scratch which is why some of the traditional treatment for PTSD do not work for cPTSD. Those raised in a toxic environment have no normal to return to so it needs to be created from scratch. I'm not sure where the post is about that but I just wanted to get you started on that thought and did scan through your post but need to run for now and will hopefully be able to check back later.

Emotional Abuse / Re: Emotional abuse by wife.
« on: May 13, 2016, 12:26:34 PM »
Just wanted to add a warm welcome to you and hope that the website resources and support forum here can help. Please check the glossary, some of the information there links back to out of the fog but some of the research is specific to hear on out of the storm. Some of the sub boards of different ways to cope with some of the different symptoms of cPTSD. Since you're out of the fog I'm sure you're well aware of the toolbox and some of the ways to disconnect from the abuse in a healthy way such as boundaries and medium chill.

General Discussion / Re: Child with PTSD
« on: May 13, 2016, 12:23:55 PM »
I'm sorry I have nothing directly to contribute to your post specific to your situation but just wanted to welcome you and ask you if you have found support for both you and your son?

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