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Messages - Perry1216

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From Blueberry:
One way to lower the volume on the Inner Critic is to concentrate on what good things somebody has said about you. Think about those students and what they've said, and what their parents have said and what the former principal said. That's a whole lot of people saying good things!

Youíre right! My former principal finished my letter of recommendation and I feel so much better knowing she believes in me and that I could leave this job with such rude and demoralizing ďmanagersĒ if I choose to.

I call them managers because the superintendent certainly chose staff who arenít instructional leaders and arenít building up their staff, just putting them down in various passive aggressive ways.

I do keep around screen shots and print outs of emails from parents who say thank you. I also was cleaning out my car and found little thank you notes and the occasional small holiday gift from a student that helps.

I have to ask some students before they graduate to write down the best parts of class and keep that somewhere Iíll see it when I need it.

I was stalked by a former principal for a school year in order to punish the union. The union president even told me this (teaching) is what he thought I ought to be doing, just not there... the principal was just too good at professional assassination.

Iím tired of teaching. Iím tired of my inner critic and anxiety. I loved my new job for the past 3.5 years, but this current administration is a negative one. I feel devalued and they havenít even targeted me specifically because they donít give any attention to my department which is not a state testing subject.

How can I prop myself up without feedback? I feel alone. I have students who express appreciation. I have parents of students who do too. I have old reviews from our former principal who was a great instructional leader. Our current principal is no instructional leader.

I think I might need a new job, but I need letters of rec and Iíve been trying to get the former principal to do it. My department head straight up told me she interviewed for other positions and didnít get a letter in time. I know my old principal is busy and my new one is not supportive.

My inner critic is raging.

It may not be the same situation as having a sociopath stalk and abuse you, but if it's a toxic work environment it's understandable that you're having a really difficult time. Toxic work environments are more widely recognized nowadays as causing traumatic stress  and institutions generally have some policy in place to deal with it. 

Is there anyone in the union/HR you can talk to, lodge a complaint, get some help?  If you're going thru this I would imagine your colleagues are too; together you may have a stronger voice to incite change.

Also, do you have a therapist you can talk to about this?  I can only imagine how triggered you are so being able to talk F2F with a T may help to see what is/is not happening in the current situation you're dealing with and bring your anxiety down a bit.

The union is working on what they can, one issue at a time. Itís also a contract year and the superintendent is using a lot of dirty tactics.

We did get a couple of small concessions in the area of respect yesterday, but it seems that theyíre not going to just roll over and be respectful or nice all the time.

Hey Perry,
Iím not in a good enough head space to say everything I want to right now but I will try.

I did the suicide prevention training last year.  I was able to detach from my presenters and that helped me.  I needed to practice mindfulness and in the present.

Iím already a member of 2 suicide prevention groups.  Itís a greater good thing for me.  I have a need to help others cuz no one helped me when I was on their shoes. 

Itís tough but try to remind yourself what you have now... whatís happening now... not a couple years ago... we are here in the meantime  :grouphug:

But how do I know I shouldnít run already and get another job or leave teaching entirely?

I got caught in the last job by the sociopath trying to punish the union. This job now has a lot going on and the superintendent threatened to drag everyone through the mud.

I wish I hadnít gone to that other place and gotten eviscerated.

However, maybe thatís not happening here... yet. Or maybe ever?

I donít want to get caught again.

So I had the suicide awareness prevention training yesterday which swallowed me into a black hole.

Then my own triggers are there from the current administration doing a bunch of hostile toxic things like in my previous job. My previous job is where I was hunted by a sociopath.

Did he talk about what he'd like to do about the cat or his grief or both Perry? If he is grieving for example he may not be ready to tackle it just yet.  Or he may need a therapist's support to do so.  Or he's willing to give the cat some time to see how he's feeling about it in a few weeks.... lots of ways he could go but it's important to work out together what he would like to see happen (if anything as I mentioned), and what you'd like, that's the point I was trying to make.

Ok, but.... will all due respect, I am already trying to work through this in a loving and respectful way by asking for help.

I do see your point that it might take time and letting my H direct how to proceed, but if I have ideas as to how to proceed, then I can present my H with options depending on how heís feeling and thatís usually helpful. Otherwise, I tend to get frustrated as Iím not sure what to do.

You don't say if DH agrees with your assessment that he has unresolved issues. If he does and he's asked for your help, you could find some articles online for him to read, or a video or something.

If he disagrees or doesn't want to look at the possibility there is unresolved grief, I think you're better off letting him discover his feelings, if there are any.

Maybe just having your sweet kitty around will help him realize his feelings. IMO, it's probably best to let him deal with things as they come up.

I think he agrees, based on what he said, but it will probably take some time for him to process a bit more.

Mot of us with CPTSD have unresolved grief/trauma - he may/may not so it might be an idea to ask him as TR has suggested, and what might work for him with respect to the cat. You can let him know what you think and feel and then work through it together in an open, loving and respectful way.

Well, I've mentioned it to him already. I explained what I thought was happening and asked him if he thought it made sense that he was being triggered by the new cat / sleeping situation reminding him of old cat + being comforted and happy with the new cat. If that makes sense.

I have not been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but my mother has had it since before I was born. She most certainly has CPTSD as a result of her abuse from her M and F.

I'm not sure how this is related or not and if this is the right board or not.

I adopted a cat and brought him home this week as an early Christmas gift. DH had told me that he had discussed what he used to do in order to keep a lid on things emotionally when he was younger and he said that his answer was that when he had a cat, he kept a lid on things better.

So, I really thought about it and couldn't get the idea off of my mind. My T also said that a pet would be good for our mental health. I meant to give H more of a choice in the matter and have him meet me at the shelter, but for various reasons, it just didn't work that way. This cat was just too friendly and sweet to take a chance on not getting him as he's a great fit for us.

Anyway, DH can't seem to get past not keeping the new cat in the bedroom with us all night. The cat wakes us up, which is just what cats do. But DH has emotional baggage here.

His old cat died right before everything "hit the fan" with BPD MIL. It seems like the cat was much more of a constant in DH's life than his mother, for example. The cat was over 20 when she passed a few years ago.

I think DH has unresolved issues in his grief. My M used to have over the top reactions to pets dying and act out a lot and I think it's because of her abuse from my ASPD or BPD grandmother.

It seems that DH has unresolved guilt about not letting the previous cat sleep in his room at night. His F let the cat sleep in the room with him, but DH said he just couldn't sleep if the cat was in the room.

I used to sleep with a cat in the room, but I know they get up and roam around in the middle of the night. So, I usually just opened the door at midnight or whenever and then let the cat out and went back to sleep. Not a big deal. It took forever to convince DH that this was a viable compromise. We can still cuddle the cat, but also get sleep with minimal disruption.

So, I know this is long. I'm sorry. I just don't know how else to say it without the backstory.

H still has guilt about the previous cat. Although I've had plenty of pets previously at my parents' house as part of my FOO, I've never actually had my own, but I was able to process my grief.

Is there something I can do to help DH process his grief?

Introductory Post / Hi there - old / new member
« on: December 03, 2018, 05:45:08 PM »
Hi there,

I was on the board a while ago to talk somewhat about an old job that was traumatic in my self-image as an employee due to a sociopathic boss.

However, now I'm back to discuss my H and CTPSD that he likely has in relation to his former job environment, emotional burnout, and BPD M.

My H has PTSD or ctpsd. Not sure if there's a difference anymore in the terms. I'm still new here.

H will start with critiquing. :pissed:   Then I get annoyed, but try to keep my response low.

H will start to explain, which I just see as "more talking" and "more critiquing".  :blahblahblah:

Then I respond, since I try to tell him what the right way to address the situation would be.

He doesn't understand. He gets upset because of something I say that probably resembles something his BPD M would have said in the past.  :fallingbricks:  Then it all goes to heck in a basket.  :stars:

I feel like this is a few separate behaviors rolled into one situation.

He also fears abandonment, so when I get mad or try to separate myself, he has a hard time with that and  :blahblahblah: :blahblahblah: :blahblahblah: :blahblahblah: he talks and tries to get my attention so that he can push into the situation and try to fix it.

This makes things worse. It does eventually help it to get better for the night because then he does all sorts of things to try to make up for his behavior.

But then we keep getting into bad patterns.

He also is beating himself up constantly. He is sad and angry for many reasons, including his career not launching in the direction he wanted.

I'm sorry. I don't know how to sum this up better. I'm still new at this.

Try the info here to see if it's applicable to you -

Please come here again to post more questions if you have them, we're here to support and encourage you. We'll tell you what has worked for us, and what hasn't.

How I stopped reacting was that one day I realized the only person I had any control over was myself. No one else. I started looking at my own issues and behavior, and doing what I could (even if it seemed very small) to break the habits of interacting I'd held for so long.

I care, please let me know how you are doing.

A lot of the rules / tips refer to flashbacks. Are flashbacks more like just when you get emotionally triggered, but you're not actually seeing the event again? Like, you're just emotionally remembering only, maybe subconsciously, but not in the forefront of your mind?

I've been married to a guy exactly like this for 35+ years. When he gets like that, there's really nothing I can do, so I just back off, answer any questions calmly, and I don't try to talk him out of anything he's feeling or try to convince him he's overreacting.

In codependency there's a concept called detachment. It's not a cold, emotionally distant kind of detachment, but rather one where you let things run their course while you maintain your own inner peace. You just don't let yourself get drawn into turmoil. This has worked best for me thru the years of our marriage, although things did get so bad about 27 years in that I left him. I stayed gone for a year and told him he needed to do some looking at himself which to his credit he did. When I returned a year later there were still things we had to work on together. I also did some introspection during that time because I know our difficulties were not 100% all his fault. I let myself get dragged into reacting, instead of thoughtfully responding (if a response was even called for).

A couple of books that helped me - "Codependent No More" by Melodie Beatty; and "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. Best wishes!

**update: just talked with my H about this subject, he says an understanding on your H's part of his own triggers and 4F type is key to his learning how to manage his triggers. I am gradually talking to my H about cptsd, so far he does not think he is affected by cptsd but I still think it's a good possibility.

What are some ways you began to stop reacting to his outbursts? I'm so drained that I don't often have the emotional brakes anymore lately. I feel like it all got worn down. I'm worn out. I've started reacting so much to everything in my personal life. My father said "I'll just tell you to tap the brakes" if I get too emotional. I've been the one being super emotional and acting out. I feel like I need a break from myself. I need a retreat, but I just can't take any more time off of work because I've already had some doctor's appointments, etc.

I know you guys suggested books and things, but it's just not time yet. I don't have time right now. I'm overwhelmed and I need to get through Christmas I think before I can really take time to apply to all of this... I think. Maybe it'll work out sooner.

My H has ADHD. I thought this was the cause of his  :fallingbricks: emotionally coming unglued at times. He will just skip from any rational argument into what his psychologist says is dissociating.

He just is emotionally reacting without emotional brakes. He's just saying things and he says he's not thinking. It's just tumbling out.

I thought this was something of a problem that had to be addressed with boundaries and discipline, etc. Not that I want to go that route of having to bring consequences to my H, but that's what I thought and he thought.

Then, someone brought up that it sounded like he's being triggered.

It seems like it happens a lot around food  / cooking.

I'm cooking. H says he doesn't like x food. I get annoyed because why is H saying this? I'm just trying to cook dinner.
H tries to JADE since he thinks he needs to. I get more annoyed because he could just not eat it.
I say "just don't eat it".
H gets super emotionally dysregulated and the emotional brakes are gone.
He starts reacting a lot to... what?
He says it's because his mom used to say "just don't eat it".
But with BPD M, him expressing he didn't like something was a problem, since she has NPD traits too of control, etc.

What can I do? He gets into a mode that is extremely contrary for no reason and I don't know how to get through to him.

He's suggested I play music when he gets that way so that it can get through to him and he can calm down.

These arguments have escalated really high because I start to anticipate it and then have a big reaction instead, hoping to preempt his big reaction.
It doesn't work.

He also has this similar reaction if I'm cooking something he doesn't like, that i KNOW he doesn't like, and I would never make for him, and then he emotionally dysregulates and nothing makes any sense.

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