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Messages - stillhere

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Neglect/Abandonment / Re: Why protect them?
« on: October 03, 2015, 01:09:57 AM »
BigGreenSee, I think, again, you’re expressing something I understand.  Becoming angry is a kind of engagement.  At least for me – I’ve been NC for very along time – accessing anger could bring the abuser that much closer.  I’d have to deal with her and with those who enable and deny. 

So I think your point about giving power away makes much sense.  As a child, I learned the perils of expressing anger.  What came back at me was frightening.  Now the key, perhaps, is to learn to be angry without the fear of disempowerment. 

Thanks for the clarity.

Trace, I want to send condolences every time you say something about your loss.  The lack of open discussion is one more piece of it. 

Neglect/Abandonment / Re: Why protect them?
« on: October 02, 2015, 01:18:21 AM »
BigGreenSee, I think you’re on to something I’ve only begun to glimpse:  I’m afraid of the experience of anger.  My expression of anger was punished, and whatever complaint I might have had was always dismissed.  In contrast, my uNPD mother’s anger was validated, especially by my father who enabled her behavior.  Her rages were explosive, sometimes physically violent, and truly terrifying to anyone encountering them at close range.

Your second point, though, really hits home:  I’m also afraid of becoming someone like my uNPD mother.  If I can be as angry as she was (and is), I might just morph into her, and if I did, well, I’m not sure what would happen.  The good things in my life, especially my small group of close friends, would probably recede.  And I’d be left with myself as a daily reminder of a past I dread remembering. 

Blues_cruise, I’d like to think I’m motivated by compassion.  But protecting the abuser is also about protecting myself.

For years, into adulthood, I was told with approval that I was “just like [your] mother.”  My father considered the statement a compliment.  People outside the FOO would hear approval if they agreed or offered some point of comparison.  Becoming her could have been a form of protection, but it didn’t really seem that way.  My fear was more about being swallowed whole.

Thank you for the reflections.  Very helpful.

Hi, Tired.  I think perhaps I do -- that is, I dissociate somewhat at times I've also been hypervigilant.  The responses come from the same need, I think. 

General Discussion / Re: Here is a Theory - REVISITNG THE TRAUMA
« on: September 29, 2015, 11:52:55 PM »
What a fabulous ‘weapon”!  What magic it would work, if only . . . .
If it could rewrite the past, I’d ask it to heal my FOO, going back generations, back to people I’ve never heard of, let alone known.  I’d ask it to back far enough to get to the roots of the misery that was clearly visited on those I have known.

Thinking about this weapon differently, though, might be somehow therapeutic.  Using it to talk back, where talking back was dangerous, could make it act in my behalf.  Making it force recognition and demand change would make it my advocate.  It would explain FOO behavior politely, but if its reception were hostile, it would bring more ammunition, forcing change.  Most important, it would stick around, so old patterns would no longer be acceptable.

If I could imagine such a confrontation, maybe it would clear my head. 

Friends / Re: Feeling the Loss of a Very Dear Friend
« on: September 29, 2015, 10:44:33 PM »
Woodsgnome, your story of lost friendship is heart breaking.  I’m so sorry!  For those of who need a “family of choice” to compensate for what our origins didn’t provide, some people aren’t “just” friends. 

And letting them into your life is a risk.  Small wonder you’re now in the woods.

Emotional Abuse / Re: Emotional Abuse by my FOO
« on: September 29, 2015, 10:33:00 PM »
David, ditto what Dutch Uncle and Southbound have said.

For me, this forum offers the only place I've known where I can tell my story without cringing as I wait for some invalidating remark.  "Surely it can't have been that bad" or "Maybe it will get better if you try a little harder" or (maybe worst) "you should work hard to let it go."

To have a few people, however scattered across the globe, who "get it" has truly helped.  I wish the same for you.

D/U, a thought:  you might ask your dear old friend about he said.  Was he repeating something you’d said?  Was he drawing his own conclusions?  How did he know?

I’ve had a few experiences like this, with a very few people I know well and trust greatly.  They sometimes say things I’ve not dared to think to myself, let alone say out loud.  The best of friends can sometimes become a separate but highly helpful set of perceptions.

If by chance your friend is one of those, then chances are also that you’ve not been dissociating. 

What I’ve read about dissociation links the process to the “flight” response.  Sometimes, people flee, literally.  A dissociating person might get a car and drive away with no apparent destination.  But “losing” oneself or part of oneself can come from immersion in something distracting or from extensive “spacing out” without a distraction.

I think lots of people space out occasionally.  The question I’ve had is what “counts” as dissociation.

Personality Disorder (Perpetrator) / Re: Covert NPD Mother
« on: September 27, 2015, 10:37:45 PM »

As the sun sets on "my" side of the world, I think it's morning for you, and on a day you're dealing with your physical injuries.

I hope you hear some good news, at least that your physical injuries will heal faster than psychic injuries have for all of us. 

Wishing you well.

Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Re: Paranoia- possible trigger
« on: September 27, 2015, 03:39:47 PM »
Triggerd2, have I have a little of the same concern. 

Members of my FOO have more than once tried to have me institutionalized involuntarily, and some are now engaged in a campaign to undermine what security I have.  I've been loathe to tell the story in detail on line, knowing that they might find it, recognize my identity, and use anything I've posted as ammunition in a campaign that seemingly has no end.

So I avoid telling tales that could mark me.  In the few weeks I've been here, this site has been a fabulous resource.  And it links us together from all over the world (which still seems cool). 

But take care.  You're not paranoid.  You're vigilant.  You've learned that vigilance is a tool for survival. 

General Discussion / Re: Unable to ask for / accept help
« on: September 27, 2015, 03:32:29 PM »
Southbound, a shout-out for the fabulous way you've handled this situation.  You've retrieved Bertie, finessed an encounter with an angry "good Samaritan," breezed passed an encounter with the police,  avoided an accident (no rear brake), and then got Bertie repaired with only the "cost" of listening to someone you're unsure you want to know.  Not bad for a week's work, or so.

Small wonder you're trying to figure out what to do next, so a few thoughts.

You "owe" this man nothing.  He clearly wanted to do you a favor or two.  You've given him the opportunity. 

You can now ask yourself whether you want to know him.  You don't need to think about a romance or a fling.  You might tell the twelve-year-olds to be quiet so they can watch and learn how adults manage relationships.

You can also have tea with him, if that seems reasonable, and keep asking yourself.  You don't need to "fix" this relationship in any way.  Maybe he could be a friend?  Maybe not. 

Is the uncertainty something you can live with day to day?

Triggerd2, your story would sound bizarre, I think, to anyone unfamiliar with NPD and the manipulative behavior we have to deal with.  "Normal" people don't make such strange claims.

Your father seems to be doing something familiar to me:  throwing up examples of people who "have it worse" in an effort to shame you for your "problems" and deflect attention from his own behavior.  In my FOO, this kind of denial came from both my uNPD mother and my enabling father.  Neither of them showed any empathy and instead trivialized any of my (sometimes admittedly childish) concerns.  And the denial and deflection opened a space for my mother to exert her narcissistic needs. 

That seems to be what's happening to you.  Can you limit contact, now that the surgery(ies) is over?  Is distance possible?

Neglect/Abandonment / Re: Why protect them?
« on: September 26, 2015, 07:11:14 PM »
Thank you for all of these observations.  They’re giving me something to think about.

Only a few weeks ago, a close friend suggested that I was “protecting” my uNPD mother, despite everything she’d done.  My friend expressed frustration, suggested that I might work a bit harder to access my anger.  Of course, I wouldn’t be expressing it at anyone – so, Trace, the point is not to be heard. 

Until then, I’d not understood my inability to be “appropriately” angry as a form of protection.  So what is it?   A habit?  Dutch Uncle, I’m not so sure in my case.  I’ve been NC for more than twenty-five years, and patterns of interaction have long become dormant.  Mourningdove, I see your point about the remnants of childhood dependence.  But it’s also something else, at least for me.

I’ve told myself that I also feel sorry for members of my FOO. My parents had pretty hard lives early on, or at least I’m sure my father did and suspect that my mother was a CSA victim (unacknowledged by her).  So I sometimes explain away their behavior.  Is that a form of protection?

General Discussion / Re: Still Unsure about therapy
« on: September 26, 2015, 07:08:19 PM »
So much of effective therapy seems to be the luck of time and space.  Living in a place with options increases the possibility of finding someone helpful.  And what’s available has depended much on the state of psychology and psychiatry, which continue to progress very fast.  Add to those conditions the limitations imposed by insurance and public policy and, well, small wonder so many people have “failed” to recover. 

Trace, I think people in the direst of straits may be best served by in-patient treatment.  Few of us can make good use of a weekly 50-minute session when in extremis.  But that’s usually the only option, or at least the best option available.  I try to tell myself that I might as well proceed down that road, even though it doesn’t always seem to lead anywhere demonstrably better.  The option is to stay stuck.

General Discussion / Re: This is unbearable.
« on: September 26, 2015, 07:07:10 PM »
no_more_fear, as someone self-identified as flight/fawn (at least much of the time), I find your description familiar.

I wonder, too, whether all the jumping around is a result of anxiety, closely related to the impulse to flee.  I wonder, too, whether flight offers a kind of dissociation, where one need not stay attuned in the present and the local but can instead “flee” elsewhere.  In any case, I’ve come recently to understand my own behavior in this way.

Mourningdove, I can't explain your experience to you, of course.  But I think memory is a malleable thing.  And memory of something so dreadful might come and go or linger through a filter, as your memory seems to have done.

I have no single events to remember, so my experience is different.  But I know that I sometimes struggle to make sense of the past and then, in response, struggle to hang on to what I can remember, so that I can explain it to myself (and occasionally to others).  And like you, I sometimes recall the aftermath of an altercation (usually a verbal and/or physical assault), telling someone or arguing about it soon afterward, rather than its substance. 

I doubt very much that you imagined such a dreadful experience.  Rather, the memory of remembering is safer, a step removed from the horror of what happened.

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