Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - blues_cruise

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 14
Family of Origin (FOO) / Re: Distancing myself from enablers
« on: July 08, 2019, 09:19:06 PM »
Thank you for the encouragement and support everyone.  :)  :grouphug:

Wonderful that you are choosing to avoid the rabbit hole and let go of the people and things that keep the CPTSD running full steam Blues. Going NC/LC with my family has been so healing.  I hadn't realized that contact with them required as much energy as it did and that I was constantly reacting to them versus living my life.


Thanks Kizzie, yes, the energy spent reacting to the FOO is so tiring and it's a relief to feel my mindset start to change. No contact with my father really does feel akin to escaping a cult, or at least how I imagine it might be feel (scary and confusing!) When I saw the photo of him though I pretty much just thought, "Ah well, I know what he's really like" and got on with my day. It does feel like progress.  :)

Family of Origin (FOO) / Distancing myself from enablers
« on: July 05, 2019, 11:33:00 PM »
After months of guilt (my default reaction) and confusion on my part, I feel like I've finally gained some clarity tonight. Just getting this off my chest!

Brother has distanced himself with me completely over the past year and a bit following me confiding in him about the abuse I went through with NF. Tonight I went on his Facebook page because I randomly felt strong enough, and found that back in March he had posted a light-hearted photo of our father which pretty much painted him as a kindly, funny old man. It's like he's made a conscious choice to completely reject me and embrace the lie, even though he knows it's fake. It's sort of sad. He touched upon feeling the trauma of being the golden child back in 2018 but chose to hide under a rock rather than confront the truth.

I could go down the rabbit hole of being angry that he's enabling the false, innocent facade of this child abuser and hurt that he's blatantly not on my side, but you know what? I'm choosing to let go. I'm so sick of being painted as the one that's wrong in the family, even more than that I'm sick of the constant shame spirals I work myself up into which result in me believing that it's true. I know my truth and the abuse that I went through and I know so many others do too. You can't force people to see what they don't want to, nor should you need them to see it in order to be at peace with yourself.

There is an odd peace from finally knowing exactly where I stand with the siblings. I feel so done with people who are incapable of empathy and who choose to invalidate what I've gone through. My family is proper messed up and I'm seeing properly how deeply the dysfunction actually runs. I'm so relieved to be an adult and to be able to choose my FOC. Happy to be here in this safe place with you guys too.  :)

She was given an ice cream cake to celebrate her leaving and she shared it with everyone but me.

 :witch: >:D :snort: That's a horrible thing to do! How petty too, it screams volumes about the type of person you were dealing with.

You can't stop the emotional flashback but you can acknowledge that although this person's behaviour is entirely about them and not you, it still hurts to be treated like that. I hope you're feeling a bit better a couple of days on. I mean, yay, the  :witch: has flown away!  :cheer: You don't have to deal with her ever again.  :hug:

General Discussion / Re: How do you say "no"?
« on: June 11, 2019, 09:43:03 PM »
I've met some people who just ignore or blank parts of conversations where they clearly feel their answer is no.

These are successful personable people, they just skip elements during conversation they dont fancy responding to and move on.

It might be an easier technique to practice than actually saying no.

They maintain momentum in interactions which is something else that needs practice, I cant do either, but I admire the skills.

That's interesting, I wonder whether they successfully get the "no" through via tone of voice and reaction alone? Might be one to practise.  :)

bc, i really related to your words about being shouted down, etc., so often that even the tiniest inconvenience toward another feels dangerous.  working on saying no, for me, has been a process.  along w/ that has been the idea that if someone asks me for something, i've got to do it 'right now' (i can hear my father's voice ringing in my ears as i wrote those words.)

i think what has also helped me w/ the idea of "when" it's appropriate to say 'no' has been checking in w/ someone else, either here or in real life.  i hadn't the faintest idea, except perhaps when i truly felt like i was in a dangerous situation, what types of requests, suggestions, etc. were ok to say 'no' to.  as i asked for guidance in this area, i began to be able to see more clearly where my boundaries belonged and what types of situations were edging over them.  then i was able to practice w/ more confidence as time went by. 

knowing and understanding our boundaries and rights as humans is something we should have been taught from the get-go.  re-wiring our brains takes time, patience, and practice.  best to you.  i'm better than i was at this, but, dang, it can be confusing.  love and hugs

It's like trying to get somewhere in a canoe without being given a paddle. Yeah, we should have been taught these skills from an early age and I'm angry that I wasn't. I was shamed for being 'shy' whilst being actively encouraged to never stick up for myself in the FOO. It's nice when someone else understands, thanks sanmagic7.  :)

General Discussion / Re: How do you say "no"?
« on: May 28, 2019, 08:45:56 PM »
Thank you all for your advice, really helpful stuff for me to think about. It dawned on me last night that I don't even know why I worry about the effects of saying "no", since I'm the black sheep of the family anyway and can't really win either way! My mum's way of coping with my uNPD father was to submit to anything and everything he said, so I think I've still got that outdated survival mechanism in place.

Humans are built to be social. Instinctively, primitive man banded together to form stronger communities, hunting parties, etc. We have developed to express our individuality but in ways that do not put our position in the "tribe" at risk. To behave in a way that puts us at risk of rejection is to risk abandonment and danger, putting our very survival in jeopardy.

I'm reading a great book at the moment by Marisa Peer and that's exactly what she gets across. It explains the unwritten hierarchy in disordered families too. I certainly always knew that my place was to be seen and not heard.

FWIW it sounds like you do know but like so many of us here who have been taught to ignore our boundaries and feel guilty, selfish, bad ..... it's just difficult to put ourselves first.  Maybe somewhere to start is saying "No" to small things that will not upset the apple cart too much and then try bigger things once you get used to enforcing your boundaries more?

Yep I think so. Unfortunately I panic easily when faced with needing to be assertive too, which makes me all the more self-conscious about having to do it. Building up to it with little things probably is a good idea. I doubt I had a safe enough environment to start testing the word "no" when I was a toddler and I more than likely got shouted down and made to feel scared, so ingrained in me is probably the core belief that expressing anything that might inconvenience another person, however tiny, is dangerous. In fact, my physical reaction to it really is quite extreme (racing heart, tremors, etc.) so I think way back before I can remember I was made to feel terrified to show any defiance. I don't imagine for a second that uNF would have been sympathetic to toddler tantrums or crying. It helps in a way to realise this so that I don't blame myself too much, just need to do a bit of brain reprogramming so that I can cope a bit easier as an adult.

General Discussion / How do you say "no"?
« on: May 14, 2019, 10:53:16 AM »
I often feel like I should say "no" to requests (usually from family) which I'm not on board with, but I've never learnt how to say no to anything and struggle to know what's reasonable and what's not. Generally I will stretch myself to the point of extreme stress and lack of sleep rather than risk inconveniencing someone else, but it's got to the point where I know I'm being walked all over. I've had learned helplessness for so long and major anxiety over social situations because people can be so unpredictable, but I acknowledge now that if people treat me unfairly then I can bark back at them. Basically I have more power to protect myself than I've been giving myself credit for, but I don't know how to bark or when it's appropriate to!

Does anyone know any good resources for learning how to say "no"? I was brought up to believe that unfair situations had to be tolerated and that there would be major repercussions (often lasting months) for not doing what I was told, but I know now that this isn't healthy. I don't know how to put a healthier approach into practice though.  :Idunno:

Family of Origin (FOO) / Re: Conditional Love and Parents
« on: March 04, 2019, 10:01:29 PM »
Hi goblinchild.  :) What you describe sounds like my father and his approach to parenting, which was always inconsistent and based on what I could give him rather than any expectation being placed upon him to be the caregiver. I relate to what you say about your true self not being the actual target of your mother's attention and affection and know how soul destroying it feels not to be seen or heard.

I think my point in wanting to share all of this is that I'm beginning to feel confused. Even when I'm away from her I'm starting to have a harder time feeling genuine. Finding that core in myself that I like, identify with and feel can give and receive love genuinely is getting harder. I feel like I'm loosing it in a haze. When I'm in a situation where affection is being given or received I just snap back into that old mentality and even though I hate it and it scares me it's like I'm wearing a mask I can't take off. I feel like I have to be something other than myself or act a way other than what I feel. Present a front. I wish I could understand it better but it scares my brain numb and I feel like I'm trying to think with a block of swiss cheese.

I understand that I've conflated receiving love with embodying someone else's coping mechanism and internalized it to the point where it's difficult to "take off" when I'm dealing with people who aren't my mom.  But I feel so sucked into it when I'm with her. How can I be around her and not be sucked in?

It is really hard. I'm no longer in contact with F but it was exhausting being confined into my little box when around him to 'keep the peace' while desperately wanting to explore who I really was. I felt like an empty shell for so long. When you've been brought up within a toxic family value system you naturally accept it as your lot because you always had to growing up in order to survive. I think when you then see other people's ways of living more authentically and healthily as an adult it's natural that you want to experience something more genuine too, but the transition is very difficult when individuating has always been actively discouraged.

Something that's really helped me is the concept of having healthy boundaries (with everyone, not just a parent). The toolbox on the Out of the Fog website has really good pointers on this: and perhaps it would be a good start as you work out how to navigate what you are and are not comfortable with. Ultimately if your mother's behaviour is upsetting you then it's not healthy and you shouldn't be expected to forego your own peace in sake of hers. I hope this makes sense.  :hug:

Family of Origin (FOO) / Re: Rightfully Indignant at FOO
« on: March 04, 2019, 11:56:31 AM »
Hi Dandelion, such a great post.  :)

You sound like a loving, fun, respectful person to be around and I'm glad that you're now starting to see that and surrounding yourself with what sound like good people. What you said about your outer critic has struck a chord with me and made me see that I'm struggling with similar: I'm convinced people will belittle, hurt and abandon me, with little trust or benefit of the doubt ever given towards them. I'm so glad you're making in-roads with this, I hope to start working on doing the same.

I strongly suspect that your FOO felt threatened by your intelligence and genuinely witty sense of humour and as a result bullied you using crass 'humour'. Except you were never in on the joke, which is just cruel. Why anyone would do that to a child rather than loving and celebrating them for who they are I will never understand.

The clear days are so good when they come and I think they're insights into what healthy is. Wishing many more for you.  :) :yes:

Inner Child Work / Re: Having your books and toys given away
« on: January 29, 2019, 05:27:48 PM »
Thanks for the responses, it really helps validate how I feel on this one. Was wondering if I was being a bit too sentimental or silly for missing these things.

I remember the connection with the person who gave it to me; or the time spent with that particular object, for example, hours spent reading a favorite book, etc; all the feelings associated with that could be a stick or a rock (I'm fond of both), so it's not the monetary value of the thing.

Yeah, that's exactly it, it's not just the physicality of the item it's what it evokes. I could lose myself in my imagination as a child and a lot of these toys and books helped me cope with a scary childhood. For me, choosing to give my stuff away first and foremost was just more of the same attitude of, "Well, it's only Blues' things." The frustrating thing is that I think he did ask me at the time if he could give these things away and as a naive teenager I didn't realise how precious they were so I didn't protest. He still actively chose to give away parts of my childhood though rather than decades of his own clutter. Plus now my life is relatively much calmer now it's easy to forget how quick he was to fly into a rage when he didn't get his way. I suspect I probably just said "yes" to have some peace and not set him off as my only focus at the time was to get out of that living situation as soon as possible. There was no room for sentimentality and I guess now I'm out of constant fight or flight mode I have the capacity to reflect on these things.

I do have a few books I managed to hold on to, so maybe I had some foresight at the time or had been keeping them safe without knowing it. That's something to hold on to I think.

Inner Child Work / Having your books and toys given away
« on: January 23, 2019, 11:14:41 PM »
The one and only time NF ever took it upon himself to 'have a sort out' in the house was when he gave away my books and toys to others in the family. His piles of rubbish were left untouched for years but he found the motivation to give away my things. He may well have asked my permission to do so, I can't really remember and I don't think I was too concerned at the time when I was a teenager, but now as an adult trying to reconnect to my very young self I find that I'm craving all my lovely childhood books back. One book in particular was a beautiful, pop-up Christmas book from an auntie and I have no idea where it ended up.  :'( I also had so many books that I enjoyed reading at bedtime with my mum. I really do regret letting him have free reign of it all, though saying that even if I had said no he probably would have made my life a misery for wanting to keep it.

My mum didn't have a personality disorder and I believe she was a 'well-intentioned' enabler, however she did the same too. A fair number of the toys I enjoyed when I was little were hand-me-downs from my siblings but they felt like my toys. There was one in particular which I adored and it was my absolute favourite. For some reason she ended up giving it away to my cousins who lived hundreds of miles away and who we saw about once a year. I don't think she did it to be cruel, I think she was just oblivious to the fact that I loved it, and in a way that hurts just as much. I was the third child (I think 'the lost child' for a long time) and I think they just treated these things as surplus and unimportant by the time they reached me.

I've never really gone without anything material so it's not like I didn't have other toys to play with or was unable to buy more books as I got older. It's just the fact that these were mine (or at least I thought they were) and they made me happy when I was little. I remember the feeling of enjoying them but I can't re-live it the way I perhaps could if I physically had these things still and could read, smell and touch them. Anyone relate to this? I feel a bit out of order even writing this, as though I'm being bratty for ever expecting to have been able to keep them!  :Idunno:

Demelza! ♥️ I've watched all the seasons of Poldark on PBS but have thought of getting the books. I do love to read.

I love Poldark, it's proper Sunday evening 'put your feet up in front of the TV' watching for me.  ;D

Hi Blues-Cruise & Three Roses - Only just seen your replies - and thank you!  Great suggestions.  I need to come back here to update on my reading experience - as I have read some things over Christmas.  I'm a bit too tired right now, but I'll hope to come back later in the week, when I have more energy - and will write about it - as I appreciated all the suggestions, and took some of them on board - as my library stocked some of the books. 
Hope  :)

So nice to hear you did some reading over Christmas, Hope.  :) It is really therapeutic. There's a really good website I like using called 'Goodreads' where you can list books you've read and then it recommends you other things you might enjoy. I really like it because you can have a browse and then add books you're interested in to your 'To Read' list, so you don't forget all the things that have caught your eye.  :thumbup:

Art / Re: Creativity Thread for Inner Children - Please Join Us!!!
« on: January 14, 2019, 01:19:30 PM »
I love this idea!  :) As a child I absolutely adored sticker by number books. I've been looking for something a bit more mindful to do rather than browsing aimlessly on my phone, so I've bought this: Hehe, it was Ziggy that sold it for me.  ;D

Art / Re: Nature art
« on: January 14, 2019, 01:13:31 PM »
That's so beautiful, you're really talented.  :)

Christmas & New Years / Re: .A successful Christmas or difficult?
« on: January 14, 2019, 01:11:51 PM »
Blues cruise best wishes for your new self employ ment ...yes ive def found how i work and what i do is so important and that self care is no 1

Thank you.  :) That's absolutely it, I work in an office currently and it's just not for me anymore. Far too claustrophobic and too many triggers!

Family of Origin (FOO) / Re: Family rejection as the scapegoat
« on: January 14, 2019, 01:05:39 PM »
:hug: :hug: :hug: to you Blues!!! Wishing you a calm, peaceful, happy new year.

Thank you so much Finallyfree, I wish the same for you too.  :) :hug: and everyone else here also.  :grouphug:

I'm really sorry about your situation, blues_cruise, but I'm grateful that you started this thread. I relate to so much of what has been discussed here, so it's been really helpful. I have so many equivalents and comments I could make, but it's often difficult to feel in the right head-space to get into it all that I often just have to leave it. I sometimes contemplate starting a thread, but it often seems too hard. So again, thank you for starting one and providing the opportunity for others to flesh out some of these dynamics.  :thumbup:

I will say make one point/ observation - I continue to be amazed and fascinated that these are patterns of behaviour and types of experience that otherwise disconnected people all around the world experience in an astoundingly similar way. Isn't it weird that we all can understand each other so well, even though we are essentially strangers to each other and our lives are so far apart? Kinda blows my little mind  :aaauuugh: . It's also comforting, somehow, and helps to depersonalise the crazy a bit.

I totally understand about being in the right head space to get into it all. It is so therapeutic to talk about these things and I think it's the healthy thing to do, however it is really overwhelming. I think this is why this forum is so great because there's no pressure to be or do anything and it's really caring and forgiving (for instance when I'm really slow to respond!) It's so nice to just work through things gently.

Yep, I'm always amazed at how similarly I feel to others with dysfunctional families. Offline I talk myself into being 'the crazy one' and then when I read other people's stories I see so many similarities. Because I feel compassion for how other people feel having gone through it it then becomes easier to feel compassion for myself.  :grouphug:   

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 14