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Topics - MaggieMayCat

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Posted this over on OOTF but thought it might be helpful over here at OOTS...

Found this out there in the ether - kind of like someone smacked me up side the head - a Homer kind of moment - DOH!

Found this nugget here - along with some other really good stuff:  https://afternarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com/page/2/

"Apologizing for our existence:

Its a sad state of affairs that a child would feel the need to assert their right to be here or have a childhood drive to PROVE that we’re worth loving, but that’s the reality of a narcissistic family dynamic. The things narcissists say out of rage for their children, in the presence of no witnesses, is beyond appalling. I recall having thoughts in grade school about being so thankful that abortion wasn’t legal in the 60s. It’s not that 5th graders really care about such lofty matters, it's just that the person I depended on and loved most, my mother, let me know repeatedly that I was very lucky abortion wasn’t legal, because I wouldn’t have been alive.  Recalling this reality in hindsight, allows me to feel the remorse and empathy for myself that I deserved. What my inner child went through was unfathomable.

What these messages, whether overt as in my above account, or insidious and covert, the message is the same:  WE MAY EXIST, BUT WE OUGHT TO FEEL LUCKY WE DO.

When you constantly feel you’re being treated as an inconvenience or interruption to the perfectly supply driven life of a narcissist, you learn that the best way to live in that regime is to step aside and let the narcissist have the limelight.
No, a home is NOT a stage in a play or melodrama for normal people, but in a narcissistic family, the main seat at the table, the one who “earns” our keep, the top dog in our lives….is the narcissist and WE ALL KNOW IT. We’re all there to fill our part in their play. We will behave how ever the narcissist has decided our role will be and we will NOT deviate from that, unless we want to incur the narcissist’s rage.

Let’s stop down for a moment and pay a brief word to “the narcissist’s rage”. Many people who don’t live within the narc home, don’t have a clue that the narcissist has a two faced personality. They see the “kind” “giving” blah blah image the narcissist presents to strangers and can never fathom that the same narcissist would be a terroristic tyrant at home.
Narcissistic rage isn’t always the typical big, loud mouth event. It's more cruel than that. Narcissistic rage is more subdued and insidious. They’d much rather punish people by WITHHOLDING AND REFUSING TO GIVE what they know those people need from them. A narc parent will be subtly aggressive (raging) by showing the child they can disconnect emotionally from the child as if the child doesn’t exist. They’ll not show up, be on time or give full attention to the things that are important to the child. They’ll disappear emotionally until the child begs for attention through acting out or acting up.

When children who have learned to feel that they don’t want to rock the boat by “existing” grow up, they will not question or stand up to behaviors that cause us to feel unimportant or invalidated by others. Cheating will be tolerated, invalidation will be turned a blind eye to, a narcissist’s double standard for treatment won’t be questioned.

Empathizing:

Since narcissists don’t possess empathy, how do we ever get to relax as children and FEEL that someone else really cares about the things that we do at times. When we’ve lost a pet, or been teased at school, if our parent is incapable of really feeling what we feel in response to these events, we are going to feel really disconnected from intimacy. When we are excited about that boy or girl that we’ve been crushing on, returns our affections – its going to hurt when we can’t get our parent off social media or to stop taking pictures of themselves long enough to listen to us fully.

It hurts to have feelings about our parent's behavior that we know we can’t ever be heard on. That we know deep down, this person, our parent, doesn’t care enough about us to really hear us is so isolating and disconnecting. We start to realize on a deep level that, we will ONLY have the narcissist's full attention or care when it is convenient for them.
Lack of empathy strikes at the very feeling of being loved and cared about that it’s impossible to feel the love of your parent if they are empathy impaired. The narcissist would argue that “they really care” about the people around them, but those people know that the narcissist only “cares” when it behooves them and that, that is not a genuine love for them in the least.

The key to re-parenting ourselves in this area is to recognize the disorder for what it is and not internalize this inability to care/ love on the narcissist’s part as being a defect of our own that makes us “unlovable”.

Trouble with Developing our True Identity:

Much like the narcissist, targets who grew up in a narcissistic regime, don’t get a chance to fully explore who we truly are, until we are no longer under the influence of the narcissist’s boundary busting methods of “telling us who we are”. What the narcissist tells us we are, is skewed anyway. We know that through projection, the narcissist casts off the traits hated in themselves onto those closest to them, so when we’re told we’re SELFISH, it’s nothing more than the narcissist accusing us, of what they are guilty of themselves.

But you can see, as a child, with such impressionable identities, being told again and again that you are something you’re not, is going to make you believe it – whether it’s true or not.

As a young child, I was told repeatedly by my narcissistic mother that I was “selfish”. In fact, I was told I was selfish so frequently that I sometimes wondered if my name wasn’t really “selfish little *”. What this did to me, was gave me the message that selfish was bad, and I should never be “that kind of bad”. I went on to consider my own selfishness in every interaction with everyone I had; and still do. I don’t want to hurt others. I empathize with how hurtful it is to be selfishly shut out by someone’s blindingly grand ego.

I didn’t learn the important lesson that there is a certain level of “selfishness” that doesn’t hurt anyone, that is a normal part of self care and isn’t bad at all, I felt that it was my “duty” to never be selfish to others. The result? I couldn’t say no to others and never questioned what that did to myself.  In fact, I barely thought of myself at all and was continually frustrated that I gave unselfishly but rarely received that from others. I learned that it was not MY JOB to take care of myself but that through unselfish service to others, someday I’d be loved.

If you are not allowed to be who you really are I think this is the pivotal identity issue that either creates a personality disordered identity vs. a strong, resilient surviving type of personality that rises through the ashes and thrives to survive despite all the abuse.

In my own case, I sought outside relationships with neighbors, teachers and clergy who allowed me to be my true identity. My strength of character pushed me to broaden my “frame of reference circle” or my “feedback loop” to encompass those who also lived in reality. My ability to tell the truth despite the terrible consequences of being shamed and shunned by a narcissist who didn’t want to hear the truth, caused me to be the scapegoat in my family – my ability to call a spade a spade, allowed my true identity and authenticity to survive.

It's my thought that this resiliency trait that exists in me.  It exists in all survivors who have found their way here to the page, telling our truths about this abuse, willing to be honest, and accept responsibility for the things about ourselves that played into this abuse and allow us to make changes that prevent this from ever happening to us again as well as our willingness to be there for others who are hurting the hurts we’ve hurt and seek the same peaceful living that we seek.

As you can see in retrospect, the lessons we learned growing up in a narcissistic family are lessons that we need to unlearn now that we’re adults so that we don’t continue to choose partners who will repeat the abuse of our childhood. We also have a responsibility to protect our children from these patterns and do everything within our power to model HEALTHY parenting roles, boundaries, needs, unconditional love empathy and acceptance of who are children really are."

There are a couple of paragraphs that really hit home - the empathy or lack there of, how we never really get to relax and be children - that one really hit home; inability to say no or set boundaries - big issue that involved a lot of pain attempting to unlearn this behavior.

This resurfaced some difficult childhood memories - having your pet given away by your parents and not telling you; having a pet die and being left to grieve alone or be told to basically get over it; never being allowed to say no or set boundaries which allowed all kinds of predators into my world - because I didn't know how to protect myself from them...

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Friends / Think some progress was made but still having anger triggers
« on: March 28, 2015, 04:55:53 PM »
Have been dealing with an older woman who's life is pretty much just lonely and she's pretty angry in general... when ever the group is together she tries to monopolize individuals with her stories and political views - such as - any woman who has a child out of wedlock and is on assistance should be forced to do this, that, or the other, they should have no rights.... or something about this person died, that person died of a horrible disease or how she punched some dude in the nads a long time ago.  Same stories repeated over and over... anyway, she brought me some old photos to scan and adjust for her in Photoshop. 

I scanned and attempted to fix the photos, but the originals were very fuzzy and some of them were nothing more than xerox copies...  I brought the originals back to her and told her there was really not much I could do with them some time ago (last year).  Over the past two weeks she has been hounding me to get the originals back.  Since I'd already given them back to her, I told her she had them and had taken them home.  In front of our friends at a large gathering she told me I had not given them back numerous times.  Came real close to creating a scene in front of the whole group.  I figured she just set them down somewhere in her house and can't find them.  So, I take the scans that I had, printed out a whole new and improved set and gave them to her (all free of charge).  I asked her again if she had found them and of course she said I had not given them to her, that I had sent them to someone else and that I should contact that person to get them back... don't know where that came from because they were not sent anywhere.

During the verbal exchange I told her in private that I didn't appreciate being told that I was lying and doing it in front of mutual friends was not appropriate nor fair.  Told her that if she had a beef with me it should have been addressed privately.  I started feeling my frustration and anger build.  Took several deep breaths and then told her that I didn't need to talk to her right now that I was getting angry and didn't want to continue the conversation.  She would not leave me alone and followed me around wanting to talk about it more - I walked away from her several times during the evenings event. 

Now I'm wondering if my anger/frustration was justified or if I should have just let it go because it was a trigger reaction that is mine to own.   I grew up facing this same dynamic within the FOO as the SG.  It is so hard to stand up for myself and this was one of the few times I did.   When I dealt with her I was respectful but firm, told her quietly that I did not deserve to be treated that way and wouldn't accept being called on the carpet in front of a group of friends by her or anyone else.  Now I feel guilty for standing up for myself and for letting her trigger me.  On the plus side, at least I realized it was a trigger and was able to stop myself before it escalated... this crap is tough to deal with. 

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http://zenpencils.com/comic/17-frank-herbert-litany-against-fear/

What a really awesome website... This cartoon is about surviving DV... but there are lots of others - everything from Ghandi to Theodore Roosevelt - all inspirational.


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Family of Origin (FOO) / FOO emotional and verbal abuse - and C-PTSD
« on: March 23, 2015, 07:28:10 PM »
uNPD/BPD brother is a carbon copy of uNPD/BPD father.  Throw and enabling mother in the mix and there you go.  It does not matter what he does, what he says, who he hurts - it's always all about him and enM supports him completely.  Since he was born he has been the GC of the family - which really sucked for him in the long run because he really doesn't have the wherewithal to stand on his own - although to hear him tell it - he's da bomb and is the smartest guy ever... he has a Ph.D. (in education) and has adopted the pervasive mind set of many professorial types who have spent their lives in academia - elitist and snobbish about their so called "status."  He uses this as the basis for all his views, opinions, and agendas.  Treats others (no matter the background) like the dirt beneath his shoes.   If anyone disagrees with him they better have Kevlar on because it will get nasty quick.

The big blow up was over the preparations for our Mother's 80th birthday event last year... no one seemed to think it was important that I was included in any of the prep/planning discussions and from what I can find out, I was the last to be told - after all the cousins, outlaws, inlaws.  So, my wonderful DH and I crafted an email that basically called them on it - specifically the uNPDBro who was in charge of setting everything up... this is what we sent:

"I'm very glad ya'll are doing the event for Mom's 80th birthday.  I think she will enjoy it.   DH and I talked about it last night and unfortunately we cannot make it - He has a Meeting that lasts all day Friday and he has to fly to X out of X first thing Monday morning. If we had known about this earlier and/or been included in the planning, perhaps we could have worked it out - but since everything had been worked out beforehand, there’s no way for us to work it out.  Please don't forget about us when doing these type things for Mom.  She's my Mom too.  I'm guessing this was unintentional - but it hurt nonetheless.  Don't leave any more cryptic messages about us needing to discuss stuff for Mom - about her getting old and we need to do stuff for her - just get straight to the point - I was terrified that something had happened to her.  If the message had stated that we're planning a party for Mom's 80th and we want to work out the details, I would not have been so spun up when you called.  After listening to the voice mail two or three times, I realize that you were trying to be sarcastic about her age - it was very hard to tell.  I just worry about her."

We tried very hard to be non-confrontational and non-accusatory but I guess we would have had to just accepted what he'd decided to do and not say anything...

And, this was the answer we got back:

"I am sorry that you have chosen to misinterpret my good intentions in such a negative manner. You seem to have really gone to a lot of effort to put a bad spin on things. I called you soon as Mama decided what she wanted. The fact that you ascribe some odd meaning to my "cryptic" message is something that is in your court -- there was no such intention. I once more find myself in the position of attempting to do something nice and being attacked for it ( I guess one day I will learn). I have tried on numerous occasions over the last several years to reconcile with you, and each time you manage to sabotage my efforts. No more. I am done. I will be civil ( as I have been to the best of my ability), but I am not available for emotional blackmail anymore. I will keep you informed as to any dire circumstances that you should know about, but I will no longer pretend there is any hope of a positive relationship with you. Fifty-six years of abuse is more than enough! I wish you and DH the best in all things. "

The stuff about the "cryptic" messages stems from uNPDBro leaving voice mail messages about Mom when she's in the emergency room or having a serious health issue.  He will say - call me - it's about Mom... with no further details - and when we call him back he's usually unavailable or doesn't answer the phone.  This has been an issue for many years and he knows better - even EnM has gotten on him about this.

The email he sent was one of many hurtful and nasty things he has done - but this was the first time I had it in writing where he couldn't go back and revise the history - I finally had something concrete that he couldn't change or deny... he couldn't tell me I was delusional or crazy.

Several months after this email, he got upset because I unfriended him on Facebook... because he damaged the house I was allowing his daughter to live in for nothing but the utilities and refused to acknowledge or pay for the damage.  He got EnM to ask me why I'd done that, his feelings were hurt and he didn't know what he'd done wrong...  EnM kept pushing me as to why I unfriended him and for the first time in my life I blew a gasket and unloaded on her - told her exactly what I thought of uNPDBro, her blind support of him, how she didn't protect me from uNPD/BPD father's rages and accusations and so forth.  I was flat out ugly to her.  I did call her back the next morning and apologized for being ugly but did not take back a thing I'd said about uNPDBro's behavior/actions - told her that uNPDBro was no longer welcome in my home.

Her response was a guilt laden spiel about Christmas, holidays, family events, and the crown jewel - how are we supposed to let you know I'm in the hospital or am really sick?   I felt myself beginning to spiral downward but stopped and then said - well have his SIL call me - she's a reasonable person or have your brother call me... Oh, no, can't have my brother call you - we don't want to them to know.  So, that's where I am - dealing with the dysfunctional FOO and being the Scapegoat.  The fact that she didn't want her brother to know about the issue was very telling - gotta keep that perfect family image in tact.

Getting back to the subject and off the rant - he really has no clue the amount of emotional damage he's done over the years and of course if confronted with it, he goes ballistic and inflicts more damage.  They (brother and Mom) are just plain blind to the effect their words and actions have on those around them. 

FOO sets off almost every trigger I have and will send me into a depression/anxiety spiral that lasts for weeks.  EnM tries to force me to engage with uNPDbro and gets very upset with me because I don't make it easy - don't just go with the flow or let them do what ever they want when I'm involved.  The boundaries I've set with them are one of their biggest issues and regularly used to attempt to browbeat me into submission.  Since coming OOTF and seeing their behavior for what it is I no longer volunteer or get volunteered for abuse - ambient or otherwise... so they are ticked off and upset with me because I will not play narc games anymore.  Now I have to figure out a way to short circuit the triggers so FOO truly has no effect/affect on me.  I'm hoping that continued therapy and this board will help me move forward... so thanks in advance.


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Introductory Post / C-PTSD Dx by T - 1st post on OOTS
« on: March 22, 2015, 06:29:22 PM »
Usually I post over on OOTF but since the dx of C-PTSD by T thought I would see if I could make further progress overcoming the sources of the trauma.  FOO was dysfunctional - uNPD Father, EnM, and now adult uNPDbrother, divorced from uBPDH of 18 years... finally in a safe and loving relationship with DH where I can actually deal with the past abuse and trauma.

Was driven into T due to an abusive episode involving FOO last year.  During the course of therapy started remembering a lot of events that had been buried for many, many years.  In this process have gone NC with uNPDBro and VLC with EnM and am currently on their "shyte" list - but that's nothing new.  These events piled on top of domestic violence, emotional/verbal/financial abuse from the uBPDExH - living in hiding for 18 months afraid for my life, being stalked during the divorce, forced to deal with abusive frivolous litigation during the divorce decimated what little confidence I had.

Lately have been experiencing some really strong reactions to other people - so much so that I have to get up and leave the situation, be by myself for a while, and at times become physically ill when forced to stay and deal.   DH helps a lot when I face these situations... the latest have occurred within the last 48 hours - had an acquaintance accuse me of lying and not returning something that belonged to her - some photographs that I scanned to work on in Photoshop.  Had returned the photos last year, was even able to tell her what folder they were in and the contents of the folder - that she should re-look around her place and see if she could find them - she insisted that I had not returned them.  I do plan to print out some copies on some nice photo paper and give them to her if she can't find the one's she lent me.  She's older and the photos meant a great deal to her - so I would not want to cause her distress if I can do anything to make it better for her.

Second event was early, early (still dark) this morning when I saw a strange man walking around our little neighborhood (about 15 houses total) - walking up to neighbor's porches, looking for whatever, nosing around in the carport areas and had to call the police to report him... brought back lots of memories from 1st marriage - just talking with police makes me very anxious... not that I've done anything to warrant their attention - just makes me nervous.  Still freaked out from having a stranger rummaging around our neighborhood since I'm at the house by myself most of the time - usually gardening and keeping the yard up... I don't want to have to take defensive measures or be uncomfortable in my own house/yard.

Things that cause C-PTSD to surface:

- Disagreements - especially loud ones
- Loud noises or being surprised unexpectedly
- Unwarranted accusations
- FOO phone calls
- Aggressive behavior by anyone
- "Good old days" stories during FOO forced gatherings - told by uNPDB to make himself look so grand
- Any/all interaction with uNPDBrother - usually forced by EnM.
- Most interaction with EnM - she's on thin ice now.

So, that's the intro... TTYL

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