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Successes, Progress? / My Thoughts on CPTSD Recovery Today
« on: December 13, 2015, 03:48:49 AM »
When you have flashbacks, the last thing you want to do is to trust your feelings.  Because you KNOW, you KNOW for a fact nobody else feels this way, and you ďKNOWĒ that what you are feeling is ďwrong.Ē  Itís too much, too over the top, and you judge yourself, and you make fun of yourself, and you berate yourself for feeling SO MUCH. You push HARD to just get through the feelings, and to push them behind, down, out, somewhere, anywhere, and you just try to make them go away.

Because something bad just happened now in the present, and you have got to deal with it. And yet?  You are feeling so much terror, and pain, and humiliation, and anger, impotent anger in my case, that you are emotionally hijacked, and there is NO CONTROL.  So you fight!  You fight HARD!  Against what you are feeling and you tell yourself you are wrong to feel this way. You tell yourself that you are weak, and just like they say, just too sensitive. And you DONíT trust your feelings.  You rebel against them, and you feel so ashamed of yourself for being so freaking weak, AGAIN. And you try to find your brain, and you try to STOP feeling, and start thinking again. But you canít find your brain, itís been hijacked too.

But itís wrong, itís the wrong thing to do to fight it and argue with it.  Instead, if you for once, just once, accept it and say: Okay, if I feel this way? Then there is a reason.  Just saying that one thing, just that one thing, and giving yourself permission to feel what you feel, for once, however awful and bad it is. So you just say to yourself, ďItís okay, I am giving me permission for once to actually feel as bad as I actually do.Ē 

Well then?  That is:  The turning point.  From that day forward you start feeling again, and you start regaining a relationship with your own feelings.

And from that point on as you build a relationship with yourself, and allow yourself to feel your own feelings, and instead of fighting them, and trying to squash them or bury them or just get rid of them, and instead you fight back and say NO!  If I FEEL this way, there must be a reason?  From that day forward you start becoming your own friend and champion. And you slowly learn to trust your own feelings instead of stuffing them when they are painful, awful and paralyzing. You keep saying to yourself, like a whispered prayer, thereís got to be a reason, thereís got to be a reason. 

And there is, there really is a reason you feel this way. Youíre not too freaking sensitive, youíre not a basket case, and youíre not a crazy person.  Your feelings are SCREAMING for you to LISTEN.  And the only way they could get through to you after all of the awful years of stuffing?  Is CPTSD.

Your manifestation of CPTSD is caused from forced feeling stuffing and trying to make yourself numb and into a robot who feels nothing and it doesnít work.  They are still there. Theyíve never been let out of their cage, and the more you stuff them, the bigger the manifestation of CPTSD.

But itís not your fault. You donít know anything else!  This is the way you were brought up.  Your feelings were NOT allowed!  Ever! And so you were forced to get rid of them. And now there is a hole inside of you where your own feelings are supposed to be.  But it gets worse, itís much worse than that.  Not only were you not allowed to have your own feelings, you were TRAINED, TAUGHT, and FORCED to allow their feelings, your parentís feelings inside of yourself, and to allow their feelings to take precedence over your own. You were forced to allow their feelings inside of you, and to tell you what to feel. You were not allowed to feel on your own. Ever.

And now you know, now you see it, and you know itís wrong. And now you know.  You have re-train yourself except hahahaha!  Itís not even re-training, itís learning from scratch blindly through trial and error, because youíve never even known, or allowed, or been allowed to have your own feelings!

All your life, you have had your mind, which is a pretty useless piece of equipment without feelings. Sometimes you had your body when you werenít depersonalized or derealized.  And thatís all you had. And the rest of the gap?  The feeling gap?  You filled it in with otherís feelings.  And worst of all?  You gravitated towards people who would treat you in a familiar way. Disordered people.  People like your family.

Itís very HARD to train our brain. Very, very hard.  If you train your brain to pay attention to your own feelings will you never have another flashback?  I donít know.  But you will choose life.  You will allow the third part of yourself to have a seat at the table of life, as it deserved all along.

These days I see myself as Three.  Mind, body and spirit.  And my spirit is where my feelings live. And to deny my spirit is to deny a whole part of me. All three are needed for my life. To deny one part leaves a hole.   And when I left that hole?  When I denied my own feelings?  And tried to use logic alone? I still needed that hole filled. So I filled it in with otherís thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Because it was all I knew!  It is what I was forced to do!  I allowed others inside of me to help run my life.  And it was the worst betrayal I have ever experienced.  Worse than any betrayal by a lover or a friend or a loved one.  To turn my back on myself and to ALLOW, yes, ALLOW others who were not me to have a seat at the table of my life was the worst thing I have ever done to myself.

But I was trained to do so as a child.  I was trained that this was the right thing to do.  That I had no right to boundaries or to my own feelings, and that I MUST allow others feelings to take precedence over mine.  And I was trained mine should not even existÖ

But that is how I have lived most of my life and I am now 58. So now, belatedly, it seems the cure is believing in me, and allowing me, all of me, and my FEELINGS a seat at the table of my life.  There will be No More allowing others to tell me what I feel, think, believe, know, or donít know. And if they insist?  Then they are  going to be bid adieu. These people are toxic, and they are the ones who eagerly helped to keep my own feelings enslaved, caged, forbidden and forgotten, And tried to force their own upon me, as they saw the hole in me as surely as if I had shined a powerful floodlight upon the gaping hole within myself. And they were all too eager to fill it.

I think survival as a child definitely required me stuffing my own feelings.  But it doesnít explain the huge feelings I get nowadays when attacked does it? Yes I think it does.  I think you go along acting like a robot, and thinking if I donít feel anything, and if I hide my feelings, and if I smile and act nice, then nothing bad is going to happen to me. But you still have that gaping blind hole within you, and you still allow TOO MUCH from other people inside of you. And the only people who want to get inside of you are Narcissists. 

Most peace loving people DONíT try to get inside of you and manipulate your feelings. But the Narcissists do, they NEED to get inside of you. And because they are Narcissists they MUST have the explosion, the drama, the emotional reaction, and your CPTSD is PERFECT.

They ďknowĒ somehow that you have stuffed and refused and hidden those feelings, but they know itís in there. And once you let them in?  Because you have been trained to let them in, because youíve been trained that you are ďsupposedĒ to let them in with their bad ugly awful stuff?  Well itís home free now! Now they can poke and prod and needle away until they get the explosion of YOUR pain that THEY need.  Because as hard as you try to hide it and conceal it?  Itís still in there. And they find it, gleeful as children on Christmas morning when they find, open and provoke your emotional pain.

But not after you wake. Not after you decide you deserve and are entitled to your own feelings. And that nobody is going to manipulate you ever again. After you find and resuscitate and revive and encourage and support your own feelings?  And start setting boundaries to keep the Narcissists out? The people who want to provoke you and manipulate you and cause you pain for their own pleasure?  Well, it will never happen again. Or if it does, you will ďseeí it for what it is and you will LEARN to set the boundaries needed to deny them entry into your soul ever again.

And always remember, that real people?  Who are not narcissists? Would never pull this crap in a million years.  They want what you want.  A happy peaceful coexistence. They have always seemed so boring to you, and they just didnít give you a buzz. Well the buzz is poison, so wake up, start feeling your own feelings, and seek true friendship with those who ARENíT looking to blow you up, root around in your soul and manipulate you into excruciating pain.  And once you start having your own feelings?  You wonít need the buzz anymore. You will shun it like the plague. And welcome like minded souls.

Successes, Progress? / What Worked For Me
« on: November 20, 2015, 04:43:03 AM »
How Victims Without Boundaries Can Learn To Set Them

The first thing you need is Space. 

Time and space and peace lots of peace.  Safety. Security. Iíve seen so many books and articles that claim you can stay with a Narcissist and heal yourself at the same time.  Not me, itís not possible.  Clean house. I had to get rid of 4 in one year, plus one other who was similar except not abusive, but who had all of the other behaviors, grandiosity, verbose, selfish, emotionally unavailable. So I dumped my father, my boyfriend, my roommate, and my sister, and my youngest brother over the course of one year. I was able to actually keep one Narcissist in my life, and heís good for practicing my new behaviors on. Itís my son, heís one too.  But he doesnít trigger me, so he was allowed to stay. But itís not easy to lose almost every single person that you were closest to in your life, and to recognize that they have nothing but more pain to offer you as far into the future as you can see.  You have been betrayed. By everyone, not just one person, every single last one.  You need, time, space and peace to understand, accept, and grieve, and deeply understand what has been done to you.

Second.  A willingness to be honest.

Your life is toast. You are miserable. The harder you try the worse it gets, especially if you are improving. They feel it, they sense it, it scares them, and they escalate their controlling behavior as a last ditch effort to get you back and control you. You have to get away from them and just think. Because the more you improve?  The more they will torture and escalate their controlling behavior. You have to be honest about what has happened, and be willing to open your eyes and really absorb just how bad it is.  You have been fighting for so long all alone, believing you could fix it if you just tried harder.  You have to stop trying and fighting, and accept that you can never fix it.  And not only was it bad, it was so much worse than you ever allowed yourself to even see or consider.  And it was not you.  It was them, all along.

Third. You have to be willing to change.

 You have to commit to your own recovery. What you are doing is NOT working. And the harder you try the worse it gets.  So you need space, time, peace, honesty and self appraisal. When you look you arenít going to like it, what you see.  What you have been forced by the Narcissist to become in order to survive. You have forced yourself into a tiny box that is much too small to hold you, and you are in a corner, and it feels like there is no way out, and that life is hopeless. Everything you believed in has been destroyed. You have been told so many times that you are so much less than you really are that you actually started believing it.  Now you have forced yourself into this small tiny box that is much too small to hold you, and it is squeezing you, and cutting off your air, and your ability to breathe, and think, and do, and be.  You are going to have to decide the box is too small, decide it does not fit, and you are going to have get out. You canít change them.  But you can change yourself. You donít have to stay in the box.  You can get out. If you want to.

Fourth You need support.

And if you are like me, then you are in despair as every single person you were ever close to and cared about is gone, you had to get rid of them all, and your other friends?  Are also a part of that network too, and so they are either also Narcissistís themselves, or completely deceived by the Narcissists.  So often there is NOBODY left. So now you are out of the box.  And possibly alone, and friendless. But you still need support. There are on line support groups.  Who will take you in and embrace you and love you like the lost broken child that you are.  They will love you and care for you and understand you and your struggles. and are the best I have found.  They are Wonderful people. You will also need one on one support.  No ifs ands or buts you need it. Get it anyway you can.  You need therapy with someone who is highly educated about Narcissism and the effect it has on other people. Itís not optional, you need it. Itís not a luxury, itís a necessity.  You need to work with someone who understands deeply the impact a Narcissist can have on people who are not Narcissists. Someone who can see you as you are.  Someone who can see that you are a good person who only wanted to help others, and who just got tangled up with the wrong people.  A person whose goodness and willingness to forgive and forget went too far, and so far that you forgot be loving and kind and forgiving to yourself.  You absorbed lies and started believing the lies, and they are not true.  You must relearn the truth and you must learn to love yourself.  One on one therapy can give you this, can help you get back or even learn for the first time about your healthy self love.

Fifth Education: 

You need to understand what happened to you. You have to learn everything you can about Narcissism.  This is important. This is your shield.  This is your new defense.  You MUST learn these behaviors, and be able to spot them.  They are difficult to learn.  It is foreign, bizarre, strange, inhuman, and awful.  But learn you must in order to protect yourself going forward. You will also need to learn everything you can about recovery and how to recover.  The most important thing you will have to learn is about boundary setting. You will also need to fully accept that there is nothing you can do for the Narcissist.  Their illness is incurable. You will have to accept this, and be able to walk away and know in your heart that staying is bad for you, and will destroy you, and that there is NOTHING you can do to help them.  Nothing. The only person you can help is yourself.

Sixth You Must Heal Your Past. 

If you have been involved with a Narcissist, there is something about you that attracted them and made you susceptible to their preying ways.  You will have to explore your childhood and heal your inner child and vow to protect her from now on.  She must become your reason for living, growing, learning, changing.  Because you must protect her.  No one else is going to do it. Get to know her. Listen to her, she will guide you to know where you need to focus and work to be most helpful to her moving forward. To help her feel safe. To help her feel hopeful about life and living.

Seventh Boundaries.

Most of us as victims of Narcissists have no boundaries.  And normally that works because normal people have boundaries, and we are nice people, and we want others to be happy.  We are pleasers.  So if a normal person tells us that when we act a certain way it makes them unhappy, then we are more than happy to change that behavior.  And normal people do not cross otherís boundaries. So we have no problems there either.  Normal people do not try to take advantage of us and use us for their own amusement and cruel entertainment.  The problem arises when we meet someone who has no boundaries who feels entitled to everything they have as well as everything we have.  We have no defense system.  None.  And they are able to rape and pillage as they please inside of our souls. Learning to set boundaries will be hardest part of this journey towards healing.  Because we have no experience.  Often we were raised to believe we did not have the right to boundaries. That we were not allowed to resist or defend, or protect ourselves.  And that we had no right to our own feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Nothing was ours, everything was theirs. It is very difficult to convince oneself that one has the right to something that one has never had.   The best map for this I have found in my searches is Pete Walkerís Intentions For Recovery and his Bill Of Human Rights.  I read them every day.  I must believe those lists and I must absorb them as my new way of life. This must become my new religion. But even more than having a map is having a belief, developing, supporting, sustaining, reinforcing, building, growing, learning to BELIEVE.  Believe that we have equal rights to respect and decent fair treatment, and no one is better than we are, or entitled to more than we are. This belief must be hatched. While incubating it must be wrapped warmly in the feathers of our newly growing boundaries while they mature and grow, and eventually our belief will hatch, and take on a new life that will bring happiness, peace and order to our lives.

Eighth Accept and Trust Your Feelings. 

All of my life I have been hesitant to judge others. But I let them judge me.  I let every single word they said to me inside of me, and then I would mull it over and decide if it had value or not to me.  The problem with living this way is when somebody attacks you?  And if you have already let it inside of you?  What chance do you have if they are wrong?  They are against you, but you have already let their accusation inside of you to confuse you. You have no time to mull things over. You must make a decision NOW of what you will do. And as your heart thaws out, and you learn to love yourself, you are going to start having lots and lots of feelings. Anger being a huge piece of it. You will have to learn how to trust YOURSELF to tell you who you are and what you are feeling.  NOT other people.  You have allowed too many people way too much access to your insides, and way too much influence on how you felt about yourself. And you will need to learn to trust that if you feel angry?  Something bad is being done to you.  And you donít have to think about it or mull it over or decide if you are judging or not. Somebody said something, you are angry, so something bad happened, something not fair or wrong. And I have spent months and months wrestling with this concept.  I wanted to stop them, I wanted to control them, I wanted to be heard and seen and understood. So I would argue with them, which never solved the problem. Or try to control them which also did not work.  Or try to love them back to the relationship which only angered them more. Forgiving and loving someone who has not repented, and who has not asked for forgiveness is folly, and makes them hate you more and not less.  The answer is simple and not complex at all. Here is the answer.  Say it everyday, and get used to saying.  I donít deserve to be treated that way. When you can treat me the way I deserve to be treated, then let me know and we will resume this conversation. And walk away. When your anger sparks it is message to you from your soul. And your heart.  It is a signal that someone is doing something unfair that you did not deserve.  Listen!  Do not argue, control, fight, or defend.  Just say, ďWhat you are doing, or saying is not fair, and I will talk to you later when you calm down.Ē   Also people have taken things from me that I did not want to share.  I have always argued with them too. And told them what to do if they wanted what I had, and how to get it for themselves. I became the teacher hoping they would learn something, but they didnít.  They just took what they wanted anyway, and just pretended to listen to me.   For the first time yesterday I said. I donít want to share with you, these are my things and I donít want to share them with you and I donít have to if I donít want to.  Boom!  Problem solved. All along I was just not being selfish enough!  It was a foreign and strange concept. But when I said it, it worked.  I said what I felt, instead of just trying to tell them what they should do. It worked much better.

Nine I Thought I Needed To Know Everything.

I would never judge another because I was trying so hard to be fair.  I thought I had to know everything first. Every circumstance, every possible reason, every possible influence, like what happened to them an hour ago, today, yesterday, last week, or 40 years ago? But that is not true.  But, they would like you to believe that. Because if you believe that then that means you are willing to take responsibility for their behavior. It means you have decided to try to make it up to them for every bad thing that ever happened to them. That you are willing to take their anger and their criticism, and the put downs and the abusive behavior and all of the bad things that ever happened to them and you are willing to try to compensate for it.  You take away their power by doing this. And you bring their wrath on your head.  But you do not need to know everything.  You are incapable of knowing everything.  It is impossible to know everything another person is feeling, thinking, or has experienced.  There is only one person in the whole world that you can know everything about. Feelings, thoughts, beliefs.  An hour ago, today, yesterday, or the last 40 years.  And that is you. And you must act and live according to what you feel, think, and believe. If you act, feel, think, and believe based on what you THINK another person has experienced?  Then you are playing God. And you are stealing their life and their responsibility to act for themselves. And that is not fair to you or to them.  Each person must assume responsibility for their own thoughts, feelings and beliefs and ACTIONS. Really the most honest, fair, true friend-like behavior you can ever exhibit?  Is to understand YOURSELF and to share that person with the world to the best of your ability.

Ten. Be Willing To Fail And To Be Patient. 

You are trying to do something you have never done before.  You have no experience, no knowledge, not even any gut instinct of what is right to draw on.  You are learning to walk and you have no idea how to do it, as you have only crawled all of your life. You will stumble.  You will fall.  You will make mistakes. But you will learn.  And you will get better.  You will get better simply because you want to.  Because you will slowly absorb the idea that you will never be happy until you learn that boundaries are good for us and good for others. The Boundary books that are out there all assume you already have a well somewhere inside of you from which to draw strength and knowledge.  You may not.  I didnít.  But trial and error, and learning to nurture your Inner Child and making a commitment to protect her, as she is only a child, and needs someone to stick up for her, this will help you.  If you are a good person that Narcissistic vampires have tried to suck the goodness and the life from, then you will still have goodness and caring inside of you for that child, and your instinct to protect the helpless will kick in, and it will help you learn at last how to finally protect yourself. This will take a long time.  You will not learn it overnight or even in a month or two. It takes time, and space and peace, and patience, and practice, and a daily commitment to care for and protect that child going forward to the best of your ability.  And also we need to teach her how to have fun if she doesnít know how, and slowly eventually to find her friends that she can trust and rely on.  Donít rush it, slow down, and take your time. And learn to love her, as she is you.  Friends will be last.  Because you have to learn to trust yourself to make good choices going forward, and you wonít have the knowledge or the skills you need until you finish your education on Narcissism and complete the construction of your boundaries and heal your child and prove to her that you will protect her going forward.

Eleven.  Be Prepared For Character Assassination From The Narcissist. 

Itís going to happen. It is not a question of if?  Itís when.  It WILL happen. Some of you may be ďluckyĒ in that the narcissist will simply walk away when you shut them out.  They will be too busy looking for a new place to get the supply they used to receive from you. They will leave you alone, and be happy to dump you like a hot potato. But they will badmouth you to every Tom, *, and Harry that you ever knew. Every bad thing they have ever done to you?  You will be accused of. So we must accept that this will happen, and can only pray it will pass quickly. And if you hold your head up high, and let your light shine, then some will see you and some will not.  The weak people will be blinded by the grandiosity of the Narcissist, and will take their stories at face value.  If you are not lucky, and if you are involved with a Narcissist who is angry that they have lost their main source of supply? They will try every trick in the book to get you back. After they finish smearing you, then they may start trying to woo you back, trying to convince you and yet again that they are so wonderful.   Donít buy the milk.  Itís poisoned.  But this is why the education piece is so important.  You must learn what these tricks are, and how to recognize them, and how to walk away anyway. And again you will still experience the character assassination. Itís inevitable. Itís a weapon intended to destroy you with falsehoods, and if they do get you back?  Then it will be used to illustrate to you what a wonderful person they are for taking you back despite all of your horrific flaws.  That are in truth their flaws and always have been their flaws.  They needed you to project those flaws onto, and without you they are lost. Donít buy the milk.  It is poison.

Twelve.  They canít kill your soul. 

They can defame and smear and rage and freeze you, and in worst cases they can kill you.  But they canít kill your soul. Unless you let them. Donít let these people who are not worth it destroy you.  You are worth so much more than that. Fight for yourself. You are worth fighting for and saving.  They are not, and they cannot even be saved.  May God have mercy on their souls.

Thirteen.  Forgiveness and compassion.

The first person you will have to forgive is yourself.  As you remember, and things over time become clearer to you, then you may become angry with yourself for all of the things you have allowed these people to do to you.  They have done plenty and most of it was concealed, or was supposedly ďdone for your own good.Ē  Or, as in my case they were throwing sticks and stones at me as hard they could, and simultaneously screaming ďcanít you see how much I love you?Ē  I think that is what woke me up.  One day I figured out that all of the sticks and stones that were being cast at me, number one were not deserved, and two did not look anything at all like love to me.  I had experienced enough real love in my life to see the difference.  I had children, I had grandchildren, and this hurling of verbal sticks and stones, while screaming I love you in no way resembled love. So you have to forgive yourself first.  And eventually with time, and enough study, and enough knowledge, you will probably be able to experience some compassion and sorrow for all of the Narcissists that have used you and abused you in your life. They are sick.  They do not know what they are doing. If you tell them what they are doing, then they only use the information to convince themselves of how very sick you are.  And that is sick.  So you must walk away but also someday let it go, and feel some compassion for them, and some balm of relief as there is hope for you.  But there is NONE for them. None.

Fourteen. They are smarter than you and they will always outwit you.

They say good overcomes evil, and maybe thatís why you try.  Maybe you were taught that, maybe you believed that. But what I say is that you do have to give people a chance, maybe even a couple, or even three. But eventually if you are a really good person?  You will be damaged. If you are too good to someone who does not deserve it?  You are injuring them. You are hurting them. Being kind and loving and caring to someone who refuses to do the same to you? Hurts them. Makes them sicker. And it makes you sick too, as the longer your love and caring is rebuffed, the more pain and unhappiness you will experience.  In this case good is not going to win, or triumph over evil. Because they cannot change. But you can, so save yourself. You have goodness inside of yourself. Do not cast your pearls before swine. Love the tiger from afar, and save your pearls for those who can see their true value. Who can appreciate what you have to offer.  You know you have a lot to offer.  You know these people cannot see it or hear you.  They live in their own made up world, and they cannot even see you or hear you. They see something else entirely that they made up in their own minds. Itís not your fault. Itís not even their fault. Itís the just the way it is. And you canít change it. So save yourself. Accept you cannot win.  And walk away. Resolve to no longer live a life filled with anger, sorrow, frustration, misunderstandings, lies, putdowns, hurts, wounds and insults.  Instead resolve to start a beautiful new clean life full of love, happiness, joy and peace. But stop fighting them and accept they will always win.  Why?  Because they will stoop to levels and do things your conscience would never even dream of or allow you to do.  They have no conscience and they will do and say ANYTHING to win.  Just. Walk. Away.

Successes, Progress? / I Think I Might Be Cured
« on: November 01, 2015, 08:39:43 PM »
I haven't posted anything for a long time.  Not because I don't think of you all, but because I felt I had nothing to say. But I think I might be cured.  I haven't had a flashback in months. And any anxiety I have experienced has been quite manageable. But, I am afraid of the upcoming holiday season, so am continuing therapy with my beloved therapist until at least after the first of the year, just for extra moral support.

Here is a summary I wrote over the last couple of days of what this journey has been like for me.

When we with CPTSD are children we are taught we donít know our own minds, we are taught to not trust ourselves, we are taught that we are possessions, and worth only what the insane one decides for the day.  We have no safety, no sense of balance, no security, nothing to rely on and count on, and worst of all?  We are turned against our own selves.  We are taught we are to blame for almost everything wrong in the universe.  It is a terrible crushing burden for a child to bear and eventually the childís spirit is crushed. She does not have adult knowledge or maturity.  She only knows she is wrong at every turn, there is no pleasing, and worst of all she is brainwashed to believe that her very thoughts are wrong, bad, evil. And she is taught that all of the evil the insane ones perpetuate?  Is her fault.  There is nothing right with the world.  And so CPTSD is born. Hopelessness coupled with trauma creates CPTSD.

But in my case I think the most important things I took from childhood were two stories that I absorbed into my being.  One was the little engine that could.  I BECAME that engine.  I think I can, I think I can.  And Rudolph.  I just knew in my soul if I persevered and suffered and struggled, someday, someone would recognize that I had a lot to offer and ask me to lead the sleigh someday. I trusted this with all of my young heart. It kept me alive.

So I tried, I became superhuman. I tried to forgive everyone and everything.  I tried to be understanding and accepting of everything.  I tried to be perfect myself. I realized the other night that MANY people have come to me for help, shelter and solace.  My niece came to ME for help not any of her other uncles or her aunt.  And help I did, plane tickets, loaning her my car to get to work every day, straightening out the mess of her legal situation, helping her get a job, giving her a home and a safe place to live.  My aunt who was suffering from back problems stayed here 6 months while getting treated.  My sisterís best friend stayed here to try to recover from the death of her husband, my own son and my grandson, despite many screw ups are still permitted shelter and refuge here.  And earlier in my life, I took in my sister when she had nowhere to go after a divorce.  I took in my sonís friends when their own parentís said no more, I gave them shelter. And my daughterís friend K?  She also stayed with us for a time.  And my daughter and her daughter moved in with me for about 6 months. Even my own father - I tried to house him  for 4 months while he was being treated for back problems.   I offered my boyfriend a home too, if he would just divorce and walk away.  So I have helped many, many people over the years. And I all of the sudden I realize none of my siblings has ever done anything like this. So that right there makes me different.

But one day I got fed up with the treatment I was receiving from the Disordered and I said no more.  No more abuse as recompense for my generosity. I quit.

And life changed. Forever. I began the agonizing journey of healing. Because as hard as it is to stay still and suffer unjust and unfair treatment?  It is even harder to stop it and suffer the losses, and learn the truth and stop pretending everyone loves me.  Really deep down inside somewhere inside of me, I believed everyone did have a shred of love for me.  How could they not?  I was perfect! I opened my home to them, I gave them clean beautiful warm beds, soft towels, I made them beautiful meals, I treated them to beautiful sumptuous luxury that I earned from the sweat of my own brow, I shared it with them, and I turned the other cheek over and over and over as they slapped me for my trouble and it doesnít work.  Because in order to do all of this giving?  I had to treat myself badly.  I had to accept that I was just not good enough no matter how hard I tried.  I had to believe them and agree with them that bad treatment was really all I deserved. One day I said no more.  And I started asking for more. Each person got about a year, and plenty of guidance from me of what the problem was, and what I expected from them moving forward.  And I can even sum it up in one word:  Respect.  I wanted to be treated with respect.  And without it?  We werenít going to have a relationship anymore.  I got no takers from the Disordered.

My father declined, my boyfriend declined, my roommate declined, my sister declined, my son declined, my grandson declined, and one of my brothers declined.

This is where I entered therapy.  About a year before I started therapy I had decided no more.  Either respect me and treat me accordingly or get out.  And I tried mightily with each person.  I read 40 books and different ones geared towards each relationship, I wrote letters to them, I tried techniques, I studied all day long every single day.  I WORKED at it as hard as I possibly could.  While each one of them did exactly?  Nothing.  They were happy with the situation as is.  I give and give and give and they beat the crap out of me verbally or emotionally, and kick me around, and make sure I understand I really donít deserve anything better.  So when I woke up and decided that was not what I could be happy with, then true agony began.  A year of agony. I knew in my soul I deserved better, but they were all saying no, you donít. 

So I went into therapy almost a year ago with this plea:  I canít get along with anybody. And they say it is me, but I donít believe it.  I think it is them.  I think they are all Disordered and this is blowing my mind.  How can they all be crazy and I be the only sane one in this whole bunch?

Then another year of agony. Therapy. As my therapist told me last week:  Things often have to get worse before they get better.  And it did not get better the way that I would have wanted it to.  I lost them all, but?  I gained myself, the person I really am. I am finally me.  I am no longer a people pleasing perfect robot struggling to try to make insane crazy disordered people love me and respect me. I can accept now that they CANíT love me, there is a hole in their soul and they are not capable.  And I can mourn for them, and be sorry for them.  But at the same time KNOW deep in my soul I MUST protect myself from them, as they offer me nothing except pain, pain, pain and more pain.

I am now:  Happy, joyful, pain free, whole, healthy, strong physically, drinking less than I ever have before in my adult life, excited, content, inspired, thrilled, at peace, accepting, and trusting of myself to KNOW things.

Again and again and again I come back to:  Each person has been given a task of what is needed to repair the relationship with me and each one declines.  Simple tasks. Really. Simple if you are HUMAN!

Nutshell to The Disordered:  You hurt me, I didnít deserve it.  Apologize, ask me to forgive you, commit to do better and letís move forward.  And Nobody can do it!

I think that has been the HARDEST part of getting well.  First believing I had a right to decent treatment, and a right to expect an apology and a request for forgiveness, and a right to expect better treatment moving forward. And quaking and shaking in my boots all the while as I first timidly asked for it.  Due to PTSD I was petrified to do it. 

But, I changed.  Instead of just apologizing to them for their upset at me, which is what I have always done to try to keep the peace, instead I asked correctly, finally, for the first time for them to apologize to me!  But Oh my dear God how difficult the struggle became when I realized and slowly learned to accept that not a single one of them felt I was worth that apology and that better treatment moving forward. 

It was tough! It made me doubt myself all over again, and search my conscience and soul over and over again to try to find the horrific flaws within me that prevented them from giving me what I felt I deserved.

But in the end I could not find them and that search only solidified and cemented my own beliefs about myself.  And that is that I am worth loving, and I am worth treating with respect, and there are some sick people in the world who are more interested in controlling me than loving me. And who want to use abuse and imagined slights to justify it.  Their world is made up.  It doesnít exist.  It is a fantasy and they have dragged me into it for my whole life and I ainít gonna do it anymore!

Thank GOD for my therapist, and the books and these forums. Where I tore myself apart and rebuilt myself all over again. Or maybe a better way to put it, is I found my TRUE self, I embraced myself, I accepted myself, I  learned to love myself, and to care for myself, and I learned to EXPECT others to do the same, and to ACCEPT that if they wonít?  There is something wrong with them, and not with me.

And one of the hardest realizations of all?  Was that this entire time?  I was the one carrying the whole relationship on my back.  Whether that relationship continued or faltered and died was completely on me.  Because as soon as I stopped trying to make up for their shortcomings through whatever sacrificial mean possible, be that laying myself out on the altar for sacrifice as the scapegoat, or else handing them the nails to pin me to the cross?  As soon as I stopped doing that?  Each relationship died a very swift and fatal death. There literally never had been anything there at all.  I was the one carrying the whole load of the relationship the whole time. And without me there to act as the scapegoat?  There literally was NOTHING left.

Learning how NOT to do that has been one of the most difficult lessons I have had to learn in my entire life.  But what a happy pay off in the end! Despite the losses which were extremely painful to face, and to accept, and to mourn?  I now have me.  Better, stronger, smarter than ever, and with a deep KNOWING in my soul of my value and my worth and what I deserve and what I do not.

Another thing that has been hard to accept is that just because these people sometimes do nice things for me?  It is STILL not enough to make up for the cruelty and the abuse and the poor treatment.  My sister has given me many beautiful gifts.  My boyfriend has been a virtual slave for me as far as doing work for me on my home. Even my father the source of my PTSD has had his moments. I was educated given medical care and dental care and clothed and fed.

But despite these apparent outward trappings of caring?  My sister also felt free to attack me whenever I was down and kick me verbally, and criticize me and my decisions and way of life. She went out of her way to inform me of how superior she was to me and what a weakling I was for having PTSD.  My boyfriend felt free to deceive me for 17 years that he would divorce someday, and we would marry ďsomeday.Ē Elaborate lies. For years and years and years.   My father felt free to put me down every chance he got and to attack me privately about how I was living, what I was doing with my life, what sort of a Christian I was (a wrong one) and he tried to convince my daughter that I had ruined my life and that I was such a disappointment. Slyly he told her that she found favor in his eyes because he felt she was not following my example. He just dismissed my whole life of struggle to be good and to help people in one sentence.

But it changed my life when he did that. The scales fell from my eyes and I could ďsee.Ē

So I had to accept that yes, these people could sometimes do nice things?  But it was STILL not enough to make up for their unfair undeserved disrespectful treatment and their complete and total lack of compassion or empathy.

I had to accept that each person had an agenda. I was being sucked dry by vampires. Whose sole motive in the end was about winning and control at any price, even giving up their own immortal souls. They were willing to sell their souls to keep being abusive, ugly, nasty, impulsive people without a shred of self control in their minds or bodies.

And I had to just walk away and learn to love me anyway even if they did not.  I had to learn that just because they did not love me did not automatically make me a bad and unlovable person. It was a long slow hard lesson to learn.

For a very long time there was only God, my therapist and my daughter left in my life that I felt truly loved me. A long, long time.

But conquering PTSD? Or what feels like I have conquered PTSD due to the long spell of pure peace that I have enjoyed?  I see now that PTSD actually kept me ensnared in these awful, awful relationships.  Because I could not stand to lose.  I was desperately trying to make these relationships work.  I thought if I just tried harder I could make the pain go away. I thought if I just tried hard enough I could end the pain, the anxiety, the fear, and the terror. But it could not be ended, because these people could not stop abusing me.  They quite literally canít do it.

And so there was only one way to end the pain, and that was to end the relationships.  Give up.  Stop trying.  Stop believing it is even your job to try. I was only one sane injured beaten person fighting a host of Disordered people who could not stop themselves from hurting me over and over again for NO REASON.

They could not see me, hear me or understand me. Because they were not human. And my solution to try to become superhuman and able to endure beyond all reasonable endurance did not work either.  Just as they could not stop abusing me, I could not make them stop either.  No amount of good behavior on my part was going to ever earn their love or fix them. And I had to accept that at some point in time I had become addicted to the pain.  That I felt like that was a normal way to live.  Being constantly anxious worried and scared and waiting for the axe to fall over and over again.  I had to cut myself off from the source of the anxiety and pain and learn to live in peace and serenity.

And the longer I stay away?  The happier I am. There is a direct relationship between my happiness quotient and the loss of each toxic relationship.

Daily I become stronger, trust myself more and am starting to reach out to others, those who are not Disordered and to do things for them. And slowly my network is building and I have more friends by the day.  As I slowly gain in confidence and learn to ask people to help me?  Most are happy to do so!  And I in turn am also happy to help them as well. And now?  My life feels fuller, richer filled with true friends. And I trust myself a little more every day.

And I think I might be cured. And it only took 2 years of agony to get here, but now that I am I would not trade this place for anything in the world!

So I am wishing this peace and joy upon each of you today.  The forums help.  Tremendously.  But ultimately it is still a journey one takes alone. And I hope my struggles will encourage someone who may be in despair. I hope you can be encouraged to know that eventually it ends, the struggle ends.  You must do hard things, probably harder than anything you have ever done?  But it will pay off in the end.

Again I would not give up my new found peace joy and trust in myself for anything. It is wonderful to just quietly live a peaceful and happy life.

Sleep Issues / Hurting Oneself While Asleep?
« on: August 28, 2015, 02:07:14 PM »
I have a question.  Has anybody ever hurt themselves while asleep?  Over the last couple of months I have been doing some serious work on recovering some repressed memories. Some flashes of memory I have had involved being hit in the head as a child with some pretty severe blows. In any case I have come to believe strongly the blows to the head are an important part of a memory I am trying to recapture.

Three times over the course of the last month I have woken up and found that I have bruises with lumps on my head.  This was scary to me at first as I had NO MEMORY of hitting my head.  I would walk through the house over and over trying to figure out how it happened.  Finally in desperation I lay down on my bed and rolled towards my nightstand.  Bingo!  The corner of my nightstand is close enough to the bed that I could bang my head on it and the bruises and lumps matched the size and location of the nightstand corner.

What is troubling is I have NO MEMORY of banging my head hard enough to bruise and leave a lump.  So if that is how it is happening, why do I not wake up?  So I think I am doing it to myself in my sleep, but I don't wake up.  This bothers me.

Anybody else do things like this? Wake up with bruises and not know how it happened?

Dear All, I have recently been diagnosed with CPTSD.  I have been so stunned I haven't been able to post much.  I've mainly been sharing the news with friends and family and hoping finally!  Everyone will believe me!  I really was abused and treated so badly I was warped for life!  Most people have been very compassionate about it.  But one person has been incredibly cruel, and I couldn't even write about it until today. It is my sister. We've friends for many years. 

Some of these responses were in answer to my invitation to sit down with my therapist and I and discuss things.  I need some validation, I'll be honest.  I am shameless today.  I need some support.  So I am going to list some of the things she has said on our email exchange and I need to know if you would be hurt by these or am I overreacting?

Extractions From Our Emails

Me:  I have CPTSD which I feel validates that I have been abused by dad.  Now maybe you will understand why I am NC.

She: I am saddened and disappointed that you let him have so much power over you and your emotions. Sad that you can't love yourself enough at this point in your adult life to brush off any * that he might have tried to dump on you.

She: But you are you and I am me and....that's why you are in therapy. We just approach and react to things differently. You seem to think I'm going to just crack up at some point like you have

She: I have chosen as an adult, to maintain a relationship with both of my parents because I care about them

Me:  Will you come to counseling with me?  I think I need my therapist's help explaining this to you.

She: Do you think I'm going to just jump your * if you ask me for something or tell me you need something? That makes me really sad and tells me how desperately important it is for you to be getting this help if you are at that point. I do need to tell you (which I would think you would know this) but that would have made me super uncomfortable and WOULD have felt like an ambush. I don't know....some kind of weird intervention, yucky, ick factor situation.

Me: I misunderstood a story but my therapist said it didn't matter because if dad saw me as competition for his father's love, he still did resent me.

She:Making up stuff is very important because if you are not functioning from truth but rather your own interpretation or version of truth is, you are not working with real the outcome or treatment cannot be accurate. If you told your therapist that your dad said he didn't love you, resented you and was jealous of you but it was really his dad that he had said those things about....that detail matters quite a lot.

Me: CPTSD is caused by child abuse when a person is helpless. It was caused by dad.

She:  I really hope that you will also explore with your therapist in just as much depth and detail as you are focusing on your family dynamics how your boyfriend has brutalized and traumatized you emotionally for such a long time. Just my opinion but that has had just as much impact on your past and current emotional state as any Dad issues

Me:  I am just not feeling any empathy or compassion, so I am sending you a fantasy response.

She:  When I read your fantasy email, my immediate reaction was: WOW seriously, I have said almost ALL of those things to her IN MY OWN WAY AND IN MY OWN WORDS, in both phone conversations and emails.But because I did not say them in exactly the way that she wanted, using all her newly learned little phrases and terminology ....I didn't mean them or wasn't serious/sincere enough and it wasn't good enough for her. It seems that whatever support or encouragement I try to offer, it is just never good enough or satisfying enough to her. I will not be trained like a circus seal to give the "right response". You know what....f**k it, I'm done.

Me:  I just don't feel like you are being respectful to me.

She:  How do you think that makes ME feel to have you constantly telling me those things and basically implying that I am just a mean, *, sadistic person???

Me:  I just need you to make some small changes and treat me with respect.

She:  You are the ONLY person in my entire circle of friends and family that tells me you feel that way about me and that I need to change myself fairly dramatically in order to get along with you....I have to think that it's not all me and perhaps your perceptions are the major thing at play here.

Me:  Here's some things that trigger me: being yelled at, angry voices and angry faces, being destructively criticized, being judged, being told what I "should" do, screaming and loud voices, even if it is not directed at me, feeling like I am being left and abandoned, being mocked,  sometimes sarcasm if it is directed at me, monologing, being treated disrespectfully, seeing children being mistreated, being treated like I donít matter, sly deceitful attacks, being unexpectedly cornered and verbally attacked.

She: I read your long list of "triggers" and thought, I'll do at least half of the things on that list at some point in time. I won't mean to and won't do things with intent to hurt, but it will happen. Because of my PERSONALITY and who I am. I cannot change my fundamental sense of self and being in order to make you feel safe and happy.

Me:  Whatever it is, I hope you get it worked out in your mind. I was just looking for empathy and compassion, but it feels like I mostly just got anger.  So, I am sorry you are so stressed out, and it is causing you to think so many things that are just not right. I hope you change your mind and want to come in and talk about it.

She:  So just saying...some of the things you complain about or take as a sign you weren't loved are what they are for a reason. And it is up to you to change it if you really want it to be different. Instead of just sitting around going whah, whah, daddy didn't love me enough. Granted you have to be in an adult frame of mind to do that and I think you are in a different place

This last one sent such pain ripping through my heart I had to go start back up on my antidepressants that I been quit of for a year.  But it was either that or try to find a doctor make a house call and sedate me.

After this last message, now I am being Hoovered, but I am not biting. I think she knows she went too far. But I am insisting she come sit down with my therapist and I to discuss our issues. Would these things have hurt any of you? Sent you into flashbacks?  Because I've been in flash back for 2 weeks as this has been ongoing for 2 weeks.

Am I over reacting?

General Discussion / Verbal Vomit Receptacle
« on: January 24, 2015, 03:10:11 PM »
I have never posted here.  I normally post in OOTF on Unchosen and that has been some serious work    But it seems like now that I am OOTF I am having so many troubles in so many other parts of my life.  I feel today surrounded by Nís with nowhere to turn and everything, everything is just triggering, triggering and there is just no peace to be had.  So I went NC with an NPD Unchosen, but it seems that was only the tip of the iceberg.  It feels like many more Nís are lurking, eager to take the place of the Unchosen NPD that I am NC with.

This is going to sound silly to so many of you, but I donít know where else to post.  I went to get my hair done a couple of days ago.  My hairdresser is definitely codependent, but is finally getting a divorce. She rents space in her salon to others who have a clientele.  She calls this new coworker woman in, and says something very dramatic to her to set her off.  In hindsight, itís almost like sheís showcasing this woman, wants me and my sister (we get our hair done together every 6 weeks) to see how crazy this woman is.  The woman does not disappoint.  She comes into the space and starts ranting and raving about how great she is for taking care of a nephewís friend and what she did for him, and how awful the kidís parents are, and how ignored she felt by the kidís grandparents and how everyone took advantage of her by not keeping her in the loop and not telling her that they were buying him a bus pass, and how she was so upset because she did not know if theyíd given him money for food, or she was going to have to make him lunch, and how wonderful she was to take him to the bus and put him on it.  On, and on, and on. 

This woman was standing, I was sitting and she kept looking at me trying to make eye contact with me the whole time she was talking and I refused to do so. I just would not look at her.  I guess I was hoping that if she saw a total stranger ignore her, then she would get the point her story was not welcome and I did not want to hear it.  But it did not work.  But it REALLY upset me and triggered me badly. It was my Ndad all over again ranting and ranting and raving and looking for approval and appreciation and just sucking the air out of the room, just draining everyone emotionally.

How am I supposed to handle that?  I seriously considered getting up and just walking out. Not saying a word, just walking out.  Later when I was in the chair and trapped getting color put on she came back in again and told another story of how great and awesome she was, and I was just sick. I did not know what to do or how to make it stop. I couldnít stand it, but I was trapped.  In the chair. So I sat quietly looking down and waiting for her to finish.  With my stomach churning.

Then last night a showdown with my room mate. My room mate came into the smoking room and she asked if she could watch the game on TV, and I was reading but I said yes. And I was a bit nervous about it. But I said okay.  And it starts inevitably.  The cursing, the yelling at the TV.  I am reading, and with difficulty managing to concentrate but I am struggling.  I am losing my control.  I get up several times and go walk around inside the house, and do deep breathing like the book said to do. But I come back out to MY smoking room because I want to smoke and read my book and it is on my PC and my PC is hooked up in the smoking room. But, I feel violated, and stepped on and disregarded. Itís a combination of the loudness and the language.  But I am okay to hang on, until she starts talking to me.  I am reading and processing possibly being sexually abused and digging deeply and painfully into my memories.  And then she says something and I ask ďAre you talking to me?Ē  She says yes, I want you to look at this guy on the TV, look at him, the short one on the right.Ē  I said ďB that guy has no meaning to me I am not listening and I am busy, I am reading a book.Ē  She says insisting now, ďJust look at him, this is what my nephew J could be doing if he got into the right sports market.Ē I blew. I said, ĒYou wanted to watch TV, and that was fine with me, but I wanted to read my book.  Asking me to look at this guy on TV is the same as if I insisted you come over here and start reading my book. Do you want to read my book?Ē  She knew something was wrong at that point and apologized.  Then I said, ďI am happy to share the room with you, but I do not care to pay attention to the TV right now.  I dealing with some deep stuff and I am really going through some stuff right now.Ē  She says, ďWell thatís all you have to say, that you donít feel like talking.Ē  Then she adds ďIf you need somebody or some help let me know.Ē

And thatís it.  Now I am furious, I am so angry because in some weird way I feel like she made me mad, and made me talk sharply to her, which is NOT true. And itís on for me.  The night is ruined. She changes the channel, turns down the volume and settles down to a much lower volume of talking to herself. And I try to ask about American Idol to try a bit to make up. Then go to bed with some fiction to read, and end up getting up and taking melatonin, then taking Nyquil, and then smoking a cigarette on the deck outside alone, and then reading my book some more, to try to knock myself out. But I am roiling.

And wake up this morning in a full blown CPTSD flashback, with inner critic chatter, incessant chatter in my head, and even before I get up I am yelling STOP in my mind to the chatter.

So my point is, that I am getting these triggers all of the time from my roommate. She is so abrasive, and so loud, and so unhappy and so angry with the world. And she uses profanity a lot at max volume. She talks to herself non stop and it is difficult to tell when she is actually talking to me and not just herself. She is an alcoholic and occasionally abuses pills in combination with the alcohol, and can be so obnoxious that I end up confronting her the next day.  The talk always starts, ďWhat do you remember about last night.Ē Answer, ďNothingĒ It is nerve wracking to live with her.  And even a loud mouth stranger just ratchets up my anxiety level to the point I want to run, just run.

And I donít know what to do.  I feel like I am just ruined, not fit for human companionship anymore, because I find it hard to get along with these aggressive type people for more than an hour or so.  But, the fact is neither of these women abused me for years.  But their small boundary invasions feel like an army marched into my soul and started taking over and I donít know how to handle it.

My reaction seems, feels inappropriate. And I feel like a bad person because there does not seem to be room for me and them in my life. I just cannot tolerate the behavior, and that feels like I am the wrong one, and the bad one.  And if I was a good enough person I could get along with them. But I just get angry instead and feel violated.

And over the top anxious and self critical and I need some advice. Should I be able to get along with my room mate no matter what? How do I handle a stranger treating me like a public verbal vomit receptacle? A place where it is okay if she regurgitates? And same for the roommate really.  Sometimes it feels like she is just vomiting all over me and I canít take it and I feel like I should be able to take it. I feel like a normal person would be able to tolerate it.

And I just vomited all over you.  Sorry, I guess stuff does roll downhill.

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