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Messages - SE7

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Symptoms - Other / Re: Scoliosis
« on: June 21, 2019, 11:23:21 PM »
Gromit, thank you so much for posting this topic! I have a very severe case of scoliosis which is now giving me big-time problems in later-midlife. I was diagnosed in my pre-teens. I am adult-child of two uPD parents (NPD & BPD). I only came to realize their unofficial diagnosis a few years ago. I often thought the scoliosis was caused by a surgery I had as a young kid, which could have started a pattern, but I also have wondered how much is emotional "bracing" ... now in my adulthood I see how fearful I am of my father, and how overbearing both of my parents were and still are. The level of infantilizing and subverting in my FOO is quite severe, so perhaps my muscles responded by shrinking further into myself and twisting myself to accommodate them. It really makes sense. Thanks for reminding me of the psychological connection, and also the crawling exercise which someone once taught me many decades ago that I totally forgot until now!

Other / Re: Feeling uneasy on Thanksgiving ..
« on: November 25, 2018, 02:56:06 AM »
Thank you for your replies, Three Roses and sanmagic7 :)

Actually I have to say that the Thanksgiving dinner went pretty well .. it was not nearly as bad as I feared. I actually spoke with my sibling more than anyone there, and he was decent, so were my parents. The cousins were nice as well.  I hardly talked to NF, and my B/NM did try to make 'positive scenes' to brag about me to her friends. There were a lot more people there than anticipated, and I do not like to socialize so I retreated to another room much of the time, lol. I did feel the need to put up boundaries with a lot of strangers who apparently heard a lot about me from NM, so the aggressiveness of them wanting to socialize with me triggered my need to isolate. Surprisinglly - there seemed to be a rule that no one was to discuss volatile topics .. and it actually really helped.

I can't really say any major issues - because you know when coverts who superficially present a 'do-gooder' image are entertaining a crowd - it's kept superficial, which means no real drama. Drama is more likely to happen I guess in a smaller FOO setting?! Every situation is unique ... hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving! Thank you for just being here :)

Hi Blueberry - no problem, it's okay :) Actually I did go and it went far better than I feared! So I don't feel any worse off, thank God. My 'detached contact' seems to be working okay.

Hi Three Roses - actually I do have the Kindle version of Pete Walker's CPTSD book, and so far I have only read bits and pieces in small doses. Thanks for the reminder, I should probably explore that more, esp. parts about flight/freeze. I can't say I've gotten deep enough into the book to see what to do, although I do have a printout of the 13 steps for EF management which is good. I'm not really in a panic state like I was many months ago, so that is an improvement now that I think of it. I'm more like in a long, extended, dissociated state of mind and that's what I have to see what he says in the book I guess. I have not heard of the other book, will check out. Yes, I would love to have the links if you could post them here, thanks! :)

I'm having trouble grasping the reality of my situation, that I've been stuck in the 'off' position of freeze mode for the last 2 years - and NOTHING seems to be enough to break me out of it! Even the prospect of potentially being homeless for a 3rd time. I can't get myself to apply for jobs. This has gone on for far too long. I thought that finally leaving my NPD parents' home would be enough to snap me into reality, but instead it's like I'm still recovering from them & my past losses. I cannot go to therapy because that would mean asking them for money to fix a problem largely caused by their psychological abuse. A part of me is so damaged by decades of money problems and career disappointments, that I think I don't want to go through it again so I avoid everything to do with employment, even though this is not acceptable. I am months away from not being able to afford the new place I finally got.

I get the strong feeling that my flight/freeze mode is essentially a form of dissociation, but I haven't the slightest idea how to work my way out of this ... anyone in a similar situation? Or anyone with any ideas of what to do about this? Thanks.

Other / Feeling uneasy on Thanksgiving ..
« on: November 22, 2018, 04:49:53 PM »
I haven't been to this forum in a long time .. I am in a long phase of "Detached Contact" from my narc. family.

Today I have to go over their house, and see the narc. parents & golden child/flying monkey/narc-in-training sibling. Plus some extended family members/friends. I'm starting to get anxious and afraid of what I will have to deal with.

I have tried to keep very limited contact with all of them for about 5 months now. My main mode of therapy includes reading "Hidden Abuse" by Shannon Thomas, because I'm dealing with narcs who are Coverts for the most part. She has a section in her book that explains why full NC is not always an option for everyone, and that it's a very personal decision based on the type of narcissists, intensity of levels, circumstances, etc. That felt very validating to read. I think I am doing a good job of keeping Detached Contact. But of course this does involve having to attend Thanksgiving. It's only for a few hours.

So I don't know what I'm saying except I'm nervous. I don't relish the thought of sitting near my sibling who actually I forgot to mention I am NC with (it's my parents that are DC). I also have to sit by my cousin and her new husband which is awkward because I did not attend the wedding. My B/NPD mother has often made a point of telling me about how great her relationships with my cousins are (a covert tactic to compare my shortfall). My sibling is the exact opposite of me at this stage in life, which is upsetting in itself because growing up we were very close, but our paths diverged into literal opposites. I pretty much despise him now because he decided to become like our narc. parents as a means of fawning behavior towards them (one of the four trauma responses). The main issue with him is betrayal.

My CPTSD involves major problems with flight & freeze trauma responses. This has caused me endless problems with money & employment. I am dealing with that right now which I think is compounding the anxiety about seeing them all later today. If asked what I'm doing with my life, the answer will have to be very vague, to keep along with DC, and because I am still dealing with a lot of dissociation problems regarding the employment issue. My life has been at a standstill for 2 years, which makes me feel like a failure. And today I will no doubt have to hear about all the great things they're doing. Much of my freeze phase these past few years was a direct result of my malignant covert narc. father's abhorrent treatment (manipulation) of me while I lived with them after losing everything several years ago.

I am trying hard to move forward, but I seem to be caught in a difficult phase of recovery (the setting boundaries phase I guess, and recovering my self-esteem). I feel lost and nervous about the future in general, and I can't wait for this dinner tonight to be over with.

Anyway, just wanted to be here in solidarity with anyone in a similar situation (or anyone with CPTSD for that matter). Thanks for reading.

Hi, I came over to this "frustrated" part of the forum after seeing the note about the "difficult day" forum. I'm thinking what do we do when EVERY day is a difficult day? So I came over here and saw your post :)

I've also quit jobs before before finding new ones. There are times when I got so triggered at jobs that I actually walked off the job. Literally packed up my desk at the end of the work day without telling anyone, cleaned all my stuff out, and just never went back. That's how bad it's been for me. I've had issues keeping jobs and applying for jobs. My last one I held onto though until there was a big layoff, and I've been in a frozen state having difficulty getting a new one since then. I waste an enormous amount of time when I could be trying harder to get one. I'm only here today because I just don't know how to handle this issue anymore, and I'm really, really depressed about it too.

It sounds like you based your self-worth on your job performance (perfectionism), and depression I think is the flip side of anxiety, they go together usually. You sound like me in the Flight trauma defense that Pete Walker talks about in his book about the 4 F's. I am usually in Flight or Freeze due to my CPTSD from being in a 100-percent covert narcissistic family.

I think it's so great that you cleaned your house & revamped your resume. Maybe it would be easier to find a job that isn't so performance-based like a call center, like something that gives more room for imperfections, like working on phases of a project.

As for how to cope, I can say what I'm going to try to do today ... read my two books on hidden abuse and CPTSD, and try to find just one job that I can apply to by midnight tonight. My goal is to gradually apply for one more each day until I'm up to 10 each day. I'm hoping that's not too perfectionistic, but I'm trying to take action without it feeling like too much at once.

Anyway, I really just posted to say hang in there, you're not alone, there's people like us.

Friends / Re: Attracting more people
« on: August 06, 2018, 06:30:31 PM »
I'm asking the same question. I feel like it's too late for me. I've kind of given up at this point. I just feel like the damage has been done. I don't think I ever stood a chance of knowing how to relate to most people, being raised in a completely narcissistic home. I'm in the minority (meaning, the introverted one or just different one) in every social circle I've ever been in. I've had friends plenty of times before, but nothing ever lasts over the long term. Something always goes wrong, or I go through another phase of a changing identity so I'm not able to keep the same people in my life. I could go out there and try again, but this time I don't feel like putting myself out there. I've already been there, done that too many times to count. I just left a recovery group online because I felt rejected, like there was some bad vibe going on behind the scenes after one person was mean to me. Sometimes the paranoia about it is warranted, sometimes probably not. I don't know how to get past this or to have relationships with people in general anymore. I'm grateful for at least one friend in my life, but when you spend most of your time isolated outside of that because no marriage, no kids, no contact with narc. family ...  I'm just tired of trying and failing.

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Re: New and Struggling
« on: August 01, 2018, 04:52:34 PM »
hi foxbrown, I do hope you come back to this thread soon :) So much of what you wrote sounds so much like my situation! I can relate more than you can possibly imagine.

Be as gentle with yourself right now as possible. You have done a GREAT job at figuring this all out so far! Especially because it is so complex but you have great awareness. You are only in the beginning stages of awareness so it is going to feel hard right now and that's understandable.

It's really easy to get bogged down by how heavy & dark this type of abuse is. I was feeling down on myself today but I realized it helps if I think of anything positive that I have done or that has improved at all, no matter how little it seems.

It's good too if you can track where you're at in this process by writing in a journal. It helps make sense of everything that can otherwise feel very complex.

What is helping me get through all the weirdness is to identify ANY uncomfortable feelings as being an "Emotional Flashback" ... it helps to immediately stop me from emotionally going off the rails. This way everything I'm going through is tucked under this nice, neat little box called an EF and it wipes out a good portion of the confusion that I would otherwise have had in the past. It is one of the 4 trauma responses we are caught in, or a combination of them, that is causing our distressing feelings, either from acute abuse or the aftereffects. That's just my interpretation. That's what I'm telling myself. I feel bad today .. okay, I know what 'this' is though - it's an EF, and it's stuck in Freeze or Flight mode (or whichever).  I will get through this. Then today is a day to go easy on myself. Breathe through it. It will pass!

Hi Enya, that is indeed a very validating realization! And so true that from a child's standpoint everything can seem "normal" until we have adult perspective & realize it wasn't at all.

Photos are very telling. *TW* ... I remember a friend noticing a very old photo of me with my mom (who I have diagnosed as a borderline queen type PD) - when I was a toddler, my mom was embracing me in this photo while kissing the side of my face. I looked either confused or terrified. She was in her underwear. My friend thought the photo looked very disturbing .. and it made me realize that the emotional sexualization in my family that I thought was only from my narcissist father is actually also from my borderline mother. Without seeing that photo & getting a third-party to validate how weird it was, I may have never noticed this. So there's a lot there when narcissistic/PD abuse survivors have to deal with photos. They can be very triggering. I'm glad in your case you were able to discern such an insight about your situation.

Thanks Kizzie :)

Thanks SOS :) I'm glad I sound strong & empowered to you, because I don't feel that way. I'm in another one of my long, extended periods of needing constant rest & comfort. It's not a good place to be when I am still needing to get a job!

I know what you mean about the loneliness - that's really an issue for me too, because I got so used to having someone always around when I lived with them last year. Even though I spent much of the time hiding from them, just having their activity going on in the background made me feel a part of something. Now I am entirely alone except for occasional social outings, but as soon as I'm home alone, the isolation sets in and lasts a long, long time. I am disturbed by the fact that pretty  much everyone in my life is one variety or another of narcissists! How can I possibly recover when that's the case?

I have the same thing when I go out in public, the "get away from me" thing! I didn't know anyone else felt that. I internally overreact from any intrusion on my senses when around people. I also know what you mean about the apartment becoming a trigger. For me, I see the loads of boxes I have yet to unpack which I've been carting around for years every time I moved, and it reminds me of all the times I was lost, and also even when I was homeless 5 years ago when my narc. family refused to help me. I am surrounded by things that I'm not willing to touch or deal with right now. I try to organize a few things every now & then but I'm only able to deal with it in very small bits. It's no doubt from the C-PTSD.

The best thing I guess we can do is read the recovery books .. which reminds me I need to continue reading Hidden Abuse by Shannon Thomas (I made some progress with that) and also Pete Walker.

Thanks again Kizzie & Rowan!

To SOS: thank you for being here to share your similar experience! I am so sorry you're going through this NIGHTMARE too!
I just went through a week of paranoia (reality based!) thanks to this horrible family of mine.
YES - HOW DO I MOURN PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL HERE? It's like they are not the same people who raised me as a child. They have been replaced with demons or something. I feel like I'm in a perpetual state of mourning the loss of my entire family, on a daily basis, even though they are all still alive. Same here! I was forced to run back last year to them but that's why I'm still in this mess. The trauma bond is a hard thing to break because they make us dependent on them either emotionally or financially or whichever way. I'm sorry you don't have a safe person. But you can consider me one 'in spirit' since I know what this feels like!

It was reaching a fever pitch when I saw TWO PIs suddenly "appearing" this week .. I started to feel like I was in some type of scary movie or matrix but then I had to remind myself that this was ACTUAL, REAL LIFE due to NARCISSISTS that I am unfortunately related to. I have to tell you, I am still in a state of shock & disbelief that they are actually capable of doing this to me. I would give more details about it but don't feel comfortable to do so in a public forum.

I am quite sure that I also was potentially photographed by at least one of the people who looked like a PI, as he was holding a phone. I was imagining all the photos being sent to my sick-* Classic Malignant Narcissist "father" ... it was riling me up into an anxious frenzy, until a few days ago I got a very suspicious email from my Enabling Borderline-Narcissist (Queen-type) "mother" - she was obviously making a request of me to 'help her' with something as an excuse to try to prove my current location.

I came up with a really great way to counter her request by mentioning point blank that there is a PI following me! However, I went 'grey rock' covert with her just as they are both doing to me - and I did NOT directly accuse them of hiring the PI. I called their bluff and have not heard from them since! They proved their own guilt by going TOTALLY SILENT on me.

I have blocked their phone numbers on my phone. They cannot reach me except  by email. There are some reasons why I still need LC with them, but aside from that I refuse to let them contact me by phone. They lost the privilege after abusing my phone number like this!!!! It is a very lonely place to be related to people willing to actually hire professional stalkers.

I was hoping to move forward & feel empowered again with them out of town but they already eclipsed that for an entire week, and now I am having emotional flashbacks! I have broken down in tears probably 3 times already including today. Right now I'm going back to bed because my soul just needs rest.

Hi Kizzie, thank you so much for your encouraging reply. I needed the validation :) One of those things people outside of the PD sphere could not understand. It's not every day that people just casually say "oh yeah, by the way, don't freak out if you see a PI's van following you around, it's just my narc dad sending his flying monkeys doing his funny business again!" LOL

But seriously, yes, getting an income again will definitely go a long way to shielding myself from their insanity! You are so right too about giving them an inch .. we can't even give a millimeter to them or all * will break loose. Thanks :)

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Re: Wasted
« on: July 10, 2018, 03:16:45 PM »
Debora, I'm sorry you're in so much pain.  I think a lot of us with trauma from dealing with PDs have felt without love because PDs are incapable of knowing what real love is (and I'm not talking just romantic love but love in general). I was just thinking about this topic a little while ago too & then I saw your post. I was thinking how my narcissist family is incapable of loving me because they don't know what actual love is, all they know is manipulation, power & control. So I have to remind myself that when they're being 'nice' it is just an act, they don't really love me even if they think they do. Love doesn't cause us to feel anxious & afraid. Anyway .. you matter to us here in this community, so it's official that you have much worth :)

My father has hired a private investigator on me again now that he's out of town to see what I'm up to, and it is really pissing me off. The flying monkey golden child sibling started contacting me too, of course to coincide with that. These people really must think I'm dumb to actually believe I don't know what they're up to!

The more I try to reduce contact and keep my insane family out of my life & home, the more they go undercover & pull stunts like this.

I am already anxious because I have a job interview today. I really did NOT need more stress on top of the misery that is my life already!

I just got a strange voicemail from someone claiming I called them when I did not. It is likely a plant from the PI. My golden child sibling has colluded in the past with my NF to track my phone, and suddenly last night I got an email from him trying to bait me & several emails from NF trying to make himself look innocent & sociable with me, even though we've barely said anything to each other for months.

The only reason I am still low-contact (instead of no-contact) is because I am still financially entangled with them due to me losing everything last year. My NF is a wealthy financial manipulator. I am really caught and my only hope to be free from these people & their nonsense is for me to get a job. I am praying I get this job but feeling panicky right now and I don't want to deal with this.

I hate my life being related to an entire family of narcissists! My father is a classic malignant, my mother is a borderline queen type, and my brother is the golden child now turned narcissist clone of them both. I am the scapegoat of course.

How am I supposed to RECOVER when things like this happen? Tell me please how I'm supposed to NOT be triggered by this? I am already trying to cope with the intermittent emotional flashbacks after my time living with them. I really don't need this.  :fallingbricks:

ETA: I just noticed that I feel like a scared little child right now. I am trying to process this but I can't. I can't believe my own family behaves this way. It's like mourning a death over & over & over again to know that I don't have a 'real' family. I have a family that makes me feel afraid!

Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Re: Something is wrong
« on: July 09, 2018, 09:12:32 PM »
Avoidance is a huge part of cPTSD. And it can be quite painful to work through and do the opposite

Yes, it is very painful. I finally got out of freeze mode yesterday after praying the night before. I started cleaning my apartment and almost couldn't stop, which then kind of moved me into where I'm at now which is flight mode (panicky, worrying, yet driven).

I've been reading my Hidden Abuse book which is helping me a lot though.

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