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Messages - bikesandplants

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Yes, I have a difficult time with this too and experience a similar dynamic with my partner.

I sometimes find word lists helpful as I am a really language based person.  Some of the lists on this site https://www.cnvc.org/training/resource/book-chapter-1 are helpful to me.  I like that this one lists feelings as well as needs.  Sometimes I like feelings wheels like this one https://cdn.gottman.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/The-Gottman-Institute_The-Feeling-Wheel.pdf.  A challenge I do face is that even with these word lists, I tend to gravitate toward the same words over and over.  I donít always feel satisfied with the vocabulary and have found it helpful to consider if my feelings are too big, too small (which I donít usually realize) or distorted (because I am perhaps having an emotional flashback).

Thus, it has also helped me to use this site https://philome.la/jace_harr/you-feel-like-*-an-interactive-self-care-guide/play/index.html.  Honestly sometimes I feel like I go through the motions of answering the questions on this site and Iím not sure it always helps.  But what this site as well as doing yoga helped me learn a process I try to go through.  The first step for me has been to actually listen to myself.  For most of my life I have put the needs of others first and denied my own wants and needs to please others.  I am finding my way with this but it is still difficult and has been a very long journey.  Yoga has especially helped me because my body moves the way it does and I can express my own version of a pose or do something different because in that moment thatís what I need or want. 

The podcast Small Things Often has also been helpful to me.  It is a short podcast that gives relationship tips and often briefly describes things I am trying to do and learn.

I have had to really focus on actually listening to myself and then acting on it.  Right now I find this easier to do if I am by myself.  Sometimes through reading, writing, or experiences I have started to notice I have a feeling in my body.  I might then look at one of those lists or I might recognize ďI am having a big feelingĒ (instead of being specific, I realize that I am going to need to work to regulate myself).  This summer yoga or writing in a journal have helped me and I often find myself crying afterwards to heal some past time where I wasnít successful in being heard or wasnít able to process my feelings. 

I still have a harder time doing this with other people.  With practice it is starting to feel easier with my partner.  I started ďsmallĒ and now say (for example) what I want for dinner instead of just going along with what he wants.  Itís opened up more dialogue than we usually have had and has helped me say other truths that I might have kept to myself in the in the past.  I had to work really hard to stop trying to please him all of the time and focus on myself.  This is still a work in progress and I think we get caught up in unhealthy dynamics he also learned growing up, but honestly I have found that by actually listening and trying to identify my needs and then acting in them, it has taken a lot of pressure off of him and thus we have more ease in our conversations. 

I hope what I wrote makes sense or gives some starting points.

Hey, thanks a lot for sharing that. I've developed similar tools (I have a print out feelings wheel and often take a look at NVC lists of needs and feelings). It made a lot of sense to me what you said about needing to find ways to connect to how you are feeling inside and how that's easier when you're alone. I'm glad to read that it's been easier for you and that you've seen a shift in being able to name your needs. I also have a tendency to want to please the people around me and say yes to things without really connecting to how I'm feeling about them. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post and I'll definetely check out that podcast and website you mentionned. :)

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Hi :)

I'm wondering if anyone here has had a similar experience and would have any advice to share.

I really struggle with naming wants and needs. I let things build up a lot before realizing I have a need, and by that time what was a small need gets blown up into proportion and I have these emotional explosions of needs. My partner on the other hand is really good at knowing how they're feeling on the spot and communicating needs and boundaries clearly.

This dynamic has affected the relationship in different ways. My partner has a hard time trusting me right now with what I say because of realizing later on that I had a need or that something didn't feel good to me even though I said it was fine. I also have a hard time feeling good in the relationship for long periods because it's hard for me to feel like I have agency and to participate in creating the relationship I want.

Anyone has advice on rebuilding trust in these circumstances? Or tricks to name needs and wants when it's something that feels really difficult?

Thanks!

Sab

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That's awesome that you've been doing well and feel excited and enthusiastic about your big move, though I can imagine you might also feel scared in front of the unknown like that.

I haven't really moved far away or had any similar experiences. The big moves I've done that felt edgy (like I was out of my comfort zone) have always been pretty positive for me. Not in the way that everything was perfect and easy but more in a way that I got to know myself better, deepen and straignten and learn a lot.

One thing I'd like to say is that you are not stuck there. And if ever your needs are not met in that new situation, or that you are finding being far from your friends difficult, it is really okay to change your mind. I don't know if this is helpful to you, but when I do big moves or put myself in situations where I feel vulnerable, it helps me to know that I am not stuck, that I can change my mind, try different things, that I have control on my life.

The other thing I was going to suggest is maybe creating a web of support for you during that transition time. For exemple, asking friends to be available on the phone or by e-mail, planning in advance to skype with people, making a list of the ressources you have - sort of putting stuff in place so that your support network can hold you during that transition.

Super glad to read that you've changed your name to one that feels more like you! And as a queer human too, I hope your queer self can feel safe wherever you will be creating a new home. Don't hesitate to reach out to the community if you need to!

Take care  :wave:

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Hi! I can totally relate to this.  I actually  spent a year working with kids in a treatment center which brought up a lot of stuff as I built relationships with the kids I was working with.  Just watching kids being kids is hard for me and brings up a lot of emotions.  Mostly I feel glad that most of the kids I am around have more opportunities than I did.  Kids are mirrors you get to see them make the same mistakes and discoveries you made at the same age.  It can even remind you of some things you've forgotten or haven't processed through yet.  Just try to take it as it comes and do your best not to let it effect the kid.

It's important to know your limit.  Kids are exhausting and battling with triggers even more so.  Don't feel bad if you need to take a break from him from time to time.  Explain it to your partner and maybe even the kid in an age appropriate way.  Such as you feel tired and need some time for yourself to recharge when you feel overwhelmed.  Just like with any relationship establish healthy boundaries and don't feel guilty about it.  If you need some time take it for yourself.

Hey! Thanks for your response. It felt validating to know that others too struggle around kids and have stuff coming up while building relationships with kids.  Thanks for your advice.

--

I'm finding it hard to find a balance between engaging (because I do care and love him a lot and want to build a relationship with him) and taking time for myself. Lately it has felt more like I've been disengaged and not as present as I would like. I don't know if it's fear, or just that I need this time to work through some stuff to better show up like I want. I'm feeling pretty exchausted by the first year of living with them and constantly handling trauma stuff, but also feel really sad of feeling disconnected from their lives most of the time...

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Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to reply and share about your experiences (and sorry I couldn't answer earlier).

Thanks @Kizzie for the ressources. I will definitely check them out. Though I don't really have a parental rŰle in the kid's life, our relationship is really important to me and how my own stuff affects him too.

@Blueberry : The sinking feeling you described resembles how it feels to me too sometimes. I'm glad to read that it doesn't happen a lot to you anymore. It makes me hopeful that my trauma will move through my body and transform and that the depression and anxiety won't be as present.

I empathize a lot with you @buddy9832. It sounds really hard to have those fears of perpetuating the trauma you've lived. I think that is a fear many people with trauma face. I found it to be one of the most distressing fears and it can bring up a lot of shame. Hope you're able to be gentle with yourself through all of that.

Thanks for sharing @Three Roses.

 :grouphug:





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Hi,

Has anyone here had the experience of being triggered in their relationship with their kids or other people's kids?

Since I've moved in with my partner and their kid, I've had a lot to unpack when it comes to my trauma from childhood. As things are settling in that relationship (I rarely get triggered anymore), I've noticed a lot coming up as I am developing a relationship with their kid. My anxious/avoidant tendencies show up and I am struggling with feeling connected, present, engaged and invested in my relationship with him and am unable to create the relationship I would really want with him as a result. I also get bouts of panic, shame and feelings of unworthyness.

The disconnect I feel from their lives makes me feel like I did when I was younger and felt unwanted in my own family and was spending a lot of time alone in my room when I needed connection.

I'm curious if anyone has been in a similar situation and if so would be happy to receive advice or to read about others experiences. :)

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Introductory Post / Hi :)
« on: May 21, 2020, 06:01:39 PM »
Hi humans :)

I realized I had C-PTSD about a year ago as I was working through some issues with my partner in my first serious relationship. They shared about their own childhood trauma and that is how I learned about C-PTSD. My trauma comes from my childhood and is the result of the lack of presence, empathy and care I was given growing up by my primary care giver and the threat of abandonment that was used as a discipline method when I was a young teenager. 

I was in therapy for years with a trauma-informed therapist who specializes in somatics. I feel very grateful for that experience. It has really helped with managing my anxiety and identifying and feeling my feelings. At that time, I was dysregulated most of the time because I kept retraumatizing myself through the decisions I was taking (guided by my trauma) and the issues that were showing up in my relationships.

Iíve done a lot of healing since, with the help of different tools (therapy, tarot, meditation, online support, personal projects, etc.) and through my relationships (mostly with my romantic partner), and have gained a lot of self-awareness and can better self-regulate. I am sooo different than just a year ago.

Where I am at in my process is building community for myself. I finally feel like I can show up as my whole self with people, honour my boundaries and be accountable for my actions. Iíve lost people through my transformation and often feel alone as I am seeking more nourishing connections. That is mostly what brings me here; Iím curious about other peopleís recovery journey and how they have built community for themselves and to maybe find a bit of that here. :)

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