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Messages - Bermuda

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General Discussion / Re: Child Abuse Across the Globe
« on: March 01, 2023, 09:10:16 PM »
I agree with Scrat and also want to add that although the convention may define child abuse in one way it is legally defined very differently in most places.

I am so grateful to be living in the first country in the world to have banned physical punishment of children.

Very very little of what I went through was legally abuse. There was no help for me.

Social situations when I am feeling not in control/controlled/dominated/or trapped.

I severely limit my exposure to news or social media, I developed an app to block me from seeing YT comments with certain words or phrases because I’m triggered by argumentation in general.

Anything startling.

It depends. I haven’t had a panic attack in ages. I usually go numb in my hands and feet, get tunnel vision and become unresponsive and I can only focus on breathing. Sometimes there is an actual memory that is triggered and that usually comes later after the emotion. I can’t continue as normal.

As for helping, time. Limiting expectations. Acceptance. Allowing myself to grieve. Posting anonymously to OOTS. When I used to have panic attacks a had a friend who suggested clenching ice cubes and it really did help oddly enough.

Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: March 01, 2023, 06:58:12 AM »
When I reflect on this time I don't reflect on the bullying in the way others might. What I felt was an overwhelming feeling of monotony. Every single day. I would wake up early alone to do my chores, I would be harassed by my brothers. I would leave for school where I would be attacked on my way to school. I would sit in class where I would be made to feel stupid and unprepared. I would skip lunch every second day because I had to save up to earn my lunch. I would be attacked on the schoolyard if I didn't stay in class instead. I would be hit while waiting to leave. I would rush back to avoid giving children the chance to group up. I would come inside to an angry mother, do my chores, to be told I did them wrong and do them again, be disciplined for not doing well enough in school, my brothers who would beat me and torture me. I would go to bed at night sad, lonely, trapped. I would have to get up and do the same thing every single day.

I think about my reactions to the bullying more than the bullying itself. For example I think often about having my head put through a window... but every day the same children would grab me by my hair and hit my head repeatedly against a window. I learned that if I stiffened my neck and tried to avoid it, it would pull my hair more and make the force when my neck gave out so much stronger. So, a limp neck was the best technique. I had my head put through a window, and what I remember is learning to be limp and laughter.

There were adults, but in a way I think they were also powerless against it and outnumbered. I never blamed them, except when they actively participated or added insult to injury. Maybe I never expected adults to intervene. Why would I? I never knew that was a reasonable expectation. I never told anyone. I told my mother that once. Just that once. I remember feeling that was a nice interaction. She was giving me her nice side. I trusted that.

Yes, as a mother myself I would absolutely teach my children differently. I am passive and non-violent, but I am empowered differently.

In my past posts I haven't really reflected on myself in these moments, and I want to really practice that going forward. I don't remember my head hurting as it went through the safety glass. I don't remember shock. I don't think I cried. I don't think I did anything. Maybe I realised that it was over then. Maybe I got up and switched seats as if nothing happened. The hair pulling always hurt, but not stiffening my neck solved that, because then they weren't actually pulling. It was a choice I was making. It's always felt the same. Me going along with it takes their power away, because they weren't forcing me.

I realise that this is a coping mechanism and that I was powerless to stop it, but that is how it was... Always. It was relentless , repetitive, and predictable. This was when I started going to sleep at night imagining a different day in my head every night. A different life. I created a story I would build on day by day, one in which I was someone loveable.

Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: February 28, 2023, 08:33:10 PM »
A memory, a vague mention of bullying, possible trigger.

I was reading over some journaling prompts Kizzie posted, and although I don’t know how to answer most of them one jumped out to me. (Hah! A pun and foreshadowing, two points for me!)

3) When I was sad, my mother would

The memory: I was bullied in school. Jumped, beaten, I was often lured, set up. After a particularly violent encounter and coming home crying I remember my mother calling me to her room where she was laying in bed. She motioned me to sit. I did. She asked me to tell her what had happened, and I did. She told me with a judgmental look that if I didn’t give them a reason to beat me than they wouldn’t. She told me that if I didn’t fight back that eventually they’d give up and find someone else, then she told me to draw her a bath and make her a cup of coffee.

So, according to my mother if I hadn’t given her a reason to bully me than she would never have been my worst bully. I never fought back, and she still hasn’t given up.

As far as the kids, they beat me while screaming slurs about my light complexion. No amount of sunlight could have changed that. As far as not reacting, I never had. I eventually earned quite the reputation for not feeling pain and kids from all over the school would come up and punch me. Some even sheepishly asked to, to find out if it was true that I don’t cry or even flinch. I said yes and instructed them to punch me in the back because I had no boundaries and knew that it wouldn’t hurt at all to have a child relatively my age punch me as hard as they could in my back. How did I know that? Experience.

Anger. I think it makes me feel angry. My mother always exploited me, exploited my vulnerability. I believed her. I truly believed that I was to blame for the horrible things that people did to me.

Recovery Journals / Re: Kizzie's Journal
« on: February 28, 2023, 08:03:23 PM »
Kizzie, I always want to say something but can never find the right words. I find this so difficult.

I relate to your feelings both of the relief you described and also of wanting to be compassionate. I canít imagine what I would doÖ Your health and well-being are literally everything. That neednít be downplayed.

Symptoms - Other / Re: Extreme self-doubt
« on: February 28, 2023, 06:29:28 PM »
I don’t believe there is such thing as too much information. I am open to all of the possible insight there is, even the things that seemingly don’t fit like, “Trauma survivors lack self-awareness” because maybe things that don’t click now may click in the future. It’s a whole lifetime of tangled necklaces to unravel.

Dissociation, derealisation and depersonalisation are very familiar to me. I always thought of those times as isolated occurrences and nothing that effected my overall relationship to myself. I am beginning to think that it’s not momentary and rather that those of us who are prone to coping in this way may already be somehow detached to our nervous systems and predispositioned to depersonalisation as a coping mechanism. This is just a theory, but maybe my brain formed in such a way without healthy attachment, I didn’t learn to self-regulate, and thus as I experienced subsequent moments of intense trauma I was already primed for this reaction.

So now, years later I am sitting here wondering how I feel and am just beginning to see that I have had a whole lifetime of derealisation, and rather momentary extreme dissociative episodes.

CPTSD is super.*

I have read some newer research on recalling traumatic memories from third person perspective which is also fascinating, and loosely relevant.

I wasn’t actually looking down at the room from the ceiling, which begs the questions… Where was I actually in the room? What was MY experience or involvement? What was I feeling? Was I in pain?

…Questions that are both relevant in and outside of traumatic situations.

*Denotes sarcasm

Symptoms - Other / Re: Extreme self-doubt
« on: February 28, 2023, 06:47:25 AM »
Itís so strange to read this over again and really let it sink in that as I reflect on myself, my ability to self-regulate, my self-awareness, all of that, I relate it outwardly. I relate to myself as an outsider could interpret me. Is that not the strangest revelation?  :disappear:

I did spend most of my life perfecting invisibility, and I still do to a lesser extent. I think often of the struggle Iíve had to learn to exist in the world, but never actually from an inside perspective. The real struggle is learning to simply be and not to do.

Symptoms - Other / Re: Extreme self-doubt
« on: February 27, 2023, 08:13:44 PM »
Wow, so much to reply to. It makes me feel cared about and listened to, understood. That might sound silly, but yeah.

Armee, Rainydiary, thank you.

"But I think those feelings matter just as much. If I were accidentally triggering somebody, I would want to know so I could approach them differently, even if my approach wasn't necessarily "wrong" before."

You are absolutely right. I would also want to know. It is hard to explain to people that you are not blaming them, and that it isn't their fault. In a way it would feel like then I am saying that it is my fault that I feel... Which it isn't either. I know what you mean that it is easier in theory than in practice. In any case, you are right. Those feelings are valid no matter their origin, or even if I can cannot place an origin.

NarcKiddo: I don't feel that I am in a place that I can even evaluate myself. I think your idea about journaling is really good. I think if I approached it like tracking my menstrual cycle with just simple short facts that I could see patterns over time. Then I could look at how I feel as it is relative to how I felt yesterday for example. It seems a lot more concrete. Such a strange thing to say, I know. I have to gain perspective on my own state of being.

Kizzie: I really like your wording, and it makes perfect sense to me. I am not self-referenced, just as I am not emotionally self-reliant either. It's hard when people see CPTSD as being self-indulgent or self-absorbed when it is so so so not that at all, and in a way trying to not be that stereotype has exasterated this machine of destruction of self. Your use of the word self-aware is really interesting to me. I have read a lot about trauma survivors and their lack of self-awareness and always thought that didn't apply to me. I thought that because I have only ever heard that term in the sense of being aware of your own flaws, behaviour, reactions and such, which I am hyper aware of. I am extremely self-critical... But what I failed to realise until now is that my self-critic is so strong that it impedes my normal ability to have self-awareness in the way others do. Kind of a huzzah moment for me. WIth all the awareness that my brain is constantly aware of, I do infact lack self-awareness. I want to laugh and cry.

I don't know if I am cold because I don't know if it's okay to be cold, or if that's even an option. I look to others to feel.

Often with CPTSD I get reminded of this quote about watching life through a microscope and completely missing the big picture going on around you. There's a song by Ben Folds called Still Reprise, if anyone is interested in mediocre music that has relateable lyrics.

Symptoms - Other / Extreme self-doubt
« on: February 26, 2023, 08:19:52 PM »
I don’t know where to put this, or even what “this” is. I have mentioned it briefly before, so I guess I am looking to put a name to it, so I can address it properly.

How do I know if something is real? How do I know if I am feeling physical pain? How do I know if someone is making me feel sad in the present or if it’s just me, like a ghost feeling? Can people make me feel sad, or not because no one is responsible for my feelings but me? I would never be able to answer the question, “What is your pain on a level from 1-10?” I mean, it would always be a one. I have a great imagination.

When I feel sad I go through these thoughts where I question if I am really sad because someone is mistreating me and question if I should be sad, or if I am relating that feeling to something I’ve felt before. Like a mild trigger. I don’t want to be taken advantage of, but maybe it’s me and there is no actual problem. If there is no problem than I should not mention my feelings, because they’re not real.

I never hear about people who haven’t experienced trauma talking about having such a severe level of “self doubt”. Although, in my opinion it goes so much further than mere self doubt.

I am also very impressionable. There have been times I was very very ill, but a doctor said I was fine, so I dropped it. I just stopped talking about it as if it would go away, until the problem resolved and I realised it had indeed been a problem. This sort of thing has happened more times than once. If someone tells me I am remembering something wrong, I am inclined to believe them, even if I was pretty sure they were lying. I’m probably wrong.

I cannot answer the question “How are you?” honestly. If I am sitting in a room with people who all say they are hot than I am probably not actually cold, etc.

Anyway, is there a name to this symptom?

Announcements / Re: Looking for Personal Stories and Blog Articles
« on: February 26, 2023, 07:57:44 PM »
Kizzie, I have always wanted to write my story… Although, what a maze it may be.

If my work load is not so wild this week maybe I could write something somewhat coherent.

I am having a difficult time with words lately. I wanted to let you know that I read your post. What you wrote must have been extremely difficult for you to live through. You werenít the problem.

Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: February 12, 2023, 12:53:19 PM »
Thank you Armee. Really. It might seem obvious in retrospect, but I have never thought of it that way. So much of my journey is about accepting that it was not me. I don’t blame myself in the same way I once did, but I still haven’t put the blame where it belongs either.

I may have written this memory before so I’ll keep it short. I remember my mother once switching faces suddenly in conversation saying very hatefully, “Who said I ever loved him?” to me referring to my father. That really shocked me as a 13 or so year old. I thought she was just being intentionally hurtful… The cold expression on her face is just burned into my mind.

You know, she may not have been exaggerating at all. Maybe she never loved him, nor anyone else. She was different. She is different. She hates everyone who cannot benefit her, and those who benefit her she thinks nothing of. Love or even just caring was never on the table.

Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: February 11, 2023, 08:24:03 PM »
Thank you all for replying.

I just go back to the same thoughts. She hated me for all the behaviours she created in me. Those behavioural patterns have become me, not just my cPTSD, but an integral part of my identity and in the ways I interact with my environment. As much as I heal, and I am clearly healing, I have this voice that reminds me of where I originated. I am the product of her careless design. I am silent. I am withholding. I am just learning to feel outward anger for the first time in my life. It's not that I was bottling things up. There was nothing to bottle up. I was nothing. I was sad and hurt. I internalised everything around me. I tried to create a me that lacked fault in that I still have no sense of self-identity. All I have is her undoing of what would have been Bermuda. I wish I had gotten the opportunity to meet Bermuda.

CrackedIce, you are absolutely spot on. It is shocking to me that people don't see these behaviours for what they are. People take things at such face value, whereas I always see the underlying intent or motive. It drives me insane. It makes normal social interactions extremely difficult because I often get frustrated that others can't read a conversation in the way that I do and may come to conclusions that I find extremely odd as if we were in completely different conversations. I am also poor at understanding non-literally meaning to words or commands. I'm the one on another planet. My husband (then boyfriend) has a friend since childhood, and I remember meeting him for the first time in a group of his other friends and telling my husband that this friend is a bit... different... and I didn't really want to hang out with him. My husband started questioning me as if this friend had said something rude or treated me badly. He hadn't. He just talked about himself differently than the others had and had non-mirroring body language, like sat up, posed. Fast forward a few years, and all the friends were catching up over a Skype call, now adults, and I heard that friend say that he wanted everyone to know he had been diagnosed with NPD, and that he was going to therapy for it with his girlfriend. Everyone sounded shocked. (Me walking around the background, not shocked at all, maybe surprised he willingly shared that and was seeking help. Good on him.)

Imagine your new girlfriend saying she doesn't want to hang out with your childhood friend because he sits weird.

Personality Disorder (Perpetrator) / Re: Five Kinds of Parental Narcissism
« on: February 06, 2023, 01:51:33 PM »
I have been quietly following along with this thread. It's really wild that changes I have seen in my adult life. I feel like I'm being constantly confronted with situations like mine where people are now either listening to the victims, really listening, or offering support and even justice. I mean to victims who were victimised 20 years ago. I am so grateful to Kizzie for talking for those of us who find it extremely difficult. I wish I could just hide in the background of those calls. Whenever things are feeling really bad I hear another story of someone in a similar situation than I was in and it being addressed majorly differently it makes me feel validated and heard, even though I never spoke. Misogyny is horrible, but it's changing too. It will change. I have hope. You all give me hope.

Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: February 05, 2023, 05:01:41 PM »
I regularly go incognito to check up on my past life. It helps me to feel safe and it validates my memories and experiences. Unless I discover something concerning safety-wise I don’t tell anyone about it. I really wish I had someone to talk to about these things.

Today I learned where they are currently located and that makes me feel a lot safer. About a year ago my mother had been posting some things about being disowned and saying she was homeless. She had even started a crowdfunding campaign to earn money to relocate. Of course she also used the platform to phish. Now, my mother is not a trustworthy source of information so I have to extrapolate what might actually be true out of these things. What I saw today confirmed my suspicion that it was all likely a lie. I read some product reviews she had written 24h ago, and easily located her. In any case, she is narcissistic and dangerous.

She always posts memes directed toward me, knowing that I will see even though I am completely removed for 18 years from everyone and even geographically so. No one knows where I am. It’s such strange behaviour. She has accounts on various websites dedicated to me. Some to finding her long lost daughter, and others with creepy messages to me that have nothing to do with reality. It feels disgusting. At one point she actually lied about finding me and chatting with me and hoping to meet her grandchildren. I didn’t even have children.

Her current message profile meme: “She left you because you didn’t make her feel she was worth it.”

Something about that feels so deeply disturbing. I think it’s her trying to garner sympathy again, but as always so twisted.

Worth what? Worth the pain YOU went through? Her words to me were, “Get the f out of my house, and when you leave I never want to see your face again!” Worth what? The pain that me secretly making and hiding money from you to try to escape put you through? Or is this meant for me only to read it the other way around. She kicked me out because I didn't make HER feel worth it? It wouldn't surprise me if that's intentional.

I have no one to tell these things to. I brush them off and keep going, but the truth is she is still out there and she is using me to get sympathy, information and money from people to benefit herself without any consideration for me.

I always thought she was purely hateful, but in this I am just nothing. I am the unfortunate tool to get what she wants out of life. Respect. Validation. Admiration. Trust. Security.

It’s the same things I want. Maybe the same things everyone wants… but I try to do well, to be honest to a fault, to be kind, to be compassionate and understanding. She just tries to win at all costs. That scares me. I hate to watch her take advantage strangers.

Many many many years ago I did try to anonymously stop it. The campaign that is. But I can’t.

Now I just watch to make sure that I at least know if I am in danger.

Unrelated, I have been reading all the new welcome posts but have been finding it difficult to reply. I want others to know that if it says someone read it was likely me. I’m sorry. You are heard.

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