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Topics - sanmagic7

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Inner Child Work / delayed realizations - any opinions?
« on: September 28, 2016, 08:30:18 PM »
5 days ago i posted about a trigger for my inner child.  i'm not attempting to bring up anything that has already happened and/or been discussed, but i want to delve into the concept of my inner child further for my own knowledge and understanding.

it wasn't until this morning that i realized exactly why my inner child got triggered that day.  i've been thinking about all this for nearly a week, and it wasn't until today that i finally understood it.  during everything that went on, i found myself doing what i've done for years and years - being stuck, unable to understand or explain exactly why i felt the way i did.  i knew something didn't feel right for me, but i couldn't quite articulate what it was in any coherent fashion, couldn't pinpoint why i was bothered.

hence, i let out bits and pieces as we went along, but i still knew something wasn't quite hitting my inner child's consciousness.  i became extremely uncomfortable along the way, and was greatly relieved when it was ended.  still, the wheels kept churning in my mind.

like i said, it was finally this morning that it all came together for me, and i could consciously understand what went on with me.  this 'fault' of mine, this time lag to understanding, has been with me a long time.  many times during conversations i 'know' or 'feel' something, but, since i can't always explain it at the time, the issue feels unresolved for me.  the conversation continues, but i'm already lost.  it isn't until anywhere from hours to days later that i'm able to put together a cohesive thought and understanding about what i had wanted to explain.  by that time anyone else has already moved on, and i feel not understood once more and frustrated.

i'm wondering if this is a c-ptsd thing?  a brain processing thing?  could it be from fear of speaking my voice?  the idea that a child's comprehension can't keep up with an adult conversation?  something else that i'm not familiar with?  i've had the same problem with emotions, especially anger (altho that's finally getting better), where it isn't until days later that i realize how i really felt about something ( it used to take years - and sometimes that's still the case!).  i know the anger thing was because it wasn't allowed, and i'd repressed all anger for most of my life.

this inner child phenomenon is new for me, its recognition and its meaning.  the time lag to understanding really bothers me - it seemed that everyone else had a handle on what exactly was going on, how they felt about it, and i was both amazed and feeling lost at the same time, even while continuing to post as if i knew what i was doing.  i didn't.  i just knew something had happened re: my inner child, but i couldn't really explain it.  this is continuing to bother me, tho, which is why i decided to write.  i'm hoping someone can shed some light on this for me.  thanks. 

Inner Child Work / i goofed and i'm sorry
« on: September 24, 2016, 08:00:13 PM »
it was brought to my attention that i was remiss in using crass words with *** in them.  first, i want to apologize.  i'd seen this used in many posts and thought it was acceptable.  i'm really sorry if i offended anyone or caused anyone pain.  neither was ever my intention.

second, after i read the message i received, my little me wanted to hang her head in shame, feel completely unredeemable, cry, and go hide somewhere until she believed she had felt guilty long enough and badly enough.  what i did, what i've been reading others are doing, was began talking to her from my adult me.  i told her she made a mistake, that's all, that she needed to apologize for her mistake in case she had caused any hurt, and that she was still ok as a person.  i gave her a big hug (used a pillow), and knew i also needed to write about it.  and that's what i'm doing.

that little me was so sensitive to displeasing my dad, she would ache about it for days until there would be some sign from him that everything was again ok.  i want to do for her now what wasn't available to her then.  this, altho it's been discussed a lot, is a relatively new concept for my consciousness to wrap itself around.  i feel like i'm learning something brand new here, not only mentally, but emotionally as well.

so, even though progress is slow at times, it keeps coming at me, when i least expect it.  this was a bonus for me - i don't know that i would've 'gotten' this realization without this happening.  thank you to this forum, the moderators, and everyone here who has enabled me to continue to grow and heal.  and, again, i'm very sorry if my words disturbed anyone - it won't happen again.

General Discussion / musings
« on: September 22, 2016, 10:07:36 PM »
am stepping my toe back in after being completely overwhelmed.  too many emotional things were going on at the same time, from 9/11, to the undeniable knowledge of the truth of the u.s. political and world situation,  to my hub's upcoming retinal surgery next week, to my nc narc daughter's birthday tomorrow.  i got lost.

the time away proved helpful in re-defining who i am, who i want to be, as well as what i need to embrace for my life and what i need to eliminate.   my best friend, my husband, and i have all been very politically aware, and i've learned too many things now that i can't cope with on a day-to-day basis anymore.  i had to tell both of them that i would no longer talk about what's happening in the world for the sake of my own health and well-being.  my friend took it quite hard, as she's all alone, and relied on me to be able to explore these things with her.  i hate to disappoint her like this, but it has become too much for me now.

when 9/11 happened, i was newly here in mexico after running away from home, so to speak.  (actually, running for my life).  i have never felt so alone in my life.  i later learned that the borders were closed, and i couldn't have gotten back if i wanted to.  i didn't have the means to return, anyway, but i remember feeling that all i wanted to do was embrace my daughters to protect them from the horrors of the world.  now i realize that i hope they never bring children into this world because it's already too far gone.

because of being so sick, i won't be able to physically be there with my husband when he undergoes his surgery.  it's more than 100 mi. away, it's still too hot, i'm still too sick, and he told me he'd feel better knowing that i was at home with my routine than in another city without transportation or having to stay with his sister, who will be driving him home/here when he's released.  there are too many variables, and the stress of it would be too much for me.  hating to admit it, he's right.  something else i have to accept about who i am right now.

and, my beautiful daughter's birthday tomorrow brings nothing but sadness to my heart.  this will be the second time in her life i won't be wishing her a happy birthday.  i've experienced both the best of her and the worst of her, and the worst has overtaken anything positive that might have been. happy birthday, sweetheart.  *sobbing*.

i am a flower child who belongs in simpler times, and that is part of the reason i have so much difficulty coping with what i now know.  i am an earth mother who wants to cuddle everyone in pain together against my voluminous skirts.   i am complex yet singularly  low-tech.  i want to run, but i know i must stay.  there is still work to do.  thank you for allowing me to be me.

Checking Out / too negative
« on: September 19, 2016, 12:33:26 AM »
i'm in such a bad place right now, i feel like i'm just whining and i don't want to dash anyone else's hopes.   i'll be back when i feel better.  i'm just overloaded right now.  love you all.

Frustrated? Set Backs? / sick of being sick
« on: September 15, 2016, 08:29:48 PM »
i've gone to a down place in the past few days.  lots of sadness, lots of anger.  i have been rendered fundamentally ill by this crap and it's keeping me from doing what i want to do, causing me to fear doing what i've done in the past without hesitation.  i've been crying as well as pounding my bed, both emotions which, while good to get out of me, are stressful to the point that i begin to feel sick.

i'm better than i was 10 yrs. ago, and of that i'm glad.   i can usually do the weekly shopping now, which was extremely iffy in the past.  at one point i was diagnosed with bpd with major depression and would hallucinate from time to time, so all kinds of meds went along with that.  i've managed to get off those, use vitamin therapy instead, which has helped keep the depression at bay (altho i worked my butt off to get rid of it in the first place).  i was also on allergy meds for about 5 yrs. which helped keep my body's tendency to produce inflammation at the slightest sign of stress under better control (for several years, i was being treated for chronic throat infections, but it seems that the docs would look there, see all the inflammation, and put me on antibiotics.  half of them don't work on me anymore.   or, pain in various joints sent me running to the doc - more inflammation - with weird results.  once my kneecap suddenly became inflamed, seemed to be floating, i couldn't walk, went for x-rays, and within a half hour, everything was fine.  i didn't realize that i'd been taking nsaids for the past 40 yrs. to make me feel better when i began feeling 'sick', and it was because of their anti-inflammatory agents that they did the trick.   my system's inflammatory response has been out of whack for so many years, i don't know that it will ever be normal again.  during stressful times, i feel like i'm getting the flu, but there is nothing wrong with me, per se.  it's just excess inflammation in my sinuses, throat, throughout my body.  i call it feeling 'stress sick'.  i know exactly what it is, and i hate it.  i've been to docs most of my life asking about this, nothing.

i also believe my adrenal glands have been exhausted from living with 'fight or flight' responses all those years with my daughter and her mental illnesses, as well as her npd (and my ex-hub's as well - battling both of them at the same time).  those hormones have been used up, i become exhausted easily from things like concentrating or focusing (which makes even going to see my t extremely stressful, or driving to the store, or seeing the doc every month for my glaucoma meds).  when i have to leave the house to do some errand, i prepare myself by resting for a day or two beforehand, if possible.  i love playing goofy computer games, but have recently stopped those parts that require thinking too hard.  everything is stressful, even so-called fun things.

i'm nearly house-bound now because of this.  my hub, the dearest, sweetest man who has saved my life, has to have retinal surgery in 10 days.  because this takes place in another city, (we live in a very small mexican town.  no hospital or specialists here.  125 mi. by bus to get to med. facilities, so even that drive is stressful for me) we've decided, much as i want to be there with him going thru this, it's gonna be better for me to stay home.  he says he'll feel better knowing that i won't be in a strange city, away from my creature comforts (mostly my computer) and my routine and familiar surroundings.  i burst into tears cuz i know he's right (his sister is going to be able to drive him home when he gets released.  that's the other part, he doesn't know if they'll let him go the same day or keep him for a few.).  besides, my ibs acts up as well, and bathroom facilities are not always available.

i feel like such a f***ing mess, still!!!  the last two times i traveled to visit my dear friend, and my daughter - gone a total of 3 weeks each time, and several months apart - it didn't take more than 2 weeks when i developed bronchitis, both times.  my immune system is also on the fritz, and is turning on me  now with skin stuff (psoriasis, and other skin things that are beginning to mar my face).  this last is the cherry on this particular cake.  it is taking me down in no uncertain terms.  i've got topical stuff that i use, but i know it's not going away, and i know what's causing it, and i can't get out from under this.

i use emdr techniques on myself to hopefully promote healing, and i'll keep that up.  since this major ef in jan., things have gotten much worse for me.  my funerals have helped to a degree.  i do massage, especially pressure point, to help release toxins and stored emotions, and i can barely walk for several days after.  i know it's good for me but the stress my body goes thru knocks my legs out from under me.  and, with all the good i know it's doing for me, i feel miserable afterwards.  i can't do things like tai chi (my energy is in opposition to that - i've tried several variations, all no good), and meditation or yoga have never relaxed me.  i live a fairly uneventful life now, wonderful, loving, caring people in my life, nc with everyone who has hurt me.  but i am scared that i'll never see my daughter again because i'm becoming afraid to travel.  my hub has wanted her to come visit me for years already, because he knows the stress i go thru, but i also want to go to the states at least once a year, just for the atmosphere, the food, and to be with my daughter in her space. 

i'm just feeling overwhelmed right now, needed a place to put this.  i'm so sad, so mad.  i wake up from my nap and start bashing pillows, cussing away.  crying at the drop of a hat.  my sensitivity for myself and others is on high alert.  i was watching america's got talent last night, a little 12-yr. old girl won, she was overwhelmed with emotion to the point of being distressed, and no one from her family came on stage to help her, comfort her, soothe her.  i hated that.  everyone else kept up their patter (the show must go on) and she was on her own.  it broke my heart, and i'm crying for her.  i'm crying more than usual lately - my funerals were helping with that. 

i may have gotten triggered by the 9/11 anniversary.  i was here in mexico less than a month, saw what happened on a tv, was all alone, only thought of scooping my daughters in close to protect them, but had no way to get to them.  my car wouldn't make the trip, didn't have enough money, knew no one here who could help me with this and my feelings,  and didn't even know that i couldn't have gotten to them if i wanted to cuz the border was closed.  i had no one here, have never felt so alone in all my life.  another friggin' traumatic experience!

my energy level is low on the best of days.  small amounts of exercise are all i can take, or it's too stressful.  i walk around my house for 15 to 30 min. when i feel up to it, about 3-4  times a week.  i lift light weights once, maybe twice a week.  more than that, i'm stressed, and i feel sick.  i feel sick more than i feel well, and i'm f***ing sick of it!  just ranting.

General Discussion / another piece of my puzzle -- possible triggers
« on: September 08, 2016, 11:27:21 PM »
while reading a mystery, one of the lead characters went through an emotional and physical battle with several attackers.   after she was safe, she joked around for a bit, acted as if nothing had happened out of the ordinary.  when a policewoman arrived to stay with her for the night, she burst into tears.  the main character observed that those tears were the beginning of the healing from her combat trauma.

when i read the term 'combat trauma', time stood still for a few beats as my mind clicked back over my life.  i burst into tears myself.   as i thought about what this meant, i realized that i can describe what happened in my life as psychological combat trauma (and i mean no disrespect nor lessening of those who have been in actual physical combat).  i can't guess at how many times i've thought to myself, said to my t, my hub, friends, everyone that i feel like i have been battling for me, to be me, to actuate the essence of me all my life!

it's been one battle after another on so many different levels with so many different people just to be me without being ridiculed, judged, put down, contradicted, shushed, denied, and on and on.  it's only been in the past few months, actually, that i feel the battling may be over, at least for the most part.  just before those few months i had it out with my best friend about being my friend without judgment (it ended well) and my husband has gone into therapy to deal with his issues in our relationship.

to put a name to these monsters is always enormous for me.  it is also freeing, and the tears are cleansing.   psychological combat trauma fits so well for me as it encompasses that decades-long exertion and expenditure of energy battling to be who i am and have my nearest and dearest be ok with that.  i don't know if this is an ending to something, or a beginning, but i do know it helped me pass to a different state of feeling and being.   still a little shaky, don't know where this might go, so there's an element of the unknown lurking.  a tad bit discomfiting, little scary.  but i can feel all of you, and that is a feeling of safety no matter what else.  just wanted to share.

as i've been tackling some of my bigger issues, this inability to 'feel' the love of my husband, my friends, the caring that is coming through these posts and responses has been raising its ugly head, shouting for attention.  at last, it has shouted loudly enough, and i'm willing to acknowledge it on a conscious level. 

i am able to feel for others, adrift in tears of sadness or happiness when something happens to someone else, but i drown in my tears when someone says or does something positive for me, and mentally i seem to acknowledge it on a surface level, but i can't really feel it inside me.  this was something i began exploring with my t at the beginning of summer, but couldn't continue because of the heat - i live in a desert town in mexico, the a/c in the building in which she works is inadequate, and i had to leave my last appt. 20 min. early because of heat exhausion.  i won't be able to return until it begins cooling down, possible a good 6-8 wks. yet.

in the meantime, i've been on my own delving into my issues, with the help of everyone on this forum.  and, to tell you the truth, people here have been more helpful for a lot of my stuff than my t - she's young, green, and doesn't know much about trauma, nothing about c-ptsd.  so, this place has been a godsend.

i read in a novel about how someone was able to fall asleep feeling the love of his spouse.  my husband has shown me over and over how much he loves me, and i feel love and gratitude for him, but i can't feel his love.  i can't feel the love of my two best friends, who know all about this and are struggling with c-ptsd as well.  it's as if a switch was turned off long ago, because of the belief of not deserving love, not worthy of it, because i'm not perfect.  but, even when i got straight a's in 5th grade, and expected fireworks at least because i finally achieved scholastic perfection, i barely got a nod of acknowledgment.

i remember, when i was active in church, every time i began singing a hymn that talked about god/jesus loving me, i'd begin crying and couldn't continue singing.  earlier this year, my girlfriend told me i was always welcome at her house no matter how 'messy' i was, i burst out in sobs.

i want to feel such caring kindness with a smile, an inner warmth, hugging it to myself instead of mentally batting it away.  i know i'm going to have to do a funeral for this, but i'm not quite sure what i need to lay to rest.  this will take some thinking, but this is the first time i'm writing about it.   i'm getting around to feeling my legitimate anger and sadness, not covering one up with the other, but even those can still take a day or two to realize. 

i know that i've surrounded myself with major defenses to keep feelings, both my own and for others, at a distance.  for most of my life, i couldn't identify how i felt about anything.  i know where it comes from, but i'm ready to break it apart.  it seems that i've been, could it be? dissociated from myself?  this just popped into my mind as i've been writing.   i don't know, it's never been addressed with me in all my years of therapy.  i've never been told that i've been traumatized, for that matter.  so, i'm looking for some direction, opinions, thoughts.  does this sound familiar to anyone else?  could this really be a type of dissociation, a numbing dynamic, or just that i've barricaded myself against emotions.  i'm stuck.

well, this turned out to be more than not just 'feeling' the good stuff. 

elsewhere on this board, there is a discussion about the degrees of c-ptsd, and that at the extreme end it is possible for something within someone to 'break' and develop full-blown npd.  i'm afraid that's what happened with my daughter, and that i'm to blame.

my pregnancy was fraught with anxiety, angst, arguments w/ my hub, as well as smoking pot and drinking alcohol.  i was so upset when i found out i was pregnant (i was already planning to leave him at the end of the semester) that i immediately asked the doc to schedule me for an abortion.  i didn't think of the fetus as a baby at all, but the potential for one.  my hub had become a cokehead, and i knew the marriage wasn't going to work, and i also knew that i couldn't raise a child on my own (somehow i knew i wasn't capable, didn't have the stability - i didn't know then that i was severely depressed and was a full-blown alcoholic/addict.  we just used subs like everyone else we hung around with).  i also didn't know about what effects such subs could have on an unborn child.  we even drank with an ob/gyn, and he never said anything was wrong with what i was doing.  this was almost 40 yrs. ago.

my hub left me when i was 7 1/2 mos. pregnant, i went to live with a girlfriend (he had pleaded w/ me not to get an abortion, that we'd make it work, and i wanted to believe that, so i stayed pregnant, stayed in the marriage, always hoping.) and went on welfare.  somewhere in that time frame, about a month later, i was home alone, began thinking about having a baby, working,  and going back to school for something (i was a lousy waitress) and the depression washed over me that i knew i couldn't do it.  i got up to write my suicide note, when the baby kicked.  i sat back down, realized that i couldn't do it cuz i'd be killing a baby who would live if it had been born right then.  the baby and i saved each other's lives that night.

(my heart is pounding right now, and i've told this story a zillion times, but not with the knowledge that i'm the one who probably cost my daughter a lifetime of pain and anguish, traumatizing her before she was even born.)   the guilt is overwhelming.  after she was born, i went back to live with my mom for awhile, but could take no joy in my baby or in being a mom.  it was a burden.  a chore.  i did what i was supposed to do, but with no happiness.  i know she must've felt it. 

when my second daughter was born, #1 began exhibiting anger and resentment and judgment toward me.  i saw it in her eyes, could feel it coming off her.  throughout her life she has had many diagnoses of varying types of mental illnesses, and i took care of her as best i could (my narc hub pretty much checked out, my younger daughter shrank out of the way).  i'd stopped the subs by the time she was 7, but she was out of control in so many ways.  and, she began her abuse, emotional torture of me already.

if what i read is true, that her pre-natal trauma could be the direct cause of not only her own c-ptsd but her npd (she hasn't been formally diagnosed, but she fits the category), then her anger is justified, her treatment of me because of her personality disorder is something i brought on myself.  i'm trying to wrap my head around all the things about i didn't know at the time, i did my best, i had an illness, i had the disease of sub. abuse, etc., blah blah blah, but this is a tough one. 

Emotional Abuse / continually needing validation
« on: August 24, 2016, 10:58:44 PM »
responding to another post today brought up a realization about how much i search for validation.  i was validated in that post by another therapist re: my assessment of a situation.  it triggered a memory of a supervisor introducing me to a colleague as 'our flaky therapist'.   i suspect it was because i was a bit 'unorthodox' in my methods (as well as the way i spoke and dressed and wore my hair.  i definitely didn't fit the 'therapist' mold of conservative presentation.).  i knew i got great results because the adolescents i worked with let me know in words and deed, and my team also let me know.  i should be sure of myself.

but, i never am.  when i respond to posts (i'm on several different kinds of online forums, including one for emdr therapists), i hungrily search for some word of approval.  if i don't get it, i feel bereft and disappointed, like i didn't do anything good, like maybe i'm fooling myself.

i've gotten such wonderful feedback on this forum for my responses as well, but they're never enough.  like i have a bottomless well inside me that won't get filled.  i know it's unrealistic to expect that every word that comes out of my mouth is gold, but that's what i expect from myself, and when i don't get acknowledged for a positive contribution, i feel depleted, my self-worth is in the toilet, and i struggle to just let it be. 

but, when i do get validation, i often weep with relief that i was right all along.  or, it's like i simply expected it, and kind of brush it away.  or, i just have a difficult time feeling it for what it is and knowing that i deserve it, or that it's ok to allow simple good feelings about it.  i'm afraid that i utilize my shield of arrogance at times, instead of feeling humble about what i contribute.  that shield has served me as a way to not feel like i have to take care of everyone else.  o, geez, this all goes back to my dad and his unrealistic expectations of me to be perfect in every way, shape, and form. 

so, always looking for validation from him, and, instead getting 'you can do better', i've grown to be accomplished in many areas that i can't  give myself credit for, and am always looking for that credit outside myself.  (in reality, altho i thought i'd dealt with this over the years, i'm still looking for him to say he's proud of me).  it's an obsession.  i think i respond to people just to get the validation, sometimes.  how utterly sad.  how painful it is to admit this.  embarrassing.  shameful. 

and there's my shame, something i haven't allowed myself to acknowledge.  i feel like a validation whore.  i can see my work is cut out for me in this area.  but, it explains why i cry at scenes of unconditional acceptance, scenes of true humility in people, scenes of caring and kindness, and above all, scenes of allowing validation as the cherry on the cake, instead of the fundamental ingredients.  there is no cake without them, and that's how i feel.  there is no real me without continual validation.  dang, this is a deep layer of the onion.  very depressing, so i must be really angry, but haven't tapped into it quite yet.  lots of sad, tho.  but, my anger always hides under my sad.  gotta dig it out.

i'm gearing up today to start having my funerals for my narc daughter.  just writing that sentence nearly brought tears to my eyes.

last night, i had body work done, and she came to my mind, and after the session, i burst into sobs.  i'd watched a show earlier where a man, through his partner, had become a dad (it was his partner's kid).  altho they had been attempting to have a baby thru surrogacy, that hadn't worked out.  all reference to kids triggered extreme and profound sorrow in him.  then his partner, while comforting him, told him that his own kid was indeed their shared kid - that they were both dads.  and it was a miraculous transformation.

as i watched, i thought about not having the child you'd dreamed of, wanting a child a certain way and it not working out.  and, i realized that that's what had happened to me.  my narc daughter is my first-born and i had all kinds of plans and dreams of how we'd bond as mother and daughter as she grew and matured and became her own woman.  and, none of that happened.

so, i'm accepting that i didn't get the daughter i wanted, worked hard at making it be good between us, but that just didn't happen.  it was a hellish nightmare having her as a daughter for over 30 yrs. (she's nearly 40 now).  i initiated nc with her a year ago in jan., and the anniversary sparked the most horrible ef that has lasted for 6 months.  and, with what happened last night, i knew the time had come to begin saying good-bye for good.

this will have to happen in parts because i don't think i'll be able to manage the whole of her at one time.  so many layers, dreams, hopes, wants, needs have been smashed, and i need to say good-bye to each piece separately.  so, beginning tomorrow, the biggest, most horrific funeral of my life will begin.  but, i know i have to lay all these pieces to rest.  they have been a heavy burden over the years, attempting to pick them up and put them together in a viable, positive manner, but every time i picked one up, another fell or was torn from my hands.  it's time to end this trauma, little by little.  wish me luck - i can use all the support i can get.  thanks.

General Discussion / anxiety over initiating nc
« on: August 07, 2016, 12:56:50 AM »
as i get further along in my recovery, i'm discovering that i can recognize people who are not healthy for me more easily and quickly.  a man with whom i was romantically involved 50 yrs. ago got in contact with me about 2 mos. ago.  we're both married, we both told our spouses about this renewed connection, both spouses were ok with it.  or so it seemed.

he and i began emailing daily, and he started calling once a week.  at first, this was wonderful for me - it seemed light, fun, happy, loving, and caring, especially since i was going through a very bad time.  then, he began criticizing me, judging me for things that i'd done in my past, and some of my present beliefs.  at first, i stood up for myself, held boundaries, and it just seemed that, since he and i had had such completely different life experiences between knowing each other at college (we were both 17 when we were going out) and getting to this point in our adulthood, he didn't realize what he was saying or how he was saying it (harsh).

as i began thinking about some of the things he'd said, he'd criticized me for, i began to see a pattern.  for one thing, it turned out that his wife became extremely jealous of us corresponding, so he began hiding it from her.  they share an email address and a phone, and she found out that he had been calling me behind her back.  when i asked him about this, about her jealousy, he just dismissed her by saying, 'i think there's something going on with her.'

our last conversation ended with him telling me that he was going to a ball game in 95 degree heat, and that if i didn't hear from him after that day, well . . . (he'd told me in the past that since he's had heart problems, he wasn't supposed to be in heat over 80).  that was 2 weeks ago, and i haven't heard from him since.

i began sifting all this around in my mind, along with what i'd known about him from all those years ago, and came up with the same conclusion now that i did then - i think i dodged a bullet when he broke up with me back then.  he really isn't a very nice man, at least not to women, he's baited his wife with his correspondence with me and caused her, someone who doesn't know me, to not like me.  he's done the same thing to me that he accused me of doing way back when i was young and reckless - putting himself in danger physically without consideration for people who care about him.  and, he's just been mean to me, harsh, offensive, and making assumptions about me that aren't true.

ok, so i've got this down, this is not a person i want in my life anymore.  i'm going to initiate nc, but i'm nervous as *.  i don't exactly know what i'm so anxious about.  we live in different countries, so physical harm is not a threat.  he's on a list of mine that sends out musings every week, and i'm thinking of simply taking him off the list, but i know that i'll eventually hear from him, and i'll have to explain why i did that.  i can block him from my emails, but i don't have caller ID, so if he calls i'd get blindsided.

i don't understand why i got so nervous!  earlier today, i was feeling fine about this, strong, ready.  suddenly, my anxiety shot way up.  i know it's the right thing to do, i feel like it's progress in my recovery, but in an hour i went from ready to scared sh*tless!!!  i thought of simply emailing him, telling him not to contact me anymore, but i'm hesitating.  that good little girl inside me is saying that would get him in trouble with his wife, and that would be a mean thing for me to do.  any opinions?  thoughts? 

wow, i forgot that i had written this back in feb.  it's now the end of july, and am still struggling. 

the horror of all this is that it keeps coming.  my massage therapist has made a little bit of a dent in releasing long-held emotions/tension/stress/toxins in my body, and i've been seeing her about every other week since i last wrote.  but my poor body is far from feeling free, even now.  nearly every session sees me in tears, some more volatile and long-lasting than at other times.  the fight is not over yet.  and the pain from this process is both physical and emotional, which leaves me spent.  i am amazed at how much gunk my body has absorbed to help keep me alive and sane.  only once since i last posted did i ask her to simply give me a relaxing massage, and it felt great, and i felt great, all tingly as i could feel my blood circulating.  but, that's the first full-body massage i've been able to tolerate in almost 20 years, so i guess it's progress.

my therapist is sweet, young, green, and with no trauma experience at all.  she'd heard of ptsd, but i had to explain to her (after several sessions where she kept repeating 'those with ptsd . . .') the many differences between ptsd and c-ptsd.  i live in a small mexican community, and she is really the only one available.  we do get stuck on language and understanding at times.  (i speak pretty good spanish, but some words/phrases just don't translate well from one language to the other, so i can't always get my point across precisely).  i've researched and brought in information for her to read on c-ptsd treatment, taught her the importance of hugs (she never uses them in her work with other clients) and little stuff like that.  she is very supportive, and, especially in the beginning, was validating while listening to my list of abuses over the past 30 yrs. (we never even got into any of my childhood issues, and how i'd been set up for abusive relationships, lack of boundaries, etc. in the future).  i taught her about inner child work - she'd never heard of it. 

so, while therapy has been helpful, i've been doing much of my own therapeutic tools, techniques, and interventions on myself.  i have one friend who lives far away who is also going thru this, and she has been a great support for me.  and, (i live in the desert) the heat hit, a/c was inadequate in the building where i had my sessions, and i suffered from heat exhaustion and had to leave my last therapy appt. early, and won't be able to return until possibly oct., when it begins cooling down.  it's been a challenge and a struggle, and i've been relying more and more on this forum just to be able to write things down, get them out of myself.  it's not ideal, but it's what i've got, and i'm grateful for it.  people here have truly been wonderful.

my husband is as supportive as he can be, but mental/emotional health issues are all brand new to him.  he is now also seeing the therapist because of emotional/verbal abuse of which he was unaware.  when i bring something up, he argues, which makes me feel not safe in my own home.  i have no place else to go, however, and am doing the best i can with what i have.  still, since i decided on nc last year in jan. w/ my narc ex and my daughter (who had double-teamed me for 30 yrs.) i thought that i was on my way to a rather smooth process of healing.  when i wrote on this in feb., i had been triggered by the one-yr. anniversary of nc w/ my family, and i was completely overwhelmed.  i had been doing therapeutic types of things for myself all along, but this was something i didn't expect (giant ef, i'm guessing) and didn't know how to handle.  that's when this therapist became available, and i jumped at the chance. 

so, i seem to be finding new triggers nearly every day, and am having a difficult time finding some peace and rest for it.  i deal with them as they come along, but it seems like no sooner do i get one out of the way when another one slaps me in the face, and i'm a wreck until i deal with it.  i'm doing lots of grieving, having 'funerals' for all that i've lost along the way, or all that i didn't get that i needed.  i find a picture of a funeral arrangement online, copy and paste it onto my desktop, and also into my word processing program, where i've been keeping a journal, and write all the thoughts about that particular loss or never-had that come to mind.  usually sadness and anger come up, and i either cry or pound on my bed.  i've probably had 20 funerals so far, and i know there are many more to come.

i'm just getting so tired.  so very tired.  if i don't deal with something, i'm nervous and anxious until i do, but dealing with it is also very emotionally draining, very stressful.  i do a little yoga, a little walking in my house (it's too hot to go outdoors), a little weight-lifting, a little eft tapping, a little pressure point on myself.  i've tried meditation several many times and it hasn't calmed me one bit.  yoga doesn't calm me.  the validations i've been getting on this forum are soothing and calming for me.  even while the abuse was going on by my daughter, i got no validation from my other daughter or hub, which left me adrift.  finally, 2 yrs. ago, my younger daughter also became a victim to her sister, and has initiated nc, so we're allies now on that score.  but her dad has a sex addiction, and i knew about it, and he'd gone to meetings for awhile, but when i left, he stopped.  then, about 3 yrs. ago, i found out that he'd been lusting after my daughters, which started everything up again.  my oldest daughter (we were in contact at the time, she told me about this) has an ongoing relationship with him, they feed each other their narc supply, but i had to tell my youngest daughter about her dad and what he was doing, which devastated her, and me by proxy.  she retains a relationship with him, but reassures me that she's heard what i said about him, and is mindful now of what she wears, etc., in front of him when she sees him.  still, when i know that she's gone to visit him, my skin crawls at the thought that he's given her a hug, and what might be running through his mind.  i've asked her not to talk about him to me, and she's respected that.  still, when she goes to visit friends in our hometown, i know that she's going to see him, possibly stay with him at his place.  ugh!

so, it just keeps coming, and i can't get away  from it, can't get a break, and i don't know what else to do.  today i'm thinking of ending another relationship from the past that i thought was going to be fun to catch up with, but i don't like the way i'm being talked to.  i just get tired, too, of battling, of fighting for my right to be ok, cared about.  it seems so many people don't know how to do that, and it's wearing me down and out.  any other thoughts/suggestions are welcome.  otherwise, it felt good just to write this down, and i'm glad there's someone reading this who cares.

just felt like sharing that being married to a misogynistic sex addict took its toll in ways that other addictions didn't.    my very first therapist, although a woman, was also a misogynistic sex addict.  i was involved with both these people at the same time.  during our nearly 20-yr. marriage, we found her and began seeing her for group, individual, and couples counseling.  this combination in my life (i was involved with her on several levels - best friend, client, employee - for 8 yrs.) nearly literally killed me, both physically and emotionally.  he was what is known as an 'intellectual' misogynist, and his sexual addiction took the form of continual masturbation to porn movies.  he wouldn't cheat on me with real women, only 2-dimensional women, but it was nearly a nightly thing.  i found out about it about 10 yrs. into our marriage, he began going to SA meetings once a week, but as soon as i moved out, he stopped going to meetings.  we'd still see each other, communicate regularly after the marriage dissolved, and when i confronted him on this, he told me 'after you left, i thought - what's the point?

well, as i later came to learn, the point was that his addiction went unchecked, and about 3 yrs. ago, i found out from one of my daughters that he was lusting after the two of them, saying inappropriate sexual things to and about them in other peoples' presence.  i had the terribly difficult job of telling my other daughter what was going on, and nearly devastated her with the information.  when i confronted him about it, he denied there was anything wrong, that the 2 things i personally knew about (the first one was when my oldest daughter was 7, and he made inappropriate sexual sounds about her bare legs.  we were seeing that therapist at the time, who said nothing more than 'that's inappropriate' to him.  now that i have been a therapist, the fact that she did no follow up with him on that, no exploration, no further consideration at all for such behavior toward his daughter triggered me something terrible when i thought back to that time.)  meant nothing untoward (2 things in 25 years?  that's bullsh*t! were his words) to be concerned about. 

when i went back to school to become a therapist was when i realized that the therapist we'd been seeing was completely unethical.  that being my first experience with the entire therapy situation, i trusted her and believed everything she said, even when others around me told me that she hated women and was a control freak.  it took me 8 yrs. of mentally and emotionally untangling myself (after i'd broken all my relationships with her) before i was able to go through the process of reporting her to our state board for disciplinary measures.  during the time i worked for/with her, i knew about several sexual escapades in on-the-job locations that she engaged in, and how she took care of one of her former lovers before taking care of a client who had been hurt during a therapeutic exercise.  part of the fallout for me was because of my association with her - i heard some nasty stuff directed at me for working with her.

misogyny may not be an addiction, but, being a woman, it is a horrific experience to go through all on its own.  couple that with sexual addiction, and i am surprised that i am alive today.  truly surprised.  i got out just in time.  it's only been in the past 3 yrs. or so that i learned the extent of the spillover onto my daughters by my ex-hub, and the * began all over again. 

i have finally achieved no contact with my ex narc, and this past jan. was the first anniversary of that (which also included nc with my oldest daughter, also a narc.  both of them together had actually double-teamed me for about 30 yrs.)  the anniversary turned out to be a trigger for a humungous e.f., and i'm still working my way out of it. 

i shared this because i noticed that most of the addiction information listed was about substance abuse, or acoa groups, and i wanted people to know that other addictions can also devastate our worlds in ways not always covered by substance abuse info.  not only was my self-esteem hit, but my very essence as a woman, a sexual partner, and a wife.  and then, with what was going on with my daughters, my sense of being a mom, meant to protect her children from harm,  was also called into question.  i didn't protect them because i couldn't, and i couldn't because i didn't know.  besides, i was also trying to hold my family together in the midst of being abused from 3 sides.  it was overwhelming.  i had 3 breakdowns in 4 yrs. before i fled.

my one word of advice is to trust your gut.  i had suspicions that something was going on, i asked questions, but i believed the answers even when things weren't sitting right.  during the course of my ex attending SA meetings, he had a 'slip'.  we talked about it, and i said 'never again, or you're gone'.  looking back, i can see that was a test that i failed.  this stuff is so insidious, so cunning, so keen, and these people are so good at covering up the truth, deceiving, lying, and peeling your skin away (metaphorically) so slowly and artfully that you don't know you've been harmed until you're raw and have no resources left.  trust your gut.  if it feels wrong, it probably is.  even his recent therapist (a woman), when he told her that i said he was a misogynist, told him that's ridiculous, that after working with him for over a year, she would have known.  he then told me 'i'm a very good liar'.

if you have suspicions of other types of addictions, i'd suggest that you research the signs and symptoms.  the earlier you can get out, the better.  moving forward . . .

i just took that piper narcissistic abuse questionnaire, and i thought i was so much farther along than it shows.  and, it just tumbled me down into the basement, where i haven't been in awhile.  i suppose i just have to wait it out.

maybe my damage is even more than i suspect, maybe i've been fooling myself into thinking i've come a long way from where i was.   maybe it's because i'm in the middle of battling with my husband for the right to be me, just the way i am, for the right to be treated kindly when we're out in public.  he is usually kind when we're alone, asks me for favors, or if he wants something done, but as soon as we're out in public, or there's someone else around, he changes his voice tone and begins commanding me to do things.  it's really unsettling.  i don't see him as a narc, but he is from a different culture, and i live in his country.  still, i want to be treated in a kind and caring manner no matter where we are, who's around, and i'm battling for this, but, dang, it's wearing me down.

i'm wondering if this could have had anything to do with completing the piper abuse survey, if it could have affected how i answered, and then discovering that i have a lot more red areas than i expected.  i thought i was doing so well.  now i feel like i just got thrown in the toilet.  ugh!  was this a reality check?  a brick to the head?  or a temporary result of being in this battle at this time.  i just don't know.  any opinions are welcome.  i feel horrible right now.

Therapy / managing my emotions - help! i don't know how to begin!
« on: May 21, 2016, 01:00:21 AM »
after doing research on my c-ptsd, i found a list of treatment goals that made sense to me.  the first one was to feel safe, and i have taken steps to do so, and am ready to move ahead.

the second step is self-regulation of my emotions.  this has been an ongoing problem that seems to have gotten worse as time goes by.  i have a difficult time feeling loved, even though, logically, i know i am from a number of sources, including husband, friends, and daughter.  just can't feel it!  have i somehow frozen in this area?  another issue i have is that i'm not in touch with my anger in the present - it often takes me 2 or 3 days after an incident/situation before i realize and can feel how angry i am about it.  and, thirdly, i cry at the drop of a hat.  this began in childhood, i've always been sensitive to the pain of others, especially children, but in a detached way.  for instance, i can't watch movies or tv shows about the holocaust, slavery, torture, the native american tragedy - anything that i believe is fundamentally wrong and uncalled for concerning what one person has done/can do to another that causes such intrinsic pain of mind, body, and soul. 

but i also cry at happy things, such as a kindness being done (again, in reality or on the screen, the feeling is overwhelming to me) or at expressions of love.   i can't even speak of such things without bursting into tears and having to gather myself together in order to finish the sentence.  when i was a child, i remember bursting into tears every time i displeased my dad (who i thought to be like god), and his response would be something to the effect that 'here go the waterworks again'.  i was teased as a child, both by him and by sibs and friends about my crying so much that i eventually stopped crying around the age of 14, (like i built a concrete bunker around me), or avoided situations where i might cry (like singing hymns about how much god loved me),  didn't begin again until i started in therapy at age 38.  now i'm 68, have been crying for 30 years at scenes and situations, and i don't know how to stop!  the concrete has crumbled, and there is so much that i cry at that avoidance is impossible.

i'm seeing a therapist who is barely out of school (i live in a very small town) and she's had no experience with trauma work, so i do a lot of research, print out the info in order to give it to her, so she has a clue as to what's going on with me.  but, on this issue, i'm stuck.  i don't know what to tell her, how to go about getting some semblance of emotional control back, both by being able to feel emotions, and being able to control these tears that come at the slightest provocation.  i am a therapist myself, but i don't know how to treat me!    ;)   any feedback is appreciated. 

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