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Messages - sanmagic7

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have you explained to your hub just how negatively his mother affects you?  is there a possibility that the 2 of you can come up with a plan whereby he keeps her out of your way (take her to dinner, a show, an event, etc.) while she's around, and you don't join them?  do you really have to have contact with her via phone?  she may throw a fit, your hub may not like it, but when you ask how to take care of ourselves, protect ourselves against such people, staying away from them as much as possible seems, to me, to be our best alternative.

my best friend has a narc mom who abuses her constantly.  the last time i visited, i told my friend that i will not visit with her mom anymore when i come to town.  this is in an area of the country (southern u.s.) where not visiting when in town is looked on as something extremely rude, akin to a snubbing.  i told my friend that, no matter what her mom might say to the contrary, she and i don't like each other, and i see no reason to put two people who don't like each other in the same room, making chitchat, for 2 or 3 hours.  besides, i said that i didn't know what might come out of my mouth if i was in that woman's presence and she said something neg. to or about my friend.

i realize everyone is not at the same place in their recovery, and maybe you're not quite ready to take such steps.  you may want to explain to your hub that when she's around, you may be going to your room a lot, feigning illness or something, had a hard day at work.  she'll probably talk about you behind your back, but that's something that you can know/realize beforehand and let it be.  another thought that just came to mind is not to talk about her with your hub.  if he wants to have a relationship with her, that's up to him, but you don't have to be involved with that at all, even by listening to him talk about her.  yes, it would probably be better if you told him about that beforehand, and why.  these e.f.'s you're going through are no fun, and whatever you can do to minimize or eliminate some of them would probably save you some suffering.  just my thoughts, for what they're worth.  best to you with all this.  it's a sticky situation at best, and i hate to think of you having to go through more suffering because of it.  you've been through so much already.

General Discussion / Re: How are you all going?
« on: July 29, 2016, 03:03:13 PM »
thanks for asking.  i'm still recovering from a major ef that happened in jan.  having up and down days, am doing lots of funerals for things i'm discovering nearly daily that i need to grieve.  those are really going well.  and, in the midst of all this, my creativity, which i would have thought would be put on hold, is actually greater than it ever has been.  i write, have just finished my first novel, have started a second, am in the midst of doing a short story - it's like i can't stop writing!  i'm journaling and also belong to a couple of discussion forums.  like some kind of floodgates opened up, and the words keep pouring out.  fascinating to me how this is happening.  but, i see it as a good thing, so i'll stay with it.

i am one of the hsp's (hyper-sensitive people) and do believe there is a correlation between that and being traumatized more easily than others.  i can 'sense' from a person if i want to be around him/her or not, often at first meeting.  having been forced, for lack of a better word, to be in an extremely abusive situation for more than 30 years, i suffer horribly now as i struggle to heal.

i also believe there is a link of some kind between creativity and hyper-sensitivity.  it's as if creative people can feel, sense, view something in a different way from those without a strong creative bent.  like creative brains are more open to differing perspectives, perceptions, viewpoints, etc.  but, in the midst of the challenges of healing, my creativity remains alive and well.  how does that happen?  and, when i think of the creative geniuses of the past, most of them either died quite young or suffered from some time of mental/emotional illness.  frida kahlo, in terrible pain most of her life, kept painting through the pain. 

there is something fascinating to me about the whole sensitivity/creativity connection that i believe exists.  at the same time, it's horrible - a blessing and a curse.  just my 2 cents' worth.

Emotional Abuse / Re: Invalidation is abuse POSSIBLE TRIGGERS
« on: July 27, 2016, 11:08:37 PM »
thank you for this.  i was able to give this list to my husband who has argued constantly when i tell him how i want to be spoken to, especially in public, or with others around.  he, of course, had no idea of what he had been doing, just following the way his dad interacted with his mom and defending that interaction.  he's quite new to anything personally insightful, so things like this, that he can see in black and white make a big difference with him.  it brings him to an 'aha!' moment.  this was also very validating for me for all those times i couldn't explain to him why it bothered me when he said certain things in certain ways.  and, validation is my medicine du jour nowadays.  this has been really appreciated.

i think the idea that this new man is acting in ways your ex didn't (i'm assuming here, but for someone to admit to having issues to the past - in essence, trusting you with his own vulnerability in a respectful way - and actually going to counseling to make needed changes and resolutions - taking appropriate action) may also be grounding  tidbits for you to hang onto.  to me, actions always speak louder than words, and those are the things i grab hold of in similar situations.  being able to laugh together is always a good sign to me.  90% of the time is good?  that also sounds terrific.

as 3roses said, the more you can stay in the present, and finding the tips that work for you, will, i believe, help you to be able to enjoy your outing together.  and don't we deserve some good stuff once in a while!  yep, we do!

General Discussion / Re: reaching out not via responding
« on: July 25, 2016, 01:03:02 PM »
you're quite welcome, radical.  i was happy to share it with you. 

General Discussion / Re: Why?
« on: July 25, 2016, 02:06:07 AM »
may i suggest that perhaps you're getting healthier?  getting to a point in your recovery where you are seeing things differently than before?  that maybe what you're seeing is more realistic than an 'everything is fine now' perspective?  that would certainly crumble your sense of control.

and, dealing with knowing that you are surviving c-ptsd can be extremely stressful in itself.  knowing what the beast is called makes it more real, which also makes it something to be dealt with, which also means coming out of denial.  when i finally learned that i'm in the middle of c-ptsd, while it afforded me some sense of relief to know it, it also opened so many more doors to explore.

strangely enough, many years ago i was researching the effects of long-term chronic stress and found the term c-ptsd for the first time, and it was connected with bullying in the office place.  as these layers of onion get peeled away, our perceptions, viewpoints, perspectives change.  it can definitely feel like we're losing our longtime sense of control.  thank you for posting.   this is a journey of many steps, some of which feel backward, but all part of the process of healing. 

General Discussion / Re: reaching out not via responding
« on: July 25, 2016, 01:47:51 AM »
radical, so glad you took the chance and wrote about what you're going through.  i think too many times we've been told that when we focus on ourselves, on what we want or need, we've been told that we're being selfish.  i've changed that to self-care.  i know i wasn't allowed to be selfish, to have anything for me, and i had to share everything i had, which included my knowledge, my time, my energy - everything!  but, i know now that sharing my own pain, my own experience, or, conversely, keeping my time, energy, knowledge for myself is self-ish, as in self-caring. 

you took a leap of faith, and i applaud you for it.  and, while you want to shut it down, you said you're going to push through.  good for you.  as i say to my dear friend who is also going through this crap, hang tough, baby!  i'm hanging right beside you!

here's a story i heard that i've found helpful during these times.  it's called 'the lion or the roar'.  it goes like this:   in the wild, lions hunt in packs.  the male goes to one side, the female goes to the other.  as a herd of animals begins coming toward them, the male, who has the biggest, most fearsome voice, begins roaring.  the animals become scared of this noise, and run away from it.  well, unfortunately, they run in the direction of the female, who is the true hunter and killer.  they run away from the noise which sounds dangerous directly into the real danger.

i've used this story many times when deciding what to do in my life.  between the choices i have, which is the lion, and which is the roar?  which is the real danger, and which is just a big noise?  you have chosen, by talking about yourself, airing your issues, seeking help and support, to stay away from the real danger of not speaking up.  you have walked toward the noise, which can't hurt you, but, ultimately, can help you.  kudos to you.

really sorry you had to experience that, especially in a support group, where we tend to let our guard down a bit thinking it's a safe place.  it's supposed to be a safe place, a person is supposed to be able to be vulnerable, to be heard and listened to, and to be supported.  i guess the truth is, we have to feel a group out for a while to see if it actually is a safe place.  i know of groups that were quite disrespectful, quite uninterested, quite unsupportive, and i know of others where i could say anything and was simply listened to (most were 12-step groups), but i yearned for supportive feedback in those, and that wasn't there, either.

at any rate, to turn the tables on you, telling you to look after the person you had just disconnected from because of self-care, is just not right.  and, for the moderator to not have your back in such an instance seems wrong as well.  this is like any invisible illness - often it is only others who have experienced it who know the devastation that emotional abuse can produce, the ramifications that are so far reaching into so many corners of our lives, and the levels it infiltrates.  as a recovering alcoholic/drug addict, getting off and staying off substances was a piece of cake compared to what i'm finding in my experience with c-ptsd. 

my dear friend is also recovering from c-ptsd, and we are so grateful to have one another on this journey.  unfortunately, we live in different countries, so email is basically the only way we can communicate, and sometimes that's even too much energy.  but, i'm also grateful to have found this forum.  the support and validation here have been healing beyond measure.  i'm glad you're here, too, flutterbye, and sincerely hope that you have no more dreadful experiences like the one you wrote about.  it's hard enough to make our way through this tangled web without someone adding to the mess.  keep taking care of yourself no matter what anyone says!

validation is a medicine for me nowadays.  thank you so much.  this is one medication i thoroughly enjoy taking:  it helps heal my body, mind, and brain, it has no harmful side effects, and it calms me like yoga or meditation have never done.  i believe i will begin my own validation journal.  so glad you mentioned that.  this has been a godsend.

threeroses and radical, all i can say is thank you (i'm typing through my tears right now out of gratitude for what you both said).  i'm nearing 70, still going through this crap at the point in my life when i should be happily retired and enjoying my 'golden years'.  i thank god every day that i've been able to live long enough to get all these pieces of the picture together, to understand why i couldn't move forward out of what was increasingly an insane situation.  and, although i hate the thought that others are going through heart-wrenching situations because of what has happened to them in their past, i'm also glad that so many of them are younger than me, and have a chance to untangle themselves from all the horrors they've been through, and have a happy rest of their life. 

threeroses, you're absolutely correct when you say that this stuff is not easily definable, does not fit into a 'one-size-fits-all' box, not for the dysfunctions nor for the victims and their recovery.  all of what everyone on this forum has gone through has its own little twists and turns, hidden valleys, shadowy corners.  my family and i looked perfectly normal to the outside world - in fact, we were held up as examples of how others wanted to be!  it's so very true that one never knows what goes on behind closed doors.  and we, ourselves, were very protective of each other, helping to hide the horrors within.  my oldest daughter, the narc, was also mentally ill from a very young age, had dozens of diagnoses, and i felt it was my duty to put up with her abuse because she was 'sick'.  my younger daughter felt the same way as she got older, and they had their own, adult, relationship going on.  i wasn't believed or supported by my younger daughter or their dad re: the abuse i was put through by the eldest.  and, of course, neither girl knew what was happening between their dad and me.  happily, my younger d. is now my ally, has also gone nc with her sister, altho she still retains a relationship w/ her dad, but she has reassured me that she heard what i had to say about him, and has taken precautions.  still, it makes my skin crawl when i know she's visited him.  it's the mom in me.

radical, i can only say i can understand how awful it must've been for you w/ that 'therapist' - and how right you were for putting the word therapist in quotation marks!  those people give therapy such a bad name, and the damage they do is horrific.  i ended up on meds for anxiety and depression after my bout w/ my 'therapist', and was emotionally and psychologically battling the after-effects for many years.  unfortunately, when i did the reporting, their ethics rules of not having dual relationships w/ clients had not yet gone into effect (my experience happened 2 yrs. prior), but they did send someone to investigate, so she knew she had been reported, and wrote back to me that, although they could not do anything in the way of sanctions, she was very definitely in the wrong.  at least i got a form of validation for that, which helped me a lot.

so, thank you both, again, for your kindness, caring, and support.  it is truly appreciated, and has been taken into my heart.  another piece of the healing has been put in place.  big hug to you both.

Medication / Re: does Prazosin make you less aware
« on: July 23, 2016, 07:20:04 PM »
have you done any research on it?  i'm not familiar with it, but when i get a new med where my knowledge base is limited, i'll look on the internet, see what i can find.  good luck with it.  i hope it helps and doesn't hinder. 

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 . . .

congrats!  great progress!

i am an emdr therapist, and i know how helpful that can be for trauma work, and i'm so glad you found that and have been able to use it.  there are none here where i live, but i've been doing some modified form of it on myself for awhile.  i, too, believe that this stuff needs a multi-modal approach.  keep going!  that just sounds so wonderful to me.  you're an inspiration, movementforthebetter.   

thanks, movementforthebetter!  that was very validating and comforting to hear, and i really appreciate it.  i am feeling better today, after more discussion with hubby.  plus, i showed him the list of emotional abuse, and he was quite blown away.  there's really so much here for both of us to digest in our relationship.  i've been familiar with some of this for a much longer time than he has.   at least, he is looking at what i give him, and he is working on it.  i'm awfully grateful for that.  so, yes, little by little, step by step.  even if some of those steps are backward!   the support here is invaluable.  again, thanks.

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