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Messages - bee

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I can hear now this voice inside saying  "What about me? When/how do I get to express my anger if even a small dose of clean, healthy anger will set them off?"  And then I  feel a sense of weariness/ depression of "I guess I don't get to unless I am prepared to deal with the backlash and I am heartily sick of the that, it's toxic." I am grateful to have learned to be assertive and to have strategies like Medium Chill and such, but I still don't quite know what to do with the residual anger. 

Maybe use the same tactics that work for old anger?
After an incident with a PD person get out pen and paper and write out what you would like to be able to say. Or hit a pillow, or go for a fast walk, and in your head say the stuff that you would like to say to the PD person. I have not tried these things myself, still not far enough along, but from what others have suggested, I'm keeping them in mind for future use.

I loved reading all the thoughts on this. Thank you all for sharing your ideas. It gives me a lot to ponder.

I accept that I have the right to be who I want to be and live the way I want to live.

This step marks the separation of your new self from your parents and family and permits you to make conscious choices about your life, free of guilt and the lack of entitlement that characterized your past.

I've been separate from my parents since 18 when I left for college. I've made my own choices since then, I just haven't gotten rid of the guilt, and I still struggle with lack of entitlement.

If I could pick a super power it would be invisibility. The thought of being noticed scares the f**k out of me. I think I am working toward believing in my right to live mostly alone. I have spent most of my recovery thinking I will one day be comfortable with people. That I will one day enjoy social situations. I'm coming to the conclusion that, given my childhood and my introverted nature, I will always be more comfortable by myself/with H. Now I just have to accept that being this way is ok. That it is ok to be introverted. That it is ok to not need other people.

I have not changed my name, not even my last name when I got married. I view it in a different way. I have so little of me that I was able to hold onto, that I am unwilling to let go of any part that is still left. My name is part of me. I have toyed with introducing myself with a new nick name for new groups of people. The thought makes me feel vulnerable though.

I've on and off considered changing my last name to my Hs, now that I do not work professionally, but I do not agree with the paternalistic reasons that this is done in the society I live in. I could change it to something else entirely, but I think that would unnecessarily upset my in-laws.

Everything I've been reading points to needing social engagement to feel good. So if I had to make a stab in the dark, which this is, that would be what I need to do. Find a way to be socially involved. I have two groups in mind. Things I like to do, and the groups are local.

However, social situations still mostly trigger me. So I think I still need more time to fully accept myself. To learn to really hear myself and what I need, and accept that those needs are ok. So that when I do expose myself to people, I will be able to hear when I need a break, and be able to take that break without feeling guilty or weird.

By prosperity we do not mean simply financial rewards or material possessions. Prosperity is a state of mind that encompasses your need, desire and dreams for a life that bestows emotional and spiritual riches as well as material well-being.

I too am financially secure. That was my number one goal to ensure that I would never, ever have to return home. I did not do it to enjoy the good fortune, I did it to survive. I got a degree in a field I do not like, because it promised a good paying job. I stuck through grueling college courses while hating it, in order to secure that good job. I got a good solid job, and went to work each day feeling like an imposter. Eventually I couldn't deal anymore, and now I no longer work outside the home. I am fortunate that my husband has a good job. But, neither of us trust the economy. We only spend what we have to, we have always saved a lot. So we are secure.

Despite being financially secure I do not feel prosperous. I have a hard time enjoying things. This is what this step says I need to do to enable myself to enjoy life's riches.

Your task will be to practice challenging old attitudes and expectations by taking healthy risks that offer more than a minimal likelihood of success.

Taking the initiative to partake in life's riches is critical to your continued growth and well-being. In taking the initiative, you are saying that you know something, that you have something to offer and that you stand behind your actions. Taking an active stance such as this may feel awkward and pushy to you. You may be asked to lead others, a request that may seem like more of the same if you are one of yesterday's caretakers. For those used to being ignored or dismissed, being put in a position of authority can be uncomfortable. But to step away from responsibility, authority and power is to deny yourself and your talents their full expression and to turn your back on the possibility of financial rewards and a sense of accomplishment. If you have resolved the previous steps, you are ready to undertake this newest challenge.

Quite frankly  :blink:

I did this. I took a risk in going to college. Although I did not like my field of study, I knew I was smart enough to succeed in it. It says if I take a risk and I am willing to be a leader I will feel empowered and therefore entitled to what I have. In my working life I was a leader. I only felt like an imposter. I did not feel empowered. Been there, done that, did not get that result.

I've been working at trying to feel entitled to enjoy things for years, have not made much progress. I still have an overwhelming feeling that when I start to enjoy something it will be ripped away. That is the pattern I learned as a child. I have made some progress in this area, but I am frustrated. I want more progress. Any other ideas?

I love myself and I accept myself unconditionally
Bolding is mine. This is the important part for me. I think that I can not expect others to do this until I can do it for myself. I will try saying this to myself.

On the sand dune analogy. I often feel like I am walking uphill on a sand dune, while everyone else if walking on level turf. They are all wondering why it takes me so long to get anywhere, and why I say it takes so much effort. Their experience is completely different from mine.

VeryFoggy, I'm sorry to hear you were feeling so low. Try to not also be upset that you had a bad day. Everybody has bad days. It's not your fault. Maybe you already know this. When I feel bad, I have a tendency to feel bad about feeling bad, then it spirals into a meta bad day. If I can tell myself, "Today is a BAD day. I hate bad days. I know that not all days are like this. I will accept that I feel horrible right now." then it gets a little easier. It's hard to remember this in the middle of a bad day though.

VeryFoggy - I think finding whatever works for you, that helps you be supportive of yourself is awesome. Definitely not crazy.

I know I struggle with toxic shame given to me/instilled by by M. Interesting that I have not thought to break it down to what I feel shameful for in daily life.

I struggle to go outside. I love the outdoors, but when I have low energy it is too much to face. I fear that others are always judging me. I feel like everyone is watching what I'm doing and thinking that I'm doing it wrong. Or thinking that I look wrong(wrong clothes/wrong hair/too fat, etc.) I've worked on this in T, and have some coping mechanisms, but the feeling has not gone away. Is this shame?

I hate being noticed. Even if it's good attention. I think "Maybe they think that now, but eventually they will see the truth and then it will be that much worse. They will think I was putting on airs, and hate me for acting better than I am and trying to fool them." I act normal while I'm having these thoughts, and a part of me knows they are completely irrational, but they happen anyway.

I have adrenal fatigue, which means a lot of days I barely do anything. This is shameful to me.
In the last two years I have gained back weight that I lost, this is shameful to me.
I have a horrible grasp of history and politics, shameful.
I feel I am a terrible gift giver, shameful.
I still don't trust people, so I am mostly a hermit, shameful.
When I say something stupid, I am ashamed.

This list just got way to easy & depressing, I'm going to stop now. I'm reading it thinking, how in the world do I function at all. Yeesh!

This is very difficult.
I learned early that every positive comment would be met with multiple negative ones from my M if she heard about it. I learned to dread positive comments. Also as time went on they caused cognitive dissonance. I knew everything including my existence was wrong; when someone said something good about me it contradicted this belief and made me uncomfortable. It still makes me uncomfortable, but it is something I have been working on.

Messages from school. You are intelligent. You are quiet and attentive. You have deep thoughts.
Messages from friends. You are a good listener. You are funny/good at making people laugh. You are compassionate. You are a good friend.
Others. You are thoughtful. You are kind.

As I write these I am hearing all the negatives that my M said to counteract these, but I am using visualizing her as a tiny annoying thing, and telling her to shut up.(there is quite a bit of swearing involved.) It is helping.

Step 11 (May 18 - 24) / Re: Order and Re-order of Steps
« on: May 23, 2015, 05:02:47 AM »
I haven't done a lot of work on the stuff in Chapter 3. I will probably approach it as food for thought for future work. I have explored the topics covered in Chapter 2. That said my preference is to go ahead with the order in the workbook. But, flipping back and forth between chapter 2 and 3 would still be workable for me.

VeryFoggy - That is wonderful news! Glad to hear it.

I know what you are saying. I've felt cut off from my feeling too. Have you heard of the Polyvagal theory (Stephen Porges), and how to use this theory to heal trauma (the work of Peter Levine)?

It's basically a theory that says our bodies are hardwired to react to trauma in a certain way. Social interaction parts of our brain and bodies get shut down to leave more room for threat awareness. Good because we are more likely to survive. Bad because we need the social interaction to help us calm down. For some (cPTSD) the social interaction parts needs help getting restarted.

I probably butchered that synopsis. Reading Peter Levine helped give me hope that I can overcome my lack of feeling.

Another note. I spent too much time in my childhood frozen in fear. This results in me freaking out every time I successfully meditated. It was successful because I accessed my feelings. It's just that forced sitting still brings on feelings of terror. Now I only try meditating while I am moving. Just wanted to caution that even standard meditation might need to be modified for those with cPTSD.

When I realized how distorted my thinking was I decided to start asking my H for clarification of his words and actions. I told him that I would be doing it, and told him why.  He thought it a bit odd, as he is an honest person, says what he means, and didn't think I could be too far off in my interpretations. But, he was happy to help. 

An example of my distorted thinking. H and I are on the couch watching TV, his arms are crossed. This makes me anxious, he must be angry, what did I do wrong, what can I do to make him not angry. I ask "Why are your arms are crossed, are you angry?". (This is in a very calm voice, questioning, but not accusatory.) After a brief look of confusion he replies, "Because it's comfortable". Then hugs me and tells me it's ok. My head really is that distorted. My experiences growing up taught me to think that way. My new reality is so far from my old reality that I have to relearn a lot of things.

My need to ask for clarification has lessened, but I still ask similar things once in awhile. Thank goodness H is patient, and gets that it has nothing to do with him.

My T validates that I have reasons for making the decisions that I have. Even for isolating myself. She is not advocating that I be alone, just validating that I spend most of my time alone, because I am protecting myself. She is helping me to trust my decision making skills.

VF my reading/ studying is leading me to believe that there are way more lonely people in the world than I previously thought. Maybe they don't have family, maybe they aren't 'normal'. Do you really want 'normal', which to me means someone who may never be able to comprehend what my world is like. I think these lonely people could be a good friend, but maybe don't know how to connect. I have no idea how to connect with them either, and for the most part I am not ready to IRL, but I see that they are out there. I think there is more of a risk in such a friendship, both sides having to figure things out, but it could work.

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