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Messages - LittleBoat

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31
Poetry & Creative Writing / Re: Breaking the Chain
« on: June 02, 2018, 03:17:34 PM »
Ending so lovely.  Clear pools.  Very evocative.

32
Art / Re: Creativity Thread for Inner Children - Please Join Us!!!
« on: May 31, 2018, 11:18:01 AM »
Strangely, I found that when I had a shower this morning, that it was as if one of my inner children was there with me, and she was very giggly - and I literally laughed out loud whilst showering - it was as if she was joining me there, and was so thrilled at the way the water flowed and just the excitement of a simple thing like taking a shower.  That's something that's not happened in some time.  I feel sure it's due to allowing my inner children to play and be creative - I'm going to keep going on it.

Hope  :)

So happy for you, Hope.  Enjoy the fairy dust.  I'm so pleased that this thread is here.  It is so affirming for the children within each of us.  I have found that I've grown overly sensitive to color and light over the last couple of years, when, earlier in my life, I relished beautiful paintings, bright colors, light, itself.  Ha!  Maybe I should try finger painting.  You know....Get right in there. 

P.S.--Thank you for being so responsive to my posts, Hope.  So supportive and caring.  I do feel an affinity with you.  It's a lovely thing.  All best, Little Boat

33
General Discussion / Shut-in, Agoraphobic, Housebound, Bed-Bound
« on: May 30, 2018, 12:28:08 PM »
Hi all,
Not sure if this is the right thread for this topic, but I'm wondering if there are others out there, who are basically housebound?  My life has shrunken drastically in the last seven years.  I had to leave my job and go on disability.  Been in and out of mental hospitals, and I'm finding that those visits and treatments have re-defined me.  My fears can keep me, not just housebound, but bed-bound.  I'm also scared to drive very far, and that has drastically reduced my "scope."  I used to be so different.  My days were so full; I was "in charge" and "contributing."  My life was fulfilling and adventurous, and people were drawn to me.  But these last seven years seem to have changed my self-identity.  My only ticket out is writing my poetry and trying to stay in touch with other poets and artists, mostly through social media, small coffee shop "visits" and a couple of daytime workshops.  I am just starting to feel a bit better, and would like to venture out more and build new friendships and alliances.  But I'm unsure of myself.  Unsure how to re-enter the world.  Unsure if I seem "off" to others.  If I frighten people.  Or repulse them (Hello, Inner Critic).    Can anyone relate to this?  Thank you, LittleBoat

34
Other / Re: And Another Year..
« on: May 27, 2018, 07:10:46 PM »
Hi Phoebes,
I apologize for not fully understanding the emotional needs of your nephew.  It sounds like you might be two birds of a feather.  Is he old enough for phone calls, social media interactions, letters, books, gifts by mail from you, his favorite aunt?  That way, you two can have your special bond without you feeling the ambivalence and apprehension of dealing with your M or any other family member you don't feel safe being around.  I just heard so much ambivalence and guilt and confusion in your post, that I wanted to remind you that your M does not have the right to rule your life.  All best, Fave Aunt Phoebes, LittleBoat

35
Wow. As a relatively new person to this, I feel this is so eye opening and a bit challenging to let sink in. Thank you for sharing.

Dear Frilly,
I'm so glad I could be instructive, here.  My background, which might explain things a bit:  I'm 57.  Been with therapists and psychiatrists since I was 23.  I was diagnosed with Major Depression, suicidality, and Anxiety Disorder for years.  Then, PTSD was added.  Then bi-polar.  I've been on various psychiatric drugs, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics most of my adult life.  I've tried whatever therapeutic modality was in vogue at the time:  Inner child work, EMDR, DBT (recommended for PTSD, not so much for C-PTSD); I've also been in and out of psychiatric institutions in the past seven years, and took classes and participated in group work while there.  I've also done a lot of spiritual/mindfulness work.  And I took it upon myself to read books about childhood trauma and child abuse when such books were considered controversial because I knew something was up with me and my family, without professionals telling me.  I diagnosed myself in the last year or two with C-PTSD, and my psychiatrist (who specializes in trauma) is going along with me.  C-PTSD is not yet recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, and therefore, I cannot be "officially" diagnosed with it.  But, wow!  When I discovered it, I felt like I had discovered the root of a LOT of my issues.  And, when I look back on my lifetime of treatments, I think I could have saved myself a lot of time and money, a lot of painful knocking around in the dark, with therapies that didn't quite work and drugs that are now causing me problems.  But I think all those years of practiced and constant self-examination made my awareness of what is going on inside myself easier and quicker to recognize.  I recommend Pete Walker's work.  I also recommend going very very slowly.  Chip away at it slowly.  Take good care of yourself.  --LittleBoat

36
I am reading Pete Walker's book, which is helping enormously with understanding my psyche, how it works, how what was once a form of self-preservation, is now  deeply maladaptive.  I've begun doing Walker's advised work on tackling the Inner Critic, doing well with it, and wouldn't you know, just as he says, as soon as you gain some control over the Inner Critic, the Outer Critic jumps in to take its place.  It's like they play some sort of tag team to keep me frozen (and yes, I am a Freeze type).  I honestly believe that I had some form of "bottoming out," last week, in an argument with my husband.  I was convinced he had seriously gaslit me, and by the end of the day, I was a crying/yelling/physically-stiffened mess, shouting that I didn't trust him, that I didn't trust anyone.  At that point I was convinced that Nobody was safe.  That Nobody had my back.  I felt alone and abandoned.  The next day, I realized that my "bottoming out" was the Outer Critic, introducing itself to me in a way it never had before.  It was virulent.  It blinded/blindsided me.  The feeling of abandonment it brought with it was most certainly an emotional memory.  Very visceral and very primal.  I then realized that, all my life, I've prided myself on recognizing a potentially problematic person or situation before others do, wondering how blind they could be to warnings that seemed so obvious to me.  I realized that I had been, all my life, easily triggered by little things that others could simply brush off.  The faintest impression I'd have of a slight, of a person not being perfectly polite and gentle and understanding made me close that person out of my life in a snap.  And I've lost friends and opportunities to my Outer Critic's demands for 100% fealty to me and my safety.  I'm realizing that I, indeed, have the capacity to examine someone down to basically a "pore level," seeking perfection.  But that no longer serves me.  So, "How do you do, Outer Critic?  I can see you now."  And now, after my "bottoming out," my grand introduction to the Outer Critic, as well as the Inner, a new level of healing can begin.  Wish me luck, folks.  --LittleBoat

37
Other / Re: And Another Year..
« on: May 25, 2018, 09:51:24 PM »
I hear a lot of self-guilting, here, as well as tying yourself in knots, Phoebes.  But see:  Your safety and well-being come first.  Consider yourself wise and strong to make your self-care your top priority.  Your M is NOT "winning" by your not going, although I know it feels that way.   You are actually winning because you know you can choose what is best for you.  You also don't owe anyone anything in this situation.  I don't know the people involved, of course, but I'd like to throw out just a *possibility* if you don't attend:  Your nephew will be fine.  Your S will be fine.  Other people will be there.   Stuff will be going on.  Your absence will not be the center of others' attention (and if it is, there are more people than just your M for you to steer clear of).   And you are also not obligated to run your mind ragged figuring out how to *make it up to people*, as if you're committing some kind of deep and hurtful family betrayal.  You're not.  I say, cut yourself some slack on this one, especially as this is occurring during a difficult time of year for you.  Stay well.  All best, LittleBoat

38
Art / Re: Creativity Thread for Inner Children - Please Join Us!!!
« on: May 24, 2018, 10:36:08 PM »
Yay, Hope!  Pink away with those pinking shears!  Great idea for a thread!  All best, LittleBoat

39
Hi Hope.
Your posts about creativity are extremely poignant and Very easy for me to relate to.  I am a poet, essentially.  But I have also been a performer/singer, worked (when younger) in the visual arts, and also danced.  The performative activities were easy to carry out, but the writing has always been a huge struggle.  I'm sure, like you suspect, that my nm telegraphed messages to me that I was no good at it or it made me a "not nice" person.  The irony is that I earned a Ph.D. in poetry and poetics, taught and wrote poetry for years, to positive reviews, but the inner critic and, I'm learning, the outer critic conspire to silence me.  I am learning and just beginning to integrate the realization that my nm was extremely jealous of my talents.  She wasn't very clever and couldn't keep up.  Even when I was little.  When I have written over the years, I've felt like a salmon swimming upstream because I have had to constantly push back against the voices trying to shut me down.  I think that if I had at least a "good enough" mother, I would have allowed myself more exposure in terms of publishing and accepting reading invitations, applying to writers colonies and conferences, and just ....  do the things that poets do.  Thank you so much for sharing your insights.  That you keep a journal to work out how forces are operating in the deeper recesses of your psyche is beyond commendable, as it is very difficult to do.  And very valuable to others who struggle as you do.  So, I say, give yourself kudos for the creativity you're not even calling creativity, which is your self examination and journalling.  There are not many who dig deep in this way.  It is some of the hardest creative (and most valuable) work of all.  And you're already doing it.  All best, Little Boat

40
Woodsgnome, Thank you for your quick and caring answer to my question.  I am sorry you've experienced this phenomenon so much throughout your life.  I think, for me, performing and getting applause was a way to break through the trauma bubble.  I needed that heightened,extreme level of positive input to think I was "okay."  That you have done improv is extremely impressive.  I have heard comedians say how frightening it is to get in front of folks who they fear won't laugh or who leave or who heckle them.   It's like you're entering the very center of your confrontation with abandonment issues.  Wow. 

I thank everyone who have shared in this thread.  Thanks, Ralph, for jumping in.  This is a very supportive and informative place, and it has helped me a great deal, even though I'm quite new here.  --LittleBoat

41
I am assuming that what has happened to me since I was a very little girl is dissociation.  My parents would often get into violent and loud physical fights downstairs directly under my bedroom after I went to bed.  My father was physically violent and my mother was verbally vicious.  During these fights, I remember rising out of my body, floating above the bed.  This went on for years.  I've read some other threads under dissociation, and I can relate to having different "sides."  I have been quite successful professionally over the years, and have always been adventurous with traveling and also performing in front of large audiences.  Yet, when I look back, it sort of feels that I often wasn't always totally "attached" to myself, even while doing more daring and fun things.  And because I was also emotionally abused and neglected, I am extremely triggerable, and small slights that others might shrug off can literally fell me.  I am unable to regulate my sense of what is dangerous and what isn't.  I lose trust quickly and can easily feel some sort of primal abandonment.  This leads to days, weeks, of what I am assuming is dissociation.  I am currently *trying* to work my way through research on C-PTSD and affirmations / coping mechanisms specific to C-PTSD, but once I "float away," I'm pretty much not operable, can't focus or concentrate, and just, well, sleep a lot, as flashbacks and a nasty inner critic also creep in during these periods.  Do my descriptions of what I'm assuming is dissociation ring a bell with folks?  Thanks, LittleBoat

42
Family of Origin (FOO) / Re: Tentatively reconnecting with sibling
« on: May 19, 2018, 11:16:35 AM »
Blues Cruise, your posts make me think "buyer beware."  My suspicion, hunch, paranoia (?) is that the abusive parent will figure out a way to close in on the foo members who weren't as damaged as you were.  They'll figure out a way to use them as a conduit to either hoover you back in or punish you for trying to re-frame the family narrative.  Blues Cruise, you went  into this meeting with brother in good faith, and that was brave and commendable.  But how quickly your father inserted himself into a possibly renewed sibling connection in such a way as to hurt you and re-enmesh your brother.  The only thing I've learned, in my own situation with family members, is the abusive parent will always search and find a way to hurt you, through them.  I wish this wasn't so.  Take good care, LittleBoat

43
General Discussion / Re: worsens with age?
« on: May 18, 2018, 08:41:15 PM »
Hi Saylor,

I am 57, and I can say that, for me, this seems to be true.  My Fifties have been challenging.  I am more easily "felled" than I was in decades past.  More fragile.  More in need of medical/therapeutic intervention.  I was quite accomplished when younger.  Had a full and varied career.  Earned a Ph.D.  Travelled.  Entered into a successful marriage.  I was happy, popular and magnetic.  But my MOTHER (all caps) was always emotionally abusive, and I did have flashbacks to childhood trauma, even in my younger, more confident years.  By my Fifties, it was as if my psyche was disintegrating.  Severe suicidal ideation, symptoms of C-PTSD coming in, stronger, prolonged flashbacks, the need for hospitalizations and more meds.  I was no longer able to work at a job I loved, nor was I able to do things I had previously done with ease.  I had a good run, given the severe childhood abuse, and I'm proud of my earlier accomplishments (not easy to do with an Inner Critic, which made my forward movement and achievement feel like a salmon pressing its way upstream).  But things started to go wrong in my 50s, with my FOO, with my physical health, with social timidness, and now I think I have just run out of youthful resilience.  This feels bleak, to me.  But I do think about this.  Thank you for bringing it up.  It gives me food for thought. 

44
I have been NC with my PDM for at least a year, maybe two.  I said Merry Christmas on phone.  Other than that, nothing.  I was her SG.  My older siblings are oblivious to my memories, in deep denial, yet I suspect my older sister knows something was up, based on things she's said and done.  Otherwise, the denial from my sister and brother crushes me.  I have had to scale back my contact with them, almost to nothing in order to avoid triggering.  But they don't reach out much at all, anyway.  However, my sister has left two phone calls and a text over the last week (occurring near Mothers Day).  She is in late-stage renal cancer, so it is sad that we are not in better contact.  But I so fear that my mother is using her as a conduit to get at me.  I fear my mother is also using my elderly aunt, who is fully aware of the abuse, as she suffered it herself, at the hands of both my PDM and PDF (her brother) all her life.  I can live without talking to my sibs (however unnatural it feels), because they are in denial.  But my aunt loves me dearly and played a protective role when I was a kid and throughout my life.  She is the only family member I can freely talk with about my struggles, but my mother seems to have figured out a way to make her vulnerable and hoover through her.  So I've had to cut off talking with her, as well.  I am extremely self protective right now, as I am working very hard on recovery and am very easily triggered.  How do others handle what feels like a dangerous (and tragic) balancing act of who to talk with and when?  If there is another thread that addresses this issue, I would be grateful if you could point me in that direction.  Thank you, LittleBoat

45
Mother's/Father's Day / Re: Here It Comes! Mother's Day
« on: May 13, 2018, 04:16:02 PM »
Kizzie, Thank you for this thread, for helping me with technical glitches in  order to get me here in time for Mothers Day.  But also, thank you for your honesty about where you're at emotionally, modeling for us how to keep up with our own changing moods, anywhere from hopefulness to trepidation.  CPTSD is unpredictable and always comes out of left field.  We can be sideswiped by it, and if we are lucky, we can grow some resilience and learn some coping skills.  But if we are not so lucky on any particular day, we need to acknowledge that, too.   My bipolar is pretty overpowering today, and that is entwined with my CPTSD.   The shadow of my mother and my FOO is coloring things.  I am imagining my siblings and their families visiting my mother, with whom I'm NC, and how they're listening to her sound all sad and distressed that I'm staying away from her, agreeing with her that I'm a terrible daughter and an ungrateful family member.  This scenario might or might not be true.  But I will say this:  the sun is out, and I am in bed, with my blinds drawn.  It's as if I'm gaslighting myself!

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