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Introductory Post / Re: Never done this and Iím terrified
« Last post by Three Roses on Today at 05:30:20 PM »
I like the term "sparkle moments". It accurately describes things for me, too. Glad you found us, thanks for joining!

(I'm a huge emoji person, I use it to represent the body language, tone, and facial expressions missing from online communication. I apologize in advance if I forget and use emojis when replying to you - and I'm okay with being reminded!)
Recovery Journals / Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Last post by Three Roses on Today at 04:41:48 PM »
I will echo owl's recommendation of IFS. I'd ask your T if you could read a bit about it. I think it's important that you not rush things, and proceed according to your T's plan of therapy, as long as you feel it's helping. But imo IFS is really helpful at getting to the root issues, helping the children we were (and who still live within us) find the healing needed to release the pain of the past.

After an incident between my F and my youngest son who was about 4 at the time, I went VLC with them. It was sad that my children couldn't be close to one set of their grandparents, but it was better that they not have them in their lives if they were doing damage. Up until that incident, I'd always believed the problem was me, that I was somehow bad or whatever, and that's why my parents acted the way they did. After that incident, I began to realize the problem was my parents. I say this to pose the idea that maybe you're protecting your kids from harm, by not having contact with your parents.

Another thing that helped me was a book called "Adult Children of Abusive Parents" by Stephen Farmer, specifically the section where he guides you to create loving, healthy internal parents. Creating that resource within myself was a turning point in my life. Again, I would suggest that if you're interested in reading that, you do so with the approval of your current therapist.

I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time, but healing can be hard work. Worth it, most assuredly, but hard. Here's a safe :hug: if you want it.
SOT - Sense of Threat (eg Hypervigilance) / Re: Waking up to a new day
« Last post by marta1234 on Today at 01:18:41 PM »
I donít know if this helps, but for me mornings or the afternoon sun is very triggering on my bad days. When I see the light I just want to curl up and disappear. Iím thinking that for me, it was because most times mornings and afternoons were when everyone (FOO) woke up (on weekends or holidays), and were eating breakfast or lunch (which I had to join). The conversations at the table were always nerve wracking so I think I just developed anxiety for this.

I also wanted to add a hug for you (if itís ok), as I know sleep deprivation is very hard. :hug: for a good rest
Recovery Journals / Re: Owl's journal
« Last post by owl25 on Today at 12:22:06 PM »
Hi Hope, thank you for saying hi and welcoming me, it makes me feel very welcome. I have been reading some of your journal too but haven't felt like I had much to offer in response yet. Nice to meet you :)
Recovery Journals / Re: Buddy9832ís Journal
« Last post by owl25 on Today at 12:19:27 PM »
Buddy, that is so difficult and so painful. I know the pain you talk about. I really can relate to how painful it is to experience love or care and how that feels like salt in the wounds. It hurts when we finally do feel love from others. For me, I think sometimes I have avoided letting care in because it was so painful.

What you are going through can feel like a death. I went through some stuff with my parents too, not the same situation as you, but what is the same is the inability to emotionally connect, and to be there. My parents did care about my kids, but they were still too caught up in their own defences to really be present with them, just like it was with me when I was growing up. They were there, but not there. In your case it's another step further, not even showing any interest. That hurts, deeply.

It's not your fault that this is the situation. It's not your fault your parents are incapable of showing love. It does not mean you aren't worthy of it. It's a deficit of theirs, not yours. I know it hurts anyway, though.

Not sure if you've heard of IFS (Internal Family Systems), but I've been reading about it for a few years now and finally started IFS therapy these past couple of months. It's already making a big difference to how I feel about myself. I just wanted to share this with you in case it's something that might be helpful for you as well. The IFS is really helping me start to feel more whole within myself, and more safe and worthy of care and love. It really becomes an internalized feeling and it's amazing. It doesn't take away the grief and the pain around our FOO, and we still have to go through the grieving process. But the IFS makes it possible to do the grieving.

I'm sorry you know all this pain too. You deserved better and your children deserve better too.  :hug:
SOT - Sense of Threat (eg Hypervigilance) / Waking up to a new day
« Last post by owl25 on Today at 11:58:52 AM »
Hi everyone, I hope someone might be able to give me some insight and help me with this, it's something I've not really been able to resolve for several years now. Waking up in the mornings and realizing it's a new day feels unsafe to me. The moment I wake up and realize it's morning I suddenly have anxiety. My body just tenses up and I am on guard. I don't feel relaxed and I just feel on edge. It takes me a while to ease into the day and to start to feel safe and get grounded. I can wake up in the middle of the night and be fine, I can sleep in the day and wake up and be fine. It's mornings in particular. Any idea what might be going on here and what I could do? I really would love to be able to have a good night's sleep and wake up rested and relaxed. Most of my nights these days are fairly decent sleep wise. The mornings that I have nightmares I wake up with the anxiety worse. I do tend to still go to bed later than I should, resulting in not quite enough hours of sleep. I tried IFS this morning and tried to check in with different parts of me, but it's like they didn't know I was there. I couldn't connect with myself. I'm still somewhat in that state. It was a bit harder to do too because I felt really groggy. It's like none of my system is online yet when I wake up and by default my guard goes up.
Introductory Post / Re: Hello!
« Last post by owl25 on Today at 11:47:04 AM »
Welcome Em. I am glad things are falling into place for you and starting to make sense. That makes a big difference  :) Glad you are here with us  :heythere:
Introductory Post / Re: Never done this and Iím terrified
« Last post by owl25 on Today at 11:45:54 AM »
Hello ash2Phoenix, welcome to OOTS, I am glad you found your way here. I haven't been here long, but found this is a very supportive and understanding community that gets it. It's been a breath of fresh air to be in a place where people just get it. I hope you feel safe and at home here soon.
t's still in that early phase where they haven't "noticed" yet (which is just more proof of the "narc cloud" hovering over all of them, I feel), it's only been a few months, but today I got all stuck in my head about what I'd tell a LC sibling when they finally decide to confront me on it, if ever. What I'd say, what I'd confront them about myself, how I could possibly pass the guilt and shame I feel in isolation back on to them so I don't feel like it's on my shoulders so much, because it's so unfair; but most of all, the itching feeling like I owed an explanation.

I always find it baffling how some people with personality disorders just straight up don't recognise that a family member isn't full contact with them any longer. In my experience, if you're still serving them from time to time and stoking their ego enough then they don't really acknowledge a problem. I was quite low contact with my father for years with him only contacting me when he wanted a favour doing, which was all fine until he took offence at the one occasion when I wasn't able to meet his demands. The idea that we ever had a loving, genuine relationship and that he misses me is actually laughable. I think if family isn't even noticing low contact then the shame for the situation truly isn't yours to bear, as they're clearly not seeing you or taking any accountability for their role in the circumstances. 

Where I always get to when I'm caught in these spirals also is that I know FOO well enough to know they don't spiral over these things in the same way - except my enabler sis maybe, but she has the toxic support of my other FOO members to keep her feeling validated that she's in the right if she has doubts (which, of course, is why she's enabling and fawning, to feel safe in the dynamic, like she always has). Meanwhile, I dont have that.

Then it makes me realize that there isn't a capacity for empathy on their side of things like there is on mine. If they truly cared, they'd be spinning their wheels in the same way figuring out how to get through that they care for me genuinely. Only, they don't, obviously! They would have done that by now if I was a priority.

Yeah definitely, the lack of empathy on NF's part is something I always forget when I'm triggered into shame. I often project my feelings of sadness and guilt on to him, all the while forgetting that he's coccooned in his usual dynamic and has expressed no wish to address reality. He's validated by enabling people around him who choose to maintain the status quo so there's no incentive for him to attempt change.

PD people (and their flying monkeys) are like flame, if you toss them any emotion at all it just feeds them like dry tinder. I think I'm learning this. I was just watching a show and there was an awesome line: "What do they say about arguing with i***ts? They pull you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience." (Sorry to quote an insulting term! I don't think PDs are i***ts, but I think the concept applies to dealing with PD folk too, sorry if it comes of too harsh.)

But you're on a different level. Medium chill is a concept I really like: the only way to deal with fire is to be like ice. Preserve yourself. Even showing that you care gives the opportunity for the fire, and thus more abuse, to spread. Every emotion is a tool against you. So why outwardly show that you do care by writing them? Why expose yourself?

The only reason: the pangs of guilt, shame, and sadness over being scapegoated are painful, and you want an outlet for them. But the thing is that they're a sign of your humanity; that you do care about them deeply. But that's an emotion you have the beautiful privilege and power to keep completely to yourself and know what it means. When they have access to it though, it gets warped and turned into something ugly (and turned against you, for that matter), so preserve it for yourself and don't give them anything.

We don't owe anyone (especially a fellow peer adult - great point, Jazzy!) an explanation about what we must do to feel deserving of self-confidence and peace of mind.

Oh absolutely, I think NF's personality disorder thrives on the chaos and he gets a high from feeling a sense of power. I first really recognised this after the first communication boundary I tried putting in place, after which he came to my home out of the blue and showed no emotion whatsoever. He seemed to have a really odd energy about him though, as if he was enjoying (and even excited by) my obvious discomfort over him being there. He was whispering about me to his now wife in full earshot with no respect for my feelings and went as far as to aggressively poke me in the ribs, which I'm just shocked by now when I recall it. It's something he always used to do when I was a little girl if I ever dared show any defiance and is actually very painful, more so than you might think. When living in relative peace it's so easy to forget what the reality of his demeanour actually is.

Medium chill is really valuable when contacting any person who has demonstrated time and time again that they have no respect for your feelings. I've been reading up on Myers Briggs personality types recently and although there's some controversy over how accurate it is, it is an interesting insight into how some personalities are dominated by feeling whereas others might be dominated by thinking, plus how that changes our perceptions of and reactions to events. I'm very much a feeler and I think because I'm naturally sensitive it is very easy for someone such as my father to exploit this for his own amusement.

The thing with NPD is that it's often referred to an illness and we possibly assign some leniency to the affected person as a result (against my better judgement, I've read many articles which show a lot of sympathy for them), because most people with illnesses more than anything want to get better. Narcissists rarely do this. My father has disordered, unhealthy patterns of thinking which no doubt stems from his own abusive childhood, however he can also think logically when it comes to choosing which social mask to wear on any given day and is very skilled at hiding any evidence of his abuse towards others. The latter demonstrates to me that he knows his behaviour is unacceptable but chooses to go ahead and treat people badly anyway because he knows he can so easily manipulate people's emotions and get away with it. Is failure to take accountability really a result of narcissistic illness, or is it just the sign of a very unpleasant person who doesn't care? We can't make this call and personally I find that my viewpoint varies depending on how I'm feeling in myself. Currently I'm feeling calm and well-rested and can clearly see that he should be taking accountability rather than being let off the hook, so it's probably a good time to get these more reality-driven thoughts down on paper, if only for my own benefit to reflect back on when I start beating myself up again.
Recovery Journals / Re: Hope's Journal: Continuing to Befriend My Parts.
« Last post by Hope67 on Today at 08:07:27 AM »
Thanks Three Roses and Notalone  :hug: :hug:

I slept better last night. 
Hope  :)
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