Feeling uneasy on Thanksgiving ..

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SE7

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Feeling uneasy on Thanksgiving ..
« on: November 22, 2018, 04:49:53 PM »
I haven't been to this forum in a long time .. I am in a long phase of "Detached Contact" from my narc. family.

Today I have to go over their house, and see the narc. parents & golden child/flying monkey/narc-in-training sibling. Plus some extended family members/friends. I'm starting to get anxious and afraid of what I will have to deal with.

I have tried to keep very limited contact with all of them for about 5 months now. My main mode of therapy includes reading "Hidden Abuse" by Shannon Thomas, because I'm dealing with narcs who are Coverts for the most part. She has a section in her book that explains why full NC is not always an option for everyone, and that it's a very personal decision based on the type of narcissists, intensity of levels, circumstances, etc. That felt very validating to read. I think I am doing a good job of keeping Detached Contact. But of course this does involve having to attend Thanksgiving. It's only for a few hours.

So I don't know what I'm saying except I'm nervous. I don't relish the thought of sitting near my sibling who actually I forgot to mention I am NC with (it's my parents that are DC). I also have to sit by my cousin and her new husband which is awkward because I did not attend the wedding. My B/NPD mother has often made a point of telling me about how great her relationships with my cousins are (a covert tactic to compare my shortfall). My sibling is the exact opposite of me at this stage in life, which is upsetting in itself because growing up we were very close, but our paths diverged into literal opposites. I pretty much despise him now because he decided to become like our narc. parents as a means of fawning behavior towards them (one of the four trauma responses). The main issue with him is betrayal.

My CPTSD involves major problems with flight & freeze trauma responses. This has caused me endless problems with money & employment. I am dealing with that right now which I think is compounding the anxiety about seeing them all later today. If asked what I'm doing with my life, the answer will have to be very vague, to keep along with DC, and because I am still dealing with a lot of dissociation problems regarding the employment issue. My life has been at a standstill for 2 years, which makes me feel like a failure. And today I will no doubt have to hear about all the great things they're doing. Much of my freeze phase these past few years was a direct result of my malignant covert narc. father's abhorrent treatment (manipulation) of me while I lived with them after losing everything several years ago.

I am trying hard to move forward, but I seem to be caught in a difficult phase of recovery (the setting boundaries phase I guess, and recovering my self-esteem). I feel lost and nervous about the future in general, and I can't wait for this dinner tonight to be over with.

Anyway, just wanted to be here in solidarity with anyone in a similar situation (or anyone with CPTSD for that matter). Thanks for reading.

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Three Roses

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Re: Feeling uneasy on Thanksgiving ..
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2018, 04:29:20 AM »
Hi se7, how did your Thanksgiving go? I hope it wasn't too awful.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Feeling uneasy on Thanksgiving ..
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2018, 04:36:14 AM »
hope it went ok for you.  glad you're taking care of you, se7.   i'm thankful for that.   :hug:

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SE7

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Re: Feeling uneasy on Thanksgiving ..
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2018, 02:56:06 AM »
Thank you for your replies, Three Roses and sanmagic7 :)

Actually I have to say that the Thanksgiving dinner went pretty well .. it was not nearly as bad as I feared. I actually spoke with my sibling more than anyone there, and he was decent, so were my parents. The cousins were nice as well.  I hardly talked to NF, and my B/NM did try to make 'positive scenes' to brag about me to her friends. There were a lot more people there than anticipated, and I do not like to socialize so I retreated to another room much of the time, lol. I did feel the need to put up boundaries with a lot of strangers who apparently heard a lot about me from NM, so the aggressiveness of them wanting to socialize with me triggered my need to isolate. Surprisinglly - there seemed to be a rule that no one was to discuss volatile topics .. and it actually really helped.

I can't really say any major issues - because you know when coverts who superficially present a 'do-gooder' image are entertaining a crowd - it's kept superficial, which means no real drama. Drama is more likely to happen I guess in a smaller FOO setting?! Every situation is unique ... hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving! Thank you for just being here :)