A Safe Place To Be Visible

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notalone

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Re: Trigger Warning - Child abuse
« Reply #510 on: March 28, 2021, 08:24:06 PM »
Bach, I feel compassion for you that you are in so much pain now. I wish I could hug you IRL.  :hug:

I started writing a lot about "absolving" your mom, but it seemed too much in my head for where you are at right now. I will just say that for me, forgiveness is a complex, many layered issue.

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Bach

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #511 on: March 29, 2021, 02:58:09 PM »
Blueberry, I understand, and I thank you for your care and your hug  :hug: 

Notalone, thank you, too :hug:  I would really like to know your thoughts about "absolving", "forgiving", etc., if you want to share them.  I appreciate your being careful of my mental state, trying not to lay too much on me like that, but I think perspectives on that issue could be helpful to me.  It is indeed a complex and many-layered one, and an ongoing source of ambivalence and confusion for me.  There was a time when I was deeply attached to the idea that I must stay angry and not forgive, but now I don't really know what to think or feel about it.  So if you can, and especially if it would be good for YOU, please do share.

I realised today that lately I have been in a sort of ongoing emotional flashback, not to a specific incident, but to actual emotions, those of feeling inadequate, unworthy, unloved, unwanted.  I have the age-old tape playing in my head, the one I remember so well from childhood, "Nobody loves me.  Nobody wants me.  I am ugly.  I am bad", etc.  I have the desire to ask for reassurance, but even if I ask for it and receive it, it doesn't satisfy.  My Person tells me all the time how much he loves and cares about me, but it feels empty.  I want Other to tell me he loves me, but he doesn't use those words.  I have had a very hard time restraining myself from asking for some kind of reassurance from him, but I must, because asking him for reassurance either directly or indirectly would probably cause a fight and that's the last thing I need right now.  I realise, writing this out, that this mirrors my relationships with my parents.

It's almost time for therapy.  Oh boy.  That's another problem. 

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dollyvee

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #512 on: March 30, 2021, 09:01:12 AM »
I'm really sorry that happened to you and I don't think it's a rant or whining to try and untangle the place you're in now. When you have to go through experiences like that and your parents dress them up in a different manner and the outside world seems to recognize the functioning guise of a "family" (this is what I'm getting from your post but I may be projecting), it's a crazy making place to be in. I hope you are safe now too  :hug:

My mom was along similar lines and seemed to have a need to be "powerful" over me. For a long time I was angry - I am being reasonable and trying to talk to you about it but it's falling on deaf ears. Then the move away and make my own life phase - this is the most tricky I think because I have to come to terms with why she was not responsive and it doesn't make "rational" sense (I think what did I do, why am I a bad person, maybe I'm not understanding enough). I didn't get a lot of answers, it was just a soup really. Understanding that her behaviour comes under the narcissism definition and what that means, a big part of which was realizing that I have the right to stand up for myself against that behaviour (and that I have to because she wasn't going to be the mom that I needed and stand up for me), was a good start to disentangling from everything and putting it back together in a way that made sense. I was always walking the line between being angry and trying to feel sympathetic about what ppl in my family may have had to go through. Although, I did always feel that if I had a choice to make the effort not to pass this stuff on, then they did too. It was only after she died that I felt "released," or partially released. I think there is a very strong, very subconscious, deep part that always wanted my mom to be that person that I needed. Even though I could intellectually understand that she was a narc/never going to be that person/etc, the idea didn't trickle down to this part. But after she died it felt like it had closure on that idea and could start to move forward.

I've been processing this a lot lately (hence the rambling message) and I don't know if it's forgiveness (because to me that says it's ok you did that to me; or a part doesn't feel protected by that like she's going to stomp all over my boundaries/person again) but can see it as a compassion for the things that she had to go through. That this was her time on earth and she had those things to do for her own self. I also would say that it's not just compassion for her, but compassion for her through me as I've come to understand that some of my parts have mirrored her behaviour and taken on that critical harshness as a means to protect myself, but in understanding those parts of me that have taken it on and feeling compassion towards them, I also feel compassion towards her. Through absolving myself, I am absolving her. That if I am in this much pain, I can imagine how much pain she must have been in to do these things to me and the amount of self-loathing she had to do those things to herself. 

These are just my thoughts....thank you for letting me share them. I'm not sure if they relate to you or not.


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Bach

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #513 on: March 30, 2021, 05:46:25 PM »
dollyvee, thank you for your response :hug:  It's a lot to think about.  As I was reading what you wrote, the thing that came into my mind was the idea of absolving myself.  I'm not completely sure what that would mean but there's something there.  I would like to not constantly feel like a helpless victim.  I feel that there's a connection to be made there, and I will be thinking about it.  Maybe forgiveness or absolution or whatever it is means something different to me now than it did before.  I think I have been coming from a mistaken idea that if it's not my fault then it must be hers, but I am realising that the whole notion of "fault" is a drastic oversimplification.  Perhaps there is progress to be gained for me in finding a different way to look at it.  I'm not sure what that way would be, especially because I struggle to think about my mother from any perspective other than that of the hurting and gaslighted child, but I will keep working on it. 

Meanwhile, I got my covid vaccination today, and what a ordeal that was.  The shot itself was nothing, but HELLO FLASHBACKS.  So humiliating.  I wanted to write about it but I feel too ashamed, too small and weak and too much like a mother-blaming victim.  Not good.  I'm supposed to see Other this evening.  I hope I can make it.  I'm going to lie down now.

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dollyvee

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #514 on: March 31, 2021, 08:59:03 PM »
It's good to hear that you found something in it. I've been doing some IFS recently and this is the direction my parts have kind of led me in. I came across a book called The Energetic Dimension and might be a bit out there for some but this resonated with me. She writes:

"Whether we blame ourselves, the other, or both, we are stuck in the energy of blame and it is difficult to heal. I have found from my many years of doing psychotherapy and shamanic work that no one can deeply heal until they are able to develop compassion for themselves and all that they went through, and in time, come to a place of understanding as to why the person that harmed us did so...The Energy of blame stems from the dualistic perspective of right and wrong. Either I am right or they are right. It assumes that the other set out to intentionally hurt us, that there are no extenuating circumstances to explain why the other acted as they did...They project their own pain and wounds onto their child thereby perceiving the child as the worst version of themselves; one that deserves to be beaten and verbally abused."

I relate to what she's say but it's taken me a long time to get to a place of understanding and beginning to see it that way  :fallingbricks: :hug:

Sorry you're having flashbacks. Those feelings are valid and they're probably trying their best to protect you.

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Hope67

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #515 on: April 01, 2021, 07:52:08 AM »
Hi Bach,
I wanted to say that I hope you're feeling a bit better after your covid vaccination.   Look after yourself, and I'm sending you a safe hug  :hug:  I hope you were able to see Other, as I know you hoped to be able to. 
Hope  :)

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notalone

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #516 on: April 03, 2021, 06:27:35 PM »
Bach, I'm sorry that getting the vaccine caused flashbacks.

Notalone, thank you, too :hug:  I would really like to know your thoughts about "absolving", "forgiving", etc., if you want to share them.  I appreciate your being careful of my mental state, trying not to lay too much on me like that, but I think perspectives on that issue could be helpful to me.  It is indeed a complex and many-layered one, and an ongoing source of ambivalence and confusion for me.  There was a time when I was deeply attached to the idea that I must stay angry and not forgive, but now I don't really know what to think or feel about it.  So if you can, and especially if it would be good for YOU, please do share.

Bach, these are my thoughts in process. Certainly no conclusions or answers here.

I think that if there is someone who I need to forgive, that person has harmed me in some way. There is a need for justice, for payment. Maybe the definition of forgiveness is letting go of the need for pay-back. If someone steps on my toe and I am hurt, do I pay back by stomping on his toe? Do I forgive, i.e. release the person from the need of punishment? Of course we are talking about issues and injury much bigger and longer lasting then a sore toe.

Unless we are talking about a legal case, the irony is that holding on to the desire for justice, hurts us, not the person who harmed. In my case most of those people are dead or no longer in my life. So why do I hang on to the desire for payback?

Truthfully, I want that person to hurt. I want them to pay for the injury they caused me.
Somehow, hanging onto the desire for justice, feels like a protection to me. If I say, "I no longer require ________ to pay/suffer for what she did to me. I leave that in God's hands," am I making myself vulnerable to further injury? I feel this, even though the person is no longer in my life.

I guess the question to ask myself is: "Why am I holding onto the desire for that person to pay? What is keeping me from letting go of that?" Not an easy question to answer and probably many answers and many layers.

Regarding someone asking for forgiveness: Awhile ago, someone hurt me deeply. Another friend asked me if he had asked me to forgive him. I said no. I realized that if he had asked me to forgive him, that would be for HIM. It seems that it would close the door on further discussion. For him to acknowledge, "I know I hurt you when I did _______ . I'm really sorry," lets me know he got what he did and that it was harmful. It allows for further conversation. Me forgiving is something that happens in me, when I'm ready.

I would also say there is a difference between forgiveness (something that happens within me) and restoration (involving two people).

You used the word "absolving." To me that means the person is free from guilt. Personally, I think that is something only God can do. Forgiveness, letting go of MY desire to see justice served, is something that can happen within me.

I think forgiveness is an ongoing process, not a one-time thing.

I hope this doesn't add confusion. I am processing and my thoughts about it today may change over time.

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Bach

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #517 on: May 11, 2021, 03:17:37 PM »
Hi everyone  :wave:  I just wanted to say Hi and say that I'm still here.  I've been having a very hard time both physically and mentally since I got the vaccine, but I'm still here.  I wish I could write but it's too hard.  The blank page makes me freeze.  Maybe soon?  I hope so.

Lots of love to my friends here  :hug: :grouphug:

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notalone

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #518 on: May 11, 2021, 05:21:43 PM »
 :grouphug:

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Hope67

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #519 on: May 11, 2021, 07:06:51 PM »
Hi Bach,
Sending you warm hugs  :hug:
Hope  :)

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Armadillo

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #520 on: May 11, 2021, 07:15:39 PM »
Hi!  :hug:

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woodsgnome

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #521 on: May 12, 2021, 03:41:23 PM »
"Maybe soon?" We all hope so, but it's also great just to know you're still here, an important cog for all our journeys. Best to you ...

           :grouphug:

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Bach

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #522 on: May 14, 2021, 01:18:28 PM »
Thank you for the hugs, notalone, Hope, Armadillo and woodsgnome  :hug: :grouphug: 

Many bad feelings running around in here.  I feel GUILTY because objectively, my life is really good right now.  It's certainly better than it could be, and better by far than it was when I was younger.  There are plenty of people functioning much better than I am in much worse conditions.  And yet all I do is whine and feel sorry for myself and wish that I was dead.

Also, I am FRUSTRATED, because I don't know what's holding me back and I don't understand why I can't get past it.  There's no reason why I should be so sick and depressed, inert and dysfunctional.  I believe there is something deep down in my psyche that simply will not let me feel good and be well.  I understand why it's there (because of my childhood, my mother didn't want me didn't feed me didn't cuddle me, my father gave up on me, nobody nurtured me they hated me resented me, blah blah, waah, waah, whine, whine whine whine whine whine whine), but not why I am so powerless against it.  I am so (*^&^%*^ sick of therapy, discussing ad nauseum all the old hurts and complaints, going over the same old ground again and again, understanding how and why I got like this but never able to figure out what to do about it!  And every day is a struggle, every single little thing I do whether chore, routine or recreation, whether it's an understandable drudgery or whether it's something that I theoretically like to do and should be able to enjoy doing, every single little thing is painful and difficult.  I fight through it as much as I can, falling well short all the way, and then when I have nothing left I lie on the couch watching TV, waiting for bedtime, half-wishing to not wake up in the morning, half-fearing that my life will be over before I know it without me being finished yet!!!, hoping for a good night's sleep, hoping to wake up feeling ready to face the day, never getting either one.  I have clay class today and I should be/want to be/wish I was excited about that and looking forward to it, but all I can manage is the very slightest and most obligation-bound feeling of "Yeah, I'll do that, and then I'll be glad it's done, and I'll go home and watch some stupid TV show again."  THIS IS NOT LIVING.

(But at least I wrote something!)

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Armadillo

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #523 on: May 14, 2021, 02:16:43 PM »
 :hug:

I think a lot of us can relate quite well to all of that. And it sounds like such a struggle to get through each day. It's so hard...painful...to be kind to ourselves so we can't really see and appreciate how hard we are working, how little we actually whine compared to the suffering we go through each day, compared to the abuse or neglect dished out to us. Please keep coming back and telling us how hard it is so we can help you see you are not weak and whiny. You are persevering even though your brain right now doesn't want to let you feel joy. That's pretty amazing.

Do me a favor today in clay class? Steal a tiny little piece of clay and shape something funny under the table. I have the sense of humor of a child so you can think of me there with you giggling at whatever you make. Just show it to me for a split second and then you can squish it. Oh and no pressure to be witty or anything. I will quite literally laugh at anything. It's my superpower.

On a serious note...
I don't know the answer other than to keep trying different things.  I worked on the same entrenched  problem the same way for years but the tools we used were mostly CBT. Switching the tool cracked this issue for me literally almost over night and I do feel a lot more lightness peace and joy. All the work leading to up to that moment was vital to it working but it was never going to be the thing that pushed it to the point of complete relief.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 02:20:18 PM by Armadillo »

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Hope67

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Re: A Safe Place To Be Visible
« Reply #524 on: May 24, 2021, 06:20:22 PM »
Hi Bach,
Yes, you did write something.  What you wrote made a lot of sense to me.  I wanted to send you a supportive hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)