results of my neglect

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sanmagic7

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results of my neglect
« on: January 26, 2020, 01:24:22 PM »
i'm digging into this deeper than i have by writing here.  when i've written about this in my journal, it seemed like i was more distant from it.  here, i'm putting it in my face, looking at it hard and true.  already i can feel my gut roiling up inside me.

i always had food and a roof over my head, 2 parents, so i wasn't neglected that way.  but we weren't taught very much about basic hygiene - baths once a week (and when my sis and i were young, we shared the bathwater, first one, then the other to save money, i guess), and my college roommate taught me about brushing my teeth in the morning to get rid of morning breath.  it was an aunt who bought me my first bra.  i wasn't allowed to shave my legs till i got to high school - until then, i wore knee socks so that i wouldn't be called 'gorilla legs' anymore.

emotionally, my parents didn't know what to do w/ emotions, and i was very sensitive so i had a lot.  but, by the age of 2, from what i understand, my F was very strict w/ me and i can't quite imagine how he must have restricted my spirit, but my M told me before she died that she'd told him to let up on the next baby (my S was born when i was 22 mos. old) and for her to say anything must've meant it was quite bad.  i do know that i lost the capability to feel, recognize, and verbalize what i was feeling until just the past few years.  before that i went into all kinds of situations feeling only curiosity and confusion.

not having access to my feelings (it's called alexithymia, and it was someone on the forum who recognized it for me) meant a life without fear, pain, empathy or compassion (i couldn't relate to how others felt).  someone told me once that i had no compassion, and i hadn't a clue as to what that meant.  my t recently told me to have compassion for my little me, but quite honestly, i don't know exactly what that looks like.  i can feel sorry for myself, but i don't know if that's the same as compassion.  my D2 just told me last week that what my mex. H had said to me was insensitive (which set off all kinds of new triggers, and i'm not talking to him right now, but after she named that, i was able to get mad about it)/  except for her naming that, i would've never thought it or known that's what it was.  nuances escape me.

so, i'm struggling now, desperately.  i can count on one hand how many times i've gotten mad in my life before the age of 65, and those times were only because i'd tolerated so much abuse that the anger exploded out of me like a pressure cooker blowing sky high.  the only emotion i've felt on a regular basis was sadness.  and i'm very sad for what i'm going thru right now.

but throughout my life, confusion reigned, and love.  i know how to love, i feel love all the time, but as for the rest of it, i've been confused.  i floated thru most of my adult life, really not having any idea of what was going on around me.  a friend pointed this out to me once, that i was noticed for how i looked (in a good way) by everyone else, but that i hadn't a clue.  she was right - i never saw myself the way others have.  i just went where the wind took me, like a leaf moving on air currents from here to there to somewhere else.

lately, since i moved in w/ my D#2, who has been kind, gentle, and patient w/ me, and i've eliminated most everyone who has caused me stress in my life, the pain of what i've gone thru, just from this type of neglect and restriction, has made itself known.  i could feel hurt at what people did, but i didn't feel the pain until now, and it's overwhelming me at times.  i'm also scared of feeling more.

my t set an assignment for me to have a funeral for my family (i chose the fam i had w/ my ex and 2 D's) and as i was writing, i felt pain like i've never felt in my life.  it overwhelmed me to the point where i had to stop, move away from it, and come back to it at a later time.  no, emotional pain is brand new to me, and i believe it's been trapped in my body all these years - diagnosed as fibromyalgia.  i truly believe, tho, that all that muscle pain is a result of pushing it into me, absorbing it, instead of allowing it, feeling it, and crying it out.

my gut is balled up right now, and i know this is painful stuff, but i don't feel it like i believe it would be natural to feel.  i may be holding back because of the fear of feeling it now.  i'm not crying, either, so all those toxic tears are staying inside me, too.  i pushed myself to write this here today - honestly, i just want some quality of life, and the way i've been living is not that.  the choices i've made, the abuse i've taken, tolerated, absorbed throughout my life, partners and friends i've allowed, addictions - well, they numbed the pain, didn't they! - all of it is due to emotional neglect.  i'm hating my parents right now (at least that's a feeling).

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Snowdrop

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Re: results of my neglect
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2020, 03:22:16 PM »
I can relate to a lot of this. There are parts that sound so much like my experiences that I could have written them, word for word.

In terms of compassion, I feel the care you have for people here. I don't know if it helps to think of compassion in terms of that love and care? :Idunno: Please ignore this thought if it's unhelpful.

You're precious, San. My heart goes out to you. :bighug: :bighug: :bighug:

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Blueberry

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Re: results of my neglect
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2020, 03:53:01 PM »
san, I'm glad you're getting some of this stuff out! I know you've mentioned their neglect of you before, but now you're sharing details and even some of your emotions on that. I can especially relate to the neglect on basic hygiene.

I agree with Snowdrop that you show compassion to many many mbrs on here. To have come that far again, I think that's a huge amount of healing!   :hug: :hug:

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Phoebes

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Re: results of my neglect
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2020, 04:34:02 PM »
San, I can tell we've experienced so much of the same, as well as presently. Reading what you are feeling and going through helps it feel real.

"so, i'm struggling now, desperately.  i can count on one hand how many times i've gotten mad in my life before the age of 65, and those times were only because i'd tolerated so much abuse that the anger exploded out of me like a pressure cooker blowing sky high."

It's not your fault. How could you have experienced the flow of life of someone who had been loved and encouraged, when those who were supposed to love you made sure a much different set of neural pathways was formed, for their N benefit? It angers and saddens me to know end.

Thinking of you so much on your journey. You have endured so much and still have a warrior spirit, as well as encourage others. Your digging deeper and your journey of healing shows more courage than most people, and you are helping all of us here by your ability to express yourself in this forum.






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woodsgnome

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Re: results of my neglect
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2020, 06:34:57 PM »
As you note, San, it's painful for these parts of you to emerge, especially with regard to self-nurturing. But maybe, just maybe -- they're allowing YOU to build a new space just for you, one in which your compassion includes all of your own being. The new space will allow you to grab huge chunks of that enormous compassion you've so often showered on others dealing with personal adversities on this forum. 

Plugging your enormous heart into matters of self won't diminish, but perhaps  expand, that capacity for outward caring to wash that inner core silently crying out for relief.

The inner critic is perhaps trying a bit much to keep doing what it thinks it should, not realizing it's not really needed so much anymore. That it can step aside and maybe even admire the sunshine  :sunny: you have generously shared with others; and that now can fully shine on yourself, so you will indeed finally fully feel self-kindness and caring like never before. It may even be closer than you once thought possible.

 :hug:
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 06:45:49 PM by woodsgnome »

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sanmagic7

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Re: results of my neglect
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2020, 09:39:31 PM »
snowdrop, blueberry, phoebes, and woodsgnome - thank you for your care and kindness, in words and feeling.  i got halfway thru wg's post and the tears came.  hot, poisonous, toxic, but, in the end, cleansing.  i've cried for several minutes, tears still drying on my face, and feel a little less clogged inside.  i don't have enough words to express my appreciation for all you've said to me.  i needed to get those tears out, feel the pain of what i've missed. :grouphug:

sd, those hugs just drew me in, felt very nurturing,  :hug:  which is also a result of emotional neglect - lack of nurturing, hugs, sympathy, touch, none of that was there. men and sex were where i went to try to find what my F didn't give me (the emotional stuff).  touching people on the arm, throwing an arm around their necks in the bar, hugging everyone i've met were to make up for the lack of touch from my M.  my icky T once told me i was touching people cuz i was trying to help them, but what she never understood was that i was doing it to help myself, give myself what i needed.

bb, thank you for the validation.   :hug: i looked up the word 'compassion' and it said it was to have sympathy for and to try to alleviate the distress of another.  ( :doh:  why didn't i think of that before?).  i don't know how much sympathy i've actually felt for the distress of another, except very lately, but i've always wanted to alleviate the distress of others.  hence, being a therapist.  sympathy hasn't really been felt, altho i knew which words to say.  i did know that i was never glad someone was in pain or distress, so that feels good at least.  in session i just thought i had a good amount of therapist distance from clients.

now, however, i can break down into tears at the plight of others.  but then, i have a hard time thinking about how to alleviate their distress.  maybe it's cause i've been crying for myself all these years and didn't realize it.  and, certainly didn't know how to alleviate the distress.  so, that part is still forming, i think.  but, this is helping me pick it apart and look at the individual pieces so as to be able to eventually put them together in a coherent way. 

phoebes, i wish you couldn't relate to my story - i don't wish that on anyone.  honestly, i don't think my parents were NPD, but ignorant immigrants'
children - my F was raised by alcoholics and lived mostly on the streets, my mom was raised in a very strict Catholic school environment by an alcoholic M and depressed F.  I've been surrounded by NPD's most all my life, and they just don't fit the code.  but, their ignorance and terrible childhoods caused them to shut down their own emotions - i never saw them fight but once in 22 yrs. - and they lived by the old ways of children should be seen and not heard during the restrictive and repressive 50's. 

i'm not excusing what happened,  i can understand them, but i will never deny the damage they did to me.  sometimes i've gotten close to forgiving them, but other times that fades away.  i don't know if it matters at this point.  thank you for your anger on my behalf, too.  that feels strengthening as well.  i hope that helping it feel real for you is a good thing. :hug:

wg, your words, coming on top of all the others, caused the dam to finally break, and i thank you so much for what you said.   :hug:  you mentioned inner critic, something that i've struggled w/ cuz i wasn't aware of even having one till maybe 2 yrs. ago.  i so rarely heard critical words towards myself in my head.  i think i just went ahead and did what an ICr was expecting without acknowledging the messages it was sending.  i think, now that this has been brought up, that i've been that disconnected from myself.

so, thank you for bringing up the idea of an ICr.  it's still foreign to me, hazy, maybe because i absorbed the unrealistic, impossible expectations and they became part of me rather than words spoken by someone else.  opening up new doors for sure.  it could be, now that i think of it, remnants from when i was pre-verbal - those expectations were already so implanted at too young an age to do anything more than just become one with them.  dang, this stuff is twisted!

all in all, you have helped me more than you can know.  thank you so much for your responses.  i was very frightened to write here, and i am still feeling the pain of it, but the tears were what i needed, and you brought them out of me, not with spankings or disappointed looks or ignoring me to figure it out by myself, but with caring and kindness and a nurturing spirit.  crisp on a cracker - that's what we've all needed but didn't get!  it doesn't get done any other way!  i'm finally finding this for myself toward the end of my life, but quite honestly, better late than never.  you all are the best! :grouphug: