AlterEg0's Journal

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Alter-eg0

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2021, 02:20:58 PM »
Thanks NotAlone and Armadillo!
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So I still haven't told my boss that i'll be leaving soon. I wanted to tell her straight away on monday, but she was too busy yelling at a co-worker, and I was like...yeah nope.
And the next time I see her, will be tomorrow. I already have my letter of resignation ready, and i've been taking care of some other business that also needs to be taken care of before I get started. I'm really looking forward to getting all this off my back and moving on. Looking forward to my new job, even though i'm scared. I still feel heavy, but now there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I know things won't be perfect by any means, but it's progress all the same and it makes way for many options and growth in the future.

So...looks like i'll have to corner my boss tomorrow and break the news. I'm nervous about how she'll respond (and how she'll treat me for the next 2,5 months before I leave), but at the same time..knowing that i'll be leaving soon makes it easier to deal with.

My new contract starts on august 1st, but classes don't start until august 30th. So i've decided i'll leave my job on july 9th (a friday) so that I have just as much summer holiday as I would have had if i'd already been in the education system. It gives me time to prepare, but also to calm down, relax, do what I want. It's been so long since i've had a holiday that didn't have all the radars running in the back of my head the entire time. So i'm really looking forward to this!

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Alter-eg0

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2021, 12:37:16 PM »
I had a weird dream last night. I know you generally process a lot of unconcious stuff in your sleep, sometimes it's more obvious than ususal.

I dreamt that I was with my family, and my father wanted to gather us all together and tell us something. He was walking around all over the place, talking out loud without really checking to see if we were listening, sort of trying to prepare the place for his "presentation". It was a big place with two rooms, a large one to the right with a lot of chairs in a tribune like setting, and a smaller one to the left. So anyway, my father was walking around and blabbing, talking himself up, talking the location up, doing his whole act. And as he was so busy doing his thing, he didn't notice that we had left. We hadn't followed him, we had gone into the room on the left instead. Someone else was in that room (the guy who trained both me and my father, and who is the one who broke the news to me about my dad's narcissism). We were all sitting and chatting with this guy, and my dad must have noticed at some point that we weren't there anymore. So he barged into the room, walked up to the guy we were with, and punched him. He threw the punch in a weird angle, and ended up only hitting the guy's arms (which were in front of him). So the guy threw a punch back, and missed. Which was weird, because we expected (knowing that he has a background in martial arts) that he'd have no trouble knocking him out. It was almost as though he missed on purpose. They sort of went back and forth like this for a while, until the guy knocked my father out cold and he fell to the floor. The guy sat back down, my mum sort of ruffled his hair (which is weird because he's bald, and in my dream he had be bald up until that point) and we all were chatting again. I looked down at my dad, and all I could feel was pity.
I felt so sorry for him, trying so hard to put up that facade of being so great, having everything together, telling himself that everyone thinks he's so great, having to constantly put up that act, but probably being so deeply insecure and lonely on the inside. Always talking about his "good friends" or the great relationships he has with his family for example, and not even noticing that these people don't feel the same way. The fake-ness of it all. I felt really sad for him, purely out of pity.

I don't hate my father, although I am really angry at him. I don't miss him, and I don't want him in my life. But it does make me sad, to think that he's going to end up completely and utterly alone.

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Alter-eg0

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2021, 12:27:45 PM »
I just encountered another trigger that I had sort of forgotten about.

I just got a message from a colleague, asking me if I wanted to sing/teach a singing workshop at an upcoming gathering. I immidiately got a knot in my stomach and felt the need to push it away or find a viable explanation as to why I can't or don't want to do it.

Here's the thing. I sing, I love singing, I basically came out of the womb singing, and I'm pretty damn good at it. Although I'm no stranger to the stage, singing is something really near and dear to me and very vulnerable. It's one of the few things that's so intertwined with my whole being, and with my emotions. So naturally, singing in front of others feels pretty vulnerable, too. I'm fine when i'm up there with a band, or at least a guitarist or something, because then I don't feel as "naked". But if it's with a regular karaoke track for example, I hate that. It bores me, and it feels too vulnerable.

The strange thing is, when you have a certain talent, especially when it's something that involves performance, it somehow becomes "public property". It's like other people feel as though they have a right to experience it, and you are obligated to showcase it. You know, the whole "Oh, you sing? Sing something then!". When I was a kid, my parents would push me forward at any chance they got. Birthdays, funerals, parties, it didn't matter, it was always "Oh, no problem, she'll sing something". Nobody asked me, it was just assumed that I would do it, because I can. And by the time I was "asked", it was a retorical question. It was already decided. If I protested, I was told not to be so difficult, it wasn't that big a deal, it was no effort for me so why didn't I want to do someone else a pleasure, etc. I was emotionally blackmailed: "what will people think, if you don't do it. They expect it, you did it for so and so, what will they think if you don't do it for them, too?". You're selfish. You're a bad person.
It was an impossible choice for me. The two universal social fears that humans have, are not being good enough, and not belonging. When I was pushed to perform, I was put in a position where I was stuck between these two fears. Either failing at a performance (always afraid that people were expecting a standard that I couldn't meet) and disappointing both myself and others, or being cast out for saying no and being selfish. I always felt so frustrated and intensely angry, yet terrified at the same time. Having to make that impossible lose-lose choice.
So now, whenever someone asks me to sing, I feel that intense fear and the need to push away, rushing back.

The thing is, I probably would not even mind singing a sing if there would just be a karaoke machine and it would be a spontaneous thing. But the fact that someone asks me to sing, in my brain goes straight to "oh, this person is assuming that since I can, I will, and I must", and I immidiately feel scared, helpless and frustrated. I feel so nervous, my stomach is in knots and my heart it in my throat. I want to say no so that I can stop feeling this way and stop feeling the pre-stagefright all week until the day comes. But I also want to say yes, so that I don't have to walk around there feeling guilty for not doing it. This sucks.

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Armadillo

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2021, 06:44:18 PM »
Oh it breaks my heart that this thing that brings you joy has been made to cause suffering.

For the sake of that joy, I'd guide you to listen to your heart and gut and say yes  only when you want to and are ready to. If that is never and you are happy with that then that is OK.

You don't need an excuse you just say "I am so flattered you asked but I'm sorry I am unable to."

I relate a bit though mine is different. I love to play piano for myself. But if I am asked to play for or around someone I actually completely dissociate and can't even function. Can't find the music in a book i use all the time, my brain and body just stop working. Even thinking about playing for someone causes the same reaction. I'm glad because i literally can't play for someone and it keeps it as a thing for me.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 06:51:34 PM by Armadillo »

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Alter-eg0

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2021, 11:19:28 AM »
Armadillo, exactly that!
I get it too. Yesterday I was teaching with a colleague and just singing along to the track we were using, and at a specific climactic part of the song she looked at me and said "here it comes!" and I completely choked. I laughed it off as though I meant it to sound bad, but in reality I felt pretty stupid. It's the same when for example there's a birthday and we all have to sing the birthday song. The only way I can do it, is if I sing really badly and make it clear that it's meant to be silly. Otherwise I choke.

And it makes a lot of sense when you say "that keeps it for me". I feel the same way. So often people say things like "why don't you join in <insert talent show here>" or "why haven't you had your breakthrough yet" or "Why don't you go to conservatory or do this professionally". They say "Why aren't you doing anything with this?? (professionally" and it always makes me feel...resentful? Like...guys, I am doing EXACTLY what I want with this. What you mean, is that you want me to make my thing public property. You're not wanting that for ME, you're wanting that for YOU. How is that pleasurable for me? This is mine. This is a deeply intitmate thing for me, and I only want to do it or share it on my own accord. I don't want to HAVE to do it.
Somehow, people don't understand that.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 11:22:00 AM by Alter-eg0 »

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Armadillo

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2021, 12:26:41 AM »
Quote
They say "Why aren't you doing anything with this?? (professionally" and it always makes me feel...resentful? Like...guys, I am doing EXACTLY what I want with this. What you mean, is that you want me to make my thing public property. You're not wanting that for ME, you're wanting that for YOU. How is that pleasurable for me? This is mine. This is a deeply intitmate thing for me, and I only want to do it or share it on my own accord. I don't want to HAVE to do it.
Somehow, people don't understand that.

Haha. They don't understand it, because I don't think it's "normal" is it? This is trauma speaking, isn't it? Don't let yourself be seen or appreciated. Don't trust people. They are trying to take something from you. They will use it to hurt you. Stay away keep away stop.

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Alter-eg0

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2021, 02:09:36 PM »
My stomach is in knots, but iím simultaneously proud of myself.
I just got into an argument with my boss, who is pretty much the female version of my NF.
She has a habit of treating us like pawns, not taking us seriously, breathing down our necks, dumping extra work on you when youíre already swamped, pretending to be the nicest and most understanding person even while getting defensive and passive aggressive if anyone dares set a boundry or give her feedback (even when she literally asks for it). Today she asked me to do something (while I was already busy), came back twice to ask me if iíd done it yet (I had given it a place on my to-do list and had not done it yet), and when I stood up for myself and told her ďNo, and I donít think iím going to be able to get it doneĒ she went on a passive aggresive rant, then walked away. Then a little later, she walked past my department, didnít even look at me, and sort of called over het shoulder ďAre you going to do it now?Ē
I was so mad and terrified, that I was shaking.
Then later after my shift, I was packing my bag when she cornered me and she wanted to ďtalk about itĒ. So I told her that I didnít like the wat she talked to me, that it wasnít ok, and that it made me feel like she didnít take me seriously. She laughed at me. Then she went in to full defense, started bringing in all kinds of arguments about things I supposedly had done wrong in the past, brought in some gaslighting, some switcheroos, etc etc. I eventually told her I was not going to have this discussion, and that weíd have to agree to disagree. And that I was going home.
Iím still shaking. Part of me is like: ďso what, iíll be out of there soon, whatís she gonna do?Ē, but on the other hand...I still have to face her for another six weeks. Who knows how sheíll treat me now.
I canít with these people🙃

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Armadillo

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2021, 09:23:26 PM »
Wow! You stood up for yourself! That makes me feel sick and shaken just thinking about it so I am super proud along with you!!!

 :hug:

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Alter-eg0

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2021, 12:38:24 PM »
Are there really that many narcissists and/or toxic people in the world, or do I just think iím seeing them everywhere?

Ever since I found out about my NF and went no contact, iíve been seeing them everywhere. In past and current relationships, work, the world in general. Maybe I see it now that Iím aware. Maybe I just happen to have attracted these people before I became aware. Maybe there really are that many. Or maybe I just think iím seeing them everywhere since Iím still walking around with a open wound.
Is it just me?

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Armadillo

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2021, 02:54:49 PM »
It's not just you and I think its really complicated why this happens. Part of it is probably a bit of hypervigilance on our parts looking for warning signs. Part of it is probably we don't set up boundaries well so other people with stronger boundaries would just keep that kind of person out right away but we don't always. Part of it is probably a bit of trauma re-enactment, and part of it is people like that are attracted to people like us because of our kindness.

Every time I get a new same-old trauma I ask myself these same questions. Except instead of being questions... I'm so triggered it's like "oh my gosh I'm bad it's me it's my fault why does everyone around me want to ____")

I think it's really cool that you are noticing and asking this in a way that is kind to yourself....it shows me you want to protect yourself.  :cheer:
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 05:17:03 PM by Armadillo »

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CactusFlower

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #40 on: June 04, 2021, 05:02:28 PM »
Agreed, definitely not just you. Our society (well, USA, can't speak to other countries) facilitates hiding it and abetting abusers. My Uncle is at the end of his life and I just now found out some things he did to my cousin. never once would have guessed. It made me question that, too, how many around me are monsters I can't see. unfortunately, it doesn't help our hypervigilance. But you are definitely not alone.

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Alter-eg0

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2021, 08:16:59 PM »
That's Armadillo and Sage. Yeah, it's probably a combination of all those things. It's such a weird place to be in, though. Seeing it everywhere and not knowing how to place it..

This week has been all over the place. I suppose you could say i've been practicing with conflict. And i'm not just talking about the issue with my boss.
For me, any form of conflict however small is a massive trigger. I normally avoid it at whatever cost. But for some reason, this week i've been encountering all kinds of these little things where i'll just try to push my own limit. Say something I normally wouldn't, not placate where I normally would, whatever. I'm not sure if this is coincidence, that i'm just suddenly overwhelmed with little fires this week, or that i'm (sub)conciously choosing to do more of it now that the cat's out of the bag. Sort of like exposure. The problem though, is, that even though I can rationalise that there isn't really a problem, I do constantly feel the physical ramnifications of said conflict. I'm constantly shaky, my guts are all over the place, I feel zoned out today, and I have EF's that send me back into thinking of death just to escape, because "if life means having to feel like this so often, which is enevitable since conflict is enevitable if you live with other humans on the planet, then I can't do it...it's too hard, I should just end it". I know that those thoughts are part of the EF, but it still feels crappy.

This afternoon a colleague texted me for help with a technical issue that I couldn't help her with, and I joked "I don't know, but then again, i'm not the customer service, call them". Then I immidiately felt like I was shooting out into space and my gut clenched, because I was scared that i'd been too spicy and that she would not want to be around me anymore after this.

This evening my facebook feed showed me a comment that my aunt (I never see her anymore, she divorced my uncle after cheating on him) left under an article by someone talking about her body-image troubles. The comment was rather crude, and it hurt to read, considering my own history with ED's. So I responded in still a very friendly way, with a little explanation as to what the person in the article was mentally going through. She responded yet again, claiming that this girl just wanted attention at that she shouldn't post it she didn't want to be criticized.
So I told her we'd have to agree to disagree, and I decided to remove her from my friends. Not to spite her, but so that I wouldn't constantly get updates about other comments she may leave (because if this is how she talks to people online, well, there's going to be more). She immidiately responded with "Oh, that's your solution? Unfriending me?", and I said "Nothing personal, this is a painful matter to me, and I'm just making sure I protect my health by removing  such things that can end up in my feed." Then she left another nasty message, removed said message, and then blocked me altogether. Now, I know this says more about her than about me. And I also know i'll probably never see her again anyway. But part of me is terrified that she will tell other people about this, and turn them against me. My cousins for example. Even though they can think for themselves, and may even also see that she herself was being mean.
It's just that, my father and his emotional blackmail and his smear campaigns, plus years of bullying by peers, have imprinted in my brain that even if I don't mind that a particular person doesn't like me, it's still a disaster since they will turn others against me and i'll end up alone again.

Then a few minutes ago I got an email from a client who was angry about me cancelling  a workshop (an email that I sent her over a month ago, and she isn't responding until now, all disappointed that I "kept her in the dark" (what dark, we're all in the same pandemic) and that she "didnt know if she'd ever get her money back" (I literally asked her for her info, and told her i'd get it back to her, although it may take a little while since I don't have any income at the moment). Rationally I understand her frustration, and I also feel that she's exaggerating a bit.
And also, I have already closed my business and i'm starting a new job. So from a business perspective, I don't even have to worry about bad reviews or whatever.
But part of me is still shaking at the fact that she now has a bad opinion of me.

I shouldn't care so much how people view me. And one half of me doesn't, but the other half is constantly scared to death. I suppose it's good that i'm challenging this whole issue with conflict and boundaries, as it will make me better at being authentic and sticking up for myself in the future. But sometimes it makes me so sad that I am needing to do this in the first place.
And I don't want to feel so scared all the time.

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rainydiary

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2021, 08:52:07 PM »
Alter-Eg0 - your stories here resonate with me.  I appreciate you sharing and hope that you keep finding ways to speak what is important to you. 

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Armadillo

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Re: AlterEg0's Journal
« Reply #43 on: June 05, 2021, 11:23:03 PM »
That is a lot of conflict and it would be making my guts feel all over place too. But I see you protecting yourself and standing up for yourself and seeing that these conflicts are about the other people having problems and not you. I know it feels shi*** right now. You will feel better. Conflict will be inevitable in life but eventually it will roll off you easier.