Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)

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Dutch Uncle

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I've wanted to start a recovery journal for some time now, but can't decide on the format yet.
I feel I should also write some more "letters of recovery" in that section of the board, and this is not the place it was intended to that kind of stuff. But I might, for fear of flooding that section of the board.

But as a kickoff for this section, I've decided to first start with making a list of all the recovery I've already done in my life.
From some I have relapsed since, picked myself up again sometimes as well.

Edited to add: As I'll continue to add to this journal, both of stories past and present, I will insert events chronologically. In order not to mess up my original first post to much, I'll resort to my old computer-programming skills in BASIC. (Yes, I'm that old)
I've learned then to write every line in code (which had to be numbered) with a prefix in increments of 10, so if one would find out a line needed to be inserted for the program to work, one would have 9 opportunities to do so. So it's not going to 'neatly' ordered as far as the increments are concerned. But it will be chronological, as to the best of my ability I can remember. (I don't know why I even bother to explain this, it must be because I have a mild form of OCD
  ;D )

So what am I recovering from?
From being raised in, and still enmeshed with, a family with "cluster B"-PD-mom and an Aspergers-dad. I'm now, after a long and torturous journey, convinced this is so. I'm as sure as one can be without a formal diagnosis of them by a psych-evaluation team. This is why I will keep speaking of them as uHPD and uAspergers. But I am a 100% sure, as sure as an 'outsider' can be. In addition I have (had? I'm NC now) a sister who I now deem to be HPD as well (she's worse than my mom, if that's even possible) and a brother who tortured me physically as a child. A very normal family. Or so I thought.

03) A very early childhood memory. Probably the first time I spoke out (timidly) about how dysfunctional my FOO was.
I'm ten or so. Definitely primary school, so I can't have been older then twelve. But I think it was well before my last year there.
I'm sitting on the floor, upstairs, mom being in the bathroom putting on make-up and I'm saying, quietly while playing with my toys: "you and dad are going to divorce, aren't you." My mom did console me that this was not the case. I do remember her worried look on her face though.
In hindsight (very long hindsight ;) ) she gaslighted me. I'd now say. They did divorce, 25 years later, 15 years ago. I think my parents started marriage counseling around that time. Possibly they were already in it.

05) As a kid I was taken to hospital with acute appendicitis. 'Mom' brought me, ran of to do some errant and I only saw my parents again in the recovery-room, post-op. Re: Signs we missed that they don't care about us. Only now I am in the process of writing today A Special Mothers Day Message I remember that during my full week stay in the hospital I got a visit by a neighboring mother (of a friend of mine) and I felt so much more cared for by her than my own mom. Also I was delighted by the nurses who actually asked me what I would like to have for breakfast, lunch and diner, and my requests would actually be fulfilled. Hospital was actually quite a present place to stay.  :aaauuugh:

07) a puber's defiance:

08) Wow. Noises that trigger/bother me. That immediately brought back memories to "fleeing to the toilet", just like my dad did. (was he triggered due to his uAspergers?), and it reminded me how often doors were being slammed shut. Oh dear, how deeply buried some of this memories are.

10) My first step in my recovery was leaving the parental home at the age of 20. One of the prime reasons to make sure I did well in secondary school was the promise of then being able to study 'in the big city'. That was a sure ticket out of the small town/suburb I grew up in that was boring as *. Well, as heaven probably, as it was dominated by very strict Calvinist religious politics. I was raised in the national 'Bible Belt'. Pinball machines were banned, just to give you an idea of how bad it was.

20) My second step was to move to a squat despite the fact that my dad threatened to cut my allowance. I had 'saved for' that in a way, as all my friends during secondary school got a lot more 'pocket money', gifts, mopeds (which would be the equivalent of a car in the US I guess (culturally speaking)) and such. "You'll get a study allowance later, Dutch Boy, so quit whining", my parents had always said. Well, that turned out as a way of extended control, I see now. The squat was to be renovated by us Engineering students though, so this was a poke at my future profession as well.

30) My third step was to break up with a girl who used dope and at some point in our relationship decided she was going to whore herself out to pay for her all-weekend drugged fueled parties. I hardy ever joined her, and I didn't enjoy those 'all-nighters. Did do the dope on those few accessions though. I had to stay awake! (read: be 'worked up'). I thought: "Well after a few months or so she must get disgusted/bored selling her body", so I hang around. She did get bored, but I guess the dope compensated for any misgivings she had about her 'job'.
I left. Heartbroken, but still, I did it. Dropped out of University for the following year. Started again the year after. Stupid. Engineering wasn't my ballgame, but I had blamed it on my relationship troubles (not blaming the girlfriend: that was a smart move/realization, I still tell myself).

40) My fourth step was to quit some vague therapy my mother had 'forced' on me during that 'sabbatical'. Some new-age* babble with a guy who had just started his practice. I only ended up there because my mom's 'Guru' didn't want to take me (I don't know why, and I never cared). In the third meeting we overstepped the allotted time by half an hour or so, and he blamed that on me! I should have watched the time! Dufus. I had noticed, but thought: "He's in charge, probably we are doing very well, for him to keep on babbling/asking me stuff." I never returned. "I'm more 'aware' then you are", I thought. And rightfully so.
*) disclaimer: "New age" is a bit of a catch-all generalization. While "new age" certainly has opened new vistas on plenty of fields of inquiry, many new age cults have emerged, and plenty of harm has been done as well, and continues to do so, IMHO. So whenever I refer to "new-age", I refer to dogmatic, close-minded cultism. As my mom practices it. It's a means of distancing myself from 'it'. I don't want to demean anyone. So no offense to anyone or anything is meant.

50) My fifth step was to quit my (renewed) studies in the last year of graduating. I didn't see myself sitting/working at an office drawing engineering-plans all day. Never got much appreciation from my parents anyway, mom actively sabotaged my 'dreams'. HPD… Drama wanted. (My brother who did graduate never saw his mom at the ceremony. Mom had a girls-together-only weekend with friends. Go figure. But I digress.) I was in my late 20's by then.

60) My sixth step was to go and work abroad in a field where my engineering skills were wanted, but in a profession that had little to do with engineering. Suddenly I was a 'specialist'! Ha! I had ended up there through a stroke of luck and perseverance.
(I did well, was easily accepted by 'the profession'. I had stumbled on a great 'niche market', and over the course of the next 15 years was able to build up a respected position as free-lance-specialist in many projects. To such an extent I became part of 'the profession". This ended about five years ago. But before I'll reach that point here in this timeline, I had some more recovery steps)

65) My mother gets a life threatening illness.

70) During those 15 years I took taken a seventh step. Again a break-up with a woman I could not possibly spend the rest of my life with. I've talked about that in the music thread, here (very long):

80) The eight step was a break down because I was fired (through no fault of my own: there simply was a budget cut) and I got depressed/sick and went to see first a psychologist and then a psycho-therapist. I got back on my feet again and continued happily ever after(slight hint of sarcasm there). I probably will elaborate on this at some point. That was a tough period that lasted about a year and a half.

External factor: My parents' divorce. At last. The whole process will take two-and-a-half year. Awful. Lots of unresolved stuff there.
81) also 505) october 2015 Working through my parents' divorce. and 531) I think I still need to mourn the divorce of my parents.
85) Sending an unopened letter from uHPDmom "return to sender"

90) The ninth step was to attend a post-doctorate (post-graduate in the US?) program on Project Management, tailored to my new profession. I didn't have a doctorate (!) but the board let me in on basis of my motivation and field-experience. And probably also since I had a sort-of Bachelor equivalent in engineering. Not quite a doctorate (=Master)  though. I remember that at the first 'class' a previous colleague of mine blurted out in my face: "I thought this was only for highly educated people!" to which I calmly and genuinely happily responded, smiling: "Yep!".

My parents' divorce becomes final. Well, insofar anything is ever final with them. "Over and done with" is not really in their vocabulary. Neither is: "Let's move on."

100) The tenth step was to actually go fully self-employed in this profession, with the now additional skills in (and certified!) Project Management. I started a business of one. A bit of a gamble. It worked out well. (Free lance doesn't exist where I live (at least that's what the IRS says here ;) . You are self-employed. You either have a business, or you have a job/position. There's nothing in between.)

Fallen in the pit, yet again
About five years ago came the downfall that essentially has brought me were I am today.
New regulations demanded I had to have a Masters degree in my profession. Quite a row broke out among the rank and file, as there were plenty of other people who stood to loose their jobs, and many companies now struggled to meet the new quality standards. A court-case ruled some program had to be set-up to make it easier for people like me to get a degree or certificate. I was not going to take a step down and decided to go for the Masters degree. I knew I had the intellect for it, so I decided to do this difficult thing. And expensive thing. And I would need to cut back on my working hours, so would loose income to boot.

I decided to study in the same city my sister was living in, a multiple hour drive from where I live. It was the best University suited for what I needed, and with Sis living there I thought: "Well, that could offset the traveling at times." Previously she had made it clear to me I was always welcome to stay over, when she had moved into a new house where I had spend days fixing, painting and cleaning (this was shortly before I even knew I could choose this University). I had never had a great relationship with her, but I considered it good enough, OK. (I still have to get used to that concept: good enough. It still feels for me as the equivalent of "indifferent", or a sleigh way of saying: it sucked.) She regularly whined, yeah, about mom, dad and certainly also about me, but this was 'normal', and we had always remained civil after such 'events'. In fact I thought this whole 'fresh up course' was a great opportunity to get a bit more 'together'.

The day I visited her to talk about my program at University and how possible sleepovers would fit her, she had one of her outbursts again, and everything I had ever done was horribly wrong. How I had always wronged her kids and partner, yada, yada, yada, and of course most of all that I was always doing her wrong. The same wrong, over and over again.
Baffled I left an hour early. My head spinned on the way back home. I had almost literally lost my ground. What the @#%&! was wrong here? She had told me stuff like this before, but never so ferocious. Or perhaps this was just the first time I really saw how ferocious her attacks were.

The date was 14 september 2011. About 9 PM. I've now made that my (re)birth date on this site. The day I consciously decided to step out 'what was', and to step into 'whatever may be'.

A few weeks later she contacted me, with what I now know to be a Hoover. She wanted to "talk it over". (That's a good one, I've learned by now: "to talk it over". Right! That's EXACTLY what it is supposed to be: not a conversation, not even a discussion or a debate… No, lets talk OVER it. Like a skipping stone over water. Boy, the power of language!) She sounded 'remorseful' enough, appeared to want to 'resolve' the matter, so I agreed to meet her, at her city.
WRONG. First meeting (6 october) she postponed, but I was so hooked and we set up another one. There I simply got the whole sermon AGAIN! Like I hadn't heard it before! (and before and before etc.) She had actually said so the previous time which had made me think: "Hmmm. yeah that's true. This is not the first time you've told me, I already hear this for decades. What the * am I even doing here?"

110) (this is actually recovery step eleven I realized during my last editorial check [of my first post])
I had (obviously) prepared for this "talk it over" (well, I had prepared for a conversation), and one of the things I wanted to know was if we were actually talking about the same thing, the same 'events' that had played out over and over again. So I had started to recollect these events in my mind, easily found six instances over the past 15 years or so where I had done this 'wrong' and settled for those: no point in dredging up more, I had six 'checks and balances'.
In a fit of FOGlessness, I realized that I should not ask her: "were these all instances of the time you told me I was doing you wrong?", for fear of her then denying those and finding something else to blame on me (I hadn't heard of "Plausible deniability" then. But I still 'knew' the concept apparently), but to make it an Open Question: "Can you tell where and when you said this to me before, sis?" An avalanche of examples flooded me. Of course there were 'the Six', six more where I immediately thought: "Good grief, yes. There's another one!" and about six that I was oblivious to (probably had repressed those) but which sounded very plausible.
She made some 'fauxpologies', but I didn't fell for those. (Like: "I shouldn't have mentioned the kids". "Right! Not only should you not have mentioned them, but you should apologize for 'bringing up the baby", I thought, but wisely(?) kept my mouth shut. No admission it was 1) a wrongful accusation and 2) it was wrong to use 'them' as a tool, a crowbar to make me feel bad about myself. )

So after a loooong "Talk" (no listening on her part, as far as I was aware) I found myself AGAIN going back home with my head spinning. "How can this be?", I kept thinking. "What is wrong with me?"
"I must be an Aspergers", I thought. "It's the only thing that makes sense. There's only one way I can 'read' my sister's emotional needs so badly and be so oblivious to it, and that's when I'm Aspergers." This was the 13 october.
The 22nd she mailed me in a nothing-has-happened manner. Pretended we could meet and spend time together, happily. I told her I already had made arrangements to stay at B&B's for the remainder of the year. That I wouldn't stay over at her place, that I didn't feel comfortable with it.

And then I started to slowly spiral down in the cesspool of my Dysfunctional FOO, of which I am still very much an enmeshed part. Though the FOG has started lifting ever since.

That's quite enough for today, I'd say.

I'll be back!
It's not going to stop at step twelve either I'm afraid  ;D .

Thanks for listening.


400) Telling my mom to leave my house.

Present day recovery stories

500) august 2015: Me and my dad on a boat-trip
501) august 2015: I'll bet a dear thing this realization has been a step to recovery . #400 is a prime example of how I became allergic to questions like "are you feeling OK?"
502) september 2015: Sticking to my NC with uHPD/uBPD/"cluster B"-sis.
503) september 2015: On my way to shedding a Dependent trait:
504) september 2015: Intentions for Recovery
505) october 2015 Working through my parents' divorce.
506) october 2015: Progress? I guess so. I vented my anger.
507) october 2015: Setback? The horrors of an EF. Progress as well? First time I recognized an EF for what it was at the very moment
508) october 2015: Allowing self-forgiveness.
509) october 2015: Changed my personal text (under my Avatar) from "Survivor. Spilling the beans" to "Survivor. Shifting the burden". Plenty of beans have now been spilled (more to come, for sure), and it's time to rearrange the burden on whom/what they weigh. Now looking for a new balance in/of things.
510) november 2015: TherapistMom, YOU'RE FIRED!
511) november 2015:
A reminder of my recovery motivation:
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now

A Chinese Proverb.
512) and lo and behold a few hours later: I've planted a new tree: no more X-mas with the Dysfunctional FOO.
513) november 2015: I have sacked my TherapistMom, and will be processing the paperwork and other administrative 'duties' for a while longer. She'll fight her sacking no doubt (in my own bloody head !!!, good grief  :pissed: )  But she's off the job as of today. No matter how many tantrums she'll pull.
(LOL, I now see I already sacked her earlier this month! (510). Oh well, this just shows how hard it is to sack her.)  ;D  Diligence, Dutch, diligence. You're doing awesome  :thumbup:
514) Told my brother off as a Flying Monkey:
515) Mom's  :dramaqueen: hoover averted.
516) Punched through the FOG of Chaos Manufacture. Related to 502) (among others)
517) I will not have a purportful 2016. A happy 2016 will do just fine.
518) Wrote a "letter of recovery to my Sister in Law", effectively stating why I am No Contact with her. Another codependent relationship ended.
519) I woke myself up from an unpleasant dream. Now that is a good tool to have for countering EF's, dissociation etc.
520) Discovered that I actually handled the ending of my FOO-codependent relationships quite well. That gives hope and confidence.
521) Stepping further away from my codependent relationship with my brother and his FOC:
522) I promised myself to work on my "Fight" response, and bang! I've done it. A good fight response IMHO. Clear. Boundary setting and defending. Not offensive. Holding my ground. Respectful to my opponent even, I feel. I am not going to be 'pressed into service', and I press back just hard enough to stay were I am and want to be. I do not press back so hard that I have to take a step 'forward'. Then I would not be at the place I am and want to be either.  :thumbup: Good practice round. Balanced.
NB: this exchange reminded me of this audio-clip ***trigger warning: it's a rant on a variety of subjects that people may find rude for a variety of reasons*** of Douglas Murray and my hero Sam Harris, where Douglas Murray slips into a rant against the 'liberal left', on and on (and makes a couple of excellent points) which at the very end of the clip makes Sam Harris chuckle, chuckle harder and then finds the rant outright hilarious. "I miss this capacity, perhaps I meditated too much and it has damaged my brain."  ;) "Keep this capacity well oiled, Douglas." are the final words of Sam.
edited to add a month later: well, that did cause a stir. I'm sorry about that. But today I want to add another worthwhile article: . I post this as today I have become more aware of my TherapistMom's New-Ageism. I posted some of this in the "Religious Abuse" board. But it is becoming increasingly clear to me that her particular brand of Hindu based "therapy" stems from the same religion that still allows today for castes as the "Untouchables". And her treatment of me reflects this.
530) I'm mourning. Not in a depression. That's a relief.
531) May: I think I still need to mourn the divorce of my parents. Most of the grief I feel there is the fact that it's a completely buried subject. Since both my parents have kept silent and/or very vague on their divorce, I really could not speak with anybody about it, and so I could never have any validation for my feelings/experiences with both the divorce, the divorce process and the horrible marriage it was itself. In a way my NC with 'mom' and 'sis', effectively disbanding the FOO as a unit/community I am finally grieving the divorce. I have hung a not on the wall in my bedroom saying: "If my parents don't dissolve their dysfunctional relationship (since they still continue, despite their 'divorce'), than I will divorce myself from their toxic dysfunctional relationship.

A joke about myself: or
"I suffer from an inverse Oedipus-complex, as even after my mother made herself available to me by divorcing her husband, I'm still not want to marry her."
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 05:31:37 AM by Dutch Uncle »


Dutch Uncle

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Journal of a Dutch Uncle: a puber's defiance
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 11:01:24 AM »
One more from the past:

I'm a teen, I think. Probably at the onset of my puberty.

My uHPDmom is being obnoxious, and I resist. (I don't remember what this was about)
Mom doesn't let me off the hook, probably used all her manipulative, narcissistic, histrionic and Therapist/psychological skills to get her way. I continue to resist and end up calling her names.

Then dad kicks in, almost literally. He was already very docile by then (that used to be different, further back in time), almost neutered. (There has been a time (much later) I referred (internally) to my father as "the Ox". Both for his strength (he's a big man) and for the way this awesome and valued strength is made manageable  to meet the Oxen's owner needs.) By then my dad usually waited quietly at the proverbial side, watch us struggle with the demands of mom, and then kick in angrily and violently to protect his wife.

I ran. We kids all ran at such times. He may have been big, but us kids were much more agile. We ran to the toilet, bathroom or any space that we could lock us-selfs in. Until the wrath would have subsided, quite often by mom calming dad.

So I ran, up the stairs to my room. My dad in pursuit.
Until I stopped, turned around and said: "Yeah, hit me."
I was past caring.
Not that I had given up my defiance. No way.
But I was sick and tired of running.

My father raised his big and strong arm. Anger in his eyes. Rage even.
I stared back. Repeated: "Well, hit me then."
I was higher up the stairs than him. A few 'flights' (?) only. But it made me 'taller' then him.
That probably helped. He noticed he was fighting an uphill battle  ;) .

He backed off.
Never raised another hand at me.
He did find other ways, though. Not surprising, I guess…

So, that took care of one form of abuse.
One step towards recovery I'd say, in hindsight.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 09:57:47 AM by Dutch Uncle »


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Journal of a Dutch Uncle: a boat trip with Dad.
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 11:22:06 AM »
This is all not complete without integrating the results from the boat-trip I made with my dad this weekend.

See this thread on it:

So I basically managed to stay calm, focussed, aware and in the 'present' to a remarkable degree.
I managed to make contact with my dad, without loosing contact with me.
Likewise I managed to keep my distance where appropriate, and managed to keep him 'at bay' where appropriate.
"You handled everything perfectly and sounds like you both respected each others boundaries.", a dear friend of mine told me when I told her about this trip I had made.

Which sums it up pretty nicely.

Yay for recovery  :band:
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 09:55:18 AM by Dutch Uncle »


Dutch Uncle

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*** Possible triggers on life threatening diseases ***
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 05:01:09 PM »

Now I'm going to touch on a very touchy subject… For me, my mom and the whole FOO, no doubt.

So, I dropped out of my Engineering Masters for being unhappy with it.
I had dodged the Military Draft by applying(?) as a Conscientious Objector (boy, what a man has to go through during his adolescence… ;) ), which was granted, and somehow I managed to get me on an assignment abroad to 'fulfill' my 'Alternative ('Military') Service to my Country/Nation'. (I'll probably write more on that later. Yet another 'recovery'. Trigger Galore this Journal is, LOL.)

So, I'm abroad and basically need to stay there for 14 months to fulfill my 'Obligation' to The State. It's OK.
Then halfway through my term, mom gets sick. Cancer.
We kids get called over. Bro is already an expat by then, and I'm at least temporarily in a similar position. Sis is still in our 'mother-/fatherland', albeit as far as away from our parents as possible. We get called over on the pretense (in hindsight) of having a say/being a sounding board(?)/"talk it over" with mom (and dad).
A cottage is rented by our parents to spend a few days and to have a 'family gathering'.
So we all show up, only to have 'the Bomb' dropped on us: Mom has already had surgery (we knew), but has decided already she won't take Chemotherapy, and also no Radiation-therapy (is that the correct term? I guess anybody who's been in the situation knows what I mean by that).

It's a done deal. Did I mention already I now think mom is uHPD?
If I did, I'm not even sure if that even matters in this case.
But I did feel 'the Bomb' was dropped on me: I had merely travelled thousands of miles (at my own expense, which I obviously had not cared about) to have me being told a done deal. I felt gaslighted (I didn't knew the term then, and I'm not even sure if it applies. I do think so though.) We kids (all full adults by then) simply 'agreed' to moms 'terms'. More out of numbness from 'the Bomb' I guess. That certainly was the case for me.

So we all basically spend the rest of the weekend trying to cope with mom's life-threatening drama, no offense meant in this case. But a drama nonetheless.

I had arranged for a two-week break or so. Went to see friends, Revisited my 'dorm'. Stayed over. Talked with them. Partied with them as well. Tried to have a good time, besides. Strange holidays, that.

Something didn't sit right with me. No Chemo? I could fully accept that. All that poison in you… Yeah, I could see the aversion to that. Making yourself, your whole body sicker to get cured for a very localized illness? Yeah, I got that. Not necessarily agreed, but to 'get it'? Yeah.
But not doing the Radiology? Nah, that didn't sit well.
I had the need to speak up, after the numbness had faded after a week or so. I felt she was giving up on a (presumably) effective treatment. And each day that passed, i felt more 'passionate' to not let my mom (possibly) go, not without a fight. From me.
It was partly a selfish act: I knew if I would not speak to her about this, and she would succumb to the tumor returning, I would not forgive myself for not speaking up when it had counted. But I was also convinced this localized treatment was a great asset in her rehabilitation. As convinced as a layman can be.
As a son can be.

So I arranged a meeting. We met at my parents home. Spoke with her alone, as it came to be.
It was quite bad. She 'accused' me of 'having had my head turned over' by my friends. That stung. But I did not led me astray. For I knew it had not been my friends who had 'planted' this idea in my head, but it was MY idea, to the fullest. I don't even remember whom of my friends had supported me. I'm not sure if I even had told them what I was going to do there, at that very moment.
So quite a battle ensued. A 'good' battle, I still think. I didn't budge. With that I mean: I didn't budge from this "talk" being one I felt necessary to undertake. I was not doing someone else's bidding. In my memory, she deflected most of what I had to say, and I did say, as something not from me. That hurted.

I listened to her counter-arguments, gave in where applicable (as far as I can remember), and in the end gave in completely. It was her decision what to do. Of course. This was what she thought best, it was her life, her body, and I had done everything to "talk it over", had made myself heard. Well, I had spoken up, at the very least.

So I left, amicably as far as I was concerned. Not happy, but satisfied. For both what I had done, and what she had done. "Respect" is the word I think is in place here. Respecting each others boundaries. Though I'm not so sure it was mutual… In hindsight, again.

This episode has been revisited in our (then) future contact. And here's the 'pun', so to say:
My mother has repeatedly referred to this as an epiphany/revelation/whatever that "Strife is (=) Love" (Strijd = Liefde). She since wallows in that "motto". Presumably before that as well. It 'fits' a uHPD, I think. George Orwell's 'Big Brother'/INGSOC would turn blue from envy, I'd guess. War=Peace, Ignorance=Strength, Freedom=Slavery.

Drama (tragedy) = Revue/entertainment (comedy)

Mother survived. And that sounds unnecessary harsh. I'm glad she did. Earlier, when abroad and hearing of her illness I cried, long and agonizingly hard. For the realization I might lose her. Thankfully there were kind and understanding people around me that time.

But her way to show 'love' has seemed to have turned into conducting 'strife' whenever she can. And quite possibly, that has been her way previously as well.
It figures.

Since she has also survived a heart-disease. And I definitely commend her for having kicked the "Grim Reaper" in the nether-regions succesively.

But Strife=Love? Not for me. Thanks, but no thanks.

And that's why this is a story of recovery. Yay!


Dutch Uncle

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Journal of a Dutch Uncle: Does my PDmom wants to destroy me?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2015, 07:38:13 PM »
(copied from a OOTF-thread, so it might look a bit out of context)

I do recall an incident, about two years ago, when I strongly felt a very destructive force coming from my mother when she visited me. Well, she sprung on me (is the expression I think).
She wanted to know if I was doing OK. I was, so I said yes. And since I really was, also my body-language or anything else could not have pointed to something different. I wasn't even annoyed or irritated or whatever about her suddenly showing up, that's how good I felt.
"Really?", she asked?
"Yes, mom, really  :) ", I said.
"REALLY?", she asked again, edging ever closer until she was literally inches away from my eye.
Eyeball to eyeball, in the most literal sense possible. I felt like she was trying to crawl into my skull, my brain. She was going to find out herself I was not doing OK!
I was terrified, nailed to the ground (in a sort of vain attempt to keep my ground).
Luckily the kettle blew(?), so I had to go to the kitchen to fix tea.
In seconds, with the spell of the eye-contact broken, I felt a rage emerging, HUGE.
I went back with the tea, and erupted. I told her off, yelled. Put her down.
It worked, but the Drama Queen had brought me presents (which was how she had wiggled herself in, this was the trap she had set up for me, I realized later) so she then proceeded to give me them.
Since I had suddenly gained a remarkable calmness after my eruption, that apparently had worked, I calmly opened the presents and let her rattle on niceties. The presents were crap, they were for some other person it seemed. A very ugly watch. I haven't wore a watch since I was 15.
She then wanted to take me out to diner.
I told her to leave my house, and I wanted her to leave "now".
She went, sulking. Or pouting. (Don't really know the difference. I discovered "pouting" only recently. I think it's sulking2, no? It's what toddlers do, right?)

So yes, I now believe( actually: I am now convinced) my uHPDmom actually wanted to destroy me. It might well be unconsciously and due to her illness, but that really doesn't matter.
It was wrong, and I knew it, then. Not only felt it, knew it For the very first time I had seen her behavior so openly, so clearly, so unveiled.
It was a 'lightbulb' moment.
The FOG had started lifting.
I had come aware.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 09:56:35 AM by Dutch Uncle »


Dutch Uncle

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Journal of a Dutch Uncle: "Return to sender"
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 09:52:43 AM »
About 15 years ago my mother left my father. Well, sort of. Now that I have become convinced she's uHPD, I see this more as one of her Dramas she acted out. I will write more on the process of the divorce that took almost three years some other time.

In any case, after she had come to visit me to tell the 'bad' news (inside I was cheering: "Hooray! I KNEW their marriage sucked! Hooray for validation!"), everything became secret. We kids did not get any information. The subject was effectively taboo. This was annoying for me. I guess I should view this as an abandonment of sorts.

At some point I got a letter from mom. It turned out later she had send the same letter to my siblings.
When I picked up the letter from my doormat, something was fishy about it. There was a sense of Doom about it.
I let it sit on the proverbial mantelpiece for a few days, unopened.
What to do with it? Read it? Throw it out? Burn/destroy it ceremonially? After reading it? Before?
Then I decided to do the unthinkable: I would send it "return to sender", unopened. I didn't want the crap in it, I had realized, and I thought it best if my mom would know I hadn't read it and didn't want it.

The following morning she phoned. Mail could not have yet been delivered to her, so I answered the phone. In a dramatic fashion she begged me to destroy the letter, forget what had been said in it, do the ceremonial cleansing with burning it or something, etc. etc.
Yep, do the dramatics.

I had calmly listened to her, let her rant on, and when she was finally done told her: "Don't worry. I haven't read it and it's on it's way back to you, return-to-sender."
:righton:    :righton:    :band:    :righton:    :righton:

I had snatched victory from the claws of defeat. For I was sure she would have been furious if I had discarded the letter before her dramatic pull-out. The timing was perfect. With neither of us knowing ;D .

Unbelievable it would still take another ten years before the FOG really would start to lift. And that four years after that I'm STILL writing about it, in another effort to truly purge it all.
Could somebody pass me an Enema? >:D



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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 10:25:21 AM »
i really get that, D/U, it's like we have to keep going over the same stuff in our minds, keep nibbling away at the edges (ok image that just doesn't work with the enema metaphor,  :aaauuugh:)- until maybe sometime it settles itself down into the 'dealt-with' category. 

i wonder if it's something to do with what van der Kolk mentions in The Body Keeps The Score about how our memories are laid down, and if they get put in the wrong bit of our brain, they remain to us as if they were 'present' rather than 'past' and we keep getting re-traumatised by them until we can re-file them in the right place.  (that's my totally amateur paraphrasing of what he describes much more elegantly, sorry)


Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 10:52:11 AM »

I should pick up on his work, if only for his Dutchness  ;D .

I agree on what you paraphrased. And to me personally that makes it at the moment so important to 'push out' the people who 'constantly' push my traumatic experiences back in the wrong place. I do this mostly by Low Contact, Medium Chill and other such tools, and am prepared to go NC if all those don't work and only seem to aggravate the situation (like what happened with my sis).

I cannot hope to get things in the right perspective, the right filing-cabinet, if I have people around me who re-stack them behind my back.




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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 12:26:37 PM »
yup, am doing exactly the same as you, have gone totally nc.

and the van der Kolk book, tho expensive, was worth every penny. also you can put his name into Youtube and it will bring up his lectures that relate to that book.

i am signing out now and doing that lazy sunday thing, as recommended by your wise self in another thread.  :yes:


Dutch Uncle

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Journal of a Dutch Uncle: Note to self
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2015, 11:59:09 AM »
I have at least 20 years worth of Journals laying around here. I think I've destroyed everything from before 1994. (In 1994  ;D )

For long I've thought: "Why do I only write down this stuff, and never read it back? What's the point in just writing it down, and never look back to it? I should do* that. That might actually get me somewhere. Simply writing it down certainly doesn't work, as I have the feeling I write down the same thing over and over. And Over."

So why not embark on that project here, Uncle? Hmm?
In a few weeks it'll be four years since the FOG finally started to get blown away, and the Storm that invoked that event still hasn't died down. For the better I'd like to add. So why not:
- Pick up again on your journals of four years ago.
- Pick up on the journals of 5 years before that as well
- And those of 5 years before that.
- and from the very first you still have. 1994 IIRC.

It'll be a five year project to work through them. At least.
Why not, buddy…

*) I guess the should has always put me off.
You may, Uncle.
Or not.
My call.

While I was typing this, this song came up playing in my 'Music Library'

Frank Zappa - You Are What You Is

Do you know what you are?
You are what you is
You is what you am
A cow don't make ham
You ain't what you're not
So see what you got
You are what you is
An' that's all it 'tis

A foolish young man
From a middle class fam'ly
Started singin' the blues
'Cause he thought it was manly
Now he talks like the Kingfish
From Amos 'n Andy
("Holy mack'l dere . . . Holy mack'l dere!")
He tells you that chitlins . . .
Well, they taste just like candy
He thinks that he's got
De whole thang down
From the Nivea Lotion
To de Royal Crown

Do you know what you are?
You are what you is
You is what you am
A cow don't make ham
You ain't what you're not
So see what you got
You are what you is
An' that's all it 'tis

A foolish young man
Of the Negro Persuasion
Devoted his life
To become a caucasian
He stopped eating pork
He stopped eating greens
He traded his dashiki
For some Jordache Jeans
He learned to play golf
An' he got a good score
Now he says to himself
"I don't understand you . . . "
"Would you please speak more clearly . . . "

Who is who
(I don't know . . . )
'N what is what
(Somethin' I just don't know . . . )
'N why is this
(Tell me now . . . )
(That's a funny pronunciation if'n ever I heard one . . . )
If you don't like
(Where'd you get that word?)
What you has got
(Appropriot? The word is not . . . )
Drop it in the dirt
(Drop it yeah . . . )
'N let it rot
(I can smell it now . . . )
Someone else
(Here de come, here de come . . . )
Will surely come
(I told you they was comin')
'N pick it up
(That's right!)
'Cause he wants some
(An' he wants it for free . . . )

And when one day
(There will come a day . . . )
You wonder who
(I wonder too . . . )
You used to was
(Who I was anyway . . . )
'N what you do
(I used to work at the post office . . . )
You'll scratch your head
(But I don't wanna un-do my doo . . . )
'N look around
(Just to see what's goin' on . . . )
But what you lost
(Can't seem to find it . . . )
Will not be found
(A Mercedes Benz . . . )

Do you know what you are?
(I know . . . )
You are what you is
(I'm the kinda guy . . . )
You is what you am
(That ought to be drivin' a Mercedes Benz . . . )
A cow don't make a ham
(A four-fifty SLC . . . )
You ain't what you're not
(A big ol' red one . . . )
So see what you got

(With some golf clubs stickin' out de trunk . . . )
You are what you is
(I'm gwine down to de links on Saturday mornin' . . . )
An' that's all it is
(Gimme a five dollar bill . . . )
(And an overcoat too . . . )
(Where's my waitress? Yeah . . . )
(Robbie, take me to Greek Town . . . )
(I'm harder than yer husband; harder than yer husband . . . )
(I'm goin' down to White Street, to the Mudd Club y'all . . . )
(I'm goin' down 'n work the wall 'n work the floor . . . )
('N work the pipe 'n work the wall . . . )
(Some more . . . )

That song already made a hide impression on me waaaay before 1994...
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 12:25:33 PM by Dutch Uncle »


Dutch Uncle

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Journal of a Dutch Uncle: Sticking to my NC with uHPD/uBPD/"cluster B"-sis.
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2015, 09:57:08 AM »
This has taken some effort, pondering and soul-searching, with the aid of many here:

In the end I stuck with my NC. I told her "No" to a twisted invitation to her birthday-party.

The two most important reasons:
- I already have gone NC, and informed Dad and Bro on it, because they had to know I would not be seeing Sis as-much-as-I-had (to say the least) and things would not return to what they were.
Inspiration for that move (informing them) had come from (a site that's been a guide during the LC/MC period before NC, even though I only stumbled on it when I was already way into doing many of the things suggested there):
#7) When applicable, talk to other family members about your situation, and let them know this person in particular and yourself will not be having as much contact, if any. Briefly explain and don't back down.

- Half a year or so into LC/MC I had already told my sister she was not welcome in my home anymore, and I wouldn't visit hers. That was a first boundary setting for me, making a point obviously, but we could (and did) meet a few times elsewhere. 'On neutral ground' so to say, though I never put it in those words. Why would I? It would only stir the pot…

Apart from the great feedback I received here, I did some searching on the net. Both old and new sites. One (on BPD) particularly hit home. I'll post some excerpts here, that confirmed "I am already doing the right thing", a mantra I've come to love.

An individual with BPD features can push your buttons like nobody else can. You'll keep trying to take the 'higher road' and intervene with her as calmly and rationally as possible, but your efforts are futile. Regardless of how hard you try to problem-solve without igniting her disproportionately volatile and dramatic reactions, you fail. She'll do and say things that'll trigger your rage, and there isn't a darned thing you can do about it. Just like a 3-year old, she needs to push the envelope with you, to find out where your limits are.
The bolded phrase has become a life-changer for me, and a dear friend (who works as a Nurse) had already mentioned this character trait in quite a few patients she has cared for: They keep pushing the envelope on hospital staff. And how important it is for the staff to keep re-affirming their boundaries, no matter how sick these people are.
When this darker side of your nature gets activated, you'll feel ashamed and guilty afterwards. The Borderline might even add to this, by telling you how deeply you've hurt them (but they're the one who's lit that flame!).
So you're damned if you take a stand for yourself--and damned if you don't.
You'll feel compelled to stick around, no matter how critical and diminishing she is to you, which is tied to an issue called 'learned helplessness' that you acquired as a little girl--and it's left you with masochistic tendencies
Now, "learned helplessness" is a very intriguing concept, and I'm pretty sure I suffer from it. When I'll get to a T, this will one of my major fields of inquiry/therapy.
Borderlines grew up with so much instability and torment, the only way they learned how to survive, was to block out that pain--or take control of it. This is why they'll pick fights with you, and disrupt any loving/positive time you spend together.
BINGO! Why didn't she simply invite me over? Have a good time?
NO. Lets create some Drama beforehand, and then there's a safety-valve in place for the party itself: Little bro (=me) can always be chastised if I don't 'behave', i.e. don't make the proper curtseys when it 'matters'.
Extracting yourself from this relationship is far easier said than done--and if that weren't true, you would have left long before now. Perhaps you're aware of her abandonment issues, health concerns, family dramas, etc., that have kept you feeling tremendous guilt about leaving, but now it's appropriate to take care of you!
You bet I'm aware of all that. If she doesn't have a problem with me, then she has a problem with mom, dad, bro, work, the house, her kids or her wife. I even got a letter from her once about all that went wrong on her Honeymoon (a years ago). *?
And now, your real drama unfolds. She may suddenly "want to talk," whereas before, you couldn't even approach having an adult conversation, without an act of congress! This has you thinking; Gee, maybe she really 'gets it' now, and there's a chance we can actually make it together. Wrong.
This, in fact, has been the story of our relationship for at least 15 years. Quite probably longer. But I don't need to figure out if it has been going on longer than that, now do I. (that's a rhetorical question, hence no question mark)
You've simply gotten her attention, 'cause you're half-way out the door, and you aren't allowed to abandon a Borderline. EVER!
Really? I already am? Woot! :excited:
Each attempt at reconciliation resuscitates your exquisite dream that it may be different this time. You're ready/willing to make special concessions and adjustments, which side-step all the usual triggers that have disrupted your harmony before--if you can remember them. The trouble with a Borderline, is the rules keep changing--and there's no way to find a solid footing, or trust that you've finally gotten it right with this person. Does this remind you of anyone you know? (Mom, maybe??)
She's a copy of mom. And I have to be HER mom. <--- The Dysfunctional mom that is, she doesn't know any other, even if she was staring her in the face.
I know this, for I am that non-dysfunctional mom. In all my Dutch Uncleness.
When it comes to somebody who's borderline disordered, it ain't over till the fat lady sings--and walking out that door could truly prove to be the easiest part of this deal, both practically and emotionally.

And, although I did reply, I didn't reply to her drama.
I'll have to bury my parents with this 'lady', and that's the only reason I have not kicked her out completely yet.
I may have to that at some point regardless, who knows, but not today.
Bye sis! Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 10:08:38 AM by Dutch Uncle »


Widdiful Falling

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2015, 08:16:04 AM »
Good for you, staying out of the drama!  :applause:

I know how difficult it is to extricate yourself from people like that. It takes a lot of courage to say no. I'm glad you're taking care of yourself by doing that. I'm also glad you had such a good resource before you went NC. I hope your dad and bro are understanding.



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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2015, 08:17:49 PM »
Really powerful posts Dutch which speak volumes about the trauma emotional abuse causes and reaffirms why NC and LC is a must for some of us. 

All of the excerpts in your last post resonated deeply with me and my experience with a NPD M and B. There is never any solid ground, sure footing. They keep going no matter what, they do not change.  That is so tough to accept. One quote did strike me as not being quite the case for me anymore:

When this darker side of your nature gets activated, you'll feel ashamed and guilty afterwards. The Borderline might even add to this, by telling you how deeply you've hurt them (but they're the one who's lit that flame!). So you're damned if you take a stand for yourself--and damned if you don't.

I don't actually feel guilty or ashamed when I look back at appearances of my "darker side" (and is it actually darker - not so sure about that). We're human and howling in pain, railing at the trauma and sheer injustice of having to deal with these types of behaviours seems perfectly appropriate -- as long as we don't get stuck there. I am not dammed if I let that part of me rise to the surface on occasion, it is a part of me and it seems to affirm or validate me as you have touched on above.

Thanks for sharing your keen insights  :hug:


Dutch Uncle

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Re: Journal of a Dutch Uncle (possible triggers on just about anything)
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2015, 12:32:15 AM »
Thanks, Kizzie.

I don't actually feel guilty or ashamed when I look back at appearances of my "darker side" (and is it actually darker - not so sure about that). We're human and howling in pain, railing at the trauma and sheer injustice of having to deal with these types of behaviours seems perfectly appropriate -- as long as we don't get stuck there. I am not dammed if I let that part of me rise to the surface on occasion, it is a part of me and it seems to affirm or validate me as you have touched on above.
You're right.
You state eloquently "as long as we don't get stuck there."
'Invitations' like these are designed to keep me "stuck there". While in fact I have moved on.
It's a trap, and the trick is to walk around it. I keep telling myself that now that I'm out of the FOG.
It takes an effort!  ;)


Dutch Uncle

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Intentions for Recovery
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2015, 04:56:58 PM »
This post is inspired by Pete Walker's: Normal and safe wants and needs to wish and hope for… to cultivate with mental, spiritual and emotional energy.

I have copied his list and revised it for my situation/being.
This list will be subject to change. (probably  ;) . Perhaps it will proof to be a constant, but I highly doubt it will  ;D )
Points 24 and onwards are my own additions.
   1.   I want to develop a more constantly loving and accepting relationship with myself. I want an increasing capacity for self acceptance. Indeed
   2.   I want to learn to become the best possible a good and loving friend to myself.
   3.   I want to continue to attract, into my life, relationships that are based on love, respect, fairness and mutual support.
   4.   I want to uncover live a full, uninhibited self expression.
   5.   I want to attain the best possible physical health. I'm satisfied with my current physical health. It's good enough.
   6.   I want to cultivate a balance of vitality and peace. I've had periods in my life where I had attained this. I want to go back there, in the present.
   7.   I want to continue to attract, to myself, loving friends and loving community, and know when it's time to end those not living up to this anymore, and act appropriately to those circumstances.
   8.   I want increasing freedom from toxic shame. Indeed
   9.   I want increasing freedom from unnecessary fear. Yet embrace that fear is an important tool that should be taken into account while making decisions
   10.   I want rewarding and fulfilling work. Similar to what I have had
   11.   I want a fair amount of peace of mind, spirit, soul and body. Indeed
   12.   I want to increase my capacity to play and have fun for grief, loss and 'letting go'. I used to think life could be had without those.
   13.   I want to make plenty of room for beauty and nature ugliness and fakery in my life. I used to keep my eyes shut for that, to my detriment.
   14.   I want sufficient physical and monetary resources. Though I'm well aware that much of it depends on circumstances outside my control.
   15.   I want a fairer amount of help (self, human, or divide) to get what I need.
   16.   I want God's humanity's love, grace and blessing.
   17.   I want a balance of work, rest and play. Duh!
   18.   I want a balance of stability and change. Duh!
   19.   I want a balance of loving interaction and healthy self sufficiency. And the latter is surely lacking, since I have sacrificed it to obtain 'loving interaction'. It does't work that way, I realize now.
   20.   I want a full emotional expression with a balance of laughter and tears. Tears are mostly lacking.
   21.   I want sexual satisfaction. I'm doing pretty well on my own at the moment, thank you. This surely is the least of my priorities now.
   22.   I want to find effective and non-abusive ways to deal with anger. Though I must learn that even if I do this, there will still be people around who scream: "Oh the agony!" Too many of them are cry-babies full of self-pity because I refuse to take their garbage out.
   23.   I want all this for each and every other being. Though I realize I'm very limited in making this happen for them.
   24.   I want to integrate the scientific method much more into my life. I want to give heightened value to observable facts, while remaining an open mind that my observance may have been obscured by factors previously outside my awareness.
   25.   I want to gain better acceptance that along my path old ways, old tools, old techniques might get worn out, become obsolete or simply have had there use, and they may be renewed, discarded, and/or improved upon.
   26.   I want to better integrate that life and death are integral parts of what it means to be living, and that loss may be grieved, just as birth may be celebrated. The one emotion is not better or more valuable than the other. I recognize that joy and celebration lift me up, and that they may supplant grief and loss, which put me down. I also recognize that grief and loss do not have to be shunned. They are unavoidable, and may be felt without regret.
   27.     I want to further my understanding, and more importantly, my experience of 'humanism'. In living as a human on this planet, and experiencing what it means to be a human living together with my fellow humans and the other species on this tiny speck in the vast universe, I'll be living a 'good enough' life. I cannot hope to comprehend the vastness of the 'whole-all' as the cosmos is called in my language, and whatever there may be out there: living my life on this planet is already stretching the limits of my capabilities as the organism I am. Trying to figure out what 'good' or 'bad' means to any 'higher' life form is a futile undertaking, and to get it 'right' I might as well be throwing a pair of dice. I won't be doing that either: I'll be looking and interacting with my peers. Understanding of the human experience is to be found and gained with them. This is my 'creed' , for lack of a better word, as an 'Agnosticist'.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 05:00:47 PM by Dutch Uncle »