Feeling "frozen"

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SE7

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Feeling "frozen"
« on: May 04, 2017, 11:29:24 PM »
I am the adult daughter of 2 narcissist parents. I knew codependency was an issue since my late 20s and only became aware of the narcissism a few months ago now in my mid-40s. I suspect the mother also has some other personality disorder, maybe borderline.

I lost my home and then my job 10 days later (events unrelated) ... 6 months ago.
I was forced to move back with my parents because I had nowhere else to go.

I have been in a state of emotional paralysis for the past 4 months, after 2 months of panic attacks (resulting from a narcissist landlord, the reason I had to leave my home).
I am close to running out of money, and yet I'm so "frozen" that I have made little progress. Being around my parents at this stage of my life is really rough.

Does anyone else have experience with this? I've heard of a fight, flight or freeze response, and I suspect that after too many years of fight/flight, I am now frozen because I just can't take anymore trauma or drama in my life. I have been unable to take the normal actions that normal people take to move their life to the next level.

My foundation was already broken being raised by 2 narcissists, and the on/off unemployment & homelessness is just more stress than I can take. I was homeless for 2 years starting 5 years ago when my parents refused to help me & 'taught me a lesson' letting me get evicted. This was only 1.5 yrs after being in the hospital for a life-threatening autoimmune disorder.

How to get out of this emotional state and be able to move forward??? Where do I get the motivation?
Thanks

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sanmagic7

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 11:55:42 PM »
holding out a hand to let you know you're not alone.

do you think you may be in the midst of an ef?  that could explain feeling frozen, paralyzed, confused, not knowing what to do next.  back in the home of people who have abused you could bring one of those on, i'd guess, pretty easily.

as wife2 would say, breathe, then breathe again.  feel your feet on the ground.  be with yourself and know that this, too, shall pass.  i've taken to wearing what i call a 'stone of valor' around my neck.  it is soothing and grounding to me to know it's there during times like you describe.  maybe you can find a little something like that for your pocket, something that can bring you a little bit of comfort.  possibly a bit of motivation as well to keep moving, little steps.  you'll get there.  i have no doubt.  keep taking care of yourself as best you can.  big hug, se7.

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SE7

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2017, 10:02:34 PM »
Hi sanmagic 7, thanks for your reply (and the hand).

What is an 'ef'? I don't know all the terminology just yet, because I've only recently discovered my decades of problems are part of narcissistic abuse syndrome including CPTSD (I am diagnosing myself, as I think I know myself pretty well at this point).

I've been doing a lot of soul-searching since my last post here.

Starting to realize this syndrome is coming from internalized punishment that I inflict on myself all the time without even realizing it. It is coming to the surface again that my internal self-talk is very critical, pressuring and harsh. I guess I have internalized a lot of the covert psychological abuse, and all the inferences of their manipulations.

You REALLY helped me with your post in the other thread about the 'should' vs. the 'can' and the holding down the arm. WOW.
That is a reminder of what I learned long ago when I had been using CBT for my anxiety to dispute my thoughts/beliefs.

I'll go take a look at what you write and reply more there. And yes, BREATHE ... I have a necklace shaped in a shield with a scripture on it, that could be like your stone, I think I'll go put it on. Thanks :)

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sanmagic7

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2017, 11:53:57 PM »
an 'ef', or emotional flashback is what c-ptsd people go through as compared to the visual/audio flashbacks of people suffering from ptsd.  it you type in pete walker, emotional flashbacks, you'll get to his excellent responses about c-ptsd and ef's, and how to get ourselves thru them.   sorry, i don't have the link.  3 roses does.  but i found it by looking for pete walker.  there are great explanations from him.

the mind-body connection i have found to be invaluable, and am doing more positive self-talk now to my brain, re-wiring it, allowing more and healthier connections to form.  i got that idea from the movie 'a beautiful mind'.  what that guy did with his schizophrenic companions was inspirational to me.  mind over brain.  it works.

keep going.  i think you're doing really well in a very bad situation.  holding your hand till you don't need it anymore.  big hug.

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Three Roses

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2017, 04:47:03 AM »

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Blueskies

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2017, 09:45:44 AM »
I'm not surprised you are in the state that you are. You have gone through so much! Yes I have suddenly found myself dependent and at the mercy of PDM later in life and it was terrifying and I had a lot of emotional flashbacks and early trauma come up. I've also gone through a lot of loss - home, health, livelihood. You WILL come out the other side, I know how scary and upsetting it all is. Maybe being frozen is your body's way of protecting you but obviously it doesn't help you leave the situation.

When I have been experiencing cPTSD in the form of intense terror I read that physical movement can help discharge it so I tried yoga and it really helped on a very visceral level. Also, garner as much external support as you can, whether friends or support groups or here or anything. It might be you are in a frozen state because you are really emotionally overwhelmed, so support is really important.

Maybe just take little steps...I am a firm believer in the idea that as long as you are facing in the right direction and taking little steps you'll get there in the end. Visualisation can be really helpful - visualising how you want your life to be and really feeling it in your body (without worrying about the logistics at all). It can help bypass the inner critic which keeps you stuck.

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lambchop

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2017, 01:48:07 PM »
I am close to running out of money, and yet I'm so "frozen" that I have made little progress. Being around my parents at this stage of my life is really rough.

How to get out of this emotional state and be able to move forward??? Where do I get the motivation?

Hi SE7,  :heythere:

I share a similar history (both parents and older sister are narcissists) though I'm in my 60's. I too am in the process of reclaiming my life and my finances because 7 years ago I allowed my life to fall apart after becoming the legal caretaker of my abusers. I pray and do all I can to make sure the day never comes that I have return to their home. With geography and a space to call my own, I at least stand a chance at fulfilling dreams I know I still have. If I moved back with my parents I would not only lose sight of my dreams, I would lose my soul and my spirit. Me as I know me would fall to the abyss.

Living with your narcissistic parents is more than really rough – it’s damn impossible to stay true to yourself. I’d encourage you to do a few things while you’re in this situation. Google search “emotionally distance yourself from your family”. There are a multitude of articles to read through that might help you. You can’t change them, but you can change how you react to them.

Surround yourself with people of similar interests. If you’re in a “frozen” state you may not know what those interests are anymore. You’re young and if you live in the US you might know of MeetUp.com. Just browsing through the various categories might invoke that feeling where you want to explore it further. If you can, join a support group. It doesn’t have to be a cptsd group (though that would be great). Any kind of group might be helpful at this point – women in career transition, a political group, get involved in your community, do some volunteer work. Do anything to get you focused on something else and not your parents. It needs to motivate you enough to get out of the bad neighborhood you’re going to end up hanging out in inside your head. I went on a weekend intensive retreat when I was around your age that I found extremely helpful.

A small workbook I haven’t finished yet but do find helpful is The Hard Questions for an Authentic Life by Susan Piver. It forces you to think about what matters to you. The other thing that’s important, actually imperative, is that you remain connected to your own set of values and what makes you valuable. Years ago I began a list for myself called “Evidence of Value”. Every so often I look it over and even add to it. I know I have a weak belief system because of my traumatic history so for me I need more than just listing what makes me valuable, I list the evidence along with it. I don’t just say “I’m bright”, I say “in college, I won a competition against 200 other candidates to represent my school while studying abroad for a semester”. Begin your own Evidence of Value list – you’ll find you are way more amazing than you realize. It’s a long, hard road to reclamation but it’s worth it and come here as often as you need for hugs and nourishment along the way.  :hug:

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SE7

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2017, 09:47:40 PM »
This one?
https://www.psychotherapy.net/article/complex-ptsd

:wave:

Thanks Three Roses, I printed it out and plan to read closely :)

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SE7

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2017, 09:54:02 PM »
an 'ef', or emotional flashback is what c-ptsd people go through as compared to the visual/audio flashbacks of people suffering from ptsd.  it you type in pete walker, emotional flashbacks, you'll get to his excellent responses about c-ptsd and ef's, and how to get ourselves thru them.   sorry, i don't have the link.  3 roses does.  but i found it by looking for pete walker.  there are great explanations from him.

the mind-body connection i have found to be invaluable, and am doing more positive self-talk now to my brain, re-wiring it, allowing more and healthier connections to form.  i got that idea from the movie 'a beautiful mind'.  what that guy did with his schizophrenic companions was inspirational to me.  mind over brain.  it works.

keep going.  i think you're doing really well in a very bad situation.  holding your hand till you don't need it anymore.  big hug.

thanks much sanmagic7. I ended up buying the Kindle book on CPTSD by Pete Walker. It looks amazing, I skimmed through some last night.
I definitely have been having one long horrendous emotional flashback, for sure! I keep reminding myself "It's not your fault, it's because you had a broken foundation" ... this is helping me silence the inner critic/punisher.

that is a good explanation too, the emotional component vs. visual/auditory.

I've often joked around about my 'crossed wires' ... I try also to tell myself that 'good is good, bad is bad, and I only want the good' ... because in my crossed-wire brain I have often lived like the opposite.

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SE7

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2017, 09:58:34 PM »
I'm not surprised you are in the state that you are. You have gone through so much! Yes I have suddenly found myself dependent and at the mercy of PDM later in life and it was terrifying and I had a lot of emotional flashbacks and early trauma come up. I've also gone through a lot of loss - home, health, livelihood. You WILL come out the other side, I know how scary and upsetting it all is. Maybe being frozen is your body's way of protecting you but obviously it doesn't help you leave the situation.

When I have been experiencing cPTSD in the form of intense terror I read that physical movement can help discharge it so I tried yoga and it really helped on a very visceral level. Also, garner as much external support as you can, whether friends or support groups or here or anything. It might be you are in a frozen state because you are really emotionally overwhelmed, so support is really important.

Maybe just take little steps...I am a firm believer in the idea that as long as you are facing in the right direction and taking little steps you'll get there in the end. Visualisation can be really helpful - visualising how you want your life to be and really feeling it in your body (without worrying about the logistics at all). It can help bypass the inner critic which keeps you stuck.

hey blueskies, thanks for the validation of what I'm going through!

Yes, the online support really helps me, and also the bunches of books I have, spiritual & psychology. I just ordered a few more to be my 'support' when the NPDs come home in a week.

The physical movement thing you mentioned is so true .. just doing anything physical that can be seen as 'pampering' .. I finally got myself to dye my hair today and I feel much better. I'm trying to visualize what I'll look like with hair/nails done and new outfits so I can feel like a working person again.


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SE7

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2017, 10:21:31 PM »

I share a similar history (both parents and older sister are narcissists) though I'm in my 60's. I too am in the process of reclaiming my life and my finances because 7 years ago I allowed my life to fall apart after becoming the legal caretaker of my abusers. I pray and do all I can to make sure the day never comes that I have return to their home. With geography and a space to call my own, I at least stand a chance at fulfilling dreams I know I still have. If I moved back with my parents I would not only lose sight of my dreams, I would lose my soul and my spirit. Me as I know me would fall to the abyss

Living with your narcissistic parents is more than really rough – it’s damn impossible to stay true to yourself. I’d encourage you to do a few things while you’re in this situation. Google search “emotionally distance yourself from your family”. There are a multitude of articles to read through that might help you. You can’t change them, but you can change how you react to them.

Surround yourself with people of similar interests. If you’re in a “frozen” state you may not know what those interests are anymore. You’re young and if you live in the US you might know of MeetUp.com. Just browsing through the various categories might invoke that feeling where you want to explore it further. If you can, join a support group. It doesn’t have to be a cptsd group (though that would be great). Any kind of group might be helpful at this point – women in career transition, a political group, get involved in your community, do some volunteer work. Do anything to get you focused on something else and not your parents. It needs to motivate you enough to get out of the bad neighborhood you’re going to end up hanging out in inside your head. I went on a weekend intensive retreat when I was around your age that I found extremely helpful.

A small workbook I haven’t finished yet but do find helpful is The Hard Questions for an Authentic Life by Susan Piver. It forces you to think about what matters to you. The other thing that’s important, actually imperative, is that you remain connected to your own set of values and what makes you valuable. Years ago I began a list for myself called “Evidence of Value”. Every so often I look it over and even add to it. I know I have a weak belief system because of my traumatic history so for me I need more than just listing what makes me valuable, I list the evidence along with it. I don’t just say “I’m bright”, I say “in college, I won a competition against 200 other candidates to represent my school while studying abroad for a semester”. Begin your own Evidence of Value list – you’ll find you are way more amazing than you realize. It’s a long, hard road to reclamation but it’s worth it and come here as often as you need for hugs and nourishment along the way.  :hug:

Hi lambchop, thanks for the tips :)  It would do me good to get out and be around some type of community like I used to do. I probably won't feel ready though until I move into my own place. Evidence of value list is a great idea, to remind me that I'm actually a better job candidate than many out there. I'm glad you were able to move forward, it helps remind me that I won't be in this situation forever!

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alchemist

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Re: Feeling "frozen"
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2017, 10:53:31 AM »
I wish you peace.  Maybe just take a little time for yourself to feel sad and cry if you can.  Cry for the little girl you were who withstood all the pain of personality disordered narcissist parents.  You must be exhausted.  All of us who lived with Narcissists were at some point.  If you are successfully no contact then you will start to get your energy back if you allow yourself to rest.  If you are still in contact, try to limit contact for your health.  Narcissists can affect our energy level and  health they can actually make us sick through their actions so it is better to distance yourself from them.  They are toxic. I have boundless energy since going no contact. And I have not been ill.
I really hope you feel better<3 :hug: