When friends are Non-Cptsd

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Whobuddy

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When friends are Non-Cptsd
« on: December 20, 2014, 01:47:24 PM »
I find it hard to be friends with non cptsds. There are a couple of coworkers that seem to like me but I don't know what to say to them. I can only talk about work or listen as they talk about their lives. I don't want to be the "buzz kill" and describe what I have been through and the struggles that go with it. Then there is the inner critic battle in my head as I listen to them. I have been avoiding them lately but that does not seem like the right solution.

I don't want to confide in them because non cptsds don't usually get it. And what if word gets around my workplace?

Once I told someone that I had a lousy Thanksgiving and she never saw me again without bringing that up! Has anyone figured out what to do in these social situations?

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Rain

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2014, 03:57:32 PM »
I have, most likely as all of us have had, people that DO soundly reject us in those social conversations.

This happens to everyone.   But, for us, it is an inner critic verification of our "unworthiness" which is a pile of crap.

We are worthy.  We do matter.

What I have come to understand is that I am not everyone's "cup of tea" ...so what.   I AM however someone's preferred "cup of tea" ...and, do we actually like everyone that WE meet?   It's okay. 

Sure, I sting.   I replay the "I'm rejectable" Inner Critic "Top Ten" ...but, I have to reject the Critic's crap.

I AM acceptable, worthy.   I matter.

When I do encounter someone who is "rejecting" of me, now I've come to realize that their OWN inner critic is at play.   I am being "rejected" by a "negative inner critic" inside of them ...so, why would I take THAT personally??

Banish the inner critic in ourselves ...and, disregard the inner critic of others.

 :hug:


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Whobuddy

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2014, 10:47:57 PM »
Thanks, thanks and more thanks. Lots of help from you both, Rain and bheart! Lots to think about, ponder, and find hope in.

Thankfully, a lot of the time it is good to just listen to people. I never developed a good sense of how long to talk or how long to listen. I guess that is my inner critic that is trying to make me think that everything I do is wrong.

In my situation, these coworkers like to walk with me for exercise for about an hour! That will really tax my list in my pocket but I guess it gives me reason to try to make it a looong list.

Thank you again!

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Bluevermonter

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2014, 01:13:25 AM »
Hi, whobuddy.

I am a non-cptsd, with an ex who is cptsd.  I am OOTS to try to see life from her point of view, and to understand the why of why she hurt me so much in leaving our r/s.

Even though I am non, I have had plenty of life experiences that make me empathic to others' trials and tribulations.  Probably some of your friends and co-workers have also been through similar and can relate to your struggles, so please don't count us out entirely.  In fact, I find when meeting someone for the first time, if I listen closely and ask questions I can find common ground w them.

Just like many humans in social settings I have had to learn the hard way about disclosing difficult personal info.  The people who send up red flags the most to me are those who go through their laundry list of distress in the first five minutes of meeting.  I have a male friend w a sister who is always going on about how she is by herself and alone and has no one to look after her and how hard life is for her.  Buzz kill! I am having XMas dinner w both of them and I will do my best not to solve her problems, just listen, and as RAIN suggests, find other topics to discuss.

I have two nephews under 13 and when I get the chance, I try to teach them how to be social when standing in line, or when eating out.  I think that is an important skill I had to learn the hard way as no one taught me.

For example, the three of us were in line waiting for ice cream and people ahead and behind were having conversations.  I showed them how to look at their clothes for clues about their interests, and pick out words in the conversations that give clues to the topic.  As it turned out, the two young ladies behind us had an interest in music like nephew1 and one of them played drums in a band.  Nephew1 is just figuring out what he can do w music etc.

And I think that awesome RAIN is spot on when she talks about social rings.  Because of circumstances related to my very unpleasant breakup, I have had to pay attention to who needs to know details and who doesn't.  Simply, not even most of my friends need to know details, only generalities.

Another example:  many years ago I met a fellow professional at a conference who, in the first two minutes, told everyone in the group that her daughter was a product of rape!  I thought, how awful for the daughter to have a mother who discloses this info to strangers!

As far as what to say:  I have learned that the trivia of life is the key to getting to know people.  What are their hobbies, favorite teams, where they are from, where they spend vacations, music interests.  I think you get the point.

We are all on many journeys, and are works in progress until the end.  God bless us all!  And good luck, whobuddy with your list!

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Rain

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2014, 04:44:58 AM »
Well said, Blue!   We are works in progress until the end.    :hug:

...and, I think you are awesome too, Blue.     Thanks, friend.

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flookadelic

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2014, 05:14:45 AM »
I have found that asking non cptsd people questions about their lives and having conversations about them to be a handy barrier. People are fascinated by themselves and are very flattered that someone takes such an interest. I find that "wall of questions" to be useful. Of course you have to take on board replies that are often long and tedious but hey, it's one way of doing it. A book I would highly recommend is "Manners from Heaven" by Quentin Crisp, the self described "Stately British Homo's" ... He was openly gay in 1940's London onwards and had the courage of a lioness. The book is about how to unashamedly manipulate others away from yourself and receive beneficial kickbacks from doing so. It is either a book about manipulating others or survival, depending on ones life experience. For us I believe it's the latter.

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wingnut

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2014, 06:45:05 AM »
Funny,  I do this a lot with new people. Most folks are flattered by the attention and love to talk about themselves. When someone reciprocates I know Ive found a gem.

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Bluevermonter

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2014, 10:05:16 PM »
I agree w you both, flookadelic and wing nut.  Just ask certain people a question and they won't shut up.  I recently read a book titled, "Quiet.  The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking."  It's by Susan Cain.  I found it a wonderful affirmation of people who are private, mind their own business, and don't really give a hoot about the external discussion that extroverts seem to feel is essential to their identity, not to mention world enlightenment.

Sad thing: my ex found this book because she decided she is an introvert. She would come  home exhausted everyday from being a counselor and couldn't stand all the intrusion into her quiet.  I think the reason for her social withdrawal, her need for isolation, and her exhaustion was related to her unaddressed cptsd.  When I met her 20 years ago she was a very outgoing person.

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Rain

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2014, 11:03:00 PM »
Blue!

I did a double-take.   I went back and checked all your posts to make sure I had not forgotten this detail that you wrote just now.

Your ex- was a Counselor!?   You mean like a mental health Counselor??

Oh, Blue....    :hug:

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Bluevermonter

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2014, 06:55:37 PM »
Hi Rain.

My ex got a masters in counseling from a Midwestern univ when she was about 35.  Then took a job in a different state at a women's center at a university in the state were she lives now. This job involved career counseling, rape counseling, finding resources for women going back to school, and providing education in these areas to groups at the univ.  She was into goddess worship and women's spirituality groups.

Then she got a job where I worked.  She was the sole domestic violence educator.  So for 7 years did a variety of classes on anger management, identifying abuse, good parenting behaviors, rape awareness, healthy relationships.  Kept her busy but she would get re traumatized by certain clients in her classes w particularly bad stories.

All this time she and I had a good relationship.  She was well aware of how H1 and mom had wounded her and knew she had ptsd.  I learned a lot from her and her friends about the basics of abuse, counseling, healthy relationships etc.  I always believed she had a handle on her issues.

After 7 years, she switched to career counseling.  Being ocd, she was great at helping people write resumes, identify skills, preparing for interviews, using the Internet for job searching.  She was very proud of how she could help others.  The clue that something was not "normal" was that she could never be late for work, critical of other people who were, would hide the fact that she had to work extra to complete all the paperwork her job required, and always asked me for advise on how to handle difficult people.  Since she was schooled in conflict management, I could never understand why she was so unsure of what to do.  But she had my two cents and usually found it wise counsel.

Her dad died about 2005 and her narc mom about 2010.  She loved her dad.  But was LC w mom on mom's birthday and holidays.  Hadn't seen her mom since 1965, when she vowed to never be in her presence again.

She has lots of health issues: asthma, allergies, sleep apnea, depression, high cholesterol.  I would say that it got harder and harder for her to manage all these issues, especially w her reliance on OTC supplements.  When quack chiro said buy this for that ailment, she would.

My advise was for her to find some health professional who could manage all the issues.

As 2010 became 2013, the big triggers hit: my mom passed, I fell off the roof, she turned 65, had to start thinking about retirement, and realized her blond streaks were gone.

She wanted me to let my mom to her own devices after my mom was dx w cancer bc my mom was a pesky narc.  But big difference between me and her was that she devalued her own family bc she had no choice and subconsciously wanted me to do same.

So today I realized I have so much trouble w her NC because I cannot devalue and discard HER, or the 20 years we spent together.  She apparently has no problem w devalue and discard of me, however.

So with all her book learning, her colleagues and friends who are Counselors, she knew nothing about CPTSD--and didn't realize she was spiraling out of control.  Last month I violated her NC and left a copy of PW's book on her doorstep.

Today I have to violate NC again and ask her if my Xmas stocking is in her box of Xmas decorations.  I had the stocking for 60 years and would like it back.

Sorry for this long chapter of war and peace, but summarizes helps.  Plus I am flashing back today and yesterday about some of the mean lies, excuses, and other BS she said and did as she walked out on us.  Still hurts.  I love her and pretending I can just stop it--as she said I ought to do-- just isn't happening.  I hope her mom is paying her penance in a very warm place for her mistreatment of my ex and her two brothers.

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Rain

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2014, 07:48:14 PM »
 :hug: to you, Blue.    The sharing helps in the grieving.   It is sad all the way around.  :sadno:

Yup.   A counselor.   Oh, sigh.

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Bluevermonter

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2014, 10:16:27 PM »
Well, she used all  the big counselor words and all her training and it certainly fooled me. 

But let her case be a cautionary tale:  I think her case speaks to the depth of damage that cptsd can do.  She is a lovely person, but she ignored her mental and physical issues --ashamed, scared, guilty, self-destructive???  Even though she technically knew better? 

I hope that if she takes my book gift seriously, she will begin to heal.  I hope that healing includes me in it to some extent.  Being devalued is no fun at all.  But I have to expect that I will more likely get struck by lightening . . .   Smiles and hugs anyway . . .

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Whobuddy

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Re: When friends are Non-Cptsd
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2014, 01:36:56 AM »

Even though I am non, I have had plenty of life experiences that make me empathic to others' trials and tribulations.  Probably some of your friends and co-workers have also been through similar and can relate to your struggles, so please don't count us out entirely.  In fact, I find when meeting someone for the first time, if I listen closely and ask questions I can find common ground w them.

And I think that awesome RAIN is spot on when she talks about social rings.  Because of circumstances related to my very unpleasant breakup, I have had to pay attention to who needs to know details and who doesn't.  Simply, not even most of my friends need to know details, only generalities.


Thank you for your post. It helps me. You are very compassionate to be working so hard to understand your ex.

I will keep working on my list and try not to over-share.