Witholding opportunities

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Phoebes

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Witholding opportunities
« on: June 11, 2018, 04:51:35 PM »
I don't know if this goes here. So many things have been swirling in my mind lately, and I'm just trying to get them out  a little bit..

So I'm in this music group I joined late in life. I always wanted to play music, so at some point, I decided to take lessons, and I do now. Not professional but as a hobby. Trying not to be too descriptive here, but let's just say that in our group, there are musicians ranging from beginner to professional, and of ages 12-75. Some are staples, and some come and go.

As a child and young person, I dabbled in piano. I took lessons from a very mean and boring teacher, so I wanted to quit. But I wanted to play modern music, and that was a no. I wanted to play drums and that was a * no. I wanted to play sax and that was a no. I was berated and belittled that I needed to get my head out of my ***, and asked in a berating voice "when are you going to do something a girl would do?" I also was not allowed to skateboard or play soccer further than the school team because if I played club I might be chosen to play at a higher level (what I wanted, but not allowed.)

So now, in this music group I'm in, I find myself not only unable to relax fully and just enjoy and try things (as I am so annoyingly self-conscious), but also there are many young people who are coming up through HS, college and beyond, doing amazing things with their music and achieving high levels of education in music. Their parents are often there, cheering them on, proud. What I notice the most is the way their parents interact with them. They speak to them with kindness and respect. They treat them as equals and as if they are capable. Worthy. All of these things are just normal to everyone there. I can't think of a single person in our group that does not have supportive family members around at times like performances, even small ones. These caring and intimate interactions with their families, coupled by their encouragement and support to follow their passions, unfortunately really trigger me. I feel like such an outsider, like I missed out on so much. I feel like I should have been following a similar creative path. Like I somehow should have overcome and ignored my upbringing and found a way to follow this path anyway. Instead I followed my stockholm syndrome. And no matter which ways I tried to achieve creatively, I have gotten stuck and never really been able to make it happen. I see now I wasn't doing it right. I was destined to fail because I wasn't following the path that would have gotten me there, and I was affected by my Nm's very negative and demeaning words and thoughts.

This scenario is the one in which I feel most hopeless. I hate that, because I am truly happy for these young people and all of these people who have close families. I feel like life has passed me by, almost completely, and I am a stranger in life, trying to grasp for any last minute joy or success.

One last thing on this note, I was not allowed to go places when I was at home, but when I left, I was most passionate and driven to travel. I did travel as much as I could and have been many places, most on my own. I love it. I was never supported by Nm, in fact, she would often say things like "well, if you die in a plane crash or get raped and murdered, don't forget I told you so." I am not exaggerating. So, even though I have experienced all of the wonderful things you do through travel, it almost always was tainted with these messages I was left with. I still managed to not let it bother me at the time too much. I was having such amazing experiences. I was never once asked about my experiences or trips by anyone in my family. Yet I tried to share, and got eye rolls and basically the attitude of "meh". I really hate that I shared with them now.

I think witholding opportunities, and trying to taint any opportunities someone tries to create for themselves are in fact abusive. I never really thought of this so much before, because I was focused on the more obvious abuses, but this really bothers me now. It mostly bothers me I didn't get away and do my own thing, pursue the arts, get out of my stockholm syndrome and went NC at age 18. I wanted to run away since 14 but I was afraid I would be returned home only to be beaten more.

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Andyman73

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2018, 04:35:35 PM »
Pheobes, I hope you really enjoying time with your musical group. You deserve to have the best time and most fun ever!!!

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Phoebes

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 04:54:30 PM »
Thanks, Andyman,
Sorry for that possibly triggering rant. I appreciate your words, and I am enjoying it! I usually do, but it's coupled with triggers and insecurities. At least it's a modality to work on these things, and I wind up having fun anyway.

This summer I intended to absorb myself in doing art and creative things, and it's wound up bringing up a lot of stuff and being a time of writing and getting stuff out. I guess that's a good use of time, but I hope to get through it to the point of focusing more on creative pursuits.

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Kizzie

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2018, 07:56:21 PM »
I thought your post was very honest and authentic and I am grateful you shared some painful thoughts and feelings here.  I'm sure it was really difficult to write about, but it was real and that's something so many of us were not allowed to be.  Like you I grew up in the alternative reality of an N family so honesty and authenticity are oddly comforting to me, even when it's about pain, anger and regret.

You did miss out on so much Phoebes, but to me it seems you are trying to take back your life now despite having opportunities withheld in the past and your nM's efforts to keep you from living fully. 

Striving to live life well is a kind of sweet revenge imo so keep on going!  :cheer:

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I like vanilla

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2018, 08:54:35 PM »
I think witholding opportunities, and trying to taint any opportunities someone tries to create for themselves are in fact abusive. I never really thought of this so much before, because I was focused on the more obvious abuses, but this really bothers me now. It mostly bothers me I didn't get away and do my own thing, pursue the arts, get out of my stockholm syndrome and went NC at age 18. I wanted to run away since 14 but I was afraid I would be returned home only to be beaten more.

I agree; it is totally abusive. The narcissistic parents steal so much from their children. I am sorry that your NM stole so much from you. I often weep in my T's office when I realize (or finally admit) to another part of my life that my NM stole from me, and reading your post I realize often when was taken was opportunities - to try new things, to learn something new, to pursue an activity that would have made me happy, etc.

I think that this stealing is partly a failure to recognize the children (or anyone else, but their children are an easy target) as separate beings from the NM (or NF). Ironically, I think the stealing is also partly because the NP (Narc parent) recognizes that the child is trying to individuate and the NP must do everything possible to stop the process - the child must, from the NP point of view, remain continuously dependent on, subservient to, and even a part of the NP rather than ever becoming a full Self in an of themselves.

It is not just abusive; it is an attempt to steal our very Selves (which, I guess by definition is also abusive...).

But, I think there is hope. For many of us we somehow managed to tuck our Selves in someplace safe where our NPs could not find it. The key now is to figure out who we are and how to let our Selves out and be safe (protected by us) in the world. I suppose the downside is that by tucking ourselves away we ultimately have to deal with the process of uncovering our Selves and usually while also managing CPTSD. Unlike those with PTSD from a one-off event, who aim to be 'the person they were before the bad thing happen', those of us with childhood-abuse CPTSD are now on the journey of learning who we are (our Selves were so young when we secured them away that parts must now be developed).

I think this board helps with that uncovering process.  It is a complicated, difficult, painful, joyous, and ultimately satisfying process for all of us, but one worth doing. 

GOOD FOR YOU! That you have the courage to start the process, and continue the process! YOU are DEFINITELY WORTH the EFFORT!

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blues_cruise

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2018, 09:01:54 PM »
I find it so sad that you wanted to try these new things but your natural desire to individuate was suffocated. How wonderful though that you are now playing music somewhere where you're comfortable and that you have defied the toxic lessons you were taught. It is kind of bittersweet witnessing as an adult what true parental support and nurture is: on the one hand it explains how we came to be in our current situation and offers validation, but on the other it opens a whole gulf of sadness for missed opportunities. What happened is heartbreaking but although it's late coming you're now in a safer place where you can pursue all these lovely things and be the person you were meant to be.  :hug:

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Phoebes

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 03:10:03 PM »
I thought your post was very honest and authentic and I am grateful you shared some painful thoughts and feelings here.  I'm sure it was really difficult to write about, but it was real and that's something so many of us were not allowed to be.  Like you I grew up in the alternative reality of an N family so honesty and authenticity are oddly comforting to me, even when it's about pain, anger and regret.

Thank you for the encouragement, Kizzie, and for the above. I agree, too. One thing I love about this forum-it's the real stuff, not the smokescreen stuff of FB. I wish I could say I'm showing them by living the life I always wanted, but I'm just getting my life going small bit by small bit, and many days are such struggles. I try to keep remembering to observe my thoughts and not absorb so much, but it's a challenge! The music group is a little weekly escape, and a soothing activity.


I think that this stealing is partly a failure to recognize the children (or anyone else, but their children are an easy target) as separate beings from the NM (or NF). Ironically, I think the stealing is also partly because the NP (Narc parent) recognizes that the child is trying to individuate and the NP must do everything possible to stop the process - the child must, from the NP point of view, remain continuously dependent on, subservient to, and even a part of the NP rather than ever becoming a full Self in an of themselves.


This is so true, Vanilla. It took a long time to realize this-actually not until I've been learning about N's and being NC these past 3 years have I realized it was not me, and not simply an over-protective and controlling Nm. Having my nephews and having been through years of imagining when I have my own child, I just can't imagine saying to a young child point blank, "get your head out-you're not doing that". Or being so critical and mean- "you could never do that", "you don't have the kind of personality that could do that." Etc. It gets meaner.

But, I think there is hope. For many of us we somehow managed to tuck our Selves in someplace safe where our NPs could not find it. The key now is to figure out who we are and how to let our Selves out and be safe (protected by us) in the world. I suppose the downside is that by tucking ourselves away we ultimately have to deal with the process of uncovering our Selves and usually while also managing CPTSD. Unlike those with PTSD from a one-off event, who aim to be 'the person they were before the bad thing happen', those of us with childhood-abuse CPTSD are now on the journey of learning who we are (our Selves were so young when we secured them away that parts must now be developed).

I think this board helps with that uncovering process.  It is a complicated, difficult, painful, joyous, and ultimately satisfying process for all of us, but one worth doing. 

GOOD FOR YOU! That you have the courage to start the process, and continue the process! YOU are DEFINITELY WORTH the EFFORT!

Thanks, Vanilla. I think the concept of having to start from scratch is what gets to me. Now I'm not physically capable of doing some of the things I wanted so I can mark those off the list. But, I always wanted to do art, I went to art school for a bit before dropping out and did well in high school, and even after I did some commissions and tried to start a career in art. It's like I get going, get on a roll, and lose steam. I don't have that perseverance factor I guess, so I decided art will just be a hobby and that is fine. I won't have to worry about the money. But, I literally have had the same art supplies stacked in my closet for years, and when my GM passed away (the one I was close to, the one adult who saw me, the one who we got together each year and did nothing but art together), I have not done any art since then. So, I have been doodling and sketching a bit, but trying to put together a painting came to a screeching halt. I guess what I'm saying is I don't have that authentic passion and drive I once had as a child (for anything), I don't have the confidence. It's like it's extremely hard to overcome all of the criticism from my family- I'm trying to build my own confidence with self-love, realizing I'm worthy and all of that, but when I get going and try that lack of belief in myself hits hard and I get discouraged, triggered and depressed. Ahhhh!! I'm rambling, but herein lies the frustrations..

I find it so sad that you wanted to try these new things but your natural desire to individuate was suffocated. How wonderful though that you are now playing music somewhere where you're comfortable and that you have defied the toxic lessons you were taught. It is kind of bittersweet witnessing as an adult what true parental support and nurture is: on the one hand it explains how we came to be in our current situation and offers validation, but on the other it opens a whole gulf of sadness for missed opportunities. What happened is heartbreaking but although it's late coming you're now in a safer place where you can pursue all these lovely things and be the person you were meant to be.  :hug:
Thanks for the validation, blues! I do feel grateful for this group. I have a lot of insecurities but I keep reminding myself I have friends here, I enjoy this, and it's FUN! If nothing else, it is my time to enjoy. When situations present themselves that make me insecure, I've vowed to at least keep going back. Don't quit.


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Andyman73

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2018, 07:11:42 PM »
Thanks, Andyman,
Sorry for that possibly triggering rant. I appreciate your words, and I am enjoying it! I usually do, but it's coupled with triggers and insecurities. At least it's a modality to work on these things, and I wind up having fun anyway.

This summer I intended to absorb myself in doing art and creative things, and it's wound up bringing up a lot of stuff and being a time of writing and getting stuff out. I guess that's a good use of time, but I hope to get through it to the point of focusing more on creative pursuits.

Rant was fine, Pheobes. Most of time I can handle rants. Just when they touch on experiences that mirror mine...can trigger me. I hope your creative endeavors reward you!

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Oscen

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 11:31:28 AM »
Dear Phoebes,

I just read your post and I related so much. Thank you for sharing.

The things that particularly resonated with me are the way your parents pushed you away from creative pursuits that give you joy; the way you are looking back and seeing that you didn't pursue a creative career in the right way due to their messages; the way you feel like an outsider when you see healthy families interacting and supporting the children's needs; how your family still isn't interested in what you're doing with your life; and how you feel guilty and frustrated with yourself that you "chose" your Stockholm Syndrome over breaking away from them at age 18. All of these ring true for me, too.

I completely agree that stealing opportunities is a form of abuse, as it is a parental responsibility to help you to develop the self and to prepare you for the future - but a future that you want, not only what they want. I like vanilla was bang on when they discussed this as a failure to allow individuation. It takes so much time and frustration as a survivor of childhood CPTSD to nurture something that was never allowed to grow.

Thank you so much for sharing these details. I hope your projects go well and you enjoy yourself. Remember you're not alone and don't be too hard on yourself.

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Phoebes

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2019, 01:53:06 PM »
Thank you Ocsen.. sorry for the delay as I had broken my computer and recently (finally) was able to replace it. I've just gotten back on here, and notice a few responses to things I posted months ago!

I really appreciate your sharing your similar experiences and feelings.

It's kind of discouraging I'm still struggling with the same things. Why haven't I been able to move forward more? It's very hard to shake the deep-rooted unworthiness. One way it shows up is simply procrastination. Or, starting something with excitement, but fizzling out before following through. I have read where this is pretty common, so I'm not AS hard on myself about it. But, I'm getting to the point where I realize if I don't make these things happen I will be very disappointed in myself.

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caroline

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Re: Witholding opportunities
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2019, 01:53:46 AM »
I really relate to this. If I were near you I would be at your performances  :cheer: xx