When people leave

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LittleBoat

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When people leave
« on: July 03, 2018, 10:10:54 PM »
Hi.  I've been posting about inner and outer critics and grief, lately.  And I guess I'm posting about that stuff again.  I don't know (or trust) how accurate I am when reacting to somebody's words or actions.  I very much fear I over-react to things that others can simply brush off as small misunderstandings.  Very afraid of coming across oddly or impolitely or over-dramatically. 

A little background:  I needed to quit a successful career and go on disability, followed by a series of hospitalizations for mental illness.  I was popular and respected before these occurrences.  But once I got sick enough for the hospital, friends disappeared, almost overnight. 

Now I am finally re-establishing some connections, alliances and a small new handful of friends.  But the critics (both inner and outer) are so prominent, as is grief, that I fear I might be too much for people, that I will trigger them, or frighten them, or misread them, thereby angering them, and I will lose people again. 

I am NC with my mother and have very little contact with my FOO, because we have different perceptions of our upbringing.  I was the scapegoat.  I also never had children, and I am of the age where I am old enough to even have grandchildren.  My husband is a saint.  He takes care of me, and he also lets me know why I am a special person.  It is very important to me that I feel I am making a positive contribution in the world, that I'm adding value, that I can retain thoughtfulness, self-awareness, and be kind.  But there's so much going on in me, both through healing CPTSD and also my precarious mental health, that I lose track.  It's like I'm in a storm, and the sail has ripped, and I'm hugging the mast.  Just.....precarious.

So I am suffering.  And lonely.  And I just so fear "using somebody up" or burdening them or saying one thing too many, finding myself without friends.  Thanks for listening.  --LittleBoat

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Hope67

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Re: When people leave
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2018, 08:06:04 AM »
Hi LittleBoat,
Just to say that I read what you wrote, and I listened to you - and I heard you.  You have been through a lot - and I very much hope that your boat can sail in calmer waters - and that over time you'll feel less precarious and safer.  Sending you a hug, if that's ok  :hug: and also wishing you some warmer weather to steer your boat - in a literal sense - I am glad you have a supportive husband, and that you're beginning to re-establish some connections, alliances and a small new handful of friends - wishing you strength with the inner and outer critics - and wishing you the best for today.
Hope  :)

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LittleBoat

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Re: When people leave
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2018, 02:38:08 PM »
Oh, thank you, Hope.  So great to hear from you and receive your kind support. 

I am going through this odd "All or Nothing" phase.  Maybe "black and white thinking"?  I feel like I have to be perfect, happy, cheerful, compliant in order not to feel abandoned.  It feels like I am in this weird game, where I have one shot--one moment where I show something in me that might not be pleasant, perfect, happy, cheerful, compliant.  After that, if I show that imperfect part of me again, I will be abandoned and alone. 

Anyone out there feel this weird trap of perfectionism or abandonment?

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Deep Blue

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Re: When people leave
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2018, 03:05:59 PM »
In one word... Yes!

I知 guilty of black and white thinking almost daily.  I知 perfect or I suck, I知 right or I知 wrong.

It痴 a daily struggle and just noting when I知 doing it is an improvement for me.
 :hug: if it痴 ok

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Kizzie

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Re: When people leave
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2018, 07:17:12 PM »
 :heythere:  Me as well LittleBoat  :yes:  and it's understandable so many of us do struggle with this given it's such a large part of what helped us survive. And after what you experienced losing friends when you became ill, it's not surprising to me you are experiencing such fear as you begin to make new friends. It sounds to me like your ICr is trying to protect you from more pain and loss. 

We recently had an author with CPTSD write a blog article about her finding her path through the fear and pain by being "radically authentic" and allowing others to see her as she really is. You may want to check it out - http://www.outofthestorm.website/guest-bloggers/ (you'll need to scroll down to her article).  I myself find I am only comfortable going more slowly in being open, but it an interesting approach that may resonate with you.  :Idunno:   

Re: When people leave
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2018, 12:42:51 PM »
I think it's accurate that people want a bright, bubbly, happy, positive, superficial persona.

I don't think that's a maladaptive or inaccurate perception. Frankly, yes. You probably would lose people if you were too raw or real in front of them.

I can have compassion and an intellectual understanding as to why. So many understandable reasons why. But I am an intellectual-iser. I can reason my way through things but I've realised tonight, that is just a way to numb and not feel the incredible pain of it.

The reality is that the majority of people are not there in a supportive way for the disasters or crises, they are not there when the tight control lessens and we can't pretend any longer, they are not there when we break down, they do not want to hear it or face it or walk through it with us. They can't empathise with what it's like to grieve a NC FOO in cycles, or what emotional flashbacks mean, or why we might forget to eat, be unable to sleep, show up to work after three hours sleep, be visibly on edge or shutting them out, etc.
Anything trauma or mental health related is extremely difficult for people to get on board with. It's very different, in my culture where I live, than, say, a cancer diagnosis. If we had cancer, people would throw more love at us than we could cope with.

I think perhaps that is OK. They have that right, and aren't obliged to do or be anything else.
Either way, it is what it is. I wouldn't totally know - I don't actively reach out for help. I test people who are 'close to me' and  who claim to consider themselves my 'friends' who 'love me'.
*TRIGGER WARNING!*
For example: recently a family member of mine attempted suicide, I told people 'close to me', they barely responded and didn't check up about how I am.
*END TRIGGER*
That clearly shows me who they are and what their capacity is. It doesn't end the friendship like it would have when I was younger - I would have slammed them out of my life - but I gain an understanding of what their idea of friendship is and that it is realistic that I can't rely on people to respond with what I perceive as basic human empathy. BUT, this may all be very skewed. I don't know what I do to push them away or give an impression that I am fine. It has all been very unconscious until recently.

I do empathise with your pain and confusion about it.

It sounds like support groups could be great for this purpose, according to Pete's book. I also wonder about the power of volunteering to build a sense of community, belonging, relationship, all these deeply important things.

I watch people support each other through the basics of life at work and places like that. They seem to enjoy that. I'm not sure what it is like to be them and exactly what happens when a real challenge arises but I will continue to watch this new group of people and how it is for them. 
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 12:47:51 PM by fullofsoundandfury »

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Kizzie

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Re: When people leave
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2018, 06:48:25 PM »
When you think about it, support groups came about because of the very reaction being discussed in this thread.  Most of us have probably shared with others and gotten that sudden shift in facial expression and tone of voice followed by a hurried departure and then diminishing contact. As you suggest FS&F and I agree, it's sane and normal to not want to "feel the incredible pain of it, " the rejection.   

It's difficult but I've come to a place where I see that rejection is often more about the other person than me.  Perhaps they are afraid of what I have to say for their own reasons (don't want their own issues to bubble up), they don't feel confident they can help, they may not be in a place where they are willing to invest the emotional energy. Or, they simply aren't capable of that "basic human empathy" you talk about FS&F. Having grown up in a family with NPD there's that. 

I think the point I'm trying to make here is that it takes two to have a relationship and those we seek to know better and allow to know us at a deeper level must the capacity and desire to be more authentic themselves. 

   

« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 06:51:05 PM by Kizzie »