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confussed but conscious
Reply with quote  #106 
thank you splotchy, thank you very much.
i am holding on, but every day is a struggle.
i cannot seem to figure out how to make friends, i am only 19!
i have had to lose my friendships as they were very abbusive too.
but now i dont know where to set the standard... since i want to have someone to talk to, but i am terrified of becoming co-dependant and being crushed again! i feel like it is a legitimate fear that i will be rejected, as my entire life i have never known what was going on, and i still dont have many answers, therefore i feel like a total burden. i want to know where the line is drawn, how annoying am i ACTUALLY? how much can i talk to people? who do i talk to? what can i talk about?
these questions feel important as i need to build some form of support network, to step out of issolation, but i REFUSE to step into abbusive and unequal friendships where i am ALWAYS confussed.
are my friendships going to be different now that i know my mother has a disorder? since now i KNOW its not me, am i going to be less needy? can i talk about my relationship abbuse to anyone?
can anyone answer any of these questions.
thank you so much guys.

Reply with quote  #107 
I think it's common for people like us (who grew up with unhealthy parents) to attract people who see us as a target.  Sometimes we have a hard time figuring out who to trust.  Once we become healthy and have a good sense of who we are and what we are worth, it's easier to see who we can trust and who we enjoy being around.

To get healthy, we often need others to help us, though. It might be good if you talked to someone older than you (like a doctor, clergy member, teacher, etc.) to help you get the tools you need to heal and get healthy.

To answer your specific questions:

How annoying am i ACTUALLY? You may or may not be annoying.  Even if you are, it's not the end of the world.  For now, just focus on learning the skills you need to create a happy life.  Figure out what you value and what you want to center your life on, and let go of other people's opinions for a while.

How much can i talk to people? who do i talk to? what can i talk about?  Maybe your goal right now should be to learn about yourself and figure out who you are, and then when you get that down, you can find other people who share your interests.

Are my friendships going to be different now that i know my mother has a disorder?  Your friendships will evolve based on how you evolve.  It has nothing to do with your mother.

Since now i KNOW its not me, am i going to be less needy? Everyone has needs.  Learning ways to meet your own needs and provide for your own well-being will give you a huge boost in confidence.

Can i talk about my relationship abuse to anyone?  I think you should.  Find some resources in your
area.  Don't worry about being rejected or having people question you.  The most important person you need to trust is yourself.

Stay strong.  You can heal.  Make that your goal.
confussed but conscious
Reply with quote  #108 
splotchy, thank you again :)

i just need to figure this one thing out. it did not come across very clearly in my last post.
i have moved into isolation slowly but gradually over the past few years. but it definitely was for a reason. i needed to find out what was going on.

and now i sort of know, still not sure what the biggest contributing factor was... but now i need to build a friend network back up. no one can have no friends, it drives you insane.

all the people i have gotten to know over the past few years do not know anything. i just plaster a smile on my face.

so now that i know, sort of, that i have been abbused this whole time, now that i am prepared to leave my abbusive relationship, and have already cut off my entire family (all of this has been neccasary) i want to have my life back.

but i cannot be a fake. but i cannot be a burden. i have to heal, but i cannot overload everything onto someone i am just building a friendship with, but i cannot hold it all in and let people assume that i am an anxious wreck because i am stupid or something. i need people to know and see how strong and intelligent i am.
then i can work through all of this trauma hopefully, and gain my confidence back.

i would like to regain my confidence in the understanding and empathetic abilities of human beings.
without entering destructive relationships, or establishing the role of the victim in friendships. they all leave in the end if i enter that way. dont they? see, this is my dilema. i want love, but i want to know if i have ever even recieved it, i cried when i read this post once saying "you dont have to lose yourself to love, love wouldnt make you do such a thing" but it always has in my case, almost always, and i want some hope back, some trust back. so i can quit hiding away and presenting myself as needless. i want to present ME. but be proud of it. and have opportunities for that person to get to know me where i DONT always become the centre of conversation.

i feel like all of this must be common for us acons. 
i hope my dilema makes more sense now.
thank you :)
Reply with quote  #109 
Humans are social creatures, so I do understand what you are saying about the need for human connection. But from what you've written, I think you have two issues, and connecting them may not produce the results you seek.

From my vantage point, your two issues are that you are in pain over realizing that you have a dysfunctional family (with all the baggage that creates, such as lack of love), and you are lonely.  While these may be related, I think they require separate solutions.

If you have been isolating yourself, perhaps it's time to get out and make some connections.  Do some things you enjoy and see what happens.  Most people make their connections at school, at work, at church, at civic groups, on sports teams, in volunteering settings, or in places where they live, so reaching out to others in those places may help you start a connection with others.  As those connections develop and you learn more about others, you can decide what kind of friendships you want.  Friendships that are based on common interests, common ideas, or other common bonds tend to grow and deepen over time.  In my experience, healthy friendships involve a steady progression of authentic sharing, intimacy, and mutual respect, and that usually takes maturity and understanding to develop.  If we go looking for friendships as a way to meet our own needs or fill our emptiness, I think we are going about it in the wrong way.  Friends aren't meant to be our therapists or problem solvers.  They are meant to be people we want to share our time with.

So I don't think the purpose of friendship is to fix us or replace the love that our family members could not give us.  Friendships are best made between two healthy people who want to share and help one another become better people. It doesn't mean we can share our troubles, but we have to recognize that some burdens may be too heavy for a new friendship to carry.

To deal with the family dysfunction and brokenness, I think it might be helpful to talk to someone like a counselor.  They can help you manage the pain and emptiness associated with not having your needs met, and they can show you how to find your worth and get the love you deserve.

Reply with quote  #110 
I meant to say:

It doesn't mean we can't share our troubles, but we have to recognize that some burdens may be too heavy for a new friendship to carry
Mike Gamble
Reply with quote  #111 
I'd like to put together some information to help new family caregivers. Here are a few questions for everyone:

What would have helped you most in your role as caregiver?
What would you have changed to make your "job" easier?
What advice/tips would you give to a new family caregiver?

Thanks in advance. I really appreciate your input.

Reply with quote  #112 

An elder who wasn't as difficult and more reasonable or other sibs living closer would help in my role and to make it easier and folks not being in their regular house. Another thing that might help is if my folks were on regular medicare and not Humana full replacement, that is limiting. But she changed it to that in Flo. and then hard to change it back later.

Doing things differently//  Not having moved my folks from Flo. to live near me in Chi. suburbs, if they were unwilling to go to asst living. Luckily eventually for me when dad passed after going into memory care, bro forced ma to move near him in an AL, in Calif. where the whether is better. He's a doctor, so can be of more help.

Reply with quote  #113 
Good questions, Mr. G.
Reply with quote  #114 
What would have helped you most in your role as caregiver?
         Not being such a softy when Mom said, 'it's ok if you only see me once a week'[after moving close to me from another state into Independent Living]. 5 years alter, I'm now a 6 day a week nightly visitor after work/dinner --past attempts to throttle back have met with enough theatrics (involving anyone from Home Health to Ind Living mgt. to EMS) that it's 'worth' giving the 6 days. So, in a nutshell, boundaries and a backbone.

What would you have changed to make your "job" easier?
       See answer to question #1. Egads, this is an eye opener.

What advice/tips would you give to a new family caregiver?
See answer to question #1. Also, if sibs live at a distance to stay in touch with them and provide some kind of 'state of the union' info re your parent.
Reply with quote  #115 
Thank you all for sharing. I actually was over ambitious thinking I was largely good with my health. Aproximately 3 years ago I went full throttle in researching everything pertaining to N parents and family dynamics. I have also gone no contact with my entire family.
Most recently I found myself in yet another half baked a romantic relationship, which recently ended ( thank goodness!), but left me devastated and open.
All the old narratives, memories and feelings came rushing back like a flood. I've been extremely emotional and reclused even more.
So I've decided to revisit the sources that helped me tremendously with healing and that is research on how being raised a scapegoat has distorted my self perceptions and also join support groups. Knowing my brokenness is a crime or something to be ashamed of and that I will be ok as long as I'm committed to me.

May you all find the peace and self respect and love we all deserve.
Mike Gamble

Super Moderators
Posts: 55
Reply with quote  #116 
Congrats! Stay Strong!

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #117 
hey all, glad to be in this group!
I am dealing with my parents that are both narcissistic. I have recently found out that this was the issue that has been troubling me in our relationship for a long time. Now, I have taken some distance and manage the contact rather than engaging, but they have become massively insecure about the distance and keep pushing to break the boundary. My mum even got a plane and came over (we live in different countries), even when I explicitly asked her to not come. I am worried that whilst I am maintaining the boundary of some distance and still keep the relationship, they seem to not adapt to this new situation, and keep pushing to come through, as essentially they just want for everything to be like before. I wonder if this method is really working? any thoughts, reflections from your own experiences? thank you Smile
Reply with quote  #118 

I started this thread many years ago when I thought my mom was a narcissist. I discovered last year that she actually has borderline personality disorder (diagnosed.)  There are many common behaviors, though, so perhaps my experience will be helpful.

My mom seems to have no genuine empathy for others, no significant ability to control her emotions and no ability to authentically connect to other people. I realize that the root of these behaviors is pain, fear and deep wounding, and while I have compassion for her, I also refuse to knowingly put myself in a position to be abused. 

How do you deal with a family member like this?  It's hard.  They drain the life out of you.

It has taken me many, many years to get to the point where I can actually be around my mom and still maintain some sense of peace.  These days, I have the ability to leave when she crosses the line.  I cannot control her (no one can) but I do have the ability to control how I react to her.   She still rages and threatens and tries to punish, but the sting is much less these days, now that I am not afraid of her.    

Of course, I've also had to grieve the dream of ever have a real relationship with my mother.  She can't handle that.  It has been a painfully long journey of trying to figure out how to be a good daughter and how to stay sane.  Eventually, I had to admit defeat and realize that sometimes it really does come down to your life or their wants.

When I am in her presence and she is dysregulating, she can't help but try to hurt me.  It simply makes her feel better.  Her coping mechanism when she feels off is to find someone or something (drugs) to restore her sense of well-being.  She has no internal coping mechanism to handle her uncomfortable feelings.

Naturally, my mom (and the other members of my family with personality disorders) see boundaries as threats.  They don't think we have a right to even have boundaries.  As a result, they feel justified in not only violating them, but also punishing us for even having them. They have a toddler-like belief that they are always right and therefore, they always deserve what they want when they want it.  The sense of entitlement is huge. 

I am currently dealing with a different family member who is like this, and I can tell you that when they have power and resources (which my mother no longer does, but this family member does have), they are a dangerous bunch.  When they need a "fix" of narcissistic supply, they will come looking for you. 

So to answer your question, the distance method only partially works.  As long as they can still gain access to you, you are at their mercy.  The good news is that if they lose interest in you, they will likely move on. True narcissists aren't really interested in "you"; they are interested in how you make them feel.  If someone in closer proximity makes them feel good, you may be able to escape their notice.

Some people swear by the "gray rock" method of being bland and uninteresting so the narcissist finds you boring.  There are many blogs and articles that describe it, so see if that helps.



Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #119 

Splotchy, many thanks for your reply. You were generous in sharing your own experience. It’s helpful to know what others experience and that I am not alone in this. It also interesting how formulate the N behaviour seems to be.

To address your reflections more concretely, indeed access has been an issue. Whilst resources, also because I am a young adult, have been a gate-through (and a source of much hurt and intimidation attempts) I have managed to now minimize the threats that connect us on this. Much of the effort has been to have back plan for any financial burden they might suddenly present me with.  

It’s helpful to know how they see boundaries, as I wondered why they keep trying to break them and reticule me for ever-putting them up. Also, the punishative behaviour is unfortunately too familiar. 

The point where I am now, is of seeing that much of the research I have been doing is founding ground in managing to have more of peace of mind and actually space to focus on myself and to heal, through boundaries, distance and manged interactions. Moreover, I can’t stop feeling sad and moaning that I am essentially losing them from my life, by having rational and non-engaging interactions with them. It is indeed difficult to break out from their intimidation that I am not spending much time with them. 


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