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Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: What would you do?
« Last post by Twoapenny on January 07, 2017, 11:14:31 AM »
That's interesting, Hops, I'd always assumed ADD meds calmed people down, does it make you focus better? Not something I know much about but whichever way it's going at the minute I hope all is good :)

Thank you for all the thoughts and comments/suggestions.  I've been thinking about all of this some more and keep coming back to asking myself why friends/people are such a big deal to me?  I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking, analysing, justifying and engaging in friendships (or with people hoping they will become friends).  I feel quite shocking a the minute; completely exhausted, my nerves are jangling, the thought of cooking a healthy meal makes me want to lie on the sofa with a packet of biscuits.  I'm over weight, unfit, I spend most of my time doing 'work' tasks (ie things that need doing that I don't particularly want to do) and feel like an invisible being.  And so I'm starting to wonder if this year I should work at falling in love with myself.  I know that sounds naff but I'm wondering if, instead of thinking about other people constantly, I should focus on looking after myself and making myself feel better and just enjoy the people that naturally fall into that rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing?

I will keep thinking and let you know what I come up with :)
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Christmas
« Last post by Twoapenny on January 07, 2017, 07:28:21 AM »
I'm so sorry to hear your Christmas was so difficult TwoAPenny.  I truly hope the New Year will bring better times.  The holiday can be so difficult---especially for Narcissistic families.  The holidays are a reminder of everything that is missing and that we'll never have.  It's a reminder of the "haves" and "have nots". Frankly, I think surviving it is an accomplishment in and of itself!

This year was a sobering holiday for me.  After expending all of the effort in my family for the holiday, I realized that I truly have no family.  I was once again forced to witness my brother expend all of his effort and emotion for his "adopted family"---his wife's family----and express not one iota of sentiment for his own biological family.  I realized that will never change.  He has lived a truly charmed life, never having to struggle for anything----perfect wife, perfect child, good career that was literally handed to him by others...No challenges of any consequence.  He has adopted more of my N mom's traits----the need to completely control and dictate behavior, a lack of empathy and compassion, and a sense of superiority.  I look at him now and see that the brother I knew and grew up with is gone, never to return. 

I spent Christmas morning at the cemetery visiting and honoring my Dad who always had such a true heart and, like me, loved Christmas.  He as grateful and appreciative for all the effort I made.  While there, I witnessed a scene that was truly heartbreaking.  A little girl had apparently recently passed.  Her family, including a person I surmised was the young father, arrived at the grave site and prayed around the grave in a circle,  The young dad was dressed as Santa and placed a wrapped doll carriage with some small toys on the grave.  A small wreath with a motion-censored ornament that played a Christmas song hung over the grave.  Just like that popular image, "Santa" kneeled down at the grave and prayed and then drew a small heart in the snow before the family departed.  That scene put a lot of things in perspective.  While I, along with other visitors that day, were mourning our losses, it couldn't be compared with the loss of this family on Christmas Day. 

Acceptance is very hard.  It is especially difficult at Christmas when we are inundated in society with images of happy families and messages of what is truly important at the holiday---spending time with family and loved ones.  I believe that to be true which makes it all the more heartbreaking when you know you have no family or loved ones who care.  But I also know, although society never wants to remind us of this, that there are many, many, many people out there who are alone or lonely with no family or families who are estranged and have betrayed or hurt us.  The bottom line is that life is not fair.  Those of us on this board probably fit into that group of people who, through no fault of our own, have no family to count on, to sit around the Christmas tree with and have authentic, loving experiences.

Instead, what we must do is forge on, to find our way to acceptance and to do our best to contribute to this life in some way.

Like many have expressed here, I truly am grateful for all of you, for the kindness and support you have shown me over the years.  It has made the world of difference and helped me feel I'm not so alone.

Thank you Dr. G for providing this forum and doing so with so much compassion, empathy and understanding.

May we all find a moment or two of joy this season and may we experience a New Year that is filled with peace, acceptance and understanding.

Bright Blessings.  Sunblue.

Hey Sunblue,

I remember that moment of realising that I didn't have any family to speak of and it's a terribly hard and shocking thing to experience, I think.  I think in some ways it's tougher to have family that could love you but don't than it is to physically not have any family?  I don't know, maybe they're both just as hard.  I remember one year after I 'came out' about my step-dad abusing me that my mum invited the whole family to a big lunch for Easter, didn't invite me and made sure I knew about it.  It was my punishment for spilling the family secrets.  I have adjusted as time goes by, I think.  It helps, in some ways, that Christmas has been turned into a big commercial enterprise.  That helps me to put it in perspective (I see it as an advertising ploy, basically.  I don't mean that in a rude way to people who celebrate for religious reasons but I feel it's been hijacked by businesses and as I'm not religious I feel less of a need to get involved).  I'm glad you have the good memories from your dad, though.  I have good memories from my dad and I do feel it helped me to just have that normal, loving presence in my life, even though it wasn't for very long.

The description of the family at the grave is heartbreaking.  As you say, there are so many experiencing pain, heartbreak and loneliness, not to mention the homeless, those who are ill, living in loveless relationships and so on.  So much joy on one hand and so much pain on the other, it's hard.  We took some flowers up to my friend's daughter's grave on Christmas Eve and what I thought was lovely was that the graves were awash with colour.  So many people had taken flowers up for their loved ones.  It makes you realise how loved people are.

Anyway I hope you got through it okay.  I have found Christmases have become less painful as time's gone by but it's a hard one to get through.  Lots of love xx
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Christmas
« Last post by Twoapenny on January 07, 2017, 07:18:55 AM »
Hey, Tupp.

Can you ask your boy's doctors about this, if it's available in the U.K.?

You never know but it's an encouraging story.


Hops, a funny coincidence - literally within a couple of days of you posting this someone posted on another forum that I use that the powers that be are considering using this for medical purposes in the way described in the article.  I've no idea how long these sorts of things take to sort out but apparently they've done a lot of tests because they were concerned about the numbers of people using it illegally (and they were worried about safety) and the tests have been very positive.  So they're doing more research and it may at some point be available!  Was just so funny that it came up somewhere else after you posted it on here.  Anyway I am keeping my eyes on it and will let you know it there are any developments :)
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Christmas
« Last post by Twoapenny on January 07, 2017, 07:15:51 AM »
Well ho ho HELL, Tupp.
I'm really sorry about your boy's seizure.
I can't imagine the toll it takes on you both.
It must be exhausting to witness and deal with safely,
and must be exhausting for him to have his body
challenged in that way so frequently. Even the
muscles, much less his weary brain.

That you have the mental wherewithal to even type
a post is the Christmas miracle. You really are something.
I hope NYear's brings a happier mood and calmer time.

Kathy, I can relate to the loneliness, and the hard insight
that there are so often more than one N in our lives.
What a sinking feeling when that sinks in.

I do hope you can strengthen yourself and find some
solution that will allow you to take joy in your own being again.
The security of a cage is still a cage, and it's a hard formula
to work through until the way is clear.

Me, I had a sorrowful Xmas morning, new par for the course
over the last few years. Even though I had somewhere to go
later in the day, it still hit. Hard not to think about my gone girl.

I wound up listening to some African American Christmas songs
I hadn't heard before...and it hit me how sorrowful the tone of
many were. I could hear in both the singing and the verses how
much pain and courage there was in singing about peace, hope
and good will...even while wishing it could be that way year round.

When a soulful black singer sings with sadness about Christmas,
you know the contrast of the temporary kindness is cutting close.
Two songs that addressed it literally were a song about a jailed man
yearning for his family whom he could not see because he is a
prisoner (and how much he mourns his past violence). Another
started with the upbeat sound of cheesy secular Christmas songs,
but the refrain was: Santa, go straight to the ghetto...don't leave
anything for me. That really went to my heart.

Under the jollity, pain was audible. It's a whole canon.

I had a very nice time at my friend's family's dinner...and got to
hold and savor the new baby in the family. A little girl whose Mom
is my friend's daughter, and whose Dad is Iranian. Little Ayla is 2 mo., gorgeous
and that comfy-sturdy-wobbly little body was a joy to hold. I asked
them "how much will you charge me to babysit for you?" They laughed
and are going to take me up on it sometime.

Now I'm going across the street to my Jewish neighbors'--they just
got back from a trip from Barcelona to Barbardos. She is a lovely
warm person who heads up the local faith-coalition social justice
organization, which has been accomplishing very good things here.

I'm taking homemade gingersnaps, which I baked at noon. I was
surprised how good they were--the folks at dinner really liked them.

Good to check in here. Happy Solstice, everyone.


I'm glad you had some nice places to go, Hops, and that your gingersnaps turned out well :)  Babies and toddlers are such a tonic, aren't they, those chubby little limbs and they're just so happy in their own skin at that age.  I have a terrible urge to swoop up babies when I see them out in shops and cuddle them.  Obviously I don't as I'd be arrested, lol, but there's something about them that just makes you want to hold them close.

I'm sorry about the space left by your girl.  I know the pain is there every day but those sorts of things are always much harder on special days, sometimes just because it's a 'rest' day, I think, and you're just not so busy.  That's when I find my mind wanders.  I find I think about my dad more and more these days.  We miss the people we love.  We've got through another end of year.  I think we're all warriors xx
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Christmas
« Last post by Twoapenny on January 07, 2017, 07:10:46 AM »
Well, I spent the traditional holiday totally alone - by choice. I still had a Christmas tree; a fresh arrangement on the table. I had a bunch of exotic treats that I always liked, oil cured olives and cheeses, for instance. There's still some peppermint bark I bought at Thanksgiving.

For me, it hurts more to be in that mix of cheery people than to be alone. And I really was hoping to talk to Michael... and let him know it's time I move on. And that requires quiet. And there isn't the regular pulling at heart strings so much now or the longing to have just 5 minutes back. I've made decisions for me and completely removed a lot of reminders that kept me in that "groove" and it's all good. It is OK that I'm doing this alone.

Challenging sometimes! I have a whole new set of systems to learn in the house. Things to fix to my satisfaction. New noises and wondering if it's better beams flex in the wind, rather than stoutly resist it like a rock... and I've been able to make my living space the way I want it -- without someone else's input or opinions. Maybe that's a tad selfish - but I've not been able to do that before and I wanted that opportunity. And I'm just to tired to carry on over the holiday, too. It's been an exhausting year. So the quiet and total freedom to do as I like is healing.

I'll see the girls on Epiphany; H's birthday and the 12th day of Christmas.

Maybe I'm becoming a Druid; but I'm really "over" all the shoulda, woulda, couldas about this holiday and frankly my dears - I just don't have a damn left to give about it.

Yep I think that attitude is a good (and healthy one) to have, Skep.  I think what I find hard about these days is that it's just everywhere for at least two months in the UK - I don't know if it's similar in the States?  It's all anyone talks about, everywhere's decorated, all the shops play Christmas music (the girl in the supermarket made me laugh, she was wearing ear plugs because the Christmas CD in the shop was driving her mad :) ).  People ask what we're doing for Christmas and if/when I say we'll be staying in alone there is pity/surpise/shock from most people.  And I find that hard to cope with; you can't explain to people that your family are certifiable and you've done everything you can to keep away from them, lol.  There's too much history and too much of a story there to drop into a casual conversation.

I understand completely what you say about doing up your space the way you like it and I don't think there's anything at all selfish about that.  I am really enjoying planning and working on our new flat.  A little bit at a time, but I know what you mean about not having to worry about what someone else wants.  It's nice to put your furniture where it suits you (I am about to rearrange the sitting room for the fourth time, lol) and to pick out the things you like without having to be mindful of someone else's taste.  I hope you got your quiet time with Mike.  I think the people that love us want us to move forward and live as fully as we can after they have gone x
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Christmas
« Last post by Twoapenny on January 07, 2017, 07:03:27 AM »
Wowzers.  I am finding it harder and harder to even pretend that I can tolerate this time of year.  I am very grateful for the life we have and I'm very aware that there are millions of people who live hard, unjust, unfair lives and suffer greatly.  But I still feel that this entire festival is forced upon me, no matter how much I try and resist and avoid it.

My son had a big seizure this morning.  This isn't unusual for him but the fact that it's happened on Christmas Day seemed to make it worse, for some reason.  He's perked up now, I'm completely worn out.  It hasn't even been a normal day, it's been a worse than normal day.  I can't wait for it to be over.

On a less grumpy note, I did want to say thank you, not only to Dr G for the board and the quiet, subtle way that it is run, but also to everyone who posts on here.  I can't put into words how much it helps me to know I have this safe, non-judgemental, easy space in which to spill things that I don't (and probably never would) tell anyone else.  Reading other people's stories helps me as well, sometimes because it stirs something in me and makes me realise something about myself, or inspires me to do something, and sometimes because it just makes me realise that I'm not alone with this.

Anyway, I hope everyone has enjoyed/ignored/tolerated the day in whichever way they needed to.  Thank you all for being there and your support all year round.

Love Tup xx


That is rough!!!  I hope your son feels a lot better soon!

Thank you, Bonesie, sorry for the late reply, I do not seem to have been able to get my brain into gear at all the last few weeks!  I could do with a spare one for emergencies :)  Hope all is well with you xx
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Exploring resistence
« Last post by Twoapenny on January 06, 2017, 02:41:41 PM »
Interesting that you've written this today, Lighter.  I'm reading a book about happiness by The Dalai Lama (Christmas present from a friend) and the chapter I read today talks about pleasure and happiness not being the same thing and suggests you always ask yourself "Will this make me happy?".  It really struck a cord with me; I comfort eat to allay the loneliness and the exhaustion but it's making me unhappy because I'm gaining weight.  I often avoid conflict with people because I hate the feelings it brings up - but then find I'm in an ongoing situation that wouldn't have occured if I'd just said my bit in the beginning and coped with the short term feelings.  It suddenly made a lot of sense to me and reading what you've written about making decisions to provide short term relief reminded me of that.
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Exploring resistence
« Last post by lighter on January 06, 2017, 12:36:31 PM »
All this hooks into years of being strong armed in the civil legal system, against my will, and consequences of same.

All that hooks into my aversion to conflict/people pleasing traits/failure to honor my instincts going way back.

I SEE the lesson.  I understand how to honor myself, but have yet to learn how to SEE clearly that my right to honor myself isn't negotiable.  I've been listening to people, who split the baby as a matter of course in the cicil legal arena, (Insane IMO) and the only time I've ever really stood my ground was when I had zero  choice in the matter..... the custody case with my children's emotional and physical well-being squarely on the line. 

Why does splitting a baby SEEM like a good idea to ANYONE in a position of responsibility to the baby?   Honestly, it doesn't.  They're not kidding anyone, including themselves, IME.

I've noticed that I can fight for others, but find it difficult to fight for myself. 

I've also noticed that fighting for myself has always required that my nose be bloodied (fig. and lit.) before I consider striking a defensive posture and striking on my behalf.  That's a very weak position to live from, IME.  It's something I'd like to change, meaning.....
being more proactive in AVOIDING situations and people that require I fight at all, KWIM?

I think "normal" people don't have the blind spots where toxic people doing toxic things are concerned, IMO.
They SEE aberrant behavior, toxic actions, words that don't square up and they feel entitled to turn away from it without angst, preamble or justification..... they also don't require anyone, but themselves, understand why they're doing what they're doing.

Making decisions based on short term relief from discomfort has always been a bad idea, IME.  We HOPE for an outcome that will bring peace and closure but a part of us KNOWS it's going to lead to more trouble than we were dealing with in the first place, IME

                                          Ahhh.. hope.

It's hope that kills us.  Who said that?  They're absolutely right, IME. 

I'm going to go to the Asian market now and buy ingredients for Korean Spicy Rice Cakes.... planning on being snowed in with dd14 who enjoys watching Buzzfeed's The Try Guys, who made this on one of their shows.  Very funny stuff.

We also have lettuce wraps planned so will pick up fresh Thai basil and water chestnuts.  I love mushrooms in this dish, but it makes it too rich maybe?  Maybe mushrooms every other time.


The Pug had me up at 2:30 am for a potty run, and I'm struggling with a 10 day cold.... disgusting...... feel like my head's packed in cotton, bleck, but hey..... it's sunny. 

I count my blessings. 

I embrace my lovely moments (two great cups of coffee, an hour chat with dd15, and very productive chat with MF so far) and go on with my day.   

I recognize I need to do work on distinguishing the difference between positive compromises and what is giving in for short term comfort that sacrifices long term peace.  Typically there's one path to long term peace, even if it requires a loathed battle, IME. 

I hope I find it in myself to make the right decisions, long term, from here on out....... and with less angst.

Having this chat with myself brings much comfort.  I don't need anyone's permission or understanding to do what's right for me and my family. 

I don't require anyone's permission but my own.


Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Forgiveness
« Last post by Hopalong on January 05, 2017, 11:45:32 PM »
Your mother was made of cinderblock, (((((((Kathy))))))). I am so very sorry. Hard to grieve for a cinderblock.

One thing flew up for me, which is in those stories (  -- not dot org)... many of them don't include anything about speaking to or seeing an abuser in order to forgive. Many just decided to do it on their own, inside themselves. I disagreed with Desmond Tutu's dictum that forgiveness cannot happen without the offender asking for it and expressing remorse. That's a religious prescription that some may wish to follow but we are free human beings. Nothing else I've read about it recently suggests that you have to "collect" the remorse before you can consider it. All I can really say is that reading so many of the stories kind of strengthened me a lot. For a lot of situations. They might bring you some peace too, whether you take that path or not.

For some it may be necessary to hear or witness remorse before forgiving. I had forgiven my mother anyway. Her "remorse moment"--it wasn't really remorse toward me, but it was empathy for me in that moment. That was enough. Her suffering and vulnerability as she declined melted my withholding as well as all I'd learned about her childhood) so I was able to get to a peaceful, compassionate space with her. (In some ways I was so fortunate that she lived to 98 because it did take full ten years for me to reach emotional completeness with her. In other ways--and earlier in the thick of the hard, hard effort--I often anticipated being free when she died. Not evil. It's just what happens to exhausted caregivers. (Or abused children.)

In your situation, that relief and even glee are just human. I mean they didn't write, "With great sorrow we pronounce that the witch is dead." They sang DING! DONG! with bells pealing.

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