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41
Tupp:.

You gave your son choices, and he was no doubt tired, but.....
 he used his voice!

Good job.  I hope things turned out well, or at least OK.  Let us know.

Lighter


42
I am doing alright with my boundaries and with taking a step back where my son is concerned :)

We've been very busy for the last two days so he has been very tired today but he's had a great time, the nicest thing was that the Youth Club leaders took pictures of all of the kids down at the park and put them on Facebook.  I am usually quite anti pics on Facebook but I realised that I don't have any recent photos of him with a group of friends so it was good to get these and be able to show them to other people.  Feels like another step out of the shell we've been hiding in (as my main concern with Facebook pics posted by other people is who might see them or share them).

I had a nice chat with a friend last night and she was asking if we were going to go and visit.  I've got a couple of friends who live quite near each other (she's one of the pair) and most years I do a 400 mile round trip to see them.  I love seeing them and they live in a nice part of the country but ................. we don't have the money for multiple trips away so if we go to visit them we don't usually get to do anything else.  By way of a contrast, they both get away at least three or four times a year but never come here to visit.  So I have said that I'm not planning to visit this year but that they are welcome here (which is true).  I want to explore the possibility of working at festivals and just networking with more people who I feel are on a similar wave length to me.  With that in mind there is one festival we are definitely going to and two others I'm hoping to go to if we have enough money.  I've put myself and what I want first, not because I don't want to see my friends, far from it, but I can't do everything and at this stage I feel that moving forward is important.
43
Voicelessness and Emotional Survival Message Board / Re: Becoming "me"
« Last post by sKePTiKal on June 14, 2017, 08:04:40 AM »
Well, apparently I don't have an immunity to lonliness.

Holly was here for a few days and we reached the "necessary" part of the goal, tearing down the old garden. There's still more clean up out there (too hot for a few days for this old lady to work out there). My friend Debbie was out Sat pm too. But the concrete guy will come out this weekend. I signed the contract with window/door guy too... so he'll call one day and come measure, to order the new ones. So all that will start, if I can ever get back up off my butt again.

It seems the lonliness sets in after the contrast of having someone here. Catching up on all the news, taking stock of each other and how we're REALLY doing (not just how we say/think we're doing)... and calling each other out on it, gently. Or not so gently in the case of Holly & me - LOL. And I get reminded (again) that "who we are" a lot of times is also a reflection of the people around us and vice versa. In my case, what I TRY to do, is also dependent on people around me and I have to ask: why is that?

The long stretches of peace and quiet are necessary for me to even frame questions like that, much less try to figure out the answers. Yes, I have some online friends; and yes, there is a HUGE difference between a friend sitting next to you on the porch and one you have to find out in the chat room, is dealing with an (early; small) breast cancer after losing her hubby earlier this year. It's just not the same as always having someone around day in/day out that you no longer have to do the "dance of the moving boundary" with - you know each other that well. Someone to suggest doing things I'd never pick on my own; never attempt to do on my own; and it turns out fun - or at least satisfying and different.

SOOOOOoooooooo, enter the woman who gathers up her fears & doubts to go where angels fear to tread. I signed up for a free "Our Time" account; online dating. The software threw me 11 "matches" (only based on my location). Sadly, it threw up astrological signs at me - so there went half of those. I just couldn't help myself based on past experience. The guys who even SAID how much money they made got considered; compared to their faces and how much they shared about themselves (usually not much) and all of those went too. They'd unfortunately only see my checkbook balance. There were a couple "over the mountain" that a) weren't bad looking and b) seemed independent... and the red flag was thrown when they talked too much about how great they were and had a list as long as my arm of what kinds of women shouldn't even bother.

I did better shopping a long time in Home Depot. ;)  I think I'm just window shopping too. Like going to a museum and appreciating the Renoirs... fun to do, but I don't need to bring the painting home. That tells me I'm not at all serious about this, or I'm not lonely ENOUGH to do the dance. LOL. And it would be purely entertainment reasons - a pseudo-productive use of time/money - to subscribe to one of those sites. A different way to pass the time - and it does have inherent dangers.

So, the reason I'm "lonely" is because my brain isn't focused on something and physically I NEED to rest. No matter what my expectations are of myself, attempting to keep up with Holly for 3 days as the heat settled in here wore me out. I caught myself (in my head) beating myself up for not moving faster. Really??? All those OLD neural patterns are showing up again??? WTH??

The "I can't" and "I don't wanna" are rearing their heads again... and when I point out that sitting on my butt, playing online all day is a) not important to the world of "creating things" and b) not helping me improve my strength and stamina... I get sulked at. Or rac-y brain - do this, look at that, here's 15 things on the list to do - with no indication of priority. Some days I just hate that "self" that grew out of the intensely awful experience that was so DAMN. LONG. AGO. It let itself be formed in the image of the "poor, doesn't feel good, victim mentality" of my mother...

and it IS NOT ME. It wasn't me BEFORE my "worst day ever"; and it wasn't even me AFTER because I still kept fighting my through the gaslighting, dissonance, scary stuff and anger. This is what Twiggy was SUPPOSED TO BE, per the edict of that day... and that stuff got shoved in the "the box" right along with her.

It is now in my way. Annoying me. Whispering it's seductive lies again. I need to go start up the bulldozer; get it purring; clear some crap outta my way forward. Be right back.


LOL.
44
Hi Sunblue,

I also continue to struggle with the loss of my siblings. I think the worst part is accepting that, even though I was born into a family, I actually have no family. As you said, it’s a loss of self and identity. When I was a child, I somehow thought that I’d be able to get past the damage left by N-mum because I would always have my sister and brother, but I was wrong. They might as well be dead because they’re both gone from my life, probably forever. Their choice. They simply discarded me like a worthless old shoe.

My situation is similar to yours. I was never close to my brother because he was the golden child, and acted incredibly entitled. He would gladly take a gift from you, but would never reciprocate. Anyone who wasn’t in a position to advance his life or career was tossed aside like garbage.

My sister was also a mild scapegoat, totally controlled by NM. Her behaviour towards me was perfectly normal at family gatherings, where she had permission to speak to me. Outside of that, nothing. After my NM died in 2013, I thought my sister would now be free to have a relationship with me, but things actually got worse. She completely estranged herself from me the day NM died, probably obeying some kind of death-bed order.

Both of my siblings have had their minds poisoned by N-mother, and neither one of them is coming back. It hurts like hell.

Even though I’ve learned to accept that I’m an “only child,” I still think about them all the time. I wonder what will happen when we get old. My sister is 57 and has never had a boyfriend. She’s lived like a recluse, alone in the house she purchased two doors down from my parents, where she resides with her massive doll collection, while tending to co-father. I wonder if one day, after co-father passes away, she’ll realize that she misses her sister. If she does, I’ll never know. I'm sure she’ll spend the rest of her life obeying a dead woman.

I, too, wonder how it could have been so easy for both of them to throw their sibling out with the garbage, something that I never could have done to them. Or maybe I shouldn’t hurt my brain trying to figure it out, because NM’s are just that powerful. She ruled their worlds, in life, and now in death.
45
Thanks, Lighter :)

Yes, instinct - I was thinking about that today.  Trusting and going with your feeling.  Where my son's been concerned, I've always been right, even when he was little and I had armies of people telling me I was wrong.  And I've been thinking as well about needing to get my head around the fact that I cannot guarantee anything for him.  However hard I work, however hard I try, however sensible I am, however much thought I put into what I do, life can do something completely different.  Which makes me realise I am going to have to let go of some of the control (argh!) and accept that I can't do it all. Lol, that's going to be easy ;)

I am trying to build more fun and enjoyment into our day, every day, and I'm going to have to push myself into new situations.  Contacts are important, I realise that now, and I'm going to start having to mix with more creative, adventurous types, because that's where I'd like my life to be heading.  At the same time I feel very inferior around people like that.  I feel boring in comparison and that I don't have much to offer them.  That's all in my head so I need to work on that and start pushing myself a bit more and putting up with the crappy feelings whilst it happens.  I'm trying at the minute to challenge myself a little every day.  So, today we had a text from the Youth Club leader saying they've changed the plan for tonight and they're going out walking instead of staying in at the club.  We've already done our walking for today so walking again tonight is likely to tire him out and leave him worn out tomorrow.  My first thought was to say no but .......... in the spirit of not being a control freak, I asked my son, he said he wants to do it and he doesn't want his wheelchair so we are going and I will drop him off and leave him to it.  I will have a slight meltdown I think, lol, but I'll do it after he's gone so he doesn't know and if he's really tired tomorrow it's not the end of the world, we haven't got anything major planned.

So that's my challenge for today, to be less of a mother hen, let him make his own choices and let him get it wrong if he needs to.

I think the colour is seeping back in, slowly.  Thank you :) x
46
Tupp:
Learning to live life NOT under siege..... it's a process, IME. 

You're going through it I think.  It's like watching color seep back into your life, or finding focus where there was fuzz.... maybe.

It's access to creativity and possibility, and here you are..... exploring life like you haven't been able to do in years.

I so want you to find your path, set new goals, and see where this journey leads.  You've been through so much... there has to be purpose, and meaning.  You're poised to find it.... I know you are.

Remember to trust your instincts.  You've been programed to doubt and dismiss your intuition.  TRUST it.  Continue exploring with curiosity..... judgement sucks. 

I'll post more, but I so get the pressure coming off, and processing each layer.... trying to trust, and adjust to not having another crisis land on your head.  Shifting focus, and stabilizing..... even as our children's needs shift.

It's not easy, but you're a fighter.  Your energy is freeing up to serve you now...
not wasted to disprove negatives, and fight monsters.

((((Tupp))))

There's more, and now you're able to embrace it. 

::nodding::

Light




47
Yes I hear what you're saying, Sunblue, and it is very painful to cope with.  Perhaps your brother has similar issues to your mum, perhaps his wife does and doesn't want to share him with you?  Perhaps he finds it easier to build a life that doesn't include memories of the past or maybe is in that mode where he thinks you have a great relationship and doesn't know how hurt you feel?  It is very tough when people you love don't love you back but I do think it isn't a personal thing, even though it feels that way.  I think they can just as easily abandon other people (maybe including his wife and her family further down the line).

I have had the same experiences of running round in circles after people and them doing nothing for me in times of need, and being able to lose me from their lives without being bothered by it.  It's incredibly tough and I wish I was able to say to you do x, y and z and you'll feel fine but I never found a magic formula to make it all go away (I wish I had!).  It has just got easier over time - a cliche, but time is a healer :)  I've got quite a lot of friends who stay in quite unhealthy relationships with their siblings, carrying on the roles they played as children.  Perhaps that's the issue, maybe it only works if you all heal and grow in the same way?  I remember a therapist telling me once (when I was very upset about my family turning their backs on me) that once you stop playing your role you no longer fit into the family and there isn't space for you.  The dysfunction means you can only be in if you play your part and if you stop that you can no longer join in.  It simply doesn't work.

It is very lonely to be without family, particularly when even just a small effort would be enough!  I do feel for you and I'm sorry I can't offer you any advice that will speed up the process for you.  I think it's a form of grieving, you know when someone dies and you want them back but you just can't have them?  I think maybe it's a bit like that, a horrible thing to go through and one you can't really rush past or manage without a lot of heartache.

I hope things start to ease up a little for you, Sunblue, so that it's a bit less painful and difficult to cope with.  I do feel for you, and I do think it will feel better in time - just very tough to cope with in the interim.

Love Tup x
48
Thank you BettyAnne for your shared experiences and kind words.

One thing I know for sure...is that an N mom will never change.....ever.  Sometimes they even get worse as they age.

In think in the case of my N mom, while she didn't want to ever be a real  mom, she was in love with the "idea" of motherhood.  Throughout the house are paintings or pictures of a mother with children....always very small children.  My N mom has one grandchild---a granddaughter----and she adored her when she was a baby.  In fact, she would never allow me to hold her when babysitting, insisting that she be the only one to cater to the baby's whim.  Once, when i asked to hold my niece, my Nmom refused, explaining that the baby was scared of me because I was wearing a black jacket.  Imagine! 

However, as my niece moved beyond the toddler years where a child starts to develop its own personality and individuality, my Nmom was no longer interested in engaging.  When my Nmom would babysit, she would sit in a chair reading her newspaper, expecting my 6-year-old niece to come to her and engage with Her!...

And yes, she expected to be treated like the Queen every day of the year.  And essentially, she was, thanks to my co-dependent dad who just wanted to keep the peace.  I only purchased Hallmark cards....but she rarely reciprocated, explaining she believed it was a waste of money.  She never bought my dad an anniversary card.
So now, like you, I look for the most generic cards I can find....because all those Hallmark messages simply are not true and I can't see my way to buying them.

It's also amazing to me that my mom takes such incredible interest in other people's children, can empathize with their situations, but refuse to acknowledge the pain or traumas I suffer in life. 

Right now I feel stuck.  My "golden child" sister and "sort of scapegoat" brother who all but abandoned the family (except in situations when it's convenient) are not there for my mother....and will never be.  So, even though I have no right to feel guilt, I do because I know that the other two would not be there for her if she became ill or needed help.  I'm the only one with any kind of heart in the family and i guess I feel a kind of human obligation.

I know others have gone no contact and it seems to work for them.  I know I have to overcome this and accept the aloneness before I can move forward.  So sad sometimes it makes me immobile.

Thanks for the listen and the sharing.
49
Hi Two:

Thanks for the response.  I understand we all cope with trauma in our own way and it does seem the pattern is that in narcissistic families, siblings turn to others outside the family rather than try to work through and strengthen relationships within the family.  When you lose your siblings on top of parents, though, you lose a big piece of yourself.  You have no one to share common experiences or memories with, no one to share one's cultural traditions with. 

It just seems like all of the value is placed on either parents or life partners.....but that siblings don't matter.  In these cases, it just seems like it's so easy for your siblings to turn their backs on you....to forget all those years you shared growing up in a house, all those experiences that led to the adult you are now, to the man or woman you became and which allowed you to attract and build a new life or family.  Why is it so easy for them to abandon you?  After all, it may be you will find multiple romantic partners with in life, but you only have 2 parents and can only call a certain number of individuals in your life siblings.  I have never understood why sibling relationships matter so little.

Abandonment by a sibling is just one more way of being ignored, dismissed and devalued.  In my case, to watch my sibling invest his time, heart and commitment in another family (his wife's) while abandoning his own biological family is beyond understanding.  Clearly, he is capable of investing in a family....but has chosen to ignore his own.  That seems to be a common trend in our society.  Once you gain a life partner, you focus on that relationship or family to the complete exclusion of your biological one. 

In the end, it results in a further loss of self, loss of identity.  And the sad thing is that loss can never be recovered.  It's like for at least 18 years you spend every day of your life with these people and then, suddenly, it was like those years never happened, that you didn't exist. 

Maybe I'm naive about this.  Maybe I'm an idealist.  But I just think siblings should matter.  They should not be discarded like garbage simply because the parents in the household failed and caused pain.  As I look around the world, I see that sibling relationships seem to take mostly two forms---1) relationships which are closely bonded where siblings continue to be a part of each other's lives and 2) situations in which one sibling abandons the other(s), refusing to maintain or build a relationship with them or doing so only in very superficial ways (an occasional birthday or Christmas card or invitation to a child's life event).  All or none essentially.

In my case, I never had a relationship with my sister since as the Golden Child she has just been too ill-adjusted and always made it clear she had no desire to have a sister.  But my brother is another case.  As the very mild scapegoat, he chose to abandon me and turn only to his wife, daughter and wife's family.  This was a deliberate decision and one I was wholly undeserving of.  So the family loss is now complete.  I am coming to understand that I have been abandoned by everyone, leaving me with no one in the world.  Even if I was not able to have others in my life, I still can't excuse the heartless treatment by a brother whom I have always loved and cherished and given my heart to....as well as to the family he built. 

But I suppose you can't force someone to want a relationship with you when they clearly don't want one.  It's interesting, isn't it, how it seems the very people who cause the most hurt seem to reap the most benefits in life?  That is definitely my bro's case.  He is so callous and cold in his firm decision to abandon my family.  I know if he had the chance to do it all again, he would never change a thing....he would abandon us all over again, just perhaps, even sooner. 

Anyway, just venting today.  I realized that if I were to get run over by a bus today, there wouldn't be a single person who would mourn my passing.  No one from my family certainly.  And yet, when I look back, there hasn't been a single time when I wasn't there for each of them.  Indeed, in this whole sick, narcissistic situation, I continue to be the only one feeling hurt.

Thanks for listening.  It is a situation I know many here share.  Part of the sadness of this illness.  Just strange to me that when we talk about relationship losses, we rarely mention siblings.

Sunblue









50
I don't think it's a deliberate thing, Sunblue.  In my opinion (which is only based on my own experiences) growing up in a dysfunctional family affects every member and often makes relationships of any kind take on a certain form, as people struggle to cope with their own experiences.

I'm one of six, from various relationships, marriages and so on.  Most of us don't even speak to each other and the one sibling I do talk to isn't someone I would consider myself to be emotionally close to.  We were all abused in different ways, and often at different stages in our lives, and we've all had to find our own way of coping.  For me in particular, that has meant I've got to a point where I can't cope with the other person's coping mechanism, if that make sense.  In some situations I've pulled away, in others they have (because I think they are in the same situation).

It's a bit of a cliche but as adults no-one else is responsible for us.  I found that very hard to accept over the years.  I desperately wanted 'someone' to give me that unconditional love I didn't get as a child.  Ironically, for me, wanting that from other family members only made it harder, as none of them are capable of healthy, loving relationships.  They're just too damaged.  I sort of set myself up to be hurt and let down again and again.

It's very difficult.  I have found that it gets a bit easier as time passes, and that it's often at it's strongest just before you get to a point where you're able to let a little bit of it go, however hard that feels at the time.
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