Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Parents => Topic started by: Happypants on November 10, 2020, 07:55:35 AM

Title: Thanks Jerry Wise
Post by: Happypants on November 10, 2020, 07:55:35 AM
Itís during their dormant periods, and when Iím waiting for normal service to resume, that the epiphanies strike.  Todayís was sad but validating at the same time. Jerry Wiseís most recent video touched upon the different ways to react to someone (in this case, his dad as an example) shaming you and the purpose/emotions behind your reaction.

When i was younger, i did talk back to my dad on occasion but always felt bad after the anger subsided, and Iíve always thought this was as a result of the conditioning (my vulnerability, acceptance within the family, our ďgood people donít do angerĒ rule).  And since my late teens Iíve never spoken back except very gently a couple of times this year. But in the video Jerry mentions becoming a ďVikingĒ - the idea being that getting angry at him would make you powerful and him weak, taking his power (obviously he wasnít recommending that approach).  It really struck a chord with me. 

In the years since my teens, i have imagined challenging him, sometimes in a gentle way, other times by hitting back with the same tone of voice as he has attacked me with, or quite simply blowing up after all the years of put-downs, minimising and scapegoating.  I always stopped the imagined scenario short of speculating what his response would be.  But I know that his power is so important to him, having the upper hand, being respected and staying in his position of superiority.  And i feel nothing but sadness and pity at the thought of taking that away from him as i know itís a facade heís built up to protect himself.  I know thatís narcissism 101, but what i didnít realise until now was that my empathy for him that stopped me biting back even before i started coming OOTF.  I can feel it when i try to imagine his reaction. So Iíve been beating myself up for years thinking i was a horrible, callous person for dreaming up angry responses, but cutting the imaginary scenario short before i got to the part where i remember that Iím someone with compassion and empathy  :doh: Even if Iím no longer willing to be the supply, the thought of taking that power away from him saddens me.  Talk about conflicted  :stars:
Title: Re: Thanks Jerry Wise
Post by: Bloomie on November 10, 2020, 12:13:59 PM
Happypants - I am very moved by your insights into why you restrained yourself from biting back all of these years. Seeing past your father's facade of power and authority and choosing to not respond in kind is actual strength and admirable self control.

And yes, it creates tension inside of us as we later process all the things these toxic encounters with a PD parent can bring up.

The quote in my signature line has summed up a similar realization of my own: "You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen
Title: Re: Thanks Jerry Wise
Post by: Happypants on November 13, 2020, 06:39:56 AM
Thanks Bloomie. Iíve always known deep down that he operates from a place of fear and anger and that his traits are a form of protection, but itís like Iíve managed to let go of some of my own anger towards him finally and that feels like a huge step for my own feeling of safety, if that makes sense - i feel like i can trust my own reactions to him as i know theyíre now less emotional.