Please help me

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Alice97

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Please help me
« on: April 02, 2016, 01:23:40 AM »
I really need help - I feel incredibly confused and lost and stupid and alone. If I could just put a name on what's going on it would give me some peace of mind. Honestly I'm in such a fog so this will all probably come out muddled, but here goes. . .

For starters, I am a 19 year old girl, and I still live at home with my parents. I know some of you will probably suggest I move out. I'm going to try to eventually, but that isn't an option right now because my mom and sister need my support, and because I don't have a job at the moment (working on it).

My dad is extremely intellectual, and very emotionally cold. The only strong emotion I've ever seen him express is extreme anger and some form of sadness/nostalgia. The only way to get through to him in an argument is with pure logic and fact. My mother recently opened up to me about some things he has done/said over the years, which raised a lot of red flags for me. Growing up my parents fought a lot, but they usually (per my mom's request) tried not to really hash it out in front of us kids. We saw them fight a lot and it was obvious when they weren't getting along, but the worst of it happened when we were in bed. So I didn't know a lot of what my dad did to my mom until recently. I really enjoy studying psychology and what makes people tick, so I decided to look up emotional abuse to see if my dad might be abusive, and eventually stumbled on narcissism, or more fitting for my dad, covert narcissism. As I was reading lists of symptoms and descriptions I felt like I was reading my own journal entries about my dad. Most of it was spot on about him. But there are some symptoms that seem more characteristic of sociopathy. I'm wondering if he would qualify as either, or both. He definitely lacks empathy and is very arrogant. But the thing is I'm not sure if he feels but just represses it, or if he simply doesn't feel like normal people. And like I said he has most of the typical signs of covert narcissism, but some signs that are supposedly more typical of sociopaths, like the fact that he doesn't seem to need a lot of affirmation or attention. He just seems to think he's great but doesn't need people to constantly praise him. What are some differences between sociopathy and narcissism and how do I tell for sure which one my dad is, if he is either of them?

I'm also wondering about Complex PTSD. I honestly feel like I've been traumatized in having to go through my dad's cycle of abuse (if that's what it is). He rages at my mom for weeks (usually by stonewalling and then beating her up verbally after my sister and I go to bed), then suddenly becomes very nice and affectionate for about a week, then plateaus into emotional coldness. It goes on and on and it's gotten to the point where I have nightmares almost every night, I have near panic attacks every time he gets the slightest bit angry (I have to shut down my emotions so I don't), I struggle a ton with depression and suicidal thoughts when it's really bad, and I'm constantly on alert and in "survival mode". Could it be PTSD? Am I overreacting? How do I know if my dad is abusive or a narcissist or a sociopath?? How do I know if I have PTSD or just depression? Somebody please give me some guidelines so I can figure this out. I feel so lost and alone.






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hhaw

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 03:04:43 AM »
Alive97:

I'm sorry you;re struggling, and sorry you feel you have to be the support for your mother and sister in your FOO.


I can't give you a lot of information about ASPD's or N's, but I can say that my husband was dx'd as ASPD with heavy N features.... he needed a lot of praise and validation.  It was an illness.... it was over the top, and it wasn't healthy.  I'm sure all pd's are unique in their own ways.

You absolutely sound like PTSD is something you're dealing with.  EMDR tapping is said to be one of the only successful ways returning vets deal with PTSD.  It's supposed to be very helpful.... I do a little of it, but I need to do more per my M.D.  I tap my forehead, under my eyes, upper lip area and chin.  You can look it up on Youtube, and see if it makes sense. 

As for your confusion..... you're coming Out of the FOG.  It's painful.  Humans do everything they can to avoid pain, so it's not surprising you're feeling that way.  I'm sorry you're struggling.

I'd suggest concentrating on  yourself.  Implement self care rituals, and hope your M and S learn from you. 

In the meantime, welcome.  You'll find lots of support from people dealing with similar situations on this board.

hhaw






hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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alonenow

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2016, 03:25:54 AM »
I know this may sound strange but in a way your lucky finding your way out of FOG at an early age. some of us are older with a lot of regret for time wasted before coming Out of the FOG. I find LC and in some cases NC possible regardless of geography.  In other words it does not require  living somewhere else sometimes we are in close proximity to PDs for a while lets say due to finances etc.
 You can work on yourself and plan without Sharing anything but trivial thoughts and ideas that you might share with a perfect stranger.  I find so many get involved or trapped by sharing too much of yourself.

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all4peace

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2016, 04:05:46 PM »
Alice97, I'm so sorry for what you face. It sounds extremely stressful and anxiety producing. Do you know of any place you could find a therapist? This forum will likely be very helpful, but I wonder if one-on-one therapy could also be helpful in learning to cope with and hopefully eventually separate from your household.

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Alice97

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2016, 05:25:32 PM »
Alive97:

I'm sorry you;re struggling, and sorry you feel you have to be the support for your mother and sister in your FOO.


I can't give you a lot of information about ASPD's or N's, but I can say that my husband was dx'd as ASPD with heavy N features.... he needed a lot of praise and validation.  It was an illness.... it was over the top, and it wasn't healthy.  I'm sure all pd's are unique in their own ways.

You absolutely sound like PTSD is something you're dealing with.  EMDR tapping is said to be one of the only successful ways returning vets deal with PTSD.  It's supposed to be very helpful.... I do a little of it, but I need to do more per my M.D.  I tap my forehead, under my eyes, upper lip area and chin.  You can look it up on Youtube, and see if it makes sense. 

As for your confusion..... you're coming Out of the FOG.  It's painful.  Humans do everything they can to avoid pain, so it's not surprising you're feeling that way.  I'm sorry you're struggling.

I'd suggest concentrating on  yourself.  Implement self care rituals, and hope your M and S learn from you. 

In the meantime, welcome.  You'll find lots of support from people dealing with similar situations on this board.

hhaw

Thank you for the welcome and kind words. I've actually heard of EDMR therapy and EFT tapping for trauma, I'll look into it more.

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Alice97

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2016, 05:28:17 PM »
I know this may sound strange but in a way your lucky finding your way out of FOG at an early age. some of us are older with a lot of regret for time wasted before coming Out of the FOG. I find LC and in some cases NC possible regardless of geography.  In other words it does not require  living somewhere else sometimes we are in close proximity to PDs for a while lets say due to finances etc.
 You can work on yourself and plan without Sharing anything but trivial thoughts and ideas that you might share with a perfect stranger.  I find so many get involved or trapped by sharing too much of yourself.

Yeah, I guess I'm glad I'm coming Out of the FOG now versus later. And thanks for your advice. I feel really guilty for needing to heal first of all, but especially trying to heal without them understanding how much I'm hurting. But you're right, it would be too much of a risk to share too much of myself.

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Alice97

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2016, 05:29:56 PM »
Alice97, I'm so sorry for what you face. It sounds extremely stressful and anxiety producing. Do you know of any place you could find a therapist? This forum will likely be very helpful, but I wonder if one-on-one therapy could also be helpful in learning to cope with and hopefully eventually separate from your household.

Thank you for understanding. I looked up online to see if there are any therapists who have experience dealing with this type situation, but there aren't any that are less than an hour away, so that isn't really an option right now. Eventually I might look into finding some sort of online therapy.

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practical

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2016, 05:50:03 PM »
Welcome to OOTF!

It goes on and on and it's gotten to the point where I have nightmares almost every night, I have near panic attacks every time he gets the slightest bit angry (I have to shut down my emotions so I don't), I struggle a ton with depression and suicidal thoughts when it's really bad, and I'm constantly on alert and in "survival mode".
Before I try to answer any of your questions I want to strongly urge you to seek help from any of the sources listed here  In an Emergency  in case you experience suicidal ideations again. I'm really sorry you are experiencing these thoughts. Please, do take care of yourself, and calling one of those numbers or seeking out real-life therapy as soon as possible can make the ultimate difference in your life. I have dealt with suicidal thoughts myself and was lucky to get help.
Please reach out for help! :bighug:

You have embarked on a at times difficult but rewarding journey, and you will find a very caring and supportive community here. First of I want to recommend that you check out the Toolbox     , there is a lot if incredibly useful information in there, including a description of what you are are feeling right now, the state of confusion or FOG.

As to your question about what your F is, nobody on this website can answer this, only a professional could after seeing your F. It is also not the purpose of this website to diagnose anybody, we are here to help each other as we are trying to deal with the damage somebody with a PD has done in our life and are trying to grow, heal and protect ourselves. In a way it does not matter to have an exact diagnosis, if you think he has NPD tendencies, work with this as a tool to help you understand your situation. I think my M was NPD, but she never saw a doctor, so I describe her us uNPD = undiagnosed  NPD, and you will see a lot of other people do the same here. From what you write, there clearly was abuse, and so I would try to focus on what you know for now and to heal from it. Don't get lost in trying to analyze your F and forget to take care of yourself.

I think one of the keys for you is to realize you cannot change your F, nor can you change your M's or Sis situation, you can only change yourself. There is something called the 3C's rule: I did not cause it, I cannot cure it, I cannot control it. http://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/the-3-cs-rule

As for your M's situation and sharing the details with you, it is not really appropriate in my opinion to do so. It is great that she made sure you were mostly not a witness to your parents fights when you grew up, telling you now kind of negates that effect. It does not matter that you are 19, she is an adult and is able to seek professional help for her marital situation instead of placing it on you and making you her confidant and therapist. I feel rather strongly about this, as my M did the same, except she started when I was a child and I witnessed my parents fights, and I know from first hand experience the emotional damage this can do, and what an enormous burden this can be, and the guilt this can induce and the urge to fix the situation, rescue the affected people, when really only they can do it, and the responsibility is with them. Please consider establishing a boundary, telling your M that you do not want to hear about her marital issues anymore, she should please talk to a counselor, a priest or good friend. This may very well contribute to your state of hyper-vigilance and feelings of depression.

I'm also wondering about Complex PTSD. I honestly feel like I've been traumatized in having to go through my dad's cycle of abuse (if that's what it is). He rages at my mom for weeks (usually by stonewalling and then beating her up verbally after my sister and I go to bed), then suddenly becomes very nice and affectionate for about a week, then plateaus into emotional coldness. It goes on and on and it's gotten to the point where I have nightmares almost every night, I have near panic attacks every time he gets the slightest bit angry (I have to shut down my emotions so I don't), I struggle a ton with depression and suicidal thoughts when it's really bad, and I'm constantly on alert and in "survival mode". Could it be PTSD? Am I overreacting? How do I know if my dad is abusive or a narcissist or a sociopath?? How do I know if I have PTSD or just depression? Somebody please give me some guidelines so I can figure this out. I feel so lost and alone.
Please consider seeing a counselor. I don't know whether you are at school or college, they often have counselors on staff. Otherwise talk to your GP about other sources including free of charge sources. Nobody here can give you a diagnosis, you need to talk to a therapist or at minimum to your GP.

You might have cPTSD and depression, one does not exclude the other. We have a sister website Out of The Storm    as we recognized that CPTSD sufferers have a distinct and unique set of concerns and issues they are dealing with - and we have long recognized the need for a separate forum. It's called Out of the Storm - a support site specifically designed for people who suffer from CPTSD - Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Please take care of yourself and I hope to see you on the boards.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 06:26:57 PM by practical »
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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Alice97

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2016, 11:49:43 PM »
practical:

Thank you for everything you said. It's heartwarming that people on this forum actually seem to care.

I understand what you're saying about my M sharing details with me. And for the most part I agree, but in a way it was actually helpful to me as I had suspected my dad was abusive for a long time but didn't have a lot of solid evidence to prove it. He tends to go about it in very underhanded and covert ways. So the things she shared allowed me to finally let myself believe he is abusive. So maybe it wasn't the best thing for her to do, but in the end I'm glad she did because in a sense it was freeing to me.

I'm studying through an online college, so on campus counseling isn't an option. I'll see about talking to my GP.

And thanks for the info about Out of the Storm, I'll check it out, along with the Toolbox.

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practical

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2016, 08:47:32 AM »
I understand what you're saying about my M sharing details with me. And for the most part I agree, but in a way it was actually helpful to me as I had suspected my dad was abusive for a long time but didn't have a lot of solid evidence to prove it. He tends to go about it in very underhanded and covert ways. So the things she shared allowed me to finally let myself believe he is abusive. So maybe it wasn't the best thing for her to do, but in the end I'm glad she did because in a sense it was freeing to me.
I totally understand, it gives you confirmation you are not imagining things. For me it took seeing how my F treats my B to understand that he is abusive, just in a more subtle way than my M was.

I forgot one thing yesterday, what you describe about your F being nice for some time and then being abusive again sounds very much like an Abusive Cycle    with the periods of hoovering and normalizing, followed by more abuse (check the Glossary   for information on those terms.)

Is anybody in your family aware of what you are going through? Would anybody listen and try to help you? I don't know your situation, telling can get you support or it can backfire. For my M my depression never had anything to do with FOO and especially not with her, she simply invalidated my problems, my F didn't want to hear about it and forgot immediately again, so this made me feel even worse. It could also be somebody outside the family you feel close to and trust. I was just wondering.

I really hope to see you around, this is such a wonderful community and people understand where you are coming from. You don't have to argue, explain, justify your experience, won't be called a bad daughter because you call abuse by your F what it is. It is a unique warm, compassionate place.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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Alice97

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Re: Please help me
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2016, 11:00:00 AM »
practical:

Yes!! I just read about the Abusive Cycle and that seems to be exactly what's going on. Thank you, that explains a lot.

My parents are aware that it has stressed me out a ton when they aren't getting along, and my mom has noticed that I've been more irritable lately. I think she thinks it's just because I'm afraid of things getting bad at home again, as they have been peaceful (but I think it's just my Dad hoovering) for awhile now. None of them have any idea about the PTSD symptoms. I don't feel like it would be good to tell them because I have no idea what my dad would do (probably nothing helpful), and my mom would worry way too much and try to "fix" me.

I'm going to be hanging out with a friend today for a little while, I've shared some of my struggles with her in the past. If there's an opportunity, I might share a little bit about the PTSD symptoms (without calling it PTSD), just to test if her reaction would be helpful or not. I might tell her about the nightmares, or the emotional flashbacks. We'll see. I'm sure I'll end up telling someone when I get desperate enough, even though I know it's not good to wait until I'm desperate.