What have you accomplished?

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Artsy

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What have you accomplished?
« on: September 15, 2016, 11:20:30 AM »
In another thread, I noticed the conversation started down the road of all the things we accomplished that were ignored and even erased by PD parents and sibs. I thought it would be cool to report those things on this forum, so this pseudo family can give us prompts. Here's mine: I won championships in three states in equestrian jumping by the age of 16. I joined the Army when I was 17, and graduated from tech school at the top of my class. I paid for my own college. I've been married for 25 years. I raised kids with boundaries, the ability to say "no," and with compassion for others. I graduated with a 4.0 from my masters, which I got while pregnant with my second child (finals literally came in my final trimester.) I sought out help when I recognized fleas and dysfunction in my own family, very humbling and takes courage when your whole family tells you counseling and antidepressants make you inferior. I stood up to my father when he hit me in the face while pregnant and ultimately had to stand up to the whole family, alone, after they twisted my stories. I was the first and only to call 9-1-1 on a sibling who was being violent (everyone else enabled him.) Despite all my sibs turning on me, rejecting me, shaming me, I held firm and found a happy life outside the family. When I became a Christian (and was basically told that someone as bad as I am could never find God) I turned the other cheek. I'm considered an asset in work settings, and I make friends easily (I was told as a child that I had "no friends" by older sisters). When my PD parents got Alzheimer's and dementia, I made peace with them and took on medical staff and saved my father's life at one point after a major surgery. The surgeon gave me credit, which was an odd experience, as all my sibs said I "didn't do that much for Dad." I've got mad mountain biking skills :)

Whose next?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 11:22:03 AM by Artsy »
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.

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all4peace

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 12:00:30 PM »
Wow--that's a tough one to follow! Maybe that can be my #1--I've learned to not be competitive :D
Such great work in your life, Artsy! Sometimes I think that conflict can really push us further than if we'd grown up in really supportive homes.

I was the first in my family to finish college, despite both parents thinking it would be a waste of time.
I've been mainly happily married for 21 years. I've never struck my husband.  :stars:
My kids are turning out great. As teens, although they can be really mouthy, they don't appear to hate me and enjoy my company.
I started my own business while raising very young children, working nights to keep the finances ok, and it's going strong 10+ years later.
I am good at finding and making and keeping really great friends. Some friendships are going strong 30 years later.
If I put my mind to something, I can do it. I'm not arrogant about it when I do succeed.
I am able to understand that it's my job for me to mother my kids, and not their job to mother me. (obvious, right, but I'm proud of it anyway)
People are comfortable with me, open up, and I think I make them feel good. (again, obvious, but after watching my mom my whole life and H's mom half my life, it seems like something that matters)
Except for the last couple years, I really love life. It amazes me, brings me to awed tears. The future has almost always looked bright. I see my blessings. I have a lot of peace and joy (not the last 2 years) in life and feel I can be a really positive addition to this planet.

I don't want to get too identifyingly specific, but thanks for the topic! I want to be careful about "feeling better than" but I also want to embrace how I genuinely have "done better than".

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Amelia3

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 01:18:44 PM »
Actually got chills when I saw this thread.  Wondering if someone would come out of the woodwork and berate for being too egotistical :blink: Writing about the things I've done in my life.
 
Left the family home at the age of sixteen, moved to a city where I knew no one.  Single- handedly put myself through college and university all the while working part time jobs as a waitress, cook, clerk, bookeeper. Even mucked out stables on the weekends, and taught western riding.  Walked dogs, petsit animals, worked at the school bookstore, did people's taxes, cleaned houses,  worked in a factory sewing clothes.   

After I graduated, I opened a graphic design studio with some other students. We were successful and the studio did well financially, I kept it running for eight years and then handed it off to other artists. A good friend offered me a building he owned, with an unsuccessful restaurant in it, I had it renovated and turned it into a bistro and I ran it as head chef.  It became quite popular in the student area near a college, and as far as I know it's still doing well.  Lived above the bistro with my spouse, and eventually bought a home in a rural area outside the city.  All without any help from my biological family. 

My husband is my family, along with the dog and the cats.  Since that time I've written articles for newspapers and a few magazines. Considering writing a book or two, love mysteries, ones in which the main protagonist is an evil, selfish, sad, alcoholic, who attempts to destroy lives but ultimately destroys themselves, leaving nothing behind but a wasted life. 

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Menopause Barbie

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 01:35:04 PM »
One thing I did for myself after NC to try to heal was to keep a little notebook. In it, I write memories of past things done or said by my family so that I can reassure myself that I am not crazy. That it really was abuse. Recently, I added a page entitled "Trends I've Bucked." On it, I list very specific things that my parents did wrong that I have turned around and corrected when raising my own children. It's mostly little things like making dinner at reliable times, brushing their hair gently, not slamming drawers when I'm angry, taking responsibility for their childhood dental care, allowing them to vent without hijacking their emotions, not complaining about my wrinkles or age...things like that. My children probably have no idea that these things I did were purposeful, thoughtful decisions I made, some when I was a little girl thinking, "I'll never do that to my children!" No one noticed or thanked me, but my little list reassures me on days when I feel like I don't have much to show for my life.   

 

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Candywarhol

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 02:47:02 PM »
You all sound amazing!!! Sometimes I wish I knew you personally ;D ;D :applause: :applause:

I gave a little run-down in that other thread so I don't want to repeat myself.
However, I'd add I'm the only one of my family who still has close contact with people from all phases of my life.
I keep contact with them and I know that even the people I don't consider close friends are happy to
hear from me or will call at random from time to time for a chat and a laugh. I know people feel at ease in my company, which is probably one of the reasons my business is a success. This is not true especially for one of my siblings and though I also try not to compare, this fact helps me not feel nuts!
I'm still learning and adding to my skills and expanding my knowledge :)

Well done all of you for beating adversity and becoming the great-sounding people you are!!!
(I remark to myself time and again how extremely well people on this forum express themselves and how clued-in they sound ;) )
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 02:58:56 PM by Candywarhol »

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SpringLight

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TO HAVE SUCCEEDED IN THIS LIFE! (in spite of PD people/FOO)
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 02:52:17 PM »
In another thread, I noticed the conversation started down the road of all the things we accomplished that were ignored and even erased by PD parents and sibs. I thought it would be cool to report those things on this forum, so this pseudo family can give us prompts. Here's mine: I won championships in three states in equestrian jumping by the age of 16. I joined the Army when I was 17, and graduated from tech school at the top of my class. I paid for my own college. I've been married for 25 years. I raised kids with boundaries, the ability to say "no," and with compassion for others. I graduated with a 4.0 from my masters, which I got while pregnant with my second child (finals literally came in my final trimester.) I sought out help when I recognized fleas and dysfunction in my own family, very humbling and takes courage when your whole family tells you counseling and antidepressants make you inferior. I stood up to my father when he hit me in the face while pregnant and ultimately had to stand up to the whole family, alone, after they twisted my stories. I was the first and only to call 9-1-1 on a sibling who was being violent (everyone else enabled him.) Despite all my sibs turning on me, rejecting me, shaming me, I held firm and found a happy life outside the family. When I became a Christian (and was basically told that someone as bad as I am could never find God) I turned the other cheek. I'm considered an asset in work settings, and I make friends easily (I was told as a child that I had "no friends" by older sisters). When my PD parents got Alzheimer's and dementia, I made peace with them and took on medical staff and saved my father's life at one point after a major surgery. The surgeon gave me credit, which was an odd experience, as all my sibs said I "didn't do that much for Dad." I've got mad mountain biking skills :)

Whose next?

Wow. Great topic and the responses are...all gems, really magnificent. Thank you.

I am in the middle of some very dark, very scary times at this moment, an ongoing crisis, nightmarish time, hanging on by a thread here. (Hoping "this too, shall pass...AND SOON, Pleeeeeeeeeeeze! I'm sooooooo exhausted and scared. ) Precarious health of parent and my own.

And FOO entanglements ... I'm soldiering on because to collapse now would mean FOO take over and I need them to be far from me at the moment.  Prayers welcomed for keeping the nazi, I mean nasty  FOO far from me until my mother and I regain strength.

So grateful to have the refreshing TRUTHS of OOF community.  Putting one foot in front of the other, leaning on OOF. Thanks for being a safe AND SANE!!!! place for me at this time.

Lots to say, no time/energy to expound...but I think we may need to take a moment to LOL, I mean really howl at the absurdity of Artsy's family's statement.

ARTSY WROTE:

"When I became a Christian (and was basically told that someone as bad as I am could never find God)..."

My response? "THEY SAID.....WWWWWWWWWWWWWWHAT?"

 :sadno: :aaauuugh: :roll:

Artsy, I hope you won't mind me posting my instinctive prayer...

"Forgive them, Father...because...they know not what they are saying...Help Artsy's family LEARN... because they are truly clueless!!!!"

My contribution to this topic is simply to post this classic passage from Emerson...

I tweaked it with some of my personalized SG stuff-- the words in CAPS, as is evident.

I hoping that I'm not the only one who is comforted by this passage by Emerson...

Here it is:


"To laugh often and much;

[AND TO  FEEL WITH DEEP EMPATHY THE PAIN OF OTHERS. TO FEEL [FINALLY!!!] NO SHAME OR SENSE OF WEAKNESS FOR BEING THE LONE, MARGINALIZED (DEEPLY EMPATHETIC ONE), FOR FEELING FREE TO WEEP WITH OTHERS IN TIMES OF SUFFERING ;

To win the respect of (SOME) intelligent people and the affection of (MANY!) children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."



---Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) American Essayist & Poet

P.S. Another Emerson quote.
"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."

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SpringLight

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2016, 03:04:23 PM »
One thing I did for myself after NC to try to heal was to keep a little notebook. In it, I write memories of past things done or said by my family so that I can reassure myself that I am not crazy. That it really was abuse. Recently, I added a page entitled "Trends I've Bucked." On it, I list very specific things that my parents did wrong that I have turned around and corrected when raising my own children. It's mostly little things like making dinner at reliable times, brushing their hair gently, not slamming drawers when I'm angry, taking responsibility for their childhood dental care, allowing them to vent without hijacking their emotions, not complaining about my wrinkles or age...things like that. My children probably have no idea that these things I did were purposeful, thoughtful decisions I made, some when I was a little girl thinking, "I'll never do that to my children!" No one noticed or thanked me, but my little list reassures me on days when I feel like I don't have much to show for my life.

WONDERFUL! MenoBarb: Would love to read more about this. And I am inspired by your notebook lists!!!

In real life, (and you wouldn't know it here, by my wordy posts!!! LOL!!) I suffer from a crippling writer's block with respect to putting this on paper.  I've tried for years.............vanity of vanities....

My brainwashing? It's been drilled into me....that family loyalty is everything...i.e., ME towards them....it's a one-way guilt trip for me...Tips/hacks for being courageous enough to put on this on paper in real life?

Signed,
Scared at 60+

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Menopause Barbie

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2016, 03:41:42 PM »
Spring Light, I don't want to hijack Artsy's thread but don't want to ignore your question. Thanks for calling me brave, but I am not. It took my daughter's bravery for me to look at my FOO honestly. I went NC and now I have nothing to lose. Lists have always been therapeutic to me when I feel overwhelmed, even with chores or (back in the day) schoolwork. I never intended my lists about my FOO's antics to become so long. It kind of shocked me when they did, to be honest. More evidence of how I consistently minimize their abuse. Once I got a few things written out, I started to notice patterns in the behavior, especially with uBPDmom. This became my focus, because her rejection stung the most . UNdad and uNsis have always been rejecting and critical of me so I've grown more immune to their style of abuse.

My next step was to categorize what defect in uBPDmom had caused her to treat me this way. This was HUGE because it put the blame at her feet, instead of my own, where my family always preferred to lay the blame. Examples of category headings are: Lies/False Acts, Jealousy/Covetousness, Laziness/Neglect, Abandonments/Betrayals. I took the items off my general list and put them under the appropriate headings.

I hope this helps you, SpringLight. I didn't make this list in one sitting or even one month. I continue to add to it as I think of things, often prompted by things I read here. Try just thinking of it as an ongoing list rather than a journal assignment, and keeping it in a handy place, like you do with a grocery list on the fridge. It has been so helpful to me! Even when I don't read it, I know that my list is there, physical proof that it all went down like I remember!

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randompanda

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2016, 04:26:47 PM »
My PD brothers are absolutely infuriated whenever I do something of merit, no matter how big or small.  Despite the fact we all live within a 20 minute drive of each other, they don't even know what I do for a living because they don't even care enough to ask.  When I even mention that I'm going on vacation, they have to get angry and snarl, "Well, THAT must be nice."

They both dropped out of high school because they had been skipping school most days anyway, or were suspending for disciplinary issues.   When I graduated, they attended the graduation, and kept their arms folded across their chests with total sneers on their faces the whole time.  They were absolutely incensed that my mother would even clap when they called my name over the loudspeaker and I walked across the stage to get my diploma.  They snatched congratulatory cards out of my hands to see if they had any money in them, and then raged if someone had given me so much as $50.  "Big deal.  So you graduated high school.  Who cares  Where's my gift for getting up and going to work everyday?!"

Looking back on it all these years later, the whole scene actually makes me laugh.  They had bullied me my entire life, and the mere act of me graduating high school was like an insult of the highest order to them.  It's such typical PD behavior!

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rosalieaprile

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2016, 05:22:39 PM »
This is a good thread. My entire life all I've ever done is minimize my accomplishments. And I had no problem when anyone else did as well.

- When I was 19 I ran the high school summer internship program at a major national medical school. I did that for two summers.
- I was a science person. I did cancer biology research every summer after that until I finally graduated from college.
- I didn't finish college in my hometown because I partied too much. But I knew I would never finish so I packed up all of my stuff and moved to a small Midwestern town where I didn't know anyone to finish school.
- After a few years as a research assistant I decided to change careers and attend law school.
- I became a lawyer and I'm now a practicing criminal attorney.

Its so weird because even now typing this out I can hear the voice in my head saying that none of this means anything. Nmom was only proud when she had an audience.

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SpringLight

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2016, 06:51:22 PM »
Randompanda:

Once again, a post that I can empathize with--big time!

I could have written a lot of your post! I've spent years (and a lot of posts here) venting about my uBPD-sis. Yet, in recent times,
as my mother's independence and health declines...I have seen and recognized things ABOUT MY EVEN-TEMPERED brothers that eluded me my entire life.  NPD.

I've come Out of the FOG...and faced the reality of my brothers' narcissism.  It's a harsh dose of reality....to face this, so late in life. 

My brothers (The Twin Princes) have been the GC of the family for decades. I knew THAT. Unlike your brothers, my two brothers are paragons of excellence in their careers. Not only that...I realize they are handsome, truly brilliant and astonishingly capable  in  a lot of things. To be honest, they can tell a great anecdote, and they are well-read, very witty and extremely interesting, star athletes.  So, in family get-togethers, it is THEY who are the center of attention.  I have to admit--they are fascinating and entertaining. 

At a certain point of my childhood, I began to sort of ride their coattails, as did my sister, I think. When my self-esteem failed, I knew being related to X and Y would make me feel "better."  SIGH....

My sis has been quite accomplished, as well. So, it was very hard to ever question that our family ever had any dysfunction. On the outside, which was all that mattered for many decades.

BUT--fast forward to the present. At long last ONLY RECENTLY I see the really deficient, downright ugly COLD, COLD COLD narcissism of my brothers. I can see how YOUR brothers would resent YOUR success, but my brothers would have NO reason to resent my modest, less flashy successes. And yet, somehow, they DO!! Why?

Like your situation, my own brothers did NOT know what I did for a career. (N.B this included ....oh, 1000 dinners/family gatherings where we sat close together.) I can give specific details of handfuls of his friends, I can name his associates, his vacation details. His Because I listened. And asked questions. And...um....I cared.  I even learned about books he was reading, news stories he was passionate about....

I started to write about the moment of truth about their negligence, but it is too painful to think about in this moment.  :sadno:

My healthy athletic brothers don' t "do" illness. So, they have NEVER been there (not even a card) when I was critically ill. Oh, once one brother visited me in the hospital. All I remember was him complaining and sharing his negative opinions about someone he met in the parking lot....not much attention to the fact that I was so ill.

My strong, talented brothers have had some life crises. One has had multiple divorces. And guess whom they relied on. (Although they hated "needing" me, and NEVER thanked me. )

They have never sent a card or gift of any sort, will only send email in EXTREME EMERGENCIES.  They are "busy."
My mother adores them.

They are both strangely dirt cheap. Where did they get that from?

I remember some of the unexpected happinesses of my recent adult life.  Those rare but glorious moments .  I didn't get the put-down, per se, but I did get the sullen BORED looks. Bizarre lack of curiosity. Zero enthusiasm for my happy moment, while I was a major cheerleader and therapist and good, supportive sister for THEM.

Lots of sarcasm.

I have never said a harsh word to either of them. But, LOL, I might want to NOW!!! They are very low-key, even-tempered, (unlike my sister with emotional regulation problems) so I thought it was a case of benign indifference. But, NO. They are actively hostile towards me with sideways anger comments, inability to listen, and under stress, they can both come out with some hurtful, dismissive zingers.

They are greedy with money and emotions.  Women have historically LOVED these charming, but emotionally defective men.

As I think back, my parents enabled them, big time.

To a certain extent, it's so bad, it's funny, in an absurd way.

I still do no understand WHY my siblings resent me so.

Ohhhhh. Right. I know what you're going to say....because am the SG, family truth-teller.... :-[

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SpringLight

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2016, 06:57:13 PM »
MenoBarbie:

Thanks! Don't want to hijack the thread, either, but I thank you for these good, practical suggestions. Something I really needed today!

"Lies/False Acts, Jealousy/Covetousness, Laziness/Neglect, Abandonments/Betrayals." Got it. I like the unflinching honesty and calling things by their right names.

 My writer's block just got unblocked, I think... YAY!

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bruceli

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 07:24:07 PM »
In another thread, I noticed the conversation started down the road of all the things we accomplished that were ignored and even erased by PD parents and sibs. I thought it would be cool to report those things on this forum, so this pseudo family can give us prompts. Here's mine: I won championships in three states in equestrian jumping by the age of 16. I joined the Army when I was 17, and graduated from tech school at the top of my class. I paid for my own college. I've been married for 25 years. I raised kids with boundaries, the ability to say "no," and with compassion for others. I graduated with a 4.0 from my masters, which I got while pregnant with my second child (finals literally came in my final trimester.) I sought out help when I recognized fleas and dysfunction in my own family, very humbling and takes courage when your whole family tells you counseling and antidepressants make you inferior. I stood up to my father when he hit me in the face while pregnant and ultimately had to stand up to the whole family, alone, after they twisted my stories. I was the first and only to call 9-1-1 on a sibling who was being violent (everyone else enabled him.) Despite all my sibs turning on me, rejecting me, shaming me, I held firm and found a happy life outside the family. When I became a Christian (and was basically told that someone as bad as I am could never find God) I turned the other cheek. I'm considered an asset in work settings, and I make friends easily (I was told as a child that I had "no friends" by older sisters). When my PD parents got Alzheimer's and dementia, I made peace with them and took on medical staff and saved my father's life at one point after a major surgery. The surgeon gave me credit, which was an odd experience, as all my sibs said I "didn't do that much for Dad." I've got mad mountain biking skills :)

Whose next?

Kind of similar story.... finished the last year of my graduate program while going through my divorce to PDexW. Worked full time, kids, school...... Upon completion,  told PD parents that I had successfully completed the program and got my degree, the same parents who said I would never amount to anything without one.  Their reply.... " so what".
One will never fulfill their destiny or truly be free, until they can let go of the illusion of control.

Fair doesn't mean equal and best doesn’t mean good.

They could see me walk on water, and they would say it is because I can not swim.

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Artsy

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2016, 12:41:45 AM »
I'm so glad I started this thread. How inspiring each one of you has been.

Also, I have to ask, how many writers are there on this forum??? I clearly see there are many intelligent, accomplished, crazy-insightful folks.

For what it's worth, I've been working on a memoir for the last several years. Things started flowing after I went NC and had the "nothing to lose" experience. It also helps to have a super supportive writing group that listens to my essays and responds with compassion and validation. I think that's critical. I had that writers-block (snearing editors in my head) for most of my life. Honestly, I think it helped that my mother (due to Alzheimer's) lost her ability to be mean and divisive.

I wish I had the time to single out everybody's quotes and let you know how much they've impacted me. Thank you all for having the courage to join me in doing this. I know, for me, I HAVE to stop letting the voices in my head (Mom, Dad, sibs) shout down all my accomplishments. We've all done well to just survive ongoing chronic mental abuse (and probably other types too) and on top of THAT just look at us!

:band:
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.

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Candywarhol

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2016, 03:10:15 AM »
 :yeahthat:


I write songs, poems, have some unfinished short stories in the drawer and I know there's at least one novel in here.
For now all I've had published are the books I've translated but my arts group enjoys what I write ...

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BettyGray

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2016, 09:10:41 AM »
 Since I am also a master at minimizing, perhaps this will be a good exercise for me. Just last week, my T asked me if I understood and appreciated how much I have accomplished and overcome.

I graduated high school with honors and was accepted into a prestigious design school. With the help of my first therapist, i managed to graduate in 4 years with good marks despite crippling depression and anxiety.

My degree is in graphic design. but I have drawn since I was probably four years old. Drawing was my safe space away from the chaos. So, over the years I have put in thousands of hours honing my skills. I have worked in almost every artistic medium and mastered a few. I can work in a number of styles, and draw or paint a subject  to look exactly like a photograph of the same thing. I draw pretty well from life, but am still working on drawing hands (my artistic nemesis!).

I got a job in my field and got to travel alone through work, exploring new places, which broadened my level of confidence in myself.  After working in the corporate design world for a couple of years, I escaped my parents' house by obsessively doing job searches in other states. I met my future husband and looked for jobs near him and was offered four. At 24, I moved halfway across the country to start a new life in a new city.

I began a freelance career at 27 and my  illustrations have been published in books and international magazines. At 35 my husband and I started our own design and illustration studio. We are celebrating our 10th year in business and work with clients from all over the US,  Canada and parts of Europe. We also have a loyal local clientele and have our own line of stationery and other products.

I studied typography  extensively and taught  myself how to design letterforms, adding another dynamic to my design business. I am also an intense student of music, and have acquired a vast knowledge of many genres, always on the lookout for new artists and styles. I taught myself how to play guitar, although I definitely have not mastered it.

I have overcome my fear of swimming in the ocean and my fear of heights by going parasailing.

I have been married for 18 years, overcome alcoholism, and learned just about everything there is to know about narcissism and PDs. I have been healing myself through therapy and self-help for 26 years. I said "NO MORE" to my FOO and went NC almost a year ago - a huge accomplishment for me, as I didn't think I had the strength to do it. I have become hella-resilient in 45  years.

I feel in mid-life I am just getting started. There is so much more I want to accomplish and am excited to do it without the burden of my PD family getting in the way.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 09:18:15 AM by Liz1018 »

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Artsy

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2016, 10:18:48 PM »
Absolutely amazing, Liz! What a story. Yay you!

:yourock:
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.

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Wookiepunch

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2016, 06:30:21 AM »
I read this thread while listening to "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. These lists of accomplishments are epic. (They actually are!!!) It makes me think of one of my favorite quotes from former slave Booker T.Washington:
"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome."


My lists of accomplishments are meager by comparison, but are little gems of hope I carry in my heart.
-I am my children's Father. (Dr.Laura fans will get that.)
-My kids are raised by their Mom.
-My kids know that we worship a loving, powerful God.
-I am married. Happily so.
-My kids know I find their mother attractive, and that they are the result of that.
-My kids know loyalty to family is not a chain to imprison us, but a barrier to protect us.
-My kids know after work i will come home.
I didn't graduate at the top of any of my classes- but through a series of unrelated circumstances and events I landed an incredible job that has afforded us a very good quality of life. We are financially secure (Something I never, ever experienced growing up.)
In spite of literally doing the opposite of everything our parents told us, we ended up OK.
In spite of a horrid childhood I ended up Christian, happy, married, with a good job, a buttload of kids and another one on the way.

A reoccurring theme in therapy was "Why did I turn out OK?!" It drove me crazy. The therapist said "Well, its a crummy analogy but sometimes two negatives equal a positive. Try not to over think it." I really did get everything I ever wanted growing up, in spite of my family. The main accomplishment is ending up with a wonderful wife and being the first one to get married and stay married in three generations. When we look at our parents and grandparents it is so sad. I hope we can break the cycle.

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snoflinga

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2016, 08:06:50 AM »
Whoa! What an incredible group we have here! You guys are amazing and inspirational. You should be very proud, all of you!!

 :applause: :applause: :applause: :thumbup: :thumbup: :righton: :righton: :righton: :udawoman: :udawoman: :udawoman:

I finished a 4-year university degree in 3 years, despite switching majors halfway through.

I am the only one in my family to have a job that requires an degree (even though my mother rants about how wasted education is on me!)

I am well known as an expert in my field, to the extent that I have had articles written about me in major magazines (parents never mentioned it.)

Five years ago I started my own business when BPDxh left, with no experience at all, and turned it into a successful career that supports us. (parents routinely ask when I'm going to "get a job.")

I learned on the fly how to repair my home, and by myself turned a tear-down into a beautiful place to live (parents complain that it's messy.)

I was invited to join MENSA and several big universities (like MIT) asked me to apply. I stayed at home with NMom instead.

Most importantly to me: I was able to get my kids out of an abusive situation, protect them DESPITE Nmoms interference, and parent them in such a way that they have no ill effects today. They are happy and healthy teenagers, and that's the greatest thing I have done or ever will do with my life.


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Artsy

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Re: What have you accomplished?
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2016, 02:27:17 PM »
Snowflinga and Wookie Punch!

I love the points you make. While this is an exercise in acknowledging what has not been recognized, our true accomplishment is HEALTH (which is why we are on this site, right?)

Wookie Punch, I know from past threads that your true devotion to family is not recognized by your sibs. I stayed home with my kids when they were little and not only were my values minimized, I was bullied for it. I was supposed to be this great, feminist, successful career woman (not for my sake, but to affirm my older sisters choices,) not "someone's mother." My choice to "mother" was (somehow) an insult to my narc older sister. I thought the feminist movement was about choice, but I guess not if my choices failed to mirror the narcs in my family.

I'm a true believer that to raise a happy, healthy family is an accomplishment of the highest order. GOOD ON YOU BOTH!!!
"I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone." Robin Williams.