reclaiming ones' power

  • 15 Replies
  • 1296 Views
*

bohemian butterfly

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 684
reclaiming ones' power
« on: May 15, 2017, 02:35:16 PM »
this is something I'm struggling with.  Actually, the title should be "embracing ones' power" because reclaiming actually means one had power to begin with (and I didn't).

I've gotten some space from uBPDm.  She has texted a few times, but I haven't responded.  I did send her a generic Mother's Day card and she sent me a text to thank me.  Very low contact at this point (and it feels wonderful!)

And although I feel like I'm starting to get somewhere (the enmeshment is not as tangled), I still have this deep fear of her. 

I'm in counseling and we do EMDR (for PTSD due to dysfunctional family), I also read and post on this forum.  I've read a TON about BPD and narcissism, but what I don't know how to do is conquer this fear.  It's this deep fear, it's innate, primal.  I fear the future.  I fear having to constantly erect boundaries (don't know if I have the strength).

Now my counselor tells me I've come a loooong way and my uBPDm has started to back off, but from what I've read on this forum, this should not be viewed as a victory by any means.

I feel as if I have no power at all.  In fact in counseling I accidentally said, "I don't deserve to exist" (I can't believe that slipped out of my mouth!)  I do OK when it's just my mother and me (I feel powerful on the phone, like I actually have boundaries and a backbone) but when others are around, she can be manipulative (invite herself over, hint about camping out on our farm, etc) and I feel like I'm being mean (esp when others around me are nodding their heads)   I feel cornered, I feel like all eyes are on me (I'm sure this isn't true, it's just how I feel).

And my father.......... total silence.  Not even a text.  I'm not even mad because that's typical.  He is a passive, codependent enabler and I am just numb when I think about him.

I feel like I need to yell at them or something.  I feel like I need to yell at the top of my lungs because they just don't see how fu**ed up the family is.  How can they NOT see this????

I'm rambling today.  I just wish the fear would go away.  I don't want to cower or run anymore.  this is MY life da** it!!!

How do you reclaim your God given power from these people???


*

Blueskies

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 375
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 04:08:47 PM »
Have you tried doing any parenting of your inner child? It sounds like that powerless place might be the child place in you who was completely powerless and terrified. I can really relate. I am absolutely terrified of my M. Imagine that you are talking to your tiny child self, that they are actually in front of you. You can even use of stuffed toy or cushion to represent them. Imagine they are telling you that they don't deserve to exist...see how you feel and what you can do or say to validate and comfort them....even a cuddle can be deeply healing. Just an idea...

*

raindrop

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 630
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 10:08:51 PM »
I have this too. My counsellor asked what I was afraid of and i was like, I don't really know. I'm just afraid of her but I don't know why, logically she can't exactly hurt me, physically anyway. I just am.
Blueskies' idea is good, I've tried this a couple times and it's quite comforting.
We need to be the protectors of our own inner vulnerable selves because we didn't get proper safety as children.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

*

Liketheducks

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 323
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 12:19:19 AM »
I have a fairly strong image of myself from as early as I can remember.  I'm a small child, with a raised fist (dancing with wolves visual - maybe), stomping my feet, screaming "This is NOT right".   I'm nearly 50 and I swing back and forth between FINALLY feeling like a "grown up" and owning my right to not allow my family to hurt me and feeling like a rebellious kid for betraying my family.       

*

Blueskies

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 375
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 05:36:09 AM »
Liketheducks, That sense of betrayal rings a bell for me. The idea that if you say no to abuse you are betraying or being disloyal. I read somewhere recently (maybe on here) that codependent children are programmed to be like loyal dogs - they'll take any beating and still come back. It's also a bit like Stockholm syndrome. Teenagers are rebellious for a reason...it's an important stage of individuation when you separate from your parents and develop adult boundaries. The thing is that the rebellious kid wouldn't care....it sounds like another part of you is judging the rebellious kid part as bad or immature. Maybe just embrace the rebellious teenager! There's power in that.

*

Fightsong

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 703
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 07:08:38 AM »
Bohemian Butterfly I once wrote a post a bit like this. And someone wise told me to embrace the anger and power you are feeling  - because it is personal growth, right there, waiting to flourish.  I arrived in therapy and this woman  was going on about anger ( as it seems they all do) and I really couldn't see or feel the anger. Having peeled away some layers I am seeing it now. But I also feel the fear, vulnerability and powerlessness you speak about.

I too want to yell / have it out - but the PD power over me, grown and nurtured all these years  silences me. I cannot speak anything that might bring pain / discomfort or anger to my parent.  I don't know if i ever will be able to. I feel like to do so, to speak out if you like, would be a big  healing thing. Something i 'must' do. But its not like that I guess.  We are allowed to just go and lick our wounds and stay in a safe place til we heal. No one says you have to fight the monster. Its totally okay to run away and keep yourself from more pain.

Maybe over time the power grows -  yours / mine? maybe one day our own self determination and self worth  and desire for 'selfness' will be greater than the power they had over us to keep us small and silent - and maybe then, maybe then is when we speak? Until then maybe a private gathering of resources , strength and skills is fine.  I hope so, for both of us.

*

Seichan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 210
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 09:33:22 AM »
Maybe just embrace the rebellious teenager! There's power in that.

I really like this!!

*

Spring Butterfly

  • Spring Butterfly
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 17183
  • You can be free and heal ❤️‍🩹
    • One Key to Better Boundaries
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 09:16:46 AM »
Quote
I feel as if I have no power at all.  In fact in counseling I accidentally said, "I don't deserve to exist" (I can't believe that slipped out of my mouth!) 
  :'(

Quote
I do OK when it's just my mother and me (I feel powerful on the phone, like I actually have boundaries and a backbone) but when others are around, she can be manipulative (invite herself over, hint about camping out on our farm, etc) and I feel like I'm being mean (esp when others around me are nodding their heads)   I feel cornered, I feel like all eyes are on me (I'm sure this isn't true, it's just how I feel).
it's pretty common for a PD person to take advantage of a live audience to maximize intimidation and bullying. Any average bully is worse when there's an audience behind him. I think you're doing great taking steps and feeling powerful one-on-one. That's an immense first step and just think back to when you didn't have that and how it feels now. Sometimes we forget the progress we've made because we know where we want to be and we want to be there yesterday.

Quote
How do you reclaim your God given power from these people???
I started here with hmy personal Bill of Rights
http://pete-walker.com/humanBillofRights.htm

The other thing I did was a journey of self discovery doing some exercises to define core values and all that distilled down to 7 personal core values.

Finally I accepted. Accepted they will never see. Accepted they will not change. Accepted that my choices were total enmeshment with stalking or else ultra low contact since for them there is no in between. So given that choice ultra LC is fine and I am free to live my life untethered.

You don't need their approval or permission to have human rights or to be free to live and exist.
Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog

*

practical

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 7041
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 10:00:51 AM »
Anger at my parents was forbidden in our house, it was like one of the 7 deadly sins and something you didn't even contemplate. I don't remember even being angry at others and still don't really get angry. I did find my anger when coming OOTF, but somehow I never wanted to yell and scream at my parents because I felt: What's the point? They still wouldn't understand what I'm saying, they still would deny my emotional pain, and they would end up feeling like justified victims. So instead this anger spilled all over my journal and it was very liberating. I felt like I heard myself while writing, I finally permitted myself to express this anger, and for me giving myself permission, seeing myself with my anger, hearing it, feeling it was the important part. If I had expressed it to my parents, I would have ended up feeling unseen again (and probably with a solid load of guilt because "one doesn't do that"), but by journaling I felt alive and powerful.

Having this anger in my journals also means I can refer back to it when the FOG comes in or I go all sappy along the lines "she did the best she could" or I start to forget and rewrite along the lines "was it really that bad?"

As for inner child work, my T used to ask me "How old is your inner child in this setting?" and I found it very helpful. There was fear associated to when I was 5 and a specific event, there was fear when I was older and in a different context - it allowed me to address the different fears that before had looked like one overwhelming and stifling fear. It broke this big block of fear down into smaller pieces I could handle and address, and it also helped me address the specific fears instead of a mishmash.

Oh, and having a harder time in public is totally normal. M would seek out public situations to do the things you describe, because she felt like she had a posse that would act as reinforcements for guilt tripping me. She would triangulate people, she would even go so far as to say "Isn't my daughter horrible, she doesn't want me to come to her birthday?" and the like. So please don't beat yourself up, those are really hard situations to navigate. I used to either say "We'll talk about this another time." or smile faintly or see say "Oh, I have to talk to X over there, excuse me." or "Even excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom." if I was desperate and then not reappear for a long time.
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)

*

junklady

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 85
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 11:25:50 AM »
This is such a great post!

I can relate to this so much! I felt like I was powerless forever. The only thing that has worked is aging.

I am now 60, and I am taking back my power. At 50, I told my NF that I wasn't scared of him anymore. He was shocked. However, it has been a push pull for 10 years and I have finally let go.

I should have let go sooner, but I am the only one left besides him. I felt like I had to be his caregiver for the rest of my life. I finally knew I had to stop and go NC, my health has been affected by years of verbal abuse from him. My Dr and his Dr told me to walk away. My M and 2 Bs have passed. I think the stress was a big factor in them passing. I know it was for my older B for sure.
We were terrified as kids. If you didn't obey, you got hit. He was the biggest bully.

So much for so long, and now it's my turn to take care of me. Time for me to have power over me. My Dr put me on blood pressure med and is monitoring me pretty close.

It feels amazing to have power. I just want to wear a t-shirt that says "Say NO to verbal abuse!"

I hope all of you find some peace in your day.

 :bighug:

*

Sunshine days

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1551
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2017, 11:30:22 AM »
It was a long journey back for me but I must of decided enough was enough and I wanted to stand up and be counted so I got my inner child and nurtured her , when she was happy I felt I had achieved a lot of my healing . A close friend walked with me and then I accepted what it is like to be emotionally supported and my old power came back to me and I saw where I had been dumped and where they took over without a care . You do get it back if you believe in you and keep working on your wound. X

*

bohemian butterfly

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 684
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2017, 11:43:48 AM »
Thank you everyone for your kind words, support and great advice.

You are all right, and I agree, the inner child (IC) needs to get angry and heal.  I will try your suggestions and work on her.  It is my IC that fears my mother, and it is my IC that needs to heal.  I feel like when this occurs, older Bohemian Butterfly can handle her.  Right now I'm having a hard time because my IC is tugging on my heart and soul like a security blanket.  Please protect me  she is saying.  I'm ready to fly, but she has attempted to clip my wings (but I need to reassure her that she hasn't, I've merely tucked my wings close to my side, hiding them from her). 

This is hard, grueling work (harder than anything I've ever done).  Fighting against the programming while also trying to reparent the self while trying to figure out what's normal and trying not to regress when triggered.    :stars:

On a positive note, my boyfriend (bless him) has been such a gift to me.  He is teaching me how to cook and also how to plant produce and help him on the farm.  Sometimes I feel like he is my parent because I feel so lost and insecure because I don't know some things like I should but we talk about this and he reassures me that I am his equal, he is simply guiding me.  He sees something in me and that has been a huge part of my healing. 

And you all have been such an asset, such a blessing.  thank you!

*

lightworld

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 456
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 11:52:25 AM »
I think it's perfectly natural to feel this  way when you have been abused, it goes with the territory so to speak.  The important thing is to take your emergence Out of the FOG slowly and at your own pace, you don't have to worry about the future, anything could happen, just manage this day by day and don't beat yourself up if you feel fear or anger, IMO that is OK and healthy.

I think this is part of the process of healing for you and it will take time. The others mentioned inner child work and I agree this can be really useful. Be kind to yourself. A lot of us on here feel the fear and powerlessness you are feeling now, push on and stay strong you're doing great. LW
An empathic, highly sensitive, caring, loving, nave, emotional and vulnerable child is a prime target for a narcissistic parent
Clare Lane

*

Fightsong

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 703
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 12:41:08 PM »
Bo'fly, take care. This stuff is tough, really vulnerably tough. If you already know how to be gentle with your child then remember to be. And yes who said Day by day? Slowly but surely. I'm learning this too. You can't rush. It's too scary. For me learning gentleness has been missing was really important. It's the toughest thing I've ever done too, it's true soul work. Or it feels that way. And none of my usual coping strategies really fit!  Just keep gently on , acceptance, compassion ( for yourself that is).

*

practical

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 7041
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 01:53:02 PM »
Right now I'm having a hard time because my IC is tugging on my heart and soul like a security blanket.
Maybe you want to make one for her? Knitting, crotchet, quilting are all great ways to make a security blanket and while you are working on it you can talk to your inner child. If you have never done any of these, there is plenty of help on youtube, and Project Linus has always some simple patterns https://www.projectlinus.org/patterns/ , the "SIDEWAYS SHELL BABY AFGHAN (AKA NEWBIE SHELL AFGHAN)" has always been one of my favorites.
:bighug:
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)

*

sweet1987

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 73
Re: reclaiming ones' power
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 03:58:44 PM »
Hi Bohemian Butterfly,
I can really relate to the feeling of fear. The important thing is to try and not make yourself feel bad about it. I think to myself I am 30 years old and just the tone of my mothers voice makes my stomach clench with anxiety. I even had to sent my BPD/NPDM messages to whole new inbox, so I don't have to keep feeling that horrible feeling in my gut whenever my phone goes off, with dread that its her. This way i chose to let at them, when I want and feel a little more in control.

Just reading your post has made me realise this in the feeling I have inside me quite allot, I think because everything is unknown and its really takes so much energy to deal with the day to day drama of PD , its draining and makes me wonder how long can I do this for, am I strong enough?, what's going to happen,? am I dealing with it right?, I am I doing the right thing?

I Feel much stronger when I am texting my mother. Face to face is still really difficult for me.
I
Right now I'm having a hard time because my IC is tugging on my heart and soul like a security blanket.
Maybe you want to make one for her? Knitting, crotchet, quilting are all great ways to make a security blanket and while you are working on it you can talk to your inner child. If you have never done any of these, there is plenty of help on youtube, and Project Linus has always some simple patterns https://www.projectlinus.org/patterns/ , the "SIDEWAYS SHELL BABY AFGHAN (AKA NEWBIE SHELL AFGHAN)" has always been one of my favorites.
:bighug:

I think listening to the Inner child will be really helpful, there are some YouTube videos about it which maybe help aswell..this is something I have started working on myself recently.. I realised how much pain I have suffered in childhood, that was just sitting there, but because I was more or less forced to get over it and get on with it, never knew how much was there.. Hope this makes sense.  :bighug: