How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?

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all4peace

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How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« on: August 29, 2017, 08:34:13 PM »
Hi everyone--I'm feeling that dreadful anxiety that I would imagine many of us have struggled with our entire lives, and insecurity.

Everything seems to be triggering me lately, too much family contact, much more to come, a new friend who is getting uncomfortably involved with my ILs (and is it my imagination, or is she distancing herself from me? Was I too frank when she "needed to share" with me that FIL may have cancer, and MIL is openly seeking reassurance from others at church that she should get help for her anxiety?)

One child has 1 year left at home, and it feels me with many feelings, and one of them is dread that someday he will be totally able to choose his level of connection with us, and what if he chooses very little or nothing?

My other teen, only recently moody and belligerent (is it hormones? is my anxiety showing and irritating her? was it her extended time with ILs recently? is it just time to go back to school?) is triggering uncomfortable feelings in me. Her attitude makes me angry, and I am absolutely terrified of ever responding how my own M did when I talked to her that way. And yet I can't let her behave with disrespect.

Two friends have been distant recently, one without any indication of why, another since a political conversation last fall (was i too open about my views? was my apology not enough? should I have apologized at all? what kind of friendship can't withstand some discussion of tough issues? is it a flaw in her, in me, just a friendship whose time has come and gone?)

Is therapy ripping apart old wounds? Is it the recent reminder on the forum of the witch-queen mother and the memories that brought back for me? Reliving childhood as i tell my story and work through the pain? Is it seeing my siblings struggle, knowing what they also faced, and feeling the anxiety of separation as they each set boundaries for talking about it (each needing to accept and move on)?

Is it losing both sets of parents (and DH's siblings and their families) at nearly the same time? Would anyone be knocked flat by that? Is it the ever-present sense of threat because we share a small community, neighborhood, faith circle with ILs? Is it dread because it's about to get far worse with M (related to sibling and family business) and the only family I have left are my siblings, their families, and M's extended family, and dread that she would do ANYthing to win, including hurting her own children?

My brain can work through each of these things, but my heart and psyche feel panicky. I need way too much reassurance. And even though I fight asking for it (isn't it being too needy?) I feel a sense of dread inside me. My brain understands that I am not all things to all my friends, exactly when and how they need it. And nobody can be that for me, either. And I don't even need that. I just need to know that at least a handful of people value me enough to not let me go, to stick through the tough times and the ugly growth, and the process that I'm in the middle of right now.

When I was growing up, my siblings and I didn't know if by the time we woke up there would be 2 parents in the house or only 1. If we were laying awake to listen to the fighting, and we heard dad getting slapped (loud enough to be heard 1 floor away, through their closed door and ours), then he would probably be gone. We didn't know where he went. We didn't know when he would return. It wasn't acknowledged. Not a word. Not one time were we reassured or comforted. Nobody seemed to think we had feelings, much less fear, anxiety, dread, depression. When I once cried to my mom that dad was gone, she snapped at me "Well, you told me to let him go!" The context was that she was hanging from his vehicle as he tried to go. I was sobbing hysterically, afraid someone was going to be badly hurt. I begged her to let him go. And when she came in the house, I hugged her, told her I loved her and tried to comfort her. I actually hated her, who she was, what she had done, and the chaos she brought into our lives. But she was human and I couldn't see another human in that much pain without trying to comfort them. She didn't return the hug, never once in my childhood told me she loved me (actually scoffed at the fakeness of people who felt the need to say it) and not a single time in 7 years of chaotic separations and reunions did either of our parents have a conversation with us about our lives in this time. In fact, M told us to never talk about it (even with our friends), as "it wasn't our story to tell."

The best I got emotionally from my mom was her satisfaction and grudging listening, IF I was doing everything as she wanted, when she wanted.
The best I got emotionally from my dad was an acceptance of us siblings wrestling with him when he finally got home after dark. And when I was 16, I got to be his therapist. It made me feel special and loved. One time after a beating when I was very young, he took me onto his lap and asked me about my day. It was so shocking and welcome that I never forgot it. It never happened again.
My parents were good at "play" and activities, but these didn't reach the needs deep inside my heart. I can appreciate the effort they made, but with the backdrop of an emotional desert it didn't really make much of an impact on me.

When I am given true kindness, it makes me cry. It is so unexpected and precious that it makes me cry. But I always expect to lose it. I'm always looking for clues that I've been too much--too honest, too needy, too giving (exposing neediness), too anything that would feel threatening to a jealous person, just TOO anything at all.

I almost always like myself, but I don't think that other people will. I know that I am a kind, honest and good person, but I also know that I am deeply wounded and needy. When my life is in basic balance, I feel secure, strong, happy, loving, at peace. joyful. But when more and more shifts out of balance or threatens on the horizon, I start to wobble, like a top getting ready to fall.

I know that really careful self care helps to straighten me out again. But sometimes there's not much time or energy or things are so tough that I cannot find the motivation to do good self care.

Do you face this? How do you cope? Is there ever a point where enough has gone well enough for long enough that you start to trust it on a deep level that can't be shaken by the next life challenge?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 08:35:48 PM by all4peace »

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Orangecounty

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 10:16:27 PM »
I can relate to so much of what you said! We're a product of our upbringings, so be gentle and kind to yourself. The more I read others stories, it really amazes me that people could be so cruel to their own children. It breaks my heart.

I know how you feel when it comes to be hyper aware of those around us and worrying they'll leave us. I wish I could tell you how to fix it, but I haven't quite figured it out myself. What I will tell you about your children is that as scary as it is, the more space and independence you give them, I think the more likely they will choose to be around you and want to spend time together as they grow. I know my mom clung on to me for dear life and it really made me rebel at that age and want my independence because I felt smothered by her.

I think from living such an unstable childhood that was highly unpredictable has created a heightened sense of anxiety for you as an adult. Which is to be expected. Just the other day my husband was a little quieter than usual and I get that sick feeling in my stomach, like "is something wrong? Is he angry with me? Is he unhappy?" My unbpd mother always gave us the silent treatment when she was angry with us and that has stuck with me all the way into adulthood. So I find what helps me is that instead of sitting around and worrying over what's going on with my husband, I try and focus on myself and find things that I enjoy doing, putting a movie on, watching a tv show, reading a book etc.. Just something to distract myself when I'm feeling afraid. Because you're right, others can't reassure us all the time.

Wishing you peace, All 4peace. It's not an easy road but we understand and are here for you.

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daughterofbpd

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 09:51:16 PM »
 :yeahthat: I think Orangecounty said it all.

I noticed since coming Out of the FOG, my emotions seem much more intense. I wonder if it is something about the rollercoaster of healing or just being more aware of our feelings or maybe it's just trying to let ourselves feel the feelings we repressed before.  And then not having our parents to fall back on is hard. I find that this whole healing process is continually ripping open old wounds and then there are new fears that crop up as I start to see my own unhealthy habits that I need to work on but struggle to change. I think the answer is just that this is a very, very hard process but I'm hoping it gets easier and we come out better for it. You aren't the only one here feeling this way.  :bighug:
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
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Fightsong

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 06:03:26 AM »
I sometimes think this - My feelings once so carefully, effectively and necessarily stuffed ( unhealthy containment)  away in order to survive - Now recognized. They were there all along, as they are for everyone. They are there now as life has its ups and its downs - but my willingness and ability to  do the stuffing is no longer so strong, so effective or so necessary. I realize the feelings are ours - needed, normal and allowed. I  am losing the ability to 'contain' them so effectively. But , I  am un - or under-skilled at 'managing' them. So they  trouble me like they would a child who hasn't yet learned how to feel , own,  respect, work through, ask for help with these feelings.  Its a process of  de-containment and relearning a new way of containing - an adult and healthy way.

Have a good day A4P.

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Malini

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 06:14:32 AM »
All4peace  :hug:

I read your post and at the end thought - ok deep breath now. So many important relationships are in turmoil at the moment, it's normal that you would feel this anxiety, so much is changing and there is uncertainty about the outcome.

There is so much going on at the same time and when I was at that point, I likened it to walking through deep snow, you step forward and oh no! you sink right into thighs. There is no place were your foot lands on hard compact snow and so you wade through exhausting yourself, not being able to find a place of security and calm.

As a mom of YA now, I'll just say that there is nothing like our children to stir the deepest emotions and insecurities in us and leave us vulnerable and naked. I remember the challenging teenage years where I hated them for what they were doing to me. Revealing me as a less than perfect, less than loving Mom and terrifying me because I had no frame of positive parenting reference to fall back on and I so didn't want them to experience the shame and blame and pain I was subjected to growing up. Teenagers are a belligerent, moody bunch, it's a really difficult time in their lives and at the same time our job is to set them boundaries which make them feel safe, even though they will rail and rage against them, it is essentially what they are asking for.  You deal with an adult one minute and then an insecure child. It's not easy finding the right balance. And of course our own parents either had none, or set such punishing ones that we feel so insecure about where to draw the line.

I often thought of my children as trains. DH and I were the traintrack, and during the teenage years, they go through a long dark tunnel where you just have to believe in the strength and security of the track because you can't really see whats going on in the tunnel but the track makes sure they come back to the sun strong and safe.

But I am convinced children learn as much from our mistakes than from what we do right. I've made a ton of them, but my children feel safe enough to call me out on them if I haven't realised myself and give me the chance to fix it, because I at least did somethings right and they know I love them unconditionally, respect them and they have no reason to fear me or my reactions.

Both are now abroad, younger DS is in contact all the time with whatsapp or calls, older DS goes AWOL for weeks. But we see them both every 3-4 months and spend really wonderful quality time with them for 3-4 days where their love for us is visible and heartwarming.

But every time we ask to visit or they ask to come home, I still sometimes think that they are saying yes to me out of duty or guilt and not because they really want to see me and DH.

So now I address that fear and ask what it is that they like about coming home and what is important to them. Recently, having spent time with DS 1 and his new GF, who I really like a lot and I know I can be a bit of an Italian Mamma with my feelings, so as I was saying goodbye to DS1  I said that  I wasn't always sure where the boundaries where with him, and worried I might be either too invasive or perhaps not showing enough interest because of my NM. He put his arm around me, smiled and said, 'don't worry mom, I'll tell you". I couldn't have hoped for a better answer.

This sounds a lot about me, but I just want to illustrate that despite the terrible, toxic, dysfunctional parenting we grew up with, we are still able to be 'good enough' parents, to share with you that the years you are going through now are some of the most difficult for most of us, and finally, what I'm trying to say is that I have read how you and DH are raising your children and the advice you give to other parents and just want to illustrate that in a couple of years, you WILL reap what you have sown and the crop will be abundant.

With respect to your other feelings of insecurity, what helps is to stop second guessing yourself, remind yourself that there are two people in a friendship, that you are not entirely responsible for how the friendship goes and that if there is anything you've said or done, you have to trust your friend to tell you or respond truthfully if you ask.

I can't say if you will ever reach a place where you will not be shaken by a future life challenge. My journey has been 5 years and I still get triggered, still second-guess myself, still ruminate when feelings of discomfort and worry about my relationships loom. Obviously,  NC with NParents has given me closure for one set of relationships, but I've realised and accepted that that defining parent-child relationship which lasted almost 50 years will probably colour (not taint) my life until I die. However, I do feel as if I now deal with those triggers and insecurities far better, they no longer dictate my life and are manageable, they are part of who I am and instead of fighting them, I'm learning to work with them.

It's really difficult to practise self care when we're in this space and of course it's when we would need it the most. I would suggest you reread some of your answers to others posting questions like yours and you will see that you have so many more tools and knowledge on how to tackle this than you believe now. You will see the empathy and kindness and insight shining through your contributions. That is who you are.

 :hug:
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 06:29:00 AM by Malini »
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JG65

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 11:36:31 AM »
It sounds like you have anxiety and what can happen is that anxiety starts to create a lot of second guessing and "what ifs" in your mind.  So, basically, your mind starts to create all sorts of things to worry about, layering on top of stuff that you really do need to be concerned about. 

Some things that help me are to focus on the present.  When stuff comes up that you cannot change, such as things that I wish I would have said, or concerns that I didn't handle things well, I remind myself that it is a waste of my time and energy and I think about an action plan, if it needs to be fixed, or if it doesn't, I tell myself to let it go.  My therapist said you can give yourself a pinch, wear a rubber band and snap it, or give yourself a sharp little slap when you start to spin into worry about something you can't change, such as the past.

Therapy does open old wounds.  However, if those wounds have never properly healed and because of that they impair you in the present, the only way to to resolve them is to open them and deal with them.  In my case, my dNPD father sexually molested me when I was a child and I dealt with it through denial.  It worked for a long time but when I started to get severe PTSD symptoms, I had to open it up and deal with it.  Other than numbing myself with large doses of anti-anxiety meds for the rest of my life, I don't think I had another option. 

I'm learning to deal with limits.  For example, I can't be in large groups of people for an entire day.  At work, if the plan is to have a meeting full day and then dinner, I now usually say I can't make it for dinner.  I know if I push myself too hard, my PTSD symptoms kick up and I get panic attacks.  I also have an agreement now with my husband.  If I realize that a situation is overwhelming me, we leave.  For example, sometimes stores overwhelm me.  If I get overwhelmed, we leave.  If I'm feeling anxious on a particular day, I may not even attempt it. 

I went NC with my dNPD pedophile father two years ago and have accepted that I can never resume a relationship with him.  I was severely traumatized and I know that contact with him would add to my trauma. 

As part of my recovery, I got a tattoo for sexual abuse solidarity.  It makes visible the handicaps I now have.  It also reminds me that I'm a survivor and it honors the very hard and painful work I've done to recover. 

So, for me it is about learning to accept my limits and seeing them as neither good nor bad, but simply the framework within I now operate.  Also, I honor my strengths because of what I've been through.  In addition, I practice gratitude. 

It sounds like you are on the right path and you are doing all of the right things.  If you like yourself most of the time, the most important person to you is already on your side.  It has been so hard for me to get where you are.
Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences - Robert Louis Stevenson

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protea

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 12:24:33 PM »
In my experience, anxiety and the constant worrying (that others really hate us or will abandon us down the line) can be evidence of lingering self-hate: even if there is no reason to believe that others hate us (and it really doesn't seem like there is, in the case of your family), there is still the inner belief that I am a person about whom others feel hate / contempt / disgust by default.

It's not something that you can talk yourself out of logically, because fear is an emotion, not a rational judgment, and so it comes from a deep, almost reptilian part of your brain that can only be placated, never switched off. If fear lingers, but there's no reason for the fear, the fear won't just lie down and stop being active, it is convinced that there is a reason for its existence (as fear is basically a force for self-preservation) and keeps looking for the source of the distress. Which is why behavior that would not elicit undue worry in another parent worries you... your brain is looking for reasons why it's afraid, and the less it finds, the more restless it feels about what unseen horrors might be coming instead.

Something that helped me was learning to think of my emotions, including all the anxiety and fear, as a dog that I am responsible for taking care of, and that is under the impression that it is responsible for taking care of me (as dogs often are). The fear in my head is a yellow lab, because that is my favorite kind of dog, and I even gave her a name. Every time my fear or anxiety starts acting up, I think to myself "what's wrong, girl?" If I judge that there's nothing to be afraid about, I go ahead and begin work on getting calm again, whether or not my emotions are ready to do the same, because that's what a human should do in a similar case for his or her dog. Sometimes I can succeed in getting the fear / anxiety to follow suit. Sometimes I don't succeed, but that's okay.

I'm learning to deal with limits.  For example, I can't be in large groups of people for an entire day.  At work, if the plan is to have a meeting full day and then dinner, I now usually say I can't make it for dinner. I know if I push myself too hard, my PTSD symptoms kick up and I get panic attacks.  I also have an agreement now with my husband.  If I realize that a situation is overwhelming me, we leave.  For example, sometimes stores overwhelm me.  If I get overwhelmed, we leave.  If I'm feeling anxious on a particular day, I may not even attempt it. 

I went NC with my dNPD pedophile father two years ago and have accepted that I can never resume a relationship with him.  I was severely traumatized and I know that contact with him would add to my trauma

As part of my recovery, I got a tattoo for sexual abuse solidarity.  It makes visible the handicaps I now have.  It also reminds me that I'm a survivor and it honors the very hard and painful work I've done to recover

So, for me it is about learning to accept my limits and seeing them as neither good nor bad, but simply the framework within I now operate.  Also, I honor my strengths because of what I've been through.  In addition, I practice gratitude.

My bolds, obviously.

There's something in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (a treatment for Borderline PD, though I think it's very generally applicable to many different types of psychological difficulties including C-PTSD from past abuse) that sounds very similar to this, called "radical acceptance". It's basically accepting that you are who you are, without implying either that you have to be this way forever, or that you are wrong for being like this. It's making the decision to stop being cruel to yourself and to end the cycle of self-blame and self-contempt that often continues long after the abuser is out of the picture.

I had a lot of anxiety immediately after deciding on NC, and once that had subsided, I went through a phase where I was acting out a lot and it was hard on my boyfriend. I looked into DBT, and it looks super promising... I can't find a therapist in my area who does it, but I download worksheets and try to do them on my own when things get bad. And I meditate, either on my own or listening to a meditation podcast I really like. But the most important thing I've done from this so far is to practice both gratitude and acceptance.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 01:26:23 PM by protea »

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AmericanWoman

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 12:12:34 AM »
Hi All4peace  :)

I cannot relate to the children part, don't have any.  Your post would make anyone dizzy, wow friend you got a lot on your plate!  :aaauuugh:

This may or may not be good advice, heck, it may even be bad advice but you asked what others do.  Yes the political/world views/wars are biting into a lot of friendships and families.  I don't think the way today is that anyone could say it has not contributed to some sort of discord in one's relationships.

What do I do?  Stick my head in the sand as much as possible.  When I shop I smile quietly and talk about the weather or food.  The crazy family (mine's small) I just stopped calling or listening.  Same stuff different day and none of my business anyway (as in I'm tired of giving a poop about it).  No more news, we watch cooking or old movies and read a lot.  There is a lot of stuff out there I don't want to know about, I don't want to see it nor talk about it, I just want to be happy.

People will dish out all they can and they will as long as you accept it.   Turn the phone off (block feature is wonderful) and make other friends if you need too.  Sometimes even long friendships fade.  The family other than the kids, maybe you can be vague and get off the phone or out of their view if they are toxic.

Do whatever it takes for your health, if it means sticking your head in the sand to be happy, well, werks for me!  :angel:

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Maisey

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2017, 06:45:16 PM »


I know that really careful self care helps to straighten me out again. But sometimes there's not much time or energy or things are so tough that I cannot find the motivation to do good self care.

Do you face this? How do you cope? Is there ever a point where enough has gone well enough for long enough that you start to trust it on a deep level that can't be shaken by the next life challenge?

H recently told me of a conversation he had with an older person he is acquainted with about his having reached retirement age and being happy about reaching it and looking forward. I think it put alot into perspective for H, which is a positive for both of us.

One thing he relayed was that the person had talked about 20yrs ago he had stopped worrying about everything little thing that crossed his path on his daily life. He wasn't being unsympathetic or removing himself from the world , just not letting everyone elses troubles and the things going on in the world  interfere with his goals he set for his life.

So I was thinking forward and backward. I find I keep getting stuck spending more time thinking backward. Over ten years I have spent since starting to understand that issues stemming from my ILs and my whole world really being scrambled by mean people right under my nose. I do not want to spend the next ten years being this way, and how to do that? I do not think I have set small goals in my daily life to overcome this. I am really tired of the onion peeling itself on a daily basis. I feel like I get to a level I am comfortable with and then that onion reveals a new layer. Sometimes those layers are a shock.

I do not think that onion will ever be a scallion. No matter how many layers are peeled off, it will always be a valdalia.

So I wanted to to share that guys advice to look forward, then rambled on about myself.
M.



 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 07:02:31 PM by Maisey »

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daughter

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2017, 12:06:14 PM »
A4P: I identified with a lot in your post.

Teen kids: yes, it's quite a different relationship context than what I recall from my own teenage years.  Moodiness, "back-talk", much less any kind of dissent or quiet protest wasn't "allowed" by my parents, in regards to me.  (Nsis was "allowed" to argue w/NBM, but not with NF, who explodes if contradicted by his children.)  I raised my kids with less "me boss, you serf", and net result is my kids were more confident in challenging me/us as teens, and expressing their moodiness and discontent at times.  I remain firm, sometimes loud in response, but accept this as part of natural course of maturation, hormones, and teen angst.  It's not always pleasant, but the alternate of assuming the "harsh despot mode" of my parents wasn't an acceptable alternative for me.  Perhaps I was a little to lenient, perhaps I was simply reasonable and so suffered their pouts and tantrums while remaining firm in my rules and expectations. 

Friends:  unfortunately I think "lessons learned" from our young-adult relations with our pd-disordered parents also translates into somewhat more accommodating stance regarding apparent bad behavior and expressed inconsiderateness of our friends.  I think I tolerate a little bit of relative rudeness and/or inconsiderateness from my friends, to give them "benefit of doubt", and am sometimes "better friend" to them than they are to me.  Sometimes I think I'm being a "doormat" to friends too, and far more "giving than getting" in relationship.  (I've also seen the "jealous green monster" surface, or the "judgmental good girl w/martyr complex" at times in some friends' demeanor.)  I also realize that my friends often have as much psychological baggage as I do, given what I know about their own childhoods and family histories.  It is very possible that your MIL is hoovering your church friends, "painting a picture" that's one-sided and unfair, but if so, it also reflects unpleasantly on those so-called "friends", and being OOTF often causes reconsideration of other relationships, including with long-time friends and seemingly friendly work-associates, to assess whether relationship is truly mutually-respectful and balanced.  Some so-called friendships won't endure that reflective scrutiny.

"Politics" has become a verboten subject for casual conversation, a cause for extreme reactions often from both sides of political perspective.

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lightworld

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2017, 12:29:13 PM »
all4peace I do sympathise, I really do.  After each rare encounter with my FOO, I too feel insecure, worthless, uncared for and bereft.  I'm so sad and feel so abandoned sometimes.  I think having been emotionally neglected by our parents leaves a big hole somewhere within us that is sometimes hard to fill.  You are going through such a lot at the moment, it is OK for you to feel confused, upset, unsure and insecure.  You have a big load to carry so it's wise to be kind to yourself and accept that, just now, you will not feel settled or OK,  you may feel like this now but it will pass and you will enjoy life again, trust your friends and be there for your FOC.

As for kids, I do relate, sometimes I fear that I have neglected my FOC because I have been too preoccupied for too long by my FOO.  My kids and DH have actually told me that so I feel awful that it took me so long to realise what was going on.  But - I can't go back now so I'm doing my best to be true to me, living by my own standards and values and accepting that some people will like me for who I am and some won't.

Judging by all the help you give on this forum and how you deal with your own problems, you sound like a warm, loving and wise person.  You have helped me and I'm sure lots of others on here with your advice and support. Here's hoping you feel better soon. LW :bighug: :bighug:
An empathic, highly sensitive, caring, loving, naïve, emotional and vulnerable child is a prime target for a narcissistic parent
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all4peace

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2017, 01:53:08 AM »
Thank you so much for all the thoughtful responses. I'm in a much better place now. It's feeling rather rollercoastery these days, but I do think I need to give myself some time and space to ping around a bit while digging deeper in therapy.

One friend, I just asked her if all was ok between us or if i had hurt or offended her in any way, or exhausted her with too much talk about my issues. She instantly and reassuringly responded with an "Oh my, no!!" and called immediately. She also further validated that her "unreachability" over the last many months would cause anyone to be concerned about the state of the relationship, but that it was simply life and its busyness that was keeping her out of contact.

The other friend, I just let it ride. A week after I started to worry (she had brought up my ILs, and I had said some things about them that could have been offensive to her), she let me know about a couple health issues that were really getting her down. I listened, hugged her and we later spent a really lovely day together doing something meaningful and helpful for a cause we both care about. I just need to let these things sink into my brain, and to not keep on getting shaky over and over again.

I got to watch my kids enjoy their cousins and mutual friends for a couple sweet days, and watch one of them beginning to fall in love for the first time.

Dh and I had some long and heated conversations, but at least we're starting to hit some topics that Dh has been silent about for decades, so while it is painful and uncomfortable it seems like really good progress for him to begin to feel able to bring up things that have bothered him for a very long time.

I decided to schedule a stress test so that I can hopefully get great results and stop worrying when I get anxiety-related chest pain. That would be one less thing to worry about :)

orangecounty, thank you for the wise advice about giving our children freedom! I love how you can recognize your trauma and how you look for rejection from your DH in the form of a silent treatment, know that's unhealthy, and distract yourself from it rather than constantly seeking reassurance. I do think I need to learn to sit longer with my discomfort and am glad I was able to outwait it with the one friend.

daughterofbpd, it is so reassuring to know we are not alone, that our journey is a common and shared one! I wish there weren't so much pain in the world but am so grateful to have the healing of this community and all the caring and wisdom shared here.

malini, I absolutely love every part of your answer. Thank you!! To hear this wisdom from someone who is further along this journey than I am is invaluable. And I just love what your son told you, that he would let you know. What more could we want? Your metaphor of a train track is such a good one. At some point we do have to have faith that all our steps before now were good enough. And if they weren't, as you point out we can learn from the mistakes also. My T recommended the book Safe House, and in it the author suggests that we can actually fail MOST of the time, as long as we make lessons from the mistakes. I hope that's true. I once told my son that his dad and I had no blueprints from which to draw our parenting decisions, but we loved him and his sister incredibly much and were trying our very hardest to figure it out.

Your post is so comforting and kind. Thank you, thank you, thank you :bighug:

JG65, it feels like I'm overusing this word today, but thank you for your wisdom also! How important to know our limits, and to respect them in self love. I really wish I could have coped with more. I wish I could have held on longer. I didn't know I had limits, but it turns out I do and I'm finally, finally learning to respect them more. I hear you in the PTSD. I didn't choose to have childhood trauma drag me to a near standstill in my 40s, while my workload was heavy, and my children were growing up. But it happened. And now I'm forced to deal with it, as you were. Thank you for your practical reminder that here it is, and we simply have to cope. I am so sorry for what you suffered from your parent, someone who was meant to love and protect you. And I'm proud of you for turning that into something strong and honorable. It changed you, but you're making it into something beautiful. Thank you for your wisdom.

protea, I may be hiding things from myself, but I don't believe it is self hate. I think I actually really like myself. What I fear is that ME is too much, too big, too everything that has disgusted some of those who were "supposed to be" the most fundamental relationships in my life. Especially with my ILs, I found myself making myself smaller and quieter until I had nearly disappeared. It's one thing to do so by choice, to choose to not offer the precious parts of ones self to those who don't value you. It's quite another to do so to avoid notice or targeting. I think I feel this anxiety because some of my most fundamental relationships rejected me because of the parts of me I love best.

I love your advice about gratitude and acceptance! I am so thankful to be a person who finds so incredibly much to be grateful for. Not always but that is fundamentally who I am, and I've been getting more and more back to that again. It brings a lot of peace and joy (at least when things aren't so triggering at the moment)

Americanwoman, I knew better when I got into the political debate. I knew better and did it anyway. Hard lesson learned. And good advice!

Maisey, it's good to be reminded to focus on what really matters and to get perspective again!

daughter, I love the posture you found with your teens! DH and I definitely tolerate way more backtalk than our parents did. And I hope we haven't gone too far. We're also working on "You can disagree, you can feel whatever you want, but you'll need to find a respectful way to communicate that" and then working on really listening. I am finding that as time goes on, they don't need to be as reactive as they know I will truly listen to them and so there's not much to "fight against."

lightworld, your post reminds me of a recent thread along the lines of "all contact damages." No matter how prepared and confident I feel, at this point all contact is damaging. Even if the contact goes well, the anticipation is so anxiety producing, and the ruminations afterwards while my brain works through all the details is not good either.

I love how you are able to forgive yourself for distraction and move on. I've had a couple years where I was wayyyyy too distracted. I cannot wallow in that, or I will lose another couple years in the process. Thank you for the reminder for self forgiveness and doing better in the present. And thank you so much for your kind words!

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free1111

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Re: How do you cope with feelings of insecurity?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 05:53:53 AM »
All4peace, it sounds like you are doing so much better but I thought both of your posts were a great reminder of how insidious anxiety is. It just wraps its tentacles around your brain until you can't have a free thought. I have found it's usually false, like you thinking your friend is upset with you when she is dealing with her own life.

For instance, I recently had an issue where I thought I had lost a very important client to a hyper competitive colleague. I agonized over it and in the past probably never would have confronted it directly out of fear that I would hear, no I don't want to work with you anymore. Instead, I set up a meeting, spent several anxiety ridden days fretting about it, drove DH crazy trying to parse the tea leaves of a cryptic email the client had sent me, only to find out it was the client who was feeling lost about where in our largish office he needed to go for help and was so happy to see me to get clarity and take a task off his plate.  Sometimes it is us ... meaning us being needlessly anxious ... not them!