PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health

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eternallystuck

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PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health
« on: October 26, 2017, 04:55:46 PM »
Does anyone else feel that despite the increased awareness of mental health issues..there's a big elephant in the room...namely toxic PD families.

No one (outside of forums like this) seems to want to give it the real attention it deserves, despite the fact I see evidence of it daily. You know what I'm talking about, once you've been through it its easy to the signs.

I guess I get why its taboo, its one thing to talk about your depression & its another to put yourself in the firing line & openly state you can't stand your NPD M, in real life. It is quite a personal topic in that sense.

For me I am long past the idea of sympathising with my M and a lot of people can't respect that decision. A lot of people seem pro-reconciliation & forget that its a 2 way street, one I have tried to force her down for decades, hurting myself in the process. For a lot of us at that tipping point, we are often frowned upon as an outcast of society or as 'stubborn' & 'ungrateful'.

That can have an incredible impact on your sense of self esteem.

It seems bewildering to me how far advanced western society has got in regards to gender equality (well, questionable) but we have not got to the point where we can admit that some members of FOO- in particular parents- are incredibly dismissive, abusive & downright toxic to their children.

The parent is favoured almost every time. If a child has anger issues no one seems to want to look at the parent. It must be the naughty child! Well....if a child's first point of contact is an angry bitter woman that spews venom at them....can you be surprised?

It seems its only taken seriously when its at crisis point & the victim is bruised or sexual abuse is present but as we know a lot of abuse is insidious & emotional. However various studies I've seen indicate that emotional abuse has the same mental impact as physical abuse if not worse. So why are we not listened to? It was widely known in school I had serious problems at home. Nobody pointed me to resources about PD's, I had to find out for myself.

A lot of abused children develop cognitive issues as well as depression, anxiety. They become susceptible to abusive romantic relationships & friends. They may have their health needs neglected. On the extreme end they may end up homeless, addicted to drugs or involved in crime.

I wonder how many of us growing up with a PD parent we're made to feel we were being OTT or that we were 'just a bratty little teen' going through hormones? I wonder how many of us we're told by numerous people 'home is where the heart is' , 'M knows best' or to 'suck it up!' or the classic 'it could be worse'. :ninja:

I guess I just wanted to open a discussion about it to see what you guys think is needed for this issue to be taken seriously as a huge factor of mental health issues in children AND adults. Because lets face it, some people are so groomed & in the fog they may never make it to this blog & end up passing on the dysfunction.

I feel if the mental health taboo is to be broken then government & society need to be open to uncomfortable conversations.

For me I am undoubtedly aware my mental health issues stem from the FOO & I've been battling with them ever since. I've also be stating my M has a huge impact on my mental health ever since. I think had I been taken seriously as a child and been able to cultivate support like I have here, I could of perhaps avoided some of the most turbulent confusing parts of my life.

I count my lucky blessings most days that I somehow made it to further education which allowed me an escape route to reflect on who I am OOTF somewhat. But what about the ones that can't get to that point? It makes me sick to my stomach.


« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 05:04:43 PM by eternallystuck »

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AdultChildinthefog

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Re: PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 06:01:38 PM »
your are so right.  PD's are such a funny thing.  I suffered for many years with uBPDm and uNd not knowing it was PDs.  I just thought they were so very difficult and I must be a really miserable person.  It was only after searching and searching the internet for answers on how to stop falling into the crazy making arguments, fights and rages with them that I found this website and it all started to come together.  I knew about other mental illnesses such as depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia.  But  I never heard about BPD or N as mental illnesses.  Some of the explanation I discovered is because they weren't in the DSM the same way depression and bi-polar were.  Still to this day, I don't feel like anyone on the outside has any idea of what I'm talking about if I bring up PD's.

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eternallystuck

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Re: PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 06:40:20 PM »
your are so right.  PD's are such a funny thing.  I suffered for many years with uBPDm and uNd not knowing it was PDs.  I just thought they were so very difficult and I must be a really miserable person.  It was only after searching and searching the internet for answers on how to stop falling into the crazy making arguments, fights and rages with them that I found this website and it all started to come together.  I knew about other mental illnesses such as depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia.  But  I never heard about BPD or N as mental illnesses.  Some of the explanation I discovered is because they weren't in the DSM the same way depression and bi-polar were.  Still to this day, I don't feel like anyone on the outside has any idea of what I'm talking about if I bring up PD's.

You know I knew something was up when I considered the amount of times I googled 'toxic mother' in my lifetime......often when she was in the same room! The description of NPD fit my mother like a glove, I went through the list & she exhausted all of traits bar 1. It was quite the realisation. I always wondered why she had this complete lack of empathy towards me. It wasn't even tough love. She just looked disgusted & enraged when I was sad. No you're quite right, it is often mental illnesses that get the spotlight, not PD's. You have to do some digging to arrive here!

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daughterofbpd

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Re: PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 07:53:34 PM »
I totally agree. I suspect the number of the estimated population with PDs is much much higher than the statistics say. I see them everywhere now. I have also been pondering how rare it is to find someone who uses so called healthy communication techniques, like validation. If that is so important, shouldn't we be teaching it in schools or something? People obviously aren't learning it at home...
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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all4peace

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Re: PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 08:25:46 PM »
So true, all of it. And I resent the idea that I would need to announce to the world that I've developed an anxiety problem from long trying to cope with both sets of parents. It's nobody's business, and yet I have shared it more than once as the ONLY way to get someone to respect that I need a lot of distance and time away.

I was about to have a nervous breakdown, Googling what on earth might be uNBPDmil's problem and found BPD. It fit perfectly. When I got counseling to get "permission" to start protecting myself, the counselor brought up BPD also. And then after time on this forum, a lot more became clear about my own FOO, enFIL and others. Once you get OOTF, there is a whole lot of problematic behavior out there. I am grateful for the things I found in myself that needed changing also and hope I'm healthier for all those around me at this point.

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overitall

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Re: PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 11:35:40 PM »
When I was a child, I was convinced that I was adopted....to me, that would explain why there were very few baby photos of me---tons of my siblings, but literally almost nothing of me....For years, I really believed this and thought this was why I was so despised....From as far back as I can remember, I was referred to as "the brat," "the pain in the butt," "the difficult kid."  It was absolutely endless....I cannot remember my uBPDm EVER saying anything positive about me....

I have to give it to my uBPDm....she's smart....she stayed away from anyone who may have sensed her disorder....she would not join any social activities and she was furious at me because I was the "social" child of the family.  I had friends who I had known for 10+ years and their parents had never met my mother.....my mother was/is an absolute monster....her rages had no limit and I suffered terribly in my childhood....I'm not sure if my aunts or uncles realized it was that bad, but I suspect they knew....as others, I don't understand how anyone could turn a blind eye.  I actually had an aunt mention to me (about 15 years ago) that she never witnessed a mother hate her child as much as my mother hates me. 

I escaped the house at 17....left for college and never went back....uBPDm was furious...literally, furious that I was escaping her control....I spent years trying to understand what I needed to do/say/believe to get her to "like" me.....after years and years of abuse, I couldn't take it anymore....she completely killed all of my feelings for her....she really did....AND, my uNPDf sat by her and watched it all go down and never once stepped in to stop her...he was too afraid of her...

When I was in graduate school, I studied Psychology and as I delved into personality disorders, I realized everything about my FOO and uBPDm and uNPDf were spot on.....for a few years, I read EVERYTHING about PD's....you name it, I've read it....it helped, but I still have the stigma attached to me for "abandoning" my FOO....there does seem to be an unspoken taboo about exiting your family......

I have two friends in this world who absolutely, completely understand what I have been through....they have witnessed it and both understand what I have been through....there is no judgment from either of them and both recognize the level of abuse I endured from my FOO....

I agree that it is not fair for the stigma, but I think many people separate in more "politically correct" ways.....moving far away; taking jobs far away from family; many, many excuses as to why they can't attend holidays, birthdays, whatever....they basically don't have the guts to "officially" announce that they are NC....they just pretend they care about the FOO, but they don't.

The one positive (I think) aspect of my childhood is that I have developed a super ability to "read" people...I literally can pretty much figure out what people are about fairly quickly....my DH is amazed at how good I am at "sizing up" people....It became my survival skill and I'm a pretty good master at it....

I definitely have scars.....I don't trust many people....I keep myself very guarded and safe from others...but I am a survivor and for that, I am grateful

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eternallystuck

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Re: PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2017, 07:18:11 AM »
All4peace: indeed. As mental health gets more awareness, hopefully people will begin to understand our triggers & why we keep distance from the key source- the FOO. I got to a point in my late teens where I just knew I had no chance of working through my depression if I did not escape. A lot of people felt I left them behind, but they just didn't understand how urgently I needed to be far away from M & her monkeys. I too felt like I was about to have a nervous breakdown, inches from being hospitalized. I think many of us on here have learnt we have to ignore all the outside noise&  'advice' & do what WE feel is needed to keep OURSELVES safe & healthy. I would never resent someone for doing that.

I think you have a point there daughterofBPD, there are many lacking in healthy communication/relationship skills. It seems crazy they are not taught in my country's schools at least. I find with a lot of people if you take issue with something ( even after years of friendship), they respond by immaturity- giving you the silent treatment, trying to find fault with you or lying to others. And in this way the N moves on to its next victim& having not taken responsibility for their actions they are bound to repeat it.

Oh overitall, I am also part of the no photo's club. The living room is filled with photos of my GC brother&sis. Any of me are carefully hidden away. I believe this is because my face is a reminder of M's failings. Whilst she has other offspring..I only  have 1 parent. I suppose it is easier for her to discard me then vice versa.

I too struggled to recall any moments of kindness & even on the rare occasion she did it seemed through gritted teeth, self conscious of what others might think of her.

I think you're so very right about people being in denial for why they stay away. I suppose some find it easier to say 'Oh x is great!' & perhaps they don't want to come across vulnerable.

Oh yes when I took my mental health assessment at college they suggested I was describing I am very hyper-vigilant from trauma & PD ridden FOO. I explained that I'm incredibly sensitive to peoples 'energy' & I can usually sense someone is manipulative before I see firm evidence.

It can be overwhelming but I think its our bodies way of protecting itself from any further abuse. Many people have said I may be paranoid....but further down my suspicions about someone come full circle. I am also very guarded but I noticed I was a lot more popular when I was in the fog, didn't know how to assert boundaries & I was more desperate for company.

I have learnt the hard way although I am eager for company, I need to have the right kind of company around me & that requires patience & discipline.

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bopper

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Re: PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2017, 12:11:57 PM »
There are articles in the main stream press

When Parents Are Too Toxic to Tolerate
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/health/20mind.html

Why I Split Up With My Parents

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2009/11/19/i_needed_to_leave_my_mother_behind_to_become_a_loving_mother_myself.html

but definitely not as wide spread
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

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blues_cruise

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Re: PD's: the elephant in the room with mental health
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 06:40:47 PM »
Great post. Growing up people either minimized or turned a blind eye to NF's behaviour. Of course, if he had been openly hitting me and creating bruises then I'm sure that it would have been taken more seriously, but he was far too covert for that. There's nowhere near enough awareness of the detrimental effects of emotional abuse and unfortunately we're still dealing with the attitude from many that those who speak out are exaggerating or lying. I think people who are close to the PD person don't want to rock the boat because they don't want attacks to be directed at them and people outside of the family unit only see the PD's 'good' mask and don't comprehend that there is a problem behind closed doors. All very frustrating and I feel so much sadness for all the children out there who will still be going through what we went through with no immediate escape in sight.  :sadno:
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 06:42:46 PM by blues_cruise »
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