Funhouse Mirrors

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all4peace

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Funhouse Mirrors
« on: October 08, 2018, 06:35:08 PM »
You know the ones I'm talking about? Those that distort your image until it doesn't resemble anything like reality?

I had forgotten how tiring it is to have our reality distorted and reflected back to us in something unrecognizable.
I had forgotten how much emotional energy it takes to be in the presence of people who behave as if you are the toxic, abusive, cruel one.
I had forgotten how bewildering and painful it is to watch those same people show themselves capable of great energetic friendliness, physical affection and exuberance for people who are not their children, not their grandchildren.

As a mother and daughter, I keep reaching new levels of acceptance and grief. I am so fortunate to not be the only one in my family who sees this, but having the rest of my siblings see it also means it really is our parents. And that means that no matter what we do we will not be able to fix this. If it was me, I would face the terrible pain of my own issues, but at least I could try to change. With this, there is only a choice of what I am willing to tolerate and accept, and for whose sake, and to what end, and for how long.

I've never stood very long in front of a funhouse mirror. It's too strange, even if it is amusing for a short while. It would be like trying to view life through foggy glasses. Exhausting and confusing.

But for our parents, this is the only way it will work for them. It would be too much to face the abuse and neglect, the violence and abandonment. So they pick out a few tiny issues that we have shared with them, throw away the massive ones they can't face, and then it becomes a simple matter of saying "So sorry for teeny tiny thing I did" while ignoring all that actually matters.

I'm just weary and rather numb today. And to everyone who has gotten an overly optimistic post from me  in response to your trauma, I am sorry. Sometimes it just is a dark, dreary, cloudy, foggy moment in time.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 10:33:16 PM by all4peace »

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Bloomie

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Re: Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 09:52:49 PM »
all4peace - accepting what we cannot change - 5 words that seem so simple and yet we here know that getting there, to that point of acceptance of the inexplicable, is one painful up hill journey.

I always hoped the "story" of my family would end with some kind of redemption of all the years laid waste to all of the "abuse and neglect, the violence and abandonment."

What I understand now is that my relationships with my parents were always heading off the cliff, tenuous at best and wholly dependent upon me accepting their definition of reality. They survived as they did for as long as they did because as sibs we linked our skinny little arms around them, and at great cost to ourselves, kept them and each other steady for as long as we could hold on.

Our parents were broken. No matter how good they may have looked to outsiders or acquaintances for short bursts of time they were not okay and they never had been. And though they knew The Great Healer they were not interested in seeking healing or living any differently.

What I have found, and in this maybe I can offer some light in this dark time... I have found that I heal through sharing my story and journey, my heart, and through positive relationships and prayer. That is how the story has a redemptive ending all4peace.

Your journey has been/is fraught with peril and pain and yet you are forging a new path that leads to peace and a kind of familial love with your FOC that lasts, that is trustworthy and true and is a beautiful legacy!

Though our parent's darkness bows our head and rests heavy on our shoulders for a time, you will soon lift up your head and shake off the distortions and their brokenness as you and your family choose to thrive. :hug:




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Orthocone

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Re: Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 09:57:47 PM »
Why though?  Why is it so hard for these people to just admit their wrongdoings?  Can they literally just neurologically can't handle it?

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all4peace

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Re: Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 11:04:35 AM »
Bloomie, thank you. Your words are always, always healing balm. My struggle, I think, is in trying to define what level of contact I will be willing for with them. It is painful to see them struggling, and I'm unwilling to leave them entirely alone, and yet I know there will be pain in trying to find some level of contact, some level of self protection. I have worked so hard to heal and find a safe place, and it's hard to think about possibly stepping back out into the battle just a little bit again.

Your 3rd paragraph is absolutely heartbreaking. And it describes exactly what me and my siblings have been trying to do. I think my grief is in understanding that last set of arms just let go, and seeing them in a gathering in which they had children and grandchildren in attendance, and yet so very alone.

I know I can thrive without them, but I don't think they can do well at all without us. But maybe I delude myself.


Orthocone, I have no way of knowing, of course, but my very clear sense is that there is a massive wall of protection around their true selves, and that they would rather lose everything than come to fully face what they have done and been in their lives. Their behavior is just too different from how they want to be seen. I do not envy them. It would be incredibly painful to begin to let those defenses down.

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 07:22:00 PM »
I came to the conclusion that if my M was able to see the harm she had done that she wouldn't be able to live with herself. If I possessed some magical power that could force her to self reflect, I'm not sure I'd want to use it. It would destroy her. Yet, one of my biggest struggles is accepting that there are 2 versions of reality - in one of those versions I am not a very good person. I think all you can do is hold tight to your reality, surround yourself with those who do support you, and try to put your needs first, even when it feels selfish. Its okay to take some space and time to rest and heal any time that fun house mirror gets to be too much.
 :bighug:
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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Kiki81

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Re: Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 06:04:02 PM »
Cognitive dissonance.

I don't miss that. Another bonus of not giving my Narents a relationship with me and my husband.  :like:

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OnwardUpward

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Re: Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 04:37:22 PM »
all4peace -  I hear you.

Your post describes what is most difficult for me:  the self-doubt and confusion - the fairly constant self-assessments to make sure I am who I think I am and who I want to be - and that I am not what they say I am (uPDM and GCsis).  They are the only ones who think the way they do about me, but it is still very difficult to hear complete untruths about your behaviors, your personality, things you have supposedly said that did not happen, etc.

What's more strange is that in stories they retell, they adopt the role that I actually played in whatever situation happened.  They were the ones who remained calm.  They were the ones who were called names.  They were the ones who stopped the conversation by saying "this is not ok and I'm getting off the phone now."   

It's to the point of being creepy - which is why your funhouse mirror analogy is very fitting.  It's creepy and uncomfortable.  I am continually checking in with myself to make sure that I am being honest with myself, behaving the way I feel is right in situations, doing my best, remaining calm (in front of them and perhaps sobbing later - but I would never allow them to see that).    It makes me think that although all of this sucks and I am sad that I don't really have a mother or sister relationship, it has helped my self-care and self-awareness tremendously, while also making me a better partner and friend. 

I'm sorry you feel down sometimes and I understand why. 

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all4peace

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Re: Funhouse Mirrors
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2018, 08:27:28 AM »
Onward, your term "constant self-assessments" resonated with me. It's exhausting, and when we already feel overly blamed within a PD family system, from childhood on, at some point we have to shut that inner critic down, or at least slow it down and quiet it.

What you describe, the 180-flips, would be crazy making.

My poor S took the hit first, so I knew ahead of time that this was apparently uNBPDm's adulthood tactic--smearing and 180 flips. I was ready for her, so when she started with me it didn't hurt. One way I handle it is written communication only. It would be so much harder in your situation, where it's 2 people doing this together instead of just 1 PD. I'm so sorry. :hug:

Kiki, that term was an enormous eye-opener for me. I finally had a term for the chaos in my head caused by trying to figure out so much. Knowing that term finally allowed me to let go of so much and stop trying to make sense of it.

Daughterofbpd, I have the same conclusion. I've alluded to some of it, gotten specific on the adulthood stuff, and will hopefully never share all of it with her. I think the defenses are high and I would not want to be the one to try to take them down. Only she could do that, and hopefully only with a lot of support and guidance from a therapist.