The Need to Fight With Your Reality

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SaltwareS

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The Need to Fight With Your Reality
« on: May 27, 2020, 05:37:53 PM »
I've been having bad flashbacks lately and the antidepressants are just kicking in.

If only someone had told me that fighting with your reality was what THEY do, I'd be better off today. I talk a lot on here about how therapists failed me over the years. Below is what I wish they'd explained to me. Maybe in the age of the internet, one thing people used to see therapists for -- "please explain the behavior of this nutty person in my life" -- can now be done more effectively by researching on the internet. That way, a therapist can't just string you along week after week and collect your money as you try to figure it out. It turns out, therapists aren't supposed to explain what someone else's behavior is. They're supposed to let you come to the answer on your own, through a "catharsis".

My npdParent, who WAS A THERAPIST, used to say "every adult is responsible for creating their own reality." Yes I get it was a part of the times they were living in. But it makes life and even thought for the people in their life a major struggle. One big reality: life costs money. Mortgages and rent costs money. Every time I got my bills paid off and built a slight savings, my npdParent would up the ante and ask why I didn't travel more. Then npdParent would say money makes no difference in ability to pay bills.

If only I had known that was my npdParent's need for control that I didn't have to surrender to, I'd be better off today. If I had known that when npdParent harrassed me about not spending enough, *that was a time for me to go into resistance mode* and resist my npdParent's need to know how much money I'd saved, I'd be better off today.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 10:24:27 AM by Starboard Song »

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Starboard Song

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Re: The Need to Fight With Your Reality
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2020, 06:51:43 PM »
I'm so very sorry about your bad experience.

Going forward in this thread, I hope we can all avoid sweeping generalizations about mental health professionals. Many therapists and counselors do a fine job. Most understanding that their services are meant to yield value. They are not categorically allergic to reality. Counselors I spoke to during our crisis were down to earth, outcome-based, and efficient. Many members were lead here by their T, or otherwise credit their T with enormous strides.

When my in-laws sought to shun me while maintaining contact from my son, it was a therapist who told me that that was a thing loving families do not do, and that responsible parents never allow. His confident refereeing of our situation gave us the strength and resolve we needed. I wish all therapists and counselors could be so good.

Saltware, you seem to have a much clearer understanding now of the dynamic that kept holding you back. That is wonderful. I hope you can further develop that understanding, so you have ever-increasing strength. You are going to need it, I am afraid. I've seen that healing is a long process. I promise it is worth it.

Good luck to you.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 06:57:15 PM by Starboard Song »
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Danden

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Re: The Need to Fight With Your Reality
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2020, 12:44:09 PM »
That is an interesting thing you say about therapists.  Perhaps that explains why I have seen numerous therapists in my life and there was only ever one who said "Hmm, I see, she devalues you".  That was the one thing I needed to hear so much and that no-one ever told me in my whole life.  Sometimes you just need to hear that someone else understands.  Maybe I have always misunderstood the therapist dynamic.   I thought they are supposed to help you figure out what the problem is.  Apparently they are supposed to help me figure out what my problem is.

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nanotech

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Re: The Need to Fight With Your Reality
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 10:56:39 PM »
Iíve had both types of help from the same therapist.
Thereís a lot to be said for Ď talking yourself into knowing.Ē
Studies ( of children speaking and listening) have shown that when we talk for a long time it stimulates deeper thinking which can then be expressed. In this way it enables us to explain things to ourself.
Iíve heard my own voice do this in therapy. The therapist enabled my own train of thought to get me to the answer.
A good therapist knows when to just sit there in quiet support.  Reflecting and expressing our responses and ideas in a safe space develops human understanding of concepts and clarifies meaning for ourselves.
Metacognition- thinking about thinking, occurs then, and when we do this we are delving deep into our psyches. Not always painless, but mostly enlightening.

 I have also had plenty of much-needed  spoken validation from the therapist.
It was at first, a surprise -as I didnít expect ;

a) to be treated like a person :blink:
b) to be believed :unsure:
c) to be viewed as innocent in this whole sorry mess.  :roll:

Iíd been gaslighted for decades by my FOO in order to create the sense that I was the problem.

It was relieving to be told that in fact I had been abused.

In my case though, have to say, that for many weeks my therapist mostly just listened.
I think this is probably necessary.
More so in my case I think. I came to therapy late on in life, and had a lot of years to cover!

I think they have to really get an in- depth account of it all  first,  to give them a good sense  of how/ when to respond in ways that will help you best.
I have recently returned to therapy ( same one) due to some current issues with my son, not connected to FOO.
These sessions have been far more dialectic and interactive. I guess it all just takes time.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 10:58:40 PM by nanotech »

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Wilderhearts

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Re: The Need to Fight With Your Reality
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2020, 05:29:12 PM »
I've been having bad flashbacks lately and the antidepressants are just kicking in.

Is it a trauma therapist you're seeing?  I've only seen one trauma therapist, but she works very differently from other therapists I've seen, and is better suited to helping me unlearn the lessons taught by PD'd abuse. She doesn't explain an abuser's behaviour to me in terms of PDs, but sometimes she explains it through attachment theory and reactivity, and sound logic that rings true.  When she sees me using flawed PD'd logic that is causing me pain, she offers an alternative perspective that usually brings floods of relief. 

A trauma therapist may also be better suited to help you deal with flashbacks; mine has helped me deal with triggers and tolerating trauma responses.  I've found finding therapists who help me make leaps and bounds is like finding a steady, healthy relationship through dating.  We have to learn what we don't want, and walk away a lot before finding a good match.  Only 2/9 therapists have been that therapist for me.

If only someone had told me that fighting with your reality was what THEY do, I'd be better off today.
My npdParent, who WAS A THERAPIST, used to say "every adult is responsible for creating their own reality."

Wow, I can see how this is hugely invalidating, and is one of those bits of PD'd logic that PD'd parents engrain in us early in life so it will continue to serve them without any further effort on their part. 

That is especially twisted and harmful logic to me, because in my mind, it holds a grain of truth.  According to some philosophies, specifically constructivist relativism, we do create our own realities through assigning meaning to what we experience.  However, that often wasn't true for me, and it sounds like it wasn't true for you either, because our PD'd parents were controlling and distorting our perceptions of reality from the get go, through gas lighting and ever changing "rules" and expectations.

I find pwPDs do this often.  They create a situation in which a truism no longer applies, and then claim we should apply the truism to it.   :sadno:  It's a great strategy to cause distress and confusion, throwing you off your guard, because you really have to find the flaw in their logic before you can disarm it.  We can't do that as children in PD'd homes.

You've done what I call "ripping up the floorboards" - you've overturned an extremely flawed and harmful foundational belief that your PD'd parent engrained in you.  It's no minor accomplishment, and takes a huge amount of mental and emotional work to do that.  I hope it's freeing to you.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: The Need to Fight With Your Reality
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2020, 05:58:02 PM »
Quote
That is especially twisted and harmful logic to me, because in my mind, it holds a grain of truth.  According to some philosophies, specifically constructivist relativism, we do create our own realities through assigning meaning to what we experience.  However, that often wasn't true for me, and it sounds like it wasn't true for you either, because our PD'd parents were controlling and distorting our perceptions of reality from the get go, through gas lighting and ever changing "rules" and expectations.

So true!!! One of my father’s favorite sayings was, “There is no reality, only perception.” As children, our parents’ narratives are imposed upon us. To a degree that’s normal and even good. I raise my kids in my religion, with my values, etc. But if those narratives change with the ever-changing winds and whims of our parents, well we simply have to contort ourselves to keep up. OUR experience is never valid if it conflicts with their view of things. They stack the deck against us and then put all responsibility on us. Heads they win tails we lose. Dad perceived my tone of voice was disrespectful so therefore I deserve a “spanking.” Never mind that I wasn’t speaking up and meeting his eyes because I was terrified by his screaming at me.

And for what it’s worth, I think relativism is a load of crap. There is objective reality. Soooo much dysfunctional behavior is ordered towards trying to evade that simple fact.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 05:59:41 PM by Call Me Cordelia »

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sandpiper

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Re: The Need to Fight With Your Reality
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2020, 08:42:59 AM »
Oh wow, Saltwares it has got to be so confronting and triggering to engage in therapy when you had a therapist as an abusive unstable parent. I've seen a few people at these boards over the years who've had one of those & all I can say is, hats off to you for the extra layer of trauma involved in that struggle.
I was lucky to stumble on a really good practice of Ts who correctly diagnosed me with PTSD as a very young woman. I had a few years of T which was very expensive. They didn't talk about narcissists or PDS but I did learn a stack of really valuable skills from Transactional Analysis.
I don't know how I'd feel now if I was needing all that therapy and we were living in such an uncertain world, with the global pandemic & Financial security such a worry, so much else going on. I think there's more out there than ordinary people can cope with and I don't know how I'd manage if I was in the early years of dealing with my stuff.

I do feel for you, I've seen a few PDs drawn into the therapy/counselling world & I pity the poor souls that end up in their offices. Narcissistic supply & someone to screw with.
I was so lucky to find a series of counsellors over the years who got it, often because they'd had a PD parent themselves and in the course of doing T they wound up knowing more than their own Ts & they studied and became therapists. There are some really good people out there.
FWIW I think some DIY with good books and groups like these can carry us a long way.
I hear your exasperation & I'm sorry you're dealing with this.





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nanotech

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Re: The Need to Fight With Your Reality
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2020, 07:13:25 PM »
I hope you are feeling better.