Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather

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Coucou

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Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« on: June 30, 2020, 10:01:31 AM »
Hi everyone,

Gosh I'm crying before I've even started writing! Sorry for such the long message ahead...

I'm a 30 year old woman and have discovered recently that my father is a narcissist. Part of me wish I didn't know because I now realise that he never cared about me growing up and that I never had a caring father. It feels like grieving someone who's passed away.

There's no point in going in to all of the physically and abusive things that he's done to me and my mother (punched, slapped, kicked, verbal abuse, etc), but the consequences are that I am now a woman who is crippled with social anxiety/general anxiety and has been since my teens. I have never been able to hold down a job, I have no education.  I  grieve for all of the time that I have lost due to feeling so anxious and self-less. My whole life has been spent thinking "nobody likes me", "I'm worthless", "if i don't look good/keep thin, then I'm worthless", "I'm 30, my life is over, I'm old" - these are all things that my father has said to me when he's been angry. My father praised me when I looked good but then physically threatened men in the street for looking at "his daughter". Any accomplishments that I did have growing up he would contribute to me being "his daughter"...but then he turned his entire family against me and my  mother and he tried to get me arrested when I defended myself against him physically.

My father in short could be kind one moment, positive and helpful. Then the next, he was abusive physically and verbally, and would call me a  freak, loser and a parasite. I used to think that he was kind and wanted to see me happy and that deep down he was a good person. Now I think that deep down he is incapable of love and has been using fake kindness and money as a tool. A tool to keep me dependent on him because he would give me money and then use it as a tool to throw back in my face to make me feel worse about myself. In fact he even offered to pay for an MRI once when I had a benign brain tumour, then when the bill came he backed out with no explanation leaving me to find the cash which he knew I didn't have. He is that disillusioned that he thinks that he paid for it to this day.

I moved abroad last year with my boyfriend (my relationship has suffered MASSIVELY due to my problems) and every time I have returned to visit my family (pre-corona) my father and I have ended up fighting because slowly but surely I have woken up to how he is as a person. I can see and feel that he hates that he can't control me as much anymore. He does not even get off the sofa to greet me anymore and recently has ignored my phone calls. Every conversation we've had in the past has been about him, his supposedly terrible childhood, how terrible people are, how bad society is, etc etc. We've advised that he get help because we care for him but he prefers to make our lives a misery. When he's upset, he is like an energy vampire that sucks any happiness out of you and leaves a horrible atmosphere.

Then, last year I decided that I didn't want to hear it anymore because it made me feel so depressed to hear and began to cut the conversations down or try to change the subject - but now he doesn't want to talk at all. I tried to call him recently to wish him happy fathers day (jokes on me) and he ignored my calls. I think he enjoys the possibility that he is  making me feel rejected.

Honestly, I'm growing to dislike both of my parents and I'm crying as I write this because I feel like I'm being a terrible daughter. My mother excuses his behaviour, she's even gone so far as to defend him in the past when it suits her. But yet she's told me she hates him and wishes that he'd die. I'm in a perpetual state of confusion... their behaviour is never never ever rational or logical. Say or do one thing, then the next moment do another. When I opened up to her once and told her that I didn't want to live anymore due to my anxiety, all she could say was "don't say that, who will your disabled sister have when we're  not here anymore". Is that all I'm useful for? How can I take take of someone when I can't even take care of myself?  By the way, my disabled sister is so anxious that the moment someone raises their voice in the house she panics and starts crying. And yet, my father blames "all tensions in the house" on me and when I visit - despite the fact my mother has told me he causes fights all the time when I'm not there.

I want to heal from my social anxiety, my self-hatred, my need to please other people and to grow. I want to go back to school, have a career, and to be able to focus on myself rather than other people. I am a hyper vigilant woman, who panics and shakes before she has to make a phone call and sweats during any social interactions. I haven't felt any enjoyment since I was a child, I think. I want to learn to enjoy life again and not be afraid!

I know a lot of people go no-contact in these situations, but it's something that isn't viable at this moment. How can you start to heal and grow from these kind of situations when you're still in contact? What can I do to start to love myself more? And how do you learn to "shut out" the negative feelings that come from a narcissist?

Thanks in advance  :)




« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 12:39:00 PM by xredshoesx »

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 11:34:27 PM »
Hi Coucou,

I'm sorry you're dealing with all this. It's painful! Energy vampire is a good description. A few things that have helped me is to detach from my narcissist. I haven't quite perfected it but getting better bit by bit. Where I used to feel extreme concern, I feel less and less now.

Some of these techniques help as well. https://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-1/
Also, read the topics in the toolbox above. Gray rock, medium chill, the 3 C's all help me deal with the drama and ridiculousness. And of course, keep reading the forum and post as much as you need to.
 :bighug:

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Wilderhearts

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 02:42:53 AM »
Hi Coucou,

First, welcome here.  I think you'll soon learn that you're not all that alone in your experiences and the trauma narcissistic abuse has left you with, and that a lot of us have found many resources for healing and moving on with our lives here, after surviving parental narcissistic abuse.

I'm a 30 year old woman and have discovered recently that my father is a narcissist. Part of me wish I didn't know because I now realise that he never cared about me growing up and that I never had a caring father. It feels like grieving someone who's passed away.
I used to think that he was kind and wanted to see me happy and that deep down he was a good person. Now I think that deep down he is incapable of love and has been using fake kindness and money as a tool.

I get this.  I have two distinctive memories of people who do truly love me sharing that truth...that my uNPDf just wasn't capable of love.  My uNPDf did pass, quite a while ago, but that realization is a different kind of loss, and honestly, the pain stays fresher than his actual passing.  It's not easy to come to terms with the fact that one of the two people on the planet who were supposed to love and protect us the most, simply didn't.  At all.

It very easily translates into feeling "unloveable," because pwPDs have a tendency to convince us that any deficit of theirs that harms us is our fault.  I was talking with a friend today about how being raised by an NPDf left me with "negative grandiose fantasy."  I believe, subconsciously, that I have unlimited power to affect things negatively, but only ever negatively.  It's had a huge impact on my mental health over the years, being guilt-ridden, feeling shut-down from shame since I kept accepting blame for things I couldn't control.

Honestly, I'm growing to dislike both of my parents and I'm crying as I write this because I feel like I'm being a terrible daughter.

I have difficulties prioritizing myself, in any way.  By difficulties, I mean an internal narrative that I am a piece of crap human being, worthless, selfless, and evil any time I put myself ahead of anyone else in any way.  I've come to learn that it's a lack of healthy entitlement - I was raised to not feel like I am entitled to even the basics: safety, decency, respect, the love and protection of parents.  Parents are supposed to prioritize their children's wellbeing over everything.  In a "narcissistic family" (without or without an NPD parent), the parents' needs/wants are prioritized over the children's.  It's engrained in us that anything else is wrong, and we feel wrong if we don't act within that prescribed dynamic.

It's really disappointing and angering when we realize that our non-PD'd parent is enabling the PD'd parent's behaviour, but can't be truly emotionally available to us.  I think this is all the more reason for you to prioritize yourself, your mental health, and your own healing.

It sounds like you've had an incredibly confusing experience of being the "golden child" one moment, and the "scape goat" the next.  That must just leave you spinning...pwPDs do something called chaos manufacturing.  They try to take control over others by turning our world upside down and sending us into emotional chaos - it sounds like your NPDf did this by using "splitting" - telling you that you're the worst, one moment, and the best, the next. 

I am so glad you have hopes for yourself.  I think you have a lot of reasons to be hopeful.

If you don't already have mental health support, I would really recommend finding a therapist who specializes in trauma.  My current therapist sees my "anxiety"/"anxiety attacks" as trauma responses - my nervous system going from 0 to 100 at the slightest sign of a threat.  She's been extremely helpful in teaching me ways to manage it, and also uprooting beliefs that were so deeply engrained in me that I didn't even know they were there, influencing everything I think and do.

Two resources I'd recommend for you, if and when you're interested: "the Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment" by Pressman & Pressman.  This really helped me understand my family dynamics and the ways in which they were/are dysfunctional, and it sounds like much of it would apply to your family.  Although it's written for clinicians, it's not jargon, and not a heavy read.  Second is this video on the deeply held, painful beliefs those of us raised by Narcissists often deal with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgfehV-s8XQ.  This is where the "negative grandiose fantasy" I mentioned came from - this video was eye opening for me.

Backing off as you are will probably only help you heal and make the realizations you need to make - at the very least, I hope it gives you reprieve from all forms of abuse, so you can put energy into healing, rather than surviving.  Boundaries are another really good topic to learn about, when we're learning how to prioritize and take care of ourselves: https://outofthefog.website/what-to-do-2/2015/12/3/boundaries

See you around  :)

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xredshoesx

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 09:05:11 AM »
welcome to the forum coucou,


when you are trying to deal with years and years of compounded abuse, it brings up some very BIG feelings, and it's a lot to sort through them alone or with just people you are close to in your circle.  i want you to take a deep breath because it's like you are jumping off the high dive for the first time and the journey up the ladder is scary, standing on the edge of the diving board is even scarier but now you've taken the piunge and are moving to the other side and taking control of your life and what you want to do, see, as well as who you want to be.

your N-dad sounds an awful lot like my stepdad.   i too am also still recovering from that part of my childhood. the one thing that i was able to get set up was to talk to someone outside of my IRL family of choice circle  so i got a referral to see a mental health professional from my GP.  not only was it validating to hear what i shared would be considered abusive, my T was able to give me some tools to deal with anxiety and triggers moving forward, which can be especially helpful moving forward since being NC isn't an option for you at this time.  if you don't have a GP, there are some links here for some organizations that may be able to point you to specific resources in your area.

https://outofthefog.website/emergency

keep taking small steps,  keep reading and posting.  you matter and your worth is more than his opinions.  hope to hear more from you on the boards soon-

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PeanutButter

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2020, 05:09:26 PM »
Quote
how do you learn to "shut out" the negative feelings that come from a narcissist

His feelings are not your responsibility. You cant change or stop those.

Your feelings that come up about his feelings are yours to accept.

Whether in contact, low contact, or no contact I have found that the inner critic is the cause of continued anger, anguish, and discouragement.

 Ime I had to recognise that this inner narrative was not MY inner voice. It is an accumulation of my abusers voices and the beliefs my origional caregivers wrote on my conciousness when I was a child.

 I do not allow myself to 'follow' this narrative of my inner critic emotionally. I take an observer stance. IME If I can slow down, get quiet, and listen very carefully to what I am telling myself, especially when I am triggered, I can challenge the reliability of that narrative that is fueling MY emotions.

 Even if your dad stopped verbally abusing you today, or you went no contact, ime you will still have an inner critic continuing to assault your mind keeping you in the cycle of abuse trauma that you are in.

That doesnt mean your dad abusing you isnt terribly painful and your mom enabling him is not equally hurtful. It is and will continue to be.

Quote
I want to heal from my social anxiety, my self-hatred, my need to please other people and to grow. I want to go back to school, have a career, and to be able to focus on myself rather than other people.

If you choose to stay in contact, you can also choose to test the reliability of any narrative that 'you cannot do all of those things you want to do including being happy in spite of the hurt you feel about their behavior'.

 I believe therapy can help with this. That is where I learned that my inner narrative is directly connected to my emotions.

For me learning about self differentiation to break free from enmeshment on Jerry Wise videos was a turning point.
This is one of the first videos I watched that I would highly reccommend to you 'Adult Children Of Narccissistic Parents: Taking Back Your Power'  https://youtu.be/uNWOfXPRNEs
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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Coucou

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2020, 10:00:31 AM »
Hi Coucou,

I'm sorry you're dealing with all this. It's painful! Energy vampire is a good description. A few things that have helped me is to detach from my narcissist. I haven't quite perfected it but getting better bit by bit. Where I used to feel extreme concern, I feel less and less now.

Some of these techniques help as well. (link removed)
Also, read the topics in the toolbox above. Gray rock, medium chill, the 3 C's all help me deal with the drama and ridiculousness. And of course, keep reading the forum and post as much as you need to.
 :bighug:

Hi and thanks so much for your reply!

The energy thing is a real problem. No matter what, he manages to put a negative spin on something and nobody wants to hear that crap. It is quite infectious too I think. When I spent a lot of time around him (up to the age of say 20) I often sounded like him and my mother's family (who hate him) would say "you sound exactly like your father". They now dislike me too but if they want to be that judgemental then they're not worth it anyway IMO /rant over.

It's good to hear that you're slowly becoming more able to detach yourself from it! And thanks for the link too. Does it feel like you're learning things that you'd normally learn as a kid or young adult (as in setting boundaries and not blaming yourself for everything)? It feels that way for me to be honest!

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Coucou

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2020, 10:48:44 AM »
Hi Coucou,

First, welcome here.  I think you'll soon learn that you're not all that alone in your experiences and the trauma narcissistic abuse has left you with, and that a lot of us have found many resources for healing and moving on with our lives here, after surviving parental narcissistic abuse.

I'm a 30 year old woman and have discovered recently that my father is a narcissist. Part of me wish I didn't know because I now realise that he never cared about me growing up and that I never had a caring father. It feels like grieving someone who's passed away.
I used to think that he was kind and wanted to see me happy and that deep down he was a good person. Now I think that deep down he is incapable of love and has been using fake kindness and money as a tool.

I get this.  I have two distinctive memories of people who do truly love me sharing that truth...that my uNPDf just wasn't capable of love.  My uNPDf did pass, quite a while ago, but that realization is a different kind of loss, and honestly, the pain stays fresher than his actual passing.  It's not easy to come to terms with the fact that one of the two people on the planet who were supposed to love and protect us the most, simply didn't.  At all.

It very easily translates into feeling "unloveable," because pwPDs have a tendency to convince us that any deficit of theirs that harms us is our fault.  I was talking with a friend today about how being raised by an NPDf left me with "negative grandiose fantasy."  I believe, subconsciously, that I have unlimited power to affect things negatively, but only ever negatively.  It's had a huge impact on my mental health over the years, being guilt-ridden, feeling shut-down from shame since I kept accepting blame for things I couldn't control.

Honestly, I'm growing to dislike both of my parents and I'm crying as I write this because I feel like I'm being a terrible daughter.

I have difficulties prioritizing myself, in any way.  By difficulties, I mean an internal narrative that I am a piece of crap human being, worthless, selfless, and evil any time I put myself ahead of anyone else in any way.  I've come to learn that it's a lack of healthy entitlement - I was raised to not feel like I am entitled to even the basics: safety, decency, respect, the love and protection of parents.  Parents are supposed to prioritize their children's wellbeing over everything.  In a "narcissistic family" (without or without an NPD parent), the parents' needs/wants are prioritized over the children's.  It's engrained in us that anything else is wrong, and we feel wrong if we don't act within that prescribed dynamic.

It's really disappointing and angering when we realize that our non-PD'd parent is enabling the PD'd parent's behaviour, but can't be truly emotionally available to us.  I think this is all the more reason for you to prioritize yourself, your mental health, and your own healing.

It sounds like you've had an incredibly confusing experience of being the "golden child" one moment, and the "scape goat" the next.  That must just leave you spinning...pwPDs do something called chaos manufacturing.  They try to take control over others by turning our world upside down and sending us into emotional chaos - it sounds like your NPDf did this by using "splitting" - telling you that you're the worst, one moment, and the best, the next. 

I am so glad you have hopes for yourself.  I think you have a lot of reasons to be hopeful.

If you don't already have mental health support, I would really recommend finding a therapist who specializes in trauma.  My current therapist sees my "anxiety"/"anxiety attacks" as trauma responses - my nervous system going from 0 to 100 at the slightest sign of a threat.  She's been extremely helpful in teaching me ways to manage it, and also uprooting beliefs that were so deeply engrained in me that I didn't even know they were there, influencing everything I think and do.

Two resources I'd recommend for you, if and when you're interested: "the Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment" by Pressman & Pressman.  This really helped me understand my family dynamics and the ways in which they were/are dysfunctional, and it sounds like much of it would apply to your family.  Although it's written for clinicians, it's not jargon, and not a heavy read.  Second is this video on the deeply held, painful beliefs those of us raised by Narcissists often deal with: (link removed)  This is where the "negative grandiose fantasy" I mentioned came from - this video was eye opening for me.

Backing off as you are will probably only help you heal and make the realizations you need to make - at the very least, I hope it gives you reprieve from all forms of abuse, so you can put energy into healing, rather than surviving.  Boundaries are another really good topic to learn about, when we're learning how to prioritize and take care of ourselves: (link removed)

See you around  :)

Hi and thanks for the welcome!

So, so much of what you've written has resonated with me sadly and I'm really sorry to hear about what you've been through, too.

My fathers behaviour is honestly so, so confusing and contradictory that I've thought about recording him (my mother has done this when they fight because of how abusive he can be, and then he gaslights afterwards so you question your sanity). Kind, loving and generous one minute and then the next he withdraws it or goes full-on abusive. And the reason behind the abusive episodes is always mine or whoever's fault of course. Yes as kids we have tantrums and as teenagers we are moody... but it's not normal for someone to throw you across a hallway cause you knocked on the bathroom door too many times when they were in there for an hour. There goes another friend who didn't want to visit afterwards. Then he denied it. Chaos manufacturing isn't something I've heard of, but it sounds spot-on. I see it as one more arsenal that gives an abuser more control. I see it as a way of rocking the other persons stability and bringing them down simply cause they can. It always felt like he built me up and then knocked me down.

I cried when you said that you can't prioritise yourself and your own needs. That really, really f***ing sucks and I feel your pain to the core. To say that we're acting within a "prescribed dynamic" is extremely accurate! It crosses over in to every relationship now (in my experience anyway e.g. my boyfriend and his family) and at age 30ish I feel that I've had enough of people using my ingrained passiveness for their own gains. Then ultimately, I end up taking it out on myself (the inner critic starts the usual broken record that says you're a loser, a freak, defective, etc etc) and so the cycle continues.

Thank you for the book suggestion! I saw a therapist last year when I had insurance but at that point it was mostly for anxiety/panic attacks. I can't afford one now but I will try to get my hands on the book and be on here too of course.

It sounds as though you're on the right path and that's really good to hear! :) It makes me glad and hopeful that we can learn to overcome how we've been programmed for such a large chunk of our lives.







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Coucou

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2020, 11:02:57 AM »
welcome to the forum coucou,


when you are trying to deal with years and years of compounded abuse, it brings up some very BIG feelings, and it's a lot to sort through them alone or with just people you are close to in your circle.  i want you to take a deep breath because it's like you are jumping off the high dive for the first time and the journey up the ladder is scary, standing on the edge of the diving board is even scarier but now you've taken the piunge and are moving to the other side and taking control of your life and what you want to do, see, as well as who you want to be.

your N-dad sounds an awful lot like my stepdad.   i too am also still recovering from that part of my childhood. the one thing that i was able to get set up was to talk to someone outside of my IRL family of choice circle  so i got a referral to see a mental health professional from my GP.  not only was it validating to hear what i shared would be considered abusive, my T was able to give me some tools to deal with anxiety and triggers moving forward, which can be especially helpful moving forward since being NC isn't an option for you at this time.  if you don't have a GP, there are some links here for some organizations that may be able to point you to specific resources in your area.

(link removed)

keep taking small steps,  keep reading and posting.  you matter and your worth is more than his opinions.  hope to hear more from you on the boards soon-

Hey and thanks so much for replying!

Yep years of compounded abuse has built up so much that it feels like you've been hit all at once. It almost feels as though I'm grieving the father I thought that I had! I'd be lying if I said that it feels good to see the truth right now and a part of me feels like to not know would be better but how else can I grow. It's got to get worse before it can better and I can only hope it starts to feel better soon.

That is so saddening to hear that you went through a similar experience and I'm sorry to hear that. Are you in the UK? I ask cause I was born and have lived in the UK most of my life (abroad at the mo) and struggled so hard to try and get help on the NHS. Nightmare! It sounds as though you've had a much more positive experience and that's great to hear.

Thanks for the link! There's a lot of helpful resources on this site so I look forward to reading through them.


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Coucou

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2020, 11:38:54 AM »
Quote
how do you learn to "shut out" the negative feelings that come from a narcissist

His feelings are not your responsibility. You cant change or stop those.

Your feelings that come up about his feelings are yours to accept.

Whether in contact, low contact, or no contact I have found that the inner critic is the cause of continued anger, anguish, and discouragement.

 Ime I had to recognise that this inner narrative was not MY inner voice. It is an accumulation of my abusers voices and the beliefs my origional caregivers wrote on my conciousness when I was a child.

 I do not allow myself to 'follow' this narrative of my inner critic emotionally. I take an observer stance. IME If I can slow down, get quiet, and listen very carefully to what I am telling myself, especially when I am triggered, I can challenge the reliability of that narrative that is fueling MY emotions.

 Even if your dad stopped verbally abusing you today, or you went no contact, ime you will still have an inner critic continuing to assault your mind keeping you in the cycle of abuse trauma that you are in.

That doesnt mean your dad abusing you isnt terribly painful and your mom enabling him is not equally hurtful. It is and will continue to be.

Quote
I want to heal from my social anxiety, my self-hatred, my need to please other people and to grow. I want to go back to school, have a career, and to be able to focus on myself rather than other people.

If you choose to stay in contact, you can also choose to test the reliability of any narrative that 'you cannot do all of those things you want to do including being happy in spite of the hurt you feel about their behavior'.

 I believe therapy can help with this. That is where I learned that my inner narrative is directly connected to my emotions.

For me learning about self differentiation to break free from enmeshment on Jerry Wise videos was a turning point.
This is one of the first videos I watched that I would highly reccommend to you 'Adult Children Of Narccissistic Parents: Taking Back Your Power'  (link removed)

Hi and thanks for taking the time to reply!

I feel sad reading what you went through and I'm sorry that you experienced it. When I step outside of the box, and hear the negativity from the outside rather than the inside, it isn't me speaking but rather my father or the assholes that bullied me at school. And I know they're just words and should be meaningless but then a huge part of me asks - what if they are true? Why would they say it if it wasn't true? And is this what people are going to think of me my whole life? Will anyone ever truly like me then? Why am I not enough? etc, etc, etc.

Thanks for passing on the link, Challenging the inner critic is something I do continuously but I can never seem to rationalise or beat it. When you hear it over and over again, just as with positive remarks, you start to believe the negative remarks too.



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PeanutButter

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2020, 01:12:01 PM »

Quote
When you hear it over and over again, just as with positive remarks, you start to believe the negative remarks too.

Absolutely! Me too!
 My counselor recently pointed out that making a habit of conciously saying positive things about myself internally or while looking into the mirror if repeated enough can become my new beliefs. Repetition is what makes it stick.There is hope.
The thing is we cant just make the inner voice stop saying negative things. But we can counter with positives and change will happen slowly as the negative is replaced with positive.

Quote
I saw a therapist last year when I had insurance but at that point it was mostly for anxiety/panic attacks. I can't afford one now but I will try to get my hands on the book and be on here too of course.


I just wanted to mention that I watch you tube videos (mostly jerry wise) to use as a 'therapy session' because I only have real sessions once a month. I have a ritual each morning with getting a cup of coffee after my shower, sitting on my bed surrounded by my 3 cats, and for at least 20 minutes to an hour watch a video. I think it helps me alot. 
Maybe you could take a time out regularly to 'self therapy' in some way whatever you are comfortable?
If there is a hidden seed of evil inside of children adults planted it there -LundyBancroft  Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong good or bad -DebbieFord The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none -Thomas Carlyle

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Adria

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Re: Rebuilding your life after growing up with an Nfather
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2020, 04:00:11 PM »
I grew up in the same situation.  I can say that just because someone says you are worthless, not loveable, stupid, crazy, etc., does not mean it is true.
A good father would never say such things to his daughter.  He is projecting what he feels about himself onto you.  It helped me to speak new words onto myself. Such as; "I am a good person. I am smart. People like me. I can do anything - even heal and have a happy life."  I even used to type stuff out and tape it to my bathroom mirror so I could see it in black and white every day. 

You are not who they say you are.  It sounds to me like you are kind, caring, intelligent and have much to offer this world.  Try to think and act like you never endured their abuse.  Try to think and act like you think you would if you didn't go through all that.  I found a special older woman in my life who was very graceful, beautiful, kind and lovely.  I don't think she knew it, but I watched her all the time.  I watched the way she moved, her demeanor, the way she spoke, how she spoke. I then began to emulate her and people began to notice wonderful changes in me and told me how graceful and eloquent I was.  I started getting positive feedback from strangers and that propelled me to keep doing better and better. I truly like who I am today. I have accomplished much in my life. I really enjoy all the help and empathy I can lend to others because of all the horrible things my family has done to me.  I chose to be the opposite of them. 

The labels they try to put on us are just words from mentally unhealthy people.  Don't believe those words for a second. Create who you wish to be and then be that person.  You get to decide who you are . . . not them.

It would be wonderful if you could think of a kind gracious lady in your life and pay attention to how she is. You can learn so much from her.  The woman in my life changed everything for me.  You can do this. It takes time and work, but it is so worth it.  Hugs, Adria.