Self blame when things go sideways

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Blueberry Pancakes

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Self blame when things go sideways
« on: July 19, 2020, 11:28:23 AM »
How common is it for those who grew up with NPD parents and were family scapegoats to be overly critical of themselves as adults, blame themselves when things go sideways, or feel like they somehow deserved it?  (I ask, but think I already know.)     
     
It has only been the last few years that I recognize this. Things are humming along then an event occurs that puts things sideways. I immediately get a physical reaction that rises from my gut and rests in my throat. At the same time I feel a pit in my stomach of desperation. I cannot believe things have taken a bad turn, again. Then it is followed by thoughts such as "you brought this upon yourself", "you must have done something wrong", and "I must have a target on my back". Some of those words I actually still hear in my mother's voice. I feel a bit of shame even though I know I did nothing wrong.   
         
The last few years I have been able to intercept this pattern.  I stop that dialog. I replace it with things I know to be true about myself, my skills, my talents, my strengths. I replace the negative thoughts with times when I overcame, had success, and was able to bring about positive results. I notice that pit in my stomach dissolves. I feel calmer and more assured. My belief is that when I can be in that type of mode versus the previous one, I must be more able to align with a better outcome in most anything. Also, being in that mode allows you to transition more smoothly into a positive, beneficial flow that might actually attract more of the good stuff and prevent the bad times from getting so low. 
     
Oddly, it kind of feels like something is missing and that I should not let myself feel good when things are sideways. Maybe the bad event is my punishment for having had the good times and I need to just take it. I am not listening to that though. Just wonder, is this a sign of healing?  Do you think think this is a better way to handle bad events?  Grateful for any thoughts. Thanks.
               

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PeanutButter

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Re: Self blame when things go sideways
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2020, 01:12:36 PM »
This reminds me of something I heard. That ACoN tend to be their own fair weather friend.

 If fair weather friend is only a friend when things are going good.

 Thats what its like for us when we are happy and content when things go smoothly but if something goes wrong in life our inner critics kick us while we are down. IME

That you are recognising this pattern of self abandonment/criticism and countering the script with positive truths to replace it IS healing imo. Recognising how much of an impact our self talk has on the outcomes we get in life is empowering and therefore IS healing. IMO

Thanks for sharing!
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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Blueberry Pancakes

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Re: Self blame when things go sideways
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2020, 11:55:47 AM »
This reminds me of something I heard. That ACoN tend to be their own fair weather friend.
 
That you are recognising this pattern of self abandonment/criticism and countering the script with positive truths to replace it IS healing imo. Recognising how much of an impact our self talk has on the outcomes we get in life is empowering and therefore IS healing. IMO

Thanks for sharing!
   
Thank you PeanutButter.  Really appreciate your words. 

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Self blame when things go sideways
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2020, 01:56:22 PM »
I can absolutely relate to taking on blame for things, even if I didn't cause them. I really struggle with that. I also have trouble getting myself to use techniques to cope with my anxiety (deep breathing, aromatherapy, etc.). I feel responsible for the events that brought on the anxiety and therefore deem that I deserve to feel anxious. Abuse is really ongoing because we continue to blame and punish ourselves, even after we are away from our abusers.  :(

It sounds to me like you are handling these events really well. Definitely a sign of healing.
ďHow starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your egoĒ
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Seven

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Re: Self blame when things go sideways
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2020, 09:41:22 PM »
I had a bad tendency to take control of important things so that if something goes wrong Iíll only have myself to blame. Itís sad really. 

My DH has really helped me realize that when I make a mistake, itís okay. No big deal. He wonít have a fit and go off on me. Itís not the end of the world. 

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nanotech

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Re: Self blame when things go sideways
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2020, 07:20:51 AM »
Yes, me as well. Itís the legacy of  shame they so kindly bequest to us.
Iím into yoga/ meditation, and making time for myself in this way is so frowned on by my dad and other PD s in my FOO.  I think itís because they  want me to feel constantly unworthy of self care.
We need to give ourselves the unconditional love we didnít get from our families.
This might sound a bit silly, but when I get on my yoga mat itís sort of like a magic carpet for me. I feel free to love myself and I feel safe.

I think there was a two- pronged attack on us. Well for me, this happened.

We need to concentrate on-

1. Forgiving  ourselves our errors. We are fallible humans!

2. Not taking on guilt/ shame for the mistakes/ decisions of others in our families.
( my parents held me responsible for the problems of my siblings).
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 07:24:18 AM by nanotech »

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Blueberry Pancakes

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Re: Self blame when things go sideways
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2020, 04:18:51 PM »
I am finding your responses very helpful. Thanks to you all.   
   
Daughterofbpd - "abuse is ongoing because we continue to punish ourselves even when we get away." So true. I feel like my "work" now is to realize it, and choose healthier and more productive actions to take. So much I am happy to learn.     
Seven - I am glad you have a spouse who is showing you healthy ways to respond when things go wrong. That is a gift. 
Nanotech - "The legacy they bequest to us". Agree, and it seems the legacy just leaves destruction in its wake. I too started yoga and meditation a couple years ago and now regularly practicing both. It has become a way of life for me. I do not tell anyone because I know they think it is too "out there" and will use it against me. However, I think it has brought balance that I may otherwise not have known. Can't explain it.  Thanks.

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BefuddledClarity

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Re: Self blame when things go sideways
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2020, 11:55:15 AM »
I had a bad tendency to take control of important things so that if something goes wrong Iíll only have myself to blame. Itís sad really. 

My DH has really helped me realize that when I make a mistake, itís okay. No big deal. He wonít have a fit and go off on me. Itís not the end of the world.

This is how my SO is like as well. I tend to think in black-and-white or all-or-nothing, but he helps me see that it's okay...and to not be hard on myself. I still have a hard time thinking in shades of grey.

For example, I'd feel bad for being angry/upset with him after an argument and he'd tell me it's okay to feel that way, but also provide his feedback.

Back then, before I was together with SO, I was the type of person to completely avoid feelings and avoided people if they made me uncomfortable, because I didn't know how to communicate.

I'm a lot more vocal now...but when it comes to ILs, I feel like I regressed back to "avoidant" mode, despite SO saying to be blunt with his family. It makes me uncomfortable based on how aggressive they are in arguments and...their past history of being violent..


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Boat Babe

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Re: Self blame when things go sideways
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2020, 02:45:25 PM »
I've recently come across the work of Dr Neff and Selfcompassion. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

I am starting to notice when I talk harshly to myself and can interrupt that voice and give myself what I actually need, rather than castigate myself. My cortisol levels go down. I feel better and can move on again. It's very simple and blindingly obvious once you start the practice.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Self blame when things go sideways
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2020, 05:08:00 PM »
Pete Walker has something on his website about the inner critic that I find helpful and once in awhile need to go back and review. The voice is strong but it is not mine of my own origin.
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