Feeling foggy ... and new here

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ella

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Feeling foggy ... and new here
« on: July 14, 2021, 12:57:09 PM »
Hi everyone,
I've known about OOTF for quite some time, but I was afraid to join.  I thought that discussion of trauma and PD would set me back in my recovery, and that I'd get overwhelmed by emotional flashbacks.   I think I'm ready to try.

Some basic background about me:   I have CPTSD which triggers an endless guilt / shame loop.   I've been in therapy many years but I still avoid emotions as much as possible, so that I might not be triggered into guilt, shame, or feelings of self-depreciation by new and unrelated experiences.   The problem is it's hard to know when feelings of guilt are justified.  We all make mistakes in life, and guilt is a constructive emotion when experienced in proper measure, or in the right circumstance.  In my case, I can't make that distinction.   

I am gaslighted by several people in my life.   Three in particular have caused me a lot of stress lately, by guilting me and shaming me no matter what I do.   It's very hard for me to realise I have two choices when I feel gaslighted:

1)  Believe that they're right, and I'm a bad / shameful person
2)  Believe that they're wrong, and they're a bad / shameful person for gaslighting me.  (But then what?)

Either way, it hurts.   I become very avoidant of contact.  The cycles continue and intensify, because they get upset when I pull away.  I am not willing or able to go No Contact at this point in my recovery.  I need to set boundaries and learn to be assertive, but I've never been able to set boundaries with people.  I experience mutism and I literally shut down when I'm provoked.    If I'm forced to speak when I'm not ready, I tend to have meltdowns which are even worse at improving my self-advocacy skill.

I've worked with psychologists and even a speech therapist.   

My primary relationship struggles are with:

- My mother (elderly, guilt-tripping, passive-aggressive, highly anxious, likely NPD and probable alcoholic)

- My exh (NPD, manipulative, vindictive, has cost me nearly a million dollars in legal fees in 25 years)

- My exbf / friend of 20 years (frontal lobe damage, always stoned, impulsive, gaslights and guilt-trips me, forgets everything I say)

None of these people caused my CPTSD, although I'm sure growing up with my mother caused its own type of trauma.   

I'm having a rough day.

I just thought I'd say hello, and feel the waters here.

Thank you!   


 


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Andeza

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Re: Feeling foggy ... and new here
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2021, 05:00:57 PM »
Welcome! I'm sorry you're dealing with these people and the personal struggles you've shared, but I'm glad you're reaching out for support. I hope you day gets better.

If you grew up with a personality disordered parent, it can absolutely cause CPTSD, or worsen what someone else has caused. Your feelings here are a natural reaction to abuse, and justified. I used to experience the temporary loss of speech as well, in the face of my uBPDm monologuing for hours on end.

When we're hurt, of course we want to withdraw from that! Of course you want to avoid contact with the very people who hurt you over and over again. A boundary is simply an action you choose. Say you go visit your mother and she starts the abuse cycle up. Your boundary is to leave. No explanation or justification is needed, you just grab your stuff and go. That's just an example, and you would need to decide what does and does not work for you.

We have forums for dealing with elderly PD relatives, dealing with PD parents specifically, dealing with friends, and also for those who are divorced and dealing with the particulars of that. Read lots, post if you feel like it and are comfortable doing so, and I hope we can help you on your healing journey. :bighug: And remember, it's your journey, taken in your own time. It will take the time it takes.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Feeling foggy ... and new here
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2021, 03:26:47 AM »
I want to add my welcome.  Have you checked out the Toolbox? You might find some strategies there that could be helpful when you have to deal with the difficult people in your life. See you around on the boards.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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The Inner Light

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Re: Feeling foggy ... and new here
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 10:59:14 AM »
Welcome, Ella.  OOTF is a great guidepost on our respective journeys through this thing called life!

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ella

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Re: Feeling foggy ... and new here
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2021, 01:29:15 PM »
Thank you very much for the warm welcome, everyone.

I've seen a few of the excellent resources and I'm curious to have a look around.


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SonofThunder

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Re: Feeling foggy ... and new here
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2021, 02:36:00 PM »
I want to add my welcome.  Have you checked out the Toolbox? You might find some strategies there that could be helpful when you have to deal with the difficult people in your life. See you around on the boards.
:yeahthat:

Hello to you and welcome to OOTF

SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.