How to feign strength and confidence

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Laura666

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How to feign strength and confidence
« on: September 26, 2021, 10:07:50 PM »
I recently started therapy and was diagnosed with CPTSD (I know thereís a separate forum for this but I think my question fits better in this one.)

Talking about my prior and current issues with a therapist has lemme feeling hyper-emotional and vulnerable.

I live with my UPD boyfriend in a town where I donít know anyone, etc. I thing a huge mistake I have made since the beginning of our relationship is being forward with him about my weaknesses and insecurities, things heís always found clever ways to exploit or use as an excuse to treat me poorly because my reactions are due to my mental health issues and clearly my own problem, heís the normal one.

I like my therapist a lot and we are working towards EMDR but in the meantime I just donít want him to observe my specific problems/reactions or take my current vulnerable state as an opportunity to do something hurtful.

A big reason that motivated me to go to therapy is to have the strength and self confidence to leave this situation but Iím just not there yet.

Anyone have any advice to the tune of ďfaking it till you make it?Ē

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SonofThunder

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Re: How to feign strength and confidence
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 09:21:14 AM »
Hello Laura666,

I am sorry you are experiencing CTPSD symptoms and wish you the best with your therapy. 

You wrote:  ď I think a huge mistake I have made since the beginning of our relationship is being forward with him about my weaknesses and insecurities.Ē

You also wrote:  ďis to have the strength and self confidence to leave this situation but Iím just not there yetĒ

The PD people in my life who desire to use me for their own advantage, need the fuel of information in order to plan ahead of me, to put me into situations they can manipulate.  Therefore, all I had to mainly do to make their manipulation engine shut off (or make them work much-much harder to operate), is to cut off the fuel flow. 

Since i cannot control other people and only myself, recognizing that their manipulation engines needed my fuel, put a lot of power in my hands.  So using the ootf toolbox of self-protective boundaries, all i had to do was close my lips to manipulative people and their friends/other family members.  I have found other outlets of non-manipulative people to talk with, including the fine folks on this forum.

So therefore my recommendation to you is to shut off the manipulation fuel that flows from you, and since you have us here and your therapist, you have plenty of friends with which to chat. 

Once you do this, it may quickly reveal to you, the real motives behind your UPD boyfriendís relationship with you.  He may not enjoy that his engine is out of fuel and try harder to squeeze more fuel from you or seek another source of fuel elsewhere, because a PDís engine must run on other peoples fuel, because they have nothing inside themselves to offer. 

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.

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Laura666

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Re: How to feign strength and confidence
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2021, 11:13:58 AM »
Thank you, SoT, I will revisit the toolbox and remind myself of your fuel analogy. I think it is spot on!

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1footouttadefog

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Re: How to feign strength and confidence
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2021, 02:00:49 PM »
 I will second what SOT said.  Visit the toolbox.  Also besire to look ever the 100 traits list.   It helped me verbalize things I was living with and had known were not quite right but could not quite discuss out loud as I had not previously itemized the behaviours individually and found words for them.

The list also helped me to discover some habits I had formed in response to abusive behaviour that I needed to work on.  In the process of elimi acting them, I found I used more boundaries and left myself less vulnerable to abusive by other.   Additionally I was no longer usi g low hanging fruit in dealing with things but rather tools that lead to peace and growth and healing.

One thing that sticks out in your post and something I relate to well is that your partner exploits your weakness.  This is the exact opposite of what I feel a relationship should be.  The partner should want your betterment. They should want to protect and cherish, and to grow in strength with you.  That they compete and tear down using your weakness speaks volumes.  I say this to affirm that you feel things are not right.

In the meantime whether you stay or leave using the tools can pote tially make things better for you.

This requires one thing that is hard.  It requires you to e brass the reality of who this person really is.  It requires abandoning and even grieving the person you wanted to believe they were.  The readjustment of relationship dynamics to this reality in. Way that protects you and reduces abuse, might mean a relationship that is very lopsided, and unfair as this usually requires us as nons to lower the bar quite a bit.

On the other hand lowering the bar to what is real and actually doable can mean much less disappointment on your part and the removal of constant failure on their part.  These can lower stress and emotional nastiness from the use of poor coping mechanisms.

Acceptance of these deficits in the relation can free us the non to fill some of these voids with other friendships and social activities.  Enmeshment is common in relationships with pds and often leaves the non with fewer interactions that is healthy, while the relationship itself does not privide what it should, cohlr or would if it were not infused with pdness.


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square

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Re: How to feign strength and confidence
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2021, 02:43:58 PM »
- Information diet. Share less, donít talk about your thoughts and worries. Your day was fine. Think of impersonal neutral topics if space must be filled. He is not your rock, he adds to your burdens, so no need to try to unburden yourself with him only to carry a heavier weight.

- If you are feeling very sad or vulnerable, physically stay away from him. Go for a drive and have a good cry, or whatever you can do to release the emotion somewhat. So when you get back home itís been somewhat relieved and you wonít feel about to break when he starts poking at you.

- Be nonreactive as possible. He accuses you of something, You can just shrug it off because heís a crazy person and you donít have to convince crazy people anything. Itís like the bag lady on the corner shouting at you that you stole her car. Whatever, lady.