What therapy brought me

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Tinkerbell

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What therapy brought me
« on: October 21, 2021, 08:14:23 AM »
Hey all!

I wanted to let you that Im very happy with my therapy from a narcism expert beacuse of my Unmom/uBP. She has done a great job by helping me getting stronger and wiser.
If anyone doubts about getting therapy, please don´t. I strongly advise you to search for a narcism expert instead of a psychologist since psychologists very often dont see the problem and think you are the one thats confused (there are exceptions). Ofcourse you are, you are caught in a web and are searching for answers about your childhood.
I really wanted to share some things which might be helpful when you are still in contact with a (u)nmom/uBP or other familymember;

- dont share personal information about yourself, this can either be positive or negative info (this really helped me to protect myself)
- limited contact (or no contact at all) with the one that has a PD, you are allowed to not answer right away when a missed call or message
- dont show to much emotions (dont get mad or discuss etc, this is what they want)
- let them know your boundaries by showing them (not particulary telling them)
- when you have kids please be informed that they might use your kids in a way to get to you
- dont inform you siblings about your dicovering about a PD familymember unless you are sure they will understand and ready

Maybe I can help someone with this info I learned through therapy. For me it was very useful. Also reading information online about borderline and the 4 momtypes; witch, hermit, waif and queen helped me a lot to understand what Im dealing with.

Take care!

Tinkerbell



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SunnyMeadow

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2021, 12:27:28 PM »
Thank you Tinkerbell! Very informative and helpful post. I wish so much that I knew all these things 35 years ago. I over-shared too with my mother because she built herself up as my best friend, the ONE person I could tell anything. Big mistake.

The "don't show too much emotion" is another good one. I recently spent time with my uNPD mother and she keeps trying to make me angry with little comments, so annoying. I am angry but have to keep it inside. It works well though and I don't take the bait so we don't have a blow up.


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moglow

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2021, 12:55:35 PM »
I heard it termed years ago as an "information diet" and found it very apropos. I learned the hard way with mommie dearest and didn't see it for years. She's a HUGE gossip, thrives on all the drama and chaos she can drive or create. Somewhere along the way I stepped back and realized how much really personal stuff mother was telling me about others, punctuated with "don't tell xyz I told you this but ..." or "this didn't come from me but did you know ..." It all clicked into place that she's doing the same with MY stuff. So I baited her - told her something , asked that she not say anything just to see what would happen. True to form, she ran with it and it came back to me much turned and twisted from the original. Lesson learned!

I think my biggest takeaway from therapy was when a counselor asked me "if this was anyone other than your mother treating you this way, what would you do? Would you see them as your friend?" Well NO!! I'd avoid them like the plague! "Then why does she get a pass? Why do you roll over for this, knowing you neither deserve nor want this in your life?" That was years ago and I can still hear it in my mind.

"Expectations are disappointments under construction.”  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Jolie40

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2021, 02:54:07 PM »
- dont share personal information about yourself, this can either be positive or negative info (this really helped me to protect myself)

thanks for sharing!

re above
shared a small difficulty when child was a toddler
one would think I'd get a little empathy/acknowledgement like "I remember those days"

instead I got "don't know how I ever made it through raising X no. of kids"
so basically my one kid should be easy as pie
I never shared anything like that again

one sister was same way  "well, what did you think it would be like having a kid"
where was my "village"...........I had none
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 02:59:00 PM by Jolie40 »
be good to yourself

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JustKathy

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2021, 07:11:40 PM »
Thank you, Tinkerbell. This is all excellent advice.

I agree that seeking out someone who specializes in narcissism is key. Fortunately, there are now many psychiatrists coming out of school who have chosen this area of study. Back when I started therapy NPD was barely recognized as a disorder and some of the psychiatrists I saw ended up doing more harm than good. I had two who didn't believe what I told them about my mother which caused me a lot of distress. I ended up going years without help because I no longer felt safe confiding in anyone.

I have to echo SunnyMeadow in saying "if only I had known 35 years ago." I did learn a lot of the things on your list, but had to learn them the hard way, especially the one about sharing personal information. I was probably thirty by the time I had been burned enough to know not to tell my Nmother what I had paid for things like cars and housing, details about my job, my salary, my health, any of it. Boy, did she ever get angry when I cut her off from that information.

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Hilltop

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2021, 09:58:50 AM »
Thanks Tinkerbell, that list is really useful.  I was interested to read 'dont show to much emotions (dont get mad or discuss etc, this is what they want)'.  I guess the reason this was interesting to me was I spent years trying to discuss things as I was brought up that you should talk about issues to resolve them, but every time I tried to talk, it backfired on me.

I found it really interesting last year when I stopped reacting to my parents and they really turned up their insults and digs at me.  It was really noticeable how horrible they were being.  The thing is, I wasn't talking about issues which is what they appeared to want because when I did bring up issues I was told how I was too sensitive, how I hold a grudge, how I need to let things go, how I am negative and depressed.  When I stopped bringing up issues, they increased their nastiness. I now see that they wanted me to get mad or react.  They got something out of me reacting.

I have limited contact now and my plan moving forward is no reactions at all, although that will be much easier as I only communicate via text.


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Tribe16

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2021, 12:12:16 PM »
Hilltop wrote, ""Thanks Tinkerbell, that list is really useful.  I was interested to read 'dont show to much emotions (dont get mad or discuss etc, this is what they want)'.  I guess the reason this was interesting to me was I spent years trying to discuss things as I was brought up that you should talk about issues to resolve them, but every time I tried to talk, it backfired on me."

You and me both - logically the adult thing to do is to try to solve problems, not create them. I tried to push my mom to talk things out. It became chaotic and drama filled with her accusations flying, major projection and all sorts of things that left my people-pleasing self speechless and tongue-tied. Only when I was alone and able to calmly process what was said and how it was said, and what it was in response to, was I able to put some semblance of order to it. My therapist had me write everyone of those incidents, comments, etc down. She wanted me to read it all the next time I had the urge to "talk things through" - because that doesn't work with covert narcissists. I've seen Mom 3 times in the past 18 months with no plans to return any time soon - just from those visits alone I have 2 pages of single spaced type. It was bad. That isn't even the growing up stuff.

Tinkerbell, I started therapy in July shortly after my last visit with Mom - I recently ended it, not because I didn't enjoy it, but financially insurance was used up. I'm a voracious reader though and I was blessed with a therapist who gave me lots of tools. She opened my eyes to so much, not only Mom's toxic behavior, but my CD issues and people-pleasing/fawning behaviors. My relationship with my mother has never been worse than it is right now - but strangely my relationship with myself has never been better than it is right now. And since I have to live in my own house, that is a very blessed thing.

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Sneezy

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2021, 12:57:06 PM »
- let them know your boundaries by showing them (not particulary telling them)
This is such great advice and SOOOOO hard for me to do.  I want to JADE - justify, argue, defend, and explain - my position.  But mom and I don't share the same worldview and so nothing I say will convince her.  I can't change her.  All I can do is change how I react to her.  Without JADEing.  I will be working on setting boundaries until the day I die  ;)

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Hilltop

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2021, 01:55:01 AM »
@Tribe16 its great that you are in a better place. 

@Sneezy the part about showing your boundaries is interesting as well.  It simply cuts out all the conversation regarding issues and I guess the drama that goes with that as well.  I agree that I use to feel I needed to explain myself however this was perhaps adding to the problems and dysfunction.

I only speak to my parents via text at the moment and I have not responded to baiting questions such as 'oh life must be so hard for you at the moment'. Not sure where that is coming from. I have ignored every single one.  I guess this is the way forward.  Perhaps down the track if I do see them in person, I may re-think how I approach the relationship.  My parents are insulting so perhaps if at some point I end up seeing them then maybe rather than stating I don't want to be insulted perhaps I could just end the visit and leave.  Its nothing for me to worry about now but down the track these tips will be useful.

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Boat Babe

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2021, 05:06:45 AM »
- let them know your boundaries by showing them (not particulary telling them)
This is such great advice and SOOOOO hard for me to do.  I want to JADE - justify, argue, defend, and explain - my position.  But mom and I don't share the same worldview and so nothing I say will convince her.  I can't change her.  All I can do is change how I react to her.  Without JADEing.  I will be working on setting boundaries until the day I die  ;)

You get better, much better, at setting boundaries. You become a boundaries champion 😀
It gets better. It has to.

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sonofanarc

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Re: What therapy brought me
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2021, 08:04:13 AM »
I agree re therapy. I tired a few therapists before i found one that i trusted enough and  that could hold a strong enough container for me to do my work.

I think i eventually appreciated the extent of my wounding was so deep that i needed even more than weekly  therapy so went off and trained as a psychotherapist.  It was a tough 4 years and i grew even more. I was fortunate i had the time and money to do this.  Ive done a lot of courses, group work and men's work since then and all have helped.

If i were to list the areas its helped with , these are a few things that pop into my consciousness

Boundary setting
self compassion
learning to love myself and working on my core belief of "not being good enough"
recognising my co-dependency
recognising my own narcissism and seeing it in my FOO
working on my suppressed anger
grieving my father's losses
working through my mother issues
learning to trust
letting go of shame
letting go of my need for perfectionism
recognising my need to control and letting go of this need
practising gratitude
working at being more honest, acting with integrity and taking full personal responsibility for my own life
getting off the drama triangle


I could list more. I had read tons of self help books and tried many other things before being told by an employee i needed to see a psychotherapist. I liken it to trying to get fit by reading books on working out, ultimately you have to hit the gym. I think the same goes for self growth and raising self awareness, it really helps to have a more conscious guide/mentor to walk alongside you whilst you do your work. I think I was fearful about seeing a therapist as i held too much shame. It took me until I was 40 to do that. Im in awe of young people that seek out therapy.






Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. - C.G. Jung