Salad, Squirrels and Stars

orionI’m feeling much better just in the short amount of time since I wrote my last post about a binge and how junk food turns me into a narcissist.

I had a salad for dinner to make up for it. I make my own mayo too and used that for the dressing with a bit of Herbamare and some onion powder.

The salad consisted of Romaine lettuce, some grape tomatoes, red pepper, green olives, some sunflower seeds and a little cheese. I was hungry. And no wonder with all the nutrients my body didn’t get earlier.  The salad was tasty and my brain is feeling the difference.

Mr. B was late though and I called him, feeling concerned, to see what was keeping him. But he didn’t answer. So I texted him.

He was in the basement so that was a relief.

He’s feeling sad tonight because he stopped at the house we used to live in. We still have some things (mostly his) over there in the garage. His sister owns the house and she hasn’t sold it yet. We have no room for the things in the garage and he doesn’t know what he wants to do with them.

I never did ask him what exactly he was doing there. If he retrieved something from there that is now here or if he just went to look around.

I found out he was there in the first place because I’d told him I was thinking about and missing the squirrels that used to come up onto our porch for peanuts. I’d seen a video on Facebook yesterday that reminded me of them. And today I’d been feeling sad and missing the house as well.

Mr. B is sad because he realized how much he misses the stars we used to be able to see there. He said he came out of the garage tonight (the one at the house) and looked up at the sky and thought, “There’s all those stars. There’s Orion. I miss seeing these stars.”

And so now I miss them too.

We are a couple of sad sacks tonight and both feeling nostalgic for the house we lived in for 13 years.


Junk Food Bender (TW: Suicide Ideation)


Credit: pixabay/johnhain

I have a junk food problem. It’s like having a drug problem.

Yesterday after therapy, I stopped at a burger joint in the area and got a large fry. I took them to go and ate them in the car because, in case you don’t know, fries don’t travel well. But they still weren’t as tasty as I remembered.

So that annoyed me. Spent 5 bucks on fries and they weren’t even worth it.

Since they didn’t satisfy, I stopped at another store and bought two small packs of cookies– there was a two-fer sale– and a 20 oz. bottle of ginger ale. I wanted Pepsi but then I remembered about my heart palpitations getting worse if I drink or eat anything with caffeine in it.

I know it could have been worse. But this is bad enough. Trust me. It was a waste of money and did nothing to nurture me, although that’s exactly why I wanted those things. For comfort. I equate certain foods (or rather food-like substances) with comfort.

But in the end it’s not comfortable at all. Not only does my body feel fatter than when I started, but it effects my brain.  When I eat junk food, I feel disgusted, depressed, agitated, angry and resentful.

Everything is a huge effort and I found myself wondering about where I would put something to hang myself with. Not that I would do that. But in this state–“junk food brain” –I find myself thinking about not wanting to be here anymore. And that thought leads to wondering how I would do it if I were to do it. And that thought leads me to thinking about how hanging seems to be a prevalent method for people committing suicide. In fact I knew someone who took her own life that way.

I met her through my boyfriend when I was 18. They were good friends and she and I became good friends during that time. Whenever I think about taking my own life (and I’ve never had a plan and it’s never gotten further than passing thoughts) I remember her.

I don’t want to kill myself. I just want the pain to go away. But I’ve just taken notice today, that those thoughts become more prevalent for me when I’ve eaten a bunch of junk food in a short period of time.

When I got home with all that crap, I put the fries in a container with a lid and left them on the counter. I knew I wasn’t going to eat anymore because they tasted disgusting. So instead of shoving them down the garbage disposal I decided I’d ask Mr. B if he wanted them first.

Once those were out of the way, I sat down with the bag of fudge stripes I bought and the ginger ale. I was gonna eat as many as I wanted and over a period of a few hours, they were gone.

Today, I did the same thing with the chocolate chip cookies I bought also.

Now, as agitated and angry as I am,I know I have to be extra aware of myself when Mr. B comes home. When I’m in this state I can be mean. If I’m not careful, any little thing will trigger me to demean him, to make a big deal out of something that isn’t.

I want to make it clear here, that although some of this comes from feeling disappointment and disgust in self for being so weak, it is a biological and chemical effect on my brain.

I woke up today more depressed than I’d felt in a while, although it seems there’s always a mild depression running under the surface, there are degrees of it. And this morning there was fatigue.

This angry feeling along with the agitation is a cumulative thing. The more junk I eat the worse it gets. I didn’t feel like this last night, despite eating all those cookies, but now the second batch of cookies on top of the ones yesterday along with the soda and some other shit I haven’t even mentioned here, I’m feeling it.

“All things in moderation” they say. Well, some of us can’t do anything in moderation. This stuff is poison to me and I can’t go anywhere near it.

Thing is if I ate one cookie, it wouldn’t have this effect on me, but I don’t eat just one cookie and if I have the whole bag in front of me, that is not likely to happen. I think being real here is essential. I don’t have the will power to eat just one.

I’m trying not to judge and be observant about this. It’s important to see it. Junk food turns me into a narcissist.

So if I want to stop eating that shit, I need to change my mindset completely. Find something else to comfort me, that isn’t food.


Because of Our Past

houses-in-shadow-sepiaOriginally posted on Safire Falcon (my old blog) 2/19/2014. I’m (slowly) moving those posts over here. I created a category called “Safire Falcon” here as well to put them in.

“We are who we are because of our past. I’m not talking about what we do or don’t do for a living. I’m talking about who we are within. We walk on eggshells because of the past and I believe that we treat each other the way we do because of the past.”

I wrote the above paragraph to say to my sister quite some time ago, back while in the midst of a very stressful time in my already toxic family’s life. At a time in which I was only just beginning to wake up to how toxic things actually were.

I had had a conversation with  her not long before writing it, with the plan of saying it to her at some point, when the opportunity arose. It never did. In fact the opportunity had passed and I was left with the acceptance that I had frozen, once again, when given my window to state my case.

I hear a lot about fight or flight but it seems most people who talk about those human defense mechanisms  forget one…FREEZE!*

Edit Sunday 11/5/17: Just want to note that since I’ve written this post, I’ve heard a lot about ‘Freeze.’ But at the time that I wrote it, many of those I was reading and listening to were not mentioning it.

Freeze tends to be my go-to defense mechanism, at least up to this point. When I get into a situation where it’s appropriate to stand up for myself, I fumble, stumble and stutter or just stop talking altogether. The last time I was in a particular situation that would have been appropriate to verbally defend myself,  I sat there listening to my sister tell me how screwed up I am/have been. And when I did venture a statement or question, it was completely ineffective. Waved away with a “Yeah but…” or ignored while she leaped over it to continue bitching, berating and finger pointing.

Despite my “I feel” statements and non-aggressive approach, I was going to once again come away from this ‘conversation’ feeling as though I’d been attacked by a rabid dog.

However, despite her being mean about it, in response to my last attempt, to strengthen our relationship by resolving an issue between us, I was about to begin being freed.

Even through all the blame, shame and finger pointing.

When she stated:
“…I’m done talking about the past with you!”
,  I realized that I no longer had to try to ‘fix’ our toxic relationship or the dysfunction between us.

She said, “You have a choice” as if she were an angry mother scolding a child.

She continued, “You have a choice to sit and wallow in the past, to spend life in a depression. I don’t have time to resolve every little thing.”

She used herself and her husband as an example. That if one of them does or says something hurtful, they say they’re sorry and move on.

And there in lies the difference…there was no apology. Ever. There was no consciousness on her part when it came to what was at the root of all this toxic sludge and dysfunction. No accountability.

When she said to me once, in a separate conversation than I’m referring to here, “Well, I have issues…” I stopped what I’d been saying in attempt to address a problem I’d detected from her about a week prior, to let her tell me what those issues of hers were.

My automatic thought process was that she was going to talk about some issues or faults of her own. Because when I say, “I have issues,” I am usually referring to some sort of flaw within myself.

Instead she laid into me. Her issues were about me and so-called awful things I did. They weren’t awful things. I had offered an idea while conversing with her. It just happened to be an idea she hadn’t agreed with. But instead of saying anything then, she just went silent and stiff. In fact I felt the tension. I knew something was wrong. She held onto it and used it against me during that phone call.

So back to the phone call I was originally referring to: At the moment that she said, “You have a choice…”I realized that she was never going to really hear me or be willing to listen to me.

In addition to that, when she’d said that she had decided she was never going to discuss the past with me again, that also got me off the hook from trying to have a real and deep relationship with her.

Thing is she wasn’t even willing to amicably and maturely revisit shit that happened just a week prior. She generally used my attempts at resolving something I knew to be a problem, as an opportunity to chastise, criticize and belittle me.

So I made a conscious decision at that point in the conversation, (although it wasn’t exactly a conversation since she was the only one getting words in and hurtful ones at that) to let go of all the shit between us that had been left unresolved and kept us so emotionally distant. I decided I would stop trying to work things out with her. I also decided in that moment that severing ties with her would eventually happen.

It was a relieving feeling actually. And I’d had this pain in my left shoulder blade for years. But as soon as I made that decision about her, that pain disappeared.**

She was never going to see my point or validate anything I felt and I was certainly never going to get apologies for her bullying. She was never going to be accountable in any way.

I was allowing her behavior toward me to cause me fear of being myself. I needed to be on my guard around her and be extra cautious as to what I said to her and around her. Lest it be used against me in the future (possibly) however benign my half of the conversation may have been.

Ironically though she’d said to me that she didn’t want to have to worry about every little thing that came out of her mouth when she was around me.

Then said, “And I don’t want you calling me to tell me negative things about family members.”

More irony, to say the least. These are things she had done!

Again I froze saying nothing. At that point I just wanted the phone call to end. It reminded me a little of feeling trapped on the phone with a couple girl-friends when I was about 13. They’d been calling me names, making fun of me then threatening to “beat me up” if I hung up on them.

The threat wasn’t as overt as that with my sister. But I recall feeling at 13, I couldn’t wait for those girls to tire of their bullying so I could be set free. And that’s the feeling I had that day on the phone with my sister.

Just weeks after this accusation, in the form of a command, I heard her catching herself when she just about started to make a comment about my brother and her frustration with the way he had kept some files of my fathers so disorganized.

She stopped herself before she said anything negative, but had gone far enough in what she was telling me, I knew where she’d wanted to go with that hypocritical bullshit of hers.

Maybe she’d had a moment of delusion about who complained and trash talked family members. She used to complain to me about our mother and compared her friend’s mom to ours.
Our mother wasn’t the grandmother, to her kids, my sister wanted her to be.

Edit Sunday 11/5/17: I know now this is a form of gas-lighting. It’s meant to knock the other person off balance and doubt themselves.

She hated how our mother wouldn’t chisel out more time for her kids. But instead of going to the person she had the issue with, (our mother) she talked about it to someone else, (me). This is her MO and had played the same game on me, speaking to my mother about me.

Difference between my mother and me though, is that I did not call my mother to try to make her do what my sister wanted. I didn’t inform my mother of all the trash my sister was talking about her either.  I had the presence of mind to know that the issue was between the two of them and I had no business getting in the middle of it.

As for the realizations that flowed during that phone conversation:

I woke up to the fact that the eggshells…
(not only the two of us walked on…which she believed in her twisted mind, that I was the cause of and didn’t see I walked on them too…but the eggshells the entire family walked on among each other)  would most likely never be cleaned up, beyond bulging from under the rug, and until I had the opportunity to remove myself, I would not stop feeling like a garbage dump and actually being their garbage dump.  This is who and what I was to all of them. Really sick shit.

Not that I hadn’t had the choice to stick up for myself. I suppose I did. But I didn’t feel or see it that way because of the fear of more abuse I’d already had enough of.

I was afraid for my safety, yes.

But I was also afraid that if I attempted to express myself, the words wouldn’t come out right. I would fuck it up. And then I’d be back where I started and the rumination would be even worse than if I hadn’t said anything at all. Ruminations like, “I should’ve said this or I coulda said that.” You know…that kinda thing.

Yeah that was happening anyway, but I feared it would be worse. Besides, there is a whole brain mechanism involved. I was groomed to take this shit. And my brain formed in such a way so that it and I would react this way. Of course there were already innate traits present that made the freeze response possible as opposed to the fight response. But I used to have the fight response. Then I’d been physically attacked a couple times as well as raged at and felt threatened. So that had something to do with it as well.

My siblings became monsters when it came to how they treated me.

My sister also spat out an ultimatum about me walking away, during that phone call. But my father was dying. And in fact is one of the reasons she and I were on the phone in the first place.

The same ultimatum was offered to me by my brother before that and then later by my mother.

I gave it some thought each time it came up and I’d been barked or whined at. Maybe it would’ve been healthier for me if I had. Perhaps more peaceful.

My father was dying though and I was apprehensive in getting deeply involved with his care, like the family was asking me to do. He and I had had some recent problems and he abused me emotionally and psychologically when I was growing up.

My family thought I was selfish for ‘making it about me.’ But in fact I wasn’t exactly doing that. The fact is when a whole family gets involved with anything, it’s about all of them. And it was about all of us. My brother spent most of his non-working time with my father so he was pretty much never home. My father decided he didn’t want kids around so my sister’s time with him was limited. Which meant the times she could’ve been there, needed to be filled and that usually fell on me.

So yeah, it was kind of about me and him and her, as well as it was about my father.

I wanted to be there, but I didn’t want to be bullied into being there on everyone else’s terms. Again I was the throw away who didn’t matter. And if I said no I was pushed. And if I said no still I was still given a hard time. Agreements were ignored, my brother barked at me one day on the phone because he “NEEDED TO KNOW NOW” if I would be available to be there every night until dad went to bed.

This happened a few weeks in and was suddenly dropped on me. After being barked at, I gave my brother what he wanted. He actually didn’t want to know…he needed to know that the answer was yes. No room to think and the message was, do it or you’re a horrible person.

Forget the fact that I had an on-call job, nights, that I would now have to quit.

I’d known when I made the decision to give in to their demands and ultimatum, I’d have angry chaos and abuse to confront and basically absorb. I knew I wouldn’t stand up for myself. I did at times but not without some kind of price to pay.

The exhaustion I felt made it difficult for me to defend myself physically or mentally if I needed to.  I think I was also trying to control what they all thought of me.  There was still some of that left despite my knowing it was a matter of time before I did take them up on their offer to walk the fuck away. The fear of losing their love was still a factor even though I didn’t really have it to begin with. But this didn’t occur to me then. And then there was the sense of obligation pounded into me.

“Step up or walk,” is what was presented to me, by ALL THREE FAMILY MEMBERS. Mother, brother, sister. It makes me want to cry thinking about this again.

What I wish my response would have been to those three bullies:
“Those are not the only two choices. I will be there if I want and if I choose to walk that is my business. But I will be seeing dad and caring for him if need be, on my terms. And I will not be forced into anything pertaining to this situation via shame or guilt.”

But alas…

I thought it would be easier. After all, the abuse now had a time limit. Once my father passed, I would be taking that walk they all offered me in their ultimatum.

My father passed April 1, 2013, in the early hours of the morning. I remember because it was still dark out when I got the call from hospice. I had left just a few hours before…around 10pm the night before. And I’d actually thought about just sleeping there in the big oversize chair that was in my father’s room. But having no toothbrush and wanting to get into something more comfortable, I chose to go home.

So my sister was right in her statement about choice, but not exactly the way she meant it.

I do have a choice not to continue hitting my head against a wall in attempt to resolve issues, when someone else has no interest in doing that.

I do have a choice in discontinuing to get acceptance from someone who doesn’t want to give it.

I had other choices too, that I wasn’t quite clear enough about, at that time to see, or if I could see them, wasn’t feeling brave or confident enough to enact.

I did feel some shame and regret. And in some ways felt that I deserved to be abused.

And don’t forget it’s in our DNA to feel the need to be part of a family, a clan. It was a necessity to our survival once upon a time. That is still programmed into us as humans.

To my sister on the phone that day, I found an opening. But I used it to weakly present the idea of the past actually being the present. I asked her, “Don’t you walk on egg shells because of events from the past?”

I was feebly and pathetically attempting to point out that our dynamic was formed over time through our behaviors. And the roles in the family, and the way we related as children, teens and young adults, was at least partially responsible for how we related now and why we have certain issues.

And in my mind the only way to change the toxic dynamic in the present was to resolve the past, by awareness of our own behaviors that created it all. But it was not to be.

As per her usual response it went something like, “Yeah but you…” and she fell into her habit of finger pointing and blame.

She was stuck in being right and I was tired of being verbally beaten. So I gave up and let her have her say. As usual. When it came to her and me, she always got her way, ever since we were kids.

So… Are we what we are because of our past?

I think it has a role in molding us. As kids our brains are malleable and in addition we all have innate traits and abilities. So they will be effected by how we are nurtured or abused. I’d say most of that takes place without our awareness too. And many adults who are in pain and manifest it in a myriad of ways, don’t and won’t look at it. Won’t look back. Will stay in denial. But there are others of us who are aware, who want to get past the denial and resistance. Who fight the confusion and frustration. Who want to separate what they own from what belongs to others.

And either way, maybe that is dictated from the past.

And maybe those that fight to work things out, to change, to make themselves better people, are who they are (or who they are becoming) DESPITE the past.

*After reading Pete Walker’s book on Complex PTSD I learned of another defense mechanism called Fawn. It is just how it sounds. I think of it as kissing ass. But best to read the book if you want to know exactly.

This post on Safire Falcon had a short comment exchange so I’m including those here below because they added to the post nicely.

R said: I agree with your thought that some people are… smaller than you or me. Your sister sounds like my mother. She doesn’t listen. She doesn’t understand my point of view. I want closure from her. I want an apology, and she says I am a spoiled brat. I don’t think your sister can see the big picture like you do. And your brother, he wants what he wants. It doesn’t matter if you have a job to go to. It’s really hard when one member of an abusive family wants to make things better but the others want to continue and to deny. I feel for you. I’m sorry you are going through these growing pains.

I said: I didn’t really mean that anyone is smaller or better than me. Not that I haven’t entertained that thought, if I’m being brutally honest with myself. But I’ve thought he complete opposite as well, so…

I’m guessing you’re referring to the end of the post where I say something about trying to be a better person. (?)

I was talking about being a better person in comparison to past self, up to the point where I’m in a situation that gives me the opportunity to respond differently.

I reread the post (and edited a little too being the perfectionist that I am) and didn’t see anything (or take anything out) that said that I think I’m a better person than some people.

But if I’m missing that, I would love to have it pointed out to me. Because even though I was angry at this situation with my family, I wasn’t trying to get the message across that I think I’m ‘better’ than them.

I think I’m more aware, awake and willing to see what they don’t though.

R said:You did not say that you think you are better than your siblings. I’m saying for you. “Being more aware, awake, and willing to see” is self-actualization, the goal of every human being. Their vision is small. Yours is big, and it depresses you when you are around them. I would guess that you both feel sorry for them and feel hurt by them. I’m sorry I made you uncomfortable.

I said: Oh no, you didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. I just wanted to be clear and make sure I didn’t miss something in my own writing. lol.

Thank you for the clarification. What you say is very comforting and validating. In fact you are right about what I feel. Pity as well as hurt. I couldn’t have worded it better.

I never thought of my awareness as self actualization either, which is quite helpful too. I remember first hearing that word in my early 20’s and thought of it as something I’d probably never reach given my depression and what I felt was my lot in life, which was to work jobs that took me nowhere.

I am learning that I am more than my job. Thanks again for clarifying. I was concerned it might come off as being a bit angry but I wasn’t at all.

Rainy Night

I’ve always loved rain. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, day or night, I love the rain. Thunder storm, light drizzle, down pour and everything in between, I love the rain.

My mother thought I was weird. She’d complain and I’d say, “Oh I love it.” And she’d say, “I know you do, you’re weird.”

I never took it as an insult though. And I don’t think she was being mean when she said it. It was a regular exchange and it made me laugh.I loved that I was different than her in this way.

When I was a kid, my mother would let us play in the rain, as long as it wasn’t thundering and lightning outside. And during thunderstorms, during the time we lived in a house with a big porch, my siblings and I would go out there and pretend we were on a ship.

At other times, it seemed like a good time to color, one of my favorite pastimes as a kid and incidentally still is.

I loved to listen to it while I laid in bed at night too, except this one house, we had a metal awning, which kind of ruined the sound, especially if it was a hard rain. But no matter what, for all the shit I lived with, I always felt comforted, safe and warm in our house when it rained.

I still love and enjoy the rain to this day.

It’s raining tonight and it’s a nice peaceful rain. I can hear it softly hitting the pavement and road outside my window. And I love the sound it creates when cars drive down the wet road. It’s too cold for a thunderstorm too, but if it’s raining in the winter time around here, that means it’s too warm for snow and that is a bonus as far as I’m concerned.

Just a few minutes ago, the song (below) went through my mind. I remember when this song was played a lot on the radio so the song has its own memories as well. It came out in 1975. I was 10. It was still being played on the pop station I listened to when I was 13, which is when I heard it a whole lot.

Here’s a live version if you prefer:

Edit Sunday 10/29/17: I am reading through and editing all the posts I had on private so I can put them up again as public. I just finished a page and got to the next page, an accomplishment. This post is the first one on the bottom as I work my way up.  Since it is raining tonight and has been all day long, I had to get this one up there.

Removing Shoes Triggered Memory of Abuse by Nurse and Old Boyfriend

Ever since I’d started finding flea bites on my legs and feeling extra itchy in my bed, I stopped going around on this nasty carpet in my bare feet.  It sucks, because I love to walk around in bare feet, even in the winter time.

But it’s a filthy carpet anyway. In addition, if walking around this apartment in bare feet means I was dragging fleas to bed with me, then shoes it is.

I won’t even walk around in sock feet anymore. I won’t even make a short trip to the bathroom or across my room without shoes on now.

What I do is take my shoes off when I get into bed and put them on when I get out of bed. Luckily, I have an old pair of slip on sneakers that feel more like slippers than shoes.

So this has served to trigger a memory because when I get into bed, I swing my legs around together, to pivot myself on my butt so that I can get my legs up there.

When I was in my early twenties, I had surgery to remove a rather large cyst on one of my ovaries.

After my surgery, I was in the hospital for a week. Most of the nurses were exceptional, attentive and very kind and compassionate. Except one, who, luckily only made one appearance during my stay.

When I would get into bed, I would need the assistance of a nurse to help me keep my legs together and then pivot them around, so as not to pull the stitches out or pull the muscles that had been severed and cut through in the surgery. It also obviously caused pain if this wasn’t done correctly.

This one nurse though, she was quite frankly, a bitch. I could sense it in her body language, as well as see it on her face. She should not have been there.

I had gotten up (I guess to go to the bathroom) and this sorry excuse for a nurse was there in my room. She stood at the side of my bed as I sat down on the edge of it. I lifted my legs in the expectation that she would meet me halfway to help me with my leg action, like every other nurse before her and since her, had done, but she stood strong like a statue, with a scowl on her face.

I said quietly, “Can you help me?”

Instead of resting her hand on the outside of my one leg (all the other nurses used the outside of my right knee) to nudge it and me into bed with minimal pain, she used the inside of the left leg to help me swing into position.

This caused the legs to separate, causing some pain and quite a bit of discomfort.  I knew what she did was wrong. I knew she was being a bitch. But I said nothing to her. I said nothing to any of the staff either.

I was grateful when I never saw her again. And I was lucky it was just the one incident.

When I went home and told my then boyfriend about it, he was not on my side about it. I don’t remember what he said exactly, but he let me know I shouldn’t be complaining and not only minimized it, but was really nasty about it.

At the time, I remember feeling taken aback but then doubted myself thinking maybe he was right.

Then later, when he and I went to visit friends of his, who were having a small get-together, I told a couple of them about that nurse. One of his friends had just been in the hospital as well and he said to me, “I had the same experience. All the nurses were great, except one who was just miserable.” Then said, “There’s always that one.”

I’m paraphrasing him as well, as it was so long ago. But it was a completely different response than what I’d gotten from their friend/my boyfriend.

I can feel the same confusion I felt back then. Why was it his friends seemed to be on my side, people who didn’t really know me well at all. But my boyfriend, well, his remarks indicated loud and clear that I apparently disgusted him for speaking my experience.

Edit Sunday 10/29/17: Just want to comment here that was the lovely Tim Hall and the friend who related his own story was Phil. I wonder how his friends would’ve reacted if they’d known how he treated me when I told him my experience. I also wonder how he would’ve reacted if I’d waited to tell Tim my experience when I told his friend. Yes Tim, you were quite the prick.

More Clarity to the Narcissist Attraction Dilemma (Link)

I would now, knowing what I know, classify myself as an unloved daughter. Not only by the father I always knew without a doubt was abusive, but now also by my mother who seemed to get more narcissistic with age.

I also fell for narcissistic men myself, although they didn’t demonstrate much of the same anti-social behavior I saw in my father. ‘Anti-social’ as in how it’s used in the DSM, not the way we tend to use it when we’re talking about not wanting to be around people.

The last guy however, (not Mr. B) fits more into what the linked article below describes than I’d previously thought of him.

So if you feel you were an unloved daughter and question why you seem to attract all the narcs, then read Why Unloved Daughters Fall For Narcissists

Sadness or Depression

I’m feeling an intensely deep sadness today that started yesterday. Thankfully I had therapy yesterday.

I had a good cry in therapy…after the initial break down that took place during an emotional flashback.

Click here to read about my break down before therapy.

It felt like a release of anger, letting loose to the pain that is there. The hurt I feel about my family’s abuse of me.

But the sadness continues today and I had a thought about depression.

I read something a long time ago about depression and that it is actually an absence of emotion. Sort of this numbness. Which given the word…de-press it made sense to me.

I’m sorry, I don’t remember exactly what was stated in the article I read and I don’t know where that article is.

But in either case, I feel a deep sadness and loneliness today, not a complete absence of emotion.

Emotional Flashback Before Therapy

I’ve started seeing a new therapist. Yesterday was my second appointment.

I got there early enough to hang out in my car for a bit, so when I went in I still had about five minutes to wait. My appointment was at noon.

After sitting there for what felt like longer than five minutes though, I started to feel anxious. But I’d turned off my phone so I didn’t know exactly what time it was. I decided to turn it back on.

It was 12:02. Tick tock. More anxiety. Why was the door still shut?

One therapist opened her door and I could hear the joyful voice of a client talking to her about some event in her family. Then the family shuffled out.

About a minute after that, another therapist’s door opened and another client came walking through, joyfully shouting back to her, some pleasantry.

Still my therapist’s door remained closed.

She was running five minutes late by this point and I’d started to cry. The other two therapists had already seen me, looked at me in passing and one gave me that smile that always makes me feel like a pathetic little waif.

The anxiety grew and the tears were coming. I looked to my left, toward the wall, in case anyone were to walk by again. I was embarrassed to be crying.

Then I got up and went into the bathroom where I could just let the tears flow.

When I was young, and depended on my mother to pick me up from some activity, I would sit and wait for her while I watched all the other kids get picked up. I would be the one remaining child..waiting. Wondering when she’d show up…if she’d show up.

Feeling completely forgotten.

This is what came up for me yesterday. This is exactly how I’d felt yesterday while waiting for a very short time for my therapist.

When I got myself into the bathroom and began to cry even harder, it triggered another memory.

When I was in 7th grade, I had forgotten a paper at home for my English class. And somehow I’d gotten the word out to my mother and asked her to bring it up to me. She hadn’t been working at the time, so she did.

When I saw her at the door, I shot up out of my seat and went to her. I sort of pushed her out the door (although not forcefully). It was more of a long nudge, leading her backwards back out into the hallway.

I shut the door to the classroom and as I was thanking her, uncontrollably the tears flowed.

It was a release of the relief that I didn’t have to be anxious about not having the paper anymore. It was a release of relief that my mom cared.

Back to present day and the bathroom I was in: I knew the therapist would probably be ready soon so I pulled myself together as much as I could and walked out of the bathroom.

Just as I opened the door, the therapist was walking by…probably from the other bathroom.

I’d left early to run a couple errands before therapy and had thought about a certain Christmas past when I was 13. I think it came up for me because I had used some scented chapstick. Smells are guaranteed time travel.

I remembered the school Christmas bazaar that year. I remember the Pepsi lip gloss my mother put in my stocking that year. And then I remembered how much fun the stocking stuffers always were. And I could feel the sadness as I crossed a large intersection yesterday.

So I was already primed even before arriving at therapy.

Object-Relations in BPD: Fairbairn and Personal Experiences (Link)

Whenever I start to read a post at this blog and think, I’m gonna reblog this, I simultaneously think, “I need to just reblog the whole blog.”

Unfortunately, I wrote so much below that the wordpress system won’t allow me to reblog.

So at the bottom of my post here, I am going to link the post.

It’s about BPD treatment, but is also relevant to those with C-PTSD who are seeking therapy and treatment or just trying to understand themselves.

This post is called “The Fairbairnian Object-Relations Approach to BPD.

I found it interesting that Dr. Fairbairn, worked and practiced and formed his theories during the same decades as Freud. So no wonder he was overshadowed. Sad too. When reading that, my thought was, “No wonder there are so many misdiagnoses and stigmas. When other psychiatrists were making more sense, students of psychiatry were instead learning about how sexual desires drive children. Like WTF!?!”

It’s really about attachment. Healthy, appropriate attachment.

My commentary about the common themes of Fairbairn (which you’ll read in the linked post.)

Loyalty to the abusive and neglectful parents: I remember my brother (as an adult) talking about himself as a child. He used to have a lot of tantrums when he didn’t get his way when he was a toddler. It exhausted my mother. In more recent years as he was looking back on that, he has said, “If I had been the parent, I would’ve kicked the shit out of myself. I was a real asshole.”

-He thought of himself as bad, rather than seeing himself as a child who wasn’t getting his needs met, by the very parents he was now protecting by demeaning his toddler self.

I saw their abuse early on and my siblings seemed to as well. As children, growing up, during the worst of the abuse, I felt allied with my siblings, but as we got older, they adopted the double standard of excusing our parents’ behavior while I (the scapegoat of the family) was supposed to not hold grudges, not supposed to be a product of the abuse as my parents were of their abusive upbringing.

They said things to me like, “Just get over it.” “Stop living in the past.” “You’ve gotta stop [feeling… fill in the blank with all the uncomfortable feelings]”

That being said, I certainly had my loyalties as well. I hated when people spoke badly of my father. Kids in the neighborhood used to bash my father about certain behaviors and I would feel shame. There were different situations where I’d feel pity for my mom and even my dad sometimes.

“Attachment to the bad object”: My insight to this mostly has to do with my adult romantic relationships and not being able to draw boundaries or tear myself away from a toxic relationship. Although I’d try, I went back time and time again.

After rereading this, I can see how it relates to how I was, around my family. It was a long time before I realized how they’d slowly and insidiously scapegoated me. Despite having seen the abuse of my father, I was oblivious to my mother’s neglect and other covert abuse. I had not noticed that my siblings had begun scapegoating me until there was a deluge of it and I had gotten the same ultimatum from each sibling and my mother. I was like the boiling frog in my family environment.

Time and time again, I let each insidious put down or insult slide by. I allowed each attempt at setting a boundary to be violated. Every time, I went back into the fold, back to the ones who were slowly, without my knowledge, damaging and betraying me.

I find it alarming that this ‘attachment to the bad object’ is the most stubborn aspect of successful therapy. However it is quite insightful and I will keep this in mind as I re-enter therapy. Because I now and have in the past questioned this pertaining to past therapists. Were they truly bad therapists or was it my own resistance to trust and let them help?

Although distorted thoughts of the patient can effect therapy. I truly think that the therapists I’ve had in the past, just didn’t know how to help. I stuck with them as well, through the frustration and the rage, thinking maybe it’s me. But in truth perhaps it was more likely that I didn’t choose the right people to support me. They didn’t understand complex trauma.

In addition I also think that those who have complex trauma from childhood abuse and neglect, tend to draw in, attract, are attracted to, those who will abuse them more. So really the distrust can be justified after finding yourself abused time and time again.

I think it becomes a pretty nasty cycle, because in such a case, self-trust is important, intuition if you will, tells us how much to open up or whether to at all. And some of us abused in childhood have lost that ability and need to rebuild it. Or if the ability wasn’t lost, it’s doubted.

Further, these quotes from the article linked below, really hit home. The quotes are in blue. My commentary is in black.

“Not only were borderlines relatively unaware of potential help, but they actively rejected it when it appeared. Fairbairn saw that a new, helpful person could easily be mistrusted and seen as someone who would eventually disappoint, abandon, or turn on them. In this way the borderline feared that a new “hoped-for good object” would morph into a “bad object”.

I can see myself here. Let me start though by saying, I can’t actually speak to being unaware of potential help. If that were the case, I suppose I’d be unaware. However, I do see myself as someone who has sought help, even when I could not really afford to pay out of pocket. When I was younger, instead of going to therapy every week, I’d struggle to pay for this help once a month. I suppose if I’d had more presence of mind, I would have asked my parents to pay for my therapy. I likely didn’t because I expected them to say no. I also believed that as an adult it was my responsibility.  (My stomach just did a turn there. I might vomit.)

Certainly if there was help available to me otherwise, through the state or county, I didn’t know about it. However, I do feel that it would have been the psychiatrist’s duty to let me in on any free-to-me therapy available to me, as he knew how much I struggled financially.

It is true as well, that I expected people in general to disappoint me down the road. This got worse as I got older and I don’t think I felt this way, at least not consciously as a child or even as a teen. Although I was repeatedly disappointed. And then blamed myself. See quote below.

Obviously, the expectation of disappointment is rooted in the abuse and neglect I experienced by my parents. And then friends moved or faded away, ended up bullying me or were lost due to difficulties in the relationship. One friendship in particular as a teen, I sabotaged until it was in tatters.

Now, when I feel something good happening, I’m cautious and pretty much always expect ‘the other shoe to drop’ at some point.  (More disappointment.) Which causes me to stay stagnant. I don’t move forward. I think it’s a partial cause of my procrastination. A constant pessimistic attitude of expecting the worst, even if things seem to look good, promising or optimistic.

Fairbairn’s “moral defense” described how borderlines blamed themselves for the poor treatment they received in order to, 1) Protect the truly bad parents from blame and thereby avoid retaliation from that parent, and 2) Prevent awareness of the helplessness of their situation (i.e. “If only I were not so bad, my parents would treat me better.”).

I spoke about this above, pertaining to my brother, but I see it in me a bit more subconsciously. I am/was the family scapegoat or what is known as the “Identified Patient (IP). I was the one who absorbed the family’s issues. I was also the one who spoke up on a number of occasions. But I was also the one who was called selfish when attempting to draw a boundary by saying no to something I didn’t want to do. And so I’d end up caving in to their desires after being shamed for telling them no.  I also didn’t  want to make waves, I wanted to keep others calm and make sure I stayed loved.

Although in therapy (on and off) to relieve my pain, I was also under the impression that if I fixed ME…the one who was affected by the past, the one who couldn’t let go of it, then things would be better all around.

I carried this into my romantic relationships and blamed myself for the problems exclusively and would then go back to therapy to work out whatever was going wrong there as well.

The moral defense created another massive obstacle, because it made borderlines blame themselves as “bad” and judge themselves as unworthy of help.”

Feeling unworthy of help pretty much takes me full circle to expecting the proverbial shoe to drop. If I’m not worthy of the help, certainly the universe won’t allow it to happen.This could also be another reason I didn’t ask my parents to pay for my therapy when I was younger.

I was insidiously made to feel unworthy all my life. Although my parents never said they were disappointed in me or called me stupid, they were able to get the message across loud and clear by condescending tones of voices, impatience and certain looks on their faces. And the big message my mother got across to me, that I am realizing now, is that I am not worthy (in her eyes) to protect myself with boundaries and how dare I say no when someone else in the family or the whole rest of the family needs me to comply with their wishes.

OK, so without further ado, here is the blog post I tried to reblog but will have to settle for supplying the link. Enjoy.

The Fairbairnian Object-Relations Approach to BPD.