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Author Topic: 4.10 | Positive Entitlement - Taking The Initiative To Share In Life's Riches  (Read 25419 times)
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« on: February 05, 2010, 05:42:22 PM »

Step 15 of the Survivors' Guide (found on the Parent, Sibling and In-Law Board here: https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=331826.0) says:

I am entitled to take the initiative to share in life's riches.

A simple statement, yet for many who were raised in a BPD environment, one that is hard to take to heart. In this workshop, we will discuss:



    • Positive entitlement--what is it?


    • How being raised in a BPD environment can impact our self-esteem


    • How to evaluate areas of self-esteem to work on


    • Tools to help us embrace and act on positive entitlement


    [/list]

    This topic is very personal, as it gets at how we measure our own self-worth--and how the way we live reflects that measure. This is an action-oriented workshop and participants are encouraged to post results of exercises or share responses and action plans, and to support others doing the same. The workshop is also a place to discuss larger issues related to the impact of being raised in a BPD environment on self-esteem.

    What's your definition of "positive entitlement"? How might "positive entitlement" relate to your life?

    « Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 06:14:21 PM by Harri, Reason: fixed link » Logged

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    anker
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    « Reply #1 on: February 05, 2010, 06:34:14 PM »

    positive entitlement would mean that my needs are respected of not met, that I feel safe asking for things whether emotional or physical. This would make a huge difference in my relationships, I'd feel much more relaxed with myself and others
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    « Reply #2 on: February 05, 2010, 07:03:59 PM »

    This is really hard for me.  I want to give the 'right' answer, but I know that this is not a quiz.  And there isn't a 'right' answer  - just the definition I have for me.  All you asked for was what positive entitlement means to me.

    The concept is SO important and was so long denied, that I'm actually anxious about posting my response.  My stomach is doing loop de loops - wow.      

    Positive entitlement means that I deserve to have good things happen because I'm on the planet. 

    Here's the loop de loop : I'm worried that you're going to pick on this definition because it could sound selfish.   


    First, I need to define what it's not :

    It means I don't have to be at the end of the line, I don't have to take the piece of cake with the frosting that is smushed and give the 'good' piece to someone else (unless I smushed the cake), I don't have to put everyone else's wants needs and desires before my own all the time.

    Now, here's what I think it is:

    I get to be in line - where ever that may be - but I don't have to let everyone else go first 'just because'.  I can take a piece of cake and choose a 'good' whole piece, I can seek my own way and not expect to be denied.

    I'm posting before I lose my gumption.

    js

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    « Reply #3 on: February 05, 2010, 08:21:08 PM »

    Joiesophie--for you:



    positive entitlement would mean that my needs are respected of not met, that I feel safe asking for things whether emotional or physical. This would make a huge difference in my relationships, I'd feel much more relaxed with myself and others

    Great point, anker! Lacking positive entitlement perhaps us puts on edge in our relationships. Can you explain a bit more about why you think this happens?

    B&W
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    « Reply #4 on: February 05, 2010, 08:30:17 PM »

    I think I've been shown that my needs are outlandish. Even though they're actually normal. I've been around disorder so much that I feel like I have to do evwrything and expecting anything in return just... .like rather than meet my needs they'd rather just be rid of me. I've begun to think withholding and the silent treatment is just... .what I have to deal with to have a relationship. With my parents this was the case for a long time and in most of my love relationships its been the case. I do the talking and giving and compromising... .and when I ask for something in return it starts to go sour
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    « Reply #5 on: February 05, 2010, 08:46:11 PM »

    For me, positive entitlement can be very important.

    Positive entitlement:

    A life free of slander.

    A life free of suspicion.

    A life free of being 'projected 'upon''.

    A life where who I am is not played with or distorted.

    A life where sharing and giving is reciprocated and mutually appreciated.

    A life that is free of psychological bills that don't belong to me; a life free of toxic people.

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    « Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 09:09:17 PM »

    One thing I noticed but have not yet fully explored is this:

    My uBPDh feels unworthy of all that he is given (love, admiration, etc)

    Yet he feels ENTITLED to the things he doesn't deserve (money for stupid things when we can't even make rent-because his condition makes him so physically sick he can't work)

    Yet, I am worthy of much that is NOT given to me (Amen)

    But feel I am not entitled to what I deserve... .

    Go figure.

    Food for thought, my therapist and I are chewing on this one... .
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    « Reply #7 on: February 05, 2010, 09:31:25 PM »

    Great stuff! Interesting thoughts on entitlement versus worthiness, pollystupidanna.

    We have some working definitions going here (and absolutely, no single right answer  Smiling (click to insert in post)):

    Excerpt
    Positive entitlement means that I deserve to have good things happen because I'm on the planet. 



    Excerpt
    positive entitlement would mean that my needs are respected of not met, that I feel safe asking for things whether emotional or physical.



    Excerpt
    A life free of slander.

    A life free of suspicion.

    A life free of being 'projected 'upon''.

    A life where who I am is not played with or distorted.

    A life where sharing and giving is reciprocated and mutually appreciated.

    A life that is free of psychological bills that don't belong to me; a life free of toxic people.

    Excerpt
    I feel that when I accomplish something or do something that boost my self esteem then that is the postive entitlement.  I deserve to feel good about what I have accomplished or what I have over come.

    I tend to think of this in terms of what I did NOT feel entitled to growing up, and turn it around.

    I felt I did not deserve to take up space in this world.

    I felt I did not deserve to have my voice heard.

    I felt I did not deserve to have needs, much less wants.

    I felt I did not deserve to stand out for my unique talents.

    I felt I did not deserve to seek my own happiness.

    I felt I did not deserve to be loved for who I am rather than what I could do for someone else.

    Turning it around... .

    Positive entitlement for me means I believe I deserve to take up space, have my voice heard, have needs and wants, stand out for my unique talents, seek my own happiness, and be loved for who I am.
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    « Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 11:35:03 PM »

    Excerpt from Surviving the Borderline Parent, by Kimberlee Roth and Freda B. Friedman

    A Sense of Entitlement

    Excerpt
    The term sense of entitlement often has a negative connotation, as when someone has the audacity to believe they deserve something that they don't. But particularly where happiness and contentment are concerned, some amount of feeling entitled is healthy. If your self-esteem is low, however, it may be hard to feel entitled to anything.

    Jaime recalls how, because of her low self-esteem, she felt undeserving. "It came out in material ways--I wouldn't hesitate to buy nice gifts for friends and family and make donations to all kinds of organizations, but when it came to spending money on myself, I was a real miser. Most of my wardrobe was outdated, but it didn't seem worthwhile to replace my clothes. My furniture was from graduate school (ten years earlier), but that seemed passable too. My desk was a folding table and thrift shop bargain, and they were also adequate. But I had the money to replace all of these things. Slowly, after working on feeling better about myself, I realize that it was worthwhile to replace this stuff with things I would enjoy. I didn't have to settle for adequate and passable--I could have a closet, living room, and office that I actually love to walk into."

    Exercise:

    Take an inventory of your life. Where does your lack of entitlement show? It might be in material things, like clothes or items around the house as in Jaime's example. It might be in how you care for yourself. It might be in your expectations of others or your behavior at work when it comes to pursuing a raise or opportunity.

    Focus on one area that reveals a lack of entitlement. Wipe that slate clean in your mind for moment.

    Now visualize what that area would look like if you truly believed you deserved something wonderful. Picture it in detail. Write about it if possible. What's changed?
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    « Reply #9 on: February 06, 2010, 01:34:06 PM »

    Exercise:

    Take an inventory of your life. Where does your lack of entitlement show? It might be in material things, like clothes or items around the house as in Jaime's example. It might be in how you care for yourself. It might be in your expectations of others or your behavior at work when it comes to pursuing a raise or opportunity.

    Focus on one area that reveals a lack of entitlement. Wipe that slate clean in your mind for moment.

    Now visualize what that area would look like if you truly believed you deserved something wonderful. Picture it in detail. Write about it if possible. What's changed?

    Okay, the gumption 's here - the cake helped a lot!

    This is actually something I'm working on - I wanted to be an artist.  But I didn't get a chance.  Once I hit middle school - I changed schools and art was either painful in school or didn't exist at all.  And so I didn't either.  Tried an art class a couple years ago - but my skills and my world is still back in 6th grade and frozen in time and terror.  

    Just a couple days ago, I actually fell asleep thinking of something I WANTED to do - that would make me happy  - a major change from replaying the frustrations of the day... . I want to have an art studio in my house!   My house is set up is similar to what my parents' house was - and my sister had the run of the 'upstairs'.  (oh that 'word' just strikes   in me.   So, I don't use my 'upstairs'.  Even though it's mine and I'm ENTITLED TO IT.  

    So, now, I'm in the process of finding an art therapist - (with my T's supprt ) to help me start on what I want to do.  Even went looking at art suppplies - and got a wee bit panicky - but that's okay.  That's why I need/want an art therapist to help me.  

    This is gonna take time... .

    js
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    « Reply #10 on: February 06, 2010, 01:43:03 PM »

    This is so appropriate for me right now.     I do the same thing with material goods (not expecting the best for me) and now that I really want to accomplish something with my career/art, I'm SCARED TO DEATH! FREAKING TERRIFIED!   I need help with this.  Badly.  I'm glad I have a T. appt next week. 

    An example of negative entitlement: This is TWO YEARS after I discovered BPD in my mother.  I was napping after the birth of my second child (also something I had given myself permission to do!) and the sheets were bunched up in an uncomfortable way under my shoulder.  I thought, "It's no big deal--you can handle it."  WTHeck?  It's my house, my bed, and I can sleep on soft, comfy sheets! 

    It took me 2 years to get up the nerve to replace an old, ratty comforter with a new, pretty bed set. 

    Anyway, please pray for me today, and as many days as you remember, as I try to deal with these issues and take a new step in my art. 

    Sincerely,

    TTGB 
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    « Reply #11 on: February 06, 2010, 03:36:21 PM »



    I think my problems with positive entitlement have to do with having anything for myself that goes right from basic health issues to the finer things of life.  I know that at one time I had everything I wanted and had a good job, property, vacations, but I felt guilty like I didn't deserve to have those things. 

    Then I got divorced and used whatever money I had to give my children what I could.  It really hurt me that I couldn't give them more of the things I could have if things would have been different. I felt so guilty for being a single mom of 3+1 as we went right from an upper middle class life in a good area of the suburbs to a life of poverty in the slum areas of town and all the problems that came out of that.

    I've recently realized that I have big issues with money, in the past and now.  I really don't like money or want it as I don't trust it anymore and if I get any I get rid of it as soon as I can.  Even if I have a few dollars in my bank account, it bothers me and I feel guilty that I'm not giving it to my children or Haiti or what ever.

    Sometimes I think of what it would be like if I just just feel normal about this and allow myself to have the security that money could give me even with my limited income. I really don't understand this as I haven't thought it through yet but maybe it stems from my mom's views and growing up poor but I'm starting to see how this all fits together and would love to be able to have a few pennies in the bank without feeling guilty.

    As for my health, I've been forced lately to pay attention and I'm making some progress but it's something that I have to stay on top of as it doesn't come easy.

    justhere

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    « Reply #12 on: February 06, 2010, 04:08:20 PM »

    Justthere, being a single mom to several kids is a huge job! I just want to encourage you to feel proud for doing it, especially under financial pressure.

    For me, positive entitlement is a huge area to work on. I feel the opposite of that. I feel that I don't deserve anything and don't have any rights, that I better have a good explanation for why I am hanging about having any needs at all. I have never felt like a legitimate person for whom it is OK to exist. Now that I have been facing major financial issues and job-hunting, that sense of being wrong for just being there has been particularly strong.

    I think this "negative unentitlement" has been such a core part of me for such a long time, that it has definitely contributed to my entering and staying in abusive situations, because when people attack or exploit me, I experience it as a natural response, as something I must have done something to deserve.

    So how in god's name do I start? What can I do to change this deeply embedded belief that I have no right to anything, from physical safety and having the most basic needs met to pursuing better things for myself in career and relationships?
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    « Reply #13 on: February 06, 2010, 04:39:46 PM »

    I'm wondering how much being 'brought down' in youth by the Borderline parent when the Non achieved something or displayed pleasure plays into not feeling entitled?
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    « Reply #14 on: February 06, 2010, 10:40:07 PM »

    Joiesophie and TryingtoGetBy, as scary as it might feel sometimes, how fantastic that you're both pursuing dreams in art!  Smiling (click to insert in post) You are entitled to comfy sheets, beautiful things, and the flow of creativity!

    justhere, random, mts... .you're all raising really great points and questions. Let me add in some information and see if we can move our thinking on this forward. I will also include some strategies to get started in the daunting but incredibly necessary task random described, to "change this deeply embedded belief that I have no right to anything, from physical safety and having the most basic needs met to pursuing better things for myself in career and relationships."

    Information from The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitative Relationships, Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D.

    In a section called "What Trauma Does to People," Carnes describes common lingering after effects for those who have experienced significant trauma:

    *Trauma reactions--experiencing current reactions to trauma events in the past, e.g., "I have recurring memories of painful experiences."

    *Trauma repetition--repeating behaviors or situations that parallel early trauma experiences, e.g., "I repeat painful experiences over and over." (repetition compulsion)

    *Trauma bonds--being connected (loyal, helpful, supportive) to people who are dangerous, shaming or exploitative, e.g., "I try to be understood by those who are incapable or don't care for me."

    *Trauma shame--feeling unworthy and having self-hate because of trauma experience, e.g., "I feel bad about myself at times because of shameful experiences I believe were my fault."

    *Trauma pleasure--finding pleasure in the presence of extreme danger, violence, risk, or shame, e.g, "I engage in high-risk behaviors."

    *Trauma blocking--a pattern exists to numb, block out, or overwhelm feelings that stem from trauma in your life, e.g., "At times, I have difficulty staying awake" (or I eat compulsively or drink too much).

    *Trauma splitting--ignoring traumatic realities by dissociating or "splitting" off experiences or parts of self, e.g., "I avoid thoughts or feelings associated with my trauma experiences."

    *Trauma abstinence--depriving yourself of things you need or deserve because of traumatic acts, e.g., "I will hoard money and not spend money on legitimate needs."

    All are worthy of discussion, but the last item, trauma abstinence, is very relevant to this discussion of positive entitlement. Carnes says that sometimes survivors "experience a bottleneck in their lives by their commitment to deprivation."

    Excerpt
    Compulsive deprivation or abstinence occurs especially around memories of success, high stress, shame or anxiety,. Most importantly, deprivation is driven by terror and fear, which we know have a powerful impact on our brains. In deprivation, survivors may:



    • deny themselves basic needs like groceries, shoes, books, medical care, rent, or heat


    • avoid any sexual pleasure or feel extreme remorse over any sexual activity


    • hoard money and avoid spending money on legitimate needs


    • perform "underachieving" jobs compulsively and make consistently extreme or unwarranted sacrifices for work

      spoil success opportunities


    • have periods of no interest in eating and attempt diets repeatedly


    • see comfort, luxuries, and play activities as frivolous


    • routinely skip vacations because of dedication to an unrewarding task


    • avoid normal activities because of fears


    • have difficulties with play


    • be underemployed


    • vomit food or use diuretics to avoid weight gain



    Sound familiar?
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    « Reply #15 on: February 06, 2010, 11:29:15 PM »

    So what can I do to change this? Its apt to my situation to how I feel and behave... .where to start changing this stuff?

    Mine is mostly emotional. And intimate. Not so much material things... .I am broke more often than not but I do try to have good things. Its with relationships that I have the problem with lovers and with my family
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    « Reply #16 on: February 07, 2010, 07:28:21 AM »

    I've recently realized that I have big issues with money, in the past and now.  I really don't like money or want it as I don't trust it anymore and if I get any I get rid of it as soon as I can.  Even if I have a few dollars in my bank account, it bothers me and I feel guilty that I'm not giving it to my children or Haiti or what ever.

    Idea Idea Idea

    Wow.  Thanks for writing this.  I think I now understand where my mom's money issues are coming from!  I (and others in my family) have always been frustrated with my mom for not taking better care of her money, just spending it on whatever random items catch her fancy until it's gone and she's desperate for help again.  I thought it was the opposite - a sense of over-entitlement - but this makes much more sense with the rest of her personality and behavior patterns.   

    As for myself, it's complicated - I'm very ambitious in certain ways, and expect a lot out of life, but when it comes to relationships, I have a harder time.  I absolutely do not expect to have my voice heard, and so I often do not really think about the implications or effect my words will have on others, which is not so great when they *are* actually listening!  (I wish there were an emoticon for blushing!)  I express myself for my own satisfaction - which is good in some ways, but limiting in others.  I have a hard time with "taking up space" too - it's hard for me to tell others I have a problem with something if that will inconvenience them in any way, even if it's in a situation where it's actually their job to make sure I am comfortable. 

    This is a great conversation!
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    « Reply #17 on: February 07, 2010, 11:13:24 AM »

    Excerpt
    So what can I do to change this? Its apt to my situation to how I feel and behave... .where to start changing this stuff?

    Good question. I think it starts with two things--identifying beliefs and identifying behaviors. The self-esteem checklist (from Surviving the Borderline Parent) below helps to get at beliefs that may be behind your lack of positive entitlement.

    Participants are welcome to post their responses or a summary and we can work together on your plan to improve your scores.

    Self-Esteem Self-Assessment

    On a scale of 0 to 10, rate how closely you agree with each of the following statements, which are adapted from an exercise in The Self-Esteem Workbook, by Glenn Schiraldi (2001). Zero indicates you don't agree at all; 10 indicates you agree completely. As you do the exercise, don't analyze each statement; simply respond with the number that best represents your gut-level reaction.

    1. I am a valuable person. __

    2. I possess the qualities I need to live a fulfilling life. __

    3. When I look in the mirror, I feel good. __

    4. I think of myself as a success. __

    5. I'm able to laugh at myself. __

    6. I'm happy being me. __

    7. Given a choice, I'd choose to be me over someone else. __

    8. I treat myself with respect. __

    9. I continue to believe in myself, even when others don't. __

    10. Overall, I'm satisfied with the person I am. __

    Take note of any responses for which you answered with a 5 or lower. Consider how your thoughts and feelings in these areas may be impacting your self-esteem. Write about your reactions here or in your journal. What are some ways you can improve your scores in those areas?
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    « Reply #18 on: February 07, 2010, 01:10:09 PM »

    This was very interesting. My only 5 (and lowest score), was answered to:

    "I posess the qualities I need to live a fulfilling life". Only 5 points on this.

    My impulse is to explain that I have been going through a rough time these last months while being forced to 'un-count' the few family members whom I thought I could count on when the chips are down, or in my old age. That in our old age we few would be able to count on each other in our last years. What a joke.

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    « Reply #19 on: February 07, 2010, 01:37:55 PM »



    I think I have most/all those examples of 'Trauma behavior' as well as the 'Compulsive deprivation or abstinence' and even reading this information is difficult as I realize that I'm holding my breath while reading and then I had to stop just to breathe. It seems that I feel sad about this too.

    I didn't do too well on the 'self-esteem self-assessment' test not getting any higher then a 5 or 6 on any of the questions. This surprised me as overall I thought that I was fine with my life. I know that I have had to deal with some pretty tough stuff but I also know that it has taken it's toll on me both physically and mentally. I guess as long as I was strong enough to keep going, I was fine but now that I've stopped it's like I can't even move at all anymore.

    I think I have two things happening here at the same time... .one is, I'm ok with things and myself and the other is that I feel that I really screwed up. I can make amends to a point but I still feel that... .what's done is done. Even though I know I did the best I could and feel a sense of accomplishment by surviving there is this part of me that says... .'it really didn't matter what I did.  No one in my family seems to care at all and they just want to go on pretending so I put myself on the line and gave up everything for nothing'. Then I question what, if anything did I accomplish?

    I wonder too if these are even my beliefs and not those of my mother and I was being true to the thoughts and ideals that she put in my head and I have wasted my energies chasing a lie or some fragment of her twisted thinking?  I'm just looking for some peace with this and don't know how to find it.

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    « Reply #20 on: February 07, 2010, 03:08:00 PM »

    I got 5 or below on most of it:

    Given a choice, I'd choose to be me over someone else. 2

    I continue to believe in myself, even when others don't. 2

    I think of myself as a success. 2

    I treat myself with respect. 3

    I'm happy being me. 3

    Overall, I'm satisfied with the person I am. 3

    When I look in the mirror, I feel good. 4

    I possess the qualities I need to live a fulfilling life. 5

    What can I do to raise the scores, i.e. to change my beliefs and feelings about myself? I kind of don't know. I'd love some ideas. Maybe a place to start is to look at why I have the beliefs and feelings I do now? What is my low self-assessment based on?

    Food for thought.
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    « Reply #21 on: February 07, 2010, 03:20:49 PM »

    This isn't as easy as it looks.  The list that included sacrificing at work, not knowing how to play blew me away.  On another thread about school - some of us posted about not knowing - literally 'how to play' at school.

    Now I got the list - and I want to 'fix' the numbers - but I won't. The items that stood out, well, here's one I'm proud of and one that I definitely need help with!  Looking in the mirror is still a really big issue - does it mean that I don't exist? 

    I am a valuable person. _10_  (I'm pretty proud of this one!)

    When I look in the mirror, I feel good. _4.5_

    js
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    « Reply #22 on: February 07, 2010, 04:25:27 PM »

    1,2 &8 are where I feel lowest. I am not happy with myself. I like my life just fine- I work in the arts and have amazing friends and travel a lot... .I just don't feel like I deserve the good things. I'm not conventionally attractive... .I'm lazy. I don't like to clean or cook and I can be really loud and annoying... .why would anyone want me? if someone responds and likes me as more than a friend I feel like I owe them. Like I haven't earned it.

    I'm not happy with me. I've had incredible luck to have the life I have and... .yet I'm not happy and feel like I suck. Makes me feel worse because. I do have a good life and I must be terribly ungrateful to feel this way... .

    I definitely have big issues with this stuff
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    « Reply #23 on: February 07, 2010, 04:27:58 PM »

    Somewhere along the line I learned that being stoic was more important than being happy.
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    « Reply #24 on: February 07, 2010, 05:03:27 PM »

    Excerpt
    My impulse is to explain that I have been going through a rough time these last months while being forced to 'un-count' the few family members whom I thought I could count on when the chips are down, or in my old age. That in our old age we few would be able to count on each other in our last years.

    MTS, I think it's very hard to hold on to self-esteem in the face of betrayal. But the fact that you scored well in general means you're pretty resilient, I bet, and you can move forward fairly smoothly?

    Excerpt
    I think I have two things happening here at the same time... .one is, I'm ok with things and myself and the other is that I feel that I really screwed up. I can make amends to a point but I still feel that... .what's done is done. Even though I know I did the best I could and feel a sense of accomplishment by surviving there is this part of me that says... .'it really didn't matter what I did.  No one in my family seems to care at all and they just want to go on pretending so I put myself on the line and gave up everything for nothing'. Then I question what, if anything did I accomplish?



    This makes a lot of sense to me, justhere. You DID do something incredible by surviving, and by that measure (survival), you're "ok with things." But when you set your sights higher, even to... .gulp... .happiness, feelings of self-worth that come from you and NOT from your family, you feel a little stuck?

    I am a valuable person. _10_  (I'm pretty proud of this one!)

    When I look in the mirror, I feel good. _4.5_

    js

    Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) on your 10, JS! My lowest score was the look in the mirror one too. 

    Somewhere along the line I learned that being stoic was more important than being happy.

    Oh, that really resonated with me, anker. Daring to shoot for happiness used to trigger shame in me.

    Here's another exercise to try, also from The Betrayal Bond:

    Write the Story

    This assignment asks that you write your own story in your journal (or here), but write as if it happened to someone else. Use third person pronouns in your description: "Once there was a girl and she... ." It may help you to visualize it as a movie or a fairy tale. Limit yourself to 750 words or less (about three pages). Focus on how the character in the story is thinking and feeling. Yo may wish to draw a picture or two with crayons to illustrate the story. After you have finished, do the following:

    1. With your therapist or group (if possible), read the story out loud and show the pictures.

    2. If you think of this as happening to someone else, what feelings do you have for the character?

    3. Write in your journal (or here) about the realities you have not been willing to examine.

    4. Record any patterns you see emerging throughout your life.

    5. Record any common profiles of persons you recognize. For example, do you keep getting involved with the same kind of romantic partner or friend, even if this sort of person is not good for you?

    Feel free to share your story, your answers, and/or your reflections on both here.
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    « Reply #25 on: February 08, 2010, 10:54:47 AM »



    I had a nice post written up about my thoughts on courage and repeating relationships but as I looked over the my words I saw that I left out something that was jumping off the page and that was this person who was living my life isn't who I am. I don't know whether I can explain this but I don't feel that my life reflects who I am at all.

    What really stood out to me is that I was living my life by 'reacting' to others. I don't think I ever had an original idea or thought. I went right from 'reacting' to my mother to my partners to my children. I never took hold of life and created my own place but was always a visitor in the life of someone else even with my own family and I still feel like I'm 'just renting' and waiting for my life to start...

    I'm basically very peaceful and abhor violence and just want a simple quiet life and when I look at where I've been and still am in some ways, I feel that it doesn't make any sense to me.  Even the other day I got this 'middle or the night call' from my daughter latest as she apparently ran out in a rage and he's so worried.  Good grief, I just can't deal with this any more and I'm so tired of running in to save the day.

    I think that when I was younger I was more a part of it as this was all I knew and even my job had an element of danger and excitement but I always felt that I was in the wrong place and just biding my time till I could get away. I think that my adrenaline has been pumped up so many times that it's all used up as it just won't work anymore.  I just can't be that person anymore for anyone.

    The one good thing that I accomplished is that I'm now living by myself, partner-free, so I'm able to be myself in my own place for the first time ever. 

    Thank you blackandwhite as this thread has helped me see another part of the puzzle.

    justhere



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    « Reply #26 on: February 08, 2010, 01:19:43 PM »

    Wow, this is tough stuff.  I have avoided this thread for a while here, because I knew, I knew... .

      to all of you who have participated.  Thank each and every one of you!

    I'm bad about having things for myself--personal things that no one else can get use from.  I actually get ill when I go to a store and my daughter says, MOM, lets pick you out a new pair of jeans or shirt or outfit.  She's just getting me to wear make up.  I don't mean lots, just foundation.  It's not that we're poor and I must sacrifice for my kids.  She wears all the label clothing, and my son, too.  The little ones grow too fast for that stuff, and while they don't care about labels, I don't worry.   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)  I don't even enjoy clothes shopping at discount stores.  I LOVE to pick out stuff for my kids, though... .grocery shopping, neccessity shopping, don't mind that.  I will choose every time, something that at least one other person in the house can use or enjoy besides myself.

    Playing is tough for me.  I have made a habit out of collecting board games for us to play as a family.  Although, I really have to stop and say... .is laundry THAT important that I don't have time for a few rounds of Yahtzee?  Getting the Wii last year was a big help.  I LOVE RockBand, so I'm trying to make a habit out of playing with my kids once a week, at least.  Pounding those drums is good therapy!

    When my kids were born, I used to get upset that it seemed my hubby had replaced them for me... .they got all the love and hugs and kisses.  I realized recently, that I'd closed myself off to that.  That if he was taking time to show me his affection, it was taking away from the kids.  I honestly didn't think of this for 15 years... .I'd say, you don't have time to hug or kiss me anymore, but you do the kids.  Nice, projecting right?  I was giving him what he asked for, and then he got used to that as a new way of doing business.  Who wants to hug a porcupine, right?

    I think that I am a good person, deserving of things, but to put that into action feels very uncomfortable... .almost selfish, yes.  That is still what I get told when I don't want to be around my FoO when there is all this drama.  Well, family is family and you take the good with the bad, so suck it up for the rest of us.  Obviously I'm standing up to them now, so hopefully that will rub off and I will stand up to myself eventually, too.
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    « Reply #27 on: February 08, 2010, 02:06:38 PM »

    I'm stewing in this.

    I see that a pattern I have is to be involved with withdrawn and withholding people. They come on strong then stop. I have a compulsion to try to get from them what they can't or don't want to give.

    Why ... .That's the question.
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    « Reply #28 on: February 08, 2010, 02:40:17 PM »

    Where I struggle with this is finding healthy ways to teach my 3 teenaged sons gratitude without pulling the mind games my mother always played with me about how I wasn't deserving of anything and I was ungrateful. How do we teach gratitude and positive entitlement without doing so in an unhealthy way?

    For example, my youngest son struggles with being an identical twin. His sense of self esteem is very tied up in being an individual and his sense of self, as is right and healthy. He gets VERY angry though if that's imposed on in any way. Last month, he has a huge melt down and was very rude and mouthy to me. I told him he wasn't being grateful for all the positive things in his life. He could be living on the street somewhere or have divorced parents or... .And then I caught myself sound like my mom. Yet, the point is still valid. My son needs to understand that he is not entitled to keep up with the Joneses or be better than other people or always have the newest gadget. I told him he always gets what he asks for in our house, and his response to me was, "No I don't. I asked for a laptop for Christmas and you ONLY gave me an iPod Touch."   Well, that did it for me. I thought what kind of totally ungrateful child have a raised? I told him to give me his iPod touch. He can have it back after he spends a month keeping a journal on the kitchen wipe board of what he's grateful for (big or small) each day. He's about three weeks in now. Some days he just writes "my bed" or "nice dinner," which is fine. I'm trying to make this a positive teachable moment. Is this unhealthy? I was very calm when he was freaking out and yelling at me last month.

    But of course, I've always got my uBPD mother's spectre looming behind me, and I'm always second guessing if I'm going out parenting this child properly. So this entitlement workshop is very timely. I just thought I'd ask this from a different perspective.

    minnares
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    « Reply #29 on: February 09, 2010, 12:09:15 AM »

    Wow, this is bringing out a lot of core questions and realizations. I'm so impressed by what you're all saying and asking and the issues touched by the lack of positive entitlement, including identity, pleasure, self-care, love, and parenting.

    Justhere describes a lack of entitlement to living her own life, for herself, on her own terms, rather than reacting to others' needs:

    I never took hold of life and created my own place but was always a visitor in the life of someone else even with my own family and I still feel like I'm 'just renting' and waiting for my life to start...

    BMama describes a lack of entitlement to nice things for herself, her husband's affection, and play and enjoyment. Pleasure has been linked with "selfishness":

    I think that I am a good person, deserving of things, but to put that into action feels very uncomfortable... .almost selfish, yes.  That is still what I get told when I don't want to be around my FoO when there is all this drama.  Well, family is family and you take the good with the bad, so suck it up for the rest of us.  Obviously I'm standing up to them now, so hopefully that will rub off and I will stand up to myself eventually, too.

    Anker describes self-sabotage that leads to involvement with people who withhold... .a lack of entitlement to love, warmpth, a generous mutuality in a relationship:

    I see that a pattern I have is to be involved with withdrawn and withholding people. They come on strong then stop. I have a compulsion to try to get from them what they can't or don't want to give.

    minnares describes a struggle to teach to her children what was not taught to her, a grounded sense of positive entitlement... ."taking the initiative to pursue life's riches":

    Where I struggle with this is finding healthy ways to teach my 3 teenaged sons gratitude without pulling the mind games my mother always played with me about how I wasn't deserving of anything and I was ungrateful. How do we teach gratitude and positive entitlement without doing so in an unhealthy way?

    Okay, how about some examples of times when you HAVE embraced positive entitlement? I think we could use some success stories.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    B&W
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    « Reply #30 on: February 09, 2010, 01:38:44 AM »

    I'm very good at what I do. At my work. I used to have a tough time pricing my work but I decided that I have a right to earn my living. I'm entitled to that... .

    I feel entitled to decide things about my career too. work is the best thing in my life. I love what I do.

    So there's that!
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    « Reply #31 on: February 09, 2010, 05:23:30 AM »

    ^That is an awesome one.  I'm glad you mention this because as I'm reading B&W's assignment, I was like, "OH NO."  I don't think I have anything to add.  

    I, too, have that VERY same problem.  I keep framing it as, well if I'm cheap, then I'll get more work on the marketing end.  I know, I know, people know they get what they pay for... . 

    I recently took on a client that offered me up front double what I'm charging my "preferred" clients.  I'm still having difficulty accepting that, but I agreed.  When I write out my invoice this week, there will be no "courtesy discounts.  I'm gonna take that money and buy myself something!

    Now, someone hold my feet to the fire and make sure I did it... .Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

    But, I'm ashamed to say... .that I can't think of a single thing popping into my mind that I do just for ME.  Part of that is not liking to be alone.  If I'm with someone, I feel I must share what I have, or part of myself.  Yikes, this is a really, really good, and really, really scary topic!

    Forgot... .Minnares.  I have the SAME issues with parenting.  My goodness do I sound like my MOTHER when I get the kids acting like they don't have ANYTHING in life song and dance.  Then I even stupidly think, crimony, I DON'T have anything, myself, and all the money I could spend on me, I spend on them.  What is wrong with them?  It's a trap.
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    « Reply #32 on: February 09, 2010, 06:29:00 AM »

    Embracing positive entitlement :

    I don't think I've ever considered EMBRACING it, but I have done things for me without question.  So, I'm wondering if it counts as positive entitlement if you do it because you need it?

    For example : taking care of my health - and not giving up when one (two, several !) therapist wasn't a good fit.   Other areas of my health - I don't do as easily.

    changing faith traditions : because it 'felt' right, because I was 'entitled?' to change.  For me, there wasn't a question about being able to do it.

    Is it because I didn't have negative experiences with some of these? 

    *thinking out loud*

    Eating/ taking care of the house - those were 'modelled' by my family of origin - so I had experiences with those concepts.  Negative everything was associated with it.  Doing art - was a subtle negative 'we don't do that.  But needlepoint was fine... .

    js 

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    « Reply #33 on: February 09, 2010, 12:28:54 PM »



    I think my first attempts at 'embracing positive entitlement' was learning how to say 'no'. Saying 'no' to anyone was the last thing that I wanted to do as I felt that I was letting the person down so I was trapped by my own guilt or duty to give of myself and resources even if this really hurt me. .

    I would try to explain or defend though and kept hoping that my needs would be considered and 'they would give me permission to say 'no'. Then I realized that I was asking another person to set my limits and boundaries. . My first 'no' wasn't the healthiest and they still can be a little wimpy and difficult to get out, but more of my 'no's' are being heard now...    

    I've also been trying out some recreational activities that are just for my pleasure so as well as learning how to 'enjoy' this is helping me to become a more active and purposeful participant in my life.

    justhere



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    « Reply #34 on: February 09, 2010, 05:42:49 PM »

    OK, my positive entitlement story is very small and silly, but it's all mine, dammit! At my temp job, I typeset documents, and for version control, each publisher appends their initials to the file they are working on. I used to set my initials in lower case, until one day I said to myself, "Enough of this!" And then I started using capital letters to do my initials. And it feels so good! It's such a small step, but for me, it's plenty big.
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    « Reply #35 on: February 10, 2010, 12:05:12 AM »

    Those are all great examples--and those capital are NOT silly, random!

    BMama and anyone else who might be up for it... .I'd love to give you a specific assignment to do something small but wonderful just for you. If you're willing to take on that task, would you do it and report back to us?

    Those who described one area (such as work or protecting your health) where you DO feel positively entitled, what happens when you try to shift that same feeling to another area of your life?

    I'm going to pull from another thread an example of a process I underwent to "grow" positive entitlement--the entitlement to take up space in the world and get attention for things I do well. The thread was started by MotherSpirit and it was about being "visible versus invisible."

    Does anyone else have this problem? :

    When no one's paying attention to you, you get angry and/or sad because you feel like, once again as always, you are invisible.

    But then when everyone pays a lot of attention to you, you get scared, back away and don't want to be seen?

    It's like the "keep your distance a little closer", but more with attention.  I've been trying to figure out if this is part of the reason I struggle with weight loss.  Once I start losing weight, people notice me and comment and I feel shy and scared. In fact, sometimes I want to hide my weight loss so people don't come and say "OH WOW!  You've lost so much weight!"  I can't stand that!  At the same time, I want compliments and someone to say "hey, you look really good!"  Once I gain weight again, I am not seen, not noticed, just the same old me.  Or by gaining weight, I draw attention to myself in a negative way, which I then want to change by losing weight.  I've been wondering if this is the reason for some time now.

    I hate being ignored but hate being the center of attention.  is there a comfortable medium?  Is there a balance?  Is this a  PD traits? Does anyone else feel this way?

    This set of experiences that led to me being so much more comfortable being "visible" happened somewhat by accident. I didn't set out to solve this problem, but that's what happened. Perhaps there are some lessons in it. Here's what helped me:

    *Teaching others. I started teaching a subject that I knew really well. It was sort of trial by fire--I needed some money and had an opportunity. Teaching requires that you be a big focus of attention. I built confidence from my subject matter expertise.

    *Changing the narrative. Over time, I realized that some of the story I had been telling myself (I don't like to be the center of attention, I feel strange in a group, nobody will want to listen to me) was NOT TRUE.

    *Changing self-talk. I did like being the center of attention. Not all the time, but I liked getting things rolling and facilitating. I don't feel at all strange in a group that's directed toward a common purpose. And lots of people wanted to listen to me, because I knew my stuff and I was good at reading responses (as many of us adult children of BPDs are  Smiling (click to insert in post)). The talk in my head ("self-talk" changed too: "I'm good at this"; "I enjoy this"; "people seem to like it when I X or Y." Developing a list of the messages to undo, finding their opposite, and then practicing them in your head sounds goofy but I bet it would help.

    *Playing a role. The teaching job and another in which I did a lot of public speaking, gave me a role to play, of "expert" and "authority." Even if I didn't feel those, the role provided a base for me. This happened for me in a professional capacity, but I'm sure you could do it by taking an acting class, doing Toastmasters, or in many other ways.

    *Finding comfortable ways to stand out. I posted somewhere else that I began to dress better along the way, and I really explored my taste and developed it. It's very "me," so I feel confident about it. Is there something you feel very confident in that you could develop and even show off a bit?

    *Breaking bad habits. When someone would praise me in the past ("I liked that class you taught" or "I love your shoes" I would downgrade it, deflect it, not really take in the compliment. I have taught myself to say, "Thank you" and smile. And then shut up. I really had to work on this, because of the training that attention = target. At first it felt weird. Now it feels natural.  Being cool (click to insert in post)

    *Helping others. I have actually helped several others get over a fear of public speaking! Extremely satisfying to see their success.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    I'll keep looking for more info, but those are some things that have helped me. Hope they're of some use.  xoxox

    B&W

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    « Reply #36 on: February 10, 2010, 01:00:06 AM »

    I don't know for sure how to extend my confidence with work and expertise there into my love life... I mean I've been one date in six months... .not sure how to apply this when I'm not in a relationship.
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    « Reply #37 on: February 10, 2010, 07:52:50 AM »

    I don't know for sure how to extend my confidence with work and expertise there into my love life... I mean I've been one date in six months... .not sure how to apply this when I'm not in a relationship.

    This is difficult and I'm not sure I have any answers. But can you give a specific example of positive entitlement in a work or career situation? I'm trying to see how you're operating and look for ways that your confidence and sense of self there have developed. You mentioned a break through in pricing your work and also making career decisions. Perhaps you could share an instance when you said, that's it, I'm worth it?
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    « Reply #38 on: February 10, 2010, 08:27:51 AM »

    Mine is the 'saying no' to the dinner invitation by my father. (see thread on 'perils'.   I don't feel entitled to say 'no, thank you'. 

    The FOG hit. 

    It's my family, for goodness' sake.  My parents are elderly.

    It's only a dinner, can't I just suck it up for an afternoon?

    What's so important that I can't 'just do it'?  I used to go through worse, you know.

    Answer:  I'M THE REASON.  If I wanted to have dinner with them, I would have many other times.

    When I think about it, my stomach is doing loop-de-loops. My panic attack gremlins are rubbing their hands together - going, whatcha gonna do? 

    Solution:   I could visit them earlier in the day - to say hi. 

    I'M ENTITLED, YOU KNOW!

    Thanks for asking.  Now, I just gotta call... .

    I'm still scared silly, you know... .

    js

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    « Reply #39 on: February 10, 2010, 08:42:38 AM »

    Joiesophie,

    You ARE entitled to say no thank you! You ARE entitled to refuse to have experiences that will be traumatic for you. You owe self-protection and respect for boundaries to YOURSELF.

    Try to think of yourself in that third-person story... .there once was a girl who... .and now you've reached a later place in the story and it goes "there once was a woman who cared enough about herself to say NO when she needed to... ."

    xoxo
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    « Reply #40 on: February 10, 2010, 11:46:20 AM »

    I think this is what all of us are looking for... .that permission, so how do we get this? It seems that we have been stuck in this place of not being able to say no, or earn a good living, or enjoy our blessings or to know that we are worth something just because we are ourselves and we sure weren't taught that we could put our own needs and wants before someone else, especially our BPDparent.

    I remember when my son was born, I couldn't show any joy to my mom or my sister as neither one of them had a 'son'.  Any happiness on my part would be like saying to them that I was better then them in some way because I had something that they wanted. I could almost taste their anger towards me and my son and my mom put my son down any chance she could get. There was so much competition for everything and the way I didn't compete with them was to stop myself from feeling.

    It's almost like you are saying by suggesting that we think of ourselves in the third person that we can then put our emotional connection aside. This is what I did for years but I guess it was more for my protection and I was reacting and it was not from a position of strength by detached observation.   So where do we go from observing? I know even if something makes sense to me, I still tend to act by how I feel rather then to what I think.  

    justhere

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    « Reply #41 on: February 10, 2010, 12:44:09 PM »

    for example I price my work all day... .so a client often asks how much something will be. I think of how long it'll take. Me and also how difficult it will be... .I used to only consider the time stuff would take. A few years ago I began asserting that difficult projects should cost more... .

    I do a lot of traveling for work too. I have to call colleagues and arrange times meetings terms and qorkspaces. I actually enjoy this and feel respected by them... .I am confident about work. I know what I'm doing and I've succeeded.

    With relationships... .I have no idea what I'm doing and feel unwanted and disrespected. I hate being the one to arrange stuff but somehow I ways end up doing all the "work" there too... .it makes me feel just the opposite.

    Although my colleagues encourage me and call me first and ask me to arrange or attend. I get Vidation and positive support from them... .
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    « Reply #42 on: February 10, 2010, 03:23:46 PM »

     

    With relationships... .I have no idea what I'm doing and feel unwanted and disrespected. I hate being the one to arrange stuff but somehow I ways end up doing all the "work" there too... .it makes me feel just the opposite.

    Thanks for sharing, this, Anker,

    I finally realized this year (!) that I would visit other people's offices at work to 'say hi', but they rarely would stop by my cubby.  Now I don't stop at theirs, anymore.  If we are 'colleagues', then it should be reciprocal.  Not just ME doing the stopping to chat, but them wanting to stop by and see me. Or even call. 

    They have time, when I stop, how come they don't have the same time to say hi?  I'm learning.  My T pointed out that I would find friends outside of work, and she's right. 

    js
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    « Reply #43 on: February 10, 2010, 05:52:05 PM »

    I'm up for it B&W.  I can talk the talk, but when it comes to doing the walk... .unless someone is holding my feet to the fire... .well, you know.   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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    « Reply #44 on: February 10, 2010, 08:13:46 PM »

    Hey BMama -

    I know where you're coming from!  So, whatcha wanna do? Can we be of assistance?

    (Yeah, I talked the talk and then I got a phone call... .Now I gotta walk the walk ... .up and down my entitlement!)

    js
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    « Reply #45 on: February 10, 2010, 10:43:27 PM »

    I'm afraid that if I don't call text or whatever... .that they won't do anything. So I keep initiating.

    I can't think of a way to work on this. I had a date that went great last weekend. We've texted and called each other... .mostly me initiating. Maybe I can just not and see what happens?

    Wow but... .ok! Its a flea. I'm afraid if I don't keep initiating he won't know I like him. Or that he will move in to someone else immediately. That he will react the way my BPDx would... .or of not then that I will find out he doesn't like me all that much... .rejection... .ugh

    Someone help me figure out ways to bring my competence and confidence from my work to my personal life... .

    Like... .I'd never ever have been a business partner with any of my disordered exes! Holy cow... .but it was ok to be with them?

    Any input welcome
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    « Reply #46 on: February 10, 2010, 11:11:12 PM »

    Like... .I'd never ever have been a business partner with any of my disordered exes! Holy cow... .but it was ok to be with them?

    Any input welcome

    You know, I think that insight alone is golden! What qualities are you looking for in a business partner? Can you list them?

    If you started a business relationship that you wanted to pursue, would you be "afraid if I don't keep initiating he won't know I like him. Or that he will move in to someone else immediately. That he will react the way my BPDx would... .or of not then that I will find out he doesn't like me all that much... .rejection... .ugh"? If no, why not?

    I used to pursue friendships the way you're describing yourself pursuing a romantic relationship. Same feelings and thought patterns--exactly.  Smiling (click to insert in post) I realized these friendships never made me feel good. I tried to think of it in terms of energy flow. The energy I brought needed to be matched. Not every second--it can ebb and flow. But overall, if all the energy comes from me, I've learned to pull back AND (this is important) release the outcome. Maybe the person is heavily involved in something else and actually would be a great friend to me (or partner to you) another time. I try not to make assumptions or see the lack of energy as a reflection of my self-worth. But if it's not there, I don't pump mine up anymore to compensate, similar to what joiesophie was saying about not always doing the stopping by the desk at work--it should go both ways. You are entitled to relationships that are reciprocal.

    justhere, your points about the observer position are very interesting. The exercise of putting your story in the third person is actually meant to point out that we tend to save our sympathy, empathy, and caring for others and not ourselves. If we see ourselves as "there once was a girl who had a mother who was too wrapped up in her own pain to notice the girl's love," then we can feel more compassion for the girl/boy (us) because we're trained to feel more compassion for others than ourselves. Might not be the best exercise for all, but that's the idea.

    I'm up for it B&W.  I can talk the talk, but when it comes to doing the walk... .unless someone is holding my feet to the fire... .well, you know.   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

    Okay then, what's the plan, BMama? I hope it's delicious! 

    B&W
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    « Reply #47 on: February 10, 2010, 11:13:33 PM »

    Release the outcome... .scary! Hahaha
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    « Reply #48 on: February 11, 2010, 07:18:36 AM »

    Release the outcome... .scary! Hahaha

    I know, no kidding.  Smiling (click to insert in post) It's important to remember that this is step 15 of the Survivors' Guide. I wanted to focus on it to raise awareness, but getting to it might be a process.

    I think this is what all of us are looking for... .that permission, so how do we get this? It seems that we have been stuck in this place of not being able to say no, or earn a good living, or enjoy our blessings or to know that we are worth something just because we are ourselves and we sure weren't taught that we could put our own needs and wants before someone else, especially our BPDparent.

    I was thinking again of what justhere said. It seems really important, the idea of waiting for someone to give us permission to feel positively entitled--to get our needs met. We didn't get that permission when we were supposed to (from our parent/s). So perhaps we seek it in the world, by becoming "pleasers" or rescuers or in other ways, hoping someone will say "yes, you do deserve to take up space in the world." Maybe we're lucky and find that person. Maybe we don't. And even if we do, we may be so programmed that we don't hear it. At least not without some work. 

    We have to give *ourselves* permission. The language of the Survivors' Guide says "take the initiative to share in life's riches." The initiative is important.

    xoxox

    B&W
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    « Reply #49 on: February 11, 2010, 11:45:43 AM »

    Okay... .so I'm supposed to take an area of life where I feel positively entitled and shift it.  I think I will use that example from earlier because I'm already telling myself that I'm gonna take less. 

    I agreed to accept set rate per hour to make cold sales calls for an insurance agent.  I didn't manage to make her any appointments, even though I've called at the time of day she told me, and she gave me a script to follow.  I have a great conversational phone voice. 

    Usual me would say, well I owe her something back because I wasn't successful, so I'd give over a discount.  However, when I look at it, I got a really crappy list.  I can only get maybe 5 out of 30 people to answer the phone, and none of them are interested in having the agent out for a visit.  Who is in this day and age? 

    It's not me or my lack of ability or work ethic, it's the situation.  She needs a different/new plan for attracting clients, but this is what she chooses, to pay someone to call on a list from 2008.  I have done the job she asked of me, and I should be paid at the agreed upon rate.

    Tomorrow night is my close of billing cycle... .
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    « Reply #50 on: February 11, 2010, 02:03:21 PM »

    Boy, "Release the outcome," phew. That's the nearly impossible one for me   I completely understand about the initiating contact with friends, too. Finding the balance between being the one who ALWAYS sends the email or calls and NEVER being the one to do it first is a scary place for me. I didn't have many friends as a child, so the ones I think I have now are really important to my self esteem, to knowing I'm not the b*tch, bad daughter, fat girl, etc. That combined with waiting for graduate school acceptances! Phew. Releasing the outcome on this is making me crazy. I've been trying to tell myself that I am entitled to seek this dream, to apply for these programs, that I've worked my behind off to get to this point even. Also, can failure be a kind of positive entitlement? For example, having peace over not being perfect (read: not getting into the exact program I want)? This engrained perfectionist mentality is just really making me physically ill while I wait.

    ~ m
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    « Reply #51 on: February 11, 2010, 02:18:32 PM »

    If I'm rejected... .if the outcome isn't what I wanted. What will happen?

    My parents withheld until I just stopped asking for anything.

    If I release the outcome I might bwrejected and wonder if that is my fault... .didn't try hard enough. Or something.
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    « Reply #52 on: February 11, 2010, 06:12:33 PM »

    I found that a great way to build my self-confidence was to volunteer.  Every community is begging for people to help right from visiting the elderly to helping out your neighborhood politician.  I went online and found pages of volunteer positions in my area and they take you how you are and they will accommodate your wants and needs.  In fact you may find you will soon know what it is you are doing very well, very quickly and will be very much in demand. You will then be helping your community and yourself as well as gaining in experience and confidence. You also get to meet new people who are not so into themselves, who are givers instead of takers.  

    My latest project is calling bingo for the seniors. All I do is sit in the front of the room and call out the numbers on a microphone but I love it and they love me too!  At first I was a little self conscious and didn't do much else but try and get the numbers out right but I soon found myself relaxing and it was even more fun for everyone when I did make a mistake... .they love it when they can tell me I got it wrong and this is one criticism that I really enjoy. I also realize that I like speaking in front of people over a microphone so who know where this is going to lead.

    Blackandwhite I think that I did take care of... .teaching others, changing the narrative, changing self-talk, playing a role, finding comfortable ways to stand out, breaking bad habits, helping others all in calling 'bingo' for my ladies on Wednesday night.

    justhere

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    « Reply #53 on: February 11, 2010, 07:27:58 PM »

    I think that is an awesome idea, Justhere.

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    « Reply #54 on: February 11, 2010, 09:54:00 PM »

    I'm thinking of trying positive affirmations, has anyone had experience with that? "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me."  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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    « Reply #55 on: February 12, 2010, 05:43:19 AM »

    Well I'm still not sure... .I mean I keep my expectations very very low because I've become accustomed to being let down. Disappointment. And the only way for me to avoid that pain is to expect. And to ask for. Nearly nothing... .dregs and scraps and crumbs... .and be glad when they fall my way.

    At work I deserve things because I have talent and drive and experience. Because I'm well known and because I've paid my dues over and over... .I have nothing to prove therem

    In relationships I feel the opposite... .like I deserve nothing... .I should expect nothing if not worse

    Ugh
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    « Reply #56 on: February 12, 2010, 05:44:38 AM »

    After my BPDx I don't even expect people to live up to solemn promises! Let alone offer them... .
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    « Reply #57 on: February 12, 2010, 12:29:17 PM »

    Joiesophie,

    You ARE entitled to say no thank you! You ARE entitled to refuse to have experiences that will be traumatic for you. You owe self-protection and respect for boundaries to YOURSELF.

    Try to think of yourself in that third-person story... .there once was a girl who... .and now you've reached a later place in the story and it goes "there once was a woman who cared enough about herself to say NO when she needed to... ."

    xoxo

    Okay, so I called and said 'no thank you'.  And I'm still shaking!  But I think it was mainly because my 'sister' answered the phone, and not one of the parents. 

    I am entitled to say no.  I am loveable and capable.  (Ialac).  But, I'm really glad that I have you all to support me and a good friend who suggested that I reconsider the 'yes' to dinner... .

    js
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    « Reply #58 on: February 12, 2010, 12:35:08 PM »

    I'm grinning over here cause you went and did it!

    I'm also thinking of making an actual IALAC sign  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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    « Reply #59 on: February 12, 2010, 01:20:25 PM »

    Good for you JS!

    And I figure just about all of them out... .but IALAC... .I'm ashamed to say I can't get... .HELP!
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    « Reply #60 on: February 12, 2010, 02:26:37 PM »

    It comes from a story about a boy at school.  Everyone had to wear an ialac sign.  And if someone made you feel bad, you gave them a piece of your sign.

    I Am Lovable And Capable.  (I  A L  A C )

    js  cupidhit
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    « Reply #61 on: February 12, 2010, 10:33:48 PM »

    If I'm rejected... .if the outcome isn't what I wanted. What will happen?

    Anker, okay, so what WILL happen? What's the fear there? At the root, there are beliefs about yourself and your place in the world that have been warped by your early experiences and probably reinforced by later ones. Getting at those beliefs and challenging them might help. So... .what will happen?

    justhere, calling bingo to seniors, I LOVE it! What a wonderful example of positive entitlement, and you're helping others too.  xoxo

    Releasing the outcome on this is making me crazy. I've been trying to tell myself that I am entitled to seek this dream, to apply for these programs, that I've worked my behind off to get to this point even. Also, can failure be a kind of positive entitlement? For example, having peace over not being perfect (read: not getting into the exact program I want)? This engrained perfectionist mentality is just really making me physically ill while I wait.

    ~ m

    That's such a great question, minnares. I hadn't thought of it that way, but I think you're right. We've done so much trying to be good, it feels like one little failure or flaw will shatter us. But accepting ourselves and giving us some slack ("there once was a girl who wasn't perfect, but she was lovable anyway" is a kind of luxury. You're giving yourself room to take risks, to fail, to learn, to grow. (To call bingo to seniors.  Smiling (click to insert in post))

    joiesophie, so so proud of you.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

    I'm thinking of trying positive affirmations, has anyone had experience with that? "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me."  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    random, LOL! Well, I think changing self-talk is along those lines. I didn't so much develop affirmations as questioned my instinctive disaffirmations, if that makes sense.

    So "you're no good at that" became "you may not be good at that, but you can try and it's an honorable failure." That sort of thing.

    And BMama, how's your invoice look?  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    B&W
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    « Reply #62 on: February 12, 2010, 10:55:56 PM »

    Thank you B & W for doing this thread, and thanks to all for sharing your journey.  It's so helping me.  Stuff I never thought of or considered as being okay to ask or think about.   xoxox

    I used to think making mistakes was bad. Until today, I wouldn't have admitted that to anyone.  But apparently, that's another one of the 'misconceptions' I was taught.   Actually, I think I was 'told' that it was okay not to be perfect, but the actions that followed any mistake, taught me that I deserved the punishment for imperfection.  Having my crazysister answer the phone today took me off guard, and I thought that my panic attack was my 'punishment' for having the courage to call. 

    B & W, I know this is going to sound a little, well, uninformed, but why are you proud of me?    I 'should' have been able to do this.

    js

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    « Reply #63 on: February 12, 2010, 11:06:50 PM »

    Excerpt
    B & W, I know this is going to sound a little, well, uninformed, but why are you proud of me?    I 'should' have been able to do this.

    Joiesophie,

    I'm proud of you because you're overcoming a lifetime of programming and FOG; because you're pushing a giant boulder back uphill and shifting the very stable system that is a highly dysfunctional family; because you're overcoming the most fundamental negative (false) beliefs we can have about ourselves, about our sanity and worth as human beings; and because what might seem a simple social matter to many is actually a tremendous act of courage. And YOU did it. Smiling (click to insert in post)

    B&W
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    « Reply #64 on: February 12, 2010, 11:10:14 PM »

    thanks.  *tissues *    your 5 words with my name mean so much.

    (can't count! - hey, I'm human! and that rock was big!   Smiling (click to insert in post))

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    « Reply #65 on: February 13, 2010, 07:05:19 AM »

      joiesophie  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    I'm starting to wonder how much of my fear/anxiety/white-knuckled terror is linked to negative unentitlement. When I make mistakes, or when I am having difficulties, I expect total annihilation from the world. I jobhunted the last couple of months with visions of never finding anything, of going hungry, of ending up homeless, that I would have a door slammed shut in my face no matter where I go or what I try. Now, after reading this thread and thinking about this stuff, I wonder if this level of fear, which is so powerful and automatic, is linked to this whole idea that I have no rights as a person and deserve no compassion or mercy.

    When the terrors descend, now I sometimes remember that I do have rights, that I CAN ask for help and get it, that I am not a terrible being who deserves capital punishment and erasure, that I am a good person.

    It's helping some.
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    « Reply #66 on: February 13, 2010, 07:23:50 AM »

      Random!

    Thanks for your words!

    You put into words what I was feeling yesterday.  I didn't deserve... .'no compassion or mercy' 'total annihilation'.  It's not new - it happens everytime I do something that is 'not foo like' or 'foo approved'.

    Actually, I felt this way when I was 6 years old and broke the toaster.  KNEW that I would be punished severely - thrown out on the street.  Even though 6 years old is a loong time ago,  I remember being SO confused that my NPDfather was  surprised that I was so upset. 

    Go figure.  The training starts early.

    js

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    « Reply #67 on: February 13, 2010, 07:27:59 AM »

    Excerpt
    The training starts early.

    That's a real key right there. We were trained to think of ourselves as worthless. Now we have to train ourselves to think things that to other people are so automatic - that we have worth and we have rights.
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    « Reply #68 on: February 13, 2010, 08:16:27 AM »

    When I make mistakes, or when I am having difficulties, I expect total annihilation from the world. I jobhunted the last couple of months with visions of never finding anything, of going hungry, of ending up homeless, that I would have a door slammed shut in my face no matter where I go or what I try. Now, after reading this thread and thinking about this stuff, I wonder if this level of fear, which is so powerful and automatic, is linked to this whole idea that I have no rights as a person and deserve no compassion or mercy.

    Me too!  I've always had a fear of being homeless and on the street, which is strange, because I've never had that experience, and logically, there are many things that would have to go wrong for it to get to that point (not that it could never potentially happen, but not only I but all the people in my network basically would have to be facing insurmountable difficulties... .unlikely).  But this anxiety definitely motivates me to want to please people and go above and beyond what is expected of me professionally.  It's so hard to break out of this mentality!  I think many people experience it... .
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    « Reply #69 on: February 13, 2010, 08:29:32 AM »

    You too? OMG, I thought I was the only one. I'm serious.

    Excerpt
    I've always had a fear of being homeless and on the street, which is strange, because I've never had that experience, and logically, there are many things that would have to go wrong for it to get to that point

    My health care professionals kept telling me this, my friends kept telling me this, and it did nothing to allay the terror.

    The thing is, I faced a situation where I was in real crisis several years ago - I got bullied at work to the point where I was completely debilitated by depression and physical injury (computer overuse), and I quit, at that point completely incapable of working. Quitting was stupid, because any doctor, after evaluating me, would have backed up a disability insurance application, which my benefits offered, but aside from that, I ended up moving into a horrible roommate situation and applying for welfare. Which sucked, but it was still not the street! The welfare people kicked me to the unemployment insurance people, who not only gave me the coverage but lectured me on building better self-esteem and how I should have left that situation ages before things got that bad. The system turned out far kinder to me than I ever was!

    Something to think about.
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    « Reply #70 on: February 13, 2010, 12:43:30 PM »

    You guys really are tougher than you give yourselves credit for.  I can see it, and I only know you here.  You are survivors just for making it TO adulthood.  You all have such beautiful words, you are capable of not only facing your lives, but helping all of us to face our realities, too... .AND supporting us as a bonus!

     &  xoxox

    As for the invoice... .I could lie and tell you I sent it out full price... .but I didn't.  I gave 75% effort when I kept hitting a brick wall, so I did bill to what level I worked.  I can admit that much.  I really slowed down on the dialing, made fewer phone calls per hour than I was capable of... .it sucked to have people tell me no.  I'm definately not a sales person... .and this telemarketing thing is not for me.  I don't think that is weakness, just honesty.  I have better skills more fitting to other niches, like file organization, snail and email campaigns, newsletter and website design, flyers, etc.

    I probably should concentrate on marketing those, and not taking these type of jobs just because I have a hard time saying NO.  THAT is the core issue here.  I never should have taken this job to begin with.  I did give the client some calling statistics to let her know what results the calls were getting her for her money.  It's the wrong course of action, and I hope she sees this.  If I lose a client, then we weren't a good fit.

    SMACK ME SOMEONE!  LOL
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    « Reply #71 on: February 13, 2010, 02:17:19 PM »

    I'm jumping into this thread very late . . .

    But I've been thinking a lot about this lately.

    I have horrible problems with positive entitlement.  I feel absolutely frozen about it.

    A couple of years ago, I won a raffle prize at a festival.  It was a gift certificate for this cute little French bouquite.  I loved this store.  I loved everything in it.  But when I went to redeem it, I could only seem to make myself look for something I could gift to someone else.  But it was impossible, although this store was a place I LOVED, it wasn't easy to find anything in it that someone else I knew would love.  I finally decided to force myself to purchase something for myself . . . but I couldn't do it.  I went back to that darn store four separate times DETERMINED to purchase something for myself and came back empty handed every time!  I finally threw the g.c. away! 

    But I have another problem with Positive Entitlement . . .

    Somewhere along the line I got the message that I had to fake positive entitlement in order to make other people feel better.  For example, I always ask for an appropriate amount of money when I work.  I don't do this because I think I deserve it.  I do it because if I charge enough for my services, it makes others feel like they are getting a good service. 

    Once when I was a just this frightened shell of a girl, a h.s. teacher really admonished me harshly for not being able to take compliments.  She said it made me ungrateful.  It didn't, of course.  Compliments made me uncomfortable . . . nervous . . . scared . . . I would literally feel like throwing up if someone complimented me.  But her railing on me scared me to death.  I learned immediately that I needed to accept a compliment (just fake my way through it) not because of how it would make ME feel, but because how it would make OTHER people feel.

    I just don't know how to retrain myself.  RE: how to make positive entitlements about me and not about others.
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    « Reply #72 on: February 13, 2010, 06:23:37 PM »

    I have trouble with compliments, too.  This is something I have worked on.  I was with my uBPDm one time, we were chaperoning a field trip of my daughter's.  All three of us were standing together, and another mother said, "Wow you guys all have beautiful blue eyes... .and I see where DD gets them!"  uBPDm just looked weird at her.  I said, um, stumble, um thank you?  :)D says, thank you!  My eyes are my favorite part of me!  How differently we responded sort of astounded me.  I used to say something really ignorant to minimize whatever someone was complimenting me on.  After I got a lesson from my own daughter, I have rethought getting compliments. Now I just say thank you, and return a compliment if it's appropriate.  It still feels REALLY weird.
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    « Reply #73 on: February 13, 2010, 07:10:56 PM »

    I'm jumping into this thread very late . . .

    Somewhere along the line I got the message that I had to fake positive entitlement in order to make other people feel better... .Once when I was a just this frightened shell of a girl, a h.s. teacher really admonished me harshly for not being able to take compliments.  She said it made me ungrateful.  It didn't, of course.  Compliments made me uncomfortable . . . nervous . . . scared . . . I would literally feel like throwing up if someone complimented me.  But her railing on me scared me to death.  I learned immediately that I needed to accept a compliment (just fake my way through it) not because of how it would make ME feel, but because how it would make OTHER people feel.

    I just don't know how to retrain myself.  RE: how to make positive entitlements about me and not about others.

    This is a very good point, living w/chaos. Getting a compliment or otherwise having attention drawn to you or heaven forbid, having an entitled expectation, was generally downright dangerous to many of us growing up. Trauma reactions (such as what you have to compliments, it sounds like) are very self-oriented. They're not selfish; I just mean that the body is going into fight or flight mode, and it's not really possible to respond in a genuine way to another person about something like gratitude for a compliment. We can't be bullied or shamed into better self-esteem (as your high-school teacher attempted to do  xoxox).

    On the other hand, sometimes acting "as if" (as if you were responding normally) can help you get there. It has for me with compliments, and when I started saying thank you and smiling, seeing that it went quite smoothly, I got less anxious and began to enjoy the attention a bit. But it sounds like that's not been working for you.

    Dealing with the trauma reaction is one thing--that's getting therapy, working the Survivor to Thriver Steps, doing mindfulness practice, or whatever might be helpful to you.

    Working on positive entitlement, maybe baby steps? BMama (thank you for your very honest report on the invoice, by the way  Smiling (click to insert in post)) took an entitlement assignment and made some progress. Can you sign on for a small assignment? Could you go back to that store and buy yourself something small? (Just an idea.) BTW, I also once threw a gift certificate away, to a day spa, because I just couldn't imagine allowing myself to be pampered in that way and I was too embarrassed to give it to someone else and have to explain. I've gotten over that inhibition, glad to say.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    Excerpt
    I have better skills more fitting to other niches, like file organization, snail and email campaigns, newsletter and website design, flyers, etc.

    I probably should concentrate on marketing those, and not taking these type of jobs just because I have a hard time saying NO.  THAT is the core issue here.  I never should have taken this job to begin with.



    BMama, those sound like two very clear areas to work on and that's a good thing! Can you work on marketing for your preferred niche? How about turning down the next job that's a bad fit? Maybe write yourself a note about that "I will say NO the next time the answer should be NO" and leave it by the computer or phone?

    A big message I'm hearing from several of you is this:

    lack of positive entitlement = lack of safety

    Is that right? So does the opposite formula hold true?

    positive entitlement = safety

    If so, then we should all be very motivated to work on positive entitlement. Not feeling safe, not valuing or trusting ourselves, is the legacy we inherited, but it's not one we have to keep.

    We are entitled to feel safe. We are entitled to feel trust in ourselves and those who have earned it.

    B&W
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    « Reply #74 on: February 14, 2010, 08:25:50 AM »

    What's your definition of "positive entitlement"? How might "positive entitlement" relate to your life?

    Ok, I am giving this a whirl. In being a member of my enmeshed dysfunctional PD foo, there are things that I nave not felt entitled to. So, I will turn them around.

    I am entitled to be with people who have values that I also hold.

    I am entitled to be paid what I am worth for my work-a very difficult one for me as I often feel incapable and I'm not. (I had one boss who kept giving me a raise, and I would tell him no- it was too much-he said, Well, I may not be able to pay for your therapy to get over that, but you deserve a raise.)  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

    I am entitled to love, appreciation, support and respect as I offer this to others.

    I am entitled to my own life without feeling guilty or obligated to foo's needs.

    Midgelette

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    « Reply #75 on: February 14, 2010, 08:30:22 AM »

    Excerpt
    lack of positive entitlement = lack of safety

    positive entitlement = safety

    Blackandwhite, can you say in more detail what you mean? Do you mean that if a person lacks positive entitlement, they feel unsafe, or that if a person lacks positive entitlement, they end up in unsafe situations? Or that negative unentitlement results from growing up in an unsafe environment?

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    « Reply #76 on: February 14, 2010, 09:03:56 AM »

    Excerpt
    lack of positive entitlement = lack of safety

    positive entitlement = safety

    Blackandwhite, can you say in more detail what you mean? Do you mean that if a person lacks positive entitlement, they feel unsafe, or that if a person lacks positive entitlement, they end up in unsafe situations? Or that negative unentitlement results from growing up in an unsafe environment?

    Random-Wow, that makes so much sense to me. I can see that playing out in all aspects of my life. When we don't feel emotionally safe-cause it is what we have grown up with, we continue to avail ourselves to the same lack of a safe & positive environment. That definitely sounds like a lack of positive entitlement to me.
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    « Reply #77 on: February 14, 2010, 09:58:29 AM »

    Excerpt
    lack of positive entitlement = lack of safety

    positive entitlement = safety

    Blackandwhite, can you say in more detail what you mean? Do you mean that if a person lacks positive entitlement, they feel unsafe, or that if a person lacks positive entitlement, they end up in unsafe situations? Or that negative unentitlement results from growing up in an unsafe environment?

    Sorry, random, that's what I get for posting late at night! The quick answer is all of the above, as midgelette pointed out! I was summarizing a point I heard you and others making. Something you said about your recent fears and feeling unsafe seemed to stem from lack of entitlement to help, support, and basic human kindness or recognition:

    I'm starting to wonder how much of my fear/anxiety/white-knuckled terror is linked to negative unentitlement. When I make mistakes, or when I am having difficulties, I expect total annihilation from the world. I jobhunted the last couple of months with visions of never finding anything, of going hungry, of ending up homeless, that I would have a door slammed shut in my face no matter where I go or what I try. Now, after reading this thread and thinking about this stuff, I wonder if this level of fear, which is so powerful and automatic, is linked to this whole idea that I have no rights as a person and deserve no compassion or mercy.

    If you feel that alone and unworthy, then of course you feel unsafe. In the worldview described above, you truly are alone in the world, which is a scary, cold, unfeeling place. And yes, I think that feeling very much stems from growing up in an environment that felt/was unsafe. I know I've been looking for safety--for HOME--all my life. It's because I've found it, or rather felt entitled over time to build it brick by brick, that I do, finally, feel safe.

    As you said, reminding yourself that you are entitled to compassion and mercy just like any other human being, that you do have rights as a person, gives a feeling of greater safety:

    Excerpt
    When the terrors descend, now I sometimes remember that I do have rights, that I CAN ask for help and get it, that I am not a terrible being who deserves capital punishment and erasure, that I am a good person.

    It's helping some.

    You also asked if someone feels unentitled if they're more likely to end up in unsafe situations, and I think the answer is certainly YES. If you don't value yourself, you don't protect yourself. I added the thread about red flags in relationships to our lessons to the right ---> because I thought it was such a great addition to help us become more aware of potentially unsafe relationships. But probably the key thing we can all do to increase our safety is to develop our sense of positive entitlement. Turning what I said just now around: If you value yourself, you protect yourself.

    From the lessons (and many of the great pointers in this thread are from you, random!):

    Red flags in relationships

    Trauma survivors are often described as having "broken pickers," meaning the self-protective instincts most adults have are skewed or missing for those who experienced trauma early in life. Learn how to identify "red flags" early on in relationships and teach yourself to be a better "picker" when you invite new people into your life.

    https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=112466.0

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    « Reply #78 on: February 15, 2010, 01:20:30 PM »

    Wow, this is one of those topics, as probably all of them are, that cross over.  No wonder we get off topic so easily.   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

    Good connection, B&W.  Never thought of it that way.  I'm so used to being terrorized by my mother, I've never thought that it's "okay" to stand up to her and say NO--rather I'd just cower down and wait out the storm.  However that manifests itself... .re: the safe vs. unsafe issue.

    Yes, I will stop taking telemarketing jobs.  I will just be honest when I say that I would love to help them, but it's not something I feel entirely comfortable with, and therefore have difficulty with it.  Weakness, although, I was weaker than my mother to some extent, was not tolerated.  Saying NO.  I can soften the blow by asking if there is another task I can help them with.  If not, I will ask them to keep my information for future projects... .ending on a positive note.

    This job, I can't wriggle out of just yet.  I kept call statistics so she would know what my answer rate was, out of the calls I DID make.  She wants to discuss them today and make some suggestions.  To be professional, of course, I'm going to see what she says, and see if I can make it work.  I think she likes my demeanor and phone voice.  I'm probably more suited to an inbound call type job where people are calling ME, not me cold calling.

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    « Reply #79 on: February 15, 2010, 01:55:02 PM »

    I think I just got used to 'shelter in place' for so long that I don't  realize that I could stand up for myself.  Weird thing is, that, when I do, nobody from the interior foo gets angry.     They just move on... .

    I'm the one that's been holding on... .

    It's time to let go now... .again... .

    js
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    « Reply #80 on: February 15, 2010, 05:54:11 PM »

    Excerpt
    I know I've been looking for safety--for HOME--all my life. It's because I've found it, or rather felt entitled over time to build it brick by brick, that I do, finally, feel safe.

    I think this safety/haven/HOME is what I was looking for, when I looked to other people for rescue. Unfortunately, I ended up walking into a trap both times, with mom and with the evil "therapist".

    I'm starting to understand that it's healthy to need safety, but that I am the one who has to put it into place. It's OK to ask for help, but the task itself starts and ends with me, no one else can be trusted with it the way I trusted those two. I am the SEO, president of the board and uber-chairman of my safety, everyone else is hired help  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    That's something I learned here, on these boards.

    Excerpt
    I'm probably more suited to an inbound call type job where people are calling ME, not me cold calling.

    Cold-calling is very, very hard. I would rather eat broken lightbulbs, personally.

    One way you can view it so that you don't feel guilty for turning down these types of assignment is, you tried. You gave it an honest, good old college try and you discovered that it's not something you are good at. Your time is better spent doing things that you ARE very good at, or seeking those things out - it's a better business decision and a better use of your time and energy.
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    « Reply #81 on: February 16, 2010, 04:36:06 PM »



    blackandwhite I can see how this lack of positive entitlement has affected my life and I don't know how I got to this place of awareness after years of being 'enmeshed' and living in the 'FOG' but only that I can't continue in the old ways. I wonder if my abusive lifestyle has burnt itself out or maybe I'm just burnt out? I want so much to share what I'm learning with my family but I know I have to take this one step at a time.

    blackandwhite I do recognize the 'red flags' and know that something is wrong even sometimes within minutes of meeting a person but still go ahead with the relationship anyway. I seem to be attracted to the most difficult and I'm not sure if this is a form of self-sabotage or if it's just the challenge that I'm looking for or I'm repeating/reliving a previous failed relationship. .

    I also think that some of my thinking has to do with my view of caring or empathy like not wanting to discriminate against people on the basis of their behavior or that I shouldn't judge another but this kind of thinking may have more to do with 'keeping me in my place.' As I have been programmed to think... .'I shouldn't get to big for my britches', I shouldn't 'expect' or 'want' or even 'question' what I already have as that was being greedy, prideful, selfish or ungrateful, so with these things ringing in my ears every time I try to succeed it's a wonder how I ever get anywhere.

    Most of the concepts that I am learning on this board are opposite to what I grew up thinking, so this is going to take a while to fully sink in.

    justhere

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    « Reply #82 on: February 16, 2010, 07:12:25 PM »

    Excerpt
    not wanting to discriminate against people on the basis of their behavior

    Waitwaitwait. How is discriminating against people on the basis of their behaviour a bad thing? It's not even discriminating - it's just having a response and an opinion of a person. It's not wrong! Judging people because of things they can't help, like their physical ability, or skin colour, or culture, judging people based on what they are is discrimination. Judging people based on their choices and behaviour is an absolute right and must! Judgement in this sense is not negative, it's having a basic set of ideas about right and wrong, and applying them to behaviour is a necessity, otherwise ye basic civilization and society becomes impossible and degenerates into chaos. You can't have laws or any fundamental social contract without saying "behaviour X, Y and Z is A-OK, behaviour A, B and C is wrong and we don't allow it."

    There is such a thing as too much tolerance. And having the right to a point of view about how other people behave and treat you is definitely part of positive entitlement. Basic human rights, even.
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    « Reply #83 on: February 16, 2010, 07:17:36 PM »

    I agree Random.  We've all been taught to accept lots of contradicting behaviors, and put up with varying degrees one extreme to the other from our BPD's.  It's hard to really KNOW what is acceptable for someone to do to us, or how they should act around us.

    'I shouldn't get to big for my britches', I shouldn't 'expect' or 'want' or even 'question' what I already have as that was being greedy, prideful, selfish or ungrateful, so with these things ringing in my ears every time I try to succeed it's a wonder how I ever get anywhere.

    That's called the FOG.
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    « Reply #84 on: February 16, 2010, 08:10:15 PM »



    I hear what you random and BMama are saying and I know my boundaries are seriously lacking. I guess it didn't help working years(since I was 18----that's 40 years) with people who are mentally ill and mentally challenged so I know I have normalized some pretty strange behavior. 

    It's really difficult being taught to accept outrageous behavior and deal with it on a regular basis from people who I have come to be very fond off and then trying to have a different standard for my personal life especially when I would rather be at work any day then at home. I used to joke that I went to work for a break but it was no joke.

    justhere


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    « Reply #85 on: February 16, 2010, 08:59:01 PM »

    Ah, OK, it makes sense that you didn't want to write off people for acting weird, if you deal with mentally ill folks professionally.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    Big diff between behaviour that is eccentric by social norms and behaviour that is abusive though. People are fully welcome to the former, but not at all welcome to the latter, where I am concerned.
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    « Reply #86 on: February 19, 2010, 08:35:52 PM »

    I am astill tryin to figure out what I'm so scared of... .

    I have actually been homeless twice in my life and maybe living through that is why I feel ok with my material situation and work. Nothing can be as bad as that was.

    With relationships I still have a terror though.
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    « Reply #87 on: June 20, 2010, 11:56:13 PM »

    I am entitled to unconditional love; not the kind of love that has conditions of, "If you love me then you'll... ."

    I am entitled to respect.

    I am entitled to be myself without feeling like I'm shackled by my parental units words.

    I am entitled to have my own space, without it being infringed upon. 

    I am entitled to give myself presents without being asked a million questions.

    I am entitled to living my life free of guilt and manipulation.

    I am entitled to not being emotionally blackmailed.

    I am entitled to have my needs, whether mentally, emotionally or physically met.

    I am entitled to be treated like a person rather than a play thing.

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    « Reply #88 on: June 23, 2010, 09:55:58 PM »

    I love your list, Telyva!

    Excerpt
    I am entitled to respect.

    This is sure an important one. What does respect mean to you? What does it look like in the context of your relationships? Self-respect?

    B&W

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    « Reply #89 on: June 24, 2010, 04:05:06 PM »

    That's me, B&W. 

    I always feel a need to take on more responsibiltiy than necessary, and over-explain my way out of something if I mess up, or get caught in an embarassing situation.  I'm getting better at this.  Before I would call, I'd rehearse over and over and over in my head what I was going to say so the person ont he other end of the line would completely GET that I was sorry, repentant, etc. 

    I've started to realize that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes.  I wasn't be the first one to do "whatever" it was, and won't be the last.  Like yesterday... .I had my carpet cleaned by a professional.  I've been trying to keep up with it myself for the past five years to save money... .it just got away from me, and out of hand.  I told him I was sorry he had to scrub a little harder, and that I was embarassed it had gotten so bad (which is part of the reason I kept putting it off).

    The guy says, "It's okay... .this is hardly the worst I've ever seen, I promise."  Usually, I'd think, he's just saying that to make me feel better... .but yesterday, I just thought... .he's not lying.  I know, I've been in other people's houses.  LOL

    Respect... .what is the definition formally?  How do we know if we are being respected and being respectful to others.  This is timely as I'm working on some communication issues in T regarding my relationship with my hubby.  We obviously have a lack of respect problem between us, both ways.  I'm just so used to doing things the old way... .but feeling resentment towards him because of it. 

    Maybe this is a new topic altogether?   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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    « Reply #90 on: June 30, 2010, 10:39:10 PM »

    I am entitled to owning my own feelings.

    I am entitled to the pursuit of happiness and all it entails.

    I am entitled to live in my own space.

    I am entitled to pursue my own goals in life.

    I am entitled to freedom of speech.

    I am entitled to my own beliefs.

    I am entitled to seek knowledge.

    As I live and breathe, I am entitled to life.
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    « Reply #91 on: July 03, 2011, 09:51:43 AM »

    What's your definition of "positive entitlement"? How might "positive entitlement" relate to your life?

    For me, positive entitlement is the right to live as peacefully as possible, without being bullied by others, without being manipulated by others.

    I have the right to control my own life. I have the right to stand up for myself. I have the right to try and make a better life for myself rather than get pulled into "the pit".

    I think for me it also means that it is perfectly reasonable to do things that other people do on a regular basis without being made to feel guilty about it or withstanding a "blackening" for it: take a vacation, take a break, spend time with others, pursue my own life goals, make important purchases, NOT involve her in every single aspect of my life, have confidence in my own abilities, etc., etc. It's only recently that I've realized how much other people have put up with from me because I've been putting uBPDm's needs above everyone elses. Sometimes you have to give your time to other people, too, right? I've celebrated a lot of ":)ecember Thanksgivings" and "January Christmases" with other people in the family because heaven knows you ALWAYS have to spend major holidays with her and nobody else.   I shudder to think if I had let her completely have her way when my father got sick. It sickens me to think I didn't break free from her a little sooner so I could've spent more time with him in his last days. She once told me "If you go and take care of him it'll be over my dead body". I was a grown woman. What was wrong with me?

    I've been so programmed to consider them first, that I have felt guilty about doing almost anything for myself before doing it for them; i.e. hand over large sums of money so they can afford to live a lifestyle beyond their means while I live with a lot less than they do even though I work hard and have earned the money to spend on myself.  I've gotten a lot of mixed messages on this one in particular - I will be encouraged to spend on myself, or do something for myself, but then something always happens and the fact I did it will get thrown back at me. But also if I gave to them rather than to myself, it was never enough. That sort of thing. A no-win.

    So "positive entitlement" means taking care of my life first, in a way that I see fit. Sometimes that means I come first, sometimes it means I put someone else's needs ahead of my own, but either way, it's my choice.

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    « Reply #92 on: July 26, 2011, 01:16:01 PM »

      Somewhere along the line I learned that being stoic was more important than being happy. 

    This is such a great thread - I see so much of myself in these posts.  My wardrobe is still outdated.  I work far too much at the sacrifice of leisure time and hobbies and friendships.  My bedroom furniture is a mish/mosh of stuff accumulated over 15 years - not a room I am proud of.  My D15 told me about six months ago I deserved my own mom cave and she would help me make it.  At the time I sort of blew it off thinking it was worthless indulgence but now I am starting to think it is a good idea.  I am slowly starting to change my view of life - actually mostly after coming across this board. Last week, I allowed myself half an hour of clothes shopping without a goal or purpose and found a nice shirt that fit me well.  I realized that I don't treat myself well.

    My exBPDbf felt entitled to everything - free room and board, spending money handed to him, at one point in a rage he demanded I buy him a car.  His sense of entitlement always blew me away - yet he did nothing to earn those things.  I worked my a$$ off to support him and my family and expected nothing - not even leisure time or kind words or gratitude from people I supported.  In fact, he abused me at times and broke my things.  I never arranged my life to be nice to myself - I arranged my life to make everyone else's life nice.  Thanks to everyone for helping me see this.
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    « Reply #93 on: July 27, 2011, 12:32:56 AM »

    oceanblue,

    I'm glad you discovered this thread and what a wonderful experience you and your D15 could have together. It's good role modeling for her, too. You matter, she matters, putting care and love into the place you spend your time is a reflection of self-worth.

    I hope you'll keep us posted.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

    B&W
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    « Reply #94 on: November 15, 2011, 04:49:08 PM »

    It's funny, but turing 40 as a woman has somehow given me permission to feel positive entitlement about being an ok person... .

    Now, don't get me wrong, I freaked out when I actually TURNED 40, in May: I had no bf, no close friends, no great job and so I drank too much at a party and hooked up with a way-younger man who had treated me badly in the past 

    But once I got the self-pity out of my system, I find I use "40" a lot now. Meaning someone will say something negative about me and I'll just think, "so what? I'm 40, what do I care what you think about me?"  Smiling (click to insert in post)

    Even more important than caring what negative people say, I'm so much better now at saying that to the bully in my head! I give myself time and space and compassion to do things not-perfectly! I tell myself, "dang, I'm 40! I survived, and I'm thriving, and I'm doing good! Screw you, negative self-esteem!" As long as I'm continuing to work on growing as a person and achieving health and treating the people around me with love and compassion, then I figure I'm on a good path. I can't wait until 50!
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    « Reply #95 on: February 24, 2013, 02:29:48 AM »

    What's your definition of "positive entitlement"? How might "positive entitlement" relate to your life?

    I am entitled to happiness, in my own right, as I define it for myself.  I am entitled to spend my time and resources in ways that benefit me, and only me.  I am entitled to give to myself as much as, or more than I give to others.  I have the right to control my actions and not have my actions guided by another.  I have the right to purse my dreams and do things I find personally fulfilling. 

    I have spent many years seeking the guidance of others, and at age 34 I am, for the first time learning what it means to give myself the gift of positive entitlement.  I am pursuing things that are of interest and importance to me, without the permission of anyone.  I am responsible for my own actions and the consequences.  I am making my own bed - a very comfortable one - so that for the first time I can enjoy lying in it.  It's so gradual but every day feel more like a blessing that a curse.

    Thank you bpdfamily. 
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