Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
April 03, 2020, 11:09:48 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Board Admins: FaithHopeLove, Harri, Once Removed
Senior Ambassadors: Cat Familiar, I Am Redeemed, Mutt, Turkish
Ambassadors: Enabler, Forgiveness, formflier, GaGrl,  khibomsis , Longterm, Ozzie101, pursuingJoy, Swimmy55, zachira
  Help!   Groups   Please Donate Login to Post New?--Click here to register  
bing
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: 6.13 | How Can We Forgive Ourselves?  (Read 23072 times)
immadone
**
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: Widow since '92-see above. I'm turning into a cliche'
Posts: 96


« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2010, 06:43:48 PM »

Perfect, Random. But until I was willing to accept my BPDmother for being who she was and DEMONSTRATED TO ME REPEATEDLY I couldn't rise, hell, I couldn't get out of my own way-never mind hers'. I think I used a poor analogy when I used "snake-butterfly." It could just have easily been "rock-flower," "cat-dog" what ever. My issue was not recognizing what I couldn't change and accepting what was; it's almost like, ":)on't take this personally Immadone, it's not about you, it's just the way it is." Mon Dieu, if I could have charged rent for the space she occupied in my brain, I'd be a rich woman. But that's what I chose, because I didn't realize I had choices, didn't have the self-confidence to respond to what I felt based on what was right under my nose/experience.
Logged


random
*****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 636


« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2010, 06:51:17 PM »

Excerpt
Mon Dieu, if I could have charged rent for the space she occupied in my brain, I'd be a rich woman.

Truer words never spoken, mon ami!

Oh, just to clarify, I wasn't directing my post at you, just a general sharing of "isn't this neato and fitting?"
Logged
immadone
**
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: Widow since '92-see above. I'm turning into a cliche'
Posts: 96


« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2010, 08:58:21 PM »

Many thanks, random, and I didn't take it that way either! I'm just saying I was so bent on "changing" her/or our relationship I never realized I was asking for something she never could have provided! That's on me, not her Being cool (click to insert in post)
Logged
BMama
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: Married 18 years.
Posts: 2485



« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2010, 06:09:22 AM »

I'm in the starting to realize I can't change her part... .I just can't figure out how to get by the renting space in my head part.  I guess I'm still mixed up in the anger part, then.   ?
Logged
random
*****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 636


« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2010, 06:30:01 AM »

Excerpt
I was so bent on "changing" her/or our relationship I never realized I was asking for something she never could have provided! That's on me, not her

And that's where I egg you on to forgive yourself for that  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I'm onlly starting to figure out how to go about the eviction process. I would really like to stop treating myself as my abusers treated me, but it's incredible how habitual the process has become and how well-worn those grooves are.
Logged
BMama
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: Married 18 years.
Posts: 2485



« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2010, 06:34:30 AM »

You know Random, I was thinking after I posted above... .the fact that we feel any guilt, any anger, any NEED to forgive ourselves at all for our relationship (or lack thereof) with our PARENTS ought to be a clear sign, right? 

Sheesh, I feel like I need to WAKE UP!
Logged
LionDreamer
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: married
Posts: 2862



« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2010, 05:58:49 PM »

An interesting discussion is developing which I certainly want to encourage.   I think we are all finding it hard to come up with specific stories of how we have worked on self-forgiveness because this is such a difficult issue.  But I do think working through our thoughts on this can lead us to some discoveries.

But on the other hand, she really DIDN'T mislead me at all. All those years, the themes remained constant; although the details/people may have changed, she herself was very, very consistent. I just kept responding-responding-responding in an attempt to create what I wanted/needed and becoming frustrated/hurt/angry/fearful. She didn't deceive me as much as I deceived myself into believing I could, by force of sheer will and tenacity change a snake into a butterfly.

 

immadone, I wonder if she did deceive you but through the years and the conditioning you took it into yourself and began to shoulder the blame as if the very ideas came originally from you.  I think we are hard-wired in our humanness to feel that we SHOULD love our mother and even have a loving, nurturing relationship.  So the deception you felt of yourself would have been the most normal reaction of a child that was taken and twisted by BPD toxicity. 

Mon Dieu, if I could have charged rent for the space she occupied in my brain, I'd be a rich woman. But that's what I chose, because I didn't realize I had choices, didn't have the self-confidence to respond to what I felt based on what was right under my nose/experience.

immadone, How did you come to this realization and gain self-confidence?

Being clear about what I want really feels like an unforgivable sin.  Wish I could get over this... .

salome, it sounds like you are coming to understand what it is that makes you happy and that is a HUGE step.  Is it so hard to be clear to others because you are just learning yourself, because there is shame attached to this or because if you had make your wants, needs and wishes clear in your FOO you would have been hammered?

It was just our misfortune that the goal we dedicated ourselves to was a truly fruitless one... .the goal of changing someone else's personality and behavior rather than saving the rainforest or ending racism. 

I wonder salome, though, if this is a process we children of BPDs need to go through in order to learn, in order to become the people we are.

we think the worst of ourselves, could it be that we actually think the worst that has been told to us about ourselves by other people? If we think kindly of ourselves, that means a certain amount of negative judgement simply has to be denied entry. And that's a big part of forgiving ourselves, isn't it? Judging not, because we've been bloody judged enough already.

And I think his insight about not obsessing about physical imperfections could also apply to not obsessing about one's imperfections, period.

Yes, random, yes part of self-forgiveness is the process of not judging ourselves with the harsh eye of our parents.

the fact that we feel any guilt, any anger, any NEED to forgive ourselves at all for our relationship (or lack thereof) with our PARENTS ought to be a clear sign, right? 

Sheesh, I feel like I need to WAKE UP!

Don't we all need to wake up BMama, don't we all.  I have always felt it ironic that the victim/survivor of abuse is the one left with the baggage not the one doing the abuse.  Still I have come to learn that it is through this process of healing our baggage that we grow to become complete people. 

There was a story in Tikkun magazine many years ago, A wounded angry young man drew a picture of himself filled with holes as he began therapy.  After therapy he was able to say about his initial picture, (this is a paraphrase), it is through these holes that the light shines through, it is through these wholes that I have learned what light is. 

One main them I see developing here is the enormous judgement we children of BPD parents put on ourselves and the anger, guilt and shame that often blocks our healing.  We all seem to carry so deeply within us the feeling that we are damaged to our core and only by our harsh judgement can we face the world.  This is self talk that needs to change.   We need to view our damaged selfs through the lenses of others and recognize the courage it takes to look inward in the face of such devastation.  This is something everyone who has been exploring this difficult topic can be proud of. 

And so our process continues:   How have we managed to let go of that self-judgement, even for a day, for a moment? 

LionDreamer
Logged
BMama
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: Married 18 years.
Posts: 2485



« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2010, 06:47:23 PM »

We are avoiding some of your questions, aren't we?

I don't know if I can vocalize this, yet, I guess... .
Logged
random
*****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 636


« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2010, 06:52:35 PM »

Well, after tonight, here's a thing that has been very healing for me: doing a meeting with a group of people.

By meeting, in my case, I mean some gathering at my church. I've been to a few different ones. One was a pre-Christmas dinner the minister organized for people who were struggling with family issues and needed space to not be having to fake holiday spirit, and to share and support each other through the struggle. Another was a series of evenings for church "newbies", where we discussed what we do and don't believe, a sort of questing skeptic group. Tonight, we all walked a labyrinth together, a silent walking meditation that brought a powerful sense of connection through the shared spiritual experience.

What these gatherings have done for me is silence the voice inside that harangues me all day long about all the ways in which I am wrong, damaged, stupid, etc. When I am in this circle and experiencing acceptance and warmth from others, I feel nurtured and human.

I don't know if this is "psychologically correct" in the sense that ideally, self-love and nurture does need to come from within, but we are all human and we all need a sense of belonging with fellow beings. If our injuries come from being rejected and ostracized, it makes sense that having the opposite experience offers a counterbalance.
Logged
BMama
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: Married 18 years.
Posts: 2485



« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2010, 07:03:16 PM »

I agree completely, Random.  I'm so glad you had this experience.  Just reading about it is powerful to me.

Thanks!
Logged
Cordelia
formerly salome
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 1465



« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2010, 07:34:44 AM »

random, that sounds beautiful.  I am also attracted to spiritual practice for the same reason, an opportunity to let go of the conscious self and access a more primal type of awareness that doesn't engage in these self-criticisms and value judgments.  There are many things that help a person reach that state, I think - saunas, spiritual retreats, worship services, exercise.  I even tried that isolation tank thing once - where you're floating in water and the light is turned off, and you just exist in a dark, weightless space where you're supposed to have access to higher consciousness.  Eh, didn't really do it for me, Laugh out loud (click to insert in post).  I just daydreamed.  It was nice, but not lifechanging or anything.  I don't think it really matters whether it's with others or on your own - the experience you're having is uniquely your own, no matter how many people are sharing the same space, having their own experiences. 

LionDreamer, it's interesting what you bring up about the potentially positive power of these experiences.  I like that quote about how it's through these holes that the wounded individual can let the light shine through.  I think it's true that learning that other people cannot provide you with the answers you seek, and that we ourselves cannot always achieve what we would like, no matter how hard we try, are truths, albeit harsh ones.  Perhaps they do help us connect to some sort of fundamental reality and let go of illusions. 
Logged


LionDreamer
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: married
Posts: 2862



« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2010, 10:03:29 AM »

We are avoiding some of your questions, aren't we?

Yes, BMama but its OK because this is a process and a very difficult one at that.  I think it reaches to our core sense of self and that brings up lots of issues to process

What these gatherings have done for me is silence the voice inside that harangues me all day long about all the ways in which I am wrong, damaged, stupid, etc. When I am in this circle and experiencing acceptance and warmth from others, I feel nurtured and human.

I don't know if this is "psychologically correct" in the sense that ideally, self-love and nurture does need to come from within, but we are all human and we all need a sense of belonging with fellow beings. If our injuries come from being rejected and ostracized, it makes sense that having the opposite experience offers a counterbalance.

Thanks for sharing this experience Random.  Yes I do believe too that spiritual experiences and being in a circle that connects us not only with other people but with the larger world outside of ourselves is a great healing balm.  Being out in nature is another way to make these connections.  (I think of the song - "I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean" - LeAnn Womack "I Hope you Dance"

I can't help to notice though that through your powerful insight you took a moment to judge yourself by questioning the psychological correctness with a statement about what "should" be.  But you did get your balance back by your next statement of counterbalance.

I think it's true that learning that other people cannot provide you with the answers you seek, and that we ourselves cannot always achieve what we would like, no matter how hard we try, are truths, albeit harsh ones.  Perhaps they do help us connect to some sort of fundamental reality and let go of illusions. 

I agree salome, but I would also say that we may not be able to reach the specific answers we seek, but in the process of the quest we may find answers to other questions we never knew we had even asked.   That is the gift if we can keep our hearts and minds open. That is one of the lessons of the mythic quest.  Deena Metzger wrote:  "We are each the hero of our own journey."
Logged
marlo6277
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 1781



« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2010, 03:37:33 PM »

Okay, here's my take on how I handle things when they seem to get out of hand and I have to allow myself to take a breather and forgive myself:

Every person is the same.  For every action there is a thought and a feeling behind it. So what is the order of those?  Thought, feeling action.

You always have some sort of thought, then that makes you feel a certain way, and then you have your action based on that feeling.

And we can get into our own little 'loops'.  I have actually taken the time to draw out a 'pie'.  This pie has 30 'slices'.  And it's broken down into 10 slices for each item - thought, feeling, action.

And of course I have many "loops" that I find myself in regularly. 

I will share one with you:

Event - alarm goes off in the morning. (yes, it starts first thing in the morning)

T - OMG I'm just so tired. I can't do this today.

F - overwhelmed, need for a little more sleep.

A - hit snooze, roll over, go back to sleep.

Event - Alarm goes off again

T - OMG has it been 10 mins already? Seriously? Maybe I should call in sick.

F - need for more sleep again. Exhausted. overwhelmed.

A - hit snooze, roll over, go back to sleep

Event - Alarm goes off for the third time.

T - OH NO! Now I'm going to be late. CRAP! Why do I do this to myself!

F - Like I should have just sucked it up and got out of bed and feeling like a loser and whiner.

A - Race out of bed and jump in the shower

T - You're such an idiot. Why do you have to do this to yourself all morning?

F - like I need to just figure out my whole life and get myself straight.

A - Get out of shower and run around looking for a clean uniform.

T - why didn't you lay out your uniform last night?  You would have saved time this morning and then you wouldnt' have been running around this morning at the last minute!

F - Like I can't do anything right and I need to get organized

A - Wake up DH while trying to rummage through my clean clothes looking for a uniform in the dark.

T - Great. Now he's going to be mad at me. He has no idea what it's like for me sometimes.

F - guilty

A - Say sorry and tell him to go to back to sleep.

Event - DH asks what is going on.

T - Aw man. Now he's mad. Look what you've done.

F - guilty

A - tell him I'm looking for my uniform and ask him if he remembers seeing it.

Event - DH says no and says I should have laid it out last night.

T - Gee thanks. Like I couldn't have figured that one out! Why does he have to be such a jerk sometimes.

F - crummy, guilty, frustrated, hurt

A - Tell DH - thanks for your help. Here I am trying to be quiet. I'm sorry I woke you but don't have be such a jerk about it. I'm late okay. It's not my fault I can't find my uniform!

T - It's totally your fault. Why did you just throw the blame like that? If you weren't so disorganized, then this wouldnt' be happening.

F - guilty, sad, frustrated, angry.

A - find the uniform and leave the room and slam the door.

Event - get dressed, check time - need to leave house in 10 mins to be on time.

T - OMG time is running out! I still have to do my make-up and my hair.  And great. I haven't made my lunch. This sucks.

F - frustrated, angry

A - throw make-up on and throw hair in a bun. Race downstairs. Check time. Realize I needed to leave 5 mins ago.

T - DAMMIT! you're going to be late now! This is all your fault. You can't seem to do anything right!

F - sad

A - race out the door for work.

*******************

That was as soon as 2 months ago.  Now I can catch myself fairly early on (like after I race out of bed) and then I can change my thinking habits.  I can tell myself now that I'm right. I do need more sleep. But I didn't get it because I was doing things for the kids late the night before and it's okay because I made them happy and it's somethng that their mom wouldn't have done. 

When I start thinking about blaming DH for somethings I remind myself first that it's not his fault and that I need to cut him and me some slack. We are doing the best we can.  And we are doing great.

Now, I am hoping to get to the point where I can see this problem coming before it hits and then I can avoid it altogether.

So ya - that's my story... .If we take the time to really analyze our own thought processes, recognize our feelings and curb our actions, then it sets the stage for a whole new set of positive thoughts and feelings.  xoxox
Logged
blackandwhite
Retired Staff
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
What is your relationship status with them: married
Posts: 3115



« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2010, 02:45:20 PM »

When I think of self-forgiveness, it reminds me of Step 7 of the Survivors' Guide. I'll quote from it here:

Excerpt
I can sense my inner child whose efforts to survive now can be appreciated.


REMEMBERING [Step 7]: This step involves turning inward, away from the violence and pain of your abuse, to reach inside to your inner child and begin learning how to nurture and develop this vulnerable part of yourself. This is both a grieving and healing step, because what you give now to this child will be restorative and fulfilling and will form the foundation upon which you can build other changes as you work the later steps. This is also a step that will help you recognize and acknowledge your childhood efforts to survive the abuse.

By now, you know pretty much what happened to you, who did what and how you felt about it. It is now time to continue the work you began in Step Five by forgiving yourself for any of the millions of reasons that you may have used to blame yourself for the abuse. Working this step means further identifying and challenging these inaccurate and outdated notions and modifying your perceptions, based on your new understanding of your childhood experience. Along the way you need to appreciate and validate yourself for having survived the abuse. As you accept what happened to you and who really was responsible, you will inevitably become more and more accepting of yourself and the child within you.

As you develop self-acceptance, you may notice that your relationships begin to improve. Accepting yourself may make it easier for others to accept you. If you haven't yet had this experience, you will be pleasantly surprised. Allow yourself to share these new feelings about yourself with people you care for and trust. Look for acceptance and understanding, and if you don't get it, ask for it. Let this vulnerable part of you explore being dependent and intimate with someone and see if you can feel trust starting to build. If you feel afraid, try to figure out why and share your thoughts with this person.



I don't have too much trouble forgiving myself for things I did as a small child, but when I look back to my early adolescence, I have struggled with shame and self-blame. I was such a mess. I acted out in ways that are completely in line with what you would expect given the history of trauma and dysfunction in my family (drinking, mild drug abuse, promiscuity). I was a sitting duck for anyone who wanted to exploit me, as I had learned what Patrick Carnes in The Betrayal Bond calls "insane loyalties," and I gave up my own interests and needs (even for self-protection) in favor of others. When I was 13 I became sexually involved with a young adult man and continued a relationship with him for several years. Intellectually, I have long been able to see that:

1. My acting out was completely par for the course given my history and what I faced at home.

2. I had no guidance, and was taking care of my mentally ill mother while working and going to school.

3. I faced extra pressures as my father, who was a mild-moderate sociopath (AsPD/NPD) was at war with my mother, and I was constantly pulled between them. My sister was also acting out and drawing the family attention.

4. As a younger child, I had been previously sexually abused by one of my father's girlfriend's sons, which tends to lead to this sort of result.

5. An adult man took advantage of me and that he was responsible, morally and legally, for that inappropriate sexual relationship.

Yet despite this intellectual understanding, well into my adult life I continued to avoid thoughts of this time, blocking them out (trauma avoidance) and at the same time would be visited with intense feelings of shame about this period. At that time, I completely embraced the relationship with the older man, thinking I was "in love" and all the other nutty things we think about relationships that are dangerous for us.

Self-forgiveness has come slowly. Part of it has come through seeing the story of my life as... .a story. There once was a girl who was expected to meet everyone's needs but her own... . I've done EMDR for trauma recovery and it has helped to take the edge off of the shame feelings and to break through the avoidance. I can think of that time now with a great deal of compassion for that poor, lost girl.

I have also come to "appreciate my efforts to survive" and give myself credit for what I *did* do to help myself. I kept at my studies, did very well at school, and eventually earned myself scholarships that got me out of that situation. After the relationship with the older man ended, I realized I was not in any position to date, and I simply stopped for a couple of years. That was a smart move, as it gave me some time to recover and mature while avoiding further exploitation.

So there's one story of self-forgiveness... .

B&W
Logged

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else. ~ Lucille Clifton
BMama
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: Married 18 years.
Posts: 2485



« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2010, 08:38:23 PM »

 Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)   xoxox
Logged
random
*****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 636


« Reply #45 on: March 07, 2010, 06:58:33 AM »

Wow, blackandwhite, it all sounds so sane and so compassionate. I wish so much I could get to that place and I am working on it, but it's going to be a long haul. I was at a birthday last night, and all the people there were Russian, like me, and my age, and most of them married happily, well-off, well-established professionally, some had kids and I had such a tough time not beating myself up for being alone, broke, without a permanent job and living on a student budget while I scramble to manage my debts.

I thought of this topic and your post, as I tried to tell myself that I am coming out of decades of abuse, that I did well just to survive and LEAVE, that if these people grew up with what I grew up with, god knows what their lives would look like right now, that I have worked very hard to overcome significant handicaps... .It worked a bit. I wasn't as hard on myself as I would have been without having done the work on this board.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

But it still stung... .
Logged
blackandwhite
Retired Staff
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
What is your relationship status with them: married
Posts: 3115



« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2010, 08:25:09 AM »

I tried to tell myself that I am coming out of decades of abuse, that I did well just to survive and LEAVE, that if these people grew up with what I grew up with, god knows what their lives would look like right now, that I have worked very hard to overcome significant handicaps... .It worked a bit. I wasn't as hard on myself as I would have been without having done the work on this board.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Good! Then let's give you credit for that very healing thought pattern! Fist bump: 

If you had for whatever reason ended up in a close conversation with another guest there, and she told you her life story and it was similar to your own (meaning in some way she also faced considerable abuse and had to run really, really far just to get to the starting line), how would you regard her? With contempt? With compassion? Something else?

Excerpt
But it still stung... .

 This is maybe where radical acceptance comes in. That's your feeling, and it's okay to have it. You're a beautiful work in progress... . 

B&W
Logged

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else. ~ Lucille Clifton
random
*****
Offline Offline

What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 636


« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2010, 08:53:06 AM »

Excerpt
how would you regard her? With contempt? With compassion? Something else?

With compassion, definitely! And I would also be outraged on her behalf, angry at the injustice and wrongness of it. It's very easy for me to see clearly when it's someone else - like, when I think about the ghetto kids I saw in LA, and how much they have to face, not just individual abuse within families, but institutionalized racism, centuries of having their whole *people* abused, robbed, exploited, all of it on young shoulders just by accident of birth... .My heart went out to them and I was so, so angry at what they have to face, at how much they have to run just to get to the starting line, as you said.

Now I am learning to recognize my own situation for what it is, and that even if some of my problems are the result of my own decisions, I had so much stacked against me. It's a real gift just to notice that my life didn't take shape in a vacuum, that in some ways it's not a failure but an achievement.

I'm really grateful for this new insight. Even if it is very new and will take conscious work to absorb and not go to that habitual place of thinking badly of myself for not doing better.
Logged
marlo6277
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 1781



« Reply #48 on: March 07, 2010, 09:05:59 AM »

Now I am learning to recognize my own situation for what it is, and that even if some of my problems are the result of my own decisions, I had so much stacked against me. It's a real gift just to notice that my life didn't take shape in a vacuum, that in some ways it's not a failure but an achievement.

This is exactly why I have the signature that I have on all of my posts:

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

xoxox
Logged
pooh2
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 282


« Reply #49 on: March 16, 2010, 09:04:30 PM »

Ah...   perfect LD...   I forgot where your post was.  I just received a notification and brought me back here.  So timely...   need to read the posts in more depth.
Logged
pooh2
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 282


« Reply #50 on: March 16, 2010, 09:27:31 PM »

This is such a great workshop. I struggle with guilt and self-criticism so much. I'll have to go mull it over a bit. It seems that so much of the pain we struggle with feeds into itself, so that it's all one self-administering network: guilt -> worthlessness -> fear of punishment -> feeling undeserving -> guilt over being such an undeserving person -> worthlessness -> fear -> helplessness -> guilt, all of those things strengthening each other.

Just naming what's happening helps already.

So true!
Logged


pooh2
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 282


« Reply #51 on: March 16, 2010, 09:29:25 PM »

What's been helping me most recently is two things:

1. Simply noticing when feelings and thoughts that are very harsh and negative come up. Just to notice is a huge part of the battle because these things are so internalized and habitual, they are now unconscious.

2. Trying to think and act the opposite as much as possible. Like, if I am doing something hard, I mentally pat myself on the back. Praise myself when I do something well. Think things like, "you had a tough and busy day. Now do something to help yourself relax and rest up."

The more kind thoughts you have towards yourself, the less room and processor power goes to the negative ones.

I find if I try to argue with the negative ones or "dissuade" them, it's about as effective as dissuading Momster from the position that I am a bad person: not at all, the thoughts just come on stronger. I end up spending days arguing with myself in circles, and all it does is give me a headache.

I like this very much
Logged
pooh2
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 282


« Reply #52 on: March 16, 2010, 09:35:47 PM »

Excerpt
Finally, one strategy I learned from my CBT counsellor is, OK. Admit you made a mistake. What did you learn and what will you do differently in the future? When I started to think this way, I realized it gave me power back. I can't change my past mistakes. But I CAN change what I do from now on!

hmmm...   I could do that.  Trying to explain to myself why I did something dumb is a hard one.  It only helps for such a short time. 
Logged
pooh2
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 282


« Reply #53 on: March 16, 2010, 09:38:19 PM »

Forgive myself?  What's that?  Okay... .in all honesty, this is my absolute worst problem in my life.  I haven't found a way to forgive myself yet for something I did when I was 7. 

I feel like the only kid in class who forgot to do their homework... .

I'm going to be paying a lot of attention to this thread.  I'd love to see how other people have found ways to forgive themselves. 

I am so very, very sorry that you have carried that pain for so long.  I hope you can let it go. 
Logged
pooh2
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 282


« Reply #54 on: March 16, 2010, 09:40:40 PM »

Excerpt
how would you regard her? With contempt? With compassion? Something else?

With compassion, definitely! And I would also be outraged on her behalf, angry at the injustice and wrongness of it. It's very easy for me to see clearly when it's someone else - like, when I think about the ghetto kids I saw in LA, and how much they have to face, not just individual abuse within families, but institutionalized racism, centuries of having their whole *people* abused, robbed, exploited, all of it on young shoulders just by accident of birth... .My heart went out to them and I was so, so angry at what they have to face, at how much they have to run just to get to the starting line, as you said.

Now I am learning to recognize my own situation for what it is, and that even if some of my problems are the result of my own decisions, I had so much stacked against me. It's a real gift just to notice that my life didn't take shape in a vacuum, that in some ways it's not a failure but an achievement.

I'm really grateful for this new insight. Even if it is very new and will take conscious work to absorb and not go to that habitual place of thinking badly of myself for not doing better.

this is kinda funny 'cause it was just that...   speaking out on behalf of a disabled woman that was the stupid thing for me.  I can get so worked up when I see someone being victimized.  It was okay for me to try to help her.  The way I did it was wrong.  ; /

Logged
oceanheart
BPD Educator
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Posts: 466


WWW
« Reply #55 on: April 20, 2010, 10:15:34 AM »

It's ironic we can have so much compassion for others and so little for ourselves. If someone treated a friend of mine like I treat myself, I'd call that person abusive... .You should hear some of the things I say to myself. So why is it ok to do it to ourselves? It's not, of course, but it's such a deep, ingrained pattern of thinking. To overcome it, we have to re-engineer the way we think, gently challenging all our twisted thinking while paradoxically allowing ourselves to still feel what we are feeling. Does that make sense? Hold the feeling like a precious child, comfort it, but realize it's too little to understand or to be in charge.

Being able to observe my feelings with a little bit of detachment has helped me recently. I have to watch and not dissociate, because that's taking it too far, but a little bit of distance is healthy, because then that wave of shame doesn't drown me, and I can tread water. Soon, I'll be able to swim, then jump on a board and surf the wave! Smiling (click to insert in post) dunno what I mean really, except gaining mastery over the emotions that used to be like a tsunami... .
Logged
BMama
********
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: Married 18 years.
Posts: 2485



« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2010, 10:28:46 AM »

Wow.

Interesting you posted these comments Ocean.  And this thread was a good one.  I'm glad it's revitalized a little.

I was just thinking about this recently after my last couple of therapy sessions.  On top of the  PD traits's of BPD, it's possible I may have adult ADHD to cope with.  We're discussing how I will  treat it, etc.  Also, that crosses over with self esteem issues... .and being sort of BPD'ish "all or nothing" with things. 

For example, I'm almost constantly on a "diet."  I know, you're not supposed to call it that, but, okay, I'm in active weight loss.  How's that?   Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) Anyway, I count calories and put in my exercise on this great website I use track my habits.  I told my T that when I have a bad day with that, I tend to give up for the rest of the week.  In my ADHDness, I can't seem to finish something if I'm not doing it perfectly, or if it's too hard.

But, I'll be the first person to tell someone, "That was today.  Get back on the wagon tomorrow."  That's just good advice for anything... .I'll even tell friends who are trying to quit smoking and they give up and have a cigarette... .not to give up completely.  Old habits die hard.

I just realized that it really, really pi$$es me off that I can't look in a mirror and say that to myself... .and LISTEN like I hope that others will.  What the heck is wrong with that picture?  I guess it's that old, "Putting other's needs before your own" mentality that we grew up with. 

I even have a hard time telling someone that they did something wrong.  I'm afraid they won't like me... .I'll take responsibility for someone else's stupid mistake or smooth things over just so they won't feel bad.  I don't really feel bad because I KNOW I didn't screw up, but I don't want them to either.

Yesterday, I dropped my son off at preschool.  I didn't have his permission slip for a trip tomorrow filled out or the money.  His teacher said, ":)id you get a form?"  I automatically started assuming I did and I just forgot it or didn't see it in his papers on Friday.  She said, "I have one here with his name on it, but it was still laying here so I crossed his name out assuming maybe there were two and he got his... .I'm sorry."  I didn't give her a second... .I just automatically went to me messing it up.  I even was like over apologetic and making sure that she knew I wasn't mad at her or anything.  Man that is so annoying.
Logged
Nutts45
formerly "dsnutt45 "
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: theraputic separation - 2/2011
Posts: 1217



« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2010, 11:03:23 AM »

I have gone back to a mindfullness tool.  Becuase so many of us have have buried our emotions and the focus of BPD being... they have hidden their emotions from such an early ages.

emotions = feeling.

The jest of it is not to run away from you feelings.  Identify what you are feeling and the emotion behind it and allow yourself to feel... not replace it just feel.  We grow up being told you should feel this or that, but to move on you have need to experience what you are feeling to move past it.

For example... you were constantly yelled at through h cycle.  How does that make you feel... .allow you self to feel your feelings... how does it feel "scared" ... why are you scared... ."might pick up the wrong item", than allow your self to feel being scared... .what are your feeling "tense"... how does your body feel... allow your self to feel it...  When you do this exercise again... notice how the feeling is different...

The simplest one of these... .(less intense) is boredom... a lot of people create chaos because they are not use to peace and quiet.

Notice if you do something out of boredom... but instead of going to the fridge, turning on the TV... .having to do something... sit with boredom... how does it feel... is it boredom... restlessness because it is quite... .are you doing something because you want to or you doing something because you are bored.

If you sit with your emotions and feelings you will find that they hold less power over you.  The training is that emotions are fleeting... .if you sit with them you will notice that you will not run away from your feelings and emotions because you realize that they will leave on their own.  If you sit with fear... .especially if you didn't allow yourself to feel it when you were a child... you will be able to recognize it when it is useful to identify true threats.

Do you need forgiveness.  If you done something you regret... .feel it... .how does it feel... identify why you truly feel regret... what could you do different... by allowing yourself to feel regret... you are no longer running away from it... .you can change it... .you understand you did something unhealthy and have learned from it... .it now becomes wise remorse.

When you start a something simple ask why you are doing it...  needs to? makes me feel better?  something I want to do? fear of what someone might think? Identify the feeling and emotion behind what drives you... .You might be surprised  at something that you really want to do and and the positive emotions and feelings are suddenly place with a negative one will follow and that is the reason we don't follow through with our dreams.

Logged
oceanheart
BPD Educator
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Other
Posts: 466


WWW
« Reply #58 on: April 20, 2010, 12:02:42 PM »

The reason I stumbled upon this old-ish thread is from one of blackandwhite's posting on Toxic Shame thread. Both are relevant and I might go back and post some of this on that, if they intersect... .

dsnutt - love your post! The problem is when the feeling is waaay to intense to be able to deal with. Over the past 5 years of growth I've been able to progressively deal with difficult emotions and can do okay with most of them except for perhaps the fundamental BPD one of rage. There are such attendant feelings of shame when I get angry . . . like I'm not "allowed" to be angry and if I express it, that means I'm a bad person; one can't forgive oneself for fundamental "badness". Do I really believe I'm bad? Not intellectually, but it FEELS true.

I'm afraid of expressing my anger because 1) it's physically painful 2) I'm afraid it will escalate or I'll lose control 3) I might be wrong 4) I might be acting unfairly 5) I'm afraid I will like it too much (the feeling of being powerful and in control). Any suggestions besides bringing it up with my T today?
Logged
Nutts45
formerly "dsnutt45 "
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
What is your relationship status with them: theraputic separation - 2/2011
Posts: 1217



« Reply #59 on: April 20, 2010, 12:14:05 PM »

Start with something that feels less intense... .feel those first.

When I had extreme anger... I was real scared of the way I felt... And I got stuck awhile on this, because I too grew up... Dad can show anger we couldn't.  And actually I found out with me it was not the anger I was scared of... .it was fear... fear of losing control.

One day when I was alone... I had saw this before on a program... and thought I would try it.  Take a pillow and hit it allow all yourself to lose it on the pillow.  I couldn't... started laughing... I felt ridiculous looking at the pillow... tried to hit it... felt even more foolish... well feeling foolish replaced my fear of losing control at the time.

When I was able to let go of the fear of losing... I allowed myself to be angry... and I have found that a punching bag at the gym... is a great release. 

Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Links and Information
CLINICAL INFORMATION
The Big Picture
5 Dimensions of Personality
BPD? How can I know?
Get Someone into Therapy
Treatment of BPD
Full Clinical Definition
Top 50 Questions

EDITORIAL DEPARTMENTS
My Child has BPD
My Parent/Sibling has BPD
My Significant Other has BPD
Recovering a Breakup
My Failing Romance
Endorsed Books
Archived Articles

RELATIONSHIP TOOLS
How to Stop Reacting
Ending Cycle of Conflict
Listen with Empathy
Don't Be Invalidating
Values and Boundaries
On-Line CBT Program
>> More Tools

MESSAGEBOARD GENERAL
Membership Eligibility
Messageboard Guidelines
Directory
Suicidal Ideation
Domestic Violence
ABOUT US
Mission
Policy and Disclaimers
Professional Endorsements
Wikipedia
Facebook

BPDFamily.org

Your Account
Settings

Moderation Appeal
Become a Sponsor
Sponsorship Account


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2020, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!