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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: I am extremely paranoid... possible reasons  (Read 1579 times)
Maryiscontrary
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« on: March 17, 2013, 09:56:19 AM »

Now this is not disowned, but I am looking at this like a mechanic.

I have this feeling that people are out to hurt me. That is, I get painful interactions with people. Did the chicken or egg come first, I don't know.

First, I feel people try to take what I have, and secondly, I think they try to destroy me because of envy of some pathological level.

I cannot reality test if this is true or not. All I know is that I can bond extremely well, and then I get exhausted and retreat and have to keep arms length distance.

So there are three components I can think up that are reasons for this paranoia

1. People try to take what is mine.

2. Narcissists try to destroy me

3. social interaction are satisfying for a while, then I quickly tire out from exhaustion.

I would like input.
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Surnia
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2013, 10:57:42 AM »

Hi maryiscontrary

interesting topic.

I can relate with parts of it. Sometimes I have also the fear: "They are taking me something away".

I can relate also with #3 from your list.

For me it happens when I do not watch my needs and boundaries or when I have to much social SHOULDS and MUSTS.
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“Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stand on your sacred ground.”  Brené Brown
Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2013, 12:21:11 PM »

Thanks for your response, Surnia.

I feel like a very vulnerable person. I feel like I have a propensity to really get injured, and these injuries set me way back and take forever to heal. I feel people really want to take from me. I feel that I am a target for sociopaths, who want to destroy me for the narcissistic injury I cause and who also want to take from me, ignoring long term rewards for short term pay offs.

There are very few friends and family that do not cause overt injury.

The question is, why am I so vulnerable? I feel like I am an emotional hemophiliac. You hear about those people who can't feel pain, and this results in huge tissue injury because they can't feel the feedback. I feel something along this line.
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Phoenix.Rising
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 01:34:49 PM »

Hi Maryiscontrary, 

I want to offer my support.  I have had the feeling of people wanting to 'take from me', and that is a very uncomfortable feeling.  I believe it stems from a problem with trust.  It is hard for me to really trust others on an intimate level if the trust in myself is lacking. 

Learn to trust Mary first (maybe by working on solid boundaries, like Surnia mentioned, to protect yourself), and this will build trust in others.  It will also likely attract people who are more trustworthy. 

I believe it helps to take time in getting to know others.  My pattern has been to jump into something 'serious' before I really know who I'm dealing with.  I can pretend that the interaction won't affect me, but it always does, even if the contact is limited. 

This is not easy.  So, I end up in situations where pain results, even when I don't really want that, if that makes sense.  I guess part of me wants it, though, because that is what feels familiar.  We are worthy of good things, though, but we have to believe it and 'act as if'.  Hope that helps.  Be good to you.   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2013, 06:01:49 PM »

Thanks guys. I concur with your thoughts. Thanks again very much. Just doing what I am doing, erecting fort Knox boundaries.
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MammaMia
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2013, 06:45:42 PM »

Maryiscontrary

 

Sounds to me like you have been badly hurt in the past.  Is that true?
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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2013, 07:16:08 PM »

Yes, this is correct. I am a vulnerable person, due to slow emotional processing and have been an easy target in the past.
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2013, 07:46:27 PM »

Hi Mary,

Who do you trust?
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Mary Oliver:  Someone I loved gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift

Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2013, 08:39:31 PM »

Again, I thank all of you. I have friends at varying levels of trust. I trust many parts of myself. I trust one family member, an elderly aunt. I have to really build boundaries that shut out everybody else to that of arms length. I get along with many people. I just don't trust them.

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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2013, 09:09:25 PM »

How to expand your circle of trust? Your aunt? Her friends? Who does she trust? Your other friends of varying trust? The ones you trust more... .  who do they trust? Start small. Build out.
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Mary Oliver:  Someone I loved gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift

Clearmind
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2013, 09:36:22 PM »

Relationships take time to build, trust takes even longer. Bonding (especially quick bonds) does not equate to trust.

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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2013, 10:04:34 PM »

Hey mary, you are not paranoid you are just hypervigilant. You have reason to be wary of others... .  especially men, after being involved with a BPD and having narcissistic father and brother. I am in therapy twice a week and feel better than I did when I was ranting and raving several weeks ago... .  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). I have a narcissistic mother and sister and have been involved with a BPD women... .  

I have been taking my dog to the dog park... .  and if I sense a woman start to mill around me... .  I start to panic and feel like I am being targeted... .  reasonable brain tells me it's most likely a nice single woman looking to make chat with a fellow animal lover, but emotional mind tells me she is looking to manipulate me in to something, or that she is "targeting me"... .  senses my vulnerability.

So my curse, is that anybody who is friendly enough to want to talk to me... .  gets ignored... .  can't even look in their direction. It's a huge dog park though, and no reason for these women to come around me way off in the corner.

I don't think the rigid fort knox boundaries are serving me very well... .  I feel lonely, misunderstood, and vulnerable. By depriving myself of contact with healthier trustworthy people I am depriving myself of the positive social mirroring that I want and need.

Im sorry Mary... .  i feel your pain... .   I'm just trying to accept what I am feeling and try to take it easy on myself and all the "what ifs". Remember when you were young and you wern't afraid of anything? That's called healthy narcissism... .  something I am lacking in right now
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MammaMia
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2013, 12:50:20 AM »

Maryiscontrary

Mary, please tell me why you feel so vulnerable and distrustful?  Is it because you open your heart to others and are taken advantage of?  Or is it because you are afraid to open your heart to anyone for fear of being hurt?  

You also mentioned having a slow thought process... .  does this mean it is difficult for you to make decisions, or perhaps are you over-analyzing everything?  I am not sure what you mean.

You know, sometimes people, even those in our own family, can be mean and hurtful unintentionally.  Other times we misinterpret what they are saying, causing ourselves pain.

People who cannot be trusted are frightening.  I am sorry you are struggling with this, but we are glad you are here.  Can you fill us in on the details?

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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2013, 05:10:05 AM »

Wow, thanks guys. For the thought provoking responses.

OTH

For instance, with my aunt, this old Texas baptist  culture is very different from mine. Her group of friends are basically like a bunch of aunties... .  I known them all of my life. But they are dying at a rapid clip, and are fundamentalist. So, I bite my lip, and realize that these are just different worlds. Because so many people have died or burnt out around me, I have to limit contact with people who are high risk. I have been to so many funerals.

It is like there is this barrier. Unless, I put on my dr. Doolittle  alter ego, take the initiative, reach out and find common ground, it is like I am galaxies apart. People do not realize how much work I put into trying to relate to them.

I do not buy into so called mainstream church religion (money grubbing), I do not buy into any of the mainstream media (soviet style propaganda), I do not buy into the acquisitive debt ridden American lifestyle. So when these people start talking about these things, I find I have nothing really in common, unless I forcibly find ground to be social. If I buy into mainstream dogma that gets spewed forth at me by people I try to make common ground with, I will get destroyed.

Clearmind

The long lasting bonds are the ones that have tried to destroy me. Almost without exception. I do cherish these exceptions. But heavy interactions exhaust me. I feel overwhelming empathy, and then the switch turns off from fatigue. This appears to be a push pull. I have really tried to be honest about this with these loved ones.

But even then, I must maintain some distance, so I do not get fleas from those I trust most.

Stoic and mamma

Yes, I think that those manipulative narcissistic asss have something to do with it. my god, there are so many of them. I'll talk to people. I'll socialize. I inhibit my jaw dropping outrage and astounded response.  Then I run out of stamina, and I will become recluse.

I think mechanically it is 2 things. First, I do not process emotional data efficiently. It is like trying to write with your left hand, when you are right handed. Very slow and exhausting.  I can stay in very loaded situations, like somebody dying and me needing to handle hospital, hospice, and funeral arrangements. But I dissociate, and I am left reeling for a very, very long time.

So I am loyal, unlike a lot of people, and will stick by you, and have emapthy, but it damages me so that I cannot function well overall. And people abuse this, I have found, without even realizing it, and I have to keep arms length.

So my perception, because people send me reeling, is that it is damaging.

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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2013, 08:38:18 AM »

Again, thanks so much for caring, guys. I am really honored by it.
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Phoenix.Rising
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2013, 11:37:14 AM »

It is OK for us to take care of our needs first, regardless of what other people think or feel.  If others cannot deal with that, then they are probably not the people we need in our lives. 

Somewhere along the way, I got the idea that my emotional needs were unimportant and I needed to sacrifice myself to 'serve' others.  This leaves me depleted and empty, with nothing to give.  When I take care of me first, I am then able to be emotionally available for others.

If someone is healthy enough, they will likely understand your need for space and respect any vulnerability you may be feeling.  Taking baby steps helps.   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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MammaMia
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2013, 01:01:07 PM »

Mary

So glad to hear from you!

I think Phoenix has some valid points.  People have come to rely on you too much.  This is not uncommon when dealing with older people.  I doubt they realize the impact their "needs" have on you.  :)id someone close to you just pass away?  

That in itself is a hugely traumatic event.  You need to say... .  "Hey what about Mary?".  You give so much of yourself that you sound like you are overwhelmed and on the verge of emotional burnout.  Been there, done that.  The more you give the more people want from you.

You sound very intelligent and probably have a good grasp of what is happening.  There is a wonderful word in the English language that is very helpful to those of us in this position.  It is "NO".  The hard part is the guilt that goes along with saying no.  Have you considered seeing a therapist to help you learn about setting boundaries and depression?  There is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself after an emotional trauma.  In fact people NEED to do that to come to terms with the loss, anger, and fear that accompanies trauma.  It starts the healing process.

I worked at a very stressful job for 43 years.  As a manager, I was everything to everyone and the work just kept building and building.  I had been there so long that everyone perceived me as invincible.  I could do anything... .  no matter how unreasonable the request.  I cancelled vacations to help others at work or to allow others to be off for things they needed to do.  Always was the one to sacrifice for the good of the others.  Put in way too many hours at work. I reached a point where I was mentally and physically burned out.  I asked for help repeatedly and was told... .  I could handle it, the department did not have the funding for an assistant.  So I retired.  Felt like I was released from prison!  

That was over 2 years ago.  There was a huge reorganization within our department when I left, and my duties were split between 5 people.  

My point is, sometimes we HAVE to standup for ourselves and our wellbeing.  Please consider talking to someone or even attending a support group.  NAMI is fabulous and free.  Check it out online.

Take care Mary.  Please let us know how things are going.  Most of all, please know you are not alone.  We are here 24/7 and we do care.

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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2013, 01:10:34 PM »

Thanks much guys. I have very strong boundaries, now. I have lost a tremendous amount over the last 7 years. It is loss and trauma stacked upon loss and trauma. Many losses. I suppose this is the grieving process, and it was delayed and I am paying for it now.

I have the causes and conditions set in place to make things better. I am not depressed. I am paranoid. But I am aware of this.  But it is taking a really, really long time to get traction.

Again, thanks to all of the people on this thread for your compassion.
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MammaMia
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2013, 01:45:56 PM »

Mary

Loss upon loss can cause PTSD and paranoia is a factor there.  Might be something to also consider.

I am very glad you have a plan in place to care for yourself.  Hang in there.

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Clearmind
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2013, 03:25:18 PM »

The long lasting bonds are the ones that have tried to destroy me. Almost without exception. I do cherish these exceptions. But heavy interactions exhaust me. I feel overwhelming empathy, and then the switch turns off from fatigue. This appears to be a push pull. I have really tried to be honest about this with these loved ones.

Mary can you explain what you mean about “overwhelming empathy”?

When friends are telling you a sad story or something that is concern them – what is you thinking as they are relaying it?

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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2013, 05:03:21 PM »

Clearmind, I think it is a dysregulation. I can feel other's suffering and joy acutely. I feel others contempt and shame and indifference. But feeling that suffering of others, this exhausts me. I have a good friend who is a therapist who never speaks of her anguish. But I see it. And I try to handle her with care.

I can detect sudden shifts in my clients sentiments, even if it just in email, and I rush to quickly respond to it, so I have a huge retention rate.

But I have felt for all of my life the switch go off, not unlike how a muscle spasm will stop you in your tracks. I have this back up mode where I go into actor mode. Clearmind, it's like a piece of my personality literally breaks off into outer space. Likely, it is a fatiguing circuit, just like lactic acid is with fatigued muscle.

So I have this backup actor mode to give the appearance of a cohesive personality to others. I have cognitive memory of my morals and values, of how I felt for a person. But the empathy just zaps out temporarily, and I have to keep the monster inside in control. Mind you, I am not shamed or anything. But the empathy regulation is unstable.

So maybe when I say that people are out to hurt me, maybe it is so painful for me to interact, because keeping a cohesive self is a tremendous amount of work.
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MammaMia
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2013, 05:29:24 PM »

Mary, do you take any medication for anxiety?  This will often reduce the extreme sensitivity you mention as well as to curb panic attacks, while still allowing you to feel everything on a more tolerable or comfortable level.  

Have you discussed this with your therapist friend?  She would be a great source of information.
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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2013, 05:50:55 PM »

No, I do not have anxiety in the common sense. I don't need anxiety medication. Plus, severe drug abuse is endemic in my family. My mother took 20-30 junkie perscription pills of various flavors a day.

I am just saying it is painful to interact a lot of the time. My therapy friend is very well aware for a number of years these tendencies. I mean, these core experiences run through the paternal family tree like leprosy. You can go back 4 generations, even with out the environmental influence and see we are all like this. However, I believe I am the only one to really look at it mechanically, without shame. There are "hardware" issues, and "software" ones.

Again thanks.
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Clearmind
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2013, 07:06:35 PM »

Healthy relating in an emotional sense; includes the need to have an autonomous sense of self as well as the need to be emotionally connected to another/other person. These can cause us to be in conflict - switch between abandonment and engulfment fears (push/pull).

Does the “actor” mode feel like it protects you? Dissociating is a protection mechanism. Do you feel you need to protect? If so, what?

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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2013, 07:33:50 PM »

I have the causes and conditions set in place to make things better. I am not depressed. I am paranoid. But I am aware of this.  But it is taking a really, really long time to get traction.

Mary! You aren't paranoid... .  you are hypervigilant. People who are "being paranoid", have no idea that they are "being paranoid". Paranoia is completely irrational... .  if you were paranoid, you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with your thinking. The fact that you have awareness of your thoughts being skewed... .  means you aren't being paranoid. So +1 for Mary there... .  

Am I right?

My T always makes sure that I know that I am not being paranoid, I am being hypervigilant... .  I have good reason to be protective of myself right now... .  I am vulnerable, and my nervous system recognizes this and is protecting me... .  the less I fight it, the less it upsets me. Anxiety is good... .  it helps protect us from harmful circumstances.


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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2013, 07:45:13 AM »

Wow, I am really amazed by the care displayed here. Thanks. Really.

Clearmind, I get overstimulated. I have done Vipassana and insight practice for a long, long time, it it lessens it, but honestly I think it is a developmental aspie trait. Hardware issues. So either I act all meltdown like, or I go into the "buddy love" dr. Doolittle alter ego mode. It's like working on a backup generator. It is much less power, but it keeps operations kinda going. And where I grew up in a vicious narcissistic environment, where it was like standing in a dissertation defense every day,  it probably kept me from suicide.

Stoic, paranoia is nothing but hypervigilance 2.0, with repeated trauma. And paranoid schizophrenia is paranoia 3.0, with even more trauma and stress.

See, this is why this board is so important. I am paranoid, and I am becoming aware of it, because I look at it and try to analyse it. I am very defensive, and cultivate every aspect of my life protecting myself.  Like hoarding money. Like keeping aspects of my personal life very private from my friends and family.
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Phoenix.Rising
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« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2013, 10:06:53 AM »

Mary,

I appreciate your insight and cogent explanations.  What you are saying makes sense to me; you do a good job conveying in clear terms what dysregulation is like.  I appreciate that because I believe a lot of people struggle to understand what is happening internally when this is taking place in a friend or loved one.  Thank you, and keep up the good work!  For me, awareness can be the beginning of change if I am willing.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2013, 12:12:51 PM »

Maryiscontrary,

your struggle to be authentic is not lost on these boards.  

maybe there is nothing "wrong" with hyper-vigilance and oversensitivity when you have been through a years long/decades long war.  you are a hero, to have come through what you have. you have been dodging bullets, ducking bombs and seeing the enemy everywhere.

it takes TIME to get free of that wartime vigilance, IMHO. you hear bullets whiz past where there are none.

Yours are war wounds. they need time and attention to heal. Yes, things/people now trigger you and they likely will for a long time. nothing "wrong" with that.

you are a veteran of the trenches-that's all.

My son was deployed to Afghanistan for a year. He said the hardest thing to come back to was the peace and quiet and Nothing happening!

He said all the returning soldiers kept looking around, over their shoulders and sat facing a door-all the time. Unable to relax, unable to just chill... .  unable to sleep.

They continually looked for the next attack, maybe that's where you are at. Expecting the attack?

keep doing for YOU... .  to heck with ANY one else.

GL
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Maryiscontrary
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2013, 12:13:45 PM »

Thanks much.

Really.
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MammaMia
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« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2013, 03:49:08 PM »

Mary

Has Vipassana and other types of meditation helped?  Since this appears to be a hereditary form of

hypervigilance, does it have a diagnosis?
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