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Author Topic: 4.01 | Grieving Our Losses  (Read 7509 times)
Woolspinner2000
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« on: March 27, 2016, 09:51:06 PM »

The topic of grief has been on my mind today. It was a holiday, the first Easter without my dad, so I was feeling the need to grieve and be sad.  :'( I struggled to allow myself to feel, and I know many of you can relate. The ability to allow myself to feel emotions still doesn't come very naturally. I fight the emotions and tell myself that I shouldn't have them. Reality is that I am allowed to have my feelings and needs.

Grief isn't only about losing a loved one through death. I thought it might be a helpful for us to explore our need to grieve our losses, no matter what they are. Not only do I grieve the loss of my dad, but I also grieve the loss of my childhood since I had an uBPDm.

In Surviving a Borderline Parent, Kimberlee Roth and Freda Friedman have an entire chapter focusing on grief. In the grief chapter they state:

Excerpt
Grief is a normal and natural response to loss, such as the death of a loved one. It is also possible to grieve in response to a figurative death, such as the loss of a relationship or the loss of the hopes and expectations you had for a relationship.

     For adult children of a parent with emotional deficits, this is a common experience. They grieve for what they never had, or what they may have had only periodically: a stable, validating, and reliable caretaker who allowed them to consistently feel loved, accepted, valued, and respected.

-What type of loss/losses are you grieving, especially as it relates to the effects of BPD in our lives?

-How are you working through the grief and/or what has helped you to process and work through your grief?

-What feelings have you noticed as you work through your grief?

  

Double hugs for a tough topic.

  Wools
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2016, 11:30:19 PM »



... .and repeat!

Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

I've been grieving for years. Didn't know I was until about 5 years ago. I grieve my lost childhood and years of living in FOG. I grieve not having the idealized parents I was raised to believe I have. I grieve the loss of freedom/being carefree, making decisions out of choice rather than obligation. I still feel like I don't know who I am, what I like because I spent so much time trying to please my parents. My predominant emotion for years was fear. For awhile, I thought it would feel better if my parents had actually died because then my feelings would match my reality... .and it would be less painful than having them in my life, creating chaos.

I worked through this:

www.amazon.com/Recovery-Handbook-Anniversary-Expanded-Edition/dp/0061686077

I must say it did help. I'm not completely grief free, but it gave me a way to think about things and process tangibly. I still go back to my grief letters from time to time and add/edit. Therapy has helped enormously. I've also cried a ton. Just feeling the feelings and being okay with them, letting them be. I was ashamed for awhile to have feelings of anger, sadness, grief towards my parents. They did provide for me materially, I was not physically abused. But I did not get what I needed as a child. I have not been able to tell them how I feel, but writing the letters felt close enough.
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2016, 06:54:21 AM »

Hi Wools

This is a very tough yet very important topic. Thanks for starting it and for the double hugs  

-What type of loss/losses are you grieving, especially as it relates to the effects of BPD in our lives?

I am grieving the loss of the childhood I never had and how this has impacted my adult life. Also how being raised by my uBPD mom affected me emotionally and psychologically causing me to behave in ways that I now realize weren't really me at all. I however cannot change the past but that is still something I struggle with. If things had been different back then, things would also be different right now. Sometimes it feels like I first spent many years being held back and now I'm spending my time continually playing catch up only to realize that some things are gone for good and cannot be restored or reclaimed.

-How are you working through the grief and/or what has helped you to process and work through your grief?

Learning about the concept of radical acceptance is something that I have found really helpful. Those reality acceptance skills didn't make my pain disappear, but they did provide me with ways to better manage my pain and move forward with my life. Acceptance or acknowledgment of reality as it is, letting go and grieving is still probably what I struggle with most, but the reality acceptance skills have helped me to open my eyes to the reality of what I have been through and how it has affected me. These skills have helped in my healing and restored some hope when hope seemed lost.

-What feelings have you noticed as you work through your grief?

It's like being transported back to the days of my youth. I feel the pain, sadness, loneliness, anger and also an overwhelming sense of powerlessness and intense shame. Feeling how powerless I was in the past but also feeling powerless because no matter what I do now, I cannot change the past and that in a way makes me feel powerless all over again. Learning about BPD and all the resources and techniques has greatly helped me in the present as I deal with my BPD family-members and other difficult people I encounter. Yet coming to terms with my past, how this affected me and how this has affected the present (and future), is still something that I find hard. That's why I like what is said in our article about radical acceptance as it acknowledges how hard this is while giving hope that things can get better:

Excerpt
These are the skills of reality acceptance.  It sounds easy. Well, probably doesn't sound easy, probably sounds hard.  It is hard. It's really hard.

All of us are still practicing this. This is not one of those things you're going to get perfect at.  There's not going to be a day when you can say, 'Alright, I've got it; I've got it.  I can radically accept. I turn the mind all the time and I'm willing.'  That day is not going to come.

This is the only set of skills that I teach that I would have to say just about everybody has to practice just about every day of their lives.

... .

Now, I know that these are really difficult skills.  They, they've been difficult for me.  They are difficult for everybody I know.  And the facts of the matter are, every single person  I know is practicing these skills.

But I think if you practice them you'll find over time, may take a while, maybe slower than you want, but I think you're going to find them really helpful . The secret is, don't reject them right away. Don't reject them if you don't feel better right away or somehow your life isn't worth living right this minute.  These skills take time to work.  But, if you keep at it, I think they will work.

PS. Thanks busybee1116 for sharing that infographic. Grieving can be quite a complicated process indeed! Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2016, 08:58:00 PM »

Busybee, thanks for the wonderful visual!   It actually made me laugh because with this topic, we can sure use a sense of humor!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  What a great picture of how it really is!

You and Kwamina shared honestly about your struggles that have caused you grief. The grieving over what you both lost is a powerful voice, showing that you are both survivors, with resiliency and the desire to continue to heal.

I still go back to my grief letters from time to time and add/edit. Therapy has helped enormously. I've also cried a ton. Just feeling the feelings and being okay with them, letting them be.



You make a great point here, the allowing yourself to feel. What a difference it will make and has made for you! This is you learning who you are.   I am very glad and proud of you for doing this hard work, and I'm sorry too, for all of your loss and can hear the pain of some of what you went through.

Kwamina, when I read your post, I grieve with you. It is so sad, all that we lost and how it affected us so deeply. Yet to not turn away from looking at the reality, it helps us to focus the anger and grief outward instead of inward, doesn't it?

Learning about the concept of radical acceptance is something that I have found really helpful. Those reality acceptance skills didn't make my pain disappear, but they did provide me with ways to better manage my pain and move forward with my life.

You've shared an example of how it is possible to grieve yet not get stuck in the grief itself, and you have moved forward. For both of you it's clear that this isn't an easy process, but it does bring hope and a way to move forward.

Thank you for being so real.


Wools

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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 01:50:06 PM »

I still go back to my grief letters from time to time and add/edit. Therapy has helped enormously. I've also cried a ton. Just feeling the feelings and being okay with them, letting them be.



You make a great point here, the allowing yourself to feel. What a difference it will make and has made for you! This is you learning who you are.

This is a very important point indeed, allowing yourself to feel your feelings. I had an experience yesterday in which I did just that. I was meditating and while I was doing that a memory from my childhood came in my mind. I was bullied in High School and the memory was related to how that experience made me feel. It felt like a dark cloud was entering my mind reminiscent of the dark cloud of depression and I had an impulse too push it away and even stop meditating altogether. I however regained my focus and allowed myself to feel whatever I was feeling. The cloud passed and it truly felt like I could feel the negativity from that memory drifting away. It wasn't gone, I could still sense it, but it was not hovering over me anymore and I could see it drifting away in the distance. I was thinking about how it helps to focus your attention, but not what you see, push away nothing, cling to nothing. Watch your thoughts coming and going, like clouds in the sky.
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WWW
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2016, 09:27:12 PM »

-What type of loss/losses are you grieving, especially as it relates to the effects of BPD in our lives?

-How are you working through the grief and/or what has helped you to process and work through your grief?

-What feelings have you noticed as you work through your grief?

Hi, Wools!

Since my uBPDm was killed two months ago, I have been experiencing so many various shades and degrees of relief and freedom and peace that there has been nothing of grief in it. However, I have become aware, just this week, of a grief I had not previously identified; grieving my lack of a full-fledged closeness with the rest of my FOO.

My sister, brother and sister-in-law drove up to my mom's house a couple of weeks ago, and together with my father took what they wanted/needed from mom's house and cleared out the place so the estate can be settled. It was definitely my own choice to not be there - I have no good memories, and many uncomfortable ones, associated with the place (she moved there while I was in college), and I wanted nothing that belonged to her (I already had any childhood belongings that mattered to me.) Furthermore, I knew that if I went out of a sense of duty to help with the cleanup, I would struggle with great anger and irritation both at the "hoarder" state of my mom's house and at the personality conflicts of my siblings, while having to deal with resentment as I knew my husband and I would be called on to help finance the whole cleanup operation (everyone else in the family is flat broke, or worse.) So, I chose to keep myself out of the situation entirely, and to their credit, everyone treated me decently over that choice.

And then I saw on a Facebook post my sister-in-law recounting how they had been able to get the local Goodwill to donate a large truck and a couple of workers to come and pick up two trucks-full of goods to take back to the facility - not their normal operation, but they agreed to it because my mom was a murder victim in good standing in the community. I'm not sure why learning this gave me such a sense of loss. I think it was really just a reminder that, because I have to distance myself from the disorder that still exists among my siblings (my brother is volatile/sometimes abusive, and my sister was still somewhat enmeshed with my mom and very opposite in personality to me), and because of my tender emotional scars that surround everything having to do with my mom, I am also necessarily cut off from the good and joyful things that happen with them. I can be glad that the Goodwill saved the day, but I have to be glad from a distance, because I decided not to be there. I don't regret this, but it does make me sad.

My siblings both spoke, and spoke well (I was surprised at how their words were both truthful and yet kind) at my mom's funeral. I did not. I played the piano for the hymn-singing - my mom did love singing, and she loved me playing. I gave what I could, and what I can give is never going to be the same set of things my siblings can give. I know they both wish I were closer with them, but while my distance hurts them, they might never be able to understand how much their presence is difficult for me to navigate without damage. And just because my mom is dead, that doesn't change that reality.

The feelings I'm noticing in all this are sadness - of the wistful sort, not the tragic sort - and a sort of peaceful clarity. I hadn't gotten to that point until yesterday when I finally identified why I kept thinking about that Goodwill truck.
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2016, 09:34:15 PM »

Kwamina, thank you for sharing this valuable lesson from your own experience:

The cloud passed and it truly felt like I could feel the negativity from that memory drifting away. It wasn't gone, I could still sense it, but it was not hovering over me anymore and I could see it drifting away in the distance. I was thinking about how it helps to focus your attention, but not what you see, push away nothing, cling to nothing. Watch your thoughts coming and going, like clouds in the sky.

You were able to experience and allow the memory to come and go without becoming lost in it. Sounds like it was healing.

Claudiaduffy, it sounds as if you too are on a track of discovery with the recent death of your mom. It's interesting how the death of our pwBPD affects us in ways we didn't expect. I can understand your grieving the loss you shared:

I have become aware, just this week, of a grief I had not previously identified; grieving my lack of a full-fledged closeness with the rest of my FOO.

The feelings I'm noticing in all this are sadness - of the wistful sort, not the tragic sort - and a sort of peaceful clarity. I hadn't gotten to that point until yesterday when I finally identified why I kept thinking about that Goodwill truck.

I too frequently grieve the loss of what my siblings and I missed of our extended family because of our uBPDm banishing us from seeing them anymore. Years have passed, and how much we have missed! I'm sorry too for the loss of what 'could have been' for you. Thank you for sharing what you are learning.

I believe pleasehelp asks a question in another post about grieving our childhood losses and what that involves. In his article about Grieving and Complex PTSD, Pete Walker says the following:

Excerpt
Grieving is an irreplaceable tool for metabolizing and resolving the

overwhelming feelings that arise during emotional flashbacks.

Grieving aids the survivor immeasurably to work through the innumerable death-like

experiences of being lost and trapped in emotional flashbacks. Grieving also supports

recovery from the many painful, death-like losses caused by childhood traumatization.

Recoverees need to grieve the death of safety and belonging in their own childhoods –

the death of their early attachment needs. They need to mourn the myriad heartbreaks of

their frustrated attempts to win approval and affection from their parents.

I find those words to be rather comforting, and propelling me on towards the healing that comes from learning how to grieve. As Kwamina shared the example from his own life, he let the feelings come. Several of you have mentioned this same thing, allowing ourselves to feel what we feel so that we can grieve properly.

Pete Walker also comments in the same article about the basic needs of children, and when I read them, I grieve for what I did not have: 

Excerpt
As the grieving process therapeutically evolves, survivors typically uncover a great deal

of unresolved grief about the deadening absence of the nurturance they needed to develop

and thrive. Children will only flourish if the following types of needs are consistently

met: 1. Physical needs for affection and protection; 2. Emotional needs for caring, regard

and interest; 3. Spiritual needs for recognition of their worth and basic goodness; 4.

Verbal needs for welcoming inquiry, positive feedback, and multidimensional

conversation.1

  from www.pete-walker.com/pdf/GrievingAndComplexPTSD.pdf

Don't give up!   We are all on this journey of healing together!


Wools
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 10:49:43 PM »

My apologies for posting prior to seeing this thread.

Great responses. After digging deep and repeatedly asking myself why I keep thinking of fantasy childhood, it's because i really wanted parents. I did not have them no will I ever have them.

Almost all my fantasies involved my parents dying or being far away. I noticed someone said this earlier as well. There is always a big funeral  in my fantasy world for them.

I think I am having another breakthrough. As the previous poster stated, they too wanted thought of the death as it matched the physical reality. I wished them no harm. My subconsciousness must have already considered them dead when I was young.  I wonder if this is why the trauma is still there. Much like a child in a coma. You cannot mourn the death yet  that has not happened yet but is inevitable.

Wow. this is really hitting me. I think the fantasy funerals made it easier to grieve the loss of a parent.

I think what is best for me is to grieve the loss of the relationships that never were. This may have been the strength I needed over the years to remain NC. To be candid, NC was easy. If anything, they went NC on me.

I do wish i could get myself un hung from this part of my life.

Again, I think focusing on the relationship part may be he best way to grieve.

Thanks
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2016, 08:03:07 AM »

Great thread and made me think all night. I realize I accepted my parents leaving at a young age. F was in prison and M took of. Once he got out, I slowly went with him and M was out of picture. By the time I was 13-14, I did not know M. She started another family as did F. Although I lived with F, I was clearly unwelcome and he was mostly high / drunk so there was no bonding.

After reading this post last night, I vividly recalled being a young teenager and very lonely. Moving around alot having an unstable home life, is difficult. I looked back to my very early fantasies ( around 12-15 yrs old) and always saw similar themes. One early fantasy was my parents had a nice farm and was friends with another couple who had a beautiful daughter. I selected some random girl at school who had simple beauty to fill this role. Both parents were killed or had an accident while on vacation or some other scenario and girl moved onto farm with her siblings as we were both the oldest and I had siblings as well. I was able to step up take over farm and raise this new family as one and there was so much love.

I would get so immersed into the details like getting the kid's into bed and us having a glass of wine in the evening on the back porch under the stars. I was somehow trying to turn a tragic situation into a love story of sorts. I am not sure 14-15 year olds should be thinking like that. Is that normal?

I am not sure if I have ever truly sat down and mourned not having parents and a childhood. I think the first step is to accept what happened to me and go from there. I think these fantasies were a way of avoiding the grieving process. If that is the case, I may have been walking around with PTSD all these years. Admittedly, I was always a bit reclusive. Maybe this is why.

Around 15 / 16 I had a handful of close friends. These guys were my lifeblood. I am sure I needed them more than they needed me. They all knew my situation. By my mid 20's, they had all moved on into marriage, etc and I was unable to make that transition. I can see now I was a bit maladjusted. I could not transition into a stable relationship with a woman. I desperately wanted to but the only relationships I could have were drinking buddies. I was very shy around women and this did not help.

Maybe I had arrested development and  could not move past adolescence. After writing that sentence, I see that as a strong possibility.

Once these guys moved on , I truly felt devastated. I moved across country to start over. To them, I was a buddy to have beers with and get a bit crazy. They had families and i could tell I was not part of it. To me, they were my brothers who I needed to survive. I felt as though it was my oxygen being taken away when these guys moved on.

I think this it has been almost 20 years since I saw these guys but that have stayed with me in my mind. To them, I am a blur at best. I have to understand how this all fits into my childhood. It was probably the closest I ever came to a functioning family. We were  there for each other and we had fun together. Losing them hurt like hell.

What I need to do is somehow heal / grieve from all this and put everything into perspective.

This is a great thread
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2016, 04:48:13 PM »



... .and repeat!

Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

I've been grieving for years. Didn't know I was until about 5 years ago. I grieve my lost childhood and years of living in FOG. I grieve not having the idealized parents I was raised to believe I have. I grieve the loss of freedom/being carefree, making decisions out of choice rather than obligation. I still feel like I don't know who I am, what I like because I spent so much time trying to please my parents. My predominant emotion for years was fear. For awhile, I thought it would feel better if my parents had actually died because then my feelings would match my reality... .and it would be less painful than having them in my life, creating chaos.

I worked through this:

www.amazon.com/Recovery-Handbook-Anniversary-Expanded-Edition/dp/0061686077

I must say it did help. I'm not completely grief free, but it gave me a way to think about things and process tangibly. I still go back to my grief letters from time to time and add/edit. Therapy has helped enormously. I've also cried a ton. Just feeling the feelings and being okay with them, letting them be. I was ashamed for awhile to have feelings of anger, sadness, grief towards my parents. They did provide for me materially, I was not physically abused. But I did not get what I needed as a child. I have not been able to tell them how I feel, but writing the letters felt close enough.

Thanks for that link busy bee, I requested that book from the library.

I'm grieving the lack of parenting I had as I continue to  parent my teenager through thick and thin. My parents had each other and they still abandoned me. I'm a single parent and I do a much better job of being a parent then either one of them.

I have been talking about my ptsd lately and last night I took my sleep medication again so I could sleep through the night. I was waking up between 1am and 3am every morning and then I couldn't get back to sleep because I would start to think about things.

Ironically my ACA sponsor told me to do grief work and then she ended up leaving the program!

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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2016, 04:55:23 PM »

Hi Wools

This is a very tough yet very important topic. Thanks for starting it and for the double hugs  

-What type of loss/losses are you grieving, especially as it relates to the effects of BPD in our lives?

I am grieving the loss of the childhood I never had and how this has impacted my adult life. Also how being raised by my uBPD mom affected me emotionally and psychologically causing me to behave in ways that I now realize weren't really me at all.

Oh my goodness, that right there stopped me in tracks.

I was so split black, not just by my mom, her sister, my brother. The only one who didn't buy into that stuff, was my dad, who didn't defend me either. It makes me angry just thinking about it. I still have to deal with that today. Its horrible. Any time I talk about my daughter to any of them they remind me of how horrible I was a teenager. Yeah I was really horrible. I was suicidal, abusing substances, had undiagnosed depression and an undiagnosed learning disability. I was a real bad child alright.

Yes, I'm angry, not the same thing as resentful, not at all.
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2016, 05:55:34 PM »

Hi all!   

I've come to accept that for me, grieving is an on-going process.  As circumstances change in my life I find myself going back re-grieving the losses; the actual death of my parents and how sad it is that I mostly feel relief, the parents and childhood I never had, how I have let them affect my adulthood, all the 'normal' or expected life milestones that I have never had and never will have.  In another thread Turkish wrote "none of that was necessary".  *That*.  It is so damn sad.  Sad like claudia-d talked about, that wistful sadness that gives me an dull ache in my chest and I just sit with it.  Like Kwamina said, I try to "Watch your thoughts coming and going, like clouds in the sky."  I think I have made progress with not judging my feelings and simply acknowledging that it is okay to feel what I am feeling.  I'm still letting go of my need to be OK and normal in spite of everything.   This too I think will be an on going process for me.

Acceptance... .it is the only life-line I have right now.  And it is a choice that I make daily and sometimes I have to do it several times a day.  I am not always successful, but I am getting better at it as time goes by.

Yes, there is so much sadness here, but there is so much more hope and determination in all of you.  Reading the posts here I can *see* it, in between the lines of grief and sadness and your hope and determination is inspiring.

Thanks for the thread Wools!  You are a star.  Keep twinkling   
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2016, 09:30:21 AM »

I am realizing that I had / have arrested development. I was unable to move past my teen years until my early 30's. This is why I was so hurt over losing my teenage friends.

It's a natural development to move onto new sets of friends in a healthy way. When we are unhealthy we cannot reach those milestones in human growth. 

The other people I met along the way I almost discounted as they were not as close as my teenage friends and I was quickly let down. If i was developing properly, I would have understood the nature  of friendships change and I should be able to adapt. I was almost obsessed with a group of guys who I essentially barhopped with from 17-25 yrs of age. I viewed them as family and could not break that mindset.

Somehow growing up the way I did  caused me to develop this way. It's almost as if I lived in complete fear of the world and when I let my guard down a bit to embrace friends I could not handle them moving on. It brought back the traumas of my parents leaving.



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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2016, 12:45:19 PM »

This topic is great

For those of you who like humor, I suggest you google SNL (Sat night live) women's group. It's a funny skit about a women who does not fit into the typical suburban housewife social group. Sadly, the analogy of many of our lives does mirror the skit.

Most of us were not properly prepared for adulthood. You are supposed to go through the rites of passage i.e innocence of youth, learn how to identify stable relationships, how to interact with the opposite sex, learn how to prepare for a career, family, etc.

I used to be and still am envious (in an unhealthy) way of kid's who grew up in nice families that taught them these things. I think I was grieving  not having these things when I was young. I read stores of little kid's (4-8) whose father died or was not around would pretend to have a dad. Those stories always made me cry.

I have to realize I am not trying to get back to a "golden age' of my childhood. I vividly recall my 11 & 12 th grade years where I spent time in the garage on a table with a noose around my neck. Trying to get up enough balls to kick the table out from underneath me.  I simply did not want to live. One would think that this period of my life should be erased from my memory but it is not. Maybe I should look at this period of my life as hell, grieve having had to go through it all and downplay any friendships that got me through it. I guess I am trying to figure out what to grieve and what to keep and a good memory.  I am beginning to think maybe some of my friendships were "quick alliances" and nothing more. I never screwed a friend over and even said yes to one who needed to stay with me for his last few months of HS as his mother was moving.

As children, I think kid's could sense many of us were "not right". I am in my 40's and these "flare ups" still happen. This tells me I obviously endured some sort of trauma. I also notice how many of the friends I survived with made it into the "normal" world as I did. Job, family, etc. I suspect a few of them want nothing to do with the past and that does hurt me.

I think I may be stuck in the past way too much and need to dig myself out from that. 

I need to grieve someway / somehow.

Thanks
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2016, 01:08:04 PM »

Have you ever tried listening to your inner child, Pleasehelp? I don't recall from your previous posts if you mentioned that you see a T. I've been learning a lot about my own Lil' Wools this past year, largely due to help from my T, and it has been enlightening, freeing, and allowing me to grieve. From the things I hear you saying, I would agree that you are focused on your teen years at the moment, and that is what is causing me to ask.

Wools
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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2016, 03:49:09 PM »

I am realizing that I had / have arrested development. I was unable to move past my teen years until my early 30's. This is why I was so hurt over losing my teenage friends.

It's a natural development to move onto new sets of friends in a healthy way. When we are unhealthy we cannot reach those milestones in human growth. 

The other people I met along the way I almost discounted as they were not as close as my teenage friends and I was quickly let down. If i was developing properly, I would have understood the nature  of friendships change and I should be able to adapt. I was almost obsessed with a group of guys who I essentially barhopped with from 17-25 yrs of age. I viewed them as family and could not break that mindset.

Somehow growing up the way I did  caused me to develop this way. It's almost as if I lived in complete fear of the world and when I let my guard down a bit to embrace friends I could not handle them moving on. It brought back the traumas of my parents leaving.


please help, please try to be compassionate with yourself. I hear a lot of harsh judgment of yourself in there. That's a trait of an adult child of disordered parents: we judge ourselves harshly and have a very low self esteem. I know, i struggle with that one too.
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2016, 03:50:41 PM »

This topic is great

For those of you who like humor, I suggest you google SNL (Sat night live) women's group. It's a funny skit about a women who does not fit into the typical suburban housewife social group. Sadly, the analogy of many of our lives does mirror the skit.

Most of us were not properly prepared for adulthood. You are supposed to go through the rites of passage i.e innocence of youth, learn how to identify stable relationships, how to interact with the opposite sex, learn how to prepare for a career, family, etc.

I used to be and still am envious (in an unhealthy) way of kid's who grew up in nice families that taught them these things. I think I was grieving  not having these things when I was young. I read stores of little kid's (4-8) whose father died or was not around would pretend to have a dad. Those stories always made me cry.

I have to realize I am not trying to get back to a "golden age' of my childhood. I vividly recall my 11 & 12 th grade years where I spent time in the garage on a table with a noose around my neck. Trying to get up enough balls to kick the table out from underneath me.  I simply did not want to live. One would think that this period of my life should be erased from my memory but it is not. Maybe I should look at this period of my life as hell, grieve having had to go through it all and downplay any friendships that got me through it. I guess I am trying to figure out what to grieve and what to keep and a good memory.  I am beginning to think maybe some of my friendships were "quick alliances" and nothing more. I never screwed a friend over and even said yes to one who needed to stay with me for his last few months of HS as his mother was moving.

As children, I think kid's could sense many of us were "not right". I am in my 40's and these "flare ups" still happen. This tells me I obviously endured some sort of trauma. I also notice how many of the friends I survived with made it into the "normal" world as I did. Job, family, etc. I suspect a few of them want nothing to do with the past and that does hurt me.

I think I may be stuck in the past way too much and need to dig myself out from that. 

I need to grieve someway / somehow.

Thanks

Hi please help may I ask if you have or have had a therapist or any 12 step recovery? Those are very hard things to be dealing with on your own. Please be careful with yourself.
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2016, 04:54:51 PM »

Hello,

  No. I am not currently in counseling. I have gone through psychotherapy in the past and realized it was a life long process of healing. At some point, I may start again.

If I could somehow grieve he first 18 years of my life, I would be okay. After 18, my life has been okay excluding a divorce from a BPD which forced me to open my eyes to why I would have gotten involved with someone like that in the first place.

I think it was the formative years that threw me off. If I can somehow accept / grieve how I did not get the proper "nourishment" during this phase, I honestly feel everything will be okay. My soul will be at peace.

Thanks for asking
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2016, 06:54:25 AM »

The concept of my inner child is new and I have just begun to research it. Wow !

I think for starters visualizing myself at the key ages when I recall most of the trauma and then supporting and being kind to that person is a get way of healing.

It's obvious that my years of fantasy living were merely a way of reconstructing these periods of trauma to make them less painful. My fantasies always involved a great deal of emotional pain. This was done for the reality effect but I always healed right. In other words, I as able to go through the meat grinder and  come out happy , stable and well rounded in my fantasies. Maybe I feel I am not and that is the purpose of my fantasies.

I also realize it's a waste of time to try and connect with other's who knew me during this period. Many were really messed up ( the adults) and want to put that part of their life behind them.  I am not sure if they understand the people they did drugs with had a little child ( me) that could use help in getting answers. They do not care and that is okay.

The only person I should be connecting with from my past is the child in me that suffered the blunt traumas. I spoke to my childhood friend yesterday ( I hope you all have at least 1) and said it bothers me that we missed out on so many rites of passage i.e healthy activities, stable friends, dates, etc. most teenagers go through. I commented on how I think it affected us as adults. He pointed out we were socially awkward and that was not an option for us. He was right. My parents in addition to  emotionally abandoning me (which happens to many kids), they created so much stress in my life I almost could not function. The quick "reunion" I had with my F a few years back after 25 years( which I suspect had to do with him needing money) he complained his life was so out of control back then. He blamed his ex-wife's drug use. Of course it had nothing to do with him. He worked long hours and was a great guy in his mind.

I remember signing up for soccer and making the team in the 9th grade. A few days later the police raided the house and my father was facing severe prison time. Admittedly, I hid evidence during the raid that helped him with a partial acquittal. I recall calling my friend from a pay phone crying and telling him. He invited me over for dinner but I declined. I then asked my mother's mother a few day's later if I could use her address as I wanted to stay in the school system. I offered her money to use the address and I said I would live in a room in another city. I had a p/t job.  I needed her address as my F appeared to be going away and I did not want to go into foster care. She said no. I left that fall afternoon looking at the leaves and deciding to quit soccer as I was planning on becoming a runaway for a few years.  That was just one of countless stories. One reoccurring  fantasy during this period was a nice stable family who was involved in crime with my F would take me in as a surrogate to help work "the business". It was always the same theme ( stable surrogate parents, an unusual but valid reason for taking me on and cute daughters -ha,ha) I know it sounds absurd but I was reaching for straws at the time. I can feel the anxiety writing this from that period of time. 

You cannot be remotely stable and grow as a teen in a healthy way with that kind of crap going on. I need to cut myself some slack and understand my whacked out, maladjusted younger years were not my fault. On the contrary, I probably came out a hell of a lot better than most.

I need to begin helping my inner child heal and that may be the only aspect from my childhood I should worry about.

Thanks for any feedback and I hope my sharing benefits other's as well.

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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2016, 07:23:22 AM »

Wools rightly makes the point about the importance of inner child work. When grieving our losses and coming to terms with the past, I too believe this is very important. In another thread about exercises for self insight, several great exercises for connecting with your inner child are mentioned:

I not too long ago came across an exercise which can help you enhance your ability to feel. I got it from the work of Pete Walker, M.A. who specializes in grieving and trauma-recovery:

Here is an exercise to help you enhance your ability to feel and grieve through pain. Visualize yourself as time-traveling back to a place in the past when you felt especially abandoned. See your adult self taking your abandoned child onto your lap and comforting her in various painful emotional states or situations. You can comfort her verbally: “I feel such sorrow that you were so abandoned and that you felt so alone so much of the time. I love you even more when you are stuck in this abandonment pain – especially because you had to endure it for so long with no one to comfort you. That shouldn’t have happened to you. It shouldn’t happen to any child. Let me comfort and hold you. You don’t have to rush to get over it. It is not your fault. You didn’t cause it and you’re not to blame. You don’t have to do anything. Let me just hold you. Take you’re time. I love you always and care about you no matter what.”

I highly recommend practicing this even if it feels inauthentic, and even if it requires a great deal of fending off your critic. Keep practicing and eventually, you will have a genuine experience of feeling self-compassion for that traumatized child you were, and with that, you will know that your recovery work had reached a deep level.

I found Homecoming: Reclaiming and Healing Your Inner Child by John Bradshaw to be extremely helpful. The book offers a lot of meditation and visualization exercises that had a very powerful effect on me. In one of the exercises you visualize your adult self going down a long corridor with doors on both sides. You enter the doors one by one and extract from each room your baby self, your toddler self, your school-aged self, your adolescent self, your teen self, and your young adult self. The exercise forces you to visualize what you looked like in each stage, which for me was really hard because I had some mild body disassociation as a child. I would look in the mirror and not recognize the person standing in front of me and it would take me a second or two to put together that the vision in the mirror was me. Well the exercise kind of re-welded my adult self to my various stages of child selves and I had a very distinct feeling of wholeness afterward, and of relief that now each of my child selves were safely in my capable adult hands. I highly recommend it if you're feeling disconnected from yourself.

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« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2016, 09:10:00 AM »

Great topic Woolspinner Smiling (click to insert in post)

Right now I am 42 and grieving my loss of identity and trust.  I have been trying so hard lately to remember who I was and my true likes/dislikes.  I an only latch onto two, the person my mom wanted and the rebellious person I became at times.  I don't want to live a life of anti BPDm.  I feel like I am grieving at this point because I feel so out of touch with myself and my memories which are so fragmented and often hidden. 

I mourn the loss of my BPDm from time to time too.  Just had a dream where she was "normal" and that just broke my heart.  I want to go home and go shopping, movies, tea room, etc but reality has kept me from doing so.  My BPDm has become a monster to me, at least when I was younger she could show some loving sides, whether real or not, and we had fun times.  As Ive grown older and older, it's like she rejected me more and more until I just feel like some horrible stranger that she hates .   For so long I clung to young things from childhood because I associated them with love and acceptance.   Just being mature and grown (at 42) feels like a sin.  Even my cousin recently texted me to say I reminded her of some new pre-teen star on a new Disney show.  It probably frustrated me more than it should have as I have struggled to be taken seriously despite being quite successful.

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« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2016, 09:26:30 AM »

Thank you Wools for starting this thread and for sharing your own story of grief. Clearly this is a shared emotion among nonBPDs, especially the concept of trying to heal our grief by acknowledging our inner child.

Just this morning I listened to a guided mediation about healing out inner child. It was very healing for me to listen to this meditation, so I hope it's okay to share it here: https://youtu.be/-_dTtHriNlk

The people who made this meditation ("The Honest Guys" have made dozens of others on their YouTube channel. I listen to one every day before work.

Cheers, and healing energy to everyone posting on this thread.

~BluePearl

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« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2016, 10:54:33 PM »

I am begging to reach out (or in) to my inner child. There are three(3) ages 6 , 11 and 16/17 that I need to connect with.

I feel like a big brother to this little guy in many ways now. It will be interesting to see if my inner child heals and how this affects me today.

I have been under a stressful period lately and reached out to old friends. I connected with a few and others no luck.

I realize many of us need more in a friendship than the other side. They may see us as a casual acquaintance whereas we see them as a surrogate sibling.

The only person i should be connecting with is the inner child. Friendships are not substitutes for healthy families. they complement your family but should not be seen as substitutes. This is what I have learned recently. This is a result of growing up the way we did.
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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2016, 08:45:01 AM »

I am going through a stressful period and knew my past would be coming back to haunt me as it always does. I see the patterns. I start remembering old traumas and try to rely on old friends for strength.

The problem is I have only 2-3 people from childhood I can rely on. I should not complain as it's better than most. These people were my family and to them, I was some guy to party with.

I also always revert back to my fantasy world about a certain middle class town where I get taken in as a surrogate family member. There is nothing special about this place or the people. I realize it's where I first saw normal / functioning people. This was my benchmark for how to live. Identifying strangers and seeing how they lived i.e house , car, etc is what i modeled my life on. That is what is causing my emotional attachment.

This is a clear indicator I grew up in a messed up home. I had to teach myself how to live and what I need to teach myself now is how to stop thinking of guys from almost 20 years ago as "family" . In addition to my inner child

To be candid, some of them may have thought of me as a bit of a loser. Most 18 yr olds are still at home (or at school). Not working full time, going to college nights and living in a 300 sq ft room. 


I think we were punks back then and quite possibly do not wish to see people from that period. As mentioned, on my side, I was much more invested into them than they were to me. My need for "family" caused imbalance. I vividly recall waiting around on christmas, and t-giving for them to finish with their families so we could hang out. I can see now how unhealthy this was for my self-esteem.

I am asking myself where I went wrong to end up with no support network and I have no answers. Everyone went their own ways so it's not like I was ostracized.


These BPD parents really messed us up.

I recall about 12 yrs ago I was really down financially and was walking along the street thinking who I could call for help. I went through a checklist and realized there was noone. i always did try to maintain relationships and help people but  I still ended up with alone. That was despair.

I have stated earlier it's unnatural not to have close family around you. It's how we are wired as humans and it hurts to the core when these relations are not there.

It's funny, I no longer complain about what my F or M did or did not do. There is no need. I think I am focused solely on trying to heal. The crazy stories where I almost died, etc is useless. I need to focus on healing.

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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2016, 03:56:49 PM »

I am hoping (God willing) to be out from under this stress in a few days. Heavy stress always causes a flare-up. Much like an old wound, I even know when it's going to hurt. I always learn something more about myself in the process.

I find myself fantasizing about how my childhood could have been. I think this would have shaped me into a different person today. The only other thing I can do is become the person I want to be.

In many ways, we are much richer and deeper people as we know how important it is to grow. Oddly, that is a good thing we can take away from our experiences. It still hurts like hell, but that is at least one good thing.

I think I was so obsessed with strangers because they appeared to be healthy and I could tell i was not.

I worked in  a store when I was young. I would see presentable looking mothers bring their kid's (who were clean -cut and appeared to have a fun and loving relationship with mom) into the store and my young heart would ache. Oh, to be part of a family like that, i would think.

I know everyone has problems but they seemed happy and content. I so desperately wanted to be part of that life.

I wonder how much strength I had as a kid. I did some sports but quit my last 2 years as I worked nights. I knew I better have cash as I was moving out soon. I don't think one can be charismatic, popular and academically successful while living in hell. I remember wanting a girlfriend so bad and telling my friend I was simply not in a position for it. I knew my living situation was precarious.

Based on my situation, I did the best I could. I am simply reflecting on if i somehow could have let the heavy blows roll off me a bit more in my younger years. Actually what I am doing is beating on my teenage self for not doing more. I need to connect with that young guy and tell him he is doing fine. He was planning his escape and did not have time to enjoy things in his youth. 

Sometimes surviving is impressive unto itself. Admittedly, I am impressed by that 17 year old's ability to survive and later thrive.
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« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2016, 07:39:28 AM »

Hi please help,

It's funny, I no longer complain about what my F or M did or did not do. There is no need. I think I am focused solely on trying to heal. The crazy stories where I almost died, etc is useless. I need to focus on healing.

You've been through a lot in your life. In many ways your parents unfortunately did fail you. You however cannot change the past but can work in the present on moving forward in a more positive way. That's why I like the refocusing you are doing in which you are putting your healing first Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Sometimes surviving is impressive unto itself. Admittedly, I am impressed by that 17 year old's ability to survive and later thrive.

The child and teenager you were definitely deserves a lot of praise for his resilience and ability to survive the things you've been through. You were just a child and your parents were the adults which makes them fully responsible for their actions. I might have mentioned it before to you, but the the Survivors' Guide in the right-hand side margin of this board, is an excellent resource to aid in the healing process. The guide takes you from survivor to thriver through 3 major stages: 1. Remembering --> 2. Mourning --> 3. Healing.
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« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2016, 09:35:41 AM »

Thank you for the feedback. After years here, I finally started the guide at your urging. Instead of naturally heal, I immersed myself in a fantasy world that had pain and suffering but ended up okay.

This fantasy world was / is my drug. I spent so much time there I never addressed the root cause of initially going there. I will spend hours and days fantasizing about a fictitious event as a mechanism for dealing with trauma.

I also realize this real healing needs to be done. I was recently trying to connect with old friends and I now understand I am chasing shadows. There is nothing there. Oddly, I am a bit relieved but not sure why. Maybe deep down I too do not want to be reminded of the hard times we had in life. Had these been healthy relationships, they would have easily endured the test of time. Clearly, most were not healthy. There was a strong presence of drugs and low level crime that a few do not wish to think about. One or 2 may even feel their shortcomings (not getting through college) , etc were attributed to hanging out with a bad crowd. I was able to get a degree but one kid I talked to recently said he wished he had done things differently and finished.

Maybe they too had a bit of trauma and they are trying to cope as well.

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« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2016, 09:32:10 PM »

Thank you Harri for sharing with us about your own personal journey of grieving. You are growing! I can see so clearly how far you've come from those first days of posting.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I think I have made progress with not judging my feelings and simply acknowledging that it is okay to feel what I am feeling. 

Acceptance... .it is the only life-line I have right now.  And it is a choice that I make daily and sometimes I have to do it several times a day.  I am not always successful, but I am getting better at it as time goes by.

I think about the term "radical acceptance" that Kwamina has used. You are doing that, and allowing those feelings. But this is the what I love the most:

Yes, there is so much sadness here, but there is so much more hope and determination in all of you.  Reading the posts here I can *see* it, in between the lines of grief and sadness and your hope and determination is inspiring.



Thank you for the hug and nice words, Harri. Right back atcha! 

Loveisfree, I think you make a good point with the things you shared, showing that grieving truly is a process, one that takes time and goes through various stages and times of the  Idea going on.

Right now I am 42 and grieving my loss of identity and trust.  I have been trying so hard lately to remember who I was and my true likes/dislikes.  I an only latch onto two, the person my mom wanted and the rebellious person I became at times.

You are able to see some of what you've lost, and even though it is painful, it shows that you are working at processing your way through it. BluePearl is very correct in her observation:

Clearly this is a shared emotion among nonBPDs, especially the concept of trying to heal our grief by acknowledging our inner child.

It's great that you are starting to work with your inner children now, Pleasehelp. Kudos to you!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Thank you to each one of you for telling us about your grief. Hero of the day awards for not being afraid of this subject.


Wools

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« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2016, 09:42:28 PM »

There are so many feelings we can associate with grief: anger and sadness, abandonment and helplessness to name a few. Once again I would like to quote Pete Walker as he talks about Grieving and Complex PTSD especially as it relates to feelings and grief:

Excerpt
[Feeling]is best illustrated by contrasting the two concepts “emote” and

“feel”. Emoting is when we cry or anger out the energy of an inner emotional experience.

Feeling, on the other hand, is the passive process of non-reactively staying present to

internal emotional experience. In complex ptsd recovery, feeling is surrendering to the

internal experiences of our childhood pain without judging or resisting them, and without

emoting them out.Feeling is a kinesthetic rather than a cognitive experience. It is the process of bringing

one’s awareness out of thinking and into the internal emotions, energetic states and

sensations of the body.

As a grieving process, feeling involves consciously reversing the learned survival

mechanism of clamping down on pain to banish it from awareness.


Feeling “occurs” when we bring the focus of our consciousness into an emotionally or

physically painful state, and when we surrender to this experience without resistance.

When we relax acceptingly into a feeling, we can learn to gently absorb it into our

experience.
[/i]

Until I started T a few years ago, I banished all feelings, and as I read what Pete Walker has said, I find sudden understanding as to why I did this. All of those years, lost feelings. That is something to grieve. As a child, it was for my survival, but now as an adult, it is sadly a well ingrained behavior that doesn't help me to live life in color. My T has helped me so much, constantly reminding me that feelings are normal, and that it is okay to feel them. I've learned that it's okay to feel the happy feelings AND the sad, painful feelings. Most importantly for me, I'm learning to not be afraid of them.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)


Wools
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« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2016, 10:42:25 PM »

I am begging to reach out (or in) to my inner child. There are three(3) ages 6 , 11 and 16/17 that I need to connect with.

I feel like a big brother to this little guy in many ways now. It will be interesting to see if my inner child heals and how this affects me today.

Great start. I was able to connect with my preverbal/toddler self after a bit of trying and help with my therapist (it was very powerful when I finally did, even though little me would not stop crying in my visualization), but the older ages didn't "trust" me very much. It took more time with the toddler self for me to gain access to my preteen 11 year old self and then my 17 year old self. Funny that we have similar ages to reckon with! I guess my point is just be patient, it felt silly at times to hug a pillow, comforting an imaginary baby and then cry along with my pretend baby while soothing my little-me self and my adult-self at the same time. But then relief. The relief! To know that there were so many locked in feelings that I had pushed away at such a young age, no wonder I felt so awful.
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« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2016, 10:48:20 PM »

I think I have made progress with not judging my feelings and simply acknowledging that it is okay to feel what I am feeling.  

This is huge. I found myself with little-me saying things like: It's okay to cry. It's okay to be angry. I am not going to leave you because you are mad or sad or hurt. You are not alone. It's okay to feel however you need to feel. I can take it and I will love you even if you are crying, angry or unhappy. I will love you even if you don't quite trust me yet. I will make mistakes but I will do my best to protect you. I won't leave you. You'll never be alone again.

It was the first time I had ever heard those things from a motherly person (me mothering little-me) and it was very healing to allow myself to have feelings that were not nice or pretty. To cry big gulpy sobbing messy tears.
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« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2016, 11:55:56 PM »

I think part of the hold up with myself and maybe others here is that we do not have solid / healthy connections to the past. I am also realizing my father's mother may have abused me emotionally.

I wanted to stay in a certain town my last 2 years of HS. My father and new wife were moving out of state to get sober because it was not their fault they were druggies / drunks but the people around them. My father's mother knew things sucked for me there and always complained to new wife I was the problem. New wife agreed.

My father's mother offered to buy me a yearbook (one of the few gifts she gave me) from the class. Looking back, it may have been done out of guilt or even cruelty. I can now see things from my inner child and she rarely of ever showed me kindness. She did buy me a new car after she had a stroke and I rescued her from father's wife who had tried to suffocate her with pillow and then put her in nursing home. The car was her way of ensuring I stick around as she knew the alternative.

She could have let me stay with her my last 2 years of high school. She actually let my father's friend stay with her his last year of HS so he did not have to move but would not offer me the same.

I asked some guy ( guy I lived with as a kid who took me on burglaries) why father's mother hated me. He said she hated my mother and took it out on me.

When F was in prison, M dropped me off on her doorstep with some clothes and took off. Father's mother was pissed. It was around xmas and she bought me a train set. I played with it and the next day it was gone. She said my M called and said I could not have it.

I recall making up stories about my parents to father's mother. The stories tried to show they are stable and nice people in a subtle way. I made up a story about how my parents got along with neighbor's and they would lend /borrow tools from each other. I knew she hated me and my M and even deep down my F.

One thing that bothers me is there is no real continuity in my life. I believe we need connections (healthy) to the past as it's part of our identity. I wonder how many of us have the stable aunt or g parent who can share stories with us from when we were young. This builds you into a stable person as it lays a foundation. This is why when stress comes I have a tough time. I am working on weak foundations.

Maybe as I heal my inner child my foundation will get stronger.

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« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2016, 10:37:09 AM »

I am still going strong on connecting with my inner child. I have been talking to my 16/17 year old self lately and am listening to the things that bothered him. I can see the struggles this young man who later became me went through. I also see how I have an unhealthy obsession with a certain town of which I barely know about 3-4 people who still live there. It came about as this young guy as trying to establish roots somewhere and this place was selected.

I have also had weird pangs about not being more socially normal (girlfriends, dances, etc). This bothered my 16-17 year old self. I reminded him of how he was 19 -20 and tried to get custody of his younger brother. I told him he is a prince among men. Most guys could never step up like that. I admittedly only made  a half as*** attempt to get little brother but at least I tried. My F was going back to jail and brother (B) had no where to go. Younger kids were with ex wife and our mother had new family. I had a little apt and F said he would give me a few bucks as long as it did not get crazy for me to take him in. He ended up with our M until she kicked him out as he was not part of her new family.

I tell my young self to be proud of even considering this. Most kids that age are still children. You were trying to salvage the wreckage of your family. I then give him a loving hug.

I realize I am merely providing moral support for this 16/17 year old. This is what was missing. 

We can never go home. I cannot go back and relive these days in a healthier way. All we can do is heal and build better tomorrows.

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« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2016, 09:56:27 AM »

Yesterday in my T session, I mentioned that I don't grieve my uBPDm's death, but I do grieve nearly every day, because of the effect of growing up in a home of a pwBPD. He pointed out that I grieve more her life than I do her death. Good point, and I think that is how it is for most of us here. I continually go back to the fact that I grieve my dad's death and missing him, but I certainly don't my mom's death. Yet the day to day discovery of how much she influenced my beliefs, values, self, view of others, trust... .these are the things I grieve. It is so enormous.

My grief can change somewhat from day to day, depending upon any new memories or situations I find myself in that trigger the past. Today I am feeling sad, especially so, because of a new memory that surfaced only 2 days ago. I suddenly, out of the blue, clearly remembered something my mom said to us kids. I was not willing to trust myself though, so I texted my brother to ask him. His response validated what I did not really wish to believe was true.

She would say to us, "I wish I never had you kids." 

That's the stuff I read about BPD in books, but this time it's my mother that said it. My brother said he remembers it very well. I am allowing myself to feel this great depth of sadness at the reality of my childhood. How sad for a little child to hear this, not one time, but many. Long ago I learned that the Survivor's Guide on the right side is not linear, but that I come and go through different steps and repeat. Now I'm back to step 4, and 're-experiencing the abuse,' trying to allow myself to feel it. I'm not good at crying yet, which tells me that I have a lot of scar tissue built up around the pain.

Thankfully I have my T and a few trusted friends who continue to encourage me. I'm not afraid of this grief, but it is so very and profoundly sad.

Wools
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« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2016, 06:34:51 PM »

Hi Woolspinner,  how awful for you. What a terrible thing for a mother to say to her children. I like you have just begun to really talk about,  re live and admit to myself how wrong it was for my mother to rage at me and verbally abuse me. It seems so obvious now to my adult-personality-disorder-aware-self that she was and is so sick. I am a mother and I cannot imagine any circumstances where I would say such a thing to my son. It is the exact opposite. I am so grateful to be sharing my Life with him,  he is such a blessing and a precious gift. In relation to grief,  I feel I am grieving for the absence of love, safety, stabilty, protection, parenting... .
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« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2016, 06:40:38 PM »

Yesterday in my T session, I mentioned that I don't grieve my uBPDm's death, but I do grieve nearly every day, because of the effect of growing up in a home of a pwBPD. He pointed out that I grieve more her life than I do her death. Good point, and I think that is how it is for most of us here. I continually go back to the fact that I grieve my dad's death and missing him, but I certainly don't my mom's death. Yet the day to day discovery of how much she influenced my beliefs, values, self, view of others, trust... .these are the things I grieve. It is so enormous.

My grief can change somewhat from day to day, depending upon any new memories or situations I find myself in that trigger the past. Today I am feeling sad, especially so, because of a new memory that surfaced only 2 days ago. I suddenly, out of the blue, clearly remembered something my mom said to us kids. I was not willing to trust myself though, so I texted my brother to ask him. His response validated what I did not really wish to believe was true.

She would say to us, "I wish I never had you kids." 

That's the stuff I read about BPD in books, but this time it's my mother that said it. My brother said he remembers it very well. I am allowing myself to feel this great depth of sadness at the reality of my childhood. How sad for a little child to hear this, not one time, but many. Long ago I learned that the Survivor's Guide on the right side is not linear, but that I come and go through different steps and repeat. Now I'm back to step 4, and 're-experiencing the abuse,' trying to allow myself to feel it. I'm not good at crying yet, which tells me that I have a lot of scar tissue built up around the pain.

Thankfully I have my T and a few trusted friends who continue to encourage me. I'm not afraid of this grief, but it is so very and profoundly sad.

Wools

Yep my mom said something similar. Hang in there, we'll get through this together!

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« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2016, 03:06:32 PM »

Those are harsh words and it's good you mourn her life instead of her death. In a sense, there was really no death to mourn as the connection never happened. I hope that statement makes sense. The life you mourn is probably for what it should have been. That is how I feel.

I have tried to connect with old friends lately and realize my teenage years the 16/17 yr old self was a bit socially inept but I was able to find similar people.  Thankfully, we were not nerds (nothing wrong with that) as I was reminded of the trouble we got in i.e fights , police, etc.

Oddly, I have been reminiscing / fantasizing about what my life as a clean -cut, fresh-faced and innocent school boy would have been like. I think my 16/17 yr old self yearned for that. Being able to have a stable home and play a sport and just do healthy, normal teenage stuff. There is   clearly something wrong in my human development path. I was able to gravitate to normal kids when I moved but seemed to quickly have falling outs with them. i always maintained a core group of friends however. There was some social awkwardness that soon appeared with me. I am telling my 16/17 yr old self you did good with the circumstances and not to compare yourself to others. You were not on equal footing with most.  I also realize how weak and mean my father really was. He was unable to provide a basic home for me out of irresponsible behavior. I volunteered at a shelter to serve food through my school and he insulted me saying I was probably benefiting somehow from it. Oddly, he saw everyone around me hate me and he in a way joined in. He later admitted to me these people hated me because they hated him. I was hated by extension. I am not sure why he continued to associate with such people. He did not understand healthy relationships.

  The fact my 16/17 yr old self worked tried to play a sport and simply survive is great. I find this young guy beating on himself as he wanted a girlfriend and to be a bit more normal. I tell him not to worry as he is doing  great, keep bettering himself and he will end up okay. I can tell I am reaching the heart of this great kid who it seems everyone hated. The adults who I had in my life were not much help to me. Much like high school, kid's with no social proof ie. friends, etc get ostracized. These mental midgets still had that mind set.

I am continuing to mentor the 16/17 yr old self and can see how the healing is beginning.
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« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2016, 05:22:23 AM »

After emailing my former therapist about someone in my life I realized I'm on step 13 now so I printed out those pages from the book and will make a separate post on it.
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« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2016, 09:20:07 AM »

I think the grief is a part of the situation, something that I have learned to accept as a result of how I was raised. The obvious grief for me is the loss of my father, even though it has been a while, I will think of him and cry from time to time. I think this is a normal grief for the loss of a parent.


I had an interesting event a while back. It was my birthday and my mother sent me an impersonal generic gift- one she sends to everybody. It isn't special. How much someone spends on a gift for me is not something that would bother me, but receiving this generic gift  felt worse than if she had not sent anything- because basically it is the same gift she gives everyone.  I know this because I have taken her shopping before to pick up a few of these items to give as gifts to people. I don't expect anything from her, yet I began to cry when I saw it and cried off an on for several days.

Why? It was grief. Partly my fault as well since I am not close to her. But the idea that, after all these years, she doesn't know me any better than she knows her hairdresser or dentist struck me as sad. That no more thought went into this gift than any other gift.

It was grief that, after all these years, my mother doesn't really know much about me. That she doesn't even know me well enough- that if she wanted to buy me a gift- there are many inexpensive things that would be meaningful to me. She has suggested several books she like to me- could have sent me one of them. Cookbooks, cooking gadgets, a scarf ( I love them), simple earrings, but it isn't the object that I would be thrilled about- but the fact that someone was thinking of me as an individual when they bought it.

Mom did the best she could, and so I thanked her. But it was a reminder to me of the disconnect between who I am and who she imagines I am.
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« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2016, 12:06:22 PM »

A few recent comments about the disconnect with parents is common. We have to understand there is little to no relationship.We know them but it's one sided. This confuses us in our younger years and as adults takes us coming to a place like to this to understand they are messed up.

If you go to Facebook ( FYI- i am getting sick of it as it creates false realities of how people live), look at people who were dysfunctional like ourselves and look at people who came from well-rounded and healthy families. Many people suffered more than we realize as only  a child of a BPD can pick up on these traits. I am sure you know what I mean.

Many of the dysfunctional people appear to be living a bit "rougher" while the ones who grew up stable are still more stable.

This is what I have been working on my 16/17 yr old self lately. he knew he was damaged at  a young age. I recall my F being arrested for DUI in my 11/12th grade year. He was going to lose his job and we were not stable to begin with. There is no way I could have been "normal" back then with so much chaos going on.

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« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2016, 02:31:11 PM »

I want to articulate what I meant in my previous post. There was little to no investment (not always monetary) made in us. Parents should be actively involved in our lives. I suspect many of our parents  were not involved with our school and or friends. I see parents going to kid's games , knowing their friends, etc. What these parents are doing is helping to socialize their kid's. If you do not have this advantage of parental investment, you are going to come us short in many areas and have to over compensate. I see this where I work. Young adults from good homes always seem more stable than the ones who do not.

I realized today (or maybe accepted), these people f***** us over hard. Watching them get high and drunk instead of properly socializing us traumatized us in ways we are still understanding.

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« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2016, 10:15:47 PM »

I lost my BPD Mum when I was 15 from accidentental overdose. I'm grieving for the person without her having BPD. I wonder what she will be like as a mother ? Will she have a successful career, what social activities or hobbies she will be enjoy doing? I grieve for her life that she should of had and what she deserve. She deserve so much more then having BPD.
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« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2016, 07:59:36 AM »

Watching them get high and drunk instead of properly socializing us traumatized us in ways we are still understanding.

This is tough to go through please help. Seeing our parents for who they really are, disordered individuals is a harsh reality to have to accept. Your parents were the adults, the ones responsible for taking care of you but they unfortunately failed you. You cannot change that past, but as you grow and heal you can hopefully work on creating a future for yourself that is more positive than your childhood with your parents. The healing process is a journey, often a long journey and often also painful. Yet as you work through these issues, I do believe it is possible to make positive steps forward. You are definitely moving in the right direction, yet I also realize that all these new realizations and insights you are having, can be very difficult to deal with.

I lost my BPD Mum when I was 15 from accidentental overdose. I'm grieving for the person without her having BPD. I wonder what she will be like as a mother ? Will she have a successful career, what social activities or hobbies she will be enjoy doing? I grieve for her life that she should of had and what she deserve. She deserve so much more then having BPD.

Hi Peta87  From all your posts It always becomes clear that in spite of everything, you greatly loved your mother. Your mother was a troubled individual, but she was still your mother and losing her in such a tragic way when you were only 15 is very hard. Your mother's life was cut short and seriously influenced by her BPD. Though she did not get to live the life you are now envisioning she might have had, in a way your mother lives on in the love you still have for her. As you move through life and try to build your own life in the most positive way you can, in a way you are also giving your mother some of the things she never got to experience for herself. As you live your life, your love for your mother is still present in everything you do so in a sense your mother is there with you experiencing it too
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« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2016, 08:55:27 AM »

This inner child healing is remarkable. I realize my obsession with a particular town is nothing more than a "setting" for my ideal imaginary life. Additionally, I was clearly seen as downtrodden in this town as it's relatively small and mostly middle -upper class. I also realize after talking to me 17 yr old self, most of my inadequacies come from not having the stable foundation to have lead a normal teenage life.

A few takeaways; 1) This is primarily a first world problem. If I compare myself to typical American 17 yr olds, then yes, I come up short. All I have to do is look at what other kids in many other countries go through and I will quickly realize I should shut my big mouth. I had access to food, education and relative safety ( I was the victim of a bombing or forced to be a child soldier)

2) Sure, the early part of my life sucked. Ironically, that gave me the strength to create a better life in my later years.

I understand all this 16/17 yr old kid needed was some love, someone to listen to them while they truly opened up and provide sound advice on how to navigate their late teenage years.

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« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2016, 09:42:55 AM »

** Note- I want to edit above post. I was NOT the victim of a bombing or forced to be a child soldier.


Many of us are capable of leading rich and fulfilling lives. Arguably, these early traumas can be turned into positive strength. Growing up in an  idyllic childhood never wanting of anything does not build the  strong characters many of us here possess.

I think this healing process is me telling the 16/17 yr old self just focus on surviving this period of your life and things will get better. Do not compare yourself to others as you are different.

Thanks for listening
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« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2016, 10:12:46 AM »

This may not line up exactly with this board, but Grief is exactly where I find myself.  In my case it is the grief of losing my two children (D17, D20) to Parental Alienation.  While I can "understand" what drove my uBPDexw to destroy our family, I just can't accept her, in league with her same-sex affair partner, turning my daughters against me.  What a wonderful (sic) job was done - I have now seen my children for less than 10 hours in the last 3 1/2 years.  Divorce I can accept and even welcome after decades of BPDish experience. But I just can't get over the daily pain of losing my children. 

After the multi-year trauma of trying to work through a court system that seems perversely designed to reward the alienator, I have recently found some solace spiritually.  Never considered myself a truly devout Catholic, but now I find the most comfort among the clergy and laity of my church. 

Beyond my personal pain, I feel grief for my children as they go forward.  I have not, and will not, give up.  But I have let go as much as I can.

What a horrible disorder.

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« Reply #46 on: April 20, 2016, 10:46:09 AM »

Stolen, I'm so sorry for this grief of yours, and I'm glad you posted about it in this thread. Grief knows no limits, and it affects so many areas of our lives.

In my case it is the grief of losing my two children (D17, D20) to Parental Alienation.   

Divorce I can accept and even welcome after decades of BPDish experience. But I just can't get over the daily pain of losing my children.

My hope is that one day your children will see the truth of the disorder and seek you out, and I'm glad for the comfort you are finding in your faith.

Pleasehelp, it is so wonderful to see your progress.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) Each day you are learning more and more. It can be overwhelming as each new discovery comes along, but continue to be patient with yourself. Remember it is a journey that takes time.

Hugs to all of you! 

Wools
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« Reply #47 on: April 20, 2016, 11:01:12 AM »

Thanks Wools.

In reading this thread I got the feeling that I experienced the trauma that would lead my children to post on a similar thread years down the road.  I both dread and hope for the awareness that will help define for them what they experienced; dread for the pain it will probably cause, hope for the understanding that is necessary to rise above it.

My xW could have been an active participant on this thread, I know she suffered horribly from her own disordered FOO, and continues severely compromised.  But with all of the attempts to expose and understand the toxicity of her childhood, it just bewilders me that she would fall into lockstep to expose another generation (my children) to the same (but different) dysfunction.

I guess I have seen firsthand how the heritability of this disorder plays out.  What a horrible ringside seat I have had.
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« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2016, 07:53:01 AM »

Stolen,

  If you are stable and intact, your children may end up okay. Please continually examine yourself and look for defects that can be fixed. This will make you a much better parent and offset you spouses craziness.

  My 16/17 year old self is really unleashing on me. The social awkwardness of living in a new city was tough. He (me) tried to replace his close friends from home with new ones and rushed things a bit. That struck people as weird. The lack of confidence around women, etc. all bothered him. I am telling him in 2 short years he will be living on is own with a car, job and going to college nights. He will be much more confident around women. I think this guy knows his potential but simply had too much going on at home. This drama at  home stifled his human growth development.

I also tell him he has an old soul. He does not function well in adolescent situations. I can almost feel the physical impact of stress  being released by calming my old self down. He could function quite well if he did not have the chaos at home. No stability , drug addicts who hate him, etc.

Oddly, I went through a divorce years ago to a BPD woman (it's what brought me here) and during the separation, someone asked me why i was so shut off and timid. This is how my early life was spent. A totally chaotic home life with no stability naturally leads to social awkwardness. This is magnified in our HS years unfortunately.

I can feel my young self becoming happier. 
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« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2016, 11:29:04 AM »

Stolen,

 If you are stable and intact, your children may end up okay. Please continually examine yourself and look for defects that can be fixed. This will make you a much better parent and offset you spouses craziness.

PH,

I get this.  I really do.  But with near total alienation of my children, I have scant opportunity to model "stable and intact".  As with other forms of abuse, it is the isolation that so greatly enables it.  And xW's grand plan, of including the kids in her transit to her new, welcoming lesbian community, has been brutally effective.  

Since this was planned and initiated behind my back, with nary a word of honesty, my children were effectively drawn into the confidence and mendacity that was kept from Dad (me).  What a secret, and cross to bear, this must have been for them.  

Shhhhhhhh... .don't tell Dad.   Well - easiest way to avoid telling, it just purely avoid.  And as such, alienation for them becomes not the problem, but the solution.
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« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2016, 08:20:20 PM »

Stolen,

  You are in a tough situation. My only suggestion is a war of attrition. If you can hold up and remain stable, your ex spouse at some point will collapse. Most BPD's do. If you simply live well and fight a little every day for your kid's, I suspect you will win.

Keep you head together ( I know it's easier said than done) and maintain a steady , low-level battle to get your kid's back.

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« Reply #51 on: September 30, 2016, 06:56:38 AM »

The topic of grieving is very important, yet often also very difficult. In this thread started by our favorite llama Woolspinner2000, we discuss this topic. You can add your own experiences and insights and also just read what others have said before because that too can be very helpful.

Bumping this thread up parrot style!
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« Reply #52 on: October 01, 2016, 07:56:48 PM »

Thanks Kwamina for bumping this back up. Guess it's a sure sign that I need to pop back in. I've been off wool gathering  Smiling (click to insert in post) and it's time to come back and share about the grief of my past few months since that seems to be the topic of the moment!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

The longest summer ever. That's the super short summary. So much grief consuming me since mid May. I've been treading water, just trying to keep my head above it all.

It all began with my step mom coming north from Florida to sell my dad's house. In order to do that, we had to sort through his things. She was anxious to get through it all, sell, and head back south. That's exactly what she did, throwing out everything, even the wedding photos of my dad and her. As I think I mentioned someplace in a previous post, there were good things too with my etended family, but the grief over loosing what remained physically of my dad pushed me into more grief, and then the sense of abandonment by our step mom was the icing on the cake. Two weeks ago she texted that she got remarried.

As I was rereading much of this thread, I see that I was able to put into practice some of what I posted from Pete Walker, about fully feeling my grief. I spent a lot of time crying the day I got the text saying she was remarried. While I don't wish her to be alone the rest of her life, it is the reminder of how much her current choices paralleled those of my uBPDm when she abandoned us kids and my dad that I realize caused the depths of grief.

As Kwamina had said early in this thread, he let himself become immersed in the feeling of grief, and that is the same thing I did. To allow myself to feel it so deeply is a sign to me that I am healing far deeper than I knew. I don't like feeling the intensity of the pain, but the opportunity this situation brought up with my step mom took me back to all the unexpressed pain of my inner 19 year old child when my mom left home and left us. I took that inner older teen and held her and let her cry her tears, and I told her how sorry I was that she was going through this again. As she shared her feelings from back then in the present, something happened. The grief from the past settled and upon being acknowledged, the pain lessened significantly.

The grieving and recognizing the grief is helping, healing, and bringing wholeness to my soul. The fragments are coming together.

 
Wools
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« Reply #53 on: October 08, 2016, 01:40:12 PM »

You're welcome Wools Smiling (click to insert in post)

That's exactly what she did, throwing out everything, even the wedding photos of my dad and her.

Your stepmom doing this would hurt me too. Her throwing out everything like that, even the wedding photos almost feels like throwing away or even trying to erase the past to make it seem like it never existed or wasn't important.

Two weeks ago she texted that she got remarried.
... .
I spent a lot of time crying the day I got the text saying she was remarried.

Just by reading this I can understand the pain you felt. I can see how receiving such a text would trigger you, particularly given your past experiences with your mom. This text comes on top of her throwing everything out. Did you respond to the text?

As she shared her feelings from back then in the present, something happened. The grief from the past settled and upon being acknowledged, the pain lessened significantly.

The grieving and recognizing the grief is helping, healing, and bringing wholeness to my soul. The fragments are coming together.

As difficult as this has been for you, what you describe here sounds like significant progress, a clear sign of your healing and how far you've come. Especially when we are faced with challenges is when we can really assess our growth. This whole experience was a test for you, a very difficult one, but you've come through it Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Take care

The Board Parrot
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Oh, give me liberty! For even were paradise my prison, still I should long to leap the crystal walls.
WildernessMan
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Posts: 76


« Reply #54 on: September 22, 2017, 12:39:45 PM »

My BPD wife and are in the first stage of divorce. She served me on August 17 and we have a 17 yr old daughter and 14 yr old son.

If it helps anyone, think about this: As a non-BPD, you will eventually find happiness again. As a BPD, your partner will never find peace due to their internal storm.

 
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