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Author Topic: Learning to accept accountability for my feelings  (Read 890 times)
JNChell
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Dissolved
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« on: January 04, 2018, 05:40:49 PM »

I’ve done a lot of reading and research on Cluster B’s. I was introduced to NPD by a therapist after my parents passed. He didn’t go into much detail, but I ran with the term and researched it. I eventually learned about the Cluster B spectrum. It’s been a slow and mostly agonizing process. I guess it’s been kind of a “learn as you go” experience. First, I was focused on my parents, and their effect on me. Then it was intimate partners, and their effect on me. Then it was friends and acquaintances, and their effect on me. This is with over 7 years of educating myself. I’m just now learning that I’ve grossly overlooked the most important thing. How was I effecting me? Yes, I’ve been hurt. Yes, I’ve been abused. But with the exception of my parents, who really allowed me to feel this way? Who allowed me to stay in these situations? Who could’ve been the first one to rescue me from harm? It’s always been me. It always has to be me. Always. I’m just beginning to grasp this truth. I’m still very angry with my ex. I’m still very hurt by her and her condition. I’m still desperately in love with her, or the idea of who I thought she was. I’ve not yet let go of that. I’m not there yet, but I know I need to stop this perpetual circle of emotions and find a straight line to healing. I need to be able to heal from within me. My core is my problem. Her condition, my parent’s condition was their problem. I won’t heal from the outside-in. It must be from the inside-out. I read from the present, all the way back to 2014 on here. So many testimonies are so much more brutal than mine. My heart and sympathy go out to so many of you. I feel like I had it bad. I’m amazed at how many of you survived your journey. I’m curious to hear from anyone that has made the inward reflection, regardless of where you are in the process. Does it get hard and painful to go there, or do you feel the burden start to lift almost immediately?
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WonderingWhat
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 12:39:20 AM »

Interesting - I just posted a few minutes ago about some inward reflection and realizing I have some bad "fear habits" in my own mind, after my experiences - and that I need to find ways to end or replace.

Now in a relationship with an amazing person - and I am seeing sometimes, my own brain, acting on the "fear impulse" some times; a pattern that developed after some time of experiencing certain things repeatedly. So now, when something similar but not the same happens, that fear thing ... a defence thing in my subconscious starts firing away... .and there is some pain to realize I am responsible, as well as some desire to figure out how to change that response.
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 08:22:29 AM »

JNChell,

What a great topic. I commend you for turning inward and looking at yourself—your behaviors and feelings. That is not easy to do, but in my experience, it is very rewarding.

In my view, our feelings often spring from thoughts that we just take for granted are true. Taking a closer look at what we believe, how we think, how we react, can give us so much information about the scripts that we are running on  "automatic." Interrupting those scripts can be freeing and empowering.

I also often remind myself that yes, I want others to care about me and support me, but when they don't or can't, who is left? That would be me.  Thought  We all need connection with others, but sometimes we just have to start with ourselves and work our way outward, in my opinion.

How does this revelation feel, JNChell? How do you deal with strong emotions?

heartandwhole
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When the pain of love increases your joy, roses and lilies fill the garden of your soul.
JNChell
a.k.a. "WTL"
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Dissolved
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 08:41:25 PM »

Sorry for the delayed reply.

heartandwhole:
Like I said. I’m not quite there yet. It may be a revalation, but I haven’t completely grasped and run with it yet. I’m just now realizing it. How do I deal with strong emotions? Can you please elaborate a little on that? What degree of emotions? I agree with you on how it is possible that our thoughts can be taken for granted, and that we might base things on our feelings. I try to be logical as much as possible. I’m guilty of seeing feelings as fact sometimes, but it is very temporary. I believe in logic. I believe holding on tightly to logic is what caused so much conflict. She has none. At times I would retreat just to feel some affection, and at times I would get angry at her lack of logic. Maybe that means I have double standards. I believe I was just trying. Thank you for the reply. Again, sorry for the delayed response.


WonderingWhat
Congratulations on your new love interest! Something like that feels a long way off if even attainable at this point. Don’t know if I’ll ever get there again. I do imagine it though. WW, if you have something good, hold it and nurture it. That’s what I imagine the most when I think of maybe, eventually ending up in a truly loving relationship. It’ll be work, but I won’t have to chase it in a constant panic attack. I’m happy for you. Enjoy it.
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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 04:39:24 AM »


I’m just now realizing it. How do I deal with strong emotions? Can you please elaborate a little on that? What degree of emotions?

Well, you mentioned healing from the inside out, and dealing with your core. Can I turn the question back to you and ask what you mean by that?  Smiling (click to insert in post)

For me, when strong (negative) emotions arise, I try to stay present with them and meet them as a friend, if possible. I try to let them have their say, so to speak. I try to feel them and refrain from judging the experience as bad or that it shouldn't be happening. I feel the sensations in my body, and try not to attach to the story in my head that is running along side of them, because I find that the more I buy into the story, the more other unhelpful thoughts join in and the feelings intensify and stick around.

In other words, when the storm of painful feelings hits, how do you usually react?

I'm not saying there is a "right" way to react; it's just that it can be helpful to observe how we habitually do things so that we can decide if there might be a better way.

heartandwhole
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When the pain of love increases your joy, roses and lilies fill the garden of your soul.
JNChell
a.k.a. "WTL"
********
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Dissolved
Posts: 3519



« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 07:44:03 AM »

Thanks for elaborating further heartandwhole. Well, to be honest, I have the very bad habit of stuffing those emotions. It’s no secret what happens with them. After too much conflict and enough time they usually come out angrily and I end up saying things that I shouldn’t. Sometimes they come out as sadness and I’ll sob. It really looks like you have learned or discovered a very healthy approach to this. A healthy reaction I guess I should say. I hope to get to a level like that with help from therapy and maybe some good ol’ fashion alone time. It’s probably not a secret that I don’t do very well at being alone either. Like I said, I’m not there yet. I feel like I’m still recognizing things about myself that I need to change. That gives me some optimism at this point. My biggest regret with this aspect is that it took me so long just to get to this point. I’m 41 now and I just wish I would’ve figured this stuff out earlier in life. It is what it is. All I know is it’s time to really start living life as the best version of myself. It’s astounding reading all of these testimonials and where everyone is in their journey. Coming here has given me a lot of hope. Thanks for the insight and for reaching out.
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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
-a new friend
MeandThee29
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 08:30:32 AM »

My counsellor pointed out that emotions are like an elevator.

Most balanced people are at the first or second floor on an ongoing basis. They're also willing to open the door most of the time. If something really horrible happens, they may go up to the tenth floor, but in time drop back down.

For people like us, we can remain at the eighth floor, stuffing it but ready to push it higher if anything happens. We don't like to open the door. Because of that, we're perpetually on high alert, which makes our feelings harder to manage.

I think I've been struggling with this most of my life. My mother was a narc, and then I married someone with high-functioning BPD and narc tendencies. Early on, I was open and felt comfortable with him, but at times I felt uneasy and went to a higher level. Over time that became the norm as his issues exploded. What wife isn't going to be on alert with ongoing threats, contempt, blame shifting, gaslighting, etc.?

My goal now is to live mindfully and drop my elevator to a lower floor. We're separated. I have many positives going on and friends that love me.
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JNChell
a.k.a. "WTL"
********
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Dissolved
Posts: 3519



« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 09:48:53 AM »

Great analogy MeandThee29! Very well stated. That is me. Yes, it was so comfortable in the beginning. Then the behaviors slowly started and escalated in pace faster and faster as I reacted and tried to resolve things. Looking back, I can see that the more I tried to communicate and resolve issues, the worse things would get. I tried approaching things from every angle I could. Her defenses were impenetrable. So yes, we begin to bottle it to keep the peace for a while. Eventually the bottle becomes full and pressurized. After I started catching her in shady behaviors my stress level was constantly through the roof. Not only the mental and emotional  effects, but I still feel the physical effects in my body from the stress, which causes more stress by proxy. It doesn’t feel good. Great post M&T29!
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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 11:37:40 AM »

Hi JNChell,

I can totally relate to holding in feelings to the point where they then come out inappropriately. I think that is common, but harder than feeling the feelings along the way.

Many of us have learned to do that from the dynamics in our FOO (family of origin). Do you think that habit of bottling up may be in part due to your family dynamics growing up?

heartandwhole
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When the pain of love increases your joy, roses and lilies fill the garden of your soul.
JNChell
a.k.a. "WTL"
********
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Dissolved
Posts: 3519



« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 01:02:30 PM »

Heartandwhole, YES! I’m not sure how I haven’t made that distinction on my own. After all of the research and reading that I’ve done, how couldn’t I have made this connection? This is a very big deal to have you help me make this connection. Thank you! I was pretty much in constant fear throughout my childhood and a good portion of my teen years. The home atmosphere was unpredictable and not consistent on what would set who off. I tried to tread very lightly. I didn’t have a voice, and if I tried to have one, there were serious repercussions. When I acted out, I really got it bad. Even when I didn’t act out. So many things that were not my fault, were my fault. I was a child. I didn’t have control over enough for so much blame to put on me. Wow! Thank you for this.
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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
-a new friend
JNChell
a.k.a. "WTL"
********
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Dissolved
Posts: 3519



« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 01:11:43 PM »

How did you achieve this? Being friendly to these emotions?
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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 03:00:42 PM »

I was pretty much in constant fear throughout my childhood and a good portion of my teen years. The home atmosphere was unpredictable and not consistent on what would set who off. I tried to tread very lightly. I didn’t have a voice, and if I tried to have one, there were serious repercussions. When I acted out, I really got it bad. Even when I didn’t act out. So many things that were not my fault, were my fault.

I'm sorry you were in constant fear, JNChell, and had to tread so lightly. That is such a tough place to be when you were so young and vulnerable. It makes perfect sense to me that you learned to push down your feelings. 

In my family, there definitely was some treading lightly... .and looking back, I think that I felt that my feelings didn't matter as much as other family members'. So, I just kept them to myself. Now, I'm learning to express them responsibly (I'm not always successful), but more importantly, allow them to be.

Excerpt
How did you achieve this? Being friendly to these emotions?

As I say above, it's a work in progress. I just try to give myself time and space to feel them, instead of dismissing them or pushing them down. Feelings are there for a reason, and if I meet them with compassion and openness, they do their thing and then the sensations pass and I'm still here and still me. I think sometimes we're afraid that the emotions will somehow damage us, or become overwhelming, or never end. That hasn't been my experience; in fact, I find that emotions resolve faster when I allow myself to fully feel them.

Have you thought about seeing a therapist to help with this?

I found therapy very helpful after my breakup. She helped me see things that I couldn't, because I was still in pain and confused.

heartandwhole

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When the pain of love increases your joy, roses and lilies fill the garden of your soul.
JNChell
a.k.a. "WTL"
********
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Dissolved
Posts: 3519



« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 05:22:02 PM »

You know, I’m sorry that you felt that way too. Less important. It’s awful. I remember making my parents apology cards with construction paper and crayons to try to get them to stop ignoring me after an episode. This thread has me pretty emotional. I didn’t expect it to go this route. Yes. I am definitely getting into therapy ASAP. I’ve been in and out of it for a while. I just never stuck with it like I’ve needed to. I was in therapy when I met my ex. I can still see the disappointment on my therapist’s face when I told her that I had met someone. She knew. But yes. I’m anxious to get into therapy. I need it and I know it. Parents that teach their children to show empathy and compassion towards others are champions. I’m going to be that parent. I preached to my ex about stopping the cycle. If she won’t, I will.
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“Adversity can destroy you, or become your best seller.”
-a new friend
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