Learning the Jargon and Why it’s Important…for Newbies

It is difficult at best for a victim of stealth forms of abuse to articulate exactly where and how the injury took place.  Emotional/psychological abusers don’t always leave bruises – the injury takes place in the mind.  If one is not aware of the various ways psychological abuse takes place, then one will find themselves at a handicap articulating the harm that was done.

In my case I believe the abuse did cause a C-PTSD episode (and just because it’s not recognized in the DSM does not mean it doesn’t exist); however, not being truly aware of my own abuse history, I was unable to spot the red flags early on (because abnormal was ‘normal’) and as the various tactics were doled out, no warning bells sounded.  I assumed I was being ‘too sensitive’ and that ‘one day’ things would change.  The reality for me is that things would never change because I believe this individual is personality disordered.  My only option for ‘change‘ was getting out whether it was by ‘choice’ or ‘circumstances’…their abandonment is actually your blessing you will find in hindsight.

There are some schools of thought that believe those who struggle with BPD can be helped only because on the Axis II Cluster B spectrum they have found that those with BPD actually CAN love but it is their challenge with abandonment that causes them to spiral more towards the Narcissism spectrum when triggered.  I am not a mental health professional, I am not qualified to make any statements about who can be cured, and who can’t and who can love and who can’t…

I can only share resources that might be helpful.

I was terribly disappointed that at the peak of my ‘stress breakdown’ I was unable to articulate exactly WHERE the harm was done…all I had was:  “He had a virtual affair with a woman on Facebook” however the level of harm was not in keeping with the behavior.  I was a heap of hot mess on the floor rocking and sucking my thumb while he was busy shacking up with new supply…I had no method or means to reconcile how I had been destroyed to that level.  I did not know about narcissists, soul suckers and certainly could not comprehend how from night to day my significance to this individual I invested years with could spiral down to ZERO simply because he decided he was bored…

There was a lack of closure, there was no explanation, years invested meant nothing and he was able to scoop up another unsuspecting victim in a matter of weeks…moving her in within a month.  Another individual who obviously is not educated on the red flags.  This of course is NOT my problem…my goal is to create awareness for anyone who is in need and is attempting to understand.

The lack of words makes healing difficult.  I highly recommend if you are new to this that you engage in research in order to understand there was probably nothing you could do to change the circumstances. Even if engaging is part of a pattern (due to childhood abuse or other issues) it’s not about blaming yourself, but rather working towards healing.  I don’t feel comfortable with those who rely on online support forums solely but I do understand how sometimes good professional help is hard to find.  I almost ended up with the diagnosis of bipolar simply because the trauma was so severe.  I tried THREE therapists and not one could identify what was wrong.  I could barely get a word out other than “He had a virtual affair” then I’d collapse in a pile and begin sobbing uncontrollably.

When I learned of a study in my area on PTSD, I did not qualify because I kept going back to a previous traumatic event and so this experience was not the ‘initial’ trigger, I went through life at times being triggered but never understood how or why I would react when certain things occurred.  The questions for the study were limited to within a certain time frame (three to six months) and I could not articulate anything and so the clinician shared: “It sounds like depression” – Well no shit!  BUT it was much much  more than depression and if I were suicidal their incompetence might have been fatal; however, I cannot fully blame the professionals if only because they cannot read a crystal ball, they could not put the pieces together for me, first I had to be able to articulate and I had not connected the dots myself.  Therapists can only arrive at a conclusion based upon what we share and so if we cannot articulate, they have no tools to even begin to unravel where the problem and challenges are.

It is important to be able to explain fully what was done, that is the only way we can be co-pilots in our recovery.  It is also helpful I suppose to be able to understand the concept of repetition compulsion although I surmise a good therapist after some time might be able to walk one through this once the initial crisis is at a level of manageable.

Below are some resources, one a list of 70 traits of people with Personality Disorders ‘engage’ or better said ‘victimize’ their victims and beneath that a video which also outlines various stealth methods of abuse.

I also recommend the website: Goodtherapy.org as there are various methods of treatment and you owe it to yourself to be well-informed on the qualifications of any professional you choose to help you.  It is important that the therapist is a good fit, and sometimes it will be a process of trial and error but do not give up and please, do not rely solely on the advice and opinions of information  you find online.  It is imperative at this time you learn how to best advocate for yourself, taking bits and pieces of what applies and sometimes electing to leave the rest.  One size does not fit all here.

All the best to you on your journey…

Top 70 Traits of People With Personality Disorders

(see also:  Out of the Fog)

For more insight on C-PTSD see:  Effective Treatment for C-PTSD and Early Attachment (PDF)

of additional interest:

The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma

Trauma and Forgiveness by John Miguelis

Intro:

While forgiveness may be an important part of the work with a trauma survivor, the idea that it must happen is something that really doesn’t jive with my experience as a therapist. Many of the survivors I’ve worked with have been able to achieve symptom reduction and acceptance with very little time spent on forgiveness at all.  That may be surprising given that over the years forgiveness has become such a prominent fixture in therapy and highly associated with work involving trauma and loss…continued

The Isolation that Follows…

“The way out of the problem? Or the dead-end relationship? Or the dead-end job? Or sadness? Trust the inspiration that Spirit has been sending to you. Know that what you’ve been thinking and feeling is for a reason. Then take the steps you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll take. True, the path ahead may not be an easy one. But it’s an opportunity for growth. And a new life. And a chance to discover who you really are. What your potential really is? And the source of your spiritual power.”

James Weeks/Across The King’s River

Closure on Imaginary Terms…

angelsI can’t find myself to get all preachy about it like I’ve been inspired from up above but you asked me a question so here goes…

Before I begin let me advise you that it’s never wise to betray a writer because anything and everything that happens to us is free game and if you wanted to be flattered, you should’ve behaved better! (Doesn’t matter that WE did not know I was a writer but I thank you for bringing me here)…’nuff said…

You wanted to know…“How to forgive” and honestly there is no one size fits all answer, I’ve never been in your shoes…oh yes there was that time when you behaved in such a manner so as to leave me stranded WORSE than the shit underneath your shoes BUT somehow I forgave you…or DID I?

“Forgive and Forget” – Oh bullshit! Some things we’ll never forget and therein lies the rub…

HOW.LONG.WILL.YOU.CHOOSE.TO.STAY.ADDICTED.TO.PAIN?

What I have learned is that when we’re talking what we perceive to be a real bad betrayal…I dunno – like UH…serial cheating, lying, devaluing and discarding, or real shoddy shit blamed on compulsion…shit that’s blamed on anything and everything under the sun and LACKING in accountability – it gets mighty hard to forgive…the only thing I could imagine would be a lil easier to handle might be a Draino enema.

BUT you asked ME: “How to forgive?” AND it’s a mighty good question and I’m not sure if I am worthy of authoring the “How-To” but I’ll give it a shot…

Spoken from a line you once shared…not the one:

“If I pick up again get me out of here”…

but the one about:

“Hurt people hurt people”…

I think in order to forgive you have to be able to love.  I also think you have to be willing to accept…

That you loved…

EVEN IF your perception is someone fucked you over.

I think you have to be able to look at them not in the flesh but in the soul, I think you have to connect to their inner child, I think you have to be intimate with that inner child and communicate on that level because it is the inner child that acts out, not the wise adult. The inner child knows their emotions on the primal level before they’re molded. Babies can’t talk so they cry. Toddlers in their struggle for identity embrace “NO!” even when they mean yes…children by nature are narcissistic it is natural and normal for them to relate to the world on “ME ME ME!” terms. I think you have to be willing to choose to be the adult and love anyway…even when it seems there is no hope and someone will be a perpetual asshole. I think you have to just accept they’re powerless over it – it is how they relate, and embrace your powerlessness in the process as well.

Anger is only disguised pain – you have to be willing to go through the pain, feel it, grieve it, lean into it, surrender to it, go down with it, ride it, pound it, then release it…easier said than done. Denial only prolongs it… it has to be vented and purged – it needs an outlet. Only then do you become free and gain some clarity.

People don’t like pain.

They run from it.

They hide from it.

They fight it, suppress it…

They medicate it.

THEY LIE…to themselves and others. They do their best to bury it like cats covering a turd.

Facing ourselves in the mirror takes great courage. Owning our part is hard to face, blaming solves nothing.

“But I did everything right” many say – because it’s easy to say that…

“I did nothing wrong to deserve this!” – we tell ourselves…and maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t.

I tend to believe there are always signs…we CHOOSE to ignore them.

We want to change people…

Mold them…

Control them…

Make them into what we want them to be…

We fall in love with IMAGE and the IDEA and we think in our own ignorance and ego that somehow – YES there are flaws but somehow WE will control those flaws, somehow as if by magic this union will make all the wrongs right, we will love them away…

But the wrongs are embedded.

Broken is broken.

They’re there.

They are part of the core, the blueprint, the symptoms of the repetition compulsion – people ARE who they are and our EGO needs fine tuning when we think somehow we’re going to change things or be the elixir for someone else’s ails…

Rescue missions only work in Disney Movies…

Heroes often fail.

Two broken people will never make a whole.

The problem is that sometimes, one cannot just let it die a slow and natural death – instead one feels the need to carry the torch of scorn forever…because…

Facing pain is hard.

It’s really anger at the self after a certain time…

But we can’t always see this.

How do we forgive?…

Oh there are many answers but perhaps the one that’s worked for me is to recognize the repetition compulsion, understand the other person may very well have their own script going on – one you can’t change, be accountable and make honest amends and understand that sometimes others cannot forgive as easily. They may serve to be reminders of your own negative patterns which you will have to become aware of in order to release. When we’re caught up in repetition compulsions we absorb all the shit toxic people throw at us because they are satisfying the addiction of pain and shame.  Subconsciously we keep going back for more even when in words we say we reject it. When we continue to engage, we’re still feeding it.

The thing is, I think many people get caught up in the religious aspects of ‘forgiveness‘ and think somehow that they get to play high and mighty and absolve someone else for their sins…that’s not our work on this plane…our work has to do with our soul and getting it tight for where it needs to be in order to ascend. That’s got nothing to do with any other souls we might connect with, they have their own work to do.

In order to forgive, you have to be able to forgive yourself and you have to understand what you are angry about within yourself that is blocking your ability to forgive. That’s not always easy, sometimes we seek surrogates to project our shit onto…if we can sense they’re fucked up enough they’re easy targets…we can usually scope out those weaker than us and if we’re not where we need to be and sure of ourselves we’ll titrate down for our own ego’s sake. Sure, someone might appear to be a step up but illusions are tricky like that. I don’t mean this in a materialistic way but rather most of us know what our shadows are, and sometimes when we’re not on top of us and our shit it’s easier to coast with someone who makes it easy because challenges are ‘HARD’…growing takes work and society encourages the slacker lifestyle…even when it professes to abhor it…

BUT what I’m talking about goes much deeper than that…

To forgive you have to grab your ego by the ears and drag it into the corner and give it a good firm time out. You have to realize that in some respects while you have choice, you’re not always in control. You have to accept that assholes exist and you have to be honest when you’ve harmed someone. It’s all about unresolved pain…yours and theirs…and MAYBE they will never gain the wisdom and clarity to see it and that is okay because it’s not about controlling the outcomes but controlling the self and the response to it.

As per the dangling carrots, you have to know when they’re authentic and when they’re plastic and know when calling someone’s bluff is warranted – you have to be sure of this because it can’t be about spite but rather stopping the madness.

You can draw a line in the sand and still forgive but you have to be ready willing and able to either shit or get off the pot……CHOICE…it won’t come easy.