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Old 08-15-2016, 01:31 PM
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There are so many contradictions in the above quote I don't even know where to start. I knew it when I posted it but I needed to come up for air.

First of all, if a parent makes a demeaning comment about your appearance, responses such as ďReally? Iíll need to pay better attention next timeĒ or making a pleasant comment about the parentís appearance are not "noncommittal" responses.

And if you act out of annoyance as opposed to outright anger, the above comments are going to come across as sarcastic and the parent WILL know that you are angry.

It's hard to find a book that focuses specifically on narcissistic parents (especially a well-rounded one). On the one hand, I have the above book which promotes passivity, on the other hand I have another that promotes a lot of anger.

Anyway, as far as the article at PsychCentral about the ability of narcissists and sociopaths to engage in feelings of guilt or empathy, I was attempting to gauge whether my Dad was capable of either. Not being able to engage in empathy I could probably live with. If he was capable of feelings of guilt, he could at least modify his behaviors to accommodate my feelings from an intellectual standpoint.

There have been times when he has seemed genuinely sincere.

I think I need to read more about sociopaths.

The thing is, I'm not really interested in boundaries. If he doesn't contact me I'll eagerly walk and probably have some damage control to do over the contact we have had. I did ambulance work for five years, and although I shouldn't label myself as a rescuer, I'm almost counting on him contacting me because he knows my vulnerabilities in that regard. If he does I won't be able to walk and I'll bitterly and grudgingly have to prepare with that with some boundaries. Bitterly and grudgingly I say, because at the end of the day it will all be a waste of time. It's not like I don't have better things to do, like work on ME.
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:37 PM
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I didn't forget what Ann said about boundaries being for US, though.

Regardless, I'd prefer to just turn myself into a satellite.
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:39 PM
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I find myself almost obsessing about this situation. By the same token, I feel pressed for time in the event that my Dad contacts me. Between thinking about all of this and posting, our house is a mess and my outdoor plants are taking a beating. I looked outdoors yesterday and they were half-dead. Not only that, but Iíve been juggling this matter with an attempt to rescue someone else.

Iíve been in contact with my ex-boyfriend. We really donít communicate often Ė maybe every 2 or 3 months (he also lives across the country). I broke up with him 6 years ago. He was / is addicted to alcohol. I quit drinking 4 Ė 5 years before we split up. He didnít quit, was extremely verbally abusive and I had to go. He is a non-narcissist / sociopath and I still care about him. My current boyfriend is a good sport about it Ė he knows I lost romantic interest in my ex-boyfriend many years prior to my leaving him. Since we parted ways he has developed emphysema and when we recently spoke on the phone he sounded like he was drowning in his own fluids. I quit smoking five years ago, and since that time have been using a vaporizer (e-cigarette). It changed my life, and after hearing him on the phone I decided to buy one for him. So in between posting here I have been buying him different pieces of equipment, writing up instructions, etc. How pathetic is that? Lol! Iím hopeless. He really is a good guy minus the alcohol though, and I canít help but think how terrible I would feel if he died because of his emphysema and I didnít somehow intervene in some way. Well, now I am, and if he doesnít take advantage of it then my conscience is clear. End of story.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:21 PM
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So last night I found this book on Amazon titled 202 Ways To Spot A Psychopath In Personal Relationships. I got about halfway through it before I learned everything I did and didn't want to know, all for the low, low price of $.3.99 (that and about a year of therapy).

I really don't know what he's going to feel when my stepmom dies in order to gauge what it is that he's going to need from me. I know he's going to feel sorry for himself. That much is a given. There were a couple of times when he remarked to me "I just hope this never happens to you", not "I hope this never happens to your "spouse" or "boyfriend".

As I work through this matter and put 2 and 2 together, there is something he did need from me, and when I turned him down I think that's around the time when he started becoming increasingly abusive and when I felt myself becoming once again disposable.

Around May of last year when I flew out to visit I was feeling better than I had in years on my mood stabilizers, and I offered to help in any way that I could in the event that my stepmom's condition should take a turn for the worse. Then in late spring / early summer of this year I had one of the worst manic episodes I ever had in my life. It ended around the beginning of June. Then just as I was regaining stability, it was revealed to my Dad and stepmom during the first week of July that her second course of treatments had failed. It was at that time that my Dad had told me that he would need me to fly out to help. Of course I was very apprehensive given my recent manic episode and as I didn't want to trigger another one. I had to tell him I just couldn't do it. I suggested that he reach out to hospice, and that they were good, well-trained, sensitive people. I was trained to SAVE people, not assist people to die. It would have been HUGELY traumatic for me. My stepmom had been absent for the past 30 years of my life, I hadn't even gotten to know her beyond that she had made no effort to reach out to me and now I would have to watch her DIE??

Prior to that, my Dad had said to me on the phone that he would need me to run errands, let the dogs out, etc. The bottom line is that he didn't want anyone else around so he could have her to himself and not let anyone observe his weaknesses (or whatever). He just wanted to shove me in a corner to do his dirty work. And he said the queerest thing to me: "She wants you here because she LOVES you." I just couldn't wrap my brain around that one. Why on EARTH would someone who loves someone else want them to watch them DIE?? And she has never expressed more than an ounce of love toward me.

So anyway, it wasn't until I told him that I was unable to make myself available that his behavior started becoming increasingly abusive and more and more remote.

From the outside looking in it might seem like all of this might just push someone over the edge, but really, I'm ok. I'm dealing. I've been through a lot in my life and I have a good support system. If nothing else I have detachment to fall back on, and while it might not be the "right" way to deal with matters, it's been a somewhat effective self-defense mechanism. It has helped TREMENDOUSLY to come here to untangle all of these mixed thoughts and emotions and gather some opinions. My goal is acceptance. I'm almost there.
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:28 PM
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It occurred to me that by making a decision to take care of myself, that in a sense I was setting a boundary even if it wasn't a conscious decision to do so. Of course, that boundary resulted in unintended and hurtful results.

You'd think that if he loved me, he would have said something like "I understand. It's important that you take care of yourself", or something along those lines.

But I guess I couldn't expect a comment like that from someone who made me eat a pack of cigarettes once.
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:58 PM
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There's another book I want to mention here titled Get It Done When You're Depressed.

It has drawn some criticism from individuals in an overmedicated society who aren't truly clinically depressed; the person who seeks an antidepressant every time he / she steps in a mud puddle and overwhelms an already taxed mental health system.

This book is for people who are literally stuck and can barely put one foot in front of the other.
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:36 PM
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Yours Truly View Post
The thing is, I'm not really interested in boundaries. If he doesn't contact me I'll eagerly walk and probably have some damage control to do over the contact we have had. I did ambulance work for five years, and although I shouldn't label myself as a rescuer, I'm almost counting on him contacting me because he knows my vulnerabilities in that regard. If he does I won't be able to walk and I'll bitterly and grudgingly have to prepare with that with some boundaries. Bitterly and grudgingly I say, because at the end of the day it will all be a waste of time. It's not like I don't have better things to do, like work on ME.
I will say this as tactfully as I can, you know I care...not having boundaries, not protecting our own body, mind and spirit with boundaries that will keep us healthy and safe..is a huge obstacle to recovery. It sets us up to be doormats and leaves us "reacting" to their words and actions instead of "responding (or not)" with what is healthy for us.

YoursTruly...take a read of your posts in this thread and see how many times you are anticipating what someone else will say or do or react to a situation. That leaves you very vulnerable when things don't unfold as you anticipate...or when they do.

Why not decide what is healthy for you, what brings you peace from all of this, and then do what you need to do to take very good care of yourself?

All the analysis in the world of somebody else's behaviour won't help you deal with your own until you come to accept that the only person you can change here, is you. You are worth the effort it will take.
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:58 AM
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Thanks Ann - that was a good reminder of the anticipating and leaving yourself vulnerable. These family situations can be tricky so boundaries work for me, I went one step back one step forward but have found my safe place. Hugs to you Yours Truly
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Ann View Post
I will say this as tactfully as I can, you know I care...not having boundaries, not protecting our own body, mind and spirit with boundaries that will keep us healthy and safe..is a huge obstacle to recovery. It sets us up to be doormats and leaves us "reacting" to their words and actions instead of "responding (or not)" with what is healthy for us.

YoursTruly...take a read of your posts in this thread and see how many times you are anticipating what someone else will say or do or react to a situation. That leaves you very vulnerable when things don't unfold as you anticipate...or when they do.

Why not decide what is healthy for you, what brings you peace from all of this, and then do what you need to do to take very good care of yourself?

All the analysis in the world of somebody else's behaviour won't help you deal with your own until you come to accept that the only person you can change here, is you. You are worth the effort it will take.
You are right, Ann. Thank you for plucking some subconsciously driven thoughts / behaviors and putting them into perspective.

I'm sure that when I get into therapy it will help a lot, but she's a new therapist and in a way it's discouraging for me because it will take a while to get her up to speed. And then, my sessions will only be every couple of weeks or so.

It's funny. . . .when I called to set up an appointment on Monday, I had so much on my mind that when I was leaving my message I said "Have a nice weekend!" So I have a lot of homework.

I have another therapist whom I will be seeing on the 18th, but those sessions will be about every 6 weeks, and her primary purpose will be arranging other kinds of outside services and seeing where I'm at; kind of like case management.

At the end of the day I think boundaries would be a good idea if for no other reason than it would probably keep me out of trouble in other areas of life and with other types of people.

I believe that what will bring me peace is acceptance that he won't change. There's more, but I haven't figured out what it is.

I do recall that there is a serenity prayer somewhere that was rewritten just for us heathens, lol.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ring View Post
Thanks Ann - that was a good reminder of the anticipating and leaving yourself vulnerable. These family situations can be tricky so boundaries work for me, I went one step back one step forward but have found my safe place. Hugs to you Yours Truly
Back atcha.

;-)
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:36 PM
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Off topic, but I was just thinking about these methods that therapists use that is commonly referred to as "reverse psychology". The last therapist I went to I had only one visit with (that was about, oh, 3 years ago). At the end of our session she said, "Oh, you're just FINE." It infuriated me. Not only that, but she was one of the scariest looking creatures I ever laid eyes upon in my entire life. For REAL.

I hate it when therapists try to draw me out to get a reaction. So when I meet with my new therapist that's one thing we're going to get straight from the get-go. Those kind of tactics will ruin our relationship FOREVER and I intend to tell her just that. How's THAT for boundaries?

'Nuff said. Anger management tonight.


P.S.

Just to set the record straight, that has nothing to do with the dialogue here - none of you are therapists (as far as I know). . . . . .
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:53 PM
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Come to think of it, that broad was so scary I wouldn't have poked her with a stick.
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:53 PM
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I believe that what will bring me peace is acceptance that he won't change. There's more, but I haven't figured out what it is.
That's huge, YT! Acceptance is a huge step. You get that and you're half way there.

Hope the therapy helps you work through this.

Hugs
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Ann View Post
That's huge, YT! Acceptance is a huge step. You get that and you're half way there.

Hope the therapy helps you work through this.

Hugs
Thank you Ann. I'll be focusing on the acceptance bit.

I look forward to meeting with my new therapist. By the sound of her tone in her voicemail greeting, she sounds mature, no-nonsense and efficient. Not only that, but she has a PhD.

This pleases me.

:-)
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:08 PM
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There is a website to talk to others going thru personality disorders. I am not sure if I can put a website link in a post? If you Google search BPD Family, it should pop up . It helped me understand alot of things about myself and the people I have selected and have been raised by.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by letitend View Post
There is a website to talk to others going thru personality disorders. I am not sure if I can put a website link in a post? If you Google search BPD Family, it should pop up . It helped me understand alot of things about myself and the people I have selected and have been raised by.
Hi Letitend. Thanks so much for your post. As far as I know my Dad isn't borderline. I wish! I have also heard of another website via Amazon book reviews called "Out of the Fog" for families of those with personality disorders, but I like this website. There's Friends and Family of Alcoholics, Friends and Family of Substance Abusers, 12-Step Support for Friends and Family, Secular Connections for Friends and Family, and now *NEW!* Family Members of Addicts and Alcoholics, which seems kind of excessive to me. . . .wish it was just for co-dependents instead. Ah, well. These forums are for families and friends of addicts after all. How about a forum for previous and/or current addicts who are co-dependent? That would make really good sense. I just wish the plain old co-dependency forum was still here. It was very active. But, um. . . .I appreciate the suggestion, and no doubt someone else will benefit from it. Thanks for taking the time to post!

:-)
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:22 AM
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Anger management was really productive this evening. Tonight's theme focused on anger in relationships. At one point our group leader went around the room and asked each person what he or she did to nurture our relationships. I said I discussed and explored boundaries with my pack mates. ;-) She got so excited and discussed it at great length and I learned a lot! So that was really cool.

There was something else I was thinking of earlier today that applies to emotional boundaries. That is choosing how you feel. This is really a no-brainer for me, but I'm a bit out of the loop. A lot of it requires practice with vocabulary exchange. For example, instead of saying: "He / she made me angry", or He / she hurt my feelings" you're forced to stop and think. . . .did he really make me angry? Did he / she really hurt my feelings? Who's the one in control here? And once you sheepishly realize the truth, you take your power back. A more realistic - and constructive - statement would be something like. . . ."Hmm. . . .I don't feel so good when this person behaves this way", and you then lead yourself into a decision to take responsibility and come up with a solution, whereas with the former statement(s) you choose BLAME and you give your power AWAY.

People use all kinds of covert (silent) manipulation tactics, too. We live in such an uncommunicative culture and it seems like it's only getting worse. Not only is it uncommunicative - at times it's hateful. This is particularly prevalent online. I think a lot of that carries over into the 3D world (I belong somewhere in the 19th century, but that's another talk show).

No one or no thing - like an inanimate object - can make anyone feel anything. Thoughts always precede emotions. Emotions might seem spontaneous, but that's only because we have been trained to believe certain thoughts about certain events and automatically react to those events in a particular way (sometimes our reactions are wrong because we jump to conclusions - oops). When we retrain our thoughts to react to stimuli accurately, our emotional reactions change.

A lot of this I picked up from some of Wayne Dyer's books when I was around 20 or so. I credit Albert Ellis for Wayne Dyer's work - he grandfathered it. Some of it I picked up from SMART recovery, and some of it I picked up from SR early in my sobriety. There was A LOT of variety floating around SR (which I'm sure there still is). I've been out of the loop for so long that all of what I learned is just kind of seeping back in. This will help me all the way around, and it's good for my continuing sobriety, too.

I really do apply boundaries a lot more often than one would think; I just don't consciously refer to them as boundaries. I don't give give the petty person of the moment rent in my head. I've learned not to have high expectations, lol.
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:46 AM
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I'm sorry that my posts tend to move so quickly and that they are so verbose. For a long, long, time I have had no one to talk to other than my boyfriend and I haven't posted on message boards in about 6 or 7 years. By choice, I don't have any friends. I probably won't develop any close personal relationships here. I've been stepped on a lot and I have a lot of unresolved issues with trust.

This is basically an accountability thread for me. After I wrote the above post, it lead me to think about needs vs wants. I need this thread. If I don't have something to keep myself accountable and give myself some structure I will become complacent and my mind will pretty much turn into a wandering, redundant blob of protoplasm.

Peeps, I don't have any expectations for you to hang around, okay? There are folks in these forums who have much, much bigger issues than mine who will probably die tomorrow, whose spouses or daughters or sons might die tomorrow. . . .or today or next week. And, of course, everyone needs to take care of themselves as well.

______________________________


In other thoughts, I want to mention again that it would be nice if there were a forum for addicts and previous addicts who are co-dependent. I mean, addicts and previous addicts have developed behaviors which have caused them become reliant on different sources to support their habits, no?
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:35 AM
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