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Re: When the whole world shrinks to the size of your pain ( 03:44:46 SatMay 7 2005 ) |
Tony thanks for this post. I related to it pretty directly. I definitely see the thing about being arrested at a certain developmental stage and having a constricted worldview based on the need to handle overwhelming pain. That so much of a better definition than the DSM's one.http://250431.myshoutbox.com/go/?u=http://www.healnpd.org/forum/bbBoard.cgi?a=viewthread;fid=2;gtid=18
Steely I related to your points also. Especially about the true self wanting to live versus the mother/father self, or false self, that rejects the true self in its desire to be alive, real, vulnerable, etc. I've heard this point elsewhere but probably not so directly before. You're right on about this stuff, and it just makes me think even more abotu what a challenge it is to deal with. But still, Thanks.
You know, of course, where this other world lies hidden. It is the world of your own soul that you seek. Only within yourself exists that other reality for which you long. I can give you nothing that has not already its being within yourself... All I can give you is the impulse, the key. I can help you to make your own world visible. That is all.
- Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf
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Re: When the whole world shrinks to the size of your pain ( 08:52:59 SatMay 7 2005 ) |
I feel like I was pulled into the horrifying pain of someone so stunted and experienced a glimpse of what that world is like up close. Comparing it to what I've known before and partially recovered myself to now, it is a dark lonely place indeed IMO. Living life without knowing and giving and receiving love is not really living at all for me. As far as I am concerned it is more like dying a slow painful death instead.
Healing hurts in many ways but the rewards are worth the temporary pain because it stops the old pains from reoccuring.
It is extremely hard to recover from emotional pain and trauma and it takes a stern determination to conciously reprogram or teach or parent or nuture ourselves to a healthier mindset. I don't know if it should be called a disorder or not but I do believe it is not a normal state of being for most people. I also think it is possible to change and grow when one recognizes what is wrong and takes steps to try to heal.
I have seen the scared boy in my h and often view him as child-like in many ways other than just emotional development. He clearly wants me to be his parent on some level and it is a role that I've resisted despite his pranks. I think perhaps he is stuck at exactly the age he was when he was molested. And being stuck in the sixties was one of the first symptoms I noticed and could not understand. At first I used to think he was teasing or something when he seemed oblivious to current events, new music, anything really beyond that point in is life. I know we are all influenced by things that are going on when we come of age or become adults and those things will always be a part of us, but most of us can add new things to the repretroire more easlily than he seems to be able to do. From my perspective he appears frozen inside himself somehow and the ice layer surrounding him just gets thicker and thicker. It is really very sad to observe.
When our parents fail I think that responsiblity then falls on us as individuals to grow ourselves up the best way we can and by continuing to grow as we learn new things along the way. It is not realistic to expect others to step into that role, it is not even possible IMO and efforts at it only seemed to make things worse for me. I know it is not a concious choice to be so affected but I also think it is a concious choice to chose not to attempt to change when one becomes aware of how they hurt themselves or others. For ex. I have taught my h what hurts me and when he repeatedly does those things then it does seem like a very concious choice to me. I recognize that he may not realize why he makes the same bad choices over and over but at the same time I think on some level he does know that he does it to prevent or avoid intimacy, or to get a reaction out of me and / or to get my attention, and / or to get parental type attention.
I don't really buy the bull that it is uncurable or uncorrectable if one choses to work at it. And even though one may feel disconnected from themselves, I do not think it is a medical condition. I have had these feelings and I have changed so I think it is possible for others to as well. I am sure it is harder when the habits are older and more ingrained but I do not think it is impossible by any means and I do think it starts with a simple choice to try and to keep trying.
Cyber Healing PhD
Eat your heart out
Re: When the whole world shrinks to the size of your pain ( 15:13:04 SatMay 7 2005 ) |
There is an interesting connection between what we know as NPD and Avoidant Personality Disorder. They share many of the same types of traits. One of the traits of Avoidant PD is the person is living in the past and often dresses as though they are still living in the era in which they were wounded. I think we NPDers are often living in the past whether we display it in our physical appearance, or just have never been able to develop the emotional skills needed to move on while still trying to function in today's world. I know this is true of me. My dress tends to be very casusal, more of what might be expected of someone in their teens or early 20's rather than someone who is 38. So I think its likely Belle's husband is emotionally frozen in the time where he was abused. This actually makes sense to the degree that anything with this kind of trauma makes sense on an intellectual level- which often isn't much.
Children learn to give and receive love, how to develop healthy attachments and bonds with others, basic life skills , how to process emotions through the practical experience of receiving these things from our parents. Its like Greg Baer suggests that we cannot give what we don't have. A person craves unconditional love and acceptance more than anything else in the world, without it there is a very real part of them which is missing. You do not learn this through osmoses, it has to be experienced. If you don't receive this in the natural developmental stage in childhood it is going to affect everything about your life unless and until you find a way to go back and nurture the child within and show him that level of unconditional love. Levine writes, "By converting the fear of my pain to the compassion for the pain, by moving from the personal to the universal, an experience that can diminish one expands to a sense of participation in the greater family." In describing his own healing the child within himself Levine writes, "Indeed, that child might have stayed submerged in a kind of emacipated self-pity if I had not cared so much for him, nurtured him, and begun to slowly unwrap his cocoon. Releasing a child's grief from its binding is a work of self-mercy so tender and subtle it purifies the air you and your loved ones breathe."
My child within still feels trapped in a very confusing period of time when I was excluded from parts of my family. My Mother decided to abandon me because she did not approve of the things my Father was doing with my sister and myself. My older siblings resented my Father and as a result resented my sister and I as well. My Father was lost in his own tightly defined world of pain and I now believe he never received the emotional developmental skills needed to pass along to his children. I was told I was loved repeatedly, yet I learned love meant anger, abandonment, neglect, and other hurtful things. In other words I learned that love hurt and that is the definition of my love that stayed with me until I began to go back and nurture my inner child, to allow it to experience unconditional love. This process is continuing, as love still hurts at some deep level in my heart. I have begun to experience what I have long craved and the wound is not as tender in some ways, but definitely not healed. I don't blame my parents for this or think of myself as a victim because I see they simply were doing the best they could given what was given to them to work with in their life. They had not experienced unconditional love and thus they did not have this to pass along to their children. Feelings of justified anger, resentment, etc. only serve to make me feel worse instead of better.
I began to understand a long time ago there is a part of me that wanted to make other people feel my pain, and in the process I wanted to hurt other people. This came from living in a world defined by my pain, and was a cry for help which few heard. Those few who did hear it seemed to have no idea of how to respond. I think a person with this stunted emotional development does not understand what it means to have feelings, or to truly experience pain, and so they try to hurt other people because they truly lack an understanding of what it means for another person to experience pain. I think if someone tells us a certain behavior is upsetting or hurtful we continue doing it in hopes that maybe they'll see that the reason we are doing this is because we are suffering, and crying out for help.
Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you? Greg Baer.
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