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"The Secret in healing Narcissism is not to heal it at all, but to listen to it. Narcissism is a signal that the soul is not being loved sufficiently. The greater the Narcissism, the less love being given." ~ Thomas Moore, 'Care of the Soul'.

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Heal NPD :: Open Topic :: Hitting the wall of fog yet again
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TcBrown
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Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 16:16:19 SunMay 8 2005 )

Taking the step of apologizing for some of my old behavior has had a positive, mixed with troubling, result. I definitely feel as though I'm less atached to that whole experience, but I am finding myself in a very confusing place, one which I've been in before.

I've long regarded the worst period of my life to be the four years that my Father was living in Kansas. There was a lot of insanity around my family long before this period, but so much of it has its roots before I was old enough to know what was happening that it never has had the conscious feeling of pain that I experienced during this period.

Somehow I managed to skirt around this period during my work with my first therapist back in Colorado. Yes we talked about the idea that it was a hellish time, but I made certain we avoided going into any details. I first really became of how difficult this period was when I decided to enter into a process with my Dad in which we both were writing about our childhood. I was able to write about some pretty painful things during the very early years that didn't seem to have a major impact on me. Maybe because in a lot of ways it felt as though I was writing a story that happened to someone else instead of me. This is the period where a lot of my pain comes from, but it still feels as though it belongs to someone other than me.

Meanwhile, the four years of hell surrounding the divorce and his time in Kansas has been something that is like hitting a wall. Writing about this period sent me into my first ever conscious awareness of depression. For several weeks while trying to write about this period I found myself almost unable to function. It was as though I was relieving a hell that while it happened years ago still felt as though it was happening today. Ever since letting go of my old acting out behaviors I find myself write back in this same fog where I am not sleeping very well, I prefer not to eat unless forced, and I have been somewhat distance from my work and personal relationship. The pain is there and it feels real, but I cannot entirely understand why it feels so bad, and what exactly I need to do to heal it so I can move forward in my life.

Since coming to Washington I have spent some time talking with my oldest sister about some of this and she has been stunned. She had already moved out of the house and was married when this period was just getting started, and she says she has no awareness of exactly what was happening. Its kind of the story of our family. We all have a lot of pain, but it seems we grew up in such totally different worlds that we are stunned to hear what was happening elsewhere. Once again it appears to be a classic case of our pain being such a tight fit that it shrinks around us and defines our world.

I know the first time I recall being really scared in my life was the day my Father held himself up in our bathroom with a gun while briefing threatening to committ suicide. I thought this whole incident was pretty public knowledge but my oldes sister says my telling her about it was the first she'd ever heard of the incident. I'll never forget my Mother making the phone call to the police to have my Father removed from the house. The divorce was final and he was under a court order to be gone, and was refusing to obey this order because he didn't think the courts had the right to grant a divorce. :demon:

The next thing I remember is a police car pulling up in front of our house. One of my other sister's says she remembers our Father loading the gun as the cop approached the house and she wasn't sure who he was intending to shoot. I don't remember that, only the fact that somehow I knew he had a gun. My Mother greeted the cop and told him what was happening. The cop immediately ordered us all out of the house. At the time there were four kids living at home: two sisters, one brother and myself. I recall the cop talking into his radio and saying they had a man with a gun at our address. Part of me thought it was kind of cool, just like Adam-12 happening right in our living room.

My brother took our dog out for a walk to prepare the house for whatever came next. My mother, two sisters and I watched parked on the curb in our driveway. Within a few seconds we started hearing sirens and I remember one sitster jokingly comment that, "I wonder where they're going?" Soon our street was filled with cop cars with flashing lights. I remember seeing a couple of cops going running right past us as they were pulling their guns out of their holsters.

My Dad gave up almost immediately and was lead out of the house and handcuffed in front of us. As the cop car he was riding in pulled away he said with a strange smile on his face that he would be back. One of the cops talked to my mom for a few minutes, and than they all left. My sister and I decided it was best to get out of the house and we spent the afternoon at the school playground pretending as though nothing had just happened. When we came home nothing was said and the matter wouldn't be discussed in any detail for years. I knew that my dad was released from jail later that afternoon, but learned only a couple of years ago that he returned to our house later that night. My Mother said she woke up and found him asleep in their bed. He immediately left when she threatened to call the cops again.

This was just the start of the craziness of this period. About two weeks later my Dad got a job (for the first time in a couple of years) at a newspaper in Kansas. My sister and I wanted so bad to come live with him because we both felt that he was the only one who loved us and would protect us from the insanity of the family. He refused to allow it saying that he wanted the family to one day be reunited instead of further separated.

Although the job in Kansas was about 350 miles from where we lived in Kansas he made the drive over to see his beloved family every Saturday afteroon for a period of almost four years. I used to look forward to coming downstairs Sunday morning and seeing him sleeping on the coutch. It was a sign that everything was all right in the world. It tore me to shreds to see him leave again Sunday afternoon because it meant another week of hell living with my Mother and siblings. Today I understand that he was doing this for his own needs and not because he had my best interests at heart. I suppose in some ways that just makes the pain that much harder to face.

My sister and I took advantage of every opportunity we could to go visit him: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break and during the summer for a week or two. In the beginning it was really fun to visit him over there because there were some really cool people that we both liked to spend time with. Even so I remember the very strange feeling of hating to be separated from my Mother and crying in the bathroom the first night after I got there. I don't really understand why but I was terrified I would never see her again.

As time wore on I became less and less excited about the trips to Kansas or even about spending time with my Dad in general. It was the summer of the third year that my sister had gone over there a week ahead of me and was waiting for me to come over that all hell broke lose. I told my Mother the afternoon that I was supposed to leave that I didn't want to go. She supported me on this for a while and we argued with my Dad that I didn't want to go. For a while he agreed although he was furious. He stormed out of the house and evidently drove around the block and pulled into the driveway. My Mom was on the phone when he came in and he just glared at me until she hung up. He was as mad as I've ever seen him when he told me that I was going whether I wanted to or not and to get upstairs and get packed. I ran upstairs in tears and packed with the help of my Mom. The week was tolerable, in that I have no awful memories of anything going wrong, but it was definitely a major turning point of our relationship.

During this time my Dad and I were doing things together such as going to Colorado State football and basketball games. In the beginning it seemed he ususally made it on time for these games. As time slowly marched long he started missing more and more games and not bothering to call and say he wasn't coming until either after the game had started or sometimes until after it was over. God that hurt because I loved going to those games so much and I thought it was my escape from the insantiy of the world. The really disturbing part is that as our relationship changed I was less and less comfortable going to these games with him. I started bringing friends and we would spend a good part of the game wondering the stadium, watching the game from a whole different section. I remember several times looking across the stadium and seeing him sitting there by himself. Even from that distance there was something that was very wrong. He seemed so lost, so by himself in this world. It didn't help matters any that he started drinking a lot at these games and I was embarrassed to have my friends around him.

I always said I understood when he called to say he would not be coming for one reason or another. I never showed any anger despite the fact that I was hurting at such a deep level as this happened more and more often. It was during this phone calls with my dad that my BPD sister told her therapist that she was concerned that her little brother was one day going to explode because when I get angry I clinch my fists really tight, pace a couple of times, and then walk away as though nothing was wrong. Lets just say its safe to say that I exploded, more than once, but in ways that did nothing to help me allieviate my pain.

In writing this I still feel as though I'm not getting at whatever it is that is causing me such pain in this period. I really don't know why this was such a painful period compared to the other insane moments in my childhood. I guess this is just another case where there is a teacher in all of these lessons that I need to open myself to in order to heal.




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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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windymoon
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Re: Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 18:36:41 SunMay 8 2005 )

Hi Tony, the pain feels so bad because it was SO BAD! As a child, you were caught up in your parents drama with no way out. The fact that you are feeling the pain and anger inflicted on you, speaks volumes. Certainly not fun, but part of the healing process. I think the fog you refer to is trying to make sense out of something that doesn't make sense. Been there.

Also working, trying to establish a new relationship, getting the new website going and dealing with a "foster" child equals mega-stress. I suspect you are physically tired which in itself can lead to depression. Sleep deprivation can also mess with our heads. Sounds like you are really on overload right now.

I know what you mean re: your sister not remembering things you experienced even though you were in the same household. Same for me when talking with my family members. Find myself asking, "Did we grow up in the same house?"

Thanks for sharing this even though it is painful. I am grateful to you and others here for being so open. What I am learning is invaluable.

Please take extra good care of yourself during this time. Don't aid and abet those who didn't see your worth and value.

Windy

  
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Re: Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 23:12:33 SunMay 8 2005 )

Tony

i'd say that was an extremely harrowing and painful time for you, and i'm not suprised at all - not one bit - that it has come up again now that you have greater access to your emotions. i recall reading you talk about the cops coming to your home that day before, but not notably about how you knew your dad had a loaded gun to himself, or bits about how you felt in the following years and not really talking about it. the times you talk about crying in this post seem like a natural thing that happened when these times did. what i'm saying is, as you go back to your memories, it is of no suprise that some impacts will become clearer in time.

i believe your brain could be finding a way of appropriating that pain so that the feelings behind that can give more life again to your developing capacity for feeling in the present. but also reiterate Windy re the current "megastress".

- Kay



  
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Re: Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 08:15:07 MonMay 9 2005 )

My therapist had a technique that I've seen mentioned here, which might help. You find the little boy who experienced these awful things (which you seem to have done) and talk to him. Tell him what he needed to hear from a loving adult - "it's okay...I've got you now. I'll take care of you. It's going to be all right." Maybe you won't know what it's all about, but you can still comfort him.

  
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TcBrown
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Re: Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 11:33:08 MonMay 9 2005 )

I'm uncomfortable admitting this but for the first time in the history of this community I started blubbering as I was reading the replies. I guess this whole era brings out some very strong emotions in me. Lots of things are happening right now at work and home which seem to be bringing down walls and leaving me face to face with personal demons. I was thinking about the chat last week with Ken that when we come to these demons we should thank them for their lessons, and give them permission to get out of way. So far I don't feel anywhere close to giving this demon permission to move on so I can move forward with my life.

I'm not sure if its helpful or not to hear my cousin and others talk about seeing me in that period and wanting so much to carry me away because they saw what was happening and the deeply pained little boy. The strange thing is I knew no other way of life at the time and most of the time I don't remember being that upset. That are exceptions for sure and as I go back in my mind these exceptions seem to be increasing. I guess that's not surprising, but its making for a very uncomfortable time in my life.

Over the past week I've had a recurring dream for the first time that I can ever recall. In the dream my middle brother is beating on me in bed at the house we grew up in. I have no memory of such an event, but an awarness one of my sister's claims that he was often physically violent with her. So far the dream has occured twice and leaves me shaking as I wake up because it seems so real. I talked about this yesterday with my oldest sister and she agrees its a disturbing dream. She says that prior to four years ago when he moved in to "help" her family as she was going through cancer treatment that she never saw the side to him where something like this might be possible. Now she wouldn't rule out much of anything with him and I'm afraid I can't either, even though I still have no conscious awareness this kind of thing ever happened. I now know where my brother lives but I don't think it would do any good to even attempt to discuss this with him.

I do know that when I see people raging I tend to regress into a little child and freeze inside. Its as though I'm reliving something and I have a deep fear that they are going to beat the living tar out of me. There are only two instances where I remember anyone ever beating me: once where my BPD sister slapped me across the face twice and once where my Dad spanked me. Both left an impression for sure, and both happened during this time period, but I don't think either of them left the kind of scar that seems to still exist. I suppose a lot of the rage I've expressed through the years as served to cover up the very insecure little kid still frozen inside. I have been aware of this kind of behavior in others for a long time but its rather terrifying to look in the mirror and see it in myself.

Yesterday afternoon I took a long walk by myself to a nearby river and meditated for over an hour. I was thinking about Stephen Levine describing how in his meditation the scared little boy he was came into his arms and trembled as he held him. I think I experienced some of this but I have clearly have a ways to go.








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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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Re: Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 14:46:01 MonMay 9 2005 )

Just reading this thread its easy to feel the emotions of that period in your life. I don't have a lot new to offer other than say I think you're on the right track even its a painful one. Thanks for telling us where you are at in all the fog.

  
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Re: Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 22:23:59 MonMay 9 2005 )

warm thoughts to Tony & a warm hello to DHD - i'm sure i'm not the only one who was hoping you were ok, actually was thinking of both of you last night. to Taran too and the others in healing, you're all there in my mind when reading about any of the pain some of your living and healing often entails as individuals.

DHD, around the same time I remember reading you saying you did, i too looked at some of my own developmental needs and the stages i could have had probs with. You encouraged me. I also note that some of the others here recently mentioned "reparenting". i agree it really helps to consider what one didn't get as a child AND to try and understand what ramifications the trauma had from that child's perspective as well as the cumulative effect it has had to date.

was also thinking last night that for better or worse, i know that the more i can emote, my brain seems to be in a bit of a habit of revisiting and revisiting continually revised memories with any new knowledge i've gained. so it's just up to ourselves to decide, and work out i guess, how to use this process discerningly. certainly, nonetheless, my plea would be not to neglect what was real to that child.

Speerflaura, i remember once i broke down absolutely sobbing and blubbering and suddenly vowing to look after myself and imagining hugging the living daylights out of a 7-11yr old kid - it could have been me, the ex, or a representation of both or a lot of us from my old school. i didn't realise it was a variation of a theraputic technique, just thought i was wierd!

take care all

k


  
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Re: Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 22:43:29 MonMay 9 2005 )

so yeah, i was just trying to endorse and recommend what others were saying in that last post. hoping the fog continues to get worked through.

  
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Re: Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 10:49:25 TueMay 10 2005 )

Good to see you, deckshand :smile:

I have to admit that I haven't looked at this period in terms of a developmental question. I've been so busy trying to avoid this entire period to such a degree that I haven't thought a lot about it, or at least any more than could be helped. Maybe the time is now to look at it from that perspective.

One of the more confusing things to me about this period is that when it started my Mother was still seen as an enemy in my mind. Coming out the other side after all this insanity we had developed a rather tight bond that lasted for many years. I guess in a way we may have developed a codependent relationship. We were both looking for someone to cling to and we were about the only hope either of us could find.

To a certain degree I was becoming more and more aware of a growing separation with my Father, and more uncomfortable in his presence. Like most kids I had a very hard time expressing how I felt to my parents and most of it got repressed. I do recall that during Spring break of fifth grade I spent a week by myself with my Dad. I don't have a good memory of any specifics that happened that week other than by the end of the time I was very angry with him. Arrangements had been made for me to fly back to Denver by myself at the end of the week and all heck broke lose on the drive to the airport. I remember really unleashing and telling my Dad how angry I was about certain things that happened, or didn't happen, during the week and beyond. He responded by becoming very angry and I recall him telling me that "he wasn't going to loose his cool," because I was a spoiled kid who expected everyone to meet my expectations. This was not exactly what I was looking for. Now I'm not entirely sure what is I wanted, perhaps for him to see me as a person instead of an object caught in this kind of bizarre family struggle?

Right now I feel as though I'm living on pins and needles. Even the slighest noise is making me jump as if someone or something is about to do something to hurt me. I've always been rather good at worst case scenarios but it feels worse than ever at the present moment. I live in an error right up against the Cascade Mountains and there are known to be the occassional bear, bobcat and even cougar in this area. Its about 3:30 am as I write this and just before getting started I was outside having a smoke when I heard some crashing noises in the trees at the back of the property. My scared little kid was expecting a cougar or some other demon to come charging toward me and have me for his main course. Needless to say there were no cougars, and I survived the great outdoors despite myself. Interesting because I have a long history with cougars appearing in my dreams as a watcher or observer of my life. Now they are taking the role as something that might destroy me. There might be something profound in that but right now I'm not certain what it might be.

I think I'm going to keep trying to expand my meditation practice and try to take a look at my developmental issues and see what it was during this period that I lost. Perhaps if I can begin working on what I lost it will be easier to comfort my inner kid and assure him that this period is not happening all over again which right now I kind of feel as though it is.

Tony







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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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Re: Hitting the wall of fog yet again ( 13:32:37 TueMay 10 2005 )

Tony - thanks for being so open. I wonder if some of the pain you felt during this period isn't because you were trying so hard to have your identity in other people such as your sister, Father or maybe even your Mother? Maybe the real pain of this whole time was a growing awareness that you had no real identity of your own? It seems to me such a lost identity might cause some of the on-edge feelings you are talking about.

  
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