Author Topic: Calyx recovery  (Read 9804 times)

NickySkye

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Calyx recovery
« on: December 27, 2003, 11:29:05 PM »
Hello dear recovery friends! :)

And dear Richard Grossman, I've been reading your excellent, healing and supportive essays for about 4 years now online and referring many recovery friends to them. What a delight to find your site here and especially this part that focuses on what work in this recovery process.

After 4 arduous years online, after first reading Sam Vaknin's work - and writing what is probably tens of thousands of posts over that time in what I call Narcissist Codependent recovery, I've been feeling a whole lot better! YAYYY!  :D

About 10 months ago I started a small group to focus on the healing after the major work of detaching externally and internally from a relationship/enmeshment with an N. I felt pretty lonely in this moving forward stage and it's SO COOL to see other people working on this in this group here. Totally exciting! Wow, how wonderful you are here!

I'd like to share my own thoughts if I may. I tend to be verbose, which is I think a flipside to being voiceless. :oops:  I guess it's a fear of intimacy thing too. :oops:  Am working on being more concise and relaxed.

Anyhow, for those detaching and recovering from enmeshments with an N, the stages as I see them are:

1. Seeing the N, comprehending in detail the nature of the pathology.

2. Seeing one's own NCo traits in detail, naming them and working on healing them in relation to the enmeshment. I think N issues are often mirrored in an NCo, ie if an N takes up all the space and NCo abandons their own space to the N.

3. Then working on moving forward with one's own life, with the focus on connecting more with one's true self and the true selves of others in healthy/healthier ways.

Since I'm a beginner at this new enmeshment-free life it's not like I feel fully developed and in many areas I feel very weak. I call this compartmentalised competency and compartmentalised frailty.
In my feisty areas, I'm pretty feisty and in my weak areas I'm pretty weak, which many people don't understand. How can a person be so competent and confident in some areas and be so fragile in others? But I am and I know it and I think it may well be the same for other NCos.

So I decided to make a loving support network with other Adult Children of Narcissists/recovering Narcissist Codependents (ACONS and NCos) and begin to examine what we needed to move forward out of being chronic Victims.

The part of the flower that supports the petals is called the calyx, so I call this part of NCo recovery calyx recovery, for want of a better term.

This all seems to be pretty pioneering work and there aren't many of us who are ACONs or survivors of Nabuse who have lived to talk about having a better life post detaching from Ns...or few that I know of.



The NCo traits that arise as defense mechanisms in relation to surviving an N are, in my own experience:

depression

physical illness

obsessiveness

obsessive-compulsive traits to one degree or another

compulsivity

food issues

deprivation addiction

difficulty in getting out of the toxic comfort zone of being a chronic victim

mistaking the defense of blind naivete as spiritual or empathic

pendulums of over and under control

addiction issues

self-abandoning issues

complusive caretaking

codependent conflicts in which feelings of anger are suppressed and then explode

paralysis issues in relation to doing anything when there is some anxiety

messy house/paperwork issues


and others I can't remember now.


In trying to focus on the true self I found a few patterns that came up repeatedly and things that worked in moving forward:

spikes of feeling positive with spikes of anger

doing daily check ins on goals desired and tasks or steps towards doing tasks accomplished

thinking about preferences that one enjoys, like making a web folder of the art one likes, or images of things one likes, like tea pots or paintings and sharing that with recovery friends

talking about hobbies, especially, for many people, either gardening or nature

validating that things that were squashed by the xNs, like daydreaming, are important in having goals and a better life

planning on having fun and working on that by practising, even if it brings up anxiety

admitting how slow this calyx recovery is after decades od self-abandoning

taking a photograph of oneself as a toddler and talking to it lovingly, encouraging that little child



Any thoughts on this?  

Thanks everybody for being here and working on moving forward!
love,
Nicky

Acappella

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
Calyx recovery
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2003, 01:18:57 AM »
Hi Nicky,

I like your choice...the calyx name.  Sting's latest CD has a song, Never Coming Home, about a woman leaving a relationship...sneaking out in the middle of the night to go to a shelter and start a new life..lyrics include:

There’s a clock upon the table and
it’s burning up the hour
And you feel your life is shrinkin
like the petals of a flower

Quote
How can a person be so competent and confident in some areas and be so fragile in others?
 Isn't everyone is like that?  A matter of degree?

I am interested in that verbose thing.  My posts are long.  :oops:  How do you see verbosity as related to fear of intimacy? I can see it as the flip side to voicelessness...over compensation or something.  What distingishes verbosity from prolificness or just a need to vent?  

I can relate to many of the
Quote
defense mechanisms
you noted.  
I have been cleaning like crazy since my husband left as though I needed to rid this place of his presence to make room for my own.  The opposite of marking ?  :lol:  I realize though that playing my guitar I might have felt even stronger instead of cleaning...trying hobbies requires also mourning the years I didn't do them and confronting a feeling I have no control over being able to do them.  I have boxes of papers in the garage that I refer to as my lives not lived.  For fifteen years I cut my fingernails short on one hand for playing the guitar which I played maybe 10 times.  I got so annoyed I finally just cut all my fingernails short - got tired of the pending hope without action.  

I also have done some of the things you mentioned regarding "
Quote
things that worked in moving forward
" and would like to do some of that here in a structured way.  

Anyone else?  Like the daily check in regarding goals and the sharing of interests and validating daydreaming (hense my better relationships? posts..looking for green flags to dream of not just red ones to avoid).

Regarding
Quote
hobbies
and finding ones self, my self.....I read a book called something like "if i could do anyting" about finding rewarding work and in it the author talks about different types of people in respect to how they approach activities. Not having much of a childhood and being very isolated as a child I didn't have a reference for much regarding how I liked to do things.  I just survived.  I was so excited to discover I am a delver....weird because I am never calm enough to delve.  Yet, I recognized myself in what she wrote and knew immediately that was my true inner self.  The author wrote some things about being a delver who doesn't delve and noted that adults who were physically abused as children have a hard time delving.  I eagerly turned the page to see what to do about that delema but that was the only sentence she wrote about it.   :shock:  :cry:   The closest I have come to finding something that worked with that was I took a drawing class - I didn't follow through on attending for years, at first I just signed up and sometimes went to the building and didn't go inside.  When I finally did attend classes I noticed that I had a feeling like never before...after weeks of feeling something like emabarrassment for even being there I then began to feel sort of  calm and safe and it wasn't because I was enchanted with drawing.  I realized after many months that the mere presence of others was like permission.  I felt safe ...I needed social affirmation.  Once I felt that I didn't feel so stressed about drawing at home alone. I still have other major hurdles regarding doing things I enjoy though.  

Quote
taking a photograph of oneself as a toddler and talking to it lovingly, encouraging that little child
 I really encourage that one as it was ground breaking emotionally for me when I did that.  I had no photos of myself except two taken in college and a few of me when I was 3 and 4 which I took from my mother when i'd last seen her 20+ years ago.  I had lived in foster care and no one took pictures there.  Then later I felt unattractive so just avoided pictures.  I felt guilty for taking the pictures from my mother (who wouldn't give me one when I'd asked) so they stayed in a box for years.  Finally I took out the pictures when I was in my thirties and made a sort of collage and everytime i looked at them I felt innocent again. ( They are damaged now..some moisture got in between the plastic and the pictures so they are now sticking to the clear plastic  :cry: )  Still that was a huge help in my seeing myself as vulnerable and innocent and able to play...at least smile.  

I've got other questions I'll post later regarding other stuff you've mentioned....

Glad you posted here. Thank you.

Anonymous

  • Guest
Calyx recovery
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2003, 01:17:15 PM »
Hi Acapella,  :)

/////////I like your choice...the calyx name.///////


thanks!



 ///////////Sting's latest CD has a song, Never Coming Home, about a woman leaving a relationship...sneaking out in the middle of the night to go to a shelter and start a new life..lyrics include:

There’s a clock upon the table and
it’s burning up the hour
And you feel your life is shrinkin
like the petals of a flower ////////////



Oh I like's Sting's music.

Yes, no more shrinking petals. Let our petals, our lives, bloom and shine! I want to focus on that now, having a better life.




////////////Quote:
How can a person be so competent and confident in some areas and be so fragile in others?  
Isn't everyone is like that? A matter of degree?

I am interested in that verbose thing. My posts are long.  How do you see verbosity as related to fear of intimacy? I can see it as the flip side to voicelessness...over compensation or something. What distingishes verbosity from prolificness or just a need to vent? ///////////



hmmmm. Guess I know when I'm being verbose. I admire the shorter posts, the feeling of camaraderie I sense in them. I tend to lecture and play the professor, when actually I need encouragement, gentle conversation and loving support in friendly, relaxed ways, as well as discussing things deeply. Maybe my intellectualising is a wall I hide behind?

Also, I'm soooo TIRED of talking about negative things all the time, I desperately need to have easy camaraderie in which there is a relaxed tone, yet I don't think I am able to invite people into feeling easy with me.

When conversation sounds like patter it feels suffocatingly superficial and yet when it is too intellectual and negative it's exhausting. Boy, I didn't realise how demanding I am before I wrote that! LOL

oh well, guess I need to find some healthy balance there.

How do you feel about your communication Acapella?







//////////I can relate to many of the Quote:
defense mechanisms
you noted.
I have been cleaning like crazy since my husband left as though I needed to rid this place of his presence to make room for my own./////////



Yes, you might consider even ritualising his departure with a symbolc funeral burning of his name on a piece of paper, then 'purifying' the atmosphere with the burning of incense or something like that.

I love the song "I'm going to wash that man right out of my hair"...there is an Indian Yoga, Kriya Yoga, that is focused specifically on cleaning/washing as a symbol of transformation. That's why many Indians ritually wash in the Ganges, it's a yoga practice, symbolic of cleaning their mind and spirit.

That's all by way of validating your cleaning effort! Go for it!!! YAYYY cleaning!




//////////The opposite of marking ?  /////////


Yes.

Making the space YOURS.


/////////I realize though that playing my guitar I might have felt even stronger instead of cleaning.../////////




One doesn't have to be a substitute for the other. Both can co-exist. Do both. Clean and play!




////////trying hobbies requires also mourning the years I didn't do them //////////




YES! Well said! I think every hobby an ACON tries there is an initial, painful time of mourning that the hobby had been taken away, been wedged by the xN or abandoned by oneself. Layers of grieving and anger too before actually picking up a damn hobby for enjoyment. It makes it easy to say f-it, then no hobbies to avoid the grieving and anger that comes before...but I say feel the anger, feel the grieving...and have the hobby. Dammit, I want some enjoyment in my life now and it's worth the effort.





///////and confronting a feeling I have no control over being able to do them. I have boxes of papers in the garage that I refer to as my lives not lived. ///////////



ouch. OUCH!!!
Yes, that is so illuminating to me. My piles of paperwork may be charged with regret and resentment.

I guess one cannot live the lives one never lived but one CAN live the life one has left.



////////For fifteen years I cut my fingernails short on one hand for playing the guitar which I played maybe 10 times. I got so annoyed I finally just cut all my fingernails short - got tired of the pending hope without action. ////////



oh, that makes me cry, "hope without action" all those years of cutting your fingernails to play guitar. wow. And then giving up the hope.

I think ACONS and NCos trade in hope for the malignant optimism of the abused, as Sam calls the magical thinking that the N will heal/change/be nicer someday.

The malignant optimism as a defence mechanism, the enmeshment with the N, needs to be severed and cauterised, stopped. And real hope, for a real life, based on savvy, experience, practical knowledge needs to rise from the ashes. Reclaiming hope, ambition, inspiration, a sense of a good future is something that has been coming alive in me and it feels really good.




/////////I also have done some of the things you mentioned regarding "Quote:
things that worked in moving forward
" and would like to do some of that here in a structured way.

Anyone else? Like the daily check in regarding goals and the sharing of interests and validating daydreaming (hense my better relationships? posts..looking for green flags to dream of not just red ones to avoid). /////////



Well, let's have check ins then, as you feel like it and see if others join.
Yes, let's go for the green flags.






/////////Regarding Quote:
hobbies  
and finding ones self, my self.....I read a book called something like "if i could do anyting" about finding rewarding work and in it the author talks about different types of people in respect to how they approach activities. /////////


Oh that sounds so good. What did you get out of that book? Any tips or ideas you can think of?

I have a series of tapes by Barbara Sher called Dare To Live Your Dreams. It's good!!! I haven't listened to it in ages. It would be so nice to share the ideas here.






//////////Not having much of a childhood and being very isolated as a child I didn't have a reference for much regarding how I liked to do things. I just survived.///////////


I'm so sorry you had to just survive Acapella. That had to be so hard, so sad.

Yes, I think getting motivation is hard after it's been stomped on but without motivation to get out of the paralysis, it seems one is left with only despair and ashes.






 /////////I was so excited to discover I am a delver....weird because I am never calm enough to delve. Yet, I recognized myself in what she wrote and knew immediately that was my true inner self. The author wrote some things about being a delver who doesn't delve and noted that adults who were physically abused as children have a hard time delving. I eagerly turned the page to see what to do about that delema but that was the only sentence she wrote about it. //////////



wow, how interesting about delving! What does it mean to you? I'm a big delver into everything. That's my MAIN thing, delving. I LOVE delving! I call it Sherlock Holmesing, finding out about things, history, science, psychology, narratives.

I didn't know that adults who were physically abused as kids find it hard to delve. Maybe that's because the truth isn't permitted in an abusive environment  and it's all about false reflections and fake appearances.

I hate it when therapists or thinkers dig up interesting concepts for adults abused as kids and then offer no PRACTICAL ways of dealing with it or healing. I've experienced this in countless so-called self-help books. There is all this talk about the Abuser and the Victim and nothing  or all too little that's practical about HEALING the Damage, no path to wellness outlined. After 17 long years in therapy, 12-step meetings for abuse survivors, 4 years in online recovery groups, I'm sick of being in Victim mode and talking about Victim mode. Blech!!! Enough!







/////////The closest I have come to finding something that worked with that was I took a drawing class - I didn't follow through on attending for years, at first I just signed up and sometimes went to the building and didn't go inside. When I finally did attend classes I noticed that I had a feeling like never before...after weeks of feeling something like emabarrassment for even being there I then began to feel sort of calm and safe and it wasn't because I was enchanted with drawing. I realized after many months that the mere presence of others was like permission. I felt safe ...I needed social affirmation. Once I felt that I didn't feel so stressed about drawing at home alone. I still have other major hurdles regarding doing things I enjoy though. ///////////



OMG I experienced a very similar thing when I took watercolor classes!!! It was pre-verbal something, beyond words, an area of my mind that was soooo vulnerable, it was scary but also fun scary, I wanted to explore that. But the art instructor was not a well person and the class felt increasingly disturbing to me as he made sexually inappropriate remarks. So I left but I so wanted to take other art classes again.

C'mon Acapella, let's take an art class!!! I really want to do that!!!





/////////////Quote:
taking a photograph of oneself as a toddler and talking to it lovingly, encouraging that little child
I really encourage that one as it was ground breaking emotionally for me when I did that. I had no photos of myself except two taken in college and a few of me when I was 3 and 4 which I took from my mother when i'd last seen her 20+ years ago. I had lived in foster care and no one took pictures there. Then later I felt unattractive so just avoided pictures. ///////////



awww, Acapella, I'm so sorry you had to grow up in foster care and then felt unattractive, had no photos. I ran away at 15 and didn't have any photos of myself as a kid until I was in my 40's (I'm 50 now). Because the photos were taken by the momster I couldn't look at them really before now. I have a couple of myself as a toddler that I talk to lovinglyand it is REALLY comforting.







////////I felt guilty for taking the pictures from my mother (who wouldn't give me one when I'd asked) ///////////////



Yup, same with mine. ugh!!! Dammit!!! That makes me so angry!!!




/////////so they stayed in a box for years. Finally I took out the pictures when I was in my thirties and made a sort of collage and everytime i looked at them I felt innocent again./////////



ah yes. YAYYY feeling innocent again! You were innocent Acapella and I think it's important in this recovery to get in touch with one's basic innocence again. Not chronic naivete, which I think of as a defense mechanism, but core innocence. I think after knowing about the pathology of the N, studying it and knowing one's own ACON/NCo issues, one is savvy. So I say one comes to a kind of savvy innocence and that feels comfortable to me, being self-protective in savvy ways but having core innocence, freshness in my heart.




 ////////( They are damaged now..some moisture got in between the plastic and the pictures so they are now sticking to the clear plastic  ) //////





So take/send them to a photograph restorer right away!!! C'mon, you can do it. Those photographs are really meaningful to you.

http://www.grantsphotorestoration.com/pages/339931/index.htm

Grant's Photographic Restoration
825 E. McKellips Rd.
Tempe, Az. 85281
480-949-9611






///////Still that was a huge help in my seeing myself as vulnerable and innocent and able to play...at least smile. //////////





oh, that is very moving.


Let's work on playing more :lol:




/////////I've got other questions I'll post later regarding other stuff you've mentioned.... /////////



oh good. I look forward to talking with you.



////////Glad you posted here. Thank you./////////


aww thanks. I'm SO glad you responded!

love,
Nicky

Acappella (as guest)

  • Guest
FLOWER POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2003, 12:15:02 AM »
Hello there Nicky,

noticed a site that had the T word in it in your fun sites post....THRIVING?! I'll be checking that out for sure.  Enough of that survival stuff lets raise the standard.

Quote
Let's work on playing more

I’ll toy with that idea.  :D Will work for play!  :shock:

Quote
I want to focus on that now, having a better life.

 
Same Sting song:
“She’ll take a job she’ll find a friend
She’ll make a life that’s better.”

(In general, the song probably is more inspirational for someone in the process of leaving  a relationship but if you like Sting I bet you'ld really like his latest CD..it seems the best ever phenonmenal amalgamation of talents - layers upon layers....that song is so energizing - its tempo is like a heart beating at a pace between fear and excitement that never stops moving forward, movement double time like tap dancing up an escalator or along the isle of a moving train.)  

Quote
OMG I experienced a very similar thing when I took watercolor classes!!!


Quote
I left but I so wanted to take other art classes again.


WANTED…your wrote that (felt that?) in past tense....  has some part of you given up even while you say "lets take an art class"?  When I catch myself saying "i wanted" while asking for or wanting something in the present i also notice a sense of hesitancy is beneath my past tensing...just shy of saying I DO WANT.

:?: Why haven't you gone to another one yet?   :(

 :?: Did you speak to him - that art letcher...oh i mean teacher?  Do you wish you had?  Did you speak to others in the class about what you felt?  If not do you wish you had?  If so, what do you feel you would have needed to do so?

I am so sorry that the art teacher spewed his murky self-indulgence among the unsuspecting somewhat captive audience of the class, your water color class.  I would like to be in that sort of situation with a friend and suport one another in being assertive and confront him tactfully about the effects of his behavior.  

I'd love to have a support group where we actively supported one another with stuff like that.  Support field trips not just sitting in a room talking about stuff.

Preverbal...yes, drawing and water color etc. is visual poetry..suspended expanded multidimentionality of a moment vs. linear sentences.

Quote
Oh that sounds so good. What did you get out of that book? Any tips or ideas you can think of?

I read it years ago.  I mostly just got a sense of buried true self and a sense of frustration about how to access it/me.  I did however get clearer that I had a need to focus and have obstacles to overcome in order to do so. If I find it in one of my boxes of books I’ll revisit it and pass along some of it here.

Quote
I have a series of tapes by Barbara Sher called Dare To Live Your Dreams. It's good!!! I haven't listened to it in ages. It would be so nice to share the ideas here.

I’d like that.


Quote
I need encouragement, gentle conversation and loving support in friendly, relaxed ways, as well as discussing things deeply.


Yeah, me too.   What you describe as a counterbalance/companion to intellect and depth sounds to me like what acknowledged vulnerability feels like.  

 :?: Are you finding that?  DId you write you have started a group? What is that like for you?   How did you start your group?  How long ago?  How is it going? What do you do in it? Do you have sponsors like the 12 step groups?

 
Quote
I hate it when therapists or thinkers dig up interesting concepts for adults abused as kids and then offer no PRACTICAL ways of dealing with it or healing. I've experienced this in countless so-called self-help books. There is all this talk about the Abuser and the Victim and nothing or all too little that's practical about HEALING the Damage, no path to wellness outlined. After 17 long years in therapy, 12-step meetings for abuse survivors, 4 years in online recovery groups, I'm sick of being in Victim mode and talking about Victim mode. Blech!!! Enough!
YES!  I HEAR YA!  How about thriving?!  I got real tired of the surviver title....I call this inbetween stage thrival.  

I have been reading a book I first looked at because its title focused on keys to happiness.. – childhood keys to adult happiness (I am looking mostly for contentment not happiness though).  I wish it had more examples of how to develop those keys as adults who did not do so as children but that is what I am working towards using the book.  The five keys are: Connection, Play, Practice, Mastery and Recognition.  The author believes (and sites extensive longitudinal research corroborating his belief) that connection is the most crucial.  When I look at those keys, the other four besides connection, they seem to be forms of connection: play is a kind of relaxed engagement outside our self, practice is connection/intimacy with action, mastery is just another level, higher degree of intimacy (connection with action), recognition is connection with action that is in turn connected/acknowledged socially.  The author does note that he did not have enough connection as a child and so works at making connections each and every day.  All very inteesting and I could die of thirst reading about water…..

Thank you so much for your specific, actual, enthusiastic support.  I don't have the words to describe how strong i felt right after reading that - that you put an actual link and address in too!  I need more of that in my life...I need friends who want to exchange substative support.  

Quote
Go for it!!! YAYYY cleaning!  Making the space YOURS.  Clean and play!
but I say feel the anger, feel the grieving...and have the hobby. Dammit, I want some enjoyment in my life now and it's worth the effort.


Yeah damn it! Thanks.
 
Quote
delving! What does it mean to you?

To me, delving is commitment to intimacy, IMMERSION, focus, the result of (and a means to?) feeling safe enough, calm enough to focus and abandon being viligantly aware of context (internal or external) & just fully experiencing focused action.  Delving is the sort of sustained focus with which one comes to know something so well that they can then play with it -like when a tennis racket or musical instrument becomes an intimate extension of oneself.  It is a sort of practice and play and mastery.  Like a painter that knows blue so intimately that they understand a hundred variations of it.  I believe delving is a sort of intimacy that has a spiritual quality to it -connection extraordinaire - an active  coexistence of self and other.  

Wow, you too...left on your own so young and no pictures.   :(

Quote
Yup, same with mine. ugh!!! Dammit!!! That makes me so angry!!!

Ah, now if IT would only MAKE us feel like taking pictures, painting etc. with a vengeance!  If I could turn my anger at my husband/the lack of love and support and plethera of punishment into productive creativity I'd be one with my darned guitar.  

Quote
I'm so sorry you had to just survive Acapella. That had to be so hard, so sad.

Thank you and what I am sorry about is, what is hard and sad is the life I am living/surviving now!  Childhood and my twenties were easier as I was out of touch with alternatives and also filled with energy and that sense of immortality, endless time feeling of youth.

Quote
Yes, I think getting motivation is hard after it's been stomped on but without motivation to get out of the paralysis, it seems one is left with only despair and ashes.

 :? Self perpetuating cycles are dizzing.

Quote
I didn't know that adults who were physically abused as kids find it hard to delve. Maybe that's because the truth isn't permitted in an abusive environment and it's all about false reflections and fake appearances.

She didn't site any studies that I recall and I feel it it makes sense...all that denial of self (scarsity..if i get then someone else looses...shame etc.)  compounded with hyper vigilant scanning of every horizon for danger – hard to focus with the hot breath of a hungry tiger on ones neck.  Also, not knowing the flavor, scent –  the sensations that comprise peace (not having delved in it as a child) I have found it hard then to strive for it to even know it was missing and then how to find it and recognize it.

When i first read your comment about chronic naiveté vs innocence and savvy and core innocence I thought it was interesting and then I had a knock the wind outta my soul big bang epiphany...I really felt that distinction last night...from interesting to whoaaa!  more later on that one.  Thanks for the tip about that distinction.

acappella

Anonymous

  • Guest
Re: FLOWER POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2003, 03:42:07 PM »
Quote from: Acappella
Hello there Nicky,




Dear Acapella,
ah, wow, what a beautiful, amazing, deep, rich, powerful, interesting reply your last post was/is. wow.

My heart is beaming and brimming. Thank you. What a joy to talk with you. You are an amazing person, you know that!?

I have no idea how to do the quote thing you do so neatly. I'm on the learning curve here. Will you tell me please how to quote your post when I reply without having to paste it the way I did? Maybe if I press the quote button before the text to be quoted and then after it will work? Will try that. This is an interesting board and has features I've never seen before in a recovery group, like how many times one's posts has been seen. I was getting pissed, lonely and then feeling rejected that my posts were looked at but nobody responded. In the online recovery groups I feel like  kid in kindergarten again, delicate somehow! LOL!

A month or two ago I Windexed my keyboard and the letters 'o' and 'i' have been sticky ever since. Since that time my posts have been extra freckled with typos. Ya spose I should invest the 20 bucks and get a new keyboard?




Quote
noticed a site that had the T word in it in your fun sites post....THRIVING?! I'll be checking that out for sure.  Enough of that survival stuff lets raise the standard.


Ah, now I see how to do it. Highlight the text then press quote. Wow, that's a handy tool. Cool.

Yes, I thought "thriving" was an excellent idea but I don't actually hear much talk about thriving in the thriving sites. I guess it's REALLY, really, really hard to stop talking about being a Victim with other victims. Or maybe to talk about thriving when the thriving force has a foundation in the fertile ground of having been a Victim.

I've never talked about this with anybody before but there seem to be a lot of authors who get their insipration from pain and woundedness, as if their senses are all the more alive and quivering with sensitivity because of their suffering...that the poetry is finer with the shadow being a wounded subtext. That artistry leaves me feeling melancholy.

Last night I was buying stuff in a local drug store: hair dye to touch up my darkening blond roots, mini pocket-bottles of hand sanitiser to avoid the flu germs, 81 mgs of apirin, enteric coated to take regularly to avoid stroke and heart attack, now that I'm post menopausal and a bottle of spray candy, "Blue raspberry". I'd never seen spray candy before and it seemed like a good idea, get the taste without major calories but when I tried it my tonge and teeth turned purple blue! ROFL!!! It was hilarious!! I looked like one of those dogs! LOL! And it went all over my lips too! LOL!

Anyway...apart from the Dumb and Dumber shopping experience while buying otherwise grown up stuff, lol, the John Denver song came over the ceiling speakers, Sunshine On My Shoulders. OMG, that is a beautiful song! I stood there in bliss -not yet with the blue mouth- soaking in that slow heaven of a song. I wish there were more songs and art like that too, that are blissful. I'm going to make that a priority, to seek out blissful music and art this year.





Quote
Let's work on playing more

I’ll toy with that idea.  :D Will work for play!  :shock: [/quote]



oooh, you are funny!
There is a cool book by one of my fav authors called Play by Diane Ackerman. She's a scientist, who delves into the mind and I suppose she's a wonderful person too because her books have that feeling about them. Her book, A Natural History Of Love, explained to me why men are the way they are and women are the way they are about love and sex. It made great sense of the entire subject in really INTERESTING ways.

I think this play idea is actually a deep one, worth toying with. :-)

 

 
Quote
if you like Sting I bet you'ld really like his latest CD..it seems the best ever phenonmenal amalgamation of talents - layers upon layers....that song is so energizing - its tempo is like a heart beating at a pace between fear and excitement that never stops moving forward, movement double time like tap dancing up an escalator or along the isle of a moving train.)  


I'm buying his CD today. Thank you for the recommendation. What a great description you wrote.

Hey, how about we start a thread with recovery music, for post detaching from Ns, uplifting songs, enlivening, inspiring music?



quote]
Quote
OMG I experienced a very similar thing when I took watercolor classes!!!


Quote
I left but I so wanted to take other art classes again.


WANTED…your wrote that (felt that?) in past tense....  has some part of you given up even while you say "lets take an art class"?  When I catch myself saying "i wanted" while asking for or wanting something in the present i also notice a sense of hesitancy is beneath my past tensing...just shy of saying I DO WANT.
:?: Why haven't you gone to another one yet?   :( [/quote]


Good question. I was hurt by the ending of that class and got stuck in feeling wounded. I never realised it before now and really appreciate your having given me the opportunity with your queston to see that.



 
Quote
Did you speak to him - that art letcher...oh i mean teacher?  Do you wish you had?  Did you speak to others in the class about what you felt?  If not do you wish you had?  If so, what do you feel you would have needed to do so?I am so sorry that the art teacher spewed his murky self-indulgence among the unsuspecting somewhat captive audience of the class, your water color class.  I would like to be in that sort of situation with a friend and suport one another in being assertive and confront him tactfully about the effects of his behavior
.  



I've never talked about this before fully in a recovery forum and it means a LOT to me. Thank you. What happened was the art teacher 'joked' about sex in the class and while I was painting I felt especially child-like. That brought up painful memories of having been incested and sexually abused as a kid, in particuluar by a late famous artist, Joseph Cornell, who was a pedophile my momster was seducing in the late 1960's.

Joseph's art was/is quite amazing, magical, dreamy, elegantly mysterious in a child-like way. He was Schizoid, lived as a recluse in Utopia Parkway, Flushing, Queens. My momster saw his art at a friend's party and heard he 'had a thing' for little girls. I, age 11, was subsequently put into a taxi cab and taken to his place by my momster. I was told bluntly that this man had a thing for little girls and I was supposed to 'behave' because the momster wanted his art, to have and to sell. On some sick level she connected with this man's pedophilia as well as with his artistry. I was basically pimped to this artist from that time on until he died when I was 19. He never touched me but he sexualised me in a number of ways.

When I walked into his sad, lonely house that first day
I met him, I was horrified to see in the foyer a life-sized porcelain doll in a Victorian glass showcase, with all these braches in front of her. It was like a dead child in the forest. It was scary. It was sort of necrophilic.

He used the image of a bird as a symbol of a penis and the nest as a symbl of a vagina, telling the momster this, sending me 'love' letters using this imagery, he was fetishistic about little girls' clothing, it was disgusting. Being used this way was a kind of torment that left no bruises, it was crazy-making. The momster and Joseph had pedophilic telephone conversations, all kinds of sicko wordplay, she bragged about giving him fellatio when he was a virgin at 63.

All the while his artwork amazed me, as I was also revolted by it, knowing about its obsesson with pedophilia.

The momster milked this man for artwork for 8 years, selling his stuff, becoming an 'expert' on this man, who was manipulated by her. My baby sister, who was 5 when she was first pimped to Joseph, was conscripted as well into this disgusting mess. There were other little girls in this, a childhood friend, whose momster was a 'close friend' of my momster and was using Joseph in the same way. Her little girl grew up to become an artist mimicking Joseph's style of making collages in boxes, which I have also been tempted to do. It's a strange and disturbing thing to talk about.

I see that now is the time to detox this so I can move forward in my own endeavoring to do artwork.

What happened with this art instructor I took watercolor classes from was that his wife is the daughter of a famous sculptor and I made the mistake of telling the art teacher about what happened with me as a kid with Joseph Cornell. He told his wife and one night when I was with the artist teacher and his wife, she started ridiculing that I had been hurt by Joseph's pedophilia, saying I should have seen it as a privilege. I felt disbelieved and deeply hurt, so much so that I never wanted to see the artist or his wife again.

That wound remained unresolved, undiscussed to this day. I am SO angry!!! I'm angry with myself for telling inappropriate people about my having been sexually manipulated abused as a child. I'm angry with the wife of this artist teacher that she spoke to me in such a way. I'm angry with the artist teacher, who said he was in therapy, for not protecting me from his wife's ridiculing me and denigrating the pain I experienced having been part of this awful scheme of my momster's (one of many, in which my innocence as a child was exploited sexually for her sick 'gratification'.).

I'm angry now that I see how artistically blocked I've been all these years since that happened and that the old friend who introduced me to that artist and his wife didn't get how much that scene had hurt me. It felt like he betrayed me also.

Oh what a tangled mess that was in my head until this post when I see the pieces more clearly and the feelings. Oh, I just had a rant session in my apartmetn and let the anger out! What a RELIEF!!!!

I did confront the artist teacher and his wife both in person and over the phone but they are shut down people, emotionally unawake and part of the NYC sordid art scene that gets sustenance and thrills like vampires on dark negativity, like cockroaches of the art world. Blech!!!

So that garbage needed to be seen and it was stuck in me until now. Thank you Acapella for the opportunity to release this pain and move forward.




Quote
I'd love to have a support group where we actively supported one another with stuff like that.  Support field trips not just sitting in a room talking about stuff
.



wow, "support field trip". What an amazing idea. Honestly, you just took me on a support field trip with your post. I feel very energised and released from the arthritis of the unresolved pain.

But I know what you mean. Actual meeting in person support field trips.
The only thing I can recommend is writing check in posts with work accomplished and sharing it here...or in other post detaching from Ns recovery support groups.


 

Quote
Preverbal...yes, drawing and water color etc. is visual poetry..suspended expanded multidimentionality of a moment vs. linear sentences
.


oooh, nicely said!!!


Quote
Quote
Oh that sounds so good. What did you get out of that book? Any tips or ideas you can think of?

I read it years ago.  I mostly just got a sense of buried true self and a sense of frustration about how to access it/me.  I did however get clearer that I had a need to focus and have obstacles to overcome in order to do so. If I find it in one of my boxes of books I’ll revisit it and pass along some of it here.




Good idea. Any ideas you have about connecting with/expressing the true self I'm interested in.




Quote
Quote
I need encouragement, gentle conversation and loving support in friendly, relaxed ways, as well as discussing things deeply.


Yeah, me too.   What you describe as a counterbalance/companion to intellect and depth sounds to me like what acknowledged vulnerability feels like.  




wow, "acknowledged vulnerability" what a great phrase and concept. I've never heard of it before and am very interested in it. Yes, that is exactly what it is and I would suppose that what I think of as healthy mutual trust and intimacy could be called mutually acknowledged vulnerability and mutual healthy support of the other, with mutual good will,  while not caretaking.

 
Quote
:?: Are you finding that?  DId you write you have started a group? What is that like for you?   How did you start your group?  How long ago?  How is it going? What do you do in it? Do you have sponsors like the 12 step groups?




Yes, I started a couple of groups for this calyx stage. Calyx and Calyx2. Today I will make make Calyx3 with the hope that you or others might like to share there. The reason I have gone on to make a second Calyx2 is that in these groups there has been a LOT of sharing of personal details, offline names of relatives, friends, personal information that isn't safe or desired to be shared with anybdy else with whom there has not been earned trust over time. Due to 2 of the members moving across country, buying new houses and being up to their ears in a whole new lifestyle, new jobs etc they were unable to continue in the group at this time. I feel their privately shared posts need to remain private and mine too until I know a person better and they know me better also.


This calyx recovery has definitely, imo, got a pattern to it and the daily checking in posts are, imo, what work best to move forward, as well as connecting in positive ways. It's very interesting to observe the spikes of jagged pain that come up as the moving forward progresses, then times of feeling triumphant then times of feeling more content, more at ease, which become more frequent. But the pain still comes up once in a while and that is something of a surprise but also not.

The groups are tiny, with 3 people then 5 then 3. So in a way we are all each other's sponsor. It's a peer group.





 
Quote
I got real tired of the surviver title....I call this inbetween stage thrival
.  

ROFL. Reading that "thrival" word I laughed till I cried. It's a wonderful WORD!! I LOVE IT!

Quote
I have been reading a book I first looked at because its title focused on keys to happiness.. – childhood keys to adult happiness (I am looking mostly for contentment not happiness though).




Excellent point about the contentment being a goal better than happiness. I like joy though too. Maybe contentment speckled with occasional joy?



 
Quote
I wish it had more examples of how to develop those keys as adults who did not do so as children





So let's make our own examples here!


 
Quote
but that is what I am working towards using the book.  The five keys are: Connection, Play, Practice, Mastery and Recognition.[/u
]


wow.
Connection
Play
Practice
Mastery
Recognition

hmm. My immediate thoughts on that are that the concept of individuation is missing. My theory, based on object relations theory, is that kids have two tasks to accomplish in childhood, to connect and to individuate. Ns cannot connect, they are merged. Ns cannot individuate, they abandon.

Connecting with the Primary Caretakers (people who are practcally caring for the child in infancy ie the parents and other caretakers) allows the infant to connect with reality, be mirrored, heard, resonate. Absorbing this connection internally, cathecting, is called object constancy because the Primary Caretakers are imagined by the infant in a personal way, called Primary Objects ie mental/emotional objects. And the messages of the Primary Caretakers are called introjects.

Individuating from the Primary Caretakers is also important because otherwise the child remains merged with the Primary Caretakers and sees them only as extensions. When the Primary Caretakers are well internalised with object constancy, the child can then get used to separating from the Primary Caretakers and explore the world, feeling interally and externally safe and held.

How Ns are formed, as far as I know, in infancy/childhood, is that they were engulfed by a needy sMother, who turned to the infant to get her own needs met, didn't mirror the infant well enough and didn't allow healthy individuation but was emotionally incestuous.

Or the N had an abandoning MoMster, who was so negligent the infant wasn't cared for enough and didn't get connection or individuation. Or got smothered and abandoned together, beaten, incested.

Childen of Ns who didn't become Ns themselves had just enough good enough loving, from people other than Ns, to be able to connect and individuate but not enough healthy connecting and individuating not to be scarred and left with the burden of having to learn how to connect and individuate in healthy ways in adulthood.

I see the indivuation issues in ACONs and NCos as abandonment issues that need healing. And both the connecting and individuatoin issues as fear of intimacy issues that result in the approach/avoidance dance with friends.



Quote
The author believes (and sites extensive longitudinal research corroborating his belief) that connection is the most crucial.  When I look at those keys, the other four besides connection, they seem to be forms of connection: play is a kind of relaxed engagement outside our self, practice is connection/intimacy with action, mastery is just another level, higher degree of intimacy (connection with action), recognition is connection with action that is in turn connected/acknowledged socially.  The author does note that he did not have enough connection as a child and so works at making connections each and every day.  All very inteesting and I could die of thirst reading about water…..




In your estimation of yourself, do you think you have connection issues and do they manifest in your life? How?

I think I have connection issues that manifest when I feel the other person needing me too much. I feel overwhelmed when people talk about their suffering so much that they seem to be asking me to mother them, not just sometimes but when the mothering seems to be CONSTANT and with many, many recovery friends I seem to cause or else be the person who they turn to for constant mothering with almost no positive, practical feedback when it comes to my own needing mothering. This is a sick patten I need to heal. It feels like their needs are endless and I feel suffocated when they don't also acknowledge what is going well in their lives, like there is some sort of containment for their suffering and it isn't endless.

With the individuation issues I think I have sought distractions, like caretaking others, about which I have angry feelings, because I have self-abandoned for so long I feel it really hard to focus on my own life. I want help but I'm afraid of feeling in somebody else's control, I feel scared of trusting others with such a vulnerable part of myself and yet falsely intimate if I don't share the vulnerable part of myself.

I want to be in peer relationships with vulnerable people who are taking care of their own needs and also sharing their weaknesses, absorbing the good will and support they get, in some sort of peer give and take, sharing and supporting but not abject neediness.

That sounds very fussy now I've written it. But that's what I would like.

What would you like in the way of a support group for this stage of your life?




Quote
Thank you so much for your specific, actual, enthusiastic support.  I don't have the words to describe how strong i felt right after reading that - that you put an actual link and address in too!  I need more of that in my life...I need friends who want to exchange substative support.




wow, thanks for saying that Acapella, for your kind and positive words. It means a lot to me.

Here are a couple of other links:

NoNarcissistsAllowed at YahooGroups

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/NoNarcissistsAllowed/

"This is a place where adult children of Narcissistic parents are defining themselves. Who they are, what they want to do in life, who they want to be. It is a place for sharing positive experiances and achievements and for gaining support and motivation from others. Because narcissists use others as mirrors their children emerge to adulthood with little sense of self or identity. Here is where you can define who you are. Please leave your narcissist at the door and discover yourself! "

The NoNarcissistsAllowed group was started by TightShoez, Jessica, who started another wonderful group for Adults of Narcissistic Parents at YahooGroups:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AdultsRecoveringFrom-NarcissiticParents

I just this minute started the Calyx3 group. The URL is here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Calyx3/


You can start your own group in literally about 5 minutes at YahooGroups by pressing the Start a Group link:
http://groups.yahoo.com/start

You need to sign up with Yahoo here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/



 

Quote
To me, delving is commitment to intimacy, IMMERSION, focus, the result of (and a means to?) feeling safe enough, calm enough to focus and abandon being viligantly aware of context (internal or external) & just fully experiencing focused action.  Delving is the sort of sustained focus with which one comes to know something so well that they can then play with it -like when a tennis racket or musical instrument becomes an intimate extension of oneself.  It is a sort of practice and play and mastery.  Like a painter that knows blue so intimately that they understand a hundred variations of it.  I believe delving is a sort of intimacy that has a spiritual quality to it -connection extraordinaire - an active  coexistence of self and other.  



How interesting. There is actually a part of the brain, the pre-frontal cortex, that specialises in delving and is where people feel "one with God" or "union with the Universe". It's written about in a cool book called:

Why God Won't Go Away : Brain Science and the Biology of Belief
by Andrew Newberg, Eugene G. D'Aquili, Vince Rause, Andrew B. Newberg

and talked about in a number of sites like:
http://www.godpart.com/


My theory is that Ns don't allow their kids to delve and connect because Nparents need the ATTENTION of their kids, the narcissistic supply and this leaves their kids aching for connection, for union and susceptible to cults, to N leaders, to merging with Ns or unable to connect well with the world or people, or both. I think that recovering NCo literally change their brains in recovery and especially in the calyx part of their recovery, post detaching internally and externally from Ns.

I never used the word delve in relation to ecovery before you brought it up. It's an excellent word and concept. Thank you.


Quote

Ah, now if IT would only MAKE us feel like taking pictures, painting etc. with a vengeance!  If I could turn my anger at my husband/the lack of love and support and plethera of punishment into productive creativity I'd be one with my darned guitar.  



Interesting. I do take pictures now but have not organised them into albums. I'd like to work on that this year, making photo albums of recent photographs. And connecting with my creativity.

I'd like to suggest that you consider looking at your guitar. Is it in the room with you?

It does take baby step to practise, day in and day out over time to develop union with an instrument or tool. I encourage you to take baby steps towards your guitar.


Quote
what I am sorry about is, what is hard and sad is the life I am living/surviving now!  Childhood and my twenties were easier as I was out of touch with alternatives and also filled with energy and that sense of immortality, endless time feeling of youth.



Oh you mean doing a Lazarus is hard? Well we are coming back from the land of the dead in many ways (Ns are the living dead to me, Zombies of a sort, and we surved relationships with these people and shut down as part of the enduring.) and doing very powerful, meaningful awakening...coming out of denial is huge, it's almost impossible to achieve and we did that. Then there is SEEING the abusers. That's huge. Most people don't ever really SEE their abusers clearly. Then we NAMED the abusers, found out the abusers were/are Ns. That's huge. I knew for many years my abusers were abusive but never understood HOW they were abusive or WHY. Now I get it and that allowed me to DETACH. That's huge. Detaching leaves the victim of abuse to focus on their own life. That's amazing and also an incredible accomplishment.

It's not merely surviving...it's awakening and coming into one's life. So, you are not 20 any more. Congratulations on surviving the 20's. It takes an astonishing amount of physical stamina to come out of denial at any age and to work on one's recovery. You did that. Now to move forward. You can and you will if you want.




Quote

all that denial of self (scarsity..if i get then someone else looses...shame etc.)  compounded with hyper vigilant scanning of every horizon for danger – hard to focus with the hot breath of a hungry tiger on ones neck.



ooooh, so beautifully described!!! Wow. Yes. That's exactly how it is.



Quote
Also, not knowing the flavor, scent –  the sensations that comprise peace (not having delved in it as a child) I have found it hard then to strive for it to even know it was missing and then how to find it and recognize it.




Oh       my           God      !!!
That makes SO MUCH SENSE!!!!!!

Wow, yes. That's why I think it's important for a while to just do pleasant things so one gets the hang of pleasantness, even as pain is coming up, the shadow of the ancient wounds and still go to concerts, museums, get a massage, go to a spa, have a manicure, take a bike ride, go out with somebody pleasant and mostly talk about pleasant stuff.

I think it takes a while to practice dong pleasant stuff. The first step I found in this was naming my preferences. That meant going online and looking at stuff and seeing what it is that I actually LIKE. I downloaded the images of what I like into a YahooGroup, so I store it and 'have it' as a reminder of what pleases me, it's my treasure. If you want to know how to do this, make a yahoo group just for your stuff, just for you.

When you come to an image of what you like on the web, right click it and where it says Save Picture As, left click that once. It will be kept in your My Pictures file on your computer which you can upload to the photos or Files part of your Yahoo group. I can walk you through that if you like. I don't know what you know about all this. I'm no expert by any means but I can save images and it's really cool to have my personal collection.

Another recovery friend of mine did that with fairy art on the web and science stuff she likes. Saving images really helped her and making my own collection helped me too. It was learning about our preferences and that seems to be very meaningful at this time. I don't think I'd learned my preferences before, I just allowed others to have preferences and hid mine.





Quote
When i first read your comment about chronic naiveté vs innocence and savvy and core innocence I thought it was interesting and then I had a knock the wind outta my soul big bang epiphany...I really felt that distinction last night...from interesting to whoaaa!  more later on that one.  Thanks for the tip about that distinction.



Yup, that was an amzing epiphany for me too. I asked about it in the object relations group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/object-relations/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/object-relations/message/818

and got a couple of replies, one of which is in the group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/object-relations/message/828

Basically chronic naivete is a defense mechanism and sadly leads to getting abused over and over. In a way it invites abuse by not seeing the abuser. It's also a kind of selective blindness taught by abusers to their children.


I look forward to reading any post you write here!

Wish good wishes. It's been wonderful talking with you.

love,
Nicky

Acappella (delogged)

  • Guest
Calyx recovery
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2004, 01:07:44 PM »
Quote
My heart is beaming and brimming.
Ah, that would be a bit of thrival, eh?  :D

Your post is so full of rich treasures I will be pacing my responses over a long while.

Quote
visual poetry..suspended expanded multidimentionality of a moment
unfortunately that description ALSO applies to moments of contortion and emotional decay like the ones the adults around you were suspended in.  I am soooo sorry.   How did you ever keep any sanity/know there were alternatives to those people?   In my childhood I was rejected in many ways, isolated which has brought its own variety of struggle & ALSO I have often considered how hard it would have been to break free had some wackos "accepted" me, had extended use for me.  It takes a village to raise a child and to bury one.   :cry: I imagine you have a wealth of intimate knowledge about "individuation" amidst "belonging".

Quote
Her little girl grew up to become an artist mimicking Joseph's style of making collages in boxes, which I have also been tempted to do. It's a strange and disturbing thing to talk about.


Do you feel she got any relief?  Was her mimicking done as if hypnotized or in defiance?  Or?  I am wondering if some form of that and your temptation could be an instinctual move towards something healing - going right to the place you fear most to reclaim your independence?  Sounds to me that if you made a dark piece of art that you could do so without using some inncent human prop and that because of your having a sense of lightness as well you could leave the peice rather than move into it for ever as did that man and your momster.  Perahps that would be a way of facing the fear, reclaiming your own darkside and really feel that it will not consume you this time as it is YOURS to hold and release as you see fit? Perhaps a piece with the life-sized porcelain doll breaking free?  

I am glad you have confronted some of these people.  I know that part of my struggle since graduation to being better able to confront people (long way to go on that one still) is to then accept the distance between us, the rejection or rather the lack of acceptance - this struggle manifests in me also as a sort of naieve disbelief in their not making the and so my not getting a connection, social validation.

I like your eloquent contrasts:
Quote
quivering sensitivity, suffering, shadow of wounded subtext
followed by
Quote
soaking in the slow heaven of a song
.   and spray candy.   :D The image of a woman in the second half of her century (aka over the 50 hill)  swaying blissfully to sunshine on my shoulders with candy blue lips a dark roots in a drug store isle that is priceless!  
Quote
oooh, you are funny!


Quote
acknowledged vulnerability
I was inspired to phrase it that way based on the feeling I got looking at the We are S.A.V.E.D. web page.  Maybe I got it literally from there?  

Quote
Hey, how about we start a thread with recovery music, for post detaching from Ns, uplifting songs, enlivening, inspiring music?

Sounds great and I have am working to be more focused...avoid distraction too as you noted.  I think that will be a wonderful thread and I am not going to be allocating time for now to creating new threads.    

Ya got the quotes! I still don’t know how to use many of the features for posting and have made many a messy post especially when posting as a guest and I can’t go back therefore and edit after posting.  Good exercise in not being a perfectionist. Took me at least a month to discover the the "Preview" button right next to the "submit" button - it lets you see what your post will look like posted but before you've actually submitted it. No spell check though.  Again, for me...a good exercise in not being a perfectionist.  :D

Quote
I was getting pissed, lonely and then feeling rejected that my posts were looked at but nobody responded. In the online recovery groups I feel like kid in kindergarten again, delicate somehow!
There is that vulnerability thing again.  yeah, I find this is a great place to notice my feelings and especially reactions while interacting with others  at a pace slower (yet only slightly less emabarassing sometimes) and therefore easier to pay attention to than in real time.  

Quote
what I think of as healthy mutual trust and intimacy could be called mutually acknowledged vulnerability and mutual healthy support of the other, with mutual good will, while not caretaking
That is a distinction I am grappling with.  Caretaking is a GOOD thing and i even believe the catch phrase "co-dependent" has along with the intended disfunction caught in its broadly cast net some vital interdependency.

Quote
My immediate thoughts on that are that the concept of individuation is missing. My theory, based on object relations theory, is that kids have two tasks to accomplish in childhood, to connect and to individuate
How ironic that the former might just depend so despirately on the later?

That object relations stuff to which you refer sounds facinating as do the books...putting that on my list.

Quote

In your estimation of yourself, do you think you have connection issues and do they manifest in your life? How?


I will respond to your question but as I have done so much mulling over of that I am going to take some time to try and be concise... and read again what you wrote as you wrote a lot for consideration.  For now I will say that too little connection is what I believe has led me to a perilous sort of dependence.

Quote
when the mothering seems to be CONSTANT and with many, many recovery friends I seem to cause or else be the person who they turn to for constant mothering with almost no positive, practical feedback when it comes to my own needing mothering.


I've experienced imbalance in both directions
- some "friendships" seeming to require I be the only one vulnerable enough to express sadness, fear, imperfections etc. (not directly expressed need for nurturing and yet at least a hint, a sign of neediness) and yet the quality of response is sabotaged by my not asking for nurturance and their not being vulnerable enough to admit having any problems nor needing nurturing too - which also means they (neither of us really) are not intimately familiar enough with nurturing to give quality nurturing anyway though they may see themselves as a caretaker.  Perhaps that is a sort of cycle of roles that can't move forward.  STUCKNESS.l  Also, I've heard good parenting described as giving children "roots and wings".  So some nurturing may be imbalanced in one or the other direction.  I have a lot to learn and frankly as a species I feel we have a lot to learn about caring for one another properly.  

Likewise I have had relationships where I am not "allowed" to be vulnerable and weak and needy at all which has in turn compromised my ability to be strong.  OH, the ironies!  It all has to do with scarcity, roles and vulnerability i believe and yet have not manifested my understanding in balanced, turn taking relationships yet.

I believe too that if socially there is too little nurturing going around then even a healthy amount of need expressed by someone can get dumped on the few who respond - so that IT is TOO much for one yet not TOO much to need.  When I spread my need around (share the joy  :lol: ) then no one source is so vital..on the other hand concentrating need and exchange in fewer relationships means the quality, customization of care is greater.  balance, balance, balance.  Ah and I only get one lifetime for all this. YEEESH!

Yes, the guitar is in the room with me.  Its silent strings stiffly MOCKING my fear all the while!   :cry:  :D  :cry:  :D  :D  :D  :shock:

THANK YOU FOR ASKING!

AND :oops: geepers...I thank you for your compliments.    

Now if only I were employed!

Read ya later.
Take care.

eyeswideopen

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
help
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2004, 03:23:13 PM »
This is my first attempt at a chat room, may be a bit technically challenged at first.  

I am very new to the subject of NPD, as to the request of our marriage counselor, I was not to make mention of my spouses disorder to my spouse.  

But, since the counselor is on holiday and my NPD left (with no regard to my feelings, or course) the kids and I for Hawaii,  I thought I would take this time to recoup my energy and  educate myself.  So here I am.  Is there anyway out of this nitemare?

CC

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 151
Calyx recovery
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2004, 04:53:03 PM »
Nickyskye and Accapella,

I dare not engage in the involved banter betwixt the two of you but had to make amused mention that it is official.... you two have won the prize for the longest posts EVER on this website!!!!!
                  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:
CC - 'If it sucks longer than an hour, get rid of it!'

Acappella

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
acceptance
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2004, 09:57:25 PM »
Hi CC,

acceptance speech:  Yup.

P.S. you're traveled to the end of this thread but haven't yet fled so do dare to bare banter betwixed and between cause even we know that lean too is keen.  :D

Acappella

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
Calyx recovery
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2004, 10:58:52 PM »
Hi eyeswideopen,

i like your name and that is the first step outta the nightmare isn't it?  

other ones that come to mind are:
-going to therapy (by the way liked your therapists advice).
-taking really good care of yourself - pamper you.
-taking care of your children
-find people who support you
-try not to obsess on the N traited person but rather focus on you.
remeber it isn't your fault that an N trated person resorts to the behavior that they resort to.  They were trained and became experts long before they met you.  
-Likewise, my belief is we partners in such relationships were also trained somehow to accept that behavior, desire it and/or tune it out and are perpetuating our early training by keeping our eyes closed.
-know that while there are shared patterns we each have very unique manifestations and so the way out depends on the particular nature of our own nightmare as much as it depends on nightmare escape tactics in general.  
-don't expect nor hope that the N traited person is going to become capable of protecting you so be sure to protect yourself.  if they change well great AND in the meantime don't pretend they all ready have or bank on them doing so.  possibility doesn't equal probability - i remind myself daily.  

I've heard that some therapists recommend turning and facing what scares us in a  nightmare - apparently when we do the thing/person/action that we are frightened of will morph from its symbolic form, monsters and such, into what we really fear or from a specific "monster" - a husband for example or momster as in Nicky's post into the fear they represent to us.  I haven't had that experience in my nightmares but it has been true in my daymares.  

At http://www.voicelessness.com R. Grossman's articles I find excellent and using the keyword search you can search for his posts too. If you use the keyword search for book or books you'll find a thread about helpful ones.  You can search for authors of posts too such as Elizabeth who is still with an N traited husband, as am I, and Anabelle who has just left her N traited husband.  Elizabeth and Anabelle both have children.  Nicky has been at this a while and has lots of stuff I find relevant in her posts.  

Many, if not all of us, take time to use this site's features (which are the best i've seen on a forum).  Part of voicefullness is asking questions when you need too right? And, if you post someone sometime will answer.  Sometimes this site will log you out and you might not notice it and then your post is posted as Guest and you cannot edit it.  Using the preview button seems to keep me logged in during, as CC noted, the longest posts ever.  The Preview button is useful for trying out the formatting too.  

Ok, well with too many long posts here the world will surly run plum otta the letter N besides i don't want to break my own or Nicky's record for long posts so i'm otta here...did i mention a sense of humor helps?  :D

P.S. do you have a hawaii you can go to? hope you find some warmth and fresh air here.

NickySkye

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
hi again dear Acapella! :)
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2004, 08:57:31 PM »
Dear Acapella,
it's lovely to write with you again. I love the way you write! :)
I got discouraged when I didn't hear from you for a while, thought you wouldn't come back again. So glad you responded.

I felt hurt that somebody came in this area just to make fun of the length of our posts. :(
Bet they wouldn't like it if I went to where they were sharing their core vulnerability and "joked" about their posts.

 
Quote
In my childhood I was rejected in many ways, isolated which has brought its own variety of struggle & ALSO I have often considered how hard it would have been to break free had some wackos "accepted" me, had extended use for me. It takes a village to raise a child and to bury one.  I imagine you have a wealth of intimate knowledge about "individuation" amidst "belonging".



Well no, actually, I don't really. I started running away at 13 and by 15, after 3 years of homelessness, left for Europe, then India. I lost my sense of belonging at home altogether. I lost my history and floated in the warm amber of India for a decade. It was a lovely place for me. I truly love India, always will, flaws and all.

I decided in 1984 to break with the momster and it made more sense as the years passed. But the internal shackles still kept me imprisoned until I studied the whole N thing.

On returning to America I started going to ACOA meetings in 1986. What bliss! I loved those meetings! What a lovely and deep relief they were! It wasn't till January 17 2000 that I read Sam's writing and began getting out of the external and internal enmeshments I'd always been in and never understood with Ns.

Maybe because I wasn't able to better individuate in the presence of the momster that I needed to make a permanent break in adulthood.

 

I said:" Her little girl grew up to become an artist mimicking Joseph's style of making collages in boxes, which I have also been tempted to do. It's a strange and disturbing thing to talk about."  


Quote
Do you feel she got any relief? Was her mimicking done as if hypnotized or in defiance? Or? I am wondering if some form of that and your temptation could be an instinctual move towards something healing - going right to the place you fear most to reclaim your independence? Sounds to me that if you made a dark piece of art that you could do so without using some inncent human prop and that because of your having a sense of lightness as well you could leave the peice rather than move into it for ever as did that man and your momster. Perahps that would be a way of facing the fear, reclaiming your own darkside and really feel that it will not consume you this time as it is YOURS to hold and release as you see fit? Perhaps a piece with the life-sized porcelain doll breaking free?





WOW Acapella! Reading that was a huge revelation for me. That was deep. Thank you.
I think my childhood friend and I both saw the magic and beauty in Joseh's art, as many people do. But we had both been violated by him and his art. So I think she may have been trying to reclaim her idealised self, her magic child-self through the art, almost what Joseph saw in her?
Joseph was a gateway to me for enjoying symbols, delicate, antiquated mysteries. He awakened my sense of the mysterious but simultaneously corrupted it. I had nowhere to go with this inner conflict, except that in enjoying  Victorian memorabilia or antique curiosities I felt I was betraying myself, snuggling up to the pedophile and smiling. I hated it that I was drawn to these esthetic pleasures and that the person who drew me to them was a violator. Any art has felt somewhat self-injuring after that but I love art too!!! So painful!

Yes, I need to do some healing art, heal those complex wounds, access the pain, feel it and go through it.

Thank you for your recovery challenge and insight, showing me a way to heal this important part of myself. That was a knot for me I couldn't untangle on my own. Thank you.




Quote
I am glad you have confronted some of these people. I know that part of my struggle since graduation to being better able to confront people (long way to go on that one still) is to then accept the distance between us, the rejection or rather the lack of acceptance - this struggle manifests in me also as a sort of naieve disbelief in their not making the and so my not getting a connection, social validation.


Sam calls it the malignant optimism of the abused, looking for love and acceptance FROM the N. It can be, imo, compulsive. Freud called it a repetition compulsion.

Cutting out the tumor of the N, facing being orphaned, deeply, is one of the main tasks I believe of all adult children of Ns,

Quote
I like your eloquent contrasts: Quote:
quivering sensitivity, suffering, shadow of wounded subtext  
followed by Quote:
soaking in the slow heaven of a song
. and spray candy.  The image of a woman in the second half of her century (aka over the 50 hill) swaying blissfully to sunshine on my shoulders with candy blue lips a dark roots in a drug store isle that is priceless!



OMG I didn't see really HOW silly I was!!! I mean blue lips was silly but now I got a real picture. LOL!!!!


Yes, I got that wonderful, useful phrase "acknowledged vulnerability" from the SAVED website. I think that is such a cool website!





Quote
Sounds great and I have am working to be more focused...avoid distraction too as you noted. I think that will be a wonderful thread and I am not going to be allocating time for now to creating new threads.


Good for you Acapella! Congratulatins on working on being less distracted. Good one! I'll start a Music thread and if something good comes along at least there is a place to pop it in.


Quote
Good exercise in not being a perfectionist.


Yup, I think all ACONs and NCo need practics in accepting progress not perfection.


 

Quote
I find this is a great place to notice my feelings and especially reactions while interacting with others at a pace slower (yet only slightly less emabarassing sometimes) and therefore easier to pay attention to than in real time.




Yes, this is  quiet place but good too. I'm glad you're here. :)



Quote
Caretaking is a GOOD thing and i even believe the catch phrase "co-dependent" has along with the intended disfunction caught in its broadly cast net some vital interdependency.



Ah my definition of caretaking is:
something done for little kids by their parents or any adult taking care of a child
any adult taking care of an invalid or elderly person

Caretaking, means, imo, taking care of a person as if they cannot take care of themselves fully, with adult capabilities.

When a person who was abused as a child enters into adult relationships, having been trained to be a parent to their parents, this adult-child will tend to want to treat others like a child and pick people who want to have a surrogate mommy.

What happens is that this adult-child abandons their true self in caretaking others because they haven't been loved well enough by healthy parents. They put their attention too much OUT THERE and not enough balance internally.

This suits an N just fine because they need to be constantly, falsely mirrored and cannot exist without endless attention.

Caretaking means doing nice things but self-abandoning in the process, which ends up sickening to the person doing the caretaking to another in a supposed adult-to-adult relationship.

Caring, in contract, allows individuation AND connection AND interdependence. It's more balanced.

Them thar's my 2 cents.
 



Quote
For now I will say that too little connection is what I believe has led me to a perilous sort of dependence.




Yes, that makes sense to me. I'm sorry dear Acapella that you were put through so much suffering and that you had to survive suffering like that.


 
Quote
I've experienced imbalance in both directions
- some "friendships" seeming to require I be the only one vulnerable enough to express sadness, fear, imperfections etc. (not directly expressed need for nurturing and yet at least a hint, a sign of neediness) and yet the quality of response is sabotaged by my not asking for nurturance and their not being vulnerable enough to admit having any problems nor needing nurturing too - which also means they (neither of us really) are not intimately familiar enough with nurturing to give quality nurturing anyway though they may see themselves as a caretaker. Perhaps that is a sort of cycle of roles that can't move forward. STUCKNESS.l Also, I've heard good parenting described as giving children "roots and wings". So some nurturing may be imbalanced in one or the other direction. I have a lot to learn and frankly as a species I feel we have a lot to learn about caring for one another properly.



I loved what you said above. Yes, learning balance, roots and wings, mutually acknowledged vulnerabilty that feels mutually comfortable.

Quote
Likewise I have had relationships where I am not "allowed" to be vulnerable and weak and needy at all which has in turn compromised my ability to be strong. OH, the ironies! It all has to do with scarcity, roles and vulnerability i believe and yet have not manifested my understanding in balanced, turn taking relationships yet.




Yes, I'm on the same page with you there and working on healing.



Quote
I believe too that if socially there is too little nurturing going around then even a healthy amount of need expressed by someone can get dumped on the few who respond - so that IT is TOO much for one yet not TOO much to need. When I spread my need around (share the joy  ) then no one source is so vital..on the other hand concentrating need and exchange in fewer relationships means the quality, customization of care is greater. balance, balance, balance. Ah and I only get one lifetime for all this. YEEESH!




wow, That was really helpful to me that you articulated that so well. Yes, it does take learning how to do this, it takes practice.



Quote
Yes, the guitar is in the room with me. Its silent strings stiffly MOCKING my fear all the while!




awww. Acapella, that is sooo sad!! C'mon girl. Go and give that guitar a little pat.




Quote
Now if only I were employed!


What would you like to do?

love,

Nicky

Acappella

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
Calyx3
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2004, 01:08:27 AM »
Hi Nicky,

yes i take a while to reply due to struggles here at the home front with my husband and with my own self and also due to my emerging from that struggle to work (in addition to postin here of course)towards getting outta this situation and into my better life.  And, I still haven't been focusing as much as I aim to.  This thread with you is number one on my posting priority focus list though.
 
I so like conversing with ya  :D and look forward to getting back here asap.  I also joined your calyx3 group as echos_end..well that is my recovery email and yahoo required an email to sign up.

Saw you music thread and am intrigued!

I'll be in touch in the next couple of days.  Going to sleep now as I have to get up at 5:30.   :shock:

NickySkye

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
oops
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2004, 12:34:43 PM »
Dear Acappella,
just realised I've been misspelling your name. Sorry.
See you in Calyx3!
love,
Nicky

Acappella

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
Juggling: Balancing the Imbalance
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2004, 06:45:51 PM »
Hi Nicky and all lurkers,

Quote
How do you feel about your communication Acapella?


I pondered this and observed me self and others for a while and have the following results:

1) verbose or terse - either can be an intimacy shield or incubator.  
2) intellectual or emotional - either can be an intimacy shield or incubator.

To the man with only a hammer the whole world is a nail...and to a man with only nails the whole world is a hammer if ya know what i mean.  

So, I agree with you that it is all about working and playing to
Quote
find some healthy balance there
[/b]

I so like conversing with you - I like your warm heart combined with your intellect and your seriousness combined with tender sillyness.  I appreciate your strong supportiveness and your willingess to also express vulnerability.  And, I feel no shame WHAT SO EVER in either of our long posts.

And, I have noticed (due in part to our long posts and your excellent questions and observations in them - thank you.) the following about my length of my communication:  
    1)
it sometimes is over compensation for voicelessness. Though "over" is a sort of exuberance and is a very healing way of feeling out balance so I believe it isn't wrong just a phase. Also, lots of good things have come from people's over compensation so again not a bad/good thing just something to notice.  like your
Quote
Maybe because I wasn't able to better individuate in the presence of the momster that I needed to make a permanent break in adulthood.
Finding balance means tilting from one side to other often if not perpetually and feeling the edges there?

(My husband just got his wages garnished for 500$ for taxes he owed from before we met and didn't tell me and so now the prescheduled bills are going to likely cause an avalanche of fees and my credit will likely get scared AGAIN and the class I wanted to take next week for a potential job is out of the question as is a second car and so I am feeling very disconnected and have just posted all day vs. yesterday when i wasn't over compensating for any recent schism at home and posted more in balance with other pursuits.  I may vent elsewhere about this but for now it is just an example of overcompensation as part of healing like one imbalance leading to another like cancer and chemo.  )

2) my lengthy posts can both result from and perpetuate a lack of focus.  It is all good (good enough to me anyway) AND it is all at once as if this is my last chance, like not only am I letting out what was held in for decades but feel I must do so now or never.  

3)It is also as if I am trying to take in the big picutre for fear that if I focus on a specific piece I will look up to find the big picture gone or morphed entirely (result of reality being shifted and spun and dangerous- no stability or safety as a child nor tools for having those as an adult).  Soooooo, I am going to work, espcially in this "what helps" area, on being focused on specific pieces of thrival.  Your posts here have presented a bizzilion  angles to approach it with - thank you![/list:u]
Maybe we are talking about the same elephant here...you describing the ear and I the trunk or whatever?  When you noted
Quote
the feeling of camaraderie I sense in them
refering to the shorter posts and when I speak of greater focus.  Communication is a large creature no matter.  :D

4) my lengthy posts also are indicative of my commitment to go the distance to get the depth and breadth necessary for real and lasting change!   :D

In addition to continuing this thread as a place to get more clear on the pieces in general I am going to join you in starting other threads with specific areas of focus. Some I have in mind are:
    * a sense of abundance
    * employment/work -  I started one about voicelfullness employed along the lines of work and finding emotional thrival there but it was mostly a rant and so I'll start a new one focused on specifics and positives and save the rants (they have not left for good I presume  :? ) for the other side of this forum and for private messages.  
    * play
    * connection
    * alone time
    * green flags
    * hobbies
    * babing the inner child or for those with large families  :wink: children
    * trading in nievite for acknowledged vulnerability or something like that...not clear enough on that topic yet.  Look forward to exploring it more with ya.
    * learning to spell nievite  :D
    * specific music threads (see next paragraph) [/list:u]

    I recall  that your very first has a bunch of excellent topics deserving of their very own focus.

    Re: Play - I have a book called "Living out Loud" by Keri Smith who believes that
Quote
"play is the most important element indiscovering who you are..will lead you right into your deepest desires."
I don't think I agree that it is the most important so much as it is an equal among vital elements but whatever..it is important.  :?: You mentioned a book about play too didn't you in one of your threads here? Would you copy and paste it over to the Play thread or do you mind if I do?

 :?: What if we started some specific music threads like songs that are helpful for speaking up (Tracy Chapman's "say it like it is" comes to mind or "Voices carry" by a woman/group whos name I don't recal)  or songs that have helped me move on such as that particular sting song?  Otherwise these threads do get rather hard to seach through for specifically helpful stuff - you know something that fits the specific help one needs at a particular time?

What do ya think?

Thank you for igniting such a lively focus on what works!

Love, Acappella (any way ya spell it - I is me! :D )

P.S. I am very interested in honest feed back about my communication and how it comes across to you Nicky and anyone here.  

Note: I find compassionate directness the most effective use of time - as for example with CC's post I wasn't clear about the intent of the comment, didn't read any clear intent, so I just focused on the string of laughing emoticons, enjoyed the humor of it and went on my merry way.  Learned zip about my communication and yet did learn more about how to have fun in the face of ambiguity and subtext (?).  No loss there either cause that's a gem though too, eh?

LOL AND LOL Nicky, read ya soon Dear!
CC you still with us?  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D
eyeswideopen  :shock: how are u fairing?