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dysfunc_survivor

How to be functional coming from dysfunctional childhood in a dysfunctional environment

Long title, yes.

 

My awakening has been a slow coming. It's somewhat late in life but I don't want to spend the rest in misery. I am 44 years old. I live in Absurdistan, formerly known as Sweden. My dream was to become a musician. How clever. Nobody pays for those anymore. I compensated my dysfunction by practicing my instrument insane number of hours. Didn't work. "Never give up on your dreams". Only a fool keeps pursuing dreams that are disguised nightmares.

 

I want to give something back. I've learned so much but my truth is insanity here. I have nothing to show for the effort I have put in. I want to move away from here. My therapists have told me that it's a escape mechanism, that I don't want to face my fears. It's funny because when I have told them about what I have faced they end the therapy (because of transferrence?). Yay public healtcare!

 

It seems that what is needed for this country is viewed as so offensive that it is completely impossible to convey. Being a middle aged supposedly privileged white male but lacking the evidence for that priviledge, i e the fancy car, the fancy apartment in the fancy community etc, it seems a futile endeavour.

 

My "career" has been interrupted several times due to depression. Like I told a friend recently; "The only thing I know is to get a job." Working with low intelligence, leftist feminists that get drunk on the weekend. Yeah that dream I had kind of screwed up my chances of increasing my income.

 

40 to 80 is a long time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the boards. It sounds like you haven't really had the life you might have wanted for yourself. I'm sorry, that's really tough. I think it's perfectly normal to feel depression in such circumstances and I certainly feel sympathy for you about the bad therapists. I've had a few of those myself and they do more harm than good, overall. Do you feel like you've made a mistake in pursuing music and it is too late to fix it now?

 

Edit: Maybe you'd find this article helpful in thinking about your depression in a new way? https://philosophicaltherapist.com/2017/01/11/a-brighter-perspective-on-depression/

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Welcome to the boards. It sounds like you haven't really had the life you might have wanted for yourself. I'm sorry, that's really tough. I think it's perfectly normal to feel depression in such circumstances and I certainly feel sympathy for you about the bad therapists. I've had a few of those myself and they do more harm than good, overall. Do you feel like you've made a mistake in pursuing music and it is too late to fix it now?

 

Edit: Maybe you'd find this article helpful in thinking about your depression in a new way? https://philosophicaltherapist.com/2017/01/11/a-brighter-perspective-on-depression/

 

Thank you for the welcome! The more I learn and the more insights I have, the more I understand how and why I have gotten where I am. Today I see my situation with greater seriousness, which sometimes is depressing. Looking back, I don't really understand how I was thinking things were to turn out. During this last year I have put many pieces of the puzzle into place and I can see that things needed to be worked out in a certain way to make sense, especially regarding my parents.

 

Growing up as a codependent, my relation especially to my mother was very much conditioned to her needs, one of them being that she needed me to see her as a strong, helping authority. The mindf*ck of being told that "I wasn't sick" and "she was normal" made it go so deep, it's hard to explain. Recently I have started to hold her accountable for her actions instead of just accepting and coping (be a good boy!) and lifting that rock of ignorance takes a lot of vermins out in the light.

 

She uses emotional manipulation, she asks questions and if I ask one back, she completely ignores it, derailing any attempt to negotiate or to actually be part of the conversation. She ignores and projects everything, she never mentions her actual perception or understanding of anything I say. Instead it's always me that misunderstands her. I am very close to going no contact. I don't have time to deal with bullies anymore. This of course makes her claim that I am mean and unfair, very childlike. And it's all completely unaware from her side. She does nothing wrong in her world, I am just mean and ungrateful.

 

It's quite common for codependents to wait forever for the narcissist "to come around". This explains why it's taken so many years. It also explains one of my "best qualities" which is patience. I could wait forever. It's called codependency anorexia. This kills the spirit and the will. I don't know what I want. This starved state is quite dangerous, especially to write about publicly like this because narcissists are drawn to it like vampires to blood. Like a limping deer with a broken leg.

 

Regarding the music, I am a great musician but due to the above, relations have always ended because of my difficulties to actually negotiate and have real relations with healthy people. I hope this can change going forward.

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My therapists have told me that it's a escape mechanism, that I don't want to face my fears. It's funny because when I have told them about what I have faced they end the therapy (because of transferrence?). Yay public healtcare!

 

This is very important. You need a more involved psychologist. They put bureaucracy first in such a delicate matter. It probably did more harm than it helped. I can give a small hint of where there could be a more coherent approach. If you want.

 

I would recommend book "how to fail at everything and still win big" by scott adams or any other book somewhat related to hypnosis, conviction, and attitude.

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I like journalling. Have you tried it? It is sometimes cathartic to get some of those disappointments down on paper. It can discharge some of the emotion behind them too, from my experience.

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This is very important. You need a more involved psychologist. They put bureaucracy first in such a delicate matter. It probably did more harm than it helped. I can give a small hint of where there could be a more coherent approach. If you want.

 

I would recommend book "how to fail at everything and still win big" by scott adams or any other book somewhat related to hypnosis, conviction, and attitude.

 

Hi

 

I agree that I would benefit from a better psychologist. Funny thing is that I requested just that and met with one on january 2nd. He didn't speak my language very well. :ermm: When I asked him about narcissism he stated that "he had read a little about it". This is the general level of public mental healthcare over here.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "a more coherent approach". Feel free to expand :)

I like journalling. Have you tried it? It is sometimes cathartic to get some of those disappointments down on paper. It can discharge some of the emotion behind them too, from my experience.

 

I am a "veteran journalist" so to speak. I write a lot. I think I began journaling when I was in my teens.

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I am in no way qualified to talk about your history, and I don't doubt that the "free" mental health services of sweeden are garbage. 

However, as a fellow music lover and aspiring musician, I can sympathize with the music and career angle. I played gigs for years through my late teens and early 20s, and wanted nothing more than to "make it big" and be respected as an artist. Now, about your post. 

You're 44 years old. So you're old enough to be seen as an authority figure in a teaching environment. Have you considered giving music lessons, or starting a youtube channel where you advertise remote Skype lessons? If you have knowledge of instruments you can make some money finding used instruments for a good price, cleaning em up and re-selling them. There's still a lot you can do in the musical arts for some cash. Hell, one of my favorite guitarist was a Swedish dude who sold his own musical cover versions online.

Will you ever make it big and be in a boy band? Probably not, but I don't see why you're depressed about not becoming a "musician." That's ridiculous anyway. If you can play an instrument well you're by default a musician... 

At 44 years old you're about 4 years away from a complete re-brand. At 48 you could have a new career and be doing something else if you don't like it, and since the time is ticking, if music isn't your choice then stop standing in the fire and jump the hell out of it into something new. Do music on the side as a relaxation crutch/hobbie and start making your life what you want it to be. 

 

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Why not to try online therapy sessions. It doesn't have to be in Swedish. It can be in English. You are an employer to the therapist not the way around, so you can ask how he/she plans to help you etc. Look until you find one and trust your gut. It's difficult and exhausting but worth it.

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Hi

 

I agree that I would benefit from a better psychologist. Funny thing is that I requested just that and met with one on january 2nd. He didn't speak my language very well. :ermm: When I asked him about narcissism he stated that "he had read a little about it". This is the general level of public mental healthcare over here.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "a more coherent approach". Feel free to expand :)

 

 

http://www.coherencetherapy.org/files/Unlocking_the_Emotional_Brain-Ch1.pdf

 

Basically, classical psychology said: there is no way to heal psychological trauma only way is to alleviate it by constantly counteracting its symptoms. Those guys have, as far as I get it so take me with a grain of salt, demonstrated that it can be healed. They have described the process on a neuronal level.

 

Now, It's hard to assess the quality of your psychologist, but from what I have read the fact that he just dropped you without any reference tells me that he is a bureaucrat who wanted to have a steady income and not to help people.  Some reference to what you should do next should be given to you just from basic human kindness.

 

I imagine you would feel alone and resentful after that. Judging by myself of course. A psychologist should at least provide to your basic need for empathy. If they are trying to heal you without that, they are either very talented or unprofessional.

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http://www.coherencetherapy.org/files/Unlocking_the_Emotional_Brain-Ch1.pdf

 

Basically, classical psychology said: there is no way to heal psychological trauma only way is to alleviate it by constantly counteracting its symptoms. Those guys have, as far as I get it so take me with a grain of salt, demonstrated that it can be healed. They have described the process on a neuronal level.

 

Now, It's hard to assess the quality of your psychologist, but from what I have read the fact that he just dropped you without any reference tells me that he is a bureaucrat who wanted to have a steady income and not to help people.  Some reference to what you should do next should be given to you just from basic human kindness.

 

I imagine you would feel alone and resentful after that. Judging by myself of course. A psychologist should at least provide to your basic need for empathy. If they are trying to heal you without that, they are either very talented or unprofessional.

 

Thank you! This looks very interesting. I managed to locate a therapist, will give it a try. These videos:

(4 parts) were very interesting too.
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Thank you! This looks very interesting. I managed to locate a therapist, will give it a try. These videos: ... (4 parts) were very interesting too.

 

Glad you liked it. This thing really gives hope. I would notice though that those are about coherence psychology which is heavily based specifically on memory reconsolidation, but there are other types of psychologies that achieve the same effect. Page 5 has a list of few. I find EMDR very interesting because it has proven to be fast.

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So I have been going basically no contact with my mother. She keeps calling and emailing and today the mask really came off. She emailed me saying: "Can you f*cking answer when I call!!??"

I haven't seen it this blatant before.

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I've read through your thread. Would you like to give us all an update?

Did you find a therapist? Care to share?

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I've read through your thread. Would you like to give us all an update?

Did you find a therapist? Care to share?

 

I am getting help with my issues it's not exactly therapy though. It's a different approach from what I have come in contact with before.

 

The winter months really gets to me. Every year I say it's the last winter I will spend in Sweden.

 

Lately I have been feeling much better, I am not really sure why.

 

I am unemployed and looking for a job. On the 24th of february, I had an jobinterview. I was quite relaxed going there, because the job seemed well below my level of competence. This lowering of my guard was a mistake.

 

The CEO of the company joined the interview, which surprised me. Here comes the interesting part: He started shit-testing me. Asking quite rude questions and making condescending remarks. Unfortunately my codependent role kicked in, and I didn't really see what was going on until later. He was narcissistic.

 

On my way home this feeling of just wanting to die came over me, to end this struggle of portraying myself as a super hero just to get a f*cking job. This feeling is nothing new for me, but have been absent since this encounter. I started asking myself from where these feelings came. The way I saw it was that "I had done what I should", came to the interview on time and was nice etc, but still I felt horrible.

 

Now what I call "the addictive brain" kicked in. It usually does for me. Wanting to get drunk and so forth. I was re-traumatized by the meeting with this person and it took me quite a while to understand what just happened.

 

To me it is quite disheartening that people can't even be nice to each other. It's just a job. I am very sensitive to stress unfortunately, which is to be expected having a history like mine (CPTSD)

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In the interview, I think you got "triggered." The difficult situation brought up emotions, potentially from your past. The triggering often leads to, what I call, "self-soothing" behaviours. These are repetitious behaviours to help cool you down. These behaviours may or may not have worked for you in the past. I am kind of relating to your situation as to what has happened to me, in these types of situations.

 

I have mentioned this to others. But, I generally write down social situations, which have triggered me, on paper. This helps me get rid of the emotional charge. It may work for you. Beating yourself up, after a difficult situation, is definitely not the way to go. Counselling can also strengthen your resistance to being triggered.

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In the interview, I think you got "triggered." The difficult situation brought up emotions, potentially from your past. The triggering often leads to, what I call, "self-soothing" behaviours. These are repetitious behaviours to help cool you down. These behaviours may or may not have worked for you in the past. I am kind of relating to your situation as to what has happened to me, in these types of situations.

 

I have mentioned this to others. But, I generally write down social situations, which have triggered me, on paper. This helps me get rid of the emotional charge. It may work for you. Beating yourself up, after a difficult situation, is definitely not the way to go. Counselling can also strengthen your resistance to being triggered.

 

You are completely correct. Self-soothing is better wording than "the addictive brain". I write a lot, what ends up here is just a fraction of it.

 

Old self-soothing methods, or even rituals keep on living their own life. It has become a routine that I tend to act out regardless if it creates a useful outcome or not. A separation of emotion and action, two room mates that doesn't communicate. Re-evaluation of this separation illuminates its existance in other parts of my life - doing things that doesn't create the desired results, and the lack of something to replace the automatic rituals. Exorcising the ghosts that animated me. It leaves a void, a lack of motivation. Firmware has been deleted.

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I visited my parents this weekend (Easter). Having broken the glass of the narcissistic abuse, standing on the other side looking back at the whole thing was interesting, sad and still very frustrating. "We weren't very good parents" actually slipped out of my mothers mouth during dinner.

She has bad hearing which is very suitable for her. There is almost no way to speak to her without yelling, which eliminates the possibility of talking about anything personal. Of course she refuses to get a hearing aid. It's also a great way for her to shame me for mumbling or any other derogative statement about the way I speak.

It is impossible to be assertive around my mother. The only allowed way of relating to her is to be an inanimate object. Anything beyond an infant is corrected, shamed, ignored and belittled. Anything beyond the infant is a threat to her.

There is no understanding of the pain, suffering and the work I have had to go through to be who I am today. On the contrary, she sees it as an offence. Like her way of raising me wasn't good enough. Newsflash: It wasn't.

Politics came up. She doesn't understand that she isn't objective in her reasoning. She was constantly defending her view that "there is no way of really knowing anything", which allowes her to have any opinion that suits her. Of course she is completely unaware of this. Anything I would say that challenges her view, she replied with "You're so mean!".

So her need to see me as a nothing-knowing, opinion-less, wanting-less infant is paramount. How can you be a son to a mother like that? There is nothing of me that is welcome. At the same time she insists that I visit more often. She even said that I should move there. The gap of understanding between her wants and needs and my wants and needs are undescribable. She needs me to be something that I no longer am. That something lived in my body my whole childhood and many more years. She doesn't see anything but that thing, the deeply codependent infant. She hates and fears anything but that.

The panicattacks. When I started my last job 3 years ago, I was starting to have panicattacks. The emerging emotions of being around people that were suppressed until then. A start of the eroding of the codependent false self I have been acting out around other people all those years. Becoming your true self isn't a smooth pretty enlightenment. It's a rough, dysfunctional, broken alternative accident. Maybe it will make you sane, maybe it will kill you.

My dad. He was happy to see me. He had a stroke in 2001. He can hardly walk anymore. He is almost in a zombie-state. Can hardly form a sentence. I could tell he became upset with me because I got in to arguments with mom and that I got frustrated with his lack of attempts at actually communicating with me.

They both just want everything to be nice and "as it used to be". The fact that I have suffered all those years exactly because of that, they just put out of their minds.

We were going through old photos and found a photo of me as a 11 year old. My sister called and I could hear how mom said that I was "happy old me" in that photo. Just smile and get abused! We don't want you to wake up, just smile! Just reflect back that all I do is fine!

My childhood was a bodycast of razorblades. Just lie perfectly still and you will be ok.

 

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Hi. I can relate to your history since my mother is similar in some ways.

One thing to remember is that you dont need to visit or call her. You dont even have to explain yourself. If she asks you(you dont need to give her that option), you can respond that you just dont feel like it. Treat her as any other person who would treat you like this. You are now adult and you dont need to play by her rules anymore, since now every relationship is voluntary, including parental.

Good to have some kind of ears to hear you at the same time, i hear that you have it. I know that if I dont have proper support and healthy lifestyle habits I can go back to my coping mechanisms. If I have support I am less likely to fall of the wagon.

Stay strong.

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20 hours ago, _Michael said:

Hi. I can relate to your history since my mother is similar in some ways.

One thing to remember is that you dont need to visit or call her. You dont even have to explain yourself. If she asks you(you dont need to give her that option), you can respond that you just dont feel like it. Treat her as any other person who would treat you like this. You are now adult and you dont need to play by her rules anymore, since now every relationship is voluntary, including parental.

Good to have some kind of ears to hear you at the same time, i hear that you have it. I know that if I dont have proper support and healthy lifestyle habits I can go back to my coping mechanisms. If I have support I am less likely to fall of the wagon.

Stay strong.

This was the first visit for almost a year. I skipped several birthdays, christmas and new years, which of course resulted in ostracization from other familymembers. This is an scary and very important thing to be aware of regarding narcissists; They spread their agenda to their proxies, which in turn creates a vacuum - everybody is on her side because "I am bad" and she only wants fluffy clouds and teddy bears.

Sure, all this drama is nothing that I need. It just comes at a high price, or actually the deal is out of my hands. Now she thinks all is mended. No action required on her part. But sure, I won't be back soon.

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I just woke from a nightmare. I was approaching a house, it was dark. The house had two balconys right atop of one another. On the top one stood my mother and she was looking at me. On the bottom one were two young attractive girls who saw me and were smiling and waving.

My mothers gaze at me made me radiate hatred towards these two girls. My eyes were radiating hateful radiation that was induced by my mothers stare at me. There was a death stare loop created.

As I staggered backwards being overpowered by this power, either I could stay asleep but then kill the girls by this death stare or I had to wake up, breaking the loop, I couldn't look away and I couldn't keep from being stared at by my mother.

I woke up in a gasp. As I tried closed my eyes again, the death stare came back online and kept killing the girls. I had to wake up and write this.

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Here's my analysis of that dream:

To enter the house, I must obey mothers narcissistic abuse. The death stare is fear which manifests in different ways, when I was a child as shyness and most lately as panic attacks and fear of authority. The killing of the girls is a conditioning to prioritize mother over other females, to put it mildly.

Something I have come to realize is: The people that hurt me the most are the ones who taught me the most. I would like to hear your opinon on this. It is something that I see seldom spoken of. I'm sure it must be combined with some willingness to wake up, but the sad thing is that I can't see that I would have learned these key lessons without their abuse; you learn in the most effective way when you are fighting for your life. I guess that is why most stay asleep. The key is hidden where you never want to look. It does make gratitude and blame mixed up, it's not as pretty or clear cut as some make it out to be. The Buddhist analogy of the lotus that creates beauty out of mud comes to mind.

One vision I have had is that a child that grows up in a tribe like setting, free of abuse would develop a low IQ but a high level of "naturalness". Like a plant that grows up in optimal conditions, there is nothing to compensate for. Think instead of a tree growing on the side of a steep rocky mountain. This must instead compensate for a lot and develop "intelligence". In a similar way I think of my need to work on myself, and my IQ that seems higher than the rest of my family, as a compensation for the position I was given growing up. I was born in an environment that required me to solve problems. I needed to develop coping strategies for having a narcissistic mother. In other words, my emotions didn't help me as a child, because my mother is blind to them. In this sense I see a mutually exclusive relationship between IQ and "naturalness".

I'm sure, or I hope, that there is less destructive ways of obtaining intelligence and self knowledge, but then again, I'm not sure who would go through this volountarily. Maybe it's just my way of defending my path

 

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