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

dysfunction trauma narcissism codependency

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16 replies to this topic

#1
dysfunc_survivor

dysfunc_survivor
  • 40 posts

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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#2
Thus_Spake_the_Nightspirit

Thus_Spake_the_Nightspirit
  • 119 posts

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://philosophica...-on-depression/


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#3
dysfunc_survivor

dysfunc_survivor
  • 40 posts

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://philosophica...-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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#4
Copper_Heart

Copper_Heart
  • 96 posts

 

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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#5
MRAllen440

MRAllen440
  • 6 posts

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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#6
dysfunc_survivor

dysfunc_survivor
  • 40 posts

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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#7
CaliforniaCoaster

CaliforniaCoaster
  • 16 posts

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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#8
KeepOnGoing

KeepOnGoing
  • 37 posts
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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#9
Copper_Heart

Copper_Heart
  • 96 posts

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.coherence...l_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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#10
dysfunc_survivor

dysfunc_survivor
  • 40 posts

 

http://www.coherence...l_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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#11
dysfunc_survivor

dysfunc_survivor
  • 40 posts

Being kept prisoner, fed and fattened up but having my facutlies amputated creates an immense dissonance.


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#12
Copper_Heart

Copper_Heart
  • 96 posts

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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#13
dysfunc_survivor

dysfunc_survivor
  • 40 posts

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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#14
Rocksteady

Rocksteady
  • 7 posts

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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#15
dysfunc_survivor

dysfunc_survivor
  • 40 posts

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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#16
MRAllen440

MRAllen440
  • 6 posts

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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#17
dysfunc_survivor

dysfunc_survivor
  • 40 posts

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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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: dysfunction, trauma, narcissism, codependency