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Triggered

I used to wonder exactly what it was that people were talking about when they said that an event or comment triggered them.  I had a text book understanding, of course, but could not think of an event that personally triggered me, bringing back overwhelming feelings stemming from past abuses.

Recently, however, it happened and I experienced something I never had before.  Honestly, I am surprised it took as long as it did.  It was not a proud moment, as retrospectively, I can now think of about five different ways that I could have better handled the situation.  At the same time, I wouldn’t really have changed it because of what it taught me.  My reaction was honest, showed me that my priorities were in fact, intact, and also allowed me to further learn about myself and the severity of what I lived through.

The scene unfolds

The event began in a benign fashion.  It was a simple matter.  I started out with words, a simple conversation.  I felt those words fell on deaf ears, since nothing changed afterwards and the individual involved did not seem to understand just how important and significant the points I raised were to me.  Some finger-pointing ensued, although I tried to keep that to a minimum on my end.  At the same time, I truly felt that all was not being done to prevent the situation from escalating.  Nonetheless, I tried to make it as clear as I could that I was not interested in assigning blame or going to battle, but rather, finding a solution.

It did not work.  As a result, I moved up the chain of command, involving the next layer of authority.  At this level, I felt less placated than I had with the person on the first rung of the ladder and had hopes of being heard.  This person acted swiftly and did what it took to attempt a solution.  However, it appeared that things were stalling and beginning to move backwards.  Frustration set in, as we began moving opposite what was necessary.

I tried to speak gently, but firmly, yet the accusations began flying toward me and some of the others involved on my end.  Suddenly, I began feeling just as I did with my abuser, on the defense for something I had done my best with.  I did not feel that anyone was willing to take responsibility for the matter at hand.  I had owned the part that I could, but would not accept all of the blame because it wasn’t all mine to take and doing so still would not improve what needed improving.  I recognized that more intervention was necessary and moved toward making that possible.  In doing so, however, I lost my cool.  It was not major, but it was clear to me that my emotions drove my reaction.  I could not understand why I felt as though I was on the battlefield over something that did not need to be a fight.  Why was I meeting with resistance over something everyone involved should have wanted to solve?  Why were my concerns being overlooked and my efforts to solve a problem shut down?  Why was I not being heard?

Swimming against the current

Regardless of the reasons, I felt time roll backwards, leaving me feeling overwhelmed by the unfolding events and ineffective in my attempts to solve anything.  It was hauntingly familiar, but I also recognized that I had never had such feelings before outside of my experience with my individual with psychopathic features.  I struggled with my reaction, wondering how and why it came to that.  Soon, I figured it out.  The goings on had triggered me.

In the end, things worked out as we pulled together to fix the problem.  We really were a group of people who did want to solve things, but had to put some issues aside in order to get there.  There is no doubt that each of us could have said or done things differently.  However, ultimately we did what had to be done.

But the experience taught me something valuable and proves that we do not escape our past abuses unscathed.  It took me a little time to realize that I had been triggered and that the events of the current occurrence had less to do with my upset than my past.  I found this especially interesting since I no longer feel this way when dealing with my individual with psychopathic features.  I fully understand what that individual is about and how he operates.  As a result, I am no longer shocked or surprised by any of the actions or behaviors.  They are all relatively predictable.  However, I was shocked that I still carried what I had lived with me in other ways.

Just another curve in the road along the path to recovery

I believe each of us does to one degree or another.  Becoming aware of this allows us to correct for it and deal with it.  With that, it may offer us the opportunity to become healthier than many who are never forced to confront their feelings.  There should be no shame in our experiences.  We lived through some incredibly unbelievable things.  The only shame would be if we failed to acknowledge them or swept them away, refusing to admit they exist.

Since my realization, I have concentrated on employing coping skills that afford me peace.  After what we have encountered, there may be times when we must mentally talk ourselves through situations that stir old memories of the abuse.  This may take a bit of training or trial and error, but we can do it.  It’s just part of the learning process, that like all else, begins with our understanding of the disorder we were touched by.  Recovery from anything is almost never free from obstacles.  This is no different and simply one we must become aware of.

Most importantly, we must not beat ourselves up if we do not handle things perfectly every time.  Look around at others and realize that few do (not that that is a standard by which to gauge ourselves or make excuses, but rather to realize the fact that we are human.)  However, if with each experience we grow and learn, we are making progress.  I think that is a positive thing.  Here’s to our successes as we live and learn!


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Triggered, yes. A very good article indeed. Unfortunately, I find myself in a constant state of being triggered. My situation with the spath in my life is not over yet. I find that people in my circle are sympathetic, but in no way can they begin to relate. Although he is no longer in my home, as hard as I try, I’m having a very hard time getting the insanity of the last 3 years out of my head. I have some decent day’s, but generally most days I fight to keep my self from snapping. While the parasite is neatly burrowed into his elderly father’s house, Here I am without a job again, and am wondering if I may lose my house some months in the future. I could go on, but I’m sure everyone knows the story, because we have all been there in some form or fashion. I
Just find myself, constantly triggered…

Linda, thank you so, so much for this article! Triggering is a major issue for me, right now. Actually, I’ve always had myriad triggers and did not realize what they were, or how to manage them.

I’m learning, very, very slowly, how to recognize these triggers and how to thwart their progression. I’m typically usuccessful, but I’m getting better, over time.

I agree that survivors of abuse will forever carry those triggers – how could they not? Those abusive experiences formed indelible impacts upon my self-perceptions, and nearly all of my healthy “Self-isms” were shattered in my first marriage, and this second experience has sent me over the edge.

Thank you, again, for this validating article.

Brightest blessings

I’m ‘trigger central’ at the moment. It is just my mind clearing things up that I may have missed as things were happening first time around. It’s enlightening, but really I don’t need it. I feel I am healing very well, so I find them a nuisance more than anything as I want to forget, not remember. I have been flooded by ghosts of former spaths with the latest attack. Things I hadn’t thought of for years are becoming clearer than they ever were. I hope they are helping me mentally on some level, otherwise I wish they would just pissoff!

Today I am dealing with jitters and angst I haven’t felt in quite awhile.

Just a few months ago I was feeling life was taking a good turn – finally.

Our family home had a buyer to finally sell it – finally we would get away from N’s O/W right next door to me and the kids. The deal fell apart 3 weeks ago.

There is another piece of property N bought in his greed – he built a Portuguese BBQ and lost interest – that he will soon lose to back taxes – we had a deal on that and it fell through.

His lawyer wants to hit me with $8,000.00 back business taxes N owes from when we were married.

He got engaged Christmas Eve to SKANK next door – never even warned the kids – especially my son who was there to see it all unfold. N is well aware the kids see his relationship as bizarre and what he is doing to their lives as pretty detached.

N’s niece is getting married New Year’s Eve – the kids chose not to go. It is my son’s 14th birthday and he has little interest at spending it at the wedding – even if it is with his dad who he adores – God help his good heart.

My D-19 has little do to with dad and Nothing to do with the O/W. She chose not to go because her cousins have not reached out to her in 5 years. D had Scoliosis surgery – traumatic surgery – and no one reached out. She had a severely broken ankle – plates and screws – last summer just when she finished recuperating from her back surgery. She was stuck in a chair from August till September – no one reached out.

But now – the ULTIMATE MANIPULATION !!!!!!!!!

Dad offers to pay for a plane ticket so her girlfriend can come out from OHIO and be D’s guest at the wedding. I hate that my daughter is pimping out her physical presence for a plane ticket. She says it’s not manipulation if she knows what he is doing. Now – last minute – he says he will pay only half. D can’t afford to absorb the other half – but she will. I am having no part in any of this – not giving a gift, not buying the kids formal outfits – this is his deal.

D also sees some shock value in taking her girlfriend and showing the family she is Bi/gay. WTH?

He has no money to keep support current
He has no money to pay college tuition

He has no money for back expenses he owes for 5 years – $10,000.00 from hospital bills, braces, doctors etc. It’s all on me.

I am so unable to cope today . I have had many things happen in life – but I try to be a good friend, a good mom , I was a good wife – how did my life become a LIFETIME movie.
I am not a headcase – been to counseling with one who specializes in Narcissism. Keep reading and working to recover.

When you have kids with an N – how do you recover fully?

It never stops – the torment, taunting, voice-mails, e-mails.

I moved here 24 years ago to have a good life – and now my family is broken, my kids are hurting, N is on his third marriage, the O/W declares victory after 22 years now that she wears his ring. This is nuts – crazy – we do not deserve any of this insanity.

Linda, you said

“In doing so, however, I lost my cool. It was not major, but it was clear to me that my emotions drove my reaction. I could not understand why I felt as though I was on the battlefield over something that did not need to be a fight. Why was I meeting with resistance over something everyone involved should have wanted to solve? Why were my concerns being overlooked and my efforts to solve a problem shut down? Why was I not being heard?

OH, CAN I EVER RELATE TO THAT….in dealing with things at work (I think the medical profession has the most narcissistic and psychopathic staffs iin the entire business world!) And I can relate to that with dealing with my egg donor and trying to get her to see what needed doing…NC with Patrick. LOL

When you are RAW (even though there may be a scab over the wound) or backed into oa corner that resembles the situation with the psychopath, yep you get triggered and it is EASY to lose your cool, to respond by becoming defensive, or aggressive. It is NOT EASY to maintain our cool in those conditions no matter how much “training” we have.

Learning “first hand” what a trigger is is a growth experience for you as a mental health professional. I have a friend who is a P-survivor and she is now a mental health professional and her insight because of her own abuse is awesome. She works with abused kids.

O, BTW Great article.

new life, darlin’ nope, you do NOT DESERVE this and neither do your kids. All the family DRAMA RAMA is always going to be going on as long as you are mandated to have contact with him. Sorry your house sale fell through so you could move away.

All I can suggest is that you do as much as you can to collect what he owes you, and not assume the bill for his taxes. I assume that you know about “innocent spouse” clauses that if you invoke that may exempt you from having to pay taxes that HE OWES because you knew nothing about what was going on. Check into that and see if any of it applies to you.

In the meantiime, try some meditation of some kind, yoga or whatever…and see if that doesn’t help your anxiety some. (((Hugs)))

Newlife08, yes, the triggering goes on and on, especially if there are children in common and a constant barrage of legal issues.

I agree with OxD that it might be better to try to recover what you’re entitled to and just encourage the daughter to simply back out, entirely. The spath father is just manipulating more drama/trauma, as they ALWAYS do, and they ALWAYS use a “family” event or crisis to capitalize on those manipulations.

There’s another recent article that actually addresses the techniques of managing the anxiety. And, I would suggest that the first step in managing the anxiety (oh, boy…I sure identify with the anxiety, too) is to acknowledge the situations, and separate each situation from the other and sort out which situations are within your own control, and let the other situations over which you have no control be placed on the back burner. One minute at a time, sometimes, is the only way that I can manage my anxieties.

Brightest blessings

Although this happened almost a year before I left my husband,it’s a ‘trigger’ as far as I’m concerned.Because of the terrible strain of living with a spath and still privately trying to grieve my mother’s death-when a family friend died,I had a meltdown…..in a public place,a grocery store!After comforting my husband over the death,I decided to go out and do some necessary grocery shopping.I got through the shopping part just fine.It was when it came time to pay the cashier that my mind suddenly ‘went blank’ and I panicked when I didn’t find the money where I usually put it.I suddenly began to wonder if I ‘forgot’ to bring the money with me!Fortunately,I was with a friend who paid for the groceries,and later when I was able to calm down,I did indeed find the money in my purse-in a different pocket!I rewinded the ‘tape’ in my brain,and realized that my husband had been acting so needy while I was getting ready to go that I wasn’t able to to pay attention to what I was doing!Soon,I was having anxiety attack after anxiety attack!When it started affecting my breathing,I knew it was time to consult my Dr and she put me on Cymbalta.

Blossom4th,

Anxiety attacks can be terrible. I’ve only had ONE in my life and it was AWFUL. I have had patients with them though. Medication can help but the MOST HELPFUL THING is to RECOGNIZE what it is when it is happening. Don’t panic and think “oh, my God I’m having a heart attack.”

Panic attacks are REAL and the same hormones that would be released if I threw a poison snake into your lap are released and you get the “fight or flight” situation of stress hormone over load.

Recognize what it is, realize you will not die, and to help you calm down, if you can EXERCISE…this will help burn off the hormones. Walk as far and as fast as you can.

The not remembering were you put your money is typical stress reaction or even PTSD. I still lose things on a regular basis. So don’t let that panic you, it is normal to be sort of “light headed” or “forgetful” during all this stress.

I’m glad you have such a wise doctor and that you had the courage to leave the asshole. TOWANDA! That’s the Love Fraud BATTLE CRY (from Fried Green Tomatoes)

Ox Drover,
I remember Fried Green Tomatoes with fondness (smile!)
I will have to remember that hormones are released in an anxiety attack.Fortunately,I haven’t had any since leaving my husband!The Cymbalta has helped greatly,as has finally getting the sleep I need and being able to relax from my body and brain being on ‘constant alert’.The counseling sessions have been so helpful,too.
As for losing things…..well maybe we’re in one of those new groups of mentally ill!Pretty much sounds like it encompasses the whole population!

Blossom4th,

Many of us suffer from PTSD and that causes short term memory problems. Mine was originally from the aircraft crash, but the continual additional trauma of getting hooked up with a P BF afterward and the problems with my P son, and the man who he sent to kill us pushed me over the edge to INSANITY for a while. Talk about MELT DOWN, I had one for sure. It has been a long hard road to pull myself back out of that abyss and I credit Love Fraud with a bunch of the ROPE to help me pull myself up. There is magic healing here at this site and lots of good support and great information as well.

Hang on, be good to yourself, learn and grow, take care of YOU first before anything else. Get good sleep, eat right, exercise, and it will help. Keep changes to a minimum to decrease stress and that will help too.

Exercise is great for burning off stress hormones and great for your heart and other organs as well. Helps with sleep as well.

Keep seeing your counselor and your wise doctor. You are fortunate to have both! God bless.

Oh, and whatever your spiritual direction is, take care of that too. it is very important that we take care of ourselves physically, emotionally AND spiritually. Even if you don’t believe in God, there is a spiritual aspect to every human. Nurture that aspect.

Ox Drove,
I have found LoveFraud to be just what I need!But what you said about taking care of myself spiritually…that is my priority!In fact,that is where I found the comfort & strength to last as long as I did in the relationship with the spath.
As for taking care of myself physically,that is something that I have to work on as I have always put others first.Old habits take awhile to change!It’s not helping that it’s wintertime or that my mind is preoccupied right now,lol!

Dear friends, I’m in need of some advice and help again.

This Christmas I suddenly got a female friend on visit for a week (by surprise) and it’s the drama queen I’ve earlier mentioned in other posts. I was baffled by her sudden visit because I’ve tried to slowly pull my self out of our friendship by making my self boring, but obviously I still need to work on my boundaries. I just couldn’t say no and ask her to leave. However she behaved and tried her best to make things nice for me just to say that. She just left for her home return and I’m a bit confused about my own emotion about the whole visit.

I did not want her here at all, but I kept my mouth shut and swallowed my irritations. She did some things that was pretty disturbing, but I tried to ignore it. While she was here, I felt so tressed. It was like having a child in the home again…or to be exactly, having my ex spath back in the house. I couldn’t sleep very well because of the stress and I felt completely drained by her, energetically. She is really demanding and so childlike that I have to watch over her every step. In one way it was so nice to have a “friend” over (because I spend all my days completely alone without any human contact) and in the other hand I prayed the days would go fast and she would leave. (Just as I did my ex) I just wanted her out of my house.

Now that she’s finally gone home, I feel exhausted, my body aches, I’m nauseous, I’m so extremely restless and I truly fear the loneliness. I feel… distress. Just as I did after the break up.

I also stopped eating healthy, started smoking alot more, did not exercise as I usually do regardless of who is visiting.

The last night she was here I really worked hard mentally and spiritually- cutting chords to mention one thing and after that I started to become my self again.

The thing is, I don’t understand what happened? Her behaviour his pretty obvious, but it is my own I can’t put my finger on. What am I overlooking?I still feel stunned and gagged when they do the things they do, leaving me speechless.

Am I being triggered? Why do I “adjust” or sink down to their level? How come I don’t do this with healthy people (then I am my self) ?

Now that my friend has left, I don’t miss her at all, but I do feel extremely lonely and desperate for a male companionship. I just want that warm body to lie next to, feeling warmth and the heartbeat of another human body, so I can feel safe and protected and sleep/rest. So to me it seems like, it’s not about missing HIM or HER, it’s about being lonely. Or?

I’m confused. Can somebody help me and put my head back straight?

Hello Sunflower. What a horrible experience for you. This so called friend sounds like a total nightmare! Firstly, one of the reasons we can become targets for spaths or people who want to use us is because of our low opinion we have of ourselves. We “allow” these people to trample us to walk all over us. That however is not the mystery is it! You ask why. In my exp it’s not down to one thing that has happened nor is it purely environmental, I believe I have been used and abused because of the way my personality is…..my genetic make up. I’m still trying to understand why I have fallen prey…..maybe I’ll never have all the answers.
However, there is one thing I do know. I’m not going to allow anyone to have that power over me again. I’m not going to do something I don’t want to do, I’m not going to be friends with someone because we’ve always been friends. I have lost contact with a friend so I can identify. I just decided I didn’t want to be there listening to the same old same old. It was always about her and she never helped herself. I didn’t want to hurt her obviously but I did tell her that I had changed and the friendship could not return to what it was.

After my exp with the spath I have changed. It’s me first now. And if people don’t like it that’s too bad.

As far as missing male company, yes I could enjoy a nice hug, the warmth of a hairy body next to me in bed but…..I’m getting used to my singledom. I really am. And so will you, Sunflower.

You said “I just want out of it. The same feeling I had when I was in the relationship. I want out, but I can’t leave.”
If I had a pound for every time I thought that self same thought, my friend.And here we are….we did escape. We did make it out of the other side.

My new mantra? Zero tolerance on bad behaviour.

Good luck

Sunflower,

Darling I can so relate! You are a “people pleaser” and are afraid to make someone happy and SET BOUNDARIES.
It is YOUR HOUSE and you allowed her to invade it. It is difficult at first but you need to learn to set boundaries.

“I’m sorry you have come so far, but I have other plans for Christmas and I won’t be able to have you stay here, bye bye, have a nice HOliday.” THAT’s a BOUNDARY and it is OKAY TO SET THEM. You don’t want her in your house, you are NOT OBLIGATED to let her invade your space. it is YOUR SPACE.

Block her number, or if you’d rather, just tell her you are no longer interested in being her friend.

I think that after we have recovered a little from a spath attack and we become more ourselves again, that our senses are magnified and we pick up on things in other people much more than we did before. I know for me that I reevaluated pretty much ALL of my friendships after my last experience and just stopped contacting all of the people I thought of as toxic in my life. They all tried to weasel their way back in and to pump me for information about what was going on, but I just refused to answer questions and ignored them and they ended up just going away.

I know that if I had contact with any of them that they would try and drag me back into it all again and I just refuse to go there. I have found ME again after many years of manipulation by these people who I now consider as completely toxic to the real ME and I just will not now have anything to do with them.

2 of them watched with apparent ‘glee’ at every horrible twist and turn of events as that arsehole tried to ruin my life. Neither of them said a word against him even though they both knew my partner and knew the hell that I was going through. In fact if anything they both encouraged it to continue as they awaited with great anticipation for the next piece of juicy gossip coming their way. As far as I am concerned they are NOT my real friends and they have no place in my life.

Hear HHear!!! Never again. They are not good friends and should not be part of your life. OUT WITH THE MINIONS of the Psychopaths. They enjoy the DRAMA RAMA and are not caring about what it does to someone else as long as it ENTERTAINS them.

SICK FARKERS

Thank you so much for your responses. I always cherish your words and I’m so thankful I can come to this site for support and wisdom. It actually gives me much more than my appointment with the therapist 😛

I do agree on how much boundaries matter. If I don’t set my boundaries, I loose my sense of self. I get that.Is it the codependency speaking? The lack of self worth or identity? Is it fear? Is it a childhood mechanism? I DO NOT want to behave like someone I’m really not. All I want is to be ME. Is it something in the people pleaser personality? I really need a good book on that subject because I don’t really get what a people pleaser really is. The big picture yes, the details- no.

The good news is, when she first was here, I did set alot of boundaries about my house. I am actually proud of that. I told her straight out what my house rules was and she did follow them as far as I know.

Oxy

LOL

In a strange twist of fate I was laying in bed with my partner in tears telling how utterly betrayed I felt by one of them who I had considered to be my best friend for about 6 years.

He was the person who told me to ‘go for’ the spath who had stalked me all night in the club we were in and who continued the whole way through witnessing what a devastating effect it was all having on me. He was there when the lies started to be exposed, he saw how devastated I was after a night of evil ‘gas lighting’ by this person. He even said to me that night that ‘he had never in the whole time he had known me seen me upset like that before’. And yet even after witnessing it first hand all he kept saying to me was ‘hang in there it all work out between you in the end’ when what he should’ve been saying was ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING! THIS GUY IS A NUTTER AND YOU HAVE AN AMAZING PARTNER SO WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS’. But no, nothing but encouragement to ‘hang in there’.

So after I finish chatting to my partner I get up and I had a missed call from said friend. I checked my voicemail and it wasn’t my friend but his nephew using his phone contacting people to let them know my friend had passed away. I was DEVASTATED and felt extremely guilty for not spending time with him before he went. Now I look at it totally differently.

Ironically I text the other friend in our ‘gang’ about OUR friends death, 3 months later I have still not had a reply….

Sunflower

I think the ‘copying their behaviour’ is really just falling back into the old (bad) ways of the friendship. They drag us back into their miserable, negative worldview of everything. I too notice it a lot with people now especially people at work. I just ignore it and get up and walk away. If its constructive criticism I will agree BUT I will only do it to help look for a SOLUTION to the problem, not to sit around just bitching about something just for the sake of it.

Our boss is a major spath and a nasty one at that, but his days of manipulating me are over. Now the only reactions he gets from me are ‘if you say so’ and ‘maybe’, both delivered with a big cheesy 🙂

I know how hard I work and I know I’m great at my job and I know how much he absolutely sucks at his, so I really don’t care what nasty words come out of the money hungry tools mouth!

Well those I have around don’t say much nasty words or foul language, it’s rather more planning on how they are going to exploit and use other people which they feel entiteled to since they feel so sorry for themselves, tears and drama sympathy games and how they can gain my trust and attention. My friend said it while she was here: It’s all about the attention she gets-as long as the world revolves around them they are happy.

Just GET RID seriously, let her willow in her own misery and don’t let her bring you down!

Oh believe you me, I will sort this out and find a way to slowly dissapear out of her life. I was mostly disturbed over my own behaviour. Maybe it’s some sort of flock instinct who knows. Either way I will work on my own “programming” and wire my self back to ME. AND I’m going to read more about people pleasers.

Sunflower

The way I look at it is WE ALL have good and bad, positive and negative inside us. If we are surrounded by negative people it brings out our own negativity, if we are around positive people it brings out our positive side. As victims of spaths we are more prone to being manipulated because we look for the good in people, unfortunately that also means we are easier to pull into negativity as well. Sometimes it really SUCKS to be a normal decent human being huh 🙁

it sucks to be a people pleaser…

Sunflower,
I’m going to ‘throw in’ a comment,not really sure if it would explain the change in your behavior or not.In my counseling sessions,I’m learning that the way we react to situations in adulthood sometimes reflects the way we felt in childhood.Just as we wanted the approval of our parents or peers then,we may still seek it in adulthood.Especially when the person/ppl are same age,it’s termed “peer pressure”.It makes us conform to the way they act or want us to act.Also,how many ppl react well to stress?!!So don’t be too hard on yourself!Chalk it up to a learning experience!
As for wanting male companionship….I think it is security & comfort you seek.There are other ways of providing those things in your life without further complicating your life!Just saying!

Sunflower,
what you described about “mirroring” her, is actually natural. Human beings are THE most mimetic species. It’s why we are able to teach our children knowledge.
Here is a really great video that explains it. This blogger is a favorite of mine.
http://erikbuys.wordpress.com/

Children mimic more than adults do. We grow up and our personalities become more set. Well…except for spaths. Spaths don’t grow up, so they mimic/mirror us. It’s possible that you did revert to your childhood experiences when she was there.

As for getting rid of a predator, when gray rock doesn’t work, try selective gray rock. I wrote about it in the gray rock article. You give the predator a FALSE vulnerability and wait for them to attack it. The drama follows, the predator is happy and you make your escape vowing never to talk to them again. LOL! It works. really.

a “subtle” “FARK OFF I don’t need you in my life” works too.

😆
You cracked me up Oxy.

Skylar, It was INTENTIONAL. LOL Yea, sometimes there are just times that gray rock or potted plant isn’t even worth the trouble, with drama queens like that, just tell them to fark off and get it over with. They are too self absorbed to “get it” more subtly.

Yes, Ox, a “subtle fark-off”….ROFLMAO. Oxy makes an oxy-moron……. 🙂

Sunflower, I’m so sorry that you had such negative experiences over the holidays. You had some SUPERB responses.

“Toxic friends” are not “friends,” at all. And, you were questioning “what happened” to you to allow her behaviors, in the first place, and to participate in her drama, by proxy. I’ll try to give you my take on this, because I can still get caught up in that bullshirt, myself – it’s part and parcel of my shame-core issues. My response is related directly to me and my own issues, as they’ve been revealed to me.

Tolerating bad behavior is simply based upon a core of fear. I won’t be “liked” by someone if I call them out on their behaviors. I won’t meet “approval.” I won’t experience “acceptance.” I’ll “lose” something important. I’ll be “abandoned” if I don’t go along with the program.
I wanted people to LIKE ME because I was fearful of being abandoned, so I tolerated all manner of “bad behaviors.”

Identifying that shame-core and understanding the implications has given me a newfound freedom to pick and choose whom I will associate myself with. I don’t “have” to tolerate ANYthing that I feel is improper, inappropriate, unkind, unsupportive, judgemental, cruel, and/or dramatic. The pre-spath-me was so NEEDY, you see.

Today, anyone that disturbs me is out. I don’t care if I’ve considered them a “BFF” or lifelong love, they’re out. I cut off all ties and sever the relationship because I must do that, or risk falling back into old patterns and tolerating abusive behaviors. And, I cannot afford to slip back into those old patterns, literally.

Recently, I had to make a decision to sever ties with several people that I had believed to be my “friends” for the past 9 years. And, with those people, I had observed and tolerated behaviors that were questionable, even before I began to alter my own system of beliefs. It’s not pleasant to make this decision, but it’s pragmatic in my personal recovery.

So, I don’t know if my perspective helps you, but it’s what I’ve had to do to protect myself from further exploitation. My “good” qualities will be exploited by “bad people” if I don’t set strong, firm, and strict boundaries with everyone.

Brightest blessings

Aside: “subtle fark-off!” LMAO!!!!!!!!! Oxy & Kim….LMAO!

Hmm ok… I couldn’t sleep last night. I lay thinking about this and search the web for information about the people pleaser persona and the mimicing Skylar mentioned. I get this is entangled and all connecting. So here’s what I got:

Survival instinct switched on
Massive fear of unreliable people, a switch in perception considering them safe because it is “what I know”.
Massive fear of abandonment
Insecurity
Childhood Trauma issues
Coping mechanisms

Aha, now I got something to work on. Is this interesting to you or am I rambling about it for my self? I hope that sharing this might help someone else 🙂

Yes Thruth, SUPERB answers which all answered my questions. It really made me think!

THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE!

Sunflower, “Healing the Shame that Binds You” is a fantastic book that addresses shame-core, which is what you’re describing to me, as I understand it.

It was probably the most profound book that I’ve read with regards to my own recovery and explained SO much about who I am, how I became a perfect target, and why I tolerated so much outrageous and audacious behaviors.

Brightest blessings

I got that book and it’s on my to read list 🙂 ASAP 🙂

Sunflower,

CONGRATULATIONS, it sounds to me as if you have made a major break through in understanding.

Also, LOOK AT HOW STRONG YOU ARE!!! Most people would have crumbled and gone crazy or ended up on the street and you have a roof over your head, a drivers license a job, and you ARE MAKING IT!

Plus, lady, just for your information, it took a LOT OF GUTS, STRENGTH AND BACK BONE to pull yourself up by your own boot straps and make it in the world. You should be PROUD OF YOURSELF!!!!

I GIVE YOU A BIGGGGG TOWANDA!!!!

OxD, you’re spot-on!!!!

Sunflower, everything that OxD typed is true – it’s FACT. You have a strength of will to recover, and you mean to do it – it’s in your messages, responses, and questions.

I second that BIG TOWANDA!!!!!!!!!!

And, I would gently suggest that you forego the rest of your reading and begin the “Healing The Shame” book, get through the first 3 chapters, and THEN go back and forth between that book and other reading materials. I was so able to identify with what was being discussed. Years before, I had read a number of the books on the “reading list,” because I was dealing with other issues and did not realize that those issues were directly related to my own core-issues. No, this doesn’t mean that I “deserved” to be targeted and/or exploited by predators – NOBODY “deserves” to be exploited.

But, the “Healing The Shame” book opened a door of understanding that had been locked tight throughout my entire life. I had worked with other counseling therapists over the years, but not one of them helped me to identify this one fact that was a catalyst to understanding my Self. It blew the lid off of my personal dysfunction.

Definitely……….TOWANDA!!!!!!!!!! And, aren’t you “feeling” how strong you are, today? YES!!!!

Brightest blessings

Sunflower, I join the ranks, and send out a resounding TOWANDA, also.
I find myself to be highly impressionable….I pick up behaviors, opinions, beliefs from others, as well. This is because I have weak ego boundrys, and have never formed a really solid sense of myself. It’s ok. I’m developing that SOS now. It’s difficult to build an identity when you have been brought up in the shadows by narcissistic people who want absolute control.
It’s all part of the trauma bonding experience.
I’m so glad you’ve had some insight, and, again, TOWANDA.

Lol thank you wonderful girls 😉

Thanks again for your empowering words of wisdom, it feels so nice to be told : “Good girl, you’ve done good”.

Edit: I edit some of my posts due to it’s a open forum and some info I don’t want out there. The original post have been read and the points have been made.

Sunflower, you even sound more positive now! GREAT!!! Sorry about the job…that sucks! But hopefully you can find SOMETHING to get you going.

Do you have children? I’m sorry if you have said and I forgot (CRS!)

As for your “family”—what on earth do you need them for? More punishment? More neglect? Ditto the drama queen.

Even though you say you don’t have much education, there is nothing stopping you from EDUCATING YOURSELF. There must be some adult education programs that are free or low cost near you. Also see about PELL grants. Go to the library and see what you can find as well. Get books on history, biology, psychology, math, English, business, and Law, read them like text books…Speaking of which, usually text books are free or 50 cents at the Good will stores or Salvation Army stores. Buy them and read them. EDUCATE yourself even if it is never “used” for a degree, NOTHING WE LEARN IS EVER WASTED.

Also a good place to get GOOD “friends” is volunteer at some food pantry, or teaching english to people who don’t know English, hospital or hospice volunteers, and these are also good places to get leads on real jobs. If you are a believer, find a church and volunteer to keep the nursery, or sweep the floors.

Get out and meet good folks and make good friends. TOWANDA!!!

No I don’t have any children. I promised my self that I would never bring a child into this world before I had changed my way of thinking and could provide a good life for it.

I love the public library, I’ve read so many books. I’ve read first year high school electromagnetic, religion, history, psychology, philosophy, first year nutrition and physical training, spanish, web programs, transport and logistics and many more, I just can’t rememer all of it when I don’t use it daily.

I’ve been so scared to walk out the door in case I would meet my ex, but it’s much better now. I feel stronger now and if I should run into him I think I will handle it ok.

AND I must say it again, I don’t think you guys know actually HOW HELPFUL this site really is. I have only two people who understands me and my situation in my life but they can only be there for me now and then, but you guys are always here, cheering and supporting. I could not have made it wasn’t it for this site and all the information available.

Sunflower~
You are on your way Girl!!!
It’s wonderful that your self exploration and need to heal has lead you to this point of understanding.
KUDOS TO YOU!!!!
You are on the right path, you are using your mind to solve your own problems……….magnificent darlin!!!
Keep writing, keep reading, keep look inwards……you WILL find your way through!!!

XXOO
EB

As a survivor of two principle narcissistic men in my life – I have survived them both and I am doing really well. I have had one male friend since I broke with the N and I am very choosy who I speak to these days, my boundaries are much stronger than they used to be. I guess I respect who I am and dont exchange any energy with anyone who wants me to, unless I want to – I guess I have been taught a stiff lesson. I have peace in my life. I want to say that to those who know me, especially OxDrover – I wish you all a Peaceful New Year. Love from Bev xxxxxx

Sorry, Sunflower, I thought you were in US….your English is GREAT!

The volunteer at the red cross is a great idea, and see if there are any other places that take VOLUNTEERS…hospitals, clinics, grammar schools, churches, ANY place that will let you make some connections.

Learning things that you don’t use every day may seem like an exercise in futility, but LEARNING IS NEVER LOST.

I know that Fibromyalgia can be limiting and painful, but I also know that moving and exercise can actually HELP IT and decrease the pain. I hope you are getting some medication for it as well. That also helps a great deal.

Keep on reaching out as much as you can. You are ON YOUR WAY in the right direction…just keep pointing that way. God bless.

BEVVIE!!!!!!! Oh, thank you so much for stopping in and posting. You do not know how much I have missed your sage advice and support. I am so glad to know that you are doing well. How about our other friend? Is she also doing well?

Keep on keeping on, Bevvie, MUCH love, Joyce

Hi Beverly~! It’s me—->henry….hugz to you , happy your doing well, so am I..

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