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    [–] I am dang proud of myself for this Dukeofurl111 3 points ago in CPTSD

    Awesome awesome awesome. I salute you and your bravery. How wonderful it is to stand up for your own child by facing up to someone you feared for so long. Congratulations!

    [–] My Business Is To Create Dukeofurl111 2 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago) in AfterCPTSD

    I personally reached a breakthrough when I started to really understand Deleuze's model of subjectivity. My doctoral thesis is on Deleuze, and so I had to really dig in and try and understand what polarity he was reversing in classical philosophy. This is what he is saying essentially: difference precedes identity. We live in this Platonic system where we believe that we have fixed identities or essences somewhere in the back of our consciousness, and these idealized and abstract models of our pure 'being' serve as avatars, things we believe we have to become. Identity precedes difference. Foucault called this model the empirico-transcendental doublet. We become obsessed with the 'image' of the person we would like to become. I must become a more perfect citizen, student, partner, engaged human, etc etc. For those of us with trauma, this avatar was probably used to beat us down. We were made to feel unhappy that we didn't approximate an abstraction.

    Deleuze meticulously demonstrates that this is all bullshit. The only person we are is the person we are currently becoming. And that person is not separate, that person is the confluence of countless internal and exterior connections that in themselves are also in a constant state of flux. Everything is simultaneously becoming and in the center of it there is by some miracle, you, in your univocal becoming. There are no fixed identities, everything is bound up in time and is therefore continuously shifting. The only subject you can credibly identify is the one you are becoming now, and it is here precisely because it differs from the person you were a moment ago. In a very real sense, there is no past, only the past you drag into the present moment as a means of re-identifying yourself. So who you are is an effect of the process of your own becoming. Not a precondition.

    This changes everything for me. I used to worry what people would think of 'me' if I did 'x'. Well the first question I can ask is 'where are they?' The answer usually is "In my imagination, from some remote area of my past, or on some amalgamated abstraction in the world called the internet." So they are not really present to me and shouldn't matter. The second question is 'Can they possibly know who you are, given that you have become someone different since they last saw you?" And the answer again is "Absolutely not. They only have their imagined image of who they thought I might have been, usually from very long ago, and based on their own imperfect perceptions." Which leads to the final question. "So why in the fuck should it matter what mostly imaginary people from your past or on some machine think about what you are doing and becoming, when they have no bearing on what you are becoming in the present moment?" And the answer is "It doesn't. It can't possibly matter. No one in the world is at a better vantage point to understand who I am becoming than I do, given that I am the person in this body and seated at the controls of this consciousness. And even I don't know for sure what it is I am becoming or who I have been. To say that I know my mind is foolhardy. To say that I know the minds of others is like claiming I know the blood type of a unicorn."

    The same applies to people in your present by the way. They either see you or they don't. They either participate positively in your becoming or they don't. If they are attempting to beat you down on the basis of you not conforming to their preconceived notion of who they think you should be, or matching to some idealized avatar floating around in the culture, then they are not good for you. I think this is as good a definition as any for a 'toxic' person in your life. Yes, sometimes there are people in a grey area, so you must use your judgment to determine how they stack up. It's up to you and entirely dependent on who you want to be. Do they help you become yourself, despite some rough patches? Then great! Otherwise, forget them. They aren't interested in helping you in the process of your becoming. They are interested in perpetuating a system that reinforces their identity.

    I don't know if I'm building a system, but I sure as hell don't believe other systems are anything other than approximate maps. Most of the time these maps are exploited by individuals so that they can convince me their negative consensual hallucination about me is real. I know now that it can't possibly be real. Only I know for sure what it is I'm becoming, in a continuously evolving and provisional sense.

    This continues to be very useful to me.

    [–] Anyone else a “process junkie”? Dukeofurl111 1 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago) in CPTSD

    It's a strange process for me, because the self-help vein is connected to the artistic process vein which is connected to the larger cultivation of awareness vein. Since I've been running from trauma, everything I've tried has, at some level, been a modality I've used to 'get better', or at least gain more perspective on how I function. Every book, every technique, every ritual, every drug, every diet and exercise modality. I'm forever on a program, it's true. But as I move along I find that it's branching out into the community, into the larger world. Or at least I believe it is. My intense interest in things leads me to communities of people who do similar things, like yoga and creative endeavors and different schools of awareness raising. So yes, you can become militant and boring about recovery, but at a certain point, you have to realize that everybody else also wants to feel better. Everybody wants less fear and sadness and more connection in their lives. Everybody wants to feel more alive. Even if they won't admit it. So it's win, win, ultimately. You just have to guard against becoming obsessive. Which is always a temptation.

    [–] What's some juicy gossip you just found out in your personal lives? Dukeofurl111 2 points ago in AskReddit

    I just heard the back-story on the daughter of a friend's sister. The woman is a single mom, and I assumed that she had just had a child with someone and broke up with them. The real story was way more interesting.

    This woman was seriously dating an asian man in her twenties. They had been together for close to five years. Then she had a wild one night stand, completely on a whim, with a white guy. Shortly after she discovered she was pregnant.

    She was still having sex with her asian boyfriend at this point, so she thought she would hedge her bets and assume that he was the father. After all, what are the odds that she'd be pregnant from a single one night stand with another man?

    So the boyfriend got really excited and there was talk of wedding bells. His entire family flew over from Asia to celebrate the birth of the child, and she became increasingly confident that the child was his.

    Except that the child was born white. Really white. So white that there was truly no way to fudge the fact that the baby did not belong to her boyfriend.

    His family went home disgusted, and her boyfriend left her soon after. This is how she became a single mom.

    True story.

    [–] Best Online Resources for Beginner Tarot? Dukeofurl111 1 points ago in chaosmagick

    I was on my way to recommend his book and three people beat me to it. Truly outstanding. You should purchase his restored Marseilles deck as well.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 2 points ago in CPTSD

    Writing it out helps me make the understanding more concrete, and that's important, because my mind continues to play tricks on me. It's a difficult knot to untangle. And you're welcome.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 2 points ago in CPTSD

    Well, I thought it was normal to be abandoned at the hospital. If that isn’t lack of self-awareness, what is?

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 2 points ago in CPTSD

    Sigh. Yep. I knew an abuse survivor who was taken to a therapist by her parents at the age of twelve. The therapist sat accross from them and asked why they were there. They then pointed at their daughter and told the therapist "You need to fix her." People's complete lack of self awareness is really baffling sometimes. As is mine.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 4 points ago in CPTSD

    What is also deeply interesting is that people are actively down voting our conversation thread. It has to be, because the upvotes were at three and are now at one. Why people would find it necessary to actively downvote an open conversation about shame is, well, interesting, isn't it?

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 3 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago) in CPTSD

    YASS. THE HIDDEN FEELINGS OF INTENSE SHAME. Sometimes my parent's masks would slip a little bit and they'd become blubbering or enraged messes. Usually for only about ten minutes, tops. This might have happened on only two occasions. What's interesting is that when they were in that state, they expressed a child-like comprehension of what I might be going through. When they had their masks on, they knew exactly what was happening with me, to a clinically detailed, cold and contemptuous degree. My father, who was a psychoanalyst, could give me a perfect clinical description of my oedipal tendencies. I think those are the two faces of the narcissistic coin. But surrounding those two faces is an ocean of toxic shame.

    This is why I call it 'shame laundering'. People who don't want to own their shame pass it unconsciously through their children, hoping to clean it in that way. And as you have noted, it doesn't work. It just passes the shame onto the next generation.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 1 points ago in CPTSD

    EMDR is very helpful. I went through a protocol about a year and half ago. Good luck!

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 4 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago) in CPTSD

    Other readers will groan when I re-tell this story for the hundredth time, but it's instructive. After my first suicide attempt, for which I was sent to the hospital, I was left completely alone. No one came to visit me. No calls. No flowers or balloons. I just lay in my bed for two days and then was sent back to school. The administration mandated therapy, so there was that. But I had tried to kill myself- swallowing two jumbo bottles of aspirin and a bottle of sleeping pills- and nobody seemed to notice. Least of all my parents, who were only three hours away. When I reached the therapist she had a phone message for me from then. That's what a suicide attempt warranted. A second hand phone message.

    Here's the weird thing. I never experienced this as sad. I was genuinely relieved. I lay there in my quiet hospital compartment and thought "Wow, this is nice. Its really peaceful." It never occurred to me that people should be concerned, or should try to reach me. Frankly, I was embarrassed that I had tried to kill myself and I was really glad that no one had seemed to notice. For me it was a win. It was also never discussed when I finally went back home after the semester. It was like it never happened.

    It took me about twenty years to think back and realize how utterly deranged this was. Who in the fuck hears that their child is in the hospital and doesn't drive down to see them? I mean, seriously? Who hears that their child tried to kill themselves, especially as mental health professionals, and doesn't even mention it to them?

    And yet I was incapable of feeling any justified outrage until about a decade of work informed me that this was not normal. Before, I would just shrug. "Oh, yeah, my suicide attempt. I was young and stupid. Good thing that nobody reacted that much." I would cringe at the fact I had tried to end my own life in the same way that people cringe at their yearbook photos. Oh gee, that was kind of dumb.

    This is what we are up against.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 4 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago) in CPTSD

    'Create' is a really strong word. Let's say that certain types of upbringing can redirect your growth in certain ways and mold you in others. Narcissists are really bad at empathy- it's not something they are capable of- so if you were raised by traumatic narcissists you received no real empathy as a child. Narcissists use others as extensions of themselves, and as sounding boards for their emotions. It never occurs to them that other people are separate selves with their own agency. Everything must go into feeding their maelstrom of grandiosity and emptiness. Children of narcissists generally don't get much experience in having their feelings validated, or in being able to have their own opinions, or in being able to have their own emotions. My parents way of dealing with my emotions was to forbid them. This is how everything gets warped in a family contaminated by the narcissist's overwhelming project.

    So if you mean by 'true self' a self that has respected boundaries and is worthy of empathy, you are right. You probably have very little experience with having your boundaries respected and with experiencing true empathy and validation. I don't believe we have an 'essential self'-we are always more than the sum of our parts and we are always changing- but I do believe that the self is not fully developed when it isn't fully engaged in certain ways. Children who are raised without empathy and proper boundaries are- to use a storybook analogy- like toys that have been locked in an attic, never really knowing that their function is to play with children and bring them joy. In fact, they are told that playing with other children is dangerous and forbidden. The attic is the best place to be!

    And yes, your narcissist parents didn't really know any better. They never developed proper boundaries or empathetic responses, so they firmly believe that masks are the way to go. Try to take the masks away and you'll see some terrified adult children who have no idea how to set their own boundaries or regulate their own emotions. And it is very sad. I hope this clarifies some things.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 6 points ago in CPTSD

    There were aspects of my past that I was not truly ready to accept. Like all victims of out and out abuse, I rationalized. "It wasn't that bad." "I wasn't really hit that much." "Childhood and adolescence is hard for everyone." "Other things were good too..." Children of abuse make excuses. So all sorts of things that are not normal, or are profoundly abnormal, are remembered as normal. I believe this is your mind protecting itself. You don't want the full weight of your abuse and neglect to come crashing down on your head all at once. About ten or twelve years ago I teased myself with the faint possibility that perhaps everything hadn't been my fault and that maybe my parents had been neglectful. I thought not remembering most of my adolescence was normal. I wasn't ready, at that point, to acknowledge that they were, in many ways, monsters. That's what I mean by levels of knowledge. How much the truth of trauma applies to you becomes more and more evident the more you are able to fully acknowledge what you were subjected to.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 3 points ago in CPTSD

    Wow. That's intense. And what a horrific threat for you to live under. I'm glad you came through.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 6 points ago in CPTSD

    Glad this helpful. There are levels to knowing this, by the way. I grasped it intellectually more than a few years ago, and I would explain this way to myself. However, it wasn't really until today that it really, profoundly hit me how true it is. For me, at any rate.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 18 points ago * (lasted edited 25 days ago) in CPTSD

    That strange frozen silence afterwards. When your parents perpetrate a horror and then carry on as if nothing has happened. So bizarre. My parents sent me to university by dropping me off disgustedly at a Greyhound bus station because they had found some reason to be angry with me. They always found a reason to be angry with me. That was my big send off into the world. I arrived at midnight and let myself into my dorm room with my single suitcase by pounding on the door and waking the dorm supervisor. Then I ran to the nearest payphone and excitedly called my dad to tell him I had arrived. Not to tell him he and my mother were horrible fucking people who had just sent their only son into the world by angrily dropping him off in the worst part of town like a piece of shit. But to tell him I was happy and excited as if they hadn't done any of it. He sounded just as thrilled as I was. Like me he made zero mention of what he and my mother had just done. Years later I could shoot myself for pretending, for refusing to call them on the horrific bullshit they had just committed. Instead I just chattered along happily as if nothing was amiss. I was conditioned to do this. I should have never spoken to them after that, and ridden that Greyhound into another state.

    [–] Why trauma is so confusing Dukeofurl111 11 points ago in CPTSD

    "Something is wrong" turns into "Something must be wrong." If you tend to isolate, like I do, the 'Something' that 'must be wrong' very often turns out to be me. I feel wrong, so there must be something wrong with me. This explains, by the way, why we match up so well with narcissists and sociopaths, who are incapable of believing they are wrong about anything. We are their mirror image. The person who believes the world is at fault for not acknowledging their perfection projects perfectly onto a person who is looking for an excuse to blame themselves for something.

    [–] The Art of picking trash Dukeofurl111 1 points ago in gifs

    Wtf. I want to be a trash picker now.

    [–] I have the sads today Dukeofurl111 3 points ago in CPTSD

    So glad this made sense to you. I've been developing this 'shame laundering' idea for a while now. The analogy being similar to money laundering: criminals want to spend money that has been used for illegal and exploitative things, so they have to pump it through respectable 'front' businesses that 'clean' it all. But the analogy isn't perfect. It shouldn't be called 'shame laundering' because people generally don't want to acknowledge their shame exists at all. I think it's more that people want to 'spend' their lives free of negativity or anything that has to do with their shadow. They want to be happy, in the moment, joyful. But they unconsciously feel that they can't do it unless because of this burden of hidden shame. They feel like they have to get rid of this unconscious shame before they can 'spend' their lives. So they project it onto the most convenient receptacle, their children. Children are ideal because they are trusting and, most importantly, have no idea how the economy works. So children become the targets of misplaced anger and desire. The parent feels inadequate and full of rage at another area of their life but can't cope with it or express it. Oh look, a helpless kid. A parent feels frustrated desire and abandonment in some other area of their adult life where they can't cope. Oh look, a helpless kid. Something like that. I'm still working on it.