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    [–] Uncovering the confusion from mixed messages in abusive parenting. Dukeofurl111 3 points ago * (lasted edited 5 hours ago) in CPTSD

    My mother was told to switch houses away from her birth mother at the age of seven, so she could live in the house of her father. Her mother was his official mistress. This meant she had to adapt to a new family: new mom, three new half sisters, as the daughter of the other woman. Hard to know how things worked in her country of origin but it could not have been pretty. My dad had a borderline mother and grew up under Nazi occupation. She was still insane when I met her as a kid. She loved to create impossible double binds. Once during my ninth birthday she grew anxious and angry that I was enjoying my mom's chicken too much and she snatched it off the table, ran off with it, and locked it in a cabinet. My mother left Japan at eighteen, an oddly bold and unusual move for her to make at that time. She never wanted to return. My dad wanted to leave Europe and wander the world to never return. So yes, they were completely culturally displaced in the California of the seventies, which is where I grew up. They didn't know America, and they couldn't really be bothered. It was a big part of the story.

    [–] There's something wrong with the way I relate to people Dukeofurl111 2 points ago * (lasted edited 17 hours ago) in CPTSD

    Ugh. Frenemies. My parents were exactly the same. One of the things that contributes to this confusion is the fact that the restrictions on friendship were entirely unconscious or semi-conscious on the part of my parents. Meaning that they lied to themselves as to why they were doing what they were doing, being motivated by unconscious emotions they hadn't dealt with.

    I wasn't allowed to go out because I couldn't be trusted, for example, and I couldn't receive any phone calls- my parents would literally hang-up on people who called my house- because I had to practice. Then they would tell me that they had an incredibly high and narrow standard for the type of child I could associate with, and that most kids in my hometown simply didn't fit the standard. They were highly cultured foreign academics. Yet they sent me to a middle to low brow public school in a small American town whose population was a parody of 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High.' When I complained that I was being viciously bullied they laughed pityingly and said I was exaggerating and must be lying. So their extreme (unconscious) protectiveness at home was coupled by their complete refusal to protect me from anything -daily threats of violence, verbal abuse, kids spitting in my hair- once I stepped outside it. I think it was the same type of deep split that occurs in so called 'perfect' families where deep rooted emotional and sexual abuse is going on. One hand absolutely can't know what the other hand is doing.

    As for frenemies. Well.... Not only did my parents not allow me to have friends, they never spoke to me once about the expectations I should have from friends. As you know, it's almost impossible to isolate a kid completely and there is always a bizarre unconscious split in operation all the time, so I did have 'friends' but never in a normal sense. I had furtive half friends, which is where the frenemies stepped in. I think this was the origin of my social dysfunction. Nothing is ever above board, straight-forward "hey, I'm here endorsed by my parents and society with people that have accepted me publicly and ratified my social standing, and we're enjoying each-other’s company." There was always this furtive, undefined 'remainder' that lurked over every social interaction. A shadow, which was the shadow of my parents unconscious trauma expressed as a fear, a restriction on my interaction with others.

    It started early, with a complete lack of socialization. Never once did my parents say "If so and so treats you this way you should confront them or stop being friends with them." "You deserve to be treated in this way and should never expect betrayal or abuse on any of these fronts." There was never a single discussion of what my boundaries should be, so I literally didn't know. Nor would they would ever, ever, confront another parent if they thought something was untoward in the behavior of another child towards me. Once again, I think a lot of this was learned helplessness on their part; they were strongly unconsciously blocked from being engaged with it because of their own trauma.

    So I had a best 'friend' who was completely random and who gaged all of his engagement with me based on how convenient it was to be friends with me at any given time. I was convenient filler. As I was a scape-goat, socially toxic and 'anathema'- you didn't really want to be my friend because my utter lack of status was contagious- he only hung-out with me when his preferred crowd wasn't available. He also did shit that was completely out of bounds for a friend. I had crush on a girl, sent her a poem for valentines, and she rejected me. A month later he was dating her, and showed up with her at my house, canoodling with her in front of me while she giggled, with him giving me weird, cagey creepy looks over her shoulder. He also professed to like my writing in private, but would publicly ridicule my work when certain people were around. I was a very talented trained musician, but he went ahead and started a musical duo behind my back with my former best friend, who was also a frenemey. A real asshole and creep, in other words.

    The thing is, my parents were completely stone deaf to any feelings I might have about this. If I moped or showed emotional distress about any of these situations, they'd just start yelling that I was being lazy or recalcitrant or ungrateful. You see, any feelings I expressed about my social dysfunction triggered their unconscious feelings of shame, which they then expressed towards me as rage. Also, I had no criteria with which to gage my so called friends behavior. How was I supposed to know that what he was doing was utterly wrong? My parents hadn't told me. I was exactly like any other young victim of abuse. I was gullible. It took my eight years of therapy to suddenly realize 'Holy shit, he wasn't a friend. He was a bully!' It was a terrible realization.

    Even worse, I had unconsciously patterned myself on my parents deeply unconscious shame avoidance. They didn't want to feel the shame in their lives and projected it onto me as extreme (and paradoxical) restrictions that actually protected me from nothing. I picked up the shame burden for them and trained myself to ignore really obvious deficits in the behavior of other people. And because of this deeply ingrained deformity and lack of knowledge, I was actually PRIMED to seek out other people with the same dysfunctional shame issues and offer myself up as a sacrificial lamb on which to project THEIR unconscious shame issues. I went from abusive group to abusive group of dysfunctional people for years, all the while asking the agonizing question "What the hell is wrong with me? Why do they treat me this way?'

    Also, as you noted, I became an expert mimic. The real me was obviously toxic- contaminated as it was with my parent's unconscious shame- so I had to pretend. A new face and set of mannerisms for every occasion! Maybe by shifting this gesture, changing this line of anecdote, I can finally stop being a target for projection from toxic people. Of course, if you hang around toxic people, they soon figure out that you're paddling under all the mimicry, and you become a target anyway. In fact, it makes it worse. Note that if you are simply experimenting with masks creatively while remaining confident in your original self, it is exactly the opposite. Still, there is a fine line. Something tells me David Bowie might have had some issues for a while.

    There was nothing wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with you. We're just really really really unlucky. Abuse and neglect leave you with gaps in your social learning, which leads to the perception that you are socially off. That's it. I have come to realize that it is simply a developmental maladjustment, like any any other. It's the psychic form of a speech impediment, or a mild scoliosis. Once you know what your boundaries are, and have firm expectations of what you want and deserve from other people, you realize that you are just like anyone else. You develop compensatory movement patterns or train yourself to shift the behavioral pattern entirely. You start to recognize that certain associative chains and patterns of emotion are based on these deficits. You also learn to spot people who are looking to off load their shame onto you, and stay the fuck away. There are no appropriate or 'inappropriate ways to act socially. There are merely complex codes of behavior that are particular to a group that has decided to treat each-other as equals and honor each-others feelings- whether it is a group of swingers, or rock climbers, or jazz musicians, or evangelical christians, or Aghori Bhabas. An assumption of equality and a tacit agreement to honor all your feelings is the bare minimum you should accept. I have hung out with pretty much every available social group on the planet, and I can vouch for this.

    There are simply groups of people that are looking to off load shame and groups of people who are looking to relate to each-other. And of course the shame launderers, as I call them, are always looking to unconsciously infiltrate. Good luck!

    [–] This rock looks like a steak Dukeofurl111 1 points ago in mildlyinteresting

    So much better than "This steak looks like a rock."

    [–] Short lived spells of Suicidal ideation (Trigger Warning) Dukeofurl111 1 points ago in CPTSD

    That is one hell of a story. I tried killing myself through addiction at two points in my life. That and one serious attempt in my first semester at university. The first attempt was never acknowledged by my parents, and the subsequent bouts of addiction were simply treated as instances of personal failing.

    I hope I express my feelings here. It was only a few weeks ago that I started to realize that a lot of my feelings are actually difficult to identify. I also have difficulty expressing them because I wasn't allowed to have them. That complicates things a bit. But I'm inching along, like all of us.

    Glad you survived your jump.

    [–] Short lived spells of Suicidal ideation (Trigger Warning) Dukeofurl111 2 points ago in CPTSD

    I read your original post. Are you me? I actually held back on talking about how specific I am with ideation. I think it out step by step, like a movie, and I do think it out as an act of revenge. I was afraid of opening up about it too much, because, well, it does make a person sound a bit off kilter, doesn't it? My therapist treats it as a signal, as a way my psyche tries to exert a sense of control over overwhelming emotions. I'm pretty in line with that. After all, I work extremely hard, I'm conscientious in all my relationships, I work overtime to stay fit and healthy. I'm a hypochondriac, to be honest. So it puzzles me when I think "yeah, I'll shoot myself here, once I get the gun, and after I write these condemnatory letters to everyone who deserves one." It feels silly and adolescent, to be honest. But I wanted to address it. Thanks for your answer.

    [–] Short lived spells of Suicidal ideation (Trigger Warning) Dukeofurl111 1 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago) in CPTSD

    I have been through many healing modalities, some of them life altering. And I have a better understanding of what was done to me. The problem is that my understanding makes the bullshit of others not just harmless, but depressingly meaningless. I realize that they were (and are) only projecting (for whatever reason), and this actually makes me less comfortable. Because I become more and more aware that there is no consensus, and that everybody lives in their own befouled cage of illusion. I'm at a point right now where I'm saying "oh, so it was all illusory and meaningless? They just had to let off steam in their peculiar disgusting ways and I happened to be available? We're just patterns of random assorted triggers and ticks based on desire, avoidance, fear and cruelty? Meat cursed with questionable self awareness?" I don't find that reassuring. I find it horrifying. And it lessens my hope that someone who genuinely understands me as I know and understand myself will appear, or be able to be present to me. I'm not sure if genuine understanding or presence is possible. I'm ready to settle for good intentions. Anyhow, thanks.

    [–] Short lived spells of Suicidal ideation (Trigger Warning) Dukeofurl111 2 points ago in CPTSD

    Yeah, I go back and forth on what it would say about me. If I ever got to that point, however, I doubt that I'd care. Virginia Woolf was so careful to let her husband know that she had been happiest with him and that he had nothing to do with her decision. Extremely kind of her. John Berryman simply wrote 'I am a nuisance' on a piece of paper and jumped off a bridge. So there are different styles. Primo Levi threw himself down the stairs, without warning anyone. What few people know in the gun control debate is that there are twice as many suicides as there are homicides in North America. So when people are buying that handgun to save themselves from that mythical home invader.... Anyway, I'm better today. Hopefully it sticks.

    [–] English teachers, what topic on a “write about anything” essay made you lose hope in humanity? Dukeofurl111 1 points ago in AskReddit

    All you have to do as a teacher is copy a chunk of the text and put it back into google. The original text pops up pretty reliably. Especially since copiers and plasters aren’t nuanced in their research.

    [–] A Simple and Powerful Technique from my Therapist Dukeofurl111 3 points ago * (lasted edited 21 days ago) in CPTSD

    It would be even better if you use a direct feeling word. Such as “I feel small, sad, anxious, fearful, alone, abandoned.” That would make it harder for her to turn it around and project back onto you with an accusation. It’s harder for someone to say they don’t care that you’re sad, fearful, or devastated. Your statement was still focused on their feeling: “I feel you don’t care.” This sentence template is designed to help you to focus on your feeling. How does it feel inside you when you aren’t allowed to finish?

    Notice that she most likely felt unconsciously accused by your phrase “you don’t care about me” and lashed out with “well, you only care about yourself.” She couldn’t reach her feelings and say “It hurts me when you say I don’t care about you, and I want you to know that I do.” Instead she returned blame for blame.

    My advice is be completely honest about your feelings and draw your boundaries. That’s the best anyone can do.

    So try this: “I feel hurt and abandoned when you don’t let me finish, and I want you to let me finish”

    [–] A Simple and Powerful Technique from my Therapist Dukeofurl111 3 points ago in CPTSD

    That’s a really excellent question. Fearful, probably, as if their feelings were my burden. And yes in order to calm myself. Let me think about that.

    [–] A Simple and Powerful Technique from my Therapist Dukeofurl111 4 points ago in CPTSD

    I find that even doing this exercise silently, just for myself, is a valuable grounding tool. It reminds me that I have feelings that are valuable and that I can ask for something different if choose to. But even doing it this way I become aware of the different feelings I have throughout the day, which helps guard against dissociation. It helps me ‘check in’ with myself.

    [–] A Simple and Powerful Technique from my Therapist Dukeofurl111 6 points ago in CPTSD

    Actually, I don’t care if my therapist likes me. That’s beside the point. She isn’t my friend. She facilitates a relationship that allows me to see how I attempt to get toxic people to like me, in spite of the fact that they never will, and do not deserve my efforts.

    [–] A Simple and Powerful Technique from my Therapist Dukeofurl111 13 points ago * (lasted edited 22 days ago) in CPTSD

    True. Most likely they’d start invalidating the other person’s response, or claim they’ve been misinterpreted. But I think that people should demonstrate some concern for my feelings, at a bare minimum. After all, the entire game of toxicity and abuse is to transfer unwanted feelings without acknowledging them. Project everything, deny everything.

    [–] Sadness is closer than it appears. Dukeofurl111 2 points ago in Wellthatsucks

    Holy Shit. My wife took this photo few days ago. Right at the corner of St. Helens and Bloor (in Toronto). Now it's everywhere. We really want to know how this ends.

    [–] How does Deleuzian theory become actionable? Dukeofurl111 2 points ago in Deleuze

    That is a very complex question. Suffice it to say that Deleuze strayed more in a direction a micropolitics than a macropolitics, as he explains with Guattari in ATP. He believes the constitution of the subject is the most important political act. Where he is Marxist, it is important to note that it is an entirely non Hegelian and non dialectical Marxism, but rather a Post Structuralist reading of Marx through the lens of Spinoza and Nietszche. So not classical Marxism in any sense. Michael Peters recently wrote an editorial in 'Educational Theory and Philosophy' on this subject.