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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Driving people away

Topic: Driving people away

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. phoenixwaitingtorise
    phoenixwaitingtorise avatar
    8 posts
    24 June 2020
    I’ve recently started seeing a psychologist and am on antidepressants to help with anxiety and PTSD as a result of growing up with a narcissistic father (psychologists words not mine - she met with him and my mum and my sister when my parents divorced). The emotional and physical abuse shaped who I am today and recently I’ve started to deal with everything I’ve been through because in the past I’ve just soldiered on but that’s not working so well for me now. In my bid to try and work through this baggage I found myself unloading the depths of my mind on a close friend and I know it’s all become too much for him. I have been so emotionally dependant and needy that it’s caused a shift in our friendship. He’s been absolutely supportive and dealt with countless meltdowns and in no way has he failed me but I know it gets to be too much and he ends up finding himself busier in life as a way to get his own downtime and a break from my crazy anxiety. He takes longer to reply or times things to make conversations shorter. Little subtle things all while trying his absolute best to reassure me he is always there because I know he wants to be but just can’t. So my answer to driving him away is to call it out and tell him that I know he needs air and he needs for me to stop relying on him so much. He didn’t disagree but said he doesn’t want me to feel let down. I’ve cut him the slack he deserves and have pulled away. I’ve told him to get the air I need and suddenly I’m back to a state of panic. My safety net is gone and I’ve gone back to feeling like the burden I grew up feeling. I’ve gone back to feeling like I don’t matter enough for anyone to fight for me. My partner is so supportive and so loving but I don’t let my emotional baggage intrude on my relationship. My friend was my leaning post because it kept my relationship safe from the damage that my emotional self would cause. Now I feel alone and as much as I feel desperate to reach out to him I know I need to give him this space and air. I know I need to stop needing him but it leaves me terrified because he’s been my rock. I have no replacement. I have no safety net. I don’t ever want to ruin my friendship and leaning on him the way I have is just not fair. It’s affecting his own mental health. So what do I do now? How do I stop needing someone? How do I stop feeling like I’m falling? I don’t have his hand to grab on to anymore and it’s making the anxiety rise more and more.
  2. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    2698 posts
    24 June 2020 in reply to phoenixwaitingtorise

    Hi phoenixwaitingtorise

    A warm welcome to you and I'm glad you came here. Something has led you to seek resources other than your friend. Perhaps you can reassure your friend that you're trying to manage your mental health challenges by accessing the forums here. I imagine it will please them to know you have people besides them to chat with, as they feel like they're letting your down while they're taking a breather. Perhaps once you reconnect with them, they may be surprised by a few new perspectives you've picked up here.

    I feel for you so much, having been raised (or should I say brought down) by a mentally and physically abusive person, especially one who believed they had the right to be this way. Such a person may easily say 'Well that's the way I was raised and it didn't do me any harm'. I beg to differ. You could say it made them emotionally numb. You could say it led them to not care for reason, the reasons their child has for what they do or what they say. You could say it led them to believe physical brutality is the solution, over teaching their child constructive skill sets. So, at the end of the day you could say, overall, it did do harm. It led that person/parent to be emotionally disconnected, careless, unreasonable and unskilled in the way of life and parenting. Since you are looking for greater understanding, you could say you are more emotionally connected, careful, reasonable (seeking to find reason and understanding) and you are in the process of skill development in the way of life. Good for you. It takes a conscious person to embark on such a quest, a quest your father never took.

    The problem with that 'Toughen up' mantra so many parents can tend to instill in their child is it does the opposite of making us sensitive enough to find the detail and the answers as to why we and others tick the way we or they do. Wondering whether you dad was one of those 'Toughen up' people. Toughening up tends to shut us down to some degree. So, I'd like to think you're sensitive when it comes to your quest for answers and self understanding in life.

    Again, glad you came here, a place with so many amazing sensitive supportive people :)

    1 person found this helpful
  3. phoenixwaitingtorise
    phoenixwaitingtorise avatar
    8 posts
    24 June 2020 in reply to therising

    Thank you so much for such a supportive reply. You nailed my father for sure. Definitely a toughen up attitude and it has left me very sensitive and also hyper aware of others emotions and feelings and also hyper aware of my surroundings. I notice the way things say things, the words they use, the tone, their gestures, their timing, their body language, their pauses, their hesitations, everything. It’s something I think I’ve done to know what to expect from people. I try to read the room and everyone in it. I think that’s why it was so easy for me to see it was all becoming too much for my friend.

    I also think you’re right. He would take comfort knowing that I’m okay and that I’m getting support elsewhere. I don’t want him to feel like he is letting me down or failing me but I know him and I know he would be feeling guilty for needing the air too.

    I’m definitely trying to find new perspective and learn better coping mechanisms from those on here so it means a lot for you to call out that this is a positive action and very different to what my father would have done for sure. I am seeking a way to get better and to help myself with my demons whereas as he thought he was perfect and had no demons to fight.

    Again, I am really thankful for your reply.

  4. therising
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    2698 posts
    25 June 2020 in reply to phoenixwaitingtorise

    Hi phoenixwaitingtorise

    I would imagine it's not so easy for people like your dad to read a room as well as you do. Folk like this are more focused on what the room should be doing for them. In other words, they're self focused.

    Wouldn't surprise me if you have a lot of natural abilities, being this sensitive. We tend to begin life with many natural abilities. With certain influences, growing up, they can be suppressed to some degree. The goal becomes to re-turn to them, as opposed to continuing to turn to what oppresses. I know, easier said than done. Give you a handful of examples:

    • Ability to read people: Say your dad walks into a room and suddenly your mum's whole vibe changes. If you have empathic abilities, you'll feel how she feels. She may feel dread or stress. You decide not to confront your father regarding his attitude, instead you say to your mum 'Wow mum, I must say you're looking amazing today'. She vibes up, her mood changes and you've disempowered your dad to some degree. You change the mood of the room. You're in charge in more ways than one. Courage, pride and love really do tend to charge us up
    • Ability to wonder: As I mentioned, easier said than done in some cases. Imagine your dad said something insulting to you and you thought 'I wonder what it would feel like not to give a s***. What the heck, I'll give it a go. The whole time he's talking you're thinking 'I really couldn't give one. I couldn't care less about this dude's opinion. The man's a maniac'. You come to listen to your intuition which says 'Don't pay him any attention'. Your inner sanity challenges his inner sanity. You already know the 2 are very different. Must say, I prefer yours - sensitive, thoughtful, caring etc
    • Ability to question: 3 year old's naturally question everything, until they're taught to stop questioning. You know the typical 'Don't question me, just do as you're told!' or 'You need to stop asking so many questions all the time'. Always question the questionable I say. Imagine questioning your dad, out of curiosity, 'What was it that led you to be such an insensitive person? I really want to know. I'm just naturally curious. Tell me how it all happened'. I can imagine this question would not go down too well :)

    Just a handful of the many super natural abilities you possess - reading people and situations, empathy, wonder, curiosity, natural questioning, listening to intuition. Returning to such abilities naturally leads us to leave self doubt behind.

    :)

  5. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2698 posts
    25 June 2020 in reply to phoenixwaitingtorise

    Hi phoenix, me again

    Got to thinking after that last post I sent, YOU ARE SERIOUSLY IMPRESSIVE!!!! I'll elaborate:

    Imagine being born a naturally sensitive person, with so many amazing abilities. Someone of influence comes along and spends years trying to recondition you to being as insensitive, thoughtless, wonderless and as careless as them. Years later, you're still sensitive, thoughtful, wonderful and careful. You still can't help but wonder a lot and are full of care on top of that. You gotta admit, that's pretty impressive. I know it may not be feeling terribly impressive but, the truth is, it's mind blowing how strong you are, to have stood the test of time, under your father's terms and conditions. I find you to be amazing.

    Not sure if this will help change your perspective but imagine if someone came up to you today and said 'Okay, you're going to be living with me from now on and the terms and conditions are as follows:

    • Every time you try leading me to see reason, I am going to say 'I don't care'. I'm going to say this phrase to you hundreds and hundreds of times to the point where it becomes depressing
    • Every time I am given the opportunity to understand you better, I'm going to dismiss this opportunity and rant at you or hit you instead
    • Every time I have the chance to observe the sensitive attention to detail you give to things and people, I am going to degrade you and question why you have to analyse everything

    Wouldn't you be left thinking 'This is seriously messed up stuff. This dude is crazy if he expects me to live this way. What is wrong with him?!' The fact that you would see this as seriously messed up easily shows you what is right with you and how truly amazing you have been, living under such terms and conditions.

    Again, YOU ARE SERIOUSLY IMPRESSIVE! I hope you come to see this as the truth.

    :)

  6. phoenixwaitingtorise
    phoenixwaitingtorise avatar
    8 posts
    4 July 2020 in reply to therising

    I took some time to really think about what you wrote and it has helped to really open my mind and change my perspective. I can’t actually even articulate how much this helped so instead, all I can say is thank you. Thank you so very much!

  7. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2698 posts
    4 July 2020 in reply to phoenixwaitingtorise

    Hi phoenixwaitingtorise

    You have a natural ability to recognise the truth, that you have been someone incredible all along. Told you you're amazing and now you know it as a fact.

    As I've mentioned to folk in the past, we're kinda like human lie detectors. What causes us pain (such as the degrading words of others) often involves lies. What causes us joy often involves the truth. A sensitive person will feel one or the other through their mental and physical emotions. Inspiration raises us. Degradation brings us down. Pay attention to how you feel when people speak to you and gradually learn to naturally separate lies from truths. Personally, I always find this to be an interesting exercise. Yes, I'm pretty sensitive :) Remain aware, being so sensitive, people can easily trigger your lie detector. In other words, they can trigger you.

    Stay sensitive to raising your consciousness and finding more amazing truths about yourself. There are a lot to discover.

    Happy rising to you my friend :)

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