Archive for depressions
Narcissism vs. Narcissistic in Mother Daughter Relationship Problems
Someone on the EFB facebook page wrote (in a comment to someone else) that I say that my mother is a narcissist and that she was mentally ill. I have never actually said that. I have said that my mother has narcissistic tendencies. I don’t actually think that my mother is a narcissist OR that she is mentally ill. (I don’t give much weight to the way the ‘mentally ill’ diagnosis is used in our society. I recovered by realizing that my depressions were a result of ‘what happened to me’ and that they had become an ineffective coping method for me.) Having said that, my mother suffers from depressions and she has for years and for the most part she has behaved towards me in a way that communicated that she thinks that she is more important than I am. She is disrespectful when it comes to me and she reacts to me in narcissistic ways communicating that my needs are not as valid as hers.
Her actions towards me are very discounting but that doesn’t make her a narcissist. Those things don’t make my mother a narcissist simply because she isn’t the same way with everyone. If my mother is a narcissist, there is a lot of evidence that she is able to control it. At best I might say that when it comes to the way my mother regards ME, she leans toward narcissistic tendencies.
A true mental health disorder is not controllable. People who have a true disorder can’t turn it on and turn it off. They can’t convince other people that they are wonderful and then in the privacy of home treat their own children like dirt. It doesn’t work that way. True narcissists are not Read More→
“I learned to set boundaries by realizing where they were missing in my life. I learned where they were missing in my life by seeing the truth about abuse etc. As long as my value was in question (by me as a result of the way I had been defined) I could not set boundaries.” Darlene Ouimet
I googled the key words “setting personal boundaries” and the top info I found on it included understanding the abusers and not judging or placing blame on them because after all, we are all wounded souls! No wonder we have so much trouble healing from abuse! Oh it all sounds so lovely, but the truth is that I healed by setting ALL that aside after trying it that way for well over 20 years with the main result being that the depressions only increased and my boundaries got weaker. (see the links at the end of this post)
Have you ever thought about why setting personal boundaries is so dang hard in the first place? Here in Emerging from Broken, I always talk about how everything has a root. Depression starts somewhere. We are not born with low self esteem. And it is the root of both those things that makes setting personal boundaries so hard!
When I was defined as “not good enough” or “not worthy” by the actions of others in my life, it is understandable that I believed that definition of “me”. And as long as I believed that the definition of me was correct, I didn’t believe I had a right to HAVE boundaries. I didn’t believe that I had a choice in my own life about what kind of treatment I had to accept. I didn’t understand that I was being treated badly and that I had a right to say no to that treatment.
There was a root to why I had no idea Read More→
This week I keep running across sayings, posters and quotes that I find frustrating because they are all sayings and directives that I believed in and strived towards for so many years. The problem was that in reality I was spinning my wheels and not really making any progress with moving forward and away from my struggles, depressions, and oppression. Today I see some of these sayings as “directionless directives”. They sound great, ideal in fact, but they didn’t actually HELP me.
They motivated me and inspired hope in me for about twenty minutes or even a few days before the familiar feeling of personal failure set in once again. I thought I was the only one who could not achieve the decisions these little sayings were meant to inspire.
For instance the directive “Stand up for yourself even if you stand alone”; No one ever empowered me to know how to do stand up for myself. No one actually even stood up for me. I was a victim in my own home for most of my life and as I grew into my twenties and thirties I tried to change the course of my life by trying to follow some of these directions but standing up for myself was not something I knew how to do or even felt that I had “the right” to choose to do. I had no idea where to even START standing up for myself.
My self esteem had to be repaired and restored first. I didn’t know that I didn’t actually deserve the disregard for my feelings that was my reality. In my victim mentality I thought that the way to emotional health was Read More→
I saw this poster on facebook that said “PTSD isn’t about what’s wrong with you; it’s about what happened to you.” I believe this is a true statement. I believe that we can achieve all positive results through facing what happened; facing the trauma and the damage that trauma caused.
I believe that this is true for all depressions too. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the best term I have seen to describe depression. The name itself indicates that there was a trauma. After the trauma there was damage. The damage caused stress. Stress manifests itself in many different ways; depressions, dissociative disorders, physical illness and sleep disorders just to name a few.
But something happens when people actually try to face what happened. Looking back I can see how hard I fought facing it and how much I wanted to stay in the dark about the bottom line truth of it all. It’s human nature to try to protect ourselves when the truth is too painful. When we are kids it is much easier to cope by not thinking about the trauma and just “blocking it out”.
Quite often there is a terribly negative response from other people in our lives, especially from family when a survivor of trauma wants to face the facts and the truth about that trauma. When we try talking to our parents or our siblings, these people who are close to us may try to convince us that it is better NOT dealt with. We are encouraged by many to let it go, leave the past in the past, put it behind you and the list of these unhelpful trauma directives goes on and on.
Therapists will even jump on board and suggest that you have to “forgive your family” or that we should “try to understand them”, or that these parents “did they best they could” and the problem is that all this is said BEOFRE the trauma itself has been examined and Read More→
Eventually, at some point in my childhood, I accepted the fact that I was not heard and not going to be heard. I did not consciously accept it, but it was an effective part of the grooming process and I came to understand that it was “just the way it was”. I think perhaps I believed that when I was “older” or when I was an adult, I would have “my chance” to be a part of the world and finally have a voice.
When I grew up however, nothing changed. I had been taught compliance and subservience and I didn’t step out of that role just because I became an adult.
I wasn’t heard so I stopped expecting to be heard. I was not “allowed” the impact that I saw other people had. I had to listen to what everyone else wanted, but I was not given that same consideration. My opinions rarely had any impact. I sought out friends who were similar to me in their own victim mentality and found fellowship with them but I continued to have bosses, parents, boyfriends who communicated that they were more important than I was. Once again with those types of people in my life, I stopped trying to be heard. I accepted that I was not going to be heard and that my voice didn’t really matter. Not having a voice and not being heard had become Read More→
If there is ONE place that I recommend starting the emotional healing process, it is starting with the damage. That might sound easy, but I had to actually find out what “the damage” to me was.
I had to find out how I got broken. What happened to my self esteem in the first place? How did my self esteem get so low? What happened to me? That was where the keys were and those were the keys that led to freedom.
I remember when I realized that my depressions and dissociative issues came from somewhere; I sat stunned, repeating to myself over and over ~ What happened to ME?
I had to look at the roots. I thought that I was born depressed. But the more I thought about it, how could that be?? There were actual events that caused damage and my depressions were in fact related to those events! I just had to see it. I had to finally SEE it.
The biggest obstacles in my way were avoiding looking at how I used by others, how I was objectified and not considered to be equally human, and how I was failed by others. By avoiding looking at the truth about that, I was able to excuse the damage they caused. I excused them because I had to. As a child, survival is of the utmost importance and if we start complaining about the people who are failing us, but are also in charge of our welfare, it is a pretty sure fact that we are not going to survive.
When I tell stories about teachers who were bullies or outsiders who devalued or abused me, I get a huge response. It is much easier to face the truth about someone outside of the family that hurt me and damaged me than it is to face the truth that my parents let me down, but the truth is that my parents knew about the bullying and the way it was effecting me, (I was sick in bed for months) and they avoided doing anything about it until I was so sick that the Dr whose care I was under, figured it out and MADE them do something about it. As I have written before, my parents tried to resist the Doctor, but he threatened to get a court order on my behalf.
If the damage, (including the emotional damage) is excused and ignored… there is further damage. I am saying Read More→
People always told me things like “deal with it” and “get over it” and “put it behind you” They always seemed so impatient with me and even exasperated that I was still “there” and not over it.
Has anyone ever given you instructions on HOW to “deal with it”? Have you been giving information about HOW to get over it, that didn’t include statements to which you have to keep asking “how do I do that”?
Just get over it (HOW?) Just put it behind you. (HOW?) ~ “give it to God”. (HOW?) To which the answer was “Have faith” (HOW?) well you get the picture.
I was told to accept things with statements like “nothing happens by mistake” And while I totally love that expression when I was in the right place at just the right time and suddenly met the person who was going to change my life, what about when someone uses that expression “nothing happens by mistake” when you are trying to comprehend the leftover emotions from child abuse? That expression becomes a way to try to make you grateful for having been abused!
What about people who tell me that I would not be the person that I am today if I had not been abused; that the abuse made me a stronger person. (again that I should be grateful that I was abused) But the truth is that I will never know how I would have turned out. I don’t know how strong I would have been if I had never been abused. Perhaps my brilliant mind would have been capable of Read More→
I want peace on earth. I want peace in emerging from broken and before that I wanted peace in my family. I had been raised to believe that I was responsible for peace in my family or at the very least my actions either contributed to the peace or destroyed it.
As a child I was taught that there would be peace if I didn’t upset anyone. I was taught that if I complied and if I did what was expected of me; if I was quiet and polite and if I didn’t stand up for anything that went against what the adult in the situation deemed the “right way” to do things, that I would be loved and accepted.
My mother was fragile. She was prone to depressions and what she called nervous breakdowns. She made it very clear all of my childhood that if I upset her, she would have a “breakdown”. My mother ended up in the hospital when I was little with what was called “a nervous breakdown” back then. I am sure that this event had a major effect on me and that it settled somewhere in my belief system and added to my beliefs that if I upset someone they may end up in the hospital and everyone knows that people die in hospitals. Not only does a little mind wander all the way to “death” but think about the fear of abandonment and all that that implies. I could not survive Read More→
When I finally drew my boundaries and make it clear to my mother that I was no longer going to accept her devaluing treatment of me, she walked away. She never called again. Oh she played her usual manipulative tricks including telling me that I could contact her “when I have thought about it” but I quickly told her that I it wasn’t up to me anymore. It was now up to her to decide if she was going to have a real relationship with me based on love, mutual respect and equal value, OR if she was going to continue to abuse me. (An option I would no longer tolerate)
She wanted to just put the whole thing behind us and “start over” I said no and that this time I wanted to deal with it. This time I wanted my say.
She said “Oh Darlene, we have always had our differences but we have always worked them out in the past” and I responded “No Mom, in the past I have always backed down and let you have your way”.
That was the last time I spoke to her. I left it with her and she refused to bend. She refused to meet me half way. She turned me down. My mother abandoned our relationship.
When I realized that she wasn’t going to contact me again, it cut me to the core. I was rejected all over again. By walking away from me she was saying “you are not worth it Darlene. I can’t be bothered Read More→