Be Kind To Yourself

I’m in a recycling of myself kind of mood and mode at the moment…
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Frankly I’ve forgotten some… maybe more than some… of what I’ve written about since I’ve been blogging and I thought it might be an idea (good or bad?) to review and maybe repost it via a reblog (so many ‘re’ words… is it Mercury retrograde season?).
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So on a lazy Sunday when I woke up to the sound of me criticising myself before I’d actually woken up properly… luckily I wasn’t really listening… but I heard the tone of the inner voice and knew what it was doing… I thought I’d remind myself of my own words about this particular habit.
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Maybe I’ll hear myself this time… really hear it. Maybe not. It’s a bit of a crap shoot in more ways than one 🙂

An Upturned Soul

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to be kind to yourself. And how easy it is to be mean. To criticise. Point out flaws, imperfections, errors, and everything else we think is wrong with us. We tell ourselves the awful truth on a constant basis. And yet there is so much to love about ourselves if we could just stop the negative voices, and listen to the positive ones.

Easier said than done, I know. I have the ‘Not good enough’ virus. There are days when I see myself as a failed human who is somehow still alive in spite of the fact that I’m completely useless. I look at everyone else and see shining examples of great humans, and I just don’t measure up. I know I’m seeing myself through distorted spectacles, and I remind myself of that all the time, which actually makes things worse, because…

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9 thoughts on “Be Kind To Yourself

  1. How do you both get what I mean so precisely? Oh yea, you’re both children of Ns.
    You know,when I was growing up in that awful environment , all I wanted was to have a “normal” calm life . I saw how my friend’s families acted and I wanted that too. I managed to achieve that for around the past 30 years. Except when i met Nboss about 15 years ago and we had some emotional affair of sorts . He played a similar game with me as Ndoc does. After a few years I did as Seashell suggests, just reached my threshold with it and wanted to move in a new direction. I did that very well when I was ready. So I know you are right , and that applies to this new situation that has developed too.
    Ursula you do have the pulse of the components of my addiction. At the end you stated that sometimes I pretend its out of my control but deep down I know its not and I secretly like that . You know what , you’re right. Maybe that has to do with how I tried to get love from my Nmom. I so wanted her to be normal and I so wanted her to really listen to me and to love me. As you would say . “she wouldn’t and couldn’t” do those things. This component made me feel like I had to keep trying. If I was busy or focused on another part of my life as a young adult, she would sort of seductively jokingly lure me to entice me to refocus on her and get drawn back into that awful futile dynamic. This is EXACTLY what Ndoc does. I interpret that as “caring ” because if someone is going through all that trouble to craft jokes just for you , it HAS to mean they care about you in their own sick way , doesnt it?
    Why would a doctor craft jokes and come up with discussions to push your exact buttons and be so intent on watching your reactions? And if I choose to not to react to him or to act as indifferent to him or his comments , why does he get frantic and crank the whole routine up to to even a more intense level? Once I react , he’s clearly relieved and very pleased and happy. Then its charm. charm and all is happy and good . He gets so connected he has a hard time breaking away from the conversation. Also if I dont follow his suggestions for treatment he gets either angry or has also gotten sulky. Again this confusing behavior indicates “caring ” to me in my mind.
    If someone else was telling me all this , I would tell them all these things sound manipulative. They do. But why do I sense that he cares about me ? Why did I sense my mom cared about me, when she never showed me any love ? I just “knew” she loved me anyway. It’s just a sense without any evidence. It comes from connecting the dots and not having it literally given to you , the way normal love is . This connect the dots kind of love is what i get from Narcs. Its very mentally challenging to have to do so much work to get the prize of their love. Their elusive love. Their unstable love. Their love which they cant seem to harness and deliver to you , even though a big part of them wants to. They’re too damaged and they cant ( because of what was done to them as children ) . It s a captivating dynamic . The drama goes hand in hand with all of this because many emotions are evoked in this game on both sides,

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      1. Ursula. Good point.
        And as you said , the N attraction is only fantasy to me, It’s mental fodder. I do enjoy the “outwitting” part tremendously. . Its a guilty pleasure . I do think you hit the nail on the head that this is the on the aspect the I find “addicting”.

        I couldn’t outwit or even question my mom as a child , cause I did not have the capacity as a child . I was helpless and completely at her mercy. And there was no mercy from her .
        But now I’m all grown and I did find my strength and came to realize that I am smart, after all. Even really smart in some ways.

        Soap opera like dynamics that I can carry on indefinitely…. yes . I do love that aspect of the attraction
        . Maybe it echos my relationship with my mom. My moms hold on me was real but if I repeated incidents to you they would have a dramatic or soap opera quality to them. She was always over the top and off the wall. Even when I’d visit her when I was an adult , I ‘d hope the visit would go well and everyone would be civilized. But it was only a matter of time before someones buttons got pushed. and something escalated and there was drama. and upset. So I guess love to me as I learned from my Nmom is “confusing drama”.

        I try so hard to live a life unlike this . I know better, i know its not really love.
        As i told you earlier I find myself drawn to these “side relationships/friendship” that echo the “sick love” dynamic.
        Of course you’re right its not Narcdoc himself. Its the dynamic .It does make me feel alive. Challenged. Getting a thrill from finding someone who is as good as my mom at the button pushing dynamic. But this time around , who is outsmarting who?

        And yes there is a huge comfort to me knowing I can leave him in the dust at any moment of my choosing an end it all and leave HIM in shambles. I do know its true cause I’ve seen him sulk already. Its just a game of mental chess as you stated , so yes its a prize or goal of sorts . But as I know well , and as you do N love is elusive so the goal post t is never clear and is never really in reach.

        Thank you for your astute observations. Everything you said was true.
        I’m not ruthless or as tough as Patty Hewes though, I’m more of a girly girl. (: I think you honed in in her cause when I do know something I really know it and have strong convictions to that ” truth.”

        Again, big THANK YOU ! I feel so much better. I feel heard , understood and relieved.

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        1. You just have to read your own words to realise that you know everything that you need to know, what you do with your knowledge is up to you, you’re the one in control of your life. 🙂

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          1. I guess you’re right— I hate it but I love it simultaneously.
            A remnant of my upbringing, being the child of a Narcissist is that I am drawn to have these relationships that leave me in a state that feels chaotic and upheaval like on some levels .I perceive this as a sign of bonding , and even feel amusement from it when it comes to the opposite sex .These friends are all people that i have to work at to experience their loving side. Alot of walking on eggshells to avoid setting off their N wounds. Also alot of engaging them in chess like interactions .The reason I am drawn to this is that it feels familiar to me and that comforts me in some way .Normal relationships to me are very boring since they don’t involve all these challenging bells and whistle like components. .. Plus I do get alot of enjoyment out of these relationships because I have alot in common with these friends and we have a great time. These are all people that I regularly have deep conversations with for hours and hours literally People have to literally peel us apart and interrupt our conversations when we get going. Even then, we cant break apart. We really enjoy talking with each other immensely!!!. ( this includes my doctor- his nurse has had to break our conversations apart and move him on cause he had the next patient and he was engrossed in what he was talking to me about ) Though I do have deep connections to my nonN friends , its not even close in duration or intensity. . I could never have endless conversations with them or get as deep with them. My N relationships are very deep connections. We “get” each other in some way.I perceive this as very special.

            Hopefully in time I will see that this is harmful to me in many ways rather than fun , good and comforting . If not, its my choice. I learn something each time this happens. I am slowly making progress by becoming aware of the dynamic. I have no frame of reference for healthy relationships , so that really is the bottom line.
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            For over a decade I was trying to find therapist to help me sort this out ( the N male attraction thing) and heal this . Only you were able to help me . None of them could even get close.
            As difficult and humiliating as this was to share , it was worth it. You are brilliant.
            Can you please discuss the chess like interactions part some more?
            No sure how you picked up on that , but a very big component , and one that I never realized or even read about.

            Hugs , hugs , hugs to you ! 🙂

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            1. There are many good sources, on the internet, books, film and TV (the Chessmaster is a favourite trope and regularly used character – http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheChessmaster ), etc, which examine in detail chess-like interactions in relationships, particularly those which involve narcissists and sociopaths.

              This is a short and clever insight into the games narcs like to play – http://thenarcissisticlife.com/games-narcissists-play/ – and why we (wittingly or unwittingly) play with them.

              This is a look inside the mind of a self-confessed sociopath (a female) – http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201305/confessions-sociopath – and how/why she drew people into her games.

              This is an excellent indie film – Charlie Casanova – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1740091/ – which shows how and why good people get themselves sucked into the games of a charismatic sociopath.

              And, of course, there’s Eric Berne’s Games People Play. Even if you don’t play any of the games he mentions in the book, they will be familiar and will help to show that there is always an element of gameplay in all our interactions, the game we favour reflects the sort of games we grew up with and the way our mind works. Narcs and sociopaths seem to favour human chess as a game. As a child of narcs you would have learned to play this game, and you may feel compelled to keep playing it until perhaps you feel that you have finally won… but such a game is not designed to be won. Chess players rarely retire from playing chess because there is always a new move to learn.

              The best source of information on the chess-like interactions though, is yourself. Look inside, discuss it within, all the answers are there.

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  2. Hi Ursula,

    Its been a while …I hope you’re doing ok. (:
    I know what you mean about sometimes its hard for us to be kind to ourselves. I am my own constant critic.
    I’ve been trying to work on my issues but things have only intensified.
    I completed treatment with Narcdoc and had every intention of moving on . But unexpectedly, I became intrigued/addicted to him and feel like I dont want to leave.
    I went through phases of trying to figure out why. My new therapist insists its ” daddy issues”. I disagree.
    Yes he may have evoked some of my memories of my dad crossing my boundaries and being sadistic and even coveting me sexually when he leered at me . All true. But even bigger , he evokes the feelings that my Narcmom evoked : confusion, mixed love/hate messages, seductive verbal exhibitionism , manipulation,all with a luring quality. .It may be the combo of both evocations that has been in this mentally bound state , in a sense feeling so familiar to my childhood past that is like a moth being drawn to the light. I am in awe of the intricacies of my very unhealthy family of origin dynamic being presented to me in the scenario with this person. Believe me , my family was so dysfunctional that i have never seen anyone even come close to being similarly as sick as any of them. When I broke free from in my 20s. I ran and dd not want any part of that dysfunction. As an adult myself. I kept futilely trying to have a relationship with them , but on my healthy terms only ( which never worked) Its been nearly a decade since Ive gone no contact with them and in that time my mom passed .
    Maybe I’m just drawn to Narc doc – the way some people are drawn to watching catastrophic events . they cant be peeled away from observing since its so shocking to observe. There is no reasoning with me right now. I cant solve this with empirical evidence, facts psychology, books ,or even introspection which I have spent months doing. I have a loving family of my own and friends. Yet I am drawn to experiencing this dysfunctional relationship . He is relentlessly verbally seductive to me and knows exactly how to push my buttons and it just sends me to the moon and makes me giggly . He just mentally touches me in a place that noone has ever touched me in. I have become addicted to this dynamic.
    I saved some of the advice you offered me in the past. You suggested that the key this situation was figuring out why I allow him to treat me in a way that I would never allow others to treat me. I think it has to to with his ability to sense my buttons and sneak in & push them. Yes I allowed it– and it all started because he has such confusing boundaries that I was intrigued by. Something about him was incongruent and I was captivated in trying to see what is was.I sensed that we both have survived abusive upbringings and that we both are emotionally immature for our ages though we both present as accomplished competent adults . I felt a connection to him on those aspects. Does any of what Im saying make any sense to you?

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    1. Hello Narcvic,
      just wanted to tell you i felt the same with my former N therapist and the only solution is to go no contact, but before doing that you need to achieve the highest threshold possible for you, in a way it will happen only when you’ll be so much hurt you will not be able to do otherwise.
      You feel it’s addictive because his behaviour is familiar to your unconscious and he follows the same pattern you had to go through with your family. I found useful to keep a detached eye on what was happening, i was sort of in and out of the situation and finally my logical side took the decision. It was very hard and I shall confess sometimes I think of him, he could touch and spot sensitive areas nobody could.
      i wish you to be strong and to finally choose something for and not against yourself. Take care, seashell.

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    2. You asked if what you are saying makes any sense to me, my answer is yes.

      You’re the child of narcissists, therefore the narcissist way of life and relating is ‘normal’ for you. It’s what you grew up with, and what we grow up with becomes our reference point for ‘normal’ even if it is ‘abnormal’ to others. So, you find a strange comfort in the heightened drama experienced through your story with Narcdoc which you do not find with your ‘loving family of my own and friends’. Your loving family and friends, and your new therapist, their version of reality, bores you, whereas Narcdoc and your version of reality/fantasy reality with him, excites you and makes you and your life exciting. A real life soap opera. Addictive drama to be continued… indefinitely. It’s not Narcdoc that makes it exciting, it’s how you use him which makes it so. You could outwit him in a split second, or leave him in your dust, discard him, move on, but you choose not to.

      You’re fully aware of all of this and always have been. You’re way ahead of your new therapist and anyone else to whom you tell your story. Nothing your new therapist or anyone else tells you is ‘news’ to you. You’re very aware, but a part of you just doesn’t care for that of which you are very aware.

      You’re very intelligent, and wily with your intelligence, your intelligence was honed in the minefield of growing up with highly manipulative people, so being around really ‘normal’ people who aren’t constantly challenging you to a game of life chess, who aren’t playing games with you, bores the eff out of you. You keep hoping they’ll be more interesting, but they aren’t so you seek that kind of interest out elsewhere.

      That ‘normal and simple’ life which you may have craved to have when you were caught up in the narcissistic way of life, when it was forced upon you… now you have it with your friends and family… well, it’s nice to have it, but you don’t find nice as interesting as it seemed when it was out of your reach. Nice is kind of stupid to someone as intelligent as you, you hate having to ‘dumb yourself down’ to appreciate it. Therein lies the rub and the reason why Narcdoc is so stimulating. If you lost Narcdoc, gave him up, you’d find someone else to replace him, another manipulative narc or sociopath with which to have a battle of wills. It’s not him… it’s you. You want to feel alive, have every nerve in your body stimulated, every emotion needs to be dramatic, and your intelligence, your very clever mind, challenged and possibly on the verge of being outwitted… but no one can outwit you!

      You’re like Patty Hewes from Damages. You love what you hate and hate what you love. And you’re very aware of it. You’re too intelligent for your own good, and you know it. You know it all inside and out. And you know that it is all your own choice. What will you choose? Stayed tuned until next week’s episode…

      You know it’s all up to you… sometimes you wish you didn’t know that and that it was not up to you. Sometimes you pretend that it’s all out of your control, but you know deep down that you’re still in control… and you like that.

      It’s just the way it is, the way you are, and some things, people, us… they change and yet never change.

      Does this make any sense to you?

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