adult children of alcoholics, adult children of narcissistic abuse', disfunctional families, emotional healing, emotional trauma, empowerment, mental illness

Adult Children of Alcoholics

People who grew up with alcoholic parents usually realize at some point that there are certain behaviors and thought patterns that are happening that are different from other adults.

This realization often comes as a result of problems with relationships, particularly romantic partner relationships. You may have struggled with feelings of inadequacy and depression.

You may also struggle with a mental illness like an anxiety disorder or even bipolar disorder. The situations that people grew up in were similar in some ways but with important differences. This is why everyone did not end up with the same disorders.

The important things to talk about here are the things that are similar between adult children of alcoholics and what you can do to help yourself. If you grew up in a house with an alcoholic parent then your normal emotional ans social development was interfered with in some way.

You were exposed to bad communication and you did not get the emotional support you needed. There was not enough validation of you as a person with individual thoughts, ideas, feelings and identity.

When early programming is screwed up you are left with a brain that does not process and function in the best way to serve you. The proper “software” that you needed to function well as an adult was not installed into your brain’s hard drive.

As an adult you now struggle with feeling adequate and asserting your boundaries. You also may have trouble maintaining a sense of identity and your role in relationships.

There are thought patterns that are inflexible and also work against you. Thought patterns are habits, just like anything else can become a habit. They can be re-programmed with NLP and NLP hypnosis.

Black and white thinking is a typical pattern for people that are ACOA’s. This is when you see situations as rigid and being two sided, with no other possibilities. Things have to be one way or the other and your brain is trapped into this box that you were taught is real.

Catastrophic thinking is also a typical pattern of thought of ACOA’s. This is when your brain begins with one event and projects into the future a series of consequences that you believe will inevitably follow , ultimately ending in your pain or destruction.

These programs were installed into your brain from early ages and trained into you over time. You were brainwashed into accepting your fate about certain kinds of scenarios.

In order to avoid painful communication, shaming, and other abuse, you had to comply with your alcoholic parent, your codependent parent and other care givers that were revolving around the alcoholic parent.

These coping skills you learned were survival techniques in order for you to stay safe and to feel safe. You endured years of various kinds of emotional / mental abuse.

You were made to focus on needs of the  the alcoholic parent.If they were prone to rages, then you were conditioned to always be on alert for anything that would set them off. You had to alter your natural behavior so as not to incur the wrath of the parent.

Your relationship with the non-alcoholic parent was probably not normal either. They may have been a codependent that was catering to the alcoholic and they may also have had other mental disorders or at least emotional problems from living in the situation themselves.

In order to overcome the thought patterns that are working against you now, you need to identify what they are and why they are not serving you.

Your life can improve and you can have more possibilities and options open to you, if you can understand what parts of your thinking are programs that other people installed into you.

Seeing the difference between your own thoughts and feelings as opposed to those that were trained into you, is a step towards being able to be true to yourself and have more possibilities open to you.

 

 

 

 

abusive relationships, battered women, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, mental illness, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, Narcissistic psychpath, psychopathic abuse, Ptsd from abuse

The Art of the Abuse , Bullying Cycle

Just because someone has momentarily stopped tormenting, bullying and abusing you does not mean they are being kind.

It can be easy to confuse the lack of cruelty with kindness. You may even project intentions into someone’s actions, assuming they have changed and now intend to be good to you.

How many times have they “changed” for the better? How many cycles have you lived through?

Don’t deceive yourself about what comes next or think it will be different this time. Selfish, self centered people will repeat the same patterns.

In fact, many abusive, narcissistic people know that a reprieve from the abuse on you will make you suffer more the next time. The act of starting and stopping their bullying tactics is all part of the same cycle.

Your nervous system is more severely interfered with when the abuse starts and stops. It creates a false sense of hope which causes you to be crushed with disappointment, disillusionmant and causes mental instability.

The starting and stopping cycle causes PTSD and other kinds of anxiety disorders. The brain’s system of fight or flight does not know when to turn off because the threat is unpredictable and imminent.

aftermath of narcissistic abuse, anxiety, anxiety disorder, codependence, depression, domestic abuse, domestic violence, emotional abuse, emotional healing, empowerment, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, narcissistic abuse

You are Just as Worthy as Anyone Else Is

You are beautiful and worthy. If you feel that your life has no purpose then you might just be off course. You may be in a job that is not serving you or following a path that is not serving and supporting you. 

You can make changes that create opportunities for you to explore your value and worth. You may not even know why you ended up where you are. Other people may have influenced you more that you realize. 

You have a right to make changed in your life, even of other people will feel disappointed or not understand. You have the right to live your own life and make your own choices. Other people are often concerned with their own agenda and will tell you what they need to tell you, to get their way. 

you are beautiful

You do not have to believe everything other people tell you or want you to believe, especially when it come to who you are, what you are capable of, how you should feel, what you should feel obligated to or how you should live your life. You are the one who has to live this life of yours, not them. 

If you feel that you can do something better or different , then you probably can do it. You just need to be supported. If the people around you are not supporting you then you surround yourself with people who will. 

Once you set onto a path of pursuing what you want to do, many doors will open to you. You have to take a step in the direction that you feel called to walk towards. There are possibilities that you cannot even see yet. 

Sometimes who we hang around with, who we believe and what we think about our skills, is just habit. These are  habits if the brain. Thought patterns and thought behaviors can be changed by you. They are only habits that have been learned and ingrained into us, but they are not permanent. 

You are beautiful the way you are because of who you are inside and what potential you have. But you can make changes to make yourself feel more beautiful and more worthy. Your environment, your friends, your work and your surrounding should support you in the best way possible. 

You can become what you feel you are called for. Reach into yourself and listen to what you really want and think you can do. Do not let bad programming that others infected you with, stop you from believing in yourself .

Go after your dreams and explore what you want out of your life. Realize your ability to be supported by life and those around you. Get links to more articles  by adding your email and info and subscribing HERE.

Blessings, 

Annie    

Receive gentle kindness coaching newsletter and discounts HERE because you have potential yet to explore !

gentlekindnesscoaching.com

abusive relationships, adult children of abuse, adult children of alcoholics, adult children with alcoholic parents, anxiety attack, child abuse, dysfunctional families, life, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic mothers, narcissistic parents

Adult Children from Dysfunctional Families Dealing with Emotions and C-PTSD

rain dance

This term “dysfunctional family” is a catch all basket term that includes a variety of types of malfunction within the family that can cause trauma and C-PTSD to the child.

Children of alcoholic parents fall into this category and even have their own phrase, which many of you have heard “Adult Children of Alcoholics.” Of course adult children of drug addicted parents, whether narcotic addicted or even prescription drug abusers also falls into this basket term.

The family can be dysfunctional when one or both of he parents are abusive in a physical, sexual, mental, emotional or any psychological way. Abuse can occur from other members of the family other than the parents. Even siblings and grandparents can cause the home to be unhealthy psychologically for the children growing up in it.

Some preteens ans teens are left alone most of the time due to a single parent work schedule and no other relative available. Having to parent yourself all the time can cause psychological dysfunction and important “brain software upgrades” can be missed at these ages. 

This may not be the parent’s fault and may be circumstantial but can be as devastating to the child than if it were intentional. The intention of the parent to be abusive or to create a psychologically damaging atmosphere to grow up in is not the main factor of whether or not the child is damaged.

If you were in any atmosphere that interfered with your normal social and psychological development them you may have C-PTSD from your childhood. C-PTSD is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

C-PTSD is caused by years of being in various situations where you felt unsafe and you also felt trapped into the situation with no choice to leave it. 

As a child we are mostly sentenced to the life we are living in therefore there is a feeling of powerlessness about having to stay in the situation. It can feel like a prison.

If there was a divorce or other upheaval like moving a lot, then we may have been in multiple environments with different kinds of abuse, or trauma that happened at various ages and from various different people. This is the root cause of C-PTSD.

Complex trauma is built over time and compounded by one traumatic event or situation being piled on top of the next.

There can be years and years of traumatic experiences from emotional abuse by different relatives and non-relatives like babysitters and people that dated our parent. Moving and having to be the new kid at school and adjust to unfamiliar houses and neighborhoods can also be traumatic. 

Being different than the other kids at school who have more stable lives can lead to bullying at school, which further compounds the complex trauma.

As you were growing up you may have felt like there was something wrong with you because you never seemed to fit in with the other kids who did not share your trauma and inadequate support system.

The feeling that there was something wrong with you further compounded the trauma.

Love Yourself

As you got older the type of abuse you were exposed to probably changed. As a small child you may have been emotionally abused by being ignored and minimized. As a teenager the abuse may have increased to aggressive yelling. hitting, or being thrown out of the house for periods of time.

Layers of Abuse and Trauma

The combinations and layers of abuse, neglect, and trauma that can occur are endless. Each person has their own experience and each person’s past is unique. Your story won’t be just like anyone else’s.

If you feel like something is wrong with you and it feels like it goes back into your teenage years or your childhood, then you probably have complex post traumatic stress disorder. 

I am going to write a series of posts about C-PTSD because I feel that so many people are suffering from this and either do not know that they are, or have no where to turn to for help with it. The results of C-PTSD can be devastating. Most people with C-PTSD have mental illness of one kind or another or a co-morbid condition of more than one mental disorder. 

Depression is common with any kind post traumatic stress disorder. There will also be hyper vigilance about things that feel threatening.

The amygdala has become dysfunctional and the fight or flight mode is likely to turn itself on at the slightest trigger of a memory associated with earlier trauma, even of the trauma happened before your conscious memory can remember. 

Trauma and abuse can occur in infants and very small children.

The memory from this age cannot be stored in the conscious memory system. The memory will be stored in the subconscious as feelings of fear and being unsafe.

 There can be triggers that set of your fight or flight mode and you do not understand them because they are from when you were too young to remember. If you came from trauma that you do remember, it is very possible that there is also trauma that you do not remember that is from when you were an infant and in your toddler years. 

20150828_184731

Flashbacks are pictures, sights, sounds, feelings and other memories of a traumatic event or situation which come back to our brains like they are happening right now.

Emotional Flashbacks

Emotional flashbacks are a flooding of a negative feeling that overcomes you when something triggers a past trauma. Emotional flashbacks may come to you like anxiety attack or a wave of depression. They may come in form a sudden distrust of a person or situation that is triggering the memory of a past abuse.

Realizing that we may not remember all of the reasons why we experience floods of seemingly illogical emotions can help us to heal from our trauma.

We never feel things for no reason. People may tell you that you are overly sensitive or too thin skinned or that you tend to over-react to things, but you are none of those things.

If you are sensitive to people saying certain kinds of things to you, then it is a response to earlier wounds that were inflicted upon you. When old wounds are opened up and even pressed into, there is going to be an emotional response. This is no overreacting, it is simply reacting to someone throwing salt into an open wound.

Some of your wounds may have occurred too young for you to remember.

Some of your wounds may have caused during adulthood such as a partner being abusive. Even then this abuse was also probably opening older wounds that you already had.

Most people do not stay is abusive relationships unless they were trained to do that as a child. Abuse victims get that same feelings of being trapped into a cage that they had when they were growing up. 

Fight, Flight or Freeze

The fight or flight mode actually has one more possible part to it, which is the “freeze” mode. It is really “fight, flight or freeze.”

When we feel that we are in danger, especially if it triggers earlier trauma then the brain often goes into the freeze mode. This is a way of the brain trying to protect us although it may not serve us as adults. These post traumatic stress responses are very powerful because they are embedded in our subconscious. 

Our subconscious brain has a lot of power over our feelings and our reactions. In order to heal from complex trauma and post traumatic stress much of the work needs to be done at the level of the subconscious brain.

This can be done through meditation, certain NLP techniques, listening to audios designed for this that put us into a light hypnotic state. If you prefer you can go to someone who does hypnosis and specializes in C-PTSD and PTSD.

I will close for now because this is getting so long to read. I plan to write a few more articles about this topic. This was intended to the introductory article about this.

Blessings to all,

Annie

abusive relationships, adult children of narcissistic abuse', dysfunctional families, emotional abuse, life, mental abuse, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic parents

Are you the Scapegoat in Your Family?

Scapegoating is a term that is used for the one person in a dysfunctional family that is targeted by the abusive family member for receiving the most aggressive abuse.

Usually this person is targeted by the abuser because of their resistance to pretending that the household is normal.

If you were the truth teller in the family then you pointed out when boundaries were being crossed and when the other people were being mistreated. You were the one that probably defended siblings who were being abused. You may have tried to draw the abuse towards yourself in order to protect younger siblings from getting the brunt of it.

Very often the main abusive parent has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, although there are other personality disorders which cause people to abuse their children, like Malignant Borderline Personality Disorder. 

The narcissistic parent us the focal point of the family because they demand that their needs and desires are primary. The needs of the scapegoat are ignored. They are labeled as the troublemaker in the family. Things they say are often  used against them.

Fault for most every problem in the family ends of being dumped onto the scapegoat. The narcissist projects their own faults and personality disorder into the scapegoat. 

The scapegoat is the one that can see that something is wrong with the narcissistic parent ans their behavior. The narcissist wants everyone in the family to pretend that everything is normal and their abusive behaviors are not abusive. The scapegoat angers the narcissist by being able to see through the false reality they create.

If you were the scapegoat child then your accomplishments were ignored or minimized. You were compared to other family members and the narcissistic parent would see to it that your accomplishments were seen as less than the other children’s and their own. 

Family decisions may have been made without you in family meeting that you were intentionally not invited to. Yet you were still expected to go along with the decisions that narcissist made without expressing any dislike or negative feelings about anything.

You were emotionally punished for any resistance to what the narcissist wanted to do, even if it was harmful to you or others in the family. 

As an adult the narcissist probably gossips about you and talks about you behind your back. They twist around the reality of things you say and do, in order to give a false image to others about you. You are called selfish behind your back anytime you tell the narcissist “no” or try to set  healthy boundaries for the preservation of your mental health.

Your mental health is not only considered unimportant,  but it is attacked intentionally by the narcissistic parent in order to undermine you.

They use techniques like gaslighting and triangulating to break you down. You end up looking like the one who is at fault in the relationship because the narcissist lies to the other family members about you.

Even though the abusive parent is the unstable one, you are often made out to be the one that is mentally disordered.

Your behaviors are taken out of context and re-framed by the narcissist to appear illogical, irrational or selfish. By the time to are able to tell your side of the story to anyone, it is too late because the narcissist got to them first and has been spreading a smear campaign against you.

At times you may be shunned by the narcissist or by the entire family, because the narcissist tells them that they should not speak to you.

However when someone is needed to step in during an emergency you are often the first one they will call and expect to drop everything to help. You are expected to be the problem solver and the one to offer assistance, even after you were made to feel inadequate in the past.

Responsibility is not equally allotted or equally shared.

The scapegoat is always expected to do more than anyone else without complaining, and they are expected to do the work that no one else wants to do.

There is never any thank you or credit given to the scapegoat for doing things for the family. In fact there will be a big deal made over a little thing that the golden child did for the narcissist, while your contribution and efforts are minimized or forgotten…until the next time they need something from you.

Scapegoating is a reflection on the person refusing to take responsibility or be held accountable, not the person being blamed. The scapegoat also provides a buffer against reality to support the family denial. The scapegoat carries the lion’s share of the blame, shame, anger and rejection so narcissistic mother can maintain her patterns of dysfunction while continuing to appear normal. 

The scapegoat is punished by several methods. Shaming, ignoring, minimizing accomplishments, undermining, abused, rejected, singled out for blame.

scapegoatsofanarcissisticmother.blogspot.com

The narcissistic parent will tell people that they have done many things for you and that they gave tried to be supportive of you. They will tell others that they have been a good parent for you and that you do not appreciate their efforts. They will sometimes go so far as to claim that you are abusive to them and play the victim themselves.

The golden child is the sibling that is put on a pedestal by the parent and expected to make the narcissist look good.

The parent claims the credit for the accomplishments of the golden child. The golden child will remain in the favor of the narcissist as long as they succeed and accomplish the things that the narcissist approves of. 

The rules for the golden child and the scapegoat are never the same.

The scapegoat will be punished for things that the golden child is not punished for. The golden child will be praised for things that are ignored or undermined when the scapegoat accomplishes them or tries to accomplish them. 

The narcissistic parent will undermine the scapegoat and at the same time say to them “I am doing this for your own good” They disguise their cruel, undermining, manipulative tactics as loving guidance. 

There are many tactics that the narcissistic parent will use to undermine the scapegoat. The family often becomes blind to the tactics of the narcissist against the scapegoat. They do not see that the scapegoat is being attacked and undermined.

Some adults choose to break off contact with the narcissistic parent for their own mental preservation. Others are shunned by the narcissist and sometimes the entire family.

If you choose to continue interaction with a narcissistic parent, you have to learn how to maintain boundaries and not allow anyone in the family to violate them. Most likely this will anger the family members who are not used to you maintaining the same boundaries that they expect you to respect for them.

They feel entitled to be treated with respect and to be able to set boundaries about their time, their emotions, their relationships, etc. But they do not often respect your right to set the same exact boundaries for yourself.

You are not seen by the narcissist as a real person that has the right to your own thoughts, feelings, ideas or a right to personal boundaries.

You should prioritize your mental health and your life and make any decisions about interacting with your family members based on what is best for you.

If they have never been happy with anything you have  done by now, then what are the chances that continuing to try to please them will gain their appreciation and approval?

life, mental abuse, mental illness, ocd, ptsd, social anxiety

Triggers, Emotional Flashbacks and PTSD

Triggers suck.

For people into NLP triggers are called NLP anchors. The difference is that NLP anchors can be good or bad. They might be pre- existing from a past trauma or created to ease the effects of trauma.

They can be put into your mind intentionally to bring about a certain mood or mental state. This is a functional or a therapeutical use for them.

Back in the days of Pavlov, triggers were discovered as a tool for behavioral modification. You know…Pavlov’s dog.

Every time Pavlov fed the dog, he rang a bell first. After a while the dog salivated at the sound of the bell even without the food being presented.

This is how our minds create associations between certain triggers and a corresponding emotional response.

I have ring tones that I hate the sound of. There are songs I cannot listen to.

Certain animals are disturbing to me. Certain situations make me have an anxiety attack.

Some triggers are related to incidents and some are related to specific poem. Some triggers are related to time periods or ongoing abuse. Others are related to break ups from our ex.

There are some triggers that we are well aware of where they come. Other ones may be related to trauma from our past from when we were very young or even infants.

There may be triggers that create emotional flashbacks for you that are from periods of time that you have blacked out from your mind…or I should say that your brain blocked them out in order to protect you.

Triggers can come out of nowhere unexpectedly. We can try to avoid certain known triggers such as my not using certain alarms and ring tones on my phone.

Although every so often I am out somewhere and a stranger’s phone rings with the very ring tone that is now taboo on my cell phone.

There are times when we suddenly feel severe anxiety and have no idea what caused the onset. This can sometimes be an emotional flashback to a trigger we are unaware of.

That is a very tricky one to figure out. You would have to write down all the sights, smells and circumstances that were around at the time of the anxiety attack.

You would have to keep a log of those things each time you had an unexpected, unexplainable anxiety attack. Then look for anything in common between them that was never part of your environment when you are calm.

To make it even more complex, triggers can have more than one component to them. It might not be candlelight or the smell of roses individually that triggers you. It could be the combination of the two of them that does it.

Certain emotional triggers can be healed or at least the effect can be lessened through NLP techniques. Other ones may be harder to deal with than others.

The ones that we cannot identify or do not know what they were caused by are the worst ones in a way. At least as far as there being any hope for treatment.

The more severe the trauma, the more severe the pain from being triggered.

I know many other people deal with this on a day to day basis. For some people certain dates or times of the year are triggers for emotional pain, depression and anxiety.

If you have triggers like I have described here then you have some form of PTSD. It could be straight PTSD or Complex PTSD.  People often have both.

Talking about your triggers or unexplained emotional brain attacks is the first step to healing or at least lessoning the feeling of alienation or isolation due to PTSD or Complex PTSD.

Know you are not alone. There are others of us that understand.

codependence, life, mental health, people pleaser syndrome, toxic people

People Pleasers, Codependent People and Self Care

Many people that some from abusive backgrounds have forgotten or never learned how to love and care for themselves. What comes naturally to most people does not come naturally to everyone.

If you have a codependent personality, suffer from People Pleaser Syndrome, or just seem to keep ending up putting the needs of others over yours, even to the point of it causing you harm, then you probably never learned how to care for yourself well.

It probably puzzles you how other people seem to have it all together and you always feel behind. You feel like you are always the one who cannot do what other people can do.

One of the reasons for this could be that other people are spending a reasonable amount of time taking care of the things they need to take care of in order to be okay. They make sure that other people do not guilt them into doing things for them, when there are important things they need to do for themselves.

It is not a matter of not helping other people. It is a matter of not putting yourself and your needs last. You have bills to pay just like everyone else. You have a right to eat well, rest and exercise just like everyone else.

When people try to cut into your time that you need to take care of yourself, then you have to practice telling them no. People may be shocked at first, because they are not used to you setting normal boundaries. But think about what they would do of you demanded that they neglect something that they really need to do, in order to take care of something for you that you could take care of yourself.

Many times we agree to do favors for people who could take care of it themselves but they are just making time for themselves to do something extra. In the mean time, you are neglecting something that is much more important that if it were them, they would never even consider allowing you to interfere with by asking for a favor.

Other times they could easily get someone else, who has more time and more ability to do it, but that other person is also busy taking of themselves and they are keeping the free time to do something they want to do.

There should be a fair balance between people. You should not be guilt tripped into doing something that someone else could find another way to get done, at the cost of your basic needs being neglected.

You have to prioritize

1. Sleep

2. Work

3. Exercise and health

4. Nutrition

5. Your money situation

6. Your personal space and time

7. Personal hygiene

8. dr appts

9. Your comfort about situations

10. Your plans

11. Your schedule

12. Your mental health

13. Your physical health

14. the relationships you value

15. the time you need to clean the house or any other chores

16. time to get your errands done

17. your family situation and responsibilities

18. your personal emergencies or urgent situations

19. taking care of your car repairs and maintenance

20. Relax time for you

21. Anything that you feel frustrated about if it does not get done

22. Anything that you feel frustrated about if you do not have enough time to do it properly

People who have People Pleaser Syndrome are easily manipulated into neglecting these very basic needs because they do not really know if it is okay to prioritize themselves. In the mean time everyone else makes sure that they take care of these basics and then they use the extra time to do some extra things  which puts them ahead of you at something.

You are the one who does not get the promotion at work even though you worked harder than everyone else. That is because while you were helping other people with their job, they were using the time to get ahead of you. People will take what they can get a lot of the time.

Everyone is not like you. They will not try to balance out the favor . They will not all cover for you just because you covered for them.

Learn who is taking advantage of you on a regular basis and cut them off. Tell them that you has a certain amount of favors allotted for each person in your life and that they have already used up their lifetime of favors.

Take care of the people who care about you. Look at the actions of people and not just their words. Notice when people are only nice to you when they want something. Notice when people expect you to do something rather than asking you with no expectation.

See what different people do when you say no. The ones who try to guilt trip or shame you are manipulative people. Anyone else would accept and respect your no.

dark poetry, life, mental illness, philopsophy, poetry

Umbrella

Thunder rumbles and rolls 

Over top of my attic rooftop

The sky darkens threateningly

Appearing insidious 

Impending storm is brewing

The roof promises to hold

the downpour to be

contained outside

and yet…

Something from

my past experiences

with promises

tells me…

I had better go get

my umbrella

 

domestic abuse, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, poetry

Good Bye

Tip your hat

Say goodbye

Don’t apologize

The time has past

It’s not enough

It will not last

Don’t dare ask why

Just move your feet

I will not cry

Not in front of you

It just might stop you…

Like in the past

But not again

I am finally done

You’ve done your damage

You’ve had your fun

Just keep going

On your way

Don’t look back!

I won’t be here

Not this time

Not again

Now, take your things

Take my things

I don’t care about them

Take all this  stuff!

Just leave me my heart

And leave me my mind

Whatever is left

Don’t take your time

Just keep moving

I am not changing my mind

There’s not much left of it

After what you’ve done

But I will recover

In spite of you

Just keep walking

I will see myself through