The Life and Times of A Man.
Not in the eyes of those who count!
Hey, can we "wait one" here and back away from the drama? Can we stop beating up on ourselves while we're learning new ways of living and above all, absorbing all the reality that comes with recognition of having a narcparent? Look, your world has been turned upside down now that you are seeing the nparent(s) for who and what they are about....and this is a whole lotta stuff to absorb at once. If you believe you're an "Epic Failure" it sounds to me as if you've really internalized the black and white thinking of your foo. You are NOT them. They do NOT get to define who and what you're about.When we "try out" new paradigms, understand and accept it was NEVER about us, it feels really weird. And we're gonna react to certain situations instead of responding (knee-jerk vs. thoughtful processing) because that's what we know and did for our entire lives-it becomes our "default option."How did you come to entertain the concept of "I'm an Epic Failure" in the here and now? And can you trace that feeling back to its source? Is it truly valid? Or are you just having an off day, week what ever? (We all have 'em, it's normal IMO.) Your thoughts/feelings? Thanks.
Turn off the negative tape... I know that's hard, but try this: You know it's a negative tape, and it's a lie. Recognize that much, to start. An epic failure doesn't have a loving wife and children. More importantly, since I'm neither married nor have children, I had to learn to understand that an epic failure doesn't keep getting back up no matter how many times you end up face down in the mud. Actually, I'm feeling like an epic failure myself, right now. I've been with practically no work since last January. I love to write. I write, every day. I've sent in a query letter with my dream publishing house, last month, and haven't heard anything back. Time marches on, and hope is feeling pretty thin right now. But if I give up, then "they" win, and by damn, they are not going to win. They've told me all my life I was worthless and inept. If I give in now, then they're right.So, take a deep breath. Grieve the bruising of your sense of self. Know that your are loved, and no one who is truly loved is truly a failure.
Judy- That negative tape is on replay as of late, over and over again. Perhaps it's an off ... life. I do have a wonderful wife and epically wonderful children. In that I am not an epic failure, but that does not stop the behaviors I've inherited and learned from my old life from coming out and rearing their ugliness. And since that's mostly what I was, AND since it still comes out, I'm feeling like an epic failure.On the book portion: have you tried self-publishing? That's a new thing these days. Or e-publishing (for the Kindles, the Nooks, and e-readers of the world). I suspect you've looked into that but just thought I'd thrwo taht out there.mulder- it's actually becuase I think that those who count see me as a failure...Anon- as I said, it's probably a case of having a bad... life, or upbringing. Anyway, when that part of me is abound, there is nothing good that comes from it. However, becuase that's all I knew, and am now attempting to correct the problems, that's what most of me is: a problem. Hence, the failure.
LSV,I know this feeling. It is the companion of sorrow lately. I think our journey began at around the same time, LSV, and it's so normal and natural to feel like this.I've a fantastic husband and wonderful children and a kick-ass job. But lately, as I deal with the feeling of being "free" but being sad because I even had to get free (rather than have normal, non-abusive parents), I feel worse and worse. I think we're conditioned to feel like we royally screwed up if we ever did anything outside of the realm of approval from our controlling parents. And it works ... We feel like shit and terrible and like everything we touch is a failure and mess and horrible.But it's not. We've learned for so long that any disapproval from our parents will cause immediate doom and held-back love, so we kick into that gear without even thinking about it sometimes. You're so not a failure. It's just our normal gear that we go into when we do something for ourselves and not for our parents.My husband had to talk me through a very bad session of my crying and feeling like the world's most fucked-up person. And he reminded me of the movie "The Shawshank Redemption." Did you see it? I'm going to spoil a little part here (I'm sorry) if you didn't ... but the point is that some people when they leave captivity, when they are given freedom because their jail term is over, they cannot deal with the freedom. They are used to being told everything to do, and they have a hard time getting used to the fact that they now can control their shots, decide what to do, live how they want. And it's heart-breaking to think that it's a struggle ... but then some folks breathe deeply, give thanks for getting the fuck out of there, and ,though it's very hard and takes a lot of work, they create lives far better and far healthier than they thought possible.Let's be the type of people that thrive once we escape captivity ...
I do occasionally allow this thought some room in my head, "If my own parents don't hold any respect or affection for me I must be a complete loser!" Then I shove it back down where it belongs and ask myself, "What kind of fuck-ups reject their own child?" and since I WAS just a child when this all began, I put the responsibility back where it belongs!
My two cents: I learned a lot of this kind of thinking from my dad, whose way of coping is to shut down and blame himself. For a long time I felt so goddamn sorry for him, but I recently realized that criticizing ourselves first, beating "them" to it, is a way to NOT change. My dad absorbs blame like a mega sponge, but that's all. Just absorbs, nothing productive comes from it except that my mom gets off the hook. Everybody continues dys-functioning along with the program. When I shame spiral, which is often, I've been trying to stay with myself and ask myself what I'm doing. Am I absorbing blame so I can AVOID change b/c "I took all the blame"? I affirm you infinity in this struggle, like the rest of our gang, we are working one day at a time to free ourselves from the old-broken-ways and learn new-functional-thriving ways. It's a lifetime of work, LSV, we try the best we can (and sometimes we don't...) and we keep going. Maybe you feel you've failed, that's valid. Use it to learn. That's all we can do. As my good old pal Fogarty reminds me, change is a lonely painful business. I think it's worth it, even when we fail. (hug)upsi
Kiki: "It's just our normal gear that we go into when we do something for ourselves and not for our parents." I think that describes it very well, because we were taught to go there. In order for them to feel needed, important, values, we had to be needy, insignificant, and worthless. How messed up is that?Thanks for the encouragement LSV. Self-publishing is my last resort for the romance novel, but I also have a self-help type book that I've written for me that I'll probably go through self-publishing. It isn't New Age, but I don't think it's considered Christian enough for the other side; the publishing industry is pretty polarized on those. I actually address the negative tape, and how I'm learning to... not shut it off so much as not let it matter.
There is nothing I want more than to be a non-failure -- a successer??? -- but a great deal of the time I feel I am coming up short on a great many things regarding my family, not necessarily my family of origin. I would rather not go through that struggle, but that's just wishful thinking I think.
Wishful thinking... that's it exactly. I don't think that's wrong, though. It's sometimes been my wishful thinking that's offered an unexpected solution. Successer... sounds like rising to a throne... I've never liked the winner idea, but that frequently had a negative connotation... My sister would choose thriver. I'm not there yet. Right now, I'm still a survivor, and a thriver wannabe. :-)
Ah, Judy, that's MUCh better. "Thriver". I like the sound of that.
LSV, The first comment popping into my head was a resounding "Bull Shit." I've read your blog off and on for awhile. I recommended your blog to someone in my life that is struggling with the same thing a out-of-control controlling Narcissistic parent. I felt that him reading your blog would help him see the need for changes in his life. By the way, he has started to change. In my opinion anyone that can change patterns of a life time are succeeding where many fail. Fail to make a better life. Fail to recognize there is a problem. You already chose to make a better life and you already chose to recognize there is a problem with how you were raised. In the USA culture there are some pretty weird ideas of what success means. Taking advantage of someone else to make more money is considered a plus. Being wonderful at sports but a jerk at home is also considered success. As I work towards healthier living, I am redefining what success means. I would say from what Jonsi writes you are an amazing person. Thriving is a great goal to me it means succeeding daily where no expectation of any success existed.