I've just had a cracker of a morning listening to some CDs I've listened to before, watching/listening to some youtube videos that I've not seen before, and baking a cake that didn't come out, but it should. I'll do the cake again, I think I over mixed it, and I'm going to recommend my list of go-to information for childhood trauma and recovery.
I just watched a video about dissociation that just about pulled me out of my skin. By the time she was done, she could have just as well called it "Welcome to My ADD" because she had described what I've been doing all my life to cope with life. Being not present is the only way I get thru the day and the decades, and all this time I just thought it was distraction. I don't doubt that distraction thru dissociation is now hardwired into my brain, so the brain disorder of ADD is an accurate diagnosis as far as it goes. But I am NEVER fully present in the moment, in my own skin, in the truth about my life, in the truth about a host of other people and in the truth of my relationships with a host of other people.
I'm just NOT HERE, and I don't know that I've ever been here since I was a very little kid. That is just fucking scary.
Where am I? Daydreams, shopping, procrastinating, planning what I will do but am not doing now, working my job with blinders on so I don't have to think about anything else, putting out family fires or trying to get someone else fixed but not actually doing necessary and needful things for myself, watching TV or a movie or reading a book, remembering my past and trying to figure out what the whole deal with that was, wishing I could go to bed early or, in years past, wasting too much time sleeping so I don't have to be awake and aware in the present, or the great modern way of not being here: being on the internet.
Another couple of good, provoking videos I watched this morning are from Escape From Narcissism. One was...nevermind, here's a list:
Narcissist Parents Expect Their Children to Parent Them. Absolutely spot on.
Narcissism: Disturbing Clues in an Old Family Photo. We don't have many family photos. Despite Dad's photo "hobby," no one took many photos. I was horrified to find an old spool of negatives and discover that he had made the one roll last for over two years, even tho we were all kids at home. No one wanted to capture our lives and remember it later, no one made the effort to look at someone else in the family with kind eyes and make them look good on film. Neither of my parents had taken a good picture of any of us or each other in two years. Why?
Decoding: Was the Enabler a Narcissist All Along? I want to write something about my Dad's part in the family, and I recognize quite a few things she talks about, but I think she makes the common mistake of trying to put people in a bad guy mold that can be labeled "narcissist" or "addict" or whatever else we can see with our eyes and sort our world out with to make some sense.
I'm using the Pia Mellody preferred term "childhood trauma" because "narcissistic abuse" is just too narrow. People act blindly and selfishly towards their children on a moving scale, it can get better and it can get worse. Most of the time, most parents haven't got a clue what they are doing to their kids because they don't really know or own up to who they really are themselves. They just are trying to get along, make a living, find some kind of reward for having lived, and once you are the one in charge you rarely question the quality of your own behavior towards others.
Pia Mellody is your girl if you want get serious about coming out of All of the mental confusion and getting on with your business of living.
This list includes all the instructional videos of her I could find online. She didn't actually publish them, but they are there and they are fantastic. She is a professional and she has a paradigm that works for the entirety of recovery, not just a hot patch for getting thru the next week or two.
She actually works out of The Meadows, an in patient treatment facility in Arizona, and their bookstore carries CD's and DVD's of hers available for sale. Generally, they are lectures to a larger group of patients and therapists, and they are comprehensive and wonderful. Her books are good and probably available in your local used bookstore, they have pretty much the same as what you will hear on the CD's, but you'll get it Much better if you have a few CD's to listen to as well. I'm guessing I'll have most of her CD's by the time I get done. I recommend you get the following CD sets as a bare minimum. Pop therapy online can be good, but you need the larger framework she has worked out in years as a professional therapist.
Permission to Be Precious
Love Addiction/Love Avoidance
Get them! You need to hear that what you are suffering and all the crazy things you are doing aren't unique, can be understood in a rational way within the big picture of childhood abuse and trauma, and there is an established map to guide you out of the confusion. It's not a big secret, there's no esoteric knowledge to be initiated into, and whoever abused you is not a great big bogeyman that can continue to come after you in flashbacks and mental illness the rest of your life. Mental health and emotional maturity are skills that can be learned.
Less analysis, more recommendations.
Spartan Life Coach is good for thrashing out what narcissism is and beginning to own up to what that means in a relationship. Most of the time, he is speaking about romantic relationships, but parental relationships are thrown into the mix, too. He's a plain speaker, easy to listen to, and as far as he goes, I can't think of anything he's done that I would put a warning label in front of - go ahead and watch them all. I can recommend his London 2015 Seminar video course, too.
There is another group of therapists I'm working my way thru, but I'll have to wait on that recommendation. One of them is good, but another fellow they have in the group is just creepy - he does need a warning label, and it reads "This guy is a narc himself! Stay away!" When I get that group filtered, I may just add the good ones to my video list linked above.
I'll edit this post as I add to the list. Right now, I need out of the house and into the Present.