- This topic has 337 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 8 months ago by Anonymous.
December 14, 2017 at 2:48 am #182105AnonymousGuest
Dear cali sister:
Dec 5 you wrote: “I have this intense pressure to enjoy things. If I go to a concert or any event- the entire time my brain is yelling at me and forcing me to be like ‘are you happy? Are you enjoying? Do you feel stress free? Is this the best thing ever? When I listen to a song and love it- the second time I listen to it I pressure myself to feel the same initial I did.”
And when you spend time with your puppy, your brain is yelling at you: you are not giving it all! You are not doing enough for your puppy! Or the like.
I think you are “all over the place” because your brain is yelling at you in any one place, so you escape to the next, only to be yelled at again.
Who is doing the yelling: some call it the Inner Critic, I refer to it as the mental representative of the parent that did the yelling. A child’s mother, during the child’s formative years, becomes part of the child’s brain, doing her bidding, continuing her work.
I had a similar voice myself, the mental rep of my own mother. Had, I wrote, because the screaming seems to be gone, but only recently, weeks, maybe a couple of months, don’t know exactly. I didn’t know for many years that there was a voice screaming at me, I was just terrorized all day long, except for those much needed breaks I took daydreaming or otherwise distracted.
anitaDecember 18, 2017 at 8:00 am #182741
YES. the brains of my sister and i are always yelling at us. this feeling of “all over the place” is extremely overwhelming. but now that i am more aware of WHY – it is easier to get through it.
updates: i am dating again and making it clear to individuals i meet that i am looking for something serious. i write this here bc i would like to see my progress and my thoughts after these experiences with these men. i think i am already doing better with men since i have been able to stand up for myself. the one guy i have met so far has gone fine but i have not felt vulnerable. i like it. its not bc he hasnt made me feel it. i am not feeling it on my own.
today my goal is to spend my work day without the constant feeling/need to escape. it is not that i hate the job. i am trying to escape from myself as i sit at my desk and forget to breathe, cannot focus, and shake. let’s see what happens today.
calisisterDecember 18, 2017 at 8:50 am #182747AnonymousGuest
Nothing convinces us something is possible for us until we experience it. You experienced your victory with the guy you shared about. You are now ready for more victories. This is the way to go. Be prepared for the imperfection in human performance, your own imperfection. It will not be an easy sailing experience. Don’t give up, persist, gain more positive experiences. The more positive experience, the more yet that you will have. Same with spending your work day without escaping- no perfection. Persist, don’t give up.
At best it will take months for you to experience a dependable, stable enough improvement. Got to keep going through the distress, in the midst of distress. Keep going.
anitaDecember 18, 2017 at 9:30 am #182751
i understand. my sister and i have been doing lots of talking about such things and reading articles that help us. two of which i’ll share:
I thought maybe you would enjoy these as well, if you have not read them already.
We are in a way conducting therapy with each other and talking everything out. as you know with CBT/DBT – things sometimes get worse before they get better – you are unraveling. Having these conversations has in a way helped us but our anxiety has also increased. So much to the point that I had some sort of “amnesia” recently. I forgot basic things that I’ve known forever. I have read how severe anxiety can cause memory loss sometimes. I just thought it was crazy that i experienced it myself.
I bought the tiny buddha journal of gratitude for my sister and i. we are excited to start doing it together in 2018.December 19, 2017 at 5:50 am #182805AnonymousGuest
Thank you for sharing the articles you find useful. I no longer read articles, blogs, books as it interrupts my inside-out type of learning, that is, using my experience instead of other people’s understanding (an outside-in type of learning). I hope the tiny buddha journal of gratitude is helpful to you and to your sister.
Two sisters can help each other but it is not a therapy situation because of lack of objectivity.
Losing memory is a symptom of anxiety, lots of dysfunctions are results of anxiety. Anxiety robs us from so much.
Till your next post, I wish you and your sister take good care of yourselves.
anitaDecember 19, 2017 at 8:15 am #182829
you are an inspiration. yes anxiety robs us from so much and i am sick of it! and so i continue my journey.
one of the the concepts i really struggle with is trying to figure out which things my parents taught me (if anything) are actually good. or is it all bad? have i learned anything good from them? were they acting like parents at ANY point? i am left so confused. i must have learned something…positive?December 19, 2017 at 8:23 am #182831AnonymousGuest
If your question is: did my parents teach me anything that was correct, true to reality and therefore good for me? Then my answer is: yes, because even a broken clock is correct twice every 24 hours.
They must have been correct some of the time.
Here is the problem: they, your mother in direct ways, inflicted so much anxiety on her daughters that this anxiety drowns anything correct and positive she has ever expressed to you. Aggression does that. Aggression destroys.
And so, let’s say she told you at one point and even repeatedly, that she wants you to be happy but then rained on your parade with put downs, accusations, and so forth. So now, when you go to a music concert, you rain on your own parade: am I enjoying it? Am I having the time of my life?
So what is the use of telling you that she would like you to be happy if she destroys that very ability in you by … well, by destroying.
Notice, there is no question mark at the end of my last sentence.
anitaDecember 19, 2017 at 8:30 am #182833
I see more clearly now. However, I also wonder about life skills – money etc. I cannot tell if some of the things my father has taught me about managing money is correct or if it is a scheme to keep me near and continuously need them.
On a separate note – I also would like to speak about my nightmares that have been occurring for the past 2-3 months. Nightmares that consist of all my traumas in one dream. They consist of parents, bad friends, bad men, and horrible family members. Everyone is in one place and torturing me mentally the way they all have individually. I have never been someone who has trouble with sleep. These nightmares just leave me unrested.
I once had a dream that my father chased me around this mall type building and used a knife to engrave something in my wrist. Last night I had a dream that my mother tried to commit suicide by drinking a bottle of vodka – when asked why she wouldn’t speak and I felt this type of frustration that I have felt my entire life with her – kind of like WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS. And then I woke up. I have grown up with suicidal statements are just stated as if it is normal. When I was young, my father hit my mom’s thigh very hard in a mall parking lot. When we returned home, my mother said she will start driving on highways now even though she doesn’t know how and “who cares if i die”December 19, 2017 at 8:55 am #182837AnonymousGuest
Regarding your first paragraph: I remember from reading about narcissic parents and people online that those sources clearly suggested that so labeled people purposefully behave in the ways they do so to achieve their objectives. From my experience (the inside-out learning), the great majority of people do not operate in such a cold, calculated way, having their own objectives clear in their mind and then going about achieving those, a scheme, the word you used. If it was so, then abusive people would be happy people, having achieved their objectives. Abusive people generally do what relieves their distress short term but long term they suffer from their own actions. They do not have clear objectives in mind, a long term planning.
Regarding your last two paragraphs: nightmares is yet another result of aggression against you. When your mother said that she was going to drive on highways and “who cares if I die”- this is another way to say what she said: Calisister, I want you to wonder from this day on, every time you don’t see me, I want you to wonder if I am driving the highways getting killed, and I want you to know that it is your fault, that it is probably something you said or did … or failed to say or do. And I want you to be on edge. To live on edge.
Connecting this with the beginning of my post to you: she didn’t say the latter because she probably didn’t plan it, was not calculated that way. It just made her feel good to say it. And she didn’t care it was hurting you.
anitaDecember 19, 2017 at 10:25 am #182839
yes, my parents are miserable people. they abuse and then remain tortured themselves. sometimes my sister and i think that they know deep, deep inside that they are evil.
how can i be free of these nightmares and why did they start now?
today, i woke up with severe anxiety. already. before i even go to work. how am i supposed to do ANYTHING feeling this way? how can i enjoy or how can i even do work.
December 19, 2017 at 10:48 am #182843AnonymousGuest
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by cali sister.
Dealing and healing from anxiety is, I think, the most difficult task there is. It is more difficult than climbing the steepest mountain, crossing the driest desert…. it is the greatest challenge there is.
Why nightmares now? Anxiety is not limited to one way of expression, it is creative. There are hundreds of expressions. Maybe more. Expressions change over time- this is how people fit different diagnoses at different times while the root cause for all is the same old, same old anxiety.
Regarding your parents/ my mother being evil… they know what they are doing habitually is harming their own children. They know and they keep doing it, no different than any other habit: it is difficult to stop.
Anxiety is a habit too, a habit of the brain, it releasing certain chemicals that make us feel so badly and reduces our functioning in so many ways. The quickest way to change this chemical habit is of course, to take an overpowering chemical, a tranquilizer. Short term, creates more problems over time. But necessary at times.
The longest way is the very long path of healing. It requires persistence and lots of patience. It is Possible, with Patience, Persistence, Persevering.
anitaDecember 22, 2017 at 8:25 am #183277JimParticipant
Hello Cali sister. I’d like to take a different approach. You stated that you live with a baseline level of anxiety, constantly in fight or flight, and there are little or no stressors. It sounds like the same thing I have, “generalized anxiety disorder”, or GAD. Overly worried or anxious about small everyday things. There are several natural ways to reduce chronic anxiety. The first thing a doctor would ask you is if you drink caffeine or take other stimulants. Lots of caffeine makes your anxiety 10 times worse. I eliminated caffeine and felt much calmer. Another way is get at least five days a week of vigorous aerobic exercise. I’m a runner and feel so much calmer and relaxed during the day after my morning run. Another way is to get as much sunlight during the day as possible. Both the exercise and sunlight release serotonin in the brain which is the chemical related to anxiety and depression. I would try these natural ways first and if you are still feeling a lot of anxiety I would see your doctor. Hope this helps.December 22, 2017 at 8:51 am #183281
Thanks Jim – i try those practices on a daily basis. Exercise definitely helps and it has become part of my life now. GAD is hard but we can all get through it together. Natural ways are the way to go. Although I am a pharmacist myself, i am not a huge proponent of medications – at least for long term use.
my nightmares have gotten much better – to be honest, increasing the comfort in my bed really helped.
here are my current thoughts when it comes to men: that man that i stood up to..i reached out to him again. I kept initiating. It became very obvious very quickly to me why this man is definitely unable to give me anything i need. Yesterday, i had a little victory again. I finalized that we can no longer talk and stated my reasons why. this was more finalized and firm for me – not as impulsive due to an event. more so a well thought out process and decision made afterwards. although i still have a lot of anxiety when it comes to men, like i wrote previously, i do not feel as vulnerable anymore. it will take time and practice. yesterday, my friend and i went to a bar for a beer. for the first time ever in my life – i did something silly – i wrote my phone number down on the receipt bc the bartender was cute. he never texted me but it was an empowering feeling. it was fun and i felt young. i felt my age and i felt that it was ok in that moment for that to be the only thing i am worrying about. it was ok not to worry about my dad death or my moms loneliness. it was ok for that one second to think this guy is cute i want to talk to him and if thats all my evening is about – it is ok. not everything is a catastrophe. Now this bartender will probably never message me and i probably will never go back to that bar- but hey – cheers to experiences!
a practice that i am doing right now is really trying to see what I THINK. my thoughts are usually what my sister would think or my mother. i do not have my own identity. the other day i was reading my childhood diary to my sister. my diary from when i was 9 years old is literally just the thought process of my mother. it is not my own opinions or created perspectives.
will write more soon.December 22, 2017 at 9:13 am #183283AnonymousGuest
Congratulations for another victory!
Anxiety is about powerlessness, lack of control. When you make thoughtful choices, you exercise power, control over your life experience. You build confidence in yourself this way, that you can make good things happen for you and protect yourself from bad experiences. With such growing confidence, over time, your anxiety will lessen and your mental health will therefore improve.
This is in contrast to making automatic, impulsive choices.
The second part of your post reminds me of me. I … almost became my mother, as I thought her thoughts, felt her feelings, looked at life not through my eyes, but through her eyes, so I felt. Her mental representative in my brain was so dominant that she took over. It was excruciating, an excruciating way to live.
Will be looking forward to your next post.
anitaDecember 26, 2017 at 10:35 am #183733
i hope you had a great weekend. i hope the following can bring some cheer:
this christmas weekend, i had a positive experience – for the first time. on christmas eve, i was taken in like family and went to an amazing gathering with lots of children. i felt at home and safe. on christmas day, i attended not one, but two parties! holidays for me are always spent in so much fear. before they come, i have so much anxiety – my mother has ruined the holidays for my sister and i. she has made them so horrible and unbearable. last night, i was able to have a christmas dinner with my friend who i have recently become very close to. the family bought me presents and said “i was a new member of the family.” i was so overwhelmed with how nice everyone was to me this weekend that i was unable to take it in and process it. it was something i was not used to. when my friends aunt hugged me, i felt a hug that i havent felt before from my mother – it was a truly caring hug. i realize how horribly selfish my mother really is.
back to the overwhelming feeling – it is SO INCREDIBLY HARD to not think there is always a problem. i need to learn steps on how to make myself aware every maybe 5 minutes or so that …everything is actually fine. i live in fight or flight – i am always worried about something but 85% of the time i’m not sure what is even it. same thing when these people were so nice to me. i wish that i always did not feel like time is running out. i am always in a rush..but for what? (my mom always made me feel like death is upon us)
nightmares are worsening during this time, but it only makes sense. it is a traumatic time.