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Phanta last won the day on October 5 2010

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About Phanta

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    Wherever I am!
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    Growing calmer and wiser. Living, laughing, loving.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Can't Know

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  1. The bird fights its way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born first must destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God's name is Abraxas. - Max Demian

  2. Meds are one tool in a very large toolbox. You appear to ask this rhetorically rather than with genuine curiosity-- I think you want to convince rather than learn in this thread-- so, I will just say that there are people who are doing quite well using a different toolset than you have chosen. I'm not judging your journey with pharmaceuticals as wrong, but it is just one of many helpful options to chose from for many who struggle with mental illnesses.
  3. For what it is worth, my therapist is NOT a Christian and told me it is fine to vet a therapist based on beliefs, if that is important to the client. Most therapists are open to a five or ten minute chat before setting up an appointment where one can ask questions about their beliefs and therapy style.
  4. My mother actually cut contact from me, first, because I helped a sibling get out of her house (emancipation). When she wanted contact again, I wasn't ready. I told her we could write letters and that is it. So, for several months there was no contact, then there were letters for a couple years. Backlash was that my grandmother, who lives with her, was upset at me (she is, like your mom, the enabler). The rest of the family has over the last few years taken my lead, and now it seems like everyone is practicing boundaries of various types, including no contact. In my family, it took one person (me) to set the example. Your husband may have literally changed your family tree by practicing good boundaries. (Time will tell). I am now back in contact with Mom. I read somewhere a long time ago to use good visits to change my relationship with the parent -- and if five minute visits are the only types of visits that can stay positive, have those. As soon as they turn negative, repeat a boundary and go. Now, I can visit with Mom for a whole hour without being sure of a problem. She has learned to hold her shit together for that length of time. Does she slip? On occasion. But, if I counted each visit, there would be far more positive visits than ones with problems, and I can live with that.
  5. Freudian slip or art? Been wondering if you meant "bide my time" or if you are a poet.
  6. Oh, I just saw where you said he was diagnosed with PTSD. This makes so much sense now. If he has PTSD, he is probably in extreme emotional and mental distress on a regular basis--imagine being terrified (literally) on a regular basis for no clear reason. The rational brain needs to identify reasons for that distress, hence his rigid beliefs and rages at things that don't make sense at unusual times. Have you spent time reading about PTSD at all (it has helped me understand my abusive parent)? There is a lot of info for caregiviers and loved ones out there...the brain harmed by trauma is pretty complicated and kind of interesting. myptsd.com has a bunch of articles on PTSD and, if you like forums, a whole area for "Supporters" of people with PTSD including areas to discuss relationships with PTSD sufferers, self-care, etc. Good luck. :/ Phanta
  7. You dad has serious issues. This is not ok behavior, but it is not unusual for unmanaged mental illnesses or other cognitive disabilities. Seriously. Your dad is probably VERY sick. (Has he received any kind of diagnosis from a Dr.?) The division in the family is not on your husband or you. It is on the untreated nature of whatever is going on with your dad. Good for your husband for refusing to bow down to the damage any more. Good for you for keeping your distance so your life isn't totally crazy. This is not your fault--not either of you. Your father is the one taking the family down. (hugs) Phanta
  8. Welcome, Kameron! Sounds like you are walking some fine lines with confidence and determination. I wish you continued strength and courage! Phanta
  9. Remember that offering to talk is different from committing to do! Talking involves gathering info/negotiating/weighing a situation in order to make a decision. If doing special projects with him is a mistake, you can make a decision for yourself that honors that. A wise woman sometimes tells me "Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don't say it mean." Good luck and glad I could help! Phanta (The sharing is not guts, by the way. I like putting all that crap I went through to some outside use. It makes me feel like there was some point to it. )
  10. I don't enter churches often, but when I do, there is inevitably a statement that is sexist, heterosexist, or nasty toward non-believers. It makes me sick. I also enjoyed my time in unprogrammed Quaker services. Lots of progressive thinking and struggling openly as a community with biblical texts. Welcome!
  11. Hey. It sounds like you have a lot of stress hitting you from different directions. No wonder you are struggling! If you do have PTSD (not sure if that was hyperbole or not), is your therapist a trauma specialist? Does the idea of talking to her make you feel guarded, or open? You went out of your way to note that your therapist is a Christian, insinuating that is causing some trouble for you. Is that triggering for you? Your level of trust and comfort with a therapist is a big key in recovery. It makes sense to give yourself the best shot you can. In your shoes, I would find a therapist--at least for now-- whose personal perspectives around spirituality are not triggering. Also, it is ok to chose to avoid church buildings right now if they are stressors for you. Be kind to yourself. Chronic pain can multiply burdens. Keep trying new treatments, ideas, and healers (doctors, chiropractors, naturopaths, therapists). I have healed all sorts of stuff no single healer could figure out. I healed through sheer bull-headed, persistent going to everyone available, compiling their collective knowledge, and BAM turning the ailment around by putting their correct insights together and discarding the rest. Find good people who you are not in love with and spend time with them. Let them feed your spirit and character rather than those jokers who tear you down for losing a game. Ok, that's a lot of advice. If you hang with it and keep trying DIFFERENT stuff, throwing out the bad and keeping the good, things will get better. Trust, trust, trust. People are resilient. Keep trying things. Different things. If you lose time, write down things you have tried and put the list where you will always be able to find it (write that instruction on the list). Note how each thing worked. You will get there! Wishing you peace. Phanta
  12. This morning he sent me an email that he meant to be an apology, but it was just dripping with neediness, demands -- and more pressure to do things that I've repeatedly said no to. I read it and felt angry and unclean. Yes, you're all right. This has to end and I will end it, one way or another. But aside from feeling selfish for putting my own needs above those of his (very worthy) organization, I'm feeling like a jerk for telling a poor widower to go kiss his own butt. --------------------------------- I screwed up the quote system somehow here. Sorry. This is Phanta's writing now. The icky feeling is that sense of having your life commandeered by an out-of-control/chaotic other person. It takes a high level of differentiation (great term!) to hold boundaries around someone who wishes to commandeer you as a tool in their chaos. It takes a person with very high differentiation to remain connected to a chronic boundary violator (which doesn't mean higly differentiated people spend more time helping, just that they are really good at repeatedly holding on to their boundaries). It is DEFINITELY not bad-selfish to practice self-care and say "no" or even take space. Think about EMS workers--they are taught that they must be safe/grounded before they can help someone in an emergency. That is also true of you. This person is in a crisis state and is actively increasing damage/chaos by pulling another person in (you) through force and manipulation. He has blown through what you offered freely and is now positioning himself to take you down with his ship. Not with evil intent, mind you. But because he is desperate and miserable and doesn't know how to cope. Remember, he does not own you. Considering the state of his life, it's good that he is not in charge of a second human, too! He can't keep himself afloat, so he sure can't keep you afloat. That's why keeping YOU afloat is YOUR JOB as a grown-up. It is your #1 job in this scenario. That can mean holding your boundaries and repeating them over and over every time he tries to violate them, but continuing to be present with him for parts of his journey. That can mean cutting contact with him for this part of his journey. Both actions are appropriate and ok. My qualifications: I was the chronic boundary violator into my twenties, as well as the one at the receiving end from a parent who violated mine daily since my very early memories. In order to learn to differentiate from my parent, I had to face my own similar behavior. It sucked seeing myself do this crappy thing. However, my skills at respecting others' boundaries grew in tandem with learning to respect and assert my own boundaries. Ironically, since I have changed, I have many more friends now, and when things are terribleverybadawful, I have multiple people at all times willing to offer assistance with the slightest mew from me. So as someone who used to manipulate from a place of pain and suffering and things being total desperate shit, I am telling you, taking care of yourself is the right thing for everyone here. Believe.
  13. The agression, control, and dehumanization behind boundary violation is truly unpleasant. I share your experience that a boundary violator will rarely relent, ever. They want what they want, and your autonomy is not of any value to them. It is fundamentally dehumanizing behavior. The exception is those who acknowledge the boundary and comply (with perhaps one or two false starts) after the first couple of reminders. But beyond that, rest assured that you are not seen as an equal, autonomous person with a fundamental right to your own judgement, time, resources, etc. You are their tool. My approach toward the boundary violator depends on the person: stranger/acquaintance gets cut out without thought; a friend gets a couple warnings/boundary clarifications before being cut out; a close family member gets lots of time and space with repeated reminders/more time and space after each future violation (and there are always future violations, because they usually don't have self-awareness or self-control over their aggression, though sometimes they make small improvements over very long stretches of time). Good luck.
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