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Person in Progress 🚧

DifferentMe
Community Member

πŸ‘‹πŸΌ Forumites - Shoutout those that recreated themselves.

Identity Loss and Self-Differentiation is what brings me to the forum.  As a result of 13 years of Narcissistic Abuse, I have lost my sense of self and self-worth. But I get to recreate myself.

I’m looking forward to reading your journey of self discovery.

All advice gratefully appreciated ♻️

8 Replies 8

indigo22
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi DifferentMe,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for reaching out.

I believe you will find many here in the process of recreating themselves as a result of all sorts of reasons, so you are definitely not alone. I am sorry to hear that you have been through prolonged abuse, I understand the effect narcissists can have on your well being, good on you for recognising you deserve better and removing yourself from the situation. I have a sister who is a narcissist and when I moved a few years ago, I didn't bother to tell her where I was moving to and it feels so much better to be free of the toxic energy she created. So do you have a plan for your recreation? Are you getting some support from friends, family, counselling? Taking back those parts of yourself that you lost during that time is a journey in itself, having caring support will make it an easier journey. The forum community is a safe and non judgemental place and will be here to support you whenever you need to post, but be sure to have other supports in place as well. I am still on my journey of recreation after having spent the majority of my life in depression (now in my 60s) and I have found joining the forums this year a really positive move on my journey. I hope it will be likewise for you. If you would like to continue this conversation, please do, I will follow your post so I will be notified if you reply.

Take care

indigo22

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello DifferentMe

Welcome from me, too.

For so long I didn't know who I was, how to define or describe myself to myself or others, being in a state of fog about it, feeling lost & yet, preferring to merely 'exist' rather than answer the questions or feel the feelings I had or to delve into how & why or anything. I'm in my 60's too, & now feeling okay (more or less) with myself, not too bothered about labelling who or what I am. I had gone through a stage where I did want to have some labels, but not now.

I like your attitude, your desire to re-create yourself, to be yourself with a positive outlook towards that end.

It's hard to separate yourself from someone who has treated you as they did. I think being able to speak up & actively be yourself, saying things in your own words, will help you in your journey. It's taken me a long time, but I have begun doing that in my interactions with people. I'm learning to voice what I feel is in my own best interest. That's been a huge thing for me.

I trust you will find the forums are a safe & beneficial place to express yourself.

Hugzies

mmMekitty

Hello indigo22. Thank you for the welcome. The awkward thing about families is if you weren’t related, would you choose to hangout with them?
Boundaries got to have them. I exercised my 1st Boundary 1 week ago. Loved it. It is empowering.

Depression, that is a seriously hard gig and I sincerely respect your journey. 

I’m tackling recreating myself the same way I did my Degree - a lot of reading, attend all the lectures = counselling/group counselling. Essays = Journaling sometimes with referencing 😁

What have you found most helpful?

 

mmMeKitty πŸ€— Hugzies back at you. You had an Identity Crisis or Loss of Identity? I completely understand the fog, I know the fog. How did you deal with your emotional detachment? 

DifferentMe - Go Pro-active You! πŸ˜Ί I am impressed.

I have done a lot of writing, too, sorting out my feelings from the feelings imposed upon me from other people.

Boundaries, too, another huge thing for me, as well as speaking up about what I need & want, & what I don't need & want, too.

I have been seeing a Psychiatrist for a decade or so, who is the best one I've found for me. I've gained so much from my PDr over the decade, far more than I gained from the other psychiatrists I'd seen before, since 1993. (I'm not counting a couple others earlier who really didn't treat me at all. Long story).

Hugzies

mmMekitty

Hi DifferentMe,

Congrats on setting your 1st boundary, that's a great step in regaining your sense of self-worth.

I was in my 40s when I was diagnosed with depression (dysthymia and major depression since about the age of 12) and by talking things through with my counsellor at that time, I began to realise what a 'door mat' I had been in the past. I started setting boundaries at that time too and it was empowering, although not well received by those who wanted me to be the same as I had always been, it was inconvenient dealing with someone who was changing the way they think. So don't be surprised if you lose a few friends along the journey, I have had to drop some that did not have my best interest at heart, which is what a true friend is.

I find reading books on mental health subjects helpful (Gabor Mate, Peter Levine, Bessell Van Der Kolk. Deb Dana) and I have just started seeing a psychotherapist to help with a few things that still need to be dealt with. I am mostly stable with the depression on meds but still struggle with the day to day stuff and my fatigue gets me down more than anything else. But I have come a long way from where I was, no more ideation these days.

Keep up the good work you are doing on yourself and you will definitely find your true self again.

Take care,

indigo22

Hello DifferentMe & Indigo

 

When I posted last night, I'd seen Indigo's post, which had reminded me about how much learning to set boundaries means to me. It was one of the first things my current PDr had talked about ith me. & we've talked about boundaries several times since.

 

My story goes back to my childhood, where I learned my feelings & opinions didn't matter, Lots of criticism from my father's wife, then having no friends at school, bullying, s-abuse from my brother, & my only friend's father, (he against his girl's too), later my father, I'd say I was depressed by 13 years old. I tried to 'escape', & was told I could never tell anyone. More secrets & silence.

to get through everything, I deliberately sort of dissociated, pigeonholing parts of my life, people & places, incidents, keeping everything separate, & pushing all my emotions down. I denied to myself so well I believed for years that I didn't feel anything much at all.

Not true, of-course; i had convinced myself it was though.

Got myself into more awful relationships after leaving home.

Many years later, when things come unravelled, my emotions come rushing in & I realise I can't shove them away anymore. I found a GP who was helpful, well, with a phone book.... found a psychiatrist, who gave me all the space in the world to begin to talk.

I have to deal with memories, relationships with family, even naming feelings was hard at first. Then he moved away, interstate.

I wanted to find someone who would give me the space & time I needed, someone to help me sort out so much of this past of mine, to help me figure out what my feelings were, & to accept them. I didn't want to accept my feelings for years, a decade or more, I guess.

As for what anyone else said about me, or about my feelings, that's their opinion. I had to learn that, too.

Only this year have I had discussions with a couple support workers about boundaries. It's in my own best interest to ensure they understand the difference between 'support worker' & 'friend'.

Of necessity, this isn't my entire story. I'm mindful of the character count, which won't let us post up to the maximum.

Hugzies

mmMekitty

Thank you for sharing your truth.