Where you end and I begin | Page 6 | INFJ Forum

Where you end and I begin

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by soulareclipse, Feb 28, 2019.

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  1. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    Thank you both, but I must stress that I was raised with a lot of love, too.

    My mum is a good person, a really good person, and I genuinely think she thought she was doing the right thing, which is the tragedy in all of this.

    She sacrificed everything for me, and she was extremely supportive and encouraging, but she obviously had issues with men. Nuzzles thinks she probably had/has PTSD, and I agree with her.

    My maternal grandfather was violent to my maternal grandmother at least once, and my mother witnessed it. She went on to live with her grandparents and came to idolise her grandfather (my great grandfather) as an ideal man.

    He was quiet and warm, with a beneficent smile. He loved his wife and had simple, consistent tastes. He was kind, and she only ever heard him raise his voice once, which carried an authority that she couldn't believe.

    So she has impossibly high standards for men. She would always say 'you're not a man' to me even up until age 25/26. I didn't challenge this until I was about 24, when I just got sick of the emasculation and realised that actually what she was saying wasn't right. So I was raised with the idea that while women are just 'naturally good', men are held to an incredibly high standard.
     
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  2. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    I hope you're OK LJ.
     
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  3. Lady Jolanda

    Lady Jolanda Dong lover
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    Yeah, I'm okay, thanks for asking. :)

    I've learned to step away and take a breather (literally) when this happens.

    I believe you. I've seen you and your mom in pictures together, and it's obvious she loves you very much.
     
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  4. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    @Lady Jolanda - Be well. <3

    We know your mom is a good person and raised you with love. You've made that clear in other threads. :) She just had demons she needed to work out and did it in the wrong way.


    Wooo. I could go on a big tangent about this, but won't. I don't admire this facet of some women.

    I'm sorry my last response to you being so open and trusting with us was sort of flat. I didn't want to act too familiar. Sometimes it is easier in person to express feelings and support by just being present and saying the smallest thing, but on the internet.. a bit different. Thank you for trusting all of us with your personal stories. I'm sorry you were raised that way and had so much to work on and face as a young man.

    PS: I posted something in my blog about a man who grew up with an unsupportive/violent father figure and later found, well, quiet the father figures.
     
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  5. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    TL;DR Mom teaches kid he's not a man. Dude becomes the manliest man that ever manned anyway.
     
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  6. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    Good. :blush: That seems like a healthy way to deal with it when it happens.

    Thank you. I was worried that I'd painted her in a bad light... The fact that people had seen her photograph, too, reduces the anonymity in such a way that I felt like I was almost betraying her, even though I was being honest. She's absolutely not a bad person. I forgive her for everything (which is ironically easy to do because I'm hardwired to forgive women and hold men responsible) because I know that she was overreacting to abuse. To this day she credits herself completely with how I've turned out, and maybe she isn't wrong.

    Hm? No it wasn't flat, it felt very supportive to me as I read it. Stop worrying that your goodness isn't good enough, Asa! :laughing:

    I'll have a look. :blush:
     
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  7. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    Do parents do this often to only/youngest kids? Is it some internalized thing where they won't let their child grow up because they will have to admit their roles are changing and they are aging? Or in Hos' case, does it have to do purely with attempts to emasculate him? Note: She also started calling Hos the "man of the house" when he was still a child. This creates a weird limbo.
     
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  8. John K

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    Yes, Hos, it's the message not the messenger that we are baulking at. It's quite something that you are not bitter about this. It's dead obvious from the way you describe it that she was trying to bring you up as a good person, who wouldn't bully women. It's a mistake, not malicious. She obviously got some of her child-rearing dead right, looking at the results, as well as some dead wrong ;)
     
  9. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    These are complicated questions. I know for me, my parents would have happily kept me in their home and truthfully I would have loved living with them my entire life.
    I feel I may have been stunted in some ways developmentally. My friends all had a slightly greater sense of independence and sovereignty in their identities at an earlier age.
    It's difficult for a person to actively choose the more difficult path of growth, instead of easy stagnation. That's a problem for everybody.

    I think the combination of being told you are one thing, and having the actual expectation be the complete opposite really fucks with your head.
    Hos is probably mostly who he is because of his own choices, but being in a sort of mental state that generates constant conflict creates a lot of mental uncertainty.
    She most certainly taught him some great things, but also generated some level of subconscious uncertainty.
    That's my totally illegitimate psychoanalysis ^_^
     
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  10. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    I am her youngest child. She has two other children to a previous marriage (17 and 13 years older than me; my sister and brother). She had me in her 40s. Maybe there's something to that.

    Yes, a weird limbo. I heard the phrase 'emotional incest' recently, and that seems to capture a lot of what these behaviours do. Treating sons in ways that are really only appropriate for husbands.

    She would do a lot of this, as part of her 'program' for me. Like, at a certain age, it became assumed that I had a different relationship to danger than her. So, if she was afraid to go out to the shop late at night, it was still OK to send me. If we were being bothered by antisocial people, I understood that it was up to me to confront them, although interestingly in this case she never encouraged me to do it, and on one occasion when I was 13 or so (maybe younger) she stopped a large man from forcing his way into the house against the door. I don't know how she found the strength to do it, to be honest, she's only 5' 1". So maybe there's a difference here between her 'ideal' and the 'reality' of protecting your child. After that, though, she definitely used me for protection in a lot of ways.

    See, maybe it's proper for sons to protect/defend their mothers, but when the son is young, I'm not sure it’s that appropriate. If a father is present, it has a completely different context, because the son is still protected. Without a father, the son has a feeling of being alone and the 'last line of defense'; there is a feeling that the safety of the house rests with you and that you are therefore disposable. I definitely felt disposable growing up, which is probably why I was OK with the idea of joining the army and dying in service. I thought 'what would it matter?' This was a real issue, too, because we lived in a pretty rough area - not murder, really, but a lot of antisocial behaviour, violence, poverty and general madness.

    Something just struck me, though, and it's something my mum said all the time when she got into disputes with people (usually public officials about some issue or another), and that was 'they wouldn't speak to me like that if I had a husband'. Seems to indicate that her relationship with men was about protection.
     
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  11. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    Seems bang on, to be honest. There was a lot of uncertainty.

    See, in some ways I was probably coddled, which is understandable too since my mum felt like she was under siege from life most of the time. Her efforts were heroic, actually. On the other hand, there is this complete flip in expectations - whatever the opposite of coddling is, it's that.

    Like there were a few times where the rug was completely pulled from under me. When I was seventeen, and just constantly arguing with her, I got home from college one day (during exam build-up) to find that she'd changed the locks and wouldn't let me in, and didn't care where I went. I slept rough for a few nights, and then decided to walk to my grandma's (no money), which was about 20-30 miles, and stayed there for a week. This was why I ended up living with my girlfriend.

    In fact, she flaunted her power over me on a few occasions when I really needed her to be stable, like during exam periods. I don't know why this happened, but it felt like every time I needed security (e.g. Peace and quiet), she would make me aware that she had the power to sink my life. The threats she made to destroy my life were in response to things like having a messy bedroom, because 'her house, her rules'. I think she got something out of having power over a man (I lived at home for a couple of years during uni before I decided I had to live in halls).
     
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  12. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    I don't think it's proper for anyone to be forced into a position of protecting another, in any sort of life threatening sense.
    Basically what you are describing is that your mother has transferred her own fears onto you.
    She thinks a man will save her, you think it's a man's job to be a savior.
    It's nobody's job. We've all gotta help one another.
    Women aren't empowered by adopting a savior.
    They're empowered by having the confidence of knowing they can protect themselves in different ways from men.
     
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  13. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    I agree about Hos making himself the man he is, but ... what a pretzel to deal with during your younger years, Hostarius!

    Hos, I'm so sorry. It sounds like your mother really needed a therapist to sort out some issues she took out on you. These are traumatic stories. I'm impressed with how you handled it all. It must have been so stressful.
     
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  14. OP
    soulareclipse

    soulareclipse Community Member

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    Yes, I know he is. He's very outspoken about how both our mother and our father failed as parents (he's also told me I'm failing as a parent and at life in general), and how he'll never make the same mistakes. Our dad served as a role model to him in the sense that my brother looked to him to know what not to do. And he does resent our mother for pushing him into the position of our family's patriarch, which she started doing after she and our step-dad got divorced and my bro was 13/14 years old. I came to understand later that he had a harder time with their getting divorced than I did. He was the closest thing to a father he'd ever known and he was leaving our lives at arguably the worst possible time in my brother's development - when he was learning to be a man. I had established a relationship with our bio dad because I was older and had more time with him before he and our mom got divorced, whereas my brother did not. Actually, along the lines of what you said about emotional incest, I remember him telling her so many times, "I'm not your husband, I'm your son!"

    He's a very angry individual now. He took the whole "man of the house" thing to a very unhealthy extreme. He says that because he brings in more income than his wife that he does more than she does. He will not help her bring groceries in from her car, she's expected to do all the cooking and cleaning. She's responsible for all the laundry. If dinner is ready, for example, and he's busy playing a video game, she makes him a plate and serves it to him in the living room so he can keep playing. Btw, she works full time as well AND goes to school part-time. I remember a year or so ago my mom telling me that their porch light bulb had been out for a few weeks every time she visited them when it was dark out. One night she showed up at their place and the light bulb had finally been replaced. When she asked my SIL if my bro had taken care of it, she said, "No. I finally did because I couldn't see bringing the groceries in at night". But to hear him tell it, he's the man of the house.

    I think he developed NPD as a result of all that. And I'm not one of those people who like to throw around the term 'narcissist' every time someone does something I don't approve of. No, I've looked in the DSM-V and he meets no less than 6 of the diagnostic criteria when only five are necessary for a clinical diagnosis. Here's a prime example of his mentality. It's a screen shot of something he wrote to me when I told him I'd had enough of his verbal abuse. He refers to the pros and cons of being honest in relationships. Within the context of the types of things he's "brutally honest" about, I basically read this as him saying that he should be able to say whatever he wants to someone whom he professes to love and if they don't like it or otherwise take issue with it, then they're not worthy of a relationship with him anyway. I think the pro of being in an honest relationship is that it fosters intimacy and trust, not as a way to test the strength of the relationship. He and I don't have a relationship anymore because I refused to put up with his vitriol any longer.

    thumbnail.jpg
     
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  15. OP
    soulareclipse

    soulareclipse Community Member

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    Thanks for sharing the Consultancy Spectrum; that really is a helpful guide! I saved it to my hard drive for future reference. Hell, I should probably print it out and put it on my refrigerator. :smile:
     
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  16. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scooby Doo Villain of Fate

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    Woah... that screenshot is shocking, to be honest. The way he uses terms like 'weak' is a bit scary, isn't it? And also the way that he seems unwilling to adjust.

    I don't get his reasoning... surely he would want to help his wife with the groceries, or to make dinner together, &c.? This stuff is just nice in general, but then I'm big on intimacy.

    I'm not going to pretend that the way that he is resonates with me, because it doesn't. I get the drive not to make the same mistakes as his father, but personally I derive a huge amount of satisfaction from being caring and protective and 'gentlemanly' (in a none neckbeardy way) to people and especially to my intimates. It fulfills something deep within my core, and a problem I've had on occasion is being overbearingly concerned with someone's welfare that it impacts upon their own sense of autonomy in a negative way, so I have to adjust.

    Was there talk of 'being weak' around him in his upbringing? I'm just wondering where this aspect of his character might have arisen, in developmental terms.
     
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  17. OP
    soulareclipse

    soulareclipse Community Member

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    Yeah, it is scary. I'm actually crying now because I love him so much and it pains me for him to be like this now. We used to be so close. He and I have been through some of the worst shit together. He knows first hand what I've endured and yet now seems to blame me for being affected by it all. He's fucking brilliant, he was always my rock, my touchstone. I've always known that if I needed solid, objective advice that he was the person to go to. A perfect example that sort of sums up our dynamic when we were younger is this: I remember one night when we were kids (me 5/6, him 2/3), there was a really bad storm and he came into my room in the middle of the night and crawled into bed with me because he was scared. I remember covering him up and tucking him in while telling him that everything was going to be okay. Once he was calm, I got up and looked in our mom's bedroom to find she wasn't there, but I heard voices coming from the living room so I crept through the dining room to have a peek at who it was because I didn't recognize them and it was a man and 2 or 3 women with beer cans and booze bottles and lines of coke on the coffee table, our mother nowhere in sight. Turns out, she had been out partying and left us kids at home with some strangers. Undetected, I walked back to my bedroom and got back into bed with my brother with the understanding that I was in charge of our safety. It just hurts so bad when I think about the way that he used to look to me for comfort and understanding, and now he treats me like a failure because of my inability to stand aside from the pain of our childhood and cause it all to mean nothing.

    No, not that I can recall. I've tried to figure that out myself...
     
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  18. tovlo

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    So many really great thoughts here about boundaries.

    One thing I have learned and I don't think anyone has mentioned is using resentment as a cue for boundary setting. I learned this somewhere along the way in my journey and for me at least it generally holds true. If I am feeling resentful about what I am giving to another, and I am self-aware enough to notice it, it is a reminder to me to check my boundaries. It usually means I am giving more than I am comfortable with and I need to take responsibility for setting my boundary.

    I also learned to think of boundaries along a spectrum with independence and dependence at opposite ends of the spectrum; the ideal being interdependence in the middle. We live this life as discrete beings that interact with and influence each other. The oneness comes from the wider view of how it all connects. A hand is it's own thing AND it is a part of the body. I am my own expression of life AND I am part of the oneness of all things.

    These are a couple of the ways I have come to think of this topic that may not have been touched on yet.
     
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  19. OP
    soulareclipse

    soulareclipse Community Member

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    Excellent points. I've read/heard this before too and I think it's a very accurate gauge of where we may be giving more than we're capable of without compromising our own values and needs in the process. It's easy to hold the one we've given to accountable and be angry with them when we feel we're not getting what we want/need in return, but in reality, that's when it's time to take a step back and recognize that it's actually our responsibility to align ourselves with the things that make us feel whole again.

    I like this concept of the boundary spectrum as well. One shouldn't be too independent (having walls/barriers, not boundaries) nor too dependent (or co-dependent, lacking boundaries). Interdependence is the ideal for sure - two whole people who are fully capable of depending on themselves, but who choose to share in the efforts of meeting each other's individual needs in a healthy way that leaves them both feeling fulfilled and cared for rather than one or both of them feeling drained and used up. That's what came to my mind, but maybe there's a better definition of interdependence?
     
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  20. Impact Character

    Impact Character Wondering Wanderer

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    I suppose it is always a good start to figure out first if it is an issue with external or internal boundaries, or maybe even some kind of internal plus external issue.
    Wether you feel like the space is getting smaller inside of you (preassuring yourself by what you pick up or exhausting yourself, losing capacity due to not realizing thirst and hunger and not taking care of you) or if the space is getting smaller outside (like standing in crowds for example or being pushed to make a decission on the spot). Checking out if you can make out the source of it or not. If there is some kind of inner loss of space like a panic reaction or paralisis involved that makes you highly stressed, tensed, nauseous and reactive so that you cannot see the yes-no compass that way already pointed out.

    I like your idea of resentment @tovlo and its good to read that the idea of giving and receiving fills in @soulareclipse ^^ I was just thinking about the same. So I'm just gonna add a little different wording here:
    Another boundaries marker might be everytime there is an imbalance of giving and receiving. ("Something is too much")

    Meaning everytime giving and receiving doesn't come as a natural unity (because it 'feels' right) - but is in a way imbalanced and onesided (A) or an unnatural and intentional tool (B).

    A: when you end of in resentment, overcommited or with some kind of feeling of dissapointment due to unrealistic expectations or emotionally overwhelm and empathetic burnout, or a feel ob being robbed, abused or taken advantage of,..(when you are not making yourself an important part of true harmony)
    B: actively use giving to get something for example, or even worse make some kind of hidden accounting with an maybe underlining 'you owe me' attitude or some kind of "when I'm nice to you, you have to be nice to me"/"when I'm a good kid you will give me love" sort of direction..

    Which actually makes actively training to receive compliments and accepting help and so forth really really important to reach balance throughout life. (Just to mention some weak spots..)

    Plus learning how to use language to express boundaries and responsibilities of feelings, expectation or anything else that is picked up. Learning how to have true conversations which is difficult for many introverts but also in general to stick to some basic agreements on how to talk to each other.
    Trying to get away from any wording that puts the other person or yourself in a victimized or offending position. I'm not saying that abuse or so should be sugar-coated (God no..), what I mean is that it still shouldn't come at the cost of one's own self-reliance and empowerment (I mean for example not saying "you make me feel this and that" but rather reminding yourself of having a choice to distancing yourself theoretically that comes with a spectrum of "how I could respond to this"/not blindly reacting to anything).
    It's not all about distance and brick walls, it's also about letting something happen inside one's own head and creating your reality through the choice of your words (also how you talk to you yourself that is probably often being very hard on yourself). Since the wording is highly involved in a perceiving processes or better said in the judging aspect that is connected to the raw feeling which actually created just then what we call emotions (feelings with some kind of bias underneath it).

    I suppose this is a key to learning how to be less reactive and become empowered and chose the right action of responding according to your needs but not entirely cutting yourself off of the group by not letting their needs be part of the deal either - but rather experiencing true moments of giving-receiving unities.

    Having ways to get the hang of expressing your own feelings (and needs!) and sorting them (after sponging or absorbing people or losing yourself to mention the extremes) and get out of vicious circles that make you not deal with your own emotions (by distracting and repressing, projecting, intensifying or seperating and locking them away): by writing, making art and music, or having authentic and honest care-givers or later on neutral friends or support who help you understand yourself better during talking, who are also open to information from the iceberg below water and who help you gain clarity and a fresh perspective, but also helping you therefore in trusting in your own perception (pro healthy self-esteem) instead of creating everlasting moments of ambigue realities ("I'm sad but I'll smile anyways", sensitive kids pick up the underlining message and will do the same later on feeding into the circle..). So basically people who don't have an agenda for you themselves (no power struggles involved) but respect you as an autonomous part of the overall oneness.

    ... ..

    end of soul vomiting. :confounded:
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #120 Impact Character, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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