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Nas

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Resources Links/Blogs/Articles for us all to share 10
#60: June 07, 2024, 02:08:28 PM
Lots of newbies, and forum regulars experiencing life "stuff," seems like a good time to share some things on hypervigilance versus intuition.
Hypervigilance: a mental state of heightened awareness and alertness, where someone is extremely sensitive to their surroundings and constantly on the lookout for danger. Hypervigilance can be a symptom of anxiety or PTSD.
Intuition: the ability to gain knowledge without the need for conscious reasoning or explanation. It can also be described as a natural ability or power that allows someone to know something without proof or evidence. Intuition can also be a feeling that guides a person to act in a certain way without fully understanding why.

This contains good basic information:
https://thewellnesssociety.org/how-can-we-tell-the-difference-between-anxiety-and-intuition/

I'm turning 50 later this summer, and I've been extremely sad because I lost literally the entirety of my 40s. Basically the whole damn decade. I was just shy of 41 when I can pinpoint the start of my former H's ramping up of monstrosity but I didn't know it would turn into what it did. Then over the next few years BD happened, I lived with his at-home high energy abuse and chaos, he stole/gambled away/drank away/started "businesses" with every last resource, he finally left, I moved multiple times, I was diagnosed with cancer, he vanished.  I was 46 when my parents died, the cancer progressed and I became homeless all in a 3 1/2 week timespan, 47 when for the first time someone took a chance on me, and then the last few years have been working extremely hard every. single. minute. of. every. single. day. to take a chance on myself. To survive, to feel, heal, and not give up.
All that feels like it happened in a whirlwind, so much trauma and chaos and instability, 10 years gone just like that. It feels like my 40s lasted 1 year, not 10. Time is funny. Particularly in the latter half of my 40s, the hypervigilance I had developed as a child, which had been seemingly dormant throughout much of my adulthood, awakened and became extremely elevated, strengthening with each new traumatic event.

And this is the most important part I want those of you feeling high anxiety or fear right now to know: As I've worked on healing in the last few years, and particularly in practicing nonattachment of late, I have noticed that, as my hypervigilance gives way more and more to a calmer nervous system, my intuition is absolutely stronger. And I can accurately tell the difference, and the difference is night and day. Where hypervigilance feels unsafe and disconcerting, intuition feels empowering, because even though it starts at a subconscious "gut" level, it comes from all the knowledge I've gleaned about myself in relation to others and in relation to the world, and about my own needs and my own value.

The ability to trust myself (for the first time, really), and therefore to trust my intuition, is huge. You may feel like you're on high alert, or like your ability to trust yourself or your ability to judge people or situations is "broken," but I can almost guarantee you, it's not.
This also has some good advice for dealing with getting triggered:
https://www.hope-wellness.com/blog/listening-to-your-intuition-after-trauma#:~:text=A%20general%20rule%20of%20thumb,focused%20on%20uncontrollable%20what%20if's.

🎶 https://youtu.be/S3h-HYSJPr8?si=QHdWx0AcZOGKr9Bc
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« Last Edit: June 07, 2024, 02:25:44 PM by Nas »
“The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.” ~Margaret Atwood

You can either be consumed or forged. It’s up to you; the fire doesn’t care either way.

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#61: June 07, 2024, 11:33:00 PM
Gosh, Nas, could have written some of that word for word. Although not as well perhaps!

Hypervigilance imho was a bit like cloudy lemonade. Although not as tasty lol. It permeated everything and it was exhausting. Above all, it left me living not feeling like myself but with no clue how to get back to myself either. I still remember the day in October 2018 when I had a few hours when it first faded. It came back but from then it ebbed and flowed. And some bit of me knew that it wasn’t a forever fixed way of being from that point on. But yes too, lots of work and effort followed every.single.day, just as you say. Nowadays, the balance has shifted so much that it is hard to remember what it was like then….now the lemonade gets occasionally cloudy if something shakes the bottle, but much less often, lasts for a shorter time and I’ve got some good hacks for steadying the bottle!

Like you, I share that same odd sense of time and the feeling that, in my case, most of my 50s got eaten. An odd feeling. It used to make me feel quite angry and resentful and a bit foolish that I ‘let’ it happen. Now? Idk. It just seems strange, as if it was someone else perhaps. And it leaves me feeling very grateful indeed to no longer be in that place and starting (darned slowly lol) to let dreams and schemes and wishes unfold for my 60s. I’d forgotten how to have dreams I think during those survival years. So still a work in progress here.

I hadn’t thought about the intuition thing until I read your post. But yes, yes, yes. You put words to something I felt but had no words for. And I find it comes along with a rather liberating older lady ‘zero f••ks given’ flavour of others’ opinions about how I live my life if something rings true to me. I can have a kind eye about it, but good enough for me is increasingly good enough. Hey ho.

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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

N

Nas

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#62: June 08, 2024, 05:09:39 AM
Glad it resonated, Treasur. The difference is the key, and if I could give newbies anything in the vein of “advice,” I’d say really take that time to pause and assess before doing anything when it comes to your MLCer.
The rule of threes - wait 3 minutes, 3 hours, 3 weeks - is underrated advice. The thing about anxiety, when we’re hyper vigilant, is that it lies to us. Or perhaps more accurately, it allows us to lie to ourselves. It can make us believe that we are doing things based on intuition that are really based in hurt and fear.
(Reading my response to my former husband that I wrote about in a previous post this week really made me grateful that with all the other hardships I had going on, I stayed true to a part of myself I didn’t even consciously realize existed. To be clear, nothing would have made a difference either way to my situation, but it made a difference to how I felt. Pausing and assessing allows us to honor ourselves and how we want to show up in our own lives. It has nothing to do with how they might react to anything.)

My therapist said something this week about how most people have anxiety about some illogical or irrational future event, whereas mine is rooted in very real things that already happened or could easily happen. The circumstances that began in my 40s will persist for the rest of my life, that’s a very bitter pill to swallow. I never had dreams (in childhood trauma, even conceiving of a future is difficult), now I have dreams I rationally know can’t happen. In between no dreams and out of reach dreams lies existing in the day to day with the understanding that nothing is guaranteed and, if good things present themselves in the moment, enjoy them as simply what they are: present moments.

In case that all sounds too Zen lol, I still don’t recognize myself and I feel that loss. I still lament the things I can’t even dream about anymore. I still feel residual anger sometimes at what seems very unfair and about how hard I worked only to end up here, and how chance and timing feel like they play a huge role for others but they never land on my side. Feelings will always exist. It’s what we do with them that matters.


🎶 https://youtu.be/LemErXsJGV4?si=5ZUoSe7MKINj09xa
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“The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.” ~Margaret Atwood

You can either be consumed or forged. It’s up to you; the fire doesn’t care either way.

N

Nas

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#63: June 10, 2024, 10:59:43 AM
Me again.   ::) Off the cuff-ing on my lunchbreak. Writing this stuff out helps me process, so thanks for reading.
I just watched this video that showed up on my YouTube feed – it’s an interesting 13 minutes or so, but around 4:10 through the 6:00 minute mark in this video, he begins to read some statements about how it feels to be trauma bonded to a narcissist.

https://youtu.be/7tPaTyy1zgM?si=lR64SgL_lT2rCGvI

Thought it was worth sharing here because so often, I read someone wondering if their spouse was ever who they thought they were, or if they were always a narcissist. Often the question arises due to the blindside effect of BD that makes the LBS question everything, including their own history. The residual effects of BD often lead to a mentally exhausting questioning of one’s entire history.

Covert narcissists’ behavior may be harder to identify but it’s still always been there. It’s very much like the analogy of the frog being slowly boiled to death. It happens subtly and over time. The examples in this video are obviously not exhaustive, nor is it a definitive way to determine anything conclusively. But if you are struggling with the question and this resonates strongly for you, it just opens up the opportunity to look at the situation from a different angle. One of the worst parts of being an LBS is questioning your own reality. Reclaiming our reality is part of healing. And it’s always good to check confirmation bias (in both directions), something we’re all prone to, especially in times of grief and turmoil.

If you had many years of feeling safe and loved, I think you can be assured it was real. I truly believe that. I understand the questioning and the pain that accompanies that. The idea that maybe you just missed things over so many years of a life together comes in part from all the gaslighting after BD that makes you stop trusting yourself, that makes you almost feel like you stop knowing yourself. But if this is the person they were all along, you would have felt that way all along. It doesn’t change what’s happening NOW, how you feel NOW, how their behavior is affecting you NOW, and how unacceptable it is. There is no excuse, even when there’s a reason we can seize on.

It's not easy either way. The sudden shock of a complete change in who they were must be so disorienting. I feel strongly that if they were always a less overt version of the MLC version, you would know. You’d know by the way your ability to trust yourself eroded over time. You’d know in the way that you always felt over the years, not just how you feel now. But that’s just my belief informed by my own experience. I am not any of you, and we all have to come to our own answers in our own way, in our own time. I’m aware I often see things differently than others. I’ve been far too well acquainted with monsters in my life, the kind that hide in the shadows and the kind who boldly show their faces to the world. When they show up, or reminders of them show up, I process the often-many-layered things they bring up, and then I move forward. I do wonder who I would’ve been under different circumstances, though I don’t dwell because what was, was and what is, is. I use each “trigger” as a chance to strengthen my sense of self, and eventually I feel I won’t be triggered at all. It can feel bittersweet though, each time I slay a demon on my own; now that I live in a world where good exists, where *I* exist, I sometimes feel like Buffy the Vampire Slayer when she was resurrected, scarred by hell but deprived of heaven. Sure, I was surrounded by monsters and I survived a lot, but I didn’t used to know what I was missing. (Sorry, I said I process and move forward, I didn’t say I do so without being a little dramatic about it, lol  ;).)

 🎶🎶🎶🎶    https://youtu.be/1hAyDYM-B2c?si=I4IJb5CaP1naBQnc

Still inside, yet doubt survives
It all begins, beneath the skin
🎶🎶🎶🎶
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“The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.” ~Margaret Atwood

You can either be consumed or forged. It’s up to you; the fire doesn’t care either way.

N

Nas

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#64: June 20, 2024, 07:32:29 PM
On the Eve of my cancerversary:

“Healing doesn’t change the difficulty, and it is not a cure. It’s about developing a sense of wholeness through it all. And wholeness encompasses our emotional, spiritual and mental parts of ourselves…Healing improves the quality of our life even when no change occurs in our circumstances.”

https://sixtyandme.com/rebuilding-life-crisis/

By all means, hope. Hope lets light into the dark spaces. But hold on more tightly to yourself than you do to hope. Trust me on this.


🎶 https://youtu.be/qWwG42jE-Cs?si=af6Huh3wJR_7sC6F
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“The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.” ~Margaret Atwood

You can either be consumed or forged. It’s up to you; the fire doesn’t care either way.

N

Nas

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  • MLCer Type: Vanisher
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  • Posts: 3278
Links/Blogs/Articles for us all to share 10
#65: June 25, 2024, 02:14:39 AM
This won’t resonate for everyone, maybe only a few, but if it’s a topic you’re interested in exploring, it’s a pretty good use of about 16 minutes :

https://youtu.be/xyy2LPQJz-I?si=MtuS08tAL4XF7s75



🎶 https://youtu.be/F9ourSxX8ao?si=wARg1xu2jHVAEBiM
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“The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.” ~Margaret Atwood

You can either be consumed or forged. It’s up to you; the fire doesn’t care either way.

N

Nas

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  • MLCer Type: Vanisher
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 3278
Links/Blogs/Articles for us all to share 10
#66: July 06, 2024, 10:44:57 AM
This article was in my newsletter today, as I’ve been mulling over lost time and the idea that it’s too late to ever catch up (inspired in part by Acorn’s post on her thread).
https://psyche.co/ideas/three-ways-to-get-in-touch-with-your-shadow-self?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=cc3fe24374-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2024_07_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_-0f6af19dd8-%5BLIST_EMAIL_ID%5D

After BD, when I first started reading about MLC, I heard the word “shadow” over and over, and I found it was often spoken about like it was some temporary thing that came and went, that only showed up in those who were “in crisis” and that after the crisis, the shadow self “went away.” It often felt to me like a denial of part of the person; they “became” selfish and cruel during crisis and after crisis they will go back to being kind and loving. When in reality, that selfish part was always there, and it doesn’t just show up and then disappear. We all have a shadow self, and through life, as we grow into ourselves with self-awareness, self-acceptance and introspection, it gets integrated – things are acknowledged, felt without shame, and get expressed in healthier ways. But I truly believe (because I've seen it) that in some people, it’s forever an all or nothing divide; the shadow either gets completely denied in an unhealthy suppression, or it completely takes over in a hedonic free for all.

“It is often easy to point fingers at those who repel us and to think how awful they are. But sometimes you might find that they are acting as a kind of mirror, reflecting back qualities you find abhorrent, but that you actually possess yourself, as uncomfortable and unwelcome as that idea might be.”
My former husband used to tell me, with seething disgust, that I was “too generous.” It wasn’t generosity he was really talking about at all. He saw in me something I denied in myself so that it manifested in unhealthy behavior: I gave too much my entire self and everything I had to give, material and otherwise, to people who were only there to take.
It was the reason he chose me, and also the reason he hated me. What he hated in me was my need to matter and to be cared about, and my desire to have meaningful, not just surface level, relationships with others. I denied that part of myself. He saw it, and he hated me for it with absolute fiery passion. It was part of my shadow self, and denying it is consequently what made me prey to people (like him) who zoned in on it and used it to their advantage.

I was discarded for the same reasons I was chosen. That sounds like a simple statement but it was a major revelation for me at one point because it pointed to something in me that had to change. The way other people see us is about them – that is true. I could easily have said he’s just a narcissist and I am a good person and that is that, and then continued on denying parts of myself, denying my true needs and wants, or feeling shame for feeling anger or sadness at the unfairness of how I’ve never had and won’t ever have my needs met. Basically continuing living a life where I want to matter but beating myself up for wanting to matter. But in life I’ve learned that nothing is ever what it appears to be upon closer inspection. Sometimes it’s best to just not inspect too closely and just “be in the moment,” but in a sense, maybe sometimes it can be insightful to pay attention to the ways people relate to us – what brought us to each other’s lives, the dynamics we have, how they describe us, the words they use that can be complimentary and uplifting or cruel and cutting, even how and why they like us or don’t like us, respect us or don’t respect us, love us or hate us – NOT as ‘true’ or ‘false,’ ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ but to look at what it might be rubbing against in us and what it can teach us about ourselves, the things we are afraid to look at or admit. I’ve had to look at a lot of things that are hard to look at, and accept things that are hard to accept, but not doing so would keep me forever in denial.

Maybe none of that makes sense, but Robert Smith always makes sense, so here you go:
https://youtu.be/XP6IeFi57bw?si=2YuPXQspPleEautS
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« Last Edit: July 06, 2024, 06:06:08 PM by Thunder »
“The desire to be loved is the last illusion. Give it up and you will be free.” ~Margaret Atwood

You can either be consumed or forged. It’s up to you; the fire doesn’t care either way.

 

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