Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Happiness and Reality



I wrote on an ACON discussion board, "Did you have to learn to be happy?"

Many people responded YES.

How does one learn to be happy? Perhaps this is the new lesson. I have talked myself out of the depths of despair, by focusing on art work, letting the little things bring me happiness, and focusing on husband and few friends I do have.

Reality isn't always a pretty place. Yes, I would rather be a happier person. I realized the narcissists messed me up where I was made to feel my entire worth of a person was based on what I achieved for their narcissistic supply. They stabbed me in the heart metaphorically using the juggernaut of my severe obesity, societal condemnation and their own inability to love or care.  Joy and laughter were not allowed. I always wondered years ago why narcissists with money I could only dream of and active lives with many resources and blessings always were so angry. I remember my upper middle class parents complaining because they were not millionaires.

 I have considered what changes can I make to be happier? Even if I can't solve all my problems, I do not want my happiness dependent on one day being in "better shape", and or having money. Why can't I have some happiness NOW. I do not want to wait until I am "acceptable" to be happy or have local friends. I think some cultural aspect of where I live now wiggled into my brain. This more affluent community made me feel JUDGED like my family. Some how those years of being beat down by my mother for not having money got intertwined with the love of wealth here.  Needing it's better medical and other resources, how do I find friends here or find a new place? It is a question for the ages. I know I need some social connection to be happy. Sure with Aspergers that is harder, but I blossomed during the times of life, I felt some community.

Some said many ACONS need to learn to be happy. I know life was made into a checklist, by the narcissists one that I was woefully failing to check off on. Many of those ex friends I walked away from where checklist types, where life was supposed to be all about success. It was like only tommorrow and being on top were important. A few were even growing old, telling me how they had to be perfect weights--in their case they were thinner or average people, and how they had to "succeed".

I sometimes wonder if the struggle to learn to be happy, is rooted in the fact that us scapegoats had no unconditional love growing up. Love was something that became earned by "conditions". What if you don't meet conditions then and "fail"? True love is not adhering to the checklists constantly. There's no soul in it. Sometimes I think many have lost their soul and there goes any real love. I wrote long ago, I want to wake up without the burden of feeling like a failure everyday. Living in this body like I have all these years has been very difficult. A body that was used against me. A body that made me wish I was someone else for decades. I once thanked my husband for saving my life. He did, because he brought real love to the table. Sometimes I have asked therapists how I was able to love others when I had no love growing up?

How can one be happy today? Some say happiness is a choice. I've had severe enough depression before, where I have had to shut down the spiral before, and the only way up, was to run like hell from the make demands set into the arms of people with love and a different view of life.  Focusing on the little things, art projects, helping others when I was able to. For many of us ACONs getting out from the yoke of narcissists and a growing narcissistic society can be quite a process. We have to rework what we were told about happiness, reality and life itself. Also we start asking ourselves "What will make us happy?" I'm in that process now even given making future decisions about my life and remembering the happier years and what they held in common. 

13 comments:

  1. I recommend listening to "warming the stone child" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. See if you can get your local library to get it through an inter library loan. It's about the unmothered child(adult). Also Stephen Levine's "healing into life and death" is a great book about accepting yourself. It's a borrowed american Buddhist perspective, but I don't see it being unacceptable to a christian.It totally helped have more self love. I think many people are too self loving in our world. But then there are those who are not self loving enough.Hope if your interested, the library helps you.
    Maybe you could list and put on the wall, of all the good things in your life. Your husbands love,your blog,your art. I have to put reminders on walls for myself. Our minds so easily go negative when we have been abused in our life.
    Nice article as usual!
    Peace to you!

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    1. Yes I will look at that book. I am familiar with her writing. Levine's book will be good too. I'm trying to grow back my self esteem. I know living here knocked it down a few pegs after losing that community and having deceased friends. My old community was more laid back, you were still a person even if you were not a "success". I miss that badly. I am researching places that have the more old school perspective but will make the best of things as long as I am here. Agree some do not have enough self love. Ours was taken away. We have interlibrary loan. The small stuff keeps me going, agree with the good things....the abuse teaches us to be negative and constantly self judging too. Peace to you too. I will look into those books soon. :)

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  2. There was a psychiatrist at a really good hospital in the USA that once said that depressed people were more honest. I buy that.I can't help but look for truth even if more painful,and I get depressed easily.

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    1. That psychiatrist was right. Maybe there is something to those verses in the bible where it says God's People will mourn. "Blessed are those who mourn". I am type to look for truth too even if it is depressing.

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  3. Warming the stone child is actually a cd to listen to. I don't think there is a book. It's just a book or talk on tape.

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    1. Thanks, I will see what I can find on it. :)

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  4. Checklists absolutely scare the crap out of me. I've been having to follow a to do list, and everything comes with a form to fill out. To get any disability help, that is. I'm checking in with the voc rehab, tomorrow morning. I can't get any disability pension, due to hubby's income, but the government will pay me to work, so I'm preparing to do that. Work at the capacity that I can, so its great really. I feel one step better, just to get through something, but its just torture to get through one thing. And that one thing is not enough, I have to keep on. Utter torment.

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    1. I hate them too. I feel punished by checklists and things by the numbers. Remember they are bean countering the stuffing out of all. If you will get paid to work and can get an assigned job, if it is decent all for the better. Use what program you can. if you can have some economic independence I think you feel safer. Vocab Rehab can help in a disability case. I don't know why they don't help the disabled get specific jobs in America anymore, they make us "compete" with everyone else, you know all bowing at the trickle down "freemarket myths" and Ronald Reagan. Maybe they have some set jobs aside for you I hope so. It does seem like everything has a million steps to it. I have hard time breaking down tasks and that executive function thing can be hell on earth in my case. So understand the torment.

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  5. I didn't really mean it like a checklist! I thought about that after I posted it. More like to remind yourself of the good things you are and do and have. It can be hard to remember when your mind is always in trauma mode. Well mine often is.
    I have a really hard time keeping things in my mind. So writing things down is helpful to me. But have to list I can understand are hideous.

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    1. Oh I was fine with your checklist, I was thinking of the negative demanding types where people make these demands on others, not the gratitude list. I agree about reminding one's self of the good things. Yes coming out of trauma mode means retraining the mind. I realize I expect bad things to happen all the time, like a form of if I prepare and worry about it kind of thing it won't happen.....kind of thinking.

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  6. Oh yes, constantly waiting for the next bad thing to happen..
    Sometimes I'm even afraid to be thankful or it will be taken away. That reeks of abuse issues! I'd like to change that. Too much fear mode.

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  7. It took me years before I felt real happiness. During my first seven years of NC, I was in the yelling mode and felt I had to repeat myself in order to be heard. I dealt with people who tried to push me to stop my NC with my malignant narc adopted mother and was frustrated with them. I also dealt with social services agencies who denied me of resources and was very frustrated and angry. Several people told me that I should forgive and forget. It was hell.

    However, I lucked out during my third year of NC. I reunited with my foster parents by luck. To make a long story short, I had been looking for my biological parents and had a newspaper article written about my search. My foster parent had a friend who saw that article and called my foster mother. My foster mother called the writer of the article and the writer got us connected. My foster parent rescued me from people who would have pushed further.

    When I was younger, I still wondered why young adults could not get a life of their own as immigrants could in the 19th to early 20th centuries. I used to wish I could do the same as these people did. It took me years to find out that circumstances, societal expectations, and policies changed since the early 20th century. In the 1980s, young adults had to depend on their parents in order to get their college education, jobs, or marriage. In the 19th century, adults could leave their parents and start their lives by working, going to college, or getting married. I tried all that and was unhappy when I learned I could not do it.

    Become happy inside take time but it will happen over the time. You have a good husband, which I did not have. I feel happier these days than I did 22 years ago. I also have fewer nightmares and weird dreams at nights than I did in the past. Hope your abusers will leave you alone so you will feel less afraid and depressed.

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    1. I am glad you could find happiness running gal. I understand the yelling mode. I wasted three years trying to explain things to people in my family but they were all brainwashed by the narcs before I went NC.

      It is true, I had to stop telling anyone about my NC because so many pushed false family ideals or telling me to "forgive". Even one ex-friend who I suspect of talking to my mother changed her tune and said, I was unforgiving, when I had given chance after chance. The outside world does not understand or even admit these personalities exist. I am glad you were able to reconnect with your foster parents and its great the newspaper got you in touch, sorry you never could find your biological parents. I know I will never be told any truths in that realm. With young people they have cut their legs out from underneath them, I do not know why millennials don't fight back more, their lives have become so reduced where they are not even allowed to grow up. We had it tough as Generation X but some millennials I wonder if they will be living at home forever.

      I am glad you got happier with time. It does help to have a husband, and its great you healed with time and have less nightmares. I hope they leave me alone too. By now they should have figured out I'm not coming back. Not sure why they want to bother someone as old as me.
      However, I lucked out during my third year of NC. I reunited with my foster parents by luck. To make a long story short, I had been looking for my biological parents and had a newspaper article written about my search. My foster parent had a friend who saw that article and called my foster mother. My foster mother called the writer of the article and the writer got us connected. My foster parent rescued me from people who would have pushed further.

      When I was younger, I still wondered why young adults could not get a life of their own as immigrants could in the 19th to early 20th centuries. I used to wish I could do the same as these people did. It took me years to find out that circumstances, societal expectations, and policies changed since the early 20th century. In the 1980s, young adults had to depend on their parents in order to get their college education, jobs, or marriage. In the 19th century, adults could leave their parents and start their lives by working, going to college, or getting married. I tried all that and was unhappy when I learned I could not do it.

      Become happy inside take time but it will happen over the time. You have a good husband, which I did not have. I feel happier these days than I did 22 years ago. I also have fewer nightmares and weird dreams at nights than I did in the past. Hope your abusers will leave you alone so you will feel less

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