chriek: (はぁ?)
bri ([personal profile] chriek) wrote2017-07-06 08:08 pm
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In other depressing trauma recovery news...

The past few weeks I've been popping in and out of the subject of gaslighting (i.e. manipulating someone's sense of reality to the point where they begin not to trust their own thoughts/experiences/etc.). Today I was re-reading this article about the Trump administration... not for political reasons but because the rest of it was about what I'm having most trouble dealing with.

Despite my last post, the thing I struggle with the most is gaslighting. The one thing I had before Landmark was that I still trusted my own perceptions. I knew what I liked, disliked, felt, wanted, and so on. Then Landmark came along and told me I was scared to do the things I disliked and that when I gave in and did them (because I'm generally open-minded) they told me I enjoyed my experience and was pooh-poohing it to be difficult and prove them wrong.

I mean. No? I'm pretty good about admitting when I'm wrong - or if I didn't think I'd like something but it turned out to be okay. I don't care, I'd rather get on with things.

Then they said I was afraid of success. Ah, there were even more accusations than that but when you're surrounded in a room like that and they're so aggressive...

I don't know what's what anymore. People would ask me what I like (because I've been so unhappy in all the jobs I've had) and it's hard to answer. I used to know but it's hard to answer now. I doubt everything in relation to myself. "Maybe I am a leader? Even though I DON'T WANT TO BE and have never had that tendency... maybe I just THINK I don't want to?" Since Landmark, I check my keys several times because I don't trust that I put them in my purse. Even when I pay my bills I wonder whether they're paid or not. Even being north now... I don't know what to do. I've been here almost nine months and it feels like time froze as soon as I left LA. I had serious mental breakdowns when I got here because I couldn't process the experience. I have moments when I go in and out of consciousness (dissociate). Because when I act in a way counter to what I've been told about myself and it's accepted by the people around me, my brain blips and I have a long moment of unreality where I feel like I'm in that movie, Being John Malkovich - like I'm watching myself move and interact without really being in control.

What was hardest about this was when I first came across information for psychopaths last February - because here was information validating everything that had happened in my life between me and my father. Some part of me SCREAMED because this was the piece I couldn't ever find to the abuse puzzle - and another well-trained part of me said YOU'RE BEING DRAMATIC, IT'S PROBABLY JUST YOU, YOU ALWAYS LOOK FOR THINGS THAT AREN'T THERE. Even when I've been BY MYSELF I've argued back and forth between me and that voice, begging it to understand that I've done HUNDREDS of hours of research by now and I did NOT come to this conclusion lightly. My body had an INTENSE reaction when I first started researching (insomnia for 2.5 months straight, yay) but I still waited a while to say YES, THIS IS IT, MY FATHER IS A PSYCHOPATH.

But my body... oh god, my body. The strain is a hell of a lot. Because I'm still so freaked out and until I find the right words for things it stays trapped in my body and after a year and a half of this... I mean, I'm worn out. I can't manage to breathe right most of the time - I hold my breath because it's too overwhelming. It's like I don't know where to center myself or if I can trust what's happening or if I'm wrong about it or what to do. Being in Landmark made me believe I didn't control my own reality anymore.

My cunty ex-therapist had all of this shit mis-identified which just makes me angry (while still doubting my perceptions because HAHAHHAHAHA). She said I sought approval; I sought verification of reality. She said I was angry at my father; try again, the answer to that one is Landmark. She said I was holding out on her by saying I didn't know how I felt; if you have a PH.D you should really know about gaslighting, shouldn't you?

So many people have tried to mess with me like this. I'm still genuinely angry and upset that when I reached out to a mental health professional I got fucked with instead. I didn't need more of that - and frankly I don't trust the whole circuit of them anymore (not only because of this but because too many of them are unfamiliar with psychopaths and I have no energy or desire to wade through them to test them out). I'm not going to put my head in anyone's hands ever again. It'll stay in my own hands from now on, thanks.

But I don't know how to deal with this. A few sites suggested writing down what actually happened but... I still end up doubting myself. I know that's not good.

I've been accused of wanting to control outcomes before but what I want to control or feel confident in is my own grip on reality. I don't need anything to be different, or better. I have zero interest in making sure every last thing goes as I'd prefer or plan. (It sure didn't when I first moved up here.) I want to know someone can't take that reality away from me. Realistically, I know they can't actually take reality away. I know they can use manipulative techniques in an attempt to corner and intimidate me but not change fact. I get it. But it's still triggering. And I do mean TRIGGERING, as in I have PTSD and this shit is an actual trauma TRIGGER.

Okay, so. I think that's it. I don't know anymore. Even though I've identified why everything is so damn unnecessarily challenging for me... I don't know the best way to handle it. Other research I've done has been upsetting but researching gaslighting has brought on a few anxiety attacks already. My father never managed to do the span of damage Landmark did. He was still abusive and he did employ gaslighting but from a purely COMPARATIVE view, his shit was mild. (It wasn't actually mild, Landmark was just that bad.)

Man, I hope I can get through this. If I can feel like reality is mine again I can stop suffering so much. I want to go back to who I was before all this stupid stuff got in my head. It'd be nice to update about something other than trauma.