[INFJ] Attachment, Personality Disorder, Avoidance, Problems with Intimacy, anyone relate?

Attachment, Personality Disorder, Avoidance, Problems with Intimacy, anyone relate?

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This is a discussion on Attachment, Personality Disorder, Avoidance, Problems with Intimacy, anyone relate? within the INFJ Forum - The Protectors forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; So as of the last year or so, after quite a few years of hard work and research that i've ...

  1. #1
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Attachment, Personality Disorder, Avoidance, Problems with Intimacy, anyone relate?

    So as of the last year or so, after quite a few years of hard work and research that i've put in, I've reached a conclusion that I am suffering from what's called C-PTSD. I certainly have a narcissist (or someone that suffers from narcissism) in my life, and that person is my father (and others in the immediate family, like aunt, uncles, grandfather, etc.). During this research i've conducted, I stumbled upon the work of a psychologist by the name of Pete Walker, who has found a possible explanation for the way that a lot of us may be. His research has deduced that during childhood, a lot of us in the world end up developing maladaptive defense mechanisms in response to trauma and stress. These are evolutionary responses we've learned according to what he mentions. He labels these, the 4F's. We know the first 2 (the way he labels them are a different context as opposed to what it's generally known as) as fight (Narcissism or Aggression) or flight (Avoidant and/or Obsessive Compulsive). The other 2 are what's called fawn (People pleasing, or Codependence) and freeze (Dissociation). Normally, when one grows up in an environment that allows them to be secure, all of these traits would be used during specific situations. However, when a child is suffering prolonged stress over a lengthy period of time, they will eventually "choose" one or 2 of these 4 responses and it will become the dominant response, regardless of the situation.

    While I was always very in touch with my emotions, I definitely struggled with finding a sense of self, and from as early as 9 years old, this was when I became hyper-aware of my indifference. I was aware before that something was wrong, it never really hit me what it was exactly that I could form into coherent words in my brain. I had all these different emotions, from sadness due to the fact that I couldn't reach my parents expectations, envy that my younger cousin (Golden Child) had more loving treatment from that family which was very apparent to me (which caused me to hold resentment towards him), and my fathers bewildering behavior that I didn't question very much. I was aware that this was not normal, but somehow I still normalized it. "I'm sure all dads act this way sometimes" I rationalized to myself. However, my moms complaints about him still kept me aware of something being off.

    But anyway, so throughout this point, I'm pretty sure that my first response became dissociation (apparently I had done it since I was very, very young), since I had nowhere to run, and I was forced to sit through the multiple-hour lectures and listen to every word. He would ask me if I heard what he said, and my mind couldn't seem to process it all, and eventually I would end up dissociating..which would then make it even harder for me as he would ask me questions about what he just said. If I couldn't repeat it verbatim and tell him what it means, then he would repeat it again. And again. Until I forcibly got the message. Now, while this isn't something I would consider "abuse", it definitely is an example of a defense mechanism to stress I developed. This doesn't go into the hurtful things he's said and done to not only me, but my mother as well. But this is an example of something that a lot of people don't normally deal with, either because their parents beat them instead when they didn't reach an expectation and/or did something wrong, OR because their parents were a lot lighter on their children, as they knew that there were some things they couldn't comprehend yet. My father had ridiculous expectations of me, forcing me to read chapters of huge adult books that I couldn't comprehend (Shit like Ancient Aliens and the Anunnaki/Nibiru theories, imagine being around the age of 7-8 trying to read this) due to the accelerated vocabulary, in which he would then proceed to ask me what I learned from it. Rinse, repeat. And there were moments where if my mother didn't step in and tell him enough is enough, I would be stuck in this brainwashing process.

    And again, these are small examples. There's bigger ones that I won't get into. Eventually due to a lot of these stresses I experience from the pressure my father, as well as the strange family dynamics in the other immediate family members, and bullying a few years later, I eventually developed the flight response. I went from somewhat social, to completely Cluster A Personality Disorders (Schizoid, Paranoid, and Schizotypal), which slowly evolved into Cluster C (Avoidant, Obsessive Compulsive). In simpler terms, whatever fragment of self I had, disappeared ever since. It wasn't until a few months ago that I realized my father had fit the symptoms of the fight response, and even though he wasn't physically abusive, the aggression always presented itself when he was angry (as well as the more passive signs). I also learned a few weeks ago that I have a problem with intimacy, which I didn't even realize. I always felt that because I desired it, that I wasn't fearful of it, and that I would have no issues. Apparently this is also part of that attachment disorder, and I happen to fit the category of the Fearful-Avoidant, which I wasn't entirely sure of, but after some long research I can certainly confirm based off of bittersweet experiences I've had with people, that this is most definitely true for me. So at the moment, I can relate to the hybrid that Pete Walker describes, the Flight-Freeze. And it also describes how I feel my enneagram tritype mentions it, 4-5-1, "The Researcher"..

    This information was eye opening. A new way to see myself and others that I once thought were an enigma to me. I finally see that I can't find my sense of self because I never truly had one..I created a false self based on the pressures of my environment around me, as my true emotions would be unacceptable to these people. To assert my boundaries, present my emotions and still be following their form of "respect" would have been an impossible combination, as presenting my true self is exactly what they don't want to see. It would automatically be a form of disrespect. Scrutiny would be all around, in a never-ending argument of people that can't even see that they're as brainwashed as I. As a result of all this social conflict, I developed so many maladaptive tendencies and unhealthy behaviors that i'm finally able to see as wrong. However, since it's currently impossible for me to get therapy or help, (as my family is convinced i'm just making excuses to have a reason to leave school, which is not the case, I couldn't care less about that), i've been trying to take the healing process into my own hands, first by learning. That's all i've been doing so far, and eventually I will understand all I need to know to take action. Whether i'm HSP or not, i'm not sure, as I still question even now what exactly is distinct about an HSP..(I feel I would fit the category but i'm still skeptical of it).

    Can anyone relate? I'm curious..this kind of information is important in that it can change many lives and open peoples eyes to the truth. It took me 7 years to figure out what is wrong with me and where exactly it came from, and knowing that there's some kind of answer out there brings my mind somewhat at ease.

    If you want to read the details on how C-PTSD works and how Pete Walker describes the process, look at his page here. :)

    Pete Walker, M.A. Psychotherapy
    Last edited by Kyuubixcel; 08-12-2016 at 01:36 AM.
    NotAlone, Vivid Melody, Aletheia and 3 others thanked this post.



  2. #2

    As far as diagnosing myself, no I will not do that. No offense intended.

    Here's why.

    Some years ago I was diagnosed as having schizo-affective disorder... only to later recover. Something which my psychiatrist did not understand. So I'm left not knowing what happened exactly.

    One thing I've learned the hard way, and have seen discussed to the point I believe it... is that the brain is plastic. It's not fixed. It's the most amazing component of the human body, for sure.
    Individuals can have different physical structure to their brains... I even read this IFL article about this French guy who's brain had been dissolving, being replaced with cerebral spinal fluid, for most of his life unawares, and yet he was fully functioning.

    Because the brain re-routes, and finds new ways around problems.

    You will too.


    Not to discount your research whatsoever... knowledge is power and can be extremely helpful.

    However, I'd just like to offer my opinion that... you are not trapped there. None of us are.



    I had a somewhat tumultuous childhood, contrasted with some wonderful elements to it as well.

    My mother loved me deeply, and we had an amazing bond from the start. She's my biggest positive, when it comes to my childhood.

    My father was a very cold, calculating person. He did great harm to her in her mind, through emotional manipulation, and it made me absolutely sick, as I couldn't do anything about it.

    They separated and got back together at least 5 times in a few years, with changes in household and dynamics each time. I hated him so much.
    When I was about 13, I overheard my parents talking in the dining room... as he coldly explained that he didn't love me because I "didn't do anything for him" (everyone else in the family was somehow persuaded and/or strongarmed into waiting on him hand and foot... meanwhile I made myself scarce so he couldn't control me.

    My mother always went back to him over the issue of money... she didn't have the abilities or resources to make it alone, as she came over from Australia after they got together, and her qualifications meant nothing here, in part due to the way things worked at the time.

    Anywho... when I was 14, we were being evicted from where we lived (my moms van had been stolen, and as she needed it to work as a courier, they fired her for the missed time. Then the van was recovered, but she was out of work and late on rent.)
    We got everything into the van, and she determined to drive back to my father's place in another city.
    I begged, cried, and pleaded not to go back there, being around him made me feel like we were selling our souls or something. When she asked me what I wanted her to do, I told her just to drive. Drive north.

    So north we went. We drove to various friends houses, staying a few days, in different states. Most of these friends were dog ladies my mom had met online in a forum, LOL... but you can imagine I've had a lifelong aversion to asking for anything after that experience...

    When we ran out of friends in various states, my mom knew a friend of a friend who had some land in Maine, so with permission, we went to camp there.
    We lived in our tent in the woods for 3 months, while my mom went to work selling rainbow vacuum cleaners.
    I stayed at the campsite and read books, which is pretty much the same as my entire teenager-hood anyway, LOL.
    When winter set in, and we couldn't keep camping due to the cold, we packed up and went to our old church in Ohio to beg.
    They helped us find a women's shelter where we could stay through winter... while my mom worked through a temp agency.
    So we stayed in the homeless shelter for another 3 months, and finally mom was able to rent another house.

    We kept that house for a while, and then my father managed to talk my mother in to "helping him out" with his next business project, so we moved to Idaho (and so did he).
    At least, at that point, he had given up on reconciliation, so there was less stress for all involved.
    In Idaho I got my pilots license at 17, at his insistence and expense, which was a confusingly nice thing he did for me.
    I then moved to Colorado on my own to work on a horse farm, a friend of a friend had set me up with a job.

    And laaa, the story goes on...
    Umm, but anyway, my point is not to contrast/compare our lives by any measure... because I don't think I would have dealt well at all with the kind of mental manipulation you went through.

    I do have a tendency to block things out, myself.

    I think my point (if I didn't loose it in here somewhere), is that unlike life which can trap you in situations you can't control... your mind is a lot more free than that.
    You don't have to still be sitting at that kitchen table, being controlled by someone else, anymore.
    Your mind is yours alone, as is mine and everyone else's... and you can choose what to make of it.

    Brains are interesting to study, because while our minds and the changes to them affect how we think... the way we think can also change our minds, including the physical structure of the brain.

    I think, us INFJ's have a head start when it comes to the internal world, we have tools to deal with it that some of the types don't have.
    We are neither constrained by our own emotions, because we have Fe instead of Fi... and we have our Ni to help bridge mental gaps and provide an understanding of self which is, perhaps, incomparable.

  3. #3

    I read through this whole thing because from the very start, I could relate. My father is a narcissist as well and it took my mother and I years to figure that out. I could relate on nearly every single word you wrote. My father even used to say to me "you're so smart, you're stupid", when I didn't "get" things. Although my father didn't make me over and over try to understand things (he is a pretty lazy individual when it comes to growth and learning), he loved to have the power over me that he knew way more than me in any situation and all I believed was wrong. When my mom and dad would get into fights, he was the one who would avoid everything and in turn, I became the anxious one; not wanting to make him leave, I would do or act in a way that would make life easier for me, which brought a lot of anxiety in relationships. Fast forward to last year, my first boyfriend. Exactly like my father. We never had a fight because we were the anxious-avoidant combination. I just figured this out recently when a wonderful INFJ friend pointed it out to me. It brings much more ease to know why I attracted him, but as I'm growing now, I see that I'm becoming less anxious and coming closer to the own emotional health I want to have in my life. I didn't think I had a problem with intimacy at all until my INFJ friend pointed this out as he was observing, as well. I am sending you good vibes right now. I completely relate.. You're not alone.. And I would be willing to share more with you if you'd like. :)



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  4. #4
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca.M View Post
    As far as diagnosing myself, no I will not do that. No offense intended.

    Here's why.

    Some years ago I was diagnosed as having schizo-affective disorder... only to later recover. Something which my psychiatrist did not understand. So I'm left not knowing what happened exactly.

    One thing I've learned the hard way, and have seen discussed to the point I believe it... is that the brain is plastic. It's not fixed. It's the most amazing component of the human body, for sure.
    Individuals can have different physical structure to their brains... I even read this IFL article about this French guy who's brain had been dissolving, being replaced with cerebral spinal fluid, for most of his life unawares, and yet he was fully functioning.

    Because the brain re-routes, and finds new ways around problems.

    You will too.


    Not to discount your research whatsoever... knowledge is power and can be extremely helpful.

    However, I'd just like to offer my opinion that... you are not trapped there. None of us are.
    None taken. But don't misunderstand, the reason I posted this was not to find another categorization, but for people to see how a lot of it connects to these 4 evolutionary responses, and that we CAN recover, regardless of how bad the trauma. And in my generation, a lot of people don't understand what's wrong with them and where these feelings originated from, unaware or forgetful of what they suffered many many years ago. But what makes his 4F's explanation different is that he believes that most of the DSM (Book of Psychology and Psychiatry terms/definitions) conditions would be shrunken down from a giant book to pamphlet if his theory is acknowledged, because the idea is that most of these conditions are byproducts of these stress responses. Neuroplasticity is an amazing thing. So even though it is another category, it's one that decreases many others, and can point out certain issues more accurately. I'm sure there's plenty of therapists out there that were never taught of this possibility, that majority of these issues stem from nurture, and are not just from biological issues. In fact, it's more likely that our psychological changes are what impacts our biology more than anything (with certain exceptions).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca.M View Post

    I had a somewhat tumultuous childhood, contrasted with some wonderful elements to it as well.

    My mother loved me deeply, and we had an amazing bond from the start. She's my biggest positive, when it comes to my childhood.

    My father was a very cold, calculating person. He did great harm to her in her mind, through emotional manipulation, and it made me absolutely sick, as I couldn't do anything about it.

    They separated and got back together at least 5 times in a few years, with changes in household and dynamics each time. I hated him so much.
    When I was about 13, I overheard my parents talking in the dining room... as he coldly explained that he didn't love me because I "didn't do anything for him" (everyone else in the family was somehow persuaded and/or strongarmed into waiting on him hand and foot... meanwhile I made myself scarce so he couldn't control me.

    My mother always went back to him over the issue of money... she didn't have the abilities or resources to make it alone, as she came over from Australia after they got together, and her qualifications meant nothing here, in part due to the way things worked at the time.

    Anywho... when I was 14, we were being evicted from where we lived (my moms van had been stolen, and as she needed it to work as a courier, they fired her for the missed time. Then the van was recovered, but she was out of work and late on rent.)
    We got everything into the van, and she determined to drive back to my father's place in another city.
    I begged, cried, and pleaded not to go back there, being around him made me feel like we were selling our souls or something. When she asked me what I wanted her to do, I told her just to drive. Drive north.

    So north we went. We drove to various friends houses, staying a few days, in different states. Most of these friends were dog ladies my mom had met online in a forum, LOL... but you can imagine I've had a lifelong aversion to asking for anything after that experience...

    When we ran out of friends in various states, my mom knew a friend of a friend who had some land in Maine, so with permission, we went to camp there.
    We lived in our tent in the woods for 3 months, while my mom went to work selling rainbow vacuum cleaners.
    I stayed at the campsite and read books, which is pretty much the same as my entire teenager-hood anyway, LOL.
    When winter set in, and we couldn't keep camping due to the cold, we packed up and went to our old church in Ohio to beg.
    They helped us find a women's shelter where we could stay through winter... while my mom worked through a temp agency.
    So we stayed in the homeless shelter for another 3 months, and finally mom was able to rent another house.

    We kept that house for a while, and then my father managed to talk my mother in to "helping him out" with his next business project, so we moved to Idaho (and so did he).
    At least, at that point, he had given up on reconciliation, so there was less stress for all involved.
    In Idaho I got my pilots license at 17, at his insistence and expense, which was a confusingly nice thing he did for me.
    I then moved to Colorado on my own to work on a horse farm, a friend of a friend had set me up with a job.
    That's a beautiful, yet crazy story you have there. I can definitely relate to the loving mother and cold father dichotomy..it's very strange how dynamics like these exist. It's definitely interesting that you were able to persevere through his pressures and maintain your self. I was not able to do that, as small things like yelling and screaming always triggered my emotional breakage (which my father does a lot of, and tries to excuse or justify it by saying that it is "passion", when in reality, it's obvious that he's rationalizing anger). I would become subservient to a degree so I didn't have to continue hearing it, and could just be left alone. And i'm happy you didn't go back to the dysfunctional father, even though there were still many hardships to overcome either way. I certainly could not imagine what it's like living in those conditions, it's quite a terrifying thought..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca.M View Post
    And laaa, the story goes on...
    Umm, but anyway, my point is not to contrast/compare our lives by any measure... because I don't think I would have dealt well at all with the kind of mental manipulation you went through.

    I do have a tendency to block things out, myself.

    I think my point (if I didn't loose it in here somewhere), is that unlike life which can trap you in situations you can't control... your mind is a lot more free than that.
    You don't have to still be sitting at that kitchen table, being controlled by someone else, anymore.
    Your mind is yours alone, as is mine and everyone else's... and you can choose what to make of it.

    Brains are interesting to study, because while our minds and the changes to them affect how we think... the way we think can also change our minds, including the physical structure of the brain.

    I think, us INFJ's have a head start when it comes to the internal world, we have tools to deal with it that some of the types don't have.
    We are neither constrained by our own emotions, because we have Fe instead of Fi... and we have our Ni to help bridge mental gaps and provide an understanding of self which is, perhaps, incomparable.
    Oh, for sure, we're all free in mind. And we can change what we wish. Nowadays I don't really have to deal with some of that ridiculousness that I experienced when I was younger. However, the problem is that these maladaptive responses carried on until I was older, and I didn't realize what was wrong until I discovered others that have similar tendencies. These responses lingered over my shoulders for so long I didn't notice them until it began to ruin my friendships and other opportunities. MBTI was the first red flag that was given to me that something about my character is not "normal". Enneagram amplified that thought, and now it all comes back to the roots, stemming from parental neglect/abuse. It's interesting how it all tied together, and i'm happy that I managed to trace it back. I always tried to blame myself instead of family, because I was taught that it's ungrateful if there's any blame pointed towards them.
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  5. #5
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by MirandaNicole18 View Post
    I read through this whole thing because from the very start, I could relate. My father is a narcissist as well and it took my mother and I years to figure that out. I could relate on nearly every single word you wrote. My father even used to say to me "you're so smart, you're stupid", when I didn't "get" things. Although my father didn't make me over and over try to understand things (he is a pretty lazy individual when it comes to growth and learning), he loved to have the power over me that he knew way more than me in any situation and all I believed was wrong. When my mom and dad would get into fights, he was the one who would avoid everything and in turn, I became the anxious one; not wanting to make him leave, I would do or act in a way that would make life easier for me, which brought a lot of anxiety in relationships. Fast forward to last year, my first boyfriend. Exactly like my father. We never had a fight because we were the anxious-avoidant combination. I just figured this out recently when a wonderful INFJ friend pointed it out to me. It brings much more ease to know why I attracted him, but as I'm growing now, I see that I'm becoming less anxious and coming closer to the own emotional health I want to have in my life. I didn't think I had a problem with intimacy at all until my INFJ friend pointed this out as he was observing, as well. I am sending you good vibes right now. I completely relate.. You're not alone.. And I would be willing to share more with you if you'd like. :)
    It's very strange how passive aggressive narcissism works, as it's one of the most confusing things I think i've ever experienced. My father is crazy about learning, he looks at himself as a genius, with everyone else being "stupid" or "ignorant", regardless of how closed minded that view is. YES, I definitely relate to my father loving the power over having more knowledge than me in every situation. I also can relate to my parents getting into fights all the time, and there were moments where I was forced to pick a side :/. And trying to prevent hurting either ones feelings, it was definitely a very painful memory, especially if I DID end up picking a side. Wow, that's crazy how we can attract these kinds of people, even unintentionally. What's great is that I can feel myself slowly healing as well, finally being able to discern what was a byproduct of my parental attachment, and what was actually "me". Yeah, go ahead! Share as much as you are comfortable with! I love to hear peoples experiences :D!
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  6. #6
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyuubixcel View Post
    I had all these different emotions, from sadness due to the fact that I couldn't reach my parents expectations, envy that my younger cousin (Golden Child) had more loving treatment from that family which was very apparent to me (which caused me to hold resentment towards him), and my fathers bewildering behavior that I didn't question very much. I was aware that this was not normal, but somehow I still normalized it. "I'm sure all dads act this way sometimes" I rationalized to myself. However, my moms complaints about him still kept me aware of something being off.
    I 'discovered' the dysfunction of my family in the same way. I remember being 12 years old and seeing how a 'golden child' cousin was treated by her parents and my extended family. When the consequences of this hit me, I broke down at the lack of love and genuine pride I felt from my own parents. I realized later that the nastiness I received from my otherwise-close extended family was a direct function of my father poisoning the well against me. He made a hobby of telling everyone in the family what a fuck-up I was even though I was an honor student who never had a single disciplinary issue in all my years of compulsory education. Only my dad's brother ever dared challenge his treatment of me, and that caused a falling out between them that has yet to be healed.

    Bottom line, avoidance became my primary method of coping with my difficult father. There was really no other way that I saw to survive--either physically or emotionally. This lead into the practice of stuffing my feelings into the netherworld of vulnerability and locking the door behind me. The obvious consequence--Avoidant Personality Disorder--is something I've struggled to overcome ever since.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story.
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  7. #7
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvish Lives View Post
    I 'discovered' the dysfunction of my family in the same way. I remember being 12 years old and seeing how a 'golden child' cousin was treated by her parents and my extended family. When the consequences of this hit me, I broke down at the lack of love and genuine pride I felt from my own parents. I realized later that the nastiness I received from my otherwise-close extended family was a direct function of my father poisoning the well against me. He made a hobby of telling everyone in the family what a fuck-up I was even though I was an honor student who never had a single disciplinary issue in all my years of compulsory education. Only my dad's brother ever dared challenge his treatment of me, and that caused a falling out between them that has yet to be healed.

    Bottom line, avoidance became my primary method of coping with my difficult father. There was really no other way that I saw to survive--either physically or emotionally. This lead into the practice of stuffing my feelings into the netherworld of vulnerability and locking the door behind me. The obvious consequence--Avoidant Personality Disorder--is something I've struggled to overcome ever since.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story.
    All of what you mentioned is hazily familiar to my story as well. It's crazy to know that dynamics and dysfunction in most households seem to have similar systems of treatment and this may have been why I assumed that most parents are like my own. It was because majority of my close friends happened to come from dysfunctional homes as well. So when I heard from other people about their secure homes and relationships with their parents, I used to assume that they were spoiled or well-off with "cool" parents, being unconscious of the fact that my standard expectation of parents were modeled after my own. If it was better or worse treatment than my parental model, then I considered that something was wrong in their households...it's certainly a regretful thought now. When I used to hear people complain about their parents I always criticized them rather than tried to understand their situation, within the mindset that every child should be grateful to their parents, regardless of their treatment. It was only in extreme cases of abuse that I shifted my criticism to the parent. There was definitely a little brainwashing when I think back..

    But anyway, thank you for sharing your story as well. It's very heartwarming to see that i'm not alone in this experience. I also think that the INFJ doorslam that many of us are known for, is a byproduct of intimacy problems as well. I used to do it every summer once school was ending when I began to get closer to some people, but the closer I got, the more that maladaptive perfectionism clouded my mind, and I couldn't stop seeing their flaws once they were presented to me.

  8. #8

    I can completely relate to all of this so very much. It's great to hear that you are working on correcting the unhealthy behaviours you picked up during life and finding yourself! Such an eye opening realization can be a real spirit lifter and changing point for many people.

    I too had an abusive father, he was apparently extremely violent and manipulative. Finally, my mother had gone to work enough times with bruises and the police were involved. Restraining orders were placed and I never saw or heard from him during my childhood again.

    Strange thing is, I do not remember ANY of this. My mother met a man soon after this happened and I called him father and never questioned it.
    Fast forward to my adult years and I opened a Facebook account.. My real father began contacting me. This forced my mother to have to explain to me that I had another man who was my real father, I had completely erased any memory of him and that it had baffled everybody that I had no idea.
    Obviously I felt major betrayal from my family and not knowing the truth until I was an adult. I wondered where the memories of my abuse was and how I had shut them out.

    I went on a downward spiral with drugs and met an abusive man myself. After 5 years of brutal sexual and physical violence, ending in hospital, court dates and finally being 'free' from him. (I will spare details as it is a painful experience) I am left with extremely unhealthy behaviours.

    Paranoia, I don't trust a soul in my life. Sex addiction from the years of skewed brainwashing sex life. Obsessive and intrusive thoughts of people trying to harm or hurt me. Anxiety disorders, panic disorders and PTSD...
    According to what you describe, I definitely chose flight and fawn.
    I met a man who has overlooked my quirks, helps me everyday to overcome my hurdles and past problems that arise.

    I have been in therapy for 4 years now since the end of my abuse. I also attended a codependency anon group, but because of the group talk, I left.

    It is a slow process, but I have to admit, fascinating. The brain is truly amazing.



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  9. #9
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by jade.england.16101 View Post
    I can completely relate to all of this so very much. It's great to hear that you are working on correcting the unhealthy behaviours you picked up during life and finding yourself! Such an eye opening realization can be a real spirit lifter and changing point for many people.

    I too had an abusive father, he was apparently extremely violent and manipulative. Finally, my mother had gone to work enough times with bruises and the police were involved. Restraining orders were placed and I never saw or heard from him during my childhood again.

    Strange thing is, I do not remember ANY of this. My mother met a man soon after this happened and I called him father and never questioned it.
    Fast forward to my adult years and I opened a Facebook account.. My real father began contacting me. This forced my mother to have to explain to me that I had another man who was my real father, I had completely erased any memory of him and that it had baffled everybody that I had no idea.
    Obviously I felt major betrayal from my family and not knowing the truth until I was an adult. I wondered where the memories of my abuse was and how I had shut them out.

    I went on a downward spiral with drugs and met an abusive man myself. After 5 years of brutal sexual and physical violence, ending in hospital, court dates and finally being 'free' from him. (I will spare details as it is a painful experience) I am left with extremely unhealthy behaviours.

    Paranoia, I don't trust a soul in my life. Sex addiction from the years of skewed brainwashing sex life. Obsessive and intrusive thoughts of people trying to harm or hurt me. Anxiety disorders, panic disorders and PTSD...
    According to what you describe, I definitely chose flight and fawn.
    I met a man who has overlooked my quirks, helps me everyday to overcome my hurdles and past problems that arise.

    I have been in therapy for 4 years now since the end of my abuse. I also attended a codependency anon group, but because of the group talk, I left.

    It is a slow process, but I have to admit, fascinating. The brain is truly amazing.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wow, that's an crazy endeavor you had to experience. It's possible that when you were younger that the events were so traumatic that you dissociated and blocked them out (sometimes people using the freeze response might experience blackouts, is there any point in your life that this may have happened?), leaving them locked away until something triggers them. But then again, it's also possible you may not have experienced it directly (though the trauma would still have the same effect even if there were occasions that you witnessed your mother being abused, as it's still a stressful situation being experienced with empathy). Hmmmmm, it's also possible that you were too young to remember as well, who knows.

    Wow, that's crazy. So your mind just automatically picked up the 2nd father, and it was like the original father was never there. Now that's one hell of a shift.

    Jeez, i'm sorry you had to go through all that. I hope you're at least having some form of progress and a recovery from all of this.

    It seems your trauma has also left you fearful of intimacy (understandably so) with different people, and as hard as it sounds, this same intimacy is the key to our recovery. However, in your case since you identify with codependency (Fawn), it's also necessary that you learn how to defend your boundaries and maintain your independence. Flight and freeze seems to be the intimacy problem, fight has an issue with being overly dominant, whereas fawn seems to be an issue with independence and defending boundaries (which a lot of us with C-PTSD may have in common with an abusive relationship). It's interesting because I used to experience (and still do from time to time) similar paranoia and anxiety, and as I got more comfortable with social situations (while being cautious of course) it started declining a lot more. Unfortunately I still suffer from boundary issues because I seem to attract narcissists with my semi-pseudo-happy character, and it's difficult for me to tell people when i'm uncomfortable with what they're doing..but i've read that there are ways to train it, and it gets easier as you get used to it (it also has a connection to my guilt and shame as I don't want to say anything that would hurt their feelings, so it's that much more of a challenge).

    Hope something in all of this helps :), you are not alone!! Thank you for sharing your story!


     

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