Sufferer Daughter of a Sadistic Personality Disorder / Borderline Mother & NPD Dad

PatchoMcGee

New Here
Hello! New here.

Hoping to find some friends/support group who understand CPTSD.
Some stuff about me and what brings me here: I and my 3 brothers grew up with a Sadistic Personality Disorder mother (DSM3, entry now removed so I guess we have to call her a BPD witch type, per Christine Lawson's "Understanding the Borderline Mother"), an enmeshed terrified stepdad, and a diagnosed NPD father. The physical and mental abuse at mom's house was extreme, and the rare visits to NPD dad's house were syrupy manipulative narcissism and sexual molestation.

I fit best in Pete Walker's "CPTSD" book as "flight/freeze" and learned how to be a codependent as an adult. I've been in weekly counseling for over 10 years--my first counselor stopped counseling when he took an administrative job at a college. I thought I'd be ok, but started having severe panic attacks that got even worse as my inner terrorist critic launched into overdrive. I sought out another counselor, and figured in today's computer world I could find one anywhere that would be best suited to my issues (I live in a really, really small town--to say options are limited is an understatement). I found a counselor in Georgia and for the past 5 years we've done online therapy. She talked me into 2mg of diazepam every 3 days to stave off panic attacks, for which I am grateful, but recently when I finally started feeling comfortable enough with her to start really digging into the cptsd issues, which are flaring up again--my international wholesale business of 28 years is failing and I'm pretty stressed out, which triggers the emotional flashbacks--she told me that flashbacks are "just a decision to wallow in", that I'm feeling sorry for myself and just need to get some exercise. I'm kind of steaming that I've paid $100 an hour weekly for years to a counselor that obviously has no idea what the hell she's doing. But at least that's one less expense while my income dwindles.

So I'm here to meet some folks who also are looking to heal and improve their lives. Yeah, sometimes I want to gripe about the dirtbags who left me with this baggage I can't seem to leave behind, but mostly I want to discuss moving forward, ways to manage the unfair legacy, and some help here and there with pointing out when we're all falling down the rabbit hole and can't see it.

Thanks for having me.
 
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that_1_girl

Confident
Hi! Welcome. I have zero ability to diagnose anyone especially my own parents but according to myself my mother is borderline and according to her much younger sister who is a psychiatrist she’s a narcissist and if my opinion has any validity at all my father is definitely a narcissist as well. My aunt has called their behavior (I hope this is not too triggering but there are no trigger warnings on this forum) “mental/emotional masturbation” and they are both most definitely very unhealthy for me and I have finally removed myself almost entirely from the situation at age *almost* 38 (my birthday is in a few days). They will likely never split up since they are each others narcissistic supply…as is my brother (11 years younger and imho a narcissist himself by now) and I was as well for a long time. My family was basically a non-religious cult; my brother went way farther into it along with his girlfriend and I have essentially left (although there is still financial abuse going on by them but it doesn’t affect me on a daily or usually even weekly basis.) Most of the csa I *gather* I (or other parts, I was diagnosed with DID about 2 weeks ago and CPTSD I guess 2 1/2 years ago??) experienced (?? significant symptoms AND total amnesia) was outside of the home/family but I’m really not sure, tbh. But my parents practiced other types of abuse (emotional/mental/psychological, as well as types that are far less common) and i wouldn’t consider it sadistic but it sure felt that way as a child. Example: they practiced force feeding as a way to shut me up when I acted out (whatever was going on I was a very poorly adjusted child and was also significantly socially delayed due to neurodivergence (ADHD).) so I acted out a lot and was very emotionally troubled and very much bullied from preschool on and they would force feed me any time I was having a typical childhood meltdown due to bullying (largely, in elementary school K-6, because of being overweight…I told my parents and they continued to force feed/overfeed me, and then deliver me daily to that school, while telling me they loved me and would do anything to help or protect me, and basically causing the bullying themselves and refusing to do anything useful to stop it.) I wouldn’t consider that sadistic by any means but it was definitely very confusing to me as a child. They also refused to believe me about other abuse and believed my first abuser over me, so after that I just never told them again. As a result I learned to dissociate to survive and now apparently have DID and CPTSD.

This is NOT to compare my story to yours because mine is just dumb and yours is very scary and intense and serious but yeah I just wanted to empathize with growing up with two parents with personality disorders, at least apparently as far as I’m concerned. They’re definitely not normal human beings and my family was definitely not the “perfect countercultural family” they portrayed themselves to be on the outside.

Basically just wanted to send SAFE and gentle (((hugs))) 🫂 and support and as much empathy as I can for your awful situation as a child.

Be well, be safe, take care of yourself, and welcome, it’s good to “meet” you here!
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
Wow! What an ass of a therapist! Did she even bother to try to teach you how to ground yourself and pull yourself back? All of the flashbacks I've had were in no way related to wallowing. They were frightened, panicked being right back in my trauma things. My therapist taught me to eventually pull myself back. I can't always do it but I can more than half the time. I'm really sorry you lost so much healing time with her.

Most of us here are looking for healing so I'm sure you will find a lot of good articles and threads that are very helpful. Welcome!
 

PatchoMcGee

New Here
Wow! What an ass of a therapist! Did she even bother to try to teach you how to ground yourself and pull yourself back? All of the flashbacks I've had were in no way related to wallowing. They were frightened, panicked being right back in my trauma things. My therapist taught me to eventually pull myself back. I can't always do it but I can more than half the time. I'm really sorry you lost so much healing time with her.

Most of us here are looking for healing so I'm sure you will find a lot of good articles and threads that are very helpful. Welcome!
Thanks. This therapist basically dumped me a few days ago, doing me a big favor actually. Because she has a PhD I assumed she must really know what she's doing. But as I step back and look at the last 5 years of counseling with her, I see that as long as it was basically idle chit chat, small stressors, everything was fine. But every time I brought up deeper issues, she would get a little irritated, so I backed off, thinking I was doing something wrong.

I asked her to read the Pete Walker book and help me navigate it (last week) and she said NO. That she's a CBT counselor and it's not her job to interpret other peoples books for me, and that she thought I needed to find another counselor more suited to what I think will work. yeah, you got that right! I already have an inner critic to tell me I'm wallowing in self pity, I sure don't need to pay someone $100 to tell me that.

This could have been a really traumatic experience for me, but as this was going on, I was also having an epiphany about myself and why it's so hard for me to accept praise or believe I might be a good person (I hate my mother--we haven't spoken in over 30 years, and never will--and good people aren't filled with hatred are they? You know where this leads...) and I also got proactive. I got the Pete Walker audiobook out and listened to it 3 times in a row, paying special attention to the tips about flashbacks (before I could fall down the ridiculous hole of believing my counselors out of line words were my fault somehow) and I of course joined this group. I'm a little shaky about the experience, but gratefully, doing ok, seeing it appropriately instead of catastrophically.

Imagine my surprise though to see online quite a few complaints about CBT therapy by CPTSD people. I need to do some research, as I'm not really aware of the different types of counseling, I just thought counseling is counseling.

I thought I was treading water with this counselor, but I now see I was going backwards. She was confirming my flight/freeze reactions as valid ways to deal with what I call emotional flashbacks and she apparently calls "the decision to wallow in self pity". She'd never said that outright until a few days ago, or I'd have bailed long before now.

Anyway, I feel sort of back on track now.

I've come a long way in my healing process and have a long way to go, but have enough tools under my belt to deal with this blow. But it's still shocking and stunning to me.

I think I'm going to take a break from one-on-one counseling for a while, and delve instead into group activity (as I've become increasingly isolated, what with the flight/freeze validation of coping). And I need to absorb the Pete Walker book--it has so much good info that I can't remember any of it when I need it!

Thanks for welcoming me.

Hi @PatchoMcGee welcome to the site. 🙂
Thanks--I look forward to participating!

Hi! Welcome. I have zero ability to diagnose anyone especially my own parents but according to myself my mother is borderline and according to her much younger sister who is a psychiatrist she’s a narcissist and if my opinion has any validity at all my father is definitely a narcissist as well. My aunt has called their behavior (I hope this is not too triggering but there are no trigger warnings on this forum) “mental/emotional masturbation” and they are both most definitely very unhealthy for me and I have finally removed myself almost entirely from the situation at age *almost* 38 (my birthday is in a few days). They will likely never split up since they are each others narcissistic supply…as is my brother (11 years younger and imho a narcissist himself by now) and I was as well for a long time. My family was basically a non-religious cult; my brother went way farther into it along with his girlfriend and I have essentially left (although there is still financial abuse going on by them but it doesn’t affect me on a daily or usually even weekly basis.) Most of the csa I *gather* I (or other parts, I was diagnosed with DID about 2 weeks ago and CPTSD I guess 2 1/2 years ago??) experienced (?? significant symptoms AND total amnesia) was outside of the home/family but I’m really not sure, tbh. But my parents practiced other types of abuse (emotional/mental/psychological, as well as types that are far less common) and i wouldn’t consider it sadistic but it sure felt that way as a child. Example: they practiced force feeding as a way to shut me up when I acted out (whatever was going on I was a very poorly adjusted child and was also significantly socially delayed due to neurodivergence (ADHD).) so I acted out a lot and was very emotionally troubled and very much bullied from preschool on and they would force feed me any time I was having a typical childhood meltdown due to bullying (largely, in elementary school K-6, because of being overweight…I told my parents and they continued to force feed/overfeed me, and then deliver me daily to that school, while telling me they loved me and would do anything to help or protect me, and basically causing the bullying themselves and refusing to do anything useful to stop it.) I wouldn’t consider that sadistic by any means but it was definitely very confusing to me as a child. They also refused to believe me about other abuse and believed my first abuser over me, so after that I just never told them again. As a result I learned to dissociate to survive and now apparently have DID and CPTSD.

This is NOT to compare my story to yours because mine is just dumb and yours is very scary and intense and serious but yeah I just wanted to empathize with growing up with two parents with personality disorders, at least apparently as far as I’m concerned. They’re definitely not normal human beings and my family was definitely not the “perfect countercultural family” they portrayed themselves to be on the outside.

Basically just wanted to send SAFE and gentle (((hugs))) 🫂 and support and as much empathy as I can for your awful situation as a child.

Be well, be safe, take care of yourself, and welcome, it’s good to “meet” you here!
I don't think your experience is "dumb". While I do find it difficult to find others who have experienced the same level of abuse as I did (especially that are reasonably functional humans lol) I don't discount others experience, and you shouldn't discount your own by comparison. Really. Sometimes overt abuse makes us forget that the emotional neglect is more insidious and scarring.
I wish you the best, all of us the best, and look forward to participating here, to a better more healthy future! Thanks for welcoming me.
 
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