Changing Yourself without Self-Hate - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-17-2005, 05:15 PM
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My psychologist says I'm hanging on real tight to personality & behavioural traits that cause me endless interpersonal & psychological pain.

I agree, but I've told him if I let go of my delusions & narcissism, as I've done a couple of times very partially, I'll be hospitalized or dead from suicide.

Basically I go through life building myself up by saying other people suck. The hate makes me feel strong & powerful. I interpret people's bad reactions to me as further proof of how great I am & how much they suck.

Whenever this thought pattern subsides a bit, I am bedridden & suicidal. In a serious way involving hospitalization. I literally cannot handle what lies beneath the delusions.

I also can't voluntarily choose to drop the delusions, as my psychologist is trying to do with me right now in therapy.

The psychologist is now saying he doesn't know that I can really expect much improvement after living this way in isolation for most of my life. Antipsychotics & meditation have helped, but sadly I'm still really grandiose, aggressive & paranoid.



I am really hoping someone on VB can suggest how to defeat the delusions of grandeur & paranoia without falling into the other state of shame, self-hate & suicidal acts like OD'ing & cutting myself.

Thanks for listening.
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#2 Old 12-18-2005, 08:09 AM
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well, i think it'll be helpful to recognize that the grandiousness and all of that stuff is rooted in shame and self hate. This means that to let go of the grandious, you have to delve into the origins of shame and come to terms with it. in coming to terms with it (facing it and working through it), you'll find that you don't need either of these falsehoods (shame/self-hate or 'false self esteem through grandiousness') and that you are free and motivated to be yourself.
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#3 Old 12-18-2005, 08:32 AM
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This means that to let go of the grandious, you have to delve into the origins of shame and come to terms with it. in coming to terms with it (facing it and working through it), you'll find that you don't need either of these falsehoods (shame/self-hate or 'false self esteem through grandiousness') and that you are free and motivated to be yourself.



Thank you very much zoebird.

The hard part is (a.) I can't seem to drop the grandiose/a$$hole personality at will or in therapy (even after years of therapy);

(b.) I know that negative personality protects me from a lot of painful things, like awareness of the fact I have very few people in my life who care about me, child abuse, poverty, etc. by puffing me up "larger than life";

(c.) I am terrified of more psychosis/crippling depression/panic attacks/suicide attempts if I do manage to drop the tough, holier-than-thou personality or ego.
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#4 Old 12-18-2005, 12:22 PM
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I don't have any advice but I think that your awareness of all this stuff is a big step.




It's not in what you say, it's in what you do (Oasis)

Feeling bored? Why don't you wander over to my blog sometime. http://thebohemiankitchen.wordpress.com
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#5 Old 12-18-2005, 12:27 PM
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Thanks Starblossom!!

You're right, awareness is a huge step. It's been hard to get to this point, but at least I can see where I'm at.
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#6 Old 12-18-2005, 04:07 PM
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Wow, that's tough, but I agree being fully aware of what's going on with yourself is an excellent sign. I'm no psychologist, but what I've heard about dealing with deep-seated pain (which it sounds like you have) is that it can bring you to rock bottom, although dealing with it is all that's going to ever bring you contentment with yourself and the ability to move forward with your life.



So, what to do? I'd say that you have to force yourself to face all of this pain, but that you should do so under the close supervision of professionals (ie. in a hospital or in daily contact with your doctor), so you don't end up hurting or, god forbid, killing yourself. You simply have to talk about all of the awful things that keep you down and start to change your patterns of thought and behavior or you'll just be existing instead of living. Just make sure that you're not doing it all alone because it's definitely going to hurt.



Although your hurt and anger often come through in your posts on these boards, I also definitely recognize an intelligent, thoughtful, interesting, worthwhile person there and it would be a terrible shame for you to go through life only being able to see yourself as having worth if you're making those around you feel like crap. You need to move from this toxic, make-believe self-esteem to real self-esteem, the kind that will bring you healthy feelings and relationships and will lead you to making good choices. I really wish you the best of luck with everything.
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#7 Old 12-18-2005, 06:58 PM
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I think you need to take it one day at a time and try not to focus on it. I know personally that might be hard. Get out socialize, go to the movies, clean, get a pet, volunteer for organizations that helping animals, go to the gym and get involved with your community. There are going to be more difucult things to deal with in life. If you have a mental illness turn it into something positive instead of using it as crutch. I'm am bi-polar, if you kill yourself think of what it would do to your loved-ones. My mother commited suicide, the worst thing I ever went through and its a daily struggle. It really f***ed up my head.

It will get better with time, try not to focus on your weakness and you'll be fine.
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#8 Old 12-18-2005, 11:58 PM
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I think a good place to start is with how you see other people, so you can get ahold of the tools you need to fix yourself with before you start taking yourself apart.
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#9 Old 12-19-2005, 09:12 AM
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Thank you very much zoebird.

The hard part is (a.) I can't seem to drop the grandiose/a$$hole personality at will or in therapy (even after years of therapy);



i don't think that you have to 'drop it' to progress. the first step is acknowledgeing it and recognizing when you're acting out because of it. So, it's largely just observing.



This, then, is combined with the fact that while you are observing that, you can also look to the causes and origins of your shame and self-hate and begin to work through those.



Quote:
(b.) I know that negative personality protects me from a lot of painful things, like awareness of the fact I have very few people in my life who care about me, child abuse, poverty, etc. by puffing me up "larger than life";



predominently, you use it as an avoidance technique. The awareness of the fact is still there (if you can write it out like this, you're aware of it)--so it's not functioning at that level, but it does allow you to avoid going into the "whys and wherefores" of what is really going on or what your part is and isn't in child abuse, poverty, etc.



so, now you have two elements that you are observing. First, you're observing your awareness of your reality and then second you're observing your reaction to that reality. In combination, you are observing the dynamic interplay between the two--and it's likely that you're beginning to expand that awareness into how it is affecting you and how it is affecting others.



Quote:
(c.) I am terrified of more psychosis/crippling depression/panic attacks/suicide attempts if I do manage to drop the tough, holier-than-thou personality or ego.



like most people, you fear the whole process of change because you don't know what will happen. What will happen when you undo your shame? it is likely that if you can undo certain aspects of your shame, then you'll not have to behave in a grandious way. This way, the grandiousness drops naturally because you no longer need it.



this is really the way that it works. You don't have to drop the grandious to deal with the shame. You simply recognize that that's how you deal with it. Then, when you decide to delve into the origins of the shame and work through it, the grandiousness will fall away on it's own--and something new will be there.



I can understand your fear for a number of reasons. In the past, your only experience was 'no grandious, then depression." depression is the 'other reaction' to the shame. It really was 'either/or.' If there's no grandious, then there's depression--becuase you haven't worked through the cause of what you're reacting to, your shame and suffering and all of that. Does that make sense?



So, what if you work through the cause, which will be difficult, and allow either of those reactive-things to express (if grandious makes you more functional or is more helpful, then let that happen and observe that happening) in the process, then when you get to the other side--unravelling the cause--you'll find that both reactions 'drop away' on their own because you no longer need them.



does this make sense?
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#10 Old 12-20-2005, 10:10 AM
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While I have no experience with delusions & stuff, I can truthfully state that I have been living with a borderline OC person for several years and what you describe is partly his coping tactic too. He has no abuse that I know of in his past but a mainly boundaries problem which was never corrected when he was a child.



I commend you for recognising your problem ! That is a huge step ! (My SO has never entirely recognised that he had a problem, pretends he has a stress problem, or something with anger management).



IMO the answer is love. In every sense, but particularly love and respect for yourself. Baby steps. Try getting a pet maybe, if you think you can handle that, he'll show you how.



Again though, bravo for throwing this out here. Very brave !
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#11 Old 12-21-2005, 10:13 PM
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You say the hate makes you feel strong and powerful. It used to for me too; I was stuck that way for four years. Then one day I realized that the reason I hated a certain group was that they scared the hell out of me. Once I was able to get in touch with my fear, and find better ways of countering it (such as polietly standing up for myself instead of being rude), the hate started to drain off.



Be aware that healing requires a supportive group of friends, people who accpet you unconditionally. You learn to love yourself by being loved by others. Also it helps to write down exactly what you hate or what you are afraid of. Monsters hide in the dark...when you play the game all the way to the end, you can disarm them.
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#12 Old 12-23-2005, 02:21 PM
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IMO the answer is love. In every sense, but particularly love and respect for yourself. Baby steps. Try getting a pet maybe, if you think you can handle that, he'll show you how.





My pets & bf mean the world to me.

I think they help more than the antipsychotics.

Thank you.
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#13 Old 12-23-2005, 02:22 PM
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Be aware that healing requires a supportive group of friends, people who accpet you unconditionally. You learn to love yourself by being loved by others. .



Sadly other people don't like me, except my bf & a couple of addict friends.
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#14 Old 12-23-2005, 11:03 PM
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Organica,



I've got to say, I think you have changed a great deal from your first stint on VB. You seem more self-aware, more positive, and, probably most important, happier. I'm sure things are still hard for you, but if you can noticeably change so much for the better in such a short time, I have no doubt you will continue to improve.



I don't think you need to hate any aspect of yourself in order to move on. There have been parts of me I've disliked and changed, but dislike is much less strong than hate. I think you can say to yourself, "this is something about me that I'd like to make better" instead of "I hate this about myself. I'm going to punish myself (or others) for it" which it sounds like was your previous pattern.



I am no psychologist and I don't want to overstep any bounds, but I would think the easiest thing to do is to only focus on one thing at a time instead of trying to get rid of every bad trait you think you have at once. Then you only have to accept that you even *have* one bad trait at a time.



I'm trying to think of an example, but as I don't know specifically what you're dealing with, I don't think I can come up with an apt one. Maybe something like this: You don't like looking down on people about reason x. So every time you find yourself looking down on people for that reason, you're going to revise your thoughts about that person, recognize that you're projecting, and consciously make yourself think good things about that person. When that becomes easier, you move on to problem #2.



I've had to change the way I thought about people before, and it's hard because thoughts come so quickly, but you *can* change what you think automatically. It just takes a lot of effort.



I really wish you good luck in your endeavors to improve yourself. Like I said, you've already been soooo successful. You should be proud of what you've done so far, and use the strength that you've gained through that success to help you reach whatever you goal is.
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#15 Old 12-24-2005, 05:12 PM
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Thanks Mskedi- good suggestion & valuable support.



Thanks to everyone in this thread.
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#16 Old 12-30-2005, 03:07 PM
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organica:



i'm glad to see that you responded to the post stream. i don't like it when they sort of die. . .



anyway, i hope that you are doing well. i haven't been on much lately because of the busy holidays.
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#17 Old 01-03-2006, 04:38 PM
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I didn't read the other posts very well, so I may do some repeating...

I second Mskedi, who said that you have progressed considerably since you've been posting on VB, becoming much more positive and happy.

You need to overcome narcissism and hate directed outward- which you say, cushions you from the hate you feel for yourself. My first thought it that all you are doing is taking the things you hate about yourself, seeing them in others, and hating them for it- projecting your negative feelings about yourselves in to others and disliking them accordingly. I would think it would be most valuable to you to instead try to find the good in other people and match it to the good in yourself. As you seem someone being compassoinate, reflect on your own compassion, as you see generosity, think about the ways in which you have been generous. Don't compare- its not a contest of who is more virtuous. Its about finding the good in the world and the good in yourself.



I wouldn't recommend letting go of any 'facade' that is keeping you functioning, as you do need to function. Instead, take baby steps to get there, start with small steps in the right direction.



I truly believe the mind is a powerful muscle...we are born, or we become a certain way, perhaps through inborn chemical issues or through our upbringing and the influences we are exposed to. But the brain has been proven again and again to be plastic and capable of change. I am not clear what the feeling is that takes over when delusions and narcissism fade away- but somehow you need to come up with a way to manage these feelings, to deflect them and replace them with something better- or really, easier to cope with.
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