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    #246307 - 11/13/19 12:43 PM Later life sadness
    Gale_Force Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 11/02/18
    Posts: 1
    HI everyone,

    I am mostly a lurker here. In my mid-50s. Very checkered history regarding achievement--on and off like a blinking light, complicated by not only lack of parental support as a kid, but also an ongoing sense of otherness within my immediate family, in my workplace, etc. The usual stuff.

    I had a conversation with my sister today over coffee where I was sharing my thoughts and new learning about a topic of immense interest to me, and she listened only politely,which I observed but still tried to ignite some interest by what I was sharing.Just being me and wanting to...share. She did this thing where she puts her hand to the side of neck like she has a crick in it and then winces, then looks away, still holding her neck.It is a cue for me to stop talking. It instantly humiliated me and I stopped talking and made an excuse to leave. I am very sad today because I realize that I cannot continue to have such exchanges with my sister. This is a pattern between us and it is so damaging to me. I feel deeply ashamed to be me in that moment,and that shame carries over to the rest of my day/week/month. The only relief I get is to immerse myself in my interests and to limit human interaction as much as possible until I am regrouped inside myself. If you met me, you would see a warm, personable, funny person. I would work very hard to NOT show you my intensity. I stuff so much of myself on a daily basis and feel always alone. My relationship with my sister has always meant a great deal but I increasingly see it as toxic. I'm beyond sad today. I have worked my place into a position in life where no one really knows me and I'm afraid to show them and feel like, at 55,it's too late anyway.

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    #246363 - 11/25/19 04:12 PM Re: Later life sadness [Re: Gale_Force]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3557
    GF,

    I see you've already been on here (perhaps as a lurker!) for over a year now...but welcome!

    I am sorry to hear you are feeling alone and unknown. I hope you are able to separate your true value as a unique human being (which is immeasurably high) from the valuations other people set on you. And I encourage you that it is never too late to explore new and healthier ways of knowing and being known by others. If you have never engaged in a counseling relationship (or even if you have), it might be time to look for a sympathetic psychotherapist, who can help you begin to tease out the patterns that have been imposed on you, or into which you have fallen, from those that you will start to choose, that can take you in a healthier direction relationally.

    My heart goes out to you. I pray Love finds you.

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    #246364 - 11/25/19 08:15 PM Re: Later life sadness [Re: Gale_Force]
    pinewood1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/25/19
    Posts: 26
    As someone from a very (very) dysfunctional family (to say the least), I'll just say...

    Yeah.

    Just... yeah.

    A family that works that way, where you are made to feel ashamed of your interests, your preferences, your feelings, your thoughts, who you are in general, will predictably raise kids who feel this way about themselves.

    There are a lot of books about this kind of thing. Pete Walker's Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving is one of them; you can see his free articles here. I haven't read his whole book because I found the writing style irritating and it's not as well edited as his online articles, but a lot of people say they've found it helpful.

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    #246367 - 11/25/19 11:13 PM Re: Later life sadness [Re: Gale_Force]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4203
    Welcome!

    Hugs to you.

    Please don't be dismayed by the delayed responses... a new member's first 5 posts are held for moderation to prevent spambots.

    You've received great advice and affirmation above, I'll just add a few thoughts...

    These books came to mind, reading them may help you feel strong, recognize the dynamic of invalidation, and maintain a strong boundary between yourself and anyone's attempts at invalidation:
    1) Nasty People, how to stop being hurt by them without becoming one of them, by Jay Carter (1989)
    2) Nasty People how to stop being hurt by them without stooping to their level, updated version, by Jay Carter (2003)
    3) Nasty Women, by Jay Carter (2003)

    He has also authored books on Nasty Men (2003), Nasty Bosses (2004), and co-authored a book on Bullies (1998).

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