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Old 10-17-13, 09:49 PM
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I am so insecure around my family

Last weekend I went out of town to spend a weekend with a bunch of family members. My family is very judgmental and some are just downright bitter. To the point where they point out issues/weaknesses and have a good laugh at others expense. Since last weekend, all I can think about is how much I hate my family.

I take responsibility for how I feel, as I am very sensitive and my self-esteem can really suck at times. Being around my family just amplifies those feelings as they remind me of all my failures as a child. What makes me more upset is the fact that some of my siblings have no room to judge me, when their lives are complete wrecks.

I have had a LOT of therapy and have tried to move past these family insecurities. I seem to be managing great, until I get put in the same room with them all at once. One on one, they are good and we have good conversation. But when they all get together it's like a free for all on how they can pick me and my life apart.

My husband told me that they pick on me because I get defensive and they like to watch me squirm. Of course I'm defensive, I am being attacked. So am I not suppose to defend myself??

My blood pressure goes through the roof the more I think about last weekend. I don't know what to do with all my thoughts. I want to write them letters or call them and tell them how I feel, but I won't be rational and I feel it would just make things a million times worse. I am so miserable right now and I don't know how to make this anger go away.

Ideas?
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Old 10-17-13, 10:58 PM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Phantasam, I am sorry for how your family makes you feel.

I think your husband is probably right though. They enjoy picking on you because you are defensive.

If they are loved family members then laugh and joke about yourself with them. (If they aren't ones you are close with or like then give em hell.)

You steal their power when you make fun of or exaggerate your own flaws. They are most likely only amused at your reaction when they see you getting irritated and defensive.

I promise it won't be near as entertaining for them if they don't get a negative reaction from you.
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Old 10-17-13, 11:55 PM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Thank you, Greyhound. Reading this, I know you are right. And it makes me even more upset that they would try to make me upset. Why do that to someone? I am actually very humorous and do play things off that way. It definitely works, however I still ruminate about it later. I always end up at the same place, just ruminating. I appreciate your words.

I have worked so hard getting through life day by day. It's been such a struggle and when I look back, I am proud how far I have come. I wish I could be a lot farther, but I know I have worked hard to get to today. I feel like they just want to hold me back. I guess I have an expectation on how "family" should be. Uplifiting and supportive, not diminishing and wreckless.
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Old 10-18-13, 03:25 AM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Hi there, phantasm

I struggled with this exact same kind of demoralising family stuff for years. Decades. Finally they over-stepped the mark, and I drifted away. It's called 'being estranged', and it is the alternative option to continuing to beat your head against a brick wall.

My guess (given your description, and given ADHD is genetic) is, that like mine, your family is loaded up with undiagnosed ADHD relatives. They are the people who invade your personal barriers (even when you summons the courage to respectfully ask them not to). They are the ones who label you as being 'touchy', (in the same breathe that they are insulting/teasing you). They are the family members who bang on at you about 'how much fun family Christmas is going to be' (and then systematically do your head in and make it a misery). Just like last year. And the year before that.

An alternative to being involved and unhappy is to not be involved and at least be peaceful. I have been uninvolved / estranged for a couple of years now. It's hard to begin with, but easier as time passes ... and personally it is so much better for me than continuing the demoralising nasty dance that was family interaction.

One day I may re-enter the lion's den. Maybe I won't. Like you, I have invested a lot of time and money in educating myself, dealing with my own psychological issues, coming to terms with the ADHD factor, etc. etc. I know I am still vulnerable to the narcissistic, nasty element that runs through other people in my family, and I know I'm not Superwoman. I cannot stand up to it. Their nastiness is my kryptonite - it demolishes me in a few seconds flat.

Long short. There is no rulebook that states you MUST stay involved in with your family. These are social "rules" we learn and continue to buy into, until one day we get old enough to ponder if they are actually "law", or just rules of a game we don't really want to play.

Your husband hopefully loves you enough to support you in whatever you decide to do, or not do. Christmas/The Holidays is coming up. Book now to go away, and avoid the family drama. See if you survive. It might be an eye opener to a new life in which you choose when and where and how and whether or not you spend time with your family en masse.

Cheers
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Old 10-18-13, 05:32 AM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Where is sarahsweets when you needs her...

Honestly though, you are brave to deal with those emotions for so long... To go..... Knowing the most likely outcomes...

Perhaps, you anticipated change in others...

Next time i'm invited to something similar ( not that often )... I'd like tot think I could be secure in myself. I'd like to thing I can nod, without fusing, smile without meekness... and occasionally... throw some nice catalyctic commentary to extend my voice...

When we are consumed by our emotions ( mostly about ourselves - or others effects on ourselves ) we condemn ourselves to be emotional punching bags.

Learn to switch / sever that connection... The one between your thoughts and your emotions... herein lies some peace.
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Old 10-18-13, 06:52 AM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

I didn't experience this myself, but I know others who have and what it meant for them. It's very demoralizing and dangerous for your self-esteem in the long run. They are bulling you to cover their own insecurities, but they know they are hurting you and still they don't stop. In my opinion, you should take Madd as a Hatte's advice and start stepping away from them. If you fight back or try to ignore them they will only push you harder, since they take you for granted. They need to start to be afraid of losing you, otherwise they'll have no incentive to change their behavior. You don't owe it to them to spend Christmas with them and I'm sure there are plenty of other nice people who would love your company. You might call them or meet with them, but when they start attacking you, just pick up your stuff and go. They will call you "touchy" or "stiff" or whatever (to try to justify their unjustifiable remarks, of course), but you need to stand your ground and let them know is not the way you accept to be treated. If they can't be nice and supportive, the way family members should be, then you have no business being with them.
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Old 10-18-13, 09:32 AM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

In order to be successful living with AD(H)D and the other disorders asociated with it is to MODIFY our enviroments for success and to avoid the pitfalls that give us anxiety and depression.

Two options here and they are based on your personal relationship with these family members.

Do they truly love and care for you but they like to watch you get upset or maybe they don't realize how much it really is hurting you?

If they really love you and are just giving you a hard time, you have to learn to get above this and not let it bother you as much. Laugh at them and let them know it doesn't bother you.

If that's not possible, then you have to communicate with them, when you're not upset, and tell them how you feel and that you DO NOT like it when they do this.

If they truly love and care for you, they will stop. If they don't care and continue, then you should modify your environment and avoid them.

I have to consider the source and make a decision whether this person is worth getting upset over. In most cases they are not worthy of my emotions other than laughter!

One of the things we do being AD(H(D is we obsess over what people think of us and if they like us or not. We always want everyone to like us or at least not to be mad at us.

You have to believe that you are a good person and you are who you are. If people don't like you then they have that right and that's there business. But you cannot let it determine how you feel about yourself!
You have to rise above it!

The people who get a kick out of giving you a hard time will hate the fact that it doesn't bother you and that you appear to be above what they say!

You have to realize that the other humans are not like us, and so we have to be patient and understanding because after all, they are the weaker species!

Don't tell them that, they still think there better than us!

I'm fifty and my siblings still bring up stories from when I was a kid and the stupid things I did. I laugh right with them. What I did was stupid or funny, what do I care!

Then I reach into my bag of memories about them and the stories I have. Oh, now it's not so funny!

Those other humans are so weak!
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Old 10-18-13, 11:01 AM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Your husband is right on. Classic bullying is attracted to the one who reacts and squirms the most and the one with ADHD, wins that contest every single time. You have to deny them the reaction they want - it takes a lot of guts and it's the hardest thing in the world to learn.

For me it helped when I realized: only your friends can hurt you. If someone is mean, then they aren't offering you anything, so they have nothing to take away, so they can't hurt you. Let them think what they will; why bother responding? Have they done something FOR you that you now OWE them a response?
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Old 10-18-13, 11:07 AM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Tell them to f**k off.
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Old 10-18-13, 11:46 AM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

It's funny, I think SarahSw and I are saying the same thing,.. why can't I learn to be that succinct?
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Old 10-18-13, 03:50 PM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Boy! I'm trying to come up with a response that isn't a book long. Thank you for all your responses.

The reason I went to visit my family members was mainly so my daughter can have a relationship with them. MY father is 1 of 5 kids and my mom is 1 of 8 kids. I have only met 1 uncle on my dad's side and 3 siblings on my moms side. My parents had issues within their own family that kept them all estranged. I did NOT want that to be the case with my family. Regardless of how ridiculous our relationships are. It's been a huge missing for me not to know my extended family and I wanted my daughter to have the option have them in her life. She will grow up and see them for who they are, but I don't want to be like my parents and decide for her.

Second, when I talked to my sister (the meanest one of the bunch) she told me that she was soo excited to see me and couldn't wait. Those words have never been uttered. I was sooo excited that, for once, she was genuinely happy to see me and my family. She even kissed me on my head when I was at her house. Filled my heart. She was instrumental in attacking me though. Which just makes me feel a thousand times more like an idiot.

Lastly, in the last year, I talk to my relatives one on one regarding our mental history. (I had to get this info for my pdocs so they could give me a proper diagnosis) And I shared with my family all of this, and I thought that having a new dialog with one another, learning how these disorders/illnesses may affect us, would help us understand each other better and learn how to mend our differences. At the very least, I helped them understand how ADHD & Bipolar affect me.

For these reasons, I had huge expectations that things would be different.
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Old 10-18-13, 03:59 PM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

I'm glad you mentioned the "heirarchy of estrangement"... funny feeling indeed... one wonders how much we pickup just "in the air" growning up with this.

Kudos to you for feeding some info back up the line also.
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Old 10-18-13, 04:03 PM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Quote:
Originally Posted by MADD As A Hatte View Post
Hi there, phantasm

I struggled with this exact same kind of demoralising family stuff for years. Decades. Finally they over-stepped the mark, and I drifted away. It's called 'being estranged', and it is the alternative option to continuing to beat your head against a brick wall.

My guess (given your description, and given ADHD is genetic) is, that like mine, your family is loaded up with undiagnosed ADHD relatives. They are the people who invade your personal barriers (even when you summons the courage to respectfully ask them not to). They are the ones who label you as being 'touchy', (in the same breathe that they are insulting/teasing you). They are the family members who bang on at you about 'how much fun family Christmas is going to be' (and then systematically do your head in and make it a misery). Just like last year. And the year before that.

An alternative to being involved and unhappy is to not be involved and at least be peaceful. I have been uninvolved / estranged for a couple of years now. It's hard to begin with, but easier as time passes ... and personally it is so much better for me than continuing the demoralising nasty dance that was family interaction.

One day I may re-enter the lion's den. Maybe I won't. Like you, I have invested a lot of time and money in educating myself, dealing with my own psychological issues, coming to terms with the ADHD factor, etc. etc. I know I am still vulnerable to the narcissistic, nasty element that runs through other people in my family, and I know I'm not Superwoman. I cannot stand up to it. Their nastiness is my kryptonite - it demolishes me in a few seconds flat.

Long short. There is no rulebook that states you MUST stay involved in with your family. These are social "rules" we learn and continue to buy into, until one day we get old enough to ponder if they are actually "law", or just rules of a game we don't really want to play.

Your husband hopefully loves you enough to support you in whatever you decide to do, or not do. Christmas/The Holidays is coming up. Book now to go away, and avoid the family drama. See if you survive. It might be an eye opener to a new life in which you choose when and where and how and whether or not you spend time with your family en masse.

Cheers
You must know my family!!

Yep, when it comes to mental illness, my family is a hot mess.

I call my family the "lions den" too.

I have moved out of state to get away from my family. Still do and have no intention on ever returning. My life is completely different than it was living near them. Best thing I ever did. When I visit, it's usually for a couple hours at a time. I can't handle much.

My husband does support me, however he won't say a thing during fights or altercations with my family. He is super NT, rational, and only deals with the facts. he doesn't care for my family, but if he ever intervined he would seriously hurt them. He would be happier if we never visited them. But he just sucks it up, since it's a short period of time to be around them.
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Old 10-18-13, 04:11 PM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Quote:
Originally Posted by someothertime View Post
Where is sarahsweets when you needs her...

Perhaps, you anticipated change in others...

Next time i'm invited to something similar ( not that often )... I'd like tot think I could be secure in myself. I'd like to thing I can nod, without fusing, smile without meekness... and occasionally... throw some nice catalyctic commentary to extend my voice...

When we are consumed by our emotions ( mostly about ourselves - or others effects on ourselves ) we condemn ourselves to be emotional punching bags.

Learn to switch / sever that connection... The one between your thoughts and your emotions... herein lies some peace.
I DO anticipate change. What's the definition of insanity...expecting a different result after doing the same thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by someothertime View Post
Where is sarahsweets when you needs her...
I know, right!?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by someothertime View Post

Learn to switch / sever that connection... The one between your thoughts and your emotions... herein lies some peace.
I am working on this. My emotions are my downfall. Bipolar II doesn't help.
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Old 10-18-13, 04:13 PM
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Re: I am so insecure around my family

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corina86 View Post
I didn't experience this myself, but I know others who have and what it meant for them. It's very demoralizing and dangerous for your self-esteem in the long run. They are bulling you to cover their own insecurities, but they know they are hurting you and still they don't stop. In my opinion, you should take Madd as a Hatte's advice and start stepping away from them. If you fight back or try to ignore them they will only push you harder, since they take you for granted. They need to start to be afraid of losing you, otherwise they'll have no incentive to change their behavior. You don't owe it to them to spend Christmas with them and I'm sure there are plenty of other nice people who would love your company. You might call them or meet with them, but when they start attacking you, just pick up your stuff and go. They will call you "touchy" or "stiff" or whatever (to try to justify their unjustifiable remarks, of course), but you need to stand your ground and let them know is not the way you accept to be treated. If they can't be nice and supportive, the way family members should be, then you have no business being with them.
Thank you for your response, and I will not be spending the holidays with these people. Period.
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