Posted by schrips (22.214.171.124) on August 25, 2003 at 20:26:45:
In Reply to: Re: shamed by emotions? posted by emoot(: (126.96.36.199) on August 25, 2003 at 09:47:04:
I know my dad didn't have a very happy childhood. His parents are very strict Calvinists. If you aren't familiar with that, basically anything that makes you feel good must be a sin...repent or suffer eternal damnation!!! Me? Bitter? No.... One of his brothers is an alcoholic (in denial). He used to drink a lot in college, now he has his one beer with dinner every night. He once had a handwriting analysis done for a job application, though, and it showed "addictive personality traits".
I've had the same thought about how neither my brother or my dad recognize anger as an emotion. It is very peculiar. Do you think this is some kind of denial? About my dad "wanting everyone to act happy"...one time we were leaving on a road trip and my mom and I were running behind schedule (like normal...we are both ADD) and he was getting more and frustrated so everyone was feeding off this and getting crabby. Finally he screamed, "Let's go! We're going to have fun whether you like it or not!" Needless to say, we made fun of him for the rest of the trip for this (and still do on occasion). Hmm..
>>you have tried to please everyone with your compliance....trying to be good at all you do so that no one will get mad at you.
This really struck me. I never really thought about it this way...when I first started getting interested in the enneagram, I was always like "could I be a one? I'm all overachieving and perfectionistic..." but reading the detailed description just didn't fit at all...And I was always thrown off by the "slacker" stereotype for 4s which also didn't seem to fit... But I did all that crap to make everyone leave me alone, not because something in me gave me an innate perfectionism. Interesting...
I've been to a therapist a couple times, but not for any extended period. I'm turned off by the ones who want to slap a "disorder" on everything or want to be all "blame the mother" Fruedian (been there, done that, doesn't really accomplish anything). I went to a therapist at school once, and she acted all shocked about what I said, which just made me feel worse... My mom worked at a psychiatrist's office for a few years, and I call one of the therapists there occasionally. BTW, after meeting my brother just a few times (in a social setting) she said--he has a personality disorder.
I've never really thought about going to a support group...in school i was involved in an LGBT group that functioned somewhat on that level, and I think I really benefitted from that. I think I'm a little too stubborn about "I'll do it myself" and this is keeping me from trying to get help in this way. But I'll definitely consider it, just will probably take a little time to warm up to the idea. Thanks for all the advice. :)
> > Growing up, and even now sometimes, I feel ashamed of my emotions. Not even of being overly emotional, but almost by the fact that I have emotions at all. And definetly because I express my emotions and that they influence my decisions. Is this something that other 4s can relate to, or do you think it was prompted by my family? I'll describe them...
> > My dad. Very domineering, intimidating 8 (w 9? he wants everyone to shut up and act happy but he wants to be the one directing everything). Always yelling about something. When I was very young I admired him and was a typical "daddy's girl". We went fishing, I "helped" him fix cars, etc. When I was around 8 or 9 he got a job traveling a lot (and under a lot of stress), and I dreaded when he came home because he just turned into this absolute monster. my mom would actually send my brother and I to our rooms until he calmed down. I have to physically leave the house when he pays bills becuase he just screams at my mom for 3-4 hours straight (what the hell happened to check 354? Why do you spend so much goddamn money on the pets?). He also expects dinner to be on the table when he gets home, is loath to do his own laundry, expects the house to be spotless and then yells when she can't go out becuase she is cleaning. All this despite the fact that she works full time too. Emotionally abusive to my mom...overtly makes fun of her when she cries at movies or shows any other emotions.
> > My mom. Average 9w1, although she used to be less healthy than she is now. Suicidal thoughts, but no attempts, when my brother and I were toddlers. Kowtows to my dad, then complains about him to my brother and I. Is in love with who my dad was 20 years ago (or maybe even an idealized idea of what he was then). Never stands up for herself. Used to take paxil for anxiety, I guess all the pent-up agression has to find a way out eventually. Very religious, openly believes my brother and I are going to hell for not being christian. My brother and I have told her many times to divorce my dad, but there is always something more important that her own well-being that stops her. Money, house payments, my dad's health problems.. Currently it is that my brother just started college and she doesn't think my dad would pay for any of his bills if they were split up..which is probably true. My brother and dad openly despise each other...and my dad refused to pay much for either of our education b/c we should "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" like he did. I think I equated emotionality with submissiveness and dependence because of this dynamic between my parents.
> > My brother, 2 years younger than I. Unhealthy counterphobic 6w5, although he tests as an 8 or (sometimes) 3...which I see as an indication of just how unhealthy he is. Close to psychotic now. Admittedly blacks out during fistfights only to find his opponent bloody and unconcious when he comes to. Beleives in telekinesis. Alcoholic, although he refuses to seek help or truly admit it to himself..."I'm a drunk, alcoholics go to meetings". Oh yeah, he just turned 21 in january. Completely self-defeating. Bragged to everyone who would listen in high school that he would beat my SAT scores...then smoked weed beforehand (ostensibly to calm his nerves) but, I think anyway, to have an excuse if he didn't score higher than me. Everything is a competition between us (far beyond typical sibling rivalry). A couple years ago I cut my wrists in a feeble suicide attempt, when he saw the scabs he declared that I didn't even do it right, and that I couldn't kill myself before him because I would "steal his thunder"--he was gonna be the one offing himself first. Then he declared that it was obviously just a cry for help...admittedly it was a half-assed attempt, but one that I took great pains to hide from everyone and which I have only just begun to share with other members of my family. Lately he has also said that he wants to kill himself, but refuses to give all those people who want to see him dead (?) to the satisfaction. So he just puts himself in harm's way: unprotected sex, alcohol abuse, drunk driving... He has also told me that he thinks expressing one's emotions is a sign of weakness, and that emotions have evolved as a kind of a last ditch effort at self-preservation. For example, if some wooly mammoth is about to chomp on your skull and you start crying, perhaps that will confuse him so much that he doesn't eat you. A couple weeks ago my whole family was watching a movie and when it got to the sad part, he shot a look at my mom, "you aren't crying are you?" "No." "Good, because then you would be a freak."
> > And then me, the little ol' 4w5 holed up in her room listening to sad music and fantisizing her life away. Moody, high-strung, lonely, depressed. Overachiever in high school. ADD. Suicidal nearly my whole life, but off the effoxor for about a year. Anyway, I'm tired of writing and I think yall have a little bit of an idea about me...so what do you think of my dysfunctional family? Should we all be hauled off to the loony bin? Sometimes I think so. Unfortunately, I'm living with my parents again after graduating from college until I can find (and afford) a place of my own...hard enough for anyone. I'm having trouble resisting this cloud of depression that seems to hang over this place. Back to my sad music...
> =Geez........ I gotta say that sounds like a pretty tough situation. You know from what you described, your dad sounds like the most unhealthy one.... his anger and control issues(and possibly something else –hidden addiction of alcohol, perhaps, or stuffed pain from a cycle of emotional abuse from his childhood) have made his whole family dysfunctional.
> It looks like you, your mom and your brother are all coping with it in similiar ways....tendencies toward depression.
> Your dad sounds like he is absolutely angry about something more than what he says he's angry about. Unbalanced and way off track. It's kind of ironic, though, that he doesn't realize that anger is an emotion (one which he shows often). Anger is really just a bully's tears. He's masking his pain with it..... and he's really not dealing with whatever is bothering him. That part in which you said he wants everybody to act happy.... classic denial....
> Your mom sounds.... codependant.
> Your brother really needs help but he probably does not want to hear that from anyone. He needs to go to AA but there is no way you'll get him there if he doesn't want to go for himself.
> My honest opinion is that there is hope for your whole family(but there's no guarantee all of you will want it)......but you gotta start with yourself.
> You recognize(and that is a very good thing) that in order to deal with all the crap that you have tried to please everyone with your compliance....trying to be good at all you do so that no one will get mad at you. You realize that you emotions have been strained and deformed under the "emotionally sick" atmosphere of your father.
> You've probably already been to therapy, right? Despite the good therapy does....I'd say more than anything else you need to seek out a support group in the area of emotional abuse or anger. Or, you could benefit by going to al-anon - that'd help in dealing with your brother's issues....but I think it would help you overall, because the greatest benefit from going is peeling off the layers of deeply imbedded pain and dealing with it.....with others who know exactly how you feel because they have been there. It tough to do and it is hard to hang in there....but like anything else.... stuffed pain happens during a long process which takes time and getting it out is also a process which takes time..
> anyway that is my two cents worth.... I do hope you will find a way to get better... Moving out will help but I think dealing with the "emotional stuff" will serve you better in the long run.
Post a Followup