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masquerade
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Little Windows
   Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:53 pm

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Little Windows

Permanent Linkby masquerade on Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:53 pm

You know, I think that being a mod on here has been a real learning curve for me. When I was asked to be a mod, I was at the point of leaving the forum because I felt that my healing journey had progressed to the point where I didn't need to be here anymore. Becoming a mod gave me the chance to give something back. I've since learnt that healing never stops. It carries on, day by day. The minute anyone thinks that they can't learn any more about themselves is the day they become stagnant and complacent. Healing is fluid. We learn from the good things, as well as the not so good. My healing journey continues.

Being a mod here has enabled me to be privileged enough to get little glimpses into people's lives, and every time I get a little glimpse, I learn more about myself. Human beings are all so similar in lots of ways, and yet we all have our own uniqueness. When we post and reply to each other, we're touching each other's lives, even in little ways, and because of this we're having an impact upon each other, from all sides of the world. Having a sense of belonging is important, and in a sense we're a community here on the forum, and everyone has equal value.

I'd like to thank all of you who have taken the time to take a little glimpse into the window of my life, and taken the time to make me feel heard. It's important that human beings feel heard. I in turn will always listen to you. I'd just like you to know that.

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Diaries, Movies and Tissues

Permanent Linkby masquerade on Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:45 pm

They say that HPDs have "Shallow rapidly shifting emotions" . How I hate that phrase. It makes us seem unfeeling, shallow and ....well, not very nice. I decided to write this blog because something has happened in my personal life that would make most people cry until their eyes were dry. I want to cry about it, I really do, because it would help me to heal. This event, which I won't go into, has been a bit of a catalyst for a lot of other things, things that have happened in the past, things that are really personal, things that would cause most people a great deal of pain that they would be able to express. Not me. I can feel a lot of pain now as I'm writing these words, and the pain seems to be located in my chest area. I am feeling it physically. That's something else histrionics do. We have all kinds of somatic complaints because we can't process our emotional pain. The pain has to go somewhere so we feel it in our chests or our headaches or other parts of our bodies. We're not hypochondriacs, the illnesses are very real. It's just that we seem to get them more often because it's the only way we can really process our internal emotional pain. My somatic complaints are just as rapidly shifting as my emotions seem to be. It's as if I don't want to acknowledge them either. Feeling happy and upbeat is the only thing I'm comfortable with.

I don't want to feel this way anymore. I have had enough of it. I want to feel things normally, process things normally, cry, get angry, feel sad sometimes, feel p@@@@d off sometimes just like everyone else. Right now it's as if all the emotions are there, just below the surface. I can feel a jittery anxious sort of feeling, but it's not very strong. I can feel a sort of pain in my chest. Well, not a pain exactly, more of a sensation. I can feel a sort of background headache which will come out in full force tomorrow as a migraine. I don't want to talk about the event that made me feel this way, as I value my privacy and don't think it's fair as it concerns another person. What I do want to talk about is my reaction, or non reaction to it. It's not really normal.

I've come a long way in recovery. I can see the triggers from the past,and identify their impact upon me in the present. I can empathise, really empathise with other people. I can cry for them. I can cry with them. I would go the extra mile for them. I love people. I think human beings are beautiful creatures. I can feel for them. I can identify with them. I wouldn't knowingly harm anyone in any way. I think I act in ways that are near normal. I don't engage in attention seeking behaviour. I don't throw myself at random strangers in a seductive manner. I don't dress seductively. I take a pride in my appearance, but am happy to let people see me in tatty old pyjamas with no make up on. I can talk in depth about my experiences. I don't view relationships as being more intimate than they really are. I like to be entertaining, but am happy for others to be entertaining too and take the limelight. I don't speak "globally with very little detail". I have impressionistic speech, but don't think it's a majorly life damaging symptom. I am 80% there.

What I do still struggle with is emotions. I so want to feel them properly. I want to feel the whole range of them. The events of today really hit me and knocked me for six and I did have a little cry, but as always it was short lived. Most normal people would be feeling pretty bad, and they'd cry, and they'd go through a whole range of healthy emotions and then finally recover. By doing so, they'd be emotionally healthy. They would be able to deal with their feelings, and process them in a normal manner. The feelings would be unpleasant, but normal, and they'd be able to grieve and mourn and finally come to a place of acceptance. A theme of my life has been a lot of bereavements. I lost my grandparents, my parents, my...

[ Continued ]

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Real People, Ouzo and Eyebrow Piercings

Permanent Linkby masquerade on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:17 pm

I've been posting on the board for quite some time and been a mod here for a few months. In the time I became a mod, my role here began to change, as it should do.

Every time I log in, I never quite know what to expect. I might have to sort out a conflict on a thread, move a topic, reply to someone who is hurting, encourage someone by PM or share some of my experiences in a way that can encourage people. As I gained more experience I began to mod other boards apart from HPD and learnt more about the different types of issues that people have. Some of the people kind of stuck with me and I would find myself wondering how they were when I logged off. I felt as if I knew others, how they'd react to certain things, and the best way to reply and respond to them. I also got to know the other mods and gained a real sense of what they are like as people. All the time, though, I felt as if I was playing out a role. Since my last thread about the parrots and removing masks, I've become very aware of some of the roles I play in life, and my moderator role was just another one.

Maybe the reason for this was because the people in the forum still didn't seem to be 100% real. They were all anonymous, with no faces, with the words that they had typed being the only thing to represent them. In a way I felt a bit removed, and as if I couldn't be 100% myself on here whilst posting. I felt like just another anonymous board member too.

I began to get to know the rest of the team, and in particular Cracked. She and I are the only mods on here who live in the UK and so we began to spend some time talking over the phone. Eventually we decided to meet up and she came to stay with me last week for a few days, and I showed her the sights of my home city. Well, we got on like a house on fire, and felt as if we'd known each other for ever. We spent time laughing, visiting the local sights, getting tipsy and hanging out like a couple of students, eating junk food, drinking a whole bottle of ouzo between us and putting the world to rights. Cracked had the brilliant idea that we should both get our eyebrows pierced, and I now have a double stud in my eyebrow. This will always remind me of the good time that we had.

The pleasant time we had, and the new friendship we forged, made me realise that every member on here who posts is a very real person, with hopes and dreams, life experience, memories, thoughts, feelings and opinions. No one here is a blank face behind a screen. Everyone on here matters, and whilst we may not always agree with each other, we're all valid and important. Something in me has now changed. My attitude to modding has also changed. My attitude to myself and the other members on here has changed. I want to lose the role of being Masq the Mod, and be a mod on here who is real, and who recognises the uniqueness of every single one of you. There is a saying that strangers are friends you have never met, and it's true. Maybe one day, I'll meet other people from here. I hope so, it would be awesome. I now feel as if another self imposed role or mask I've built up has slipped, and I hope to bring more of myself into the board, with more warmth, more reality, and be more human.

Here's to People, Ouzo and Eyebrow Piercings, (not forgetting parrots)

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Whale music, joss sticks and parrots

Permanent Linkby masquerade on Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:32 pm

I like to meditate. I'm a bit of a cliche really, because I do the whole palaver, you know whale music or Native Americans chanting, or Tibetan singing bowls on a CD. You know, the type of stuff they play in Shared Earth. I light my joss sticks, put on my CD, take off my shoes, close my eyes and go where my mind takes me. I try to do this every day. It's good for the cyclothmic racing brain thing I sometimes get. It helps me to focus and slow down and relax. I'm also into Jung, and find meaning in symbolism. I find that the dream like state I go into in meditation kind of makes me think in pictures, and go into a kind of Alpha or deeper state. In those states, my subconscious is given free reign, and I often wake up with an insight or knowledge about myself or my situation that hadn't occurred to me before. This happened today, and it was a wow moment.

Since I was small I've been terrified of talking parrots. It's a real phobia. It just seems wrong that they can talk. It freaks me out. It began when I was in a pet shop with my dad, who was insisting that it would be a good idea to buy a parrot, just because his friend had one. We looked at one, and it suddenly began to talk, and it really freaked me out. I ran out of the shop and refused to go back in. I remember us going home, and my dad repeating over and over again how disappointed he was. He told me he'd spent a lot of money on a state of the art cage, and how I was such a silly baby for reacting in that way, that it was to have been my birthday present and he had no more money to buy anything else at the last minute. I was about four or five at the time. I went to bed and cried, and don't remember anyone coming up to see if I was okay. I also didn't get my main birthday present. If I visit a house with a parrot I have to run out of the room, break into a cold sweat and start shaking. I'm not usually like this. I've never been the type of HPD to get all hysterical or dramatic or over react. It's not histrionic. It's a real fear. A member of the family once thought it was funny to hack into my Facebook account and post pictures and videos of parrots everywhere, and I had hysterics. It sounds funny but it's not. Other people think it's strange and they can't take it seriously.

Anyway, I was meditating today, in a lovely semi dream like state. The dreams I have during meditation are really vivid, and in colour. In my dream I could see a lovely blue sky, and I was somewhere hot and tropical, with palm trees and a beach. I looked into the tree and there were lots of wild parrots, and yet I wasn't scared of them. They were colourful, and very beautiful.
One of them was tame and came and perched near to me. I could see his feathers, and the beautiful patterns. I woke up feeling calm. Usually if I have nightmares about parrots I wake up feeling terrified, but now I felt calm.

I always have a bite to eat and a coffee after a meditiation. They say you should do this to bring yourself back into reality, to kind of ground yourself. As I was eating, I began to think about parrots and had this kind of wow moment. I believe that the phobia didn't just begin because of the bad experience in the pet shop. I thought about what pet parrots usually represent. They're a beautiful bird who is held captive in a cage, taught to mimic people but not actually speak, taught to entertain and amuse, being almost seen as a kind of a caricature. They're not so different from the HPD. I began to cry as I realised just what the meditation dream meant. The parrot in my dream was free, as he should be, not as a colourful trapped bird in a cage, there for the entertainment and amusement of its owners. I felt free too, and sad to realise that my parents didn't really treat me any differently to a parrot in a cage.

Maybe I can look at parrots now, and feel sad for them, happy if they're free, and no longer be afraid?

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Acceptance

Permanent Linkby masquerade on Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:46 am

For all of my life I was aware that I was striving for something, yet not really consciously aware of what it was I was striving for. Now I know. My parents had almost impossible expectations of me. I would like to go into a lot of detail about who they were, what they were, and how they were, but I don't want to give too much away about my identity. I suppose the easiest way to describe their worst aspects would be to describe my father as a narcissist and my mother as histrionic, but it's not as simple as that. They had their good points too, and there were also happy times in my childhood. I am now aware that they were the products of their own upbringings, and that their treatment of me wasn't intentional. I'm now learning to accept that they were simply just as they were. The fact that they weren't self aware wasn't my fault, or even theirs. They alone had responsibility to themselves, and I'm sad for them that they both died before they could learn to be self aware and to take responsibility for themselves.

My parents had impossibly high expectations for me because on some level, they knew that they'd failed themselves. They wanted to live their lives through me, realise their dreams for me, and because they never felt good enough, they put pressure on me to be perfect, to live to an ideal that was impossible.

I grew up believing that I was never good enough. The things I said and did were never good enough. I also grew up feeling invisible, desperate for attention, and validation. I grew up not knowing how to express my inner thoughts and feelings, but being an expert at expressing the outer and the superficial. External appearances were very important to my parents. People were judged by them according to their social status, the area they lived in, the amount of property they owned, how they spoke, the social class they belonged to. I grew up in a large city where the people, irrespective of their social class, have a strong and distinct accent. It was impossible to grow up in that city and not develop that accent. Every day of my childhood my mother corrected my speech, telling me that if I spoke in a certain way it meant I was ignorant, stupid, coarse, not good enough. I was torn between wanting to be accepted by my peers and wanting to please my mother. When she heard my friends talk, she would tell me that they weren't good enough, based solely on their speech. I grew up literally believing that I was not good enough and that every person I came into contact with was not good enough. Of course I could see that my friends had good qualities that matter, like kindness, honesty, and integrity but my mother could not see beyond the superficial outer qualities like accent and appearance. It's hardly surprising that appearances of every kind became a major factor for me. I used appearances to detract from the feelings of inferiority I had inside. As a small child I was a histrionic with narc traits waiting to happen, a tiny replica of my parents, an extension of them, with no individuality of my own. I built up walls and barriers to protect and insulate the very frightened and lonely little girl I was inside.

For all of my life I was dimly aware of an inner pain, an unexpressed loneliness, and a hurting inner core. In order to protect that inner child, I refused to acknowledge her pain, and refused to acknowledge her. If she didn't exist and was invisible, then her pain didn't exist. It wasn't until I had therapy that I realised that the inner child I had refused to acknowledge, nurture, and allow to emerge, was actually my true self, and that the appeasing, "perfect", striving, attention seeking, shallow, vain, person was a false creation. The therapist and I worked together to allow the inner child to emerge, bit by bit, slowly and painfully, tentatively, scrutinising every painful event in my life, until she was allowed expression. My parents had caused me to believe that...

[ Continued ]

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