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Opinions and being silenced

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Opinions and being silenced

Postby birdsong87 » Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:45 pm

there is something that I notice a lot more lately.
we take greater risks sharing our opinion about things. and because people are different there are other people who have a different opinion.
the moment they disagree with us we notice triggered feelings. as if it was TraumaTime, and as if we are being silenced. As if what we have to say doesn't matter or as if we are being threatend. As if we should stay silent to protect ourselves. the result is shame.
I realize that these are triggered feelings. and it bothers me that we are experiencing them. it is not fair towards others. everyone has a right to their opinion, unless we are talking hard facts. I notice that others will refrain from sharing their differening opinion when we react from a triggered place. like our inablility to cope is now silencing them. It almost feels like there ends up being no freedom for anyone to talk once this thing is put into motion.
I really want to respect other peoples opinion AND be free to share ours. there must be a way to have both! but the lines get blurred somehow when there are the triggered feelings. and even knowing about it doesn't make them go away.
I hate the pattern of being daring and then running to hide that I see when we share opinions.
gonna talk about it with the T tomorrow. I was just wondering if you know a good way to handle it.
I know I have seen the pattern on the forum as well. and this is supposed to be a place where we can share opinions and inspire each other. So I am really invested in finding a way to cope better.
L, with so much of Asti present that I could just as well make it blue....
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Re: Opinions and being silenced

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:48 pm

I'm getting a headache from even trying to think about this. I know it comes up a lot with our T, and I'm sure in other relationships as well.

Each time I try to put some thoughts together and write something about this, I delete it. There's something about opinions being part of who we are, so that disagreement feels like we're being negated or denied as a person. And there's something about only one person's opinion being allowed to stand, with no room for the concept of "agreeing to disagree."

So we definitely get triggered by people disagreeing with us, but usually we get more assertive about it. Unless we feel like there's no chance that they'll listen to us and it's something we feel so strongly about that we wouldn't be able to tolerate their completely opposed opinion that's coming from a completely different basis. Then we withdraw.

I'm not sure this is even related to what you're talking about.

And someone wants me to mention that some of us are even bothered by the fact that the T doesn't like nuts in things and we do. Most of us can deal with it, and it's not a big deal, but there are definitely some littles who feel like that fact that he doesn't like nuts means that WE shouldn't like them either--like he must think there's something "wrong" with us for liking nuts (which is totally not true), or that maybe we can somehow convince him to like nuts (which is absurd because it's just a preference--neither way is right or wrong). But it's like it creates this big tension for them to have this difference in "opinion" between us.

From the T's point of view, he celebrates the differences among people and doesn't feel like one particular preference is "right."

Anyway, that's probably more stuff that isn't related, but sometimes for us things are more clearly illustrated by how the littles feel. If one were raised by parents who didn't want to hear if you had an opinion or preference that was different from theirs--if it was dangerous to express or even to have a different opinion, then that's going to affect how you feel when you express one now.
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Re: Opinions and being silenced

Postby Amythyst » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:44 pm

hi L and Asti

i dont have any solutions or suggestions but we feel the same sometimes, like even when we know we're right or the facts back us up or whatever, when someone disagrees or makes an issue about it, we react kinda the same.


TheGangsAllHere wrote:If one were raised by parents who didn't want to hear if you had an opinion or preference that was different from theirs--if it was dangerous to express or even to have a different opinion, then that's going to affect how you feel when you express one now.

omg so much of this!!!

when we have a difference of opinion nowadays or someone even just challenges us on something that we know is like, a true fact or whatever, our brain just shuts off. We can't remember facts or details or cite references or anything. Its all just ****ing gone.

Because it was dangerous & bad, to talk back or disagree or have a different opinion, when we were little.

And cos our perseptions are all skewed and stuff, almost everyone else we meet seems bigger and more important to us so we can't ever risk being wrong or whatever.

And like, even when we know its happening, we can't do anything about it. Its so frustrating to like have all the stuff you know, the facts and details and information, just vanish because its 'safer' to just be quiet and not disagree and not say anything.

viola & whoever was really upset about this stuff
Cindy(? f); Em(22f); Melissa(7f); Viola(17f); everyone else is currently lost in the fog :(
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Re: Opinions and being silenced

Postby Muninn » Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:46 pm

If one were raised by parents who didn't want to hear if you had an opinion or preference that was different from theirs--if it was dangerous to express or even to have a different opinion, then that's going to affect how you feel when you express one now.


Sounds very familiar to me too. I (and some others of us) have l a reflex to suppress opinions, which differ from others in a conversation, because when we didn't suppress this close to one of our parent it had usually unpleasant consequences.

I'm not really sure, how to cope well with it. I'm rather realizing that I'm getting more often triggered by this than I thought. I left many online spaces, because I felt like someone didn't 100% agree with me or even because I just felt unheard, it suddenly loses the value of being a safe space.

All the more I'd be interested in reading how others cope maybe better with this.

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Re: Opinions and being silenced

Postby Ashe42 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:53 am

You'll have to tell me what ya'll come up with for this one. Because I have no idea. And thank you because you just inadvertently helped me figure out a trigger that I have.

In my life it is rare that I actually get a word in. It takes me longer to talk because between dissociating and the words just not wanting to come out sometimes. I talk quiet. In my house it takes a lot for me to speak my mind and it hurts so much for someone to just shut me down and tell me how things "really are".

My family is notorious for telling me how I feel. (which is always wrong). But it's worse when I tell them what I feel and they tell me that's not what I'm feeling. This has translated in my life that I don't like being criticized or I don't like being corrected at all.
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Re: Opinions and being silenced

Postby Johnny-Jack » Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:55 am

I can't tell you what I did because I was actually encouraged to express myself, to have differing opinions. This was one the areas of my life where my parents weren't irrational and abusive. The father especially would bring up a political topic at the dinner table. We were expected to say what we thought and there was no punishment for "wrong" answers.

For the sister closest in age to me, her opinions were repeatedly denigrated by our mother, specifically one of the mother's mean alters. There was definitely an element of sexism involved, as in the mother's alter had internalized sexist thinking about men's versus women's rights and roles and passed that along to her daughter in an abusive, controlling way. It wasn't sexism alone though because she didn't do it to the same extent with the other two sisters. The mother wanted specifically to silence and dominate the one sister.

The way my sister worked on it was, over time, to try to recall and write down as many incidents as she could where the life lessons were negative. Then she would reassess and "correct" the lesson from a more enlightened viewpoint in the present. For example, my mother told me ABC, but she should have said XYZ because I have a duty to offer my opinion, without punishment (or whatever). She also estimated and recorded how many times she got each of these messages so she knew which ones she had to work harder on.

I'd think that any review of what used to happen, the environment in which you had little choice but to listen, could help. Of course, many of these memories may contain trauma so it's not necessarily an easy exercise
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Re: Opinions and being silenced

Postby ArbreMonde » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:27 am

Not being listened to and having one's opinions modeled into fitting what the parents expected... We went trough it too.

**************TW for the above reasons********************

For example, at some point, we were maybe in our early twenties, the mother repeatedly asked what cake was wanted for our (physical) birthday. We answered a few things. Each time we were answered "not this one, a tiramisu would be better". So after a few minutes we gave up and told the mother to just do a tiramisu. She sounded pleased and told everyone at the party that we specifically picked the tiramisu as our favourite.

Then we were sent away to take care of the younger cousins. We were never called for the cutting and eating of the cake. (not that we like tiramisu anyway) A cousin burst into tears saying that mother ruined the birthday party. The mother promised another party, private, later. We never got it, of course.

***********************end of TW***************************

Growing up in this kind of environment, it is difficult to see where the trauma begins and where the Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria ends.

RSD is explained here: https://www.additudemag.com/rejection-s ... -and-adhd/ (TW mention of suicide ideations) It is common in autistic people and people with AD(H)D. We totally have it and it took a lot of self-work (because, therapies in our country are basically psychoanalysis only...) [La Marseillaise plays in the distance and a rooster sings] to understand that not every person wants to hurt us and that, stepping back and letting the emotions flow and calm down, is wiser than reacting while feeling the RSD pain.

Since there seems to be a lot of overlap between DID/multiplicity and everything that causes a sensitivity to stress (such as RSD...) I thought you might find this information relevant.

All in all, the whole "being silenced for having opinions" really sounds like gaslighting, too.

Sending moral support to all of you.

#Uriel#
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Re: Opinions and being silenced

Postby birdsong87 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:20 am

this feeling that there can only be one opinion. that is what we experience deeply.
I don't have memories of parents punishing differing opinions. All I remember is not ever saying what we think because that would make us vulnerable. so when our T asked all I could say that I know the silence. no memories of being silenced... but it was always clear that there was only one opinion. to the point that we were not aware there can be different opinions about it.
what the mother or the grandmother said was Truth. not to be questioned. we wouldn't have dared to think outside their opinion.
now that we try to make up our own these struggles are bigger.

our T encouraged us to find childrens books that explain boundaries and disagreeing. we also realized that the adults in the system are not managing each others opinions super well. it would probably be easier if we could model what we aim for... practice with each other.
Asti sometimes has the same thing about her as the mother. when she knows the Truth there is no discussing it. so we are back to something our T tells us regularly: cultivating on the inside what we want to live on the outside. starting with us, then moving to outside relationships.

we went through the things we said to double check them and it is still our opinion, even after it was rejected by someone. the way we had to separate us as persons makes me wonder if it might, in the core of it, be a boundary issue. especially since our T named only boundary books to look into. I don't have a cool solution or anything. just this realization, maybe we need to get more clarity with boundaries here. and we know with young children there are no felt boundaries between mother and child. there is only 'one opinion'. and being separated from that would be devastating. it comes back to the old attachment problem.
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Re: Opinions and being silenced

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:44 pm

birdsong87 wrote:something our T tells us regularly: cultivating on the inside what we want to live on the outside. starting with us, then moving to outside relationships.


The way this works for us is that we experience the new way with the T, and then we're able to start trying to do it on the inside. It seems like it would be very difficult to start doing something on the inside that you've had no experience of in a relationship before. Everything kids learn about relationships starts on the outside, and is then internalized, and eventually applied to other relationships.

birdsong87 wrote:with young children there are no felt boundaries between mother and child. there is only 'one opinion'. and being separated from that would be devastating. it comes back to the old attachment problem.


I think that in a healthy mother-child relationship, differences are pointed out and celebrated very early on, with the child being made to feel like their opinions and feelings and preferences and needs are accepted and "right." One constantly narrates to a baby about how they might be feeling: "Oh, are you hungry? There, does that feel better? Is your tummy full now? Oh, is your diaper wet? You look unhappy, what's wrong? Oh, did that loud noise scare you? Etc." And as they get older they respond, and the conversation becomes more complex. Eventually, they can tolerate that the parent has different feelings and preferences than they do, as long as it doesn't feel like a rejection of their feelings.

I think that's why we have so many levels of response in that ridiculously simplistic example about nuts. Those of us older than 3 or so can deal with it, but younger ones are disturbed about what it "means" that he doesn't like them and we do. Or when we gave a package of our favorite coffee to the T once, and when we asked him later if he liked it, he said he prefers a different kind of roast. He was still appreciative of the gesture and the gift, but I know some young littles were hurt that he didn't like it. It feels like a rejection somehow even though it isn't. But that's probably because we never had healthy boundaries and respect for differences established with our parents.
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Re: Opinions and being silenced

Postby birdsong87 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm

we do have an example in our long-term friendships, so we feel less of a need to experience certain things in the T-relationship.

I think our mother missed this whole process completely. for her, her children were always just an extension of herself. if the family worked 'right' she would get her dreams fulfilled and her needs met. and that was considered the same as raising kids properly. Her mother did that to her too.
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