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Thread: What should I do?

  1. #1
    bgirl
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    What should I do?

    Hello all,

    I am a female of 26 years old.

    I've been the scapegoat in my family since I remember.

    It got worse when I was diagnosed with bulimia nervosa at age of 18.

    I've battled also with depression, and many things in between.

    At the moment I live and work with my family - mother, uncle, grandmother, grandfather,...

    We run a business and it involves a lot of money so the unhealthy dynamics can get really crazy and hardcore because... well because it involves money.

    I am in a good place emotionally, somehow I feel I am out of body and recognize the patterns and can detached from them.

    But, as you can imagine, living like this is exhausting because it requires me to be always in control (of myself and environment) so they do not control me.

    Also, I know that if I stay here there's a high probability in me becoming a narcissistic , because, well, because I will not be able to break the cycle alone, and nobody really wants to break the cycle. They are starting to respect some of the boundaries I create but, honestly, they are not changing, so it will always be a fragile and toxic environment. Also, I will not enforce change upon them because I've been in that role and I've learned that nobody has the authority to force something in another. That would be cycle perpetuating.

    But, it's like being the only one with sight in a blind world and I would really appreciate human connection with self awareness from the other part, for a change...

    Also, in these years of existence I've repeated the pattern outside my family so, basically, I mostly have BPD's and NPD's in my social life. And now, those relationships do not make sense any more... I don't regret/blame/despise/in-comprehend them or anything... I just want something more "real" - at lack of a better word.

    So, please... give me some insight. What would you do?

    I'm chained because, despite being wealthy, I will not be supported financially if I leave. And I am not receiving a lot monthly - portuguese minimum wage aprox - because I do not deserve it yet.

    Quitting would be a scandal and i do not know the repercussions since I'm living with my grandparents (the patriarch and matriarch of the family) that would be appalled with my choice to quit (the bussines they've created for us/me). Then the scapegoat dynamic would be a lot worse.

    So, what should I do? What are the first steps to take so I can successfully leave this dynamic and have a hope in finding happiness.

    It's been really hard. It's been tiring. I've been able to forgive but now I just want to be at peace...

    Please do not take me as narcissist or something. I've been, for so many years blaming myself for everything and I will not take it any more, but I do not want to sound blaming. I am really just searching for some kind of solution...

  2. #2
    gebaird
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    I'd recommend reading the book "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. It talks about the ability to choose your response to any situation, even an unimaginably difficult one.

    Your metaphor about being the only one with sight in a blind world is powerful. Sometimes that sight comes at a cost -- it creates dissatisfaction, because you can see the dysfunction while everyone else is just following a program. But with that sight comes mindfulness. Even if you must continue working in the family business (not commenting on the truth or falsehood of that statement, only you know for certain what your options really are), you can use your free time to cultivate compassion and exercise empathy. You could consider taking a sabbatical to do volunteer work, perhaps. Finding a way to make a difference for others could make an enormous difference for you.

    Perhaps you will be the one to change things in your family and the business they run. Maybe you have little influence now, but who knows? Down the road you may be in a position to make a significant impact.

  3. #3
    Wiseman2
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    Agree trying to control everything and everyone is exhausting. Eating disorders, as you know, are all about control and toxic family dynamics, not food. Continue whatever therapy you are in .
    Quote Originally Posted by bgirl [Register to see the link]
    I am a female of 26 years old. I was diagnosed with bulimia nervosa at age of 18. I've battled also with depression, and many things in between. living like this is exhausting because it requires me to be always in control of myself and environment so they do not control me.

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  5. #4
    DancingFool
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    Narcissist do not blame themselves for anything. They are perfect. Also, you either are a narcissist or you aren't. If you aren't you are not going to turn into one.

    I think you need to be careful about getting too lost in too much pop psychology about what you are, what you might become, etc, etc, etc.

    Every family is dysfunctional to some extent. Working in a family business IS extremely hard precisely because boundaries are often too blurry. So, if you have been working on boundaries and you are seeing positive results from that, keep on at it. Creating boundaries when none existed before is a long slow road, but given your situation, a highly worthwhile one.

    Outside of that, your post is a bit confusing. You talk about financial wealth, but you only make minimum wage and then you go on to say you don't deserve more at your age????? You also go on to say that you don't have funds because of that to move on......so.....what's really the situation here? Are they making you work your way up from the bottom or are they just taking advantage of cheap family labor and controlling your life that way while they are at is to where you don't have the means to move away??

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