Cognitive Dissonance

newstart

Well-Known Member
cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance

Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance.

This is why I am so stressed out. I want to think my 38 year old daughter is a good person but the evidence says she is not.. She is not a good person, good people do not lie constantly, steal, set you up to fall, be very cruel to you, or want you to die.
The evidence is she is awful, my heart tries to tell me she is good. That is why I have so much distress. I want to believe one thing and the truth and evidence tell me something else, I could pretend that it is not so but that would be dangerous.

Now I need my heart to line up with the truth and facts. I refer back to the movie' We need to talk about Kevin' I saw so much of my daughter in that movie, The being nice to her dad and deeply ugly to me, the talking down, the sarcastic tone.
I am working at getting my heart and mind to line up so I can quit getting slapped over and over again. I want to so much believe that my daughter wishes good for me but the truth is she wants me dead. It is hard to wrap my mind around this type of evil but the sooner I know this as truth the better I can try to move ahead.

I am so deeply sad.
 

runawaybunny

Administrator
Staff member
:hugs:
I feel for you. That is a very painful situation to be in. There is nothing you can do to help or heal your daughter. She may eventually see the difficult situation she has created for you, she may not. Either way you deserve to acknowledge that this is not your fault. Move on.

Be kind and take good care of yourself. You deserve it. You cannot fix this.
 

MissLulu

Well-Known Member
Oh Newstart, I feel your pain. I really do. I've mentioned this a couple of times lately (maybe even to you - I can't remember, so forgive me if I'm repeating myself.) When I'm feeling weak or low, I've started reading passages from "When Your Adult Child Breaks Your Heart" by Joel Young and Christine Adamec. I find it really comforts me. I'm wondering if this might help you too?

Remember you are not alone in this. We are here for you.
 

BloodiedButUnbowed

Well-Known Member
I am going to watch "We Need To Talk About Kevin" with my W as it seems like it may apply to our situation with DS. My W is in denial that DS harbors tremendous rage toward her and potentially could be a danger. I am so sorry for your pain as I am for us all.
 

RN0441

100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
So sorry.

Sometimes we have to just accept the way things are, even if it is not the way we want it to be.

I don't have a relationship with my sister anymore and she is 76. I fear she will die and we will be at odds. But she does not care so I have to accept it. I feel I have tried to fix it but it takes two. It all stems from an incident we had with my son's drug use days and my husband getting angry with her for her having pain pills that he found (she was staying with us at the time) and we did not know about. She is a nurse. She should have known better. She would accept NO responsibility for it. My husband was angry and stressed and what he said to her was not even bad but she hasn't been able to move on and that was five years ago.

It is what it is. I say that when I start to feel sad/want to fix.
 

HMBgal

Well-Known Member
I for certain understand this. I've come to that place that I'll love my 42 year old daughter no matter how her poor decisions have hurt and impacted her entire family, including her children (that I'm raising). So, I love the kid but not her actions. And as for if she's good or bad, mean or nice--I just don't go there. I hate the things she's done, but I can't hate her. I've tried to release that as much as I can. I've run the gamut of emotions of rage, disappointment, absolute confusion, and a hundred other things. But at the bottom of it all, I love her. I have no expectations that she'll change. I think our kids know and understand what they've created. I know my daughter has and her self-loathing runs deep and causes depression, more substance abuse, and on and on in a vicious dance. I'm lucky in that in the core of all of it, she loves me, too. I have to say, though, that she's never been disrespectful to me or said anything mean to me. That probably makes my journey a little easier to bear. I guess you can only be self-protective and an island of calm when your daughter ramps up. I'm so sorry for your situation. I lost a son, too, and I feel like I'm losing my daughter. It's. So. Hard. Warmest virtual hugs to you.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I think it's possible to love a mentally ill person who even has beliefs and behaviors that are hurtful, distorted and confused. The crux of tolerating this situation is boundaries. Our own internal psychic boundaries and actual physical boundaries.

One way that psychic boundaries manifest themself is in my expectations. I cannot expect my son to think or act as do I, or even as I would wish that he would.

I have to stay firmly rooted in reality, and the reality is that I need to first take care of my side of the street. My side of the street is my hopes, wants and needs. To get these firmly in check and to not want from him what he can't or won't deliver.

Another way I keep myself safe, is that I keep distance. I limit contact. I have it be on terms that I can better control. I try to take responsibility to think through potential triggers, that could be explosive. And I respect the input of those around me, who have a better memory than do I, to remind me, what might be risky or too much.

Finally, I try to not overreact. If my son blows it I recognize that I don't have to follow suit. I can retreat. I don't have to melt down.

Most of all I need to remember this is not my fault and that nothing is served by my falling apart. Even if there is a conflict and we are not attuned, I don't have to spend a week in bed. I can remember it was one minute. I can take steps to not make the distress global and mean more than it actually does.

I don't have to make a catastrophe.
 
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newstart

Well-Known Member
Thank you all for your thoughts and comments. Today I had a great swim with my husband. As we ate breakfast I asked myself which situation is better, having my 38 year old daughter in my life with all the lies, disrespect and secret behavior or the quiet time without all the BS that she dishes out on a regular consistent manner. I picked the quiet time.. Just because I am so desperate for the connection does not mean it will happen. Just because I hang on to every little tiny bit of ok behavior does not mean it is doable. The problem is me. I keep trying, then try some more than a little bit more.

When I would look at my daughter's beautiful face, I see my dad, mom, and my husbands expressions. I love looking at her beautiful face, she has large brown eyes, beautiful smile, my mom's perfect lips, white teeth. I see all the people that I love dearly in her face. I lost my dad in 2010 and the older my daughter gets the more she looks like my dad. My dad was honest, decent and his friends admired, respected and loved him. My dad was a hard worker and compassionate, he took great care of his older relatives... So I see all these wonderful people in my daughters face. How can she be who she is? Then I see bit and pieces of my bipolar mother in law in there too, some traits of my bipolar sister in law. My daughter is a combination of many people yet she is solidly who she is. My husband thinks the bipolar/borderline came from his side but I have heard stories of my paternal grandfather, they could not get him in the ground quick enough, he did not even get a headstone. My dad never said one word about his father ever. So I keep telling my husband the gene came from both sides. My husband feels at fault. He is not to be blamed, I remind him of my grandfather. Who knows where it came from and at this point it does not matter, it is just not good. One thing that I hang on to is that my daughter was not born a psychopath. Her nasty behavior developed in her late teens early 20s. She was actually a sweet kind child. She acts like a psychopath while manic, so if she stays manic all the time then she will become a full time psychopath. She has been manic nonstop for a long time now.
God Bless all of us on the wicked, rough, draining journey.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
She was actually a sweet kind child.
My son, too, was a sweet and kind child. We were exceptionally close. While no one of us has an easy time, I think it's very hard when they were such lovely children, and we felt and believed all was right in the world, because of our love.

I fought and fought for my son, both when he was a baby and child, and when he was a young adult. Just typing that brings tears. The pain of this is often unbearable. Even while I learn to put the chaos behind me, the pain never goes away. Newstart. I wish I had something to tell you to lessen your pain. I don't because I can't lessen my own.
 
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susiestar

Roll With It
I am sorry. It is such a hard thing when we have to let go of even the most basic dreams for our children. Do you have a therapist to help you work through this? It has to be one of the hardest things for a mother to face. Many years ago, my brother hit a bottom and ended up in jail. The 2nd time in 3 days, my parents left him there for 2 weeks. My mom had to do all the jail/court related stuff by herself, and she later had a nervous breakdown partially due to this. I remember her crying to me as she described searching for shoes with no laces and then seeing my brother in a jumpsuit chained to a line of other men. Talking through it all with her therapist really helped her.
 

newstart

Well-Known Member
My son, too, was a sweet and kind child. We were exceptionally close. While no one of us has an easy time, I think it's very hard when they were such lovely children, and we felt and believed all was right in the world, because of our love.

I fought and fought for my son, both when he was a baby and child, and when he was a young adult. Just typing that brings tears. The pain of this is often unbearable. Even while I learn to put the chaos behind me, the pain never goes away. Newstart. I wish I had something to tell you to lessen your pain. I don't because I can't lessen my own.
Copa, Your kind words and sharing your pain divides my pain in half, that is why your support is so important and this support group is so important because there are others that genuinely care and in reality that is what really matters, genuine care and concern to help move forward and pain shared is pain divided. I wish I could lessen your pain so for now I send much love, compassion, true understanding and a huge hug.
 

newstart

Well-Known Member
I am sorry. It is such a hard thing when we have to let go of even the most basic dreams for our children. Do you have a therapist to help you work through this? It has to be one of the hardest things for a mother to face. Many years ago, my brother hit a bottom and ended up in jail. The 2nd time in 3 days, my parents left him there for 2 weeks. My mom had to do all the jail/court related stuff by herself, and she later had a nervous breakdown partially due to this. I remember her crying to me as she described searching for shoes with no laces and then seeing my brother in a jumpsuit chained to a line of other men. Talking through it all with her therapist really helped her.
Hi Susiestar, I am so sorry you and your mother had to go through so much with your brother.
I have gone to therapy for many years, starting when I was abused by my bipolar in laws back in the 80s. I went to the library and read all I could on how to help others and myself. I have been to some horrible therapists and counselors and some good ones too. My prayer partner and I pray about our troubles and it helps. I have spent to much time and money seeking paid counsel. This support site is wonderful. Many therapists have never had a disordered child and do not know what they are talking about. Reading about it and living it are so different. I have a dear friend that is a psychologist, his only son died by suicide. He is grieved to the max and having people give him a hard time because of his profession and that he could not even help his own son. This is so unfair to him. I know talk therapy is good, having someone that gives a genuine 'S' is good. A good cry is helpful. And what I think may speak volumes is my silence to my daughter. My silence will be the loudest thing she hears. I will answer her if she asks me a question, I will not give her the silent treatment, I will just not ask her questions or tell her things next time I see her. I don't think anything I say or do will make a difference, I just know not being around her will help balance me.
Such a waste of time.. Here we are a small planet floating in the universe, time is moving at a record speed and my daughter, my one surviving child treats me like I am garbage under her feet. Such shame, such a waste and so sad.
 

susiestar

Roll With It
Newstart: I also got therapy as soon as I could pay for it and not have to explain every detail to my mother. There are many other types of therapy than just talk therapy. Equine therapy and art therapy are both very effective. Biofeedback is fun too. And it can be super helpful. At least it has been to me.

As for your daughter, I am sorry she is so difficult. You have my sympathies.
 

Blindsided

Face the Sun
My heart aches for you. I sure understand the pain. I am going to get the book Miss LuLu recommends. So much good information here that I can't add much. Therapy helped me, but nothing has helped as much as setting boundaries and remember they are not about changing my children's behaviors, they are about changing mine. What am I willing to accept? I will be thinking of you.
 

Littleboylost

Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance

Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance.

This is why I am so stressed out. I want to think my 38 year old daughter is a good person but the evidence says she is not.. She is not a good person, good people do not lie constantly, steal, set you up to fall, be very cruel to you, or want you to die.
The evidence is she is awful, my heart tries to tell me she is good. That is why I have so much distress. I want to believe one thing and the truth and evidence tell me something else, I could pretend that it is not so but that would be dangerous.

Now I need my heart to line up with the truth and facts. I refer back to the movie' We need to talk about Kevin' I saw so much of my daughter in that movie, The being nice to her dad and deeply ugly to me, the talking down, the sarcastic tone.
I am working at getting my heart and mind to line up so I can quit getting slapped over and over again. I want to so much believe that my daughter wishes good for me but the truth is she wants me dead. It is hard to wrap my mind around this type of evil but the sooner I know this as truth the better I can try to move ahead.

I am so deeply sad.
I feel this pain and I leaned about Cognitive Dissonance when in nursing training. The heart and the mind are exhaustive partners. This is love we didn’t chose this hear break. It is what it is and we try to be broke and move on. But it does hurt so. Have splice tomorrow know your not alone and you are among those who care.
 
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