How to protect your mind?
Being able to recognize every day who you are, what you are here for....pretty basic stuff, isn't it? I do remember that in my past work as a therapist in a psychiatric hospital, our everyday mantra was: "always remember who you are, and where you are working..." Silly, perhaps, but pointing to the difficult conditions under which we had to remember who we were, and what was supposed to be our task there....Otherwise, the emotional waves of so much psychic suffering you had to deal with would break on us and keep us captive of hurt, pain, and confusion.
Not easy, of course. Like in, when you are often near a person who is delusional and hear observations that make your brain cringe...you need to remind yourself that those phrases are only delusional, not reality.
I learned at the psychiatric hospital ward the spontaneous steps to keep your own brain centered:
Detach, frame the interaction, deep breath to center and preserve your brain...repeat.
In some cases, you have the same experience while being the child, or the partner of a delusional person, and the same process applies:
Detach, frame the interaction, deep breath, center and preserve your brain...repeat.
Detach: Step back and ask yourself: do I have to believe in this view of reality? is this a universal truth? or should I consider this proposition as the product of a different kind of mind, with its own rules?
Frame the interaction: What kind of ideas can you expect from a person having a serious psychological crisis? comments, suggestions, etc, are the product of a mind that has problems
Deep breath: as to center yourself with your whole body, and validate who you are and what experience are you having. What is my own perception? How is it different from the one proposed to me? How do I respect my own take on reality?
Being able to trust your own perception is such an important aspect of life, that can make or break your self-esteem. If you accept the negative opinions of others about you, you are cooperating with other people's imaginations about you...which will end up poisoning your self-perception.
Being in a passive-aggressive marriage slowly chips away at important parts of your self-perception. And you need to keep a sane mind to steer your own life!
Please, can you look at the possible negative messages you are receiving?
- You feel constantly ignored and made feel insignificant: You receive the message: "you are insignificant"
- You feel abandoned in the satisfaction of your emotional needs: You receive the message: "you don't matter"
- You feel sexually unappreciated: You receive the message: "you are not sexually attractive for me...or for others"
- You feel silenced when you mention the starvation of support and affection you experience: "you can be ignored"