Hi B and cookie monster
Wow I just put a new fuse in my brain as you popped the last one
I'm very moved that you took the time to respond in such a thoughtful way. Glad you're glad I raised it. My reply will be briefer for now- got a couple of things to do- but I'm sure I'll have more to say on all your really valid points.
Choosing my words carefully here, because I know that therapy due to a mh crisis after decades of (not really) managing by myself will be having a big impact. also still paranoid about the forum
I think my problem in this area is being brought up in a loving environment with one very damaging (the word toxic has been used by several people) family member in the mix, quite a bit older, probably diagnosably narcissistic pd. So we learnt to be upfront, trusting and loving whilst being harmed in complex ways from the start...so most of us learnt about game playing intuitively, on the receiving end, and gradually developed defences or avoiding strategies. Now onto the next generation, and concerns for them really woke us up. Then things started to get really traumatic for me late teens, then I've been a carer my whole adult life, and never dealt with the trauma, let alone the family member. It kind of makes looking at levels of conscious and unconscious interactions and manipulation unsafe territory for me.
But it is fascinating, and as you say important info for life. I'd better go, but thanks both of you for your thoughts, v reassuring x