Undiagnosed 29 years old starting trauma therapy

A

amber.000

Hi all,

Since reading Pete Walker’s book, I believe I have complex PTSD. I just started working with a trauma therapist who named that I was spiritually abused, emotionally abused, emotionally neglected, physically abused (spanking), and physically neglected. I am still coming to terms with this and feel like it can’t be real...even though it makes sense. Was it hard for anyone to acknowledge their parents as abusive or neglectful?

Looking back, I grew up in a patriarchal home, with christian parents who were fundamentalists. I was homeschooled until 5th grade so I spent a lot of time at home and my mom could be pretty cruel. I remember being sent to my room (I have no recollection of why) and I would cry and scream until I was so exhausted I would fall asleep. I could only leave my room if I gave her a hug, said I was sorry and pretended everything was fine. I was never allowed to share my perspective and she never apologized or took any ownership for the rupture in our relationship. If she was particularly offended by whatever I said or did, she would tell me that when my dad gets home (hours later) I was going to get a spank.
I can remember her mocking me for how I looked when I cried while implying I was faking it and getting my siblings in on the laughter.

She would often shame me for the music I listened to, shows I would watch, and jokes I found funny.

I always had a hard time falling asleep at night and that made mornings tough. She would get so frustrated with me for struggling to get out of bed yet she never took me to the dr to get
help sleeping. One morning she had my sister help her...one of them grabbed my hands and the other grabbed my feet and they carried me out of bed, down the stairs, and dropped me in the snow on the deck (this was in AK). My sister locked the door and I could see them laughing at me through the glass door. The thing that got them to let me inside was I yelled “you bitch!” Then I got in trouble for saying bitch.
My dad was so checked out, he would get home from work and spend the evening watching TV. If I tried to talk to him about how I was feeling, he would quote the Bible at me about how “the heart is deceitful” and we can’t trust our feelings. He and my older sister had it out because she was “rebellious.” I don’t think he ever hit her but I think he restrained her because I remember hearing what sounded like giants wrestling (they are both over 6 ft). He once threw her boom box off the deck because she refused to stop listening to a song he thought was “bad.” It was scary watching/hearing my dad lose control. And confusing to see my parents be so kind and well behaved at church every Sunday.
I needed someone to ask me how I was doing and hold space for my feelings. I needed a safe mom who was nurturing. I needed a safe dad who was present.

I feel so sad and angry inside. You’d think it would be easy to acknowledge the abuse when I spell the stories out, but it’s still hard to call it what it was.

I’m currently living with my in-laws and struggling with the thought of getting a job. I feel worthless and scared. Having a boss feels so authoritarian like my family structure. I so badly want to please them and I often feel like I can’t do anything right. It feels incredibly high stakes to have feelings come up at work since it’s considered unprofessional. It reminds me of my mom who was so mean when I would express emotion, it’s terrifying to have sad/scared emotions come up. I’ve struggled to keep a job for more than 2 years at a time as I always seem to burn out.

Thanks for reading. I think I’m hoping to know that I’m not alone.

-Amber
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome to the forum! Whether or not you PTSD, going to a therapist will do a lot of good for healing.

No, you aren't alone. I hope you take the time to read around the forum and the many threads that resonate with you. Let us know how you are doing. Glad you are here.
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
Hi all,

Since reading Pete Walker’s book, I believe I have complex PTSD. I just started working with a trauma therapist who named that I was spiritually abused, emotionally abused, emotionally neglected, physically abused (spanking), and physically neglected. I am still coming to terms with this and feel like it can’t be real...even though it makes sense. Was it hard for anyone to acknowledge their parents as abusive or neglectful?

Looking back, I grew up in a patriarchal home, with christian parents who were fundamentalists. I was homeschooled until 5th grade so I spent a lot of time at home and my mom could be pretty cruel. I remember being sent to my room (I have no recollection of why) and I would cry and scream until I was so exhausted I would fall asleep. I could only leave my room if I gave her a hug, said I was sorry and pretended everything was fine. I was never allowed to share my perspective and she never apologized or took any ownership for the rupture in our relationship. If she was particularly offended by whatever I said or did, she would tell me that when my dad gets home (hours later) I was going to get a spank.
I can remember her mocking me for how I looked when I cried while implying I was faking it and getting my siblings in on the laughter.

She would often shame me for the music I listened to, shows I would watch, and jokes I found funny.

I always had a hard time falling asleep at night and that made mornings tough. She would get so frustrated with me for struggling to get out of bed yet she never took me to the dr to get
help sleeping. One morning she had my sister help her...one of them grabbed my hands and the other grabbed my feet and they carried me out of bed, down the stairs, and dropped me in the snow on the deck (this was in AK). My sister locked the door and I could see them laughing at me through the glass door. The thing that got them to let me inside was I yelled “you bitch!” Then I got in trouble for saying bitch.
My dad was so checked out, he would get home from work and spend the evening watching TV. If I tried to talk to him about how I was feeling, he would quote the Bible at me about how “the heart is deceitful” and we can’t trust our feelings. He and my older sister had it out because she was “rebellious.” I don’t think he ever hit her but I think he restrained her because I remember hearing what sounded like giants wrestling (they are both over 6 ft). He once threw her boom box off the deck because she refused to stop listening to a song he thought was “bad.” It was scary watching/hearing my dad lose control. And confusing to see my parents be so kind and well behaved at church every Sunday.
I needed someone to ask me how I was doing and hold space for my feelings. I needed a safe mom who was nurturing. I needed a safe dad who was present.

I feel so sad and angry inside. You’d think it would be easy to acknowledge the abuse when I spell the stories out, but it’s still hard to call it what it was.

I’m currently living with my in-laws and struggling with the thought of getting a job. I feel worthless and scared. Having a boss feels so authoritarian like my family structure. I so badly want to please them and I often feel like I can’t do anything right. It feels incredibly high stakes to have feelings come up at work since it’s considered unprofessional. It reminds me of my mom who was so mean when I would express emotion, it’s terrifying to have sad/scared emotions come up. I’ve struggled to keep a job for more than 2 years at a time as I always seem to burn out.

Thanks for reading. I think I’m hoping to know that I’m not alone.

-Amber
Hello @amber.000,

You are not alone! it is very common to find it extremely difficult to belive we've been abused. This is especially true when our abusers are close to us and are supposed to be the ones who nurture and protect us.

I was in a spiritually abusive church for 18 years. On exit, it took me an agonizing 6 years to fully accept this and begin to deal with my abuse.

I read every book about cults and spiritual abuse I could obtain. They all described my church to a "T" on most points. I just couldn't (or wouldn't) believe it!

Over time, I came to believe it. I am now finally dealing with the fall out. My life is in shambles. I'm just a shell of the man I once was. But I'm healing and rebuilding from rubble.

Hang in there! You are taking the right steps. Keep working your way through the mess. You will come to a place where you can accept what is and move forward toward what can be.

We're here for you.
Woodsy
 
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