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a new memory (maybe)

I had a job interview yesterday for a job I really wanted (well, I really wanted one of several jobs the org is advertising). I barely slept and was so nervous (they could tell). I'm not used to speaking to people anymore. I can't tell if it went well or not. They gave a task and I did well at it. But I'm not sure I answered all of the interview questions well. It's only occurring to me now that I was supposed to say that I would ask for help in dealing with the scenarios they presented me with but I didn't say that. It didn't even occur to me that saying 'I would ask for help' is the right answer but in hindsight I'm sure it was. That says a lot about me. It says I don't feel like I have permission to ask for help, ever. That problem is holding me back in so many different ways. But the problem is how scary it is to be vulnerable, the times when I have asked for help I regretted asking (except for that once).

It's still something I'm only beginning to try and learn- that there's no substitute for support and you can't do everything on your own. But how? How the hell do you find support, and the confidence that you are allowed ask for it? There are so many barriers to being supported (and so little acknowledgement of the truth of that)

I need to try and get back into counselling somehow. I would love to be able to keep going to one person for as long as I need to. Until I find work I probably can't do that.

My relationship is a mess. I really lost myself.
You have the RIGHT to change your mind.

We all do.

As thinking creatures with our own lives. Plans? Change.
Thanks @Friday , this is a really helpful reminder.

. I know it’s hard to be on both sides of the fence, especially when setting up boundaries, because ‘she has it hard too.’ I’m figuring it out as well, and I’m just at the very beginning of this path

I'm not glad you also have this experience but I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in it. Yes, having boundaries is really the big struggle for me too and because of knowing she's suffering too I haven't always felt the appropriate anger towards her. So yes, it's kind of a relief to be angry even if it's not nice to accept things you don't want to
I haven't been to see my parents in a good few weeks now. Yesterday I remembered that when I was young my dad used to work nights and would sleep during the day- I remember being sent up to wake him up for dinner etc. This is probably how he managed to get me on my own, with the door closed, without his clothes, during the day without it seeming strange to anyone. It's weird to suddenly remember his alibi for all the pictures I've seen in flashbacks and during emdr.

I decided when I was last there that I needed to stay away until I can find some emotional support for how hard visiting them is. Everyone is expecting me to be warm with him and judging me for being some kind of snowflake that I still hold a grudge from something that happened a decade ago. My family will never understand that violence is a big deal and you're not allowed do it to people.

I keep returning to the same unhealed wounds again and again. I know being listened to, being able to confide in the people in my life and people telling me I didn't deserve that would help me. That trying to pretend I don't care prevents healing. But so does not being listened to, not being believed, having what happened minimized, and being expected to forgive 'as a sacrifice to keep the family together'. And this is what I have met repeatedly. It's so hard to rewrite how you've been treated when it involves receiving other people's good behaviour. Because I can't control what people do.
I feel so depressed all the time lately. And getting into crisis again with it. I just feel the need to speak my mind and be heard, but don't feel like anyone wants to hear me.
@sidptitala I'm sorry to hear that depression weights on you. Remember you can always vent here and be heard. I understand it's not the same as being heard by people around you but still might help a little bit. Sending you some warm thoughts 🔥
I'm really trying hard to get back to doing normal things. Yesterday I went back to the support group that sometimes helps- I haven't been in a few months. It was helpful, to see those familiar faces and I was able to be a bit honest about what's going on with me. I can see how much I've improved at talking about it since I started counselling and emdr. I applied for lots of counselling/support groups about abuse last week so I am waiting to hear if something works out. In the meantime though, yesterdays support group is free, unlimited and I felt better being able to be a bit honest about things. People told me that my problems were too much to handle, and they feel that way.

Last week I spoke to a friend and said that I felt like I was on the cusp of losing everything (mother, sister, girlfriend). I feel like I made a light conversation too heavy by saying that. I remember she told me that was too much to carry as well. And I said I didn't have a choice but to carry it. After we had that conversation, It's been a week of just staring at the wall and looking for places to go and talk about things. I feel like I will burst if I don't get to say so many things.

I'm struggling with feeling like I need to tell my mom, sister and girlfriend about sexual abuse to not feel so alone. But telling them about physical abuse went terribly so my expectations are low. This is partially why I feel I am going to lose them all. I feel that all of them would choose denial over believing me.

  • My mom saw him physically attack me and asked me to forgive him the next day, 'for her'. She said it was normal in families. Since years have passed, she now denies he attacked me at all.
  • My sister has stood up for me a handful of times and I think she probably would again if it happened. We talked about the physical abuse we both suffered when she was still living at home. Since she grew up and left she forgets it all. She's really bad at anything to do with emotions and gets uncomfortable easily and just leaves. When she found out I had a girlfriend she didn't really talk to me for 5 years because it was uncomfortable for her. She's comfortable talking with me about her mental health and I told her I had PTSD last year casually in a conversation about what she has- she got up and left the room because it was uncomfortable for her (I thought it would be fine because she would assume war is what caused this).
  • My girlfriend has been various levels of sympathetic about the physical abuse (less so these days I think). She avoids hard emotions and will avoid listening to me if its something she doesn't want to hear.

It's really hard to have hope that they will be able to support me in any way when they have not been able to about physical abuse from the same man. It's so much to try and juggle as well as all of this war stuff. i think maybe it's not a good idea to, and trying to build more supportive relationships in other ways is better. How can I do this? Trying to heal the ways abuse has affected me?

  • Abuse has made me desperate to prove my worth and feel like I have to tolerate being treated as less than equal
  • Abuse has convinced me that no one wants to hear from me
  • It has made me feel that no one cares how I feel or how something affects me
  • It has made me really scared to stand up for myself, challenge anyone about anything or have conflict (because I'm always bracing for violence and aware that if that happens I can't defend myself)

I think I can try and heal these things without needing to tell my mom/sister/girlfriend new things? I can try to stand up for myself about what they already know.

  • My mom knows I'm scared of my dad and I avoid him. She knows I don't want to talk with him so she tries to catch me off guard. Calling me and then passing him the phone, offering to pick me up from somewhere and sending him instead etc. I have told her why and she has seen why even if she denies it (physical abuse, even as an adult). I have been avoiding her since she started doing these things with more frequency so I can tell her again, ' I don't want to avoid you but if I have to I will. So you have to decide what you want- your daughter to contact you freely? Or to push your husband on her? Because it can't be both'
  • My sister I don't know. It's also maybe not as urgent or worthwhile to do this with her right now
  • I need to develop boundaries with my girlfriend. Her window of tolerance for conflict is low, she gets overwhelmed easily. Our arguments look like this- she asks for something, I can't do it, she insists she needs it, I insist I can't, she gets very angry and says things she later regrets/tries to make me leave/storms out- there's an extended silence and usually I break it with an apology or she breaks it by going back to normal discussions. We don't address the content of the argument or the way she acted in it. Which has made me feel progressively more 'walking on eggshells-y' over the years we've been together. Right now we are in the 'extended silence' phase and I am trying not to go along with 'going back to normal discussions' while I wait nervously for the next time.

I have to face I suppose that I got into my current relationship 6 years ago- with reservations. Her lack of emotional regulation and lack of comfort talking about emotions was a big deal to me. But as long as she was working on it, I decided to go in anyway and I don't regret that.

  • But she hasn't been working on it. And is less willing to work on it now than she was at the beginning.
  • Being with me has taken the edge off of her mental health problems and maybe stopped her from seeking help independently
  • Because she struggles with emotions I have been very reluctant to share my hard ones- this has been stressful for me and has meant she has not been used to thinking how I feel is important or that I will treat it that way- and I am really reaping the unfortunate rewards of being that way now.
  • It almost feels like the only way I can convince her I care that she's treating me in ways she herself would not accept is by breaking up with her. She doesn't believe I will make any consequences for treating me that way. I know that I have to or things will never change.
I'm just realizing that being parentified as a child has really affected the way I am as an adult. How I am in my relationship. And why my relationship reminds me of being a child so much sometimes.

I never felt safe as a child (because I wasn't. I was terrorized). My dad found it emasculating to have to do housework or look after us so I did it. I remember being so anxious and trying so hard to keep him busy when I was young and I only now realize why I was so anxious about that- what would he do to me if he had spare time on his hands? My mom would be angry at him if the house was a mess when she came home from work. So I would to try to clean up after him, make dinner so that we wouldn't be hungry, turn on the heating and the lights so we wouldn't be cold and in darkness. I figured out these things myself because they just weren't happening before I learned it. I think I was 9, maybe 10? This is when my blank period with no memories until last year ended, as if I had come back from the dead. I remember that my dad would always call me by my mom's name during this period especially when he was angry and I hated it so much. I also hated when he would talk about my future husband and how hard he would find it to handle me and how he needed to tame me for him. I didn't know why I hated it at the time, but now I think that he was talking about his frustrations with my mom and how she wasn't submissive enough. She wasn't as powerless as me so he took out his frustrations about that on me, who he had the power to treat that way.

He was also later really possessive of me, when I was older- so I don't think I understand the future husband thing? He got really mad at me and hit me when I was in my teens and 20s because he said a man was looking at me ( I don't think these men actually were). So he wasn't that keen on a man actually wanting (or possessing) me. I remember this concept 'sidptitala's future husband' being a big deal for both of my parents as long as I can remember and i don't know why.

People used to remark that I was so mature for my age and I think that was the goal. To get me assuming adult responsibilities as soon as possible and never be given the freedoms of an adult. But it isn't like parentification when I've read about it because there wasn't discussion about emotions in my family at all. We would walk on eggshells around my dad's temper, my mom would shout if she was angry and my sister and I were not allowed have feelings at all. No one said 'I feel' ever. My mom would laugh at us if we had feelings. My dad would either laugh or be scary.

I see that my girlfriend struggles with emotional regulation and because of that I struggle with feeling this way- like her feelings are enormous and I am not allowed to have my own. Like I have to be the adult for her and it's ok if I don't have the freedom of one. But it's not ok with me, I don't think I can feel free when my partner struggles with emotional regulation. I think I need to be able to share my feelings and have that be welcome. And to be able to trust her to talk about her emotions not just explode with them.

I have to see her soon and before that I need to know if I am breaking up with her or not. I CANT and WONT go back to walking on eggshells and having my feelings be unwelcome. Her softening her stance (from 'i had to behave like that cos you made me') to ('im sorry I acted that way') actually made an enormous difference in my wellbeing the last week and they scares me a little. It still feels so scary to potentially tell her anything I need her to be gentle with me about.

I'm finding it so hard to not be in counseling, to not have anyone to talk about this to. The counselling I did before has a kind of 'afterwards' programme I signed up to and the sunny and cheerful language feels like its mocking me somehow. I finished counselling cos I ran out of sessions and all of the info here is presuming that you finish because you are recovered. I still really need to talk about the abuse itself and brainstorm how to tell people close to me. I still really need to find a group where I can talk about the abuse itself and the affect it has had on me in a structured way. The presumption that people get what they need and are supported by others is really bothering me.
I feel like I am drowning to death from needing to talk about these things to someone who can hear them with compassion.

A part of me is trying to hold everything back because I'm not in counseling anymore and don't have anyone to talk to about it.

But I need so bad to be allowed talk about it with someone. I'm avoiding everyone I have to hide what's really going on with me from (which is everyone currently, each for their own reason).
Ugh i just feel so so so bad all the time. I have nothing to give to other people. I've gone off the deep end not being in counselling. I can't hold back the feelings and thoughts about abuse until I can find some again.

Emdr therapist said there was a 3 month grace period after I finished. But anything to do with abuse with him was a disaster and he doesn't have compassion at all. It would be a conversation about what's wrong with me and why I am thinking about things wrong and I don't need that. It would only make everything worse.

I feel so panicky and suicidal thinking about anything.

If I don't get a job asap I will need to go to food banks again. I might have to anyway.
All the feelings and thoughts about my childhood are right there on the surface of my brain and I can't hold them back. But I am so alone with them and it's ruining my life. I talked to a helpline yesterday and they didn't really want me to speak about it but I feel like I need to. I need someone, anyone, to be there for me and listen to me.
I'm losing my mind about genocide today.

All the atrocities I saw... ended up in that. I saw it coming. I know so much about it, I've seen so much of it. There is so much nonsense floating around about it, I don't understand how people who justify any of this live with themselves. People who justify that are everywhere and they are speaking so damn loudly with so much ignorance.

Like, how is it controversial to say my friends and neighbours deserve their houses and land back? Deserve not to be slaughtered before my very eyes for being farmers? Deserve to be bleeding out on the road while soldiers keep the paramedics away until they die? The world is insane. How is it controversial to not believe in the master race that has the right to do anything?

I am so grateful at least that I never fell for any propaganda. I'm grateful to have spent so much time among a people who might cease to exist soon, talking about animals and land and food and torture and atrocities and what it means to be free. The last thing especially.

I will never forget that. Explaining to children what it's like to feel free. Free to cross a road. Free to work the land. Free to enter any city. Free to cross borders. Being allowed to vote in the elections. Not being worried about being randomly executed.

It's hard for me to manage my anger. I came across people defending the genociders today. So glad that doesn't regularly happen. But it basically drowns me in rage when it does. I will never understand why people think it's ok to defend genocide. Thank God.

Grateful to be alive if it means I can work for justice for them. I want their children to have the conversations they had with me, with others. About you 'we are your ancestors' and about 'what does it mean to be free?'