Childhood Another "Is this normal" thread - Isolated in room

GuyBloke

New Here
I'm not sure if this belongs here, if not I'm happy to have it removed

I remembered recently how when I was a child, ten and younger, I was often locked in my room. The door was openable and all but any time something happened it would be, I come home and I sit in my room for the afternoon and evening. Even when I had to come downstairs for dinner it was in complete silence. It was common enough that I stared thinking "I'll see you all tomorrow then" when I got home from school some days.

I colour in my french book = isolation
I accidentally break a branch in the playground because I was doing pullups = Isolation
Four of the bigger kids in the other class start a fight with me and I get a concussion = Isolation
Anything my parents hear about, I think.

I'm not sure if this is all just sending a child to his room, which sounds normal enough, but most of my problems I've identified stem from my inability to talk about anything that might come back to me. I won't talk about family/friends, won't talk about hobbies, won't talk about what I want to do with life when lockdown is over, especially won't talk about trauma. All through secondry school I existed in class, did the bare minimum of talking to people I got along with, and dissapeared when school ended. Doesn't seem much like a social life in hindsight.

I'm just trying to piece together what I can remember from being a child, since I want to say getting sent to your room as a child is normal, but being forced to sit on my own for the rest of a day without being able to talk about what happened sounds cruel, or at least negligent/uncaring.

Also, for what its worth, could childhood experience be why I try not to attend parties or dinners? The taking part in a social things like that, I interpret the same way I react to being insulted. Or it feels like I'm being expected to take part in taking the piss out of myself, so I don't.

I'm just rambling again because no Therapist, I've no idea what to make about any of this
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Sending a kid to his room for a short amount of time is normal. To be locked in that room and spending most of your time at home in that room is NOT normal. It is abuse. In a silent form which is much harder to understand or make sense of.

You had to normalize it to cope with being alone for such extended periods and then have silent dinners with your parents. It's as if you didn't exist. And no child can handle that and grow up knowing how to interact with others.

I am so sorry to know you spent your childhood in silence for the most part. I can tell you you do have a voice here. You will be heard here. No matter how uncomfortable you may feel putting life to your words, you will be heard here.

Thank you for sharing and letting us know you are here. And that you have a voice that needs to be heard. We are listening.
 

bird_on_a_wire

MyPTSD Pro
Really agree with @ladee .

Being sent to your room or a time out for a short period of time is not unusual. But equally you should know what you've done, have intended it, it not been accidental, and definitely not over-riding care and treatment (a concussion). ? Similarly, no interaction, stone-walling, and not feeling able to be part of or allowed to be part of an interacting, communicating family unit is very dismissive, isolating and frightening, especially for a child. As well as dismissive to who your personality was and is. It doesn't matter even if you could unlock the door from your side, obviously with those circumstances it would feel worse and even less safe to do so. That makes me so angry to stifle a child, too.

Of course it would feel unnatural to feel comfortable socializing, or the socializing (including eating) to be fraught with triggers or reminders or memories.

I hope you can over-write those memories to good ones. Even if unintended that parenting style was very damaging and that's heartbreaking to hear. And likely something you'd never do to a child yourself. But rest assured, that was all on them and not a reflection of your worth. So I am just as equally sure it's left you much more sensitive than someone who didn't go through it.

Welcome to you. ?
 
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Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
It sounds incredibly lonely.

I've come to the conclusion, that whilst I'm confused about a lot of what happened in my childhood, if it 'feels' like it was abusive or wrong or odd or unhelpful etc, then it was. Because our parents wrapped it up in what they portrayed as love and normality. It then creates confusion. But always there has been this knowing that there is a feeling here, even though that feeling was totally gaslighted or never saw the light of day.

I'm sorry your voice was stolen from you as a child.
That doesn't need repeating now as an adult. But it needs learning how to express yourself. I struggle with that too. It feels like burdening and bothering someone if I talk about myself. But I'm learning. Trial and error.
 

GuyBloke

New Here
I would add that it was a form of punishment, and definitely not a daily thing. But I remember how I treated most of the teacher and staff at school, where if something happened I would do anything but cooperate, because (you know that way someone might talk to a child they're trying to help) I knew better than to believe them, a bit cynical for a ten year old though.

I guess the more I connect my behaviour today to me as a child the less I feel bad about myself, onwards and upwards?
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I guess the more I connect my behaviour today to me as a child the less I feel bad about myself, onwards and upwards?
I'm glad you are starting to feel less bad about yourself. I hope you manage to feel entirely good about yourself. It's awful how consuming these negative thoughts and feelings are.
I hope you find support here. We all understand, in our own ways, even if our experiences vary.

I'd add: the fact that at 10 years old you felt you only had you to trust and rely on, shows you your parents didn't offer you the security and love you needed.
And now as adults, we got to fill the gaps somehow.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I spent the greater part of my life in my room. If I was punished, I was sent there.....with a flyswater flailing behind me. If I wasn't in trouble, it was the only place in the house that didn't have drama.....and I could close the door. If I was sick, the bed was comforting, if I had a seizure it was safe. If I didn't want to go to school, it's where I had to be.......but my bedroom now is drama free....even then, my bedroom wasn't a totally safe haven-it had it's drama....When I was married, the bedroom was a horrible place....and it also wasn't a safe place. I live alone....and I prefer my bedroom. I thought everyone did.....LOL.
 

kkd

New Here
GuyBloke, I "liked" basically this whole thread, although I definitely do not "like"/approve of the fact this happened in your life.

You & Truthseeker both describe things that hit really close to home for me and honestly it sort of helps just to read that others also had it AND are now confused about it. I always had what felt like really conditional permission to participate & got the silent treatment and did not necessarily realize why. I actually do think my parents thought that was better for us than yelling or who knows what, but it left me with a pretty deeply rooted weird view of alone-time (which I crave and like when it's voluntary & which sometimes is an issue when it's imposed/compulsory).

I'd add: the fact that at 10 years old you felt you only had you to trust and rely on, shows you your parents didn't offer you the security and love you needed.
And now as adults, we got to fill the gaps somehow.

Yeah, you don't end up a cynical 10 year old that know the adults are maybe blowing smoke up your rear (or humoring you or just dismissing but trying to look like they're not) because you had a ton of proof from "your" adults that adults are to be taken at their word. When you absorb that really young it FEELS "normal" but holy crap did I find out when I was older how NOT normal it is.

Movingforward, I just had a minor "fantasy" of telling my mom this next time she trots out her "but we always said we're here for you/intended well/you know we loved you guys/you never got hit or went hungry/you guys should've known we were there for you" routine wanting to get a Mother of the Century award.

I also think about telling her, as she sometimes told me in response to a promise or apology, that "actions speak louder than words."

@TruthSeeker - This was a good description of isolation as both refuge and banishment, and I am so sorry you had the marriage-related crap on top of that.

**Dangit. I tried to edit, ran out of time. I meant to put the cynical 10 yr old comment after a quoting this:
But I remember how I treated most of the teacher and staff at school, where if something happened I would do anything but cooperate, because (you know that way someone might talk to a child they're trying to help) I knew better than to believe them, a bit cynical for a ten year old though.

And the that was supposed to go before the "retorts to mom but only in my head bc it's not worth it" part. My mom does not need or want to know about cynical children.
 
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oakleaves

Confident
It sounds as though your childhood was incredibly lacking in any kind of warmth. It sounds and feels like neglect. I appreciate you had food etc but it sounds like emotional witholding and absence which is neglect.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
How we are socialized as children has a big effect on us when were adults. I had massive issues with male bonding and socialising with other people. I couldn't actually even have a conversation with people bcos I was so traumatised. I had problems with confrontation. It really f*cked me up. It's only now that I'm 44 that I'm learning how to talk to people and have relationships.
 
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