As a child no one helped or guided me, I was sort of a stray which led me to horrible life decisions

David1959

Confident
Decisions we make when we are young often set us on a path of self destruction. My parents loved me and as an adult I became very close to both my parents, loved them deeply and would give anything to have them in my life (they are both deceased). 6 months into intensive therapy to help me deal with my lifelong self blame for a variety of incidents and decisions I made that were not decisions a child should make, let alone equipped to make. My parents were very good people but I think ill equipped to deal with children.

Of course my never telling them about my CSA from 10-12 by a pedophile was the start of my downward spiral leading to drugs, lack of effort at school and general acting out until I was about 19. I don't understand why no one heard my cries for help but they were loud. As a result of my actions and no guidance I never went to college and have had to struggle my entire life with the decisions I made as a child.

As it turned out I was able to build an entrapanural career that while bumpy has provided me and my family a comfortable life. I could have just as easily ended up going through life with a menial job. I think the part I am dealing with now is coming to grips with these realities which are quite different then I have told myself for 50 years.

While I blame myself and have for 50 years and a part of me will likely for the rest of my life for not fighting for myself harder I have to somehow come to grips with all this. I am trying but it is so hard. Every door that opens creates a new set of issues to deal with. The one thing I am grateful for is that I broke the cycle with my own children 34 & 28. They both have had a life with tons of support and they have achieved with one a PHD and the other an economist with a Masters. I still speak to my children every day and am deeply involved in their lives.

Now I have to learn to grieve for the child I was and find a way to move on.
 

grief

Sponsor
While I blame myself and have for 50 years and a part of me will likely for the rest of my life for not fighting for myself harder I have to somehow come to grips with all this.
you are fighting for yourself now. it is never too late to start healing. and usually by the time we reach this point all that we can see is the amount of time we lived without healing. but that time helps to contribute to who you are, too. you managed to become successful and move forward. now it is time to learn how to be compassionate to yourself the way that you understand how to show compassion to others.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
I think (from experience) there is grief in the recognition, and no doubt it contributes to who or how we are. In some ways though, maybe it developed qualities of introspection, and independence (beyond a healthy degree though). It helps me to remember though the context of that day and age, very very different from now. And so even if you knew all of the details your parents went through (you wouldn't), and could remember what it 'felt' like to be a child (we can't because we have adult reasoning), the decisions you made in context may have been the 'best' ones for the time- children are afraid of consequences. And then people had limited understanding of different parenting ways, communication ways, and demands that we do not have now (we have much technology), and parental roles and opportunities were comparatively more rigid. And children did not have the same 'rights' or voice. Your own parents likely grew up more under the umbrella of 'children are seen, not heard' in their day. So anything they improved on, though not enough, was a step in the right direction, as your's is an even greater one with your own children. Far as abuse goes, I can remember when there weren't even appropriate words for it, and as a girl esp it was rampant all over in various forms, even if you were fortunate enough to avoid it at home.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
As a result of my actions and no guidance I never went to college and have had to struggle my entire life with the decisions I made as a child.
But you don't know if your life would be better or worse having gone to college. You may have been more educated, but it doesn't guarantee success.

I have this terrible story about a friend of mine. We ended up falling in love, but he was married. I didn't want to have an affair, or for him to leave because I thought it would have a negative effect on his two children. I moved away and 14 years later read that one of his children died in an accident in college. The way I saw it was that if I had chosen to stay with him I would have felt totally responsible for what happened to his child. I would have figured it was the "divorce" that did it. My friend never ended up getting divorced, and is still with his wife today and I have no feelings of guilt that I would have had, had I had an affair with him. Even though it would not have been my fault, or a divorce that caused it, I still think a lot of blame would have fallen on me. So, you don't know if you would have been better off or not.

From where I sit, you are successful. You have 2 successful children and were able to stop the cycle of abuse. You had a good career where you supported your family comfortably. Why do you think you have made decisions that ruined your life? I'm confused because I don't see why you feel like you have failed. Why do you blame yourself for rising above your situation and providing yourself and family with a good life? Your parents weren't perfect, but none of this is your fault.
It helps me to remember though the context of that day and age, very very different from now.
Yes, back then we ate breakfast and either went to school or played outside all day. We weren't watched by anyone other than the oldest kid. This was the norm back then. I'm not saying it's right, just that it was the norm. We weren't watched as much so terrible things could happen to us.

Learning self love is very difficult. Maybe letting go of any blame you have can be a start. Everyone here has been traumatized in some way and we are all learning how to live fulfilling lives after trauma. The trauma happened. It messed you up. There is no changing that aspect and blaming yourself is not helping. How about blaming the pedophile? He's the one that actually caused the damage. And as for blaming yourself for not telling, I told Mother Superior about my CSA and she said that it didn't happen in nice families. So, maybe if you told it wouldn't have made any difference. Parenting is a lot different now than it was then, and with all we know there is still a lot of terrible parenting going on.

I hope I'm not offending you in any way. I don't always know how to say what I mean. I just feel for you and we are the same age and I was raised by parents who were awful also. My mother is an alcoholic. My 2 brothers have passed away. I always thought my mother was a saint, but now that I've had therapy, I can see how abusive she really is.
 

Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
Go to school and get a degree... In 2 years you could have an associates degree. I know it sounds trivial but being able to do those things for yourself help heal the wound. It's like checking off bucket list items!
 

David1959

Confident
Go to school and get a degree... In 2 years you could have an associates degree. I know it sounds trivial but being able to do those things for yourself help heal the wound. It's like checking off bucket list items!
At this stage of life it would be meaningless plus I could probably teach at a University with my life and business experiences
 

Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
At this stage of life it would be meaningless plus I could probably teach at a University with my life and business experiences
Well David, then leave it behind you then.
As a result of my actions and no guidance I never went to college and have had to struggle my entire life with the decisions I made as a child.
You said this... you never went to college and you struggle with the decisions you made. Perhaps you have enough life experience to teach a "life" class at a university, but goals make you continue to find strength in the journey. I too didn't finish college and have had an incredibly successful career, enough so that I retired mid 40's and will never have to work again....my kid would never have to work and likely his children wouldn't have to either. However, I have a bucket list goal to finish my degree. It gives me something to look forward to and to strive for and makes the ptsd journey a little less treacherous. You rock and roll with what you feel like is meaningful...
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
From where I sit, you are successful. You have 2 successful children and were able to stop the cycle of abuse. You had a good career where you supported your family comfortably. Why do you think you have made decisions that ruined your life? I'm confused because I don't see why you feel like you have failed. Why do you blame yourself for rising above your situation and providing yourself and family with a good life? Your parents weren't perfect, but none of this is your fault.
I agree.^^ You made the best of the hand you were dealt. And, who knows? If you hadn't been required to look for a different path, you may have gone on to a different career you might have even despised, and which may or may not have been anything like you hoped or expected. And never met your wife or had the children you now have.
 

Whirlwind

MyPTSD Pro
At this stage of life it would be meaningless
I get it and it is true. I've struggled with this myself. And grieved for my lost childhood.

However I reclaimed some "childhood" things, I learned to ride a bike at an advanced age, LOL It is still one of my favorite things to do these days. I feel more 12 riding it today than I ever did at the real age. It was one of a number of personal "reclaims" and they were all worth it. Having suffered another adult life phase indignity I took the plunge and reclaimed another "loss".

I grappled with my age, pursuing a meaninglessness endeavor however I hit the pavement and found a related reasonably worthwhile endeavor. Once I started I found more potential and it has been so worth it.

I have a bucket list goal to finish my degree. It gives me something to look forward to and to strive for and makes the ptsd journey a little less treacherous.

Great to hear and you said this very well.

PTSD comes with enough struggle, and the process may provide opportunities for some positives. I am physically younger than my age group, probably because of my beloved bike. My latest endeavor has me jump out of bed in the morning because I have something to look forward to.

Take care,

Whirlwind
 
V

vixen

Decisions we make when we are young often set us on a path of self destruction. My parents loved me and as an adult I became very close to both my parents, loved them deeply and would give anything to have them in my life (they are both deceased). 6 months into intensive therapy to help me deal with my lifelong self blame for a variety of incidents and decisions I made that were not decisions a child should make, let alone equipped to make. My parents were very good people but I think ill equipped to deal with children.

Of course my never telling them about my CSA from 10-12 by a pedophile was the start of my downward spiral leading to drugs, lack of effort at school and general acting out until I was about 19. I don't understand why no one heard my cries for help but they were loud. As a result of my actions and no guidance I never went to college and have had to struggle my entire life with the decisions I made as a child.

As it turned out I was able to build an entrapanural career that while bumpy has provided me and my family a comfortable life. I could have just as easily ended up going through life with a menial job. I think the part I am dealing with now is coming to grips with these realities which are quite different then I have told myself for 50 years.

While I blame myself and have for 50 years and a part of me will likely for the rest of my life for not fighting for myself harder I have to somehow come to grips with all this. I am trying but it is so hard. Every door that opens creates a new set of issues to deal with. The one thing I am grateful for is that I broke the cycle with my own children 34 & 28. They both have had a life with tons of support and they have achieved with one a PHD and the other an economist with a Masters. I still speak to my children every day and am deeply involved in their lives.

Now I have to learn to grieve for the child I was and find a way to move on.
you are incredible.. i am still spining those plates but we know we arent alone and we can handle it. bless you. im a few steps behind you xx
 
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