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Avoiding talking to my family

Thread starter #1
So my T was telling me that the reason I kept feeling this need to tell people about my trauma is because on some level I wanted to be forgiven/told it's ok/not my fault because I subconsciously feel guilty about it. So I was thinking like.... the only people I don't feel the need to talk to about this are my family (or, really, the people I REALLY want to talk to are my parents and sibling, but because I know that they won't give me what I need I repress it and it leaks out onto other people) so basically it's so fun to have been traumatized by the few people I literally cannot cut out of my life because a) I actually do love them (hahah f*ck everything) and b) I'm currently financially dependent on them

but mainly A b/c I feel like if I did end up cutting them out I could function well enough financially but it would just hurt so much to have to give up on them completely

I guess yay for having this issue that can't be resolved unless I actually bite the bullet and go all or nothing? Is this black/white thinking or just being realistic lmao like the main reason I have this guilty feeling is definitely because I didn't have that reassurance that everything wasn't my fault when I was growing up, right? So what I really want to do is hold them accountable, right? But I can't do that unless I'm ready to give up everything I currently have.

So I'm stuck with this issue until I can jump over the imaginary hurdles (financial independence, finding/making myself new and healthy relationships, plus whatever else I think up when those bridges are crossed) and then finally feel stable enough that I can talk to them without feeling like I have to hold back in case everything goes to shit.

ahhh this is so f*cked up tbh istg like I think on another level I feel bad for constantly blaming my "bad traits" i.e. emotional volatility and insecurities/depression/anxiety on everyone else. But it's not like it was my fault that I'm a survivor of CSA and SA and of my mother telling me to cover up and of my parents generally ignoring whatever aftermath I was going through because of what my brother did. Like, sure, they stopped it but they didn't follow up AT. ALL. I had to live with him!!! until I was 16!!! seven years, four of which were spent wondering when he was going to do it next!!! and then every summer!!! and then now with dorms emptying out and the lockdown!!! The abuse stopped but I still. have. to. see. him. Never got therapy until I sought it out myself as an adult. And the irony is, my brother's a helluvalot better than my parents at actually listening to my issues and it's definitely not confusing at all for me to be leaning on him emotionally when he's the one who started everything. heavy f*cking sarcasm

So I think the reason I overshare with my friends is because I'm trying to find people that stick, but like it's so stupid that I know however many people that stick aren't gonna be enough because the one conversation that I need to have is definitely going to be hell. Best case, difficult conversation with good outcome, worst case, being told I'm overreacting + cutting off people I love and realistic case, difficult conversation + promises to do better + absolutely f*ck all changes. Am definitely NOT going to be talking about this with my parents thank you at least until I can support myself.

sorry this ended up being a rant when all I wanted was to make an observation about me avoiding talking about certain things with my parents
 
#2
So my T was telling me that the reason I kept feeling this need to tell people about my trauma is because on some level I wanted to be forgiven/told it's ok/not my fault because I subconsciously feel guilty about it. So I was thinking like.... the only people I don't feel the need to talk to about this are my family (or, really, the people I REALLY want to talk to are my parents and sibling, but because I know that they won't give me what I need I repress it and it leaks out onto other people) so basically it's so fun to have been traumatized by the few people I literally cannot cut out of my life because a) I actually do love them (hahah f*ck everything) and b) I'm currently financially dependent on them

but mainly A b/c I feel like if I did end up cutting them out I could function well enough financially but it would just hurt so much to have to give up on them completely

I guess yay for having this issue that can't be resolved unless I actually bite the bullet and go all or nothing? Is this black/white thinking or just being realistic lmao like the main reason I have this guilty feeling is definitely because I didn't have that reassurance that everything wasn't my fault when I was growing up, right? So what I really want to do is hold them accountable, right? But I can't do that unless I'm ready to give up everything I currently have.

So I'm stuck with this issue until I can jump over the imaginary hurdles (financial independence, finding/making myself new and healthy relationships, plus whatever else I think up when those bridges are crossed) and then finally feel stable enough that I can talk to them without feeling like I have to hold back in case everything goes to shit.

ahhh this is so f*cked up tbh istg like I think on another level I feel bad for constantly blaming my "bad traits" i.e. emotional volatility and insecurities/depression/anxiety on everyone else. But it's not like it was my fault that I'm a survivor of CSA and SA and of my mother telling me to cover up and of my parents generally ignoring whatever aftermath I was going through because of what my brother did. Like, sure, they stopped it but they didn't follow up AT. ALL. I had to live with him!!! until I was 16!!! seven years, four of which were spent wondering when he was going to do it next!!! and then every summer!!! and then now with dorms emptying out and the lockdown!!! The abuse stopped but I still. have. to. see. him. Never got therapy until I sought it out myself as an adult. And the irony is, my brother's a helluvalot better than my parents at actually listening to my issues and it's definitely not confusing at all for me to be leaning on him emotionally when he's the one who started everything. heavy f*cking sarcasm

So I think the reason I overshare with my friends is because I'm trying to find people that stick, but like it's so stupid that I know however many people that stick aren't gonna be enough because the one conversation that I need to have is definitely going to be hell. Best case, difficult conversation with good outcome, worst case, being told I'm overreacting + cutting off people I love and realistic case, difficult conversation + promises to do better + absolutely f*ck all changes. Am definitely NOT going to be talking about this with my parents thank you at least until I can support myself.

sorry this ended up being a rant when all I wanted was to make an observation about me avoiding talking about certain things with my parents
Hi, rumor. You don't have to apologize. You needed to get that junk out of your head in order to process it and deal with it.

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate, and not much support. I'm glad your reaching out to get more support. It's healthy to reach out for help, but only when we reach out to those that will help us instead of harm us.

It sounds like you recognize that your family are not the safest people for you to open-up to. It's good your able to acknowledge this, and conduct yourself accordingly.

So, right now your in a sh*tty place. For financial reasons, you are living with invalidating, unsupportive parents. In this situation, until you get financially stable enough to leave, do whatever you need to do to protect yourself. Avoid them if you have to. (I recommend this approach.) Spend as little time as humanly possible with them. Lock yourself in you bedroom if necessary.

What your brother did was wrong. The way your parents handled his abuse of you was (and still is) wrong.

I'm glad you're in therapy. Have you and your therapist discussed your living arrangements. Have brainstormed possible alternatives. I think it might be helpful to discuss this in therapy to figure out an escape plan. Much how those in domestic violence situations do. It might be helpful to formulate a plan for leaving, but also have an emergency plan. Just in case things get out of hand.

I'm sorry you are living in such a terrible place. And I'm sorry you were abused. I wish I had a safe place for you to live and heal.

Hang in there. Take care of yourself. Keep looking for safe people, who can help you heal. Be careful who you disclose to, though. You're safe here, sounds as though your therapist is safe, too. So, that's a start.
 
Thread starter #3
I don't think I'm at risk of being sexually assaulted again, mainly because by now I have so much repressed capital on my brother that if something did happen I would seriously f*ck up his life and not feel bad about it. I think what's the most confusing part is that I depend on my family emotionally and they're good with literally every other aspect of my life except sex and sexualisation and talking about what happened when I was younger. I may be minimizing, but the truth is that my family situation is so much better than it could be and there's only one (still major, but it's singular) part that's so dysfunctional. I constantly feel like there's this thing that I've been holding over their head like they should be grateful that I'm alive, that I kept their secret, that I chose to avoid things blowing up and it makes me feel bad to even be thinking that way because without them I really wouldn't be where I am right now, applying to medical school from a prestigious university.

It's shitty because I love them and because it's such a grey area. What they did was wrong and horrible, but they tried their best and unfortunately it was not enough. I was loved growing up and had everything handed to me in terms of financial stability and education, but because my parents didn't know how to deal with having a son who abused their daughter they f*cked us both up. I've bonded with my brother and it's f*cking weird because even though we have a workable and sometimes even great sibling relationship now there's always a niggling doubt in my brain that's asking whether we see each other sexually (WHICH IS SOOOOO GROSS TO TYPE OUT BUT GODDAMN IT'S THERE INNIT). My mom telling me to cover up made me doubt whether or not my dad sees me sexually, and there was definitely one time when my dad had an affair when my mom told me outright that she thought he would assault me because having an affair means he's obviously sexually depraved lmao hasn't helped thanks mom. My dad is the only one who hasn't explicitly sexualised me but that's because he wasn't there; he was always at work. And recently, he's become increasingly concerned with why I'm not dating and how he's getting older and wants grandkids like helloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I'm kind of too damaged for that!! Sorry for being a victim of sexual abuse!

It's shitty because there's an elephant in the room that everyone but myself has collectively decided has been resolved and because literally everything else is fine. It's shitty because sometimes when I'm imagining sex, my partner's face changes into my dad or my brother and I f*cking hate it it's so gross but it keeps happening and even though I reset myself every time with a different scenario and person, I feel f*cking disgusting. It's shitty because it was molestation and only happened three or four times, so whenever I talk about it as sexual abuse or assault like I'm exaggerating but it's gross that it even happened once AND that whenever I had friends over, I was told to lock my door because my mother couldn't trust the men in my family anymore. It's shitty that I suspect that my parents' failed relationship meant that my mom, having no sexual contact from her husband and knowing that I had been sexualised by another member of the family, subconsciously decided that her not getting laid was because my dad was interested in me even though he's never shown such an inclination. It's shitty that I have to think about my parents' sex lives omfg everything about this is so gross

It's shitty because my family actually does care about me but they're also unable to take responsibility for their actions and because they care about me it feels like I'm taking advantage of them by trying to hold them responsible. It's like they've forgotten about it and I actually hate that everything else is so normal even though having something good in my life, like financial stability and a good education and being loved, is a good thing. We're such a happy family so long as I don't bring up my trauma, so then it feels like it's my fault that I need to *ahem* HEAL??? That I still need to deal with this???? And that I need to do it alone?????

I wish I didn't love them! I really wish I didn't love them because then it would be so much easier! But I do! So I'm f*cked! I'm also aware that wishing that I didn't love them puts the blame back on me and that's a response that's common for people in toxic relationships but idk how to fix that because unfortunately I do love them and it would be easier if I didn't.

Hi, rumor. You don't have to apologize. You needed to get that junk out of your head in order to process it and deal with it.

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate, and not much support. I'm glad your reaching out to get more support. It's healthy to reach out for help, but only when we reach out to those that will help us instead of harm us.

It sounds like you recognize that your family are not the safest people for you to open-up to. It's good your able to acknowledge this, and conduct yourself accordingly.

So, right now your in a sh*tty place. For financial reasons, you are living with invalidating, unsupportive parents. In this situation, until you get financially stable enough to leave, do whatever you need to do to protect yourself. Avoid them if you have to. (I recommend this approach.) Spend as little time as humanly possible with them. Lock yourself in you bedroom if necessary.

What your brother did was wrong. The way your parents handled his abuse of you was (and still is) wrong.

I'm glad you're in therapy. Have you and your therapist discussed your living arrangements. Have brainstormed possible alternatives. I think it might be helpful to discuss this in therapy to figure out an escape plan. Much how those in domestic violence situations do. It might be helpful to formulate a plan for leaving, but also have an emergency plan. Just in case things get out of hand.

I'm sorry you are living in such a terrible place. And I'm sorry you were abused. I wish I had a safe place for you to live and heal.

Hang in there. Take care of yourself. Keep looking for safe people, who can help you heal. Be careful who you disclose to, though. You're safe here, sounds as though your therapist is safe, too. So, that's a start.
Thanks for your support. Sometimes, this forum is the only place I feel sane.
 
#4
I don't think I'm at risk of being sexually assaulted again, mainly because by now I have so much repressed capital on my brother that if something did happen I would seriously f*ck up his life and not feel bad about it. I think what's the most confusing part is that I depend on my family emotionally and they're good with literally every other aspect of my life except sex and sexualisation and talking about what happened when I was younger. I may be minimizing, but the truth is that my family situation is so much better than it could be and there's only one (still major, but it's singular) part that's so dysfunctional. I constantly feel like there's this thing that I've been holding over their head like they should be grateful that I'm alive, that I kept their secret, that I chose to avoid things blowing up and it makes me feel bad to even be thinking that way because without them I really wouldn't be where I am right now, applying to medical school from a prestigious university.

It's shitty because I love them and because it's such a grey area. What they did was wrong and horrible, but they tried their best and unfortunately it was not enough. I was loved growing up and had everything handed to me in terms of financial stability and education, but because my parents didn't know how to deal with having a son who abused their daughter they f*cked us both up. I've bonded with my brother and it's f*cking weird because even though we have a workable and sometimes even great sibling relationship now there's always a niggling doubt in my brain that's asking whether we see each other sexually (WHICH IS SOOOOO GROSS TO TYPE OUT BUT GODDAMN IT'S THERE INNIT). My mom telling me to cover up made me doubt whether or not my dad sees me sexually, and there was definitely one time when my dad had an affair when my mom told me outright that she thought he would assault me because having an affair means he's obviously sexually depraved lmao hasn't helped thanks mom. My dad is the only one who hasn't explicitly sexualised me but that's because he wasn't there; he was always at work. And recently, he's become increasingly concerned with why I'm not dating and how he's getting older and wants grandkids like helloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I'm kind of too damaged for that!! Sorry for being a victim of sexual abuse!

It's shitty because there's an elephant in the room that everyone but myself has collectively decided has been resolved and because literally everything else is fine. It's shitty because sometimes when I'm imagining sex, my partner's face changes into my dad or my brother and I f*cking hate it it's so gross but it keeps happening and even though I reset myself every time with a different scenario and person, I feel f*cking disgusting. It's shitty because it was molestation and only happened three or four times, so whenever I talk about it as sexual abuse or assault like I'm exaggerating but it's gross that it even happened once AND that whenever I had friends over, I was told to lock my door because my mother couldn't trust the men in my family anymore. It's shitty that I suspect that my parents' failed relationship meant that my mom, having no sexual contact from her husband and knowing that I had been sexualised by another member of the family, subconsciously decided that her not getting laid was because my dad was interested in me even though he's never shown such an inclination. It's shitty that I have to think about my parents' sex lives omfg everything about this is so gross

It's shitty because my family actually does care about me but they're also unable to take responsibility for their actions and because they care about me it feels like I'm taking advantage of them by trying to hold them responsible. It's like they've forgotten about it and I actually hate that everything else is so normal even though having something good in my life, like financial stability and a good education and being loved, is a good thing. We're such a happy family so long as I don't bring up my trauma, so then it feels like it's my fault that I need to *ahem* HEAL??? That I still need to deal with this???? And that I need to do it alone?????

I wish I didn't love them! I really wish I didn't love them because then it would be so much easier! But I do! So I'm f*cked! I'm also aware that wishing that I didn't love them puts the blame back on me and that's a response that's common for people in toxic relationships but idk how to fix that because unfortunately I do love them and it would be easier if I didn't.
I see so many red flags popping up that I've lost count.

Just because your brother overtly abused 4 times, to your awareness/acknowledgement , doesn't mean it wasn't "that bad." How many times would it had to have happened in order for you to acknowledge it was bad? Because even if it "only" happened once, it would still be bad.

I understand you love your family. I am not suggesting you stop loving them. I'm suggesting that maybe right now, you would be better off if you started loving yourself more.

It seems to me that you are extending boat loads if grace to your family. At the same time, from what I can tell, you are aren't giving yourself room for grace. I suspect this is because of the way your parents responded, minimizing your abuse. And I can't help wondering if they have minimized other painful experiences in your life.

The fact that you end your post stating that you wish you didn't love them is very telling. You are dependent upon them right now, for housing and financial reasons. That doesn't mean you have to remain emotionally dependent upon them, though.

As far as the experiences you've had picturing a partner of your choice, then having it morph into your brother's/father's face during sex fantasies. This is common. These intrusion types of thoughts are common in PTSD with those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. You are not gross or disgusting. It's a normal response given what you have been though.

You are not f*cked. You are doing your best to handle a difficult living arrangement, while working to heal from trauma. If you continue putting in the work, I'm confident you will find your life improving.

You are an intelligent person, a resourceful person, and you can (with help) heal.

Thanks for your support. Sometimes, this forum is the only place I feel sane.
You're welcome. You are completely sane. Everything you are feeling is absolutely sane based on what you've endured. Really, you are not nearly as messed-up as you think. You are dealing with things, while your family is denying, minimizing, and avoiding. You want to be healthy. They want to remain dysfunctional. So, of course you feel crazy, because your the most sane person in that crazy situation.
 
Thread starter #5
I see so many red flags popping up that I've lost count.

Just because your brother overtly abused 4 times, to your awareness/acknowledgement , doesn't mean it wasn't "that bad." How many times would it had to have happened in order for you to acknowledge it was bad? Because even if it "only" happened once, it would still be bad.

I understand you love your family. I am not suggesting you stop loving them. I'm suggesting that maybe right now, you would be better off if you started loving yourself more.

It seems to me that you are extending boat loads if grace to your family. At the same time, from what I can tell, you are aren't giving yourself room for grace. I suspect this is because of the way your parents responded, minimizing your abuse. And I can't help wondering if they have minimized other painful experiences in your life.

The fact that you end your post stating that you wish you didn't love them is very telling. You are dependent upon them right now, for housing and financial reasons. That doesn't mean you have to remain emotionally dependent upon them, though.

As far as the experiences you've had picturing a partner of your choice, then having it morph into your brother's/father's face during sex fantasies. This is common. These intrusion types of thoughts are common in PTSD with those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. You are not gross or disgusting. It's a normal response given what you have been though.

You are not f*cked. You are doing your best to handle a difficult living arrangement, while working to heal from trauma. If you continue putting in the work, I'm confident you will find your life improving.

You are an intelligent person, a resourceful person, and you can (with help) heal.
I think it's also difficult not to minimize what happened to me because that's what I've had to do my entire life. I know it was objectively horrible and bad and every kind of f*cked up, but on a subconscious level I still think it's my fault or that I'm making myself feel bad. It's been implied my entire life that my brother wasn't fully in control of himself because he was not an adult and that I should have gotten over it by now. And that pisses me off so much that I'm being made to feel that way, but then that feeling almost always goes over into they're my feelings and I'm in charge of them so I must be doing this to myself which is not true at all but it's so hard to divorce myself from this pattern.
 
#6
I think it's also difficult not to minimize what happened to me because that's what I've had to do my entire life. I know it was objectively horrible and bad and every kind of f*cked up, but on a subconscious level I still think it's my fault or that I'm making myself feel bad. It's been implied my entire life that my brother wasn't fully in control of himself because he was not an adult and that I should have gotten over it by now. And that pisses me off so much that I'm being made to feel that way, but then that feeling almost always goes over into they're my feelings and I'm in charge of them so I must be doing this to myself which is not true at all but it's so hard to divorce myself from this pattern.
Basically, it seems like you are being hard on yourself, because everyone else in your family has been hard on you. It makes sense, they taught you to invalidate your feelings and minimize your abuse. But that doesn't mean you can't learn a new, healthy way to relate to yourself.

None of this is your fault. You were, and are, blameless. You were a victim.

All of the blame lies on your brother's shoulders.

You are not a victim any more, because you are taking the steps you need in order to heal.

Nobody simply "gets over" childhood sexual abuse. Anyone who says or implies this has no idea what they are taking about; they are completely ignorant. It would be like telling someone diagnosed with cancer to "just get over it."

You need help from professionals. Just as a cancer patient needs their oncologist, hematologist, and radiologist, most of us with a history of childhood sexual abuse need a mental health counselor, psychiatrist, and group therapy. Cancer patients usually get loads of support from family and friends. Unfortunately, this is rare for people who have been sexually traumatized during childhood.

Treating cancer takes time, so does treating CSA trauma. Sometimes, after surgery, chemo, and radiation cancer patients go into remission. This is similar to someone like us getting therapy, maybe taking some medications, and learning new skills in a group setting, and then experiencing a quieting of our PTSD symptoms. But just as cancer patients need to be screened more closely for a return of the cancer, we need to continue being aware of our PTSD.

You did not create this situation. Your feelings are yours, not your parents' or your brother's. Your feelings are valid. You are not doing this to yourself.

You are doing your best to process what happened to you, but your family is complicating and impeding this for you. You have internalized their perceptions, thoughts, and feelings to such an extent that you are questioning things that deep-down you know.

I don't remember if I already suggested this, but it might be worth your time to look online for information about healthy parenting; and then look for information about parents who emotionally abuse and/or emotionally neglect their children. It might give you some insight.

I hope this helps you.

Sending hugs. ๐Ÿ’—
 
Thread starter #7
Thank you. It really did help.

My mom did it again, this morning, because my window was open and I was wearing shorts so what if someone came in and why wasn't I being careful. At least it wasn't about my dad. I asked her to just let me LIVE. She said I should be watching out for these things. As if I don't already ruin all my relationships with men as soon as I suspect they might be turning romantic ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„
 
#8
Thank you. It really did help.

My mom did it again, this morning, because my window was open and I was wearing shorts so what if someone came in and why wasn't I being careful. At least it wasn't about my dad. I asked her to just let me LIVE. She said I should be watching out for these things. As if I don't already ruin all my relationships with men as soon as I suspect they might be turning romantic ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„
You are more than welcome. I'm glad I could help.

What, because there are evil people in the world, your mom expects you to not wear shorts? Or open a window for fresh air? At least you were able to recognize how unhealthy her statements are. I think that is a very good sign.

It's okay, and even healthy, to take a break from dating, if you need to in order to focus on healing. Just want to put that out here, in case you needed to hear (read) it.

Sending you thoughts of healing, peace, and love. ๐Ÿ˜‡
 
Thread starter #9
You are more than welcome. I'm glad I could help.

What, because there are evil people in the world, your mom expects you to not wear shorts? Or open a window for fresh air? At least you were able to recognize how unhealthy her statements are. I think that is a very good sign.

It's okay, and even healthy, to take a break from dating, if you need to in order to focus on healing. Just want to put that out here, in case you needed to hear (read) it.

Sending you thoughts of healing, peace, and love. ๐Ÿ˜‡
I talked to her about it. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would go. I do a lot of catastrophizing tbh
 
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