Childhood Do you ever think that the things that are not supposed to be that bad were bad?

oakleaves

Confident
I have posted here before a bit about (CSA) type stuff still can't say it properly.

But in an emdr session recently I was processing a memory and my mind went to some of the times when my dad would be really verbally aggressive when I was meant to be processing a memory of physical violence. The physical being hit with items and running away and being chased and caught and beaten obviously wasn't good and there were things that made me think he might kill us sometimes but the verbal aggression is the thing I have never ever talked about because I am almost as ashamed as I am about the csa stuff.

So my dad would do this thing when he was drunk where he would trap me somewhere and shout really viciously using horrible words saying I was horrible things (the worst words you could use about anyone) and would get really close to my face and and I feel like that was almost worse than the violence in some ways because of the things he said. Where when you are hit with things you know that is wrong. It makes me shake to write it down. The feelings are triggered a lot by things so I often feel small and worthless and like I can't hold my own with normal people who are just themselves.

I feel really stupid bringing this up in therapy because it was words and whatever but why is it so hard.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Yes because it’s a pattern of abuse and the instances become blended together. Everything becomes abuse. I can’t say much more about this but I know what you are driving at I think.
 

oakleaves

Confident
Thanks. Yes. I thought the other day that it was properly bullying, like really vicious. I can't say the words that he said to me because they were so bad.
I just think I am expected to focus on the csa etc but sometimes I think the way I was cornered and called those words was a particular kind of horribleness psychologically.
 

oakleaves

Confident
Yes I feel like the words and the things that were said and the way it was said is worse in some ways because I felt like it must be true because he said it. And like I had done something to deserve it. I want to say my dad was a bully but it feels hard to say that I don't know why even though he was scary and aggressive and violent and often to me mainly. I feel quite low at the moment or detached somehow.
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
I have posted here before a bit about (CSA) type stuff still can't say it properly.

But in an emdr session recently I was processing a memory and my mind went to some of the times when my dad would be really verbally aggressive when I was meant to be processing a memory of physical violence. The physical being hit with items and running away and being chased and caught and beaten obviously wasn't good and there were things that made me think he might kill us sometimes but the verbal aggression is the thing I have never ever talked about because I am almost as ashamed as I am about the csa stuff.

So my dad would do this thing when he was drunk where he would trap me somewhere and shout really viciously using horrible words saying I was horrible things (the worst words you could use about anyone) and would get really close to my face and and I feel like that was almost worse than the violence in some ways because of the things he said. Where when you are hit with things you know that is wrong. It makes me shake to write it down. The feelings are triggered a lot by things so I often feel small and worthless and like I can't hold my own with normal people who are just themselves.

I feel really stupid bringing this up in therapy because it was words and whatever but why is it so hard.
Hiya @oakleaves,

The words are the worst. And those facial expressions. They strike, instead of at your flesh, at the very core of who you are. They attack the very essence of who you are. The words are the worst.

My dad once told me, "You can't be my son. Get out of my sight. I can't stand to look at you." Those words hurt me far worse than the physical abuse, which was bad enough.

There is healing in talking about it. We're all marred. It's somehow comforting to know we are not alone or crazy for feeling the way we do.

Thanks for being open and sharing. I hope you find healing in the company of friends and loved ones here and everywhere in your life.

Woodsy1
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
Even now, almost fifty years later, the punches he landed don't have a larger place in my memory than the words he said. You can duck a punch and run, but words ALL land. If I was bruised or bloodied my body healed and I learned from the experience, but words don't go away and I still carry them around. Hard to imagine not carrying them around, but work is underway to make them less of a problem.
Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me? That is another myth forced into our little brains that makes it feel like everyone else can take verbal abuse but us. I suspect that we all carry the criticisms of our parents, some just duck the punch better than others.
 

Teasel

MyPTSD Pro
I find I am unable to describe the terror I felt at having words hurled at me. They wounded for sure.

Saying he shouted so and so at me - it never sounds like much at all, not enough to cause the terror I felt.

Also with the CSA, what he said is right up there with the worst he did. Like it had the power to define me as scum
 
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enough

MyPTSD Pro
I find I am unable to describe the terror I felt at having words hurled at me. They wounded for sure.
I think it hurts because we are wired to need the safety from the world that our parents are supposed to provide us. It is a survival skill we are born with, that and staying in the good graces of our social group keep us from being left outside in the snow. I think those ideas are planted pretty deep, they are instinct. When our parents are bad to us, we start right away-first instinct- to decide we are failing as people and we start fearing being left out in the snow.

Guess what? Maybe they had a point. They went too far, for sure, but didn't we try to find a way to keep it from happening again? Is that instinctual desire to change and make it better a good thing? Do I owe them thanks for helping me see where I was going wrong?

F that. There are better ways to get an idea across than violence and harsh criticism. He didn't have the brainpower to figure that idea out. He was far from being able to ever think of a better way, much less think about a better way. He did what he thought was right and unfortunately, he seldom was. There is a hell for parents that get their kicks working out on their kids. It waits for them, not us.

Teasel, our parents were wrong. It wasn't our fault.
 
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