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Feeling alone in this specific kind of trauma (twisted reality) — thoughts?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by littleoc, May 14, 2018.

  1. littleoc

    littleoc Making everywhere I go a better place Premium Member Donated

    I’m not totally certain where I should be putting this. I don’t feel ready to say/post this, but I’m going to anyway. I’ve said “worse” stuff around here, I can probably handle this :)

    A large part of my trauma was having my reality completely twisted. I have one psychosis diagnosis from when I was 14 which I didn’t know about until I was 23, but I image it had to do with the twisted reality.

    It started as day dreaming/dissociation/coping with unreal circumstances. I was kept in a cage as a kid until a bit after elementary school and entertained myself with stories.

    Then I got “kidnapped” (weird word) and was with a pedophile and the day dreaming/story making became extremely important to me. It had been already. It slowly became maladaptive daydreaming.

    Most other kids were okay with it. They didn’t want to play all the time but they would at recess and other normal times. My little brother and I would act out stories in a dollhouse I had. It was obsessive but not something that ever made a child grow into a weird adult.

    Then I met Brandi. Something was wrong with her. She told me a demon lived in her head and she had to control it or she’s turn into a bat or panther. It was 8th grade. We were aged 13. I was 11 when I got away from the pedophile. And obviously I knew she wouldn’t turn into a panther. I was a game. I was excited to be a part of a game.

    So I went with it. She started dating Jamie, who had similar stories. Then Jamie broke up with Brandi because Brandi was always depressed, blaming Jamie for her mood constantly, and forbidding Jamie from having friends. Jamie wasn’t entirely innocent either but Jamie at least wanted respect and boundaries for herself. Jamie was not okay in the head either though. Killed animals and lied about her brother assaulting her for attention at school (she was best friends with this brother — it’s a long story, but I did believe her at first because I thought no one would lie about trauma. It didn’t hurt ME to believe it so it’s okay. I believe others). Had/has no empathy and was emotionally controlling.

    Anyway, things went south. Brandi apparently actually believed she had spirits in her head. She actually believed the stories I was telling. I thought I liked that? But I didn’t. I started feeling incredibly guilty, all the time. I tried to get help from adults in the school but they wouldn’t help.

    I tried to put an end to it when I was 14. When she went through my computer looking for evidence of my deceit. (???) She woke me up to tell me she saw a picture of an eye and that meant I was “lying” to her to about everythin. She made me stand by the computer while she went through every single file, interrogating me on how evil I was.

    So I took her to my backyard to “admit” that I had just made up stories. Backfired. She looked genuinely heartbroken for a moment, then started saying she’d kill herself, then she said she’d kill me. I told her it WAS real after that because I was scared.

    I was perfectly groomed from my dad, the pedophile, and even trying to keep my mom happy.

    I tried to tell Brandi three other times that it wasn’t real. It went bad every time. The second time I tried in high school, because I couldn’t handle the guilt. We were 15 or 16. During the rest of our friendship, she kept referencing this day and saying that it was proof that I couldn’t be trusted by anyone, and I was lucky to have her because I was weird, unfriendable by others, embarrassing to be loved by (I was still careful in college not to talk to people in public settings... in case they’re embarrassed of being seen with me — but this has changed!), embarrassing t be around, needing her constant support (I didn’t, she was twisting her need to know everything about my life even if I didn’t want to share), gross, and also socially inept. She had already banned me from having friends. If I brought it up, she’d tell me “I don’t remember saying that, and I was probably kidding.” I have that phrase memorized because she kept saying it.

    But the worst was having my fantasy world turned on me. Between the “mild psychosis” and all my head injuries (and at least one TBI that was “cumulative”) it may have been possible that it became easier and easier to manipulate me.

    She convinced me that I am a fungus, but in such a way that I feel constantly like I convinced myself, despite what three therapists and two doctors have told me. I had to be a fungus for more than 40 hours a week. Every day. Constant texting.

    I had to be her husband (also not a human). But also his friend, while being littleoc’s. I had to keep designing elaborate stories because she’d pick them apart to prove I was lying, and then threaten me and herself. Scary types of manipulation, but I blame myself. I wish I had known to just walk away and let her deal with her own mess. I was starting to hate her, but I also still loved her and cared about her.

    It wore me down into almost nothing. I now have huge problems with my identity. I even get confused if someone refers to me as “she.” Like I have to go through identities to figure out which one I REALLY am, and it doesn’t feel real. But I am healing.

    But I don’t have DID. This isn’t like that. But whenever Brandi got angry at me for saying I wasn’t Fungus, she started texting all my accounts at once and my brain glitched, because I’m not supposed to remember what Fungus said to her, and he wasn’t allowed to know what I knew. So my brain glitched and friends (I had friends despite Brandi!) had to help me because I was so, so confused.

    They do say that when I texted Brandi as Fungus, I behaved differently. They could tell something was wrong. But Brandi would quiz on what I did and didn’t know. She’d quiz Fungus too. She’d even talk about how much she hated @littleoc to Fungus to make sure. In Iceland, she accused Fungus of being unable to text constantly because I was in Iceland. Because she knew that, apparently.

    Brandi also told me I was psychopathic and evil for what I did to her, but I know under all my guilt that I didn’t want this. I tried to get out, several times. She destroyed my reality and I’m always scared everyone will think it was the other way around, because I feel evil when I talk about this.

    And in recovering from PTSD, I’m also having to “admit” I’m a human and figure out my identity. It’s confusing and uncomfortable to say.

    But I’m handling it okay.

    My question, though, is this: Am I alone in this specific kind of trauma...?

    I’m not alone in child abuse, pedophile’s manipulation, being “kidnapped,” having an abusive friend like Brandi who did sexual stuff to me I didn’t want, having a manipulative friend like her, or seeing death, being assaulted and sexually assaulted (even in dirty places), or even being locked up in a cage and severely neglected as a child. So far, everything I’ve said, someone has told me it either happened to them too or they had known of it/seen it first hand. I don’t like knowing that others understand, but I like knowing I’m not alone, therefore not singled out as being a freak or definitely deserving it.

    But I can’t find anything like this, being convinced I’m a Fungus, a childhood game and coping mechanism twisted up and gone completely wrong.

    Am I thinking of it wrong? Has anyone ever gone through this? (Likely, yes. Because there have been and are a lot of humans, for 100,000 years at LEAST, so I can’t be unique in this.... (???)).

    We also technically shouldn’t be the only intelligent life in the universe. That would be lonely, despite all the intelligent life on Earth humans have yet to fully appreciate.

    Thoughts? Even if you have a different trauma but also feel alone?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2018
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  3. Congruency

    Congruency Tumultuous Uprising Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Hello @littleoc , There's been a couple of threads on the forum about maladaptive daydreaming. Do a search for it.

    I thought that's what I had and then I figured out that it was only playacting out the abuse. I've done that since I was four years old. Now I use the same technique for writing novels.
  4. littleoc

    littleoc Making everywhere I go a better place Premium Member Donated

    Hello :)

    I have found those threads! They were pretty helpful. But about half the story I think?

    I write too — it seems to be a healthy way to deal with those scenarios and such without someone making it too real.

    Thanks :)
  5. Fadeaway

    Fadeaway I'm a VIP Donated

    I can't relate to that part of it but I can see how if I had met someone like Brandi, it could have happened to me.

    I too was locked away, but it wasn't consistent. Just a few days at a time a few times a year. I was also an only child with adults who wanted nothing to do with the annoying child they got stuck with, so I had little human interaction even when I wasn't locked in the garage/my area.

    My fantasy world was a crucial part of my life. And was more reality than my actual life at that time. I had one year around 12 years old where I met someone who indulged me in it
    Had she been like your friend, that could have easily happened to me.

    I am so sorry that one of the best copping methods for children like us was turned on you. It would wreck me so while I can't relate, I have an understanding of how important those stories are and how vunerable it makes some one who shares them and how damaging it would be if that person explioted them.
    blackemerald1, littleoc and Ronin like this.
  6. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

    Kids of schizophrenic parents.

    That’s where I’ve run into this the most... although only about 90%, because Brandi was a peer & she was -at least initially- a rescuer for you, from adults. So it’s differently-complicated.

    It’s also not a ...unique?... thing, if that helps. But a very very human thing, allegiance & self perception.

    On the extreme side... Certain kinds of torture, and many kinds of cults/sects/extremists, deliberately force a self-perception shift, to mirror what someone else wants you to be. ...As do thousands of kinds of “benign” groups with usually good intent and relatively good outcome, on the normal side of things. (Think any group which rewards allegiance & behavior duplication, from churches to sports to military to fashion to politics to gangs to suburbia.)

    People are incrediably malleable, and our beliefs about ourselves as both individuals and as part of a group are super adaptive, especially as children; although adults can do it, too there’s a lot more work involved... unless you catch them during a time of severe vulnerability, like profound grief (there’s damn good reason extremists actively recruit those who’ve suffered major loss, and rational groups restrict entry / require time off), or you force the extreme emotional state upon them (torture, drugs, brutalising, threats against life & loved ones) to bend them the way you want them. Abusers use those tactics, too, to lesser degrees... it takes a lot longer to effect the same results. But it’s the same process.

    So the situation itself may be relatively rare (an abused child falling in with /under the influence of a mentally ill child) but the process itself of how you adapted to the circumstance isn’t strange, at all. :) It’s exactly what one would expect to happen, because it’s what happens most of the time when you match vulnerablility/desire with influence/determination. Youre totally not a freak, at all.
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  7. Ronin

    Ronin Dark Wings Premium Member

    I try to focus on what works, leave the rest.

    (Do not know how to answer the Anyone else question. But spent a lifetime around extremists and nastiness, what the hell is blurring reality any day is still a question. I function better with some of the weird beliefs ON, instead of off. The balances are elsewhere, I need the moral compass straight, not believing in strange concepts that are so takeable like that I am a person worth loving blah blah. They are something to lock away and keep for when needed.)

    Someone tossed at me not so long ago talking is not evil nor weakness, but brave. So passing the ball.
  8. littleoc

    littleoc Making everywhere I go a better place Premium Member Donated

    I understand this... my father disliked children in general, but didn’t leave, probably because he wanted to control our mom. He still bothers her but rarely tries to contact me.

    I had a college student I once talked to claim this wasnt unusual... she said she got herself and her friends to act like there were aliens in s field around their school. I guess the difference is that no one treats it like reality? I mean, they do, but it’s pretending for the sake of imagination?

    That makes sense

    Yes, absolutely helps

    She was abused too. She just didn’t come out quite the same way as the rest of us. She used my PTSD diagnosis to prove that I was crazy, though, nearly every day. She would quiz me on everything and drill me and accuse me of lying... and have terrifying freak outs every time she noticed something that didn’t perfectly align.

    I was left with bruises a lot. And now constant identity confusion. It feels really unfair, and I wish I could go back and tell myself that it’s okay to leave her. But I was afraid she’d hurt herself if I did, or me (she hurt me a lot), and adults I asked for help from didn’t take it seriously. I didn’t ask my mom. No point.

    And I believed I deserved Brandi’s treatment because I was abusing her — that’s what I believed. I started thinking I really was lying to her and I kept telling my real friends the night I told her that I was scared I had ruined her life. She was controlling practically everything... and because I felt I deserved it, I didn’t think it was weird when she wanted me to do sexual stuff against my will. I’ve seen traces of that around this forum.

    I’m glad to hear that, thank you

    Thank you, that’s a good one

    By taking what helps, do you mean that I should ignore thoughts that others may not mention circumstances exactly like mine?
  9. Ronin

    Ronin Dark Wings Premium Member

    Nope, not this time. :)

    What I mean is, you get to decide which of the beliefs you were fed are yours, and kept, to what purpose and how long. Your friends version is just that, someone elses thoughts. Not your life, nor your responsibility what someone else took off the circumstances you both were in.

    She had no right to be a controling lil prick. You had every right to leave, or act against it.
    It is just honorable you cared and stayed. You are not owing her by thinking differently now.

    You also do not owe younger yourself, because younger you did the best thing possible when being so stranded alone with someone so unbalanced.

    Younger you? Was a damned good protector.
    Of someone not worth protecting, not by you (adults and her own abusers owed her that, etc.).
    Yet you were there, you stayed, you tried to work with what you had when all you had was insane. That brave.

    Lot more thoughts, but language on the topic Coomplicated.

    Edited to add: Not crazy, and not then. You tried to solve things by being a good friend, and support, and helper. None of which are crazy. You also tried all of those despite her never stopping guilt trips and interrogations.

    Lashing out would not have been crazy. Snapping at her would not have been crazy. Yet you did not even do any of THAT. You kept being you, a good friend. Not even remotely in the crazy land.
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  10. mumstheword

    mumstheword I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    I think you are worth loving. I'm sure of it.
    blackemerald1, littleoc and Sietz like this.
  11. mumstheword

    mumstheword I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    I do relate to some of your story.
    Mine was a man twice my age though.
    Gaslit me a lot.
    I was always the crazy one, but, I had to be the responsible one and was blamed for everything, and always think of him.
    Had to go along with his lies, or else.
    Had to fall in, completely, with his worldview.
    Had to protect him and cover for him.

    Other stuff that's similar but that all I can talk about now.
    Sietz, blackemerald1 and littleoc like this.
  12. littleoc

    littleoc Making everywhere I go a better place Premium Member Donated

    Hm. Seems like classic manipulation. Just, in a weird way.

    Like y’all are saying.

    I’m glad I posted this. Your insight has/is helping me to figure out what this even was.
  13. Abusers

    Abusers Guest

    That's exactly what I was thinking. In my mid-20's I was starting to realise that my childhood had been abusive and neglectfuI, and I was spending a lot of my time crying, dissociating, and freaking out. I had cut my mother off because she refused to acknowledge the abuse my stepfather perpetrated on her, me, and my brother.

    My ex had recently broken up with me in a very hurtful way (I understand why, but he dealt with it very poorly.

    I had a serious and painful knee problem which I had gotten at work, and it had cost me my first real job (illegal, I know).

    I had just started an incredibly stressful Master's degree, and was spending ~80 hours a week in the office.

    I was stressed out, hurting, confused, depressed, lonely, and wondering how much of my history wasn't what I thought it was.

    A guy I had a thing with when I was 19 (cheating on my boyfriend) got in touch. He'd just gotten divorced and moved back home. I met up with him when I went home to visit, and all those incredibly intense feelings came rushing back. There were red flags everywhere and alarm bells ringing, but I ignored them. We started a long-distance relationship. The gas-lighting and controlling behaviour began a few months later. A year later he moved to the country I was in and convinced me that we should move in together, in a flat I couldn't really afford, and then we got engaged. I knew that something was very wrong, but I couldn't figure out what it was. He had already isolated me from my friends, my Mum was persona non grata, and my Dad wasn't someone you could depend on.

    The gas-lighting ramped up, I was either the perfect woman or a filthy lying whore, and I'd started getting confused about my values, beliefs, opinions, and sanity. He called me names and told me that I was selfish, boring, crazy, etc., and kept telling me that I'd said and done things I couldn't remember, and agreed to things I never would have agreed to. Given my problems with dissociation, I suspect that some of that was true, but most of it was gas-lighting. He started coercing me into sex by keeping me awake until I said yes for days at a time.

    I, too, have retreated into fantasies since I was a young child, and it started happening more and more. I had told him about it earlier in our relationship, and he used it against me, twisting my safe, comfortable retreat into something almost as stressful as our life together. He agreed to go to couples' counselling with my therapist, after I uncharacteristically insisted, and he quickly had my therapist believing him instead of me. I'd never felt so miserable, stressed, violated, and crazy in my life. I no longer recognised myself, or remembered who I'd been before.

    I'm lucky. Around the 3 year mark, by which time I would recoil and cry out every time he touched me, he got physically violent. I was going back and forth in my head about whether he was abusing me, but physical abuse was finally a clear enough sign for me to get out.

    It took years to recover, and to this day (14 years later), I still panic if I see someone who looks like him, believe some of the horrible things he said about me, and can only have sex if I initiate it. My fantasies were permanently contaminated, and I couldn't make new ones that felt safe for years.

    Not exactly like you, OP, but kinda similar?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2018
    littleoc likes this.
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