Sufferer Hi. My father tortured me in a cult, his parents molested me, every time I feel love for my kids it comes roaring back.

I was born into a long line of apocalyptic cult abusers, fifth generation, but I broke the cycle.

Left the cult, married my wife, am raising two amazing toddlers, completely cut my abusive family out of my life.

And yet.

My son adores me. Every morning it's huge hugs and "DADDY!" and my angelic one year old daughter reminds me intensely of myself at her age.

I thrive on them.

And yet, every time I feel love, I feel the horrors wash over like crashing surf on jagged rocks.

With a screaming sobbing child stuck in the undertow.

My first memories of rape and beatings are in diapers, 1983. This switched on a video recorder in my head that hasn't stopped in 39 years.

It was handy for getting through school despite never studying because not only do I remember way more than the average person, but my tyrannical father didn't allow me to have friends outside the cult so I read thousands of books.

I was the firstborn of four, my mother confessed to me that I was definitely unplanned and highly unwelcome.

I have a suspicion I was the product of infidelity, since my uncle and I look way too alike, plus my mother's first words in the delivery room upon my arrival were "Oh no, he looks like *****(my uncle)!"

Never, not once in my life do I recall a genuine tender moment with my father. He used physical pain like a virtuoso, coming up with ingenious ways to inflict it without leaving marks.

Mechanical pencil jab to the side, squeeze the metatarsal bones in the hand or the radial bones in the forearms so they grind together, pinch the back of the neck until the vertebrae feel like separating, full strength adult finger flicks to the soft spot of a little skull, open-palm beatings over clothes to avoid broken skin or bruises, sodomizing rape.

My mother would hold his menace over me like the sword of Damocles.

"When your father gets home you are getting a SPANKING!" she would snarl if I caused trouble with my siblings.

If that happened in the morning it became an entire day of agonizing dread, ears alert for the breath-stopping sound of a Volkswagen diesel and the crunch of tires in the driveway at 6pm.

Then, murmured voices downstairs followed by the enraged pounding of his feet storming up to my room before flinging open the door with a concussive bang.

Then the real pain.

After a point, no sound comes from your throat no matter how hard you scream. You pass out in a puddle of spit and mucus face down in the pillow and wake up as the sun disappears, supper dishes from the rest of the family long gone.

If I was lucky it was on a night where we didn't have to go to a meeting, otherwise I had to wash my face and put on my little suit and tie and sit for two hours listening to old men preach the coming end of Satan's wicked world, sandwiched between hellish car rides of additional psychological torture and guilt tripping in front of my siblings.

I had no Saturday morning cartoons, I knocked on doors handing out pamphlets.

I had no birthdays or Christmases or Halloween candy or Easter chocolate, I had multiple annual cult conventions where I had to sit still eight hours a day for four days in a stifling hot stadium.

If you dozed off or didn't flip your Bible open at the right time, mechanical pencil below the ribcage. Do it too much and get beaten at the cheap hotel before the next day's session.

Sleepovers at grampa and gramma's were fun, at least. Or so I thought. Turns out putting on rubber gloves and playing "operation" with gramma was my father's mother molesting me repeatedly until I was 4.

The problem is I was so beaten and bible-brainwashed into loving them that, like an abused partner who genuinely does feel love for their abuser, I still feel affection for them despite never receiving it.

The social stigma of cutting my entire family churns deep guilt, and I bury my emotional injuries in front of my kids while the memories froth. Every. Day.

Thanks for listening.
 
Thank you for the kind words.

My kids are my world, the juxtaposition of present joy and past trauma is such a messy thing.

For the past few years I have also had to deal with steadily worsening chronic pain from my Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and pain is a massive trigger.

Keeping it all under control when the kids are home from daycare is about all I can manage, but I give them the absolute best of my energy reserves.

I read someone's post about PTSD being like a cup, and verily mine cup runneth over.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
hello nonames. welcome to the forum.

i was born into child prostitution and? ? ? gentle empathy on the mind-rip of the invasion of ptsd flashbacks when you feel love for your children. i still feel cheated that estranging myself from my criminally dysfunctional birth family was not enough to eradicate my base conditioning. i started my second parenting career in 2019 with the traffic deaths of my youngest son and his wife. loving these children is STILL giving me ptsd flashbacks. the good news is that my psychotherapy tools seem to be holding and i am far better able on using those blasts from the past as guides on how to be a better parent. knowing what NOT to do is almost as important as knowing what TO do.

vent freely and often, nonames. confronting and processing those flashbacks, et al, within my therapy support network helps allot in saving my beloved children from my birth family legacy. hope healing happens here. prayers ongoing. . .
 
Thank you Arfie, really, thank you.

The system has not been kind when I sought help. Misdiagnosed as bipolar for nearly two decades despite never meeting DSM criteria for manic episodes, I was just looking for relief from the suicidal thoughts that had harassed me since kindergarten.

Never did they think to pry into the cause of my suffering, they just labelled me mentally ill.

Therapy is the last, criminally underfunded resort of the medical establishment here, but they will sling pills like children in a snowball fight.

I was thrown on a merry-go-round of pharmaceuticals and a firehose of follow-up prescriptions to chase the side effects of the original ones.

They nearly killed me.

When I reached the point where I stopped taking them my health improved dramatically but the birth of my son felt like a mirror exploding in reverse.

Jumbled traumatic memories that for my entire life had been mercifully compartmentalized suddenly slotted next to each other.

Gone was the depression, replaced with anger.

He was born with a severe congenital heart malformation and I had to shutter my business and live at the hospital with my wife through eight gruelling weeks in the neonatal ICU.

During this time my neighbor was supposed to be looking after our pets, but unfortunately she wasn't. My mother, who I still spoke to at that point, went to our place to get some stuff for us and found the apartment an understandable mess, given our unsupervised labrador puppy and newly adopted kitten.

My sister stole the animals and gave them away, refusing to tell me where they were.

It's at this point that I divorced my family, and they retaliated by attempting to take away my son.

My mother took photos of the messy apartment, and my sister went to child services when my son was four months old, despite my having zero contact with her since the incident with the pets.

He is doing wonderfully now after several open heart surgeries, with a couple more to go before he's five, but my mother and sisters ganged up and took me to court to have me committed and forcibly medicated.

This was when he was four months old. I missed so much while I fought a Kafkaesque battle with them.

I was confined to a hellishly abusive hospital for three long months while I fruitlessly tried to get a lawyer, forced to bawl my eyes out in front of a judge while my son was on the operating table for one of his interventions and my sister spun vicious lies on the stand.

I lost my case and had to grit my teeth through eighteen months of forced injections, but I was vindicated in the end.

I sued the hospital and had to settle for a meager out of court sum, still more than I would have received if I had to pay a lawyer.

It was a necessary suffering, though. It allowed me to fully cut my abusers out of my life and I made a complete deposition to the police about my childhood.

That was a year ago, however, the hospital settlement is spent and I have yet to receive a follow up from the police.

The cynic in me is not getting hopes up for justice or compensation, but I am at least finally free of the monsters.

Their physical presence at least.

My current flavor of PTSD nightmares involves rage-filled interactions with them on loops all night long. I wake up exhausted with stiff neck and jaw muscles and sometimes tears soaking the pillow.

Thank you for the space to vent. All of this has been bottled up.

I alienated the friends who I thought would be understanding, my social interactions are now entirely superficial fluff.

I also can't burden my wife, since she has her own childhood trauma to untangle.

So I do what I can by reading articles and books on healing, doing breathing exercises or watching YouTube videos and now finally putting the pain into words on this forum.

Thanks.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
in my own healing/parenting journey, burdening the love of my life with these psycho snot knots is typically counter-productive. the welfare of the children we both love is the strongest bond between us and best focused on the children. trusting one another to untangling our respective psycho snot knots lets us use our combined energies better. when one of us is struggling and not healthy for the children, the other can cover while the struggling partner goes off to psychotherapute. when we get too involved in one another's psychotherapy, the children too often go neglected.

keep venting and building your psychotherapy support network, noname. sort freely, sort often.
 

Defaultxlove

MyPTSD Pro
I am so sorry all of this happened to you. You are wanted and wlecome here. Congrats onhow far you've gone. I'm so glad you got compensation, and your son is okay. I was filled with fury yesterday. I'll spare the details but it also involves someone calling cps on me and my kids just to hurt me and with lies.That really activates some serious parental mama papa bear stuff. Happy new year!
 

MnM

Confident
Your writing is so visual, it's lovely. I want to say you're doing awesome, but that feels trite. You're doing everything you can definitely, and taking productive steps, which is that awesome part.

I wanted to recommend taking a self defense martial arts course. Doing that took me from having those nightmares of not being able to fight effectively or run fast enough or hide well enough to absolutely slaughtering (in my dreams) anyone who disrespected me. Something about moving the body in this ways tricks the brain in an absolutely priceless way.

I'm so sorry for what you've seen and felt and heard and experienced in this freaking ride of a life. You definitely got this. 🤗
 
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