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How long does it take to unlearn bad coping skills/bad behavior?

Discussion in 'Childhood' started by frogthroat, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. frogthroat

    frogthroat Well-Known Member

    This is really a question I suppose for people that grew up in extremely abusive households and didn't really learn any life skills from their parents. This includes how to handle anything in a healthy emotional way.

    I grew up in a house where my little brother and I experienced incest by our mother, we lived in filth in an unfinished house, and my dad was a violent drunk. There was violent sexual and physical abuse outside of the home that my mom knew about and didn't stop.

    How long did it take for you to stop carrying your parents around like a ball and chain? How long did it take for you to unlearn years of negative thinking that you were programmed to believe was true? How long did it take for new, more positive ways of coping to stick in your brain so that you could actually follow through with continuing to handle things appropriately.

    For example, I don't handle stress well. If something happens that's out of the ordinary level of stress I throw a huge shit fit. I know the stress cup explanation explained this part well BUT I get suicidal, I can't control my emotions, and generally I make a giant ass out of myself. It embarrasses me and then I feel like a bad kid all over again. I know I learned to just be depressed as a kid. I also learned to just give up and be totally helpless. I want to unlearn this so bad and just boot it right out of my head. I've already done so much but I'm open to any suggestions and your own personal experiences on how handle to emotional regulation more efficiently without negative self talk.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2018
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  3. T2L

    T2L Active Member

    I'm sorry you went through that and are experiencing the confusion of trying to cut that ball and chain. I don't have any answers because I've been contemplating that very thing myself the past two days. I just wanted to let you know you aren't alone.
    Esterio likes this.
  4. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    Sadly it can take quite a long time. Just keep plugging away and you will see progress! Xxx.
    Congruency and Esterio like this.
  5. cptbildad

    cptbildad New Member

    Most of the progress I have made in building positive coping mechanisms has been had without actually knowing its happening. For me, this is because I usually don't recognize the bad mechanisms while I am using them. Regular, deep introspection into my behavior and searching for reasons why I act a certain way has been beneficial. Be prepared to run into stuff you really, really do not like.
    Esterio likes this.
  6. Mach123

    Mach123 Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

    I think most of my episodes revolve around "stop doing that." I think someone was trying to hurt me or I thought they would. I was probably very young or the therapist seems to think that. Having a "shit fit, making an ass out of myself, and then being suicidal" was sort of how I dealt with life. Yesterday I was having a bad one and I did something unusual, I didn't share it with anyone. I was alone mostly but I usually would have called text or written. My wife is used to it mostly I guess. She listens. : ( I really don't think I'm like that nearly as much anymore. Used to be chronic. But I managed somehow to wait till it passed? I was in such bad shape I really just couldn't have said a single thing that anyone would want to hear and this actually occurred to me before instead of after. It was hard because I usually can't keep quiet when I feel like that. I was actually a little scared yesterday. The therapist was very interested in all this today.
    Esterio likes this.
  7. ElleKaye

    ElleKaye Member

    It's hard, I understand. I'm an internalizer. As a kid I would bottle everything up until I couldn't and then I would find some where no one could find me and still try to hide there and deal with it. As I got older I also got suicidal ideation and had severe self-harm...it was no good at all. I'm still working through these things. It's hard, especially when this is something your mind has been doing for so much of it's existence but hopefully your therapist is a good one and wants to help you through it and won't give up on you!
  8. Congruency

    Congruency Tumultuous Uprising Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    These are the reactions that my family of origin wanted from me. I was their emotional release valve. I was my mother's scapegoat, she the narcissist.

    So sometimes I fall back into the shit-fit behavior if I'm stressed out to the max as it is and my cup runneth over already. And boy has cup runneth over these days. :wideeyed:

    I had one of those days yesterday even though I've come so far on my healing journey. It was about an issue with my internet provider and attempting get my third party email account to work. I'd been working on it with them for over a week and I finally lost my cool. And after that what do you know? As usual I found the answer to my problem. It makes me wonder if I should be working for them and getting paid. ;) It was something so simple.

    The difference as a child compared to now is that before my shit fits lasted a long time and I never saw through to the other side of things versus yesterday when I lost it and yet then recovered quickly without becoming suicidal or feeling crazy or making an ass out of myself.
    Mach123 likes this.
  9. frogthroat

    frogthroat Well-Known Member

    I'm there too. Unless it's above my average intake of stress but I'm slowly accepting stressful events will come out of nowhere from time to time. It doesn't matter how much I try to avoid things.
    Right now, I have a scheduled time for negative thoughts and I was doing pretty well with that up until last week when I started having nightmares again. I'm still doing much better than I was. I cook everyday. I can keep my house up.
    I guess right now I don't feel anything and that's okay. My T said I learned how to think negatively so it takes training to learn not to think that way. I still don't know what my calling is yet and I would like to not be single but I have alot of self improvement I need to do before I start worring about that anyway.
    Mach123 likes this.
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