If I don't think about it it didn't happen (learning, not so much)

David1959

Learning
I learned very early in life, at age 10 to compartmentalize my life. This is how I survived my abuse, unfortunately, that skill learned at an early age that probably kept me alive has also ruined my life. It is not just the abuse that I compartmentalize it is everything in my life. After 50 years of doing this I do not know how to do anything else and it is a habit that leads to a lot of damage. I am terrible at dealing with negative issues and do my best to simply avoid or pretend they are not happening.

My history is very complicated and finally going through this process my life seems so confused and unclear. Like most people in the world life goes up and down with good and bad things happening. I lived for 40+ years pretending I had a normal life and a chance but I now am beginning to understand all that is a fantasy. Actually the fact that I have done as well as I have is a sort of miracle in itself. While my childhood and life was a mess I have managed to give my 2 children as stable and normal a life as possible. I never went to college although I should have, circumstances growing up and choices I made resulted in that being impossible. I was basically on my own from 17 and wild. They are both now grown 34 & 27 an economist with a masters and the other a PHD. I was fortunate that I had the ability to pay for my kids schooling and expenses so they both graduated with zero debt. This may be the only thing I have not f*cked up in my life.

When I think back to my childhood the bits and pieces I can remember, I do not like what I see and bury that as well. I managed through the years of my kids growing up by basically burying my entire life so I could deliver a sense of normalcy to them but now it is all leaking out. If it all comes back, I am not sure I will be able to survive and live with myself once that becomes uncovered. I start with a new T next week and I hope that helps because at the moment I feel like a hollowed out shell surviving by burying every emotion trying to escape! Like the little Dutch boy sticking my finger in the dyke, it is no longer working
 

Sues

Confident
Hi, I can really relate to what you're going through. I buried most of the bad memories as well. I remember when I was living with my abuser and after something bad happened I would say to myself over and over, "It doesn't mater. Don't think about it. It didn't happen." I would keep saying it until it was true.

I'm glad you are starting with a therapist to help you deal with all of this. I didn't start therapy until a couple of years ago when the memories decided to come out of the box in my head that I had them locked away in. That's what happens. We forget, we bury stuff, we go on with living, but those memories aren't really gone. They're just waiting to pounce on us.

It's time for you. It's time for you to take care of yourself and start to learn how to heal. I hope that you can start down that road of healing slowly, at your own pace and with what you need, not with any expectations of others.
 

David1959

Learning
Hi, I can really relate to what you're going through. I buried most of the bad memories as well. I remember when I was living with my abuser and after something bad happened I would say to myself over and over, "It doesn't mater. Don't think about it. It didn't happen." I would keep saying it until it was true.

I'm glad you are starting with a therapist to help you deal with all of this. I didn't start therapy until a couple of years ago when the memories decided to come out of the box in my head that I had them locked away in. That's what happens. We forget, we bury stuff, we go on with living, but those memories aren't really gone. They're just waiting to pounce on us.

It's time for you. It's time for you to take care of yourself and start to learn how to heal. I hope that you can start down that road of healing slowly, at your own pace and with what you need, not with any expectations of others.
Thanks Sues - We all get very myopic when it comes to our mental health and it is alsways nice to hear from someone who understands or that their is even someone that understands.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
I was fortunate that I had the ability to pay for my kids schooling and expenses so they both graduated with zero debt. This may be the only thing I have not f*cked up in my life.
I think you are being very hard on yourself. Compartmentalization is a coping mechanism and may well be the reason that you survived. It is a skill. A skill that you might want to think about focusing on to dismantle as it seems you no longer need it. Compassion, my friend. Compassion and kindness towards yourself.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Some of those old coping skills will come in handy with what you are doing for healing.

I really hope you got a therapist that is going to listen and it's very important that you have input.

I do have to say that even tho these memories have to be dealt with, you did an exceptional job at raising your family and maintaining as long as you did. That same strength and integrity will serve you well on your healing journey.

Just don't forget that this place is here for you, the people here have a lot of collective experience to always let you know you are not alone on this journey.
 

David1959

Learning
Some of those old coping skills will come in handy with what you are doing for healing.

I really hope you got a therapist that is going to listen and it's very important that you have input.

I do have to say that even tho these memories have to be dealt with, you did an exceptional job at raising your family and maintaining as long as you did. That same strength and integrity will serve you well on your healing journey.

Just don't forget that this place is here for you, the people here have a lot of collective experience to always let you know you are not alone on this journey.
Thank you Ladee - I have found this site a lifeline to both learn about what others have been through as well as expressing myself safely
 

Freida

Sponsor
If it all comes back, I am not sure I will be able to survive and live with myself once that becomes uncovered. I start with a new T next week and I hope that helps because at the moment I feel like a hollowed out shell surviving by burying every emotion trying to escape!

yep.
I am still convinced that at some point I'm going to end up catatonic in a closet.
Ts kept assuring me that won't happen but.......

forgetting to stay alive and relatively sane?
Pretty common around here.
Until the day it will no longer be ignored
But it's not actually a bad thing. It means you are ready to work towards healing
It's a sucky, scary, horrible process - but it will be worth it because eventually it helps us learn to feel again - to get back what was taken from us.

If I could go back to the beginning of therapy I wish I would have listened to people who told me to slow down and let it unfold at it's own speed - not the speed I wanted to "cure" it. Because it would have made the process way less painful. I ended up setting myself up for failure a bunch of times trying to power thru figuring out how to not use the coping skills that kept me alive to deal with the events that led to those skills. Think of it as a whole new way of thinking. This is why this forum is so important - because we are all here on the Island of Misfit Toys and you are surrounded by people who get it.
 
Top