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New Here - Childhood Abuse

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by pclaessen, Aug 12, 2006.

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  1. pclaessen

    pclaessen New Member

    Well, I guess I am going to try this forum. It can't hurt, I guess. A little background information would be helpful to you all, although I find reading other people's posts makes me sad. Sometimes, I wish I was the only one who went through what I did.

    I haven't been able to find a good therapist and I have been trying to get into a place that specializes in trauma and anxiety with no luck for 9 months now. I am starting to realize that I just may have to find a way to fix this myself.


    I am 41 now, and I am very disappointed in myself that my past still upsets me and the people that abused me still scare me. It's not like I think they will physically hurt me, but I'm scared just the same. Being scared all the time does not make me very proud of myself. I have been through hell and back but I do have some very amazing people in my life now. I have 4 children who are my life - maybe too much so. My husband finally understands and is very supportive, but I went through a very rough 7 or 8 years with him before we separated. He is a completely different person now. He used to be very controlling and because he was very insecure himself basically tried to keep me down all the time. Whenever I was happy or tried to do something to make him proud (all the time) he would find fault in it.

    I find it hard to trust that things won't go back the way they were. I have a very hard time showing affection. I just feel very awkward, although I am better with my kids.


    My father was married to my mothers sister when my mother got pregnant with me. She was never able to forgive herself for that and from the time I was born she took it out on whoever was there. I have an older brother and sister from my dads marriage to my aunt, who have resented me their whole life because I was the one who lived with my father. My mother and father were both very physically and emotionally abusive to me and to each other. My mother was by far the worst of the two with me, but my father never protected me either. Everyday of my life growing up I spent trying to stay out of their way. My mother would beat me any time she got the chance and any time I tried to talk to them I got "don't talk so stupid", or "go to your room, I'm not in the mood right now"

    School was no better, kids beat me up and made fun of me there too. I was always dirty and had on old clothes, etc. I basically wet the bed untill I was in my teens and was made to sleep in it when I was younger. Every time I wet the bed I was beat up and humiliated for it. They always told me that I was too lazy to get up, etc... I know better now. Scared to be home, scared to go to school, but school was always better. I was smart, but a trouble maker. I guess I figured the more trouble I made the sooner someone would notice there was a big problem at home. I think everyone knew, but in the 70's no one said anything because the burden of proof was on them.

    I was a good kid, never got into drugs or anything. I have spent my whole life trying to prove I was worthy of being loved. As an adult the only meds I am on now is a small amount of celexa and trazadone to help me sleep at night. I would have nightmares and start jumping in my sleep and I was exhausted. I am always anxious about something and I always have to be doing something so I don't have to think about anything but the present. As far as friends go, I don't have any. I have real trust issues and I always think people are going to think I am weird or something. Realistically, I know I am just like anyone else, but I am so scared of rejection and proving once again that I am not likeable that I don't try and actually go out of my way to avoid friendships. I have a lot of acquaintances through work and everything , but that's as far as it goes.

    If you met me, you would have no idea I suffer with my emotions every day. I try to stay away from all reminders and all family who have hurt me and of course they make me feel guilty for it and it works. I just can't handle seeing my mother (my father passed away 7 years ago), but she doesn't understand why I can't get over it. As she puts it "parents should be able to do anything to their kids and they should still love them". All she ever tells me is how much she hurts by what she did...... Blah..blah...blah....

    I am angry with myself and looking for a way to just enjoy living in the present. How do you start trusting people again? My therapist used to tell me that I need to make friends, but I don't think anyone would want to be my friend, right now. I just don't feel that I have much to give. I worry about alienating my husband completely. He has been trying so hard.

    My last therapist wanted me to talk about the past, but it made me worse and worse until I felt that I couldn't keep going to work if I kept it up. I did some reading on complex ptsd and I feel that I need to be able to handle my emotions better before embarking on trying to deal with everything that happened. Sorry for the long post, but how do you explain the deep hurt in a few paragraphs?

    Happy to have found a place to share....

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  3. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member


    Wow... so much of what you said sounds just like me. I posted here a few weeks ago; I don't know if you read it or not, but it's my story. Not in great detail, mind you, but it's there.

    I completely understand about not feeling like you were ever good enough and feeling like you aren't worthy of being loved. I, too, suffer to this day with those feelings. My husband says his love for me is unconditional, that he'll be here for me no matter what, but deep down inside I have a hard time believing him. Maybe "believing" isn't the right word; maybe it's just a trust issue after years and years of having my trust in someone be totally obliterated.

    My mother (and brother later on) was my abuser. My father was very sick when I was growing up and, as a result, wasn't protective at all. Do I fault him for this? Part of me doesn't, but yet part of me does. He was there and he did see it going on; whether he tried to stop it or not I'll never know because he died 15 years ago. Sometimes I think it would be better for me to know that he at least tried to stop it, that he said something to my mother to get her to stop, but I'll never have the answer to that.

    School for me was a good place, much better than being at home. I didn't get in trouble at school because I knew that if I did, the trouble at home would be so much worse. I got good grades (mostly A's and B's) but was never praised for them, only chastised for the C I got once in a while or for the B that showed up when all other grades were A's. I spent my whole life trying to do something, anything, that would be good enough to hear my parents tell me that they were proud of me and that they loved me. Never did, though...

    The attitude of your mother sucks. Parents do not have the right to take away a kid's childhood. They do not have the right to take out their aggressions on kids. They do not have the right to do something over and over and over for years on end that causes the kid (us) to end up with a condition that not only affects every aspect of our life but that we can never get rid of. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Many times I wish that those of us with PTSD from the hands of our parents and/or caretakers could take action against them, i.e. having them arrested and sent to jail. I've heard of it for sexual abuse, but for physical abuse, I never have. Of course, for me, it's too late.

    Trust is a huge issue for me. When I first meet someone I give them my whole trust until they do something that my PTSD-affected mind tells me is untrustworthy. Sometimes it seems like a little thing to others, but it's HUGE for me. And once someone has lost my trust, they NEVER get it back. I've lost many friends because of it and currently have 3 friends, one being my husband.

    Most people don't know I have something wrong with me; they just think I'm a little crazy in the sense of being able to do things or say things that most people can't. I don't flip out in public - usually. Most of my problems occur at my house because it's where the abuse happened (different house from where I grew up, but it's still a house). I teach in a middle school and the kids love my crazy sense of humor which, I suspect, is a coping mechanism for me to keep my mind off the sadness that comes with PTSD.

    If you haven't been able to tell by now, my parents have both died. My brother is around, although a few states away, but he's locked up in the "Big House" so to speak, which is fine with me. I keep tabs on him via the Corrections Dept. website (isn't the internet wonderful?) and, as long as he's in there, my life is better. I don't talk with any of my relatives because they always want to talk about him, even though I've explained that I don't know about him and really don't care to. I guess they focus on him because as we were growing up he was the one who always got into trouble; they don't know the complete story (and likely never will) so I'm not sure what they think of me not keeping in touch with them.

    If I could give you some advice, I would start with "Don't be angry with yourself." You are not the one who did this to you; you didn't ask to be abused at all, much less for so long. Don't turn the anger inwards towards you; direct it where it needs to be. Yes, I am angry too, but not with me as I didn't do anything to deserve all this crap. My anger is the biggest issue (so far) that I have to deal with because, for me, it's the most destructive (more on that at a later time).

    You won't start healing until you convince yourself that you aren't at fault. You won't start healing until you face what has happened to you. Yes, it will be painful, but it will be well worth it! Is it scary, sure it is. Heck most of us on the board are going through it right now. And don't forget, we're all here for you! We know what it's like...we really do!

  4. Farmer

    Farmer Active Member

    Hello Pclaessen
    Don't you just love the Canadian health sys.:wall: Like you say in the Olden days[60's& 70's] a person was reluctent to say anthing because of prejedice and ignorance, or if you were like me thinking your the only one in the world who thinks that way. I'm the same with the trust issue but being new at trying to fix things it's still hard.
    This is a great site I've learned more here in the short time I've been here than in 40 years of searching. The great thing about these places is your not alone anymore:smile:
  5. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

    Welcome Patty!!!!
  6. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

    wow, patty (and kim) i could have written either of those myself. i find that a little odd, how the same circumstances lead to the same place. i'm new too, patty, but welcome! these people are wonderful. compared to other sites i've seen they are very encouraging. cookie
  7. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi Patty, and a big welcome to the forum. I am glad that you did take that leap and jump in to say hello. Who knows... otherwise we might never off met you. I love meeting new people Patty, and I am very glad that you did say hello, and look for some support and help.

    This jumped out at me patty. I think its now time you stop trying to prove yourself worthy, and start telling yourself you are worthy. It is not other humans that are worthy of our attention patty, it is them of people like yourself. You sound to me as though you are a very genuine person, which lets face it, are a hard type of person to find nowadays. You should give yourself a bit more respect than that honestly patty... because you deserve better from yourself. We will come back to these issues though as you move alone in your healing...

    This one leaped out at me. You answered this yourself, and I am not sure whether you realise it or not, but keeping yourself constantly busy, or for a better term, workaholic, is a way in which sufferers often use to suppress their symptoms. Being a workaholic is no different to being an alcoholic, or drug addict, as they are all about achieving the same thing... suppression of the symptoms. This is going to take time patty, I won't lie to you about it, but you can get better from this, I have no doubt at all.

    Ah, and here is the reality of it all, right at the end. My opinion! I would say your first therapist was a twit, your second was right on the mark. Lets look at this. You stopped doing what was working, which yes, you will get worse for the time being, because you could no longer function at work, thus something has to give, so you decided it was the therapy. Bad decision for your health, though if you need to work to finance therapy and living, then tough choice really, and you made the right one for you at the time.

    The facts are patty, is that your second therapist was doing what was needed. Here you are now, still having sifnificant problems from the symptoms produced as a bi-product of your trauma (past). When you rid your trauma, and come to terms with your trauma, which your therapist was doing a great job off by the sounds of it, then you no longer have the symptoms that go along with it. Yes... when you do trauma therapy, you will get significantly worse in every aspect for a short duration, generally around 3 - 6 months afterwards until your functioning quite normal again, but the difference at that six month mark is unbelievable to say the least. All your left with is a small amount of residual symptomatic effects, which are easily enough dealt with quite swiftly over another few months of self work and technique application.

    Here are your choices to be nothing short of absolutely realistic about your circumstances.
    1. You go back to that great therapist who was helping you come to terms with your trauma, and you take the loss of anything from six months, a year or two from work whilst you get yourself better, or
    2. You continue on the path your walking, you continue working, and you very slowly work through your trauma thus stretching out your recovery time from possibly one year to five or more years. Basically, part-time recovery vs. full-time recovery.
    Now obviously there are certain life factors that are associated to this. If you need to work because you are not covered under any welfare to allow yourself to get better, then you continue working and slow down the process of healing, so you work through your trauma at a gradual rate, but not just do nothing, as that is more detritmental than slow, progressive work. If that is the way it must be, then that is atleast something you can accept now, and then begin working upon immediately.

    If you have welfare or a partner that can support you during recovery, then my suggestion to be as per above... go visit that great second therapist you mentioned, as the first was a twit to be honest. Go make friends... seriously... like durr! What do some therapists take us for? :crazy-eye I wonder about this myself at times.

    The best thing is patty, is that here you are, talking about your situation, finding yourself a whole new world of support and understanding, all backing you up on the decisions you make, and providing suggestions if required for you to possibly take into account.

    Lets face it. You have had a shit life patty, nothing short off. I have said it so many times here... and it still disgusts me to be honest, that parents don't have to have a license or something, just like you need to drive a car, because honestly, some people shouldn't be allowed to have children if their not capable of loving them, caring for them, and doing what is in their best interest their entire childhood, not the parents best interest or selfish needs. Firm but fair, with lots of love I think, is about the right combination. A baby obviously doesn't need firm, nor really a toddler, as they don't fully understand life, words or meanings at that age. As a child matures, they still don't comprehend adult logic, nor the reasons why adults do such a poor job of raising them... it is quite astonishing to say the least. It just never surprises me anymore....

    I think all child abusers, rapists, murderers, etc etc, should all be moved to some remote island in the middle of nowhere with a big fence around it, crocodiles, aligators, sharks, you name it, the most lethal killing machines possible to keep them upon that island. Let them sort it out for themselves then, for being such poor examples of human beings.
  8. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Hi Patty,

    Welcome to the forum.
  9. pclaessen

    pclaessen New Member

    I wanted to thank everyone for their replies. It really is good to talk to people who know where I am coming from. I try to avoid this topic and since I wrote yesterday - I can't get this crap out of my head. I know it's better not to, but I just want to run.....

    Anthony - Everything you said is true. I have done so much research on my own that I know what I should be doing, but there are some people who just can't deal with talking about their past and need to be able to deal with their emotions. first. Maybe, that's me..... I quite literally thought I was going to completely fall apart when I was in therapy. I did not want to cry for fear I would lose it completely. I feel if I fall apart I won't be able to put myself together. I seriously worry about losing my sanity in therapy. I worry I won't be able to take care of my family. I'm supposed to be the strong one. I am the one who made it this far. It is very humiliating for me that my parents can still get to me years later.......and maddening of course.

    I know I need to take time off work. I don't know how I can do that financially. I have a good job and could go on disability, but I hate doing that to my boss. I have made a habit of coming last. A hard habit to break I might add.

  10. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder


    We all fear the same things as you are, and I know I did during trauma therapy. I did break, and broke hard, but you will put the pieces back together again. Getting everything out of you is what is needed, but at the same time, you need to understand and come to terms with everything you get out of you. You need to basically be so sick of reading, listening or thinking about your trauma, that it is no longer trauma, and becomes just hurtful, painful memories and images, that no longer have trauma attached to them. It isn't about toughening yourself emotionally, or weakening yourself, it is only a matter of accepting what has happened, and no longer allowing it to continue hurting you. Whilst even the slightest piece of information remains a secret about your traumas, you will continue to have serious issues with sleep, physical and mental well being. When its all out, there is nothing to be scared off anymore, nothing to fear, as you have faced it all, dealt with it, cried for it, even broken down doing it, but everything gets better after it.

    I do understand what you are saying about dealing with your emotions first, as it is purely an individual effort, and only you know the best way to achieve it. All we can do is place the information in front of you, provide support, experience and suggestions, then you have to apply it to your personality. At some point, one can never tip toe around trauma, because they always learn for themselves, that it gets them nowhere, ie. thinking you can fix all the smaller issues first, then the big one. Doesn't work... so many attempt this, and find themselves back where they started, scratching their head wondering why nothing has gotten better for them.

    There is one way, and one way only past PTSD. Head on with your trauma. Regardless how you achieve it, you must face your trauma head on to beat the worst of PTSD. You can't get around it, you can't leave any of it behind, because it will catch you again otherwise. The rest of the symptoms are then little issues, which can be gotten past with continual work, but for the most part, the weight of PTSD symptoms will be gone.
  11. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    Hi Patty, welcome to the forum.

    Like you, I have major trust issues--I've gone through a war in which there were so many cases of life-long friends or even family members betraying each other-cases where people could have died or did die.

    I've also felt that I should finally have control over this...even now on my bad days I beat myself up about it--so many people died; so many went through way worse situations than I did--I feel like I've no right to complain...and yet I lose it when other people say to "get over it" etc...I'd love to...they don't realize that it's not an easy task. Anyway, glad you found this place. Hope it helps with the healing.

  12. lrs

    lrs Well-Known Member

    I am very proud of you for taking the initiative that you took. I know it took much courage. I could relate with every word you said, your story is so much like mine. I hope you continue to post, and let us know what is going on. I believe with all of my heart things are going to get much better.
  13. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

    Welcome aboard! We are glad you are here.
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