Rebuilding my relationships with my children

Livi

New Here
I am wondering if anyone else has had experience with dealing with their own PTSD symptoms causing problems with their relationships with their own children. I am 46 and I have only just been diagnosed with PTSD (8 months ago) from childhood neglect and violence, as well as other events that should have been dealt with decades ago. Since diagnosis I had some hard but worthwhile conversations with my 3 children. It is clear that my 18 year old daughter has issues with her upbringing and our relationship. We have talked about some of my abuse and all of my behaviours that she always found upsetting and she feels like I wasn't able to be a mother to her because I was not emotionally present. Because of my angry outbursts, flashbacks, emotional triggers, dissociation etc our relationship has suffered so much and she and I are in a place where we are consciously doing the work of trying to rebuild our relationship. I have a great therapist and she is starting with her own soon. I know it will take her lots of time to trust me, she is very disappointed in me as a parent, and I am owning my part in this as much as I can - even though it hurts like hell because I feel like a victim too, but I was wondering if any other parent has managed to or is currently trying to do this. I desperately want this to be ok and am willing to do what it takes. Now that I know myself so much better, I look at her and can see how much I have messed up. I want to help us both heal.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Hi Livi. I’m sorry you are experiencing this. Not a spot anyone wants to find themselves in. I think you are doing well to be so open and communicative with your daughter.

I have children, ages 16, 13, and 10. I was diagnosed three years ago also from adverse childhood experiences.

I think what helped me a lot with my relationship with my kids was focusing on improving my relationship with myself. Forgiving myself and finding joy. As I began to develop trust with myself I noticed the relationships with my kids improving.

It’s a process and a journey for sure. I encourage you to start a diary, if you haven’t already, to process and get support along the way.
 

Livi

New Here
Thank you for your reply OliveJewel. I appreciate you taking the time. I totally get what you say about self first and that a focus on improving my relationship with myself. I get stuck with the work 'Joy' and appreciate you stating that- at times there doesn't seem to be a lot of joy, but it is there, I am just not always great at seeing it. So I think that is a good place to start. Thank you again - made me think!

Hi Livi. I’m sorry you are experiencing this. Not a spot anyone wants to find themselves in. I think you are doing well to be so open and communicative with your daughter.

I have children, ages 16, 13, and 10. I was diagnosed three years ago also from adverse childhood experiences.

I think what helped me a lot with my relationship with my kids was focusing on improving my relationship with myself. Forgiving myself and finding joy. As I began to develop trust with myself I noticed the relationships with my kids improving.

It’s a process and a journey for sure. I encourage you to start a diary, if you haven’t already, to process and get support along the way.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
I wouldn't be so hard on yourself, if you are owning your stuff and taking the steps to change. And to listen and acknowledge their pain. They may, in time, respond to more education about ptsd, too. Though you are right, though a victim, so were they. Even if only to ptsd, though it sounds they were at times very afraid. Awful that things are cyclical. Perhaps therapy for them/ your daughter may help in the future, as she may need a place to be angry at past behaviours, though it sounds like she loves you very much, and you her. It's not a place for guilt or shame for yourself though, I think she/ they and you need to have the strength and courage to keep going forward on a (great) path. You may grow closer and have an even better relationship than those who haven't had to overcome such challenges. It says a great deal for you that she's willing to keep talking. Especially that you're willing to listen non-defensively and still reach out.

I admire your courage and brutal self-honesty. And I'm sorry for what brought you here. Welcome to you! 🤗
 
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