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! 🤗
 

Livi

New Here
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! 🤗
This is lovely to read Rosebud. Thank you for your reply. I hope for better and thriving relationships with all 3 of my kids but this one is the trickiest of all with my daughter. I have never viewed to live truthfully with them as courageous, until I read your reply. But you're right, it is the most courageous thing I have ever done. I am choosing to own that 100%. THANK YOU!
 

TedWNY

New Here
Hi Livi,
I want to applaud 👏🤗 you for taking responsibility as you heal. In time it will help your daughter that you are taking control of your life. I think most PTSD survivors would welcome what you are doing. I’ll never get that from my parents.

I’m into therapy for 10 yrs and the PTSD diagnosis the last 2. The feelings of peace and joy are actually starting to build now. If you are only into this 8 months you have made great strides, just think what the future holds?🌈
I am not a parent but advice I have read is to heart-fully apologize to your daughter every time you see her, or within reason. I can’t believe how hard that would be to do, but eventually it sinks in….or your daughter just gets sick of hearing it and tells you to stop.
The book “It didn’t start with you: How inherited family trauma shapes who we are” by Mark Wolynn helped me process some things.
Good Luck, Ted
 

Livi

New Here
Hi Livi,
I want to applaud 👏🤗 you for taking responsibility as you heal. In time it will help your daughter that you are taking control of your life. I think most PTSD survivors would welcome what you are doing. I’ll never get that from my parents.

I’m into therapy for 10 yrs and the PTSD diagnosis the last 2. The feelings of peace and joy are actually starting to build now. If you are only into this 8 months you have made great strides, just think what the future holds?🌈
I am not a parent but advice I have read is to heart-fully apologize to your daughter every time you see her, or within reason. I can’t believe how hard that would be to do, but eventually it sinks in….or your daughter just gets sick of hearing it and tells you to stop.
The book “It didn’t start with you: How inherited family trauma shapes who we are” by Mark Wolynn helped me process some things.
Good Luck, Ted
Thanks TedWny for your reply. I have ordered the book you recommend. Appreciated x
 

Longgone

New Here
Hi Livi, I’m at the same point with my 21 yr old daughter. I thought I was a better mother than my mom but as you mentioned had a lot of anxiety, angry outbursts, flashbacks, etc while I was raising her. I apologized her several times for my abusive parenthood but still could not gain her trust. I feel as if there is a wall between us. I understand her. I’m waiting for her to count me in by not showing a single judgmental remarks whatever she tells me about her life. However today I got caught by a horrible flashback. She went to her boyfriend’s grandpa’s home where also boyfriend’s brother lives. My crazy mind started producing horrific scenarios about she is being abused by her boyfriend and by his brother. I tried to calm my mind down but my stomach squeezes still so badly. I have no one I can share and check whether my fear and paranoia can be rational and I saw your post and brought me into tears. I feel your pain deep in my heart. We all are trying to clear up some ancestral traumas and passed down some of them to our children. No one I mean no one is immune from this chain. My mom is a textbook narcissist, was physically and emotionally abusive and I have no meaningful relationship with her. I’m so afraid my daughter would be the same and this fear causes me too much anxiety, paranoia and pain especially when I concern how she is treated by her boyfriend. I wish someone can tell me my fear is not rational and simply a flashback due to my deep distrust to the people and the world in general.

I wish you the best in your own healing and rebuilding your relationship with your daughter. I hear you.
 
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