Undiagnosed Repression and Denial

LeiaFlower

Learning
Please feel free to offer insights and tips if you deal with something similar. I would appreciate feeling less alone.
I've been posting on this forum for a while now and never knew about introductions. After discovering it I think it'll be (for a lack of a better word) freeing to release things I've been consciously suppressing as well as discuss unconscious repression. I'm a little wary about posting on here because I'm always scared of family members finding out and of ridicule or disbelief. I had a nightmare last night where I was in my therapy session and my therapist advised me to record our session to finally explain to my family what I've been too scared to say. However, it only lead to my other siblings doing something similar with their therapists so when our sessions were broadcast, they received empathy and support while I received nothing. Not even an acknowledgment of my presence. This core belief of thinking I have no reason to experience current symptoms, and that I'm simply dramatic because others experienced worse prevented me from believing my childhood was anything but perfect.

I don't have many memories of abuse happening to me, though I do have snippets where memories are cut off and knowledge of covert behavior from a particular person. I have a lot of memories of abuse happening to my siblings. I remember instances when my parents were physically abusive. They considered its discipline, and for a long time, I thought it was this due to a culture of a community believing that's how you raise a child. Though my father was the main perpetrator of this abuse, my mom couldn't help directing her anger at the scapegoat she found in one of my sisters. One memory where my dad physically was abusing my oldest sister wasn't much of a memory. It was just sounds and emotions. I simply remember hearing my dad's yells drowning out my sisters' screams. Then I heard a loud bang and I later found out he broke the bed from jumping on her. I was later told from another sister's account that his made choice of discipline was to choke them out as he yelled in their face. I guess this happened in that memory though as you will see from other accounts, I never go out of my way to ask my siblings about their abuse. They usually tell me. I'm always scared to ask about it as well as if anything happened to me. A visual memory I have involving my mom being physically abusive is when I was half asleep in my parent's bed. I woke up to her coming into the room and I pretended like I was still asleep because I enjoyed being carried to my room. I'm not for sure how my sister came into my room but my mom started yelling at her about something. I looked up past the covers and I saw my mom throw a large object at my sister's head. I instantly hid under the covers out of fear of getting in trouble as well. Later learned from this sister that my mother use to use her as a scapegoat. My mother would slap, punch, and hit that leaving bruises on my sister. Despite my sister later telling her teacher and CPS arriving we never were taken from our parents. All my sisters endured sexual abuse from family members. Though one of my sisters mentioned these family members tried to pursue me to do sexual acts, they gave up after a while.

I do have one memory with a family member that cuts off. He was over at his new house after helping his family move. We ate pizza. They wanted to watch a scary supernatural movie but I noted we weren't allowed to my parent's religious beliefs. I was playing with his youngest brother when I looked over and saw him with my sister at a piano. My other cousin was giving me a strange look and I noticed I didn't see his hands on the piano keys. I don't remember what happened after. Though my sister mentioned something about a mattress being pulled out and I was crying when my dad picked us up. That was the last time we were over at their house. Which was a shock because my parents knew about other instances of abuse but continued to allow us over there so I guess whatever happened was something bad enough for them to finally stop us from going there. I blocked out most of what my sister was telling me and my mother about that day.

When I started therapy I started to get an uncomfortable feeling about a previous family friend that used to babysit me a lot. I was over their house a lot, more than my own, yet I have no memories of being there. I just have the information from others that this person was overly protective of me. Where they wouldn't allow me to spend time with anyone else, where I was their favorite child. This included multiple gifts and special outings. When my other siblings were over they were treated poorly. They were given spoiled milk and disregarded. While I was allowed to sleep in the same bed as this person. My sister also mentioned having a lack of privacy when bathing and getting dressed. She would walk in during this time and use the bathroom in front of us.

I know this isn't a lot when it's about myself, and I know the last thing can easily be explained as something more innocent. I'm not looking for a diagnosis. I just finally wanted to share what I've gone through. Even if I went through less trauma than my siblings, I still had to live in an abusive dysfunctional household. I had to witness the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of my siblings. Even if I never went through any of the previously stated abuse, or if I did it was way less compared to others, it still affects me. I'm trying to rework my deep loneliness; negative attachments; emotional dysregulation; shame; fawning and submissive tendencies; cognitive distortions; ruminating and maladaptive daydreaming; emotional self-harm; excessive passive suicidal tendencies and intrusive thoughts; identity confusion, and sexual dysfunctions/aversion. All these things aren't normal. I would love to understand my past and for my memories to be restored though I know that's more than likely never going to happen. I'm just trying to learn to deal with myself and feelings where I don't belong or deserve to exist.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Even if I went through less trauma than my siblings, I still had to live in an abusive dysfunctional household. I had to witness the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of my siblings.
For a young child, hell for an adult, it would have been a frightening environment to live in. Knowing that the people who you rely on to keep you safe are so willing to do those things to a helpless child, and witnessing that happen. That's a lot for a child to cope with.
 

Friday

Moderator
A belated welcome to the community! 🤠

I have a lot of memories of abuse happening to my siblings. I remember instances when my parents were physically abusive.
That, in and of itself, is enough to warrant a PTSD diagnosis, as well as a double handful of other disorders & conditions.

Even if I went through less trauma than my siblings, I still had to live in an abusive dysfunctional household. I had to witness the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of my siblings. Even if I never went through any of the previously stated abuse, or if I did it was way less compared to others, it still affects me.
It would, quite frankly, be strange for it NOT to.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Trauma through the younger years can really do a number on children. It is a special type of abuse because children rely on their parents / family for their very survival. Therefore, a young one's brain has to do all sorts of funky things just to stay sane. Things like
- blocking stuff out (repression)
- Denying things happened
- Being in denial (my dad is the BEST dad ever!) the morning after he throws you down the stairs again
- We make up stories about how it was our own fault that he threw us down the stairs again (if I hadn't done X then he wouldn't have had to have done that to me again)

These are all tricks our brain plays on us because there is nowhere else to go - so we have to deal with this type of behaviour - and normalize it. Nobody else will feed us or house us. We trick ourselves into believing that this type of behaviour is LOVE. (I am doing this because I LOVE you!) With a good therapist and a bit of distance, and a tribe of people who are aligned to us more authentically, you can get out of the pattern of repression and denial. Best of luck to you!
 

LeiaFlower

Learning
For a young child, hell for an adult, it would have been a frightening environment to live in. Knowing that the people who you rely on to keep you safe are so willing to do those things to a helpless child, and witnessing that happen. That's a lot for a child to cope with.

A part of me feels disconnected from my younger self, even from my parents. Since they're not abusive in that way anymore it all sort of feels fake. My mom sometimes says and does things that suck, but she's supportive of all of us improving our mental health. My father is still emotionally and physically absent, though he isn't physically abusive so that's a plus. But because of these changes in their parenting style, it feels like things didn't actually happen. However, the multiple accounts from my siblings say otherwise. I don't know if I'm gaslighting myself but it just seems that I'm either being dramatic with things or all my 'symptoms' has other causes.
A belated welcome to the community! 🤠


That, in and of itself, is enough to warrant a PTSD diagnosis, as well as a double handful of other disorders & conditions.


It would, quite frankly, be strange for it NOT to.
I don't think I have anything serious. I don't think what I went through qualifies as real trauma. My siblings went through worse.
Trauma through the younger years can really do a number on children. It is a special type of abuse because children rely on their parents/family for their very survival. Therefore, a young one's brain has to do all sorts of funky things just to stay sane. Things like
- blocking stuff out (repression)
- Denying things happened
- Being in denial (my dad is the BEST dad ever!) the morning after he throws you down the stairs again
- We make up stories about how it was our own fault that he threw us down the stairs again (if I hadn't done X then he wouldn't have had to have done that to me again)

These are all tricks our brain plays on us because there is nowhere else to go - so we have to deal with this type of behavior and normalize it. Nobody else will feed us or house us. We trick ourselves into believing that this type of behavior is LOVE. (I am doing this because I LOVE you!) With a good therapist and a bit of distance, and a tribe of people who are aligned to us more authentically, you can get out of the pattern of repression and denial. Best of luck to you!
I know this sounds irrational but I don't think I can get better. I know that's illogical, not factual and I need to give things time but I just don't think there's anyone who can help me. Nor do I believe I'm worth the help.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
I know this sounds irrational but I don't think I can get better. I know that's illogical, not factual and I need to give things time but I just don't think there's anyone who can help me. Nor do I believe I'm worth the help.
Honestly, when dealing with traumatic injury, nothing sounds irrational. With the little bits you described of your past experiences I can absolutely see that you were taught you were not worth any help.

There are ways around this though. And you are surrounded by a bunch of people who are genius at getting, what feels like, the impossible to be possible. Try following people you feel a connection to, or drawn to. Follow your heart. Honour your soul. You will get there. May peace be with you while you heal.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
I just don't think there's anyone who can help me. Nor do I believe I'm worth the help.
You’re in the right place here to face these thoughts about yourself. Plenty of us here are in the same boat. Something I noticed is that people could go through what others might consider hell and say they don’t understand why they struggle. Sometimes the parental or sibling stuff is the hardest to wrap our minds around because of what @shimmerz said and also because we were around them so much that we have a mix of experiences with them.

How can it be that bad if
—they changed?
—I have a career/marriage/kids?
—all siblings fight?
—my parents were stressed out?
—my siblings/cousins/relatives had it way worse?
—I am just a highly sensitive person?
—I was always fed/clothed/taken care of?
—my parents/siblings played with me and taught me stuff?
—I had great experiences in school/sports?

I guess a big part of the journey for many of us is teasing apart WHAT our brain is holding onto and how it is interrupting life today? Facing what it is? *shakes head* A lot easier than it sounds. But, yeah, we’re doing it here and sharing the process with each other.

Welcome!
 
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