Was I so out of control everyone was scared to deal with it?

David1959

Confident
In therapy it has come out multiple times how the fact that I never went to college has damaged me both in reality and in my mind. Let me first say that I come from a family steeped in education. My father graduated from Washington & Lee (he started college at 16) and a Masters from Columbia. My mother also graduated from college as did everyone in my family and extended family.

As a result of my CSA at a young age which I never told anyone about for 45 years, leading to abuse of drugs beginning at 13 and basically acting out and wild I am guessing my parents did not know what to do with me. I went through HS with terrible grades and a terrible attitude, getting high, skipping classes etc. Additionally, the fact that I went to 3 high schools, NY, TX & PR did not help. As I think back as upsetting as it is I can remember the following:
  • I cannot remember anyone ever asking me what are my plans, thoughts about college?
  • I never once saw a guidance counselor in HS
  • No one ever asked me about my bad grades, checked if I did my homework or encouraged me to live up to my potential
  • No one pressed me to apply to college (I actually did on my own and did get into one but never went, could not see how it would be possible)
  • Neither parent ever mentioned college to me or asked anything about it
  • Ultimately however, like my abuse my part in all this even with challenges I faced was inexcusable
I do not understand that, with my own children college was never a choice and they were told this from their youngest years. I helped them both apply to colleges, paid fully for it and today my daughter has a PHD and my son a Masters.

Why was I just discarded that way? I will never know but it has haunted me my entire life both mentally and with career choices. While I sabotaged myself terribly with no one willing or able to stop it I happen to be very intelligent (while screwed up at the same time) and would have excelled with an eduction.
 

Friday

Moderator
1. Any reason to not go, as soon as TheCovid is over?

2. Universities have started limiting the number of courses you can challenge, but before my local one did? I snagged the course content (syllabus, textbooks, lecture notes/slideshows) posted online from some of the best schools in the world (Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, OI Chicago, etc.), studied in my own time, and saved myself over a year’s worth of tuition by challenging the course, and testing out of it. <<< It would be something to do, at least, with a pandemic on... even if you decided not to go for credit.
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
:-) appreciate it, but I think at 61 and still working that ship and desire have sailed
My best friend is finishing her B.A. this semester at 65. She has PTSD and had a myriad of reasons to not do it sooner but she is very glad to be doing it now. She feels like it proves that she learned to believe in herself, all other things aside. Though, if the desire is legitimately not present, it is not present.

Many families don't expect the children to do a variety of things. I was not going to get married. That was hurtful. It made me feel like my family believed I was just that ugly (because I have a cleft lip) and I think that this assessment was probably right on the money, even now. After I got married, I realized just how much that attitude had hurt me over the years, but ultimately, I avoid those attitudes and try not to dwell on them today because people say and do dumb shit just because they lack understanding and experience. My family? They aren't beauty queens but they are plenty shallow and weren't prepared for a kid like me. They also never tried to learn anything to help me to grow up in a healthy environment. That's their failing, not mine.

Maybe your family had a vision of what a successful college student should look like. Maybe you didn't fit that vision. Maybe it was narrow-minded and maybe you would have done really well in school. Whatever the scenario, you don't have to feel the way they did. And if you were able to get your own kids through college, it sounds like you did well, even without college and without their emotional support. That is something to be proud of. It may have been hard and it sucks to have a family that expects little of you and does not encourage you, but in the end, it has more to do with their previous experience than it has to do with you.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
If those who failed to look after you and help you then,are not around to ask anymore, then you'll not find out from them.

I was similiar, in that not one person intervened with my downward spiral of drugs/drink/sex from a similar age to you for similar reasons. (Difference with me was that going away to college was a way of leaving home, so I grabbed it even though I had only just passed my exams and went to the only place that would accept me. So I got an education. Which opens doors.)

My parents are alive. I could ask them why they were/are the way they were/are. I doubt I would get a response. I would get that I have made it all up and imagining it.
My parents are emotionally very selfish people. Why? No idea. But I now know: it wasn't about me. It was never about me. It's about the people they are.

Is there a way of making peace with it somehow?
Recognising the amazing achievements you made despite the obstacles placed in your way? Despite the lack of support? Despite the care and attention you deserved? You got to where you are now.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Your question really resonates with me. I think that, that can happen for a number of reasons. Some people can be too scared to intervene, others don't know how or dont have the skills to intervene, some just wait for you to implode/explode and wait to see what the after math looks like because they're f*cking idiots and sadists.....sadly time and time again it's the sufferer that's left picking up the pieces of their life wondering 'what the f*ck happened to me'?! It's a Damn shame but we strive too carry on because were good people and for the majority of the time we know right from wrong.
 

David1959

Confident
Is there a way of making peace with it somehow?
I am trying. I began with my new T very focused on the original CSA but she has worked with me to try and rebuild some memories and a timeline. What became obvious pretty quickly is that my original trauma was the CSA but was compounded by years of instability and quasi abandonment, not for mean spirited reasons but rather circumstances.

Yes I survived and even thrived but 40+ years of disassociation to make that possible, is now crashing down on me.
 

David1959

Confident
My best friend is finishing her B.A. this semester at 65.
For some that is an amazing feat and the fulfillment of life long dream which I applaud. I only wish my issue could be resolved by that. My distress is over what trajectory that has had on my life. At this stage a degree would make no difference in that.

If I had the credentials I would have interest in teaching in maybe a masters business program as I have a lot of knowledge and experience to depart but alas don't have the academic credentials
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
but was compounded by years of instability and quasi abandonment,
So would you say that you were neglected? That's what this statement sounds like to me.

I helped them both apply to colleges, paid fully for it and today my daughter has a PHD and my son a Masters.
I kind of see 'closing of the loop' for my own traumas to be about whether I carried forward the dysfunction or not. My goal is always to make it right for the next generation. Righter ever more for the generation after that. It really sounds to me you made it right for your children. Somehow you knew how to execute leadership, guidance, etc to your children very successfully. Really well done on your part!

Is it possible that you have made this right for your family? Ir does sound like you were left out of your family value and culture by your parents regarding your education, but can you see that you have gifted something to both of your children that wasn't a given? And is it possible that that is good enough to help you heal your own wounding?
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
your question makes me think of this also. When were young and to a certain point invincible, despite suffering from trauma we present an image to the world that were 'ok' despite what is going on internally. Were running around being involved in things and drinking, smoking, maybe drugs aswell. Into our clothing, music and hobbies. To the outside world we look ok and busy but in reality were f*cked up emotionally and psychologically. It's invisible to most people. Then we start moving on, jobs, college, meeting new people and losing touch with previous people. It's a rollercoaster ride that we white knuckle till eventually we crash. That's how it was for me anyway. If occasionally someone did ask if I was alright then I would lie and say I was fine and ok because I couldn't bear to acknowledge and face my emotions. I'm my mind I was constantly running away from my family, but I ran into more and more trauma..looking Back I feel very sorry for that young man that was me. He didn't really stand a chance because he didn't have the skills to cope or the wisdom at college to say stop running your safe now with new people. I never used to confide in people or let them in to how I really felt. Whilst I was at college I was attacked and nearly murdered by a group of Asians with metal bars. I would dissociate everyday and 'the kids' at college would humiliate me. That pretty much finished me off. the teachers at college didn't seem to care at all. It was a harsh environment. I wish someone would have intervened.
 
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