What if what I am learning and uncovering in Therapy is very different from what I have thought my whole life?


So as my T starts to help me build a timeline and relive various memories from my youth covering from abut 10 when I was first abused through my HS years some disturbing things are rising to the surface.

Let me first say that I deeply loved bth my parents. They (both passed) were good people who I believe tried their best to raise me and my brother but due to many reasons and circumstances we struggled. Unfortunately for me, the instability caused a lot of damage and left me for the most part dealing with all of the living instability and the abuse "on my own". I never told anyone about the about the abuse and that is on me but the damage that followed pretty much ended any chance for a normal life.

I don't blame them, they did the best they could but I am beginning to recognize how much damage was done. I think what finally allowed me to see this and accept it was looking at the way I grew up and how my own children were raised. I would have never allowed my kids to grow up with the instability I lived through and even though I was divorced when they were 6 & 12 I remained attached and involved in their lives on a daily basis. They have both grown up stable and happy and will be good to go for the rest of their lives.

I find myself crying when watching TV and the story is about a child being saved or loved, this is also bothering me immensely. I felt loved by my parents but the facts of my life also indicate that I was abandoned in so many ways that I do not understand. Even today, 34 years after my fathers passing I still cannot talk about him without crying and I don't know why.

The road to recovery from abuse is indeed long and filled with potholes


It has been my experience that good and loving parents don’t always meet our emotional needs. I don’t blame them. The older we are, the more we can look at how children were raised in those eras. Like my friend once told me, “we were all raised on shame.” Parenting books told people to leave their baby screaming in the room. Let them “cry it out.” I don’t even think that anyone knows what they are doing in any generation of parenting, including the experts. My therapist once told me that all parents love and want the best for their kids, even the abusive ones. Only problem is that the abusive ones don’t have the tools to do so. Think of an alcoholic parent who is fun and kind while sober and turns into a monster after a drink. Or that fun loving dad that plays with you in the park, but comes into your bedroom at night. f*cked up, abusive parents exist. But there are also milder versions that do damage, but it’s subtle and usually not intended.


I found constructing a timeline with my T to be intensely difficult emotionally.

I’m not going to give any advice but that this is common , And be easy on yourself.


@David1959 - yea the road to recovery is indeed long, painful and full of potholes. I’ve found that myself.
what you say about your parents resinates. My parents are both still alive and i love them immensely, however i recognise that they did make mistakes. We had a lovely house, car , holidays, all the ‘in’ gadgets and toys - we weren’t spoiled we had to do chores and had to behave. I was abused by my elder brother and as the eldest he always seemed to get what he wanted - he was number one son ! Well until he moved abroad and i spoke out ( 20 years later) . When my dad found out ( my parents divorced) he immediately contacted my brother , my brother denied it but my dad believed and supported me. My mum really struggled with it and still does - she once walked in on us and she sought advice from experts who said it was just kids experimenting - well it was the 70s ! I cant share what was being done to me but in now way was it natural experimentation by young children!
so yea .. i’ve worked through a lot of this in therapy - i know they tried their best but they f**ked up too and that always hurts.
i wish you all the best on your healing journey.


i recognize that they did make mistakes.
If you had asked me before I started therapy about my parents my answer would have been all positive. No one is perfect and I always viewed my upbringing and childhood as normal and happy. The revelation that I had built a fantasy in my head is disturbing. My parents both loved me and the CSA was not by a family member and since I never said anything I do not hold that against them, my error.

But I am learning in T that my childhood was filled with many types of neglect which damaged me severely for the rest of my life. I now have all these feelings that I do not know what to do with.


My parents loved me, but at the same time, they could not give me the kind of love that they themselves had never received. My parents for whatever reason were not perfect parents and they did some damage to me as a consequence, but I still love them and recognize that they loved me as well.

I would suggest writing down your thoughts and feelings and then talking about them with your therapist. Healing from such things as neglect and CSA is not easy, but it is worth it in my experience. I wish you the best!


Timelines… I’m struggling with this, T gave me a month to do it and classify between joy, fear, anger, sadness.

A sort of score system to evaluate how events were perceived, and even in periods I believed it was sweet and fine I read: fear, fear, fear, anger, fear, sadness, anger, fear.

It is indeed very different from what I expected, and it is raising many questions, but also generating answers I guess. I can imagine that with the distance of time it might feel even more upsetting…

I don’t know on which extent new approaches to trauma and therapy might have changed the way we perceive our own experience. I spend a lot of online time in queer groups where there are trigger warnings painted all around the walls lol, all of them are more or less 10 years younger and even with that small difference I can see how much their language is more caring and attentive somehow than mine. And, reversely, when I see my family or the generations above, how the tendency to shrug off or never explain never complain is much more present, and invalidation and dismiss of feelings quite commonplace.

It is also located in space (and gender…), as I can sense that the state of the art is mostly anglo-saxon. And also how young generations speak more easily of trauma and healthy relationships on instagram or so. I guess also that with the youth on your side, it is easier to have the cheekiness to come public and have your 15 minutes of post traumatic metoo. But why not at the end. I’ve read plenty of good ideas in the middle of less good ideas. Guess everyone sorts themselves out.

Just speculating a bit here. But I find interesting to have different age ranges in this forum, with very diverse experiences and also ones that have the depth of time.


How does that make you feel or think @David1959? That you might be uncovering new perspectives or trains of thought? It's never too late to learn new things. Isn't that a good thing?