I have a lot of trouble discussing my private life, even with really close friends... I have had counsellors on and off for years, and was in therapy for a few months... I don't know if it's bad luck for who I get or for what I've dealt with, but they can never handle what I have been through... I decided a few days ago to maybe try online... You have a choice whether you read this or not, afterall... If it's too much, you can press the back button, you are strangers who won't feel obliged to listen...
I was seriously abused as a young child... My real father left and went back to his country before I was born, leaving me with a woman who was not capable of raising kids... She soon found a new man, and they married... This man was an absolute monster... Together they hated kids, and my big brother and I were subjected to almost daily verbal and physical abuse... I remember being strangled to the point that I couldn't breathe, and at 4/5 years old desperately trying to find the strength within myself to play dead so that he'd let go... He always did, and loved sitting on the settee to watch me whimper and wheeze back to normality through my tears, and then beating me for being scared, despite these exercises were to teach me that he had ultimate control over everything, including whether I lived or died.
Every day and night for me was an ordeal, when I wasn't under attack, I was waiting for it. I was always told I was a moron and a retard, that the only way I could please my 'parents' was by throwing myself under a bus or a train, I had my head put through walls regularly... They were always clever not to mark too much the face or hands, so that any injuries were at all times covered by school uniforms... We were warned early on not to tell people what went on... I truly believed that everyone was treated like that, and what they told me - that other people would treat me worse... As an adult I can't imagine being treated worse...
I was took off them and dumped in a shelter for homeless teens the day after my 16th birthday. I had started cutting myself and overdosing, trying to kill myself because I wanted to escape that life by any means. School found out, and got Social Services involved. They threatened me that they wouldn't take me off my parents unless I agreed to go to the police, and so I did because I just couldn't manage in that home any longer. They said "I never did anything", and as such they will get away with what they did for the rest of their lives while I suffer every single day with my memories and my nightmares... At 16 when lodging with an auntie while I finished my GCSE's at school, I got close to one of my uncles, thinking I could finally have a bond with a family member. He wanted a stronger bond, and tried to convince me to sleep with him. I cut all contact until I was 21. As he had had a marital breakdown, I decided to give him another chance citing a very stupid mistake. It wasn't, and he once again started texting me telling me what he wanted to do to me. I haven't had contact since, and seeing any family members is massively awkward as they have no idea what this evil 'man' has done to me.
I have since had adult relationships, but I always mess them up... I either get obsessive (I have mild OCD), or I end up with a drunk or a druggy. I try and live quite a clean life. Although I've made mistakes, I've always worked or been in education (or both) to keep myself occupied, and I'm currently a 3rd year University student. I have a daughter from a short-term relationship I had at 18 with an older man who turned out to be an alcoholic, and I am SO, SO, SO terrified that I will get with a man who will treat my daughter the way that I was treated. I know that my mother was aware and allowed my abuse, but I have heard of cases where the mother can have no idea. That prospect terrifies me.
After having my daughter I got in touch with my real father. By email, due to the distance. He always signed off "Love Dad", and usually opened with "Hi Sweetie/Sweetheart", something like that. Last Summer my mother was diagnosed with secondary cancer, which is terminal. I've had nothing to do with my mother for years. I gave her half a dozen chances, and she made it clear every time that as much as I wanted a mother, she never wanted me. It is absolutely killing me that my mother is dying. I have made the decision not to see her, as it would be too hard, but this is almost as hard. My father cut contact with me after I politely told him that I never needed a mate on the other side of the world, I could do with a father. I never found out his age, his hobbies, or any other personal information about him in the 4 years we were in contact. Due to an uncle (not the one mentioned above) now being told he cannot have any more cancer treatment and my mother's terminal cancer, I needed some support. I needed a bond with someone. I checked my inbox and my spam filter every few hours for MONTHS waiting for an email, but 9 months on none has arrived.
I feel so alone. I feel pathetic, and scared, and very very useless. I want love and I want to be loved, but at the same time that scares the hell out of me. I'm useless at making relationships. I realised that I never had anyone speak to me before. Teachers don't have time to converse, and my parents never, ever attempted it. We got screamed at plenty, but there was never a civilised conversation in my life. I now have a panic when someone strikes up conversations. I'm back in counselling at the moment with someone I am struggling to connect with. It doesn't help that in 1 hour per week sessions she tells me around 5 times per week that she can't begin to imagine my life and that what I tell her is difficult for her to hear.
I don't know what I want from this board. I joined one a few years ago and met some of my best friends there. They helped me through so many difficult times and supported me with raising my daughter (which I do completely alone). I guess I'm hoping that there might be people here who have some idea of the place that I am coming from. I don't like pity or sympathy, and I'm not a huggy person. I just guess I need to feel that I'm not completely alone in the world. I can't speak to a single "human" friend about this stuff, very few know about my abuse, none know about my sexual abuse, 2 know my mother is dying. I have no one to talk to or turn to.
Sorry for the ultra-long post.
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: Flounder1987 BelleoftheSouth (02-13-2012), Phoenix (02-14-2012)
First, id like to say that i think you are unbelievably strong for sharing this info.
I was abused as a child by my alcoholic father, i would say what i went through was very mild compared to your situation. I was very lucky to have a much older sister and a close family that always supported.
I wish i had a solution to your situation but i don't so all i want to say that all the things that has happened is NOT your fault..it is the people who have doine this to you who has a problem. is it so sad when a mother, the person you should be able to trust and rely on, lets you down to that degree. I understand it must be so hard for you to see your mother dying and this is what makes you a better person - you are giving love and support but get nothing back. You should focus this on the people that will return it - For example your daughter. you cant change what happende but you can be in control of what happens and using the negative form your past to make your daughter's future a positive one should be your main priority now. part from healing as well i mean. I do think therapy will be good but not if you dont connect with the perosn. The connection is key here...I'd keep looking till id find that right person...
Dont search for more people in your life right now, like you said, you have met some good friends now. Build on these relationships and just do what you can to make your life and that of your daughter's the best.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck and hope with all my heart that you will get the love you so deserve soon.
The Following User Says Thank You to littlemisshenni For This Useful Post: Flounder1987 (02-09-2012)
Welcome! This is a well-administered board, and there's a lot of support.
You are an excellent communicator; you may have little face-to-face experience, but you have all the other skills.
I, and so many others, know what isolation is like; it's a tool to facilitate abuse. Abusers must isolate the victim, because privacy is necessary for the perpetrator to get away with it. We grow up in abused isolation, and end up having a very difficult time communicating with others. Our perps use shame and humiliation to those ends, and we escape into the world carrying those things.
The right counselor is so important. Non-survivors are just that; they don't have experience with having been abused, and often, their response to our stories is just their way of saying that they want to comfort us, but don't know how. I'm not questioning your honesty, but does your counselor really say that your stories are difficult for her to hear? If she does, it's inappropriate, and maybe even damaging. It's like she's asking you not to tell the stories, or for YOU to help HER. If she doesn't doesn't have the emotional tools to help you move forward, it's probably time for a change.
Those of us without mothers have to be our own mothers. Think what you would do for your daughter, and do it for yourself. If you knew your daughter was in emotional pain, wouldn't you research different treatments, and choose a doctor who had a treatment plan that fit her situation? Treat the daughter inside of you with all the love, tenderness and understanding that you want to give your biological daughter.
I'm not a doctor, but what you describe are symptoms of PTSD, a treatable condition that usually occurs when you feel your life or safety has been threatened. When you grow up with your life being threatened, it is an almost inescapable effect. One book describes the symptoms as "a normal response to an abnormal amount of stress." There are different treatments available. If you search online for "adult survivors PTSD" there's a world of information.
OCD is not unusual for survivors. We seek a small sense of control, and find small things to control, and learn to rely on it for our sanity. We can carry it into adulthood.
On choosing a mate, I would ask that you think of it this way - There are two pools from which to choose. Pool one is a healthy pool, people who have no big issues, no alcohol or drug problems, know how to form healthy relationships, set reasonable limits and boundaries, and can take care of themselves and those they love. Pool two is unhealthy, unaware that they control their own lives. Some have done no emotional work, self-medicate, and cannot even bear the idea of introspection. Some have started healing, but don't really understand how their choices affects their lives. Some are well on the path to healing, and have an idea that there is a lot they need to learn and re-learn. Others are almost ready to jump into pool one.
From which pool do you want to choose, and from which pool do you want to be chosen? Healing is possible, and your choices improve with every step you take. I would ask that you focus on loving yourself, put your daughter and therefore, your health, first in your choices. Showing her how to take care of yourself, including emotionally, will be a wonderful journey for both of you.
Be gentle with yourself.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to AverageUser For This Useful Post: Flounder1987 (02-09-2012), kanded (02-08-2012)
I have been having a look on some of the other threads, I just fear that not knowing how to help myself may mean I'm better not trying to help others in case I say something wrong and make them feel bad. I never intend to be nasty, but particularly through written medium, anything can sometimes be taken in the wrong way. I intend to try and get involved, though, and I hope that I can find people on here who I can get to know a little, through highs as well as lows.
Yes, my counsellor does say this. My first ever counsellor when I was 16 told me if she'd dealt with what I had (just up to that point, purely the physical and emotional abuse), she would have killed herself. I bring this up with counsellors now, as an example of my distrust for counsellors and what I don't want to hear. Despite being told this, my current counsellor tells me every single session how she can't believe these things can happen to someone and that she tries to imagine my situations but has a mental block. It has taken me a decade from admitting to a few outsiders that I was abused to feeling ready to open up about it. I have a doctor's appointment this Wednesday, so I think I will take advice given above and request a different counselling service. This is a massive step for me, and absolutely terrifying. I don't want to relapse back into myself.
As for the PTSD, yes, I was diagnosed with that at 15 when I was first put under mental health services. Long term PTSD, clinical paranoia (very common in emotionally abused people I have learned, lenghthy bouts of being told you are disgusting, unwanted, unloved and unnecessary make your brain get to the point it needs to believe that generally people see you like that because that's all it can believe) and clinical depression which has been updated to chronic depression. Sadly I'm allergic to all anti depressants due to one of the chemicals in them, that affects less than 1% of people. I will definately google the term that was mentioned. If there are any non-drug ways to handle this then I will get on it. I just want to feel human. To be able to sleep, to be able to walk down the street and not feel I stick out like a sore thumb, to be able to actually, truly enjoy some part of life.
Thank you all, SO MUCH for your advice and for your kind words. I can't put in to words how it feels that people have actually bothered to read all that I put, that complete strangers would care enough to have continued with it and then posted a reply. Thank you.
The following user gives a hug of support to Flounder1987: littlemisshenni (02-09-2012)
@AverageUser - I spoke to my doctor as you suggested, and he discussed it a lot with me. He has realised around the same time I did that I take to all relationships with complete distrust and dislike. I explained the different factors that are making me feel I can't continue with her, and he made me realise that he'd noticed I get on better with males than with females (I can't work out why, but I noticed this myself years and years ago)... He's going to work 1-1 with me for a few weeks to help me build up the "emotional confidence" to dump my counsellor and help me to find someone else who can help me more. Thank you for saying about this. I had already considered it, but seeing someone else suggest it kind of helped me to see I wasn't being unreasonable to request this. Thank you
I'm glad you're looking forward to a more qualified counselor, and that your doctor is supporting your decision.
I just need to comment that her untrained and thoughtless responses is less than professional; they show a disinterest in the subject matter in which she is counseling! How on earth does she think so many children end up in a hospital, on life support and even buried?? It doesn't even sound as though she keeps up with the news!
It is good to hear that you have not let this treatment sour you to counseling. It is so important. Please don't be afraid to ask new counselors about their backgrounds, training and methods. If they are unwilling or unable to answer, well, then you have the answer before you invest a lot of time with them.
I wish the best for you, and look forward to hearing from you anytime
The Following User Says Thank You to AverageUser For This Useful Post: Flounder1987 (02-16-2012)
Hi, I wanted to wish you well too and when I went to a counselor, I brought all the books I had read and wanted validation from him and he seemed very disinterested and when I shared with him, he was yawning a lot. I should have looked for another counselor but I didn't. But years down the road I started to like myself and change even though it was scary for me and didn't let my negative self talk fill my mind as much because someone said I wouldn't tell my best friend these negative things so I should be my own best friend. It has really helped and I stopped saying things about myself that my dad would say to me which wasn't very nice. You can get well and I am happy to say that as I reached out to others and let the truth and light and forgiveness fill my heart inside, I started to like myself more and I felt loved by others. I reached out more and got out of my shell and self-pity. I look back and say who was that person? I pray you find healing for yourself and find people you can trust and that you will allow the walls to come down and allow them to love you. You have taken a great step in writing your feelings down to strangers and we all want to help.
The Following User Says Thank You to renko For This Useful Post: Flounder1987 (02-16-2012)
Thank you both again for your comments. I got a notification about 2am this morning on my phone that I had an email with replies and it was nice to know that people had responded, even at that silly time in the morning!
I am very, very lucky to have a supportive doctor. Every doctor I have had previously has refused to accept allergy to anti-depressants and had the attitude "if you don't want tablets, you're clearly happy to be clinically depressed and not wanting any help from us". My doctor checks in with me once or twice a year about starting meds, but accepts my responses and immediately moves on to other forms of help that he can recommend for me. It's great to have someone who doesn't cast judgements or try and shove me out of his office (the number of times he's demanded I sit back down and talk with him is uncountable!).
Counsellor has only been qualified 6 months. I probably shouldn't judge myself, but it just doesn't fill me with confidence. I appreciate people need to learn, but I'm just not "practice" material. Same happened with getting took off family. Social Worker (3rd year Uni student) was given my case. She dumped me in a hostel, left me to find and sort Government finance for myself - around school where I was studying for GCSE's - and then tried to place me in a hostel at the bottom of the street where they knew the abusive 'stepfather' lived at that time!! I guess that broke my confidence in giving a chance to new people with my deeper life (she was removed from her course and sacked as a Social Worker I heard, after formal complaints were lodged from the shelter, my CPN, my cousin, the hostel that I was later placed in because the shelter took charge and my school).
I think that's a really good idea to be asking their history. I have trouble with confidence which is a pain in the butt! Usually, my previous counsellors have just listed their qualifications at the beginning of their first sessions and explained about themselves. Hopefully my doctor's work and wasting this time with a bad experience will help me to demand this information and set out some informal arrangement of comfort barriers.
Thank you again for all of your support, you can't imagine how much it means.
Greetings,and a very warm welcome.It is only recently I
came across the description of us who go through this horror
as "Heroic." But it is damn well TRUE you know!To have the
soul wounded so gravely and to not only survive,but have the
astonishing courage to return to the scene of the "crime" with
such gaping wounds and pain,is BLOODY HEROIC in any one's
language! It will be a difficult journey,you know that.But their
is no one on the planet more worth fighting for than the child
you once were,no one more worth saving,no one more worth
learning to love. I sit here, and I send you my heart,be of
The Following User Says Thank You to jimisimo For This Useful Post: Flounder1987 (02-18-2012)