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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Message Board

  • Gaslighting Recovery



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    Old 04-05-2019, 05:52 AM   #1
    jena88
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    Gaslighting Recovery

    Itís a bit of a story but Iíll try to keep it as short as I can.

    I had my daughter at 18. Very young. In fact, while still living with my parents. The birth was traumatic and left me with never ending depersonalization symptoms, panic attacks, a major fear of hospitals, medications, and doctors.

    I have been suffering for 8 years.

    During this time, I was living with my mom and step parent. Now, Iím in a very unique and weird situation. Where my parents were very manipulative. They begged me to give my child up to them. I said no because it was my responsibility. But my mom in general just missed having babies and hoped to relive her glory days. They imposed on my parenting a lot. They took my money. They took child support from me. My state given assistance. They hooked cameras up to spy on me constantly. And told me they expected me to live there with my daughter forever. During this time, they gaslit me daily. Told me that I couldnít trust anyone but them and that my friends and rest of the family would turn their backs on me. They told me that my friends judged me for ridiculous things such like ďnot taking the trash outĒ or ďforgetting to buy your mom a birthday giftĒ and it ate at me. My mom was hospitalized daily and she would say she wished her daughter loved her because I couldnít visit due to the panic attacks. She said she felt foolish for saying to others that I loved my daughter for refusing to buy her a fucking teddy bear because I had bills to pay. She tried convincing me I was autistic. This was when I began seeing a major shift. I knew I couldnít be. But the fact that my own mother said so kept me awake at night. I stopped socializing with my friends because I thought maybe they will mistake my depersonalization and ptsd for autistic. Maybe they are all judging me and have been nice to me this whole time because they pity me. I begged my therapist to evaluate me for autism. Which she did and said I didnít have it. My mom argued and I remember having to hide in the bathroom crying while she attempted to bust down my door shouting ďyouíre autistic!Ē. Only for my step parent to come and tell me to go calm down and everything was ok. It was constant humiliation. And I began turning my emotions off around them because I knew that once I cried, they knew they had me. But then they told me I just didnít care. When in reality, I did care. I didnít too care. I would ask for my daughterís child support back so I afford her clothes and supplies only for them to say ďno, youíll just use it to buy things for yourselfĒ when I never had done such a thing. When I asked for my food stamps so I could buy myself food, they told me I couldnít handle shopping for the whole family when the stamps for only for me and my daughter. So I starved for days and at one point up to a week. I tried to constantly win their approval by cleaning their things in hopes that they would love me and stop hurting me and interfering with my daughter and iís relationship. They used my support for her to buy her toys and take credit. They bad mouthed to my daughter and at times, she would repeat it. I did so much to do the best I could. I parented well despite being torn down over small things like not letting my daughter have a snack at 9:30 At night. They told me I starved her for that. They have tried pinning me against the father to gain control of where my child would be.

    We moved. After years of them stealing my money, threatening me if I moved, attempting to use my ptsd to prove to the courts I couldnít handle moving away from them out of state and even logged my therapy visits, bribing the father to stop me legally. We finally did it. And far away. Itís been about 2 months and Iím still hurting badly. I donít trust myself anymore. I struggled to make decisions and the voice in my head is attacking me. I noticed this started when my mom called me autistic. Thatís when I began having these symptoms. My head tells me how Iím annoying everyone. And how I donít deserve anything. Iím recovering from cutting. Iím happy that my daughter and I are moved and far away. But will I ever heal? Is it possible that this was traumatic for me? How I start trusting myself again?

     
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    Old 04-05-2019, 10:39 AM   #2
    yayagirl
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    Re: Gaslighting Recovery

    Dear jena,

    You trust your judgement because of the healthy steps you already took.
    You trust your judgement because you recognized an unhealthy situation.
    You trust your judgement because you got yourself and your child out of it.

    You are not your mother. You are you.
    I can't see one decision you made that did not lead to liberating your self and your child from that unhealthy place.

    The past is > the past <

    We are not our parents.
    We are responsible for our own children.
    You are taking responsibility for your self and your child.

    Rather than to call the depersonalization symptoms, panic attacks, fear of hospitals, medications, and doctors as never ending, put a period on that part of your life.

    There is an end to things when we put a period on the past. That is not you now.
    You are already stronger. in fact you demonstrate that you are fearless. You stood up to the past.

    I, too, had a very harsh past with a mentally and emotionally unstable mother. I understand about having a past.

    I also understand that change changes the future.
    You and your child have a wonderful future ahead of you.

    When you are up to it, when the time is right, you may want to look in to furthering your education, too.

    Forget about the labels on the past. Look at the strength you are modeling for your child.

    What will help you let go of the past is to forgive them, and forgive yourself. You were just a child and now you are an adult. Forgiveness does not mean trusting in untrustworthy people. It means accepting their problems are their own. Their problems are not your problem to fix or dwell upon.

    Do what you know you need to do as a parent and responsible person and the past will take care of itself and fade away as time goes by.

    You don't want to forget or repeat bad decisions. You want to remember with compassion for your self and your child. Take pride in the healthy decisions that you were able to make. So many people don't do what you did to get out of the bad situation. So many don't even recognize how bad it was.

    You are doing well, hon! I am so proud of you!
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    Old 04-06-2019, 03:34 AM   #3
    MSNik
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    Re: Gaslighting Recovery

    Find some counseling for yourself as soon as possible... you can heal from this, but not without help. It sounds like your parents really did a number on you and they are the ones who needed real help- not you...but they did what they did and now you took the first POSITIVE step in moving away.

    Proud of you! Now, you need to figure out how to get yourself back on track. No shame in this- but take the steps necessary to do so for your daughter's sake.

    Look into therapy for yourself and talk to professionals who can give you the strength you need to start over and remember, you took the first most important step!
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