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Topics - Libby183

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General Discussion / Hello, again
« on: December 21, 2019, 09:51:59 AM »
I don't know if anyone will remember me, as I haven't been here for some time. But even if no one does remember me, I wanted to share how far I have come in healing from the damage done by a dysfunctional FOO.

It's such a long story that I won't go into it now. This year has been horrendous but I am ending it in a hopeful place.

I don't know exactly what led me to this place. Lots and lots of different elements, which I would like to share.
But they have all led to greater self acceptance. I think that's the key.

My husband died of a brain tumour two months ago. It was tragic and his release from suffering was a relief. I have suffered so much, but coped and actually see a future for myself. I think this is a sign of healing. I don't, for one minute, see myself as fully healed, but have made huge progress.

OOTS has really helped me, and I hope I can pass on some of the elements that have helped me on my journey.

Thank you for listening.


General Discussion / Ups and downs.
« on: January 28, 2019, 10:02:29 AM »
I would say that this has been the most awful month of my life. But then I remind myself that I have had many awful months so it probably just feels like that.

I have had to accept that my husband hasn't loved or cared for me for a long time. The root of this is clearly my cptsd, but his own issues must have played a part. I am trying not to take all of the blame, especially as all the things that stressed me, and pushed me over the edge, like having children and moving home, were things we did together. Is that reasonable, I wonder.

Actually, I am beginning to see how his disgust at me has been making me worse for a long time. I have to accept, as well, that there is no relationship to be saved between me and my autistic son. I have to tell myself that he just doesn't have it in him, and even though it isn't his fault, I cannot cope with the rejection.

On the other hand, I have found that I do  have some people who care and support me. They have stepped up, so to speak, because I have allowed myself to be vulnerable to them. I have been hugged more in the last few weeks, than in my entire childhood. Not difficult, as I was never hugged as a child.

To round everything off, I have broken my wrist and feel so vulnerable because every tiny thing is so difficult. Trying to tell myself that if I get through this, I can get through anything. Sometimes I believe it, mostly I don't. Perhaps the balance will shift.  It doesn't help that, atm, I just can't picture a future.

Anyway, just thought I would get this out of my system.

Thanks for listening.


Professionals (GPs/Therapists/Lawyers...) / Medical notes.
« on: January 18, 2019, 08:42:25 AM »
I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me.

I saw a GP earlier in the week and asked about what exactly was in my medical records with regards to my mental health issues. Quite a bit, it seems, but nothing about the last lot of emdr therapy. No mention of referral or letter to GP practice about treatment or outcome. I phoned the Emotional Wellbeing Service who commissioned the treatment and they said they have a record that I went for treatment but no follow-up.

Finally, I phoned the therapy provider who said they would release the notes, and would send a form to me to do this. It never came. They said, as well, that I would need to pay for a report from the therapist. I will do that but it seems wrong.

Anyway, this therapy had a huge (mostly negative) effect on my life and yet nobody, other than the therapist, seems to know anything about it.

I think I will continue to chase this up, but I feel very unsettled by it. I placed my trust in the NHS and this therapist, and yet it's like it never happened.

Any insights gratefully received.



I have been reading some really helpful things elsewhere on OOTS about relationships between parents and grown up children. Elphanigh was talking about her mother's visit and got some really good advice.

I talked to my autistic spectrum son yesterday, who told me that he found me scary. When stressed, I tend only to act out to my StbxH and its usually about things I can't cope with in the house, especially as I genuinely get no help. Hence his desire for divorce, I suppose!

So I asked my son why he was scared and he said it was because of an event, nine years ago, where I made him do something he didn't want to do. He admits his father also encouraged him to do it and offered him money. He did it.

I tried to explain, very simply, about my disorder, and its roots in my childhood. He disliked my parents intensely so he may have got it a bit. When I think of all his autistic melt downs that I had to deal with alone (they were often school related and his father was at work), where I was left with bruises and bite marks, it seems so harsh that he can't accept my melt downs, which weren't ever directed at him.

He has elected to live with his father. I think that is connected to money. I asked him if he would ever want children and he said, certainly not as he would rather save the money.

Sorry for the ramble. I wonder if anyone has anything to say about this relationship. I am at a loss as to how to move forward.

Thank you again.


Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / End of marriage
« on: December 30, 2018, 08:46:20 AM »
After more than twenty five years of marriage, and three children, my husband has decided that our marriage is over. I feel shell-shocked by something that I was fully expecting, if that makes sense.

I have posted on this board because this is a very exceptional event, so I hope that that is OK. However, I think that it is probably for the best. We have done quite well in very difficult circumstances. What with our twins' disabilities, all of my problems with CPTSD, the trouble caused by my FOO etc.

I think that practically speaking, we will have to remain in the same house, but thankfully, it is quite a big house. Don't know how this will work out. Wondering if anyone has any experience.

He is a very good man, very good at his job, which involves dealing with people a lot. To my mind, however, he is in denial about quite a lot of things like his health, his weight and his drinking. At least now I can let go of my anxiety about me not making him happy. He can have his own life now and I do genuinely hope he finds happiness. At least I know that I am not holding him back now.

I think my main concern is that I will lose my wonderful daughter. When I became estranged from my parents, their only concern was that they "lost" their granddaughter. I suppose you could say that she chose me over them. I don't think my husband will make her choose, but I am worried. My sons will just carry on as normal, because life is a challenge for them and we need to be there for them.

I would love some support, and to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation.


General Discussion / Christmas confusion
« on: December 27, 2018, 10:56:30 AM »
Hoping very much that Christmas was OK for all of you. Wondering if you share my relief that it is over?

General Discussion / Cinema experience
« on: December 11, 2018, 09:59:29 AM »
I have been thinking about my visit to the cinema at the weekend, with respect to CPTSD.

I hadn't been to a cinema for years, but a new, luxury one has opened and my husband was keen to try it.

It was a good experience and I liked the extra space around the seats, compared to older cinemas. So a good experience all round.

What wasn't so great was how hard it was to sleep that night. It was as if my nervous system had gone into absolute, scary overdrive.

The film was the current one about the rock group Queen, so it was both very emotionally triggering in itself, as the story of a trouble soul, but also triggering with regards to my own associations.

On top of that, the quality of the sound and pictures was very "over stimulating".

Why I have waffled on about this is that I wonder whether it was the emotional or the physical aspects which caused such a reaction in me.

In the past, I would have vowed to avoid the cinema, but I am doing so well atm, and did enjoy it, that I have decided to try again, but see a really light hearted type film. Then I can work out what I can tolerate.

Just wondered if anyone else recognised this type of situation.

General Discussion / Communication is so painful.
« on: July 20, 2018, 06:10:33 AM »
I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice about this, not new, but increasingly strong feeling.

I get along OK with my husband and two grown-up sons who live with us,  and my daughter who lives a few hours away. We see her every few weeks and message almost daily. We all rub along quite nicely.

But with regards to other people,  I simply can't cope. Every interaction, whether it be with neighbours,  fellow dog walkers,  whatever,  seem so fraught with upset.  I just want to avoid any dealings with anyone.

I've tried to pin-point what exactly is the issue,  and essentially,  it's my old enemy "invalidation".  Every dealing I have with anyone leaves me feeling unheard e.g. I often listen to a neighbour complain about the parking problems around the school we live close to. I sympathise so was upset when I mentioned the three near accidents I had in one day,  trying to drive from my house.  I was shut down so quickly and said nothing. 

I know it is nothing in the grand scheme of things and other people might not even notice, but I was so "destroyed"  by it. Why when something happens to me, does it become of no consequences but when it happens to someone else it's so worthy of support and understanding.   This is just one recent example.

I accept that this type of thing is just down to my "over -reactivity"  so I am left with the dilemma,  do I continue to avoid social contact more and more as I have been doing or do I force myself to interact,  even though it is so painful for me? 

Any advice / different ways of looking at this gratefully received.  I am utterly confused with myself!

Thanks for listening.


Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / Difficult week
« on: June 03, 2018, 07:24:21 AM »
I don't quite know where to start,  probably because I feel so ashamed. 

But here goes, anyway.

My experience of therapy wasn't great. As I have whinged on about already,  the sticking point for me was that my T said I had to forgive or at least understand my parents.  On my last session,  she said that my failure to do this was proof that I was holding onto my anger for a reason.

I see now that she is right.  I won't say that I forgive them but I see now that I was definitely a really difficult child and caused heaps of trouble.

Seeing this has led me to question so much of my behaviour over the years. I have never physically hurt anybody but I can see that a lot of my behaviour has been verging on bizarre.  Again,  with the exception of my husband,  I don't think that anybody has been affected by this because I wasn't close to anybody and so they probably just sort of noticed, but weren't bothered and carried on with their own lives. And this included professionals who,  looking back, would have seen the signs of distress,  but just dismissed me.

I have no doubt that all of my difficulties come from a failure to bond with my mother.  She is a deeply troubled woman, supported in her denial by my father. But I became deeply troubled myself, in order to cope.  Now I see myself for what I am and for how I have behaved, I feel completely and utterly ashamed.

I have very few connections with anybody and have withdrawn from the few I do have. I am scared even to interact with my husband and grown up children because I am so upset by the damage I have done to them. I wish so much that I had realised all of my deficits earlier so that I didn't have children, and put them through the * of existence with me and my rubbish genes.

It is as if the therapist has broken me down completely,  to my true, rubbish self, without scope to build me up again.  She would say continue with therapy,  maybe,  but I am far too ashamed.  Therapy was just like being with nm again.

I simply don't know where to go now. Now I "know" that my whole life is my "fault",  I don't know what to do with myself.  I can't ever ask for help again. I am utterly alone, struggling with my very existence.  But, for me, it is my parents fault because they chose to give me a life.  I didn't want it and didn't choose it but know that none of us did. I suppose I am struggling with an existential crisis of sorts.

Please don't be concerned that I intend to harm myself.  I don't.  But I just needed to get all of these shameful thoughts out there,  in the hope that expressing them gives me some relief.

And if anyone can give me any advice about how to get myself out of this awful place, I would be so grateful.  It's only here that I have any trust in anyone.

Thank you for listening.


Frustrated? Set Backs? / Unsure about therapy
« on: May 13, 2018, 09:05:26 AM »
I would really like some thoughts and ideas on whether I should continue with therapy.  I have had eleven sessions of EMDR,  and it seems that the therapist is bringing it to an end. Several people,  including eyesofblue,  have said that the NHS limits therapy to twelve weeks at a time.  So it might not really be an issue.  But I have many questions and doubts anyway!

A few days ago,  I had a terrible meltdown over something really silly.  I probably felt nearer to doing myself harm than I have done in a long time.  I felt I was doing so well but then a minor setback, which denied me my peaceful day which I had been so looking forward to,  sent me over the edge.

All I could think was, my mother was right.  I don't deserve to be happy. If I dare to have an expectation of happiness then I will be brought right back down to reality.  How dare I think I can have a nice day,  after a week of running around after my family.  I don't resent the time I gave them. I was just so tired and needed some rest. It sounds silly,  but I felt as if the universe or fate or whatever was on the side of my mother.  I was fooling myself,  my recovery was a joke,  she was right about me all along.  This proved she had won. Over the top, but that's how I really feel.

The actual emdr seems to have helped with traumatic memories and at the moment,  I have much less physical pain. So that's all good. But whilst in the midst of my breakdown,  I was very aware of my last therapy session.  My therapist stressed so much how my parents couldn't have helped how they treated me. That was their "quirks". She actually used that word. She restated how they could never admit to anything because any admission of their abuse would be more than they could bear. She also said how it was highly likely that I was too talkative,  inquisitive,  demanding etc, based on her judgement of my personality now, that my mother couldn't cope with me. I was too much for her fragile ego. Probably true, but sounds awfully like blaming little me, for just being me, just being a child. I accept all of this as accurate,  but faced with a trial, it just fed into my belief that I have no control, am weak and powerless.  In fact,  I am all of the concepts that the emdr was challenging.

She also spent quite a lot of time discussing her own,  less than perfect, relationship with her own mother.

I feel ashamed,  a failure,  hopeless. I trusted to therapy, despite a lack of trust in most things.  I am not sure whether, overall, it has has been good for me. My abuse has been validated but it seems to have come back full circle.  My parents were who they were, I didn't suit them and I have to suck it up. And, of  course,  times were different when I was growing up! Surely some parents loved their children and wanted what was best for them, even in the 70's!! If I go back for a final session,  I feel like I will have to pretend to be fixed, because that's what is expected of me, after the NHS has funded this treatment.

I hate how bitter and hateful I sound.

Would really appreciate some feedback, but just writing this down has been helpful.

If you got through all of this, thank you so much.


Recovery Journals / A New Approach
« on: April 27, 2018, 08:50:29 AM »
Well, I said I would start a recovery journal,  so best to get on with it, or knowing me, I will talk myself out of it if I give myself time.

Am going to a GP later at the suggestion of my EMDR therapist.  To be honest, I am not sure if there is much point.  I am sure my pain is cptsd related.  It would be good to have a definite diagnosis or opinion,  though. I will also ask again about the purpose of the duloxetine I take. He didn't prescribe it originally so it would be interesting to see if he thinks it is worthwhile for me despite the side effects.

Anxiety about this appointment building already so better take my doggy for a walk.  That usually helps.

Therapy / Starting EMDR
« on: February 28, 2018, 09:13:59 AM »
Hi Everybody.

I am still really reticent about starting a new thread, but felt that I should take the plunge!

I have had two sessions with an EMDR therapist, mainly focused on preparing for the actual treatment.  Yesterday it was all about breathing techniques and associated methods of coping with the actual treatment.  I actually feel a bit calmer already and quite hopeful.

Previously,  I have only had a course of CBT which was helpful but didn't really get to the core of why I feel so awful about myself, namely my abuse from entitled, narcissistic parents which I believe started from the day I was born.

Despite the therapists' reassurance that there is no judgement and no right or wrong way to "do" the treatment,  I still feel very anxious ; feel like I am being overly dramatic in seeking out this treatment ; undeserving ; that she already doesn't like me!  And so on.

 I realise that these feelings are based on the negative messages about myself that I received from my parents,  and that the treatment is to process this and "leave it behind".  But that doesn't get rid of the anxiety.  I can hear my nm saying "don't be so silly!"  with regards to my being traumatised!

I sort of believe that this is my last hope of some relief of the pain and sadness I have had for as long as I can remember.  But I do have hope and would like to share some thoughts on the process, if that's OK with all of you.

Any advice,  ideas, reassurance or anything gratefully received!!


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