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Topics - deepbreaths

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Birthday / Depressed about upcoming birthday
« on: March 22, 2021, 05:58:56 AM »
My birthday is coming up this week, and I'm finding myself quite down and anxious about it. My birthdays are always a big trigger for me, a reminder of the ways in which I was never anyone's priority in my FOO. It didn't help that my B and I are twins, so birthdays didn't do anything to change the dynamic between us of always having to compete for M's limited attention. I think it's affecting me a little extra this year since I have been working with my T on processing M's neglect.

I think it also stresses me out to have people wish me a happy birthday? Something about the obliviousness with which people assume I must be excited about it rubs salt in old wounds of having to hide the pain of my abuse/neglect and put on a pleasant face in public or at school.

I would like to find a new way to claim this day, but have so many negative associations with traditions like birthday cake (if I wanted one, I had to make it myself). Has anyone on here found non-traditional fun ways to celebrate or even just practice self-care around birthdays?

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Hi all,

Not sure if this is the right place for this question/if if has come up before. My T has been pointing out to me recently that when I'm talking about painful subjects that make me sad/angry/anything negative, my facial expressions rarely match. I smile and laugh as I recount horrible stories, often complete with comedic timing. I mentioned it to a friend I trust and she confirmed noticing the same thing. I'm sure that it is because in my FOO, I always had to be happy and unaffected and other emotions were met with rejection or punishment.

However, I share the concern that it limits my ability to seriously communicate in my relationships. Does anyone share this behavior or have tips on breaking this habit?

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Recovery Journals / deepbreaths' journal
« on: October 14, 2020, 01:03:55 AM »
I don't really quite know how to do this, but I guess I'll just dive in. Mostly because I'm angry today, and I'm almost never in touch with my anger and the only way I know how to express it is to write.

I found this site through a facebook friend's post about supportive resources for DV awareness month and thought I would check it out. Honestly, it's always a little hard for me to see people posting about these topics because I felt so shamed and silenced growing up, I've never been comfortable talking about abuse and it's hard sometimes to see other people do it.

Anyway, it's been very emotional for me to go through this site and read about other people's experiences. I'm seeing you all put into words feelings I've been wrestling with, and there's a comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one feeling this way, but also reading them makes me feel all of those things full force, and I usually like to keep everything shoved down in a tiny box so I can get through the day.

And yesterday I was feeling down and desperately wanted some comfort from my M. I've always thought we had a pretty good relationship, but I've been realizing lately how her emotional unavailability and failure to protect me were neglectful and damaging. I was never allowed to be vulnerable or sad or angry in front of her; I had to be unshakeable. She likes to joke that I'm really the parent in our relationship, I'm always taking care of her needs and supporting her. I made (make?) excuses for her, that she was having a hard time or overwhelmed and that I was strong enough to handle things so I could wait my turn and support her now and then when things got under control she could support me. Except, that time still hasn't come. And when I try to go to her for support or comfort, she's distant and in a rush to get back to whatever it is she wants to be doing that isn't talking to me.

But I really wanted her to see ME and validate my feelings. So against my better judgement I called her and said I was feeling down and wanted to chat. And she promptly made it all about herself and how she was feeling, and would I be terribly offended if she left to go play her videogame with her friend. And she said that she was glad I felt I could turn to her when I wanted someone to talk to! I'm pissed at her for not listening, not putting me first. And I'm ashamed and angry with myself for thinking that things would be any different this time.

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Introductory Post / Nervous to open up
« on: October 13, 2020, 08:30:57 PM »
Hello! I've been dealing with CPTSD symptoms for a long time and am currently trying to work on vulnerability and my connections with people. Talking to my friends about trauma/symptoms has been a little too daunting, so I'm hoping this can be a lower-stakes place to start.

I grew up witnessing physical and emotional abuse by my father, primarily directed at my mother and twin brother. They divorced when I was ~9, but the abuse towards my brother continued for a time afterwards and I was often in the middle as a protector/GC. We are all NC with him for several years now.

As a teenager, my brother's mental health deteriorated and he was dealing with a video game addiction and ultimately became physically and emotionally abusive, again mostly directed to my mother, but some towards me and my grandmother who lived with us part of the time. He was arrested when we were 15 and spent a long time in a full-time therapy program before returning home.

I recently read Pete Walker's book Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving and unexpectedly experienced a lot of EFs about my mother. I'm beginning to realize the ways in which she was neglectful, and despite our surficially positive relationship, she's still not able to support me in the ways I need.

On top of that, my grandmother who was the only person I felt like really prioritized my well-being as a child recently passed away which has left me feeling more alone than ever.

Anyway thanks in advance for listening, even just writing this public-ish post is triggering.  :stars:

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