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Messages - samantha19

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Anxiety (eg General, Social, Panic Attacks) / Social anxiety etc
« on: August 09, 2018, 02:04:34 PM »
Iím so miserable.

Iím struggling so much with normal life.

I recently decided Iíd like to go back to being a student, as Iím not coping with work nor am I happy from my job despite having a good salary. The idea of studying what I love again, doing a degree, would give me some purpose and joy in life again (I think). When things were really bad I was studying what I loved. Despite what I was going through there was something great about doing that course.

The issue is I have such low self-esteem recently and my social anxiety has reached terrible levels.

Iím struggling to even ask someone for a reference, which I need for my application.

Iíve lost so much confidence in anything I say. Whatever I write I think itís wrong, or it might be, Iím not sure. I donít trust my own judgement to socialise properly and be polite or not weird.

Iím also aware people might judge me for leaving a career field with great opportunities to pursue something artsy which is very difficult to break into and succeed in as an industry. Itís a silly worry I guess, because who cares? Itís my life and I know what makes me happy and I know I could survive financially. But even silly worries are boxing me in to being silent.

My brain just isnít being my friend and I donít know what to do.

Itís getting bad. Iím scared to talk to therapists about arranging counselling. Iím scared to resign my job. Iím terrified of going back to work. So, so scared and ashamed constantly. Iíve lost all my confidence and self-esteem and donít know what to do, or how to believe Iím okay again.

Employment / Re: Seeking advice
« on: August 04, 2018, 02:39:11 PM »
Thank you so much for the kindness and understanding.
I relate a lot to the things you have experienced as well. Things are definitely hightened when triggered to do with wanting to run away and avoid. I’ve been getting in a better headspace since (at times, anyway) and I start to see that the best thing for me is to go back to work and not harm my stability and future by abruptly quitting. It’s the shame that’s making me want to run away, because I feel I can’t bear it when triggered and I’m so concerned with being “good enough” (ie perfect) and the terror of being perceived in a bad light.
The healthy outlook is to make the best of the future, not stay stuck in the past and wallow in shame and let it control me.

It’s really hard but I know I need to move in the right direction, and definitely take recovery more seriously so I can cope better and feel better in the future.

I have these very rare experiences where I feel ďreal again.Ē Itís hard to describe in logical terms.
Itís like most of the time I feel disconnected from myself and from experiencing my life inside of me. Itís almost like Iím outside of myself, but that doesnít make logical sense and obviously Iím physically not.
A rare occasion of feeling like ďmeĒ again was a time I got really upset about things that happened in the past but sort of acknowledged them instead of being disconnected and away from it all. Then I felt like ďIĒ was back. I felt connected to who I was in the past. I felt like the same person that lived my past memories, like those were my memories and experiences.
Usually I rationally know that but I donít really feel it or something I guess?
It made me realise what I enjoy and what I want to do a bit more as I felt that. Like that I was a sporty person. I loved sports when I was a lot younger, really did, but havenít done or enjoyed them in many, many years.
Iím realising and becoming aware again recently that Iím not in this state of being ďme.Ē It feels like Iím wasting my life if Iím not really living it but always kind of gone from myself?
I want to get back from that. But at the same time I donít know how to just deal with all my really tough emotions about all the things that happened, by myself. Iím looking into therapy but itís hard to find complex PTSD treatment, struggling to find a therapist for that in this country and I want an actual CPTSD one so Iím being guided more instead of making my own treatment plan (cause Iím not a professional and all that).
Bit of a ramble here. I just really want to come back to myself. Even right now I just feel so numb, so so numb.
Itís so hard to describe but what I want is that feeling I remember:
Being involved in my life. Experiencing emotions. Feeling like myself. Feeling like all the one person with a full set of memories that connect to me. Having my own inner voice and some sort of good / neutral relationship with myself.

It sounds so basic - and it is! Itís normal, right? But not for me right now.

Not to be self-pitying, just realising some things - which is good. It all motivates me to get better.

Employment / Re: Seeking advice
« on: August 02, 2018, 12:43:07 PM »
Thank you for the advice it means a lot!  :hug:

I went to the doctors and Iíve been given a sick line for up to a fortnight so thatís good.

My boss might be frustrated about it, Iím not sure, but heís at least acting nice enough about it.

I got given some beta blocker medication and it has worked really well, my stress and anxiety has drastically reduced and is no longer taking hold of me.

Self esteem CBT sounds good and Iím going to look into that. Thank you <3

Iím going to try and build myself up a bit in my time off. Thereís lots I need to change and work on and I can make a start. Hopefully get on track to being able to continue recovering once Iím back at work and hopefully not need another break like this. Fingers crossed!

Iíve just got so caught up in what other people think and perceive because thereís a high demand to be an amazing / perfect worker and Iím struggling with some aspects of that. It got to me more than it should have but I do understand I have a condition and I canít really help it that I got so stressed out.

Will need to find a way to deal with the shame I have surrounding this as itís my biggest barrier for returning.

I have been pointed to some resources so going to try and arrange counselling. Hopefully something more long term this time so I can build up my self esteem and get better with socialising again, have more confidence in myself.

Thanks again! :-)

Employment / Seeking advice
« on: August 01, 2018, 08:22:02 AM »
TW: suicidal feelings, panic, shame

I had a nervous breakdown at work. It was quite public in that I locked myself in the toilet for over an hour and I came out with red eyes, interrupted someone to ask for a first aider when still panicking, and had to tell two people including my boss about the panic attack situation. Iíve then been off work for about 2 days and counting.

I donít know whether to go back or just quit. Itís highly embarrassing and I feel like my self esteem has just been shot to bits at work. My panic was triggered by a bunch of negative feedback I got and the fact some of it was telling me how to socialise essentially - I found that quite personal and insulting. Also, was told to announce to the room when I was taking a break - something that gave me immense anxiety and triggered my panic.

My toxic shame, etc keeps getting triggered at work. Itís nobodys fault but it just constantly happens, because of my lovely brain :)

My main goal right now is to get better and recover from my mental illness. I want to get to a functional level so I can feel less horribly ashamed of myself and get by at work without too much of a fuss. Nothing specular, just be basically functional - because Iím not managing so great right now - always late, many sick days, barely talking, occasional panic attacks, etc.
I have felt like I canít go back to work - partly because Iím petrified, partly this severe shame. Everyone says just forget about it and donít care what they think of you but I just canít let go of it.
Iím not really meeting the bar of how I am expected to be. And Iím not sure I can right now.
I feel like Iíve destroyed my reputation and I just want to quit this job, focus on recovery then start somewhere afresh and hopefully be more functional.

I donít have the most ideal safety nets but I wonít be left to die and I have enough money to maintain for a month or two unemployed reasonably well.

Iíve been getting the urge to literally run away, crazy things, and been dealing with very strong suicidal feelings / thoughts. Since the panic attack my social anxiety has also massively increased back to old levels - scared to go into the shop, talk on the phone - I was recovered from this!!

I donít know whether to just push myself to go in and try and say f- it to what anyone else thinks - Iím doing my best. Or to stop bloody pushing myself because itís all gone a bit too far now and I feel very vulnerable and quite weak mentally / emotionally.

On top of this if I do keep my job Iíll probably be signed off on sick leave for a bit with mental illness, and I feel very guilty to get paid to do no work by a smaller company. Especially when I have low intent of returning.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Mother's/Father's Day / Just a vent about fathers day
« on: June 17, 2018, 11:59:18 PM »
Find Fatherís Day quite uncomfortable. I see lots of people participating in it on social media and know people in my life are celebrating it with their families.
I donít make any of the effort, card or anything.
I donít tend to do it for motherís day either though as I forget, but Iíll often at least try to make the effort or wish a happy Motherís Day kind of thing.

Itís still in my head and heart how my dad treated me growing up even if heís ďniceĒ to me now (in a way I donít fully trust, but has lasted some time). I absolutely do not feel close to him, in fact I always shield my emotions from him where I can. I have a front up when I talk to him, I can actually seem very chatty and friendly - itís a weird dynamic, but itís done for the sake of pretence really and getting along.

I guess I feel a bit of guilt over all this sort of thing, but itís not really on me. Iím just not ready to forgive him and I donít think I ever will be. He treated me absolutely horribly at times as a child, and completely abused his power over me - and I felt he had some sick joy from bringing me down / destroying me emotionally during an argument. He didnít really care for me either.

No matter how averagely nice he is now, on the surface, it doesnít take all those times away - and the wasted years of my life I suffered from severe depression, anxiety and all the rest. He wronged me time and time again and itís the kind of things that Iíd hate someone for and cut them out completely - and Iím not sentimental about family to think itís okay or I can sweep it under the rug because itís family. If anything itís worse that itís a parent.

I think I might feel a little gaslighed because itís all rosy families now - and I play along (itís easier, I have siblings I want to keep in touch with, and other family). So it makes me feel guilty or something, or almost like a guilt that comes from how I imagine other people might perceive it? If that makes sense?

Itís weird and maybe ridiculous but I always felt like my relationship with my dad was like a game - where if you let your guard down he will hurt you and destroy you again. I donít want to make him think he has won in some way, or give him the smug satisfaction of receiving a Fatherís Day card from me.

It would just be so false. Like giving gifts and thank youís to someone who physically, emotionally and verbally attacked you several times and didnít even show you much / any love either.

You wouldnít give a thank you card to any other adult who attacked you as a child, insulted you, Iscolated you, negatively impacted your confidence, sneered at you for panicking in their presence, etc. That would be royally screwed up.

So why would it be okay if itís family?

Still feels weird.

But nah, Iím not accepting it. And Iím not gonna give him a card.

I feel uncomfortable like Iím holding a grudge and all that. And it just makes me feel bad seeing all the Fatherís Day things e v e r y w h e r e. Like Iím stubborn or dramatic or cruel / cold for not participating. But as I said before, he basically bullied me when I was a young child and terrorised me throughout, until finally I left home. I canít celebrate that relationship. I canít give credit and appreciation to someone who literally put me through so much crap my whole life.

Thereís a lot of people who wonít understand.

I guess I just wish that it didnít all happen and things could be more ďnormal.Ē But it did all happen, and thatís not even my mistake. Thereís nothing that can be done to erase the past, especially someone elseís behaviour and choices.

I guess Iím not actively cruel to him - Iím not doing anything to hurt him for no reason or get any kind of vengeance or that. Not that I would want to or care to at all. Iím just also not giving more than I can or is authentic. Maybe thatís sad for him, maybe he doesnít care, but I canít. And I have my reasons.

Employment / Work Pressure
« on: April 26, 2018, 12:37:39 PM »
Iíve been really struggling with work (in a new job), especially the past week or two.
I ended up crying a lot in the toilet yesterday and not being able to stop for close to an hour. This ended with me finally being able to leave composed enough to say Iíd taken unwell and had to go home.
Iíve took today off and Iím considering taking the next day off too as itís the last day before the weekend so might as well make it a full break until Monday maybe? But Iím not sure. I feel like I should be trying my best. Minimising the harm of my absence to the company (especially as small company), but I need to get better too.

My stress just got way too much.
Iíve started to feel like maybe I should just give up on this job. But thereís benefits too - having money, not having gaps in employment. Idk. But how worth it is that if my mental health is reaching danger level and Iím pushing myself to breaking point? Not sure that itís very worth it at all.

I can identify clear causes of the stress. Itís the feeling that Iím not producing work ďfast enough.Ē This is exhaserbated by my lack of communication on this. I act like Iím doing fine when really Iím rushing things, maybe falling behind, maybe even avoiding asking for help sometimes which impacts too. Like Iím not doing fine. But I feel like admitting to what feels like failure isnít an option so I almost push it aside. No, I must just get this done. No other choice.
Itís also made worse by the fact I am asked to give estimates on my time and I usually say ďyes Iím sure that will be done.Ē The issue is Iím new to this level of working - itís new for me to be giving time estimates and things. Itís new for me to be working so independently as I am as well.
I realise that with estimating time I want to say yes, I doubt myself when I realise something will take longer - think itís my weakness and not just the nature of the task (I really do think Iím incorrect in thinking this but I keep doing it anyway). Iím also way too optimistic. Iíve been estimating on the basis of everything going smoothly and total utilisation - also, there are things I donít consider as potential issues due to my lack of experience with this technology. Then those things trip me up and Iím like ah, time to panic (: (: 
I know that itís probably smart to raise this - say to my boss - hey Iíve been struggling with estimating my time on tasks because of x,y,z. And maybe have a discussion out of it. Cause Iím worried and I know they rely on my estimations for tasks being complete to understand where theyíre at, where the projects at. It matters Iím sure, or why would they ask? And itís causing me a lot of stress to feel like Iím screwing this up time and time again. Ugh :(

I just struggle with talking about anything when I donít h a v e to. And I feel like obviously itís not what my boss wants to hear. But maybe theyíd rather I was more open and transparent. Instead of them seeing the dips in my productivity but not having clear communication from me to know what the issue is and what it is that needs to be worked on or worked around with me.

I feel like giving up right now might be a form of social avoidance and I donít wanna do that right now. Itís just a step back.

Taking the day off and sleeping in a bit (I was overtired) and just not being directly faced with stress has helped a bit I think. Things really arenít great but the absolute terror and darkness has faded.

Either way, this is a wake-up call.
Iíve purchased therapy even though itís bloody expensive and Iím currently living in my overdraft with uncertain job security (:
I keep making excuses to do with money about therapy but I find a way to still buy other things I donít need that donít really help me so much.
Whatever. Iím done not making my mental health a priority because it is screwing with everything!! This hasnít been a week or a month or a year,  itís been the majority of my life Iíve been suffering and suffering badly. Itís causing clear problems in my life and I canít be bothered with that anymore!
I need to throw everything I can at it and getting better from this, because otherwise its stealing years of my life and taking everything down with it (at least it feels that way). Iím bloody sick of that.
Iím not so in denial about it anymore.
I came here looking for advice but itís really just a rant lol.
My main issue is Iím scared Iíll go back to work and not change anything and just end up in the same situation again potentially leading to being let go. Idk. Will see how it goes. Iím terrified to go back and so uncomfortable after locking myself in the (only female) toilet for like an hour crying. That was deeply unpleasant and I never wanna deal with that again.

These arenít my only worries. My IC has been big recently and I never really noticed cause I believe in the things being ďsaid.Ē Iím too quiet etc. Itís ďbad.Ē I should be friendly and likeable and amazing and efficient and a great communicator, smart, etc etc etc.
Iíve been piling pressure on myself to be this ultra amazing person and idk how to stop.

(: (: (:

General Discussion / Loneliness
« on: April 13, 2018, 08:02:41 PM »
Iím not really looking for a solution to this or anything, just want to write my thoughts out somewhere safe cause I feel really alone right now. My IC doesnít like when I talk about being sad, cause it says youíre just like [insert narcissistic type peoples names], youíre attention seeking, etc. But thatís just how I feel just now, and it helps to let it out.

It started on Wednesday I think, most of my friend group were invited to a party and I wasnít. It felt sad to be left out. I mean logically, I wasnít close to the host so it made sense that I wouldnít be invited unless to include me or if there was room for plenty of guests. So logically, I can see that. But it still kinda hurt, and makes you examine yourself. I know I am very anti social a lot of the time. I live my life pretty closed in, barely speaking unless spoken to. Itís not a great way to make or maintain friendships lol, but speaking up triggers my inner critic and social anxiety big time, so itís just so unpleasant and uncomfortable it makes sense to avoid instead. I did find it weird that my partner wasnít invited either, he was much closer friends with the host and a clear part of that whole friend group. It was weird to me that he / we were left out. And it makes me wonder why. Why were we not liked enough or chosen? It feels like a rejection.

I know I probably overreact to this stuff a bit, though. Iíve had parties where Iíve not invited people I genuinely really like - due to numbers or feeling like I donít talk to them enough so itíd be weird for me to invite them (hello, my old friend paranoia).

My relationship has been struggling a bit recently too. I donít feel very liked / desired in it recently. I feel like I make almost all advances for physical affection, etc. Iím the one who usually wants to spend time together. Heís not as interested, or tired of me. He might just be tired and stressed or something, but I donít know. You can tell when someone is really into you then that fades out. Itís different between us now. Maybe thatís just the ďhoneymoon periodĒ being over. It just seems like I used to be a joy to him, someone he was happy and excited to spend time with now and now Iím an obligation that doesnít go away.
Heís not cruel or anything. Iím not saying that heís doing anything wrong. I just feel not really appreciated or wanted. Heís often irritated with me now or lost interest. And thatís not very fun. Just makes you feel hurt and more alone. Itís not nice to feel like such an annoyance. Especially in your relationship. This isnít all the time and heís not like abusive or anything, I can just feel that something has changed. 

As for work and home - both are new places, new flatmates and new colleagues. Iím so quiet and socially avoidant. I can feel myself crawling back into my shell. I finally came out of it a bit and had friends at my old work, and I thought I was getting a lot better. But really it was more like my life had changed than I had changed as such. I changed a bit, for sure, there really are improvements. But all this new environments and unknown people that Iím not already friends with is a trigger. Itís put me back a lot in terms of my social anxiety recovery I think. Iím way more closed in again. Way more feeling alone. More avoidant too.

I went to the pub tonight and it was nice to have a genuine conversation with someone, light hearted and that, makes you feel like a human again for a split second, like someone who people might like, who matters? But still I couldnít shake the depression Iíve been feeling, the loneliness. I just feel like an outsider recently, like Iím watching the groups of people Iím with, not really one of them. Just letting the conversation go on by.

Iím feeling disconnected. And Iím feeling stressed about being lonely.

But also terrified of doing anything about that loneliness. Because thereís still that fear inside of me of the shame and inner criticism that socialising brings.

Iím not sure how to even be really, in social situations. I guess you just shouldnít overthink it.

I want to make friends but itís hard.

The way the world is feels like a road block too. When youíre depressed or whatever itís like you canít really be genuine to re-find that connection (or not with most people). ďHow are you?Ē ďYeah, good!Ē Whereas inside youíve already contemplated death 5 times and itís only 10am, or something. Itís hard to talk intuitively in a conversation when all you can think about is the sadness youíre experiencing and all that comes with that. Because youíre not excited about normal things or whatever. Youíre just like ďI hate my life, I feel so alone, everything is poop, I wanna die.Ē Thatís not really normal or group conversation.

I obviously have things to work on.
And I should probably address my relationship issues soon. Because being in a relationship where you feel increasingly alone and not very liked, is probably more loneliness inducing than not being in one at all (given you donít dwell on your single life as a reason to feel lonely, double edged sword really, but yeah).
Iíve also clearly got depression and anxiety issues that are still affecting my life massively.
I need to get over the hump.
Itís not helpful to me to feel unable to share myself with others. Thereís so much loneliness and hurt in living like that, cornered in by shame.

Iím quite sick of it.

Just rambling here to get it out tbh. A part of me wants to say sorry for this but I know thatís just another symptom, always apologising for myself. Ugh.  :disappear:

Recovery Journals / Re: Samantha's Journal
« on: March 25, 2018, 01:00:16 AM »
Thank you all for your kind replies, it’s much appreciated! <3

I just wanna note down something that helped today, again.

I’ve been struggling with a kind of weekend depression - I function kind of “well” during the week when I have work and a very set, mandated structure. But I’ve been totally flopping into anxiety and depression at the weekends, quite severe depression tbh.

I was struggling against it mentally a lot today, and that was causing me a lot of pain and making me think suicidal thoughts (with quite a low level of actual intent but still).

See, I have this idea of how I should be. I should be productive and happy and doing fun hobbies at the weekend, I tell myself. Not laying in and laying around and doing nothing productive or beneficial with my time.

This just spiralled me into despair.

I found later on that accepting where I actually am right now really helped take the weight off. It made me feel more compassionate to myself as I wasn’t holding some lofty standard of how I should be “recovered.”

I realised that maybe today all I wanted to do was lie in bed and watch my favourite TV show. And when I was able to feel less guilty and internally critical of that I was able to enjoy it and chill out a bit more.

The problem with weekends is I feel like there’s so many things I could / “should” be doing that it overwhelms me. I forget to listen to myself, still, and how I truly feel, what I need / want. 

So I was feeling depressed today and that’s okay.

I don’t need to be some idolised version of myself, post-mental-illness forever to live a meaningful and valuable life.

It’s okay to be sad, depressed, scared, unsure.

That’s what I’m telling myself more now.

When I deny my feelings / experience, trying to fight or get rid of the depression, it just brings it on worse and makes me feel a need to escape - because I’m not accepting or allowing the depression.

If I accept it then it stops being something to run from, through excessive sleeping, drinking or whatever else. It’s part of my experience that I’m okay with, and that’s that.

It’s freeing. Calming. For real.

Ironically, it helps it to lift - in my experience.

Weird revelation but felt worth writing down.



Recovery Journals / Re: Samantha's Journal
« on: February 12, 2018, 12:56:46 AM »
Depression type things got pretty severe recently. I've been overworking and go, go, go constantly. Trying to get a new job so put a lot into that, abandoning all my already minimal self care efforts in the process. So it was no surprise when I crashed and burned (more than once) really. No surprise at all.

I done a lot of housework this weekend, made a start, and made a conscious effort to eat 3 decent-ish meals today.

Considering the state I've been in the past few days and this morning, this really was an accomplishment.

I need to spend more time on self care like this. It's very important and I have a tendency to neglect it badly, always running away or numbing out from things.

I am feeling a bit better from it, but I do also feel a bit weird. Maybe a little unsettled.

It is very out of routine for me to be focusing on my own care and happiness.


I also need to spend more time alone, to allow me to do self care and household things as well as things for me and to connect with myself.

I'm in a relationship with a great guy, but sometimes I can get lost in it I think. It's something I tend to do in relationships, constantly want to spend time together. I think maybe because it's a way of running from and avoiding other things. Also, if you feel unsettled, as I do a lot, it feels a bit safer / better to know you're with someone.

But it doesn't really make me happier when it's too much, and it can mean neglecting other things like pursuing my personal goals, having some "me" time, etc.

It's something I need to have a look at and maybe work on - perhaps having some scheduled time for myself.

Completely my responsibility too, this is mostly coming from me, not him.

I done something that really helped me when experiencing suicidal feelings this morning. I wrote a list of things to live for, things like "new adventures, going for a meal (but feeling relaxed), nostalgia, smiling, yoga, airports, playing with dogs, human connection, the feeling of relief and joy when you prove the bad thoughts wrong," etc. It really helped boost my mood a little and allow for a bit of a shift. It took me a while to get out of my slump and I'm still not feeling all light and happy, but I'm feeling a lot better. Hopeful and like I'm getting somewhere, I'm on the road.

So I totally screwed up an interview today because the pressure of being left alone to do a test literally made me cry. I tried to hide it when the interviewer came back in and think I managed, but I ended up making excuses and leaving early because I just wanted out pretty much.
It's not a big deal, I was doing it as a practice interview / back up largely, but the experience wasn't fun.

I went into bad depression mode quickly, of course. Losing appetite, physically exhausted beyond belief and just the feeling of horror filled death screaming in all of my cells (idk how else to describe it with words? Lol. Srsly though).

So after many hours I was doing a bit of soul searching cause I didn't really understand why I got so severely triggered.

It's funny as well cause I was probably capable of doing the test, I done most of it before deciding to escape. It was my mental illness being triggered that seemed to screw things up so majorly.

Cause it was initially triggered by an issue that I found the solution to, that's a running theme in my work life: If I can't do something instantly, BOOM triggered... Oop I done it guess I'm not 100% crap after all better rein in the spiralling despair, I'm actually doing alright here. Yey!
And the cycle endlessly continues.

So I realised what it is. It's the terrifying fear of being caught out as not good enough, the crap person, the lowest of the low.

I was bullied in school, suffice it to say, but I was quiet and fearful long before that. I guess the feeling of not being good enough runs deep.

So that's my fear. I'll need to work around that.

My social anxiety is worse than I thought I guess, cause it was getting better - so much better.

But it keeps coming out as this performance anxiety which is just so unbearable. Because I'm thinking what if I cant do it? What if I cant even finish my attempt? And it feels like it will be so humiliating or it'll be confirmed that I'm the stupid one or whatever.


I wanted to write this out cause it felt good to at least get to the root of the triggering and the depression: Fear of not being good enough. Or rather fear of being discovered to be / discovering I am crap. Being scorned and judged. Being seen as the lowest of the low.

(can guess what family figure that might be coming from :):):) )

It's a perfectionistic fear as well. I don't want to be not the worst but not the best. I want to be pretty damn perfect in these things, other results are terrifying.

Something to work on and look at for sure.

Thank you ah, I really do appreciate the insight. I am sorry you went through that though. That's terrible that the social workers never even interviewed you, but somehow not surprising! :(
Thanks for all those ideas as well. I will definately make an effort to do those things. They are good ideas and it sounds like they will help. Thank you.
I also read that about CPTSD and I really hope that it is enough. It should help though, I'm guessing. It's something I definately lacked during my younger years too and I imagine it would help. I do help try and give him a different narrative like saying big people should never hit smaller people, tell him he's a good kid and things like that. I guess these things really do matter and can help a lot. I also try to do activities with him like take him swimming to build his confidence in a way and have fun. Going to keep doing those things, probably more frequently and make sure to take his interests and preferences into account.
It must help just to validate a child in this circumstance by them being safe to vent / talk to you and being validated, instead of scorned, threatened or gaslighted for talking about it. Cause that kind of emotional abuse and struggling to believe your own perspective really screws you up and makes it so hard to move on and let go.
I know it's still very, very crap but I do feel now that I have a lot more power to help here and make this less terrible.

I spoke about all this with someone in my life and they figured the same sort of thing, social services likely won't intervene because there's no physcial marks / it's not what is deemed "severe." They said the best thing to do probably is to frequently be there for him and continue taking him out to improve his life how I can, then when he's 16 I can provide somewhere for him to live if this is preferred.

Anyway, my plan is to arrange a schedule around my brother staying over maybe once a fortnight (I live a little far away) to spend a day or two here, and seeing my other brother about as frequently too. I will also be seeking proper emotional support on all of this I think, as it feels a bit like navigating an emotional minefield being so in contact with my family again, especially with this whole situation, and I need to be strong to maintain it I think. I also need to be smart in my descisions and how I manage this so could use the support in that too. Also gonna be educating myself further on dealing with abusive people.

Thank you Blueberry as well. :-) I really appreciate the kindness and the insight into your experience. That's good you had some support and I'm glad to know that it helped a bit. Sorry that it was turned against you at first however though, that sucks of course.

I appreciate this community so much. You guys here have helped me so much over the past 2 years. Dread to think where I'd be without it. Means a lot and I'm feeling very grateful  :grouphug:

Thank you for replying.

Yeah, that's fair. I'm going to arrange professional counselling around this I think. Too out of my depth here and need proper help.

If reporting it still seems to be the safest option for him, after advise / counselling, I am going to work on building up my courage to do it. It's really difficult and I feel scared for my life to do so but I can't allow this to happen to somebody else.

Thank you. I really do appreciate it <3

Trigger Warning!!

- current and past abuse in different forms, gaslighting, control, family issues, emotional abuse, resulting CPTSD

I'm in a bit of a pickle where I have witnessed verbal and emotional abuse of my young sibling. He is a constant scapegoat of both parents, treated like he is just bad, rather than his behaviour. I believe my father is narcissistic, completely lacks empathy or the ability to be wrong about anything (constant, angry deflection and defence), among other traits like being a bully, fits of rage, severe ego issues, etc.

My mother is an enabler, just as she was with me, employing gaslighting and shaming to silence, as well as the implication that the child is bad or just as bad for reacting to or "provoking" abuse.

My sibling has also said he is scared of being hit and has been hit before, something I know to be true. However, it is likely this is being hit without a lasting mark being left, which is not yet illegal here.

He also apologises frequently and says it's because he is given into trouble for basically everything.

I recognise gaslighting being attempted in my direction, suggesting my little brother is lying - but it's terribly inefficient because I know that he was hit in the past and I was too, so it's ridiculous if they expect me to believe he's lying or being dramatic.

I was severely psychologically damaged by my child abuse to the point of severe depression, social anxiety and suicidal feelings for at least 5 years.
Understandably, I am very worried and concerned about my brother. But I feel lost at how to navigate trying to fix this or help as much as possible, because of the complex web surrounding child abuse, e.g. I was treated as crazy or irrational and my brother is treated as too sensitive or bad, and this view is promoted outside of the family too (at least it was for me, increasing the amount of enablers and gaslighters). I am also still very much terrified and my father triggers my PTSD if he shows even a hint of how he would get when he was abusive to me when I was trapped. So there's a physical terror of standing up to him or criticising. I'm not sure how far he would go either, I've saw him attack another woman via Facebook, sending long messages full of hate, so when he feels crossed he does not let it go and obsesses over it tbh, expressing his hatred of the other person often and overstepping lines in a major way.

Ideally, I would like professional advise on my options, but I know that many in the field are inexperienced and don't properly understand narcissistic abuse. It would be good to find someone truly educated and understanding on this kind of thing, as the ignorance around this type of abuse is so prominent and damaging, in my experience. I've dealt with professionals who viewed my father as someone "normal" who was just under stress / making mistakes / unaware of the hurt he caused so I need to just tell the truth / confront (dangerous / damaging idea).

I guess I'm looking for advise and would appreciate hearing from anyone who has dealt with similar.

It's a sensitive situation, if I speak up / out it would crumble certain pretences and it would likely mean severe emotional damage for me (as they would attack / shame / upset me). It could also mean causing lifelong difficulty or abuse around trying to maintain contact with my dependent siblings (one is disabled so will likely always be dependent). I feel like me visiting them frequently or being in their life allows me to be a non abusive adult in their life and provide some happiness / care / love. I'm afraid to damage that opportunity.

I'm also aware that abuse / control could worsen in this situation, due to deflection / rage / insecurity leading to more severe attempts to silence and control.

There's also the issue that my brother is quite young so easily influenced and very dependent on my parents and attached to M, so not sure if risking breaking him away from the family would be a great option. I highly doubt M would leave F, so it'd be both or none I believe.

Idk. Idk how this works.

I'm just unsure my best option here. I want to protect my brother as much as I can, from severe emotional damage. Not sure if my best bet is to allow him to come stay every week or two for a break / normalcy, be supportive and believing of him, etc, then when he's an adult help him easily move out and maybe recover a bit, etc. I should be financially able to provide support in this manner, if it came to it so he's not trapped there or homeless from leaving.

But I do obviously wonder if that will ever be enough or if there is a better option.

All of this is very heavy on my conscience, even if I'm not the abuser myself. I am heavy with the idea that I could be enabling or ignoring this just like many done when it was me. And I am terrified incase he becomes severely depressed / self harming / suicidal like I did from it. I already feel he is experiencing emotional damage and abuse.

I know this is really long but it's important to me. Grateful for any input, thanks.

Sleep Issues / Re: Sleep terror then terrified of boyfriend
« on: December 02, 2017, 11:57:52 PM »
Thanks everyone <3 sorry that you've all dealt with similar things.
It's calmed down a bit I think, but I do virtually always do something weird in my sleep when we sleep in the same bed now, like I'll jump and wake up, maybe yell out if he twitches in bed or something, but not had another sleep terror, that I'm aware of.
I don't even feel very stressed recently, idk, maybe I'm in denial a little bit... But it's just even when I feel quite calm and happy it can still occur, the jumps and stuff over tiny things.
It's just weird. I've been out of abusive situation(s) for years now and I never had this before. Now bam! It happens once and then I alwaaays have issues. Makes me wonder if the sleep terror experience itself caused a bit of trauma or something.
I might seek help around it anyway as going to go for cheap healthcare via work. Confident I can get through this. Will take time but have made some progress, can sleep in the same bed again with just a few startles. Sounds crap but is quite an improvement.

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