Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 6 "Realization and feelings about it"

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C.

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6.   In ASCA meetings, share your acknowledgement about being abused as a child and your feelings about this realization.

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marycontrary

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 6 "Realization and feelings about it"
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2015, 10:08:19 AM »
I have mentioned this elsewhere, but the biggest thing I feel about the situation is the regret over having severely deranged attachment and bonding systems. A lot of us here do. I am a loving and giving person, I have tons of friends, but ultimately there seems to be "at best" an avoidant attachment style thing going on. I am working on this like a mad man, and I have improved much, but I don't think that I will ever be like normal people.

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Kizzie

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 6 "Realization and feelings about it"
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2015, 04:29:02 PM »
The realization was a relief (I'm not crazy, there is something to all of this) and hard, knocked the breath out of me (I am injured and it will take some doing to recover).  I miss being able to dissociate like I did, if nothing else it was comfortable to simply go away.  On the other hand I definitely do not miss having big EFs - there is just nothing quite as awful as that whoosh into the storm and feeling like the world is spinning out of control and I'm falling apart.

Yesterday we had lunch with some friends of my FOO whom we haven't seen since my F passed away and while it was really nice to visit, I came away feeling some sadness and maybe  even some shame if I'm being honest.  I lived with them and their two daughters to finish high school as my F was posted and as a teen I did some things that were well teenage like and they brought them up.  Here I am almost 60 and I was embarrassed and a bit ashamed and have been struggling to help myself understand emotionally that it's time to laugh about them.  I did laugh but part of me was cringing inside.

I figured out in writing this that part of the sadness is because these people never knew what I went through at home and that I had/have CPTSD. I am sad that they do not know, that no-one knew (or accepted) that I did not have a great homelife, that I was hurting and needed some help. I am also sad because I had such a tough time as a teen, so much more piled on top of the normal challenges of growing up because I never felt loved, safe or secure.  One of the things I apparently did (I have no recollection of this) is when the fellow was away (he was military too), I would sneak up into the bathroom at night and sleep in the bathtub with the door locked because I was scared when he was gone.  Then I would get up early and sneak back downstairs (I had a room in the basement) before his wife and kids knew.  Obviously they did know but I drew a complete blank - f***!

On the other hand, it was so nice to feel that they wanted to come and visit us while they were here.  If I'd been that much of a screwup I doubt they would have called to say they were in the area so they obviously think well of me (hear that OK IC?!). Today I need to be very compassionate with myself and it's proving to be a bit of a challenge.   

Anyway, still struggling with the past and present as they mix, but at least now I am clear about what is going on when something like this comes up. 
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 06:57:39 PM by Kizzie »

Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 6 "Realization and feelings about it"
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2015, 07:18:45 PM »
I'm mostly shocked. I started out by recalling a few of the more extreme incidents. But it's like trying to pull up one of those stubborn weeds that consists mostly of roots. Just when you think you've pulled it all out, there's more, and more, and more... until you realize that the whole flowerpot has almost no earth left in it, it's all just weed-roots, subtle white tendrils that reach everywhere and stifle the life out of everything. So mostly, I'm feeling sick, and taken aback. I'm in the middle of realizing just how unbearable it really was. It's difficult to think of other people at that time - how little they saw (or cared to see?).

I feel that I'm finally seeing things as they truly are. Something was always off, before, but I could never put my finger on it. Now I can. It feels clearer, more awake, more like I'm truly being myself and living in the true reality. So that's good. A lot of the things I'm finding out now actually fit with things I thought back then - things I noticed but didn't have the words for.

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C.

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 6 "Realization and feelings about it"
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2015, 12:02:57 AM »
I think I described my feelings pretty well with Activity 1, selecting a date.

I still feel a bit of denial off and on I think.  Like I want to excuse everything because covert NM "didn't mean" to hurt me...but I feel like I'm just now starting to uncover the truth about the topic.  Starting to feel some anger at her choice not to protect me...

I'm probably gauging my feelings out of a need to self-regulate and not experience these emotions too strongly in the wrong environment or setting.  In therapy, with the work on this forum and the workbook, one close friend...

I cannot share my whole story or even think about doing so without having extreme anxiety.  So I'm going about it bit by bit, piece by piece as the mood feels right...

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bee

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 6 "Realization and feelings about it"
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2015, 05:44:19 AM »
While I always knew my mother was "off", I still managed to maintain a certain level if denial while growing up. It was easier to believe that I was the problem. If you've ever watched TV after school specials you'll know the plot line. There is always the kid who is messed up and needs help, and the kids who are the helpers. I always saw myself in the helper roll. My realization/acknowledgement of how bad my abuse was flipped that. It was a shock, and horrifying. I saw my whole life as a lie. I didn't know who I was. That feeling has mellowed a bit.
I still have bouts of denial.
I still get shocked during T when in processing memories, and realizing that there do not seem to be any 'small' traumas. They all provoke huge emotional responses.
I'm starting to feel anger, but did not feel that at first.

Kizzie,  :hug: I don't know if laughing at a teen hiding in a bath tub is a response I understand. Maybe that's not what they were laughing at. Anyway, that is nothing to be ashamed of, you were taking care of yourself in the best way you knew how. If they were aware of it, why did it not raise a red flag? To me this sort of thing should be treated with total compassion. I apologize if I'm off base. Just be gentle with yourself, meetings like this that bring up the past can be draining.

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Kizzie

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 6 "Realization and feelings about it"
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2015, 05:59:48 AM »
Tks Bee you are kind to send along a hug and your thoughts.   :hug:

They were laughing because I know what my facade was like back then and I probably made it seem like a funny quirk. I never let the real fear and anxiety show, I was just quirky and funny and they did really like me. 

They likely had no idea I was having EFs I'm sure, that being afraid of the dark was anywhere as serious as it actually was.  They were good pepole but friends with my parents so I did not feel I could tell them the truth then. I had the thought the other day that I could probably tell them now though.  I am more upset that I had no memory of that and that I had to hide from these good people what I was going through.  If I told them I felt shame over some of the things I did, they would probably be completely surprised and then rush to say hey you were just a teen, that's what teens do.

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anosognosia

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Re: Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 6 "Realization and feelings about it"
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2015, 11:05:37 AM »
I went through the testimonial stage of recounting most (though I'm sure not all) memories of abusive events and mourning my loss of a childhood and the unfairness of it. Obviously I'm still in pain and feel sorry for myself at times and I think it's an oscillatory process.

But right now I'm mostly focussed on "stepping into the light" - ie constructing my post trauma identity - eventhough it's so foreign and unfamiliar.