Introduction

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ophidian

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Introduction
« on: September 03, 2019, 06:37:48 PM »
Hi everyone,

It's hard to know where to start! I suppose at the beginning. I am in my early 30s now and I've spent the last few years in therapy coming to terms with how what I've experienced has shaped me as a person, and honestly figure out who I am.

My parents had a very abusive relationship when I was growing up. Because no-one got hit, it took me a long time to accept how bad it was and how much it affected me. My father had an extremely volatile personality - one minute everything was fine and the next he would be screaming at my mom and they would start fighting again. There was emotional and verbal abuse, physical intimidation and restraint, and the (what felt like constant) threat of my dad getting upset enough to take his life. Looking back now it was probably something he said to scare my mom, though I have no doubt that he suffers greatly from depression. As a kid I felt very responsible for making sure that didn't happen. He frequently idolized me, and crossed lines as I became older that made me feel very uncomfortable (never amounting to what I recognized as sexual abuse, though now I see how not ok it was regardless). These things combined to make a very strange relationship where I felt responsible for his feelings and abandoned myself and my needs in the process. I felt I couldn't count on my mom because as soon as they started fighting it was like I was invisible, and most of her energy went toward dealing with him. My brother and I were unschooled, so we were home most of the time in a small house with my parents. I did not have close friends after the age of 10, and no adult support system. My parents were involved in what was basically a cult for years, so even when there were more people around us, it did not feel safe to me. I had a lot of anger toward both of them when I first started therapy and talked about all this, but now I've made some peace with it. I know they did they best they could at the time.

That is what I recognize as the origins of my story, though further experiences of relationship instability and volatility and self-denial in my teens and 20s drove home a feeling that I was fundamentally broken. I was often very very depressed, and/or agitated and anxious.  I had my child when I was 21, and things were particularly hard for several years after that.

I am in a stable relationship now, with a person who is safe and yet also encourages me to grow. My kid is doing well. I feel lucky. But I still have regular symptoms that really impact my quality of life. I dissociate a lot because that is how I deal with my feelings, but as a result I'm not able to engage with life even when I want to. My life is very "small" and I still have very distressing moods, though they are more manageable when I am carefully controlling my environment. This affects my family a lot though, and the costs of my coping strategies are starting to outweigh the benefits. I'm working with a therapist I really like and I want to get better. Though if I'm honest it scares me too.

I hope that this is not too long, and appropriate as an introduction for this forum.


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Hope67

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 06:50:40 PM »
Welcome Ophidian, I hope you'll find this place helpful and I'm glad you're here - I read your introduction and want to wish you the best.  It's good that you are in a stable relationship now with a person who is safe and encourages you to grow.  That sounds very good, and I want to wish you the best.
Hope  :)

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Snowdrop

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 06:58:30 PM »
Hello ophidian!  :wave: Very pleased to meet you.

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Blueberry

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 08:22:13 PM »
Welcome to the forum ophidian  :heythere:

Sorry you need us but glad you found us.

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ophidian

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2019, 09:19:35 PM »
Thank you everyone  :grouphug:

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Three Roses

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2019, 09:32:15 PM »
Welcome! There's a lot of information here and tons of support. It's a community of your fellow survivors, a group of people who will understand you as you begin to process your life and how you feel. That's been the best part of this forum, for me.   :wave:

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Jazzy

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2019, 11:40:12 PM »
Hi Ophidian, welcome to the forums!

It sounds like you're off to a great start already, with a stable relationship, and working with a therapist you like. I just want to let you know that I can relate with some of what you wrote. I was also kept home from school, religious abuse etc. so you're not alone.  All the best as you continue on your healing journey. Take care! :)