Feeling triggered, don't want to spiral

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Lostgirl

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Feeling triggered, don't want to spiral
« on: July 12, 2020, 10:48:45 AM »
Hi I'm new here and new to Cptsd

So today is my dad's birthday (my main abuser as a child).
Long story short he would make fun of me, put me down, sometimes be physically abusive, and generally cared more about himself than his family, spending his weekends in the pub or with his 12 motorbikes while my mam scrimped and scraped working 3 jobs to make sure my brother and I had what we needed.

I had a breakdown back in February and since then he has been the 'loving, doting father' which has confused me more than anything as he never was like that when I was a child. After sending me flowers with a note telling me how much he cared and loved me last week, I lost it and finally confronted him about how he was when I was a child over a text. He replied saying he can't remember giving me a black eye, never used to hit us, basically denied everything.
This left me questioning everything, but my mam and brother confirmed that I had remembered things right.

I have decided not to get him a birthday present or card as I find anything to do with him makes me extremely anxious and sends me back to feeling like a scared child. Although I have send him something from my children.

I guess I'm feeling triggered because I am expecting a backlash for not getting him anything, and starting to feel guilty like I am a bad daughter I can feel myself getting worse and I don't want to spiral out of control and SH again  :Idunno:


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saylor

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Re: Feeling triggered, don't want to spiral
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2020, 02:33:30 PM »
Hi Lostgirl,
Welcome to the forum.
Parental denial of abuse (“gaslighting”) is very common, and is probably more the rule than the exception, at least based on my informal observations from reading material online. It’s quite maddening, and for my part, I think I would have had an easier go at healing and forgiving if my own father had owned up to his behavior towards me and my sibling. If it’s any consolation, please know that you’re not alone.
Different adult children have different approaches to dealing with parents in denial. It’s important, though, to honor your needs regarding safety and healing, whatever they may be. There’s no one-size-fits all with this kind of situation

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Slim

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Re: Feeling triggered, don't want to spiral
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2020, 12:53:28 PM »
Hi Lostgirl
I agree with Saylor's wise words.
It is quite a normal thing for an abusive person to deny everything.  That's what they always do, and shows them to be lacking in qualities that the rest of us find trustworthy. It also shines a light on how pathetic they really are, and reminds us that anyone who harms a child, is quite inadequate. An inadequate person cannot own their behaviours.

The subetxt is "How dare you speak the truth! You are a worthless person".

So don't give him his present or card. Maybe reconsider when he demonstrates the attributes of a father.

Slim

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Three Roses

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Re: Feeling triggered, don't want to spiral
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2020, 01:32:07 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Lostgirl! I'm glad you've found this place.

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Lostgirl

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Re: Feeling triggered, don't want to spiral
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2020, 01:48:51 PM »
Thanks for the replies, greatly appreciated.
He turned up at my door on Sunday to say he was ashamed of himself but he has no recollection of giving me a black eye 🤷