Newbie - possible triggers near end

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Scattered

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Newbie - possible triggers near end
« on: August 12, 2015, 01:42:47 PM »
I havenít suffered any physical abuse during my life. So I have been very lucky and I truly feel for those here who have.

My situation was more like growing up amidst some form of crisis most of the time. My motherís mother died when I was 3 months old, so mum, dad and I moved into grandadís house as mum wanted to take care of him. He was very unkind to my father for no good reason. Dad stuck it out for as long as he could before renting a place close by, though he and mum stayed together. I jumped between houses.

Grandad got progressively sicker with emphysema and eventually lung cancer. Dad came back for a while and he and mum had my brother when I was seven. But he moved out again soon after and they started seeing other people.

Mum was working fulltime, the only able adult taking care of a large house, looking after two young kids and caring for a dying man. Dad never abandoned us, he just couldnít take the verbal abuse from grandad anymore and I donít blame him.
 
I can now appreciate how hard this time would have been for both of them. Mum sometimes used to stand down the opposite end of the hallway and scream at me about all the things she had to do. She never asked me to help, but then flew into a screaming rage about how I never helped. As a kid I was completely confused. But I was the closest thing she had to an adult around who she could take things out on. Sheíd spend days in bed crying. She complained about having no money. She constantly seemed helpless and powerless. One time she smashed one of my toys in my room out of frustration because my room was so messy. Grandad died in our house which was a huge, traumatic experience involving the whole family, who were called from all ends of the country to basically come and watch it happen.

We were never taught to be responsible and have suffered for it as adults. If something was difficult or unpleasant, we were simply allowed to quit.  At age 16 my brother began to have mental problems and had a psychotic episode. He was institutionalised for a while. He will be dependent on strong medication for the rest of his life.

As for me, I am terrified that I will end up alone or with someone who doesnít make me happy. I seem to be utterly dysfunctional when it comes to men. Iím scared Iím not good enough for someone who I really want and that the smart thing for me to do is to settle for someone who Iím not attracted to, but who is less likely to leave me. I almost married someone like that, but we wanted different things. Still it took me years to put my own needs first as I felt like risking our relationship was totally impossible. We separated for a while, but I could never trust that anyone I liked really liked me and it turned out to be true most of the time. The ensuing disappointment Ė depression  - anxiety is too much to bear. The most recent instance of this resulted in sever depression. I never had suicidal thoughts, more a desire to not exist/sleep, pull myself apart (sorry not sure how else to describe it). I can't commit to a single career path, and I never feel like anything I do is good enough.

Iím now spending time with my ex-fiancť again. As long as heís an option, Iíll go back to him because heís safe, even though I donít feel excited about a relationship with him, more like I should be grateful and appreciate it. I'm scared I'm too old and messed up to meet someone new. My mum is now with someone she doesnít really want to be with but feels she canít leave.

Iím not sure if I actually have a genuine problem or if Iím just a terrible, selfish, cowardly person. However my counsellor recently said she thought I fitted C-PTSD and I should look into it. It does make some sense but Iím not sure if I should be here seeking help or not.

Regardless, I thank you for hearing me out!

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Trees

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Re: Newbie - possible triggers near end
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 05:12:36 PM »
Dear Scattered, welcome!  I am so glad you found this site.  The sad story of your childhood makes it clear that you belong here.  Emotional abuse, even without physical or sexual abuse, can still be extremely damaging to a child who is quite helpless in the situation.  You are NOT selfish or cowardly!  You did not deserve all that emotional abuse in your childhood.

The abuse from your mother reminds me of what my own mother did to me -- lots of blame for situations that a little child had no control over.  I was her designated scapegoat.  She would get mad if she just saw me being happy.  If she wasn't happy, then I didn't deserve to be either.  And she did a really good job of eliminating all happiness for me.  People outside the family thought she was a sweet person, but she was a different person when she was alone with me.

I believe my mother's emotional abuse damaged me even more than my father's sexual abuse.

So I want to say to you that you deserve to be happy, you deserve to be loved and respected and comforted.  You deserve love and kindness and tenderness and safety. 

Please make yourself at home here on the site.  Many of us find Pete Walker's book "CPTSD From Surviving to Thriving" to be a warm and compassionate explanation of the roots and consequences of cptsd.  He shows that what we need most is to learn to love ourselves.  This really resonates for me as I am coming to realize just how little I even know about love, thanks to my abusive upbringing.

Big hugs to you   :bighug:

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Scattered

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Re: Newbie - possible triggers near end
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 04:12:08 AM »
Hi Trees

I can't thank you enough for your response. I'm sorry you went through what you did as a child too.

I have spent my life feeling like I just had all these issues and couldn't cope with life, basically thinking I was just a less than capable human being. It helps so much to be able to find at least some answers as to why I struggle with certain things the way I do. My most destructive behaviours have included promiscuity and chronic indecision. I am full of regret and self-loathing. So having a supportive place to help work through these things is invaluable.

Thanks again, and big hugs back!

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Lifecrafting

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Re: Newbie - possible triggers near end
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2015, 01:05:08 PM »
Hi Scattered,

I read/heard somewhere that if you have repeatedly been abused, (regardless how it occurred)  and you didn't have the ability to remove yourself from the situation, that CPTSD is a likely outcome. From sharing your story, it looks like you are in the right place!

I am relatively new here myself and have learned so much! For me, this is a compassionate and supportive environment. I hope you find the same.

Welcome! So glad you are here; it is a good place to be!

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Newbie - possible triggers near end
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2015, 07:05:07 PM »
Hello scattered

I can relate to relationship difficulties ... I have been working with a child trauma therapist ( my history is emotional abuse ) and she said that relationships tend to be our most difficult area -
I have been in a relationship for 4 yrs and am waking up more to the problems ...
I choose men like my dad basically
It's sad but now I feel ready to face the problems and accept how I feel
I can't change him I can only change myself

Wish u all the best on your new journey of recovery