So, I wrote a Thing...(Not sure yet what it's purpose is)

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spryte

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So, I wrote a Thing...(Not sure yet what it's purpose is)
« on: October 22, 2014, 03:09:05 PM »
So, I wrote a thing. I don't know yet what it's purpose is really. I'm thinking I might use it as some kind of introduction (maybe edited and cut down, it's long) for a blog that I'm thinking about starting.

I'd love some feedback. Especially because I know that I'm writing from my own perspective, and would love to include other perspectives as well - at least as possibilities for reactions.

"I feel like the prevailing response, when you start to talk about your childhood and the ways that it affected you, is some kind of eye rolling - "Oh, right, blame your parents for all your problems, instead of taking personal responsibility for your decisions and mistakes!" I've heard it from others, and I had even adopted that mentality myself - towards myself. I saw myself making terrible decisions. I never wanted to be that person who blamed her parents for her troubles. I took personal responsibility for every mistake, every poor decision, for a long, long time. I even blamed myself for the emotionally abusive relationship that I ended up in, refusing to put any blame on him whatsoever. "I stayed. It was my decision to put up with that. I could have walked away at any time."

When I finally started realizing the depths of the effects that my childhood had had on me, it was actually really, really, difficult for me to let go of that responsibility. I was very hard to admit that I was a victim of child abuse, and that my mother was abusive. To this day, five years after that first realization, I am still catching myself trying to let her off the hook and invalidate my own experiences and feelings by making excuses for her actions.

And maybe there are a lot of people out there who, for various reasons have falsely accused their parents of abuse. Maybe they have a mental illness, like a personality disorder which causes them to see things in a distorted, and victim like way - despite their parents doing everything they could to give them the best childhood they could. Personality disorders can be developed without a history of abuse. But for the rest of us? People don't realize how difficult it actually is to get to a point where we can even clearly see that we WERE abused, let alone speak up about it.

The thing is, mental illness's aside, very few of us come into this world dysfunctional. Children are pretty much the closest that we can get to perfection as human beings. Children do not know how to hate themselves, and they do not know how to hate others, until they are taught. Again, aside from mental illness's, most children don't come programmed with depression, or anxiety. Most children are wired eager to learn. Trusting. And when taught how to be loving and accept love, how to accept their own strengths and weaknesses and those of others, how to set firm boundaries with themselves and with others, how to be responsible to themselves and others, how to think critically about information and problem solving, and when they are inoculated against the evils of the world with a loving support system...MOST of them come out the other side from childhood to adult hood having naturally and healthily moved through all the developmental stages they need to at least make decent decisions, even if they aren't wildly successful.

The great debate about nature/nurture is no real debate at all because we are built by these things in equal measure. A child's temperament is just as important as it's environment. It might determine how resilient a kid is in a dysfunctional environment. It might determine how many times a kid needs to be put down, humiliated, hit, told that they are hated - before the kid starts to break and start to develop seriously twisted defense mechanisms in order to survive. Kids are like tootsie roll pops, you know? "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?" Well, the question that's always tripped me up is, "How many times does a kid need to be told that their parent is sorry that they had them before that seriously starts to emotionally affect the kid? Once? Twice? Five times?" "How many times does a kid have to be hit with a leather belt before they start to fear adults, authority figures, and determine that the world is an unsafe place? Five times? Dozens of times?"

Each case is different. I can only remember maybe a dozen times when my mother hit me. Despite the number, I remember them clearly and have been diagnosed with PTSD because I have triggers that go off when I am around people hitting their kids, among many other symptoms related to emotional abuse. I've read about people who were hit on a daily basis who seemed to go on living lives where they were at least functional, if not entirely happy. We respond differently, we heal differently.

But, in addition to our nature, we are layered with our environment. In an ideal family, our self-esteem is laid down as a secure foundation which the rest of our life is built upon. As we get older, our school peers begin to have a larger and larger influence on that initial foundation as well. So, between our families, and our peers, we should enter the world as adults with a healthy, secure sense of who we are and what we might be capable of. We should see the world as full of opportunities. We should be curious, optimistic and hopeful. We should possess a resiliency which helps us bounce back from many of the challenges that the world throws at us and we should have the capacity to build healthy support networks of family and friends from which to operate from.

In a dysfunctional/abusive family, this entire process is derailed from the very beginning. And this is where things begin to become turned topsy turvey for abused kids.

In MY family, I lived in a kind of Bizzaro world. Up was down, hate was love, and everything was my fault. If my mother was upset, it was my fault. If something wasn't done correctly, it was my fault. If I made a mistake, there was no distinction between me making a mistake and me being a horrible person for having made said mistake. *I* made my mothers life difficult, and since I was really no different (more difficult) than any other child, it was hard to come to any other conclusion that it was merely my existence which made her life difficult. And, considering that I was surrounded by adults who were all doing their best to look the other way, implicitly approving of her behavior, that conclusion was further reinforced.

So, it was really no surprise when I got older that I naturally took responsibility for everything. That's what I was taught to do from an early age. Someone is angry? It must be my fault. Something went wrong? It's definitely my fault. Someone is blaming me for something? Yes. Yes. Of course it's my fault! (I would take the blame without even thinking for a moment whether or not it was justified.) Get into an argument with someone? Even if I initially felt justifiably angry, I would soon be overcome with crushing guilt that the other person was angry with me, and turn things around on myself! Take the blame, apologize! Who needed to be abused by someone else when I could just as easily do it myself, the way I was taught to? This was just one of the dysfunctional traits that the predator that I later ended up in an abusive relationship with grasped onto.

I wrote this yesterday on FB:
"When children are taught that their opinions don't matter, that they are not allowed to stand up for themselves, that it is dangerous to get angry...or to have someone get angry with them (that they will be hit, humiliated, put down, or criticized), that they do not have the same rights as other people to have emotions like anger, or to not be hit...they grow up and walk into the world believing that they are inferior to everyone else. THAT FEELING informs EVERY SINGLE DECISION that they make from their friendships, to their intimate relationships, to their career decisions, to how they take care of and protect themselves from emotional and physical predators - it informs those decisions until they realize just how effed up their foundation was and they start doing the VERY difficult work to re-wire their entire belief system. Some people never reach that point. It's way easier to raise emotionally healthy children than to repair emotionally broken adults."

And, the extension of this is just how confusing it is was for me as an adult victim of child abuse to walk into the world with this worthless, backwards, delusional belief system where I was inferior to everyone else, everything was my fault, I had no right to demand decent treatment even if I had had the first idea HOW to do that. And I was operating under this entire framework of now out-dated defense mechanisms that continued to keep me reacting to the world in wrong, out of sync ways because where they were once necessary for my survival, in the "real" world, they were dysfunctional ways of being. A few weeks ago, I coined the term "fishbowl of terror" for the dysfunctional environments that a lot of us grew up in. We had no idea that there was an entire ocean outside of our fishbowl where things were just...normal. OUR normal was just...twisted...and then we get spit out into this "new" normal...and don't have the first clue how to function.

Defense mechanisms are the psyche's adaptation system. They are created under duress. Once created, there is no "switch" to just, turn them off once you're in a healthier situation. Others look at this and think "self-sabotage."

cont in next post

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spryte

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Re: So, I wrote a Thing...(Not sure yet what it's purpose is)
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2014, 03:09:26 PM »
con't from previous post...

"I know that I immediately became the "black sheep" of my family. I felt differently than they did, I acted differently than they did, I thought about things differently than they did, my priorities were completely different than theirs. My decisions and mistakes were written in highlighter because I was trying to function with the broken tools that had been given to me. Meanwhile, I am actually a really good person. I am kind, and giving, and helpful. I am intelligent and resilient, and strong emotionally. It's funny how I and people with similar backgrounds to mine have spent so much of our lives feeling weak, and useless, never realizing just how strong we had to be to go through what we did and even remain on the planet. Lots of people don't. I managed to make it through my childhood without any sexual diseases, drug/alcohol addictions, unwanted pregnancies, criminal records, or any other long term abusive relationships other than the one. Very, very few of us are that lucky. I recognize that and am grateful for it.

But, my point is, that it's like some weird, surreal acid trip where you're stumbling around in life, drunk almost, trying to function through this haze of bad mental/emotional wiring...while underneath, wondering what's wrong with you? Why do you seem to be so different than everyone else? Why can't you seem to function like everyone else? Be productive like everyone else? Have healthy relationships like everyone else?

And since I was already pre-programmed with this operating system that was flashing "Wrong! You are wrong! Something wrong with you! You don't belong! You don't deserve! Not as pretty! Not as smart! Not good! Not worthy! Not worth protecting! Not worth loving!" Well...then every single mistake I made as an adult, every bad decision, every rejection, every instance of things not working out right no matter how hard I tried to make them ok - was just icing on the cake. Just reinforcement for the original operating system. And the criticisms and judgments that I got from my family because of them, an extra layer of reinforcement.

And I know it was confusing for them too, watching me act that way. Of all the types of abuses, emotional abuse is talked about the least. It's effects on children are so easily written off and the least understood. And because of that, dysfunctional families churn out dysfunctional adults and because no one understands what's happened, we are judged. "What's wrong with you?"

It's like people assumed that I walked into adult hood with everything I needed to be a functional adult. And it was even worse that I was smart (even if I couldn't see it at the time). I was very capable in some areas, but not others. I could hold management jobs at work, hold a steady full time job, but couldn't stop giving my money away to my boyfriends or choose a healthy relationship to save my life. Then I developed invisible mental illnesses like anxiety, and depression. And because of the chronic stress that I'd been operating under since I was a child, I developed other invisible health ailments like unbalanced hormones, nutritional/mineral deficiencies, digestive issues and Adrenal Fatigue - which contributed to my anxiety, depression, and low energy, brain fog, and weight gain.

So, collectively, we survivors are judged as simply being dysfunctional...sure, we can't function as adults in normal society...but no one goes beyond that. No one asks, "well, how did you get that way?" Very few parents ever want to ask themselves, "What part in this did I play?" That's a hard mirror to look into. Families as a whole never ask, "What part did we play?" In fact, in dysfunctional families, things like silence, and shame, are essential to their very nature. It's in no one's best interest to admit that there was ever abuse of any kind. And in society, no one asks, "How did you get this way?" There was a time when psychology sort of focused on that question, but in more recent years it's been a lot more, "Which drugs can we give you to get you to stop being this way?"

So, we hear things like "What's wrong with you?" And we get labeled the black sheeps, and the family * ups - we get diagnosed with things like personality disorders and mood disorders, and anxiety disorders and drugged. And if we say, well...you know, I had it kind of rough as a kid, people roll their eyes at us and say things like, "Oh, right, blame your parents for all your problems, instead of taking personal responsibility for your decisions and mistakes!"

We get blamed for not being whole, when it was very likely others who broke us and scattered our pieces to the winds to begin with.

And we blame ourselves. And, god forbid we actually come to the conclusion that our childhoods were a whole lot worse than "rough", and we go looking for answers. Looking for accountability. Looking for apologies so that we can simply move forward with our lives. Looking for SOMEONE to say..."I'm so very sorry for what I did to you." Because that's not going to happen. Very, very few adult victims of child abuse hear any kind of "I'm sorry." Instead, they hear things like..."let it go" "That never happened." "I did the best I could." We are told to "Forgive and forget" and to "brush it under the carpet." Even when the abuse is ongoing!

We are told that we cannot be whole human beings, strong human beings, until we forgive those who have hurt us the most grievously. We are told to forgive, even before we fully understand the depths of our own wounds, or fully felt the justifiable anger about what was done to us, or grieved for the things that we have lost.

And grandparents turn away from us, because admitting to the abuse would be to admit that they stood by and watched it happened and didn't/couldn't do anything about it and that there might be something seriously wrong with their child. And siblings that we were close to pull away from us because listening to us talk about OUR abusive childhood would mean that they'd have to admit that THEY had had it a little more than "rough" themselves, and that THEY have some serious healing to do themselves that they're not ready to confront.

And so we are left alone. We are left alone to wander here and there to pick up the pieces. We are left alone to get bloody digging into our own psyche's, to yank out the tangled and corroded wiring that our families of origin installed. To learn how to set boundaries despite racing hearts and throats that are closing, voices that are trembling and tears that are threatening because of PTSD triggers. Despite feeling the kind of terror that is usually reserved for finding serial killers hiding behind shower curtains, and fear that makes us nauseous, we have to learn how to handle the every day challenges of life and we have to learn how to live and function in a world that in every way seems unsafe to us. People are not safe, some places are not safe, certain aspects of certain situations, combined in certain ways are not safe -because they trigger emotions long buried, long forgotten that were never processed properly.

A minor confrontation with my neighbor over a noise issue left me trembling and nauseous in my apartment on more than one occasion. I put up with the noise for months, aggravating my anxiety and developing an increasing sensitivity to sounds of all kinds because of it, but I was afraid even to ask for help for fear that if the office told me that they couldn't, or wouldn't help me, that it would trigger a PTSD emotional breakdown leaving me humiliated, and in danger of being seen as "emotionally unstable". It is incredibly difficult for me to be in situations where I feel helpless, trapped in a situation I can't do anything about, with another person holding all the power to either fix or control the situation while I am at their whim.

In order to even begin healing, we have to dig so deep to find amazing amounts of courage in order to force ourselves to speak up in our relationships despite tears in our eyes, constricting throats and trembling voices and the surety on a cellular level that we will be rejected and abandoned because we dared to put forth an opinion, or a dissenting view, or god forbid - actually come out and say that we are angry. God forbid we find that we have to go through this entire process in a professional setting.

We have to RELEARN how to even HAVE emotions, because we were taught that emotions are bad, they are wrong, they are not ok for us to have. We don't have the right to be angry and when we make other people angry at us? It ends BADLY. We walk away with, at the most, a black eye or belt marks across our legs, and at the least (only because it's completely invisible) a completely crushed and shredded ego. We weren't allowed to be sad, and we stopped daring to be happy because it would be snatched away at a moments notice. I have had to learn how to stop panicking when anything goes well in my life, certain at any moment that it would be taken away from me - both because I felt that I wasn't deserving of having good things in my life, and because in my house it wasn't safe to be happy. Being happy meant that you might inadvertently share a moment of happiness, and inevitably that would be used against you, or twisted around into something bad and shameful.

We have to teach ourselves from scratch what is acceptable behavior, on our parts and on other people's parts. Boundaries are an unknown concept in dysfunctional families. Something that we should have been learning in KINDERGARTEN, we are now learning as adults in what is almost surely already volatile family, relationship, or work settings because we nearly always have our "moment's of awakening" in the midst of these ongoing abusive situations when we reach a point of breakdown, of "I can't take it anymore."

And, while all of that learning and relearning is going on, we have to grieve.

I have to grieve in ways that most people don't ever even contemplate. To most people, grief is reserved, thankfully, for those instances where grief is normal and natural, in losing a loved one. Or losing a relationship even. As an adult victim of child abuse, I have to grieve things that I never had, that I should have. Things that I never WILL have, that I should have at least had the option to have. I have to grieve all of the ways that I was wronged as a child, and all of the ways that I wronged myself as an adult by putting myself in harmful situations because I didn't know any better, or didn't know how to make a better choice.

I have to grieve all the time that I lost, floundering around trying to deal with all of this. I am behind in many meaningful ways, and I have had to learn how not to judge myself by my family's and the rest of societies standards because only I understand how I have been held behind.

I have to grieve a mother who is still alive, who continually approaches me saying that she doesn't understand why I want nothing to do with her because in her mind, she's completely re-written my history, effectively making the person that I am right now, non-existent - because every single thing about me is informed by my childhood...my interest in psychology, my health problems, the things that I struggle to overcome on a daily basis - and talking about any of those things would mean talking about my childhood, which doesn't exist, which means that *I* don't exist. On the flip side, to have a relationship with her, I would have to defend myself against awful things that she has, over the years, determined are true about me by piecing little facets of things together here and there. My mother, the woman who birthed me, thinks that I have done things more horrible than any single person that I have ever actually wronged in my life has ever thought about me.

And I can't say to the world, "I miss my mother." because she isn't dead. And I can't even say that I "miss her" because I never really had her to begin with...and I can't say to anyone, "I wish I had a mother." because no one gets it. They look at her, and listen to her, and her delusions and her, I am certain, very real pain - because what mother wouldn't be pained by her child denouncing her, especially when in her mind, there is no reason for it? And I become the bad guy. I am the cold hearted one. I am, as always, at fault and in the wrong. I am abandoned over and over again when it comes to her.

And it's funny, because I have friends whose mother's have died. And they say to me things like, "You should learn how to forgive because when they're gone, you're going to be so sorry and you're going to miss them, and wish that you'd had this time with them." And I know, that in their minds, they are missing their mothers. They are missing the nurturing that their mothers provided them with, maybe the advice, or the mother-daughter bonding. Even if it was just for a short time. They are wishing that their mothers were there for them during milestones like weddings, or child births.

And what they don't understand is that I never had any of that to begin with. I never had it to miss. And yet, paradoxically, I do miss it. I don't miss what I never had, I miss what I should have had. I ache to have a mother to go to to talk to about my problems, without having to fear what I divulged to her knowing that it would be used against me later. I WISH that I could call my mother up and talk to her about my amazing boyfriend, or my new job, or any of this crazy healing journey that I've been on, or cry to her when I am sad, or have been hurt. I wish that I'd had a mother who could have talked to me in a meaningful way about becoming a woman, instead of being left to discover everything on my own. I wish that I'd had a mother who hadn't shamed sex, and my body so badly that I am still struggling with body and sexual issues.

I watch my friends who have children, my friends who are working SO HARD to be good parents and I my heart swells with gratitude that they are raising healthy, happy children - that those kids lives are just so completely opposite of what I experienced as a kid. And at the EXACT same time, my heart aches with jealousy. Jealous of the kids, because they are so loved, and so cared for, and so nurtured, and so strengthened, and so protected - all things I never had - and jealous of the parents, because I will never experience having children of my own because my wiring is still so fried, so crossed, so damaged that for many many reasons, me having children would just be a bad idea and so I've chosen not to. It's my choice, and I know I could very easily choose otherwise and this isn't a decision that I blame my mother for, but the events that led me to making that decision, I most certainly do.

Everything is just...harder than it should be. I've made great strides towards healing. I've corrected a lot of my unhealthy behavior patterns, learned how to make better decisions, adjusted some of the warped filters that I was taught to see myself, and the world through...but I still have a long way to go. And I can't stop myself from wishing that it was different.

No matter how much I learn to accept myself, I can't seem to stop feeling sad when I look into the mirror at all the extra weight that I carry because of the health issues that have come from all the chronic stress that I've been under for so long, and the depression that has kept me from being able to do more than just barely function in my life for so long. Because of all the ways that I disconnected from my body, abandoning it, and abusing it because of the ways that I was taught to hate it.

I can't help but wish that *I* was different, that I was more sociable, that it was easier for me to connect with people emotionally, that I was more trusting, that so much of my emotional and physical energy wasn't tied up in just getting through each day. I wish that I didn't miss out on so many social engagements because I feel too awkward and uncomfortable to go to them, or that I miss out on them while I'm there because in a room full of people, family or not, I often still feel out of place. Painfully awkward. Alien. Other. And even during those times when I put in the massive amount of emotional work that it takes to not feel that way, to mentally adjust all my internal filters, and talk myself off of the anxiety ledge, and remind myself ten-hundred times that I'm ok, I'm safe, I can be myself...I still go home exhausted and sometimes need a day or two to recover, and am not so eager to jump into another social engagement.

And I know that that takes a toll on my relationships, even the ones that are incredibly important to me. Days, and weeks flash by me because I'm just trying to make it from one to the next and the next thing I know, I realize that I haven't talked to someone in ages. People text me, and I forget to respond because all of my focus is here, now, friends go through terrible life experiences and everything in me wants to be there for them, to help them if I can, to be supportive...and sometimes I can be, most times I can't.

I refuse to give up though."

I'm not sure that it's finished, I think I just got tired of writing, lol.

Re: So, I wrote a Thing...(Not sure yet what it's purpose is)
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2014, 04:57:16 PM »
I think we should all just form a club or something. This is exactly IT. Hah. We can feel odd together! If there's at least THREE people on this planet feeling like the odd ones out, then that means we're not the odd ones out anymore, yes?  :woohoo:

No, seriously, you can't believe (well, you probably can...) - anyway, it's amazing what a bloody relief it is to hear someone tell her story and it's so much like mine. I've always felt like I was trying to walk on broken legs. Everything that's officially easy is hard for me.

Quote
...she's completely re-written my history, effectively making the person that I am right now, non-existent - because every single thing about me is informed by my childhood...my interest in psychology, my health problems, the things that I struggle to overcome on a daily basis - and talking about any of those things would mean talking about my childhood, which doesn't exist, which means that *I* don't exist.

YES! Exactly. That's exactly IT. It's like having to impersonate a parallel-world version of myself. It's like I'm not a full person anymore, instead I'm some kind of performance or public service.

Spryte, thanks for your honesty. You're a really good writer.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 04:59:05 PM by schrödinger's cat »

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Badmemories

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Re: So, I wrote a Thing...(Not sure yet what it's purpose is)
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2014, 06:50:48 PM »

 spryte!

:fireworks: :yourock: :yeahthat: :cheer: :yourock: :yeahthat: :cheer: :fireworks:
Wow! very good writing! I read  lot of it and had to stop! I have been busy today on reading about Brainwashing etc. so I am a little agitated right now! Thank You so much for taking the time to wrote this I will finish reading in the AM hen I am fresher!  :'(. I just know we were sisters! I know that this must have been cathartic for You to write this!

Keep on keeping On!

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spryte

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Re: So, I wrote a Thing...(Not sure yet what it's purpose is)
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2014, 10:37:20 PM »
Thank you everyone for your very kind feedback! I really appreciate it! I did find this very cathartic to write. I feel like it's kind of a summary of both my progress, and the things that I'm still struggling with so it helped me to put a lot of things into perspective as well as sort of get in touch with some feelings that I'd been having difficulty with.

Badmemories - I definitely get taking things in little bites. I am the same way too. I've been getting overwhelmed by this stuff really easily lately and my body has been telling me in a very particular way that I've been pushing myself a little too hard - so I'm listening, and slowing down.

SC - indeed I would love a club! I really wish that there was some kind of c-ptsd group therapy kind of thing in my area, but no such luck. It is incredibly healing to hear so many stories that are so similar to mine. Seeing people who resonated with this so strongly really made me emotional. It's so nice to know that we're not alone!

bheart - I'm always sorry that others do resonate so well with my story, because obviously we never want to see others struggle the way that we have...but, at the same time, it's incredibly validating to me to know that sharing what I've learned, and my experiences is helpful to others. In a way, I guess it brings me some level of comfort because it makes me feel like...at least it wasn't all for nothing, you know? I can use my experiences to help others. If I didn't have that, I'm not sure what I'd do. It's THE reason that I'm going to school for psychology.

BeHealthy - those are very good questions.

Personality disorders can be developed without a history of abuse. That got my attention. Is this from your own perspective or is it a theoretical model of someone else?

I don't know where I got that exactly. I know that in my reading on personality disorders, I did come across information somewhere that said that while they were often correlated with prior abuse, that that wasn't always the case. Of course, it is entirely possible that in whatever studies they've done, "emotional abuse" and "neglect" were not quantified correctly, because we still don't have very good unifying criterion for either.

I had always assumed that my mother had had a rough childhood. Then I found out from my father that my mother was, from the time that he knew her, just always incredibly narcissistic and selfish, and that her explosive rage was always present. He told me that my grandparents spoiled her, and that she always got whatever she wanted. I don't know much about her childhood, and my grandmother I think is a very different person to me than she was to my mother. I've seen glimpses of my grandmother's "crazy" as well, so who knows. I know that my mother's sister is very cut off from the family, very LC, with her own anxiety and personality issues. There is definitely something that runs deep in my family.

I also read recently in regards to certain personality issues like obsessive traits, that those can be innate in children rather than having been developed by any childhood trauma. Obsessiveness and perfectionism and a bunch of other things that fall into that category are some of the criteria for Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.

It's way easier to raise emotionally healthy children than to repair emotionally broken adults. Yes, objectively this may be true. However the people that raised us (emotionally broken adults) did not have the capacity for doing anything other than what they did.

This is a hard one for me. Objectively, I know that that's true. Hurt people hurt people (although, back to the other question, as I said there's some question about how that happens). I know that there were far fewer resources and information available to my mother when I was a kid. I guess my problem, and the very un-objective filter that I am looking at this through is how I have been able to break this cycle when she wasn't. How so many of the people that I know who are raising wonderful kids, were also victims of child abuse and are also breaking the cycle. For as much as I do understand about human motivations, and psychology, it still baffles me how some people just have more self-awareness than others and how the protection of their children from the things that they experienced is enough to motivate them to do the hard work of healing.

My decisions and mistakes were written in highlighter. By yourself? or from your parent's perspective. Do you still feel that way?

This is another hard one for me that I've been debating myself. My "family" is actually split into two parts. My mom's side and my dad's side, which became separate when they divorced. Both sides judge things very differently from the other, their priorities are very different. I got a lot of criticism for many of the choices that I made from both sides. Some of it was very warranted. I got myself into some very messed up situations. I think I internalized though a lot of what I just "knew" they considered "right" and "wrong" without it being said specifically. In addition to that, I never got any specific positive feedback for any of my strengths from either side. In the absence of any kind of positive reinforcement, the criticisms just seemed so much louder.

And with both my mother and father, it seems that to them...half the time what they're trying to do is give me "advice" and "be helpful" just in really critical ways. That, I think, layered on top of my already messed up "I am wrong" programming just served to make me feel even more judged.

I don't know if I feel that way anymore. I do think that they thought that I was a very messed up kid, when in reality, I was actually pretty normal. It's THE biggest reason that I had to take a break from both sides of the family because every time I was around them I'd revert back to that kid, that's how they'd treat me, and I'd dissociate. Now, I feel more secure in who I am, and am able to hold my boundaries better, at least with my dad's side of the family - and since being able to do that, I am seeing that a lot of the ongoing judgments that I felt may have been in my head. I've felt much more comfortable being myself around them, and they seem to be accepting me a lot better than they did.

Thanks for all the great discussion guys!

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Badmemories

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Re: So, I wrote a Thing...(Not sure yet what it's purpose is)
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2014, 02:46:56 PM »
Trigger warning! Trigger warning! Trigger warning! Trigger warning! Trigger warning! Trigger warning! Trigger warning!Trigger warning! Trigger warning! Trigger warning!
Posted by: spryte
October 22, 2014, 08:09:05 AM

"I feel like the prevailing response, when you start to talk about your childhood and the ways that it affected you, is some kind of eye rolling - I never wanted to be that person who blamed her parents for her troubles. I took personal responsibility "Oh, right, blame your parents for all your problems, instead of taking personal responsibility for your decisions and mistakes!" I've heard it from others, and I had even adopted that mentality myself - towards myself. I saw myself making terrible decisions. for every mistake, every poor decision, for a long, long time.

I blamed Myself also... I have to/have been, break/breaking down a lot of denial walls to admit that Mom was really abusive. She was.. I also blamed Myself for causing all the problems I had (mostly wrong choice of mates) As I read about cPTSD, child neglect, and child Abuse,I realize that MY FOO set me up to fail.  :stars:. I can not accept what happened UNTIL I start to put the responsibility where it belongs!

My Mom sent this through Facebook Quit Blaming your parents for everything wrong in Your life.  Be grateful they saw you through your teenage years and didn't kill You!
I got agitated when I saw she had posted this! I have been blaming Myself for My whole life... Now I am going to put the responsibility where it belongs.. On YOU MOM.. You did not stick up for me nor did You protect me. How can a child under 12 stand up for themselves?  :pissed:


 [color] I even blamed myself for the emotionally abusive relationship that I ended up in, refusing to put any blame on him whatsoever. "I stayed. It was my decision to put up with that. I could have walked away at any time." [/color][/u]

Spyte...  :hug: Don't blame Your self for staying in a Bad relationship..It is like a plug in and plug. They go together...because of the "You are worthless talk" we go as children we were trained to plug in to the plug!  :bigwink: Honestly, I felt like I would not ever get anyone decent I just got who ever I could!   :stars:

. I was very hard to admit that I was a victim of child abuse, and that my mother was abusive. To this day, five years after that first realization, I am still catching myself trying to let her off the hook and invalidate my own experiences and feelings by making excuses for her actions.

 :yeahthat:

I wrote this yesterday on FB:
"When children are taught that their opinions don't matter, that they are not allowed to stand up for themselves, that it is dangerous to get angry...or to have someone get angry with them (that they will be hit, humiliated, put down, or criticized), that they do not have the same rights as other people to have emotions like anger, or to not be hit...they grow up and walk into the world believing that they are inferior to everyone else. THAT FEELING informs EVERY SINGLE DECISION that they make from their friendships, to their intimate relationships, to their career decisions, to how they take care of and protect themselves from emotional and physical predators - it informs those decisions until they realize just how effed up their foundation was and they start doing the VERY difficult work to re-wire their entire belief system. Some people never reach that point. It's way easier to raise emotionally healthy children than to repair emotionally broken adults."


I wished I had the Balls to write this on My Facebook page!

And with both my mother and father, it seems that to them...half the time what they're trying to do is give me "advice" and "be helpful" just in really critical ways. That, I think, layered on top of my already messed up "I am wrong" programming just served to make me feel even more judged.

I am harder on Myself because of this messed up thinking!

Me too!  :yeahthat:

Spyte... You have touched base with so many things I have been working through! Thank You for such a poignant post!  :hug:

Re: So, I wrote a Thing...(Not sure yet what it's purpose is)
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2014, 07:39:16 PM »
My Mom sent this through Facebook [....]

She what?  :blink:  Holy sh*t. Unbelievable.

*

Badmemories

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Re: So, I wrote a Thing...(Not sure yet what it's purpose is)
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2014, 05:19:07 PM »
yeah I guess we are no contact...not by any design or anything.. She used to call me every day and I am so busy and she could not get a hold of me so she said that I was going to have  to call her... I just forget with My ADD... so I think She is mad at me :) Then when she calls and the kids interrupt me during the phone call she gets mad..She is true to uNPD just likes to get the information on what My Daughter is up to :)...or she tells me what problems she is having... :blahblahblah: :blahblahblah:
She also ran a post by facebook saying something like talk to Your loved ones they might not be there any more.

Of course I am working on NOT DENYING HER neglect, abuse, and crap so I have been reflecting about it all so I am not in a good frame of mind right now towards her anyway! I mean the last few years she has been pretty good.. I don't have nearly the problems that I read about on here and OOTF... Honestly I always tell her she did a good job raising us. I think that My step Dad caused a lot of problems for her and Me as I was not his kid...I still feel She should have stood up for me, she should have known he abused me... I think the whole step family was sexually abusive! The sister of step dad hated men.. I think it might have been because she was also abused by step grand dad. I know that MOM's step Dad and family tried to abuse her also.. So much abuse in My family, drunks, rages, and the whole 9 yards. No wonder I am such a basket case!  :stars:

Now when I look at it... I see that It was probably real hard for her to Divorce Step Dad...I know she was afraid of him. I remember him beating her up lots of times. I think  that divorcing him did make the family lots better... of course then I was made the Mother of the family, and she played out the role of father, bread winner. So, she had me pretty enmeshed...even though after that time she was not physically abusive. She was certainly emotionally abusive.

Then I have been reading about taking care of uNPD parents as they age! She fell and broke her wrist last winter and I stayed at her house and helped her. No real problems... just wondering how bad it could get!
Any way TY for asking!  :hug:
Keep on keeping on!