1. So true. All the abuse and neglect I went through during childhood built me up well to fall into a highly dysfunctional relationship with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, which I only recently escaped. Opened up about the childhood trauma to my mother after that. About my father for throwing suicide threats at me when I was 8 years old, trauma-bonding and enmeshing me with him, using passive-aggression, emotional outbursts, the silent treatment and shame to keep me silent, obedient and dependent, for sexually touching me as a minor – the list goes on. And for her for telling me world was dangerous and that I shouldn't make any friends (I didn't), for both of them isolating me my whole childhood, for failing to support my socialisation as a child, for failing to help me when I was being bullied at school or feeling terrified, depressed or alone.  

  2. I can relate to your experience quite a bit.

  3. I'm really sorry you've had to go through so much pain. I'm glad you've managed to make it this far, though. I wish you the best in your healing journey. x

  4. Yep, and coming out of the 'fog', so to speak, and actually experiencing actual connection with myself (like emotions, thoughts, feelings, ideas, interests) has been a really weird experience for me.

  5. Props to you for bravely sharing this. It takes a lot to admit things as hard and painful as this.I agree with the others here that, along the way, we can get desensitised to certain ways of how people behave and act. I say this especially as dysfunctional ways people would behave and communicate in the family during childhood can then go on to influence how we manage ourselves in future relationships. Thats been especially relevant in my experience, as I came to normalise outbursts, aggressive behaviour and walking on eggshells with my previous partner, just as I had done with my father as a child.

  6. Thank you, yeah, it just... Feels so weird because I've already gone through this major process before. The apologizing, the mending, the healing... Something broke me again while I was with my... Ex-partner, and I hurt him and some others too.

  7. I know what you mean when you mention starting from scratch again. Its hard since having to go through everything again can trigger those feelings of worthlessness again, like we don't belong, which can kickstart the whole process of acting on old trauma drivers and impulses, again.

  8. She didn’t confirm that. What you said here was that she abandoned you because she couldn’t do her fucking job and your sister made it so that she didn’t have to. When a dysfunctional person says you don’t fit in, you have to ask yourself ‘you didn’t fit into what?’

  9. Thank you so much for this. What you wrote is so empowering.

  10. I can definitely relate! Always felt anxiety, guilt and shame buying things for myself. For me, it was related to difficulties with asking for my own needs and wants. My parents cultivated a kind of atmosphere of artificial scarcity, even though financially and economically we were comfortable, which led me to perceive the world as a ‘zero-sum’ place (i.e  one person's gain would be another's loss.) And I didn’t want to be selfish, so I learned how not to ask for much, thinking that asking would otherwise be a problem.

  11. Yep. Totally. Anxiety guilt ans shame is the holy trinity of emotions that accompany shopping. Definitely relate. Made it difficult to ask for needs and wants and more so if they didn't approve of it, the request was struck down and never to be talked of again, so when I could I'd do it keeping it a secret. For example waxing arms and legs.

  12. I'm glad you were able to find the strength to at least do it anyways at least secretly.

  13. I think it would take some time to give yourself the time and space to adjust to the new environment. I can relate to the feeling of becoming worse after getting out of an environment that was clearly not serving me. And I was in denial for a few weeks before feeling the full impact of the emotions. Honestly it was so overwhelming that the usual mechanisms kicked in again and I was kind of numb. I feel like if you want a change, and see a value in that, keep that courage in you and keep going. Keep going into that territory that seems unfamiliar, and don't forget to shower kindness for yourself. You've been through a lot, and now it's time to take a pause and breathe.

  14. I can definitely relate to this. Somehow, the environment that was clearly bad for me felt more attractive solely because it was familiar: its what I was used/adapted to. To have to learn an entire new skill set to figure out how to survive in basically what was another world to me would look very daunting. It's hard to find peace and balance when you are one between worlds.

  15. I dunno that your parents did the best they could. Abusing a child is a pretty terrible thing to do

  16. Knowing my parents, I really do think what they did was the best they could even though it was painfully awful to be their child. They lacked a lot of self-awareness and seem strongly entrenched in denial and stubbornness in what happened, so i've just come to accept that things the way they are and that they won't change for the better.

  17. Start with what you feel comfortable, make a list of tasks from neutral and easily to do (eg saying hello to a stranger) all the way up to goals and tasks you want to do but are afraid of (eg. crying in front of someone or opening up about cpstd symptoms) and then you can slowly progress through them, Perhaps letting people you trust most by doing an activity you'd normally do by yourself, or just share some small emotional with them, let them see you as not 97%, instead of 100%.

  18. Thank you for your comment. These are some great ideas. I will start small and steadily and try to be more compassionate with myself. I notice this kind of stuff tends to bring up distorted thinking (like all-or-nothing thinking & emotional thinking) so I will keep an eye on my thought processes and how I feel so I can work through how I handle situations. Thanks again.

  19. Wow, that shock bit... well, shocked me. Because I realise that I can pretty much do the same thing when forced into those situations.

  20. Thank you so much for the tips and for mentioning Gabor's book! I'm definitely adding it to the reading list.

  21. I can relate SO MUCH to how you described your mother. And she was the “good parent”. My therapist recently suggested she is a vulnerable narcissist. You might want to check that out. I’m struggling to figure out all of the ways this affected me. Yes, there was some social isolation growing up. My mom had very little friends and lost what she had in the divorce. She met her partner (who most likely has ASD) and the family friends went down to zero. He’s a good man, but they are by themselves a lot.

  22. Thank you for sharing your story! And thanks for the suggestion on narcissism - I have had a little look into narcissism already and i'm definitely seeing some connection with how she is. I don't think shes a full blown one, but I am mostly convinced that she kept people away as a defensive strategy to help her feel safe - since there was a lot of fear and unpredicability in the conflict she had to face. Being able to tie what she had to go through with how she is helped me come to acceptance about the whole situation. It helped with the shame and guilt I used to feel a lot, that maybe it was about me, that I was a bad child, or something, which turned out not to be true - rather, it was just a terrible situation all round I was powerless to control.

  23. I had a quite similar experience - I was hypervigiliant about the emotional state of my constantly stressed mother, who had to care for my grandparents and my deathly ill sister. Not to mention she probably had ADHD from her own childhood traumas. I just couldn't keep her attention, so I constantly questioned if my own behavior caused her to "turn away" from me.

  24. Thank you for sharing your story! I can say I can relate to the nagging feeling of requiring a mother's approval for connecting with others and managing relationships. Not having the guidance of knowing how to connect with others always placed a nagging anxiety in the back of my head that I was doing or would do something wrong which would mean losing the friendship, which felt like the end of the world at the time, since I was always deathly afraid of losing others.

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