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Will I be O.K.?


Guest Ilook@allthelonelypeople
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Guest Ilook@allthelonelypeople

I’ve been feeling especially angry lately. :mad: I can go for a long time, trying to put things out of my mind. But then sometimes it sneaks up on me, and it’s like an itch I can never quite reach. I keep thinking about my childhood, how it disadvantaged me, and how nobody cares. The world is very predatory. And I go to jobs and have to fight two battles at once. I feel like my life was ruined, and part of it might have been deliberate. My Mom wanted to treat me like her sister. She wanted me to be sexually abused. She wanted to re-live the same situation that she grew up in. My Dad, meanwhile, did nothing but yell and scream and put me down in every way he could.

I can finally forgive the stupid bullies, because they were just stupid kids. I can not fully forgive my own parents, or, to a lesser extent, the parents of the children bullying me. But really, I was all but asking to be bullied. I didn’t know that at the time, but it was completely inevitable. Children have no filter on instinctive behavior, and people will instinctively kick someone who’s down, at least when they’re forced into a group. It wasn’t their fault.

(This is a milestone. All my life, I’ve never been able to fully blame my parents, because of my dependency on them for friendship and/or financial assistance. I wonder if the bankers or CEO’s that helped us into a recession ever consider how a bad economy has “hidden” costs, like a young girl having to compromise her moral standards because she’s too financially desperate to do otherwise. Of course, I’m still financially dependent on them, but since two therapists have told me I might consider suing my parents, I don’t feel guilty about that. I would be too afraid of losing to take them to court, although I do have some evidence, including drawings of my Dad’s pubes from when I was five years old.).

...It was my parents who never taught me a thing. They never taught me anything, not a thing, about socializing. I was never taught how to dress. I certainly never learned any of the girly things from my mother. No one taught me how to cook. No one taught me to be self-sufficient. Anything my Dad wanted to “teach” me, he beat into me, and blamed me when it didn’t work.

Absolutely everything about that situation I grew up in was designed to warp me, or at least that’s how it seemed. I went to a private school where only upper and upper middle class children went to school. My Dad of course, resented any expenditures on me, saying (even now) that I “got the biggest piece of the pie.” But, even if true, was that my fault? Did it justify all the abuse? I didn’t ask to be brought into the world. It was already obvious from the way my hair was fixed that my parents didn’t care, but I also had the cheapest uniform. It infuriates me that Dad would claim otherwise. I lived through it, motherfucker. And then there was the isolation. Utter and complete. No one ever visited; my parents didn’t have any friends, where we lived, an hour away from where Dad worked and where I went to school. It’s a good thing, too, because my parents always went around naked. I realize now that the reason my Dad paid top dollar for the private school is because it made him feel better about his lack of parenting. Didn’t keep him from complaining about the price tag, though. At the top of his lungs. Continually. And when I was trapped in the car on the daily commute.

It does help to write about it. My biggest fear is that I won’t be able to recover from this in time. I’m getting to the age now where I’m having to think about my biological clock. I really resent men sometimes, the way they can coast until they’re forty and not have to worry about passing on their genes till then. How different would the world be if women didn’t have to worry about their age? Or, so long as I'm wishing, if people could choose their gender? Sometimes the world seems so unfair all I want to do is close myself off in a room somewhere. It is so heartless out there. Anyway, I’m still struggling with the same questions that I had when I was 15. This was confirmed when I went back through old journals. The. Exact. Same. Questions. I’m still terrified. I’m scared of people, and I sometimes still feel like my Dad is in the next room, hounding me, or my Mom is trying to control me in her own quiet way. The more problems I had, or the more desperate I seemed, the more she loved me. She must really love me now.

I hate myself for not being able to just snap out of it. I wish I could erase childhood from my memory. It’s a feeling of having been attacked, and not having anyone to point your finger at. I’ve always blamed myself, my whole life. Wholeheartedly. I wish I could have been stronger and snapped out of it by now. Although, I did want to give myself this time to live experiences I’d never had. There’s no substitute for childhood, though. I’m still hurting, still struggling, and I feel like people can see right through me, into all my nameless inadequacies. I fear all of them, really. And I’m still so scared. I still feel like I can’t live normal life. I resist it, kind of the same way I resisted singing in church after a certain age. It wasn’t in me, and no amount of my Dad bumping into me would goad me into performing for his benefit.

Anyway, I guess I just need someone to tell me everything will be O.K. Even if you're lying. lol.

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Hi ILook, That just sounded like my story, and you expressed the anger I was never able to express... :mad: Frankly it felt good to hear it. I'm in a 'life is so unfair' mood this week too. I hate it when that happens! Most of the time I am able to block it out, intentionally, because it just sends me into a spin... That's when I consciously don't listen to the news, or watch difficult programs on TV, or whatever. Then I try to be around positive people, it helps me look at other things.

I totally get what you mean about wanting to get over it. I was just saying that on another thread... I guess we have to continue to work at it, and see them for who they are. Like you I integrated it within myself and it's been a challenge detaching myself from what was done to me. With time I have really come to understand that my dad had absolutely no concept of psychology and how certain actions would impact my mental health. He was too preoccupied with his own needs to worry much about what he was doing to me. I think in his own mind he was helping me, tryig to mold me by beating the crap out of me. He was going to break me, was going to control me, and I was going to do it his way, and it appears that using me as a punching bag released his stress :-(

In fact he was a stressed out man, worked too hard, was too ambitious, was a control freek, and he could not control his anger. That was all his crap... some people just have no clue what is important in parenting.

Anyway, we learn as we go, and the more we understand about the dynamics at play the better I think... Hope you find a way to tune into the good stuff... it's out there if you look for it :) Actually it's here in this forum I think....

Edited by Symora
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Guest Ilook@allthelonelypeople

Hi, Symora. Thanks for the long note. I agree with you, btw, that this forum is an excellent resource, full of insightful people, both trained and untrained. I feel a little guilty that, the way it's been working out, I've generally only been posting on this site when I need something. Take, take take, right?

Yeah, I'm with you, too. It astounds me that someone like myself, whom psychiatrists have said has a powerful level of insight, could be related to someone as clueless as my Dad. He always pushed off any responsibility onto someone else; an "expert" who supposedly knew better (but didn't have all the facts about me, including the most important ones of how he treated me), or spent money in a way that didn't really help me, but made him feel better. I can't help it; just thinking about it, I get angry again. He's a ph.D, a published author, and yet, with everything he read, he couldn't be bothered to read a single book about parenting? What, like my Mom was going to handle it, with all of her problems? I'm angry at her, too. She was a stay at home Mom, but couldn't look past her own problems, including her devotion to her "fantasy life," as she called it, to parent me. You're right, he was overworked, like your Dad. But was that our fault? Of course not. Did that mean that I was obligated to be a pincushion? I think it made him feel more like a man to treat me the way I did. Pathetic! No wonder I have problems with men.

It's kind of funny, in a way, but my Mom had a thing about having me sleep with them at night, until I was well into my teens. And when I wasn't there between them, she'd build a little wall of pillows between her and my Dad. They never hugged or showed affection in any way, and the last time they had sex was when I was five. I really think my Mom, subconsciously or consciously, wanted to replicate the sexual abuse and and sexual rivalry she felt with her sister growing up. That's how she treated me; like a sister.

My Mom says it's good that I'm able to feel angry. She, again, likes to think that I'm just like her. Maybe I am, thanks to her, in some ways. But, for me, anger, both repressed and non, has dominated a lot of my life, along with a lot of other "dark side" emotions like jealousy of people who had storybook childhoods.

Maybe part of the problem is that I oscillate between repressing my anger and feeling it, and when I feel it, it's like a volcano. There's a lot of energy to it. I wasn't allowed to be angry about anything while I was growing up, (so to speak) but that didn't stop me from burning all my Dad's dress pants once. My only regret is that I didn't burn more. lol

It's also had an impact on how I relate to men. I never acknowledged that until recently, because it seemed like such a cliche.

Anyway, I do feel better this morning. That's usually how it works...the Nighttime Whatifs get the better of me.

Thanks again, Symora. :)

Edited by Ilook@allthelonelypeople
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Guest Ilook@allthelonelypeople

P.S.: Something I would really appreciate some suggestions/ insight about is how my past experience could adversely affect my ability to be a parent, and what I would need to look out for.

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Me again.... Glad to hear you are having a better day :-)

Like you it has affected my relationships with men, my capacity to trust, but I truly believe it actually made me a better parent. I think I was so concious of the mistakes my parents made that I was extra careful to do things in other ways. For example I knew how lethal denigration and verbal abuse could be because I could see the effects on my own psyche. And so I consciously decided to try another formula that revolved around open communication, respect, encouragement, support, understanding, balanced with some healthy boundaries and consequences. No physical abuse beyond a slap on the bottom. Sometimes my hand would go out instinctively, but I held it back...

I can't say I did it all right, but the formula did work. My adult daughters are lovely, well balanced individuals who are confortable in who they are and confident members of society. I was a single parent and often it was not easy to decide how to approach things because I had had no models, so I took classes, read books, learned about psychology, etc. and that helped a lot. During all that time I continued to fight the prejudices within my close family that I was a fucked up parent, that I was doing it all wrong with my kids, that they were going to turn out messed up because of me - the eternal scapegoat. But you know what, long term it has turned out that my kids are the role models for my nieces and nephews. I'm proud of that, it's sort of my revenge :) Pardon me as I do a little happy dance !

So yes, you can be raised in a certain way, but then choose to do it another way when you have your own kids. That's the beauty, you can choose to break the cycle right then and there if you have enough insight into what went wrong in your own family and what you should do to ensure a better outcome.

Edited by Symora
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Guest Ilook@allthelonelypeople

Wow, well that's a great success story.

Being at an age now where all my friends are having children, or have had children for a few years, I find there's as much danger of OVER compensating. In other words, I'm so scared of hurting them I can't yell at my friends' kids even when they're doing something obviously wrong.

That's very encouraging, though. Thanks. :(

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I agree, overcompensation can be an issue, you have remain vigilant about not falling into that trap. It's never easy to set boudaries for other people's kids anyway, the parents don't appreciate it much .... and I can tell you that yelling is not usually effective with kids anyway, although it may relieve our own stress :-)

With your own kids it's different. I think we need to educate ourselves though, be clear on what it means to set boundaries, know what healthy boundaries look like, etc. I always saw my role as a parent as being an 'educator' to my kids, I was there to provide as many tools as possible so that they would become effective flyers when they left the nest. I think that perspective helps - you always think about whether the approach or behaviours you are using are teaching them positive things. I found it helpful, so then it's not about giving them everything, or preventing them from knowing what suffering is, or anything else that may prevent them from learning about the challenges of real life, it's about helping them become well rounded adults, healthy emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually.

You sound like an intelligent and insightful person, those are great qualities for effective parenting ... if and when you are parent and you are not sure what to do because you did not have good models growning up, there will be lots of good resources you will be able to tap into, to help you make informed parenting choices. Don't worry too much about it ... you are in control now and that will make all the difference :-)

Edited by Symora
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