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Betrayed by Family - Coping Mechanisms?


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I'm almost 30 years old and don't have a single relationship in life worth mentioning. I speak to people at work when there (small talk) but other than that I'm just alone.

For the last 10 years I've been systematically removing people from my life by changing cities, not returning phone calls, etc. Anyone that ever made a joke or snickered at my expense has been removed. It always felt right at the time, how could I interact with people that cared so little about my feelings? So now, as many of us, I live as a recluse.

I wonder if people are aware of what they do to me. I wonder if I've ever hurt someone this way and not known it. I hope that I haven't, but I used to drink pretty heavily. I'm probably as guilty as the people I despise. Maybe we've all done this inadertantly.

Just recently I found out that even my closest family members (the only people I have left) discuss my condition, and not in a sympathetic way (which wouldn't be ideal either). They laugh/joke/talk about my lack of size/dating/sex. They are all I have left and I am so angry about this betrayal. Are they at their respective homes laughing it up right now?

Do they understand that doing so makes me want to hurt them/me? I keep having this fantasy about killing myself and leaving a note referencing everyone that ever contributed. The plan being that somewhere inside of them is a good person and will recognize what they've done and be stricken with a tormented soul. What a small, petty man I've become to wish this on others. I don't have an outlet for this pain.

I'm so angry all I can do is cry and hit myself at night. I'm crying right now. I don't know what to do with this anger.

And I don't know how to proceed with my family either.

I was wondering how others have handled similar situations. These are the last people I have and I love them, but I don't know that I can take being in their presence anymore. It isn't healthy for me to subject myself to their torment, yet I'm..... worried what I might do if I really am completely alone.

Today I'm "celebrating" one month of sobriety. No pot or booze or anything else for 30 days, the longest such stretch of my adult life. It's tough. I feel better physically, but my emotions are so clear now and thus all the more painful. Memories of humiliation that I've repressed seem to rush back into a sober mind with stunning clarity.

Drinking and drugging has always been my coping mechanism, but I don't want it to be that way anymore. Any suggestions?

Thank you to all that have chosen to read this far. All advice will be considered and is appreciated.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Anguished,

Congratulations on your sobriety. I truly hope you keep it up. Do you attend any of the support groups for this?

How do you know that your family talks about you and laughs at you behind your back? Did someone tell you that or do you suspect that is so? Any chance that it is not accurate?

You are going through a lot and you need as much support as you can get. That is why I am glad that you are here. Can you get more support outside, like psychotherapy?


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Hi An, Keep off the drink and smoke, as depressed people this stuff just makes our mental condition worse, despite the short term relief.

We are similar in that everybody I used to know also knew about my size, and thought nothing of punishing me with it. I know the pain, anger toward others and myself blah blah, same stories, same feelings, same expierences. Whatever happens in your life, you know its wrong to breed and pass the curse on.

As you still have a relationship with members of your family, all be it not an ideal one, I would recommend you keep in with them. Total solitude is still worse than the humiliation. I would tell the family that this shit hurts, and they need to stop it, maybe even give one of them a pasteing to drive home the point, but definately keep the relationships. You cannot build a new family, so you must try to keep the one you have.

I've recently posted about how being humiliated affects me, and had advice on how to cope with it. Basically the only thing we can do is accept it, and try not to let it affect us. Apparently this is done by "just not caring what people say" ie buy removing the emotional reaction produced in us by others comments. We know we are small, inferior, deformed etc so when people then point out our defects we buy into what they are saying as truth. (Thanks M)

I think the method to do this, is to police our own thoughts for the negative labels that we attach to ourselves, and change them for more positive ones. If we cannot do this, we should at least try to stop the negative self talk and labels. ( as small, I think most of us are guilty of self abuse).

Working on the idea that "our thoughts, create our emotions" my stratergy is that if I remove the labels I give myself, then I may remove the negative feelings, which in turn hopefully leads to a future where, when people say " you dickless loser" it wont hurt because I wont emotionally buy into it.

Thats the theory. Putting it into practice is when you have little hope, is the hard part.

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Thank you Allan. Thank you Samesame.

I live in a very small city and therefore am uncertain of how “anonymous” any AA support structure would be, so that is a factor in my decision to avoid support groups. I also feel that being around such sadness would be a trigger for me. I’ve felt that was about the SPS forum at times in the past, which is no one’s fault. I’m just very sensitive to stories of other people’s pain.

A female member of my family recently walked in on me changing clothes and the news spread like wildfire. I suspect they always knew that I was lacking in that area, but now they have adult confirmation. If we’re watching television together and any joke is made regarding a man’s size all eyes in the room get fixed on me and they all have a grin from ear to ear. Sometimes I catch some of them looking at the front of my pants for a moment and then trying to fight back a giggle/smirk. The men in my family do it too.

Sometimes they look at me as if to say, “I’m so sorry that this is so funny to me”. I don’t think that they truly want to hurt me, it’s more like they want to stop making fun of it but it’s just too damn funny.

It’s a sad, unfortunate truth, but it is happening nonetheless. My father is ashamed of me, or at least it seems that way. That’s what hurts most of all. Perhaps he’s just upset that I’ve handled this situation so poorly. I’m his only son and the last male heir that can carry the family name. I don’t know if I should or ever will be able to start a family. I don’t even know if I want to.

Samesame, I’m not sure that I agree with you about not “passing the curse on”. There are men like us out there that don’t hate themselves to the extent that we do and I wouldn’t begrudge them trying to live a normal life. But, I was encouraged to hear your advice on stopping negative thought patterns. I’m a very destructive self-abuser. I don’t think any of us would ever treat someone else the way we treat ourselves. I really think you’re on the right track samesame. It all starts with how we view ourselves and how we feel about our value. But how do I feel better about what I hate most?

My greatest tormentor lives right inside my head and changing cities doesn’t get me any farther away from him.

Allan, I’m seeing this counselor and she says that I have to stop hating myself and hating my penis but I don’t know how to do that. When I bathe or have to look at myself or have to handle myself in some way I only feel shame and disgust. What do I do? How does one break the cycle? I want to change but these feeling run so deep. What’s the next step?

Thank you both so much. Knowing that anyone cares and wants to help makes it easier to get through a day. Thanks guys.

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Hi Anquished,

Do you think you would feel comfortable talking to some of them one on one and trying to open up how strongly it affects you. It might help you to talk through things with them and they might not realize exactly what their doing. They might just think its some off handed comment their making and not know or fully understand where your at mentally with all this. It could bring you closer together and some of them might be able to give you a strong support system.

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The female who walked in on you, Im assuming didnt see you erect, which just how ignorant and stupid she is. I'd take Cants advice, talk to the most aproachable member of the family and tell them what you feel. If after that you get more abuse, then abuse them back. Everyone looking at you etc is probably more just paranoaia, you cant know what people are thinking, untill they tell you.

Stopping the self hate is not something that cant be done in one go. It takes committed practice. We have all been practising self hate for many years. This habit of self hate, has to be replaced with a habit of positiveness. Any habit takes time to build, especially when you dont believe the positive things you are trying to tell yourself. As we have abused ourselfves for years, we now have you praise ourselves for years. Hard but it must be done. We will fail often, but that why we practice things until we become uncontiously competent.

Negative thoughts have to be firstly stopped, then changed to positive thoughts, and then practiced every hour, everyday.

To help do this, I have experimented with self hypnosis, meditation, excercise, distraction. But what works best is commited practice EVERYDAY

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I think I'm going to focus on exercise, meditation and sobriety.

I think you're spot-on: the cycle of mental self-abuse has been in place for years and will be tough to stop but nothing can get better unless I address this head-on.

I'm not in rehab, however I am familiar with the term "fake it until you can make it" and I intend to "fake" that I have accepted my body and perhaps one day I won't need to fake it anymore.

Any advice on getting started with meditation?

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Any advice on getting started with meditation?

Yes, eat plenty of yoghurt and lentils for two weeks while wearing a kaftan. Then concentrating on your breathing, imagine a huge Zepperlin, then give that Zepperlin a name, then get a picutre in your mind of that Zepperlin and make it even bigger, even brighter, and hear what sounds it makes, raising skyward, getting louder and bigger, then imagine its between your legs, then imagine sticking that big, bright, loud Zepperlin up a kittens arse, imagine what it looks like, imagine what it feels like (for you, not the cat) Then relax, take a deep breath and eat more yoghurt and lentils.

This is more self hypnosis, rather meditation, however I did this for a few weeks, which resulted in me renaming my penis the Hindenburg. Giveing me a feeling of huge size and an increadible burning sensation.

Hope this helps

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