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My ability to cope has dwindled to nothing


KathrynW
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I will begin by explaining that i'm at such a low point, that it has become difficult to impossible to even control my thoughts. So I apologize if this post seems scattered. I truly feel like I have no one to talk to. I'm embarassed of my behavior and even my thoughts at this point, and I feel I have no one that will truly understand the emotional state I am in. I have so many insecuriites and it all stems form the multitude of bad circumstances oI have been dealt in my life.

I essentially have no family. My father disapeared when I was on family vacation with my mother and sister. I came home to a house ripped apart except for my locked bedroom. My parents were separated and I lived with my father when the disapearance occured. He had his coworkers take whatever they wanted when he left, so the house was in disaray. piles of papers and whatnot, where his coworkers had dumped out the drawers of the furniture they took. I didn't hear from him for weeks. When i finally did speak to him he told me he had to get away and didn't tell me in fear my mother would find out and find a way to lock him in. Years went on, with me living with my mother and sister, two people who I didn't get along with and didn't understand me. My mother always favored my sister and it showed when I moved in with them. My mom thought I was trouble and she let me know it. Many arguments and betrayals occured over my adolescent years with my mother. Then my freshman year of high school, my mother decided that since my sister had graduated it would be okay if she moved 1500 miles away to live with her boyfriend. The high school credits were so different in this new place that I would have been drastically held back in school. I had friends a boyfriend a life in my hometown and I was about to be ripped away. So, my bestfriends family offered to let me live with them through the rest of high school. My mother didn't object, so she moved away and I moved in with my friends family.

The family that took me in as their own were wonderful people and they took great care of me. It did however become difficult. I felt out of place, and in seriously indebted to these people who were taking care of me when my family wouldn't. My best friend was a single child until I moved in and I was caught in a rift of loyalties. Her parents would drill me when they thought she was up to something. Being that she was a teenager, and teenagers do some stupid things, I included, there were plenty of things her parnets would kill her for. But I didn't know what to do. I didn't like lying to her parents, who treated me as one of their own, but I couldn't betray my best friends trust and tattle on her. So I was constantly distressed by all the family drama.

On another note It became difficult impeding in on their family dynamic. My best friends parents looked at me as a troubled child, like I was badly raised and that they had to fix me. I overheard numerous conversations that they has with their friends. Hearing and knowing this hurt tremendously. No, my parents were not the most upstanding, but I wasn't raised by wolves. I maintained a 3.4 GPA, I kept my nose out of trouble, I did a lot just because I felt I owed it to this family for taking me in. Also, my best friend, now sister, was becoming someone I didm't know. Drugs, bad acquaintances, she also started using my circumstance to her advantage. I was a distraction for her parents, with their eyes on me, she could get away with things. Keep in mind I went from living in fairly poor tax bracket to moving in with people that don't even look at price tags. It was a huge culture shock. Shopping with them somtimes lead me to anxiety attacks, because all I could think of is the money going out the window, and my parents taught me to spend cautiously My friend, She had a credit card her parents had given her and would insist on taking me shopping. We'd go out and she'd by me a t-shirt or pair of shoes, but then she'd splurge on a 2,000 shopping spree for herself. I found out later that every time she did this, her parents would be furious about the spending, and she would tell them she took me shopping too, so her parents would think that I was reponsible for 1,000 of the 2,000 spent and would practically praise her for being a generous and good friend. In all reality, I was treated to a t-shirt and maybe shoes, so really 80-100 of the 2,000 spent. It made me feel horrible, because I later found out that these wonderful people thought I was out spending their hard earned money, when I wasn't. Keep in mind they started supporting me financially because neither of my parents sent a dime of child support.

With all this stress, and feeling like the ugly redheaded step child in another family, I ran. When I turned 18 I moved into my own place. I am still very close to this family that took me in, but I decided to take care of myself and leave the stresses and dependency behind.

I went through many abusive relationships, I dealt with being completely broke for years. I'm now in college and dating someone with two children. Dealing with the "baby mama" drama is stressful in itself, but now Im experiencing a verbally abusive relationship. His best friend passed away a year ago, in a motorcycle accident, and he hasn't been the same since. He's angry, hurtful, lost. I have been called every name in the book, he has threatened me to sleep with other people. He has thrown my parents leaving me in my face, he has 9insulted my looks. My self esteem is so shot that I find it unnerving just to leave the house. I am missing classes because I find myself unable to lift myself out of bed and stop crying. I love him more than I love myself, and I know it's unhealthy. I am just at a point where I find it hard to love myself. I love and care for him so much, and I've just wanted to help him through his anger and depression. It just really sucks because Im at a point where I can't control my thoughts, anger, tears. I get so angry now that I just cry uncontrolably and yell and scream when I am called names, or hurt. I just want some advice as to how to get out of this low point, to stop feeling bad about my screwed up family dynamic. I just don't know how I can love myself when I don't feel that anyone else does. I am not saying poor me, or no one loves me, when people real seem to. I just have experienced anyone I've ever loved and held dearly, hurt me, betray me, or leave me. I really just want to stop the self detructive thoughts and see if i can find the road that leads me to what family really is.

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Welcome, Kathryn. That sounds like a long and tough childhood. You've been through a lot.

On the bright side, you seem to be unusually aware; that's bound to be helpful, though it may also be frustrating as you find yourself acting against what you know to be best for you. Most people try to hide that from themselves ... But not hiding means you probably already know what family really is (or at least some of what it isn't); now the trick is how to get that for yourself (and how to believe you're worthy.)

How sure are you that you love him, and not something he represents, like "Family"? {I know that in my own case, I stayed married far longer than was healthy for me, just because that way I got to stay "Husband" and "Father", and I needed those things more than I knew (or would let myself know.) } You're aware that you're being abused again; you know your future (school especially) is paying for it, and you know you're paying for it in the present with the pain of being abused. Where's the benefit, again?

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you are right, I am fully aware of what family is, or atleast I have an idea of it. I guess I'm really struggling as to wether it exists for me or not. I've contemplated my reasons to stay with him, and wether it's some idealistic view of how I want things to be. But in all reality it's like I know I will never have a normal family with him, not with how much he has changed after his friend's death. So, with knowing I can't have an ideal relationship with him, or even a healthy one, I think I am staying in the relationship because I just can't stand the thought of anything bad happening to him if I'm not around. I want to be sure he is taken care of. I love him so much, and I just want to take care of him. It's just sad that I'll put myself through hell in order to see him through this. I just wonder if I'm the only one who thinks it is important to stick by him, and help him, no matter what hell he puts me through. It's all very confusing.

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My parents disapeared on me and left me when things got tough and they were more concerned with themselves. I see first hand how putting yourself before the ones you love can have damaging consequences and can really hurt. I can't force myself to do that to my boyfriend of 3 years. I also love his 2 little girls to death. I don't only want to see him through this for his well being, but help these two little girls who need their daddy to be ok. I guess I don't really know what I'm looking for on this forum. I don't mean to come off like I've got everything figured out, because I really don't.I'm only 24 and I've got alot to learn. I guess I'm wondering what the importance of self liberation is if it hurts those who you consider so important. Maybe I need to love myself more to find out, but how do I go about doing that?

P.S. thank you for responding. Seeing that someone hears me helps a lot.

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Hello, Kathryn,

I'm sorry you're in such a low point. It really is a difficult situation :(.

I don't have answers to your questions (of course), but... I'd like to emphasize that although you could be a support to his children and maybe also to himself (if he allows it), you cannot heal him, you cannot change him. So I wonder if your "persistence" in this relationship isn't based to a considerable extent on the hope that you'll help him to change and that he'll be the same man you dated few years ago. There's no doubt he would need help and change, but all you can do, in my opinion, is to try somehow to get this help for him, if possible. As for instance; in case he's an abusive father, it might be possible to contact a "social service" (I don't know how it's called...) so that they could examine the situation and maybe suggest him a treatment as a prerequisite to be let to take care of his children. (I really don't know if this would be the case, but... maybe you could ask a social worker or find our this info on the web - how they proceed in cases lie this where you live.)

Is there any time when he's "normal", doesn't treat you badly and you can talk to him? Have you tried to propose him psychotherapy?

In any case, I think it would be very good to find out how he would react to your decision to leave him if he doesn't stop treating you like he does. Because he's obviously very sure that you wouldn't leave him. But why does he want you around? Is he even aware of what you represent for him? He would be forced to think about this in case you told him that you consider leaving him. Maybe these reflexions would somehow help him to figure out what he's doing (and loosing) by behaving the way he does.

What do you think?

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Mmm, I can see how you've only been exposed to the problems that can come about when someone puts themselves first, and not the benefits.

So, maybe it's worth switching around: if he loves you, how do you think he would react to your obvious self-sacrifice? Would you want to be with someone who was obviously holding themselves back for your sake, or would you want them to be the person they want to be? Is it okay that he puts himself first?

You want to take care of him. That sounds almost as if you're putting him in the place of a child (and in particular, that you may be using him as a surrogate for the part of you that was never taken care of.) You don't have that obligation, you know: you didn't give birth to him ...

The next point, of course, is that there may not be anything you can do for him. He has to get himself through his problems, and in fact, "taking care" of him might actually end up slowing him down. He's free to react badly, because you take it. Maybe it's time he found out that it's not okay to act badly ... (And that would be what a "good parent" would demonstrate for him ...)

My belief is that anyone who would be hurt by you being free, or self-liberated, is not that good a friend to you. The difference is that your parents weren't "free"; they were irresponsible. It's the middle ground between being a prisoner and being irresponsible where you might find a path for yourself ...

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