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How do you live with the memories?

(8 Posts)
keekeeblue Wed 10-Apr-13 09:35:51

I suffer with anxiety and fatigue and thought I was doing really well after counselling and CBT. But after reading one of those "feel good" quotes on Facebook I am now questionning myself. It said 'don't live in the past' or something similar. But surely your past is what shapes you. I try not to dwell but when bad things have happened to you surely they are always part of you. I was physically and mentally abused by my parents, sexually abused by my grandad and then had 2 controlling and abusive relationships (boyfriend then husband). I don't really know what I am trying to say but the memories are always with me.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Wed 10-Apr-13 12:53:12

Hi keekeeblue I'm sorry that you've had such a tough time and that its continuing to impact on your life.
I have a similar history to you with regards to family abuse and mental health. I didn't stop 'living in the past' and being hugely affected by my past until I had years of therapy. Honestly it sounds like you need more counselling. Once you have properly dealt with your past it will fade into insignificance (honestly).
It took maybe 10 years of therapy on and off for me to get to somewhere really good with no mental health problems. It may not take that long for others as its a deeply personal individual process. Once you've done enough therapeutic work, the memories really will fade.
It's shit that we have to go through these terrible experiences and then continue to go through the fall out from them afterwards - so unfair.
Good luck flowers

keekeeblue Wed 10-Apr-13 13:07:09

Hi Accidental

Thank you for replying. I was thinking of contacting my counsellor again, she was very good and it's great when you can just talk and talk and talk and the other person doesn't get bored (at least doesn't show it!).

I think I was wondering whether anyone actually does get better from their mental health problems or do we just learn to live with them. When you hear people say live for today, be happy with your life, I am sure they must be people who have lived a 'normal' happy life. I am very happy with my life but still the memories are there.

I thought everyone's childhood was like mine, it's only recently from speaking to my DP that I realise how bad it actually was. Also why didn't the school notify social services, there were signs but not obvious physical ones. I suppose it was different in the seventies.

I still see my parents as my DS loves them!??? and I want them to be in his life. I still believe they don't like me and never ask any questions about my life and my dad is actually quite rude to me. But I was brought up not to talk back and certainly not to have a different opinion to them so I just grit my teeth while I am there.

Sorry for the ramble, just saying whatever comes into my mind.....thanks for listening.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Wed 10-Apr-13 15:23:06

It sounds that you are really in the thick of the realisation how abnormal and awful your childhood was.
It can be incredibly helpful to carry on with counselling at this point as you will spend lots of time thinking, processing and most importantly reevaluating your childhood memories. That re-evaluation needs to go somewhere and be verbalised.
The fact that you are still in contact with some of your abusers will make it very hard to move on from your abuse. It sounds, sadly as though they are still emotionally abusing you. You can't change the way they treat you so you're fairly stuck. I worry about the message that your family are giving your children.
Can I recommend that you ask MNHQ to move this into relationships? You will get lots of support there from people who have been through similar experiences and who have bags of advice.
Also you might find the 'but we took you to stately homes 'thread useful, about dysfunctional families.

Lottapianos Wed 10-Apr-13 15:29:21

Hi keekeeblue

I have loads of sympathy for you. I often feel like I have huge difficulties living 'in the moment' and that I spend far too much time and energy thinking about the past, or about people who drain the life out of me. I know people say 'live in the now' and 'live for today' but to me they are just trite Hallmark-type cliches - it's just not that easy!

It's perfectly understandable that you're thinking about things from your past - it sounds like you're still processing them and coming to terms with them. That's a healthy thing but I agree with Accidental that counselling/therapy would be a good idea. I see a psychotherapist every week and have done for the last 3 years and I have a long way to go but it's helping me hugely. I'm dealing with emotiional abuse in my childhood, well it's ongoing actually, and some days I think of little else apart from my parents. It's all part of coming to terms with separating from them and it's helping me take small steps towards feeling happier and really being able to live in the moment.

I hope that helps and I wish you lots of luck. Please keep posting - there are loads of us on here with similar experiences

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Wed 10-Apr-13 15:50:05

BTW don't have unrealistic expectations about living for the moment etc. it's fantasy FB shite. It's meaningless at the moment. If you need to be processing and evaluating your childhood then that's what you ought to be doing. Yu have to go through this before moving on.

keekeeblue Thu 11-Apr-13 08:26:35

Thank you so much for your kind words accidental and lotta.

Sometimes, well a lot of the time, I just can't stop thinking and analysing everything in the past. I will check out the 'but we took you to stately homes' thread as that sounds just like something my parents would say. They think they brought me and my siblings up to be independent but really we had no other choice, it was sink or swim.

Yes, I too wonder what sort of messages my parents and XH are giving my DS.

Accidental I like you fantasy FB shite comment, I will try and remember it.

Another day to get through, I do feel like I am spiralling down again so will contact my counsellor today and make an appointment. No energy or enthusiasm to do housework/ironing etc but will take today hour by hour.

Unfortunatelyanxious Thu 11-Apr-13 08:41:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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