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Please tell me what to do next bc I can't go on being like this

(2 Posts)
crayonseverywhere Fri 27-May-16 23:00:02

As a child I had a mother who was emotionally and physically abusive. I have lived most of my life walking on eggshells, performing acrobatics trying not to set her off - and even once I left home, being so affected by the way she behaved to me as a child that I have consistently been unable to moderate my reactions to things that happen in life. I've either inappropriately over reacted or under reacted Eg fearfully reading threats into nice things that people say and cutting them out or not reacting at all if someone screams abuse at me or is violent - instead trying to make everything 'okay' ASAP and pretend it hasn't happened.

By the time I reached 27, I had carved out a niche for myself in life where I interacted with the world on my terms. I worked from home, had a few friends who understood me, and if things got too much I could hide away in my room, zone out, and eventually get a grip on my feelings and appropriate reactions then emerge again. The solitude was more like a physical barrier to the world so I could actually think for myself rather than be influenced by my "old" reactions.

I think having a life like this allowed me to drastically underestimate how bad my anxiety was in the real world and how many long periods of dissociation I was actually experiencing. But having my DC has brought it to life in full technicolor.

I feel I just cannot cope with how the DC force me into the real world. I can't switch off, I can't process my feelings anymore, I have to go to places and see & talk to people, I have to leave the house, I have to care for them when they're ill. All my reactions have to be spontaneous, I can no longer wait until I am ready to do something, I can no longer go numb and wait it out. I realise these are obvious statements, but to someone who relies on dissociation as a mechanism for coping, it is terribly difficult.

Of course, I love them, and live in fear of being like my own mother, so my parenting is hyper vigilant and now I can never switch off. I am running myself ragged and making myself ill worrying about them and us all as a family, having horrible negative fantasies of what might happen to them or us, and trying to prevent it (when it isn't even a threat.)

I suppose it's some kind of OCD. I don't sleep. Not because they keep me up or are not good sleepers, but because my anxiety will just not allow me. I am up through the night, removing things I think are dangerous, rearranging the baby monitor to find the best angle, writing lists, bleaching the house. DH finds my obsessiveness and hyperactivity infuriating, and I can imagine that living with me and my obsessive behaviour is quite difficult and was a lot easier, pre-children, when I just took myself off and calmed myself down.

If and when the crazy hyper vigilance goes, it is just replaced by an overwhelming feeling of depression that I can't put my finger on a reason for. It's at this point where I become extremely lax, leave huge messes, stop washing, don't respond to people for days (apart from the kids.)

I have been having psychotherapy for four years, which is why I understand what is going on inside my head to some extent. But I feel like I need something else on top of this and I just don't know what to do.

We live half the time outside of the UK, so I have private medical insurance. What can I do? What else do I need to ask for?

CommonBurdock Mon 30-May-16 22:06:35

Hi OP. From my own experience with EA mother I can say that it leaves you without a centre, you don't feel grounded in yourself. You need to find your true self as you have been constantly seeing yourself through other people's eyes for years and dancing to their tune, you weren't allowed to develop your own sense of self and so it leaves you feeling very anxious and unsure, which means you tend to obsess about certain things. That's been my experience of life from an EA parent anyway.

Does any of that resonate with you? If so you may find the Alexander technique or various kinds of biokinetic therapy to be helpful. I certainly did. It helps release emotionsl blockages through gentle exercises. I found that a course of 8 lessons did more for me than talking therapy ever did, and allowed me to take back control of my life, or at least start the process.

Can you access that kind of therapy where you are?

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