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Childhood abuse affecting my parenting

(7 Posts)
Confused40 Tue 26-Mar-13 12:24:18

Just seen this, and thought this organisation might be able to help you:-

National Association for Adults Abused as Children.

They can offer you support, phone helpline, very useful website, and lots of other information.

Hope it helps x

Lauralorna Sun 24-Mar-13 21:52:16

I know exactly what you mean about the too strict thing - my hubby is actually v good with disciplining the girls appropriately but sometimes I get a whole panic on when I know he is going to step in and take a stand - only ever words - and never anything they don't need to hear - but he gets very frustrated with me undermining him, and finds it hard to understand that I am only doing that because it starts some sort of fear cycle in me that I don't really even understand myself! Sure you are doing the right thing going to the Drs. Even if you 'know' intellectually that you may be reacting to your daughter because of your own pain it doesn't make it any bloody easier. And the thing I find hardest is that it's not the kind of stuff you can just chat to a 'meet for a cuppa' kind of friend so it's really easy to feel even more isolated. We're not alone though! And at least we are taking ourselves out of the cycle which is a hell of a lot more than any adult thought to do when I was a kid! Good luck and hope you find some peace ASAP x

Spottyblancmange Sun 24-Mar-13 15:07:03

lauralorna That's exactly it, the detached feeling, like there is something in front of me distancing me. It makes sense that it would be worst right now, there's something inherently triggering about seeing her at the same age I was I think.

It's hard to explain to DP, he tells me everyone has self-doubts about parenting, which obviously is true, but I know this is something more than general worry. He also struggles to understand how I can think that something like not letting DD play on the computer one night is at all comparable to abuse. Rationally I can see his point but when it's actually happening I feel myself panicking that being too harsh/strict is a slippery slope and if it happens once I won't be able to stop.

I have seen a counsellor before, and I'm going to make an appointment with my GP this week, I know I need help.

I think I'm going to use the idea of asking DD what she thinks in the mean time, thanks cogito. And thank you to Waffly too.

Lauralorna Sun 24-Mar-13 09:20:01

Hi, this caught my eye because I am dealing with similar things at the moment. I was abused between the ages of 6-9. I know from reading that I have done that dealing with childhood abuse is often hardest at the point when your own children are the age you were when you were abused - and I have certainly found that - so if it makes you feel any better then maybe this is the worst it will get! Fingers crossed. I think you are describing something called 'derealisation' which is an anxiety feeling I have also had. Like a feeling of having a sheet of glass (or a fog) in front of you so you are distanced from everything? Also get a thing where I can look at myself in the mirror and don't even feel like I am connected to the person I can see in front of me.

My therapist assures me these are 'normal' symptoms considering what I have been through and maybe this is the case for you too? Just your brain's way of trying to protect you from the hurt you are carrying.

I sometimes just cry because I feel so frustrated at feeling distanced from my children when the abuse is on my mind (which it is a lot at the moment because I am working through a lot of it in therapy through the NHS - it took me a long time to be ready for it - but if you aren't already I would get to the GP - it is tough going but it is making a massive difference). And I find myself worrying about them endlessly sometimes because I am a 'bad' mother - when I rationalise it I know that's not true, and my DH tells me I am fine, and a good Mum, but I guess I am projecting my anxieties about my own experiences on to them.

The best quote I read recently about parenting was that 'you are the best mother your children will ever have'. In other words, you are the best mother your DD will ever have and she will love you anyway. She is not the one who is or has been abused, and just in the fact that you are on here and trying to work through things shows just how much you love her. And loving her is (in some ways!) the only thing she really needs. I know I beat myself up too - but there is something about trying to be a bit kinder to yourself. It's hard - but I have every sympathy because I think I am in a similar boat. Letting it out is massively important - but it's not the kind of stuff you can easily chat about in the school yard with the other mums is it????!!!!!!!! Keep the faith x

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 24-Mar-13 08:29:41

I wonder if your 'detached' feeling of not belonging and the numbness you describe could be the onset of depression. If you're in a permanent state of stress because you don't think you know what to do for the best then that can easily trigger anxiety or worse. You may benefit from talking to your GP.

FWIW whenever I'm not sure if I'm getting it right, I ask my DS. The answer to "what would you do about this situation if you were me?" often sparks some really interesting conversations. Only the other day when there was an issue about homework we had a chat about... "This isn't working. How can we make it work better?"

Good luck

WafflyVersatile Sun 24-Mar-13 00:33:42

I've no experience but didn't want to read and run.

Have you talked to your DP? Maybe you can try to let DP shoulder more of the parenting through this phase?

Don't be too hard on yourself or your parenting?

Have you ever had counselling? Would this be a good time to start or revisit?

Spottyblancmange Sun 24-Mar-13 00:14:12

I'm finding myself struggling with parenting my DD at the moment, really struggling. She's in the later years of primary school, and she's the same age I was when my childhood abuse seemed to reach its peak.

I'm realising I don't know what is "normal" for this age. I can't relate to it at all, because the only real memories I have are of the abuse, the majority of this age I've blocked it out.

I'm second guessing every decision I make. I let things slide that I shouldn't because I'm terrified of being too harsh on her. I'm undermining DP in the process by not sticking to the rules we set.

I'm struggling with feeling detached too. From DD and DP, like I'm numb and I don't belong, I can never belong because I should be able to cope with all of this and I can't. I shouldn't find this so hard. We went to MILs today and I sat there in a fog for most of the afternoon, I was there but I wasn't a part of it, I was just an observer on the sidelines.

I'm not even really sure why I'm posting. I guess I wanted to ask if anyone had any advice or had been there themselves and partly just to let it out.

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